St. Lucia-Cuba Solidarity Association: The pain remains 39 years later


October 6 2015


relatives of the victims of 1976 bombing of Cuban airlineThe records always speak of the death of 73 people aboard the Cubana de Aviación flight CU 455, on 6th October 1976. Well, more than 73 people were killed that day on Cubana de Aviación 455!

As of today, when we walk away from this ceremony for the celebration of the 39th Anniversary of the remembrance of our innocent brothers and sisters killed by that CIA assassin, Luis Posada Carriles, we should speak of the assassination of not 73, but 74 people who day in the waters of Paradise Beach in beautiful Barbados. The historical record shows that Nancy Uranga, a member of the victorious Cuban fencing team on board CU 445 that fateful day, was pregnant. The record must therefore be more widely respected as of today, and we must remember that 74 innocent people (58 Cubans, 11 Guyanese and 5 Koreans) were murdered that day in the name of shameless imperialist hegemony and absurd, ridiculous, reactionary high-handedness in the peaceful Caribbean.

These were the records of nearly four decades ago. The irrational, myopic and misguided anti-Castro behaviour that oozed from certain leaders of United States politics for more than those four decades, 55 years to be exact, was based upon the hatred of those actors for anyone and anything that professed to embrace a political and ideological philosophy that run counter to the politics and ideology of the chief ideologues of Western-styled capitalism.

Today, more than five decades later, the same hatred and intolerance continue to abide, but their fossilized nature is the catalyst for their own gradual dismantling. Thus, President Barack Obama, the embodiment of both a human being, and a spiritual entity unleashed upon America and the world by God, was caught on the record saying to Republicans in the Congress on July 30, 2014: “stop just hating”, just stop “hating all the time”! Yes, the hatred, and the intolerance, and the myopia, are under attack, and today, the entity called Obama, wants to embrace Cuba, and the latter is returning the hug, albeit not the bear-hug reserved for Socialist comrades!

While we encourage President Obama’s search for peace instead of war, and while we embrace education instead of the neo-con, openness instead of darkness, diplomacy rather than theocracy, we must remain vigilant however, mindful of the extremely fluid and contradictory nature of American politics, where one powerful Party generally accepts the facts, while the other Titan is shamelessly “fact-free”, “though the heavens fall”, and entire low-lying territories face certain extinction in the deluge of Climate Change. On this 39th Anniversary of the Martyrs of Barbados, we will again say to President Obama that it is still not too late to let the murderous terrorist Luis Posada Carriles face the blindness and impartiality of Lady Justice. If the President truly wants to usher in a new era of regional and international relations based on the tenets of truth, reconciliation, innovative diplomacy, and mutual respect among nations, then it is not too late to offer an apology for the sins of his predecessor who functioned as POTUS when the CIA-sponsored Luis Posada Carriles masterminded that cowardly act of 6th October 1976. It is not too late to offer some words of comfort, and let hundreds of Cubans, Guyanese and Koreans find some closure, that same spiritual substance that so many hundreds of American families seek after every cowardly college massacre, the latest being the brutal terrorising of more than twenty American citizens, at Umpqua College in Oregon, where nine (9) innocent Americans lost their lives.

Each and every Anniversary of the Martyrs of Barbados brings fresh tears to the eyes of our Saint Lucian comrades, brothers and sisters, who love Cuba dearly. The pain remains equally unbearable, year after year, Anniversary after Anniversary. Many thousands of Saint Lucian and Cuban brothers and sisters have not found closure, particularly due to the fact that the despicable intellectual author of the demise of 74 innocent, pure, humble Martyrs of Barbados still enjoys freedom from the noble bonds of justice.

The ties that bind Cuba and Saint Lucia are unbreakable ties, and it was a truly remarkable and unforgettable act of nature that the Official Identification Card of the Captain of CU 455 found its way all across the Caribbean Sea from Barbados, to finally rest in Saint Lucia. This card was found on the beach at Cas en Bas, Gros Islet, by a Saint Lucian comrade, himself incidentally an unwavering and unconditional friend of the Cuban people, Brother Martin “Bob” Phulchere, who is here with us today. Brother “Bob” dutifully did the right thing, and handed the card to the local authorities. Let me ask Brother “Bob” to stand for a round of applause by our distinguished audience of brothers and sisters of Cuba.

The Humanistic Solidarity Association (Saint Lucia – Cuba) wishes to take this opportunity to again reiterate its pleasure and its support for the newly emerging engagement between Cuba and the United States of America, and looks forward to the deepening and consolidation of that new relationship, whose only logical end has to be the ushering in of a mutually productive and deeply rewarding era of economic, social, political and cultural relations between the two parties, not to mention the inevitable positive offshoots that such a new set of relations will have for the wider Caribbean and Latin American family of nations.

Thank you.

Humanistic Solidarity Association (Saint Lucia – Cuba)

Open Letter To President Obama From The Cuban Barbadian Friendship Association


Some members of the Cuban Barbadian Friendship Association from left, David Comissiong, Mighty Gaby, David Denny and Trevor Prescod/Photo: Barbados Today

Dear President

The Cuban Barbadian Friendship Association, and all progressive forces in Barbados wrote a letter to President George Bush on the 17th April 2007 demanding the release of Gerardo Hernandez Nordela, Ramon Labanino, Antonio Guerrero, Fernando Gonzales and Rene Gonzales (commonly known as the “Cuban Five”) who were sentenced to lengthy prison terms in the USA after being convicted of conspiracy to act as agents of the Cuban government and related charges.

We were very concerned about the action of the USA to deny Rene Gonzales and Gerardo Hernandez the right to receive visits from their wives and the refusal to grant Olga Salanueva the wife of Rene Gonzales a visa to enter the USA, to visit her husband. International standers emphasize the importance of prisoners maintaining regular contact with their families.

Read more here

Guyana Cuba Solidarity Movement observe Cubana Air Disaster

Source: KNEWS Filed under NEWS

October 7 2015

The Cuban Ambassador to Guyana, Mr. Julio Cesar Gonsalez Marchante, and President of Guyana-Cuba Solidarity Movement (GCSM) Haleem Khan, joined the Government and Diplomatic community at the wreath laying ceremony in recognition of the 39th anniversary of the Cubana Air Disaster.

From Left:  President of Guyana-Cuba Solidarity Movement (GCSM) Haleem Khan and Ambassador Mr. Julio Cesar Gonsalez Marchante with family at the wreath laying ceremony

From Left: President of Guyana-Cuba Solidarity Movement (GCSM) Haleem Khan and Ambassador Mr. Julio Cesar Gonsalez Marchante with family at the wreath laying ceremony

The ceremony was held at the Site of Monument, University of Guyana Turkeyen Campus.

On October 6, 1976 when the aircraft exploded just after take-off from Barbados, there were 57 Cubans, 11 Guyanese and five North Koreans on board.

Members of the Cuban national youth fencing team were among the dead, as were a number of young Guyanese academic scholarship winners who were travelling to Cuba to pursue studies in medicine.

The 11 Guyanese were Margaret Bradshaw, Sabrina Harripaul, Seshnarine Kumar, Ann Nelson, Harold Norton, Raymond Persaud, Gordon Sobha, Rawle Thomas, Rita Thomas, Violet Thomas and Jacqueline Williams.

A terrorist attack

President of the GCSM, Haleem Khan, said that Guyanese should not look at the bombing as just a mere air disaster, but as a terrorist attack.

He explained that the “War on Terror” of the U.S. and Canadian Governments is so disingenuous that they shelter and reward the terrorists they prefer, while accusing others of the crimes they commit.

Khan repeated his calls for the perpetrators to be brought to justice, while denouncing the actions of successive US Presidents in allowing those responsible for the bombing to walk the streets of Miami freely.

Investigations revealed that two types of bombs were used, variously described as dynamite or C-4.
Evidence implicated several CIA-linked anti-Castro Cuban exiles, and members of the Venezuelan secret police, DISIP.

Posada Carriles

Political complications quickly arose when Cuba accused the US government of being an accomplice in the attack. CIA documents released in 2005 indicate that the Agency “had concrete advance intelligence, as early as June 1976, on plans by Cuban exile terrorist groups to bomb a Cubana airliner.”

Former CIA operative, Posada Carriles, denied involvement, but provides many details of the incident in his book “Caminos del Guerrero (Way of the Warrior)”. The bombing was considered, then, the deadliest terrorist airline attack in the Western Hemisphere.

Four men were arrested in connection with the bombing, and a trial was held in Venezuela.  Freddy Lugo and Hernán Ricardo Lozano were sentenced to 20-year prison terms; Orlando Bosch was acquitted because of technical defects in the prosecution’s evidence, and lived in Miami, Florida until he died on April 27, 2011; and Luis Posada Carriles was held for eight years while awaiting a final sentence, but eventually fled.

He later entered the United States, where he was held on charges of entering the country illegally, but was released on April 19, 2007.

The mastermind walks freely in Miami

Khan explained that at its simplest, the mastermind of the tragedy walks freely in Miami, while those who sought to expose the terrorist actions of groups that targeted Cuba, from the safe haven of the United States, were put behind bars. Those convicted are referred to as the Cuban Five.

At the Tribunal, testimony was heard from legal counsel and expert witnesses on the historical and political context, the arrests, trials and convictions of the Cuban Five, and events since the trial in Florida that resulted in the convictions.

According to Khan, on September 12, 1998, a heavily armed FBI SWAT team arrested the members of the Cuban intelligence network in Miami. The five agents were tried, convicted and sentenced to long prison terms, including one double life sentence, plus 15 years.

Gerardo Hernández, Antonio Guerrero, Ramón Labañino, Fernando González, and René González were convicted in Miami of conspiracy to commit espionage, conspiracy to commit murder, acting as an agent of a foreign government, and other illegal activities in the United States.

René González was released on October 7, 2011 following the completion of 13 years of his sentence with a further three years of probation in the US. He was allowed to return to Cuba for his father’s funeral on April 22, 2013. A federal judge allowed him to stay there provided that he renounce his United States citizenship.

Fernando González was released from Safford Federal Prison on February 27, 2014, after serving his entire sentence. He was deported to Cuba.

Source:  Cuban Ambassador, GCSM observe Cubana Air Disaster

Reggae Message: Here comes the con man . . . Bob Marley

cameron's insult to jamaicaThem crazy, them crazy –

We gonna chase those crazy baldheads out of town;

Chase those crazy baldheads out of town.

Ah I’n’I build the cabin;

Ah I’n’I plant the corn;

Didn’t my people before me, slave for this country?

Now you look me with a scorn,

Then you eat up all my corn.

We gonna chase those crazy

Chase them crazy

Chase those crazy baldheads out of town

Built your penitentiary, we built your schools,

Brainwash education to make us the fools.

Hatred your reward for our love,

Telling us of your God above.

We gonna chase those crazy

Chase those crazy bumpheads

Chase those crazy baldheads out of the yown

We gonna chase those crazy

Chase those crazy bumpheads

Chase those crazy baldheads out of the yown

Here comes the conman

Coming with his con plan.

We won’t take no bribe;

We’ve got to stay alive.

We gonna chase those crazy

Chase those crazy baldheads

Chase those crazy baldheads outa da yown

Telling the truth is a revolutionary act

Source:  TeleSUR
October 1 2015

Julian Assange and the people at Wikileaks are a source of constant inspiration

Julian Assange, a source of constant admiration …John Pilger

Wondrous technology has become both our friend and our enemy.

George Orwell said, “In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”

These are dark times, in which the propaganda of deceit touches all our lives. It is as if political reality has been privatized and illusion legitimized. The information age is a media age. We have politics by media; censorship by media; war by media; retribution by media; diversion by media – a surreal assembly line of clichés and false assumptions.

Wondrous technology has become both our friend and our enemy. Every time we turn on a computer or pick up a digital device – our secular rosary beads – we are subjected to control: to surveillance of our habits and routines, and to lies and manipulation.

The invisible government

Edward Bernays, who invented the term, “public relations” as a euphemism for “propaganda,” predicted this more than 80 years ago. He called it, “the invisible government.”

He wrote, “Those who manipulate this unseen element of [modern democracy] constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country …We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of.”

The aim of this invisible government is the conquest of us: of our political consciousness, our sense of the world, our ability to think independently, to separate truth from lies.

Big lies

This is a form of fascism, a word we are rightly cautious about using, preferring to leave it in the flickering past. But an insidious modern fascism is now an accelerating danger. As in the 1930s, big lies are delivered with the regularity of a metronome. Muslims are bad. Saudi bigots are good. ISIS bigots are bad. Russia is always bad. China is getting bad. Bombing Syria is good. Corrupt banks are good. Corrupt debt is good. Poverty is good. War is normal.

Those who question these official truths, this extremism, are deemed in need of a lobotomy – until they are diagnosed on-message. The BBC provides this service free of charge. Failure to submit is to be tagged a “radical” – whatever that means.

Real dissent has become exotic; yet those who dissent have never been more important. The book I am launching tonight, “The WikiLeaks Files,” is an antidote to a fascism that never speaks its name.

bob 5It’s a revolutionary book, just as WikiLeaks itself is revolutionary – exactly as Orwell meant in the quote I used at the beginning. For it says that we need not accept these daily lies. We need not remain silent. Or as Bob Marley once sang, “Emancipate yourself from mental slavery.”

In the introduction, Julian Assange explains that it is never enough to publish the secret messages of great power: that making sense of them is crucial, as well as placing them in the context of today and historical memory.

Remarkable achievement

That is the remarkable achievement of this anthology, which reclaims our memory. It connects the reasons and the crimes that have caused so much human turmoil, from Vietnam and Central America, to the Middle East and Eastern Europe, with the matrix of rapacious power, the United States.

There is currently an American and European attempt to destroy the government of Syria. Prime Minister David Cameron is especially keen. This is the same David Cameron I remember as an unctuous PR man employed by an asset stripper of Britain’s independent commercial television.

Cameron, Obama and the ever obsequious Francois Hollande want to destroy the last remaining multicultural authority in Syria, an action that will surely make way for the fanatics of ISIS.

The Wikileaks Files – the book

This is insane, of course, and the big lie justifying this insanity is that it is in support of Syrians who rose against Bashar Assad in the Arab Spring. As “The WikiLeaks Files” reveals, the destruction of Syria has long been a cynical imperial project that pre-dates the Arab Spring uprising against Assad.

To the rulers of the world in Washington and Europe, Syria’s true crime is not the oppressive nature of its government, but its independence from American and Israeli power – just as Iran’s true crime is its independence, and Russia’s true crime is its independence, and China’s true crime is its independence. In an American-owned world, independence is intolerable.

This book reveals these truths, one after the other. The truth about a war on terror that was always a war of terror; the truth about Guantanamo, the truth about Iraq, Afghanistan, Latin America.

Truth-telling and anti-journalism

Never has such truth-telling been so urgently needed. With honorable exceptions, those in the media, paid ostensibly to keep the record straight, are now absorbed into a system of propaganda that is no longer journalism, but anti-journalism. This is true of the liberal and respectable as it is of Murdoch. Unless you are prepared to monitor and deconstruct every specious assertion, so-called news has become unwatchable and unreadable.

Reading “The WikiLeaks Files,” I remembered the words of the late Howard Zinn, who often referred to “a power that governments can’t suppress.” That describes WikiLeaks, and it describes true whistleblowers who share their courage.

On a personal note, I have known the people of WikiLeaks for some time now. That they have achieved what they have in circumstances not of their choosing is a source of constant admiration. Their rescue of Edward Snowden comes to mind. Like him, they are heroic: nothing less.

2 million documents 

Sarah Harrison’s chapter, “Indexing the Empire,” describes how she and her comrades set up an entire Public Library of U.S. Diplomacy. There are more than 2 million documents, now available to all. “Our work,” she writes, “is dedicated to making sure history belongs to everyone.” How thrilling it is to read those words, which also stand as a tribute to her own courage.

From the confinement of a room in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London, the courage of Julian Assange is an eloquent response to the cowards who have smeared him and the rogue power seeking revenge on him and waging a war on democracy.

None of this has deterred Julian and his comrades at WikiLeaks: not one bit. Isn’t that something?

The WikiLeaks Files: the World According to the US Empire is published by Verso

Source:  The Revolutionary Act of Telling the Truth    TeleSUR

Raul at the UN: The industrial nations must accept their historic responsibility

“We should adopt as soon as possible, concrete commitments in terms of development assistance, and resolve the debt issue, a debt already paid several times over”  Raul Castro

Source:  Cuban News Agency
September 26 2015

raul at the un 2015Cuban President Raul Castro delivered a speech at the United Nations Summit for the Adoption of the Post-2015 Development Agenda, in New York.

New York,
September 26, 2015

Esteemed heads of State and Government,
Distinguished heads of delegations,
Mister Secretary General of the United Nations,
Mister President,

The current instability prevailing in numerous regions of the world has its roots in the pervasive underdevelopment afflicting two-thirds of the world population.

Fifteen years after the adoption of the Millennium Development Goals progress is insufficient and unevenly distributed. In many cases, unacceptable levels of poverty and social inequality persist and there are cases, even including the industrial nations, where these have been aggravated.  The gap between the North and the South widens, and wealth polarization keeps growing.

We realize that there is still a long distance to be covered to achieve a real world association for development.

Poverty, infant mortality rates and maternal deaths

No less than 2.7 billion people in the world live in poverty. In developing countries, the global infant mortality rate for children under five years of age is still several times higher than that of developed countries. Similarly, maternal death in developing regions is fourteen times higher.

Amid the existing economic and financial crisis, wealthy individuals and transnational companies are growing richer while the number of poor, unemployed and homeless people increase dramatically as a result of the harsh so-called “austerity” policies, and waves of desperate immigrants arrive in Europe escaping misery and conflicts that others have unleashed.

The resources needed for the implementation of the Agenda, lacking measurable commitments and timetables, are inadequate to meet the seventeen objectives of sustainable development.

The debt issue

If we wish to make this a habitable world with peace and harmony among nations, with democracy and social justice, dignity and respect for the human rights of every person, we should adopt as soon as possible concrete commitments in terms of development assistance, and resolve the debt issue, a debt already paid several times over.

It would be necessary to build a new international financial architecture, remove monopoly on technology and knowledge, and change the present international economic order.

The industrial nations should accept their historic responsibility

The industrial nations should accept their historic responsibility and apply the principle of “common but differentiated responsibilities.”  The lack of resources cannot be used as a pretext when annual military expenses amount to 1.7 trillion dollars; in the presence of such expenses neither development nor a stable and lasting peace will be possible.

Mr. President,

The reestablishment of diplomatic relations between Cuba and the United States of America, the opening of embassies and the policy changes announced by President Barack Obama with regard to our country constitute a major progress, which has elicited the broadest support of the international community.

The blockade against Cuba continues

However, the economic, commercial and financial blockade against Cuba persists, bringing damages and hardships on the Cuban people, and standing as the main obstacle to our country’s economic development, while affecting other nations due to its extraterritorial scope, and hurting the interests of American citizens and companies. Such policy is rejected by 188 United Nations member states that demand its removal.

Nevertheless, Cuba fulfilled the Millennium Development Goals and offered its modest cooperation to other developing nations in various areas, something we shall continue to do to the extent of our limited capabilities.

We shall never renounce honor, human solidarity and social justice, for these convictions are deeply rooted in our socialist society.

Thank you.

Source:  Raul Castro delivers speech at UN Sustainable Development Summit Cuban News Agency

Jamaica: A Tribute to Barrington Clarke -The People’s Doctor

barrington clarkeThe late Dr. Barrington Clarke is a Cuban-trained Jamaican medical doctor who devoted his life to providing quality care and comfort to the residents of the parish of Westmoreland in Jamaica.  He died recently in a car crash.

A Tribute to Dr. Barrington Clarke-The People’s Doctor and My Friend

by Michael Heslop

Sadness runs like a river for us knowing that Barry is gone from us,

Our sadness for Barry’s loss is frozen in time and grief,

Sadness strangles our happiness for his loss,

There is no news that is good for us  now that Barry is gone,

Darkness has consumed our lives for his passing,

There is no more sun to smile at us as Barry’s smiling face is gone from us,

So our faces are sad and tired with tears,

There is pain eating away at our hearts in his absence,

Our minds are shattered with grief because Barry is gone from us,

How can we go on with so much pain for his loss?

How can we live with so much loss?

How do we make sense of Barry’s immeasurable loss to his family, to his friends and the people he served?

What is the meaning of us when Barry is gone away from us?

There is no peace for us now with Barry’s sudden departure from us,

There is only torment for us without Barry that is frozen in agony and shock,

Above all else,

Barry, a silent servant of those with diminishing chances, has gone much too soon,


Our memories of you dear friend are forever brightly etched in our minds and hearts until our dying days,

There is only love and admiration for your simplicity, kindness and devotion for the lives you touched dear friend then, now and forever,

Farewell, dear friend until we meet again!

The late Dr. Barrington Clarke is a Cuban-trained Jamaican medical doctor who devoted his life to providing quality care and comfort to the residents of the parish of Westmoreland in Jamaica.