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Columnists

U.S. and Cuba: Is it the start of a new relationship?

Photo: Martin Abegglen/flickr

The failed United States policy against Cuba, which has for more than half a century stifled relations between these neighbouring countries and inflicted generations of harm upon the Cuban people, may finally be collapsing. On Wednesday morning, we learned that Alan Gross, a U.S. government contractor convicted in Cuba for spying, had been released after five years in prison. Another person, an unnamed Cuban imprisoned in Cuba for 20 years for spying for the U.S., was also released. This has made global headlines. Less well explained in the U.S. media are the three Cubans released from U.S. prisons. They are the three remaining jailed members of the Cuban Five. The Cuban Five were arrested in the late 1990s on espionage charges. But they were not spying on the United States government.

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Peter Goldring
| July 22, 2014
Rioters in Kiev - Wikipedia Photo
| February 24, 2014
| October 18, 2013

Book launch: Social Democracy After the Cold War

Edited by Bryan Evans and Ingo Schmidt, published by AU Press. Guest speaker: Leo Panitch.

Offering a comparative look at social democratic experience since the Cold War, the volume examines countries where social democracy has long been an influential political force -- Sweden, Germany, Britain, and Australia – while also considering the history of Canada's NDP, the social democratic tradition in the United States, and the emergence of New Left parties in Germany and the province of Québec. Once marked by redistributive and egalitarian policy perspectives, social democracy has, the book argues, assumed a new role -- that of a modernizing force advancing the neoliberal cause.

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Columnists

Olympics are a relic of the 20th century

2012 Olympics logo on the Olympic clock. Photo: Ben Sutherland/Flickr

Based on columnist Cathal Kelly's criterion for Olympic greatness -- not how many medals you collect but what you embody for your times -- I'd call the highlight of week one the performance by Queen Elizabeth and James Bond on opening night. If they returned for week two, I'd watch them in anything: beach volleyball, synchro diving, badminton -- they were peerless.

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Redeye

Lester Pearson's Peacekeeping: The Truth May Hurt

May 3, 2012
| A new book by activist Yves Engler says that far from being a peacekeeper, former prime minister Lester Pearson was a dedicated cold warrior and an ardent supporter of NATO.
Length: 17:37

The fruit machine

The real life fruit machine used by the RCMP

 

Though given the nickname from a simple slot machine, the Canadian fruit machine was anything but benign. It was a top secret system of persecution and oppression of queer Canadians, spurred by homophobia . It involved the calculated and systemic demotion and firing of queers in the civil service by the RCMP.

 

Context

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Igor Gouzenko, circa 1945
| January 13, 2012
Columnists

Giorgio Mammoliti's red scare at Toronto city hall

It's hard to explain to anyone under 30 (who'd have been 8 when the Berlin Wall fell) what the Cold War was like, or even that it happened. Clashes between "communism and freedom," a readiness to incinerate the planet, stalking "subversives." A culture bathed in politics. The Hollywood red scare, the career of Ronald Reagan: from B-actor to president. And spy mania. It seems as remote as the Middle Ages yet many of us were there.

If you want your kids to understand the Middle Ages, you can take them to Medieval Times at the CNE. If you want give them a sense of the Cold War, take them to a council meeting at city hall. Look for Giorgio Mammoliti.

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