WBEZ | Cuba http://www.wbez.org/tags/cuba Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Worldview: Summit of the Americas to host historic meeting between Cuba and the US http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2015-04-10/worldview-summit-americas-host-historic-meeting-between-cuba-and-us <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/AP406371945566.jpg" style="height: 404px; width: 620px;" title="A demonstrator holds up a Panamanian flag during a protest march by the participants of the Cumbre de los Pueblos or People's Summit, against U.S. policies in Latin America, in Panama City, Thursday, April 9, 2015. (AP Photo/Arnulfo Franco)" /><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/200213427&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></div><div class="image-insert-image "><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 23.9999980926514px; line-height: 22px; background-color: rgb(255, 244, 244);">Obama and Castro to meet at the Summit of the Americas</span></div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">President Obama is at the Summit of the Americas in Panama. Cuba is also attending the meetings. US-Cuban relations are on the agenda and President Obama says he is looking at whether to remove Cuba from the list of nations that sponsor terrorism. &nbsp;This would be another major step in US-Cuban relations and help pave the way for the reopening of embassies in each country. We&rsquo;ll discuss the summit and the state of US-Cuban relations with Alberto Coll, director of the Latin American Studies program at DePaul University.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image "><strong>Guest:&nbsp;</strong></div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image "><em><span id="docs-internal-guid-b6e3d00b-a502-eac5-ee1d-3d85540ea8df">Alberto Coll is a professor of law at <a href="https://twitter.com/DePaulU">DePaul University</a> and director of the Latin American Studies program. At the age of 6 he witnessed his father&rsquo;s arrest for opposing the Cuban government.&nbsp;</span></em></div><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/200214869&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe><font color="#333333" face="Arial, sans-serif"><span style="font-size: 23.9999980926514px; line-height: 22px; background-color: rgb(255, 244, 244);">The Bolivian film &quot;Olvidados looks at Operation Condor in South America</span></font></p><p>The film is set during the military dictatorships of the 1970&rsquo;s in Latin America. It tells the story of Operation Condor, a collaboration between the military regimes of Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, Chile and Argentina. The CIA-sponsored Operation Condor led to the disappearance of thousands of opponents to South America&rsquo;s military dictatorships. &nbsp;The film is screening as part of the Chicago Latino Film Festival. &nbsp;Director Carlos Bolado, writer and producer and actress Carla Ortiz and film contributor Milos Stehlik join us to discuss the film and this period in Latin American history.</p><p><strong>Guests:&nbsp;</strong></p><p><em><span style="font-size: 16px; white-space: pre-wrap; line-height: 1.38;"><a href="https://twitter.com/Cbolex">Carlos Bolado</a> is the director of <a href="http://olvidadosfilm.com/home-en.html">Olvidados</a>.</span></em></p><p dir="ltr" style="line-height:1.38;margin-top:0pt;margin-bottom:0pt;"><em><span id="docs-internal-guid-c7ad2390-a504-d9f0-e978-fd58512c0af2"><span style="font-size: 16px; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"><a href="https://twitter.com/CarlaOrtizO">Carla Ortiz</a> is an actress and co-writer and co-producer of <a href="http://olvidadosfilm.com/home-en.html">Olvidados</a>.</span></span></em></p><p dir="ltr" style="line-height:1.38;margin-top:0pt;margin-bottom:0pt;">&nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr" style="line-height:1.38;margin-top:0pt;margin-bottom:0pt;"><em><a href="https://twitter.com/milosstehlik">Milos Stehlik</a> is the director of <a href="https://twitter.com/facetschicago">Facets Chicago</a> and the WBEZ film contributor.&nbsp;</em></p><div>&nbsp;</div><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/200216646&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe><font color="#333333" face="Arial, sans-serif"><span style="font-size: 23.9999980926514px; line-height: 22px; background-color: rgb(255, 244, 244);">Weekend Passport: Enrica&nbsp;</span></font><span style="font-size: 23.9999980926514px; line-height: 22px; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Arial, sans-serif; background-color: rgb(255, 244, 244);">Rocca shares her secrets to successful cicchetti</span></p><p>Each week global citizen Nari Safavi helps listeners plan their international weekend. This week he&rsquo;ll tell us where to learn to cook like a Venetian. Chef Enrica Rocca joins us in the studio to share some of her favorite dishes.</p><p><strong>Guests:</strong></p><p><em>Nari Safavi is one of the co-founders of the <a href="http://www.pasfarda.org/default.aspx">PASFARDA Arts &amp; Cultural Exchange</a>.</em></p><p><em><a href="https://twitter.com/enricarocca">Enrica Rocca</a> is a world renowned chef. Her cooking school was named one of the world&rsquo;s top ten by Gourmet Magazine.</em></p></p> Fri, 10 Apr 2015 15:12:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2015-04-10/worldview-summit-americas-host-historic-meeting-between-cuba-and-us Worldview: How Airbnb is expanding into Cuba http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2015-04-09/worldview-how-airbnb-expanding-cuba-111850 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/AP507049073521.jpg" style="height: 418px; width: 620px;" title="Tourists walk beside two privately owned houses with rooms for rent in Havana, Cuba, Wednesday, April 1, 2015. (AP Photo/Desmond Boylan)" /></div><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/200046139&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 23.9999980926514px; line-height: 22px; background-color: rgb(255, 244, 244);">Airbnb now listing properties in Cuba</span></p><p>President Obama is in Jamaica and is headed to the Summit of the Americas in Panama. Cuba will also attend the summit for the first time in history. It&rsquo;s taking part in the meetings at the request of the United States. It&rsquo;s expected that the two countries will hold talks where issues such as the reopening of embassies is likely to be discussed. The thaw in relations between the U.S. and Cuba has already had a major impact on the travel industry and last week Airbnb opened up its listing site in Cuba. The company is taking advantage of looser telecommunications and trade restrictions that have been put in place. Still, a lot of obstacles remain, including access to the internet. Samantha Shankman, a reporter at Skift, a travel industry news company, joins us to talk about the potential impact.</p><p><strong>Guest:</strong></p><p><em><a href="https://twitter.com/SamShankman">Samantha Shankman</a> is a reporter for <a href="https://twitter.com/skift">Skift</a>, a travel industry news company.</em></p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/200046604&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 23.9999980926514px; line-height: 22px; background-color: rgb(255, 244, 244);">An update in post election Nigeria</span></p><p>Muhammadu Buhari made history last &nbsp;month when he defeated President Goodluck Jonathan.&nbsp; Buhari became the first opposition candidate to unseat a sitting president in Nigeria. &nbsp;Now, as he enters the presidency, he faces a series of tough issues, &nbsp;including the Boko Haram insurgency and rampant corruption. We&rsquo;ll take a look at what&rsquo;s at stake in Nigeria with Richard Joseph, professor of international history and politics at Northwestern University and a senior fellow of the Brookings Institution.</p><p><strong>Guest:</strong></p><p dir="ltr"><em><span id="docs-internal-guid-812e22a4-9fc4-f69c-0aa7-2fa04639aec8">Richard Joseph is the John Evans Professor of International History and Politics at <a href="https://twitter.com/NorthwesternU">Northwestern University</a> and a Senior Fellow of the <a href="https://twitter.com/BrookingsInst">Brookings Institution</a>.</span></em></p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/200046848&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 23.9999980926514px; line-height: 22px; background-color: rgb(255, 244, 244);">Global Activism: An interview with S.R. Hiremath</span></p><p><em>Wor</em><em>ldview&nbsp;</em>continues its series from India with a trip &nbsp;to the southern city of Bangalore. &nbsp;It&rsquo;s known as the Silicon Valley of India.&nbsp; Bangalore has seen enormous economic growth over the past couple of decades. Some feel this growth has come at too high a cost for Bangalore&rsquo;s society and environment. &nbsp;Worldview spoke with &nbsp;S.R. Hiremath, a co-founder of India Development Service . He left Chicago in 1979 and founded the NGO Samaj Parivartana Samudaya (Community for Social Change) to create a &ldquo;free, democratic, secular, egalitarian, non-violent, non exploitative and just society&rdquo; in India. Mr. Hiremath has been at the center of numerous campaigns and legal action against government &nbsp;corruption and big polluters.</p><p><strong>Guest:</strong></p><p><em><span id="docs-internal-guid-fa12ad11-9fc8-3f13-4477-e3ad78352b9d">S.R. Hiremath is an&nbsp;</span>environmental and social activist, founder of Samaj Parivartana Samudaya (Community for Social Change), co-founder of <a href="http://idsusa.org/">India Development Service</a>.&nbsp;</em></p></p> Thu, 09 Apr 2015 14:51:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2015-04-09/worldview-how-airbnb-expanding-cuba-111850 Morning Shift: Arts at the crossroads of gentrication http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2014-12-18/morning-shift-arts-crossroads-gentrication-111258 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Alex L&#039;aventurier.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>We continue our gentrification series, &quot;There Goes the Neighborhood&quot; and look at the role artists play in gentrifying communities. Also, we look at what the new U.S. policy on Cuba will mean for tourism. Plus, we learn about what it takes to become a nun and who&#39;s making that leap.</p><div class="storify"><iframe src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-121/embed?header=false&border=false" width="100%" height="750" frameborder="no" allowtransparency="true"></iframe><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-121.js?header=false&border=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-121" target="_blank">View the story "Morning Shift: Arts at the crossroads of gentrication" on Storify</a>]</noscript></div></p> Thu, 18 Dec 2014 07:58:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2014-12-18/morning-shift-arts-crossroads-gentrication-111258 Obama re-establishing US relations with Cuba http://www.wbez.org/news/obama-re-establishing-us-relations-cuba-111251 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/AP561226672451.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>WASHINGTON &mdash; President Barack Obama announced the re-establishment of diplomatic relations and an easing in economic and travel restrictions on Cuba Wednesday, declaring an end to America&#39;s &quot;outdated approach&quot; to the communist island in a historic shift aimed at ending a half-century of Cold War enmity.</p><p>&quot;Isolation has not worked,&quot; Obama said in remarks from the White House. &quot;It&#39;s time for a new approach.&quot;</p><p>As Obama spoke, Cuban President Raul Castro addressed his own nation from Havana. He said that while profound differences remain between the two nations in such areas as human rights and foreign policy, they must learn to live with those differences &quot;in a civilized manner.&quot;</p><blockquote><p><strong>Related:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wbez.org/us-and-cuba-brief-history-tortured-relationship-111255" target="_blank">A brief history of the US relationship with Cuba</a></strong></p></blockquote><p>Obama&#39;s action marked an abrupt use of U.S. executive authority. However, he cannot unilaterally end the longstanding U.S. economic embargo on Cuba, which was passed by Congress and would require action from lawmakers to overturn.</p><p>Wednesday&#39;s announcements followed more than a year of secret talks between the U.S. and Cuba, including clandestine meetings in Canada and the Vatican and personal involvement from Pope Francis. The re-establishment of diplomatic ties was accompanied by Cuba&#39;s release of American Alan Gross and the swap of a U.S. spy held in Cuba for three Cubans jailed in Florida.</p><p>In a statement, the Vatican said Pope Francis &quot;wishes to express his warm congratulations for the historic decision taken by the governments of the United States of America and Cuba to establish diplomatic relations, with the aim of overcoming, in the interest of the citizens of both countries, the difficulties which have marked their recent history.&quot;</p><p>Obama said Gross&#39; five-year imprisonment had been a major obstacle in normalizing relations. Gross arrived at an American military base just outside Washington Wednesday morning, accompanied by his wife and a handful of U.S. lawmakers. He went immediately into a meeting with Secretary of State John Kerry.</p><p>As part of resuming diplomatic relations with Cuba, the U.S. will soon reopen an embassy in the capital of Havana and carry out high-level exchanges and visits between the governments. The U.S. is also easing travel bans to Cuba, including for family visits, official U.S. government business and educational activities. Tourist travel remains banned.</p><p>Licensed American travelers to Cuba will now be able to return to the U.S. with $400 in Cuban goods, including tobacco and alcohol products worth less than $100 combined. This means the long-standing ban on importing Cuban cigars is over, although there are still limits.</p><p>The U.S. is also increasing the amount of money Americans can send to Cubans from $500 to $2,000 every three months. Early in his presidency, Obama allowed unlimited family visits by Cuban-Americans and removed a $1,200 annual cap on remittances. Kerry is also launching a review of Cuba&#39;s designation as a state sponsor of terror.</p><p>Obama said he continued to have serious concerns about Cuba&#39;s human rights record but did not believe the current American policy toward the island was advancing efforts to change the government&#39;s behavior.</p><p>&quot;I do not believe we can keep doing the same thing for over five decades and expect a different result,&quot; he said.</p><p>There remains a divide on Capitol Hill over U.S. policy toward Cuba. While some lawmakers say the embargo is outdated, others say it&#39;s necessary as long as Cuba refuses to reform its political system and improve its human rights record.</p><p>Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., said the new U.S. policy would do nothing to address those issues.</p><p>&quot;But it potentially goes a long way in providing the economic lift that the Castro regime needs to become permanent fixtures in Cuba for generations to come,&quot; Rubio said.</p><p>U.S. officials said Cuba was taking some steps as part of the agreement to address its human rights issues, including freeing 53 political prisoners.</p><p>Cuba also released a non-American U.S. intelligence &#39;asset&#39; along with Gross. Officials said the spy had been held for nearly 20 years and was responsible for some of the most important counterintelligence prosecutions that the United States has pursed in recent decades. That includes convicted Cuban spies Ana Belen Montes, Walter Kendall Myers and Gwendolyn Myers and a group known as the Cuban Five.</p><p>The three Cubans released in exchange for the spy are part of the Cuban Five &mdash; a group of men who were part of the &quot;Wasp Network&quot; sent by Cuba&#39;s then-President Fidel Castro to spy in South Florida. The men, who are hailed as heroes in Cuba, were convicted in 2001 in Miami on charges including conspiracy and failure to register as foreign agents in the U.S.</p><p>Two of the five were previously released after finishing their sentences.</p><p>Gross was detained in December 2009 while working to set up Internet access as a subcontractor for the U.S. Agency for International Development, which does work promoting democracy in the communist country. It was his fifth trip to Cuba to work with Jewish communities on setting up Internet access that bypassed local censorship.</p><p>Bonnie Rubinstein, Gross&#39; sister, heard the news from a cousin, who saw it on television.</p><p>&quot;We&#39;re like screaming and jumping up and down,&quot; she said in a brief telephone interview from her home in Texas.</p><p>Cuba considers USAID&#39;s programs illegal attempts by the U.S. to undermine its government, and Gross was tried and sentenced to 15 years in prison.</p><p>Gross&#39; family has said he was in ailing health. His wife, Judy, said in a statement earlier this month that Gross has lost more than 100 pounds, can barely walk due to chronic pain, and has lost five teeth and much of the sight in his right eye.</p></p> Wed, 17 Dec 2014 11:15:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/obama-re-establishing-us-relations-cuba-111251 Judge orders release of Guantanamo videos http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2014-10-10/judge-orders-release-guantanamo-videos-110922 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/AP511247891854.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>A federal judge has issued a timetable for when the government needs to release video recordings showing how a Guantánamo detainee was extracted from his cell and force-fed. We&#39;ll discuss the implications of the decision with attorney Brian Foster. He currently represents 16 detainees.</p><div class="storify"><iframe allowtransparency="true" frameborder="no" height="750" src="//storify.com/WBEZ/worldview-22/embed?header=false&amp;border=false" width="100%"></iframe><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/worldview-22.js?header=false&border=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/worldview-22" target="_blank">View the story "Worldview: Judge orders release of Guantanamo videos" on Storify</a>]</noscript></div></p> Fri, 10 Oct 2014 11:40:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2014-10-10/judge-orders-release-guantanamo-videos-110922 Ebola in Liberia http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2014-08-13/ebola-liberia-110644 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/AP814365172299.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Liberia is now &quot;Ground Zero&quot; of the current Ebola outbreak in Western Africa, but the country received good news yesterday in the form of an experimental drug shipment to come from the U.S. We&#39;ll talk to a Chicagoan who is working to send other humanitarian supplies to Liberia.</p><div class="storify"><iframe allowtransparency="true" frameborder="no" height="750" src="//storify.com/WBEZ/worldview-ebola-in-liberia/embed?header=false&amp;border=false" width="100%"></iframe><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/worldview-ebola-in-liberia.js?header=false&border=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/worldview-ebola-in-liberia" target="_blank">View the story "Worldview: Ebola in Liberia" on Storify</a>]</noscript></div></p> Wed, 13 Aug 2014 11:18:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2014-08-13/ebola-liberia-110644 Russia announces sanctions http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2014-08-07/russia-announces-sanctions-110613 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/AP303165536701.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Russia has announced a ban on imports of certain food and agricultural products from Europe, the U.S., Canada, Japan and Australia. The ban is a response to sanctions being imposed by the West on Russia. We&#39;ll take a look at how the tit-for-tat sanctions will impact the crisis in Ukraine.</p><div class="storify"><iframe allowtransparency="true" frameborder="no" height="750" src="//storify.com/WBEZ/worldview-russia-announces-sanctions/embed?header=false&amp;border=false" width="100%"></iframe><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/worldview-russia-announces-sanctions.js?header=false&border=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/worldview-russia-announces-sanctions" target="_blank">View the story "Worldview: Russia announces sanctions" on Storify</a>]</noscript></div></p> Thu, 07 Aug 2014 11:22:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2014-08-07/russia-announces-sanctions-110613 Indonesian election results http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2014-07-23/indonesian-election-results-110545 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/AP425816010165.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Joko Widodo has been declared the winner of the Indonesian presidential election, but his opponent, Prabowo Subianto, is challenging the results on accusations of fraud. We&#39;ll take a look at the allegations.</p><div class="storify"><iframe allowtransparency="true" frameborder="no" height="750" src="//storify.com/WBEZ/worldview-indonesian-election-results/embed?header=false&amp;border=false" width="100%"></iframe><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/worldview-indonesian-election-results.js?header=false&border=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/worldview-indonesian-election-results" target="_blank">View the story "Worldview: Indonesian election results" on Storify</a>]</noscript></div></p> Wed, 23 Jul 2014 11:29:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2014-07-23/indonesian-election-results-110545 After marrying at 16, a Cuban immigrant strikes out on her own in a foreign land http://www.wbez.org/series/storycorps/after-marrying-16-cuban-immigrant-strikes-out-her-own-foreign-land-108176 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/RS7358_marta and marta_cropped.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>When Marta Liriano was 9, Fidel Castro and the communist party took control in Cuba. As upper-middle-class landowners before the revolution, her family lost much of its property and faced a hostile regime. When Marta was just 15, she met an older man who offered her a way to get out of the country. Marta visited the Chicago StoryCorps booth with her daughter, Marta Garcia, to share what happened when she started wanting to become her own person.</p><p><strong>Marta (daughter)</strong>: So after you met my father, you&rsquo;re able to flee the country?</p><p><strong>Marta (mother)</strong>: Yes, but he decided to leave first. I came to Miami,&nbsp; 2 o&rsquo;clock in the morning.</p><p><strong>Marta (daughter)</strong>:&nbsp; What was Miami like?</p><p><strong>Marta (mother)</strong>: I don&rsquo;t like to remember that because when I came, nobody was waiting for me. So I didn&rsquo;t know what to do, so I called a taxi cab to take me to the address, and there was your father.&nbsp; He didn&rsquo;t go to the airport because he was sleeping.</p><p>Marta Liriano was later joined in Miami by her parents. Eventually she had two daughters. But as she got older, she longed for something more out of life.</p><p><strong>Marta (mother)</strong>:Your father married a 16-year-old girl. When I grew older, I started thinking. So he couldn&rsquo;t understand why, me, a simple girl, wanted to go to school, you know, do something productive for me &hellip; He used to tell me, &lsquo;There&#39;s a jungle out there.&rsquo; But you know what? I wanted to know the jungle, by myself.</p><p>To find out what happened next, listen to the audio above.</p><p><span id="docs-internal-guid-7ae20f65-1654-5096-507a-39d739014de4"><span style="font-size: 16px; font-family: Arial; font-style: italic; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Katie Mingle is a producer for WBEZ and the Third Coast Festival. </span></span></p><p>&nbsp;</p><iframe frameborder="no" height="450" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Fplaylists%2F6250422" width="100%"></iframe></p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Fri, 26 Jul 2013 08:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/storycorps/after-marrying-16-cuban-immigrant-strikes-out-her-own-foreign-land-108176 Why Assata Shakur was suddenly promoted to terrorist http://www.wbez.org/blogs/achy-obejas/2013-05/why-assata-shakur-was-suddenly-promoted-terrorist-107093 <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/RS7231_AP050511021581-scr.jpg" style="height: 323px; width: 250px; float: right;" title="Assata Shakur in Havana (AP)" />Last week, on the 40th anniversary of her arrest, the FBI suddenly put Assata Shakur, aka Joanne Chesimard, on the Ten Most Wanted Terrorists List. She is the first woman to reach such criminal heights. The reward for her capture has been doubled to $2 million.</p><p>But that move might say less about Shakur&rsquo;s alleged crimes than about President Barack Obama. His willingness to use a black woman&mdash;a black woman whose political roots date back to a time when official U.S. government policy was to destroy the black liberation movement&mdash;to play this kind of politics is soulless.</p><p>Because have no doubt whatsoever: putting Shakur&mdash;who is at worst a cop killer&mdash;on that list has less to do with her and any recent activities to justify her promotion to terrorist status than it does with helping to make an argument to keep Cuba on the terrorist nations list, an appointment that reflects political game-playing more than reality.</p><p>Perhaps Obama sees this as a last ditch effort to pressure Cuba into releasing Alan Gross, a USAID contractor jailed on the island for anti-government activities. (This year&rsquo;s iteration of the <a href="http://www.latimes.com/news/world/worldnow/la-fg-wn-cuba-us-terror-list-20130502,0,2494970.story" target="_blank">terrorist nations list</a> will be released at the end of the month.)</p><p>Because Cuba has long ceased being a state-sponsor of terrorism, the main accusation hurled its way by the U.S. is that it serves as a refuge for international terrorists, including about 70 U.S. citizens, many of them affiliated with the Black Panthers and other black liberation groups.</p><p>But just one quick look at the rest of the <a href="http://www.fbi.gov/wanted/wanted_terrorists" target="_blank">FBI terrorists list</a>&mdash;a collection of bombers and international kidnappers and conspirators&mdash;makes clear just how out of place Shakur and her alleged crimes are in such company. As a warning, the FBI laughably says Shakur &ldquo;may wear her hair in a variety of styles and dress in African tribal clothing.&rdquo;</p><p>For the record, this is the <a href="http://terrorism.about.com/od/whatisterroris1/ss/DefineTerrorism_6.htm" target="_blank">FBI&rsquo;s own definition of terrorism</a>: &ldquo;The unlawful use of force or violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a Government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives.&rdquo;</p><p>If you believe Shakur did what she was convicted of, then she&rsquo;s a vicious but common criminal&mdash;and nothing more. It&rsquo;s not imperative to be sympathetic to Shakur&rsquo;s politics to see the disconnect between what she&rsquo;s been tried and convicted of doing and her new designation.</p><p>And nothing in the FBI&rsquo;s own description of her crimes suggests Shakur has done anything to merit reconsideration. Her new listing merely recounts her previous history: In 1977, Shakur was convicted of first degree murder of a police officer after a shootout on the New Jersey Turnpike. She was sentenced to life in prison. Two years later, she escaped, eventually turning up in Cuba.</p><p>Shakur maintains her innocence, pointing out that she was also wounded in the incident and that the state police&rsquo;s own investigation found there was no gunpowder residue on her hands at the time of her arrest. But now the FBI clams Shakur has <a href="http://www.nj.com/politics/index.ssf/2013/05/forty_years_later_hunt_still_o.html" target="_blank">always been seen as a terrorist</a>.</p><p>&quot;Today, Chesimard, now known as Assata Shakur, remains an inspiration to the radical, left-wing, anti-government black separatist movement,&quot; said Aaron Ford, special agent in charge of the FBI&rsquo;s Newark office in announcing the change in Shakur&rsquo;s status. &quot;While living openly and freely in Cuba, she continues to maintain and promote her terrorist ideology. She provides anti-U.S.-government speeches, espousing the Black Liberation Army&rsquo;s message of revolution and terrorism.&quot;</p><p>In other words, Shakur talks and writes about revolutionary change. Writing and talking are not in and of themselves force or violence even if the words themselves call for such actions. It seems not even the FBI, in its announcement of her new status, can actually pin her with terrorist action.</p><p>With so many other U.S. exiles in Cuba, why Shakur? Perhaps because she&rsquo;s the best known U.S. fugitive in Cuba. She is, however, not the only Black Panther convicted of <a href="http://www.assatashakur.org/forum/pan-afrikanism-afrocentricity/1779-black-exiles-cuba.html" target="_blank">cop killing</a> exiled on the island: Charlie Hill, whose crime took place in New Mexico and involved the hijacking of a U.S. airline (which, in some circles, might actually qualify as terrorism), is also living in Cuba.</p><p>Perhaps the bigger question is, without a Florida election to worry about, what Obama hopes to accomplish beyond keeping Cuba on the terrorists list. He is most certainly not going to invade Cuba or send in a drone to kill a 65-year-old African-American grandmother. Shakur is not going to surrender, Havana is not going to turn her in, and good luck to any bounty hunters who want to risk playing in Cuba.</p><p>But this is precisely the kind of move that gets the Cubans&rsquo; back up. It threatens to not only extend rather than abbreviate Gross&rsquo; sentence but to mess with <a href="http://www.denverpost.com/nationworld/ci_22997924/under-radar-cuba-and-u-s-often-work" target="_blank">bilateral cooperation</a> on a variety of matters that Havana and Washington have been quietly making progress on. What the hell, Barack?</p></p> Wed, 08 May 2013 23:15:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/achy-obejas/2013-05/why-assata-shakur-was-suddenly-promoted-terrorist-107093