COHA: The Dynamic Debut of Raúl Castro

Picking up the broken pieces of storm-battered, but now oil-rich Cuba, and moving ahead, with mixed prospects

  • Island slammed by monstrous storms, but turns down U.S. aid
  • Reforming Cuba during an epoch when scarcity and low living standards no longer are inevitable
  • Good news from the E.U. and Geneva
  • Offshore oil bombshell

Ever since the presidency formally changed hands on the occasion when Fidel Castro informally stepped down from his position as the island’s supreme leader, Cuba has been witnessing the build-up of its agricultural and industrial capabilities, and the country seemed to be on the brink of an economic epiphany. Although economic growth has been severely hampered as a result of the two Caribbean hurricanes that ferociously hit the island last summer, it now appears that the era of ‘Raúlism,’ which has commenced in earnest, will continue to be positive in terms of growth and diversification in spite of nature’s cruel blows and the legacy from the past. Change seems to be in the air, as economic good times could be around the corner. In essence, even U.S. State Department spokesman John Casey, who has not been entirely convinced that a quasi-democratic transition is taking place there, acknowledges that ‘Raúlism’ could lead to ‘greater openness and freedom for the Cuban people.’

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Obama and the Left’s Dilemma BY William Bowles

4 November 2008

malcolm-obamaMy dear friend and comrade Patricia, ensconced in Jacksonville, FLA sent me these words yesterday (3 November):

“Because the elite has used this [racism] for eons. Stand up! Damn It! It’s the empire that is the focus. OHH PULEESE! But then they’re very nervous when using niggers within the empire to maintain the empire. Short story and oh so familiar. That is the Brits to the max. Within the U.S. matrix, not the Brits. This is a  tremulous time and there is deep worry. It’s [a] scary time for those who rule!!!”

Followed by:

“Got your thinking and reams of others. To repeat: no wonder those who rule are “tremulous”, very oft centered. But, dear bill, how do we expand and reproduce capital? Ye Gods!!! I know how deeply we experience our incipient mortality as producers of the world.”

Yes, selecting Obama was a desperate gamble no doubt, but the future of the empire is at stake here. So can Obama rescue it for whitey and what’s a lefty to do? Is it still the same old lesser of two evils paradigm (didn’t we go through this four years ago?)? Surely a ‘liberal’ black man as prez is preferable to a reactionary scumbag like McCain? Well we’ll skip the ‘liberal’ bit and let’s deal with his ‘blackness’.

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GazaFriends On the Sea Again

3 November, 2008

For Immediate Release

Contact: Greta Berlin, Cyprus: +357 99 08 17 67
Angela Godfrey Goldstein, Jerusalem: +972 547 366 393
Huwaida Arraf: +357 96 723 999 / +970-599-130-426
Osama Qashoo, +44 78 33 38 16 60
Mary Hughes, Cyprus +357 96 75 00 59

On Friday, November 7, the SS DIGNITY leaves at 5:00 pm from Larnaca to Gaza. This time, thirteen members of the European Parliament from the England, Ireland, Italy, Turkey, Wales, Switzerland, and Scotland are on board.

After two successful voyages, one in August and one last week, members of the Free Gaza Movement are pleased to bring yet another delegation to Gaza to see for themselves the devastation Israel has meted out to 1.5 million Palestinians.

“Our dream two years ago was to bring people to Gaza to witness what Israel is doing. This time, we are honored to have Parliamentarians from the world community coming with us,” said Mary Hughes Thompson, one of the original Free Gaza Movement organizers.

The Free Gaza Movement and the European Campaign to End the Siege have organized this voyage because Egypt refused 53 international Parliamentarians who were holding a conference in Gaza from November 8 – 11 from entering. Now, several of them are going to meet with their counterparts and assess the humanitarian situation there.

“Egypt did not allow us to enter Gaza via the Rafah terminal, but this will not stop us from visiting the area,” Lord Nazir Ahmad, head of the European delegates stated, “We will sail to Gaza, we are determined to break the siege.”

Ms Clare Short UK MP emphasized, “The Egyptian refusal to grant us access through Rafah Crossing is insulting to all of us, and Egypt should open the crossing now.”

The parliamentarians will visit hospitals and deliver a ton of medical supplies brought over by the DIGNITY. Hopefully they will be able to meet with many of the 700 students who have been denied the right to leave Gaza and study at universities that have already admitted them.

Dr. Arafat Shoukri of the European Campaign to End the Siege added, “We intend to deliver the medical supplies to the most vulnerable of the stricken population in the territory”.

“This journey will send a strong message to the world and is a direct challenge to the Israeli siege on Gaza. We hope this trip of Parliamentarians will be one of many to follow,” said Osama Qashoo, another Free Gaza Movement organizer.

Greta Berlin
Media Team
Free Gaza Movement
357 99 08 17 67