Maradona: the Anti-Imperialist Perfect Ten – español
José Steinsleger – La Jornada
Translation: Machetera for Tlaxcala
In journalism schools, when young people learn about the concept of “news,” their teachers resort to a classic example: news is when a person bites a dog, not the other way round. But just this past March in Buenos Aires, Diego Maradona’s dog bit his upper lip, and the news flew round the world.
The star was rushed to emergency surgery (stitches and facial surgery) and experts on the subject turned their attention to the grotesque Bella, a costly example of the Chinese Shar Pei species. With serene, balanced, affable characters, Shar Pei can react unpredictably if one looks them in the eye, face to face.
Whatever he says, or doesn’t say, does or doesn’t do, Maradona is always news. And leaders like Fidel Castro, Hugo Chávez, Evo Morales, Néstor Kirchner or Mahmoud Ahmedinejad understand that the star’s political messages move the consciousness of the poor and exploited on five continents. Continue reading
Posted in Latin America / Caribbean
Tagged ALBA, ALCA, anti-imperialism, bella, diego maradona, fidel castro, fifa, hugo chávez, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, nestor kirchner, shar pei, soccer
Gossip and Speculation Pinch-Hitting for Intelligence
Flip flops & stonewashed jeans?
Ann Louise Bardach’s Without Fidel magically appeared under my Christmas tree and I’ve been meaning ever since to write a review. The problem is that book reviews tend to go on the very back burner around here (as poor Jefferson Morley can attest). In any case, I was suddenly reminded of the book again with the Bardach interview just published by Foreign Policy Magazine. FP calls Without Fidel “the authoritative book on Cuba under Raúl” which implies that Bardach is moving in on the ex-CIA agent Brian Latell’s turf. Unlike Bardach, Latell shows no evidence of ever actually having visited Cuba, but has managed nevertheless to capture a certain corner of the Cuba myth and speculation franchise. Bardach now finds herself in a similar position; blocked for years (by her own admission) from obtaining a Cuban press visa and declining (by her own account) an invitation to play on the Cuban team, she is forced to rely on a grab bag of second-hand sources, spiced with a healthy measure of personal memory and opinion, to serve up the kind of speculative stew that FP editors devour. Continue reading
Posted in Latin America / Caribbean
Tagged ann louise bardach, Carlos Lage, elizardo sánchez, Felipe Pérez Roque, fidel castro, gossip as intelligence, hugo chávez, mental health smears, mormons, ramiro valdés, raul castro, revolutionaries, rosa miriam elizalde
Tejero Molina addresses the Spanish Congress, 1981
The U.S. Government and the World’s Great Media Empires Are Using “Mercenary Bloggers” in Their Offensive Against Cuba – Español
By J.P. for La República
The world’s great media empires have undertaken a merciless offensive against the Cuban revolution, offering spectacular coverage to any kind of mercenary blogger movement such as that of Yoani Sánchez or her husband, who receive a spectacular amount of money for the articles they write against the Cuban government and against a supposed censorship that appears rather insignificant in the light of the wide coverage they obtain worldwide.
Last week it was Yoani who issued a denunciation for having been attacked by Cuban agents, but not only was she unable to show any kind of proof of the attack, the doctors who attended her, who were interviewed by La República, did not find any evidence of any kind of aggression. Later, it would be her husband, Reinaldo Escobar, who would denounce being hit and attacked by a crowd who reacted to his attempted provocation, with shouts in favor of the Cuban revolution. However, Escobar did not suffer even a scratch from this supposedly “uncontrolled mob.” Continue reading
First, a brief word of apology to Jefferson Morley, whose excellent and meticulously researched book, Our Man in Mexico: Winston Scott and the Hidden History of the CIA was first mentioned here almost exactly one year ago, with the promise of a review to come…like so many other worthy projects, the review ended up on the back burner (the saltmine beckons and is unusually active at present), but it has not been forgotten. In the meantime, Machetera will say this: the book is terrific – engagingly written, carefully corroborated, it is a must-read for anyone curious about the CIA’s long reach in Mexico, particularly during the period in the fall of 1963 when the CIA did and then didn’t know about Lee Harvey Oswald’s visit to Mexico City in his failed search for a Cuban visa. So get the book, now.
Second, José Pertierra has just published an exclusive interview with Morley at Cubadebate. Continue reading
Posted in Cuba, English translations, Guatemala, Mexico, propaganda, Terrorism
Tagged alberto muller, brothers to the rescue, canf, david phillips, dre, enrique "harry" ruiz-williams, ernesto travieso, fidel castro, george joannides, howard hunt, jacobo arbenz, jefferson morley, jmwave, john f. kennedy, jose basulto, juan manual salvat, kennedy assassination, lee harvey oswald, librería universal, national security, psyops, robert f. kennedy, terrorism against Cuba, winston scott
CORRECTIONS: The news that Gerardo Hernández received on his birthday, June 4, 2008, was not that the Supreme Court would refuse to hear the Cuban Five’s case, but that the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals had reinstated his two life sentences, after a previous ruling had overturned them. The Supreme Court’s announcement of the refusal to hear the Five’s case would come a year later, on June 15, 2009. In a sense, the timing was even more cruel, petty and personal than outlined below. The interview with Adriana Pérez, Gerardo’s wife, attributed in the article below to California’s La Opinión, was actually an Associated Press interview, from which La Opinión collected selected excerpts.
A State Department at the Service of Petty Interests:
Visa Denial as a Form of Torture
When the U.S. Government announced that it would deny Adriana Pérez a visa for the tenth time in eleven years in order to come from Cuba to the United States and visit her husband, Gerardo Hernández, incarcerated at the federal prison in Victorville, California, it carefully chose the date to break the news. The denial was announced on July 15, the couple’s 21st wedding anniversary. When the Supreme Court announced that it would refuse to hear the case of the Cuban Five, of whom Hernández is one, and the one facing the largest sentence, it chose the date with equal care: June 4, Hernández’s birthday. The timing of both events was as certainly deliberate as it was petty – a stamp of the U.S. State Department, where cruelty and pettiness abound.
Pérez has not seen her husband for almost twelve years, starting since almost a year before a SWAT team tore down the door to his tiny apartment in Miami in September of 1998 and arrested him, answering his question about why he was being arrested with a snarling “You know why.” So much for due process. It would be only the first violation of its kind in a never-ending chain. Continue reading
Posted in Cuba
Tagged adriana pérez, Angola, atilio borón, barack obama, bob menendez, brothers to the rescue, congris, Cuban Five, fabio di celmo, fidel castro, gerardo hernández nordelo, hillary clinton, john mccain, leonard weinglass, livio di celmo, luis posada carriles, mireya moscoso, mitt romney, olga salanueva, rene gonzález, shootdown, top secret recipes, visa denials
Washington’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
Posted in A "free" press? It would be a good idea!, Cuba
Tagged blockade of Cuba, brian latell, circular reasoning, corporate press, csis, Cuban Five, ex-cia, fidel castro, gerardo hernandez, lie detectors, phil agee, raul castro, stovepiping, washington as cesspool