THE CREATION OF BISCET
Tomorrow, our three favorite members of Congress (Ileana, Lincoln and Mario) will be making an important presentation at Mario Diaz-Balart's Miami district office. Beginning around 10:30am, the three will officially inaugurate their Oscar Elias Biscet awareness campaign, recent winner of the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Part of the campaign was reported by Pablo Bachelet for the Miami Herald on Monday:
"Miami Republican Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen said Monday, Biscet supporters will begin an awareness campaign on U.S. college campuses with T-shirts and other items, calling Biscet 'a new hero for a new Cuba.' Among the campuses: University of Miami, Miami Dade College and Florida International University."
The three members of Congress called in to Radio Mambi Wednesday evening (between 6-6:30pm) detailing some of the event, which will include a video about Biscet. On the show, Mario Diaz-Balart, still delighted by Pres. Bush's recent speech on Cuba, made sure to let listeners know that if you don't spend at least sometime EACH DAY being active for a Free Cuba, then you "don't deserve to be called Cuban."
THE IBERO-AMERICAN SUMMIT IN CHILE
The 17th Ibero-American Summit began yesterday, and so far most of its invited guests which include all Latin American nations, Spain, Portugal and Andorra, have made the trip to Chile. Cuba's Vice-President, Carlos Lage, was in attendance for the Summit and appeared on Chilean television saying that Fidel Castro was "reading, studying, analyzing, offering ideas, thoughts, giving us ideas for us to continue the battle for the ideals of justice and solidarity to which he has dedicated his entire life."
There are indications that members of the Summit have already "approved a special communiqué" that condemns the US embargo towards Cuba and supports the extradition of Luis Posada Carriles to Venezuela. These resolutions against US policy have been persistent at the Summit since 2005 and 2006.
MIAMI BOOK FAIR INTERNATIONAL
This Sunday, Ann Louise Bardach, author of several articles and books on Cuba (and famed interviewer of Luis Posada Carriles) will be present at the Miami Book Fair, among several other famed authors. Bardach has recently released The Prison Letters of Fidel Castro, and is scheduled to release a new book next year titled Without Fidel: The Death of Castro and Other Tales.
Bardach will be present with Patrick Symmes, long-time travel writer, and famed author of Chasing Che, the book which soon became the film The Motorcycle Diaries. Symmes is the recent author of The Boys from Dolores: Fidel Castro's Classmates from Revolution to Exile and, with Bardach, will present a discussion titled "Portrait of [Fidel] Castro as a Young Man" at 3pm [PDF of Sunday Schedule].
The Prison Letters of Fidel Castro produces letters that began in 1953, after Fidel Castro was arrested for his attack on the Moncada Barracks. One of the persons that Fidel wrote to was Luis Conte Agüero, a former close friend, but today one of his fiercest opponents. Conte Agüero has his own show on a local Spanish station (TeleMiami) which runs weekdays from 11am to noon. He's a hard-liner who describes his intransigence in the memory of Jose Marti and Antonio Maceo, 19th Century heroes for Cuban independence.
But, before the conflict between Fidel Castro and Conte Agüero, he wrote with great praise of Fidel as the leader of the 1959 Revolution, and included in the prologue of the original release of 1959's The Prison Letters of Fidel Castro:
"This is Fidel Castro Ruz: Endurance, sacrifice, stoicism, study, brotherhood, foresight and destiny, beating heart, closed fist, will to make history; flower and firearm, bread and spirit, milk and spear, land and dream."
Today, Conte Agüero writes that Fidel "subverted and defiled the eternal values of liberty." But, its revealed that Fidel Castro was very clear in his letters to Conte Agüero of being a communist and opposed to freedom of speech. In a great article by Meg Laughlin for the St. Petersburg Times, Laughlin points out that Fidel laid out his plans "to take land and sugar profits from the wealthy and redistribute them to sharecroppers and workers." Furthermore, Fidel specifically wrote to Conte Agüero that "[t]he apparatus of propaganda and organization should be so powerful as to implacably destroy anyone trying to create fissures, cabals, and schisms or to rise against the movement." Conte Agüero seemed to not be bothered by these personal statements when he wrote his prologue in 1959.
Today, Laughlin gets a reply from Conte Agüero saying: "Communism did not occur to me at the time." And, concerning the use of propaganda to "implacably destroy" their opponents, Conte Agüero says: "In the very early days, it was necessary for consolidation."
There you have it. Power certainly corrupts.