We take the occasion of the beginning of a new year to urge readers to write to the Cuban Five. Antonio, Fernando, Gerardo, Rene and Ramon have been in U.S. federal prisons for ten years.
Ex-presidential candidate Sen. John McCain, visiting Afghanistan this week, predicted the situation there will get worse before it gets better, “just like the surge in Iraq was.” But in the war’s eighth year, observers warn that a “troop surge” won’t reverse Afghanistan’s slide into chaos, violence and poverty.
India: Russia aids nuclear development Somalia: Slaughter, suffering continue Italy: Historic rescue underscores risks Colombia: Gov’t evidence evaporates Cuba: Scientists, industry respond to world vaccine needs Gaza: Siege builds
Colombian sugar cane production is confined to 500,000 acres in Valle de Cauca and Cauca, departments situated in the country’s southwest. From legalized slavery on, Afro-Colombians have done most of the cutting. Recently they’ve worked 12-14 hour days, every day, under contract with facade cooperatives, an arrangement allowing landowners and refinery operators to avoid paying for tools, transportation and workers’ retirement costs. After deductions, cutters earn less than Colombia’s minimum wage of $222 per month.
Gaza: Collective punishment remains Malaysia: Rights protests grow Nicaragua: Sandinistas win city elections Switzerland: Gender gaps shrink Zambia: Change in the wind Cuba: New cooperation with Russia
Aida Perez, 44 years old, was waiting out Hurricane Paloma with her two daughters in a dormitory at the University of Camaguey inland, along with 900 others from Santa Cruz del Sur, a small city on Cuba’s southern coast. Her house was probably gone, she told an AP reporter, “But what’s important is that we are alive.”
Australia: Unions go global re climate change Iraq: Awakening Council role in question Italy:School privatization elicits protests Japan: Profitable Toyota lays off thousands Panama: Tolerance of terrorism gets second look
President Fernando Lugo, up against an agrarian oligarchy and answerable to a mobilized peasant movement, has yet to introduce transformative measures reminiscent of those initiated by his Venezuelan, Bolivian and Ecuadorian counterparts.
Some of the documentaries shown at the 44th Annual Chicago International Film Festival should be of interest to progressive activists. They deal with flora — one in the form of a community garden, another the Amazon rainforest — and with Black artists and film.
International media coverage of the election last week of Barack Obama has continued non-stop. A survey follows.