Tuesday open thread

Val (a/k/a El Barbaro) does not seem to be back in the saddle yet. Use this forum today to post any comments, articles, or other musings you may have. Think of this as “open line Tuesday” on Babalu Blog. Let me start it off:

Ask even news-savvy Americans what they know about Saddam’s plans to deploy suicide bombers against the West, and the most common response will be blank stares. Ditto for asking about how Saddam’s thugs trained thousands of terrorists from around the Arab world, right up through 2002.

Both stunning revelations surfaced recently, one in Congressional testimony last month and the other in the current issue of Foreign Affairs magazine. The Pentagon has known about these items on Saddam’s terrorist agenda since the end of 2003, which is when it received the after-action analysis report it had commissioned. (It served as the basis for the testimony and the magazine article.)

Read the whole thing here.

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Carlos Alberto Montaner gave a speech at Princeton University in New Jersey to the organization called RAÍCES DE ESPERANZA about Cuban-American identity. Here’s an excerpt:

I think it’s time to examine the concrete case of you and Cuba. After all, that’s what has brought us to Princeton this spring of 2006. All of you, more than 100 young Cuban-Americans, have come together in a remarkable organization called Roots of Hope. You are united by a common ancestry and the desire to be useful to a society you know only through hearsay.

It seems to me you do very well in congregating. To contribute to the freedom of the Cubans is a noble cause. To denounce the abuses they suffer is a decent and dignified endeavor. Every human being must devote some effort to philanthropy and that word, as we all know, means “love for one’s neighbor.” “Neighbor,” in turn, comes from the Old English word “nigh,” meaning “near,” and who is nearer to you than the members of the tribe your parents and grandparents came from? To come together to do good is one of the noblest tasks people can and should perform. Besides, altruism brings pleasant emotional rewards. To serve those who suffer generates a sweet interior satisfaction, perhaps, as I said before, due to the secret activity of the neurotransmitters.

Read the whole article here.

11 thoughts on “Tuesday open thread”

  1. Hi, I hope Val is fully up to speed and soon.
    Has anyone heard from the folks at Venezuela News and Venezuela Views blog lately? It had not updated for maonths, and now the link is empty.
    I am afraid we ahve seen more of chavez’s commitment to human liberty excercised.

  2. Two weeks ago, Marta Beatriz Roque, a 60-year-old human rights activist, was punched, kicked, and dragged in front of her house in Havana by pro-Castro thugs. The incident made international news, but the Miami Herald failed to mention it. Today, the Herald gives front-page coverage to a gay bashing in St. Marteen last month.

  3. Mr. Delacova,
    Today’s Herald (at least the English side) has a story about a number of U.S. Senators –including two individuals who might be running for president in 2008– expressing condemnation of the attack against Marta Beatriz Roque.
    Here’s the Herald report:
    (I hope I copied that correctly!)
    It’s not much, but at least *someone* in the U.S. government is starting to notice the situation in Cuba. Hopefully, some action will follow.
    Abajo fidel!

  4. This isn’t a news item, but you did say “open thread.” 🙂

    The Museum of Arts & Sciences in Daytona Beach has a beautiful Cuban exhibit as part of their permanent collection: http://www.moas.org/perm_4.html

    I saw it in March. There’s an elaborate scale model of a sugar factory among the paintings and woodwork. And the best part was: no castro propaganda. The pieces are presented for what they are with no digs at the Imperialist US and no boasts of free healthcare.

  5. Have I missed the stories, or are the “greens” completely silent on the possibility of China, with just about the worst environmental record on the planet, drilling for oil off the Florida coast.

  6. Ziva, there’s actually a bill in Congress which has bi-partisan support which “would deny visas to any employees of a company or entity that ‘contributes to the development of Cuba’s oil-exploration program.'” Their bill, a companion to Florida Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson’s Senate bill filed earlier, would also impose sanctions on any individuals — or companies — who invest $1 million or more to help Cuba develop its oil and natural gas resources.

    Thus far the silence from the leftists on this important piece of legislation is deafening.

    Of course my being a real naturalist and nature photographer as well as an enemy of bearded 80+ year old billionaire tyrants favor this legislation wholeheartedly as I have aptly set forth here:


  7. They’re not greens, Ziva – they’re watermelons – green on the outside and red on the inside.

  8. “Watermelons”, that’s good! I don’t get how imposing sanctions and denying visa’s is going to stop the Chinese or other FOF from drilling for oil unless they’re dependent on US Corps. for technology or equipment.

  9. Julio,
    I had already seen the article in the Herald about Martha Beatriz. My point is that this incident happened weeks ago and the Miami Herald did not report it, even thought it appeared in El “Nuevo” Herald, the international media, and Martha Beatriz called Radio Mambi and Radio Marti immediately after the incident to report it.
    Oscar Corral of the Herald waited for weeks, until two senators came to Miami and denounced the incident, to write about it. Had the senators not denounced it, the Miami Herald would probably have remained silent.

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