Sunday, March 8, 2020


March 8, 2020
Compiled by Dick Bennett for a CULTURE OF PEACE and Justice.
(#1 Feb. 4, 2011; #2 Oct. 21, 2012; #3 Nov. 29, 2014; #4 , January 16, 2015).
Please forward.

Jane Franklin, Cuba and the U.S. Empire.  2016.
Tony Perrorret.  “Cuba Libre.”  Victorious Castro on the Ed Sullivan Show.
Two Histories 2018
   Brown, Cuba’s Revolutionary World
   Krujit, Cuba and Revolutionary Latin America
Castro and Obama
From Obama to Trump
Trump, Venezuela, Cuba
International Solidarity with Cuba

US Oppression of Cuba
Lamrani, The Economic War against Cuba
ANSWER, US Counter-Revolution v. Cuba
Trump Administration Examples
   v. Scientific and Medical Cooperation
    Declining Fuel Supplies from Venezuela
   Limiting Travel
   Expels 2 Cubans, Restricts Others
   Right Wing Latin US Allies Expel Medical Missions
   Other US Sanctions Proliferate v. People to People, Banking, etc.
   Blockades Lethal to Children, Elderly, the Sick
US Blockade of Cuba Almost 60 Years

US Media v. Cuba
Lamrani, Cuba, the Media, and the Challenge of Impartiality

Cuba’s Achievements
Kirk, Healthcare Without Borders
Fitz, “Cuba’s Medical Mission”
Randall, Exporting Revolution: Cuba’s Global Solidarity
Lockwood, Trade Between Arkansas and Cuba
Heathcott, Expanding Agricultural Trade
Gillette, Cuba Rebuilding Its Railway System

Cuba Newsletter #4



Cuba and the U.S. Empire: A Chronological History

by Jane Franklin.  2016.
The 1959 Cuban Revolution remains one of the signal events of modern political history. A tiny island, once a de facto colony of the United States, declared its independence, not just from the imperial behemoth ninety miles to the north, but also from global capitalism itself. Cuba’s many achievements—in education, health care, medical technology, direct local democracy, actions of international solidarity with the oppressed—are globally unprecedented. And the United States, in light of Cuba’s humanitarian efforts, has waged a relentless campaign of terrorist attacks on the island and its leaders, while placing Cuba on its “State Sponsors of Terrorism” list.
In this updated edition of her classic, Cuba and the United States, Jane Franklin depicts the two countries’ relationship from the time both were colonies to the present. We see the early connections between Cuba and the United States through slavery; through the sugar trade; Cuba’s multiple wars for national liberation; the annexation of Cuba by the United States; the infamous Platt Amendment that entitled the United States to intervene directly in Cuban affairs; the gangster capitalism promoted by Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista; and the guerrilla war that brought the revolutionaries to power.
A new chapter updating the fraught Cuban-U.S. nexus brings us well into the 21st century, with a look at the current status of Assata Shakur, the Cuban Five, and the post-9/11 years leading to the expansion of diplomatic relations. Offering a range of primary and secondary sources, the book is an outstanding scholarly work. Cuba and the U.S. Empire brings new meaning to Simón Bolívar’s warning in 1829, that the United States “appears destined by Providence to plague America with miseries in the name of Freedom.”
Whether one reads it as a history, or keeps it handy as a ready reference…this is a book that no serious student of U.S.-Cuba relations can afford to be without.  —Philip Brenner, American University
A marvelous work that puts the U.S. government’s outrageous aggression into stark and stunning context.  —John Marciano, State University of New York
This chronology provides scholars with an essential and long overdue research tool.  —Louis A. Pérez, Jr., University of North Carolina
Indispensable does not begin to describe how important Jane Franklin’s book has been for all of us involved in the efforts to change U.S. policy towards Cuba. It has been number 1 on Marazul’s recommended list of books for all our travelers since it first came out. Its chronology, cross-referenced index, and its ability to place in historical context all aspects of U.S.-Cuban relations has meant that, at least in this case, our side—and not the Empire—has written the history!  —Bob Guild, Marazul Charters, Inc.
Informed and informative, and absolutely timely in view of the current reconciliation efforts of the Obama administration with the current Cuban government, Cuba and the U.S. Empire: A Chronological History is a very highly recommended addition to community, college, and university library International Studies collections.
Midwest Book Review

When Fidel Castro Charmed the United States
Justice Initiative via 
Jan 28, 2019, 8:47 PM (17 hours ago)
to James
Note: Below is the video of Ed Sullivan interviewing Fidel Castro in 1959 in Cuba -immediately after the Cuban Revolution - along with a January 24, 2019 Smithsonian Magazine article by Tony Perrottet about this auspicious event. As I was not aware of the interview by Ed Sullivan with Fidel Castro, I am so thankful the Smithsonian shared this incredibly important moment in world history.

I need to say, also, that as an admirer of the Cuban revolution - to end the dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista - and of the advent of Fidel Castro's leadership, I was blessed to visit Cuba in 2014 with Prexy Nesbitt's 'Making the Road'. At the end of the Smithsonian article, I have inserted one of the videos I created from my 2014 visit to Cuba. It is about the increasingly visible expression of African art and religion in Cuba, which is an impressive movement to say the least.

January 28, 2019

When Fidel Castro Charmed the United States
Sixty years ago this month, the romantic victory of the young Cuban revolutionaries amazed the world-and led to a surreal evening on "The Ed Sullivan Show"

Ed Sullivan interviews Fidel Castro in January 1959, shortly after dictator Fulgencio Batista had fled the country. (CBS Photo Archives / Getty Images)

By Tony Perrottet
January 24, 2019

Read more:        Give the gift of Smithsonian magazine for only $12! - Follow us: @SmithsonianMag on Twitter

The world's most notorious guerrilla leader was about to invade their living rooms, and Americans were thrilled. At 8:00 p.m. on Sunday, January 11, 1959, some 50 million viewers tuned their television sets to "The Ed Sullivan Show," the trendsetting variety revue that had introduced them to Elvis Presley a few years earlier and would bring them the Beatles several years later. On this winter's evening the avuncular Sullivan was hosting a Latin celebrity who had aroused intense curiosity across the United States: Fidel Castro, a charming 32-year-old lawyer-turned-revolutionary, known for his unkempt beard and khaki patrol cap, who had against all odds overthrown a bloodthirsty military regime in Cuba.
For America's most beloved entertainment program, it was a rare excursion into politics. Earlier in the hour, Sullivan had presented a more typical array of artistic offerings for the staid Eisenhower era. Four acrobats leapt and gamboled around the stage (two of them wearing ape costumes). The Little Gaelic Singers crooned soothing Irish harmonies. A stand-up comic performed a cheesy routine about suburban house parties. Finally, Sullivan cut to the main attraction: his friendly interview with Fidel at the very cusp of the rebels' victory.
The segment had been filmed at 2:00 a.m. on January 8 in the provincial outpost of Matanzas, 60 miles east of Havana, using the town hall as an improvised TV studio. Only a few hours after the interview, Fidel would make his triumphant entrance into the Cuban capital, his men riding on the backs of captured tanks in euphoric scenes that evoked the liberation of Paris. It was the electrifying climax of history's most unlikely revolution: a scruffy handful of self-taught insurgents-many of them kids just out of college, literature majors, art students, and engineers, including a number of trailblazing women-had somehow defeated 40,000 professional soldiers and forced the sinister dictator, President Fulgencio Batista, to flee from the island like a thief in the night.  MORE
The surprising story of Che Guevara, Fidel Castro, and the scrappy band of rebel men and women who followed them.
From ˇCuba Libre!: Che, Fidel and the Improbable Revolution That Changed World History by Tony Perrottet, published by Blue Rider Press, an imprint of Penguin Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House, LLC. Copyright (c) 2019 by Tony Perrottet.
Tony Perrottet is a contributing writer for Smithsonian magazine, a regular contributor to the New York Times and WSJ Magazine, and the author of six books including The Naked Olympics: The True Story of the Ancient GamesNapoleon's Privates: 2500 Years of History Unzipped and The Sinner's Grand Tour: A Journey Through the Historical Underbelly of Europe.

The Cuban Sphere

Two new histories capture the role Cuba played in the revolutions and counterrevolutions of Latin America.  By Patrick Iber.  The Nation,  February  21, 2018.

In February 1962, Fidel Castro spoke the words of the Second Declaration of Havana before a crowd of nearly 2 million in the Plaza de la Revolución: “To the accusations that Cuba wants to export its revolution, we reply: Revolutions are not exported, they are made by the people…. What Cuba can give to the people, and has already given, is its example.” Castro led a country of only 6 million in the process of building a more egalitarian society and economy. But his ability to carry out those plans depended on successfully managing and defeating external and internal threats. Already in 1959, Cuba had sponsored expeditions to try to topple hostile dictatorships. In the decades to come, it would begin to operate with the ambitions of a great power. Sometimes it did inspire other Latin American revolutionaries by its example. It also—contrary to Castro’s declaration—trained and exported soldiers throughout Latin America and Africa in an effort to spread its vision of revolution around much of the southern half of the world.


By Jonathan C. Brown
By Dirk Kruijt
For some, Cuba in the 1960s and ’70s is the very model of anti-imperialist internationalism and revolutionary solidarity. For others, its efforts to expand revolution beyond its borders helped to destabilize Latin America and strengthen counterrevolutionary forces, clearing a path for many of the region’s right-wing dictatorships. Two new books, Jonathan C. Brown’s Cuba’s Revolutionary World and Dirk Kruijt’s Cuba and Revolutionary Latin America, grapple with this complex legacy. But while Brown and Kruijt start with the same set of questions, they reach essentially opposing conclusions: Brown finds that Cuba’s foreign policy damaged democracy throughout the hemisphere, while Kruijt argues that it helped sustain it.
Scholars working to understand the international legacy of the Cuban Revolution face two related challenges. The first is that the subject is highly politicized: Both the US and Cuban governments have self-serving stories to tell about their role in Latin America’s wave of insurgencies and counterinsurgencies. Even before Castro came to power, the United States saw the Cuban Revolution as a threat to its national interests, and it often sought to delegitimize other guerrilla struggles by claiming they were merely the result of Cuban meddling. Cuba, meanwhile, has sometimes gone to great lengths to deny its involvement in these uprisings, but it’s clear that the country did indeed play a role in many of the insurgencies that sprang up throughout Latin America in the 1960s, ’70s, and ’80s. For Cuba, it would have been a breach of solidarity for the country not to have been active across the region.
This politicization of Cuba’s foreign policy leads to the second problem: Neither the US intelligence apparatus nor the Cuban government has fully released the documents relating to its actions in Latin America. Scholars, therefore, need to work without the full range of sources they would normally like to consult for such a complex and contentious topic. It also makes Cuba scholarship something of a Rorschach test, because the lack of documentation means that people often fill in the gaps with their own assumptions about the international legacy of the revolution.
Brown and Kruijt have solved the problem of this absence in entirely different ways. Brown relies primarily on the US government’s documentation of Cuba’s revolutionary actions—which is more readily available than the CIA’s accounts of its own covert actions to counter Cuban influence. Kruijt, by contrast, relies on interviews: roughly 70 with Cubans, and 20 with revolutionaries from other Latin American countries. In spite of their fundamental disagreement over Cuba’s contributions to democracy in the hemisphere, their books are complementary, each adding to our understanding of the dynamics and consequences of Cuba’s foreign policy. Their differences owe primarily to their underlying understandings of democracy, with Brown’s analysis resting on a fundamentally liberal-democratic framework, and Kruijt’s proving more sympathetic to radical redefinitions of the democratic idea.
Cuba’s revolution was a profound disjuncture, in both Cuban and world politics. After Cuba became independent from Spain in 1898, the country’s sovereignty was compromised by the Platt Amendment to the Cuban Constitution, which gave the United States the right to intervene in Cuban affairs to quell threats, including threats to property. Even after the amendment was abrogated in 1934, US diplomatic pressure prevented dramatic economic reforms in the country. Cuba’s elected governments were venal and corrupt, and were finally replaced by the brutal dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista in 1952. American ownership of key infrastructure crowded out Cuban businesses, while vice tourism, especially from the United States, shaped the urban landscape of Havana. Cuban revolutionary nationalism emerged to counteract all of these overlapping problems; equality at home required Cubans to break from their unhealthy relationship with the United States.

Reader Supported News | 29 March 16
FOCUS: Fidel Castro | Brother Obama
Fidel Castro, Granma (the newspaper of Castro’s Communist Party)
Castro writes: "We don't need the empire to give us anything. Our efforts will be legal and peaceful, because our commitment is to peace and fraternity among all human beings who live on this planet."
Órgano oficial del Comité Central del Partido Comunista de Cuba.
Deportes - Edición impresa - Cuba - Mundo - Cultura - Opinión - ...
Granma Internacional. Republic of Cuba. Havana Year 17 Nro ...
Cuba's President and Prime Minister led a meeting of the ...
Órgano oficial del Comité Central del Partido Comunista de Cuba.
An annual review of work carried out in 2019 by Cuba's 13 social ...


Is Normalization With Cuba Irreversible?

 That was one of Obama’s goals in his recent trip—and he made huge progress, charming the Cuban public and establishing a rapport with Raúl Castro.

The day after President Obama ended his historic trip to Havana, Cubans turned on their TV sets and watched his surprise guest appearance in a skit on the popular weekly show Vivir del Cuento (Live by Your Wits). The show’s star, Pánfilo—a character created by Cuban comedian Luis Silva—is playing dominoes in his humble apartment against two friends, complaining that he needs a teammate. Lo and behold, the president of the United States walks in. “¿Qué bolá?” Obama says, Cuban slang for “What’s happening?” After chanting “Obama, Obama, so nice you came to Havana,” Pánfilo asks the president how his visit is going.  (Continued at link above)

Charles Krauthammer.  “Incident in Hangzhou.”  NADG (9-12-16).  A severe attack on Obama’s weakness in foreign policy that allowed China and Russia to treat himself and the USA with disdain.  He even sneers at Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran as useless.  Warrior Krauthammer, a regular columnist for the NADG for several years, would have admired Trump.

Peter Korbluh.  “Is Cuba Next?  Venezuela Isn’t the Only Target on Trump’s List.”  The Nation Feb. 25/March 4, 2019.

Dear Friends, Greetings from the desk of the Tricontinental: Institute of Social Research. A few days ago, the 9th Asia Pacific Regional Conference of Solidarity with Cuba came to a close. At the final meeting, Prachanda–the co-chair of the Nepal Communist Party–articulated a sentiment that is shared by billions of people around the world. Cuba, he said, ‘is […]
Source   share on Twitter Like Homage to OSPAAAL, the organisation of solidarity for the peoples of Asia, Africa, and Latin America on Facebook


The Economic War Against Cuba: A Historical and Legal Perspective on the U.S. Blockade by Salim Lamrani; Prologue by Wayne S. Smith. Foreword by Paul Estrade. Translated by Larry Oberg.   MR Admin
$12.75 – $75.00
It is impossible to fully understand Cuba today without also understanding the economic sanctions levied against it by the United States. For over fifty years, these sanctions have been upheld by every presidential administration, and at times intensified by individual presidents and acts of Congress. They are a key part of the U.S. government’s ongoing campaign to undermine the Cuban Revolution, and stand in egregious violation of international law. Most importantly, the sanctions are cruelly designed for their harmful impact on the Cuban people.
In this concise and sober account, Salim Lamrani explains everything you need to know about U.S. economic sanctions against Cuba: their origins, their provisions, how they contravene international law, and how they affect the lives of Cubans. He examines the U.S. government’s own official documents to expose what is hiding in plain sight: an indefensible, vicious, and wasteful blockade that has been roundly condemned by citizens around the world.
Salim Lamrani is a treasury of powerful factual information.  —Howard Zinn, author, A People’s History of the United States.
Lamrani brings forth valuable insight, much needed information, and honest judgment while exposing the economic aggression perpetrated by U.S. leaders against the people of Cuba.  —Michael Parenti, author, The Face of Imperialism.
Professor Lamrani’s brilliant study provides the most comprehensive and systematic exposition and critique of Washington’s extraterritorial application of sanctions against Cuba—it documents the human cost and the criminal intent.  —James Petras, Bartle Professor Emeritus of Sociology, Binghamton University
An excellent summary of the American economic sanctions against Cuba, the manner in which they have been imposed for more than a half century and the harm they cause the Cuban people.  —Wayne S. Smith, senior fellow and director of the Cuba Project, Center for International Policy; former head, U.S. Interests Section in Havana
Salim Lamrani is Docteur ès Études Ibériques et Latino-américaines at the University of Paris- Sorbonne Paris IV, and associate professor at the University of La Réunion. As a widely published French journalist, he specializes in Cuban-American relations. Besides being a regular guest lecturer in France, Lamrani has lectured widely around Europe, Latin America, and the United States, and has spoken in the company of Noam Chomsky, Ken Livingstone, Ignacio Ramonet, and Howard Zinn, among others. He is also a commentator for Radio Miami in Florida and Opera Mundi in Brazil.
Paul Estrade is professor emeritus at the University of Paris VIII and a recognized expert on contemporary Hispanic Caribbean history. He is considered the most knowledgeable French scholar of the works of José Martí, the Cuban national hero, and Ramon Emeterio Betances, the principal figure in the Puerto Rican independence movement against the Spanish Empire.
Wayne S. Smith, a professional diplomat, has been an associate professor at Johns Hopkins University since 1985 and director of the Cuba program at the Center for International Policy in Washington, D.C. since 1992. He is considered the premier U.S. specialist on relations between Cuba and the United States. Smith received a PhD from George Washington University and has served in diplomatic posts in the Soviet Union, Argentina, and Cuba, where he witnessed the victory of the Cuban Revolution firsthand. In 1961, he was appointed by President John F. Kennedy as Executive Secretary of the Working Group on Latin America, and from 1979 to 1982 he served as head of the U.S. Interests Section in Cuba.

Dec. 17, 2014, was a historic day for Cuba. On that morning, the three remaining Cuban Five members in U.S. prison flew home to freedom. At the same time, Alan Gross, an American who was arrested in Cuba five years ago and convicted for illegally bringing into Cuba undercover communications equipment, was returned to the United States.   From ANSWER 1-13-15
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U.S.-Cuba relations said to hit scientific, medical cooperation

by CLAUDIA TORRENS The Associated Press | May 30, 2019
NEW YORK -- The degradation of relations between the U.S. and Cuba under President Donald Trump has begun to cut into scientific and medical cooperation on issues such as treatment of infectious diseases and coral reef preservation.

Cuba faces worsening fuel shortage as supply from Venezuela dwindles

by ANDREA RODRIGUEZ AND MICHAEL WEISSENSTEIN The Associated Press | September 21, 2019
HAVANA -- A fuel shortage blamed on President Donald Trump's administration has turned filling a tank in Cuba into an ordeal even for a country used to waiting in lines

U.S. again limits travel to Cuba in bid to cut off money to island

by MATTHEW LEE and MICHAEL WEISSENSTEIN The Associated Press | June 5, 2019   (ADG 6-5-19)
WASHINGTON -- President Donald Trump's administration Tuesday ended some forms of U.S. travel to Cuba, banning cruise ships and a heavily used category of educational travel in an attempt to cut off cash to the island's communist government.

U.S. expels 2 Cubans, restricts others
WASHINGTON — The U.S. is expelling two Cuban diplomats and is restricting travel of members of Cuba’s permanent mission to the United Nations days before world leaders gather for the annual U.N. General Assembly.
Three rightwing Latin American governments have forced out Cuban doctors at work in their countries. What they and the US government object to is the revolutionary vision and revolutionary praxis that they represent. (6-12-19)
Yesterday the U.S. Treasury Department added to sanctions announced April 17, and the activation of Title III of the Helms-Burton Act, the prohibition of “people to people” cultural and educational trips, plus others related to travel and transportation services, remittances, banking, commerce, and telecommunications. (2-13-20)
It deliberately affects defenseless civilians, such as children, the elderly and the sick. The US blockade against Cuba is the most severe and prolonged applied against any country, but it is estimated that one third of the world’s population suffers its effects: there are more than eight thousand sanctions in 39 countries.
Source  share on Twitter Like The blockade, a weapon that causes more death than war on Facebook
The U.S. blockade of Cuba is like the sun; neither will disappear soon. But different: the U.S. politicians and people are aware of the sun, but may have forgotten about the Cuba blockade. It’s persisted for almost 60 years, basically unchanged. The following is about change.
Source   share on Twitter Like Looking at Change: U.S. and Cuba, blockade and revolution on Facebook

Cuba, the Media, and the Challenge of Impartiality
by Salim Lamrani; foreword by Eduardo Galeano, translated by Larry Oberg.  MONTHLY REVIEW, 2015.  160 pages. 
In this concise and detailed work, Salim Lamrani addresses questions of media concentration and corporate bias by examining a perennially controversial topic: Cuba. Lamrani argues that the tiny island nation is forced to contend not only with economic isolation and a U.S. blockade, but with misleading or downright hostile media coverage. He takes as his case study El País, the most widely distributed Spanish daily. El País (a property of Grupo Prisa, the largest Spanish media conglomerate), has editions aimed at Europe, Latin America, and the U.S., making it a global opinion leader.

Lamrani wades through a swamp of reporting and uses the paper as an example of how media conglomerates distort and misrepresent life in Cuba and the activities of its government. By focusing on eight key areas, including human development, internal opposition, and migration, Lamrani shows how the media systematically shapes our understanding of Cuban reality. This book, with a foreword by Eduardo Galeano, provides an alternative view, combining a scholar’s eye for complexity with a journalist’s hunger for the facts.

Critics of the Cuban Revolution often point to a lack of freedom of the press as proof of totalitarianism. In this illuminating book, Salim Lamrani thoroughly demonstrates how Spain’s prestigious newspaper of record, El País, consistently misinforms about Cuba, vilifying its leaders and praising its most transparent detractors. Cuba, the Media, and the Challenge of Impartiality is brilliant and important—for understanding Cuba and for understanding the challenges to truth in information.  —Margaret Randall, author, Che On My Mind

Salim Lamrani is a treasury of powerful factual information. 
—Howard Zinn, author, A People’s History of the United States

Praise for The Economic War Against Cuba:
Lamrani brings forth valuable insight, much needed information, and honest judgment while exposing the economic aggression perpetrated by U.S. leaders against the people of Cuba.
—Michael Parenti, author, The Face of Imperialism

Professor Lamrani’s brilliant study provides the most comprehensive and systematic exposition and critique of Washington’s extraterritorial application of sanctions against Cuba—it documents the human cost and the criminal intent. 
—James Petras, Bartle Professor Emeritus of Sociology, Binghamton University

Book Cover

Pub Date: 10/6/2015Details: 376 pages
Bottom of Form
"Kirk's invaluable study reveals to us, for the first time, the range and character of Cuba's remarkable achievements, which should be an inspiration and a model for those with far greater advantages."--Noam Chomsky, author of Manufacturing Consent

"Invaluable. Provides ample, detailed, and clear evidence of the whole evolution of medical internationalism within Cuban foreign and social policy, going well beyond the headlines to trace that evolution carefully and honestly."--Antoni Kapcia, coeditor of The Changing Dynamic of Cuban Civil Society

"Offers a textured and nuanced assessment of a complex politico-cultural phenomenon."--Louis A. Pérez, author of The Structure of Cuban History: Meanings and Purpose of the Past

Cuba has more medical personnel serving abroad--over 50,000 in 66 countries--than all of the G-7 countries combined, and also more than the World Health Organization. For over five decades, the island nation has been a leading force in the developing world, providing humanitarian aid (or "cooperation," as Cuba's government prefers) and initiating programs for preventative care and medical training.

In Healthcare without Borders, John Kirk examines the role of Cuban medical teams in disaster relief, biotechnology joint ventures, and in the Latin American School of Medicine--the largest medical faculty in the world. He looks at their responses to various crises worldwide, including the 1960 earthquake in Chile, the Chernobyl disaster in the Ukraine, the devastating 2010 earthquake in Haiti and the subsequent cholera outbreak, and the 2014 Ebola epidemic in West Africa.

Kirk issues an informative and enlightening corrective for what he describes as the tendency of the industrialized world's media to ignore or underreport this medical aid phenomenon. In the process, Kirk explores the philosophical underpinnings of human rights and access to medical care at the core of Cuba's medical internationalism programs and partnerships.

John M. Kirk is professor of Spanish and Latin American studies at Dalhousie University. He is the author or coauthor of several books, including Canada-Cuba Relations: The Other Good Neighbor Policy, Medical Internationalism: Origins, Evolution and Goals, and Culture and the Cuban Revolution.

Cuba’s Medical Mission
by Don Fitz, February 29th, 2016.
John M. Kirk, Health Care without Borders: Understanding Cuban Medical Internationalism (Gainesville, FL: University Press of Florida, 2015), 376 pages, $79.95, hardback.
When the Ebola virus began to spread through western Africa in fall 2014, much of the world panicked. Soon, over 20,000 people were infected, more than 8,000 had died, and worries mounted that the death toll could reach into hundreds of thousands. The United States provided military support; other countries promised money. Cuba was the first nation to respond with what was most needed: it sent 103 nurses and 62 doctors as volunteers to Sierra Leone. With 4,000 medical staff (including 2,400 doctors) already in Africa, Cuba was prepared for the crisis before it began: there had already been nearly two dozen Cuban medical personnel in Sierra Leone.  Since many governments did not know how to respond to Ebola, Cuba trained volunteers from other nations at Havana’s Pedro Kourí Institute of Tropical Medicine. In total, Cuba taught 13,000 Africans, 66,000 Latin Americans, and 620 Caribbeans how to treat Ebola without being infected. It was the first time that many had heard of Cuba’s emergency response teams.… The Ebola experience is one of many covered in John Kirk’s new book Health Care without Borders: Understanding Cuban Medical Internationalism.

Exporting Revolution: Cuba’s Global Solidarity
In her new book, Exporting Revolution, Margaret Randall explores the Cuban Revolution's impact on the outside world, tracing Cuba's international outreach in health care, disaster relief, education, literature, art, liberation struggles, and sports. Randall combines personal observations and interviews with literary analysis and examinations of political trends in order to understand what compels a small, poor, and underdeveloped country to offer its resources and expertise. Why has the Cuban health care system trained thousands of foreign doctors, offered free services, and responded to health crises around the globe? What drives Cuba's international adult literacy programs? Why has Cuban poetry had an outsized influence in the Spanish-speaking world? This multifaceted internationalism, Randall finds, is not only one of the Revolution's most central features; it helped define Cuban society long before the Revolution.
About The Author(s)
Margaret Randall is the author of dozens of books of poetry and prose, including Haydée Santamaría, Cuban Revolutionary: She Led by Transgression and Che on My Mind, and the editor of Only the Road / Solo el Camino: Eight Decades of Cuban Poetry, all also published by Duke University Press.


Arkansan sees path for Cuba trade bill; Crawford measure stalled in past, but key dissenters have since departed

by Frank E. Lockwood | February 4, 2019 at 4:30 a.m.
“I think our chances of moving our Cuba trade bill have increased tremendously, so we’re going to make that a priority issue,” said U.S. Rep. Rick Crawford, R-Ark. “It’s widely supported.”
Presidential politics is a wild card, however. The White House last month signaled that it may adopt a harder line with Havana.
During the previous session of Congress, Crawford sponsored the Cuba Agricultural Exports Act, which would have allowed farmers and others to extend credit “to Cuba or to an individual or entity in Cuba.” The legislation also would have enabled Americans to invest in nongovernmental agricultural enterprises there….(continued)

Island market

Expand Arkansas-Cuba trade
by Gary Heathcott Special to the Democrat-Gazette | September 27, 2019
An important U.S.-Cuba business conference, critical to opening markets for American farmers, took place in and around Havana, Cuba, recently.


Cuba tries to revive its once-great railway network

(ADG 5-24-19)
HAVANA (AP) — Cuba’s railway system is undergoing a major overhaul, with the government pushing a program to revamp the decrepit and aging network with new cars and locomotives in the hope of restoring a rail service that was once the envy of Latin America.

Contents of Cuba Newsletter #4

Robert Naiman, End Embargo Petition
Common Dreams, Prupis, US and Cuba Restore Diplomatic
Rubio Condemns Obama’s Ignorance
Cuba Releases Political Prisoners But without Accepting the
US Political Prisoners, Google Search
The Nuclear Resister Networking Anti-Nuclear and Anti-
    Nuclear Political Prisoners
Dick Bennett, Political Prisoners and Trials

All Latin America Cheering
History of US Interventions in Latin America

VFP, It’s Only the First Step, Calls for Additional Changes
Castro Wins Confucious Peace Prize

Books Reviewed in Preceding Cuba Newsletters
Contents of Earlier Cuba Newsletters


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Dick's Wars and Warming KPSQ Radio Editorials (#1-48)

Dick's Wars and Warming KPSQ Radio Editorials (#1-48)