International New York Times

[Click Here for INYT Opinion Page]



For Americans and Cubans, an End to 'Phantasmagoria' (Folha, Brazil)


"The contacts at the highest level between U.S. and Cuba authorities (including their respective presidents) will bring an end to Cuba as a ghost comprised of a few facts and lots of mythology. … My first trip to Cuba was in 1977 when Brazilians were prohibited from traveling to the island. … It was clear to me that there was a profound mutual ignorance between Cuba and the outside world that served to feed the mutual phantasmagoria. … The Americans will now make a similar discovery."


By Clóvis Rossi*



Translated By Brandi Miller


April 15, 2015


Brazil – Folha – Original Article (Portuguese)

New York Times cartoonist Patrick Chappatte perfectly encapsulated the new situation between Cuba and the United States since the 7th Summit of the Americas.


In his drawing [top of the page], Obama, hand on Raúl Castro's shoulder, says: "Cuba will be removed from our terrorism list." In the following balloon, the president continues: "And put on our tourism list."


Bingo. The contacts at the highest level between U.S. and Cuba authorities (including the respective presidents) will bring an end to Cuba as a ghost comprised of a few facts and lots of mythology.


I will tell you a tale drawn from personal experience. My first trip to Cuba was in 1977 when Brazilians were prohibited from traveling to the island.


[Editor's Note: These were the waning years of Brazil's military dictatorship, which began in 1964. Ties with the United States were quite strong, and the John F. Kennedy Administration strongly backed the 1964 "anti-communist" coup that brought the generals to power. Of chief concern to the White House: growing Cuban and Soviet influence].


I had to take a crazy route: go to Paris to get the entry visa to Cuba; from Paris to Madrid to catch an Iberia flight (with layover) down to Havana.


I had read the book The Island by journalist Fernando Morais which praised the regime, a rare Brazilian publication about Cuba.


The book said that Cubans, full of revolutionary ardor, didn't accept gratuities - a thing of decadent capitalism. I believed it, and when the "boy" (actually not really a boy) put my bags in the hotel room, and I awaited his departure. He waited for me to give him the tip the book said Cubans wouldn't accept. He won the waiting game and took the tip - Revolutionary pride was not so widespread.


Upon my return to Brazil, as I learned long thereafter, the coronels of the-then 2nd Army wanted to arrest me at the airport, even if the journey wasn't illegal.


On the contrary, I had sent five texts into Estadão, for which was then employed, two of them published and duly signed "Special Envoy to Cuba" (the other three disappeared during transmission from Havana to São Paulo).


The head of the colonels, General Dilermando Gomes Monteiro, prevented my arrest, telling his subordinates that he preferred to invite me to talk to him (and them) at the Ibirapuera Headquarters.


The invitation did indeed come. The general and I sat on the sofa and behind us, a group of coronels wore frowns.


Dilermando asked: "So, how is the island?" I responded: "General, for such a people it can be very good, but for us, the bourgeois, it is shit. One must stand on line for everything."



This relaxed the tense atmosphere a bit because it was clear that the general didn't want to conduct an ideological interrogation about the "enemy." He just wanted to satisfy his curiosity about the prohibited "ghost."

Posted By Worldmeets.US


There was also curiosity from the other side. During my stay on the island, the Brazilian government announced the so-called "April package" of restrictive measures to prevent the opposition from achieving an election breakthrough.


The next day, a member of the Cuban Communist Party Central Committee appeared at my hotel with the same curiosity about Brazil that General Dilermando had about Cuba.


It was clear to me that there was a profound ignorance on both sides that served to feed the mutual phantasmagoria.


The Americans will make a similar discovery now.

Clovis Rossi is a special correspondent and member of the Folha editorial board, is a winner of the Maria Moors Cabot award (USA) and is a member of the Foundation for a New Ibero-American Journalism. His column appears on Thursdays and Sundays on page 2 and on Saturdays in the World Notebook section. He is the author, among other works, of Special Envoy: 25 Years Around the World and What is Journalism?






The Gleaner, Jamaica: Persuade Obama to Clear the Name of Marcus Garvey

El Universal, Mexico: Cuba is Alive. The Castros Can Retire. Hurray Cuba!

O Globo, Brazil: Havana and Washington Shuffle the Latin American Cards

Vermelho, Brazil: Cuba's Unprecedented Triumph Over Adversity

El Universal, Mexico: Obama's Cuban 'Electoral Coup'

Opera Mundi, Brazil: Demonization of 'Cuban Five' Shows U.S. is the Real Terror Threat

Folha, Brazil: U.S. Republican Triumph Plunges Americas Summit into Crisis
El Espectador, Colombia: People’s Summit Condemns Imposition of ‘U.S. Agenda’
El Espectador, Colombia: Evo Morales Blasts U.S. Over Summit Obstruction
El Espectador, Colombia: Summit of Americas in ‘Limbo’
Hoy, Ecuador: Americas Summit the Right Place to Address Drug War
La Jornada, Mexico: ‘Bushian Waterloo' in Argentina was a Historic Turning Point
La Jornada, Mexico: Chavez Holds His Own Summit
Al-Jazeera, Qatar: Argentina 'Storms Out' of the Americas Summit
Globe & Mail, Canada: Canada Splits with Latin America on Cuba and Drug War
El Espectador, Colombia: Summit of Americas Could Mark Start of ‘Soft’ Drug War
Minuto Uno, Argentina: Summit Leaders Seek U.S. Backing on 'British Aggression'
El Comercio, Ecuador: To Send Message on Cuba, Correa Should Go to Summit
El Universal, Colombia: With No Hope of Doing So, Colombians Ponder Meeting Obama
La Jornada, Mexico: The Lesson on Prohibition that the U.S. Refuses to Learn
El Universal, Mexico: Before ‘Aiding’ Mexico, U.S. Must Deal with Own Corruption
La Jornada, Mexico: With Tale of Drug Lord, U.S. Builds Case for Mexico Intervention
El Universal, Mexico: President Calderon Implores U.S.: 'No More Weapons!'
La Jornada, Mexico: Mexico Drug Violence: 'Business is Business'
Semana, Colombia: By Opposing U.S. on Drugs, President Santos Shows 'Guts'
El Universal, Mexico: Mexicans Must Face the Truth: We are at War
La Jornada, Mexico: U.S. Finally Admits to Infiltration By Drug Cartels
La Jornada, Mexico: Rejecting U.S. Drug War is Essential for Mexico's Survival
La Jornada, Mexico: An Open Letter to Obama: Learn Your History, Sir!
La Jornada, Mexico: Mexico: The Birthplace of U.S. Interventionism
La Jornada, Mexico: 'Happy Talk' Hides U.S. Encroachment on Mexico
La Jornada, Mexico: Senators and U.S. Drones: What Else are They Hiding?
La Jornada, Mexico: U.S. Consulate Deaths are No More Tragic than Our Own
La Jornada, Mexico: U.S. 'No Help' in Combating Drug Mafias
El Universal, Mexico: Hypocrite on Drugs, Obama Must 'Clean Own House'
El Heraldo, Honduras: Drug Busts in U.S. Belie the True Danger …
La Jornada, Mexico: Calderon's Bush-Style Militarization of Mexican Politics
Excelsior, Mexico: Mexico Needs 'Deeds, Not Words' From Obama White House
El Universal , Mexico: How Mexico Could Legalize Pot - Whether U.S. Likes it or Not
Excelsior, Mexico: As Blood Flows, U.S. Gets Serious About the Battle for Mexico
Excelsior, Mexico: Relations Between U.S. and Mexico are Deteriorating
La Tercera, Chile Mexico's Drug War: No Way Out But to Fight On

NRC Handelsblad, The Netherlands: Chavez to Obama: 'Go Wipe Your Ass'!

El Universal, Venezuela: Chavez to Obama: 'Go Wipe Your Ass'!

Gazeta, Russia: Latin Americans Will Sooner or Later Come 'Crawling' to the U.S.

Gazeta, Russia: Castro and Chavez Split Over Obama

El Mundo, Colombia: Obama: A Man Who Takes His Promises Seriously

La Razon, Bolivia: President Morales Suspects U.S. Behind Attempt on His Life

Granma, Cuba: Castro: Easing of Cuba Restrictions 'Positive', But Not Nearly Enough

Granma, Cuba: Bay of Pigs Led 'Inexperienced Kennedy' to Make 'Misguided Decisions' …

El Espectador, Colombia: Cuba in Obama's Sights

Merco Press, Uruguay: Lula Vows Not to Embarrass Obama Over Cuba Embargo


blog comments powered by Disqus



























































[Posted By Worldmeets.US, April 14, 2015,11:19pm]



Live Support