Tag Archives: blockade of Cuba

Atilio Boron on Obama’s prize

AkevittSkole2-374Consolation Prize (Amended)*- Español

By Atilio A. Boron

English translation: Machetera

In an astonishing decision, the Norwegian Nobel Committee put an end to seven months of searching among the 205 nominees for the Nobel Peace Prize and conferred it upon Barack Obama.   Piedad Córdoba, the brave Colombian senator whose efforts in search of peace for her violence-ridden country largely deserved to be rewarded with the Nobel Prize was tossed to the wayside so that it might be granted to the American president. It is not a minor surprise to know that Obama’s nomination was submitted to the Norwegian Committee two months after his inauguration. What did he do in such a short period of time on behalf of the world peace? He delivered gentle speeches and made rather nebulous exhortations to end violent confrontations. The Colombian senator, on the other hand, has spent the last ten years in a tireless effort to put an end to armed struggle and to pacify her country. She put her own body and her actions on the line. But the Norwegian Committee did not share this appreciation and Piedad was once again passed over. A woman, black, leftist, and Latin American: too many flaws and defects for the cautious members of the Committee, always politically correct, forever sanctimonious, who only by mistake would it confer the prize upon a public figure whose struggles for peace were unacceptable to the empire. The Dalai Lama is acceptable; Piedad Córdoba is not. For him, the Prize; for her, the cold shoulder. Continue reading

How the blockade of Cuba really works

bodega-mediumThis is a translation that Machetera produced at the request of Cuba-L Analysis, of an article that clarifies some important issues in regard to the blockade of Cuba, which too often, people outside Cuba still call an embargo.  Calling it an embargo is a way of diminishing its seriousness, and in fact as Machetera has written here previously, there are people who delight in pointing out that if Cuba has U.S. (or for that matter, Argentinean) products on its store shelves, it’s not a serious embargo after all.  It’s an argument for shallow minds. Continue reading

A modest proposal to bring the Pinochettis to their knees

wuWhat Obama Could Do in Honduras

By Atilio A. Borón

Translation: Machetera

In the face of the impasse currently taking place in Honduras, plenty of voices are rising up to denounce the White House’s weak response to the coup d’etat, which oscillates between verbal acknowledgments that Manuel Zelaya is the only legitimate president, and in contradiction, surreptitious validation of the coup through the presentation of an obedient spokesman for the empire, Oscar Arias, as a “mediator” in the conflict. By now, it’s evident that the categorical condemnation of the coup, formulated by the Secretary General of the OAS, José Miguel Insulza, was a break with this organization’s deplorable tradition and, just as surely, provoked Washington to quickly remove him from the scene, substituting the docile Costa Rican president in his place. Continue reading

Chasing the tail of U.S. Cuba policy

pescadillaWashington’s impossible equation

When the late Phil Agee described his job application process with the CIA in the late 1950’s, he talked about undergoing repeated lie detector tests where he deliberately lied about various things, just for the hell of it.  He resented being judged by a machine and wanted to see if he could beat it.  At first it seemed that he failed.  The tests were repeated.  Again, an unhappy result.  He was sent home.  Just as he was feeling most desperate, sure he would never be hired and on the verge of admitting what he had done and begging forgiveness, he was suddenly approved.  There are only two ways of viewing such a process.  Either the CIA’s application process is inept, or it deliberately recruits liars. Continue reading

Cuba’s Rubicon

CUBA-ARMY-REHEARSAL“We’ve said to the North American government, both privately and publicly, that we’re ready…to discuss everything: human rights, freedom of the press, political prisoners, everything…but on equal terms.” – Raúl Castro

Speech by Cuba’s President at the Fifth ALBA Summit in Cumaná, Venezuela, April 16, 2009

English translation by Machetera, revised by Manuel Talens

Raúl Castro (to Hugo Chávez): Remember that you need to give me the floor to thank everyone, especially those who’ve spoken – and I’m not going to exclude Daniel, because he’ll also speak as well, just as he’s done throughout his entire life as a revolutionary – in the name of the Cuban people, all the expressions of solidarity and support for our Revolution, to our people, and I believe, therefore, also the Leader of the Revolution, comrade Fidel Castro, who’s listening to us directly. [Applause]

I’m not going to go on, I’ll speak on the other points.  I have to speak – according to what they tell me – at the mass meeting in the Plaza, don’t I?  I still don’t know how it’ll be.  Are we going to speak there in the Plaza?

Hugo Chávez: Yes.  We’ve asked you to speak in everyone’s name.

Raúl Castro: No, that’s a huge responsibility.  If anything, [it should be] the main host.

Anyway, I think that what we’ve heard here this afternoon, that doesn’t surprise us, the whole world knows it, except the United States, its main ally, Israel, and one country or another that occasionally abstains or has even voted against the United Nations General Assembly, is that the entire planet condemns the blockade.

I don’t want to talk about the OAS, I already spoke in Sauípe, at the Rio Summit, right?  And furthermore, our friend Zelaya will meet with all the delegates at the end of May and the beginning of June; I don’t want to answer what Mr. Insulza recently said, because Fidel already did it some hours ago.

We can talk about many other things besides the OAS.  The OAS, it might be said, has oozed blood since its very creation; Cuba is one example, but before Cuba there were plenty more.  Continue reading

Waiting for Godot

Obama’s Cuban Dilemma

mango1One of the most painful things about being a citizen of the United States of America over the past several decades has been living aboard a political ship that is constantly listing to the right even as it sinks. Just when you think it can’t get worse, it does, and our foreign policy, which was never much good to begin with, grows ever more appallingly belligerent. This means that any course correction from aggressive belligerence, no matter how small, is greeted as remarkable change, even when it leaves you worse off than when you started. The mass media have a lot to do with it of course, framing the issues for a general public that is poorly educated and therefore ignorant by design. Continue reading