Blockade disrupts production of medicine for Cuba’s national health system

Source: Granma

The U.S. government’s financial persecution of Cuba, added to the economic, commercial and financial blockade, limits the industry’s operations and development

Author: Susana Antón | informacion@granmai.cu

April 27, 2021 08:04:24

Directors of Cuba’s Biotechnological and Pharmaceutical Industries Enterprise Group (BioCubaFarma) denounced the impact on their research and production of the economic, financial and commercial blockade imposed on Cuba by the U.S. government.

They reported that the criminal policy specifically affects the industry’s ability to acquire raw materials, spare parts and supplies to guarantee medicines for the National Health System, and limits the progress of research projects.

The directors noted that the cost of inputs needed to manufacture candidate anti-COVID vaccines has increased. They must now be purchased through third countries, since usual suppliers have declined to continue doing business with Cuba for fear of U.S. reprisals.

The industry is affected every year in terms of research, manufacturing and marketing of its products, and academic and scientific exchange is limited. The Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, for example, reported to Prensa Latina that, despite interest, it has not been able to export to the United States the medication Heberprot-p, the only treatment of its kind in the world for diabetic foot ulcers.

Global calls for US to end blockade of Cuba — Cuba Inside The World

International outrage at the continued US blockade against Cuba are at fever pitch, as protests in more than 50 cities across the world took place on Sunday, including in Pretoria. Demonstrators have demanded an end to the cruel US economic, commercial and financial blockade against Cuba, which has denied its people basic necessities, medicine and […]

Global calls for US to end blockade of Cuba — Cuba Inside The World

We are Cuba Viva, the country that resists and triumphs

Source: Granma

Speech by Miguel Mario Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, President of the Republic of Cuba during the closure of the Ninth Legislature of the National Assembly of People’s Power’s Sixth Ordinary Period of Sessions, at the Convention Center, December 17, 2020, Year 62 of the Revolution 

President Díaz-Canel condemned U.S. insistence on attempting to destroy us, while we insist on living and winning, stating, “Cuba Viva rose above our own possibilities. Photo: Estudios Revolución

Dear Army General Raúl Castro Ruz and compañeros of the Historic Generation;

Compañero Esteban Lazo, President of the National Assembly of People’s Power and of the Council of State;

Deputies;

Compatriots:

Cuba is honored to have compañero Gerardo Hernández Nordelo as a member of our Council of State, today, six years since his return to the homeland. (Applause)

A year ago, from this same podium, we said: They threw us to our death and we are alive! We imagined, at the time, that nothing could be worse than that escalation of measures to tighten the imperialist blockade and attack the sources of our energy supply, our medical brigades and any option of financing.

Until 2020 arrived, a year that has been as hard and challenging as few others, a product of the startling COVID-19 pandemic that, suddenly, and for months, closed the doors on our economy and life itself.

Everything was worse, since its impact was universal and reached unbearable levels, with the opportunistic tightening of the U.S. blockade, definitive proof of the maliciousness of our adversaries.

They insisted on trying to kill us; but we insisted on living and winning. Cuba Viva (alive) rose above our own possibilities.

This is the destiny of our people, growing in the face of challenges. This is in the genes of the Cuban nation, forged in the resistance and rebellion of slaves who refused to be enslaved and the will of immigrants full of dreams; this is the legacy of our independence leaders who burned their riches in the fire of Revolution, of the mothers who bore their children amidst the battle, and the strong creole identity that matured over the long years during which the homeland was only free in the scrub. It lies in the successive generations that shed their blood and planted seeds in unequal fights in the streets and mountains, until victory.

Read full speech here

Venezuela Announces Effective Medicine Against COVID-19

Source: TeleSUR

October 26 2020

Authorities said that the drug “has shown 100 percent inhibition of virus replication in vitro.”

Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro Sunday announced the discovery of a high-effective treatment capable of eliminating COVID-19 and pointed out that a drug will be presented to the World Health Organization (WHO) for certification.

RELATED: Venezuela Starts Clinical Trials of Russia’s COVID-19 Vaccine

The treatment, based on a molecule called TR-10, was designed by the Venezuelan Institute for Scientific Research (IVIC), which had been working on a cure for the past six months.

“this molecule has been tested for COVID-19, all the research has been done. This study lasted 6 months, resulting in 100 percent annihilation of the virus”, Maduro said.

Maduro congratulated the IVIC on “this great contribution to humanity” and assured that Venezuela will offer this treatment to the world. He also pointed out that the mass production of the drug will be facilitated through “international alliances.”

IVIC stressed that studies conducted so far show that the drug will not have any side effects on the patients and that it “does not affect healthy molecules in the body.”

Science & Technology Minister Gabriela Jimenez said that the studies were conducted on virus cells isolated from Venezuelan coronavirus patients and that the molecule is an ursolic acid derivative, which “has shown 100 percent inhibition of virus replication in vitro.”

Earlier this month, Venezuela became the first Latin American nation to receive Russia’s COVID-19 vaccine, with clinical trials involving 2,000 volunteers. Besides, Maduro announced that thousands of Chinese vaccines will come to the country over the next months.

Barbados PM Mottley Proposes New Social Contract

Source: TeleSUR

October 24 2020

Prime Minister Mia Amour Mottely says a new social partnership protocol needed to get through the COVID-19-related crisis.

Prime Minister Mia Mottley addresses the 82 Annual BLP Conference Rally

Prime Minister of Barbados, Mia Amour Mottley, is proposing a new social contract to get Barbadians through the COVID-19 related crisis.

RELATED: Barbados To Remove Queen Elizabeth II as Head of State

Speaking at the Barbados Labour Party’s 82nd Annual Conference on Saturday, October 25, Mottely said this new protocol would be between the government, the labour movement and the private sector and would involve civil society and non-governmental organizations.

This new contract would emphasize such principles as spreading the country’s available resources as widely and fairly as possible and ensuring that government contracts are done in a manner so as to maximize the state’s financial resources and optimize the employment of Barbadians.

The Prime Minister also made an appeal for Barbadians to choose locally produced goods when possible, and promoting national manufacturing and agriculture, while preserving and producing jobs as first priority.

Barbados is currently working with a social partnership protocol which dates back to 1991, thus the Caribbean leader said a new one is necessary to allow for the creation of new job opportunities though national infrastructure projects.

“This Government is prepared to walk the extra distance to take the difficult decisions to do the complex things that would allow us to take money, and instead of only giving people the opportunity to reap large dividend, to ensure that that money can  be spread as far and as wide as possible, in order for people to move forward,” she said.

“Barbados has to be managed by putting our people first at every step of the way. We have to be able to put jobs at the top of the list. We have to be able to support Barbadian production. Before you go to buy something, look for what was made in Barbados first because you are putting food on tables,” Mottley added.

The island state was among many which were severely hit economically when tourism came to a halt for several months amid the travel restrictions related to COVID-19.

The War on Cuba – Episode 3

Source: Youtube.com

Belly of The Beast is a media outlet that counters parachute journalism by providing stories directly from the island. The documentary series, The War on Cuba, gives an inside look on the effects of U.S. sanctions on Cuban people. Episode 3 explores Cuba’s healthcare program and medical brigades. We talk to doctors who served in Brazil, Bolivia and Italy, and of course the ones who held it down in Cuba during COVID-19.

Related: Why the Cuban Doctors should receive the Nobel Peace Prize

Black Alliance for Peace Demands of Candidate and Elected Officials

Source: Black Agenda Report

October 22 2020

by Glen Ford

Black Alliance for Peace Demands of Candidate and Elected Officials

The Black Alliance for Peace (BAP) has determined climate change and the interlocking issues of war, militarism, and the now-normalized and still illegal U.S. interventionism pose the greatest threats to humanity.

That is why we have launched a campaign demanding all 2020 candidates for local, state and federal offices in the United States take a position on U.S. interventionism (read our official statement ).

BAP’s campaign has been making the connection between U.S. foreign interventions and the domestic war on African people and other oppressed groups (see No Compromise, No Retreat: Defeat the War Against African/Black People in the U.S. and Abroad ).

DEMAND ALL 2020 CANDIDATES TAKE A STAND AGAINST WAR, MILITARISM AND REPRESSION

ALL CANDIDATES AND ELECTED OFFICIALS MUST:

  • Oppose the militarization of U.S. police through the Department of Defense’s 1033 program
  • Oppose Israeli training of U.S. police forces
  • Call for and work for the closure of the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM)
  • Advocate for the closure of 800+ U.S. foreign military bases
  • Oppose Trump’s “Operation Relentless Pursuit”
  • Commit to opposing all military, economic (including sanctions and blockades) and political interventions 
  • Advocate for an end to U.S. participation in NATO
  • Support efforts to cut the U.S. military budget by 50%
  • Demand the U.S. Department of Justice document and investigate the use of lethal force by domestic police officers
  • Commit to passing resolutions that commit the U.S. to uphold international law and the U.N. Charter
  • Sponsor legislation and/or resolutions to support the U.N. resolution on the complete global abolition of nuclear weapons
  • See our social media campaign @blackallianceforpeace  on Instagram.
  • Please encourage organizations you work with to endorse the pledge at BlackAllianceforPeace.com/candidate . There, orgs and individuals can also download and distribute the candidate pledge.
  • To help you mobilize any organizations you are involved with, find the campaign social media resources, an example email, and the candidate pledge attached below. Please share our 2020 Candidate Accountability Pledge with any aligned organizations or individuals to demand that our representatives oppose global militarism, imperialism and repression and tag us in any photos you share!

Black Is Back Coalition National Black Political Agenda for Self-determination

19 Points

  1. Black Women. With this National Black Political Agenda for Self-determination, the entire black or African nation declares our commitment to facilitate the elevation of African women to full, equal partnership in our struggle to create a new world of freedom and socialist democracy for a united black community and a world shorn forever of bosses and workers and slaves and masters and where African women will share the power to guarantee that African women are adequately empowered as equal architects of our new world.
  2. The Black Family. We demand an immediate halt to attacks on the Black family, a genocidal campaign rooted in the Atlantic Slave Trade and embedded in U.S. public and private policy. The United States has waged ceaseless war on the Black family: from the slaveholder that sold Africans as units of private property with no claims to family ties that he was bound to respect; to the denial of adult Black people the human right to protect our families. To the deliberate exclusion of heads of Black households from employment sufficient to provide for our families’ needs. To the systemic undermining of Black family structures through public “welfare” programs, such as the foster care system, in which Black children are disproportionately taken away from families and in which parental rights are being stripped from Black parents at an alarming rate. To the criminalization of all Black adults and children by the current mass Black incarceration regime. These intentionally-inflicted harms can only be repaired through the achievement of Black self-determination.
  3. Black Community Control Of The Police. We demand the immediate withdrawal of all domestic military occupation forces from Black communities. This democratic demand assumes the ability of Black people to mobilize for our own security and to redefine the role of the police so that it no longer functions as an agency imposed on us from the outside.
  4. Free All Political Prisoners. This includes “politicized” prisoners who may have originally been imprisoned for non-political reasons, but whose achieved political consciousness after imprisonment resulted in political acts or statements that were punished by specialized treatment and, sometimes, additional prison time. The definition of political prisoners is also extended to all those activists and militants who have been detained, or arrested during the most recent wave or resistance in places like Ferguson, Missouri; Baltimore, Maryland; and Milwaukee, Wisconsin. We reject the authority of the U.S. State to imprison persons whose imprisonment is rooted in their defense of Black people’s democratic and self-determination rights. Black people ourselves have the right and responsibility to designate those individuals and categories of prisoners to be immediately released from U.S. confinement and control.
  5. Roll Back and End Mass Black Incarceration. The U.S. mass Black incarceration regime is designed to contain, terrorize and criminalize an entire people, with the result that one out of eight prison inmates on the planet is a Black person in the U.S. As a minimal demand, every U.S. incarcerating authority must take immediate steps to roll back the national prison and jail population to 1972 levels, resulting in the release of four out of five current inmates in a process overseen by representatives of the imprisoned peoples’ communities––primarily people of color. As a maximum demand, all Africans must be immediately released from U.S. prisons and jails and our community given the democratic right to determine their fate.
  6. Reparations. We demand reparations consistent with international norms regarding redress for crimes against humanity. This includes the enslavement, colonialism and apartheid from which we suffer up to today. The totality of the repair, according to international law, must include policies, programs and projects that cease ongoing racial crimes; offer restitution and return us to wholeness; provide compensation that allows for a quality standard of life as well as individual and collective wealth creation; ensure satisfaction that returns our dignity and achieves rehabilitation for the heart, mind, body and spirit injuries resulting from the centuries of trauma and abuse.
  7. Self-defense. We declare our human right to armed self-defense from the violent attacks by white citizens and the assaults and murders by the domestic military occupation forces that include various police organizations. We fully recognize that in a struggle for self-determination any act of resistance by the oppressed is an act of self-defense.
  8. Nationalize the Banks And End Forever The Rule Of Capital, which has been central to the enslavement, extermination, colonization and denial of self-determination to peoples, worldwide. The process must begin with creation of a National Development Bank as the primary engine of commerce and development, and a Black-directed public bank to finance developmental paths chosen by Black communities.
  9. Full Employment and A National Minimum Income. We demand that the U.S. government ensure the provision of living wage jobs for all, and a guaranteed minimum income sufficient to support a life with dignity for every household and individual. This goal is immediately achievable and is intended not only to totally eliminate poverty––beginning with historically super-exploited and deprived communities––but to provide families and individuals with the resources and free time to fully contribute to our community’s social, cultural, economic and political development. This minimum demand for full employment and a national minimum income is not a concession to the existing system of capitalist economic domination, it is not an assumption of the permanence of the worker-boss relationship that helps to define capitalist exploitation. Our ultimate aim continues to be total black self-determination and socialist democracy that empowers the workers at the expense of the capitalist class.
  10. Right to Housing that is safe, secure, habitable and affordable, with freedom from forced eviction and the process of red lining, traditionally used to deny housing to black people. In addition, we demand reparations for the loss of billions of dollars in Black wealth due to home foreclosures stemming from the U.S. government-supported subprime mortgage scam. Just as the financial institutions that perpetrated the scam were rescued through the massive infusion of federal dollars, so too must the victims of this crime be made whole through a reparations process overseen by representatives of the families and communities that were most grievously harmed.
  11. Halt Gentrification through the empowerment, stabilization and restoration of traditional Black neighborhoods. Black people have the right to develop, plan and preserve our own communities. No project shall be considered “development” that does not serve the interests of the impacted population, nor should any people-displacing or otherwise disruptive project be allowed to proceed without the permission of that population. Peoples that have been displaced from our communities by public or private development schemes have the right to return to our communities, from New Orleans to Harlem.
  12. Black Business Must Be Nurtured by public development banks and protected from strangulation by corporate chains and monopolies. Black community planning agencies must protect and give preferential access to local entrepreneurs and cooperatives willing to operate in harmony with the community’s developmental plans, with a special emphasis on agriculture. Accordingly, we demand immediate reparations for Black farmers and an end to the land theft and discriminatory laws and practices used against Black farmers in the U.S.
  13. Right To Free Education Through Post-graduate Level. Public schools must meet the highest standards of excellence, under the supervision of educational boards directly elected by the communities they serve. We oppose both for-profit schooling and philosophies of teaching that put profit over human development, and we support democratic educational values and strategies that empower students and their communities to determine their own destinies. In the immediate term, Black people in the U.S. need education that facilitates our liberation from white supremacy and corporate hegemony.
  14. Free, Universal, Quality Healthcare For All by a public system that serves the health needs of entire communities, as well as individuals. Given that group health outcomes are closely linked to group political and economic status, past and present, a universal healthcare policy must provide both equal care to all, regardless of social and financial circumstances, and restorative care to historically oppressed communities, which require political self-determination to achieve social and biological wellness.
  15. Voting Rights. We believe the right to vote, to effectively express a preference for political candidates, parties or social policies, is an inalienable right, the deprival of which results in a kind of social death. In this sense, the vote belongs to communities and peoples, as much as to individuals. Therefore, in addition to an irrevocable right to vote, we demand the use of proportional representation voting systems that more effectively reflect Black people’s political aspirations and opinion. Winner-takes-all voting, as practiced in the U.S., is inherently undemocratic and incompatible with Black people’s right to self-determination.
  16. U.S. Out of Africa, Asia And Latin America, where U.S. imperialism and support for European colonialism has caused tens of millions of deaths and vast social and physical destruction. In addition to U.S. military withdrawal to within its own currently-recognized borders, we demand an end to U.S. proxy wars, drone attacks and political subversion of governments and people’s movements around the globe. Given that the U.S. was the first nuclear power, is the only country to have used nuclear weapons, and has never renounced First Strike, we demand U.S. nuclear disarmament without preconditions––unilaterally, if necessary.
  17. The West Must Pay Its Debt To Africa and Its Descendants Africa and the rest of the colonized world owes nothing to European and U.S. governments or financial institutions. Rather, reparations should be flowing in the other direction as payback for half a millennium of slavery, colonialism and imperialist underdevelopment. We reject the suggestion that debt “forgiveness” or “relief” should be considered as reparations. We demand the U.S. immediately drop all debt claims against the formerly-colonized regions of Africa, the Caribbean, Latin America, Asia and the Pacific, and begin negotiations for restitution to those countries.
  18. Free Palestine, Down With Israeli Apartheid. We demand recognition of all rights of the Palestinian people, including the right to an independent, sovereign Palestinian State and the right to return for all Palestinian refugees. The U.S. must immediately end all monetary aid, trade relationships and military cooperation with the Apartheid Zionist State of Israel, until that uniquely barbaric affront to human civilization is dismantled and abolished.
  19. Climate Change and Toxic Pollution Created By Capitalism Must End. We demand that the capitalist countries take responsibility for the destruction of the environment through policies based on the parasitic profit motive. We recognize that capitalist-induced climate change for our brothers and sisters on the continent of Africa is a matter of life and death due to the resulting drought, death, famine and starvation. We recognize that capitalist pollution and toxic waste dumps in Africa as well as in our communities throughout the U.S. endangers the health of African people everywhere. We recognize that the same system that built itself through colonial occupation, genocide and enslavement has no regard for the safety of the planet and the health of our communities.

BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at Glen.Ford@BlackAgendaReport.com .

See Full article here

In Bolivia, MAS is more

Source: Granma

October 20 2020

The Movement Toward Socialism’s Presidential candidate, Luis Arce, defeated his closest rival, October 19, by more than 20 percentage points

Author: Elson Concepción | internet@granma.cu

The Bolivian people demonstrated that truth, dignity and struggle were not lost with the military coup, nor with the atrocities committed by the de facto government installed last year.

The overwhelming victory of the Movement Toward Socialism’s (MAS) Presidential candidate, Luis Arce, who defeated his closest rival, October 19, by more than 20 percentage points, shattered the right wing illusion that they could join forces to win in a second round.

“Congratulations to MAS, which has recovered, at the polls, the power that was usurped by the oligarchy, with the complicity of the OAS and imperialist guidance,” tweeted Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, early on Election Day, welcoming the news, and emphasizing: “Cuba shares the joy for Luis Arce’s victory… the Bolivarian ideal is reborn.”

Toward the end of the afternoon, the winner responded with heartfelt thanks: “Thank you President Miguel Díaz-Canel. The united people decided, with the vote, the return of economic, social and political stability. Today we share the same joy, because our people have regained hope.”

The results of the vote expose the farce mounted after the 2019 elections by the Organization of American States (OAS), the Lima Group and the United States, which led to the military coup, the departure of Evo Morales and repression that cost the lives of more than 30 Bolivians.

So forceful was the will of the people that de facto President, Jeanine Áñez, had no choice but to recognize MAS. Arce, in his first public comments after the victory, emphasized that he intends to construct a government of national unity, and redirect the process of change without hatred, learning from and overcoming past errors.

Along with his running mate, David Choquehuanca, he has the moral authority and experience to reverse the neo-liberal nightmare imposed following the military coup. The economic disaster protected by Áñez, aggravated by poor management of the pandemic, widespread corruption, and the handing over of natural resources and factories to large corporations injured the dignity of the people who opted for the peace of the ballot box.

Once in office – but attentive to the shadowy plans with which enemies will surely react, inside and outside the country – the new government will face the complex, challenging task of uniting political forces; strengthening the people’s confidence; charting the course for economic and social development; correcting the response to COVID-19, to control outbreaks and deaths; and restoring sovereignty and the international relations destroyed by the coup plotters.

The War on Cuba Episode 2

Source: Youtube

Belly of The Beast is a media outlet that counters parachute journalism by providing stories directly from the island. The documentary series,

The War on Cuba, gives an inside look on the effects of U.S. sanctions on Cuban people.

Episode 2 explores the impact of the US-imposed “oil blockade” on Cuba and the ways in which Cubans are finding alternatives to scarcities caused by US sanctions.

CORRECTION: John Bolton was named National Security Advisor in 2018.