Fidel Castro’s Legacy (Draft)

The Green Factor, Getting Real & Bold

Today Cubans recall Fidel Castro, on the 4th anniversary of their leader’s death. This process changed history in this country and marked him as a man who dedicated his life to the fight for workers, the poor, blacks, Indians, and women’s rights. This is not a review of his approaches, but an assertion that indeed he became a fighter for those groups.

Castro with his son Fidelito

Fidel Castro, hated by many and loved by others, is one of the most important political figures of the twenty centuries. His legacy is mainly damaged by the embargo imposed by John F. Kennedy. Kennedy, a catholic, came to power when Fidel was fighting the corruption, prostitution, and poverty in the farm-side suffocating Cuba at the time; social and economic problems exist in all Catholic countries of the world. It is not a secret that Italians owned Cuban casinos and a colossal prostitution rink.
His legacy is suffering, by the lack of the current government to control prostitution organized again by Italians, but now widely supported by former Soviet Union mafias and tycoons.

Fidel Castro came to power with the help of the so-called Protestants on the Left, who kept behind the scenes supporting his government. An example the Pastors for Peace. Protestants on the left, many of whom oversaw the army at the time, stopped Kennedy from sending marines to destroy Fidel. The Green Link supports Protestants’ on the Left values.

Fidel’s plan before 1959 was perfect. He wanted to remain as the Revolution Icon and the honorary Commander in Chief, while having free elections every four years. Nevertheless, Russia took over the Island. Therefore, The Green Link considers that understanding how Russia took over the Cuban Revolution is trivial for current politicians’ career; like Marco Antonio Rubio, whom we will support for president in 2024.

Castro’s 1960 Forced Smile

We want to emphasize the importance of protecting people’s sovereign liberty and the security of our leaders, no matter their size. One mistake can result in altering a nation’s history. In Cuba, we see the plight of Fidel Castro, a graduate of the Catholic Jesuit Academy, “Colegio de Belen,” located in Havana. Fidel was also a member of the Cuban Orthodox Party in his political beginnings. He then became associated with the Marxist-Leninist doctrines and promoted them widely, something resulted as well from Che Guevara already working for Russia, when they met in Mexico.

Fidel’s face meeting Che Guevara

Our Odeslink team was fortunate to speak with one of Fidel’s earliest bodyguards and others who asked that they would be quoted anonymously (One repeated this four different times). These individuals recalled Castro’s and his followers fighting corruption. Many of them were present during Fulgencio Batista’s reign. They fought against the dire poverty that was endured by the Cuban peasants. Castro initially desired to establish a modern democracy based on Jose Marti’s Principles and place values set forth by his Jesuit teachings. Early in his campaign, one event occurred, a bomb with the lettering “Made in the USA” was found near Fidel’s war camp. It never exploded but shaped Fidel’s anti-American sentiment deepening going forward. The people that placed the bomb never were identified. Later, in 1960, Fidel visited the United Nations in New York City. While there, he stayed in the Teresa Hotel about the city called Harlem. The Cuban security made a great mistake by allowing the Soviet Union Prime Minister, Nikita Khrushchev, to meet Fidel in a private room with only a single translator. Fidel’s bodyguard told us that the Cuban leader looked profoundly serious with almost tears in his eyes after the meeting. He said to them,” neither Kennedy nor Khrushchev wants to give us options.” “The world is run by two assholes, then in 1961, Fidel declared the Cuban Revolution took the course of the Leninist-Marxist. Kennedy was considered a failure. Khrushchev was removed from office as the Prime Minister of the Soviet Union while still alive.

The Green Link

Omara Portuondo celebrates Havana’s 501st anniversary in concert


Portuondo will give a concert accompanied by the Failde Orchestra and other artists invited to the event.

Omara Portuondo & @Orquesta Failde - “Bonito y sabroso”

In the show at the Covarrubias Hall of the Cuban National Theater, the multi-awarded singer also celebrates the 90th birthday of Alfredo Sosabravo, National Plastic Arts Award.

During the concert, city officials will receive a certificate from the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) accrediting Havana as a Creative City in the field of music. According to the organizers, the purpose of the concert is to show the public part of the repertoire that Portuondo performed during the online concert last October from the Sauto Theater in Matanzas, some 100 kilometers east of Havana.

Portuondo and the Failde band are nominated this year for the Latin Grammy award in the Traditional Tropical Album category, with Mariposas and Failde con Tumbao’s albums, respectively.

Omara, who recently celebrated her 90th birthday, was distinguished at the last edition of the contest with the Musical Excellence Award, the second personality on the island to receive it (Juan Formell 2013).

The Green Link

Biden promised a ‘railroad revolution’ that could see faster trains and a return to Amtrak’s nostalgic past


Having used Amtrak to commute between Washington, DC and his home in Delaware for decades during his time as a US senator, the frequent rider earned the nickname “Amtrak Joe,” as the New York Times reported. He even chartered an Amtrak train during his successful 2020 presidential campaign for a whistle-stop tour through the Rust Belt.

In 2016, one of his last acts as vice president was helping secure funding for Amtrak through a $2.45 billion loan for the Northeast Corridor, the name for Amtrak’s line between Boston and Washington along which numerous major cities lie, the Associated Press reported. The loan was the largest ever in the Department of Transportation’s history with most of it going towards new Acela Express trains capable of traveling 186 miles per hour.

Come January 20, Biden will once again have the opportunity to help and improve the struggling rail system that’s reported losses since its inception. On his campaign website, improving the country’s railroads are a priority under Biden’s clean energy initiatives where the president-elect advocates for a “second great railroad revolution.”

The US currently falls behind most advanced nations in rail connectivity and usage, as well as in the development of high-speed rail. Most of the country’s rail usage is in the Northeast Corridor, Amtrak’s only profitable sector, while long-distance trains have suffered service cuts in recent years.

One of Amtrak’s most pressing issues is repairing a 10-mile stretch of track between Newark and New York City, including the construction of two new tunnels under the Hudson River into New York’s Penn Station. Known as the Gateway Program, the project is a three-way initiative between Amtrak, New York, and New Jersey with an estimated cost in the neighborhood of $13 billion.

The federal government under the Obama administration had planned to split the cost with the states until President Donald Trump backed out of the deal in 2017, Crain’s New York Business reported, rejecting it as a local issue. It was just one of many tiffs between the federal government and New York during the Trump administration with the president and governor openly attacking each other on various occasions.

Trump had later approved $766 million in funds for one of the program’s goals, building a new bridge to carry tracks over the Hackensack River located entirely in New Jersey, Politico reported. The tunnel portion remained untouched until Trump expressed interest in funding the program in May as part of an infrastructure-focused pandemic stimulus package that did not come to fruition.

Completion of the tunnel project would take around seven to eight years from its start, Cuomo said in a video to Trump imploring him to fund the project.

A Biden presidency might see the federal government’s backing of the project restored to pre-Trump levels. Construction of the tunnels would reduce delays not only for Amtrak passengers traveling through the region but also for thousands of New Jersey Transit passengers that commute to and from New York City daily.

Biden campaign website promises plans to expand America’s rail network to make it the “cleanest, safest, and fastest rail system in the world.”

High-speed rail has long been overdue in the US as European and Asian nations have all seemingly perfected the system. Only one Amtrak line has high-speed capabilities, the Acela Express between Boston and Washington, and even then, the trainsets are restricted to well below its maximum speeds on certain stretches of the line.

The task of expanding high-speed rail has been taken up by private companies and state agencies in Florida, California, and Nevada that will connect some major cities with new lines. Connecting nearby city pairs via rail would take travelers off planes for shorter hops, just as the Acela Express has done in the Northeast Corridor by attracting travelers away from the airline shuttles.

But that would require new trackage, additional trainsets, and the ability to compete with the airlines. Amtrak upped its competitiveness when it launched non-stop Acela Express services between New York and Washington in 2019, offering a two-hour and 35-minute journey directly into the hearts of both cities.

Biden already has a track record here as his work to secure funding for Amtrak in 2016 will see faster trains join the line. The Alstom-built trains are currently in testing and scheduled to arrive in 2021, though it could be longer, as Business Insider’s Mary Meisenzahl reported in January.

Under CEO Richard Anderson, the former Delta Air Lines chief executive, Amtrak began cutting amenities on long-distance routes. The least profitable in the Amtrak system, these lines mainly served a small segment of the population that preferred train travel over air travel or wanted to experience the novelty of a long train journey.

Profitable routes such as the Northeast Corridor financially prop up these routes that political pressure prevents from being cut, according to the New York Times. Anderson did away with dining cars on some long-distance lines in 2019 as part of cost-cutting measures to help stem the losses on the routes, the Washington Post reported, in favor of an airline-style pre-packaged offering.

The coronavirus pandemic further impacted these trains as service was cut to three-times-weekly on most lines. As the New York Times reported, the temporary cuts may provide Amtrak with a way to permanently sever the unprofitable lines.

Increased funding to Amtrak under a Biden administration could result in long-distance trains being restored to their former glory, white tablecloths and all.

Read the original article on Business Insider

The Green Link

Dalai Lama Calls For Climate Change Action In New Book, Suggests ‘Buddha Would Be Green’


In a new book scheduled for release next week, the Dalai Lama stresses the importance of the world coming together to tackle climate change and suggests that “Buddha would be green.

“Our Only Home: A Climate Appeal To The World,” co-authored by German journalist Franz Alt, has the Dalai Lama speculating that Buddha would “certainly be connected to the campaign to protect the environment,” according to The Independent.

“I am now 84 years old and have lived through many of the upheavals of the 20th century: the destruction and suffering brought by war, as well as unprecedented damage to the natural environment,” reads a passage cited by the publication. “Over-exploitation of our natural resources results from ignorance and greed, and a lack of respect for life on Earth. Saving the world from the climate crisis is our common responsibility.”

Speaking with the U.K.’s Channel 4 News about the book’s message, the Dalai Lama stressed that the United Nations needed to take a more active role in encouraging nations to work together to tackle environmental challenges.

“We need the concept of oneness of 7 billion human beings,” he said. “There is too much emphasis of ‘my nation, their nation,’ and ‘my religion, their religion;’ that really causes all these problems.”

“I would like to join the Green Party,” he said. “Their ideas are very good.”

The spiritual leader also briefly spoke about COVID-19, mentioning that accepting the inevitability of the human life cycle and regularly reciting mantras has helped him cope with the thought of the coronavirus pandemic.

“If there’s a way to overcome, no need to worry,” he said, citing an Indian scholar. “If there is no way to overcome, then [it’s] no use, too much worry.”

Who Are The 100 Most Sustainable Companies Of 2020?


A ranking of the organizations doing the most to embrace sustainable business practices was revealed at the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland. Compiled by Canadian research firm Corporate Knights since 2005, the Global 100 list ranks corporations with revenue in excess of $1 billion based on key metrics of sustainability, among them carbon footprint and gender diversity. The organizations that make up this list have made significant strides toward sustainability, but there’s still much work to be done, and it’s in their best interest as businesses to do it.

1 Orsted A/S Denmark
2 Chr. Hansen Holding A/S Denmark
3 Neste Oyj Finland
4 Cisco Systems Inc United States
5 Autodesk Inc United States
6 Novozymes A/S Denmark
7 ING Groep NV Netherlands
8 Enel SpA Italy
9 Banco do Brasil SA Brazil
10 Algonquin Power & Utilities Corp Canada

* List published by Forbes Magazine

The Green Link

How the Royal Family Strategically Uses Jewelry to Send a Message


“Royal jewelry is beautiful, yes, but it’s also saying something,” Holmes says.“The minute any of these women step out of the car, we see pictures around the world in seconds. And what you notice first is what they’re wearing. They use that. It’s very savvy and it’s very smart, and it’s worth paying attention to.”

Prince Charles tends to wear his watches discreetly tucked under his cuff, which makes identifying them a challenge. At monumental occasions, like Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding, he is most often sporting a Parmigiani Fleurier Toric Chronograph.

Prince William is loyal to a particularly special watch given to him by his mother, the late Princess Diana. The Omega Seamaster Professional Quartz 300M features a stainless steel construction and blue dial. The watch has accompanied him through every occasion, from family ski trips to his wedding day back in 2011. You can read more about Prince William’s watch here.

Few pieces show the way the Windsors use jewelry as more than adornment better than the Lover’s Knot tiara. Originally commissioned by Queen Mary from Britain’s House of Garrard in 1913, the headpiece features 19baroque pearls as well as brilliant- and rose-cut diamonds set in a repeated motif of heart-shaped knots. It was inherited by Queen Elizabeth in 1953, and though she has worn the tiara on multiple occasions, it’s best known asa favorite of Diana’s—and, now, a go-to for the Duchess of Cambridge on formal occasions.

“When you see a tiara that the queen has worn, that Diana has worn, and then to see it on Kate, it’s a reminder that these are all three women operating within the same royal family,” Holmes says, noting that it’s strategic for the queen to invoke Diana’s memory by lending the piece to Kate. “You see the continuity.”

hile the Lover’s Knot is the queen’s to lend as she chooses, both Kate and Meghan Markle also have pieces of Diana’s in their own personal collections, which were given to them by their husbands. They have the power, Holmes says, to “pull on those nostalgic heartstring moments.” Markle’s something blue at her wedding reception, for example, was Diana’s aquamarine cocktail ring; in her first official appearance after the Duchess announced she was expecting her first child, she wore her late mother-in-law’s butterfly earrings. The symbolism was hard to miss.

“A butterfly, pregnancy, rebirth, the next generation,” Holmes says, spelling it out. “All it takes is a tuck of the hair behind the ear for the cameras to catch it, and the media to make the connection. It’s a reminder that this is a family.”

The Green Link

The succession to the United Kingdom throne


The succession to the throne is regulated not only through descent, but also by Parliamentary statute. The order of succession is the sequence of members of the Royal Family in the order in which they stand in line to the throne.

The basis for the succession was determined in the constitutional developments of the seventeenth century, which culminated in the Bill of Rights (1689) and the Act of Settlement (1701).

When James II fled the country in 1688, Parliament held that he had ‘abdicated the government’ and that the throne was vacant. The throne was then offered, not to James’s young son, but to his daughter Mary and her husband William of Orange, as joint rulers.

It therefore came to be established not only that the Sovereign rules through Parliament, but that the succession to the throne can be regulated by Parliament, and that a Sovereign can be deprived of his/her title through misgovernment. The Act of Settlement confirmed that it was for Parliament to determine the title to the throne.

The Act laid down that only Protestant descendants of Princess Sophia – the Electress of Hanover and granddaughter of James I – are eligible to succeed. Subsequent Acts have confirmed this.

Parliament, under the Bill of Rights and the Act of Settlement, also laid down various conditions which the Sovereign must meet. A Roman Catholic is specifically excluded from succession to the throne.

The Sovereign must, in addition, be in communion with the Church of England and must swear to preserve the established Church of England and the established Church of Scotland. The Sovereign must also promise to uphold the Protestant succession.

The Succession to the Crown Act (2013) amended the provisions of the Bill of Rights and the Act of Settlement to end the system of male primogeniture, under which a younger son can displace an elder daughter in the line of succession. The Act applies to those born after 28 October 2011. The Act also ended the provisions by which those who marry Roman Catholics are disqualified from the line of succession. The changes came into force in all sixteen Realms in March 2015.

The line of Succession


1. The Prince of Wales

2. The Duke of Cambridge

3. Prince George of Cambridge

4. Princess Charlotte of Cambridge

5. Prince Louis of Cambridge

6. The Duke of Sussex

7. Master Archie Mountbatten-Windsor

8. The Duke of York

9. Princess Beatrice of York

10. Princess Eugenie of York

11. The Earl of Wessex

12. Viscount Severn

13. The Lady Louise Mountbatten-Windsor

14. The Princess Royal

15. Mr. Peter Phillips

16. Miss Savannah Phillips

17. Miss Isla Phillips

18. Mrs. Michael Tindall

The Green Link

The Earthshot Prize Global Alliance


The Earthshot Prize is the most ambitious and prestigious of its kind – designed to incentivise change and help to repair our planet over the next ten years.

Taking inspiration from President John F. Kennedy’s Moonshot which united millions of people around an organising goal to put man on the moon and catalysed the development of new technology in the 1960s, The Earthshot Prize is centred around five ‘Earthshots’ – simple but ambitious goals for our planet which, if achieved by 2030, will improve life for us all, for generations to come.

“The Earth is at a tipping point and we face a stark choice: either we continue as we are and irreparably damage our planet, or we remember our unique power as human beings and our continual ability to lead, innovate and problem-solve. People can achieve great things. The next ten years present us with one of our greatest tests – a decade of action to repair the Earth.”

Prince William

The Green Link

Green Society and Social Justice


A green society must be guided by a broad set of principles to tackle climate, increase the use of natural products and natural medicines while also providing social justice for all. Going green requires a massive change in our mindset. It must ensure those vulnerable populations – including the poor, people of color, Latinos, indigenous populations, and communities already facing environmental degradation benefit from the new green economy.

Humanity faces serious challenges in the coming decades: climate change, biodiversity loss, growing inequality, and more. These systemic global crises cannot be tackled in isolation, because they are all interconnected. But our economic systems are not fit enough to deliver a good balance of environmental and social goals

But what is exactly the vision for a green society and a green economy:

1. A green economy enables all people to create and enjoy prosperity. The green economy is people centered. Its purpose is to create value and shared prosperity. It focuses on growing wealth that will support wellbeing. This wealth is not merely financial but includes the full range of human, social, physical, and natural capitals. It offers opportunities for green and decent livelihoods, enterprises, and jobs. It is built on collective action for public goods yet is based on individual choices.

2. The green economy promotes justice within and between generations. The green economy is inclusive and non-discriminatory. It shares decision-making, benefits, and costs fairly; avoids elite capture; and especially supports minority’s empowerment. It promotes the equitable distribution of opportunity and outcome, reducing disparities between people, while also giving enough space for wildlife and wilderness. The green economy saves, restores, and invests in nature.

3. An inclusive green economy recognizes and nurtures nature’s diverse values – functional values of providing goods and services that underpin the economy, nature’s cultural values that balance societies, and nature’s ecological values that underpin all of life itself.

4. The green economy is geared to support sustainable consumption as well as sustainable production. An inclusive green economy is low-carbon, resource-conserving, diverse, and circular. It embraces new models of economic development that address the challenge of creating prosperity within planetary boundaries. It recognizes there must be a significant global shift to limit the consumption of natural resources to physically sustainable levels if we are to remain within planetary boundaries.

5. The green economy is guided by integrated, accountable, and resilient institutions. An inclusive green economy is evidence-based – its norms and institutions are interdisciplinary, deploying both sound science and economics along with local knowledge for adaptive strategy. It is supported by institutions that are integrated, collaborative, and coherent – horizontally across sectors and vertically across governance levels – and with adequate capacity to meet their respective roles in effective, efficient, and accountable ways. It requires public participation, prior informed consent, transparency, social dialogue, democratic accountability, and freedom from vested interests in all institutions – public, private and civil society – so that enlightened leadership is complemented by societal demand. It builds a financial system to deliver wellbeing and sustainability, set up in ways that safely serve the interests of society.

The green society and economy are a universal and transformative change to the global status quo. It will require a fundamental shift in government priorities. Realizing this change is not easy, but it is necessary if we are planning for a better short- and long-term future for all.

It is not a secret, going green can save us money to invest in low rent housing for the poor and the middle class, as well as providing healthcare and education for all.

Going Green is the only way of moving from Good to Great.

Reference: Oxford and Princeton Universities’ Green Articles

The Green Factor

Ikea to buy back used furniture in stand against ‘excessive consumption’ĺ


Swedish furniture giant will launch resale scheme on ‘Black Friday’ in late November, the day where retailers have historically encouraged a shopping frenzy by announcing a glut of deals and discounts

Ikea customers will soon be able to sell their flat pack furniture back to the company, after the retail giant announced a new ‘buy back’ scheme that will see it purchase old and unwanted Ikea items and resell them to shoppers at discounted rates.

The Swedish furniture giant said it will launch the sustainability initiative on ‘Black Friday’ – the discount day promoted annually by retail companies in late November – in a bid to help customers “take a stand against excessive consumption”.

Customers that sell dressers, chairs, cabinets, or bookshelves back to Ikea will receive a voucher that can be redeemed against fresh items.

Well-used items with several scratches will be eligible for a voucher worth 30 per cent of their original value, while unblemished items can be swapped for 50 per cent of their original value, Ikea said.

The discount card will not have an expiry date, in a bid to encourage customers to buy items only when necessary, according to the company.

A range of products are expected to be included in the scheme, including chairs and stools without upholstery, chests of drawers, small tables, bookcases and shelf units, and display storage and cabinets, the company said. The items will eventually be stocked in dedicated second-hand sections of Ikea stores, with anything unable to be resold recycled, it added.

“The Ikea vision has always been to create a better everyday life for the many people, which right now means making sustainable living easy and affordable for everyone,” she said. “Being circular is a good business opportunity as well as a responsibility, and the climate crisis requires us all to radically rethink our consumption habits.”

Ikea’s new initiative is the latest of a number of moves from retailers to appeal to an increasingly sustainability-focused clientele. In late August, luxury department store Selfridges announced that it was launching a raft of repair, resale and rental initiatives as part of plans to “change the way people shop”.

The Green Factor