I am a part of this country. So is my father. So is my mother. Do not erase our experiences. Do not claim that you can separate one aspect of this man from all the others. My family did not escape from under the foot of a dictator to live in a country where its leader praises and celebrates that same dictator.
The problem is that, by monochromatically portraying Fidel Castro simply as a brutal dictator -- full stop -- the western media has had to do pretzel-twists to explain away the reality of why so many people in Cuba, Latin America and, indeed, much of the developing world do see him as an heroic, larger than life figure, whose passing is a cause for sadness while his legacy is reason for celebration.
Thanks to right-wing anti-Cuba propaganda, politicians on the left run for cover when asked for an opinion on Castro. The latest shameful example was furnished by interim NDP Leader Tom Mulcair. Is it any wonder that Justin Trudeau ate the NDP's lunch during the 2015 federal election, and continues to do so?
Eliminating violence against women and girls requires the implementation of laws, services and access to justice for women and girls that experience violence, and raising awareness among influential actors and everyday people. Transforming what is "normal" in society -- expected, naturalized, unsaid -- is the critical piece of the puzzle, and one that we can all help put in place. We can challenge what we hear and see, check our own behaviour and beliefs, and defy expectations that promote gender inequality.
Hurricane Matthew left its own path of destruction in Cuba. After hitting Haiti, the storm made landfall over the eastern tip of Cuba. Aerial photographs of the affected region show a shattered landscape with crops wiped out; buildings, schools and key infrastructure destroyed; and homes left in ruin.
Overwhelmingly, America's neighbours to the north profess strong support for both the reestablishment of U.S. diplomatic ties with Cuba, and the lifting of the U.S. trade embargo against the island nation, according to an Angus Reid Institute survey of Canadians. But there is one thing bothering Canadians about this thaw in near-frozen U.S.-Cuba relations.
Cuba is synonymous with beaches but, on a recent trip to the lush Viñales Valley, white sand was (miraculously!) the furthest thing from our minds. After two days in Havana, a 1950s Chevrolet whisked us west to the tranquil valley, deemed a UNESCO world heritage site for its majestic mogotes (limestone rock formations).
For Iran, the rationale for the long march toward partnership can not be found in strategic alignment or expediency of politics alone, it runs much deeper; for many Iranians, America represents the new world, where individuals thrive on the merit of their skills and character, rather than old world feudal hierarchy.
Fast-forward almost 20 years and my husband and I recently had the opportunity to circumnavigate Cuba aboard the Louis Cristal--a re-purposed Finnish ferry (how very socialist!) now operating as Cuba Cruise. It's a second-year startup by two intrepid Torontonians, one of whom is a harbinger in the cruise industry in Northern Canada.
Driven by the taste for shark fin soup, long line fisherman around the world are eliminating some 100 million sharks per year -- a reduction, in some cases of 90 per cent of the species. Sharks, being apex predators, breed very slowly. The inevitable result of all that fishing is a complete extinction of many shark species within the next ten years according to Sharkwater.com.