Friday, January 16, 2009

Fidel Castro dead?

Rumors are once again swirling around the internet that Fidel Castro is either dead or on his deathbed. I've said so myself at least 3 dozen times in the last year. I'm sure that he's been dead or at least very ill for a long time. At this point who really knows outside of a handful of people that consist of his entourage. I don't have any inside sources, I don't know anyone in his entourage, but I know how to use Google and this is what the rumor mills has to say so far:

Along the Malecon
Castro Death Watch
Canada Free Press
Havana Journal

There's a million more links in Spanish within these stories.

I always wished I'd be in Cuba when this happened. Sipping a mojito and watching the scene in the streets. Who knows maybe the rumors are once again JUST RUMORS and Fidel will wait until the next time I go!

Muchacho Enfermo
(PS: I'm sorry for my really bad photoshop skills)

75th post...

This is my 75th post. I didn't realize it until this morning.
I had a pretty cool post all worked out in my head this morning but then I noticed that it was my 75th post and it felt like a bit of a milestone day. I know it's silly, but whatever.

There's so many things out there today that I could talk about, so many issues concerning me and my fellow citizens of the world that need to be written about, but I can't find anything that motivates me enough to do it today.

I realize, looking back on my posts, that most of them are dry and feel a little bit like recycled news, it's been a few weeks since Reuters or the Chicago Sun-Times has ran any of my posts on their websites... So I'm going to do my best to steer clear of that "news recycling business" in the future and do what I do best: bitch and moan. Hopefully my 4 readers will stick around during this little transition period into something hopefully more interesting and a little bit more me.

On a side note:
-Thanks to everyone who voted for Ashin Mettacara at the 2008 Weblog awards, his blog won in the best Asian blog category! Hopefully this will help bring a little more visibility to Burma's cause.
-Thanks to for having added me to their links page. It means a lot.

Muchacho Enfermo

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Why don't we bail out Nortel?

When Stephen Harper and Dalton McGuinty announced they would follow suit with the US and hand over a 4 billion dollar bailout package to the big 3, a large portion of the population was supportive of the move.

Checking the website of the CAW (Canadian Auto Workers union) it clearly shows that 13% of their 250,000 members work directly for major auto companies. That means 32,500 people are employed by ALL major automakers that have plants in Canada, not just the big three. In addition the two of the big three have posted tremendous loses in the last 4 years. GM has lost 73 billion dollars since 2004 and Ford lost 12.7 billion dollars in 2006 alone.

That just goes to show a serious lack in the management of these companies even in times of economic boom. But we still gave them 4 billion of our tax dollars.

Nortel on the other hand still employs about 32,500 people (only about 6500 in Canada though) and compared to Ford and GM Nortel actually made money in 2006.

I'm not saying Nortel is an amazing company with and excellent business model but I'm saying that people are quick to judge and remember how much money Nortel cost a lot of in the stock market. A poll in the Globe and Mailshowed that 88% of respondents didn't think that Ottawa should bail out Nortel.

If the government wants to give money to companies with ailing business strategies that are years past their prime like GM and Ford why not give at least a little money to Nortel? The deserve it just as much as those wonderful people in the big 3. Maybe if the employees of Nortel had a huge union behind them it would be a little different who knows?

I just know that thousands of Canadians will lose their job and that a government that was so quick to help the auto-industry seems to want nothing to do with the tech sector.

Muchacho Enfermo

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

14 year old girl gets razor blade abortion...

An Afghan girl finds herself in critical care at a US army hospital in Afghanistan today after her mother and brother cut her abdomen open with a razor blade, removed the 5 month old fetus the girl had inside her and sewed her up with needle and thread. The only reason she ever made it to the hospital is that her father was worried once the wound became seriously infected. He told doctors it was a dog bite.

The story was reported by Jane Armstrong in the Globe and Mail and appears in today's G & M...

The 14 year old's pregnancy was the result of a rape. Victims often keep quiet about rape in Afghanistan because in many cases the victim is shamed by friends and family and the police will claim that she consented to sex or lured the man into sleeping with her.

Abortion is illegal in Afghanistan unless the mother's health is seriously at risk. Even then, abortion must be debated by a panel of doctors.

So just so we're clear: this 14 year old victim of rape, would be stuck with a baby she didn't want, shamed by her family, would never find a husband. Since abortion is illegal her mother butchered her with a razor to get the fetus out and possibly killed her own daughter in the process.

Every country of the world should have provisions to protect victims of rape, especially ones so young. To help them should they want help. To be there for them should they need someone there. It seems to me that caring for our young people should be a priority no matter where you are in the world.

Muchacho Enfermo

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

New portal for Cuban Bloggers

A new portal was open today for all those who blog about Cuba.
Those of you who've read my blog have probably figured out that Cuba is a place that is dear to me and I love to write and read about it.

This portal is phenomenal, you can submit your existing blog and they will post on their page when you update. It will help link together an entire community of bloggers that blog about Cuba and for a common goal. If you write about Cuba please sign up and help this fine community grow. You won't regret it and it's free.
Click the skull and check it out!

The 2008 Weblog Awards

Muchacho Enfermo

Monday, January 12, 2009

One last push for Yoani and Ahsin!

The 2008 Weblog Awards The 2008 Weblog Awards

There is still time to get in two votes for each of them before polls close tomorrow night!

A plea for unity and common sense

A few days ago I received a email from a man from a 26 year old University of Alberta graduate named Jared Milne. He asked me and a handful of other bloggers if we were interested in putting up a letter he had written to all Canadians up on our blogs.

For various reasons I am not posting it here in its entirety but I have made it available for download at with a link provided below.

the letter/la lettre

In his letter Jared where he calls on all Canadians, politicians and voters to put aside their differences in the face of the global economic crisis and for the sake of national unity. He outlines various reasons why the proposed coalition of the NDP-Liberals-BLOC was formed in the first place. Why certain people were for the coalition and why others opposed it.

But I think most importantly he outlines the ramifications that the actions of all of our politicians is currently having on the entire Canadian population.

Here are a few excerpts:
"Any coalition with a political party whose stated goal is the separation of one of Canada’s provinces will provoke a negative reaction in the rest of the country by itself…and who is to say what demands the Bloc will make in exchange for its support? Don’t forget, too, that Dion claimed during the election he would never form a coalition, and that Layton attacked him for not knowing how to handle the economy."

"Arguably even worse for Canadian unity is the backlash this has already provoked in Western Canada."

More importantly he outlines the need for cooperation from all of our political parties. Stating that the two consecutive minorities are clear mandates for cooperation between parties.

"What the opposition parties should be doing is working with the Conservative government, the way the people wanted them to! Both sides should remember that, in order to avoid the collapse of the Harper government and avoid an election that Canadians absolutely do not want, they must cooperate and compromise, which what they were elected to do in the first place."

"With no party receiving a clear mandate of support from the voters, and with nearly 40% of the population staying home on election day, to me it seems clear what Canadians want, for their politicians to not play partisan games and cooperate with one another in dealing with our economic, environmental, and social issues."

All that to say that I think this young man has hit the nail on the head with his letters and I encourage other who read this post to download the letter or offer the link on their website.

Pour ceux de nous qui préfèrent lire en français la lettre de Jared est complètement bilingue. Chapeau!

For those of you who'd like to read more of this young man's work click here and if you have any comments for Jared I'll make sure to pass them on!

Thanks for reading,

Muchacho Enfermo