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Index March 2009

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Betrayed in Iraq

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Published on the RealNewsNetwork, on March 30, 2009.

Listen this video 5.54 min. Leila Fadel says: Leaders of Awakening Councils are arrested, tortured and killed by Iraq government … (full text).

Some links for a better understanding:

Awakening movements in Iraq;

Iraq’s Awakening Councils, on BBC, 1 October 2008;

Is the US really bringing stability to Baghdad? By Patrick Cockburn, 15 February 2008;

Awakening Council, Iraqi security in deadly clash, 29 March 2009;

Today’s Google results for Awakening Councils: Google News-results; Google Images-results;
Google Video-results; on Google Group-results; on Google Blog-results.

Requests for Information 9 – 22 March 2009

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Received by mail:
From: Global HR-Education
Date: 26/03/2009

Dear members, Below is a compilation of requests for information sent to the Global Human Rights Education listserv during the past week. At the bottom of each request you will find an e-mail address, so that you can respond to the request directly.


Dear Colleagues, Greetings from the University of Minnesota Human Rights Center! I am writing with a question. I am wondering if any of you have been working on compiling different lists of resources for different target audiences and can share them with the rest of us. I am specifically looking for lists of human rights reading materials and films organized by reading level or grade level (primary, secondary, higher education/ young adult). It would also be interesting to see if there are any similar lists of resources in other languages. Thank you for your help, Natela Jordan, Education Coordinator, U of M Human Rights Center, e-mail.


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loggerhead turtles in a nutshell

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Linked with Jacquie Cozens – Ireland, and with

Published on SOS, by Jacquie Cozens.

download full report, by Jacquie Cozens, 15 January 2009:

In a nutshell, here are some statistics:

  • Total number of activities  1,238;
  • Beach with the most activities: Black Sand Beach (no surprise there!) with 189. But … ;
  • The beach with the most nests was Ponta Jelonga with 47 Scariest nesting beach was Piazza where there were 36 activities among all the rocks and rubbish (oh yes, the turtles are crazy).
  • Tiny little In Between Beach recorded an amazing 34 activities;
  • Total number of turtles killed was 39, unsurprisingly, the majority on Mont Leao (13);
  • So this means a reduction from 1 in 9 turtles killed on protected beaches to 1 in 62 on protected beaches;
  • In other words if the same percentage (11%) had been killed on all beaches we would have lost 142 turtles;
  • The number of turtles saved by direct action by Rangers or police was 19;
  • The total number of turtles tagged was 101. Tag numbers that we can read 95;
  • Largest turtle – Big Mama and her crazy enormous nests. Carapace length 101. The smallest was 50cm (average 80cm);
  • Total number of nests 346 … (full text).

Networks you can use for poverty impact assessment

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Linked with Karsten Weitzenegger Consulting.

Picked up on Weitzenegger’s Website for International  Development Cooperation and its Newsletter:

Graines de Paix – Convocation à l’Assemblée Générale 2008

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Lié avec Graines de Paix.

Chers Membres, Ambassadeurs, Amis, Donateurs et Sponsors de Graines de Paix, Vous êtes tous chaleureusement invités à l’Assemblée Générale de Graines de Paix qui aura lieu le mardi 28 avril 2009 de 18h00 à 20h00. Pour ceux qui n’auraient pas suivi l’évolution de Graines de Paix depuis un an, nous espérons qu’ils trouveront de quoi être impressionnés par les progrès effectués. Visitez notre site et la rubrique Dernières Nouvelles.


L’Assemblée Générale sera suivie d’un apéritif dînatoire (buffet canadien: chacun est invité à contribuer au buffet à sa convenance- vins et boissons bienvenus).
Lieu: Graines de Paix, Rue Cornavin 11, 1201 Genève, 2e étage à droite de l’ascenseur.

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US-Iranian Engagement: When and How?

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Published on, by Ahmad Sadri, March 25, 2009.

Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei addressed thousands of Iranians in the holy city of Mashhad on March 21, a day after President Obama offered Tehran a ‘new beginning’ to turn back the tide on decades of mutual animosity. Khamenei said the Islamic republic was ready to change if Obama led the way by changing American attitudes toward his country …

… Following Obama’s video message, extending a hand directly to the powerful Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei would appear to circumvent the democratically elected parliament and president. And approaching the hardliner President Dr. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad would compound this risk by opening negotiations with a less powerful leader who could be in the lame duck twilight of his presidency. Such an early move could also strengthen his bid for another term.

Nor can Obama afford to wait for the results of the June elections because it might radically diminish the goodwill necessary for negotiations in case of a conservative win.

The best option is to dispatch the message with an American congressional delegation in an attempt at a dialogue between elective bodies.

Regardless of to whom he might convey his words, Obama’s goodwill must be readily translatable to dramatic deeds with immediate benefits to both Iran and the United States. Only then can Obama effectively push at the 30-year-old logjam of distrust between the two countries. (full text).

(Ahmad Sadri is the Iranian-born James P. Gorter chair of Islamic world studies at Lake Forest College and a columnist for the Iranian newspaper, Etemade Melli).

Baghdad’s water still undrinkable 6 years after invasion

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Published on YAHOOnews, by Matthew Schonfield of McClatchy Newspapers, March 18, 2009.

BAGHDAD — The stench of human waste is enough to tell Falah abu Hasan that his drinking water is bad. His infant daughter Fatma’s continuous illnesses and his own constant nausea confirm it.

“We are the poor. No one cares if we get sick and die,” he said. “But someone should do something about the water. It is dirty. It brings disease.”

Everybody complains about the water in Baghdad , and few are willing to risk drinking it from the tap. Six years after the U.S. invaded Iraq , 36 percent of Baghdad’s drinking water is unsafe, according to the Iraqi Environment Ministry — in a good month. In a bad month, it’s 90 percent. Cholera broke out last summer, and officials fear another outbreak this year … Continue Reading…

Chicago Archbishop calls for immigration reform

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Published on People’s Weekly World PWW /Nuestro Mundo, by Pepe Lozano, March 23, 2009.

CHICAGO – Speaking at Our Lady of Mercy Church in Albany Park here, Archbishop Cardinal Francis George called on President Obama to put a stop to deportation raids and to pass fair and compassionate comprehensive immigration reform this year.

The Archdiocese of Chicago and several immigrant rights and religious groups organized the prayer forum. Organizers of the event said more than 360,000 families have been split up due to deportations over the past year.

“Our Church teaches that the family is sacred,” said George before more than 2,000 people at the North Side church on March 21 …

… Last week, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus met with President Obama and Latino lawmakers are hopeful Obama will tackle the issue later this year.

But according to U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) who attended the Chicago event, Obama did not say he would order a moratorium on enforcement measures. Gutierrez, a leading advocate for ending raids and deportations, began a 20-city national tour of prayer vigils and town-hall meetings in November. He has collected thousands of signatures on petitions asking for immigration reform. (full text).

Tell Founders Equity to Give Workers their Due

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Published on political affairs pa, March 21, 2009.

Take action now!

Shirley Samayoa worked at the Colibri Group for 27 years, making jewelry and cigarette lighters. Yesterday, as her former employer auctioned off the company’s assets, she and twelve of her coworkers and allies sat down to say “enough is enough.”

“I was one of the many Colibri workers protesting at the Colibri factory on the 19th. Workers have rights and sometimes they have to say enough is enough! We are THE COLIBRI WORKERS FOR RIGHTS AND JUSTICE and we will continue to fight for our rights and the rights of other workers in the same situation.”

As bidders drove into the company parking lot, about 200 pickets greeted them with chants of “We’ll go away when we get our pay,” and “Rise Together! Stay Together!” In four separate waves workers sat down in the road blocking access to the cars before they were handcuffed and taken away in police vans.

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India: NCERT to introduce human rights education in school

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Linked with National Council of Educational Research and Training NCERT.

Received by mail:
From: Global HRE List Moderator
Date: 21/03/2009

New Delhi, March 20 (IANS) – Owing to the growing number of human rights abuses, the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) is planning to introduce human rights as an optional subject in schools.

Savita Sinha, head of NCERT’s department of education in social sciences and humanities, said Friday that they were working on including the subject in Class 11 and 12.

Talking on the sidelines of a conference on human rights education in schools, Sinha said: ‘After the first draft of human rights education as an elective subject was prepared, we found it was very complicated and filled with technical jargons which children will not be compatible with.

‘When you talk about teaching something to children, you have to understand that concepts and terminologies have to be simplified. We are working towards that now,’ Sinha told IANS.

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Global Charter Agenda For Human Rights in the City

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LAUNCHING OF THE OPEN DEBATE (Received by mail on 21/03/2009)

Linked with United Cities and Local Governments.

Download the text project of the Charter Agenda for Human Rights in the City.

The Global Charter Agenda for Human Rights in the City is a declaration (a charter) with an action plan (an agenda). When the local governments from all over the world will adopt the charter they will thus commit themselves to develop «inclusive» public politics (in contrast with «exclusive») in order to protect, respect and  implement human rights on their territories, on a local level.

The working group of the Charter Agenda for Human Rights in the City is a part of the Social Inclusion and Participative Democracy Commission of UCLG,  chaired by Elói Pietá, Mayor of Guarulhos, Brazil and co-chaired by Ricard Gomà, deputy mayor of Barcelona, Spain.

The text project of the Charter Agenda for Human Rights in the City is available online on the website of the International Permanent Secretariat Human Rights and Local Governments. The debate is opened during all the year 2009.

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Meltdown Not the Only Crisis in the World

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Linked with Mohammad Yunus – Bangladesh.

Published on IPS, Catherine Makino (IPS) Interviewing MD. YUNUS, March 20, 2009.

IPS: How are the poorer countries going to cope with the long economic recession?
Muhammad Yunus: They don’t have any control over the situation because they are the victims. We need to urge the world to fix the mess by using G-20, the United Nations, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. But there isn’t any easy solution …

… IPS: What are the other crises and when did they begin?
MY: In 2008 the financial crisis began, but before it began there was another crisis which was making headlines all over and creating terror in many people’s minds — food crisis. The food crisis didn’t disappear, it was simply overshadowed and it could get worse. And 2008 was the year when the oil crisis shot through the roof and that crisis hasn’t disappeared either. They’re just keeping their heads down, and at the next opportune moment it can come back again. There’s also global warming and it’s getting worse …
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support citizenship and human rights education

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New publication: ‘How all teachers can support citizenship and human rights education: a framework for the development of competences

Received by mail:
From: Council of Europe Publishing
Date: 19/03/2009

To place an order directly: Council of Europe, online bookshop.

This publication sets out the core competences needed by teachers to put democratic citizenship and human rights into practice in the classroom, throughout the school and in the wider community. It is intended for all teachers – not only specialists but teachers in all subject areas – and teacher educators working in higher-education institutions or other settings, both in pre- and in-service training. Some 15 competences are presented and grouped into four clusters. Each cluster of competences corresponds to one chapter, within which the competences are described in detail and exemplified.
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War victims need better access to water and sanitation

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Fifth World Water Forum

Received by mail:
From: HREA – Human Rights Education Associates and its Newsletter
Date: 16/03/2009

International Committee of the Red Cross Press release

Istanbul/Geneva (ICRC) – The international community must do more to ensure that the victims of armed conflict have access to safe water and sanitation, according to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

Istanbul/Geneva (ICRC) – The international community must do more to ensure that the victims of armed conflict have access to safe water and sanitation, according to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

The ICRC is calling on governments taking part in the Fifth World Water Forum in Turkey this week to make a serious commitment to protect water and sanitation systems in times of war and to maintain services in conflict-prone areas to prevent them from collapsing.

“Water, sewage and electrical power systems, along with medical facilities, are usually the first things to be disrupted when a war breaks out,” said Robert Mardini, who heads the ICRC’s water and habitat unit. “They can be damaged or shut down completely by shelling and explosions, or overwhelmed by influxes of displaced people. Such incidents are often followed by massive shortages and by rapidly spreading disease that can result in loss of life.” Mr Mardini cited Iraq, Gaza, Sri Lanka and Somalia as examples of places where the delivery of water supplies and sanitation services has been severely hampered by recent armed conflicts.

Roughly a quarter of the estimated 1.2 billion people unable to obtain clean drinking water, and 15 per cent of the 2.6 billion without access to proper sanitation, are in war-torn countries. “Access to safe water and adequate sanitation are fundamental for conflict-affected people,” said Mr Mardini. “The ICRC aims to use the World Water Forum to put this issue higher up the international agenda and to remind governments of their responsibilities in this respect.”

Mr Mardini drew attention to the double adversity faced by war victims struggling to survive a natural disaster. “When a natural disaster, such as a prolonged drought, exacerbates the devastation wrought by conflict, as in Somalia, people become far more vulnerable to poverty and disease.”

The ICRC’s efforts to improve water and sanitation involve working with communities and Red Cross and Red Crescent partners to provide emergency assistance where needed and to develop sustainable practices. The organization’s neutral and impartial role enables it to talk to all sides in a conflict, and thereby to help restore access to water even as fighting rages on.

Read more:

Requests for Information: 23 February – 1 March 2009

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Received by mail:
From: Global HR-Education
Date: 05/03/2009

Dear members, Below is a compilation of requests for information sent to the Global Human Rights Education listserv during the past week. At the bottom of each request you will find an e-mail address, so that you can respond to the request directly.


Dear colleagues, My name is Joni Yulianto. I am a disabled person and am currently working with a local NGO of and for disabled people in Indonesia called SIGAB (Sasana Integrasi dan Advokasi Difabel) or “institute for integration and advocacy of disabled people”. We are now developing a plan of a human rights education project for young disabled people in Yogyakarta province, Indonesia. The project aims to improve awareness of disabled people regarding their rights and to support more participation and involvement of disabled people on the policy making process by the local government of Yogyakarta province, Indonesia. I am wondering if any of the list members have experience on similar projects or materials to develop this project plan. I also welcome any suggestions or information about funding agencies that might support such a project. With very best wishes, Joni.
M Joni Yulianto S.Pd M.A, Director, Sasana Integrasi dan Advokasi Difabel (SIGAB),
The Institute for Advocacy and Integration of the Disabled,
Perum Sawit Sari Block I/3, Condongcatur Sleman Yogyakarta, Indonesia.
Mobile: +6285878469692, Phone: +622743034581, e-mail1, or e-mail2.


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Colloque sur le Crime d’honneur

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Reçu par e-mail:
De: Jeandupeux Valeska (CHA)
Date: 16/03/2009

Invitation: .invitationl-crimes-dhonneur.
Programme du Colloque: .programme-crimes_dhonneur.

Madame, Monsieur, De la part de l’Office des droits humains, nous avons le plaisir de vous adresser, en annexe, une invitation au Colloque sur le Crime d’honneur qui aura lieu le samedi 4 avril 2009, de 14.00 – 18.30 h.
Valeska Jeandupeux, Bureau des ONG, Chancellerie d’Etat.

Le colloque aura lieu au Centre d’Accueil – Genève Internationale,
Villa La Pastorale, Route de Ferney 106, Case postale 103, 1211 Genève 20
(t) 022 546 14 00, (f) 022 546 14 19,
The web:

Anti-Empire Report aer67

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Published on Cyrano’s Journal, by Bill (William) Blum, March 4, 2009.

… The UN Convention Against Torture (first adopted in 1984), which has been ratified by the United States, says quite clearly, “An order from a superior officer or a public authority may not be invoked as a justification of torture.” The Torture Convention enacts a prohibition against torture that is a cornerstone of international law and a principle on a par with the prohibition against slavery and genocide …

… The education of an American true-believer is ongoing, continuous. All forms of media, all the time. Here is Michael Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the highest military officer in the United States, writing in the Washington Post recently:

“We in the U.S. military are likewise held to a high standard. Like the early Romans, we are expected to do the right thing, and when we don’t, to make it right again. We have learned, after seven years of war, that trust is the coin of the realm — that building it takes time, losing it takes mere seconds, and maintaining it may be our most important and most difficult objective. That’s why images of prisoner maltreatment at Abu Ghraib still serve as recruiting tools for al-Qaeda.
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Reading Lenin in Modern Rome

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Linked with Gaither Stewart – USA.

Published on Cyrano’s Journal Online, by Gaither Stewart, March 14, 2009.

(Rome) Leftists like to cite Lenin. To quote Marx is to delve into the theory of Socialism/Communism. But Lenin is another cup of tea. You get into Lenin and you’re already in revolution. When you read Lenin’s The State and Revolution, which contains the core of Leninist thought, you are no longer in the world of socio-economic theory …


Noting that the US Army 3rd Infantry’s 1st Brigade Combat Team returned from Iraq some months ago and “may be called upon to help with civil unrest and crowd control”, Professor Michel Chossudovsky puts forward the hypothesis that “Civil unrest resulting from the financial meltdown (of capitalism: my note) is a distinct possibility, given the broad impacts of financial collapse on lifelong savings, pension funds, home ownership, etc”.
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Nomination of Gwangju Prize for Human Rights 2009

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Received by mail:
From: 518 Foundation
Date: 10 Mar 2009

Dear Colleagues, This is Chanho Kim who is from the May 18 Memorial Foundation, Gwangju, South Korea. We, the Foundation, are going to close the nomination of Gwangju Prize for Human Rights 2009, soon. Deadline of nomination will be on 30, March. We still have enough time until end of this month. I am sending you the nomination paper, again and please try to find some people who need courage and hope for their working and sweeting from Gwangju. Hope to hear from you, soon. All the best, 518 Foundation, Chanho Kim.

Play for Peace

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Miriam Mannak interviews PRINCE FEISAL of Jordan

Published on IPSnews, by Miriam Mannak, March 13, 2009.

AMMAN, Mar 13 (IPS) – Sport could be one way of alleviating the thousands of children drawn into armed conflicts around the world. Certainly Prince Feisal Bin Al-Hussein of Jordan, also president of the Jordanian Olympic Committee, believes this, and has been using sports to heal traumatised children all his life.
In 2007 Prince Feisal, brother of King Abdullah II, established a Peace Through Sport Committee under the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA), of which he is currently the chairman. The aim of this working group is to promote peace-building across Asia. In that same year, he founded Generations For Peace GFP – an organisation that trains youth workers from conflict zones around the world to use sport in unifying youths at the local level. Prince Feisal spoke to IPS about this work …

excerpt of the interview: … IPS: There are quite a few initiatives out there that use sport as a tool for peace building. What makes GFP different?

PF: The key difference between GFP and other organisations is the cascading effect. Take our train the trainer programme, for example. It means that you might start off with one person working with children and teach them about sport and peace, but growing to 20 trainers in a year’s time.

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Nonformal education survey

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… Sondage sur l’éducation

Received by mail:
Alexandre Z. Khan
Date: 12 Mar 2009

UNESCO requests your contributions through a public consultation for its 2010 EFA Global Monitoring Report. The theme of the 2010 Report is “Reaching and teaching the most marginalized“. The editorial team mentioned that sources and contribution would be mentioned.

Click on: NGOs/Nonformal Education Projects, Basic Education Survey.

North Pakistan at the Crossroads of Central and South Asia

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Published on Geneve Asie Association

Round Rable Conference – Mediators Claire Galez and Alain Viaro, Wednesday 19th March 2003, 14.00 p.m., at Graduate Institute of Development Studies, Institut Universitaire d’Etudes du Développement (IUED), 24 rue Rothschild, 1202 Geneva, Room Bungener


  • Mariam Abou Zahad, Researcher, Political Scientist, Paris;
  • Inam-ur-Rahim, Co-Author, ‘Swat, An Afghan Society in Pakistan’, Peshawar;
  • Mohammad Zafar Iqbal Cheema, Quaid-i-Azam Fellow, St Antony’s College, Oxford University;
  • Yunas Samad, Lecturer in Sociology, Bradford University;
  • Dietrich Reetz, Political Scientist, Centre for Modern Oriental Research, Berlin;
  • Robert Templer, Asia Projects Director, International Crisis Group, Brussels;
  • Gilbert Etienne, Professor Emeritus, Institutes of International & Development Studies, Geneva;
  • Hall Gardner, Professor & Chair International Affairs Department, American University, Paris.

will be amongst the experts discussing the issue of Pakistan’s emerging political and strategic profile at the round table co-organized by:

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Australia: Oxfam welcomes Government commitment

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… to maternal health in developing countries

Published on Oxfam Australia, 10 March 2009.

International aid agency Oxfam welcomed today’s decision by the Rudd Government to change the Family Planning Guidelines, which apply to Australia’s overseas development program …

… “This change of policy by the Rudd Government will help save the lives of women in developing countries. It will also assist Australian efforts towards achieving the targets set up in the Millennium Development Goals, ” Mr Hewett said.

“Today’s announcement shows that this is fundamentally a development issue that will help prevent the unnecessary deaths of women in poor countries who are 300 times more likely to die in childbirth or from pregnancy related complications than women in rich countries.

“The result of the previous policy had not just been an increase in the risk of needless death because of unsafe procedures, the policies themselves had made it increasingly hard for aid and development agencies to carry out any sexual and reproductive health services” … (full text).

Obama and Congress Change Cuba Policy

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Received by mail:
From: John McAuliff
Date: 12/03/2009

Dear friends and colleagues, The Obama Administration is undertaking an historic interagency review of US policy on Cuba.  Its conclusions will enable a wide range of executive branch initiatives, affect legislation to end all travel restrictions, and create an important context for the President’s participation in the Summit of the Americas April 17-19.

We are disturbed that Senator Bob Menendez (D, NJ) boasted on Miami TV that

  • the only thing the administration is going to allow is a roll back to Clinton era family travel and if it came down to listening to Senator Lugar (who has called for broad reconsideration of US policy) or him and others in the Cuban American community, Obama would listen to him and the others.

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