". . . 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

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Malia Obama Translates Spanish - English For Her Father and Cubans

This photograph is delightful because Obamas are practiced at being photographed and they are photogenic.

Malia translates between her father and the paladar's chef-owner..

Beyond that, however, learning that Malia has been studying Spanish and is fluent enough to interpret for her father, is very satisfying.

So was his explicitly addressing the problems of race in both the U.S. and Cuba, s pointing out that the U.S. has a black president.  [More to the point, though he was careful and considered not to explicitly state what Afro Cubans have been saying for years that Cuba's public officialdom is almost entirely white, as are those who are able to open private businesses and otherwise work in the lucrative tourism business.]

Obama's addresses in Cuba the last three days show how much he's already positioning himself to be among the global leaders post his two terms in the Oval Office.  Having a daughter fluent in Spanish will be more than useful.  I certainly would love to know who wrote those speeches. Cubans were impressed by his many and appropriate pulls from José Martí.  The historic echos that would come to both USians and Cubans with his use of the word "bury" in this sentence of his television address to the Cuban pueblo was more than considered:
"I have come here to bury the last remnant of the Cold War in the Americas."
A bona fide historical moment.

By-the-by -- those ijiots crying out that President Raúl Castro did not meet President Obama on the tarmac of the José Martí airport:  how often does President Obama drive out to whichever D.C. airport to be on the scene when other nations' leaders arrive?

Also, our First Lady,  beautiful, elegant, and hip, all at the same time, must have just knocked the Cuban people out.  The entire picture of the Obama family is exactly what Cubans recognize and understand: the abuela was present as well!

U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama greets Cuban girls as she arrives for a Let Girls Learn roundtable at the Fabrica de Arte Cubano, in Havana, Cuba, Monday. (Our Cuban family's home is just about next door to the Fabrica, once a food factory, now the hippest spot in Cuba for young, hip, artistic, club-going Cubans.)

The First Lady, her mother, Marian Shield Robinson , behind the POTUS and Malia in habana vieja's Cathedral
Square while the rain pelts down.

On to the Rolling Stones in Havana -- about which we have skin in the game because of various rights to various pieces from the Qbadisc label, so there ya go.

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