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During some recent travels, I came across a copy of Lonely Planet: Cuba. The authors, who clearly sympathize with the country’s communist regime, nonetheless note the following: Cuba then fulfills the usual pattern for Latin America, with predominantly-white elites fighting among themselves to determine the country’s direction, with the black, Amerindian, and/or mixed-race majority remaining... Read More
Nostalgia seems to be very popular in Washington. While the neocons and Democratic Party hard-liners have succeeded in bringing back the Cold War with Russia, it looks like President Trump is determined to take us back to a replay of the Bay of Pigs!In Miami on Friday, the president announced that he was slamming the... Read More
It has to be one of the oddities of our history: the near-obsessive level of attention that, for almost 60 years, Washington has lavished on a modest-sized, impoverished island-nation of little strategic importance 90 miles off our southern coast. I’m talking, of course, about Cuba, which the U.S. has embargoed since 1959, as it hasn’t... Read More
Putting Trump in Perspective by Going Offshore
I’ll tell you up front that my personal vehicle has crowns of rust on the rear wheel wells and an interior that smells vaguely of dog puke. It’s a 2006 Mazda3 with 150,244 miles on it and it gets me around my modest world well enough, but I sure never considered it the stuff of... Read More
The Nuclear Security Summit in Washington is reminds us that President Obama won his Nobel Peace Prize in large part because of his stated intentions concerning nuclear non-proliferation. The two most recent achievements in US counterproliferation (Libya) and non-proliferation (Iran) have been tarnished by the destruction of Libya as a counter-proliferation example for North Korea... Read More
Long ago in Havana, my mother and father would take me to the famed “Floridita” bar to join a burly, white-bearded man and drink daiquiris. He gave me his book, “A Farewell to Arms,” autographed to “Eric, from his friend Ernest Hemingway. Havana, 1953” Those were the old days in Cuba, even before Fidel Castro.... Read More
Last week we saw an encouraging sign that the 50 year cold war between the US and Cuba was finally coming to an end. President Obama announced on Wednesday that the US and Cuba would restore full diplomatic relations and that embassies could be re-opened in each country by the end of the month. For... Read More
Cuba?s living example of 45 years of successful resistance to US military aggression and economic boycott is extremely damaging to Washington?s goal of world empire for several reasons. Introduction In the first place Cuba?s success refutes the notion put forth by the ?center-left? that ?small?, ?undeveloped? countries cannot resist imperial powers, or sustain a revolution... Read More
It’s taken over half a century for the US to finally figure out how to neutralize pesky Communist Cuba. Invasions, air raids, crushing sanctions, attempts to murder the Castro leadership by exploding cigars and poisons, diplomatic isolation, poisoning crops – all failed. Now, the lame duck Obama administration has finally figured out how to put... Read More
President Barack Obama announced this week that the United States will reopen diplomatic relations with Cuba, thawing half a century of cold – and sometimes hot – war. The first time I visited Cuba was in the almost unbelievably remote years before “el Maximo Leader,” Fidel Castro. My parents and I went most evenings to... Read More
More Witlessness from the Yankee Capital
Vi and I spent a couple of weeks in Cuba a few years back for The American Conservative. Nice place, good people, government a mixed bag mostly... Varadero, Cuba. Photo: FOE Staff Some things surpass all understanding. Why in the name of God and little catfish are we embargoing Cuba? The revolution occurred in 1959,... Read More
The celebrations in Havana and the sullen silence in Miami tell you all you need to know about who won this round with Castro's Cuba. In JFK's metaphor, Obama traded a horse for a rabbit. We got back Alan Gross before his Communist jailers killed him, along with an American spy, in exchange for three... Read More
Normalization of relations with Cuba is not the result of a diplomatic breakthrough or a change of heart on the part of Washington. Normalization is a result of US corporations seeking profit opportunities in Cuba, such as developing broadband Internet markets in Cuba. Before the American left and the Cuban government find happiness in the... Read More
President Obama today took a bold and surprising step toward ending the futile 50 year US embargo of Cuba. The president announced he would begin normalizing relations, including upgrading the diplomatic mission in Havana to embassy status. The president also said he was taking steps to increase travel, commerce, and the flow of information between... Read More
Three Men Who May Never Come Home
American politicians have often referred to the United States as “exceptional,” spawning frequent efforts of American-style democracy promotion overseas. Unfortunately, for as good as Washington is at inserting its spies, soldiers and agents of freedom into foreign countries, it is often less effective in bringing them back when they are lost or captured by “the... Read More
In my previous post, I noted that the oft-mentioned association between obesity and poor health and "early" death may be a function of the lower average IQ of obese people. I suggested that the true correlate of these things was in fact low IQ. And indeed, I've stumbled on additional studies that suggests that this... Read More
Earlier this month, entertainers Jay-Z and Beyoncé were given a license by the US government to travel to Cuba. Because it is not otherwise legal for Americans to travel to Cuba, this trip was only permitted as a “cultural exchange” by the US Treasury Department. Many suspect that the permission was granted at least partly... Read More
Venezuela’s 29 million people are praying for their ailing Commandante Hugo Chavez – half that he will survive his latest bout of cancer, and the other half that he won’t. The flamboyant Chavez is reporting to be failing rapidly with “severe” respiratory complications after his fourth cancer surgery since 2011 in Cuba. Both the Venezuelan... Read More
HAVANA – Fifty years ago this month the US and USSR came terrifying close to full-scale thermonuclear war. I recalled those days of fear while staring at a rusting Soviet medium-ranged SS-4 missile displayed outside La Cabana fortress Nuclear-armed Soviet SS-4’s, secretly brought into Cuba, were ready to destroy Washington and the entire US East... Read More
Hundreds of thousands of US State Department documents, in the form of cables from hundreds of embassies and consulates around the world, give us an in-depth picture of American interests and activities such as never before seen. Yet as we peruse cables that chronicle the changing faces of US diplomacy, there is one constant: Cuba.... Read More
Tomorrow's inauguration of President-elect Barack Obama has more of the mood of a second coming than the investiture of a new president. Of course, the Bush administration, the most catastrophic in memory, is an easy act to follow. Barack Hussein (the middle moniker that dares not speak its name) Obama brings a bounty of hope,... Read More
Eight Mistaken Thesis of Fidel Castro
I have been a supporter of the Cuban Revolution for exactly fifty years and recognize Fidel Castro as one of the great revolutionary leaders of our time. But I have never been an uncritical apologist: On several crucial occasions I have expressed my disagreements in print, in public and in discussions with Cuban leaders, writers... Read More
TULUM, MEXICO — Out with the old, in with the old. Last week, Cuba officially replaced 81-year old leader, Fidel Castro, with his 76-year old "baby" brother, Raul. Promoted to positions just below Raul were two of his closest supporters and political cronies, 77-year old Ramon Machado Ventura and 72-year old Gen. Julio Casas Regueiro,... Read More
A Talk given at the Second International Conference for World Balance in Havana, Cuba, January 29, 2008
This is a great honour to be in Cuba and to speak to you, because for my generation Cuba is forever an important part of our romantic youth. I was but a teenager forty five years ago, when young Fidel promised to bring the revolution and freedom of man to the whole of the Americas,... Read More
This appeared originally in The American Conservative
On Havana’s malecón, the seawall that parallels the shore, the waves roll in and hit the sudden obstacle, sending towering explosions of bright white spray far into the air, occasionally soaking the unwary pedestrian. Across the highway that follows the malecón is a cheap open-air restaurant, the DiMar. A steady breeze from the sea pours... Read More
Revolutions and the Cuban is no exception, advance in a contradictory process: in the course of solving basic immediate problems they confront new challenges. There are revolutionary writers who recognize this dialectical process and the need to critically support the revolution. On the other hand there are publicists who arrogate to themselves the role of... Read More
The Cuban revolution with its socialist economy has demonstrated tremendous resilience in the face of enormous political obstacles and challenges. It successfully defied a US orchestrated invasion, naval blockade, hundreds of terrorists’ attacks and half-century boycott. Cuba was able to withstand the fallout from the collapse of the USSR, the Eastern European collectivist regimes, China... Read More
...This Article Should Do the Trick
A propos the Patriot Act Section 311 investigation against Banco Delta Asia in Macau that caused so much heartburn for the Six Party Agreement, I described an apparent worldwide campaign of financial warfare against North Korea and wrote : Well, speculate no more. Reuters delivers a crate of smoking guns in its reporting on another... Read More
MIAMI — Here in the world's second largest Cuban city after Havana, the fiercely anti-Castro Cuban exile community is eagerly anticipating the death of their bête noire, Cuba's “Maximum Leader,” Fidel Castro. He just turned 80, but was too ill to attend his gala birthday bash. The death last week of Chile's former dictator, Gen.... Read More
A Talk for the International Conference: With All and For the Good of All
In the North of the Holy Land, in a deep valley, there is a shining white stone pierced by a perennial spring. One may swim in its lucid waters into the depth of the rock, until the tunnel abruptly ends. But a brave soul can inhale, dive under the stony roof for a few meters... Read More
Once again the intellectuals have entered into the center of a debate – this time over the issues of U.S. imperialism and human rights in Cuba. “How important is the role of the intellectuals?”, I asked myself as we walked past the Puerto del Sol in Madrid on a sunny Saturday afternoon ( April 26,... Read More
Author's Note: The troubled land of Palestine provides preciously little of it right now, that is why I offer you my article about Cuba, for change and hope. In Cuba, the local Jews are fully integrated in the society and exercise their abilities for the common good. While we hear of the growing social differences... Read More
Personal Introduction Here is a copy of my Havana speech last week. I suspect that some of my statements may raise ideological hackles among you. But the fact is that it was enormously successful, and established credibility to be invited back to advise the Cuban government. I believe that the important thing is the analysis,... Read More