Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Venezuela: Nationalized CANTV Cuts Phone Rates

Cantv to Cut Venezuela Mobile, Fixed-Line Phone Rates
By Alex Kennedy

May 22 (Bloomberg) -- CA Nacional Telefonos de Venezuela, the country's largest telephone company, plans to lower rates on wireless and fixed-line services as the government challenges competitors after taking over the company today.

Cantv, as the company is known, will cut mobile prices 10 percent on June 15 and 10 percent more on Aug. 15, President Hugo Chavez said in a televised speech after swearing in a new board. The company will reduce fixed-line rates in low-income areas by 10 percent for local calls, 15 percent for long- distance and eliminate the country's 11 percent value-added tax on calls in July, Chavez said.

"This puts pressure on the other mobile companies to lower their rates,'' said Andreas Faust, an analyst with Banco Mercantil in Caracas. ``The government looks like it's willing to subsidize prices in a way private companies may not.''

The government is taking on Telefonica SA's Movistar and Digitel SA in Venezuela's booming wireless phone market. Lowering tariffs will also probably cut the country's annual inflation rate, Latin America's highest, Faust said.

"In a way, the government, instead of paying a dividend to shareholders, will pay a dividend to customers,'' Faust said.
"It's a very populist move and will likely slow inflation a bit.''
The number of Cantv's mobile subscribers rose to 8.1 million on March 31 from 2.8 million on March 31, 2004, and Chavez reiterated the company's goal to have 10.5 million subscribers by the end of 2008.

"With these announcements, Cantv is starting to act like a socialist company,'' Chavez said in a televised speech in Caracas. ``It's not about the money earnings, but rather the social earnings.''
Cantv shares closed up 230 bolivars, or 6.1 percent, to 4,000 bolivars on the Caracas Stock Exchange.


Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Will 'Sicko' be the Next Elian for US-Cuba Policy?

Personally I don't think so. We don't have the cute kid with a simple moral question, we have the divisive Michael Moore and socialist Cuba. I think the exposure will do loads of good but the impact of Sicko will be primarily on US health care (hopefully). I don't expect the embargo to fall unless perhaps we elect Obama.

After 45 years and counting, sanctions still don't work against Cuba -- says the The Kansas City Star

May 22, 2007, By MARY SANCHEZ

Filmmaker Michael Moore has the chance to stir the pot on U.S./Cuba relations in ways we haven’t seen since Elian Gonzalez boarded a plane back to Havana.

Young Elian, you’ll recall, was the child unlucky enough to become a pawn in a Cold War struggle that should have ended years ago. The 6-year-old landed in the U.S. after he and his mother escaped Cuba. She died en route. Elian’s father, in Cuba, wanted him back. And the boy’s fate became a media sensation, illustrating the cruelties suffered by families split between the two nations.

The Elian controversy opened the eyes of many Americans to the extremism of diehard anti-Castro Cuban-Americans. Normally sane and respected folks such as Andy Garcia and Gloria Estefan — who worked to keep Elian in the U.S. — went nearly loco with venom for Fidel. And the whole sad affair ended with U.S. agents ripping the screaming boy at gunpoint from his new home in Florida to send him back to Cuba.

The fervor of those days in 2000 has died down. But in ensuing years, people far less camera-ready have had their lives devastated by this pointless diplomatic impasse — especially by the policies of the U.S.’s 45-year embargo restricting trade and travel to Cuba. Missionaries have been threatened with thousands of dollars in fines for taking medicine to the Cuban people. A Cuban-born National Guard member serving in Iraq was denied the right to visit his sons in Cuba. And hundreds of students and professors have been told Cuba is off limits to their studies.

These cases attract little attention. But Moore has the potential to do what he does best: shine a light on crazy policies. The creator of “Bowling for Columbine” and “Fahrenheit 9/11” is being investigated by the Treasury Department because of a trip he made in March to Cuba.

Moore went to Cuba to film a segment of his latest documentary, “SiCKO,” an indictment of the U.S. health care industry. He took along a few 9/11 recovery workers affected with respiratory problems, presumably as a way to contrast Cuba’s much-praised health care system with our own. “SiCKO” premieres at this month’s Cannes Film Festival and will hit theaters June 29.

In typical fashion, Moore sees the investigation as a grand conspiracy to undermine his work. “I can understand why that industry’s main recipient of its contributions — President Bush — would want to harass, intimidate and potentially prevent this film from having its widest possible audience,” he wrote to Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson in a letter widely posted on the Internet. Rep. Jose E. Serrano of New York has joined in Moore’s fight, calling the investigation “a witch hunt.”

But this is no conspiracy — it’s just a really dumb, outdated federal policy run amok.

They say the definition of crazy is doing the same thing again and again, expecting a different result. Well, the Bush administration has taken that adage to a whole new level. Instead of dismantling a policy that has not worked — it was put in place in 1962, yet Castro is still in power — Bush has tightened the sanctions. Cuban-Americans were allowed to visit family in Cuba every year; the current administration has curtailed visits to every three years. It has also strictly cut the amount of money Americans can send to Cuban relatives.

People-to-people trips, like the one that brought the Buena Vista Social Club to U.S. audiences, were halted. Some trade is allowed, but only through cash payments, which is cumbersome. And special courts have been set up to slap sanctions violators with fines. This is what Moore faces.

While Bush clings ever more tightly to the failed sanctions, others are increasingly willing to consider new remedies. More and more Democrats and Republicans in Congress every year support legislation that would rescind or undercut the embargo. Even Cuban-Americans are polling stronger and stronger against sanctions.

Engagement, people-to-people exchanges, trade — things that stand to improve the lives and lift the expectations of the Cuban people — are the best way to inspire democracy. Funny, Bush preaches this for China and Vietnam, but not for a neighboring island held by a dictator with one foot in the grave.


Sicko: Why the US Government Hates Cuba (Health Care)

Future doctors from across Latin America, trained in Cuba for free

Health care is one major reason US policymakers have long hated Cuba. The spectre of socialized medicine in a developing country like Cuba producing results on par with the US scares the crap out of those on the right, as well as many democrats. As the President of UNICEF has said, if the rest of Latin America were to have Cuba's heath care system and numbers, 700,000 lives could be saves PER YEAR.

Fidel Castro has always made health a priority. If the people were healthy and getting healthier, so was the country. Health became a way to show off cuba to the world. All measures of health indicators, but espcially infant mortality and life expectancy rates, began to be compred with the US. These indicators are considered two of the most important for evaluating socioeconomic development because they are based on things like nutrition, health care, sanitation, education, housing, lifestlye and equality.

Cuba gives her citizens 100% free medical care including major surgery, eye and dental. The socialist Constitution guarantees this. Cuba has one doctor for every 156 of her citizens (in comparision, blacks have 1 doctor of every 1,449 according to the US census). Despite the exodus of up to 90% of its pre-1959 doctors and specialists, today Cuba has more Doctors per capita than anywhere on earth. In comparision, the whole of sub-saharan continent of Africa only has 60,000 doctors.

The life expectancy in Cuba was 45 years before the Revolution in 1959, but today is 77.8 years. Once common diseases have been eliminated. The AIDS rate is the lowest in the region. The most current infant mortality rate in Cuba is 5.3%, compared to 7.0% in the US. Cuba has clinics available in every town and within range to even the most remote areas of the country.

Cuba has so many Doctors, it can afford to send 30,000 all around the world, to 120 countries, usually in the most desperate slums and rural areas. Cubans are still volunteering in disaster zones like Pakistan-India, Indonesia, and Honduras. Five medical schools have been set up in Africa and Latin America. Cuba has 10,000 foreign students in its medical schools, all on full scholarship (including 82 minority students from America). Cuba has offered to train 500 Americans a year, just as long as they serve poor communities in the US for 5 years after they graduate.

Cuba has developed a strategy to set up 11 medical schools in Africa that should produce 20,000 students per year for the next 10 years to bring the total number of doctors to 250,000 in ten years (quadrupling the total number of doctors is something that should win a peace prize). Medical schools have been set up in Bolivia.

Under "Operation Miracle" Cuban doctors have performed 400,000 operations to return sight to the blind. Patients are flown and put up in Cuba for free, with help from Venezuela. Ophthalmology centers have been set up in Bolivia, Ecuador and Venezuela. Cuba’s goal is to cure most of the estimated 5,000,000 blind people in South America. Cuba has even offered free eye surgery to 100,000 American citizens, but the US Government ignores the offer.

It all sounds pretty evil eh? So evil the US Government beleives we must not allowed to see these things (or film them).


Monday, May 21, 2007

Argentina: Train Station Riots Over Privitzations

Angry passengers attacked and destroyed offices, before burning them down in protest at the atrocious state of the privatised service.

The trouble started when a train broke down 600 metres from Constitucion station, south of Buenos Aires. After 20 minutes a group of passengers (these trains are packed solid with no air conditioning and little ventilation) walked to the station to demand answers. When they did not get any they began to destroy the information offices.

The train had blocked one of the major lines into the station and hundreds other frustrated passengers in the station joined in. Ticket offices and the railway police offices were set on fire and destroyed. Riot police then used tear gas and rubber bullets on the crowd. 12 police officers and 9 workers were injured in the clashes and 16 arrests were made.

There have been a series of confrontations on the Argentinian railways with workers blaming privatisation for the atrocious service. With trains frequently breaking down, fewer carriages on trains, and services subject to frequent cancellations. There has also been a rise in the number of accidents with 410 deaths and over 1000 injuries reported last year.

Since privatisation some two thirds of Argentina's rail network has been closed due to unprofitability, in the process destroying many rural towns. The obvious under-investment by the companies and their refusal to listen to passenger protests has lead to these outbursts of violence and also to a growing movement calling for the railways to be taken out of private hands, with many existing passenger groups joining the umbrella group Recuperemos al Tren (recuperate the trains)


Most in Bolivia Support Nationalization of Resources

La Paz, May 21 (Prensa Latina) More than 70 percent of Bolivians approve the nationalization of hydrocarbons boosted by the Evo Morales government, according to a survey released on Sunday.

The poll, carried out by the company Captura Consulting SRL and published in the newspaper El Deber, shows that 73.6 percent of Bolivians favors nationalization, while 17.9 percent is against it.

On May 1, 2006, President Evo Morales nationalized the country's oil fields, which had been administered until then by 12 transnational companies, which had to sign new contracts with the government. (though some on the left claim the nationalization is a "fraud.")


Sicko a Hit, Cuba a Supporting Role

Check an early trailer preview

After opening to a seemingly raucous crowd at Cannes, the first US reviews of Michael Moore's "Sicko" are in. And I'll be damned if there is one remotely negative one in the lot. Fox News called it "brilliant," Variety, Salon, NY Times and even EW and Ain't it Cool News were just as effusive. It's a "different" Moore they say - in addition to being "insightful," "uplifting" and "emotional."

Some say the movie has the potential to be bigger than Inconvenient Truth and F 9/11 (it's opening in twice the theaters as F911). I have to say I quite enjoy the irony that this might be thanks, in some part, to our insane Cuba policy, which has given the film an added media buzz.

Maybe while questioning all that we've been told about socialized health care, people will wonder why the real reason why we still treat socialist Cuba so brutally in 2007? US politicians and corporations is still very much scared of socialism. A true second chance at universal health care may well be in America's cards because of a film - and a good 2008 election.

Not to mention the whole Cuba episode makes the US a big hypocrite on "freedom" and "free speech" in the minds of the world...


Monday, May 14, 2007

Latin America's Indigenous Offended by Pope

The Pope made a number of gaffes that made his trip to Brazil a collosal failure. But I doubt few are as indefensible and disrespectful to the people of Latin America as his comments on the region's indeigenous people and the "purification" that came with European colonialism. For the sake of the Catholic Church's future in Latin America, the Pope would have been better off staying home.

Outraged Indian leaders in Brazil said on Monday they were offended by Pope Benedict's "arrogant and disrespectful" comments that the Roman Catholic Church had purified them and a revival of their religions would be a backward step.

In a speech to Latin American and Caribbean bishops at the end of a visit to Brazil, the Pope said the Church had not imposed itself on the indigenous peoples of the Americas. They had welcomed the arrival of European priests at the time of the conquest as they were "silently longing" for Christianity, he said.

Millions of tribal Indians are believed to have died as a result of European colonization backed by the Church since Columbus landed in the Americas in 1492, through slaughter, disease or enslavement.

Many Indians today struggle for survival, stripped of their traditional ways of life and excluded from society.

"It's arrogant and disrespectful to consider our cultural heritage secondary to theirs," said Jecinaldo Satere Mawe, chief coordinator of the Amazon Indian group Coiab.
Priests blessed conquistadors as they waged war on the indigenous peoples, although some later defended them and many today are the most vociferous allies of Indians.
"We repudiate the Pope's comments," Tuxa said. "To say the cultural decimation of our people represents a purification is offensive, and frankly, frightening. "I think (the Pope) has been poorly advised."

Even the Catholic Church's own Indian advocacy group in Brazil, known as Cimi, distanced itself from the Pope.

"The Pope doesn't understand the reality of the Indians here, his statement was wrong and indefensible," Cimi advisor Father Paulo Suess told Reuters. "I too was upset."

Whole thing


Thursday, May 10, 2007

Rep. Delahunt Questions Alberto Gonzalez on Cuban Terrorist Posada Carriles

Rep. Bill Delahunt (D-Mass) writes a jaw-dropping letter to the Attorney General to ask why Luis Posada Carriles has not been designated as a terrorist under the Patriot Act, and instead let go. Both Posada and the US Government have admitted his many years of terrorism.



Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Posada Carriles: Terrorist Now Bush's Problem

I guess the legal lesson of the Posada affair, thus far, is the US Government can torture all it wants but not use trickery on terrorists. The decision, by Bush appointee, (Latin American studies major) Judge Kathleen Cardone is a real doozy. Anyone who cares about the US Justice system should read the BS peddled here. The first line in the Background section sets the tone: "Defendent is a 79 year old Cuban national who has spent his life opposing Fidel Castro." The only time we read about Posada's terrorist past, the Government was apparently "fishing."

The dismissal seems to rest squarely on a supposed poor government translation of interview tapes. But the examples she cites are so pathetic as to wonder how she can get away with this. Nevermind the fact that both Posada and his lawyer were billigual, so the supposed issue was moot anyhow.

You really have to wonder what went on here. Her decision portrays DOJ and Immigration officials as professionals, asking professional and important questions about Posada's past - as they were required to do in order to assess good moral character. She says the officials didn't even have the right to question him, because his crime in Panama precluded naturalization already. She dismisses the words of the competent USCIS official who says a pardon and US army record allow for special consideration.

But the decision may end up creating more attention and put even more pressure on Bush, who has so far evaded responsibility. Now the government has a decision to make. Who will win; the CIA, FBI, DOJ or the Bush Administration lawyers?


Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Cuban Terrorist Freed!! 2 Days Before Trial

I am speechless. I will let some of the early Miami Herald, BBC and AP reports do the talking.

Herald: A federal judge issued a stunning decision Tuesday when she dismissed the immigration fraud charges against Luis Posada Carriles, the Cuban exile militant who was facing trial starting Friday in El Paso, Texas.

BBC: "I am free," Mr Posada exclaimed on a Miami-based radio station, according to the AFP news agency.

"Thank God, you, all of my brothers, the people in Cuba... for this victory," he said.

His lawyer, Felipe Millan, said the judge had ruled that statements by Mr Posada that were to be used against him had been obtained illegally.

"They tricked him," Mr Millan said.

Here are some very important questions that will likely never get asked in the US press:

Why did the Government of the United States allow the terrorist to enter US soil freely despite the warnings expressed by President Fidel Castro?

Why did the US Government protect him during the months that he stayed in its territory illegally?

Why, if it had all the elements to that end, did it restrict itself, last 11 January, to charge him with misdemeanor and other strictly migration-oriented issues and not with what he is really all about: murder?

Why is he released when judge Kathleen Cardone herself, in her ruling of 6 April that ordered the release of the terrorist, recognized that he is accused “…of being involved in or associated with some of the most infamous events of the twentieth century (…) Some of these acts include the Bay of Pigs Invasion, the Iran-Contra scandal, the mid-air explosion of Cubana de Aviación flight 455, the 1997 bombs planted in tourist resorts in Havana and, according to some conspiracy theoreticians, the assassination of President John F. Kennedy”?

Why is the Immigration and Naturalization Service of the Homeland Security Department of the United States not using now the mechanisms that it has available to hold the terrorist in prison, with the unquestionable argument, already used by the US Attorney-General’s Office on a date as recent as 19 March, that if released there is risk of flight?

Why has the Government of the United States disregarded the request for extradition submitted, with all the rigueur requirements, by the Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela?

How come is the most notorious terrorist on this hemisphere now released while five Cuban youths are still ruthlessly imprisoned for the sole crime of fighting terrorism?

For Cuba, there is a clear answer. The terrorist’s release has been concocted by the White House as compensation for Posada Carriles not to reveal what he knows, not to talk about the countless secrets he keeps on his protracted period as an agent of the US special services, when he was involved in Operation Condor, in the dirty war against Cuba, against Nicaragua and against other peoples of the world.


Monday, May 07, 2007

Brazil Slashes AIDS Drugs Price, Despite Threats From US, Big Pharma

The Brazilian president Lula da Silva has announced he would bypass a patent held by Merck in order to buy a cheaper generic version of the AIDS drug efavirenz. The move has been predictably critized by the US and business interests, but is being praised around the world as a hige step towards prioritizing life over drug company profits. I wonder where the right-to-lifers come down on this?

Associated Press

BRASILIA -- President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva took steps Friday to let Brazil buy an inexpensive generic version of an AIDS drug made by Merck & Co. despite the U.S. drug company's patent.

Silva issued a ''compulsory license'' that would bypass Merck's patent on the AIDS drug efavirenz, a day after the Brazilian government rejected Merck's offer to sell the drug at a 30 percent discount, or $1.10 per pill, down from $1.57.

The country was seeking to purchase the drug at 65 cents a pill, the same price Thailand pays.

It was the first time Brazil has bypassed a patent, but Silva said Brazil would consider doing so again on any drug sold at unfair prices. ''Between our business and our health, we are going to take care of our health,'' he said after signing the decree.

Amy Rose, a spokeswoman for Whitehouse Station, N.J.-based Merck, said earlier that the company would be ``profoundly disappointed if Brazil goes ahead with a compulsory license.''

''As the world's 12th largest economy, Brazil has a greater capacity to pay for HIV medicines than countries that are poorer or harder hit by the disease,'' Merck said in a statement after Silva's announcement.

A compulsory license is a legal mechanism that allows a country to make or buy generic versions of patented drugs while paying the patent holder only a small royalty.

Brazilian law and rules established under the World Trade Organization allow compulsory licenses in a health emergency or if the pharmaceutical industry uses abusive pricing.

After Thailand moved to override patents on three anti-AIDS drugs, including those made by Abbott Laboratories and Merck, the States placed Thailand on a list of copyright violators.

In Thailand's capital of Bangkok, AIDS activists rallied outside the U.S. Embassy on Thursday to protest that decision, calling the Thai government's move to slash the cost of pricey U.S.-made AIDS drugs a ``lifesaver. ''

The president of the U.S.-based AIDS Healthcare Foundation, Michael Weinstein, called Brazil's action a ''victory,'' saying in a statement: ``We salute the courage of countries such as Brazil, Thailand and Mexico who are fighting to ensure drug access for AIDS patients the world over.''

But the U.S.-Brazil Business Council said the decision was a ''major step backward'' in intellectual
Whole thing


Sunday, May 06, 2007

Cuba: Florida Legislators Side with Terrorist over FBI (Again)

Not many US elected officials would find it acceptable to publicly criticize the FBI for looking for clues on terrorist acts committed in this hemisphere. But when the twilight zone of Cuba is involved, all conventional wisdom goes out the window. Remember, these 3 fools were the ones lobbying Bush I on behalf of fellow Posada terrorist mastermind Orlando Bosch.

Below is a devastating take down of the event from the excellent new addition to the Cuba blogosphere - The Cuban Triange - from Mr. Phillip Peters from the Lexington Institute. He is a widely respected and sought after voice on Cuba affairs. His blog portends to be a an excellent space for intelligent US-Cuba discussion. First the statement signed by the three Cuban-exile legislators from the Sunshine State.

By asking a state sponsor of terrorism for “evidence” regarding terrorism, the Bush Administration Justice Department demonstrates a shockingly profound ignorance of the nature of terrorism, of its origins, and its state sponsors. The only “evidence” that the terrorist regime in Havana could provide the United States with regard to the twice-acquited-in-Venezuela-Mr. Posada [sic] or anyone else, would be fabricated evidence. The evidence that the Bush Administration Justice Department needs to bring forth and stop ignoring is of the murder of U.S. citizens and other crimes committed with impunity by the Castro brothers and their henchmen.

(Analysis below from Phillip Peters)

Quite a mouthful. What to make of it?

First, it shows the political value of the “state sponsor of terrorism” designation that the Administration applies to Cuba each year without really offering information to indicate any Cuban link to terrorist operations. In addition to triggering economic sanctions, the designation is an all-purpose rhetorical bludgeon employed in opposition to any initiative to advance U.S. interests through any form of engagement with Cuba. The legislators’ statement is a prime example.

Second, it shows open contempt for U.S. law enforcement professionals and seeks to substitute the legislators’ political judgment for the investigators’ professional judgment. It assumes that the FBI and federal prosecutors lack professional skepticism, and have no eye for evidence that is phony, weak, or otherwise not worth bringing to court.

Third, it is contemptuous of President Bush, and makes no attempt to hide it.

Fourth, it is inscrutable. An investigative trip to the scene of a crime betrays “shockingly profound ignorance” of the “origins” of terrorism? What does that mean?

Fifth, its underlying idea is miles outside the mainstream of U.S. foreign policy. They seem to be implying that we should not try to advance U.S. interests on specific issues by dealing with countries like Cuba. Thankfully, that is a principle that was never applied, to take just a few examples, toward China and the Soviet Union, and it is a principle that the Bush Administration just abandoned in its effort to contain the North Korean nuclear weapons program.

Sixth, it ignores recent history. Any approach toward Cuba should be skeptical and there is nothing to take for granted. But Cuba has rendered a few American fugitives to the United States, it recently arrested and expelled to Colombia of a drug lord wanted in the United States, and it cooperates in limited bilateral contacts on drug interdiction through the Coast Guard officer posted at our Interests Section in Havana. Cuba also cooperated in the 1996 case of the Limerick, a ship loaded with tons of cocaine, where U.S. officials traveled to Cuba to investigate and Cuban officers later traveled to the United States to testify at trial, where a conviction was obtained. Again, there’s nothing to take for granted, but when a case such as Posada’s comes along, there is precedent for exploring whether Cuba might cooperate constructively. The fact that the FBI made three trips to Cuba, and the high-octane words in the legislators’ statement, indicate that the contacts may have been fruitful.

Seventh, the statement begs the question, to say the least, of whether the Representatives believe Posada should be investigated at all. In 2005, when their 2003 letter requesting a Panamanian presidential pardon for Posada became public (Posada was convicted for possession of explosives in Panama), they expressed confidence that the subsequent U.S. “immigration law case” would proceed fairly, but no more. They cite Posada’s acquittal in Venezuela but not the fact that he escaped jail while awaiting retrial on a prosecutor’s appeal. And the acquittal, in any event, was in regard to the airline bombing in 1976, which is irrelevant to the current U.S. investigation, which reportedly focuses on the Havana hotel bombings two decades later.

Finally, while the statement is carefully worded, it seems to tell the Administration to lay off Posada entirely. That leaves me wondering whether they believe the hotel and airliner bombings, two acts plainly aimed to kill Cuban civilians and sow terror, were acts of terrorism. Do they have a different definition of terrorism than the rest of us?


Tuesday, May 01, 2007

BBC: Cuba's long-term plan is "working"

By David Jessop - BBC news

The complex survival strategy developed after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 is now resulting in rapid economic growth and is providing the strength and stability necessary to change relationships.

As noted in this column before, Cuba has experienced steady economic progress since 2003.

Cuba's recorded economic growth in 2006 was 12.5 per cent and it is forecasting that this will continue at slightly lower levels for the next two to three years.

While this figure reflects a local formula, a deduction of three to four per cent brings it into line with standard international calculations of GDP but still leaves it on a par with figures for China or Argentina.

Statistics produced by the Economist Intelligence Unit suggest that Cuba's tight economic controls are working, that it has inflation in check and is addressing eighty per cent of its medium and long-term commercial debt.

Another indicator of success is that it has become highly selective about inviting in external investors.

What this suggests is that the island is effectively globalising its economic relations and achieving significant room for manoeuvre without requiring the involvement of either Europe or the US.
How Cuba is achieving this should be an object lesson to the rest of the Caribbean about the purpose of sovereignty and its exercise.

Rather it is to suggest that history may well show that the failure to focus on any of the real issues that provide continuity and political legitimacy in Cuba will be why 'western' policies have failed to obtain traction or leverage and why gradual economic success and a desire for stability may now enable Cuba to pursue engagement on its own terms.
Whole thing

David Jessop is the Director of the Caribbean Council