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    Freedom Rider: Theodore Roosevelt and American Racism

    By BAR Editor and Senior Columnist Margaret Kimberley

    As a settler state built with stolen labor on stolen land, the US has found it necessary to invent a fake history sanitizing and justifying its genocidal wars of conquest and empire. The currently airing PBS series Roosevelts: an Intimate History fulfills this need by mostly ignoring Teddy Roosevelt's venal and vicious racism and the pervasive criminality of his family and class.

    Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of 8/25/14

    Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of 8/25/14

    Obama and ISIS in Dance of Death

    The growing U.S. bombing campaign against the self-proclaimed Islamic caliphate in Iraq and Syria serves no one but war profiteers, said veteran anti-war activist David Swanson. “I know that ISIS had to be aware that slitting throats on camera would result in more bombing, just as President Obama had to be aware that blowing men, women and children up with 500-pound bombs would result in slitting throats,” said Swanson, publisher of the influential web site WarIsACrime.Org. “The beneficiaries of escalation, which is entirely predictable, are the weapons makers.”

    Black Strategies Must Include Self-Defense

    “First and foremost, it is right for our people to rebel,” said Kali Akuno, an organizer with the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement and co-author of the groundbreaking report “Operation Ghetto Storm,” which documented extrajudicial killings of Black Americans under color of law. “I think it boiled over in Ferguson as a result of a transformation in our people’s consciousness, especially our young folks,” said Akuno. “They’ve had enough of the brutality, of being systematically excluded.” Black community self-defense must be part of any organizing strategy. “This has been part and parcel of what we know we have to do in the face of white supremacy and in the face of the brutality that the capitalist system has reserved for us, in particular.”

    Black Passivity is Mentally Unhealthy

    Political protest is therapeutic for Black Americans, said Dr. Vernellia Randall, professor emeritus of law at the University of Dayton and author Dying While Black. “I want us to be less passive, I want us to engage in civil disobedience” – and not the kind of protest-like activities sanctioned by the authorities. “If they’re telling us, Here’s how you can protest, then that, to me, is not civil disobedience,” said Randall. “If you are coloring within the lines that the establishment establishes, then you are putting no pressure on the establishment.”

    Cuba Should Join in Fight for Slavery Reparations

    The young United States was a horrible example of democracy, but it did lead the way in the business of human trafficking. “After the establishment of the United States, it quickly became the leader in the African slave trade to Cuba,” said Dr. Gerald Horne, professor of history and African American Studies at the University of Houston and author of Race to Revolution: The United States and Cuba During Slavery and Jim Crow. “They also became the leader of the African slave trade to Brazil, helping to account for the fact that Brazil has more people of African descent than any other nation outside Nigeria,” said Horne, who hopes to enlist Cuba in “our journey to claim reparations for the enslavement of Africans in the Americas.”

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    Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network is hosted by Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey. A new edition of the program airs every Monday at 11:00am ET on PRN. Length: One hour.

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    Evacuate Guantanamo – It Belongs to Cuba

     

    A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

    For more than 100 years, the United States has illegitimately occupied Cuban soil. “They turned one of Cuba’s most precious natural resources, Guantanamo Bay, into a curse on the lips of the world.”

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    Score at United Nations: Cuba 188 – U.S. 3

     

    A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

    The United States stands virtually alone in its crusade against Cuba, at the United Nations General Assembly and in western hemispheric forums. “Rather than isolating Cuba, the 52 year-long embargo has resulted in the isolation of the United States.”

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    A Few Things Americans Can Learn from Cuba

     

    by Solomon Comissiong

    Americans could learn a lot if they would just look and listen to the world around them, a place where lots of peoples and nations are smarter, kinder and happier than we are. Cuba is making great progress towards its goal to become a “medical superpower,” while in the U.S. “African/black political prisoners continue to languish in solitary confinement in the bowels of the world’s most despicable prison system.”

    Med School Classes Cancelled in Havana

    by Don Fitz

    Fidel Castro long ago vowed to make Cuba a “medical superpower.” The country’s healthcare system emphasizes preventive medicine and mobilization of the entire population against threats to health and safety. Medicine is more than a career. Imagine that, at the height of the Katrina disaster, the US closed medical schools in Gulf coast states and coordinated their work of attending to medical and public health needs of the poorest in New Orleans.”

    Posada Verdict: Like Charging Hitler With Disturbing the Peace, and Then Acquitting Him

    A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

    There was certainly no justice in an El Paso jury’s acquittal of the terrorist Luis Posada Carriles – but then, a just outcome was impossible. The bomber of a Cuban airline, drug runner for the CIA and the Contras, and attempted assassin of Fidel Castro, was charged only with telling lies to U.S. immigration authorities. It was an insult to Posada’s victims to try him at all on such insignificant counts – a sick joke that showed the U.S. has no respect for the opinions of mankind.

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    March 23: Anniversary of the Beginning of Apartheid's End: The Battle of Cuito Cuanavale

    A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Bruce Dixon

    Apartheid South Africa responded to Angola's 1974 independence from the Portuguese with a US-backed military invasion.  Declaring that "the blood of Africa" flowed through Cuban veins, Fidel Castro dispatched the Cuban armed forces to confront the armies of racist South Africa in Angola.  Between 1974 and 1988 more than 1100 Cubans laid down their lives in Africa to hasten the end of apartheid.  This week is the anniversary of the historic battle of Cuito Cuanavale, in which Cuban, Angolan and Namibian forces routed the supposedly invincible land and air forces of white-ruled South Africa, eventually making possible the release of Nelson Mandela from prison, and the end of apartheid in South Africa itself, and earning for Cuba the lasting enmity of the United States. If we in the U.S. were serious about racial reconciliation, we too would celebrate the March 23 anniversary of Cuito  Cuanavale. 

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    The Latin American Revolution, Part 4 of 4: Toward Integration

    By Asad Ismi and Kristin Schwartz

    After being bled for 500 years by the colonial and neocolonial empires of the North, the nations of Central and South America are defying their former masters and shaking off imperial domination. They are proceeding toward multinational cooperation and integration, forging their own ties in finance, resource sharing, media, economic development and medical research. Asad Ismi and Kristin Schwartz explain how and why despite clouds of lies, threats, bribes, coups and rumors of war , Uncle Sam is powerless to stop them.

    About 30 minutes.


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    The Latin American Revolution, Part 3 of 4: Cuba, Nicaragua, El Salvador -- Shaking Off The U.S. Empire

    The US waged bloody wars in the 1970s and 80s to confine Nicaragua and El Salvador to its colonial "back yard."  Although the victories of popular revolutions were partially rolled back, new governments with deep ties to popular forces have allied themselves with Cuba, which extricated itself from US empire half a century ago.  In the third installment of this series by the producers of the groundbreaking "Ravaging of Africa" Asad Ismi and Kristin Schwartz bring us voices from Cuba and Central America as they endeavor to build new relationships that will enable them to prosper despite the unremitting hostility of the US to their aspirations.

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    Cuba’s Fight Against Racism in Health Care

    by Don Fitz

    The best evidence for the Cuban revolution’s strides in dismantling institutional racism is found in medical data, which show both Black and white Cubans living as long and at least as healthily as the average American. Cuba’s health care system recognizes that social inequities lead to bad health outcomes. “Since poverty creates bad health, the Cuban health system is intertwined with reducing differences in housing, income and education.”

    Why Defame Cuba? A Congregant’s Plea to Rev. Jeremiah Wright

    by Asantewaa Nkrumah-Ture
    Lots of unexpected names turned up as signatories to a letter charging the Cuban government with systematic discrimination against Blacks. Among those who committed the foul injustice against Cuba, and shamed themselves, was Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Barack Obama’s former pastor. A fellow member of the United Church of Christ asks, respectfully, that the minister explain himself.

    One of the World's Best Kept Secrets: Cuban Medical Aid to Haiti

    Cuban doctors in Haitiby Emily J. Kirk and John M. Kirk
    Consumers of U.S. corporate media were given the impression that the American invasion/disaster relief action was the primary foreign benefactor to Haiti’s hundreds of thousands of earthquake victims. Not so, not by a long shot. Cuba, Venezuela and the neighboring Dominican Republic were first on the scene with the most help, and have committed to building a comprehensive health care system for Haiti.

    Insanity: Cuban Exile Proposes That U.S. Negotiate on Behalf of Cuban Blacks

    Cuban exile Carlos Moore has convinced a number of African American luminaries that the U.S. government should negotiate with Cuba over the status and treatment of the island nation's Black population, as part of talks to normalize relations between the two nations. It is, therefore, only fair that Cuba be empowered to negotiate with Washington on behalf of Blacks in the United States, says Glen Ford (Video courtesy of www.WBAIX.org, Don DeBar


    Amiri Baraka on Carlos Moore: Five Decades in the Garbage Can of History

    Poet, activist and esteemed elder Amiri Baraka was one of those who showed up in Harlem last month to greet a delegation of Cuban visitors.  He took the occasion to express profound reservations about the letter and petition circulated by Carlos Moore and signed by a number of prominent American blacks who, given Moore's fifty year career as an anti-Cuba  stooge, really should have known better. (Video courtesy of www.WBAIX.org, Don DeBar.)

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    Ashaki Binta on Charges of Racism in Cuba

    The record of Cuba since that country's 1959 reolution on race and racism, both at home and on the world stage is one the US should envy, not deprecate, says Ashaki Binta of the Black Left Unity Coalition.  It was Cuban intervention that played a major role in ending the apartheid regime in South Africa.  Cuba, with about the population of Illinois, has more doctors on the ground providing care in Haiti than the U.S.  Cuban blacks live longer than American blacks and have better health indicators all around.  When it comes to denunciations of other countries for supposed racism, Uncle Sam is in a poor position to point out anybody's faults.

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    The Insanity of the African American Racial ‘Critique’ of Cuba

    A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
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    The 60 signatories to a letter denouncing racism in Cuba seem to consider themselves extensions of Barack Obama's State Department. The logic of their action, as articulated by Dr. Ron Walters, is to encourage the United States to “make the Black condition in Cuba 'part of any negotiations on the normalization of relations between the U.S. and Cuba.'” Then maybe the Cubans can negotiate with the U.S. on behalf of African Americans.

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    Barack Obama and Langston Hughes on “Grumblers” and “Merry Christmas”

    When US presidents offer us their holiday greeting messages, do we know what are they really saying?  How hard can it be to figure that out?  Langston Hughes died in 1967, but he knew what every US president, including Barack Obama is really saying, underneath and behind the mask.  

     

    Reverse Images: The Acrimonious Debate on Race in Cuba

    by Jean Damu
    Cuba is racist, says a letter signed by 60 African American and Afro-Latin notables. Undoubtedly, “racism exists in Cuba, just as it does in every other country on the planet, especially the United States.” And just as surely, those who signed the letter have put their reputations in service of the same U.S. government and Miami (white) Cuban exile crowd that has always plotted against the Cuban revolution. The author poses the question: “Is there really a civil rights movement in Cuba or is the petition merely a grandiloquent expression of Afrogringoism?”

    Freedom Rider: Assassination

    wilkins and king meet bobby kennedyby BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley
    President John F. Kennedy's assassination in 1963 was rooted in previous crimes and created a cascade of subsequent crimes. Indeed, none of the high profile political killings of the Sixties can be understood apart from the larger matrix of official criminality. Even “the American mafia owes its very existence to the CIA, which protected and promoted the illegal drug trafficking responsible for so much loss of life and destruction of entire communities.”

    The Pedophile and the Terrorist

    John Maxwellby John Maxwell
    The U.S. wants film director Roman Polanski extradited from Switzerland to face the music for his sexual encounter with a 13-year-old girl, 30 years ago. Meanwhile, the U.S. harbors the terrorist Luis Posada Carriles, wanted for numerous crimes over a long and murderous career, including blowing up an airliner in flight. Ain't American “values” wonderful?

    Healthcare Revolution That is Second to None

    cubaby Netfa Freeman
    The U.S. health care jungle fares badly when compared to health care systems in other wealthy, capitalist countries. However, even western Europe and Canada can learn a great deal from the examples of Cuba and Venezuela, where health care is a human and constitutional right and the wellbeing of the people is central to the national mission. Now, that's real socialized medicine.

    How The Vicious U.S. Blockade of Cuba Really Works

    bodega-mediumby Marta Veloz.  Translation by Machetera.

    Has the Obama Administration really done anything to ease ithe nearly half century long blockade of Cuba? Machetera's translation of this article from the Cuban press unravels the workings of the continual state of economic war the U.S. wages against Cuba, and reveals its imact on Cubans as well as on businesses inside and outside the U.S. who try to do business with Cuba and its people.

    Free the Cuba Five, Mr. President

    A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
    If President Obama sincerely wants to improve relations with Cuba, he can show he is serious by freeing the Cuba Five. The Cuban intelligence agents were given long prison terms for infiltrating Cuban exile terrorist groups in South Florida. With this week's U.S. Supreme Court refusal to review their case, only President Obama can resolve this festering political problem.

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    Cuba, the US and the OAS

    john maxwell

    by John Maxwell

    Even though both Castro brothers repeatedly stated that Cuba has no desire to rejoin the Organization of American States (OAS), Latin America demanded that the ban against Cuba be dropped. “For them the OAS has been a yanki weapon against all of them, from Arbenz to Allende to Aristide to Fidel, Chavez and Morales. It does not end.” The U.S. tried to find a graceful way to accept its diplomatic defeat, and avoid further isolation in the hemisphere it once overlorded like a caudillo.

    A Sincere and Painful Apology to the U.S. Congressional Black Caucus

    Alberto Jonesby Alberto N. Jones
    Mainly white Cuban exiles in Miami, Florida, and Union City, New Jersey, who have never been friends of Blacks in either Cuba or the United States, now claim to be champions of racial equality on the island. The author, an Afro-Cuban whose roots go back to Jamaica, apologizes to Black U.S. lawmakers for the antics of the hypocritical Cuban rightwingers. Afro-Cubans, who have the most loyal to all of Cuba's revolutions, need no assistance from "mercenaries" from Miami.

    The US, Cuba and Moral Authority

     

    Fidel and Raulby Netfa Freeman
    Barack Obama dominates his Republican rivals here in the United States, but the international arena is a different venue, entirely. There, Obama carries the baggage of American presidents past – and any new encumbrances he might pick up on his own. Certainly, in a heads up against Cuba, the United States finds it nearly impossible to claim the moral high-ground. “One cannot ignore that unlike in the US, Cuba regards education, healthcare and employment as rights, not privileges. It is fairly common knowledge that Cuba provides free education, from pre-k up to the university level, and healthcare to all its citizens is completely free of charge.”

     

    Half a Century of U.S. Lies

     

    John Maxwellby John Maxwell
    If you give those Americans an inch, they’ll steal your whole country out from under you. Raul Castro said he was willing to put “everything” on the table in future talks with Washington. But hostile-minded analysts interpreted Raul’s remarks as meaning he’d throw Cuba’s sovereignty and social system into the pot. Former leader Fidel was quick to clarify: putting “everything on the table” did not mean bowing to unreasonable demands from a superpower that is still a “squatter” on Cuban soil at Guantanamo Bay, and continues the world’s longest economic blockade against Cuba.

     

    Raul Castro, Barack Obama, Hugo Chavez: Who Are The Big Men?

    leadersA Black Agenda Radio commentary by BAR Executive Editor Glen Ford

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    What does putting "everything on the table" mean, in discussions among nations? Cuba's Raul Castro says he means literally everything, including exchange of political prisoners, as long as talks are held on the basis of equality. Barack Obama claims the next move is up to Cuba, but it appears Raul has already made an authentic offer. Besides, there is something fundamentally wrong when the nation that continues to commit crimes against its neighbor - the U.S. - asks for concessions before it will cease and desist.

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