daniels day2day in garanhuns
Thursday, April 01, 2010
Tuesday, January 08, 2008
Saturday, January 05, 2008
Friday, December 28, 2007
Friday, August 11, 2006
ok havent been posting much, lots of work to be done here, but it looks like i will go back to the states for a few weeks while i take care of some visa issues.. i can tell you that one of the very first things id like to do is go to sarussi for a sandwich and an ironbeer..
Friday, August 04, 2006
this appeared in various brasilian news websites today..
thats from reuters which is translated below
this one appeared in o globo, basically the same story..
04/08/2006 - 12h20m
Saúde de Fidel Castro provoca aumento dos rituais de 'santería'
MIAMI - A doença do líder cubano, Fidel Castro, levou os praticantes da santería, religião afro-cubana que recorre ao sacrifício de animais para se comunicar com os deuses, a apelar por ajuda divina. Os pedidos servem tanto para apressar a recuperação dele, quanto para garantir sua morte. A postura depende do lado do estreito da Flórida em que se está.
Estes são tempos difíceis para criaturas como galinhas, cabras e, neste caso, pombos. Segundo estimativas de especialistas em assuntos religiosos, até 3 milhões de pessoas em Cuba e 60.000 na Flórida praticam a santería.
O vendedor Oscar Osorio afirmou que cerca de 20 pessoas recorrem a sua loja diariamente, em Little Havana (bairro de Miami com grande concentração de cubanos), para comprar aves, pólvora e jóias usadas nos rituais em que pedem aos deuses que tirem a vida de Fidel a fim de poderem regressar para casa.
Enquanto os cubano-americanos da Flórida imploram aos deuses pela morte de Fidel, em Cuba alguns deuses ouviram apelos para que curem o presidente.
- Estamos rezando por ele porque esta é uma situação muito dolorosa para todos nós - afirmou o babalaô (espécie de sacerdote da santería) Guillermo Diago, em Havana.
Membros da Associação Cultural Iorubá de Cuba disseram ter arrecadado dinheiro para comprar animais a fim de sacrificá-los em nome da saúde de Fidel.
- Nossa postura é a de seguir os planos dos deuses, planos esses que são de compreender e apoiar as decisões tomadas por nosso líder máximo - disse o grupo.
Em Miami, as pombas brancas são as mais procuradas no momento porque, sendo um símbolo tradicional da paz, o significado dela é tanto político quanto religioso. "As pessoas querem paz para Cuba", afirmou Osorio.
Para o azar das aves, vendidas a US$ 15 cada, o preço da paz inclui seu sangue e suas penas.
Os adeptos da santería não são os únicos preocupados com o futuro de Fidel. Nas igrejas católicas de congregações dominadas por cubanos, os padres falaram sobre os fatos
ocorridos recentemente na ilha e pediram paciência aos fiéis.
Santeria followers sacrifice doves for Cuba, Fidel
Fri Aug 4, 2006 8:56 AM ET
By Jeff Franks
MIAMI (Reuters) - The white dove looks warily at shopkeeper Oscar Osorio as he pulls it from a cage and holds it in his hands.
"I don't think he trusts me," Osorio says while he gently rubs the dove's feathers and spreads its wings for a visitor to admire. "I think he knows what's coming."
The bird has reason to be nervous, because the illness of Cuban leader Fidel Castro has moved adherents of Santeria to appeal for divine help in hastening either Castro's demise or his recovery, depending on which side of the Florida Straits they live.
Santeria is the voodooish Afro-Cuban religion that uses animal sacrifice to communicate with the gods, which makes these tough times for favorite sacrificial creatures such as chickens, goats and, in this case, doves.
As many as 3 million people in Cuba and 60,000 people in Florida are believed to be involved in Santeria, according to religious experts.
Osorio said about 20 people a day are coming into his "botanica" in Miami's Little Havana section to buy birds, powders and jewelry for rituals in which they ask the gods to please finish off Castro so they can return home.
The white doves are most popular at the moment because, as traditional symbols of peace, their significance is as much political as religious.
"People want peace for Cuba," he said.
Unfortunately for the birds, which sell for $15 each, the price of peace includes their blood and feathers.
Sometimes, said Osorio, a genial man with a round belly, his customers prefer to just clean the birds and let them fly away. "Those are the lucky ones," he said.
While Osorio disagrees with the concept of asking gods to kill someone, even if it is the hated Castro, from whom he fled a year ago, he does not question his customers' motivations.
"I need the money. I need the money," he shouted.
After Cuba announced on Monday that Castro had stomach surgery and put brother Raul in charge, Rigoberto Zamora, a babalawo, or priest, of what he calls Yoruba, the African name for Santeria, performed a fact-finding ritual.
After sacrificing a couple of black hens and a rooster to satisfy the hunger of the gods, he got the word from them: Castro is already dead; he died on Monday.
"We were astonished by such good news. It made us happy because politically we are against Fidel," said Zamora, who left Cuba in 1980 and lives in the Miami neighborhood known as Little Havana.
The news from the gods was not all good. It turns out that Castro's demise will be followed by three months of intense fighting before peace is restored, he said.
While Cuban-Americans in Florida beseeched the gods to kill Castro, in Cuba the same gods were asked to make him well.
"We are praying for him because it's a very painful situation for everyone," said babalawo Guillermo Diago in Havana.
Members of the Yoruba Cultural Association of Cuba said they were collecting money to buy animals to sacrifice for Castro's health.
"Our position is to follow the plans of the gods, which are to understand and support the decisions taken by our maximum leader," the group said.
Santeristas are not the only religious types preoccupied with Castro's future.
In Miami's Roman Catholic churches with heavily Cuban congregations, priests spoke about the events in Cuba and urged patience.
But Little Havana shopkeeper Maria Vazquez, who sells toilet paper imprinted with Castro's image and T-shirts with anti-Castro messages, said, "We are praying every night that he is dead."
"It's probably not the Christian thing to do, but it is very human," said Vazquez, who fled Cuba with her family when Castro took power 47 years ago and longs to return.
(Additional reporting by Rosa Tania Valdes in Havana)
Seis homens do governo de Fidel Castro estão no comando do país, segundo o diário El País
SÃO PAULO - A aposta oficial de uma sucessão institucional e um governo de direção defensiva já está se confirmando em Cuba. Segundo o jornal El País, seis homens estão no comando durante o afastamento do presidente Fidel Castro, além do seu irmão Raúl, nomeado como representante oficial. Todos são membros do governo castrista.
Entre eles, destaca-se o secretário do Comitê Executivo do Conselho de Ministros, Carlos Lage, de 54 anos. Ele foi responsável por aplicar as reformas de abertura econômica na década de 1990 e já atua como primeiro-ministro. Felipe Pérez Roque, ministro das Relações Exteriores, é um dos colaboradores mais próximos de Fidel e junto com Lage foi secretário pessoal do presidente durante seis anos.
Outras duas peças-chave nesse cenário, de acordo com o jornal, são os comunistas ortodoxos José Ramón Machado Ventura, atual chefe da organização do Partido Comunista de Cuba (PCC) e José Ramón Balaguer, que idealizou a organização e representa com Raúl a continuidade histórica. O presidente do Banco Central de Cuba, Francisco Soberón, que também atua no processo de "recentralização" econômica, está no mesmo grupo.
Assim como Raúl, nenhum deles apareceu em público até agora. Por enquanto, analistas e diplomatas concentram seus olhares para os movimentos do PCC e na saúde de Fidel, cujo mistério ainda continua. Os comentários informais, segundo o El País, são de que o estado do líder cubano não é grave e se recuperaria antes da próxima Cúpula do Movimento dos Países Não Aliados, prevista para acontecer entre 11 a 16 de setembro, em Havana.
Na capital, o carnaval cubano foi adiado até que haja um novo boletim médico ou aviso oficial sobre Fidel. O coordenador do Comitê de Defesa da Revolução (CDR) e sexto membro da direção, Juan José Rabilero, afirmou que está "fortalecendo a vigilância popular para evitar uma manifestação contrária à revolução".
The Fabulous Castro Boys All about Raúl, ruthless and reformer? Wednesday, August 2, 2006 12:01 a.m. EDT
To outlive one's enemies is said to be a kind of revenge. This would explain the big, noisy party on Calle Ocho in Miami Monday night when Cuba announced that Fidel Castro was undergoing emergency intestinal surgery for hemorrhaging and had passed power to his 75-year-old brother Raúl.
Whether Fidel is sick, dead or only merely testing the response of Cuba's military and political elite to the anointing of Raúl is still not clear. El Maximo Lider did qualify the power transfer as "temporary." But the old man turns 80 on August 13 and even he won't live forever. The most likely scenario is that we are now watching preparations for a transition of Cuban power not seen for 47 years.
Fidel is not only the longest-reigning dictator in the history of the modern world; he is also the archetype of the paranoid communist micromanager. He is known to be ruthless, insecure and distrustful, to the point of executing ideological allies suspected of disloyalty. He has also been obsessed with anti-Americanism for more than a half-century. If Cubans are malnourished and the country resembles a rundown 1950s' museum, so be it. Fidel has been more interested in his legacy as the revolutionary who stood up to the imperialists. The odd admiration for his handiwork among many on the U.S. left--he may be a dictator but the health care is good!--is a mystery of our time.
Enter Raúl, five years younger than Fidel, and, historically, every bit as dedicated to the revolution. During their exile in Mexico in the 1950s, Raúl was the brother who befriended Che Guevara and he encouraged the adoption of a communist hard-line in 1960. Beginning in Mexico and especially when consolidating power after they overthrew Batista in 1959, Raúl did the bulk of Fidel's political dirty work.
And yet, despite this brutal past, Raúl is now widely thought to be the reformer. Some of this is relative, given the harshness of his narcissistic older brother. But Cuba watchers say that Raúl has been known to express concern for the suffering of the Cuban people under the current system and has been a consistent voice for economic change.
As minister of defense, Raúl has also been in charge of the military which owns and profits from the most lucrative businesses in Cuba, particularly tourism. He has undoubtedly noticed how China's military has prospered from creeping market liberalization. Should the U.S. trade embargo be lifted, he knows that he and his cadre of raulistas would be the immediate beneficiaries.
Raúl has already successfully won one internal round for economic reform. Back in the early 1990s, when Soviet support ended and the Cuban economy sank ever lower, he pushed to allow at least some private economic activity, as well as more foreign investment, to alleviate the scarcities. Small farmers' markets, "restaurants" in private homes and taxi services permitted to carry tourists popped up around the country. Along with Spanish hoteliers putting capital down on Cuban beaches, these changes helped reverse a desperate slide.
Those same reforms also began to threaten Fidel's power, however. And he quickly closed the tiny space for Cuba's private sector, creating a system of economic apartheid in which foreigners and the military have prospered but ordinary Cubans have been shut out. Many of the revolutionary faithful are believed to be exceedingly dissatisfied with the resulting inequalities.
Raúl is aware of the political risks of creating more private economic space, and we would expect political repression to continue as he tried to consolidate his own control once his brother dies. Yet, as the world saw after the collapse of Communism in Europe, freedom movements are hard to contain once unleashed. Ask Mikhail Gorbachev. Raúl would probably attempt to imitate the Chinese model of opening up to foreign investment and private Cuban business while keeping strict political control.
If Raúl wants to go in that direction he may also make some conciliatory gestures to the U.S., shelving his brother's anti-American rhetoric and offering cooperation on bilateral issues. The U.S. will have to be ready to respond, and in ways that use American influence to leverage more freedom. One helpful step to take now would be to repeal the 1996 Helms-Burton Act, which stipulates that a U.S. President may not lift the trade embargo as long as Fidel, Raúl or anyone they have appointed are in power. This denies the President important discretion and reduces the possibility that the U.S. could promote peaceful change through economic engagement with a post-Fidel Cuba.
Whether it comes sooner or later, Fidel Castro's death will be a moment of hope for the liberation of an island that was once a jewel of the Americas. If Raúl wants to go there, the U.S. ought to help show him the way.
No Más Castro may be dead. It's time to kill Castroism.
PEGGY NOONANThursday, August 3, 2006 12:01 a.m. EDT
It has long been my bitter hunch that the man I can't help think of as the last monster of the 20th century, Fidel Castro, creator and warden of the floating prison to our south, would die of old age in a big brass bed, a snifter of brandy in one hand and a good cigar in the other. No firing squad, no prison. He'd leave thinking he got away with it all. He had that kind of luck. The devil takes care of his own.
I hated that hunch.
Now Cuban authorities say Castro has temporarily stepped down due to ill health. And it is possible this is true. It is just as possible that Castro is dead, and that what we are witnessing is not the graceful and temporary relinquishing of power--that would be unlike our Fidel, whose frozen fingers would more likely have to be peeled off the steering wheel with the back of a hammer--but the spinning of the death of a monster whose sudden departure might shock the people of Cuba into something like movement toward progress. And so Fidel is "sick" and his brother "stepping in." One suspects that in the coming weeks Castro will "take a turn for the worse," and that Raul Castro will take to hurried midnight visits to an empty hospital room, offering afterward to the waiting media both color coverage and play by play: "The tubes have been taken out. He mouthed the words, 'Tell the people I love them, and leave them in good hands.' "
Then, once the spontaneous mourning demonstrations have been arranged, will come word of his passing.
The pre-positioning of Raul solves a potential struggle for succession and inhibits competitors. The world gets used to him. Things continue as they were. Forty-seven years becomes 48, and 49 . . .
What to do now?
How about this: Treat it as an opportunity. Use the change of facts to announce a change of course. Declare the old way over. Declare a new U.S.-Cuban relationship, blow open the doors of commerce and human interaction, allow American investment and tourism, mix it up, reach out one by one and person by person to the people of Cuba. "Flood the zone." Flood it with incipient prosperity and the insinuation of democratic values. Let Castroism drown in it.
The American economic embargo of Cuba is 40 years old. It has been called ineffective--it did not produce Fidel's downfall. It has been called effective--it kept the squeeze on, demonstrated what communism reaped and reaps. In any case it was right to deny a monstrous regime contact with, and implicit encouragement from, the American democracy.
All fair enough. But the monster may be dead and is surely dying. In any case, what remains of Cuban communism dies with him. Cubans don't know what they are economically except one thing: poor.
Castro survived the ruin of his economy--he had the guns--and he used his resistance to isolation to enhance his mystique. Fearless Fidel faced down the yanqui. Still, he was forced to swerve and pivot. In 1994, after Soviet cash supports had ended, he was forced to allow some modest individual self-employment.
With Castro gone, why not seize the moment for some wise, judicious, free-market love-bombing?
As in: Allow Americans to go to Cuba. Allow U.S. private money into Cuba. Let hotels, homes, restaurants, stores be developed, bought, opened, reopened. Use Fidel's death to reintroduce Cubans on the ground to Americans, American ways, American money and American freedom. Remind them of what they wanted, what they thought they were getting when the bearded one came down from the Sierra Maestre. Use his death/illness/collapse/disappearing act as an excuse to turn the past 40 years of policy on its head. Declare him over. Create new ties. Ignore the dictator, make partnerships with the people.
Yes give more money to Radio Marti and all Western government efforts to communicate with the people of Cuba. But also allow American media companies in. Make a jumble, shake it up, allow the conditions that can help create economic vibrancy and let that reinspire democratic thinking. The Cuban government, hit on all fronts by dynamism for the first time in half a century, will not be able to control it all.
That is how to undo Fidel, and Fidelism. That's how to give him, on the chance he's alive, a last and lingering headache. That's how to puncture his mystique. Let his people profit as he dies.
If he is actually ill, why not arrange it so that the last sounds he hears on earth are a great racket from the streets? What, he will ask the nurse, is that? "Oh," she can explain, "they are rebuilding Havana. It's the Hilton Corp. Except for the drills. That's Steve Wynn. The jackhammer is Ave Maria University, building an extension campus."
Imagine him hearing this. It would, finally, be the exploding cigar. That's the way to make his beard fall off.
What is the reason we don't do this--open Cuba as far as we can, retake it with soft, individual, and corporate power, let the marketplace do the heavy lifting? Tradition, habit, prevailing concepts. Politics. As all but children know, Florida is a swing state, and Cubans forced to flee Castro--and their children, grandchildren and great grandchildren--justly and rightly hate Fidel, dictatorship, all dictatorships. Their vote is significant and can swing the swing state. Cuban Americans know how to cohere and to show loyalty and antipathy within the democratic drama. Good. But I hope they are thinking about how to defeat Castroism now, today, with today's conditions. They're in the right war, but all good fighters know to shift troops, weapons and tactics when the landscape changes.
There is little President Bush can do, which, considering the politics of the matter, would be a relief to the White House. The president's hands are pretty much tied by the 1996 Helms-Burton Act, which keeps the U.S. government from lifting sanctions on Cuba or changing current arrangements until Castro frees his political prisoners and announces authentic elections.
Assuming he's too dead to do that, it won't happen. It wouldn't happen anyway, as he never admitted he had political prisoners or didn't hold real elections.
Congress could repeal Helms-Burton, and the administration could flood the zone, drowning Castroism in it. This could yield a great public good not only for the people of Cuba, and America, but the world.