ChickenBones: A Journal
for Literary & Artistic African-American Themes
Some of the leading terrorists against Cuba, Orlando Bosch and “Bambi’ Posada Carriles are
at this moment under the protection of the government of the United States. These noxious
creeps were responsible for murdering Cubans abroad and in Cuba
Half a Century of Lies
By John Maxwell
“First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”
It is one of my favourite apothems and is credited variously to Mohandas Gandhi and to a spokesman for the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America. Whoever said it clearly understood the nature of struggle like my illustrious colleague Fidel Castro who has now turned journalist after 50 years inventing a civilisation.
Fidel does not often lose his temper in public, but this week it was obvious he was sorely tried by the results of the Americas Summit in Port of Spain. In a piece of biting sarcasm Fidel questioned the fitness of the Organisation of American States to be the guarantor of any new and just dispensation in the Western hemisphere.
In a reflection entitled “Delirious Dreams” Fidel lets rip:
“Is the OAS perchance the guarantor of the sovereignty and integrity of the peoples of Latin America? Always!
“Did it at any point intervene in the internal affairs of any country in the hemisphere? Never!
“Is it true that it has always represented a docile instrument of the United States? Never!
“Did one single Latin American or Caribbean die on its account? Not one! Those are calumnies of Castro-Communism emanating from Cuba, a country expelled from the OAS because its government proclaimed Marxism-Leninism, a country where there was never an election, nobody votes or is elected, and in which a dictatorship reigns that has had the effrontery to confront a country as weak, defenseless and poor as the United States throughout half a century.”
Even from those who claim to be least biased in the ideological contention, it is impossible to get a fair hearing for anyone but the United States. So-called journalists, like Robert Novak and Judith Miller, Wolf Blitzer, Lou Dobbs and Glenn Beck, to name only the most grotesque, have made it almost impossible for the average American to discover what’s happening in his own country much less the world outside.
And since the mainstream media determine what most people believe, US politicians are among the most ignorant in the world.
The Council on Hemispheric Affairs, one of the better informed think tanks in the US was constrained to comment on Fidel’s reflection on the Summit:
“Fidels latest interjection follows the almost scientific pattern of Cuban authorities of shooting themselves in the foot at precisely the moment that meaningful dialogue appears achievable with the U.S. For Fidel to spell out restrictions to discussions with the U.S. at this early stage is premature.”
The unspoken assumption is that President Obama was justified in saying that the US had shown willing, now it was Cuba’s turn.
Fidel Castro is the only political figure in history of whom it can be said that he fulfilled every promise he made to his people. I am not aware of anyone else whose actions have been at all times guided by the highest principle, by a sense of justice and honour.
If you don’t believe me go read his speech in his defence against the charge of treason at Santiago in October 1953.
I wrote about that speech in my column History will Absolve Fidel in December 2005. Among other things I said:
Looking back at the speech today, more than fifty years later, I am struck by two things: the idealism of the aims and the fact that most of those aims have, in fact, been achieved. There have been mistakes made, many of them serious, but overall, if one compares Cuba to its nearest neighbors, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and Jamaica, it is clear that Cubans enjoy a far better quality of life than citizens of the others. And in World Bank terms it is poorer than all except Haiti.
The care given to the weakest and most vulnerable is extraordinary and Cuban health care is recognized as among the very best in the world. The same is true of education, and just as Cubans now have a doctor in every neighborhood (1 doctor to every 100 Cubans) they are getting university-level centers set up in every borough. And education is almost completely free.
What is most extraordinary about the Cuban achievement is that it was done while Cuba was (and is) in a state of wardeclared by the United States, invaded, infiltrated by gangs of terrorists, bombed and sabotaged, its people and economy attacked by biological warfare agents, hemorrhagic dengue, thrips, tobacco mosaic and other plagues, and its leader subject to at least 637 known conspiracies to murder him.
Some of the leading terrorists against Cuba, Orlando Bosch and “Bambi’ Posada Carriles are at this moment under the protection of the government of the United States. These noxious creeps were responsible for murdering Cubans abroad and in Cuba, from fishermen to diplomats, and most horrifically, the destruction of a Cubana plane with 73 people, including the young Cuban Olympic fencing team.
In addition, the US is illegally squatting on Cuban property at Guantanamo Bay and to add injury to insult has used that property as a base to attack Cuba and worse, to set up camps for the criminal denial of human rights to people accused, but never convicted of crimes against the United States.
A bizarre footnote to all this is that while providing aid and protection to known and notorious terrorists the US has imprisoned five Cubans in solitary confinement and in circumstances which constitute cruel and unusual punishment. This, despite the fact that the United States admits that the men have done nothing to injure the interests of the United States.
Meanwhile, the people responsible for killing innocent people by bombing hotels and nightclubs enjoy protected status in the US.
In January 2000, the Cuban government and people launched a lawsuit against the USA claiming $121 billion in damages for, among other things, the killing of nearly 4,000 Cubans and the maiming of thousands more, the damage or destruction of 294 fishing boats, 78 airplanes, 135 urban and rural schools, and 63 Cuban embassies and consulatestargets of terrorism and sabotage, encouraged and financed by the United States.
Against all this, the American press demands that Cuba should open up, introduce democracy and freedom of the press. It is claimed that there are dozens of prisoners of conscience, people the Cubans say are proven paid agents of the US and criminals under Cuban law.
Unlike the American prisoners at Guantanamo Bay the Cuban dissidents have been charged and tried.
Of course, Fidel Castro and the Cubans do not have a case. Their claims have never been reported by the free American press. On the other hand anti-Castro apparatchiks like John Bolton, Otto Reich, Roger Noriega and Luigi Einaudi, all official representatives of the United States, have between them claimed that Cuba is preparing bio-warfare against the US, that Cuba was supplying Nicaragua with Soviet MIGS to bomb California and have helped to rescue terrorists like Bosch and Posada from the justice they deserve.
Perhaps, just to clear the air, the United States should present Cuba with its own list of grievances.
Copyright©2009 John Maxwell firstname.lastname@example.org
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For July 1st through August 31st 2011
#1 – Justify My Thug by Wahida Clark #2 – Flyy Girl by Omar Tyree #3 – Head Bangers: An APF Sexcapade by Zane #4 – Life Is Short But Wide by J. California Cooper #5 – Stackin’ Paper 2 Genesis’ Payback by Joy King #6 – Thug Lovin’ (Thug 4) by Wahida Clark #7 – When I Get Where I’m Going by Cheryl Robinson #8 – Casting the First Stone by Kimberla Lawson Roby #9 – The Sex Chronicles: Shattering the Myth by Zane
#10 – Covenant: A Thriller by Brandon Massey
#11 – Diary Of A Street Diva by Ashley and JaQuavis
#12 – Don’t Ever Tell by Brandon Massey
#13 – For colored girls who have considered suicide by Ntozake Shange
#14 – For the Love of Money : A Novel by Omar Tyree
#15 – Homemade Loves by J. California Cooper
#16 – The Future Has a Past: Stories by J. California Cooper
#17 – Player Haters by Carl Weber
#18 – Purple Panties: An Eroticanoir.com Anthology by Sidney Molare
#19 – Stackin’ Paper by Joy King
#20 – Children of the Street: An Inspector Darko Dawson Mystery by Kwei Quartey
#21 – The Upper Room by Mary Monroe
#22 Thug Matrimony by Wahida Clark
#23 – Thugs And The Women Who Love Them by Wahida Clark
#24 – Married Men by Carl Weber
#25 – I Dreamt I Was in Heaven – The Rampage of the Rufus Buck Gang by Leonce Gaiter
#1 – Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention by Manning Marable #2 – Confessions of a Video Vixen by Karrine Steffans #3 – Dear G-Spot: Straight Talk About Sex and Love by Zane #4 – Letters to a Young Brother: MANifest Your Destiny by Hill Harper #5 – Peace from Broken Pieces: How to Get Through What You’re Going Through by Iyanla Vanzant #6 – Selected Writings and Speeches of Marcus Garvey by Marcus Garvey #7 – The Ebony Cookbook: A Date with a Dish by Freda DeKnight #8 – The Isis Papers: The Keys to the Colors by Frances Cress Welsing #9 – The Mis-Education of the Negro by Carter Godwin Woodson
#10 – John Henrik Clarke and the Power of Africana History by Ahati N. N. Toure
#11 – Fail Up: 20 Lessons on Building Success from Failure by Tavis Smiley
#12 –The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander
#13 – The Black Male Handbook: A Blueprint for Life by Kevin Powell
#14 – The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates by Wes Moore
#15 – Why Men Fear Marriage: The Surprising Truth Behind Why So Many Men Can’t Commit by RM Johnson
#16 – Black Titan: A.G. Gaston and the Making of a Black American Millionaire by Carol Jenkins
#17 – Brainwashed: Challenging the Myth of Black Inferiority by Tom Burrell
#18 – A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose by Eckhart Tolle
#19 – John Oliver Killens: A Life of Black Literary Activism by Keith Gilyard
#20 – Alain L. Locke: The Biography of a Philosopher by Leonard Harris
#21 – Age Ain’t Nothing but a Number: Black Women Explore Midlife by Carleen Brice
#22 – 2012 Guide to Literary Agents by Chuck Sambuchino #23 – Chicken Soup for the Prisoner’s Soul by Tom Lagana #24 – 101 Things Every Boy/Young Man of Color Should Know by LaMarr Darnell Shields
#25 – Beyond the Black Lady: Sexuality and the New African American Middle Class by Lisa B. Thompson
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By Charles C. Mann
Im a big fan of Charles Manns previous book 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus, in which he provides a sweeping and provocative examination of North and South America prior to the arrival of Christopher Columbus. Its exhaustively researched but so wonderfully written that its anything but exhausting to read. With his follow-up, 1493, Mann has taken it to a new, truly global level. Building on the groundbreaking work of Alfred Crosby (author of The Columbian Exchange and, Im proud to say, a fellow Nantucketer), Mann has written nothing less than the story of our world: how a planet of what were once several autonomous continents is quickly becoming a single, globalized entity.
Mann not only talked to countless scientists and researchers; he visited the places he writes about, and as a consequence, the book has a marvelously wide-ranging yet personal feel as we follow Mann from one far-flung corner of the world to the next. And always, the prose is masterful. In telling the improbable story of how Spanish and Chinese cultures collided in the Philippines in the sixteenth century, he takes us to the island of Mindoro whose southern coast consists of a number of small bays, one next to another like tooth marks in an apple. We learn how the spread of malaria, the potato, tobacco, guano, rubber plants, and sugar cane have disrupted and convulsed the planet and will continue to do so until we are finally living on one integrated or at least close-to-integrated Earth. Whether or not the human instigators of all this remarkable change will survive the process they helped to initiate more than five hundred years ago remains, Mann suggests in this monumental and revelatory book, an open question.
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By Melissa V. Harris-Perry
According to the author, this society has historically exerted considerable pressure on black females to fit into one of a handful of stereotypes, primarily, the Mammy, the Matriarch or the Jezebel. The selfless Mammys behavior is marked by a slavish devotion to white folks domestic concerns, often at the expense of those of her own familys needs. By contrast, the relatively-hedonistic Jezebel is a sexually-insatiable temptress. And the Matriarch is generally thought of as an emasculating figure who denigrates black men, ala the characters Sapphire and Aunt Esther on the television shows Amos and Andy and Sanford and Son, respectively.
Professor Perry points out how the propagation of these harmful myths have served the mainstream culture well. For instance, the Mammy suggests that it is almost second nature for black females to feel a maternal instinct towards Caucasian babies.
As for the source of the Jezebel, black women had no control over their own bodies during slavery given that they were being auctioned off and bred to maximize profits. Nonetheless, it was in the interest of plantation owners to propagate the lie that sisters were sluts inclined to mate indiscriminately.
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From The World and Africa, 1965
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posted 26 April 2009