The Caribbean

Arrests at Havana’s first independent gay march

Activists in Havana held Cuba’s first independent gay pride march, after authorities cancelled the officially sanctioned event. The march assembled in Old Havana’a Parque Central, where the official event had been shceduled to start. Accompanied by a large escort of riot police and State Security agents, including some with dogs, the activists headed down the Paseo del Prado, waving rainbow flag. Upon arrival at the Malecón, Havana’s seaside promenade, plainclothes agents moved in on the march, arresting at least six. (Photo: CubaNet)

The Caribbean

Venezuela crisis at issue in Haiti unrest

Thousands of Haitians filled the streets of Port-au-Prince and several provincial cities to demand the resignation of President Jovenel Moise on the anniversary of the 1986 ouster of long-ruling dictator Jean-Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier. Demonstrators also called for the arrest of officials responsible for the plundering of monies from the Venezuela-provided PetroCaribe fund over the past 10 years. At least two were reported dead in the protests, with vehicles burned, a police station attacked, some 40 arrested, and many wounded. Haiti faces a fast-deepening crisis, with hunger, unemployment and inflation all growing. Protesters are additionally angered by the government's vote with Washington in the OAS not to recognize the presidency of Venezuela's Nicolás Maduro. (Photo: Haiti Liberté)

The Caribbean

US-sheltered terrorist dies a free man

Ex-CIA asset Luis Posada Carriles, wanted by Cuba and Venezuela for a string of deadly armed attacks, died a fee man in Miami at the age of 90. Exiled from his native Cuba after the 1959 Revolution, Posada Carriles dedicated his life to armed counter-revolutionary activity. He was wanted by Cuba for a string of bombings of Havana hotels, and by Venezuela for masterminding the 1976 bombing of a Cuban civilian airliner in which 73 were killed. The US refused to extradite, and he had been for years living openly in the Miami area. He did face some legal trouble when he was accused of lying to immigration officers about how he got into the US before applying for asylum in 2005, but was acquitted in 2011 and spent his remaining years in a comfortable South Florida existence. In the 1980s, he worked with the CIA in covert resupply operations for the Contra rebels in Nicaragua. (Photo: anti-Posada Carriles propaganda billboard in Havana, from CounterVortex archies)

The Caribbean

Cuban anarchists get Havana infoshop

 ABRAA group of Cuban anarchists announced "a new phase in the process of self-emancipation," with the opening of ABRA Social Center and Libertarian Library in Havana's Vedado district. This endeavor of the Alfredo López Libertarian Workshop (an anti-authoritarian, anti-capitalist initiative launched in 2012, which forms part of the Anarchist Federation of the Caribbean and Central America), with the collaboration of allied collectives such as the Cuban Critical Observatory, seeks "to build an autonomous and sustainable space in today's Cuba."

The Caribbean

Haiti: army to be unleashed on drug gangs

Haiti's President Jovenel Moise is moving to re-establish the country's army after 22 years—in the name of fighting the narco-gangs, of course. Haiti has been without an army since 1995, when populist president Jean-Bertrand Aristide disbanded the military after returning to power following a coup. But veteran officers of the disbanded army were behind the 2004 coup that ousted Aristide for a second and final time. And some of these same veteran officers are themselves implicated in the narco trade.

The Caribbean

Puerto Ricans to become climate refugees?

Hurricane Maria's destruction on Puerto Rico could spawn one of the largest mass migrations in US history. Some 97% of the island's residents are still without power, and half do not have running water. Thousands now awaiting flights from San Juan's airport might be permanently displaced and become the planet's newest "climate refugees."

The Caribbean

Cuba rebukes Trump on human rights

Cuba responded to Trump's reversal of thawing relations in the name of human rights pressure by pointing to ongoing rights violations in the US, especially "murder, brutality and police abuse."

The Caribbean

Puerto Rico governor approves statehood poll

Facing an intractable economic crisis, Puerto Rico's Gov. Ricardo Rosselló approved a law calling for a non-binding referendum on statehood for the US territory.

The Caribbean

Clemency for Oscar López Rivera

Oscar López Rivera, the longest-held Puerto Rican political prisoner in the US, was among 209 federal inmates granted clemency by outgoing President Barack Obama.

The Caribbean

Haiti: UN admits role in cholera epidemic

A spokesperson for the United Nations made the organization's first-ever acknowledgment of responsibility for a cholera epidemic that has wracked Haiti since October 2010.