". . . But the past does not exist independently from the present. Indeed, the past is only past because there is a present, just as I can point to something over there only because I am here. But nothing is inherently over there or here. In that sense, the past has no content. The past -- or more accurately, pastness -- is a position. Thus, in no way can we identify the past as past." p. 15

". . . But we may want to keep in mind that deeds and words are not as distinguishable as often we presume. History does not belong only to its narrators, professional or amateur. While some of us debate what history is or was, others take it into their own hands." p. 153

Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History (1995) by Michel-Rolph Trouillot

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Fifth Summit of the Americas + Obama

From Yahoo! News:

[ "Obama travels to Mexico on Thursday for his first visit to the region as president and heads to Trinidad and Tobago on Friday for the Fifth Summit of the Americas. As he did at the G20 summit of major economic powers in London this month, the president plans to emphasize listening to regional leaders and working on shared goals." ]

Obama knows very little, if anything about the Caribbean and Latin America. As he's been in Europe and the Middle East until just a few days ago one wonders if he's been able to take a crash course in what he doesn't know; if he did, how useful was it?

From The Washington Note:

"America's Cuba Policy is the "Edsel" of the US Foreign Policy Portfolio" by Steve Clemmons.

I like the use of the Edsel as a metaphor for U.S. Cuban policy!

[ "When I had a chance to pose a question, I pressed Davidow pretty hard on what he tried to avoid.
The exchange between Ambassador Davidow, David Rothkopf, and myself follows below.
What is interesting and disconcerting is that Barack Obama's point guy on this upcoming Summit gave the unreconstructed, neoconservative-friendly, ideologically vapid, 'unchastened by five decades of embargo failure' answer to my question on Cuba.
Has Obama read the brief that his people are preparing for him on Cuba?
Davidow embraced one of the worst single editorials I have read in years in the Washington Post titled "
Coddling Cuba."
And Rothkopf did his part to say that on US-Cuba policy, the American position has no clothes -- and has become completely illegitimate in the eyes of the world and undermines America's own, parochial national interests.
Here is the
exchange in full between Sweig, Davidow, Rothkopf, and myself." ]

Reading the entire exchange is highly recommended.


Anonymous said...

I saw a special on tv about the buena vista social club then followed up by downloading a bunch of ibrahim ferrer music. I would love to take my family to cuba if only to go there and hear some of that jazz.

Foxessa said...

Just keep in mind that the Buena Vista Social Club was a fairy tale constructed in Germany, not a fair representation at all of what Cubans were listening to then or for a very long time, and not now either.

It was a lovely and successful fairy tale, but a fairy tale nevertheless.

Love, C.