". . . 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, June 7, 2009

John Maxwell: Cuba, the OAS & the US

This venerable Jamaican activist, writer and commentator writes the history of Cuba and the U.S. in a few words, history he observed personally. BTW, he never misses a column despite being in the Netherlands, where he is being treated for cancer.

Full column here.

[ The older I get the more evidence seems to accumulate that the greatest enemy of world peace and popular enlightenment may be the profession of journalism.

Somebody once said that generals are always prepared to fight the last war, but the truism seems to fit at least as well when applied to journalists.

Take the New York Times editorial on Thursday; it begins, portentously:

"For 50 years, the Cuban people have suffered under Fidel Castro's, and now Raúl Castro's, repressive rule. But Washington's embargo - a cold war anachronism kept alive by Florida politics - has not lessened that suffering and has given the Castros a far-too-convenient excuse to maintain their iron grip on power."

Anyone who knows anything about the history of the last 50 years might be forgiven for total bafflement. ]

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