Walking down the cracked sidewalks of a hot, palm frond-shaded street in Vedado, Havana’s western upper-middle class neighborhood, you pass two women. One of them, younger and taller, is dressed entirely in white—from her white umbrella and white hair wrap down to her white high-heeled shoes. When she notices you staring at her trailing white dress, she smiles and looks down. Her older companion speaks loudly and emphatically to her as they pass you by.
In September of 2013, Caricom, or Caribbean Community that consists of 15 nations including St. Vincent, The Grenadines, Barbados, Suriname, and Grenada, announced they would be attempting to sue 11 European nations for slavery reparations.
Part One of this series examines how marijuana arrived in the Western Hemisphere, who cultivated it locally, and why. Part Two looks at prohibitionist 20th century marijuana policies in Latin America and the Caribbean and their devastating social effects. Part Three looks at recent pro-marijuana activist efforts around the continent, as well as examples of progressive legislation that have begun to decriminalize the plant.
The original intent of microfinance—to assist the poor excluded from conventional banks by providing them access to financial services—attempted to correct social and market failures that were unfair to certain groups of people. This idea of conventional banking turned upside down to help those people excluded was inspiring and has captivated the world. Yet, its initial fiery rhetoric has dissipated. The outing of banks as elitist is what most Afro-Caribbean people can resonate to as it has been their banking experience.
If you have heard anything about the Paris climate conference—formally known as the 21st Conference of Parties, or COP21—then you know that lots of people seem very excited about the recently adopted 2 degrees Celsius agreement. “I believe this moment can be a turning point for the world,” said U.S. President Barack Obama. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon declared, “What was once unthinkable has now become unstoppable.”1,2 But what does this number mean?
“To erase St Peter’s is to inflict a wrong, through gerrymandering, on the people of St Peter’s and on Antigua and Barbuda”
Asot Michael, Antigua Labour Party (ALP), Member of Parliament for the St. Peter Constituency (2013)
Cuban music has been described as a marriage (successful) between the guitar and the drum. An excellent metaphor, but not entirely accurate because they forgot to mention the piano since there are few countries who have pianists as gifted as Cuba. From the 19th century, with the likes of Cervantes, Saumell, and Espadero to the 20th , Cuba was blessed with figures such as Roig, Romeu, Lecuona, Lilí Martínez and Peruchín, not to mention Bebo Valdés, Rubén González, and Frank Emilio Flynn.
De generación en generación, perdura en mi familia la leyenda de un negro esclavo, el padre de mi tatarabuela, que un día dicen que se marchó manigua adentro y no volvió a aparecer. Solía mi abuela concluir su relato recordando que aquel negro lucumí se había ido volando a su tierra, y pasaba enseguida a contarme otra historia.