Al-Jazeerah: Cross-Cultural Understanding
News, March 2023
Seaweed Bloom Is Coming, What Does it Mean for Cuba?
Havana Live, March 25, 2023
SARGASSUM IS COMING, WHAT DOES IT MEAN FOR CUBA?
HAVANA, March 25th, 2023
In the last few years, Cuba has faced an exodus of people, the plague of a pandemic, food shortages, fires from oil tank explosions, floods from hurricanes, severe inflation… STOP!
This sounds almost biblical as a message to let the people be free. No matter how mighty the government enforces its will, the world is fighting back.
The next hailing being sent is the massive Sargassum seaweed bloom crossing the Atlantic and arriving soon on the coasts of the island. The seaweed extends to a massive 8000 kilometers long that will impact Cuba, the Caribbean, and the United States.
Sargassum seaweed has been causing problems around the world for several years now. This brown seaweed is native to the Sargasso Sea, a region of the Atlantic Ocean between Bermuda, the Bahamas, and the East Coast of the United States.
However, in recent years, massive quantities of sargassum seaweed have been washing up on the shores of various countries in the Caribbean, including Mexico, the Dominican Republic, and Jamaica. The latest country to be threatened by this phenomenon is Cuba, which is facing the risk of significant environmental and economic damage as the seaweed continues to arrive on its shores.
The influx of sargassum seaweed is not a new problem for Cuba. In 2018, the country was hit hard by a massive bloom of seaweed, which affected over 600 kilometers of coastline. The seaweed caused significant damage to the island’s tourist industry, which is a vital source of revenue for the coun
The seaweed can make swimming and water activities difficult, and the strong smell can be unpleasant (Hydrogen Sulfide Gas) for tourists. In addition to the tourism industry, sargassum seaweed can also affect the fishing industry, as the seaweed can damage fishing equipment and harm fish populations.
There are several reasons why sargassum seaweed has been appearing in such large quantities in the Caribbean in recent years. One possible cause is climate change, which can affect ocean currents and water temperature, leading to changes in the distribution and growth of seaweed.
Another possible cause is the increased nutrient levels in the ocean, which can result from fertilizer runoff from agricultural activities and sewage discharge from cities.
The problem of sargassum seaweed is not easy to solve. Cleaning up the seaweed is a difficult and expensive process, and it can be challenging to prevent it from washing up on the shore in the first place.
The massive seaweed bloom is going to impact Cuba and numerous other countries. Photo: Google Earth
“The problems with sargassum arise when it hits the beaches, piling up in mounds that can be difficult to navigate and emitting a gas that can smell like rotten eggs. Sargassum can also quickly turn from an asset to a threat to ocean life.
It comes in such “large quantities that it basically sucks the oxygen out of the water and creates what we refer to as dead zones,” Lapointe said. These are normally nursery habitats for fisheries … and once they’re devoid of oxygen, we have lost that habitat.” Sargassum can be dangerous to humans, too, Lapointe added.
The gas emitted from the rotting algae — hydrogen sulfide — is toxic and can cause respiratory problems. The seaweed also contains arsenic in its flesh, making it dangerous if ingested or used for fertilizer.” Space and Science
In conclusion, the arrival of sargassum seaweed on the shores of Cuba is a significant threat to the country’s environment and economy. While there is no easy solution to this problem, it is essential that the government and the international community work together to develop strategies to prevent and mitigate the impact of seaweed.
Failure to address this issue could have long-lasting and severe consequences for Cuba’s tourism and fishing industries, as well as for the environment and the health of its citizens.
Warnings to Cuba:
Do not use seaweed for fertilizer due to arsenic contents that can harm people and also leach into the groundwater. Proper disposal is important to protect the land and people.
No one should attempt to leave the island by boat during this crisis with the potential difficulty to navigate and the toxicity of the seaweed bloom.
Sargassum Is Coming to Cuba - Sargassum Is Coming (havana-live.com)
CUBAN PRESIDENT ARRIVES IN SANTO DOMINGO FOR THE IBERO-AMERICAN SUMMIT
HAVANA, March 25th, 2023
Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel arrived Friday in Santo Domingo to attend the XXVIII Ibero-American Summit in the Dominican capital.The ruler arrived at 16.55 local time (20.55 GMT) at Las Americas Airport aboard a Venezuelan government aircraft, accompanied by his wife and immediately boarded a vehicle at the foot of the runway and left the terminal.
Shortly before, the Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), Luis Almagro, arrived at the same airport, like Díaz-Canel, left without making any statements.
Both join the leaders who will participate in the Ibero-American Summit, which will be attended by fourteen heads of state and government and two vice presidents.
Also already in Santo Domingo are the Portuguese president, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa; the Honduran Xiamara Castro; the Uruguayan Luis Lacalle Pou; the Chilean Gabriel Boric; the Ecuadorian Guillermo Lasso and the Paraguayan Mario Abdo Benítez, in addition to the King of Spain, Felipe VI, and the governor of Puerto Rico, Pedro Pierluisi.
Cuban President arrives in Santo Domingo - Cuban President (havana-live.com)
CUBANS WILL GO TO THE POLLS ON SUNDAY TO VOTE FOR THE DEPUTIES
HAVANA, March 22, 2023 (Reuters)
Cubans will go to the polls on Sunday to vote for 470 deputies who will represent them for the next five years in the National Assembly.The national (legislative) elections will be the first since Cubans overwhelmingly approved a new Constitution of the Republic in 2019, and will mark the point for the integration of the National Assembly in a constitutive session that will renew its seats and determine the country’s president.
Why do Cubans vote on Sunday?
Cubans will receive a ballot at their respective polling stations that list the candidates for the National Assembly in each of the districts. There are no opposing candidates.
A voter can vote “For All” the candidates, for several or for only one.
In Cuba, citizens can also choose to abstain from voting or have their ballots invalidated.
The contested candidates elected Sunday will serve five years and receive no salaries for those roles.
Who determines the candidates that appear on the ballot?
In Cuba, 50% of the deputies to the National Assembly are selected by “candidacy commissions”, made up of members of institutions or organizations that represent social sectors from workers to women, university students and small farmers.
Criteria for selection include merit, moral authority, popular acceptance, and “adequate social composition.” While the other 50% of the candidates can be acting representatives in positions at the neighborhood level (delegates) or in the municipal assemblies, elected in November.
Candidates chosen by the commissions are voted by a show of hands in municipal assemblies before they advance to the ballot for national (legislative) elections.
There are 470 candidates competing for 470 open seats.
If there are 470 candidates for 470 open positions, is that a necessary vote?
Cuban Electoral Law requires that a winning candidate receive “more than half the number of valid votes cast in the municipality or electoral district.”
If a candidate does not reach that threshold on Sunday, the State Council, made up of the leadership of the National Assembly, can choose to leave the seat vacant and delegate to the local municipal assembly the election of a substitute representative or celebrate new ones. elections.
what is at stake here?
The new group of deputies will face a Cuba crisis. A faltering economy has led to shortages of food, fuel, medicine and power outages that contributed to the July 2021 protests, the largest in the country since Fidel Castro’s 1959 revolution.
The national elections will be closely watched for their abstention rate, which has been increasing in the last few votes along with social unrest.
Deputies must meet within 45 days of Sunday’s elections to vote for the President of the Republic of Cuba, selected from his ranks, as well as various other positions of power, including the leadership of the National Assembly.
Miguel Díaz-Canel is expected to be re-elected by lawmakers as president for another five years.
Is Cuba’s electoral system democratic?
Cuba’s elections are criticized by some outside observers, commenting that they lack transparency, credible opposition and commitment to the Communist Party, considered by the 2019 Constitution as “the superior leading political force of society and the State.”
Cuba defends its one-party system, considering that it promotes unity, not division. And electoral campaigns are prohibited, eliminating – according to what he says – the corrupting influence of money in politics.
Cuba maintains that its electoral system is more inclusive than elsewhere. More than half of its candidates are women, and 45% are black.
Cubans will go to the polls on Sunday - Cubans vote on Sunday (havana-live.com)
Fair Use Notice
This site contains copyrighted material the
use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright
owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance
understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic,
democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this
constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for
in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C.
Section 107, the material on this site is
distributed without profit to those
who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information
for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml.
If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of
your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the
Opinions expressed in various sections are the sole responsibility of their authors and they may not represent Al-Jazeerah & ccun.org.
firstname.lastname@example.org & email@example.com