After Fidel Castro seized power in 1959 and began to align the country with the Soviet Union, the U.S. placed an embargo on exports to Cuba in 1960. For decades, the U.S. has banned tourism travel to the country.
Obama sought to normalize relations between the U.S. and Cuba throughout his tenure. “The history of the United States and Cuba encompass revolution and conflict; struggle and sacrifice; retribution and, now, reconciliation,” Obama said in a speech about restoring the two countries’ relationship. “It is time, now, for us to leave the past behind.” Those were the days of hope when I visted Cuba.
In 2017, President Donald Trump announced he was rolling back the Obama-era policies.
Just over twenty years ago the world was horrified by the images that emerged from Roumania of emaciated disabled children and orphans living in horrific conditions in large overcrowded institutions. Under communist dictator Ceausescu, disabled children were often forcibly removed from or abandoned by their parents and were sent to inappropriate institutions hidden away from society.
According to Government statistics at the time, there were no disabled children in Romania. Like many people I remember watching these news reports and seeing the images of these uncared for children and wondering what the future could possibly hold for disabled people in Roumania..
The situation has changed now. Most of the institutions met modern requirements. But the children are still abandoned and hardly animated.
The concept of universal healthcare has been implemented in name only in Roumania. However, the patients were still required to pay some medical costs, and in some cases, the fees were too high. In consequence, healthcare was virtually only available to the middle class and upwards. The working class were in the position of having to use free clinics or hospitals run by charities.
Patricularly the situation of most of the elderly is very troublesome. To them, the availability of home care may well be a matter of life and death.
Auschwitz happened. The uprise of nationalism all over Europe has made migrants and refugees the new jews.
Auschwitz is very much amongst us again. Its appearance differs, its lies are the very same.
We have a desdription for them: they are “unaccompanied asylum seeking minors”. Categories hide the tragic fate of human beings. They help us rationalise. What we can rationalise, we can put away.
Categories have no face. Only humans do.
THE ABBEY OF GRIMBERGEN
Vivamus massa tortor, tincidunt porta hendrerit vel, feugiat sed massa. In nec convallis sem, ac mollis massa. Duis dolor magna, rhoncus at purus ut, efficitur tincidunt velit. Donec quis nulla diam. Nullam ipsum ante, molestie in enim et, maximus sollicitudin odio. Integer consectetur, nisi eu aliquam blandit, justo purus maximus est, in tincidunt nisl nulla sit amet mauris. Vestibulum feugiat sollicitudin leo et interdum. Proin porttitor laoreet consequat. Mauris nibh felis, tincidunt at dapibus ac, mollis at arcu.
I occasionally work for a Flemish newspaper.
Political sucess at the 2019 elections
Faded socialist glory
Commemorating the Marcinelle mine disaster
Flemish innovation in horticulture
Doel, once a charming polder village, until it had to give way to Antwerp's port extension.
Didier Eribon was born in Reims into a working-class family. He was the first in his family to finish secondary education and abandon his working-class identity. He credits his mother with helping him achieve this; a factory worker, she had to work overtime to be able to pay for his education. Working as a hotel porter at night and going to college during day, abandoning his parents' ways of life, Eribon felt like a working-class "traitor". He never became part of the rich elite, whose children even in education have different routes, the grandes écoles or the elite. The non-elite attend the universities.
Igor and Olga Toporovski
A wild story about the Russian Modernist artworks collected by the Toporovski’s.
There is no age limit on love
The Belgian Meat Industry
Bulky waste. When you look at it with the right eye, it is art.