[Marxism] Fw:

Rosemary Neidenberg rosemari3 at verizon.net
Sat Apr 18 19:06:59 MDT 2009

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Rosemary Neidenberg" <rosemari3 at verizon.net>
To: <Marxism at lists.econ.utah.edu>
Sent: Tuesday, April 14, 2009 8:07 PM

> LA ALBORADA is the daily bulletin of the Cuban-American Alliance Education
> fund in Washington, DC.
> Obama's New  Rules
> La Alborada - April 14
> It's finally happened: a slight opening in the blockade. It may portend, 
> as
> some predict, the eventual end of the policy. Time will tell whether and 
> how
> far the President takes further steps or accepts further measures from
> Congress, such as bills already pending that would permit free travel for
> all people in the U.S.
> The White House announcement came soon after a parallel proposal from the
> Cuban American National Foundation (CANF), and tracks it so closely as to
> suggest that the two were coordinated. The CANF proposal was accompanied
> with perfect timing by a letter from a group of "dissidents" to the
> President, requesting money in cash and in greater quantities for them. It
> makes sense to consider the three events together.
> The first part of the White House announcement, and the one with the most
> immediate effect, is the lifting of all restrictions on travel to see
> relatives, to second-cousin degree. There will surely be a wave of travel 
> by
> people concerned about families affected by the hurricanes of last season
> and in general, and of families that under the Bush rules were determined 
> to
> no longer be family. There will just as surely be an increase in the 
> number
> of mules ferrying money to "civil society" sectors of the kind that the
> State Department likes to support for purposes of branded "color
> revolutions."
> There will be no limit on the frequency or amount of family remittances
> allowed; travelers may take with them up to $3,000; the scope of eligible
> gift parcel donors will be expanded to include "any individual," and the
> scope of donees will be expanded to include individuals other than Party 
> or
> goverment officials, and NGOs not "controlled" by the government.  The 
> limit
> on the value of non-food items will increase to $800.
> Other changes involve authorization for a range of telecommunications
> providers to enter agreements with Cuba. These include:
> - network providers, to establish optic-cable and satellite 
> communications;
> - mobile-phone carriers, to enter into roaming agreements with Cuba's
> service providers; and
> - satellite radio and TV providers, to provide services in Cuba.
> The new rules also will permit US residents to pay here for services
> delivered in Cuba, and to export to Cuba pre-paid mobile phones, computer
> and software, and satellite receivers.
> Whether or not Cuba allows the entry of such services and goods remains to
> be seen.
> there is precedent: the US prohibited Cuba's access to the Internet until
> 1996, when the Helms-Burton law called for increased broadcasts and
> communications to Cuba in order to build opposition on the island. It 
> still
> limits to a small allottment the bandwith allowed to Cuba, while demanding
> that Cuba provide subsidized Internet to the masses.
> The new rules concerning telecoms were not negotiated with or agreed to 
> with
> Cuba, but were promulgated unilaterally. They sound like an alternative to
> Radio Martí and the invisible TV Martí, to be delivered by cable or
> satellite rather than transmitted from a balloon or an aircraft. They do 
> not
> sound like a hand extended as a prelude to talks.
> Still, Obama has to negotiate in part a hard-line constituency, even 
> within
> his own party, as well as deal with old habits of the State and other
> Departments, the CIA, and the FBI. The new rules may be all that he is 
> able
> to do for now.
> At the Americas' Summit, Obama will go no further than these changes in
> response to the continent's demands for an end to the blockade.  His 
> special
> envoy has made clear that the US does not want Cuba to be on the agenda. 
> As
> far as the Administration is concerned, the issue is closed. For now.

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