Friday, April 11, 2008

Odds and ends

  • A mass was celebrated last weekend to re-inaugurate a church that was confiscated in 1975 and used as a warehouse and disco, AFP reports. The church is in Tarara, a big housing development on the coast about 10 miles east of Havana, which I understand is now full of Chinese students studying Spanish.

  • A group of 18 dissidents led by Martha Beatriz Roque issues a “transition agenda” that needs to be carried out in an “atmosphere of reconciliation.” Its points include freeing political prisoners, ending police action against the opposition, and economic liberalization. (If anyone has a link to the document itself, please pass it on.) Oswaldo Paya did not sign on. No recommendation was made regarding the U.S. embargo, an issue “that divides us,” Roque said.

  • A report on Russian investment, by state and private companies, in Cuba’s aviation infrastructure. And from Venezuela, an announcement (without much detail) that funding is approved to build an iron and nickel foundry with Cuba.

  • Another article on the purchasing power/income inequality problem, this time from AP.

[Photo: Havana, Palm Sunday]


Anonymous said...

Prediction: in 5 years, the russians, Canada, spanish and chinese will be even more major players in cuban economy than today.

Brazil will also take part.

CUBA ED said...

Not a very gutsy prediction. Here's a better one: in 5 years so will the U.S.!

Anonymous said...

US will too, only if we elect a Dem.

theCardinal said...

I think Dem or Rep the change will come. It may even be easier for Rep to make the change. I always felt W. should have gone to the Miamians and said - either I cut a deal we can try to stomach or wait for a Dem to open it all up - what do you prefer?

Let's not get carried away yet on the Cuban economy yet, the start is very promising but we have seen this more than once. Let's cross our fingers

Mambi_Watch said...

Concerning the transition agenda, Radio Mambi had a response to it this morning.

They immediately saw the name "Elizardo Sanchez" attached to it and cast doubt on its mission. I've written about how some hard-liners in Miami have serious doubts about Elizardo Sanchez, in stark contrast to how Cuban dissidents feel. It is just one example on how the missions of Cuban exiles and Cuban dissidents differ.

This morning Armando Perez Roura, Ninoska Perez Castellon and Enrique Encinosa (the hard-line trio) all agreed that Elizardo Sanchez's name on the agenda was problematic, and that this kind of "unity" was doomed.

With these kinds of rifts between exiles and dissidents, the future reconciliation in Cuba is already hindered.

Cuban dissidents and their agendas towards the Cuban government deserve much more deference from Cubans in exile because they run far more risks.

Anonymous said...

right on mambi wathch.

dissents= good, people who put their lives on their line to save Cuba and bring needed freedom to a people.

exiles= fat-, ugly, Miami historic, whose project for cuba is only one small part of their larger right-wing (facist) view of the world. Exiles woudl approve war with us-iran, etc. Its much bigger than Cuba. In short, they are war-mongers..

theCardinal said...

Ninoska and her ilk don't speak for anyone anymore - no one takes them seriously except perhaps pols lacking testicular fortitude.

By the way I'm pretty skinny and I have no project for Cuba but yeah...I'm a warmonger

theCardinal said...

I meant to say that if you talk to the man on the street and listen in on meetings of exiles you will hear a great deal of admiration and respect of dissidents. Every reasonable person I've met believes that the future of Cuba is in the hands of those on the island. This even holds true for the hardliners who are gun-ho about the embargo.

Mambi_Watch said...

Copy of Transition Agenda at: