Rene Gómez Manzano: “Seis libras de cebolla por un salario”

René Gómez Manzano is a lawyer and an independent journalist in Cuba who writes original and provocative commentary on issues of interest to those who follow events in Cuba. The following was recently published on Cuba.net on the disjunction between official ideology and the realities of life for common people. It suggests the long road ahead for the Cuban Communist Party if it seeks to align its ideology with its implementation.  That will become more important as a test of the long term stability of the state as normalization proceeds.  It is worth a read some consideration as the process of normalization goes forward.

Gómez Manzano’s essay, Seis libras de cebolla por un salario, follows:

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Sat, June 27 2015 » Cuba, latino culture, Latinos in the United States, Law and Society » No Comments

US Cuba Normation Beyond the Federal Level: NY’s Governor Visits Cuba

As the thaw in relations between the United States and Cuba begins to approach something like approaching a wary “normal” state, it is interesting to see the extent of political advantage that change in relations might present to some political officials operating at the state level.  That calculation has been growing for at least a decade as Midwestern states have obtained waivers for the exportation of foodstuffs to Cuba.  Now the social and business dimensions may have gotten a boost, contributing toward making normalization a functional reality even as the negotiations at the national level proceed, is on evidence with the recent visit of the governor of New York to Cuba.  More on that story here.

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Tue, April 21 2015 » Cuba, Latin America, Latinos in the United States, Law and Society » Comments Off

A Different Voice: Rene Gómez Manzano on the Role of the Church in US-Cuba Normalization and Political Prisoners

René Gómez Manzano is a lawyer and an independent journalist in Cuba who writes original and provocative commentary on issues of interest to those who follow events in Cuba. The following was recently published on Cuba.net on the internal politics of normalization with the United States and the role of the Roman Catholic Church in that effort.  The focus is on the politics of political prisoners in that context. What is interesting is that at least among a sector of Cuban society, the role of the Church is more nuanced than it is portrayed in the press of the relevant Western democracies.  It is worth a read some consideration as the process of normalization goes forward.

Gómez Manzano’s essay, El cardenal equivocado, follows:

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Tue, April 21 2015 » Cuba, Latin America, Latinos in the United States, noteworthy » Comments Off

Rene Gómez Manzano on the Politics of Normalization Within Cuba

 

René Gómez Manzano is a lawyer and an independent journalist in Cuba who writes original and provocative commentary on issues of interest to those who follow events in Cuba. The following was recently published on Cuba.net on the internal politics of normalization with the United States.  What is interesting is the Cuban perspectives on the management of internal dialogue within Cuba and its outward effects.  While there are strong differences of views, it indicates that on some level there is something of a discussion going on in Cuba with respect to normalization, and that, indeed, for Cuba, this is a critical event, for which the consequences of failure may be quite large.

Gómez Manzano’s essay, Un lamento Cubano, follows:

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Fri, April 10 2015 » Cuba, Latin America, Latino Media » Comments Off

René Gómez Manzano on “LEY ELECTORAL: ¿UN CAMBIO POLÍTICO REAL?”

 

René Gómez Manzano is a lawyer and an independent journalist in Cuba who writes original and provocative commentary on issues of interest to those who follow events in Cuba. The following was recently published on Cuba.net on the electoral law.  It suggests the difficulties of harmonizing the foundational elements of Leninist vanguard party theory with notions of western style elections, and more interestingly, the difficulty of aggregating the two models without a fiorm grounding in theory and a firm consensus on objectives.

This post includes a short essay: Ley electoral: ¿Un cambio político real?

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Thu, March 5 2015 » Cuba, Elections and Voting, Latin America » Comments Off

Assistant Professor Stephen Richardson (Indiana Tech Law): Deportation Protections Halted by Federal Judge

Yesterday, Feb 16, 2015, Judge Andrew Hanen of the Southern District of Texas issued a ruling and injunction staying the Department of Homeland Security from implementing the planned Deferred Action for Parents of American and Lawful permanent Residents. This ruling does not prohibit or affect the base program for DACA, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, but does prevent its expansion, which was issued in the same memorandum. The court issued a temporary stay, meaning that the program is on hold pending a resolution of the case. The program was not declared unconstitutional or even illegal; the court simply will not permit it to go forward until a decision on its legality can be made. This means that currently the only relief available from President Obama’s immigration actions is the DACA program as it was originally created in 2012.

It should be noted that even with DACA, a person does not obtain legal status. The program only provides “lawful presence,” meaning a person is determined not to be unlawfully present under the Immigration and Nationality Act, but only for the period that they have DACA. It also offers the opportunity to apply for a work permit. DACA does not grant amnesty; it does not grant a visa or lawful status. It only provides “lawful presence.” The expansion of DACA and the creation of DAPA would have expanded those meager benefits to many more people, but they would not have granted anything beyond those rights.

Much of the decision revolved issues of standing, whether the plaintiffs can actually bring suit, and procedural requirements under the APA, the administrative Procedures act. The court determined that the plaintiffs, 26 of the states, would suffer harm in the form of increased costs relating to provision of services such as issuance of driver’s licenses. Further the court ruled that Homeland Security should have used a particular formal procedure for issuing rules rather than implementing the program via a memorandum.

This ruling comes as no surprise, given that Judge Hanen has been highly critical of how the government enforces immigration. His decision in Nava-Martinez has been widely read as an invitation for litigation to prevent DHS from employing prosecutorial discretion in such a manner, and this is probably why the case was filed in that particular location. It is expected that the government will appeal the ruling to the Fifth Circuit, which has jurisdiction over cases from Texas.

The widely criticized move has triggered a fight in Congress to prevent any actions by the President ant to “repeal” DACA by cutting off funding for DHS. However, since most of DHS is considered essential, those functions would still be required and employees would still have to report to work despite not being paid. CIS, which is responsible for the issuance of work permits, would similarly be unaffected as the vast majority of its funding comes from fees, and not congressional disbursements. It is unclear how or if this ruling or possible appeal would affect that debate in Congress.

Notes

[1]Texas v. U.S., No. B-14-254, 2015 WL 2015 WL 648579 (S.D. Tex. Feb. 16, 2015).

[1] U.S. v. Nava-Martinez, No. B–13–441–1, 2013 WL 8844097 (S.D. Tex. Dec. 13, 2013).

 

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Thu, February 19 2015 » immigrants, Immigration Law » Comments Off

René Gómez Manzano on the State of U.S. Cuba Normalization Negotiations–Los Detalles del Diablo

René Gómez Manzano is a lawyer and an independent journalist in Cuba who writes original and provocative commentary on issues of interest to those who follow events in Cuba. The following was recently published on Cuba.net on the state of normalization negotiations between the U.S. and Cuba.  It is an interesting perspective well worth thinking through.

 

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Mon, February 9 2015 » Cuba, Latin America, Legal Development » Comments Off

New book on Fidel Castro’s Agricultural Policies by Jose Alvarez

Jose Alvarez has produced a new book on Cuban agricultural policy, “Fidel Catro’s Agricultural Follies: Absurdity, Waste and Parasitism.” It is dedicated to G.B. Jerry Hagelberg (1925-2011) whose worked extensively in this field for many years.   Specifics about the work follows:

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Tue, January 13 2015 » Cuba, education » Comments Off

On U.S.–Cuba Normalization

(Pix (c) Larry Catá Backer 2015)
The folks over at Opinio Juris were kind to invite me to guest post recently.  The essay–On Cuban Normalization (Jan. 5, 2015)–can be accessed HERE.
Here is the opening paragraph:
On December 17, 2014, the Presidents of the United States of America and of the Republic of Cuba announced an intention to move toward the normalization of relations between their countries. The two statements reflected the quite distinct conceptual frameworks from which they originated, and the aspirations and tastes of the elites whose approvals were a necessary predicate for such action. These frameworks can coexist unchanged only in the abstract, and are well reflected in the Presidential statements. Yet both views are so distorted by their own ideological self-references that each continues to evidence both the self-destructiveness and the irrelevance that has marked the policy of each against the other since the early 1960s.

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Tue, January 6 2015 » Cuba, Latin America » Comments Off

An Astonishing Surprise: U.S. Cuba-Relations

Throughout the media arrived the astonishing news that the United States  and Cuba are seeking talks to normalize relations between both nations.  Check out the news such as today’s Karen DeYoung’s Washington Post article for updates.

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Wed, December 17 2014 » Latinos in the United States » Comments Off