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Anti-imperialist unity is the tactic and strategy of victory

Posted by on Aug 27, 2020 in Latest News | Comments Off on Anti-imperialist unity is the tactic and strategy of victory

Cuban President Díaz-Canel participated in the online leaders’ meeting commemorating the 30th anniversary of the Sao Paulo Forum. Photo: Estudio RevoluciónRemarks by Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, President of the Republic of Cuba, via videoconference, at the Meeting of Leaders, commemorating the 30th anniversary of the Sao Paulo Forum’s founding, July 28, 2020, Year 62 of the Revolution

(Transcript: Presidencia.gob.cu /Translation: GI)

Dear Nicolas, Daniel, Rosario and Monica

Brothers and sisters of the political forces following this videoconference with interest:

I am accompanied by compañero José Ramón Machado Ventura, second secretary of our Party Central Committee, and compañero Bruno Rodríguez, Foreign Minister of the Republic of Cuba and member of our Political Bureau.

Thank you, Daniel, for your words; thank you, Maduro, for your words, for the book and the beautiful video about Chávez.

Thirty years ago, doomsayers of despair, enthusiasts of the market, advocates of a single thought, would have the world believe that history had ended.

And here we are, the intransigent defenders of hope and another possible world, celebrating 30 years of an embrace that is now history.

Today we celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Sao Paulo Forum, an idea born from the political genius of Fidel and an exceptional protagonist of this unifying accomplishment: Brother Lula, former President and leader of the Brazilian and Latin American left.

When the Soviet Union and the socialist camp in Eastern Europe collapsed and their gravediggers set out to bury the emancipatory ideas of the left on this side of the world, the creation of the Sao Paolo Forum provided a sharp shove to a ship that seemed to be drifting.

The revolutionary, progressive and democratic political forces of Latin America and the Caribbean converged in this organization of legitimate consensus to construct unity of the left for the emancipation and integration of our peoples, challenging the Monroe Doctrine and its allies on the continent.

The march of history could not be stopped. Socialist ideals have reared their heads in the empire’s backyard with their own personality and strength, and today it is only right to recognize compañero Lula and the leaders of Brazil’s Workers Party for their performance leading the Executive Secretariat of the Sao Paulo Forum.

This celebration also allows us to thank the Sao Paulo Forum for their unwavering support to the Cuban people and especially the solidarity campaign, undertaken this year, calling for an end to the blockade against Cuba.

This virtual meeting is taking place on the 66th birthday of a dear friend of Cuba, who Fidel described as the best friend of Cuba and of all peoples who struggle, Comandante Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías, who at the Sao Paulo Forum in 2012 invited us to lay “the cornerstone of South American, Latin American, Caribbean and world liberation, without fear.”

The invincible example of Chavez now summons us to continue the struggle, with firmness and optimism, convinced that there are no obstacles, however difficult they may seem, that our peoples, united, cannot overcome, as Venezuela, Nicaragua and Cuba demonstrate today.

“Doctors, not bombs”, Fidel said one day, responding to the ridiculous imperial pretension of subjugating peoples with wars and threats of intervention against 60 or more “dark corners of the world.”

And today we are witnessing the confirmation of his words, amidst the most complex human drama on the planet in real time.

Not even the most powerful and sophisticated weapons have been able to stop the new coronavirus pandemic. On the contrary, now the true, anti-human essence of capital has become more visible and more terrifying, with its insistence on the market and its uncontrolled rise under ruthless neoliberal policies: governments that are helplessly witnessing the collapse of their health systems, unable to save millions of lives, even those that were thought to be out of danger in the chaotic, brutal northern empire that despises us.

The region of the Americas is today sadly the epicenter of the pandemic. The neoliberal policies of many governments, bent on placing the market above human lives, make it impossible to predict the moment when a definitive control of the disease will be possible. The spread of the virus is a fact, if we consider that the first million cases were confirmed over 96 days, but the latest million were counted within only 16. Neoliberal paradigms have fallen into absolute disrepute. Whether their credulous followers like it or not, the history of their economic experiment is about to end, or human existence will be further compromised.

Despite the indisputable emergency the pandemic has created for everyone, the United States government has not desisted in its hegemonic plans for the region, reactivating the Monroe Doctrine and McCarthyism, escalating interference, threatening the use of force, and promoting a policy of legal attacks on leftist and progressive leaders and organizations.

While thousands die every day within the empire’s territory, the current tenant of the White House maintains continuous pressure on governments that are not to their liking, while receiving support from regional lackeys who operate in their interests.

Of particular concern, within this deplorable scenario, are imperialism’s interventionist actions in violation of international law against the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, which we condemn and reject with the same vehemence with which we reaffirm our solidarity with legitimate President brother Nicolás Maduro Moros and the civic-military union that sustains the country’s sovereignty.

We also reiterate our solidarity with the Sandinista government and people, led by Comandante Daniel Ortega, and reject unilateral coercive measures that threaten the peace, well-being, justice and development of the Nicaraguan people.

We reaffirm, once again, our strict adherence to the Proclamation of Latin America and the Caribbean as a Zone of Peace, signed by the Latin American and Caribbean heads of state and government in January of 2014, in Havana, and confirm our unwavering commitment to the eradication of colonialism until the debt to the peoples still living under colonial status is settled.

Dear brothers and sisters:

I speak on behalf of a sovereign, revolutionary and solidary Cuba, which will never allow itself to be subjugated, either by seduction or by force: the homeland of Martí, Fidel and Raúl.

I am speaking on behalf of a heroic and noble people who for 60 years have resisted the most cruel and genocidal of blockades, an economic, commercial and financial siege by the world’s greatest power, intensified as we battle the pandemic, with relentless, perverse persecution, insisting on a plan to force us to surrender with hunger and hardship.

Under the leadership of the Party, the government of our small, blockaded nation, along with political, mass and social organizations and our people, has controlled and is defeating COVID-19, without over-confidence.

This victory, which includes our commitment to make it sustainable over time, is the fruit of the will of a socialist state that places human beings at the center of our policies, with a free, universal health care system and the coordinated and dedicated intelligence of professionals and workers in the arenas of health, science, biotechnology and pharmaceuticals.

After more than four months actively confronting the pandemic, Cuba regrets the loss of 87 lives, but we are consoled and encouraged by the fact that not a single child, no pregnant woman, doctor or health worker has died.

Unquestionable successes were achieved thanks to the coordinated action of our public health system and the country’s network of scientific institutions, incorporating the accumulated experience of 60 years of revolutionary science and medicine in measures adopted by the government.

For the post-Covid-19 stage, a strategy was approved that should allow us to return gradually, step by step, in a differentiated fashion, to a new normality in our productive and social activities.

The Party Political Bureau, in a meeting led by its first secretary, Army General Raúl Castro Ruz, approved an economic strategy to address the negative effects of the pandemic, recover and reach adequate levels of development and well-being for our entire people, without leaving any citizen abandoned to fate.

As I expressed recently, those results seem to have made our adversaries very uncomfortable. The aggressiveness of the United States government against the island is growing, as are its plans for political and ideological subversion with actions meant to discredit Cuban leaders and the work of our government, along with constant attempts to provoke a social explosion and opposition within our institutions.

We are facing very well designed and heavily financed plans to act with unprecedented ferocity and impunity on multiple platforms within the complex contemporary media scene. We are not surprised. The strategies of manipulation, distortion of reality and deceit that are used daily to confuse and demobilize social movements and the peoples of our region are no different.

But we are a people raised by Fidel, who eliminated the word surrender from our political dictionary, very early on.

We know and face the openly aggressive enemy, without losing focus on our political and social priorities, without moving even one millimeter away from the vocation of solidarity, cultivated by Fidel and the Revolution, with the help of other sister peoples who, as Che said, clamor for the concurrence of our modest efforts.

A total of 45 Henry Reeve brigades specialized in disasters and major epidemics are now working in 38 countries and territories, with 3,772 members – including 2,399 women – who have assisted more than 250,000 covid-19 patients and saved more than 8,000 lives. In addition, 28,000 health collaborators in 58 countries have joined national and local efforts to combat the disease, caring for more than 83,268 covid-19 patients and saving 13,636 lives, to date.

The altruism of our health professionals irritates the empire which, instead of attending to the serious situation of its own infected citizens, has unleashed a campaign to discredit Cuban medical collaboration.

This useless war will not destroy or bury in oblivion the human work to protect life carried out by our professionals, earning the admiration, recognition and gratitude of millions around the world, which has led to a movement across the planet advocating the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to the Henry Reeve contingent.

Worthy of note, in this battle, is the fraternal collaboration of the Bolivarian Revolution of Venezuela, the Sandinista Revolution in Nicaragua and the Cuban Revolution, three revolutions with governments fully dedicated to saving lives and providing well-being to their respective peoples; three revolutions that, facing the brutal onslaught of the empire and its allies in the neoliberal right on the continent, have, with integration and firmness, defended themselves and preserved, under very difficult conditions, the independence, sovereignty and dignity of the homeland of Bolivar and Chavez, of Sandino and Carlos Fonseca, of Marti and Fidel.

This experience confirms that only cooperation and international solidarity will save humanity from this crisis, unprecedented in world history.

The preamble of the “Consensus of Our America,” a document that emerged from the Sao Paolo Forum’s experience in struggle, is dedicated to the leader of the Cuban Revolution and states: “Among the innumerable examples Fidel bequeathed to Latin America and the Caribbean revolutionaries, two stand out as decisive in the struggles of our peoples, our parties and movements. These are unity and consistent internationalism.”

Faithful to his legacy, and given the challenging reality that we are facing, the Cuban people continue the construction of a prosperous and sustainable socialism, with the premise of what Army General Raul Castro Ruz has stated: “Fidel’s enduring teaching is that it is possible, that human beings are capable of overcoming the most difficult conditions, if they do not lose their will to triumph, correctly evaluate every situation, and do not renounce their just, noble principles.”

Dear brothers and sisters:

Cuba we will continue on the independent and sovereign path, with the people leading the way. There will be no pandemic, no blockade, no imperial pressure that will change our course.

To political forces in the Sao Paulo Forum, we call on you to mobilize in unity to face the new challenges, along with social and popular movements and intellectuals of the left.

The true, definitive independence of Our America depends on the character, strength and correctness for our current struggles.

We will continue, alongside the Sao Paulo Forum, to contribute to the unity and integration of Latin America and the Caribbean.

History is made by the people, even if it is written by others. No empire can decree the end of history as long as there are chains to be broken, walls to be demolished, exclusions and abuses to be fought.

For the life and independence of our peoples; for the legacy of our founders, who taught us that even in the most difficult conditions it was always possible, it is always possible and will always be possible; for the new generations giving continuity to the struggle, as Maduro explained; for anti-imperialist unity that is the tactic and strategy of victory: We will struggle, we will live and triumph! (Applause).

Change of charge d’affaires of U.S. Embassy in Cuba 

Posted by on Aug 27, 2020 in Latest News | Comments Off on Change of charge d’affaires of U.S. Embassy in Cuba 

Change of charge d’affaires of U.S. Embassy in Cuba

On August 1, there was a change of the charge
d’affaires
 of the U.S. Embassy in Havana. Leaving that position was Mara Tekach,  a career member of the Senior Foreign Service. Her successor is Timothy Zuñiga-Brown, another career foreign service officer, who will have to deal with a reduced embassy staff and unsolved issues, such as the suspension of visa processing and the family reunification program. [1]

Here is an account of some of Tekach’s recent comments.[2]

On her last day in this position, she delivered to the Cuban government a diplomatic note complaining about the state of human rights on the island. She said Cuba did not deserve a seat on the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland; instead it deserved censuring by that body. (On August 5, Secretary of State Michael Pompeo made the same plea, saying, “It’s outrageous that the Human Rights Council would offer to seat Cuba, a brutal dictatorship that traffic its own doctors under the guise of humanitarian missions. No country should vote Cuba onto the Council.”[3])

“While its leaders enjoy expensive yachts and watches, the Cuban people queue for hours to try to get food and medicine. Any country in the world can send supplies to the island, but they never reach the people,”

“The regime needs to democratize,” Tekach said. It is “fomenting destabilization abroad” and has established a “parasitic relationship built around all kinds of nefarious arrangements” with the Nicolás Maduro regime in Venezuela. “These things have to end.”

During her time in Havana, she was a vocal critic of the Cuban government. She visited political prisoners and dissidents and met with activists around the island. Tekach said “it was important to raise awareness on the island of the repression. And I was very focused on bringing this to the attention of the international community.” I was convinced “that the regime would not tolerate a single free thought among its people.”

Under her leadership, the embassy’s social media accounts engaged in campaigns to criticize the Cuban government’s medical missions and the country’s human-rights record. The government responded by showing on television images of her meeting with dissidents and accusing her of “recruiting mercenaries.”

For example, on July 4, 2020, she gave a speech at the Embassy dedicated to “all of the independent voices of Cuba – past and present. . . . May they never be silenced. May they continue to be heard. . . . Cuba’s countless independent voices dream and strive for a better future. You shall not be forgotten.  We will continue to amplify your voices.”

And on July 21, 2020, she issued a statement on the Embassy’s website about Cuban medical missions that focused on the claims that the Cuban medical personnel are not paid fair compensation for their services on these missions. [2]

Tekach said the disagreements never stopped her from communicating with Cuban officials and working on issues like the repatriation flights organized after the coronavirus pandemic disrupted travel. But she noted that “it was not a friendly relationship.”

Tekach will remain influential in Cuban policy as the new coordinator of the State Department’s Office of Cuban Affairs.

==============================

[1] Torres, ‘It wasn’t a friendly relationship.’ Former top diplomat in Havana talks about U.S.-Cuba relations, Miami Herald (Aug. 5, 2020); ‘Do not be fooled by the Cuban regime,’ asks Mara Tekach when leaving office, Diario de Cuba (Aug. 7, 2020).

[2] U.S. Embassy (Cuba), Remarks by U.S. Embassy Chargé d’Affaires Mara Tekach (July 4, 2020); U.S. Embassy (Cuba), Statement from Chargé d’Affaires Mara Tekach The Truth about Cuban Medical Missions (July 21, 2020).

[3] State Dep’t, Secretary Michael R. Pompeo At a Press Availability (Aug. 5, 2020); Washington urges UN countries to deny Havana a seat on the Human rights Council, Diario de Cuba (Aug. 6, 2020).

 

The common journey of Thor Heyerdahl and Fidel Castro

Posted by on Aug 27, 2020 in Tributes to Fidel | Comments Off on The common journey of Thor Heyerdahl and Fidel Castro

The common journey of Thor Heyerdahl and Fidel Castro

Maribel Acosta Damas

09 Aug 2020
History, News, Society No Comments

Thor Heyerdahl with Fidel Castro. Photo: Archive.

Oslo is small and warm; It is the most populated territory in Norway, which does not reach a million inhabitants … the tram that runs through it and that air that reminds you all the time of the Vinkingos.

The people are simple and without useless affectations. There is life there, and a lot of history: The statue of Ibsen, who always returns rebellion to women or the Nobel Peace Center located in the old Vestbane building in Rådhusplassen square. At the Edvard Much Museum, his anthological work The Scream, again and again seems made for this time of uncertainty. In those days a counterpoint of selfies between the famous North American photographer Robert Mapplethorpe and Munch is exposed. Another challenge, more than curatorial, for this time. Rock and salmon are part of nature.

But in addition to all that, Oslo in Norway is the starting point of a journey. Thor Heyerdahl was born there, who made a point of showing that we are mestizos, wandering from one place to another across seas, founding towns, embracing footprints.

Heyerdahl and five other members traveled in rafts from Peru for 101 days along almost 7000 km through the Pacific Ocean, until they reached the Tuamotu Islands, on August 7, 1947. The entire crew reached land safely on that famous journey that meant a before and after for social anthropology: the Kon-Tiki expedition. In Oslo, the Kon-Tiki Museum gives an account of all his travels in a giant and interactive installation, which includes the travel rafts, a collection of cultural objects that the Norwegian explorer took with him after his archaeological investigations on the Island of Easter, as well as a copy of the famous sculptures known as moai. However, the immense dimension of that man’s humanistic spirit remains to be grasped.

Thor Heyerdahl’s greatest journey was on his endless journey to the center of human life. And on that journey he met Fidel Castro, a traveler also on a long journey for dignity from an island. Heyerdahl said: “I am always happy to come to Cuba. The first time was before the triumph of the Revolution; therefore I have had the opportunity to see progress in this country ”.

Cuban journalist Pedro de la Hoz says that the first time he saw the Norwegian was on an unforeseen occasion: The north of the island had just been devastated by Hurricane Kate and Fidel was traveling the area to quantify the damage and make decisions for the prompt Recovery. At the entrance to Caibarién, the caravan of field vehicles stopped for a few minutes and I noticed, surprisingly, the presence of Heyerdahl among Fidel’s companions. From that meeting, there was a statement to the Vanguardia newspaper that I still have: “Only a social organization,” Heyerdahl said, “like that of the Cuban people is capable of successfully facing any calamity (…) I am impressed by the deep identity of the people with their leaders; it is a lesson that many in this world would have to learn ”.

A few months before his death, and again in Cuba, Heyerdahl spoke of the meaning of his research: “I wanted to show that the oceans did not isolate the different cultures during the last 5 000 years, since man had ships that could cross them. Historical scientists have dismissed the wisdom of peoples who knew how to navigate seemingly fragile ships. If in times of less technological development, the seas united humanity, it is a shame that we are now divided by ambitions and selfishness. That is the lesson ”.

Heyerdahl never hid his sympathy for Cuba and Fidel. He always expressed his admiration for the island and his human agreement with Fidel Castro, whom he considered his friend. Both men must have built a timeline with all the future of the world, although it seems too big. It is that both had the common journey of utopia, defended with their own lives and even with the good luck of having met, having been friends and surely having dreamed together some huge adventure for the future.

(Taken from Cubaperiodistas )

Printed article from: Cubadebate: http://www.cubadebate.cu

Article URL: http://www.cubadebate.cu/noticias/2020/08/09/la-travesia-comun-de-thor-heyerdahl-y-fidel-castro/

Science Center Honors Fidel Castro in Nicaragua

Posted by on Aug 27, 2020 in Tributes to Fidel | Comments Off on Science Center Honors Fidel Castro in Nicaragua

Science Center Honors Fidel Castro in Nicaragua

Managua, Aug 13 (Prensa Latina) This Thursday, 94 years after the birth of Fidel Castro, historic leader of the Cuban Revolution, a scientific center in the fields of western Nicaragua honors his legacy in this country to which he was linked by so many historical ties.

The Comandante Fidel Castro Technical Development Center in the municipality of Posoltega, department of Chinandega, is dedicated to the research and development of several tropical crops, with emphasis on moringa (Moringa oleifera), known as marango in this Central American country.

In addition to scientific research, the centre also produces seeds, explained engineer Rolando Garay, coordinator of the research area, to Prensa Latina recently.

The Commander-in-Chief of the Cuban Revolution dedicated the last years of his life to research on the plant species known as the prodigious tree.

It was precisely Commander Fidel who inspired us to work with the marango, so much so that it is the most visible face of the Center, which has a plantation of that species (originally from northern India), said Garay.

The research with the plant includes the production of wine and liquor from the use of the leaves, which gives small Nicaraguan farmers another alternative in their family businesses.

Anti-apartheid fighter recalls Fidel Castro’s legacy

Posted by on Aug 27, 2020 in Tributes to Fidel | Comments Off on Anti-apartheid fighter recalls Fidel Castro’s legacy

Anti-apartheid fighter recalls Fidel Castro’s legacy

Anti-apartheid fighter recalls Fidel Castro’s legacy

Pretoria, Aug 12 (Prensa Latina) South Africa’s veteran anti-apartheid fighter Ronnie Kasrils on Wednesday highlighted the legacy of Fidel Castro for Southern Africa, on the occasion of the 94th anniversary of the leader of the Cuban revolution’s birth (August 13).

 

Speaking to Prensa Latina, Kasrils – former head of military intelligence in the armed wing of the African National Congress (ANC), former minister of government (1994-2008) and author of several books on the struggle for liberation – said that ‘Fidel will live on in Africa, as everywhere else, as an everlasting icon of liberation in all its forms.’

‘Since the 1960s the nom de guerre ‘Castro’ was popular among freedom fighters in Southern Africa,’ he recalls. Today, the children of many of those guerrillas bear the name Fidel or Fidelis.

That generation was inspired by Fidel Castro’s epic leadership of the Cuban Revolution in overthrowing tyranny, confronting imperialism, changing Cuban society, and the historical lessons of international solidarity, he explains.

Since 1975, Cuban internationalist forces under Commander Fidel’s leadership had contributed to save Angola’s independence from racist invaders and the CIA-backed counterrevolutionary bandits, Kasrils recalls.

Becoming aware of these historic events from his prison cell – by secret means -, Nelson Mandela wrote in glowing terms that ‘it was the first time that a country had come from another continent not to take something away, but to help Africans to achieve their freedom,’ Kasrils highlights.

Assisting Angola over the following years the reactionary apartheid forces finally met their fate at the battle for Cuito Cuanavale (1988), which forced them to retreat.

At that time, I had been privileged to have been present in Havana as a member of a delegation from the South African Communist Party (SACP) in 1988, when Fidel briefed us in front of a huge topographical chart of Southern Angola about how that epic battle had been won, Kasrils reveals.

The result was Angola being free of foreign forces, which allowed the subsequent independence of Namibia from Pretoria’s occupation in 1990, followed by freedom for South Africa in 1994, explains the veteran fighter.

In Fidel’s words, after forcing the South African racist military to retreat from Angola in 1988: ‘The history of Africa will be written as before and after Cuito Cuanavale.’

Since then, many generations of Africans have studied in Cuba, they continue to follow the legendary footsteps of Fidel, ‘one of the foremost revolutionaries of modern times,’ says Kasrils.

His life and his legacy are intrinsically linked to Africa’s destiny and the eternal gratitude of its peoples, he summarizes.

In 1994, at Nelson Mandela’s presidential inauguration, Fidel received the greatest approval for a foreign guest by the cheering masses, who chanted: ‘Fidel! Fidel!’ And ‘Cuba! Cuba!’ Kasrils recalls as an eyewitness.

It is the privilege of Southern Africa’s people to have shared trenches, trained and studied in Cuba, received inexhaustible aid not only on the battlefields, but also that of the brave Cuban health workers in the fight against Covid-19, he adds.

As it does in other parts of the Caribbean and Latin America, Cuba continues to send health professionals to Africa. More than 50,000 Cuban doctors currently work around the world, including in 32 African countries.

When we launched our armed struggle in the 1960s, there was a song we composed to Calypso rhythm: ‘Take the country the Castro way!’ Kasrils recalls.

Then we also realized about the examples Cuba provided in people’s living conditions, health care and education, housing and social well-being, overcoming colonial backwardness and inequalities, and the provision of security for the people.

Now, in the midst of the global struggle against imperialist domination, exploitation and racism; military aggression, and the injustices of capitalism, those words ‘Take the country the (Fidel) Castro way!’ are still alive in our hearts, he concludes.

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Presence and speeches of Fidel Castro recalled at UN

Posted by on Aug 27, 2020 in Tributes to Fidel | Comments Off on Presence and speeches of Fidel Castro recalled at UN

Presence and speeches of Fidel Castro recalled at UN

United Nations, Aug 13 (Prensa Latina) Celebrating the 94th anniversary of the birth of the leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro (1926-2016), the island’s mission to the United Nations recalls his time at the multilateral organization and also his speeches.

Through his official Twitter account, Cuba’s alternate permanent representative to the UN, Ana Silvia Rodríguez, shared fragments of Fidel’s speeches, such as the one delivered before the General Assembly in October 1979.

That was the second time the leader arrived at the United Nations headquarters in New York, after his first visit in September, 1960.

Fidel once again reiterated before the General Assembly the denunciation of systematic looting carried out by the great powers in poor countries and, once again, his speech received long ovations.

‘The bombs will be able to kill the hungry, the sick, the ignorant, but they cannot kill hunger, diseases, ignorance. They cannot kill the just rebellion of the peoples,’ he stressed at that time.

He also referred to the great inequalities existing around the world and questioned: Why do some peoples have to go barefoot, so that others travel in luxurious cars? Why do some have to live 35 years, so that others live 70? Why should some be miserably poor, so that others are exaggeratedly rich?

This is how the Cuban ambassador to the UN recalled through her official Twitter account.

Rodríguez also cited the passage in which Fidel warned that if the injustices and inequalities in the world could not be resolved peacefully and wisely, the future will be apocalyptic.

Fidel Castro is currently considered one of the most outstanding statesmen of the 20th century and is recognized internationally for his actions in pursuit of the unity of Latin American countries.

The Cuban leader was born in Birán, a town in eastern Cuba, on August 13, 1926, and from a very young age he took his first steps in the political life of that island, participated in the struggles against dictatorial governments established there until he led the Revolution that triumphed in 1959.

Cuban President rejects hostile rhetoric from the US

Posted by on Aug 27, 2020 in Latest News | Comments Off on Cuban President rejects hostile rhetoric from the US

Cuban President rejects hostile rhetoric from the US

Havana, Aug 14 (Prensa Latina) President Miguel Díaz-Canel today rejected the hostile rhetoric of the United States regarding the suspension of private charter flights to Cuba.

‘The hostile rhetoric continues, the intensification of the blockade, hatred and contempt for Cubans,’ Diaz-Canel remarked on his Twitter account.

Díaz-Canel said the measure seeks to further isolate Cuban families, which he accompanied with the labels AquiNoSeRindeNadie, NoMásBloqueo and SomosCuba.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced on Thursday the ban on private charter flights to the Caribbean nation, including Havana (the only ones allowed for months).

However, the director general for the United States of the Cuban Foreign Ministry, Carlos Fernández de Cossío, said that the action had little impact but was reprehensible for playing on the concerns and needs of family contacts of Cubans on both sides of the Florida Strait. .

The sanction, he added, seeks to satisfy the electoral political machinery of South Florida and confirms the contempt of imperialism towards Cubans and Americans of Cuban origin.

Communicated through the social network Twitter in the midst of global efforts to contain the expansion of the Covid-19 pandemic, the measure will take effect on October 13, and is added to others that reinforce the siege of the government of U.S.

In January, the administration of President Donald Trump eliminated all public charter flights to the Caribbean nation, except those that run to the José Martí International Airport in this capital.

Previously, the White House banned all commercial flights from the United States to Cuba, except those that arrive in Havana, thus cutting off direct air communication from that country with another city on the island.

Likewise, it revoked the authorizations that allowed North American companies to rent airplanes from Cuban state airlines.

With six decades of duration, the economic, commercial and financial blockade of the United States against Cuba, is nourished and applied with special harshness by Trump.

Its arsenal includes everything from sanctions against international financial entities that do business with Cuba, threats to suppliers, to the persecution of insurance companies, shipping companies and vessels that transport oil to the island.

Our beloved Cuba, Fidel, reacted to the pandemic with a heroic effort

Posted by on Aug 27, 2020 in Tributes to Fidel | Comments Off on Our beloved Cuba, Fidel, reacted to the pandemic with a heroic effort

Our beloved Cuba, Fidel, reacted to the pandemic with a heroic effort

Frei betto

13 august 2020
History, Opinion 18 Comments

Fidel with Frei Betto and a group of Cuban scientists at the Inauguration of the Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology in Havana. Photo: Courtesy of CIGB

Dear Fidel:

This day of your birthday I feel very nostalgic for our conversations. And, above all, of your luminous intelligence to guide us in this new pandemic situation.

Life and history are full of unforeseen events. With so many attacks that the CIA prepared to assassinate you, who would have imagined that you would pass to the other side of life peacefully in your bed, surrounded by loved ones and honored by your beloved Cuban people? Who would have imagined that the Soviet Union would disintegrate in 1991 without firing a single shot? Who would have imagined that the United States would have a black president and the Catholic Church a progressive Argentine pope?

During our conversations at your house, you spoke to me several times about the serious threat of nuclear war. That danger continues. But who would have imagined that this year the world would stop spinning due to an invisible virus known as Covid-19?

Our beloved Cuba, Fidel, reacted to the pandemic with a heroic effort that added the correct attitudes of the people, health professionals and the government. Compared to other countries, few lives were lost thanks to the measures adopted and followed by the population. And in the internationalist and supportive spirit that has always marked the history of the Revolution, health brigades were sent to help people in dozens of countries.

The virus revealed, as never before, the rotten entrails of capitalism, the abysmal social inequality, the supreme contradiction between a system that produces admirable technological advances, but is incapable of preventing humanity from being affected by a simple virus.

I thank God for the gift of your life, Fidel. Here we continue with the responsibility of being faithful to your legacy and worthy of your example of life and struggle.

We will win, Commander!

Fraternally,

Frei betto

Printed article from: Cubadebate: http://www.cubadebate.cu

Thank you, Fidel, for being, above all, human

Posted by on Aug 27, 2020 in Tributes to Fidel | Comments Off on Thank you, Fidel, for being, above all, human

Fidel visited one hospital room after another during the hemorrhagic dengue epidemic.

Fidel visited one hospital room after another during the hemorrhagic dengue epidemic. Photo: Granma Archives

Over the years, many have wondered about the source of the leader of the Cuban Revolution’s inexhaustible energy. How was this exceptional man able to function without rest, with his thoughts perennially directed toward the wellbeing of his people, toward the possibility of a better world with a place for everyone, with rights and opportunities for all?

The answer to this question does not lie in his physical stature or athletic passion, not even in his ability to train his thinking and devour every chapter of the homeland’s history. There was something much more powerful, something that led him to devote himself entirely to humanity, that gave him a vocation he could not renounce, of doing everything he could to transform and create, as the most sacred duty of a man. What made Fidel a natural leader, with exemplary humility and disinterest, the architect of this enduring work, was the greatest gift Martí left him and his generation: human sensibility.

Talent and willpower do not flourish, dreams do not take hold, nor are challenges surmountable, if the heart is not touched. One must feel, identify with just causes, and become part of them, if the destiny of humanity is to truly move in a positive direction. No one who does not feel the pain of others, who cannot put themselves in the place of the homeless, no one unwilling to take action, remaining passive and believing that nothing will ever change, no such person will leave much of a legacy in history.

Yes, the boy from Birán, beginning at a very young age, learned respect, the value of every human being, that neither social class or the color of one’s skin define a person, and that, on the contrary, it is our values that define who we are.

But, in the Cuba of his childhood, adolescence and youth, these characteristics made a huge difference. Poverty denied the most elemental human rights; humble origins meant discrimination and disadvantage; the lack of resources implied little or no ability to meet basic needs.

These were the reasons that led Fidel to assault the Moncada’s walls, that put him on the path of no return – of victory or death – to do justice for Martí, for the people, for Cuba. If anyone ever doubted the determination he felt, his self-defense statement is the clearest explanation of the reasons he and his brothers went to such extremes and were absolutely sure that their act of incalculable dimensions would serve as a call to rebellion that could no longer be silenced.

There were no sugar-coated phrases or arguments used manipulatively by the orator, only harsh realities, truths laid bare, thrown into the face of the dictatorship with dignity. The truths of a people with no right to the land, to health or education, who could not dream of a decent home, or regular work. From this moment on,

Fidel Castro became much more than his own lawyer, much more than the attorney of those who chose armed struggle with him, but rather the advocate of the humble and abandoned, to whom history would later give the opportunity to vindicate themselves.

That young man who could have chosen the sizable income of a law firm or the comfortable life of a landowner, was not born to turn his back on the world around him. He learned to take a critical view, to develop his opinions, to construct solid arguments. He chose duty and devoted his existence to this duty, without ever losing his will to live and feel as his people lived and felt.

These were the values that also won him the respect of his comrades, since his keen awareness of others was always evident, his unequaled consideration for every single revolutionary in the Sierra Maestra or on the plains. He always listened to and defended women, opening doors to women who, on their own merits, assumed a leading role in every one of the stages of the revolutionary process. He respected his enemies, and on more than a few occasions during the armed struggle, gave them lessons in civics and fairness.

He felt the pain of farmworkers, and gave campesinos title to the land they had always worked but never aspired to own; he saw the frustration and abandon in the eyes of the illiterate, and launched the literacy campaign. He rejected exploitation and founded a country based on honest, dignified work, in which workers were always heard and represented. This was the Fidel who moved forward with the nationalization of industry, as an absolute necessity to end the bleeding of Cuba by the North; who before the world declared the socialist character of the Cuban Revolution, thus radicalizing the position in defense of the majority’s wellbeing taken by the society being constructed.

He was the Commander in Chief of the truth, of the highest standards of transparency. He climbed on a tank in Girón because he knew that the militia was engaged in hand to hand combat with the enemy and he needed to be there. No one could stop him.

No one could stop him when the fury of Hurricane Flora was ravaging the island, risking his own life to personally direct the rescue operations to save his people, a people with absolute confidence in him. How much love for his people this immense man felt, visiting one hospital room after another when the hemorrhagic dengue epidemic was taking lives.

He shared the pain of Cuban families mourning the loss of their loved ones in cruel terrorist attacks, conveying in fiery language, on every one of these difficult moments, the confidence and certainty that every life cut short was one more reason to hold onto, ever more tightly, the self-determination we as a people had won to chart our own path, and use every national or international tribune available to unmask those who, presenting themselves as our saviors, sought to hide their hate for any country intent upon ending centuries of subjugation.

We saw him embrace the children of Chernobyl, opening our doors to give them the opportunity to recover their health, their dreams and smiles, after the terrible nuclear accident.

Fidel taught us that a people cannot live only for itself, that a country is only truly great when it is capable of giving of itself to the world, that is, to humanity. He showed us that solidarity is an unescapable principle for those who consider themselves revolutionaries. Under this principle, we contributed to ending apartheid in Africa, and travel the earth in white lab coats bearing hope after natural disasters, providing assistance free of charge to millions with no access to for-profit healthcare systems, confronting diseases like Ebola and the horrendous epidemic caused by the new coronavirus.

History and daily life gave this impetuous young man maturity, allowing him to understand how to defend Martí, how Cuba was obliged to become a beacon for all of America. Thus the continent’s progressive leaders have always enjoyed the support of our island and timely condemnation of imperialist crimes, persecution, coups, and constant interference in the internal affairs of sovereign nations.

We have faced aggressions of all kinds: economic, political and mediatic. All have failed before the moral strength of this nation, with Fidel’s name tattooed on its chest, opting for continuity without hesitation, regardless of his death, irreversibly united having also learned from him that dividing a people is the easiest way to defeat them.

Thus August is, and will always be, the month of Fidel’s birthday, the month in which we will celebrate his life no matter how many years pass, because his physical disappearance cannot erase such a prodigious existence, with a legacy that transcends all time, that transcends flesh and bones.

The world would be a very different place, if the power-hungry could embrace even a bit of his visionary thought. We would be stronger today, more capable of facing situations that have universal impact, beyond our political, ideological and systematic differences, and we would think more about saving the human race, a species which, as Fidel warned, is in danger of extinction.

Although we clearly cannot expect some minds to change – as long as capital dominates the destinies of millions around the world, using them as raw material in its implacable machinery – we can do our part. And yes, we do so in Fidel’s honor, in the name of all those who gave their lives for ours.

Congratulations, Comandante en Jefe, not only for another year of your infinite life, but for being, above all, human. For having kept your feet firmly on the ground, your eyes on the people, and your heart beating for the common good.

Here we are, standing tall, of our own free will, because this people -Fidel’s people – never surrenders; because there are no doubts about the path taken; because we believe a better world is possible and we will not forego our part in making it happen.

Fidel: another battle, another victory

Posted by on Aug 27, 2020 in Tributes to Fidel | Comments Off on Fidel: another battle, another victory

Fidel

Photo: Archivo de Granma

He taught us to wage battles and emerge victorious. Ever the great strategist, he foresaw all the variables that could appear. He prepared the forces, conceived possible scenarios, studied the enemy and was always present on the front lines with his troops.

Today, his ashes resting within a boulder extracted from the bedrock of the Sierra Maestra, he would be contemplating what has been done, what remains to be done, the imperfections and the victory. He would know – he warned us –

of existent and possible behaviors by persons who, amidst a new battle, could take advantage of any lack of vigilance to steal, misappropriate resources, and illicitly re-sell essential products, regardless of the titanic effort undertaken to make what we have available to all – be it a great deal or just a little, honestly obtained.

This is the context in which our people and leadership have unleashed the current battle to control the coronavirus pandemic and make the greater challenge – recovery of the national economy – a goal that is achievable if everyone works in a unified manner, making his or her own individual contribution to the colossal task.

In the struggle against COVID-19, Fidel is ever-present. His advice, warnings, strategies, and also his conception of a war of the entire people is very much present in the current situation. The offensive underway today is being conducted by the entire people, with Fidel’s leadership.

In the Moncada program itself, he foresaw the development of the country’s human resources as key to the provision of health care and education. He went further, and in the first months following the triumph of the Revolution, organized a medical brigade to send to Algeria to support a sister people in need.

Fidel studied law at the University of Havana, but when he participated in designing the new health programs to be implemented, he gave the impression of an experienced doctor.

He conceived Cuba’s public health system and set about building it from the ground up. To offer just two examples – very visible during in the COVID-19 battle – he developed the idea of the family doctor and nurse closely tied to the community, and was convinced that science must play a role in the nation’s everyday life, leading the establishment of research and development poles.

This project thus conceived has nothing in common with the modern institutions created in capitalist countries, based on private, for-profit medical systems, producing supplies and medications for those who can pay for them.

The training of human resources to staff health care and educational programs, and the development of new revolutionary curricula to support our medical professionals’ work around the world, was also key to Fidel’s thinking. On more than one occasion, he commented that we could never train too many doctors, that they would always be needed.

Today with tens of thousands of our professionals offering solidarity, health care and humanism in more than 60 countries, expression of gratitude to Fidel and recognition of Cuba appear in the most remote communities, among all segments of the population, in many different languages.

This is a country that sends our best to offer health and save lives, asking nothing in return, regardless of the political affiliation or religious beliefs of patients. They are human beings and deserve the altruistic attention of this great army in white lab coats.

Fidel conceived of the Henry Reeve Contingent, aware of its importance in responding to pandemics and natural disasters. Difficult challenges would come to validate the Comandante’s foresight: earthquakes in Pakistan, Haiti and other countries; Ebola in West Africa; and finally COVID-19, caused by a lethal virus that within a few months’ time has ravaged the planet, taking the lives of half a million human beings.

If many more have not died, if thousands have recovered after being infected, Cuban medicine and solidarity have contributed to this victory, and Fidel can be thanked for this, as well.

Without Cuba making any such request, and amidst a ferocious defamation campaign by the Trump administration and its mercenaries against our internationalist brigades, many people of good will around the world are advocating the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to Cuban doctors in the Henry Reeve Contingent.

Individuals and organizations in many different political currents, languages and cultures are insisting that our professionals are more than deserving of this international distinction.

Fidel is also leading this medical brigade and those who have benefitted from Cuban solidarity express gratitude to him, as well.

The COVID-19 pandemic has imposed another battle, that Fidel is winning, too. The national articulation of all sectors in the effort, and the capacity of the country to prevent the numbers of deaths seen in other lands, offer testimony to the concrete application of Fidel’s thinking, continued under the leadership of President of the Republic Miguel Díaz-Canel, with the wise guidance of Army General Raúl Castro Ruz, who provides certainty and confidence, as well.

This August 13, on the 94th anniversary of the Comandante en Jefe’s birth, with his ashes resting in a monumental boulder in his beloved Santiago, his great battles and victories will continue to be of obligatory reference for a people who, as a matter of principle, have assumed the construction of our own destiny – the destiny he charted for us that we will always defend.

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