communism

Fidel Castro’s Long Goodbye

Louis E.V. Nevaer

It was this adherence to his ideals that stood out, conviction without pragmatism becomes stagnation. And Cuba, under his care, stagnated. Admirers in the United States are quick to point to the public education system and national healthcare as achievements of his revolution. These admirers, however, have never been to a Cuban clinic or spent a day at a Cuban high school. Cubans have to wait months for a prescription medication and years for surgery.

Supporting Freedom in Cuba

Charles Crawford and Pratik Chougule

Unexpected jolts can quickly unravel authoritarian regimes.  Maybe 2015 will see Cubans responding en masse to the more flexible policy adopted by the Obama Administration, massing in the streets and forcing a showdown with the Castro regime.  If they succeed in breaking the back of the communist system, how might a new democratically elected government start to put things right?

What’s Really Behind Obama’s Cuba Move

Earl Ofari Hutchinson

Obama pointed to the obvious when he said the old policies, meaning containment and subversion, didn’t “make sense.” More Cubans are travelling to wherever they can get a visa, political dissent and expression is more open than ever, and there are more private-owned businesses and farms in Cuba. While Cuba is still officially a one party-state, Cuban leaders have repeatedly made clear they are committed to real reforms. 

The Anaconda of Chinese Communism Slithers into Hong Kong

Patrick McShane

Beijing released an official White Paper, which declared that anyone whom the people of Hong Kong nominated to run for the office of Chief Executive must first be vetted by Beijing. What’s more,  anyone nominated by the people to become a potential political leader in Hong Kong must “love the country” – but what that actually means is that any candidate to be selected must “love the Party.” 

The Many Casualties of LBJ’s Gulf of Tonkin Resolution

Leonard Steinhorn

Fifty years ago, on August 10, 1964, President Lyndon Johnson signed what is known as the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution. It is a day that should live in infamy. On that day, the President gave himself the power “to take all necessary steps, including the use of armed forces,” to fight the spread of communism in Southeast Asia and assist our ally in South Vietnam “in defense of its freedom.” Or as former Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara put it decades later, it gave “complete authority to the president to take the nation to war.”

How China Became the World’s Second-Largest Art Market

Veronica Mendez

Fast-forward 20 years later, and China now possesses the second-largest art market after the U.S.  . In the October 28, 2013 New York Times, Barboza, Bowley and Cox reported that China’s auction revenues reported revenue of $8.9 billion, and China’s native Poly Auction house has risen to become the third-largest auction house in the world, behind Christie’s and Sotheby’s. 

Franz Kafka and the Politics of a Novel

Karolina R. Swasey

While Kafka emerged as one of the most significant and widely read modern authors in the US and Western Europe right after the Second World War, his works were ostracized and banned throughout the entire domain of the “Real Socialism,” which sprawled out from Moscow to the border of East-Berlin. Until its first publication in Moscow in 1965, Kafka’s Trial was merely a mysterious typescript that was secretly passed around from hand to hand, concealing the author’s name and origin. A typescript with explosive power, as it turned out. 

Ian McEwan’s ‘Sweet Tooth’ Delves into the World of Spies and Anti-Communism

Lee Polevoi

As a storyteller, McEwan has few equals. From the novel’s opening lines—“My name is Serena Frome (rhymes with plume) and almost forty years ago I was sent on a secret mission for the British Security Service”—he draws us into the dreary world of Cold War England, circa 1974,  time of internal social and political upheaval. The story purrs along like a well-oiled machine, as Serena falls in love with Tony Canning, a married professor and much older man. The affair ends badly, though not before Canning has set her on an eventful career path with MI5. 

South Korean Military on High Alert After Kim Jong-Il’s Death

Peter Schurmann

From New America Media: North Korea’s reclusive leader, Kim Jong-il, has died, according to media reports from the isolated communist nation, leaving the peninsula and the East Asia region on bated breath as regional powers digest the news. The North’s Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) announced Monday morning (Korea time) that Kim had died of an “acute myocardial infarction, which triggered a heart attack” while on a train carrying him on one of his frequent field tours. He was 69.

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