"Chicano writers from El Paso are the most progressive, open-minded, far-reaching, and inclusive writers of them all."

Octavio Romano

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Ocean Sur: A new Spanish-language publishing project

After developing a strong editorial line of books on and from Latin America over its nearly 18-year history, early in 2006 Ocean Press decided to establish a separate Spanish-language publishing project: Ocean Sur.

Ocean Sur now has a list of almost 60 titles in Spanish and is presently publishing about four new titles each month. Ocean Sur will publish the Spanish-language editions of Che’s works as part of the important Che Guevara Publishing Project that Ocean Press initiated in association with the Che Guevara Studies Center in Havana. Aleida March is the director of this Center.

Ocean Sur has already met with an immediate enthusiastic response in several countries in Latin America where distribution agreements have been made. These include: Venezuela, Colombia, Chile, Bolivia, Argentina and El Salvador.

Ocean’s office in Havana, being the only foreign language book publisher with a presence in Cuba, will continue its longstanding distribution of both English and Spanish books to the tourist market in that country. And new offices of Ocean Sur have now been established in San Salvador and Caracas.

Ocean Sur titles will be distributed by CBSD, Ocean Press’s distributor in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico.

Some of the first titles already published under the Ocean Sur logo have been:

  • America Latina entre los siglos by Roberto Regalado (a leading Cuban political analyst). Launched in recent months to great acclaim in several countries (including Argentina, Chile, El Salvador, Colombia and Mexico) this book, published in a second, updated edition after Evo Morales’s electoral victory in Bolivia, discusses the options for left political parties and social movements today, arguing that the road of social democracy will not be able to meet aspirations in Latin America for social justice and economic development. (This book is now available in English as Latin America at the Crossroads.)

· Una guerra para construir la paz by Schafik Handal (FMLN leader who died in January 2006), a brief review of the historic peace process in El Salvador. This book was launched in San Salvador in January 2007 as part of the Sao Paolo Forum in the presence of 600 people. General coordinator of the FMLN Medardo González presented the book, which is a coedition of Ocean Sur with Editorial Morazán, the recently established publishing house of the FMLN.

· Guerra o paz en Colombia: Cincuenta años de un conficto sin solución by Carlos Lozana (editor of Voz, the only left-wing newspaper in Colombia). A highly successful launch of this book was organized in Bogotá in late November, attended by over 400 political figures.

Three new books on Venezuela from Ocean Sur were launched in November at the Caracas bookfair.

  • Venezuela y Chávez by Fidel Castro, a selection of Fidel's speeches and letters on Venezuela, from his first visit in January 1959 to his speech in 2006.

  • Por qué soy chavista: Razones de una revolución by Farucco Sesto, a significantly expanded new edition of a book by Venezuela's minister for culture.

  • La unidad latinoamericana by Hugo Chávez, a book that includes Chavez's speeches at Porto Alegre in 2005 and at the UN in September 2006 and which shows how the Bolivarian revolution is gaining pace in Venezuela and having a growing impact on the continent.

In addition to a wide range of books on Latin America, Ocean Sur will also publish Contexto Latinoamericano, a quarterly journal of political analysis and commentary. Contexto is edited by Roberto Regalado (a leading Cuban political analyst) with an editorial advisory board representing a broad range of political currents and individuals of the Latin American left. It will be published four times a year and the first two issues have just been printed. Individual copies can be ordered now for US$14.95. For subscriptions, write to info@oceansur.com

Aleida Guevara remembers her father, Che

Oceanfilm has just released a moving new documentary on DVD in which Che’s daughter recalls with great tenderness the extraordinary bond between her parents and describes a side to Che previously unseen — Che as the loving husband and father.

Aleida also recounts several fascinating anecdotes from her childhood and describes coming to terms with her father’s decision to go to Bolivia, as well as her own decision to follow in his footsteps as a doctor and social activist.


Aleida Guevara is the eldest daughter of Ernesto Che Guevara and Aleida March. She works as a pediatrician in Havana and is an international activist for social justice.

The DVD is in Spanish with English subtitles, and contains some unique footage and stills of Che with his family. Order now for US$24.95 (individuals only).

Fabián Escalante on the secret war against Cuba

Cuba’s former counterintelligence chief Fabián Escalante has now completed his three-volume history of the CIA’s secret war against Cuba with the publication of two new books:

  • JFK: The Cuba Files. The untold story of the plot to kill Kennedy
  • Executive Action: 634 Ways to Kill Fidel Castro

Escalante himself was recently accused of complicity in the Kennedy assassination in the Miami Herald, but in this series he argues convincingly that the crime was the result of a conspiracy between those who had violently opposed the Cuban revolution — the Cuban exiles, the Mafia and the CIA — who all felt betrayed by the Bay of Pigs debacle and Kennedy’s apparent moves toward a rapprochement with Fidel Castro.

By assassinating President Kennedy and presenting the crime as a Cuba-inspired plot, Escalante says they hoped to remove an obstacle to their plans and to provide a pretext for decisive military action against Cuba. He also explains the intimate links between the Kennedy assassination and the plots against Fidel.


Escalante’s account of the more than 600 attempts on Fidel’s life is rather melodramatic and occasionally quite farcical. But there is no denying that these attempts were deadly serious — and illegal, as subsequent US government inquiries such as the 1975 Church Commission concluded.


Read Fidel in his own words

Amid all the speculation about what will happen in Cuba after Fidel, Ocean Press offers an outstanding range of books by Fidel Castro that help anyone interested to fully understand the man and the revolution. These include two new titles:

  • Fidel: My Early Years, with an introductory essay by Gabriel García Márquez and some unique photos of Fidel as a child and young man.


Forthcoming in early 2007 will be the long-awaited Fidel Castro Reader, which presents the voice of one of the great masters of the spoken word, as this selection aptly demonstrates. This book features some of Fidel’s most memorable speeches, including his addresses to the UN General Assembly: the first in 1960 on the famous occasion when he and his entourage left the Waldorf Astoria and went to stay up in Harlem, where he met Malcolm X; and the second in 1979 when he spoke representing the Nonaligned Nations Movement.

The Fidel Castro Reader will also include Fidel’s response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks and his “Letters to George Bush” written in 2004 in response to provocations against Cuba at the UN. These two epistles have all the fire and brilliance of classic Fidel and read like his “parting shots” at what he calls the US “Empire”. The Fidel Castro Reader concludes with his message from his hospital bed in August last year.

Guerrilla Warfare: A new edition of a Che classic

Often regarded as a manual for would-be guerrillas, this is, in fact, Che’s own incisive analysis of what actually happened in Cuba and why. As part of the Che Guevara Publishing Project, in association with the Che Guevara Studies Center (Havana), Ocean Press has released a new, authorized edition of this classic revolutionary text with a new foreword written by Harry “Pombo” Villegas. This edition is a new translation and includes for the first time Che’s corrections and his suggestions for further improvements to the text.

For Che, the subjective factor is always primary: “The positive feature of guerrilla warfare is that each guerrilla fighter is ready to die not just to defend an idea but to make that idea a reality. That is the essence of the guerrilla struggle. The miracle is that a small nucleus, the armed vanguard of a great popular movement that supports them, can proceed to realize that idea, to establish a new society, to break the old patterns of the past, to achieve, ultimately, the social justice for which they fight.”


Forthcoming in early 2007 will be Che’s unpublished and highly controversial book on political economy, Critical Notes on Political Economy: A revolutionary humanist approach to Marxist economics.




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