Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Thaw!
















Fiona Robyn is going to blog her next novel, Thaw, starting on the 1st of March next year. The novel follows 32 year old Ruth’s diary over three months as she decides whether or not to carry on living.

To help spread the word she’s organizing a Blogsplash, where blogs will publish the first page of Ruth’s diary simultaneously (and a link to the blog).

She’s aiming to get 1000 blogs involved – if you’d be interested in joining in, email her at fiona@fionarobyn.com or find out more information at http://www.fionarobyn.com/thawblogsplash.htm.


Thanks Much!

Odilia

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

where hearts belong

She nursed a wild scheme
with dreams of becoming
a flower out of wild seed
though replanted
around asphalt and steel
her heart always belonged
to the green fields
their rows endless
with crops to feed
the rich and the needy
or to the desert of Shiprock and
Table Mesa with its stark lushness of rabbit brush,
sage, wild carrot, greenthread tea and
cochineal bugs to color the fine wool
woven into time machine rugs holding
onto the same wind that etches lives
into the sides of the Sandia mountains and
when rain clouds finally come to bless the
stamped red earth, faithful servant of the sun,
drops are big and kick up the dust
thrusting itself up towards turquoise sky
to drink greedily in the rich wetness
while dreaming of the great lakes
before they became poison and muddy
flash flooding is sometimes welcome
when memory treads water in dark lagoons
where loons sing late into the night of the
impending doom in a dark, void
of moon’s smiling face
it is a race to see who can reach the ocean first
her heart or the wind singing in answer to the loon
that life is a parade and all the floats are surely headed
in the same direction - to the end of the line - but it’s just
a matter of time and getting there is so delightful if you
dance and let the world’s problems in,
but let those you can’t resolve roll over you
like water off a ducks back and yes, that may be
quack psychology - but it has got to be that way -
in the life of flowers and fleeting dreams



©Odilia Galván Rodríguez, 2009

Tule Fog Dreams



you walk out into a hazy dream
Tule fog thick but nothing sticks to you,
nothing stops a determined walk of kings,
warriors, or gunslingers that lead
with their left foot stepping sure
always – ever onward to victory -
that’s you in the dream.
you are in your late twenties
longish raven hair, wavy but not unruly
your features are sharp and commanding
as if you are better than everyone else
but later I find out that is not you,
not who you really are, just
how you appear to others -
less sure of themselves.
you are a young man but not a kid
you’ve already seen plenty of action
in your years on the planet and don’t
plan on taking any shit from anyone.
yet, you have those eyes that let out
a bright kindness in the way they shine
especially for the very young, the elderly and
for the women you love.

you walk out of a haze into a dream
at first you don’t recognize me
(I don’t recognize me)
talking to a group of men you tower over
you continue eyeing me
standing on the edge of the scene
I look out of place, there are only men present
I am new to this here that stands in the middle
of nowhere wrapped in swirling fog
almost thick as cotton batting
yet my line of vision to you is not obscured
it’s as though you SEE into me,
every minute of me - since I first
began to tick in eternity,
since the first spark of breath
that leaps my spirit into flesh and
that recognition scares and shakes me
to my very center because
even I don’t know me – that well...

it is Fall and the wind is cruel
it turns up the soil that comes up
off the fields and mingles with the rain
to come down in dirty sheets, the
roads become mud soup in places.
by then, we are behind locked doors
your hands looking at my body
tracing every line ever written
you whisper incantations
sealing me into you forever and I,
thinking forever was right then, let you.
that is how never forgetting starts
how it penetrates bone and heart
how we get tied up tight to people
who’ve we’ve always known, have
always been bound to in other lives,
with sight and seeing, with whispers
and incantations and dreams
on rainy nights.


©Odilia Galván Rodríguez, 2009
The Yucatan Peninsula

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

'Ku Train Challenge #2


partly

I don't remember
winds of winter storms or snow
frozen glacial stares

railroad

railroad graveyards
trains longing for their heyday
iron horse resthome

above

above me fat clouds
threatening to turn gray
beautiful monsters

formula

partly cloudy
the formula for rain or
heat on the horizon

smokey/smoke

in smokey mirrors
she is eternally yours
reflections on ice

chair

on the good red earth
ancestors remained planted
enemies on chairs

bubble

my mind, a bubble
what? why did I just say that?
lost and found my brain

cub

in curve of arms
bundle of new life thriving
captures a lost heart

peculiar

stranger than fiction
that guy next door, sorcerer
peculiar his grace

lattice

the web of life we weave
our blink of an eye lives
a gossamer shawl



all poems are ©Odilia Galván Rodríguez, 2009




Monday, August 10, 2009

'Ku Train


bassinet

she ~ in a quartet
from the bassinet...blowin'
brass they sed only mens played


welcome

welcome mats melting
doors close before they open
talk to Elegua


four

Crow hit by four cars
came out without a scratch
shapeshifted to rubber ball


lichen

trumpet and sax
we were a symbioses
a Lucy and Ricky


burro

she moved slow ~ molasses
sweet ~ inviting those hips
her hands and footwork


perfume

always smells earthy
freshly ground chocolate seeds bleeding/
the essence of me


shiny

being a have not
I'ma new copper penny
all shiny and new


the knack

pretty little thing
she was too good for him
kept right on shimmying


gold/golden/goldfish

she was four then..when
the first of many goldfish
ended in her mouth


pencil

hot lead grazed her neck
she whipped out her slingshot and
killed the buster dead


August

the month of her birth
conceived Christmas eve
on eggnog and tamales


roll

on a roll holding
her mind together by threads
yesterdays at bay


beetle

tweedle deedle a
blue beetle bumming around
my new house of cards

rake

rake a comb through it
that mop be a broom
you need a new 'do

orange

peeled like an orange
him in the palms of my hands
begging me to stop

window

brown eyes say it all
love and fear - the sound of it
diving in your pools


grip

a pearl of you
under my skin winning me
an itch I dare not scratch

note to readers: 'ku (short for haiku) train is an idea cooked up by one of my compadres over at Once Upon a Time in the Projx poetry board ... You take a word - that the last writer left for you - and write a 17 syllable poem. It can be a haiku or a senryu or a poem of your own choosing but short. You use the word or a feeling, image or inspiration that comes to you based on that word. Then, after your poem's written you leave a word for the next person to write a poem from. You don't think too much about it,
the whole process is quick, like flash writing, you go in - there's a word -and you write, leave a word, and go... simple, challenging and lots of fun! Write on Neil!The above are my offerings to the process so far. c/s



Thursday, June 18, 2009

Cuba Updates




Top Cuba legislator says US court won't hurt talks

By WILL WEISSERT –


HAVANA (AP) — The head of Cuba's parliament says the U.S. Supreme Court's decision not to consider an appeal by five convicted Cuban spies is "a great insult," but it won't jeopardize upcoming negotiations with Washington.

Ricardo Alarcon told The Associated Press in an interview late Wednesday night that no date has been set for immigration talks with the U.S., but he said that Raul

Castro's government hopes to expand the agenda to include environmental issues and efforts against terrorism, drug smuggling and natural disasters.
Yet Alarcon also called the U.S. "an ignorant lion," criticizing the Supreme Court's refusal this week to hear an appeal by the so-called "Cuban Five," men convicted of being unregistered foreign agents by a Miami court in 2001. Their lawyers claim that anti-Castro sentiment kept them from receiving a fair trial in South Florida.

Cuban officials say the men were heroes trying to avert terrorist attacks on the island and they have held massive rallies for their freedom, plastered their faces on billboards and commissioned songs, poems and paintings in their honor. Alarcon said the government will continue campaigning on their behalf, but he suggested that their legal status won't impede U.S.-Cuban talks.

"We share the sentiments of many who feel insulted by that decision, but I don't see why one necessarily has to affect the other," Alarcon said when asked if the high court's move could spoil negotiations.

The five were sentenced to terms that ranged from 10 years to life in prison. Three were also found guilty of conspiracy to obtain military secrets from the U.S. Southern Command.

A three-judge federal appeals court panel reversed their convictions in 2005, but the full 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals later reinstated them, ordering new sentences for two of the men in coming months.

Alarcon said the men's freedom will be "at the top" of any list of priorities in talks with U.S. leaders, adding that President Barack Obama "has a moral obligation" to pardon the five if he really wants improved relations with Cuba and Latin America.

Still, he acknowledged that Obama has a clear desire for improved U.S.-Cuban ties, and noted that "there is an obvious change in language" in Washington, even if some people are "working to try and sabotage that."

Cuba's parliament meets just two weekends a year, when its members do little more than unanimously back measures proposed by Castro's government. Still, Alarcon is one of the island's most-public faces. He lived in the U.S. for years as Cuba's ambassador to the United Nations, and answered questions on Wednesday partly in English.

Alarcon also suggested that the June 4 arrest of two new accused Cuban spies, retired State Department official Walter Kendall Myers and his wife, was intended to undermine improved relations between the neighboring nations.

"The administration makes traveling to Cuba easier for Cuban Americans and Congress is discussing the elimination of travel restrictions for everyone, and suddenly this strange case pops up," he said, calling it something "out of a police novel."

The pair is not believed to have been paid, but rather to have been ideological supporters of the communist-run island.

"Cuba does not buy spies," he said. "They don't do it for money."


Copyright © 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

My 64 Words for Aung San Suu Kyi

To Aung San Suu Kyi,

64 words to say Feliz Cumpleaños! Glad you were born and hope you live many more years on this earth. To thank you for struggling to make a difference in this world full of people who only hold ant vision; who don't look beyond themselves or their daily tasks. You are an eagle vision woman who looks beyond today to our children's future. Peace!

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Solidarity With The Indigenous Peoples of Peru!

Murdering people for protesting is a very terrible situation, to say the least. Indigenous peoples have a right to protest like any other group. The problem is that institutionalized racism believes that those of us who survived the massacres, since the arrival of the European people, are a conquered, broken and invisible people. They want us to stay that way... and since perception lags behind reality they are not aware that we have been rising for a long, long time and our children and their children will continue...


http://www.democracynow.org/2009/6/8/peruvian_police_accused_of_massacring_indigenous

http://peruanista.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Cuba Updates


Fidel Castro
Reflections & Speeches














Applauses and Silences

Yesterday on May 31st, an AFP dispatch read: “Cuba has accepted to reopen negotiations with the United States about migration and direct mail service, a new signal of the thaw that is happening just before an Organization of American States (OAS) Summit where the Cuban situation will dominate conversations.

“The head of the Cuban Interests Section in Washington, Jorge Bolaños, communicated on Saturday that Cuba ‘is waiting to reinitiate conversations about emigration and direct mail service’, said a senior State Department official who remained anonymous.

“From El Salvador where she is attending a ministerial conference on regional trade, Hillary Clinton said that Washington was pleased to resume conversations with Havana on those issues.”

Suddenly a rather undiplomatic sharp remark indicated that:

“’There will be an open dialogue as soon as there are changes on human rights and movement towards democracy’ in Cuba”, the EFE agency writes.

What is the kind of “democracy” and “human rights” advocated by the United States? Was it really necessary to launch that humiliating and arrogant warning?

Today when I saw the inauguration of Mauricio Funes on television and he spoke about reestablishing relations with Cuba, deafening applause and shouts of joy erupted in the room unlike anything else that had been heard during his speech. There, among the guests, was Hillary. Earlier, the speaker, who strayed many times from his written speech, had made the mistake of greeting Mrs. Clinton who is Secretary of State, even before Lula da Silva, the president of the South American giant who was sitting there in a group of presidents from our region.

The speaker, even before the end of the extended applause for Cuba –that could perhaps hurt Mrs. Clinton– started to speak and he again mentioned the United States with the best of intentions. However, very few people in that large room applauded that country.

A crucial moment, one that was much applauded in Mauricio’s speech earlier on, happened when he mentioned the distinguished Archbishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero whose tomb he had visited that morning. While he was saying Mass, that defender of the poor had been murdered with impunity by the bloody ARENA Party tyranny imposed on El Salvador by imperialism. In that room there were also legislators and senior officials representing the party that had murdered him; among them several of the few who applauded the United States.

In certain circumstances, not just words do the speaking; so do applauses and silences.

Fidel Castro Ruz

June 1st, 2009

2:36 p.m.


source: Cuban News Agency

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Invisible

Living invisible lives behind hammers, hoes, brooms; molding steel and concrete
Your children born hard looked around at the country you'd built - then took to the streets
Said no more bowing of heads or turning the other cheek, they spoke up and started to feel
Rage, the anger folded inward for survival, runs in the blood - it's what made torn hearts beat

Your children born hard looked around at the country you'd built - then took to the streets
They'd had enough of the beatings, the lynchings, the murdering, all that lying and cheating
Rage, the anger folded inward for survival, runs in the blood - it's what made torn hearts beat
Some wanted to take up arms, or to defend by any means necessary - others by demonstrating

They'd had enough of the beatings, the lynchings, the murdering; all that lying and cheating
Some learned to attack the problems of race and hatred by reclaiming their traditions peacefully
Some wanted to take up arms, or defend by any means necessary - others by demonstrating
History tells stories of countless who defended the people, who never gave up willingly

Some learned to attack the disease of race and hatred by reclaiming old traditions peacefully
Cut tongues were pieced together in songs for the ancestors and playing the sacred drum
History told stories of countless who defended the people, who never gave up willingly
Their spirits soared while their descendants prayed to their own God, dancing in the sun

Cut tongues were pieced together in songs for the ancestors and playing the sacred drum
Ceremonies for healing the creation were remembered, and hearts took on another beat
Their spirits soared while their descendants prayed to their own God, dancing in the sun
No more living invisible for others - behind hammers, hoes, brooms, molding steel and concrete




©/s Odilia Galván Rodríguez, 2009


Friday, May 08, 2009

CUBA UPDATES


Fidel Castro
Reflections & Speeches














THE ONLY AMERICAN EX-PRESIDENT I HAVE MET


Carter is the only ex-president of the United States that I have had the honor of meeting, other than Nixon who was not one yet.

I had visited Washington to take part in a press conference that meant a tough challenge for me because of the questions that the expert reporters would be asking. The president had suggested to Nixon that he invite me for a conversation in his office. He was deceitful and hypocritical. He left that office with the idea of recommending the destruction of the Cuban Revolution.

Following his advice, Eisenhower was the author of the first plans to eliminate me physically, of the terror campaign against Cuba and the mercenary Bay of Pigs invasion.

The year 1959 marked the beginning of the treacherous history that President Carter tried to rectify 18 years later.

I knew, or rather I guessed, that he was a man of a religious ethics, from a long interview in which difficult subjects were broached and which he handled with sincerity and modesty. In those days, there were strong tensions between Panama and the United States. The leader of that country, Omar Torrijos, was an honest, nationalist and patriotic soldier. He could be persuaded by Cuba to not adopt extreme positions in his struggle for the return of the Canal territory which, like a sharp knife, was splitting his country in two. Perhaps because of that, the small nation was able to avoid a blood-bath although later on the country would be portrayed to the people of the United States and to the world as an aggressor.

Later, and without talking to anyone in the United States, I could predict that maybe Carter was the only president of that country with whom it would be possible to reach an honorable agreement without spilling one single drop of blood.

Not much time had passed before Washington would sign the agreement between the United States and Panama in the presence of other heads of state, excluding Cuba of course.

I mention this because Omar Torrijos himself, on a visit he made to our country, spoke about the efforts Cuba had made in this respect.

As president of the United States, Carter agreed with Cuba to create the Interests Sections in Havana and Washington. With that move we saved a lot of diplomatic procedures and paperwork that were driving the austere and meticulous Swiss diplomats insane. Maintaining the colossal building in the former United States Embassy in Havana was already in itself quite a feat for Switzerland.

Another thing: Carter discussed major issues with Cuba, such as the limits of territorial waters and the rights of each, the use of energy resources included in the jurisdictional waters of Mexico, Cuba and the United States as well as fishery resources and other subjects of inescapable attention. Not all the agreements favored Cuba. Our fishing fleet had been catching in international waters, as it was established, 12 miles off the coasts of Canada, the U.S. and Mexico. However, in solidarity, Cuba was supporting Chile, Peru and other Latin American countries in their right to exploit fishery resources on their respective sea shelves. The final result was that our modern expensive fishing boats finally ceased to work in those waters, when such a battle was finally won. The requisites established by the U.S. authorities were such on the rich shelves where our boats were fishing near the coast of that country, and other limitations in the light of the new law, that they priced themselves out of the market.

When Carter became president of his country, the aggressions, terrorism and blockade against the people of Cuba had existed for many years. Our solidarity with the peoples of Africa and many other poor and underdeveloped nations in the world could not be the object of negotiations with the U.S. government. Nor would we leave Angola, or suspend the assistance already committed to the African countries. Carter never actually requested it but it is clear that many in the United States were thinking along those lines.

The defense of our sovereignty not only unleashed deep contradictions with the U.S. but also with the USSR, our ally, when as a result of the October [Missile] Crisis, without consulting our country, the USSR negotiated a mutually convenient agreement with the U.S. by which the blockade, terrorist actions and the Guantanamo Base remained intact in exchange for strategic concessions by the two superpowers. We did not seek unilateral advantages. Revolutionaries who act that way do not survive their mistakes.

Compliance with the international standards would have never been an obstacle for Cuba and, as we have often said, peace is also an unavoidable objective of the Cuban Revolution. Many forms of cooperation are possible between peoples with different political concepts.

One proof of that is the war against drug trafficking, organized crime and the trafficking of human beings; this can be extended to many forms of cooperation in the fight against epidemics, natural catastrophes and other problems.

The Revolution has never used terrorism against the United States.

That country invented plane hijackings to strike against Cuba. That action, in a society with so many social conflicts, became an epidemic. How could they have resolved it without Cuba’s cooperation? We had adopted severe laws to punish the culprits, but it was useless. Finally, we made the decision to return them in the very same hijacked planes after warning them about it earlier.

Thus, the first plane we returned was the last one hijacked in the U.S.; this coincided exactly with the Carter years. I have spoken about this at greater length. I’m not saying anything new.

After Carter, Reagan took the dirty war to Nicaragua, using drugs to get around the laws of Congress and with the incomes supply weapons to the counterrevolution, mining ports; his policy took thousands of Sandinista lives while many were wounded and maimed.

Bush senior carried out the horrible slaughter of El Chorrillo to punish Panama and erase the marks left by Carter’s gesture.

When Carter visited Cuba between May 12 and 17 of 2002, he knew that he would be welcomed here; I attended his lecture at the University of Havana; I invited him to an important baseball game played between the national Occidentales and Orientales teams at the Latin American Stadium. Both of us were there at the opening pitch to which he was invited, with no bodyguards whatsoever, surrounded by 50,000 people in the stands, perfect targets for any sharp-shooter hired by the CIA. Bush Jr. was already governing the U.S. I only wanted to show Carter the relationship of the country’s leaders with the people. When we arrived at the stadium, he accepted with dignity my invitation to persuade his chief of security to leave him on his own, and that’s what he did.

What I know about forestry in the U.S. was explained to me by Carter at the dinner we hosted for him on the last day: how the trees are planted, what varieties, the time they need to grow, production per hectares, and so on and so forth.

I observed his faith in the capitalist system where he was raised and educated; I respect that.

When he was in the government, times were difficult. He had to carry the burden of the effects of an economic crisis, but he was austere, he didn’t drown the future generations in debt. His successor, Ronald Reagan, would squander all the savings Carter had made. He was a movie actor and handled the teleprompter well, but he never asked himself where the money was coming from.

Yesterday, former President Jimmy Carter said to the Folha de São Paulo newspaper: “’I would like (the embargo) to end today. There is no reason why the Cuban people should continue to suffer’, stated the former president who heads a human rights organization and this week was visiting Brazil to meet with President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.

“According to Carter, the initiatives adopted so far by Obama to ease the restrictions dictated against the island were less daring than what would be desired.

“’I think that Obama’s initiatives were not as good as those of the two U.S. Congress houses which today are one step ahead of the president with regards to Cuba.

“’The next step should be immediate removal of all travel restrictions to the island, not just for Cuban-Americans. It was what I did when I was president 30 years ago. The end of the embargo will follow suit’, the former president said.

Carter finally expressed that results were also depending on the Cuban leaders; surely, on us and on all the Cubans who have struggled and are willing to struggle.



Fidel Castro Ruz

May 7, 2009

7:15 p.m.

source: Cuban News Agency

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Poem #30 of poem a day for National Poetry Month April 2009


At a distance




Mom I love you so very much but we do better at a distance
I never have had the heart to say this straight to your face
But when I reached the age I said so much more with my body
Things a mind of your time just couldn't let in for the disgrace

I never have had the heart to say this straight to your face
Long ago because a good daughter would never think to do so
Things a mind of your time just couldn't let in for the disgrace
And later after I became a mom because then I too began to know

Long ago, because a good daughter would never think to do so
I never said what my heart really felt - I acted it out instead
Later, after I became a mom because then I too began to know
That no matter how hard you try your child inherits part of your bad head

I never said what my heart really felt - I acted it out instead
Never at home but out in bars, in stranger's beds - wild in the streets
That no matter how hard you try, your child inherits part of your bad head
So instead I tried to model the kind of parent I wanted my child to someday be

Never at home, but out in the bars, in strangers beds, and wild in the streets
At home I became a rebel against your iron rule with my ever growing resistance
So instead I tried to model the kind of parent I wanted my child to someday be
I went across the country to fight along side people who struggled against injustice

At home I became a rebel against your iron rule with my ever growing resistance
I knew you loved me, but you didn't like me being so much my father's reflection
I went across the country to fight along side people who struggled against injustice
Mom I love you very much, but you and I, we do so much better at a distance


© Odilia Galván Rodríguez, 2009

Poem #29 - 30/30


A BIG Fish Taco Story




Marsea


Marsea grew up in a palapa close to the clear blue waters of the gulf of Mexico
Her family fished for a living and what they couldn't eat, they sold
Mainly tourists wanted to eat the fish but had no place to cook it
Marsea's mother Luz decided to sell fish tacos and cold drinks on the shore

Her family fished for a living and what they could not eat, they sold
Marcos, Marsea's dad, put up more palapas and built tables and chairs
Marsea's mother Luz decided to sell her fish tacos and cold drinks on the shore
Their spot became famous, but everyone wanted what they had to be theirs

Marcos, Marsea's dad, put up more palapas and built tables and chairs
Their palapa houses grew, and became an outdoor hotel with hammocks by the week
Their spot became famous, but everyone wanted what they had to be theirs
All kinds of people came and stayed for the food and to catch the waves wide and sleek

Their palapa houses grew, and became an outdoor hotel - with hammocks by the week
One Sunday Marsea's parents went out together on their fishing boat to be alone
All kinds of people came and stayed for the food and to catch the waves wide and sleek
Nightfall near, a storm was rolling in but there was no sign of her parents coming home

One Sunday Marsea's parents went out together on their fishing boat to be alone
A terrible sea storm with lightening and thunder rocked the shoreline and scared the people
Nightfall near, the storm had rolled in and still there was no sign of her parents coming home
Marcos and Luz never made it back that night and the next day Marsea was orphaned at 18

A terrible sea storm with lightening and thunder rocked the shore and scared the people
Friends searched, and searched until there was no place else to look or to go
Marcos and Luz never did come home and people say they sailed straight up to God's steeple
Marsea grew up in a palapa close to the clear blue waters of the gulf of Mexico


© Odilia Galván Rodríguez, 2009

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Cuban Updates


Fidel Castro
Reflections & Speeches

CUBA: A TERRORIST COUNTRY?

Thursday, April 30 was unlucky for the United States. On that day it occurred to them to include Cuba yet again on the list of terrorist countries. Committed as they are to their own crimes and lies, perhaps even Obama himself was unable to untangle himself from that mess. A man whose talent nobody denies must feel ashamed about the empire’s cult of lie. Fifty years of terrorism against our Homeland come to light in an instant.

What can one explain to those who know about the horrific event of a plane blown up in mid flight, with its passengers and crew, about the participation of the United States in the events, the recruiting of Orlando Bosch and Posada Carriles, and the supplying of explosives, funds and the complicity of the intelligence agencies and the authorities of that country? How can one explain the campaign of terror that preceded and followed the mercenary invasion of the Bay of Pigs, the attacks on our coasts, towns, transport and fishing vessels, the terrorist actions inside and outside of the United States? How can one explain the hundreds of frustrated assassination plots on the lives of Cuban leaders? What can one say about the introduction of viruses such as hemorrhagic dengue and swine fever that genetically had never even existed in the hemisphere? I am merely mentioning some of the acts of terror in which the United States has played a part, the ones recorded in their own declassified documents. Don’t these events embarrass the current administration?

I could put together an endless list of abhorrent activities.

At our request, Bruno Rodríguez, Minister of Foreign Affairs, sent me the exact words used by a France-Presse reporter to ask him a question on April 30, along with his compelling answer.

Rigoberto Díaz, of AFP: “Coinciding with the final moments of this meeting and also on a subject that has been dealt with during this event, the US government has once more included Cuba on the list of countries sponsors of terrorism along with Sudan, Iran and Syria. I would like to hear your opinion on this.”

Bruno’s reply:

“We do not recognize any political or moral authority to the US government to make any list on any subject, or to “certify” good or bad behavior.

The Bush government was “certified” by world public opinion as a government violating international law; as being aggressive and war-mongering; as a government that tortures and that is responsible for extrajudicial executions.

“Bush has been the only president who has boasted in public, in the US Congress, about having carried out extrajudicial executions. That is a government which kidnapped people and transported them illegally, created secret prisons that nobody knows whether they are still in existence, and a concentration camp where torturing is going on in the part of territory usurped from the Republic of Cuba.

“In the matter of terrorism, the US government has historically held a long record of State terrorism acts, not only against Cuba.

“In the US, Orlando Bosch and Posada Carriles are free to come and go; these two who are responsible for numerous terrorist acts including the blowing up of a civilian Cuban plane in mid-flight. There is no answer to Venezuela’s official request for the extradition of Posada Carriles who is being tried for various charges, but not as a notorious international terrorist.

“The US government held a travesty of a trial against the five young Cuban anti-terrorist activists who are today being held as political prisoners in its jails.

“The US government covers up acts of State terrorism committed by Israel against the Palestinian people and the Arab peoples. And, it kept silent before the crimes taking place in the Gaza Strip.

“Therefore one shouldn’t recognize that the United States has any moral authority whatsoever, and I, frankly, believe that nobody pays any attention or reads those documents, among other things, because the author is an international outlaw in many of the matters which it criticizes.

“Cuba’s position against all manifestations and forms of terrorism, wherever they may be committed, against any state that may be affected, in any form it may be carried out, for whatever purpose, is clear and consistent with its actions.

“Cuba has been the victim of terrorism for many years and it has a completely clean record in this matter. Cuban territory has never been used to organize, fund or execute terrorist acts against the United States of America. The State Department which issues those reports cannot say the same.”

This declaration, issued at the ministerial meeting of the Non-Aligned Countries, is not yet widely known by the population which in these days has been receiving plenty of news of all kinds. If the State Department wishes to discuss this with Bruno, there is sufficient information to bury it in its own lies.

Fidel Castro Ruz

May 2, 2009

7:12 p.m.



WE WILL HAVE TO GIVE OUR ALL

Yesterday, I had a lengthy talk with Miguel d’Escoto, president pro tempore of the United Nations General Assembly. I had listened to his remarks at the ALBA meeting in Cumana on April 17.

I admired his significant statement. I had first met him after the victory of the Revolution in Nicaragua when Daniel Ortega appointed him minister of Foreign Affairs, a position he held until Reagan’s dirty war, which caused the death of thousands of Sandinista youths and great economic damage, ended up with the victory of counterrevolution in Nicaragua.

The backwardness that situation brought throughout seventeen years, and the economic and social disaster imposed by the U.S. “democracy” on the noble Nicaraguan people, led to the return of the Sandinista government to the country; this time with constitutional limitations and a marked dependency from the United States. Daniel denounced it on April 17, at the Summit of the Americas in Port of Spain where with great dignity he condemned the blockade on Cuba. On the other hand, Miguel d’Escoto, who as a minister of Foreign Affairs of Nicaragua had earned great prestige with his talents and ideas, was elected in 2007 president of the UN General Assembly for a two-year period.

It was in this capacity that he attended the Non Aligned Movement’s ministerial meeting held in Havana this past April 28, 29 and 30. Today, he was at the Revolution Square with Raul watching the impressive parade for the International Worker’s Day carried live by our television while in Santiago, the cradle of the Revolution, and in the other provinces of the country enthusiastic parades took place which constituted an irrefutable expression of the fortitude of our Revolution.

The words of the announcers were heard from the rostrum vibrant with emotion as Miguel d’Escoto and many foreign relation ministers and representatives of NAM as well as two thousand visitors from countries of every continent shared the joy of this workers’ celebration.

The poem dedicated by Fayad Jamis to Manuel Navarro Luna, a revolutionary and communist poet who lived in Granma province since he was a six year old child --the same province where our last war of liberation started-- was quoted more than once.

From his early childhood, Navarro Luna was forced to give up school and start working in various trades. He worked as a janitor, a shoe shiner, and a diver, a night watchman and a clerk. He studied by himself to acquire some knowledge.

In 1915 he published his first poems and in 1919 his first book. In 1930 he joined the Communist Party.

He worked at the first Communist Mayor’s office in Cuba after the fall of Machado’s government in 1933. After the revolutionary victory in 1959, and challenging the passing of time, he became a member of the National Militias and took part in the fight against the counterrevolutionary bandits at Escambray and in the victory of Playa Giron.

…For this freedom of song beneath the rain

We will have to give our all

For this freedom of being closely bound

To the heart of the people sweet, firm we will have to give our all

For this freedom of a sunflower opened in the dawn of factory furnaces

And illuminated schools

And of crackling earth and waking child

We will have to give our all

There is not alternative but freedom

There is not other path but freedom

There is not homeland but freedom

There will be no poetry without the violent music of freedom

For this freedom which is the terror

Of those who always violated it

In the name of lavish misery

For this freedom which is the night of the oppressors

And the definitive dawn of the whold invincible people

For this freedom which lights up sunken eyes

Bare feet

Leaking roofs

And the eyes of children who wander in dust

For this freedom which is youths empire

For this freedom

Beautiful like life

We will have to give our all

If necessary

Even our shadows

And it will never be enough.

The white, red and blue colors of our flag, sustained by the industrious hands of thousands of students from the University of Informatics Sciences closed the parade, preceded by the youths of the university and middle level education students’ federations from the capital; the disciplined and active youths of humble origins being trained as Social Workers; the children from La Colmenita art troupe and other creations of the Revolution; they are all aware that they carry a flame that nobody will ever be able to extinguish.

I was very pleased to know that Miguel d’Escoto was there watching the parade. Three days before, in his remarks to the foreign ministers and representatives of the Non Aligned Movement he had said:

“…The world order exists based on the capitalist culture in which having more means being better; the same that promotes selfishness, greed, usury and social irresponsibility. These anti-values of the capitalist culture have led the world to a number of converging crises that should be effectively taken care of; otherwise they might endanger the life of the human species and the capacity to sustain life on Earth.

“At the root of all of the different crises we are facing lie an enormous moral crisis, a deep crisis of ethical values and principles. We have all betrayed the values derived from our respective religious and ethical-philosophic traditions. By succumbing to the capitalist temptations we have betrayed ourselves, and by assuming its anti-life values of hatred and selfishness, we have become the worst predators, enemies of our Mother Earth, we have dehumanized ourselves…

“…Cuba has always been a place for spiritual refreshment. Here we can all see that love is stronger and more powerful than selfishness. Here more than anywhere else we can learn what solidarity is: the most important antidote for humanity to survive the insane selfishness that seems destined to bring about its annihilation.

“…In this 21st century, a century of reconciliation and peace through the rule of law, social justice and democratic inclusiveness, we respect every minority and we want to hear them all. It is at the G-192, the General Assembly, where we shall decide on the path to take in order to avoid the trap of the insane and suicidal selfishness that capitalism has led the world to. It will not be with any kind of revanchism but with the spirit to build a better world for all, without exceptions or exclusions…

He did not run for the position of president of the UN General Assembly he now occupies. He learned of his candidacy through the Nicaraguan Ambassador to the UN. It was Latin America’s turn, and Daniel Ortega, being aware of his qualities had made the proposal unhesitatingly. He did not even have time to explain his health problems to take on such a high responsibility. The countries of Latin America, Africa and the Third World quickly offered their support. Miguel was not perturbed by the difficulties and accepted the position.

He handed me a document he signed as president of the UN General Assembly designating Cuba a paradigm of international solidarity and showed me the gold medal that comes with the decree and that he designed himself.

He said in his remarks many other interesting things that I am not quoting here to avoid being to extensive.

His words and deeds have honored our Revolution.

…. We will have to give our all

If necessary

Even our shadows

And it will never be enough.

These were the final words of this poem by Fayad Jamis.


Fidel Castro Ruz

May 1, 2009

7:23 p.m.

source: Cuban News Agency

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Poem #28 - 30/30




Sailing into Summer, A Story



She sailed off on her five stanza pantoum
Promising to return next National Poetry Month
Too many poems had seemed over bloomed
But she kept a vow to write to a daily prompt

Promising to return next National Poetry Month
She packed her best moleskin journal and fountain pen
But kept a vow to write to a daily prompt
Her muses never failed her, what lovely friends

She packed her best moleskin journal and fountain pen
Deciding to write short stories instead
Her muses never failed her, what lovely friends
She said, If I don't write I'll end up crazy or dead

Deciding to write short stories instead
She put haiku and cinquains out of her head
She said, If I don't write I'll end up crazy or dead
Deciding on this new turn she slept in a hammock instead of a bed

She put haiku and cinquains out of her head
To make up shiny stories that shone through the gloom
Deciding on this new turn she slept in a hammock instead of a bed
As she sailed off on her five stanza pantoum


© Odilia Galván Rodríguez, 2009

Poem #27 - 30/30



What happens when you whisper a spirit’s name into the wind
You are saying, I am standing here calling you to me
Something prophesized in bone or shell is a truth that can bend
When you make a promise of change with work so shall it be

You are saying I am standing here calling you to me
Beyond the furthest reaches of silvery veils between the worlds
When you make a promise to change with work, so shall it be
The ancestors are there to help you jump over life’s hurdles

Beyond the furthest reaches of silvery veils between the worlds
The voices that speak to us are of those who love us well
The ancestors are there to help you to jump over life’s hurdles
They come through in dreams, in burnished stones and shells

The voices that speak to us are of those who love us well
They lived many seasons we have not yet passed
They come through in dreams, in burnished stones and shells
They’ve swam the river’s course, be it choppy or still as glass

And they lived many seasons we have not yet passed
Seen blood red moons and blue ones too that makes life a rare dream
They’ve swam the river’s course, be it choppy or still as glass
And love of self is the first and most important lesson, in an endless stream

Seen blood red moons and blue ones too, that make life a rare dream
Streaming through are these voices that telegraph through the din
Love of self is the first and most important lesson, in an endless stream
What happens when you whisper a spirit’s name into the wind



© Odilia Galván Rodríguez, 2009

Poem #26 - 30/30




A glyph offering

Tired of hearing
Myself speaking in tied tongues
I offer quiet


© Odilia Galván Rodríguez, 2009

Poem #25 - 30/30



There came a clear water day, void of confusion
Confusion made her a reader of other people's lives
After so many stories she made a resolution
Not hide in books but instead live her own lies

Confusion made her a reader of other people's lives
Lost in books for awhile until she was clear
Not to hide in books, but instead live her own lies
Grew into a strong woman who refused to live in fear

Lost in books for awhile until she was clear
The world she'd been born into was a winter storm
Grew into strong woman who refused to live in fear
So she went west, were the azure sea was warm

The world she'd been born into was a winter storm
Filled with icy stares and frozen feelings
So she went west, were the azure sea was warm
No more icicle words, sharp and unfeeling

Filled with icy stares and frozen feelings
It took her many, many years to heal and thaw
No more icicle words, sharp and unfeeling
Still she was a ball of pain, her nerves always raw

It took her many, many years to heal and thaw
Went through many people's love, betrayed their illusions
She was a ball of pain, her nerves always raw
Then, there came another clear water day, void of confusion


© Odilia Galván Rodríguez, 2009

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Monday, April 27, 2009

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Fidel Castro
Reflections & Speeches

An Impressive Gesture

I confess that many times I have meditated on the dramatic story of John F. Kennedy. It was my fate to live through the era when he was the greatest and most dangerous adversary of the Revolution. It was something that didn’t play a part in his calculations. He saw himself as the representative of a new generation of Americans who were confronting the old-style, dirty politics of men of the sort of Nixon whom he had defeated with a tremendous display of political talent.

He had behind him his history as a combatant in the Pacific and of his adroit pen.

Because he was over-confident, he was dragged into the Bay of Pigs adventure by his predecessors, since he had no doubts about the experience and professional capacity of all those men. His failure was bitter and unexpected, a scant three months after his inauguration. Even though he was on the point of attacking the Island with his country’s powerful and sophisticated weaponry, on that occasion he didn’t do what Nixon would have done: use the fighter-bombers and land the Marines. Rivers of blood would have flowed in our Homeland where hundreds of thousands of combatants were ready to die. He controlled himself and came up with a categorical phrase that is hard to forget: “Victory has a thousand fathers, but defeat is an orphan.”

His life continued to be dramatic, like a shadow that accompanied him at all times. On the strength of wounded pride, he again succumbed to the idea of invading us. This brought on the October [Missile] Crisis and the most serious risks of thermonuclear warfare that the world has ever known until the present day. He emerged from this test as an authority thanks to the mistakes of his chief adversary. He seriously wanted to talk with Cuba and that’s what he decided to do. He sent Jean Daniel to talk with me and return to Washington. His mission was being carried out at that moment when the news of President Kennedy’s assassination arrived. His death and the strange way in which it was orchestrated and carried out, was truly sad.

Later I met close family members who visited Cuba. I never mentioned the unpleasant aspects of his policy against our country, nor did I refer at all to the attempts to eliminate me. I met his son when he was an adult, who had been a young child when his father had been the president of the United States. We got together as friends. His own brother Robert was also assassinated, multiplying the drama shadowing that family.

At the distance of so many years, information arrived about a gesture that impressed me.

These days, while so much was being said about the lengthy and unfair blockade of Cuba in the upper echelons of the continent’s countries, I read a news item in Mexico’s La Jornada: “At the end of 1963, the then Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy sought to overturn the ban on travel to Cuba and today his daughter, Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, wrote that President Barack Obama ought to take this into account and support legislative initiatives that would allow all Americans to travel to the island.

“In official documents declassified by the National Security Archive research centre it is recorded that on December 12, 1963, less than one month after the assassination of John F. Kennedy, Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy sent a communication to Secretary of State Dean Rusk, urging the removal of regulations prohibiting Americans from traveling to Cuba

“Robert Kennedy claimed that the prohibition violated American freedoms. According to the document, he affirmed that the current restrictions on travel are inconsistent with traditional American freedoms.

“…That position was unsuccessful inside the Lyndon B. Johnson administration and the State Department decided that to suspend the restrictions would be perceived as a softening of the Cuban policy and that they were part of the joint effort made by the United States and other American republics to isolate Cuba.

“In an editorial article by Kathleen Kennedy printed today in The Washington Post, Robert’s daughter expresses her wish that her father’s position be adopted by the Barack Obama government, and that this should be the position promoted by Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. while the Obama government weighs the next step it will take with Cuba, one that should be pushing for allowing more than just Cuban-Americans to travel freely to the island and dealing with the rights of all Americans, most of whom are not free to go.

“Kathleen Kennedy writes that just as Obama found out at the summit meeting last week-end, Latin American leaders have adopted a coordinated message on Cuba: the time is here to normalize relations with Havana…By keeping on trying to isolate Cuba, they essentially told Obama, Washington has only succeeded in isolating itself.

“Thus, the niece of the president who attempted to invade and overthrow the Cuban Revolutionary government and impose the blockade, adds her voice now to the ever-growing chorus in favor of reversing these policies which were put in place half a century ago.”

A worthy article by Kathleen Kennedy!

Fidel Castro Ruz

April 24, 2009

1:17 p.m.

from: Cuban News Agency