Obama, Pope give hope to people on an island

At long last, Cuba is no longer a foreign policy problem for the United States, but rather a domestic policy issue. President Barack Obama revisited the strategy of his predecessor Richard Nixon and opened up a pathway to the normalization of relations with the island. The long term stated objective is the democratization of Cuba,…

The ugliness of unnecessary deadly force

Americans do not care much about what people in other countries, including those in friendly nations, say about the good, the bad and the ugly in the United States. Unfortunately, the ugly is often in full view to the world. Among the things that many friends in America find ugly, the first one that must…

Momentous times for Europe, Germany permitting

Euro, the European currency, is under attack. Even in Italy, a country that had accepted being part of the euro system with a large majority of support, there are rumblings in favor of calling a national referendum on jettisoning the common currency and returning to the beloved but perennially weak lira. Attacking the euro has…

A Pope who goes to the ‘periphery’

For many, it is beyond established belief and irrational expectation that a Roman Catholic pontiff could say something like this: “If I speak of house, land and work, for some the pope is a Communist.” Speaking to the representatives of peoples’ movements, campesinos, homeless vagrants, cartoneros(pickers of discarded cardboard) and favela dwellers, an unprecedented and striking gathering of poor…

Spying on your neighbors

To spy or not to spy? Or rather, how much watchfulness is called for when we can expect that politically motivated loners among us suddenly become terrorists? After the attacks in Canada, there is no longer room for complacency. Although the magnitude of such attacks can hardly be compared with those of 9/11, it is…

Desecrating Columbus, A Growing Sport

It is open season on Christopher Columbus. A posse of would-be historians, human rights advocates, heralds of the politically correct, assorted nativists and native revanchists have found the perfect target in Columbus. Thus, Columbus Day is no longer an American festivity, it is the day of opprobrium that should be remembered for all the pain…

The not so ‘invisible war’ In Ukraine

They are calling the fighting in Eastern Ukraine “the invisible war.” Some even talk of that clash as part of the “third world war.” Not long ago, there was a “cold war” but at least in that war there was no fighting and there was a sharp confrontation between two worlds: the West, led by…