Thursday, May 24, 2007

Chance to Help the Cuban People

(NOTE: I received this from a friend of mine in San Diego, a wonderful lady to helps organize goodwill aide trips to Cuba. Perhaps some readers and fans of 'Cuba Calling' would be interested in contributing to this cause to provide assistance to the Cuban people. She mentions $100, but they'd gladly accept any amount you want to provide -- they're only $1,000 short!). Here is the message from my friend:]

The San Diego Friends of Cuba group has come within $1,000 of matching the $3,000 now available for purchase of a San Diego bus to carry humanitarian aid (medical supplies, wheelchairs, crutches, walkers, etc.) and caravanistas down to Texas and then Tampico, Mexico for transport to Cuba. The humanitarian aid goes directly to a Cuban interfaith center. The caravanistas tour the island and have a close-up look at many of the communities on the island. Our objective is to end the U.S. government blockade against the country of Cuba.

If we can get 10 people to give $100 each we'll reach our goal. All the person has to do is:

  • Write a check for $100 to IFCO (Interreligious Foundation for Community Organization)
  • Write 'San Diego Bus' on the memo line
  • Mail the check to 418 W. 145th St. New York, NY 10031
The donation is fully tax deductible. We need the money by June 1st so the driver, Bill Hill, will have time to select one of the buses already located, and get the necessary licenses for the vehicle. Do you know 10 people through your travels to Cuba who could donate $100 each? We're so close to meeting our goal.

The person/organization can come to our party at the Malcolm X Library on July 9 and paint a message and signature on the side of the bus (like the one pictured) before it leaves for Arizona. Speaking of the July 9 party (2-7 PM at the Malcolm X Library in San Diego, FREE FOOD! and music!) I hope very much you can come and bring your friends.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Cuba Comment: Cuba's Varadero vs. Mexico's Cancun

In response to the posting Varadero: Cuba's Cancun, 'Hola' said . . .

"Just one thing . . . Cancun would like for one day to be as beautiful as Varadero."

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Che Guevara - "Soy fanatico!"

Comment from a young Habanero I met on the Malecon one night (translated from Spanish):

"What do I think of Che Guevara? Oh, man, I'm a fanatic! He was so good. He did so much for Cuba. Sometimes I think if he had lived, he would have been a better president for Cuba than Fidel."

Cuba Comment: "lift the ban on travel to Cuba"

'Desertmom' said:

"I hope that your trip, and other trips like yours to Cuba, will encourage the new congress to try to lift the ban on travel to Cuba. I'd love to go there."

Cuba Comment: "no one undertstands what we have gone thru"

In response to the posting One Man's View of the Emabargo, 'Hola' said:

"'Unjust and ethically unacceptable!?' Well the late Pope went back to his homeland and took a lot of time, money and effort to make sure that his people would enjoy freedom. Shame WE cubans haven't had the "grace" to have a Cuban Pope that would fight for Cubans against this horrible dictatorship that's close to 50 years of the most horrible crimes against us the Cuban people. I know most of the time no one cares and futher more no one understands what we have gone thru. The day all Cubans are free and have the opportunity to speak up without fear of being thrown in jail for telling the world what they think . . . Then they we will know. Let's wait for the rat to finally die and leave us Cubans in peace to take back our lives."

Cuba Comment: "never felt more welcome or safe"

As expected, 'Cuba Calling' has elicited some heartfelt comments from several readers. For the next few posts, I will feature various comments, representing several perspectives. In some cases I will also offer a response to a comment. And, in the true spirit of the blogosphere, feel free to comment on the comments! As an added bonus, I'll illustrate each featured comment with a new photo or video clip from Cuba not yet presented on the site. Let's get started

Comment from 'CubaSi' . . .

"I believe that you will be able to see many things your government does not want you to see... The 'What' will be all around you, the 'Why' is the one I would guess you will find challenging. I have been travelling to Cuba for the past 25 years, I go at least twice a year, sometimes three. This last November I travelled the whole month of November, all over the Island, and have never felt more welcome or safe . . ."

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Podcast: Socialism in Cuba from a different perspective

In honor of May Day, I've posted to the upper right a podcast from a Scottish lad about socialism in Cuba from a perspective to which Americans are rarely exposed. Though recorded last August shortly after Fidel Castro took ill, it reinforces many of the things I saw and heard while visiting Cuba for 10 days last month. The full podcast discusses both China and Cuba and can be found at this link.  I have edited it to include only the portion on Cuba, to the right, which runs just under nine minutes.  To hear it, just hit the pink (get it?) "play" arrow.