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HAPPY AT 90 MILES » 2009 » July
Jul
29
2009
0

Update: Yoani Gold Medalist


On checking out Yoani’s blog after writing today’s post, I learned that she has been honored by the prestigious Journalism School of Columbia University with their 2009 Maria Moors Cabot prize for outstanding Reporting on Latin America and the Caribbean.

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Written by IPH in: Cuba News,Freedom of Speech |
Jul
29
2009
0

Yoani Sánchez


I have mentioned Yoani before on this blog, but I haven’t provided much information about her besides linking to her blog posts.

What makes Yoani so admirable and unique is that she is one of the few Cuban bloggers who post from Cuba without hiding her identity. I came across this Wall Street Journal article from 2007 that gives a good indication of what makes Yoani tick.

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Written by IPH in: Cuba News,Freedom of Speech |
Jul
27
2009
0

Spanish version of Happy at 90 Miles

We’re pleased to announce that the Spanish version of this blog is now up and running.

The address is happya90millas.com and can be accessed through the ESPAÑOL tab on the top of this page.

The issues of human rights and migration relating to Cuba is something that interests Spanish speakers in many countries and we’re happy to be able to provide information about Jorge’s story to this audience.

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Written by IPH in: Updates |
Jul
24
2009
2

El Dictador

dictador

Yesterday I attended an author event where Venezuelan author Ramón Guillermo Aveledo presented his latest book, “El dictador, Anatomía de la tiranía” (The Dictator, An Anatomy of Tyranny.)

Aveledo is an attorney with a Ph.D in political science, the author of eighteen books on politics, history and law and has figured prominently in Venezuelan public life as a politician, journalist and academic.

The book is a comparative analysis of a sample of the world’s great dictators; Mussolini, Hitler, Stalin, Trujillo, Mao, Franco and Castro. (All dead except for one last unburied cadaver.)

Reaching beyond the sphere of Latin American politics, Aveledo seeks to dissect and reveal the inner workings and commonalities of these despots that represent a wide spectrum across political and cultural differences.

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Written by IPH in: Latin American Politics |
Jul
22
2009
1

Graphic novels mention on Foreign Policy Blogs: Cuba

Melissa Lockhart runs The Cuba section of Foreign Policy Blogs, and this Monday she mentioned Happy at 90 Miles in her post New lens for viewing Cuba: graphic novels
The other upcoming GNs mentioned are Dean Haspiel’s Cuba: One Story, Michel Fiffe’s Cuba, and Spain Rodriguez’ Che: A Graphic Biography. (Although the last two authors aren’t identified.)

I’m glad to see this confluence of words and pictures about Cuba spontaneously appear at the same time and receive attention as another part of the debate that surrounds the island.

About Foreign Policy Blogs:
Foreign Policy Blogs is the largest network of global affairs blogs online. Staffed by scores of professional contributors from the worlds of journalism, academia, business, non-profits and think tanks, the FPB network tracks global developments from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe and everywhere in between, daily. The FPB network is a production of the Foreign Policy Association. Founded in 1918 by a group of concerned journalists and citizens, the Foreign Policy Association serves as a catalyst for developing awareness, understanding of, and providing informed opinions on global issues.

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Written by IPH in: Graphic Novels,comics |
Jul
18
2009
0

Cuba: One Story – A graphic novel

I’m happy to see that Dean Haspiel has announced that he’s doing a graphic novel with a Cuban theme.

Cuba: One Story, an original graphic novel planned for 2010 is a collaboration with writer/artist/friend, Inverna Lockpez, a Cuban emigree who will write the story based on her experiences as a surgeon in Castro’s army. Haspiel is a talented artist with dynamic bold lines and excellent sense of composition who has previously collaborated with comics legend Harvey Pekar.

The book is described as “a memoir with a little fiction mixed in”. The extreme and harrowing situations so often present in the context of the Cuban Revolution readily lends itself to nonfiction treatments, and I’m glad that comics is becoming part of that. Sequential storytelling has a lot to offer the genre, combining words and images to recreate real events in ways unique to the medium, as seen in the work of Joe Sacco and Marjane Satrapi.

I wish Dean and Inverna luck with their project, hopefully Happy At 90 Miles and Cuba: One Story will be sharing space on the bookshelves of stores and in homes, shedding light on the individual experiences that are so often lost in the churning of historical drama.

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Jul
16
2009
0

Character studies 2

More character sketches, this is all for the scenes at Canaleta prison.

Doctor Felix

Doctor Felix

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Written by IPH in: Graphic Novels,Updates,comics |
Jul
15
2009
0

Character studies 1

Preparing for the next set of pages I’ve been sketching up a couple of characters that will appear in them.

Jorge's mother

Jorge's mother

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Written by IPH in: Graphic Novels,Updates,WEB COMIC |
Jul
12
2009
0

Culture “only for the people”

thepeople
It is tragicomic how in repressive leftist regimes the words “the people” is used to justify a supposed supremacy of the masses, while in fact being a license for a small privileged caste to repress others. (liberators often find themselves continuing the job of deposed tyrants) Even “the people” will be punished in the name of “the people” if need be.

I’m not talking about the genuine struggles in which workers have attained important rights through protests and other political means throughout the 20th century. In this sense, the use of the term “the people” has a long and honorable tradition of fighting the status quo for a more just society. My problem is with authoritarian leaders who abuse the term to lend validation to ruthless powergrabs and abuse of authority in the name of the people, die volk, or the proletariat.

When Chávez in Venezuela designates new political authorities above the rank of the newly elected mayors from the opposition, this does not, in the jargon of the Bolivarian Revolution, negate the wishes of the electorate. Rather, it is the will of “the people”, because “the people” have elected Chávez to do their bidding. In this case “the people ” can also be a synonym for their leader. Get it? In the Soviet Union, China and Cambodia, atrocities were committed on the people, by the people, in the name of the people. After “God”, “the people” is probably the second most invoked justification for violence and oppression. “Freedom” is a new recent favorite, as seen in Iraq.

In Cuba the Castros has been doing the will of “the people” for 50 years. So well indeed that all the non-people have been forced to flee by throwing themselves to sea in a slow purification process which surely has left “the people” in Cuba in such a state of unanimity that free speech is redundant.

Still, there are troublesome elements such as Yoani Sánchez, the tireless Cuban opposition blogger who obviously relishes being an enemy of “the people”, which is the reason for this post.
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Written by IPH in: Cuba News,Freedom of Speech |
Jul
09
2009
0

World Affairs Journal on Cuba

http://www.worldaffairsjournal.org/2009%20-%20Summer/full-Gjelten.html

© World Affairs

In his article “Cuban Days: The Inscrutable Nation”
Tom Gjelten of World Affairs has written the rare thing that is a balanced, extensive and informative article about contemporary Cuba, carefully detailing the sense that the island is at a crossroads.

Subjects touched on include:

  • The “special period” of hard times after the collapse of the Soviet Union when many analysts expected Cuba to follow suit.
  • The rafter exodus in 1994 and the hushed national discussion it sparked.
  • The challenge for the Castros in dealing with a progressive U.S. president, not easily demonized.
  • Blogger Yoani Sánchez and the internet censorship.
  • The benefits of a totalitarian state in emergencies such as Hurricane Ivan.
  • The CDRs and the imposed loyalty the regime demands.
  • Dissidents and undercover informants.
  • The different paths that Cuban “change” might take.
  • Interesting quote from a commentator:
    “The Castro regime has destroyed any nationalist sentiment among the youth sector of the population. . . . Emigrating to the United States or waiting for Fidel Castro to die, those are the favored options in Cuba. If there were a referendum to choose between sovereignty and annexation to the colossus of the north, the independent Cuban nation would perish unnoticed.

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    Written by IPH in: Cuba News,Cuban Revolution |

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