Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Odds and ends

  • Missed this one last week: Cuba’s health minister was replaced, with 78-year-old incumbent Jose Ramon Balaguer moving back to the Central Committee of the party and vice minister Roberto Morales Ojeda, 43, taking the top job. Here’s the official announcement.

  • In the Houston Chronicle, the American Farm Bureau’s president makes the case for ending Cuba travel restrictions.

  • The Root publishes two looks at race issues in Cuba, and promises more to come. These are from novelists Leonardo Padura and Achy Obejas.

  • At Babalu, a reflection by Anastasio Blanco about a recent trip to Cuba. This sort of jumps off the page: “Barely anybody on the island knows of the political prisoners or the various democracy movements.” And this: “The satellite cards used to secure the [satellite television] signal had been smuggled into the country by some rather famous artists…many here in the U.S. have portrayed folks like those who took great risk to import the cards—and distribute them gratis—as lackeys for the regime. They are not, and we must think before making hasty accusations in the future.”

  • The Washington Post’s ongoing web-based feature on leadership highlights the Ignacio Ramonet book on Fidel Castro, “cruel and charismatic” and still ticking.

  • Tampa, I was reading recently, had a Cuban community that was called “little Havana” before Miami’s Calle Ocho even existed. (Later it became “Ybor City.”) Last week the Tampa Tribune sorted out the arguments about travel to Cuba, arguing that the United States out of step in “banging its drum for separation.”

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

the comment in Babalu is the most insightful. In my experiences the vast majority of average cubans are not aware of, or concern themselves with, the dissidents or the 'democracy' movements. they are concerned with what most people are -- their lives, their children, work, money and how to improve things -- within the socialist system they have.