Showing posts with label Cuba. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Cuba. Show all posts

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Samizdat in Cuba

by Jack Brummet, Travel Ed.

This is a fascinating and hopeful article (there is a button on the site to translate) that Keelin found.

The Cuban people have developed something like a modern/digital Samizdat (the clandestine distribution of literature banned by the state, in the communist countries of eastern Europe) to get news and entertainment from outside the state-controlled media and propaganda machine. Instead of Xeroxes, they use USB drives that can be purchased for 30 pesos (about $1.20) or portable hard drives. (Translation button is on the right-hand side of the page)

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Guerrillero Heroico: Michael Korda's famous 1960 photograph of Ernesto "Che" Guevara

by Jack Brummet, Travel Editor

Guerrillero Heroico: this image of Ernesto "Che" Guevara, by Cuban photographer Michael Korda was taken in Havana in 1960 at a memorial service for the victims of the Le Coubre explosion. By the end of the 1960s, Guevara's notoriety and revolutionary actions and execution (by CIA-hired assassins), solidified the leader and his image as an icon.

Korda once said that at the moment he shot the picture at the funeral, he was drawn to Guevara's facial expression, which showed "absolute implacability" as well as anger and pain.

Images of Che Guevara are ubiquitous in Cuba (and over much of the world). There are also, of course, many images of Fidel Castro, who survived Che by over 50 years. But it is Che you see *everywhere*, in many forms and mediums.

The image was the focus of a documentary "Chevolution," by Trisha Ziff, as well as a 2009 book "Che's Afterlife: The Legacy of an Image" by Michael Casey."

It is a stunning photograph 
and fascinating to see (in such a heavily controlled and monitored society) the degree of exploitation of this image, in memorials, photos, books, and posters. Here are some of the trash and trinkets we saw.


Friday, June 02, 2017

Granma's target practice dummies

by Jack Brummet, Travel Ed.

One of the target practice dummies Fidel, Che, Raoul, and the 79 other revolutionaries used on board the yacht Granma as they sailed from Mexico to invade Cuba. I still don't know they avoided ricochets?


Friday, June 06, 2014

Fidel Castro lays a wreath at the Lincoln Memorial (with footnote on Guerrillero Heroico)

By Jack Brummet, Latin America Ed.

In April 1959, Alfredo Korda [1]  shot this photograph of Fidel Castro, the new leader of Cuba, laying a wreath at the Lincoln Memorial.

This image is copyrighted. The copyright holder allows anyone to use it, provided it is not used to denigrate the Cuban revolution

Castro admired Abraham Lincoln and kept a bust of him in his office.  He once wrote about Lincoln's devotion “to the just idea that all citizens are born free and equal."

[1] Korda also shot one of the most famous images of all timeGuerrillero Heroicothe shot of Ernesto Che Guevara at a memorial.  According to the Wikipedia page about this photo, "To take the photo, Korda used a Leica M2 with a 90 mm lens, loaded with Kodak Plus-X pan film. In speaking about the method, Korda humbly remarked that  'this photograph is not the product of knowledge or technique. It was really coincidence, pure luck.' "


Friday, May 21, 2010

Six photos of Ernesto "Che" Guevara

Six pictures of Ernesto "Che" Guevara.  I am reading a long and excellent biography of him right now--Guevara, Also Known as Che by Paco Ignacio Taibo II.  A fascinating story and an excellent read.

The last picture is the one that has become the face of Che everywhere (including t-shirts, posters, etc.).  Some people say it is the most famous photograph in the world.  It was taken at a funeral, following the (CIA-assisted) bombing of a ship in Havana.   


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

***Editorial - Jack Brummet*** Tear Down The Wall, Mister President: Hasn't Cuba Suffered Enough?

An Editorial by Jack Brummet
All This Is That poetry, arts, and persiflage editor

It's editorial day on All This Is That. Pablo snagged gay marriage and Jack got the Cuban Blockade. . .

click the former President to enlarge - art by Jack Brummet

President Barack Obama's announcement of a U.S. policy shift toward Cuba makes no mention of the "harshest of measures" we imposed on the island, as former Cuban leader Fidel Castro pointed out today. And he's right.

BHO's removal this week of limits on travel by Cuban Americans to their homeland and how much money they can send to relatives falls fall short of being the relief we need to deliver. Does our President really want to continue the punitive and retrograde measures of his predecessors?

Fidel Castro, in his message, said Obama can use his "talents" in creating a constructive policy that would end the embargo that "has failed for almost half a century."

Castro promised his country would "not beg," for an end to the US embargo, which he characterised as a genocidal policy.

Cuba has resisted and it will continue to resist; it will never beg for alms . . . not a word was said about the harshest of measures: the blockade,” Mr Castro said in a response posted on the internet and published by state-run media just hours after the news broke in Washington.

Obama’s executive order on Monday also did away with some restrictions for US telecommunications companies, allowing them to provide mobile phone and internet services, a big complaint of Cuba’s in the past.

Mister President, it's about 20 years late, but we need to do more, and we need to do it now. End the blockade, let Cuba have access to modern medicines, and our [relatively] cheap food and consumer goods. If you're worried about taming the Communists, remember that we have seen many other examples where free trade with America helped open the floodgates of free speech, and yes, even democracy.

And finally, why not give their flagging economy a boost? They've been seriously in the hole since the fall of the Soviet Union, and the end of subsidies to Cuba. Let's allow them to freely trade (like they do, for example, with our good friends to the north in Canada). Let us help them out by buying their top-notch rum, cigars, excellent music, poetry, art, fiction, and movies. We need to embrace our neighbors, just as we do Canada and Mexico.

President Obama, it's time.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Painting: Double portrait of Dr. Che Guevara/Happy 50th Birthday to the Cuban Revolution

click to enlarge

Since it was 50 years ago today that the Cuban Revolution succeeded in replacing one dictator with another, here is a painting of one of Fidel's right hand men, the Argentine Marxist Dr. Ernesto "Che" Guevara. The Cuban Revolution led to the overthrow of the dictatorial government of Cuban President General Fulgencio Batista on January 1, 1959. The Cuban Revolution also refers to the ongoing implementation of Marxist social and economic programs by the new government since the overthrow of the Batista dictatorship. Some of it worked and some of it didn't. Dr. Guevara was assassinated in Bolivia in the 60's when he was captured with the help of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Video trailer for Michael Moore's upcoming "Sicko"

It's a good trailer, done in Moore's usual style, with great music, humor, and underlying horror.