Rick Warren, invited speaker at invocation ceremony – Obama Inauguration
Saul Landau – Cuba 50th Anniversary
“Then and Now: Venezuela and Cuba, 1960-2008”
Hosts talk with author and internationally known scholar Saul Landau about his recent article titled “Then and Now: Venezuela and Cuba, 1960-2008” and the Cuban 50th Anniversary.
It’s almost a miracle the revolution in Cuba survived 50 years, considering the United States was determined to destroy it.
In light of all that the Cuban revolution emerges as something miraculous.
One looks at Cuba today, one finds lots of despair, especially after 3 brutal hurricanes.
You see Cubans hanging out in the street in the middle of the work day, drinking beer, not exactly a sign of high spirited socialist morality.
Some are plotting to go to Florida, where they still think there’s some paradise waiting for them. Some do succeed, cleaning the toilets at the Miami airport.
I kept saying to myself, if someone came over from Europe to the United States in 1862, they would say “Oh, this place had so much promise.”
I see the Cuban Revolution as a total success, in the sense it achieved all of its goals and then some.
When I first went to Cuba, I was 24 at the time, the kids were running ministries and it was creative anarchy.
Pre – Bay of Pigs: Cuba survived so many US based sabotages, terrorist attacks were launched from the United States.
Some were assassination attempts on Fidel Castro, some were attempts to burn down Cuban installations.
Fidel set out the goals of the Cuban Revolution that were established in the 1860s with the first war of Cuban Independence against Spain.
Which meant not taking crap from the United States. However, anyone who defied the United States was removed from office by the Marines, or overthrown by a coup backed by the US.
Removed from office in Dominican Republican in 1965, Removed from office in Brazil in 1964, Guyana, the coup in Chile.
Here Fidel stands for Cuban sovereignty which means disobedience.
Today Cuba has 70 thousand doctors. 20 thousand in Venezuela, plus Cubans were actors on the world stage.
Cuban soldiers helping stop apartheid in Southern Angola in 1986-87, and paved the way for independence in Angola and the release of Nelson Mandela.
The Cuban Revolution WAS successful. Now, there are many professionals, such as engineers and doctors working as cab drivers or making pizza. The salary and wage structure are not just.
When the Soviet Union collapsed, the Cuban economy tanked and Cubans were on their own. They’ve buying and selling illegally, which in the last 18 years, has had a corrosive effect. Each Cuban has had to have some sort of hustle in order to get along. Cuba must begin to make reforms now.
Upsides: They can’t get evicted or homes foreclosed on them/ Access to the best medical care.
A gerontocracy has been running Cuba for security reasons and they have to hand the car keys over to their middle aged kids.
You have no right to practice opposition politics. Which is a minus. When you have highly educated people without access to the internet, creativity and productivity suffers.
Ironically, the US and Cuban military have had good relations.
Once the travel ban and embargo is dropped, and a million Americans come pouring in with fat wallets, the state has basically lost control of the economy.
If they can’t trust the citizens to back up the system that has given them these rights, the right to housing, jobs, education, medical care etc.
The counter-revolution was exported to Florida, (Republican Cubans – Miami) that’s where they are.
Obama Administration – look for travel ban lifted for Cuban Americans. For the first time the President of the United States will owe nothing to the Cubans in Miami.
Raul Castro has offered a swap of prisoners with new president
Monroe Doctrine Funeral: Established 1823, written by John Quincy Adams, essentially saying that European colonial powers should stay out of Latin America
Guest – Saul Landau, an internationally known scholar, author, commentator, and filmmaker on foreign and domestic policy issues. Landau’s most widely praised achievements are the over forty films he has produced on social, political and historical issues, and worldwide human rights. Landau has written over ten books, short stories and poems. His films include: Fidel, 1968, Cuba and Fidel 1974, The Uncompromising Revolution, 1990. To order films send email to RoundWorldProductions at gmail.com.
RNC 8: Terrorism Charges Filed, Free Speech Chilled
Eight alleged leaders of the Republican National Convention protest organization called the RNC Welcoming Committee have been charged under the 2002 Minnesota Patriot Act with Conspiracy to Riot in Furtherance of Terrorism. The RNC 8 may each face up to 7 and a half years in prison for their alleged roles in the RNC protest activities. The charges against the RNC 8 follow a year’s worth of investigation by the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Department with coordination of state and federal agencies that had infiltrated and collected information on the group.
The RNC 8 are Monica Bicking, Eryn Trimmer, Luce Guillen Givins, Erik Oseland, Nathanael Secor, Robert Czernik, Garrett Fitzgerald, and Max Spector.
According to Bruce Nestor, Minnesota Chapter president of the National Lawyers Guild, police did not find evidence of bomb making materials during the raids only common household items such as paint and computers. The National Lawyers Guild also mentions that police used paid informants that alleged the protesters intended to sabotage airports.
RNC Welcoming Committee: anti-authoritarian anarchist group. It is an open, public organization with a website and press releases.
Originally charged with conspiracy to riot in furtherance of terrorism.
Now, the Ramsey County attorney Susan Gertner in St. Paul Minnesota has added 3 more charges.
- Conspiracy to riot in furtherance of terrorism, second degree.
- Conspiracy to damage property in furtherance of terrorism.
- Conspiracy to damage property criminal charge.
With these charges the RNC 8 could get 20 years each under Minnesota patriot act style statute.
Includes property damage as an act of terrorism /some plate glass windows broken, some police cars damaged.
No property damaged occurred before the RNC 8 were arrested. Evidence Project – National Lawyers Guild
Guest – Gena Berglund, with the Minnesota chapter of the National Lawyers Guild
Harpers Magazine Panel: Justice After Bush: Prosecuting an Outlaw Administration
We hear from Elizabeth Holtzman, Author of The Impeachment of George W. Bush. The panelists at the event discussed methods available to a democracy to prosecute high officials in the Bush Administration and responded to Scott Horton’s Harper’s Magazine cover story called “Justice After Bush: Prosecuting an Outlaw Administration.”
When the president takes the oath of office, treaties are the law of the land.
The president is responsible for carrying out the Geneva conventions.
The idea to torture in order to get information is not accurate. As a prosecutor, we handle murders, rapes, robberies, everyday in New York City and around this country.
We don’t get the information to solve these crimes by beating it out of people, we do it through smart detective work and we do it through careful investigation.
The idea that we can handle local crimes without torture or crimes of war is nonsensical .
It’s important for us not to get into this trap of the ticking clock. When you’re dealing with a serial rapists or murderer you got a ticking clock too.
We manage to deal with that everyday without torturing people in this country.
Impeachment: A person can be impeached after he or she has left office.
Statute: The Anti-Torture Act, it is a convention against torture making it a US crime. Which makes torture a felony prosecutable in the USA.
If death results from torture, there’s a death penalty, which means there is not statute of limitations.
Which means that somewhere down the line as long as these people are alive, they can be prosecuted and brought to justice.
The War Crimes Act of 1996, which makes it a federal crime to deal in a cruel and inhuman way with detainees. This can be prosecuted in federal courts.
So, whether “water boarding” is torture or not, is irrelevant under the War Crimes Act.
That’s why Alberto Gonzales, wanted to opt out of the Geneva Conventions with respect to the members of Al-Qaeda.
A little problem: The Supreme Court in the summer of 2006 ruled: the Geneva Convention applies to all US detainees. War Crimes Act liability.
While passing the Military Commissions Act, they also slipped in that the War Crimes Act would be in effect retroactively.
We need to restore the War Crimes Act because it has no statute of limitations. Restore as it was before October 2006, That will allow us no matter what to bring the prosecutions that need to be brought.