Please do not view this film. Three truckers were pulled over, interrogated and then executed in cold blood. I do not know why we, the United States of America, would ever take part in a war where the good and the bad both look alike and act alike.
By Tim Padgett/TIME
“The church is doing more to plant the seeds of democracy on the island than the U.S.’s 50-year trade embargo against Cuba ever did. And when the Castro’s are in their graves, it’s a good bet the Cuban church will still be on its feet.”
It’s time for America to get over its 50-year tantrum.
Few will mourn this regime.
By Michael Reid/ECONOMIST
“ON JULY 31st 2006 Cuban state television broadcast a terse statement from Fidel Castro to say that he had to undergo emergency surgery and was temporarily handing over to his brother. This statement marked the start of a slow but irreversible dismantling of “socialism” in one of the few countries in which it survived into this century.
Raúl Castro, who formally took over as Cuba’s president in February 2008 and as first secretary of the Communist Party in April 2011, is trying to revive the island’s economy by transferring a substantial chunk of it from state to private hands.
He has abolished a few of the many restrictions that pervade Cubans’ lives.
He has also freed around 130 political prisoners.
His government has signed the UN covenants on human rights. Repression has become less brutal, though two prisoners have died on hunger strikes.
Cubans grumble far more openly than they used to, and academic debate has become a bit freer.
Calls for democracy and free elections are still silenced. The Communist Party remains the only legal political party in Cuba.
Raúl Castro has repeatedly dashed the hopes of many Cubans that the hated exit visa, which makes it hard (and for some, impossible) to leave the country, will be scrapped.”
- Pope, Castro meet as official squashes reform hopes (thegreatone22.wordpress.com)
- ‘Spring’ delayed as Cuba follows China’s model (csmonitor.com)
- Pope in Cuba: Trip shows how church playing balancing act (+video) (csmonitor.com)
Wounded UK journalists recalls deadly attack and harrowing escape from Syria
From Nima Elbagir, CNN
London (CNN) – From his London hospital room, journalist Paul Conroy recalled Sunday his harrowing journey to hell and back from Syria – speaking out against what he called its “murderous regime” in tribute to those, including his colleague Marie Colvin, killed in the chaos.
Few foreign journalists have been in the Middle Eastern nation in recent months, as Syria’s government has stringently restricted access amid widespread violence that the United Nations estimates has left more than 7,500 people dead.
President Bashar al-Assad’s government blames “armed terrorist groups” for the bloodshed. Yet senior U.N. official Lynn Pascoe told the Security Council last week that often over “100 civilians a day, including women and children” are being killed – most of them the victims of what activists and witnesses have described as brutal attacks by Syrian government forces.
Read more…@ CNN.com/backstory
My battle with tiny insects, Mosquitos and No-see-ums, in Santiago de Cali, Colombia pales with this tale of survival.
- Wounded UK journalists recalls deadly attack and harrowing escape from Syria (backstory.blogs.cnn.com)
- From Santiago de Cali, Colombia with love and peace to all. (nycnyc.wordpress.com)
CARACAS — Hugo Chávez does not filter his words. The Venezuelan strongman made headlines when he called former U.S. President George W. Bush “the devil” at the United Nations, and when he claimed former Peruvian President Alan Garcia was a thief, an embarrassment, and a scoundrel. That trait has endeared him to many Venezuelans, who like their president’s flamboyant, straight-talking ways. It could also prove to be his downfall in this year’s presidential election, scheduled for Oct. 7.
- Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez undergoes cancer tests in Cuba (vancouversun.com)
- Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez heads to Cuba for more Cancer surgery (tarpon.wordpress.com)
- Hugo Chavez Heads To Cuba For Cancer Treatment (miami.cbslocal.com)
Finally agreeing to a U.N. Visit, Iran says it’s willing to discuss its nuclear ambitions. Iran has always claimed its nuclear activities are peaceful and under the purview of the International Atomic Energy Agency. The United Nations nuclear agency team will visit Teheran on January 28, 2012.
This quest for nuclear power is similar to Saddam Hussein’s quixotic,delusional decision to blackmail the French into building Iraq a nuclear reactor. Before going online, the reactor was destroyed by the Israeli government in one of the most daring raids ever. Read “Raid on the Sun” by Rodger W. Claire for a better account of this successful military air strike.
- Iran’s nuclear plans brings Israel and US closer to strike (thejc.com)
- Iran: Countdown to Apocalypse (blogcritics.org)
- Inspectors Say Iran Is Enriching Uranium at Mountain Site – New York Times (nytimes.com)