Unwrapping Development

Finding hope in Canada’s election, the UN General Assembly and CELAC

The concurrence this week of a federal election in Canada with the spurt of diplomatic action around the United Nations General Assembly reminds me that I value political debate, and that the world needs urgent action on multiple, related issues. What we have in Canada is what Marta Harnecker and others have called “polyarchy”—the alternation […]

Cuba VI – James Baldwin, racism, imperialism and ourselves

In the 2010 interview when Fidel Castro apologized to gay Cubans for his government’s treatment of them in the 1960s, he asked, “Why hate the United States, if it is only a product of history?” At the same time, we need to name what is going on. For the sake of describing the intersections of racism, sexism, […]

Cuba V – Moving forward on LGBTI rights 

The commission that is drafting Cuba’s new family law—the “Código de las Familias” that will allow same-sex marriage—is near the end of its work. On Sept. 7, the government announced that the new law will be brought to the National Assembly of People’s Power for approval, and then be put to referendum.  A day earlier, […]

Cuba IV: Rethinking development in a revolutionary situation

My time in the Dominican Republic and Mexico had convinced me that most proponents of “development” failed to address the unjust structures in the world, including inequalities that have roots in colonial times. Development needed to be understood (as Gustavo Gutiérrez and others argued) in terms of liberation: a radical transformation of global systems of power and domination. […]

Cuba III: Churches emphasize the value of dialogue and mutual listening

The U.S. government has made no secret of its intent to use religious groups to subvert the Cuban Revolution. Most blatant in this regard was the 2004 Report by the Commission for Assistance to a Free Cuba, chaired by then-Secretary of State Colin Powell…. Networks of conservative Christians oppose gender equity, same-sex marriage and Trans rights as if they were attacks on the “traditional family.” Any criticism of the fundamentalist view draws charges from the U.S. government that Cuba is attacking religious freedom.

Cuba I – The U.S. blockade is a failure

In the wake of protests in Cuba on July 11, the Biden administration imposed more pointless sanctions. In effect, the United States is using the pandemic as an ally in its effort to suffocate the Cuban revolution. Today and in days ahead, I will share thoughts about Cuban history, religious issues that impact political debate, approaches to development and participation in Cuba, gender equity and LGBTI rights, and the broader struggle to overcome imperialism.

When elites see their wealth threatened, they move heaven and earth

Colombia’s president sends more troops to Cali to try to quell a month of protests. The British magazine The Economist invites a resurgence of U.S. imperialism to thwart the Mexican president’s option for the poor. The six-decade-long U.S. blockade of Cuba is so severe that the country cannot obtain sufficient syringes to protect its population with the vaccines it has developed. And I […]

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