Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Odds and ends

  • This interview with Cuban National Assembly President Ricardo Alarcon drew attention because of Alarcon’s statement that Fidel Castro continues to be consulted on “strategic issues.”  Also interesting is this part of the same interview where Alarcon discusses  reform of travel and migration policies, relations with the United States, and the Alan Gross case.  Salim Lamrani of the Sorbonne conducted the interview.

  • The Jewish Daily Forward has an editorial on the case of jailed USAID contractor Alan Gross, calling it “a complicated story that has drawn in the American Jewish community in an unseemly way,” and rejecting the Obama Administration’s efforts “to persuade Jews to make this a Jewish issue.”  In the Washington Post, an interview with Judy Gross in advance of the pope’s visit.

  • We’ll miss the entertaining and durable Livan Hernandez in Washington this year; he was released, spent some time with the Astros, and has now signed a one-year-deal with the Atlanta Braves.  Meanwhile in Havana, Granma’s Alfredo Despaigne has broken the regular season home run record, hitting two yesterday.  AP English here.

  • A reader recommends this book on urban agriculture, with a chapter on Cuba’s organoponicos and similar initiatives.  He writes: “The bizarre thing about this is even when Castro loses, he wins.  So Cuban agriculture becomes a mess under Fidel, and things worsen in the 1990’s.  Among many acts of desperation, they turn to small urban farms and are forced to go organic as cheap Soviet oil and chemicals were no longer available.  Now everyone is praising the revolution for being a world leader in urban, organic agriculture. It is well worth a read and I hope everyone who reads your blog will find it worth a look.”

No comments: