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Newsflash: Raúl Castro Warns Cuba Won’t Tolerate U.S. Interference on Its Affairs, Study: 20% of U.S. Children Rely on Food stamps, A Travesty of Justice in the Case of Marissa Alexander

Uprising’s guest expert Rahul Mahajan, a sociologist and news analyst and author of Full Spectrum Dominance: US Power in Iraq and Beyond, analyzes today’s news headlines:

Cuba’s leader Raúl Castro issued a stern warning to the US this week, saying he would not tolerate interference in Cuban affairs even as the two nations attempt to work out a relationship after decades of hostility. Castro spoke at a summit in Costa Rica, just days after U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Roberta Jacobson visited the island nation. Jacobson became the highest-ranking U.S. official to visit Cuba in nearly 40 years. While Cuba’s leadership wants an end to the US-led crippling embargo, there is also contention over the ownership of Guantánamo. The US has run a prison on its Naval Base in Guantánamo, Cuba, that since the September 11th attacks, has held hundreds of detainees for years, taking advantage of their lack of human rights on non-US soil. President Obama needs cooperation from the Republican dominated Congress to address these issues and has already faced serious resistance from Senators Marco Rubio and others.

Click here for the Reuters article, Raul Castro warns U.S. against meddling in Cuba’s affairs.

Click here for the Business Insider article, Raul Castro Says The US Must Return Guantanamo Bay Before Ties Are Normalized.

Poverty among children in the US remains a major problem as a new study of census data found that a whopping 20% rely on food stamps. Despite the fact that more children are using nutritional benefits now than before the recession, Congress last year voted to cut billions of dollars from the program. Meanwhile, per-pupil funding for public schools has also dropped – for the second year in a row. The drop is the result of federal funding running out, as well as some states deliberately cutting funds. Wisconsin in particular cut hundreds of billions of dollars from public education. And just this week the Wisconsin legislature considered a bill that would force public schools that they deem are failures, to transform into charter schools. Public education advocates slammed lawmakers for ignoring the larger socio-economic factors that children struggle with.

Click here for The Washington Post article, Nation’s per-pupil K-12 funding fell for second consecutive year in 2012.

Click here for the AlJazeera article, Assembly bill would turn Wisconsin’s failing public schools into charters.

And finally in a case that symbolizes much that is wrong about the US criminal justice system, a Florida woman named Marissa Alexander was finally released from prison yesterday. She had served three years of a 20 year sentence for firing a warning shot at her abusive husband, when her case was reconsidered. Even though no one was killed, Alexander faced the full brunt of the law. Her attorneys were unsuccessful in using Florida’s controversial Stand Your Ground laws to legally justify firing a gun in self-defense, even though this seemed a textbook case. Although she is free to go home, Alexander remains under constant electronic surveillance and her movements are severely restricted. Advocates say that the fact that she is a woman, African American, and a victim of domestic violence, all contributed to a miscarriage of justice.

Click here for the Common Dreams article, Race, Domestic Abuse and a Warning Shot: Marissa Alexander Released From Prison, But Still Not Free.