Writes our Not Rex commentator Humberto DaSilva:
"You want to know about what's wrong with Cuba, watch CNN En Espanol. Otherwise Not Rex chugs Mojitos and ponders 21st century socialism at an ALL In in Varadero. Cubans are doing pretty good now that the biggest threat of invasion is from Canadian Tourists. They are healthy, friendly and lucky to live where they do in the Caribbean. So what if you can't go shopping in Miami. Americans who try to chill in Cuba face imprisonment back in the U.S.!"
Initial surprise, shock, commotion, the desire in the most remote corners of the Earth to provide immediate aid. What to send and how to do so to a corner of the Caribbean, from China, India, Vietnam and other nations located tens of thousands of kilometers away? The magnitude of the earthquake and the country's poverty instantly generated ideas of imagined needs, which give rise to all kinds of promises that they then try to deliver by any possible means.
Leonard Cohen's Ramallah concert in Palestine got cancelled last week. He had added it to a September concert in Israel. But a Palestinian group heading a broad campaign against Israel -- BDS, for boycott, divestment and sanctions -- demanded he not get away with "whitewashing Israel's colonial apartheid regime" by a "token" show of "balance." A Palestinian prisoners' club had sponsored the concert. It was unhappy but agreed to the decision.
The BDS campaign has gained backing in the West among academics, artists etc. As a supporter of Palestinian rights and a critic of much Israeli policy, I'd like to say why I find it problematic and even disturbing.
It was early, too early, when we heard people milling about in the streets of Vedado, a usually quiet neighbourhood in Central Havana. The night had been long and it was still dark as the hum of an overworked air-conditioner competed with the fan to keep us cool but also wide-awake.
The sounds mingled with the periodic roar of a thousand all-night street parties everywhere across the city. It was May Day in Cuba and a million campaneros and campaneras were on the march before dawn.