Things Are Good: What It’s Like to Use the Internet in Cuba

The internet is a great resource for connecting people to people and connecting people to services and new ideas. Cuba, like other developing nations, has had a hard time connecting to the internet because of the sheer cost (laying cables underwater isn’t cheap!); and for Cuba the costs are higher since they can’t connect to ...

Views from the Beltline: Everyone has their favourite dictator

Our Prime Minister recently ran into a flood of criticism, particularly from conservatives, for his kind words to the Cubans upon the death of their leader of many years, Fidel Castro. The Trudeaus did indeed have a congenial relationship with Castro, but then, even though we all proclaim our commitment to democracy and human rights, ...

Politics and its Discontents: Fidel’s Legacy

Although the Toronto Star is my newspaper of choice, there are times when I strongly disagree with its content. Recently, its most prolific writer, Rosie Di Manno, wrote a series of articles in which she was withering, to say the least, in her assessment of Fidel Castro. As one who has visited Cuba many, many ...

Montreal Simon: Fidel Castro:The Death of a Revolutionary Giant

I knew something was wrong when Fidel Castro wasn't able to meet with Justin Trudeau, during his recent visit to Cuba.I knew Fidel had to be very ill not to meet with the young man he helped console while acting as an honorary pallbearer at his father's funeral.And sadly I was right, for now it is the ...

Alberta Politics: I come to bury Castro, not to praise him: unpacking conservative fury at PM Justin Trudeau’s condolences

PHOTOS: Fidel Castrol in his heyday. Mr. Castro died Friday at 90. Below: An affectionate Havana scene … “Viva Fidel por siempre;” Margaret Trudeau, Mr. Castro and Pierre Trudeau in 1976; King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, who died at 90 last year; Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Before I start, let’s just make one thing perfectly ...

Alberta Politics: News Satire: U.S. will not tolerate foreigners acting like Americans, officials say

ILLUSTRATIONS: A map showing some of the countries in which the United States has interfered in the political process (grabbed from Geology.com). Below: U.S. CIA Director John O. Brennan, Democratic Party candidate Hillary Clinton and Republican candidate Donald Trump. The United States will not tolerate the countries of the world acting like the United States, ...

Dead Wild Roses: The DWR Friday Musical Interlude – The Buena Vista Social Club

The success of both the album and film sparked a revival of international interest in traditional Cuban music and Latin American music in general. Some of the Cuban performers later released well-received solo albums and recorded collaborations with international stars from different musical genres. The “Buena Vista Social Club” name became an umbrella term to ...

Bill Longstaff: Barack Obama and the ghost of Che

An historical photograph. Barack Obama, on his recent visit to Cuba, stands at attention for the playing of the Star-Spangled Banner. The president and his companions are standing at the José Marti Memorial in Havana where, across the street, on the wall of the Ministry of the Interior building, looms a mural of the legendary ...

Bill Longstaff: Barack Obama and the ghost of Che

An historical photograph. Barack Obama, on his recent visit to Cuba, stands at attention for the playing of the Star-Spangled Banner. The president and his companions are standing at the José Marti Memorial in Havana where, across the street, on the wall of the Ministry of the Interior building, looms a mural of the legendary ...

Politics and its Discontents: A Sordid Tale

I want to tell you a story. It is a story I wish I didn’t have to tell, given its sordid nature, and it is one that reflects badly on my own judgment. Sometimes the world really is too much with us. As some will know, we just returned from a week in Cuba where ...

Politics and its Discontents: Some Downtime

We are heading off for an inexpensive week in Cuba. It really pays to travel before high season kicks in. I’ll be back at the computer in about a week. See you then. Recommend this Post

Things Are Good: Cuba Shows Off Its Biotech Industry

Cuba has an amazing farming system which is impressive from farm to fork. The way they grow crops to how they ensure that food distribution is effective is impressive to say the least. The island nation was hit hard with the collapse of the USSR and the embargo from the USA, as a result they ...

Things Are Good: White House Planning to Close Guantanamo Bay’s Infamous Torture Centre

Guantanamo Bay on the beautiful island of Cuba sounds like a great place if you don’t know anything about it. We do know what happens there and it’s immoral and likely illegal (probably even worthy of investigation by the International Criminal Court which the USA hasn’t ratified). The USA has been operating a prison there ...

Politics and its Discontents: Change Is Coming To Cuba, Not All Of It Necessarily Good

Readers of this blog will know that I have a special affection for Cuba, having visited it many times and gotten to know, to some extent, the ‘real’ Cuba. Yet it would be wrong for me or any other non-Cuban to pontificate about what is best for the country, given the changes that are coming ...

Politics and its Discontents: Cuba And Private Enterprise

Since we first visited the island in 2010, my wife and I have developed a deep respect and affection for Cuba and its people. As I have indicated in previous posts, those feelings were formed not just in the vacations spots we have enjoyed, but also by getting to know the ‘real’ Cuba through friends ...

Things Are Good: Cuba Creates Great Doctors

Cuba is a beautiful country filled with nice people. Many of those people are educated doctors who go around the world saving lives for free, and they do the same at home. Al Jazeera has a nice long piece looking into the quality and motivations behind these great Cuban doctors. Spoiler: it’s not about money, ...

Things Are Good: Cuba Gets New Art Installation: WiFi

Cuba has really poor internet connectivity and it costs a lot of money to connect to the web. The thawing relationship between the USA and Cuba is bound to make it easier to develop the country’s telecommunications infrastructure (cheaper to run a cable from Florida than elsewhere). This is one of many benefits from the ...

Politics and its Discontents: On Hiatus

Time to head back to our favourite island before it is infiltrated by the Americans. See you in about a week. Recommend this Post

The Canadian Progressive: Assata Shakur: “I am a 20th century escaped slave”

Cuba-based black revolutionary Assata Shakur says she fled “from the political repression, racism and violence that dominate the US government’s policy towards people of color.” The post Assata Shakur: “I am a 20th century escaped slave” appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Politics, Re-Spun: Does Cuba Get an MLB Team Now?

So, there have been 181 Major League Baseball players from Cuba [population 11 million], 230 from Puerto Rico [population 3.5 million] [which is kind of like America, despite its second class political status], and 557 from the Dominican Republic [population 9.5 million]. My friend, who cares not about baseball, asked me last week what normalized ...

Politics and its Discontents: Remembrances Of Things Past

It was with some surprise that Canadians finally saw something positive emerge from the always suspicious and hateful Harper regime: its facilitation of talks between the U.S. and Cuba to begin the process of normalizing relations. This echo of a time when Canada was looked upon as the world’s honest broker prompted a Star letter-writer ...

The Canadian Progressive: Speech by Cuban President Raul Castro on normalization of U.S.-Cuba relations

In speech, Cuban President Raul Castro thanks Canada for facilitating the high-level dialogue which resulted in the normalization of U.S.-Cuba relations, maintains that Cuba will not not renounce socialism. The post Speech by Cuban President Raul Castro on normalization of U.S.-Cuba relations appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Alberta Diary: A look back to 2010: Cuba loves Chevrolets and GM needs sales – what’s wrong with this picture?

An ancient Jeep, probably with a transplanted Lada engine, drops passengers at Revolution Square four years ago in Havana. With Uber starting up, we finally have the same service here in Edmonton! The sign says: “51 years of struggle and victories.” Below: an old Chevrolet still in service on a Havana street, and scenes of ...

The Disaffected Lib: Is Raul Castro’s Cuba the First Big Winner in Cold War II?

Now that Washington and Havana appear to be on the road to kissing and making up, it’s worth considering whether the timing is really that spontaneous? Cuba was always the Soviet’s toe hold in the Americas.  It was over Soviet designs in Cuba that the world was brought to the brink of nuclear Armageddon. The ...

Bill Longstaff: Bravo to Baird and Harper on the Cuba file

The United States has finally come to its senses and is normalizing relations with Cuba. It’s taken over half a century but—to borrow the old cliché—better late than never. And to our credit, Canada played a key role. By hosting meetings of officials from the two countries, we obviated the need for meetings in either ...