Cuba
Alphabetical List of Links by Subject
A Call for Anti-Fascist Front
Cuba and Cuban-American Studies University of Miami
Cuba.com "the official Web site to Cuba"
Prensa Independiente de Cuba news from independent journalists on the island
Radio Habana Cuba English and Spanish
World Fact Book: Cuba basic information


"....the emerging pressure on Washington to abandon its policy of perpetual hostility and assume a new approach toward Havana...

"In Cuba, eight months of stability and business-as-usual have passed since the announcement of Castro's health has improved, and he is slowly re-entering public life, but he appears not to have resumed his previous around-the-clock work schedule, nor his notorious micromanagement of major and minor affairs of state. Yet the regime has not collapsed--as so many officials, analysts and exiles wishfully believed it would--exposing the utter failure of the US policy of regime change...

"In the spring of 2000, Congress passed an amendment ending the embargo on food and medicine sales...

"As former President Jimmy Carter made his historic trip to Havana in May 2002, Bush hard-liners tried, unsuccessfully, to smear Cuba with the WMD charge...

"...the [Bush] White House shut down the immigration talks and moved aggressively to close off other financial flows in and out of Cuba. In mid-2004 the President's Commission for Assistance to a Free Cuba announced a major rollback on travel to Cuba, including limiting Cuban-Americans to only one visit to their families on the island every three years--with no exceptions...

"One order of business under consideration in Congress is to explore why Cuba remains on the State Department list of terrorist nations...

"...the rationale for America's historic tolerance of anti-Cuba terrorist activities, Cuban terrorist Orlando Bosch should be summoned from his Miami retirement--made possible by an administrative pardon granted by George H.W. Bush--to testify about his alleged collaboration with Luis Posada Carriles in the 1976 terrorist explosion of Cubana Flight 455, which killed all seventy-three passengers on board" (Julia E. Sweig. "A New Stance Toward Havana." The Nation, May 14, 2007: 11-17).


"Alberto Coll:... the massive failure of the US policy of isolation, which has served only to isolate Washington and deny the United States any kind of influence over the people currently running the country...

"Sanchez-Parodi:... The changes that you see now in Cuba are aimed at upgrading the performance of its institutions and improving quality of life for Cuban families. The demands of the population focus on three basic areas: nutrition, housing and transportation. In addition waste, inefficiency and misuse of resources have created dissatisfaction and unjustifiably limited the well-being of individuals and the society as a whole. But addressing these issues has no bearing on the country's social, economic and political organization.

"LeoGrande: Raul's reputation as an economic pragmatist comes from his experiments with Western business management techniques in the defense industry during the 1980s and his support for reintroducing farmers' markets during the depths of the economic crisis in the 1990s, even though Fidel opposed them.... Raul also gained a repuration as a good manager who gets results...

"On the political front, however, Raul has not shown any indication of being more tolerant of dissent than Fidel. In fact, Raul has often been central to past government crackdowns on dissidents...

"Sanchez-Parodi: I believe that Latin America is experiencing important changes: The traditional political parties that defend the status quo have lost their influence and political power; the leaders of the military institutions have lost their capability to establish repressive regimes; the influence of the United States has deteriorated in the political arena as in the economic and trade areas because of its insistence on neoliberal schemes and, above all, popular organizations have increased their ability to mobilize people and have proven able to take power through elections" ("Changing of the Guard." The Nation, May 14, 2007: 17-24).


"It has often been claimed that US Cuba policy reflects the attitudes of the Cuban-American community. The truth is that current US policy corresponds solely to the views of a rich, entrenched, recalcitrant and demographically dwindling minority of that community...

"Those who espouse a militant line toward Cuba are disliked by many in the state because of their myriad and well-publicized instances of intolerance. The hard-line policy is unpopular with virtually every group in Florida, including business interests and the rapidly increasing non-Cuban Latino population, which already outnumbers the Cubans. It is past time for a national leader with the courage to make the strangle-hold of the historicos history" (Max J. Castro. "Miami Vise." The Nation, May 14, 2007: 26-32).


"Even as we move closer to a post-Castro Cuba, there has been no easing of the Bush Administration's hardline policy. That Washington's instincts are confrontational became clear in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, when Cuba expressed solidarity with the American people, called for dialogue and offered to sign bilateral agreements for joint efforts against terrorism. The Bush Administration rebuffed even those overtures and instead began calling for Castro's downfall. By 2003 this had led to the formation of the Commission for Assistance to a Free Cuba, and by May 2004 to a 500-page action plan to bring an end to the Castro regime. Making it sound as though the regime was on the verge of collapse, economy and all, and that just a few more nudges would do it, the plan included measures to (1) tightly limit the travel of Americans to Cuba, including some painful new restrictions on the travel of Cuban-Americans; (2) increase Radio and TV Marti broadcasting; and (3) provide increased assistance to dissidents and other representatives of civil society in Cuba...

"Rather than collapsing, as the commission had predicted, the Cuban economy turned a corner and is showing strong signs of recovery, with a growth rate of at least 8 percent for 2005. Cuba has new and vitally important economic relationships with Venezuela and China. The price of nickel, now Cuba's major export, has reached record highs. And there are strong signs of a major new oilfield off the north coast; various countries are already bidding for drilling sites...

"If Fidel were for some reason incapacitated, they would expect Raul to take over. Though lacking his brother's charisma, he is known as an excellent administrator. The Cuban military, which he leads, is one of the most efficient and respected institutions in the country...

"Such entreaties--in effect calling on Cubans to work against the successor government--will fail. Indeed, that the Administration makes them at all suggests it is even further out of touch with reality than we might have imagined. There certainly are no legions of Cubans waiting to follow Washington's lead in this matter, especially not when US credibility is at an all-time low. Cubans need only look to the smoking ruins of Iraq for an example of US "democracy building"" ("A Bankrupt Cuba Policy." The Nation, Aug 28: 8).


Why Cuba Is Exporting Health Care to the U.S. "The Cuban health care system is producing a population that is as healthy as those of the world's wealthiest countries at a fraction of the cost. And now Cuba has begun exporting its system to under-served communities around the world -- including in the U.S... House calls are routine, in part because it's the responsibility of the doctor and nurse team to understand you and your health issues in the context of your family, home, and neighborhood. This is key to the system. By catching diseases and health hazards before they get big, the Cuban medical system can spend a little on prevention rather than a lot later on to cure diseases, stop outbreaks, or cope with long-term disabilities... Doctors at all levels are trained to administer acupuncture, herbal cures, or other complementary practices that Cuban labs have found effective."


"Raul Castro, the brother of Fidel, used the occasion of his first public remarks as Cuba's interim leader to announce that he had mobilised tens of thousands of reservists and troops in case "someone crazy" in the US government decided to attack the island. He also said President Bush had a "stupid attitude"...

"A few days after Fidel Castro's illness was revealed, Mr Bush said the US would support democratic change in Cuba. In the interview Raul Castro called Mr Bush "a common braggart." He also accused him of developing plans to forcibly remove Cubans from their homes and dismantle the Cuban government's "work in health, education, safety, agricultural reform, urban reform". (Manuel Roig-Franzia. "Raul Watching out for US 'crazy'". Guardian Weekly, Aug. 25, 2006: 9).


"...the Batista society was hopelessly corrupt, a Mafia playground, a bordello for Americans and other foreigners. So Castro storming his way to power seemed like a clean wind blowing away the degradation and subservience to the Yankee dollar. What emerged... repressiveness of his one-man government... At the same time, the relentless U.S. blockade at the behest... of a defeated class of exploiters who had never had a problem with the previous dictatorship seemed to be something other than a principled democratic resistance...

"...the government's jailing and silencing of writers and dissidents.... The poverty is apparently close to catastrophic...

"Castro suddenly looking severe as he spoke of the Russians' dumb stubbornness in all things, and his imitating their basso voices as they stuck to some absurd proposition despite all contrary evidence...

"Castro... enjoyed staying up all night because he slept during most of the day..." (Arthur Miller. "A Visit With Castro." The Nation, Jan.12, 2004: 13-17).


"Since Fidel Castro's brief fainting spelll during a speech in June 2001, Miami, Havana and Washington have been caldrons of feverish speculation on his succession and the politics of a post-Castro Cuba. Castro's designated successor is his 73-year-old brother Raul, who, Miami hard-liners scoff, would not last a day in power...

"A coup is unlikely, as the Castro brothers have already assiduously weeded out any suspected dissident elements from the military...

"Cuba has endured repeated condemnations in the United Nations, has been barred from the Organization of American States for decades and these days has barely been on speaking terms with Mexico, its longtime historic ally...

"... Cuba's exiles... about one-tenth of the population has fled... Bush administration... new policy on Cuba... virtually ends all educational travel to Cuba, slices remittances to relatives on the island and limits family visits for exiles from one per year to one every three years. Travel is now limited only to parents and children... a blow to most Cubans, who value extended families...

"...In an unguarded interview in GQ magazine, Colin Powell's chief of staff, Larry Wilkerson, opined on the use of sanctions against Cuba as the "dumbest policy on the face of the earth. It's crazy"" (Ann Louise Bardach. "Rhythm Nation." The Nation, Oct. 25, 2004: 36-40).


"On April 7, James Cason, chief of the U.S. Interests Section in Havana and the top U.S. diplomat in Cuba, declared, "all of our allies agree that their policy goal in Cuba is, ultimately, the same as ours: the rapid and peaceful transition to a democratic government characterized by strong support for human rights and an open market economy." He stated on the same day, "the Administration's top priority is to promote a rapid, peaceful transition."

"Coming from a U.S. government representative, the meaning is clear: "transition" translates to overthrow.

"In the wake of the war on Iraq, there is no corner of the world that is safe today from U.S. aggression. This is especially the case for Cuba, part of whose national territory remains under U.S. military occupation. U.S. diplomats have warned Cuba, along with Iran, Syria and North Korea, to "learn the lessons of Iraq."

"The United States government has imposed an economic and political blockade on the island nation for more than 40 years, causing $70 billion damage to Cuba's economy, and inflicting unnecessary suffering on the most vulnerable in Cuban society.

"Over the past 43 years Cuba has suffered the loss of 3,478 of its citizens from numerous acts of terrorism, invasions, assassinations, assassination attempts, biological warfare and blockade. The government of one country has perpetrated these illegal acts against Cuba: the government of the United States" (http://www.internationalanswer.org/campaigns/cuba/index.html, 8-12-04).


"On April 7, James Cason, chief of the U.S. Interests Section in Havana and the top U.S. diplomat in Cuba, declared, "all of our allies agree that their policy goal in Cuba is, ultimately, the same as ours: the rapid and peaceful transition to a democratic government characterized by strong support for human rights and an open market economy." He stated on the same day, "the Administration's top priority is to promote a rapid, peaceful transition."

"Coming from a U.S. government representative, the meaning is clear: "transition" translates to overthrow.

"In the wake of the war on Iraq, there is no corner of the world that is safe today from U.S. aggression. This is especially the case for Cuba, part of whose national territory remains under U.S. military occupation. U.S. diplomats have warned Cuba, along with Iran, Syria and North Korea, to "learn the lessons of Iraq."

"The United States government has imposed an economic and political blockade on the island nation for more than 40 years, causing $70 billion damage to Cuba's economy, and inflicting unnecessary suffering on the most vulnerable in Cuban society.

"Over the past 43 years Cuba has suffered the loss of 3,478 of its citizens from numerous acts of terrorism, invasions, assassinations, assassination attempts, biological warfare and blockade. The government of one country has perpetrated these illegal acts against Cuba: the government of the United States" (http://www.internationalanswer.org/campaigns/cuba/index.html, 8-12-04).


"Last June, the Bush administration ratcheted up restrictions on U.S.-Cuba relations, despite a 2004 survey finding that 74.7 percent of Cuban-Americans believe the 42-year-old U.S. embargo against Cuba has not worked and many favor increased dialogue with Cuba...

"... Colin Powell's key aide has described U.S. sanctions against countries such as Cuba as "the dumbest policy on the face of the earth"...

"The Bush policies have very little support outside the administration and a dwindling group of long-time Cuban expatriates in Florida. The U.S. Congress has called for an end to the travel ban every year since 1999, and the U.N. General Assembly approved a resolution demanding an end to the embargo in October 2004, for the 13th year in a row. Many elected officials in the United States have condemned the new measures; the House of Representatives actually voted to overturn them in Sepatember in an amendment to another bill, but that section of the bill was deleted from the final version" (MADRE. "U.S-Cuba Policy Shifts From Bad to Worse." Nonviolent Activist, Winter 2005: 9-11).

MADRE demanding an end to the embargo
Latin American Working Group (LAWG) demanding an end to the embargo


"The accounts of several people who have talked to the president in recent months all agree. Despite the power cuts that exasperate the population sweltering in the heat, Castro is feeling pretty optimistic. He is convinced that his strategic alliance with President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, whom he views as a spiritual son, is giving new impetus to the Cuban revolution, still struggling to recover from the shock caused by the collapse of the Soviet Union...

"Venezuela has become Cuba's main trading partner, with trade exceeding $1bn this year. A top-level military mission has just visited Havana. Word has it that, fearing an attempt on Chavez's life, Castro has instructed the Cuban intelligence service to work for him. In exchange for oil, Cuba has dispatched more than 20,000 doctors, dentists and sports instructors to Venezuela. Furthermore Castro has promised to double the number of doctors and open 600 surgeries in Venezuela by the end of the year. As a result some of the clinics at home are running short of staff.

"Havana is presenting closer ties as the first step towards the Bolivarian Alternative, in open opposition to the Free Trade Area of the Americas, which Chavez and Castro condemn as a neoliberal, neocolonialist project. "Castro is encouraged by recent events in Bolivia, which have brought Evo Morales, leader of the leftwing Movement towards Socialism, cloer to power, and the possibility of the Sandinistas regaining power in Nicaragua. He is convinced the flames of revolution are once more sweeping through Latin America, bringing new victories to the left," says a journalist with excellent contacts at the Palace of the Revolution.

"Other good news for Castro is that two Canadian companies, Pebercan and Sherritt International, have struck commercially exploitable oil close to the coast of Cuba...

"China and Canada are also consolidating their position in Cuba. During a visit at the end of last year China's president, Hu Jintao, announced that his country would be investing more than $500m in modernising nickel production, exports of which now outstrip sugar. Beijing is also supplying a range of electrical goods, including the pressure cookers that Castro has been handing out for the past three months to save energy...

"In November last year he banned circulation of the US dollar, then revalued the Cuban convertible peso (CUC), which is now worth $1.20. This move netted the government $1.5bn in three months...

"Part of the funds collected has been used to increase the minimum wage from 100 pesos to 225 pesos. It will also boost the salaries of doctors and teachers and pensions, which are pitiful...

""There is a lot of talk abroad about political represssion, but much less about its social counterpart," says Elizardo Sanchez, one of the country's first human rights activists. "The process has deteriorated recently. Since January the police have arrested more than 500 young people, some of them teenagers. After a hasty trial the courts sentenced them to one to four years in prison on account of their "potentially anti-social attitude."...

"He is convinced any change will have to wait for what he euphemistically refers to as the "biological solution." Clearly disillusioned, he quotes José Martí, the only writer all Cubans recognise. "People who put up with a dictatorship deserve it"" (Jean-Michel Caroit. Guardian Weekly, July 8, 2005: 18).


Please send comments to: Colby Glass, MLIS