Assata Shakur: “I Am a 20th Century Escaped Slave”

Although the U.S. government has done everything in its power to criminalize me, I am not a criminal

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My name is Assata Shakur, and I am a 20th century escaped slave. Because of government persecution, I was left with no other choice than to flee from the political repression, racism and violence that dominate the US government’s policy towards people of color. I am an ex-political prisoner, and I have been living in exile in Cuba since 1984.

I have been a political activist most of my life, and although the U.S. government has done everything in its power to criminalize me, I am not a criminal, nor have I ever been one. In the 1960s, I participated in various struggles: the black liberation movement, the student rights movement, and the movement to end the war in Vietnam. I joined the Black Panther Party. By 1969 the Black Panther Party had become the number one organization targeted by the FBI’s COINTELPRO program. Because the Black Panther Party demanded the total liberation of black people, J. Edgar Hoover called it “greatest threat to the internal security of the country” and vowed to destroy it and its leaders and activists.  Continue reading

Rihanna and Mick Jagger party as gold-rush mood grips Havana

[Big predators with deep pockets and smiling faces are crowding in……. — Frontlines ed.]

By MICHAEL WEISSENSTEIN, Associated Press , October 18, 2015

Tourists sit in the popular O'Reilly 304 Bar in Old  Havana, Cuba, Oct. 13.  Cubans with money and foreign backers are furiously rehabbing old homes into micro-hotels complete with high-end restaurants and conference rooms for business meetings.

Tourists sit in the popular O’Reilly 304 Bar in Old Havana, Cuba, Oct. 13. Cubans with money and foreign backers are furiously rehabbing old homes into micro-hotels complete with high-end restaurants and conference rooms for business meetings. The Associated Press

HAVANA — By midnight, the basement of one of Havana’s hottest clubs is packed wall-to-wall for a private concert by one of Cuba’s biggest pop stars.

Squeezed among the usual crowd of sleek young Cubans and paunchy, prowling European tourists, the owner of one of New York’s hippest restaurants discusses his new Havana boutique hotel project. At the bar, a Swiss venture capitalist describes meeting with Communist Party officials about partnering on a marina complex. An Ohio woman who runs a bespoke guide service for wealthy Americans shows her clients iPhone photos of the private villa where they will have a waterfront paella dinner the next day.

The foreigners visiting Havana used to be Canadians and Europeans on cheap beach package tours and left-leaning Americans on dutiful rounds of organic farms and neighborhood health clinics. Ten months after the U.S. and Cuba declared the end of a half-century of official hostility, the mood in Havana has changed.

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White House orders Castro regime to release MORE political prisoners

saying 53 anti-Communists freed this week are just a start

[This article from the reactionary and bombastic-imperialist Daily Mail, is true to their arrogant form.  But while revealing that “diplomatic relations” is just an excuse for new imperialist dictation toward Cuba, there is, of course, no mention of a “quid pro quo” — though many might ask, where is the Cuban demand for release of political prisoners in the US, as well as …. where is the demand from Cuba for US to get out of the illegally occupied Guantanamo? — Frontlines ed.]

  • The White House revealed on Tuesday that it dictated to Cuba which political prisoners should be released immediately 
  • ‘Our efforts to secure the release of other political prisoners that are unjustly detained in Cuba is ongoing,’ the president’s spokesman said
  • He did not say how many other dissidents the U.S. government is lobbying Raul Castro’s regime to set free

The White House revealed on Tuesday that it dictated to Cuba which political prisoners should be released and that there are additional detainees beyond the 53 that have already been let go that it wants to see freed.

‘Our efforts to secure the release of other political prisoners that are unjustly detained in Cuba is ongoing,’ White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters.

Earnest did not say how many other political prisoners it is lobbying Raul Castro’s regime to set free nor would he give out the names of the original 53.

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said on Tuesday that the U.S. is working to free additional political prisoners in Cuba who are still behind bars beyond the 53 names it initially submitted to the Raul Castro regime

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said on Tuesday that the U.S. is working to free additional political prisoners in Cuba who are still behind bars beyond the 53 names it initially submitted to the Raul Castro regime

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Obama’s Guantanamo failure

10-year anniversary highlights Obama’s Guantanamo failure

EuroNews, 11/01/12

It has been 10 years since the first prisoners arrived at the Guantanamo detention centre in Cuba.

A total of 779 prisoners have passed through the naval base since it started holding prisoners suspected of having links to al-Qaeda after the US invasion of Afghanistan in 2002. Today 171 detainees are still kept there.

According to Hina Shamsi, Director of the National Security Project at the ACLU, the milestone is nothing to celebrate: “On the 10-year anniversary of Guantanamo, it could not be more clear that the place is a catastrophic failure legally, ethically, morally, and in terms of our national security. It is a place that was a laboratory for torture and represents the principle of indefinite military detention without charge or trial by the United States. It is a failure of our democratic values and the time has come to close it.”

The US Congress has blocked the transfer of Guantanamo inmates to custody in other countries, making a mockery of President Barack Obama’s promise when he stated: “Guantanamo will be closed no later than one year from now.” Continue reading

Reuters: “Cubans brace for ‘reorganization’ of labour force”

[When “socialist” countries such as China, Vietnam, and Cuba have adopted “market socialism” and the privatization of state-owned production units, the social safety net guarantees of work, health, education, and housing have, step by step, been reduced or disappeared.  Advocates of such changes use loaded terms like “bloated payrolls” to describe the safety nets being discarded–and such terms are used in this revealing Reuters article.  The difficulties that arise from the new conditions place important challenges in the path of the people and revolutionaries, as they now confront “market”–i.e., capitalist–rules, officially expressed, though still wrapped in socialist terminology: “for the good of all.”-ed.]

Marc Frank

Jul 20, 2010

HAVANA (Reuters) – “Cuba is moving up to a million employees, or a fifth of its workers, off bloated public payrolls and into jobs where they actually have to work,” according to Communist Party and government sources.

The goal is to boost the island’s struggling economy by targeting what President Raul Castro has called “unnecessary workers” in a five-year project to reorganize its labour force in tandem with some economic liberalization.

“We hope to eliminate 200,000 jobs per year, as much as 100,000 of them over the coming year in the capital alone,” a Communist Party economist said, like others asking that his name not be used. Continue reading