[Marxism] CubaNews notes from Havana, November 25, 2003

Walter Lippmann walterlx at earthlink.net
Tue Nov 25 03:55:43 MST 2003

by Walter Lippmann, Moderator, CubaNews list

Today's edition of the WALL STREET JOURNAL includes a major item
on Cuba's successful biotechnology programs. The island's many
efforts in this field, including ones such as diversification of 
foreign trade links, development of tourism and others have been
successful, they are being recognized in the dominant corporate
media. I'll be sending out the Wall Street Journal's article on
Cuban biotech separately, along with two complementary ones from
THE STAR ONLINE, a Malaysian daily, and a Reuters report which
appeared at Wired. Naturally, the Miami Herald continued to back
the Bush-Miami-biowar approach. We'd sent that out previously.

Last year, prior to former U.S. President Jimmy Carter's visit
to Cuba, the Bush administration launched a nasty campaign saying
this biotech program represented some kind of effort to engage in
germ warfare preparations. These efforts fell mostly flat when the
former President himself demanded Washington provide any proof it
might have (there was none) and then publicly refuted those nasty
allegations here in the Cuban capital. Many silly pontificators
on the ultra-right, echoed by a few cranks on the left made a big
point of denouncing the former US president last year when he 
visited here, met with a few oppositionists and said the magic
words "Varela Project" on Cuban TV. His visit was far, far more
important than those brief moments, as the ongoing importance of
Cuban biotech successes certainly demonstrates.

Read a selection of coverage from the Granma website:

Today I met some of the people who work at the Prensa Latina news 
agency here in Havana. Their office is in the building which also
houses the Ministry of Public Health on 23rd Street in the Cuban
capital. It's is a hub of activity in which the service, which began
in the earliest years of the Revolution, continues to day to provide 
news and analysis from and about Cuba, and news and information on
politics, culture and other topics of interest from a Cuban point of
view. In addition to its Spanish coverage, PL provides information 
in English through a special section of their website devoted to 
service to the English-speaking world.

They told me they'll be starting a new page and service early in the
coming year, and will be seeking to find people from around the world
who can help provide reports on activities of interest. One of the
Prensa Latina staffers, Silvio Gonzalez, has signed up for the list.
He promises to share with us PL's daily news bulletin BRIDGES, and 
its weekly news bulletin on Cuban music called CUMBANCHA. I'm glad 
that we'll be able to receive this information directly. If they 
provide other reports in English, I hope these will be available 
to us as well. I'm looking forward to receiving them.

Tonight night I'll be going to the TROPICANA, one of the best-known
cabaret-night clubs in the world, sometimes called A PARADISE UNDER
THE STARS. There is a short book and a feature film using this theme
which has been presented internationally, which was shot by the
Cuban film institute (ICAIC). This is my first visit to TROPICANA
since my father took me here in 1956. I'm sure a lot has changed at
the TROPICANA since then, but since I was only a twelve-year-old 
boy at the time of my first visit, I can't imagine I'll be able to
provide any comparisons. In any event, I promise to send out some
impressions of the event to readers. A visit to the TROPICANA is 
an event everyone tells me is very special. So I plan to write up
some impressions and share them with you.



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