Cuba e-news #293 - Good News, Bad News
It looks like the Helms-Lieberman Senate Bill will disappear from view as a
result of Jim Jefford's defection from the Republican Party. However, let's
not permit the expression "Helms-Lieberman" to die along with the Bill. The
expression could be a reminder of how Lieberman's politics line up on the
political spectrum, and it could be used as a cannon shot across
Lieberman's presidential bow during the next primary election season.
Cuban photographer Alberto Korda, whose 1960 photograph of `Che" Guevara
became a symbol of revolutionary change around the world, died last week of
a heart attack during a trip to France. Korda never received royalties from
his picture, although he did protect the image from crass commercial
interests by going to court against a Smirnoff vodka campaign. If you would
like to listen to a recent interview of Korda on Amy Goodman's Democracy
Now program, link to:
Lieberman loses out on Cuba legislation
By Lolita C. Baldor
WASHINGTON - The shift in Senate power triggered by Sen. Jim Jeffords'
defection from the Republican Party has handed Sen. Joseph Lieberman some
committee and subcommittee chairmanships, but it seems to have cost him at
least one piece of legislation. And that loss will be at the hands of his
own Connecticut colleague, Sen. Christopher J. Dodd, D-Conn.
In discussions with the press last week about how priorities will change in
the Senate now that Democrats are in control, Dodd singled out one of
Lieberman's bills for demise.
"We won't be bringing up the Helms-Lieberman bill on Cuba, that's not going
to see the light of day shortly," Dodd said flatly last week. And he'll be
the one making the decisions.
As a result of Jeffords' switch from the GOP to independent, committee
chairmanships flip to the Democrats. And that will make Dodd the chairman
of the Foreign Relations subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere - the panel
that would bring up any bills related to Cuba.
Lieberman is co-sponsoring a bill with conservative U.S. Sen. Jesse Helms,
R-N.C., who is losing his post as chairman of the Foreign Relations
Committee because of the Jeffords switch. The legislation calls for $100
million in aid to pro-democracy groups in Cuba over four years.
Dodd, who began his public service career as a Peace Corps volunteer in the
nearby Dominican Republic, has been a longtime author and backer of Cuban
relief bills. But he slammed the Helms/Lieberman bill as a waste of
taxpayer dollars "on monies that Fidel Castro will make sure never get into
the hands of average Cubans."
Instead, Dodd is likely to concentrate more on legislation ending the
embargo and travel ban on Cuba and allowing more supplies and food to get
to the country.
Lieberman spokeswoman Kelly Moore said this is simply an issue where the
two friends disagree. "(Lieberman) supports this bill. He believes it is
time to do what we can to help those advocating for a Democratic Cuba," she
"He hopes it will see the light of day."
May 28, 2001
©New Haven Register 2001
Cuba's 'Che' Photographer Korda Dies in Paris
By Andrew Cawthorne
HAVANA (Reuters) - Cuban photographer Alberto Korda, whose 1960 shot of
Latin American guerrilla legend Ernesto `Che" Guevara became an icon for
would-be [sic] revolutionaries round the world, died Friday in France aged 72.
His daughter, Norka Korda, told Reuters from her Havana home that her
father died of a heart attack in Paris where an exhibition of his work was
being shown. "He was such a fun person. We have good memories," she said.
Fellow Cuban photographers paid immediate tribute to a man who began taking
fashion pictures but then joined a small group of young photographers
tracking the early years of President Fidel Castro's government after the
1959 Cuban Revolution.
The shot of Guevara staring defiantly from under his black beret at a 1960
funeral in Havana -- which Korda named "The Heroic Guerrilla" -- was the
defining moment of his career and the emblematic image of Cuba's
[Note: the "funeral" was actually a memorial rally following the blowing up
of a merchant ship in Havana harbor, an act of terrorism widely attributed
in Cuba and elsewhere to the CIA, which denies responsibility to this day.
"I was about 8 or 10 meters (yards) from the tribune where Fidel Castro was
speaking. ... Suddenly I noticed that Che was approaching the railing,"
Korda said, describing later how he had only a brief glimpse of Guevara
during the funeral rally.
Remarkably, the photo was rejected for publication by Korda's newspaper,
Revolucion, in favor of pictures of Castro and French writers Jean Paul
Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir.
The photo was unknown until Korda gave a copy to an Italian visitor in
1967. When Guevara died soon after, the Italian quickly began distributing
The photo, for which Korda never received royalties, eventually adorned
every self-respecting student radical's dorm and was reproduced on millions
of T-shirts, posters, key-rings and banners around the globe.
"Of the whole revolutionary process, this is the photo which achieved most
international magnitude," said Cuban photographer Rafael Perez, who knew
"Korda was part of a select group of photographers who covered the early
years of the Cuban Revolution. Lately, however, he was not practicing much.
He will be very missed."
The Cuban photographer was in the headlines last year when he won an
out-of-court settlement and was paid about $50,000 from a British ad agency
to settle a dispute over the use of his famed picture of Guevara in a
Smirnoff vodka campaign.
Korda, who lived in Havana, gave the money [to the government of Cuba] for
children's medicines. "If Che was still alive, he would have done the
same," Korda told Reuters then.
Korda never objected to mass use of his photo as a protest symbol, but in
recent years he began to fight its commercial reproduction in ways he said
"dishonored" his subject.
Argentine-born Guevara became a popular hero in Cuba after helping lead
Castro's rebel army to victory. Sealing his mythic status, he died in 1967
in an abortive attempt to sow Cuban-style revolt in Bolivia.
The young Korda, whose real name was Alberto Diaz Gutierrez, got his first
taste of photography when he took his father's Kodak 35 and began taking
pictures of his girlfriend. After the Cuban revolution, he accompanied
Castro on trips and in meetings with foreign personalities.
Other less-known but perhaps equally striking photos by Korda include shots
of Castro staring warily at a tiger in a New York zoo, playing golf and
fishing with Guevara, skiing and hunting in Russia, and with U.S. author
Away from the personalities, Korda's work also includes some remarkable
pictures of Castro's rebels riding into Havana after their triumph, and one
known as "The Quixote of the Lamp Post" showing a Cuban wearing a straw hat
and sitting on a lamp post against a sea of people during a mass rally.