Something also tells me the film will be devoid of any input by Roberto Martin Perez and others who suffered the longest terms of political incarceration in modern history because of Morgan’s treachery. After all, their anti-Castro plot, as the New Yorker article explains (echoing Castro) had nothing whatsoever to do with restoring Cuba’s freedom. Instead it was inspired by the wicked dictator Rafael Trujillo.
According to Armando Lago about 2000 Cubans were murdered by firing squad while Morgan loyally served Castro. Indeed in 1959-60 many of the men and boys cramming La Cabana’s galeras were were there because of Morgan’s treachery.
Morgan lived in a mansion during this time, had a fancy car and owned a frog farm. Might it occur to Clooney to ask how this AWOL GI, deadbeat-Dad and ex-con managed to acquired these luxuries? In fact they were all stolen at gunpoint from their rightful Cuban owners. “Bienes Malversados”–INDEED!
Italy has instructed its ambassador to Brazil to ask the Brazilian government to form a bi-lateral commission to resolve a dispute over last week’s release of convicted Italian terrorist Cesare Battisti.
“On the instructions of foreign minister Franco Frattini, the Italian ambassador to Brazil to formally asked Brazilian authorities to activate the Permanent Commission of Conciliation as foreseen by a 1954 convention between Italy and Brazil,” the Italian foreign ministry said in a statement on Friday.
Italy and Brazil signed the agreement “for the amicable settlement of any disputes which might arise between the two countries,” the document said.
Italian judges have sentenced former far-left armed militant Battisti in absentia to life in jail for four murders committed in the 1970s. He spent three decades on the run and has lived in France, Mexico and Brazil, where he was in jail from 2007 until his release on 9 June.
Brazil’s former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva’s last official act before leaving office in December was to grant 56-year-old Battisti political refugee status on the recommendation of a report by Brazil’s attorney general.
Financial markets, which have been riding a roller coaster during the long campaign, are sure to take a win by Mr. Humala badly, analysts said. Investors viewed Ms. Fujimori as the candidate who would maintain the policies of openness toward foreign investment and trade, which helped Peru grow by 9% last year. Mr. Humala, who has made sharply contradictory statements on economic policy, would face pressure to immediately send signals to the market by revealing who would serve in key positions, such as Prime Minister and Economy Minister.
SUMMARY: Congressman James McGovern traveled in Ecuador from November 13 to 18, to visit sites at issue in the Chevron-Texaco oil pollution case, and Ecuadorian border communities affected by refugees and other aspects of the violence in Colombia. Congressman McGovern met with Government of Ecuador (GOE) Ministers and President Correa, and while taking no position on the unresolved Chevron-Texaco suit, expressed concern about the humanitarian, health and environmental impacts of oil contamination on local affected communities and the humanitarian situation on the border, and pledged to draw greater attention to the plight of refugees. Foreign Minister Salvador and Vice Defense Minister Miguel Carvajal asked McGovern for the U.S. Congress to investigate the March 1 Colombian attack against a FARC camp in Angostura, along the northern border of Ecuador, which McGovern did not agree to.
Retailers have put expansion plans on hold in the Mexican capital after the megacity’s government enacted a virtual three-year moratorium on openings of grocers, convenience stores and hypermarkets in an effort to shield traditional markets and small family-run bodegas from corporate competition.
The interesting thing here is that when originally reported it appeared that remitters would not be able to send more than $500 to Cuba per quarter. It now seems, however, that U.S. citizens can send $2,000 a year to as many qualified Cubans as they like. I’m not a lawyer and I received this information too late to call OFAC, so I can’t say for certain.
“Dentro de poco comenzarán a llegar batallones de tanques rusos para la brigada blindada”, afirmó Chávez, sin más precisiones
(“Batallions of Russian tanks will soon start arriving for the armored brigade”, Chavez stated, without offering further details)
The Noticias 24 article points out that Venezuela has acquired $4.4 billion worth of Russian weaponry since 2005.
With 99.8 percent of the votes counted late in the evening, Dilma Rousseff, 62, a Marxist guerrilla-turned-economist who served Lula as chief of staff, had nearly 47 percent, to 32.6 percent for Jose Serra, a former governor who is her main challenger. A third candidate, Marina Silva, the Green Party candidate and a former environmental minister in Lula’s government, had 19.3 percent.
Steve Kingstone speculates on why Dilma didn’t get the outtright majority right away,
What happened? A critical mass of support seems to have fallen away in the days immediately before polling – partly the consequence of a corruption scandal involving a former adviser, and partly the fall-out of a row over Dilma’s stance on abortion.
Evangelical Christians reacted badly to reports that the presidential favourite planned to liberalise Brazil’s strict abortion law – a claim she denied – and some appear to have shifted their loyalty to the Green Party candidate, Marina Silva, who is herself a devout evangelical Christian.
The daughter of a middle class Bulgarian immigrant and a schoolteacher in Belo Horizonte, southeastern Brazil, she realised upon leaving a privileged school that the world was “not a place for debutantes”.
She was 16 when Brazil fell prey to a military coup in 1964 and like many was soon drawn into the world of underground opposition.
Introduced to Marxist politics by the man who became her first husband, Claudio Galeno, she helped build up one of the guerrilla organisations trying to overthrow the government – at one point spending three years in prison.
After democracy was restored she had a daughter, Paula, now a 33-year-old lawyer, with her second husband Carlos Araújo, a revolutionary leader who had met Fidel Castro and Che Guevara. She trained as an economist she entered conventional left-wing politics and professional public service.
In 2001, by now divorced again, she joined Lula’s Workers’ Party and her experience in the country’s energy ministry quickly impressed the new president. A cabinet job as energy minister followed before she was appointed his chief of staff in 2005.
But many have questioned how she can be running for the presidency.
Critics say she was simply the last senior Lula crony standing since one aide after another was forced to quit in scandals over alleged slush funds, bribery or blackmail – including, last week, her own former aide who had followed in her footsteps as Lula’s chief of staff.
Her lumbering speaking style and lack of personal charisma do not make her an obvious candidate and – in what was seen as a thinly-veiled attempt to protect Ms Rousseff – the government made it illegal for television and radio broadcasters to make fun of the candidates.
In effect, Brazilians have voted for a third Lula term, while we wait to see what Lula is planning for himself over the next four years. After Dilma’s term, he’s eligible to run for the presidency again.
Will Dilma continue Lula’s policies? We’ll soon find out.
The popular and successful Silva, commonly referred to as Lula, is stepping down after serving two consecutive terms, the most allowed under the country’s constitution.
His former chief of staff and Silva’s hand-picked successor, Dilma Rousseff, 62, is widely expected to win the election. She represents the ruling Workers Party and is a former left-wing dissident who was jailed by Brazil’s military regime for two years in the early 1970s.
Opinion polls conducted before the vote showed Rousseff with a lead of about 20 percentage points over her closest rival, Jose Serra, a 68-year-old centrist from the Brazilian Social Democracy Party who was heavily defeated by Silva in the 2002 election.
Al-Jazeera filed a video report from a small town in Southern Brazil, and how Lula’s social programs are considered counterproductive,
Al-Jazeera is probably the only international network doing this type of reporting.
Also in the news in Brazil, Paraguayan president Fernando Lugo (he, the Bishop of the paternity suits) was flown from Asuncion, Paraguay, to Sao Paolo, Brazil, following a stroke during a course of chemotherapy for his lymphatic cancer.
World leaders are cutting back their visits to the United Nations General Assembly session this week as they find the Group of 20 and other smaller gatherings more effective venues to debate international problems.
“The UN is where you give a speech but there’s no group meeting,” said Jeffrey Shafer, who organized Group of Eight meetings as President Bill Clinton’s “sherpa” or personal representative to the gatherings. “The G-20 will have a more focused agenda than the UN, and it shows the primacy of the economic agenda.”
French President Nicolas Sarkozy made a one-day appearance in New York yesterday to speak to a session on fighting developing-nation poverty. Like German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who is staying for two days, Sarkozy will leave before the major speeches start Sept. 23 from the podium of the General Assembly hall.
“It’s the 80-20 rule,” said Michael Hodin, an adjunct senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York. More issues are being decided at smaller groups, including the Group of 20, which holds its next meeting in Seoul in November, Hodin said.
“If you’re dealing with something in the G-20, you’re already dealing with the 80 percent of world leaders who can make a difference,” he said.
Sarko’s even saying the UN is passe,
Sarkozy, whose country has the G-20 chairmanship next year, has called the UN anachronistic. “We can’t confront the 21st century with the institutions of the 20th century,” he said in May.
Particularly when those institutions have become forums for anti-capitalist, human rights violating tyrants.
While no Iranian government officials commented on the Brazilian president’s plea, Jahan News, an ultraconservative news service in Iran that is regarded as credibly reflecting the government’s thinking, said Sunday that it was a “clear interference in Iran’s domestic affairs.”
Rather than kill an innocent woman by stoning,
Sakineh Ashtiani, 43, might not be stoned to death because Iran’s judiciary was reviewing the lower court’s sentence. She could be hanged instead.
Meanwhile, her lawyer has gone into hiding after his wife and brother-in-law were arrested without a reason.
Zapata’s passing sparked international outrage, and on July 7 the regime yielded to the pressure. It agreed to release the independent journalists, writers and democracy advocates who had been jailed during the 2003 crackdown on dissent, known as the Black Spring.
Yet only the naïve could read Castro’s forced acquiescence as a break with tyranny. It is instead a cynical ploy to clean the face of a dictatorship. It is also an effort to reclaim respectability for the world’s pro-Castro politicians, including Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Ángel Moratinos. No one understands this better than the former prisoners.
Those sent to Spain have not hidden their joy about getting out of Cuban jails. “There are no words to fairly describe how amazed and excited I was when I saw myself free and next to my wife and daughter again,” Normando Hernández González told the Committee to Protect Journalists in a telephone interview. But Mr. Hernández, an independent journalist, hasn’t minced words about Cuban repression either.
In a telephone interview with Miami’s Radio Republica, he talked about his “indescribable” time in jail. “It’s crime upon crime, the deep hatred of the Castro regime toward everyone who peacefully dissents. It is a unique life experience that I do not wish upon my worst enemy.”
The regime tried to spruce up the former prisoners by dressing them in neatly pressed trousers, white shirts and ties. But they brought tales of horror to Spain. Ariel Sigler, a labor organizer who went into prison seven years ago a healthy man but is now confined to a wheel chair, arrived in Miami on Wednesday.
These graphic reminders of Castro’s twisted mind have been bad for Mr. Moratinos’s wider agenda, which is to use the release of the prisoners to convince the European Union to abandon its “common position” on Cuba. Adopted in 1996, it says that the EU seeks “in its relations with Cuba” to “encourage a process of transition to pluralist democracy and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, as well as a sustainable recovery and improvement in the living standards of the Cuban people.” Mr. Moratinos’s desire to help Fidel end the common position is a source of anger among Cuban dissidents.
The former prisoners also resent their exile, after, as Mr. Hernández puts it, “being kidnapped for seven years.” He explained to Radio Republica: “The more logical outcome would be, ‘Yes, you are freeing me. Free me to my home. Free me so I won’t be apart from my sister, from my family, from my people, from my neighbors.’” Instead he says he was “practically forced” to go to Spain in exchange for getting out of jail, and to get health care for his daughter and himself.
Cuba’s horrendous prison conditions are no secret. In his chilling memoir “Against All Hope” (1986, 2001), Armando Valladares cataloged the brutality he experienced first hand as a prisoner of conscience for 22 years. A steady stream of exiles have echoed his claims. But another bit of cruelty is less well understood: For a half century the regime has let political prisoners out of jail only if they sign a paper saying they have been “rehabilitated” or, when the regime is under pressure, if they agree to leave the island. Getting rid of the strong-willed, while being patted on the back for their “release,” has been Castro’s win-win.
Now some prisoners are refusing to deal. Ten of the 52, including Óscar Elías Biscet, famous for his pacifism, say they will not accept exile as a condition of release. These brave souls remain locked up.