The Week Ahead: Cuba celebrates its revolution in sombre mood

CUBANS today celebrate the 40th anniversary of an abortive guerrilla attack on a provincial barracks which brought their leader, Fidel Castro, a 15-year jail sentence. The celebrations will be muted, not because the storming of the Moncada barracks failed (although Mr Castro was given an amnesty two years later), but because the revolution that followed in 1959 is today being crippled by isolation and economic collapse.

For the first time since the revolution, President Castro will deliver his 26 July speech not to a mass rally in Havana but in a modest theatre in the eastern city of Santiago de Cuba. 'Our problems have grown worse,' he said recently. To the shortages, power cuts and paralysis of public transport have been added crime, black-marketeering and prostitution, and Mr Castro has acknowledged that survival comes before dogma: the ban on Cubans owning hard currency could soon be lifted to siphon dollars into the state coffers and to win back support from the escalating numbers of disaffected.

If Cuba has spent decades trying to shake off US domination, another island is actively seeking it. The Pacific island of Palau, the only remaining territory administered by the United Nations Trusteeship Council, holds a plebiscite tomorrow on a Compact of Free Association with the United States. Under the agreement, the US would ensure the island's defence security in return for being able to establish military bases there.

The fall-out continues from US military intervention in Vietnam. Tomorrow, the US National Research Council Institute of Medicine publishes a report on the effects of the use of herbicides in the Vietnam war. And a joint US-Vietnamese search for soldiers Missing in Action (MIAs) ends today. Vietnam does not have diplomatic links with the US, but the US Secretary of State, Warren Christopher, said he would meet the Vietnamese Foreign Minister, Nguyen Manh Cam, in Singapore tomorrow to talk about the MIAs. It will be the highest level talks between the two countries for many years.

The former US car-worker John Demjanjuk, sentenced to hang by an Israeli court for being 'Ivan the Terrible' who tortured Jews and ran gas chambers in the Nazi death camp in Treblinka, may walk free on Thursday when the Israeli Supreme Court rules on whether Demjanjuk really was 'Ivan'.

Evidence from former Treblinka guards contradicts Jewish survivors and suggests that the real Treblinka guard was named Ivan Marchenko. And new documents indicate that Demjanjuk worked at Sobibor death camp. Since the basis of his trial and extradition from the US was that he was Ivan the Terrible, Demjanjuk's lawyers argue that if that is in doubt, he must be freed - regardless of what he may have done in Sobibor. But Nazi-hunters fear the whole saga will weaken countries' resolve to prosecute war criminals.

In Uganda, Prince Ronald Mutebi is to be crowned king of Buganda on Saturday. The Buganda people regard the monarchy as fundamental to their cultural heritage.

'Statue Park', Eastern Europe's first theme park in the post-Communist era, opens in a middle-class suburb of Budapest on Sunday: it contains statues of Marx, Engels, Lenin, Ho Chi Minh and a symbolic path which leads - nowhere.

Going somewhere is the Argentine pensioner Daniel Carpio, 83, who on Thursday attempts his fourth swim across the Strait of Gibraltar from the Spanish town of Tarifa. He first did it in 1948, then in 1977 and 1978. He is sponsored by a company making tonic for muscle cramp.

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
News
newsComedy club forced to apologise as maggots eating a dead pigeon fall out of air-conditioning
Life and Style
Balmain's autumn/winter 2014 campaign, shot by Mario Sorrenti and featuring Binx Walton, Cara Delevingne, Jourdan Dunn, Ysaunny Brito, Issa Lish and Kayla Scott
fashionHow Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film
filmFifty Shades of Grey trailer provokes moral outrage in US
News
people
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Employment Solicitor

Highly Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: MANCHESTER - Senior Employment Solici...

Senior Risk Manager - Banking - London - £650

£600 - £650 per day: Orgtel: Conduct Risk Liaison Manager - Banking - London -...

Commercial Litigation Associate

Highly Attractive Package: Austen Lloyd: CITY - COMMERCIAL LITIGATION - GLOBAL...

Systems Manager - Dynamics AX

£65000 - £75000 per annum + Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: The client is a...

Day In a Page

Evan Davis: The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing to take over at Newsnight

The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing

What will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Finding the names for America’s shame: What happens to the immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert?

Finding the names for America’s shame

The immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert
Inside a church for Born Again Christians: Speaking to God in a Manchester multiplex

Inside a church for Born Again Christians

As Britain's Anglican church struggles to establish its modern identity, one branch of Christianity is booming
Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and me: How Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Parisian couturier Pierre Balmain made his name dressing the mid-century jet set. Today, Olivier Rousteing – heir to the house Pierre built – is celebrating their 21st-century equivalents. The result? Nothing short of Balmania
Cancer, cardiac arrest, HIV and homelessness - and he's only 39

Incredible survival story of David Tovey

Tovey went from cooking for the Queen to rifling through bins for his supper. His is a startling story of endurance against the odds – and of a social safety net failing at every turn
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little