Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Odds and ends

  • The Alan Gross case has provoked a lot of discussion for nearly five years, but until this new star of the Cuban opposition movement came along, it didn’t occur to anyone that Mr. Gross’ precarious health is apt for ridicule. Yesterday, “Let Alan rot!” And later, a joke on Twitter: “Alan Gross will be taken soon from Cuba to Africa to fight Ebola: if he survives, he'll be free. If he dies, USAID will take him to U.S.” If you set out to discredit the opposition movement from within, could you do any better?
  • VOA: Cuban doctors practicing in U.S.-built hospitals in Liberia. Wait ‘til the Helms-Burton purists get on this one…
  • Speaking of Helms-Burton, the President of Bacardi (!) talks about investing and doing business in Cuba when the embargo is lifted, without mentioning the law’s myriad conditions.
  • El Nuevo Herald: In Miami, dissident Guillermo Farinas talks about the state of the opposition movement, the parts he views as legitimate and not, and he tells of his fear for his life. He also says, without naming names, that someone in Miami tried to buy him off and did the same with Oswaldo Paya years ago. Paya’s widow says it isn’t true. Farinas came to Miami to attend a workshop on human rights and nonviolent action.
  • A top USAID official slams the Times for failing to note Cuba’s responsibility for jailing Alan Gross. Don’t hold your breath waiting for USAID to admit responsibility for sending him into a predictable disaster.
  • Aron Modig, the Swede who was in the car in which Oswaldo Paya was killed, slept through the whole thing, and remembers nothing, is now a member of Parliament. The Herald recently asked the driver, Angel Carromero, about Modig; Carromero said: “There were times when he was asleep but he was the copilot. If he chose to remain quiet and turn the page, well I don’t share in that sentiment. I respect it but I’ve chosen a more complicated road and one with worse consequences for me but I couldn’t stay silent.”

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