Friday, February 29, 2008

Punk Rockers in Cuba Tell Fidel Castro And Regime Off

The Castro brothers' cruel regime is all about 50 years of centrally planned scarcity, repression, a cult of personality, mind-numbing groupthink.

Gorki Aguila knows all about it, he was jailed by the regime. Not a journalist or human rights activist, he leads punk rock band Porno Para Ricardo.

The music is loud and simple, the band can be pretty outrageous, and the lyrics are angry and full of obscenities. In other words just about everything great about punk rock.

This is real underground, the price is jail and ostracism, the band is not allowed to play openly. Gorki's lyrics aren't just about blaming the government for misery and alienation. Blame is right on Fidel in language not used in Cuba, where dissidents are forced to follow a very precarious line, and there is somewhat of a Stockholm syndrome towards the father figure. And that's what makes the anarchic spirit and irreverence sound downright refreshing.

This video for the song. "Coma Andante" "The Walking Coma" about Fidel.

Porno For Fidel, parodying a nursery rhyme some sycophant made for Fidel, LOL "millions of us ask God that he stops his heart" "The sooner he dies the better."

With subtitles this is a trailer from the documentary being produced about Cuba's underground music scene, with interviews with Gorki. He is a very well-spoken guy, sort of the mode of a Henry Rollins or Jello Biafra, except he really can go to jail for saying this stuff. .

Monday, February 11, 2008

Obama and The Latino Vote.

Barak Obama and Hilary Clinton's virtual tie on supertuesday shows important facts about the Latino vote.

Latino turnout was huge, 15% of all voters nationwide. Just in California 29% of the Democratic turnout was Latino nearly double the 04 primary numbers (16%). Andres Oppenheimer points out the increases in Connecticut (7% vs. 2%), and surprisingly Missouri (5% vs. 1%).

Given this turnout and the close vote between Obama and Clinton, it is clear that the Latino vote was critical for Hilary. She carried more than 60 percent of the Latino vote in California and her home state of New York.

Obama did rather well among Latino voters 18 to 29, but was cleaned out by Hilary in the over 30 vote.

What happened?

Latinos - regardless of region and national origin were energized by the immigration issue. John McCain 50% of the Cuban vote in Florida, catapulted him over his rivals. And quite pointedly McCain enjoyed very favorable media coverage in Spanish-language media, precisely because of his stance on immigration. The phrase "All the Republican candidates except for John McCain" was a lead in many a TV or newspaper story.

Clinton and Obama were both fairly quiet on immigration - but the Democrats have a built-in advantage over Republicans on immigration - namely they aren't the Republicans. At that point it became an issue of which candidate reached out better to the voters. Commentators point out Hillary's endorsements from leading Latino leaders, key Latino members of her campaign doing media outreach, and Bill Clinton's coattails.

Hillary, through, Senator Bob Menendez among others, received extensive coverage in South Florida media - which projects nationally, since much news content comes out of Miami.

Obama failed to win endorsements. But, despite lacking the Clinton goodwill factor, he still had enough positives to project that could have helped him score points. The son of an immigrant - and a politician from a major urban center - is in a powerful position to appeal to immigrants.

Friday, February 01, 2008

BOLIVIA: MAS Y La Economia

Este articulo del economista Gonzalo J.S. Quiroga Soria lo dice todo en un parafo:

Este Gobierno interviene en la economía con fines políticos, no para corregir problemas, y por carecer de solidez teórica en su modelo de decisión, la formulación de políticas es disparatada. Sus efectos, más que fortalecer, vienen debilitando las bases de crecimiento del escaso aparato productivo nacional en cuyo camino se destruye las pocas instituciones que servían para el desarrollo, se acumula un sideral desorden estatal, fiscal y monetario y se gesta un peligroso proceso inflacionario, además de incurrir en un desgraciado desperdicio de recursos humanos y materiales. Es un caso extremo de estupidez en el manejo de los asuntos económicos.

Restringiendo el flujo comercial y castigando las inversiones claves para aminorar el desabastecimiento interno se sigue aumentando la represión contra los circuitos económicos. Entre otras menudencias, es el mal llamado ´cambio´ que sólo es contumacia en el error. La pérdida de rumbo es patética, en medio de dificultades inflacionarias y de escasez que luce van a ser mayores, en lugar de procesar los errores y corregirlos, el Gobierno sigue reclamando más poderes, demostrando una tenacidad infinita y contraproducente, fracasando y sin diálogo con las regiones.