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December 24, 2014
December 19, 2014
Biweekly commentary shifting from the Long Wars to the Climate Wars, from Wall Street Rule to a Democratic Society for All
Published by Tom Hayden and the Peace & Justice Resource Center, The Democracy Journal is a reader-supported journal of original thoughts on peace, justice and green energy. The Democracy Journal is read by activists, organizers, and advocates in 60 communities across the US and abroad.
For thousands of graying supporters of the Cuban Revolution, this has been the moment that they thought would never come. The same shock is sinking in among the Cuban exiles, now octogenarians, who fought for decades against the Castro regime from American soil. It is important that hard lessons are learned and traps from the past be avoided.
It was Sunday, May 21st, and my host posing the question was Ricardo Alarcon, president of the Cuban National Assembly. It was Alarcon's 69th birthday, and I was having difficulty understanding why he had pressed me to fly down for a visit. The purpose was nothing more than "two old guys talking," according to his daughter Maggie, a thirty-something single mom and formidable interpreter of Cuba to many North Americans.
On The Nation: Why the US-Cuba Deal Really Is a Victory for the Cuban Revolution
No one in the mainstream media will acknowledge it, but the normalization of American relations with Havana, symbolized by release of prisoners today, is a huge success for the Cuban Revolution. The hostile US policy, euphemistically known as "regime change," has been thwarted. The Cuban Communist Party is confidently in power. The Castros have navigated through all the challenges of the years. In Latin America and the United Nations, Cuba is accepted, and the United States is isolated.
'Listen, Yankee! Why Cuba Matters' The Forthcoming Book by Tom Hayden Exclusive Excerpts
"Two Old Guys Talking" is the introduction to Tom Hayden's forthcoming book, Listen, Yankee!, Why Cuba Matters, to be published next year by Seven Stories Press. The piece was finalized last month. The "two old guys" are the author, now 75, who first visited Cuba in 1968, and Ricardo Alarcon, now 77, former president of the Cuban National Assembly, foreign minister, and UN representative.
Knowing his biography, it is hard to believe that Ricardo was predestined to be a Politburo member of the Cuban Communist Party or, more generally, that Cuba's journey into Marxism-Leninism was inevitable. The island's long battle for real independence from the United States, combined with America's Cold War version of Manifest Destiny, produced those outcomes.
Presented to Lt. Gen. Claude M. "Mick" Kicklighter of the Vietnam 50th Anniversary Commemoration Program
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