Posts Tagged ‘cuba

11
Apr
15

Diplomat In Chief

The Handshake

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President Barack Obama shakes hands with Cuba’s President Raul Castro

President Castro blocks out reporters’ questions

Barack Obama, Raul Castro

 President Obama holds a news conference at the conclusion of the Summit of the Americas in Panama City

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President Obama meets with Brazilian President, Dilma Rousseff

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PM of Antigua and Barbuda Browne, Argentina's President Fernandez, U.S President Obama,  Grenada's PM Mitchell and Uruguay's President Vazquez wave during the family photo of the VII Summit of the Americas in Panama City

Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda Gaston Browne (front L), Argentina’s President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner (front R), U.S President Barack Obama (back L), Grenada’s Prime Minister Keith Mitchell (second row R) and Uruguay’s President Tabare Vazquez (top R) wave during the family photo of the VII Summit of the Americas in Panama City

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Correa smiles as he listens to remarks by Obama during the first plenary session of the Summit of the Americas in Panama City, Panama

Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa smiles as he listens to remarks by President Barack Obama during the first plenary session of the Summit of the Americas in Panama City, Panama

Obama, flanked by Rice, pauses during remarks at the first plenary session of the Summit of the Americas in Panama City, Panama

President Obama, flanked by National Security Advisor Susan Rice, gives remarks at the first plenary session of the Summit of the Americas

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With Secretary John Kerry

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Homeward bound

18
Mar
15

GOP Screams Lame Duck! President Obama Moves America Forward

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Stephen Collinson: Obama Redefines The Lame Duck Presidency

At the time in his tenure when most presidents fret over their waning clout, Barack Obama is redefining the concept of the lame duck. His administration has been energized by his aggressive use of executive power. Some of the most hard-won achievements of his early years in office are beginning to pay off. And his political luck seems to be turning. With a term and a half behind him, Obama’s prospects are brighter than they have been for years. Though Republicans paint Obama’s glass as half full, and argued that the administration is overstating its record, that hasn’t rattled the man in the Oval Office.

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The new sense of serenity in the White House solidified this week with figures showing that more than 16 million people have now signed up for health plans under Obamacare, the president’s top domestic achievement. That news came on the heels of booming jobs growth numbers and a tangible feeling that after years of slow recovery, things are looking up economically. The unemployment rate, at 5.5%, is at its lowest point since May 2008, before the Great Recession. And the U.S. economy is in much better shape than most of its rivals in the developed world. The White House believes that its initiatives on community college funding, the president’s moves to regulate the Internet and actions to reshape the immigration system are delivering a political dividend,

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reasoning that many Americans are happy to see gridlock broken and the president taking action, a factor that might be partly reflected in Obama’s better poll numbers. Obama, meanwhile, more relaxed than ever. He’s speaking about race more freely than any time since he became president, notably in his speech on the 50th anniversary of the Selma civil rights marches earlier this month. And the White House counts a climate accord with China and a visit to India earlier this year as big wins for its strategy of rebalancing foreign policy towards Asia. The GOP, for its part, is learning what the White House found out years ago — that winning the Senate last year, and with it control of both chambers of Congress, brings its own problems.

More here

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03
Mar
15

A Tweet Or Two

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Continue reading ‘A Tweet Or Two’

22
Jan
15

The Youtube Interview With President Barack Obama

15
Jan
15

A Tweet Or Two

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@brandon_weigel: And here’s the Charmington’s staff taking a picture with President Obama.

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Continue reading ‘A Tweet Or Two’

18
Dec
14

Mi Papá

The Malecon at sunset. By Diogo Salles.

My father was an ardent anti-Fidelista.

My mother has told me that he never trusted Fidel Castro. He did not celebrate as he overthrew the Batista regime. He always felt that his ascent to power would lead to no good. And this was before Fidel came out as a Communist. (If you’re not hip to Cuban history, Fidel didn’t come out as a Communist until 1961, and was even tacitly supported by the US in his overthrow of Batista, whose regime was no longer tenable.)

And after Fidel began turning Cuba into a one-party state, things got worse for my father. He was firmly ensconced in the middle class. He owned his own barber shop. He was a member of the petit bourgeoisie. And Fidel nationalized everything. Dad lost his shop. Friends were arrested.

My family left Cuba as soon as it could. And my dad always longed for it. But ill-health and a hatred of the Communists always prevented him from going back to visit. I remember that one of the happiest times of his life was when his brother came to New York for a month. Suddenly the years and the distance vanished, and they could pretend to be taking a cafecito at a corner bar.

I don’t know how my dad would have reacted to President Obama’s initiation of normalization of relations with Cuba. His pain may have been too deep. Sometimes the past is not past, but a living gash in your soul.

I am his son, but I cannot speak for him. I would like to think that if there is an afterlife, his pain has left him, and he has granted his blessing.

I can only speak for myself. And as a son who inherited his distaste of the caudillo Fidel, I can say this: the isolation of Cuba has only isolated us.

Continue reading ‘Mi Papá’

17
Dec
14

Night owl chat – Cuba

Music from the land of my fathers and mothers.

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Cachao – Guajira clasica

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Celia Cruz – La negra tiene tumbao

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Continue reading ‘Night owl chat – Cuba’




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