12:31 PM, Feb 25, 2015 • By JUDITH AYERS
House minority leader Nancy Pelosi and eight other members of a congressional delegation that recently headed to Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and Haiti, spoke positively of the trip at a press conference on Tuesday. They not only met with government officials in each country, but they also visited the Latin American School of Medicine in Cuba, and spoke with Cuban members of civil society. “People in the streets were very enthusiastic,” said Pelosi.
Members emphasized that the trip was based on conversations between the leaders of each respective country. During the discussions, which were reportedly especially “lively” in Haiti, there were agreements but there were also disagreements -- especially when it came to discussing human rights in Cuba.
The ball “is now in the Cuban government’s court,” said Rep. Eliot Engel, a New York Democrat. “For us to move forward they need to make some changes.”
No topic was left untouched in any country, said Rep. Rosa DeLauro, a Democrat from Connecticut. “Conversations were frank” and DeLauro, She stated that the trip was ultimately a cultural exchange and that she wanted to lead away from ‘failed’ policies of the past.
Rep. Jim McGovern of Massachusetts encouraged establishing an embassy in Cuba and admonished the U.S. to end the embargo. He said that we need to “show Cuba and the world how a democracy functions, let us have a vote and a debate.”
While all the members of the delegation said that this was a historic moment, Steve Israel, a New York congressman, said that it was only “historic only if it leads to change.”
But for all the positivity and steps forward, Pelosi did say that the members of the delegation held “no illusions…it is a Communist country with a centralized economy.” Immediately after, she restated the need to end the embargo, however, emphasizing that ending it would be mutually beneficial in many respects.
Pelosi described the trip overall as “productive, it was positive, it was candid.”
The role of beliefs and ideologies in motivating, justifying, and legitimating political violence Feb 23, 2015, Vol. 20, No. 23 • By PAUL HOLLANDER
Time and again it is reported that Muslim terrorists in the process of inflicting lethal bodily harm (with firearms, explosives, knives, or by running over people with cars) shout “God is Great!” (Allahu Akbar). It is a remarkable and seemingly puzzling phenomenon that has received little attention, although it is likely to shed light on the motivation and mindset of the terrorists.
Jan 5, 2015, Vol. 20, No. 17 • By THE SCRAPBOOK
Philip Larkin began one of his better-known poems with the arresting observation that Sexual intercourse began / In nineteen sixty-three / (which was rather late for me)— / Between the end of the Chatterley ban / And the Beatles’ first LP.
Dec 29, 2014, Vol. 20, No. 16 • By LEE SMITH
Last week’s announcement that the White House intends to restore normal diplomatic relations between the United States and Cuba is part of Barack Obama’s larger project to overturn what he perceives to be wrongheaded, or at least outdated, foreign policies. From Obama’s perspective, the Cold War ended nearly a quarter of a century ago, so let’s catch up to the new reality.
As Germans celebrate reunification, they are reluctant to confront a Russia that is once again seeking to divide the continent Nov 24, 2014, Vol. 20, No. 11 • By JAMES KIRCHICK
Oct 20, 2014, Vol. 20, No. 06 • By THE SCRAPBOOK
Apart from the death of a journalist, no more poignant event is ever recorded in the media than the demise of a onetime “antiwar activist.” This was confirmed in the pages of the New York Times and Washington Post last week, where the passing in Budapest of Fred Branfman, 72, was duly noted.
10:35 AM, Jun 4, 2014 • By MARION SMITH
Twenty-five years have passed since a lone man stood in front of Chinese tanks and dared to defy Beijing’s crackdown on pro-democracy protesters. His bold challenge to the Chinese Communist Party was one of history’s most profound reminders of the insatiable human desire to live free even in the face of terrifying state power.
Jan 27, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 19 • By THE SCRAPBOOK
The political debate over what to do about global warming rages on, largely because liberals refuse to have an honest discussion about their plans to deal with it. The heart of their every proposed “solution” to climate change is a radical economic program that would threaten the livelihood and well-being of millions, based on computer models of dubious accuracy trying to project weather patterns decades into the future. Via Bloomberg News, last week we got an unsettling glimpse into just how extreme the economic plans of the climate commissars really are:
12:21 PM, Jun 19, 2013 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
Today, speaking at the Brandenburg Gate, President Obama paid appropriate tribute to the brave East Germans who rebelled 60 years ago against Communist dictatorship:
8:46 AM, Apr 8, 2013 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
And now the last of them is gone. Margaret Thatcher, Ronald Reagan, and Pope John Paul II—three who won the Cold War and, it isn't too much to say, saved the West (at least for a while!)—are no longer with us. Their examples remain.
Mar 25, 2013, Vol. 18, No. 27 • By THE SCRAPBOOK
Good news for a change from Phnom Penh: Ieng Sary, brother-in-law of and cofounder with Pol Pot of Cambodia’s murderous Khmer Rouge movement, died last week. Or perhaps it wasn’t really good news. His heart (who knew he had one?) gave out before the Cambodian-U.N. tribunal had a chance to finish its proceedings and convict him of mass murder.
Why the Bolshevik Revolution wasn't 'strangled in its cradle.'Feb 4, 2013, Vol. 18, No. 20 • By ANDREW STUTTAFORD
When everything changes, what should be done?
Over 30 years after Ayatollah Khomeini lit the Islamic fire, the West is still fumbling its way to a proper response. Imagine, then, the challenge posed by the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917. A key partner in the Allied war against Germany had just been hijacked by a fanatical cult intent on remaking the world, and the world had no clue what to do in reply.
Oct 15, 2012, Vol. 18, No. 05 • By THE SCRAPBOOK
In noting the death last week in London of Eric Hobsbawm, The Scrapbook observed its usual doctrine of de mortuis nil nisi bonum.
Beijing is flooding the region with investment. Should America be worried?10:00 AM, Jun 18, 2012 • By JAIME DAREMBLUM
China’s interest in South America is easily explained: The Asian giant has a voracious appetite for commodities and raw materials, including Argentine soybeans, Brazilian iron ore, Chilean and Peruvian metals, Ecuadorean and Venezuelan oil, and Uruguayan beef. Therefore, Beijing has expanded trade ties with governments across the resource-rich continent, from Caracas to Montevideo.