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Author Archive | W. T. Whitney, Jr.

Colombian Prisons and Prisoners Mirror Class Struggle

Prisoners in Colombia have recently gained new visibility.  Prisoner protest actions are one factor.  Another is discussion at the Havana peace talks of prisoners as victims of armed conflict.  November 2014 marks the two-year anniversary of talks between the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the Colombian government. Beginning on October 20, hunger strikes […]

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Who Governs Cuba?    Exploring the Social Composition of the Cuban Leadership

Who Governs Cuba? Exploring the Social Composition of the Cuban Leadership

Not least among achievements of Cuba’s socialist revolution is expanded political participation, even exercise of power, among formerly disadvantaged groups.  Rafael Hernández, editor of the Cuban journal Temas, details this story.  He studied participation and entry into leadership positions in terms of age, gender, race, and profession.  He mentions one consequence of inclusion that may […]

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A History of US Intransigence, from Cuba to Colombia

Cuba solidarity activists rallied in Bogota’s Policarpo district on January 26 to celebrate Cuban national hero José Martí’s 161st birthday.  Martí, champion of “Our America” — lands south of the Rio Grande River — launched an anti-imperialist movement that persists in Cuba more than a century later.  Colombian revolutionary struggle mirrors that durability. U.S intransigence […]

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Momentous Agrarian Strike Brings Colombian Government to Table

The divide in Colombia between poverty-stricken rural masses and land-hungry ruling elements is famous for leading to serious conflict.  Farmers, agricultural workers, truckers, and traditional miners revived that pattern on August 19 as they launched a nationwide agrarian strike.  Government repression, true to form, was not lacking. Some farmers gain reasonable livelihoods from sales of […]

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Reflections on Anti-Cuban Terror

Bombs set off near the finish line of the Boston Marathon on April 15 killed three and wounded over 200 people.  The metropolitan area became a virtual war zone.  Officials at every level let loose with doomsday-style retaliatory proclamations.  For some, however, the clamor served to resurrect memories of U.S. terrorism — against Cuba for […]

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The Promises and Challenges of Bolivia’s Socialist Government

Bolivia’s government entered 2013 on an optimistic note.  Socialist-oriented projects aimed at shoring up national independence and protecting indigenous rights seemingly were on track.  Now, however, the government is having to deal with emerging reports of official corruption. Opinion surveys show that President Evo Morales, overwhelming victor in two presidential elections and one recall vote, […]

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David Ravelo and the Fight for Colombia

Colombian political prisoner David Ravelo, jailed since September 14, 2010, learned late in November 2012 that he had been convicted and sentenced to 18 years in jail.  His case, based on spurious evidence, reflects epic military, police, and judicial repression carried out under a regime of big landowners and the urban elite.  After 50 years […]

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