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CubaNews Notes from Los Angeles

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  • Walter Lippmann
    CUBANEWS NOTES FROM LOS ANGELES - August 5, 2004 by Walter Lippmann As I begin my third week back here after a month away on the Pastors for Peace
    Message 1 of 6 , Aug 6 6:03 PM
      by Walter Lippmann

      As I begin my third week back here after a month away on the
      Pastors for Peace Friendshipment Caravan, I feel I have for
      the most part recovered from the journey, which was at once
      exhilarating and exhausting. The Caravan was an extremely
      valuable activity, taking 120 people across the US border
      into Mexico and on to Cuba with 126 tons (I remember that
      figure well) of medical and humanitarian aid for the Cuban
      people. This was in the face of substantial efforts by the
      US government to discourage such solidarity activity.

      This is Hiroshima Day, a day of commemoration and activity
      in memory of and in protest against the use of nuclear bombs
      which was introduced to humanity when the United States in
      1945 dropped the atomic bomb on the Japanese island of
      Hiroshima. Over a hundred thousand people were incinerated
      on that day. Three days later, the United States dropped a
      further nuclear weapon on the city of Nagasaki, killing
      thousands more. Japan was already suing to surrender as it
      had obviously lost the war by then. Washington, however,
      decided to conduct a demonstration of its a terrible and
      awesome power, aimed at the peoples of the entire world,
      and also at the government of the Soviet Union.

      Fred Halstead, a wonderful anti-war activist and author
      of the book OUT NOW: A Participant's Account of the
      American Movement Against the Vietnam War (New York,
      Pathfinder Press), whose manuscript I helped to type,
      provided this wonderful analysis of the reasons why the
      United States dropped nuclear weapons on Japan. I would
      recommend anyone interested in this subject read Fred's
      explanation of those horrible events.

      Thousands of Japanese Recall US A Bomb Attack on Hiroshima

      Hiroshima, Japan, Aug 6 (Prensa Latina) Some 45,000
      Japanese turned up early Friday in Hiroshima streets, for
      the 59th annual commemoration of the US atomic bomb attack
      on the city.

      At the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, Prime Minister
      Junichiro Koizumi promised to abide by the country´s
      pacifist constitution and the three non-nuclear principles:
      not possessing, not producing and not permitting nuclear
      weapons in Japan.

      In a ceremony that was televised nationwide, Hiroshima
      Mayor Tadatoshi Akiba declared the year leading up to the
      60th anniversary of the bombing a "Year of Remembrance and
      Action for a Nuclear-Free World." He proposed year 2020 as
      the time by which all nuclear weapons should be eliminated
      from the world.

      The mayor criticized the United States, saying that it has
      resumed research "to make nuclear weapons smaller and more

      The weapons include the so-called "bunker busters" capable
      of hitting targets deep underground, and "mini-nukes" less
      than a quarter of the size of the ones that leveled

      Akiba charged that the US government is ignoring the United
      Nations and international law by conducting such research.

      He called on nations to attend a nuclear nonproliferation
      meeting, to be held in May 2005 in New York, and sign a
      treaty that would eventually abolish nuclear arms by 2020.


      Recent news has been a mixture of good and bad, as usual.
      While the sharp increase in oil prices, now having reached
      a record $44.00 per barrel will mean more expensive gas for
      consumers in places like the United States, it also means
      more money is available for social programs such as those
      we've seen developed under President Hugo Chavez Frias's
      Bolivarian Revolution in today's Venezuela. Just this week
      the Chavez administration announced an additional housing
      program comprising $500 MILLION additional dollars. So we
      see what's bad for some people can be good for others, but
      it all depends on who gets the money and what they decide
      to do with it. Chavez must have seen Spike Lee's movie

      Meanwhile, the rightist US-backed opposition is fighting to
      oust President Chavez, having petitioned for a recall which
      will be held on August 15. In a way, two simple images will
      tell you much of what you need to know about the counter-
      posed platforms and the people on each side. Check this out:

      We post as much Venezuela news as possible on this list, but
      it IS the CUBANEWS list, and we have to keep it focused as
      much as we can on Cuba. There are three listservs which are
      focused on Cuba that anyone interested in the Bolivarian
      process ought to be familiar with. The most comprehensive
      is the one published by the Venezuela Information Office
      in Washington, DC. It's funded by the Venezuelan government
      but provides a full range of pro and con information from
      the English-language media. I only wish that someone would
      be able to do something like that for Cuba. I used to do it
      from time to time. You can learn about their list here:

      The good news has been really good. Readers here may also
      recall that Repsol, the Spanish oil company which has been
      exploring for offshore oil recently in the Gulf of Mexico
      off of Cuba's north cost, reported that it had found major
      oil deposits there, but had determined they were not now
      commercially viable (or words to that effect). Today we
      learned that Sherritt International, which operates hotels
      and which works with Cuba operating the the Moa nickel mines
      in Eastern Cuba, has announced " plans to resume explora-
      tory drilling in northern Cuba in the third quarter and is
      considering an increase in its $90 million capital spending
      plan in light of the current oil price. The trend toward
      higher and higher petroleum prices means that what was once
      considered uneconomic can become economic as the price goes
      up. You can read more about this in the industry publication
      OIL & GAS JOURNAL: http://ogj.pennnet.com/ It's good news!

      Some farmers in the state of Illinois are definitely happy
      today. Here's why some of these farmers are smiling now.

      Bellmont, the village in western Wabash County with an
      estimated population of 250 people, will soon become the
      focus of an entire nation -- and that nation is not in the
      United States.

      The Lewis Hering Elevator in Bellmont is one of several
      facilities in Illinois that began today (Thursday) shipping
      a total of 15,000 tons of field peas to the island nation
      of Cuba. Cuba is an outstanding customer because unlike all
      the others, Cuba pays cash on the barrelhead. DETAILS:

      Is it any surprise? Last year when anti-war demonstrations
      took place across the United States of America and the world,
      only in Miami were there pro-war mobilizations. Rightist
      exiled Cuban reactionaries mobilized IN FAVOR of the invasion
      of Iraq and demanded that Washington go after Cuba as well.
      No surprise: these same elements (turds of a feather, shall
      we say?) are protesting against Michael Moore as well.


      Other rightists tried to get advertising for the movie banned
      on the grounds that it's electioneering. Fortunately, for the
      moment, the authorities didn't buy it.

      You know a movie is doing well with other people try to copy
      it. Now some enterprising movie people are copying Micheal
      Moore's ADVERTISING, trying to hitch their movie to Moore's
      ads. You'll recall that FAHRENHEIT 9/11's ads show Micheal
      Moore holding hands with George W. Bush in front of the
      White House. Now the movie NAPOLEON'S DYNAMITE has taken
      Micheal's add, put ITS leading character in between Moore
      and Bush, and the three are holding hands. Looks in the ad
      as if this was taped into the newspaper. Very clever.

      The well-known British artist, long time Communist and
      activist for many social justice issues, has died at 77
      of Cancer. The obituary to him in the London Guardian
      was sub-headlined "Radical artist in the service of
      socialism" and added, according to John Green, author
      of the obituary, " Every morning, he drew a political
      cartoon to assuage his anger and frustration at the
      state of the world. Only a few weeks before he died,
      he was excitedly telling me about plans for an
      artistic project in Cuba and a book he was
      determined to publish of anti-war drawings." MORE:


      Jose Lezama Lima, the famous gay Cuban writer whose novel
      PARADISO became famous on its release in the sixties,
      but who was hassled because of its content and, one can
      only suppose, because of his gayness too, was recently
      re-opened in Havana. Go and read the story for yourself:

      The Cuban National Center for Sex Education (CENESEX)
      has an entire section of its website devoted to what it
      refers to as SEXUAL DIVERSITY. We've translated some of
      the materials from the site, and by its director,
      Mariela Castro, for CubaNews in the past. Now those of
      you who are interested in this particularly complex area
      of Cuban life, and who read Spanish, will have an entire
      new area in which to explore. I was amazed to see that it
      even has PERSONAL ADS with photographs. In Cuba! Amazing.
      Anyone out there who would be interested in helping to
      get these articles translated to English, please get in
      touch with me offlist. Thanks.

      This report describes the island's international work in
      medical care, and takes up some of the complaints which
      some Cubans have raised about missing their local doctors.

      There's a great deal more, but this is enough for the
      moment. Keep reading. Much more to come...

      Walter Lippmann
    • Walter Lippmann
      CUBANEWS NOTES FROM LOS ANGELES, August 10, 2004 by Walter Lippmann, Moderator, CubaNews list There s so much going on right now regarding Cuba that it s
      Message 2 of 6 , Aug 11 3:19 PM
        CUBANEWS NOTES FROM LOS ANGELES, August 10, 2004
        by Walter Lippmann, Moderator, CubaNews list

        There's so much going on right now regarding Cuba that
        it's simply impossible to keep up with all of the many
        developments. Cuba isn't at the center of US politics,
        but because of the closeness of the presidential race,
        it may well have a larger than previous impact since a
        significant tactical division exists between the two
        dominant party candidates.

        The CubaNews list has lately been experiencing a most
        gratifying increase in its subscriptions. We've now
        got 614 members on CubaNews, and this material is also
        posted to several other lists, from which others pick
        up the material and re-place it elsewhere. Thanks very
        much to everyone who passes on these messages to their
        friends and co-workers.

        This coming weekend the Olympic Games will open up in
        Greece. While I'm not a big fan of spectator sports, we
        know that the games will be a focus of international
        attention. The Cuban teams for Athens are expected from
        past experience to do very well. I think Cuba gets a far
        higher per-capital number of gold medals than any other
        reasonably large sized country. What with the US having
        been knocked out of competition in baseball, we have
        good reason to hope the Cubans will triumph in this so
        vital sport for the island's national culture. Cuba's
        national media will be broadcasting Olympic games
        nearly round the clock. Readers of these messages who
        aren't in Cuba will have to suffer through all of the
        commercials. Lucky Cubans won't have any commercials to
        suffer through. Aren't they lucky? And Cuba's Prensa
        Latina news agency has been sending daily bulletins on
        Athens which we've been forwarding.

        The drought which has caused so much difficulty on the
        eastern parts of the island is finally beginning to be
        noticed by the international media. There was a great
        story by the AP a day or two ago which was basically
        straight reporting and which added the important point
        that the sense of social solidarity is very much alive
        in Cuba, so neighbors all help one another out in times
        of crisis. Here in Los Angeles where I live, and I think
        in many of the supposedly "advanced" capitalist countries,
        neighbors hardly know one another and in times of crisis
        an "every individual for themselves" mentality tends to
        predominate most of the time.

        Several readers have recently begun to assist us with the
        translation of materials from the Cuban media. I'm very,
        very glad that this is happening because there's so much
        more being reported in the Cuban media than we normally
        get to see on the English-language sites. Cuba is rapidly
        and sharply increasing its presence on the internet, but
        there's so much more available every day that it's very,
        very gratifying to be able to bring you more news and
        more information on a wider range of topics. Today we
        have a lovely article profile of a young doctor working
        out in the rural parts of the island. Havana has 25% of
        the island's population, but that means 75% is elsewhere.
        I'm sure you'll enjoy this article. Another translated
        item is a profile of a young female doctor working out
        in rural Cuba, which I'm sure you will also enjoy.

        Fashion and style trends as well are definitely represented
        in Cuba. Those sharply-pointed high-heel shoes which many
        young woman are fond of can certainly be found on the feet
        of Cuban woman. Body art forms such as tattooing has become
        so prominent that it's been reported in the Cuban national
        media and even the international media. A few weeks ago the
        Sunday Havana city newspaper TRIBUNA ran a long feature on
        this phenomenon, including pictures of some of the arms,
        backs and feet where tattoos are being worn. Some of the
        doctors interviewed warn the public about the possible
        dangers of tattooing, but no one seems to be trying to
        stop the practice. Since this list is send out in plain
        text, we cannot send you the photographs, and so I've put
        the translated article up on a web-page for your reading
        enjoyment. I think you'll find it as fascinating as I did.
        Read it here: http://www.walterlippmann.com/tattoo.html

        Anyone reading this who would be interested in helping us
        to bring even more information out from the Cuban media to
        a broader international English-language audience should
        please contact me off-list and let me know what you might
        be able to do. It would be very greatly appreciated as the
        recent translations already are appreciated by all.

        Occasionally it's necessary to have materials form the
        Spanish-language foreign media translated when it relates
        to events in Cuba. We have a couple of those for you too.

        Not everything which is reported in the foreign media
        which is unfavorable toward Cuba is untrue, and the one
        we have from the Spanish-language BBC which tells of a
        police clampdown on transvestites seems to be authentic
        from what I can tell. You'll be able to read these and
        judge them for yourselves, of course.

        Attentive readers will recall an upsurge of writings about
        a month ago regarding a music and dance troupe called HAVANA
        NIGHTS. With Washington denying visas to perform in the US
        for many of the best-known Cuban performing artists, Cuba's
        authorities delayed letting one group which was selected by
        Washington for approval to come to the United States for a
        series of performances in Las Vegas. A big hue and cry was
        generated against Cuba in the US media, but now we're not
        hearing anything from whose who'd tried to scandalize Cuba
        before. Here is one of those reports from last month:
        http://makeashorterlink.com/?C19423509 But now the band
        HAVANA NIGHTS is performing in Las Vegas, and all of those
        who attacked Cuba before for delaying approval for the trip
        have lost interest in the group and the issue now that Cuba
        granted the group's permission to perform in Las Vegas.

        You can actually see and hear a few moments of the group
        here, at the website of the place where they are performing:

        Washington, the EU and some of the former Eastern European
        "dissidents" are continuing their public attacks on Cuba
        via the Voice of America and other locations. From time to
        time I get angry mail from readers wanting to know why it
        is that I send these reports on oppositionists in Cuba to
        the list, or when they are sent out, they're not invariably
        introduced with something always denouncing the information.

        It seems to me that people who are supportive of Cuba's right
        to self-determination need to be well informed about what's
        being said by those who want Cuba brought back under the heel
        of uncle same. It's necessary to see their own arguments in
        their own words, the better to respond to them. Readers may
        find the following somewhat surprising, but can you imagine
        the Cuban government posting on the Cuban Foreign Ministry
        (MINREX) website the text of the US government's "executive
        summary" of its plan to overthrow the Cuban Revolution?

        Here's the Cuban Foreign Ministry website and click on the
        US measures button and see this. By posting this, together
        with a raft of answers, Cuba is showing its confidence in
        being able to defeat these latest US moves against it.
        READ THIS: http://www.cubaminrex.cu/English/index.asp

        Despite the blockade, international trends definitely play
        an active role in the island's culture. For example, hip-hop
        music, which originated in the Black communities of the US,
        has spread to Cuba and to the rest of the world. This week
        an international hip-hop festival is being held in Havana
        and performers from around the world, including from the
        US, are participating in this event. I hope we'll receive
        some first-hand reports from people attending the festival.

        Here's a short report from Prensa Latina on this:

        Tenth Havana International Rap Festival to Open this Week
        in Cuba

        Havana, (PL) More than 50 groups from 15 countries,
        including Mexico, the United States, Great Britain,
        Argentina and Chile will participate at the 10th Rap
        Festival Habana Hip Hop, to take place August 14 through 22

        Sponsoring Hermanos Saiz Association (AHS) President
        Alpidio Alonso stated in press conference Monday that the
        tenth Festival arrives "with more maturity and it will be a
        moment for revolutionary non-commercial rap to meet."

        The festival "will be an opportunity to send a
        revolutionary message from Cuba, compromised with the cause
        of the poor in the world," he explained.

        He recalled that rap in Cuba is an alternative movement
        which has paved its way and also has a great presence in
        Latin America, and added that "it is not only a genre of
        expression with a social message, it is art."

        More than 30 groups invited have confirmed their attendance
        so far, and 70 groups will perform in the four stages for
        the festival, Alonso stated.

        The Festival, considered the most important in Cuba and
        Latin America, will open August 14 with a great concert in
        La Piragua, Havana"s "malecón" (seawall,) where Cubans acts
        such as Doble Filo and Anonimo Consejo will share with
        foreign guests.

        Meanwhile, a colloquium where researchers from Brazil,
        Colombia, Venezuela and Puerto Rico will take place, as
        well as a youth interactive forum (Hip-Hop: cultural
        revolutionary resistance movement), acceded from the
        website www.cubava.cu/hiphoprevolucion as from Wednesday.

        Professor Humberto Alfonso will host a workshop to deal
        with sound and oral expression in the artist psychophysics,
        while two new issues of the magazine Movimiento, created in
        2003, will be released.

        A retrospective exhibit on posters of rap and an exhibit on
        rap music including films by Spike Lee 8 Mile, starring US
        singer Eminem will celebrate the 10 years of the festival.

        The Habana Hip-Hop Festival took place for the first time
        in June 1995, and it has witnessed excellent performances
        by international artist such as Mos Def, The Roots, Wyclef
        Jean, Dead Prez, Sound Table Knights and Julio do Reis,
        including other.

        Source: PL

        The exhibition of Cuban posters which has been open at the
        Track 16 gallery in Santa Monica has been extended, but is
        finally going to close this weekend. Last Friday night they
        showed two Cuban films, a 2001 feature film NADA MAS, which
        deals with worker alienation in Cuba and featured a riotous
        off-the charts comic performance by Daysi Granados as the
        manager from hell in a Havana post office. You can read a
        not terribly enthusiastic review, but get a sense of the
        movie here: http://efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=7630

        Also shown was 79 SPRINGTIMES OF HO CHI MINH, a 1969
        Cuban documentary, extremely powerful in black and white:

        This coming Friday, as the exhibition draws to a close, you
        de Nieve, which premiered last year at the Havana Film Festival:

        Since 1985, lovers of Cuban movies had but one book to rely
        on in English for a broad overview, and concise synopses
        of Cuban movies: Michael Chanan's THE CUBAN IMAGE. This
        indispinsible volume, long out of print, has finally been
        updated and radically expanded in a 2004 edition by the
        Universithy of Minnesota press as CUBAN CINEMA. I've just
        barely begun to scan it, but he's brought the study up to
        the end of the twentieth century and everyone who enjoys,
        studies and follows Cuban movies will be obliged to get
        this new book.

        I'm sure we're all familiar with the phenomenal success of
        Michael Moore's FAHRENHEIT 9/11, which has become the most
        viewed documentary motion picture on a political them in
        the history of the United States. The movie has also been
        widely viewed in Cuba and commented on there. Even Cuba's
        National Assembly President Ricardo Alarcon de Quesada was
        called on to introduce the film to Cuban television viewers
        last week. Moore has been popular on the island before and
        to help build interest, Moore's first film, ROGER & ME was
        broadcast a few weeks ago. F9/11 played in 120 venues on
        the island and was widely reported in the world media.
        Not to be outdone, the ultra-right wing among the Cuban
        exile reactionaries in Miami have begun a big campaign to
        vilify Micheal Moore. Check out this Miami Herald screed:

        These right-wingers constantly wrap themselves in the flag of
        supposed patriotism, but it's a phony and dishonest posture
        as Michael Moore explained to a protest rally during the
        recently-concluded Democratic Party convention in Boston:

        Michael Moore's movie is only the best known and most viewed of
        the many documentaries. Over the weekend I had a chance to see
        several more of these kinds of pictures, including OUTFOXED,
        a great expose of the Fox News Network. I don't normally watch
        FOX news, but it's an appalling, crude propaganda medium which
        you can really understand better through the effective ways
        FOX is presented in actual footage. Another similar film is
        called ORWELL IS ROLLING IN HIS GRAVE, also a critique of the
        corporate dominated private capitalist media in the United
        States. Perhaps the vest of all these is THE CORPORATION,
        also a talking-heads production with powerful graphics as
        well depicting the role of the corporation in US life as a
        whole. Don't miss this and try to see it in the theater.

        Feature films are also taking a powerfully anti-corporation
        theme. Two weeks ago I saw THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE, which is
        supposed to be a remake of another film made in 1964, but the
        older one had an anti-Communist sensibility while this one
        has an anti-corporate sensibility. John Sayles, the only left
        personality who has made a successful career directing movies
        in Hollywood, and whose work invariably has some timely element
        of political relevance is shortly to release SILVER CITY, which
        stars Chris Cooper as a George W. Bush type propelled into the
        political world by a bunch of wealth private business people.
        Their goal is to essentially put their snouts in the trough.

        Spike Lee's latest SHE HATE ME, shares this anti-corporate
        slant, too. And as Roger Ebert and others have suggested,
        it's a bit like two movies in one, but not to worry, excepting
        one or two odd and minor plot discrepancy, it's a smooth and
        assured work. It adds a Black voice to the elements who are
        today speaking out against corporate fraud. The protagonist
        is a corporate executive fired when he informs the Securities
        and Exchange Commission that his corporation is proceeding to
        market a supposed anti-AIDS vaccine which isn't ready to be
        released to the public.

        The lead character, marvelously played by Anthony Mackie in
        his first starring role, is a highly-educated and principled
        individual who blows his future in Corporate America when he
        blocks the company from committing a massive fraud, finds a
        hold has been placed on his bank account and so in order to
        survive at the privileged level he'd become accustomed to,
        her permits himself to become a sperm donor for his former
        wife and a large group of her friends, all high-powered and
        professional women, all lesbians, none of whom seem to be
        able to find a sperm donor whom they want to use, so they
        pay him to provide the sperm in the traditional manner.

        Most of the critics pan this as a straight male fantasy,
        but none of these many scenes are played for erotic effect.
        Indeed, while the movie's first theme is corporate corruption,
        it's second theme is the commodification of everything under
        the capitalist system. The lead character, testifying at a
        congressional hearing, describes himself as a modern-day
        Frank Wills, the black security guard who came across the
        Watergate burglars. You see Wills as he encounters them in
        the act, and one is shown (others you have to know) as a
        group of rightist Cuban exiles. Don't miss this movie while
        it's still in theatrical release.

        Here are two thoughtful reviews of SHE HATE ME:


        For over 45 years, US political discussion on Cuba has
        been pretty much a bi-partisan consensus on the need to
        overthro the Cuban Revolution. And while the candidates
        of the Democratic and Republican Parties retain that as
        their goal, something of a disagreement between them has
        occurred during this campaign. Bush's platform can be
        spelled out in simple terms, in the nearly 500 page
        report of the so-called "Commission for Assistance to a
        Free Cuba". Kerry's platform can be found on his campaign
        website. Both are unremitting opponents of the Revolution
        in Cuba, but they differ on some tactical levels.

        The Los Angeles Times, published this report from Cuba by
        Carol J. Williams, most of whose commentaries on Cuba
        have been very negative. Her most recent one wasn't and
        the one which preceded it, about the continuing increase
        in Cuban agricultural purchases, this in the face of all
        the Bush administration is trying to do to prevent Cuba
        from having any money to make these purchases. This week
        she did a story which filled page three of Monday's
        edition: "In Havana, Their Man is John Kerry" available:

        "Cuba Will Make Record Purchases of U.S. Foodstuffs"

        Cuba's AIN agency published a commentary with the title
        "No Illusions in Cuba about the Democrats" available:

        Interview with Ricardo Alarcon on the US elections in
        which he discusses Bush, Kerry and Ralph Nader here:

        Meanwhile Bush backers in Florida are trying to redbait
        Kerry over what it claims are ties Kerry's wife has to
        Cuba. (She denies any such connections) I guess they
        think this makes for better reading in Miami than the
        demonstrations protesting the new restrictions on the
        rights of Cubans to visit with the their families

        In addition to Bush and Kerry, of course, there are
        other candidates, of whom we normally hear somewhere
        between little and nothing. The most prominent of these
        would be Ralph Nader and Peter Camejo. In addition there
        is Leonard Peltier, the political prisoner who won the
        California Peace and Freedom Party primary and who is
        the PFP's candidate. Two smaller and self-described
        revolutionary parties are also campaigning. Those are
        John Parker and Teresa Gutierrez of the Workers World
        Party, and Roger Calero and Arrin Hawkins of the
        Socialist Workers Party. I've posted some materials
        from each of these candidacies which refer to Cuba in
        one or another way. They oppose the blockade directly.

        For your information, I personally am registered in the
        Peace and Freedom Party, where I voted for Peltier in the
        primary election. Peltier, who won't be able to campaign
        publicly since he's in jail, hasn't made any statement on
        Cuba of which I'm aware, but I've no doubt his positions
        on Cuba would be an entirely satisfactory one, considering:

        While the US invasion and occupation of Iraq remains today
        the largest issue in the politics of the United States, a
        range of other issues, including policy toward Cuba, has
        begun to play some role in the US presidential election
        campaigns. For this reason, I'm inviting list members who
        wish to do so to post commentaries on the US elections.

        PLEASE NOTE: Since this is the CubaNews list, any such
        commentaries MUST focus on the aspects of the election
        related to Cuba, or to the stands of the candidates and
        parties on Cuba, or how the campaigns relate to Cuba.
        There are many other places for general discussion on
        US politics as a whole. Since this is the CubaNews list,
        discussion will have to focus on how the US presidential
        elections relate to US policy toward Cuba. Thanks.

        Cuba and its friends are all closely following developments
        in this week's recall election in Venezuela. We've send out
        a few items, but the Bolivarian process is so significant and
        complex that it requires en entire list of its own. I want to
        recommend that those who want more information on Venezuela,
        the websites venezuelanalysis.com, vheadline.com and that of
        the Venezuela Information Office in Washington are providing
        the best information I've seen. Finally, if you haven't read
        Phillip Agee's TERRORISM AND CIVIL SOCIETY gives a coherent
        overview of the range of tactics which the Venezuelan right
        and their US backers have been trying to use in their drive
        to unseat democratically-elected President Hugo Chavez Frias:

        Cartier-Bresson, one of the greatest photographers of the 20th
        century, died last week at the age of 95. Most of the obituaries
        said he'd traveled to Cuba, but I couldn't find any images he
        took there. As an amateur photographer myself, Cartier-Bresson
        was one of the most inspired and inspiring photographers whose
        work I ever had the opportunity to view.

        Bush is Coming to LA: Emergency Protest
        Thursday., August 12, 4 pm
        Santa Monica Airport
        Corner of 31st St. & Ocean Park Blvd
        Santa Monica

        On Thursday, August 12 President Bush will breeze into town
        to hold a "Presidential Gala" for his political base:
        "The haves and The have-mores" as he smirkingly calls them.

        While Bush is partying with his cronies, Iraqis and U.S.
        soldiers will continue to die in a war and occupation
        fought for oil and the big money corporations. More and
        more, people here and all over the world are growing in
        their anger and disgust for the suffering caused by the
        Pentagon’s ruthlessness, Wall Street’s greed and Bush’s
        right wing agenda of racism, bigotry and cut backs here at

        Let's take it to the streets on August 12 to Demand:

        Bring the Troops Home Now!
        U.S. Out of Iraq!
        End the Occupation!
        Stand Against Racism Here and Abroad!
        Money for Jobs, Healthcare, Education, Welfare,
        Housing; Not for War & Occupation!


      • Walter Lippmann
        CubaNews Notes from Los Angeles - September 11, 2004 by Walter Lippmann Today I spoke with several friends in Cuba who told me they ve been busy making
        Message 3 of 6 , Sep 11, 2004
          CubaNews Notes from Los Angeles - September 11, 2004
          by Walter Lippmann

          Today I spoke with several friends in Cuba who told
          me they've been busy making preparations. Those who
          live higher up in buildings or on the roof of their
          buildings will be evacuated. A report on NBC TV by
          Mary Murray in Havana depicts some of the kinds of
          preparations now underway, including possibly using
          underground air raid shelters which they say date
          back to the cold war. The headline says Cubans are
          not prepared for the hurricane, but it seems they
          are quite well prepared from what I've seen and
          heard. Fidel was on tonight's Mesa Redonda as was
          the head of Cuba's national weather service. They
          reported a possibility that the hurricane would
          pass over the western part of the island, closer
          to Pinar del Rio province and skip Havana. Still,
          my friends who live in high-rises aren't staying
          home now. One friend, journalist Simon Wollers
          who lives in a high-rise on the thirteenth floor
          told me there's no way he could purchase wood to
          board up his windows, so he had to take his bed
          apart to get the necessary wood. I've received a
          few news reports and will share them with you in
          a few moments.

          Michael Parenti spoke last night to a meeting called
          by the Union of Progressive Iranians to a massively
          packed crowd at the Glendale Public Library. There
          were 280 seats but it seemed the place was packed
          to the rafters and people had to be turned away.
          Pacifica Radio Station KPFK simulcast the program
          so those who couldn't get in were able to listen
          on their way home. Here's a link to Parenti's last
          commentary on Cuba from Z magazine which we sent
          out to CubaNews list last evening before going to
          Parenti's lecture.

          It's been rather warm here in Los Angeles and hasn't
          been weather conducive to much work, I've felt. This
          being September 11th, there was a lot of emphasis in
          the media on the events which took place three years
          ago and their implications for the present. None of
          what I've seen gave any reflections on how solutions
          to such problems can't be found through the use of
          violence, which is the message being projected by
          the US administration.

          With the hurricane spreading havoc through the
          Caribbean basin, the weather reports appear to be
          like scenes from a Hollywood disaster movie, but in
          these cases it's all quite real, frighteningly real.
          There's not much we can do but share the news as we
          receive it, hope for the best, or at least hope for
          the least worse, and then wait and see what happens.

          Walter Lippmann
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