CubaNews Notes from Los Angeles
- 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 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.
GOOD NEWS IN THE FACE OF RISING PETROLEUM PRICES
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
DO THE RIGHT THING.
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!
US AGRICULTURAL SALES TO CUBA CONTINUE THEIR UPWARD TREND
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
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:
COUNTER-REVOLUTIONARY CUBANS MOBILIZE AGAINST MICHAEL MOORE
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.
MICHAEL MOORE'S APOLOGY TO ELIAN GONZALEZ. Don't miss this:
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.
BRITISH CARTOONIST KEN SPRAGUE, R.I.P.
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:
FAMOUS GAY CUBAN WRITER'S HOME RE-OPENED AS A MUSEUM
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:
CUBAN WEBSITE FEATURES WRITINGS ON SEXUAL DIVERSITY
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.
NEW REPORT ON CUBAN MEDICAL DIPLOMACY IN HAITI, ETC.
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...
- 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.
TRANSLATIONS FOR CUBANEWS LIST: APPRECIATED AND NEEDED
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.
PROPAGANDA OFFENSIVES AGAINST CUBA CONTINUING RELENTLESSLY
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
HIP-HOP FESTIVAL IN HAVANA
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
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
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,
INCREASING IN INTEREST IN CUBA HERE IN THE UNITED STATES
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:
CUBAN FILM-LOVERS CAN ENTHUSIASTICALLY REJOICE:
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.
UPSURGE IN ANTI-WAR, ANTI-CORPORATE MOVIES IN THE U.S.
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:
POLITICAL FILM SOCIETY
CUBA AND U.S. PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION CAMPAIGN POLITICS
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:
INVITATION TO DISCUSSION
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:
HENRI CARTIER-BRESSON, R.I.P.
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 COMING TO LOS ANGELES TOMORROW. COME OUT TO PROTEST:
Bush is Coming to LA: Emergency Protest
Thursday., August 12, 4 pm
Santa Monica Airport
Corner of 31st St. & Ocean Park Blvd
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
Pentagons ruthlessness, Wall Streets greed and Bushs
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!
DETAILS ON THIS PROTEST TOMORROW:
- 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
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.