Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Odds and ends

● The idea of a new Bay of Pigs Museum in Miami is some- thing of a local con- troversy because of its size and because the building would occupy some rare parkland on Biscayne Bay near the basketball arena. A rally for the museum project was held December 29 at the Orange Bowl, site of a 1962 event where President Kennedy met veterans of the failed assault. “We gave President Kennedy the flag of Assault Brigade 2506 and he promised to return it in a free Cuba,” one veteran told El Nuevo at the rally. “I remember telling him, ‘Mr. President, we will return.’ We truly believed he was sincere in what he said that day.”

Diario las Americas reprints Professor Luis Aguilar’s essay about the prophet describing Cubans; a sweet and very sharp character sketch.

● Cuba’s oil output declined slightly last year and natural gas production – visible in the new gas plants on the coastal highway east of Havana – increased by about one third, according to official data in this Reuters report. Meanwhile, Cuban officials are painting an optimistic picture of future deep offshore oil production, based on seismic tests, according to this report in a Venezuelan newspaper. The report ends by noting that “the convalescing Fidel Castro” last week ordered the purchase of drilling equipment.


Phil Peters said...

From Leftside, yesterday afternoon:

As I am unable to comment freely any longer and was asked to not post on this blog any more, I hope I will at least be allowed to say goodbye. I very much enjoyed posting here and arguing ideas. I learned a lot and hope some of you benefitted by reading things that challenged some of your assumptions.

As for Mr Aguilar, I never insulted or bad talked him in any way. In fact, from what I know, I liked him. I admire men who believe strongly enough in ideas that they organize and fight for them. I mentioned some relevant highlights from his life that I am sure he and his supporters were deeply proud of. Apparently Mr Peters is not. Fine, we could have kept it there. I did not realize there was a personal relationship there, and for that I apologize for any perceived insensitivity.

I leave very disappointed but even more of a Revolutionary. If anyone wants to continue the great debate between neo-liberalism and socialism, you can check out my pan-Latin/Carribean related items at my blog A View to the South. I'll be posting from the Constitutional Assembly in Montechristo, Ecuador soon. Hasta luego.

Phil Peters said...

Lefty, this is getting ridiculous. I thought it would be nice to note the passing of a fine man and I thought it would be nice if that note would maybe generate comments about him, maybe remembrances from other students, but not turn into a debate about his possible shortcomings posted – anonymously – by someone who wasn’t really sure, just mentioning a few things for the historical record, maybe someone should go out and verify. Or veer into a discussion of you and your tribulations in a place where I hoped, maybe, that people could remember him, as humans often do, with affection in the days after someone’s passing. At this point I am suppressing a great many adjectives. My reaction to these particular writings of yours was not to ban you but rather to write and tell you that if you never commented here again, until the end of time, I would be delighted. Best wishes at the Constituyente. Hasta luego, indeed.

Omar said...

Come on Lefty, don't go! You are one of the main responsible in making this blog a different place. If your always polemic views are not shown here anymore, the atmosphere will be boring and crowded of that exiliar pain from those who consider themselves the center of the Universe. Those poor indoctrinated persons for which Cuba is the worst place in the earth, socialism is a perversion, the freemarket the magic solution of all the problems in the world and Fidel the cruelest dictator ever born.
Personally, I agree with you far more than with anyother in this blog. I want every visitor to stay around whatever their opinions are as long as they are eager to share and defend them civicaly, but I consider you use to make an special contribution.
I quite don't follow Phil when he said that he would be delighted if comment here no more. What did you mean Phil? Was that definite statement due to you felt offended by Lefty's apparently lack of sensibility concerning the late Professor Aguilar?
Lefty! Suerte y no tires a matar!

Agustin Farinas said...

We will miss Lefty's remembrance of the former CIA agent Phillip Agee who just died in Havana. I am sure his remembrances would have been laudatory and praiseworthy. Luis Aguilar was an enemy of Castro and his regime. But Agee, ah, this guy who betrayed his own country and went over to the enemy of his country of birth would not have been treated so badly as Professor Aguilar. After all Agee was a "revolutionary" like himself and worthy of praise.
We will miss Lefty and his weird comments, but then, there is always Omar, who I am sure will take over from Lefty in his defense of the Cuban regime and his supporters. Poor Ecuador, now they have to endure Leftside, as if they did not have enough trouble with Correa and Chavez meddling in their internal affairs.
Phil must have been really pissed to have posted such an acrimonious commentary refering to Leftside and to have erased some of the commentaries something I have not seen him do before. He is usually very tolerant of the comments on his blog and I guess this one about Dr. Aguilar went over a little over the line.

Anonymous said...

thanks for the great news about Agee! I hadn't heard!

tranquilo said...

it seems that anyone who gets operated on in Cuba winds up dead or near-dead.

leftside said...

Gracias Omar and even Agustin. I was never seeking a debate, nor marring anyone. (you can post my comments here to let folks decide for themselves). Still, if it were my Professor, I might be tempted to try to protect him as well. It betrays the meaning of blogs, but that is fine. But telling me you never wanted me to post here again was quite disappointing, and revealed a lot to me. To say it is not about ideology is an added insult. As if to prove it, you allow someone to openly applaud a death, without rebuke.

Viva Cuban Triangle libre, Viva Cuba libre.

Anonymous said...


Ubre Blanca's Ghost said...

That's rich. He never had an unkind word to say about real censorship in Cuba, but now he's whining because the blog owner no longer cares to indulge his ad hominem attacks against those with whom he disagrees.

Agustin Farinas said...

I am not in favor of banning anyone from commenting on a blog because I consider it censorship and it goes the right of free expression, but that is Phil's choice and after all it is his blog. He must have his reasons and if he chose to ban certain comments we must respect it. I don't approve of Leftside's politics (in fact I abhor them)but I respect his right to speak his mind. I know he endorses and supports a regime which denies that right to its oponnents but I cannot fall into that same pit. I hope in a future free and democratic Cuba, every party will have the right to publish and express their opinions. Even those which whom I disagree wholeheartly, actually specially those. It is the essence of a real democracy to be able to tolerate those opinions which we dislike, because it is too easy to tolerate the opinions we agree with, the real test for a democracy is to allow those opinions we don't like and despise.

leftside said...

Hey ghost, if you can show us one time I engaged in any kind of "ad hominem" attack against anyone, I will make a donation to CANF. The truth is that I was a victim of such attacks almost daily (I'm not "whining," as I know it comes with the territory).

Omar said...

Now that I take a closer look to both messages, Lefty's first and Phil's reply I realize that they end with "Hasta luego". Phil's has even and "indeed". So there is nothing definitive here. It has just been a misunderstanding, a sequence of mildly damaged sensitivities.
Knowing just what the newspapers says about Phillip Agee, I consider him a remarkable man. It is no surprise that the US establishment declare him a traitor. But the real meaning of his actions make him a patriot. You make no favor to your country by supporting criminal policies as the one he denounced. The truth about American supportive role in murderous dictatorships in Latinamerica would have surfaced unavoidably, and the earlier the best. The result is a tremendous lack of credibility and the realization of the real intentions of US all over the region: domination no matter what. This will add to a list of arguments that is making (or will) the US to rethink its role. The is no sin in prioritizing your interests. That is what everybody does all the time. The sins are, first, not to realize that your interest should be moderated so that the counterpart does not end in a miserable position. Second, you can not use any mean to make your case. There are clear limits. So, honor to Philip Agee, a brave man that contributed to make the world, and his wonderful country, better places.

Alex said...

For somebody leaving in a huff, Leftside sure takes his time.

To the matter at hand: the 2506 museum will never be built in parcel B. Anybody can see it's just an attempt to use teh same old emotional issues to build additional parking for the Arena. On the other hand, there's the Freedom Tower, which is the right size and has the right historical connotations.

Agustin Farinas said...

As I said in my previous comment, if Leftside would have written about Agee, it would have been to praise him for his treacherous behaviour. For Dr. Aguilar a real Cuban patriot, scorn, but for Agee a worthless traitor, no matter what Omar says his motives were, laudatory praise. Since Leftside left, Omar took over from him with the comment:
"So, honor to Philip Agee, a brave man that contributed to make the world, and his wonderful country, better places." Indeed, he not only betrayed his own country, his friends and co-workers, but went over to work for the enemy of his country. And this Omar, who more tan likely lives in the USA, finds an honorable thing to do. Since he worked for the Cuban government and Omar renders honors to him, I guess we can extrapolate that he also admires Castro and his murderous tyrannical regime. God creates them and the Devil brings them together. Well, Leftside left, but Omar has taken over for him the defense of every enemy of the USA. Gee, Omar why not praise and honor the two other traitors who worked for money for Soviet Intelligence and were comendemed to life sentences? Or even better, why not full praise for Ana Belen Montes too? After all, in your view and opinion she was a "patriot" too? Wasn't she? Reading this kind of garbage makes one want to puke.

Agustin Farinas said...

To those commenters who want to honor Phillip Agee, you may want to read this NY post Editorial. It is very enlightening.