Recent Reports on Cuba and Honduras from the Highly Regarded Latin American Bureau

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The Latin America Bureau (LAB) is a London-based independent research and publishing organization. They work to broaden public understanding of issues of human rights, development, culture and social and economic justice in Latin America and the Caribbean. LAB has been publishing original books and running education programmes, workshops and events for more than 30 years.

Title: How the U.S. is Preparing a “Cuban Spring” with “Roots of Hope”

Written by: Mona Péralte

Date: November 17, 2011

Haitians have repeatedly witnessed how Washington carries out “regime change” in the past two decades. In the lead-up and aftermath of the 1991 and 2004 coups, we saw how the U.S. concocted organizations like the Democratic Convergence and Group of 184 through the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). U.S. subversion has succeeded twice in Haiti, but it has failed miserably dozens of times in our neighbor Cuba. Let’s look at the most recent destabilization campaign they are cooking up for our Cuban brothers and sisters.

The U.S. government has been trying to snuff out the Cuban revolution for over 50 years. Through multiple attacks by the CIA, it has tried everything, but the Cuban revolution continues on its socialist path, benefitting not only the Cuban people but other peoples of the world – with doctors, soldiers, and technicians – thanks to Cuba’s revolutionary internationalism.

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Title: Houses, Used Cars and Markets: Change Cubans Can Believe In

Written by: Arturo Lopez-Levy

Date: November 17, 2011

There is much political continuity in Raul Castro’s government, but the recent announcement that Cubans will be able to sell and buy houses and their used cars represents an important change. These are visible economic reforms with direct impacts on Cuban lives. The marketization of these assets unleashes Cuban entrepreneurial spirit and might increase the remittances received from relatives and friends abroad.

For decades, rigid communist regulation of real estate and car sales created major resentment in Cuba, but the government didn’t respond to the public’s criticism. After a brief interregnum from 1984 to 1988, when Cubans could sell their houses, Fidel Castro cancelled this right arguing that it was fomenting inequalities, creating a class of intermediaries who were capitalizing on transactions, and rewarding the nouveau riche. His characteristic aversion to market mechanisms also exerted a virtual veto against the sale of automobiles acquired after 1959.

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Title: Honduras: Purging Schools of Crime

Written by: Thelma Mejía

Date: November 17, 2011

The scandal is the biggest since the late 1990s, when rampant corruption and criminality led to the transfer of control of the police from military to civilian authorities.

National human rights commissioner Ramón Custodio urged the government to declare a state of emergency and seek the immediate clean-up of the police by independent outsiders.

The police force in Honduras is widely seen as a veritable school of crime.

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