When Cuban hunger striker Guillermo Farinas arrived in Miami, he said he was prepared to face rejection from radical members of the Cuban-American community who do not believe in pacific opposition.
The reaction has been far different. When he went to the Versailles restaurant, a traditional gathering spot for older exiles in the city’s Little Havana neighborhood, he was embraced. During an event at Miami’s iconic Freedom Tower, he was applauded.
“The love the exiles in Miami have shown us makes us discard what the government, over 54 years, has planted in our minds,” he said.
Read the whole thing.
While you’re at it, if you understand spoken Spanish, listen to Jaime Bayly’s interview with Berta Soler,
Parts 2, 3 with Laura Maria Labrada and Belkis Cantillo (also in the photo above), and 4.
Yesterday, the Venezuelan government conducted the test launch of an Otomat missile, model MK2.
Eighteen of these missiles have been restored, thanks to Cuban specialists, for use by Venezuela’s Bolivarian Armed Forces.
Venezuela’s appointed leader, Nicolas Maduro, announced the launch (and Cuba’s support) with much fanfare, as well as the upcoming restoration of AMX 3 light tanks and EE-11 Urutú armored personnel carriers.
Nothing to look here; Of course, the countries within firing range and the users of the now-expanding Panama Canal may have reason to worry.
Surely the Venezuelan regime will claim it’s all for peaceful purposes, like their soon-to-be-nuclear pals the Iranians, who still have their direct flights to Caracas.
On Monday, Guatemala’s Constitutional Court ordered the trial of Efraín Ríos Montt overturned and reset to an earlier point in April when it was challenged by another judge. Mr. Ríos Montt, who ruled Guatemala for 17 months in 1982 and 1983, had been sentenced to 80 years on genocide and crimes against humanity for his role in the country’s 36-year civil war.
After the ruling, Mr. Ríos Montt was briefly sent to jail before being moved to a military hospital. On Tuesday, he was set to return to house arrest, as he was during his trial.
The ruling came after a public push by Guatemala’s powerful business chamber to overturn the verdict, a development analysts said on Tuesday called into question the court’s independence.
Guatemala has a history of trials of military men being blocked through appeals to higher courts that are manipulated by the small country’s powerful elites, said Anita Isaacs, a professor at Haverford College. “There is a link between the court system and powerful economic interests in Guatemala,” she said.
The court’s annulment of the sentence also points to weaknesses in the case itself, which became highly politicized in Guatemala. Michael Waller, a foreign-policy expert who worked in Central America in the 1980s, said the judge had overreached with her genocide conviction. “It was a nasty war in Guatemala but it wasn’t genocide,” he said.
The big news for the past day or two has been a leaked tape of a conversation between Mario Silva, the hardcore Chavista spokesman anchorman of “La Hojilla” [The Razor] (a TV show on state-run TV channel VTV), and Aramis Palacios, a lieutenant colonel of Cuban G2.
In it, Silva suggests that the military – at the prodding of Diosdado Cabello – is plotting against Maduro.
Plus, in the scorecard,
100 points to Diosdado Cabello for being Darth Vader AND Hannibal Lecter on the same day. And then showing up at Miraflores just to mug for the cameras and rub it in Maduro’s and Silva’s face. Cue in Destiny’s Child “Survivor.”
And finally, a negative 857 points to the Venezuelan people, for if Diosdado gets his way and it’s true that he has, to quote Mario Silva, “all the power without being President,” we are about to enter a world of pain that no Cuban doctor can cure.
Caracas Chronicles concludes,
What’s clear, folks, is that Diosdado Cabello is untouchable. He is the pillar upon which “chavismo sin Chávez” is built. The evidence that Cabello is undermining the Revolution with his corrupt ways is staring Maduro in the eye just as clearly as that picture in the Museo Militar. When faced with the choice of throwing Silva or Cabello under the bus, Maduro chose Silva.
Indeed, Mario Silvia is off the air “for health reasons“, the Latin American equivalent of “spending time with his family.”
A few years ago I audited Dr. John V. Fleming’s class on Chaucer, a most wonderful treat, since he’s not only the foremost scholar on the subject but also a great guy. He graciously gave me a poscast interview (transcribed here 123) a year or so later. Like many of his students, we’ve kept in touch over the years.
Recently, Dr. Fleming went to The Cloisters to listen to Pomerium’s Renaissance music concert that included Spem in Alium. Read his brilliant account here.