Archive for May, 2005

Tuesday, May 31st, 2005

The Cotillion is on!
“Telling it like it is, in the nicest way possible.”

Introducing the Cotillion

All too often in the blogosphere the following annoying question comes up: “Where are the female bloggers?” Beth of My Vast Right Wing Conspiracy, Jody of Steal the Bandwagon and I asked the following ladies to join us in the very special project of answering that question. The participants were invited based solely on our enjoyment of their blogs. Traffic and linkage played no role in our decision as to who to include, we simply enjoy their work and we thought that you may too.

Our purpose is to raise the visibility of some great female bloggers in hopes that we never have to deal with a certain annoying question again.

Presenting the Cotillion

and The Debut by Jody

A bookmark!

It it a pleasure and an honor to have been asked to participate.

Tuesday, May 31st, 2005

The new Jacques and Dom show
French President Appoints Villepin as New Prime Minister

President Jacques Chirac of France fired his loyal, long-suffering prime minister today, a direct response to the country’s decisive rejection of a referendum on the constitution for Europe that was as much as rejection of his 10-year presidency.
. . .
The choice of Mr. de Villepin, 51, a well-born, high-octane former career diplomat who has never held elected office and writes poetry in his spare time, means that Mr. Chirac has no intention of abandoning his vision of a grand and glorious France with a unique leadership mission in the world.

I like that high-octane phrase. It suggests gas. It also reminds us that Jacques really needs “something” to keep him in office — and out of the clink. The NYT has a photo of Chirac waving bye-bye to Raffarin, his third PM in as many years. If the name Dominique de Villepin sounds familiar, the answer is yes.

Libération has an article (in French) L’équation impossible de Chirac (Chirac’s impossible equation) describing the internal machinations leading to the cabinet changes. Chirac faced intense pressure from members of his party, and from Parliament, who wanted Nicholas Sarkozy as PM. One of the reasons for the oppostion to Villepin is that Villepin has never held an elected office

the BBC’s Caroline Wyatt in Paris says that as a career diplomat never elected to public office, he of all candidates most typifies the French elite so roundly rejected by the French people on Sunday.

Allow me to point out that Sarko remains France’s most popular politician — in spite of recent marital problems.

Forbes says,

Sources close to the matter told Agence France-Presse that Nicolas Sarkozy, currently the president of Chirac’s UMP party, will be the new interior minister, a post Sarkozy has already held under Prime Minister Raffarin.

At The Economist (emphasis mine):

Last but not least, many Frenchmen rejected the constitution simply because they have had enough of Mr Chirac, and of his government’s failure to revive the economy and cut France’s high unemployment—and wanted to slap him in the face. The result is certainly a crushing blow to the president. He said before the vote that he would not resign if the result was non, but the defeat has almost certainly wrecked his chances of running for a third term in 2007. His internal rivals, most notably Nicolas Sarkozy, the ambitious head of Mr Chirac’s conservative governing party, the Union for a Popular Majority (UMP), are already sharpening their knives.

The Interior Minister is the 2d-ranking post in the government. Interesting that Sarko’s back in the Cabinet, since Jacques made Sarko, who had been minister of the interior previously, quit his cabinet post as minister of the economy when Sarko became leader of their political party, UMP. A matter of keeping your friends close, but your enemies closer, Jacques?

Update Sarko’s one of the Two men and a woman who can save Europe, according to the UK’s Telegraph.

Tuesday, May 31st, 2005

Where oh where is my little Hugo? Oh, where oh where could he be?
As posted yesterday, the weirdest news of the week was that Hugo Chávez went missing over the weekend, spurring rumors that he was dead.

His weekly 6-hr TV show, “Aló Presidente” was pre-empted by a volleyball game on Sunday, the radio broadcast of the same was also cancelled, and he didn’t show at a scheduled demonstration.

Before I closed blogging shop for the evening, I posted Venezuelan daily El Nacional‘s story that Chávez was well and had chaired a meeting of his ministers. He appeared on a TV broadcast and claimed to have gone away for the weekend to visit his 7 yr-old daughter. The interesting thing is, 1,000 people were outside clamoring for him “¡Patria o muerte, por nuestro presidente!” (“Homeland or death, for our president”)and he didn’t come out. This morning El Nacional added a slide show to the same story, but added nothing to their report. El Universal repeats the same story, which you can also find at El Nuevo Herald and several other papers. However, AP has this photo, released by Venezuelan news agency Miraflores, captioned

President Hugo Chavez gestures to his supporters from a balcony in the presidential palace in Caracas, Venezuela, Monday, May 30, 2005, reassuring hundreds of worried supporters massed outside who had demanded proof that he was all right after he disappeared from public view over the weekend.

None of the articles mention his appearing to the crowd.

Venezuela News and Views comments,

What was weirdest was the show of despair of his supporters willing to believe that he was dead or something. I, for one, was relieved that for 48 hours the president was not occupying the news. I was more than willing to enjoy the break, and suspected from the start that it was some strange show set up for some even more stranger reason. After all, the Supremos of history LOVE to check out the love of their flocks….

And who knew Hugo was such a volleyball fan, too!

Update To further contribute to the surreal atmosphere, long-dead Che was at the demonstration. Has Elvis left the building yet?

Monday, May 30th, 2005

BREAKING NEWS: Is this a rumor?Is Hugo Chavez dead?

People are gathering in big numbers at Miraflores Palace in Caracas amid rumors Hugo Chavez had a heart attack or something like it. The goons have just shut down Avenida Urdaneta in front of the palace to stop inquiring questions from the adoring masses. Venezuelan government spokesman Andres Izarra says that Chavez cancelled his street rally appearance yesterday and his Alo Presidente weekly Sunday TV show “to spend more time with his family.” And all’s ‘normal,’ he says. Kim Il Sung’s spokesman could not have said it better.

Nothing from Spanish language versions of BBC or CNN. Nothing at MSN News.
Google News: A story from EITB (Euskarra Basque News and Information Channel) Venezuela is worried about President Hugo Chavez’s health
El Herald: Aseguran que salud de Chávez es normal (Chávez’s health normal): “There’s nothing abnormal going on” even when Chávez’s usual TV and radio broadcasts were cancelled, and didn’t show at a demonstration organized “in defense of the oil industry, and to protest USA’s refusal to extradite Luis Posada Carriles”.
Yahoo news: A story from El Universal Deputy Lara: President Chávez “is at his office”.

Hm. At his office.

Paxety Pages links to Venezuela Takes Measures to Thwart President Assassination

Lara said there are intelligence information revealing that some sectors, heartbroken by the defeat of the 2002 coup attempt and the presidential referendum in 2004, are mulling over the idea of assassinate President Chavez.


Oh. Maybe Lara meant to say Chávez’s at his doctor’s office.

El Nacional, however, has him at Chávez pone fin a rumores al presidir sesión de Consejo de Ministros Chávez ends rumors by presiding Ministers’ Council session. He hasn’t come out yet to greet the crowd waiting expectantly outside the Palacio de Miraflores.

We’ll know what to expect if suddenly he decides to fly to a French hospital.

Rumor or not, this qualifies as the week’s weirdest news item.

Follow-up post: Where oh where is my little Hugo?

Monday, May 30th, 2005

More on the French referendum
Rather than a red and blue map, Libération shows that the “yes” regions are blue, but the rest of the country are in shades of yellow and orange, depending on how emphatically they said “no”:

Le Monde‘s map shows that even in Paris, four districts voted “no”.

Cinco razones por las que los franceses dijeron ‘No’
Five reasons why the French said “no”, via Barcepundit (my translation):

  • High unemployment: voters are unhappy w ith the high (10%) and persistent unemployment rate. They feel the people in power are out of touch with voters and haven’t done enough about the country’s economic problems.
  • Free market policies: Critics feel that the Constitution promotes business interests over social policy. They also feel it won’t protect workers enough, and would favor Eastern Europeans, with lower costs and salaries, over France.
  • Declining influence: They fear France’s influence within the EU would decline, since the Constitution strips countires of sovereign rights and transfers power to Brussels.
  • Renegotiation: The principal oponents to the treaty say that a “No” could force the EU to renegotiate the Constitution and include more safeguards for European workers. EU leaders and defenders of the treated have already said this is not possible.
  • Turkey: Some voters fear the the Constitution would clear the way for Turkey’s admission into the EU and that the Referendum was the only way to oppose this.
  • The Dutch are expected to reject the Constitution. Will there be a Referendum in the UK?

    From the Hindustan Times:Blair should feel relieved at French Non

    Blair had previously said the referendum would go ahead, so long as there was a treaty to vote on. But, in practice, the French result could be a fatal blow to the constitution. A final decision on Britain’s planned referendum is unlikely before the middle of next month, but a Downing Street aide conceded: “A double ‘no’ would be a very big blow.”

    A double rejection will have serious ramifications for the Government. Whatever its outcome, a UK referendum was viewed by Labour figures as a natural moment for Blair to step down, with Gordon Brown replacing him. That would have enabled a contest in the summer, followed by Brown’s coronation at Labour’s conference in autumn 2006.

    The French result also means Britain’s presidency of the European Union, which begins in July, will be dominated by the constitution. Blair and Brown had wanted economic reform to be the key issue of the presidency. Instead they will be in charge of picking up the wreckage from the French and Dutch votes.

    Ministers are also braced for a backlash from the French government, with Paris likely to resist what it sees as “Anglo-Saxon” reforms to the EU. It may also block British plans for Turkey’s admission. Crucial discussion will take place at a summit of EU leaders in Brussels on June 16. A substantive announcement on the implications for Britain are likely to be delayed until then.

    The Scotsman urges, Blair should grasp opportunity with both hands

    The fact is that once the French voted against the constitution, its chances of survival were nil. Mr Blair should underline this by holding a swift British referendum to make sure it is not just dead but buried.

    Stephen Pollard sees Blair as politically brilliant, while Samizdata’s Perry de Havilland says The game’s afoot!

    So what happens next? The obvious move by Tony Blair is to cancel the UK’s promised referendum as being moot now that the process has been derailed. Yet there are already frantic attempts going on by the integrationists to prevent that from happening, on the basis that it would be an admission that the process really is over.

    Now this attempt to get the UK to vote anyway is really splendid news and I hope that other people who share my views that the EU is an abomination will remember Napoleon’s dictum “never interrupt the enemy when he is making a mistake” as any UK vote will almost certainly be a vote against the EU which will just widen the rift in political cultures between France and the UK.

    The question remains,

    Politically, the issue will be–in light of the “no” vote–whether the most committed European federalists should press on with tighter European integration embodied by the draft constitution, without the rejectionists, and allow member states to join that so-called hard core if they so chose.

    Or should the constitution be quietly forgotten, and France and Germany revert to the old model of leading European integration through executive and judicial institutions, and leave elected legislators and their conception out of the picture as much as possible?

    One of the questions of our times.

    Follow-up post: The new Jacques and Dom show

    Monday, May 30th, 2005

    Memorial Day
    was originally known as Decoration Day (for decorating the graves of the Civil War dead, which decimated over 600,000 Americans, nearly 2% of the total population of the Union and Confederacy), but at the turn of the century it was designated as Memorial Day. The first observance took place on May 30, 1868. In 1971 its observance was extended to honor all soldiers who died in American wars. At Arlington National Cemetery a wreath is placed at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, and each grave is decorated with a small American flag.

    Other bloggers posting on Memorial Day: Hans Bricks, Enlighten NJ, Chrenkoff, Blackfive, and Mudville Gazzette.
    Update Don’t miss Roger’s photos.
    My Newz ‘n Ideas blogs about Memorial Day, too.

    Sunday, May 29th, 2005

    Emphatically, “Non”
    With 70% of all eligible French voters participating, 56% said NO to the European Constitution:
    Le Figaro: Les gagnants et les perdants du non (The No’s winners and losers)
    France2 News” Référendum: un non franc et massif (Referendum: A massive, frank, No).
    BBC News: French voters reject EU charter. The “No” camp on both the right and the left is jubilant. French voters have overwhelmingly rejected the European Union’s proposed constitution in a key referendum
    Libération: Le triomphe du non
    Le Monde: La France rejette nettement le traité constitutionnel (France clearly rejects the constitutional treaty)
    VOA News: French Voters Reject EU Constitution
    Forbes: FRENCH EU VOTE: Schroeder says ‘no’ vote a setback, but not end for constitution
    Financial Times: EU dreams collide with French antipathy
    The Guardian: Raffarin in line to be victim of political disarray. Weakened Chirac promises to act within days

    Will Chirac choose pompous Villepin, or will he go with Sarkozy? The Guardian:

    Commentators agree that Mr Chirac is naturally reluctant to give Mr Sarkozy the job, despite that fact that it could well prove a poisoned chalice for a bitter rival, since he believes it is essential for president and prime minister to get on, and the two loathe each other.

    Mr Sarkozy’s campaign for the yes camp in the referendum, moreover, consistently stressed his differences with Mr Chirac; for example, his belief that France urgently needs deeper, structural freemarket reforms, particularly to its rigid labour market, if it is to compete. Mr Sarkozy was the only French politician to say the French should vote yes to the treaty “to change France”, and to dare suggest that the French social model was “no longer the best”.

    But if Mr Chirac feels that the scale of the no victory demands radical action, government officials have suggested he may overcome his scruples in order to salvage at least something from his presidency – even if that means allowing Mr Sarkozy a free hand to be “prime minister of France, and not prime minister of Jacques Chirac”.

    I hope he goes with Sarkozy.

    Bloggers’ analysis and commentary round-up:
    Stephen Pollard: Hurrah!
    Samizdata: Wrong reasons, right result,
    WebCommentary: France Speaks: Sovereignty Oui, EU Constitution Non
    Belgravia Dispatch: This massive no resonates like a thunderclap across the French political landscape
    More at EU Referendum, ¡No Pasarán!, QandO Blog, and Roger L. Simon.

    Update: Instapundit reader Jonathan Smith says “I have yet to see an american blogger that has recognized that a lot of people that voted Non want France to be a MORE socialist state. It’s a fear that the EU will be more capitalist.”
    Read on, Jonathan. Read on (and see link to Economist article in that post).

    Sunday, May 29th, 2005

    Sunday blogging: “The Opera ghost really existed”
    Yesterday while I waited for the Memorial Day parade to start I went browsing at Micawber’s and came out with a used copy of The Phantom of the Opera novel, written by Gaston Leroux in 1911. The novel starts with an introduction and the first line states, “The Opera ghost really existed”. This edition has the complete translated text, even when the Independent Publisher (according to the Amazon site) considers it a “children’s version”. The Barnes and Noble Classics edition I purchased also has a very entertaining foreword by Peter Haining, who peppers his essay with lots of exclamation points but gives a lot of background information in just a few pages on the Opera building, Gaston Leroux, and the various film productions of the novel. The Paris Opera itself is now housed in a different location, but the original building still stands.

    The Phantom of the Opera story, while originally a horror tale, is in a sense a retelling of the French folk tale of Beauty and the Beast, and of course of The Hunchback of Notre Dame (the book written by Victor Hugo in 1831, not the Disney movie). Disney has made Beauty and the Beast into an animated cartoon feature film and worked The Hunchback into a retelling of sorts of Beauty and the Beast. While the Disney Hunchback is still only a cartoon feature film, I wouldn’t be surprised if they’ll stage it, too, but I’m glad they didn’t do The Phantom into a cartoon. Just as the Notre Dame cathedral building is a central figure in The Hunchback (which in French is titled Notre Dame de Paris), the Opera building is a central figure in The Phantom of the Opera.

    My favorite Phantom of the Opera film version is the first, from 1925, originally a silent movie that was later re-released as a talkie in 1929. The film, in black and white with some colored sections, stars Lon Chaney, one of the greatest film actors of all time, in what many consider his most memorable part (a quick Google search shows there even are Lon Chaney Phantom action figures). The Leroux novel was intended to be a horror novel, and this version qualifies. Over the years, the story of the Phantom has been reinvented and reissued in various forms, and while none of the films I’ve come across was anywhere as good as the original (and some really are awful), the 1945 version with Claude Rains was entertaining enough.

    In the 1980s Andrew Lloyd Weber wrote the stage musical and Phantom fever struck the masses. I’ve seen a lot of ALW musicals, and the one thing I don’t like is that the music tends to stay with you for a day or two after, whether you’d liked the music or not. This usually puts me in an ornery mood. Andrew Lloyd Weber’s version changed the story’s slant from horror to that of a gothic romance, which is more appealing to the general public, and the show is still playing on Broadway at the Majestic Theater. The stage design, however, remained true to the Lon Chaney film and is quite lovely, especially when the Phantom carries Christine to his lair and the chandeliers come up from the stage floor. The ALW musical was a hit in London, in New York, across the USA, and toured the world.

    I saw the original Broadway cast in the late 1980s and was not impressed at all. The singers were just not up to it on the day I went, the singing was not what one would pay for in a Broadway show, the acting was pretty awful, and the general effect was rather cheesy, in spite of the nice special effects. I came out with the definite impression that Christine’s part was there simply to showcase Mr. Lloyd Weber’s then-wife, and everybody else was just playing along.

    In August of 2001 I went back with my family, who hadn’t seen it, and what a difference a good actor makes! One of the challenges of playing the Phantom is that it is a “designed” character: the hairdo, make-up and clothes remain the same no matter which actor’s doing the part, and then there’s that mask hiding half of the actor’s face. The evening we saw it Howard McGillin was the Phantom, and he was phenomenal. His voice was definitely up to the demands of the part, and gave the Phantom a rich sound while conveying a tormented soul, but without overacting. Mr. McMillan’s Phantom dominated the production even when the character itself is not on stage for many scenes. He transcended the “designed” constraints. In a word, he was good. Really good.

    Considering how the ALW version has generated box office revenues of nearly $1 billion, it was only a matter of time that it would make it into film, which it did last year, and now it’s out on DVD. Gerard Butler plays the Phantom, and also does his own singing. Mr. Butler cuts a handsome dashing figure in Phantom cape and ruffled shirt, so much so that a slightly more sophisticated Christine probably wouldn’t have minded his disfigurement (I could almost hear her say, “No problem, honey. Let’s just blow out a few candles and don’t fuss too much with that mask. Just relaaax”), if only the Phantom hadn’t turned out to be a murderous psychopath. Mr. Butler does have a rocker’s voice, which apparently is what Mr. Lloyd Weber wanted, but Mr. McGillin’s sound was a lot more pleasing to me. Emmy Rossum played Christine and looked suitably pale and lovely. The movie extends the musical in several ways, including many shots of the labyrinths of the Opera house, but all that doesn’t really add much to the story. I actually prefer the stage version of “Masquerade” to this film’s, in part because the stage Phantom wears a fascimile of the Chaney “Mask of the Red Death” costume. All the same, if I had a choice of the stage version with Howard McGillin or this film, I’d certainly pick Mr. McGillin’s (I would have also cast him as the film’s Phantom). However, viewers who haven’t seen it on stage will probably enjoy the film.

    One nice thing about DVDs is that one can watch musicals with English subtitles and sing along, just as people used to do in the olden days at midnight shows of the Rocky Horror Show. You too, could enjoy a Phantom of the Opera sing-along, and maybe even host a Phantom-theme party in the comfort of your own home. Think of it as the interactive Phantom.

    However, if you want the full-impact Phantom, drop by Princeton University Chapel on Halloween and watch the Lon Chaney version on screen while the Chapel organist plays the original score of the silent film. No matter how many times you’ve seen the original, you’ll still gasp when Lon Chaney’s Phantom removes his mask. You, too, will believe that the Opera ghost really existed.

    Now, that‘s what I call one Phantom-theme party!

    Also posted at Blogger News Network

    Saturday, May 28th, 2005

    The McCain mutiny,
    analyzed by Dr. Sowell,

    Is Senator Frist a weak Majority Leader or does he just not have the troops required to get the job done? Senator Frist is a surgeon but he can’t transplant backbone to Senate Republicans who don’t have any.

    Dr. Krauthammer calls it The flinch heard ’round the world

    First, the compromise legitimized the principle of the judicial filibuster. Until 2001, not once in more than 200 years had a judicial nominee been denied appointment to the court by Senate filibuster.
    . . .
    The second sure thing is that the seven Republicans who went against their party are the toast of the Washington establishment.

    Today’s Day By Day says, “maybe the GOP’s trying to build a bridge to the other side”, which of course didn’t work. I was saying as much last November 4, the Thursday after the elections

    Yesterday there was much yabber on Dem blogs about hoping that Pres. Bush would “reach out to the other side of the aisle”. Allow me to point out the obvious: it’s all window dressing.

    First of all, “the other side of the aisle” lost big. As I said yesterday, Pres. Bush won the national vote by 3,700,000 votes, an absolute majority (the first absolute majority in the past four elections), the Senate’s 53:44 Republican, the house is 212:193, and there are 27:21 Republican governors now elected. In other words, Bush won a mandate.

    Second: tactically, ”the other side of the aisle” is better served by spending its energy retrenching, reorganizing, and making a token effort not too look too sore, while having the Republicans take the blame for whatever goes wrong, and then coming back and taking credit for whatever goes well.

    I rest my case.

    The question is, have the republicans learned anything from this latest episode?

    Saturday, May 28th, 2005

    Venezuela news round-up and Aleida’s book selling tour
    From the Financial Times, Chávez faces claims of oil revenue cover-up

    José Guerra, economic research chief at the Central Bank of Venezuela until earlier this year, says that if the official oil output figures are correct, given that oil prices are known, Pdvsa is depositing only about 53 per cent of its revenue in the central bank.

    In nominal terms, the figure is more dramatic.

    Mr Guerra calculates that during all of 2004 and the first quarter of this year, data for which was released this week, Pdvsa has failed to hand over to the central bank $6.8bn from oil exports. Pdvsa is required by law to convert its hard currency earnings into bolivars, the local currency.

    “If you look at the evolution of the country’s balance of payments, of course you have to ask where is the money?” said Mr Guerra. “It’s clearly not going to pay off debt or to pay for imports and it’s not being converted into bolivars. There is something very irregular going on.”

    This month, Domingo Maza Zavala, a central bank director, said that $20m per day in oil export revenue was not being deposited.

    While lower oil production levels explain in part why the central bank’s cash flow figures challenge the official version, economists say there is also a financial shortfall because some money is being diverted elsewhere

    Some of the money might be going towards training Hugo’s 2 million reservists, propping up the Cuban economy, buying off Argentina’s debt, possibly bankrolling sympathetic Bolivarians in other countries, and then there’s Hugo’s nuclear dreams. About those nuclear dreams, Aleksander Boyd has this to say,

    The developing of a nuclear programme requires a high degree of continuity that Chavez and his utterly inefficient minions most certainly do not possess. Ergo I consider fitting to tranquilize some by saying that before Venezuela develops any nukes Ratzinger will convert to Islamism.

    In all, those things come at a very high price. Nonetheless, at the rate of $20 million a day, there might even be enough left over for a nest-egg.

    Meanwhile, U.S. rejects Venezuela’s move to extradite terrorism suspect

    The Bush administration told Venezuela its request that Luis Posada Carriles be arrested with a view to extradition was “clearly inadequate,” because it lacked supporting evidence

    Venezuela News and Views has a few observations on both PDVSA and the Posada Carriles case.

    On other overseas news, Aleida Guevara, Che’s oldest daughter who last year managed to get an op-ed article published in the NY Times where she said, “”What I remember most is my father’s great capacity for love” (a capacity this blog has duly noted), is visiting capitalist Australia to flog her book, Chavez: Venezuela and the New Latin America and put down capitalism. Her enlightened comments include (emphasis mine):

    Speaking at a packed book launch in Sydney on Friday night, Ms Guevara said the Alba oil treaty – signed between Cuba and Venezuela in March – had had a marked impact in both countries. “This is very important because for the first time in Latin America two countries can exchange the things they need, can trade,” she said, through a translator.
    . . .
    “There’s thousands of other little things that we are doing to act together to strengthen that relationship … imagine if these same projects were to extend and work in other parts of Latin America,” she said.
    “It would be very, very important for our people, but also for the so-called first world.”
    With a twinkle in her eye, she continued: “Because if they can’t continue to steal from us then things would be very, very different.”

    And then there’s this:

    We (Cubans) have fought very strongly against drugs and violence. My daughters can go out to parties until late at night and I’m not worried about them.”

    Of course her daughters would enjoy all the privilege the Cuban government can offer. When it comes to the safety of other Cuban children, unfortunately for Ms Guevara, she appears ignorant of the U.S. State Department’s chief envoy on trafficking in persons‘s report,

    He said he thinks most countries try to respond to criticisms in the trafficking report. But he said some governments, those with few or no official dealings with the United States, have refused to cooperate – citing Cuba, where he said children have been caught up in the sex trade.

    “The major problem in Cuba is that there is a government-affiliated, supported sex-tourism industry that includes many, many children,” he added. “And not just by U.S. law, but by international protocol. When you have children in prostitution, you have trafficking. So this is the challenge in Cuba. We hope the Cuban government will take action to meet that challenge.”

    Maybe she’s too busy travelling and selling her book.