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  • Walter Lippmann
    The CubaNews list has had a gratifying increase in readership in recent weeks, some of which is probably connected to Fidel Castro s illness so it s probably a
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 16, 2006
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      The CubaNews list has had a gratifying increase in readership in recent
      weeks, some of which is probably connected to Fidel Castro's illness so
      it's probably a very good time to remind readers of these messages about
      the goals and purposes of this list. It's been in operation since late
      August 2000 and we've sent out well over fifty thousand news items from,
      about or related to Cuba. The pace will only continue now that Fidel's
      illness and its consequences are evoking so much public discussion and
      debate about Cuba and U.S. policy toward Cuba. on the front page of the
      CubaNews list's website, the following statements appear, which give an
      indication of some of the editorial selections made, and my opinions as
      editor of the list. From time to time it's useful to recall these again.

      +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
      PURPOSE: To bring to the attention of people concerned with Cuba a
      wide range of news and information about the island, the Cuban
      community abroad, Cuba's international relations, and related topics.
      The list provides many resources to assist you in learning about
      Cuba, its politics and society. The primary language of this list is
      English, though some Spanish material is sent from time to time.

      PARTICIPATION: Your participation is welcome. This is primarily an
      information service for people who support Cuba's right to
      self-determination. The first step needed to secure Cuba's
      sovereignty is an end to Washington's blockade against the island and
      to normalize relations between the United States and Cuba, both
      economically and politically. Such discussions as we have are usually
      conducted with these goals in mind.

      MODERATION: This is a moderated list. The moderators decide who can
      subscribe and post. However, anyone concerned about U.S. policy
      toward Cuba, such as activists against the blockade, is welcome.
      This list can be high-volume at times, so be aware of the option to
      receive a daily digest, or a more selective list. For details on
      that, please write to: CubaNews-owner@yahoogroups.com

      LEAD MODERATOR: This list is moderated by Walter Lippmann, a Cuba
      solidarity activist based in Los Angeles, California. You can learn
      about his views on Cuba through the writings at his website:

      http://www.walterlippmann.com
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CubaNews/
      ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

      Personally, I do not belong to any political party. My father and his
      parents lived in Cuba from 1939 to 1942. As German Jewish refugees from
      Hitler's holocaust, they weren't able to enter the United States until
      they received visas to do that. They waited here in Cuba for those
      three years while the United States government strictly enforced an
      extremely restrictive quote on Jewish immigration to the United States.
      Those who've seen the movie VOYAGE OF THE DAMNED, which portrayed life
      on the St. Louis, the ship which wasn't allowed to enter the U.S. or
      Cuba in 1939, have an idea of how lucky I am that my father was able
      to come and live here with his parents. As soon as they were able to
      get to the United States, where I was both conceived and born, they
      did so. My interest in Cuba life and history has been informed by the
      family history with which it is linked.

      The CubaNews list is conceived and operated primarily as a service to
      people who follow Cuban life, culture, politics and its extention into
      the international dispora of Cubans. There was one before the Cuban
      Revolution, and another since then. I have always believed that the
      Cuban Revolution was and remains a good thing in that it finally got
      the island its independence. At the same time, while Cuba's revolution
      provided many good things for its people, among them free health care,
      free education, extremely low-cost housing and so on, a high price has
      been paid to retain these things. Washington's blockade of the island,
      that is, its attempt to starve and bludgeon the country and its people
      into overthrowing the revolutionary government, has failed, as can now
      be clearly seen in light of Fidel Castro's illness. Yet Cuban society,
      with its many positive accomplishments, also has many problems and
      contradictions as well. These are things which Cubans need to be able
      to solve on their own.

      So long as the United States government continues to try to force
      U.S.-style politics, and other U.S-style social, economic and cultural
      policies on Cuba, such as by retaining a military base here on the
      island against the will of its government and people, and so long as
      Washington refuses to normalize relations with this country, as it
      has more-or-less done with China and Vietnam, it will be substantially
      harder for Cubans to deal with and resolve the problems which this
      country continues to have. Cuba is and remains a model of what can be
      done to confront a situation of extreme adversity. But Cuba is not a
      model of what a just society should look like when considered in a
      generalized manner. I firmly believe that each country has a right to
      its own destiny, and that includes Cuba. The CubaNews list is a tool
      for those who are interested in following the Cuban story, and trying
      to better understand it.

      This is why the CubaNews list has always posted materials from a wide
      range of sources: from the Cuban government, to the U.S. government.
      the Cuban media and the Miami media, the left and alternative media,
      and many others, whenever they seem of interest. Just because an item
      is posted to the CubaNews list doesn't mean that anyone either endorses
      or doesn't endorse it. It's all there for the readers information and
      it is my hope readers will find it informative and helpful.

      It's been my choice and privilege to be the main contributor to this
      list from the very beginning. You can take a look back at the very
      first messages here and get a sense of how far things have moved:
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CubaNews/messages/1

      Written contributions from others are welcomed and encouraged so do
      not feel shy if you have a question or suggestions to help make this
      service even better.

      My hope and goal with CubaNews is that its readers will do whatever
      they can to help Cubans to solve their own problems in Cuba as they,
      the Cuban people see fit. Because CubaNews is a moderated list, such
      discussions as are held here are mainly designed to clarify and to
      deepen out understanding of the process which is going on here in
      this country. As a foreigner who is fortunate to be able to visit
      and work here, I try to keep this understanding clear at all times.

      I'll be returning to Los Angeles in a couple of weeks, from which
      vantage point I'll continue with this work. It's been a remarkable
      time here. Fidel's illness really hasn't changed anything in Cuba in
      terms of the way Cubans live their daily lives. I've looked around
      and have continued walking around here a lot. Those who think that
      the "Castro regime" as they like to refer to it has come to an end,
      are welcome to that thought. However, it's been replaced by, well,
      the "Castro regime", if that's how they want to refer to it. Cuba
      has been changing since January 1, 1959, when the Revolution first
      came to power. It will continue to do so.

      NOTE: The CubaNews list began on August 26, 2000, not long after
      the successful rescue of Elian Gonzalez and his return to his home
      and family here in Cuba. Our seventh year should be even more
      interesting. I welcome all readers to work with is to deepen out
      understanding, and thereby to strenghen our solidarity.


      Walter Lippmann
      Havana, Cuba
      August 16, 2006
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