Gathering of Social Movements and Political Forces “FOR PEACE, UNITY AND THE INTEGRATION OF OUR AMERICA”

Invitation

V-Cumbre-Celac.jpgThe social and popular organizations, including trade unions, peasant, youth, student and organizations of solidarity with the peoples in Dominican Republic, call to all organizations of Latin America and the Caribbean to the Meeting of Social Movements and Political Forces “For Peace, Unity and the Integration of our America”

The Meeting of Social Movement and Political Forces will take place prior to the Fifth Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Community of Latin American and the Caribbean (CELAC). The purpose of the event is to raise our voices against imperialism, to demand sovereignty and self-determination and to defend peace, unity and the integration of our great country. The event will provide a space to reaffirm the popular mobilization and solidarity with all just causes that we defend.

As a result of the discussions that we will engage in, a statement will be issued and will be delivered to the presidents attending the V Summit of the CELAC, as our contribution to the preservation of the principles of community and as a contribution to peace, unity and the integration of our America.

Articulación Nacional Campesina

Justicia Climática

Comité Solidaridad con Venezuela

Movimiento Caamañista

Confederación Nacional Unidad Sindical-CNUS

Centro de Solidaridad para el Desarrollo de la Mujer, CE MUJER

Frente Estudiantil Flavio Suero-FEFLAS

Movimiento de Mujeres Trabajadoras

Asociación Nacional de Enfermería-ASONAEN

Fuerza de la Revolución- FR

Cloc-Via Campesina

La Multitud

Confederación Nacional Mujeres  del Campo-CONAMUCA

Partido Comunista del Trabajo- PCT

Juventud Caribe

Fundación Francisco Alberto Caamaño

Campaña Dominicana de Solidaridad con Cuba-CDSC.

Unión Trabajadores Cañeros- UTC

Fundación Máximo Gómez

Gathering of Social Movements and Political Forces
For the Integration and Unity of Latin American and the Caribbean

When:  January 23 and 24
Place: Pedro Mir Library, Autonomous University

Contact: Ivan Rodriguez
Phone. 809-962-5026
Email: leticiaprimero@yahoo.es

Agenda

Monday, January 23

9:00 a.m.  Welcoming and general introduction of the meeting.
10:00 a.m. Panel (3):

  • Topic: The sovereignty of the peoples of our America
  • Topic: Human rights for all men and women
  • Topic: Peace, unity and the integration of Latin American and the Caribbean

12:30 p.m. Lunch
3:00 p.m.  Approval of the Declaration in support of CELAC
8:30 p.m.  Cultural Gala

Tuesday, Janurary 24

9:30 a.m.  Solidarity Event

Obama Declares Cuba and Venezuela National Security Threats

The executive order allows the president to use national emergency resources to fight the threat, such as enforcing sanctions against the country.

 raul y obama in cuba.jpg

In March, Barack Obama became the first U.S. president to visit Cuba in 88 years. | Photo: Reuters

Consistent with their new strategy of planning and working for regime change in Cuba through indirect and covert means,  the US government, through President Obama, has extended for another year economic sanctions against Cuba despite abstaining recently in the vote to end the blockade at the General Assembly of the United Nations.

A national emergency

The United States declared a national emergency to deal with perceived “threats” in Cuba and Venezuela on Friday, along with Iran, Libya, Ukraine, Zimbabwe and countries Washington claims “support terrorism.” The declarations effectively extend for another year economic sanctions already in place.

RELATEDObama Declares Venezuela a Threat to National Security

President Barack Obama warned that one of the main national security threats to the U.S. is mass undocumented immigration from Cuba, days after he ended the “Wet Foot, Dry Foot” policy, which granted residency to Cubans who arrived in the U.S. without visas, reported Sputnik.

Obama used an executive order in March 2015 to declare that the situation in Venezuela has “not improved.” He cited human rights violations, persecution of political dissenters and restrictions on the freedom of the press.

When a national emergency was declared against Venezuela in 2015, Obama also ordered sanctions against seven Venezuelan officials, saying they would be banned from traveling to the United States and any and all assets and properties belonging to them would be frozen.

Under the National Emergencies Act sanctions must be renewed every year, however, the executive orders Obama signed Friday are not set to expire until two months into the Trump administration. The move appears to suggest that the Obama administration is concerned that the renewals could get overlooked in the expected chaos of Trump’s White House. If he chooses to, Trump could rescind the sanctions by executive order.

OPINIONThe Audacity of Obama’s Farewell Address

The extension of U.S. sanctions against Iran come despite the historic agreement reached last year between the two countries. The extension of sanctions against Russia, imposed in response to their actions in Ukraine and Crimea, come amidst recent hysteria about suspected interference in the U.S. election by the Putin regime. Some have speculated that Trump’s pick for foreign secretary, Rex Tillerson, may soon move to remove the sanctions given they block a multi-billion dollar project he negotiated with Russia while CEO of ExxonMobile.

The United States currently has 31 officially declared national emergencies.

Sources:  TeleSUR, Curacao Chronicle

As the Democrats Press for War, the Left Must Demand Peace and Social Transformation

Source:  Black agenda Report
January 11 2017
by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

“The Left’s job is to oppose the warmongers, not band with them.”

as the democrats press for war.jpg

The Democrats are whipping up war hysteria and “cynically seeking to harness people’s well-founded fears of Trump’s domestic policies in order to sabotage the possibility of a relaxation of international tensions.” Some folks have taken the bait. “Leftists that think they can exploit the split between the Trump troglodytes (fascists) and the Obama/Clinton/Old Line GOP War Party (fascists) will ultimately wind up caught in a pincer between the two.”

 

The most imminent threats to human survival

As is ordained by law, at the end of the week much of President Obama’s legacy will become Donald Trump’s powers, including the power to detain Americans indefinitely (forever) without trial or charge, an authority the First Black President secured from Congress in 2011. Obama’s wars become Trump’s wars, which, if Trump follows Obama’s example — and if he succumbs to the furious pressures of leading Democrats, old line Republicans and an openly aggressive and “politicized” national security establishment — will be expanded and multiplied. The most imminent threats to human survival under a Trump presidency flow, not from the billionaire’s own belligerent instincts and unpredictability, but from the momentum of Obama’s policies of ever-escalating confrontation with Russia and China — his deliberate “pivots” towards brinksmanship on all the geopolitical fronts of Empire.

“U.S. policy is to militarily intimidate the world into submission — a gangster’s game.”

It is the Democrats that have whipped up war hysteria and a new McCarthyism, attacking Trump from the Right to force him to keep Obama’s imperial “surge” moving forward. With western economic power fading fast, U.S. policy is to militarily intimidate the world into submission — a gangster’s game. For the Lords of Capital and their national security servants, Obama’s greatest achievement was to put the U.S. back on the offensive after George Bush’s defeat and humiliation in Iraq. From their perspective, Obama has already “Made America Great Again” with his “humanitarian” military intervention doctrine, trampling every principle of international law, including the sovereignty of nations, in Libya and Syria. Trump’s talk of “deal-making” with Russia and China threatens to slow the imperial offensive.

The ruling class realignment that congealed in the Clinton campaign’s Big Tent sees any relaxation of U.S. military pressures against Beijing and Moscow as a prelude to imperial collapse. For them, de-escalation is an existential threat. They don’t give a damn about the damage Donald Trump intends to inflict on what remains of the U.S. social safety net — and neither did Obama, who came into office scheming to forge a Grand Austerity Bargain with the Republicans. And, if his preventive detention bill were not enough, Obama’s support for creation of a “Ministry of Truth” — officially, a joint governmental commission to police the media for “foreign disinformation and manipulation” — screams out to high heaven that protection of civil liberties is not part of their agenda, either. Internet publications like Black Agenda Report, cited by the Washington Post as “fake news” and “minions” of Russia, will be punished for deviance from imperial “exceptionalism” and aggressive war policies.

“Trump’s talk of ‘deal-making’ with Russia and China threatens to slow the imperial offensive.”

This is all about war. The Democrats, massed corporate media and the fully mobilized legions of spooks and disinformation specialists are cynically seeking to harness people’s well-founded fears of Trump’s domestic policies in order to sabotage the possibility of a relaxation of international tensions. Leftists that think they can exploit the split between the Trump troglodytes (fascists) and the Obama/Clinton/Old Line GOP War Party (fascists) will ultimately wind up caught in a pincer between the two.

The ruling class is, indeed, in an acute political crisis, to match its larger, systemic crisis. The duopoly system that has served the rich so well for most of the history of the Republic has come undone, split at the seams, endangering the corporate-imposed national “consensus” on empire and war. The War Party, deploying every disinformation trick in the book, foments anti-Russian hysteria to create a mass base for its imperial agenda. They point fingers at phantom “minions” of Moscow in order to make leftists into political foot soldiers of the Pentagon, Langley and the military industrial complex. MoveOn.org moves to their beat, as does the entire Congressional Black Caucus, including Barbara Lee (D-CA), the nation’s most left-leaning congressperson. Fine; they are duty-bound to go down with the Bad Ship Hillary. But the social movement activists that allow themselves to be swept up in the Democrats’ offensive-from-the-Right against Trump are the biggest dupes of all.

“They point fingers at phantom ‘minions’ of Moscow in order to make leftists into political foot soldiers of the Pentagon, Langley and the military industrial complex.”

The Democrats are incapable of agitating for anything more than defense of Barack Obama’s “legacy” — chiefly, his doomed Affordable Care Act, which was already disintegrating from its own contradictions and whose final demise will create an acute crisis that cries out for single payer health insurance, the outcome Obamacare was designed to forestall. The Left should be making that demand right now, rather than helping Democrats join with Republicans to patch together an even worse private-based system, down the road.

The precariat economy that is emerging from Obama’s post-Meltdown restructuring, in which 94 percent of the new “jobs” are so contingent, inadequate and insecure they can hardly be called jobs at all, demands a National Minimum Income – a potentially transformative leap that the Left should be loudly championing, right now.

Five years after Occupy Wall Street, the Left should finally call for the nationalization — not fragmentation — of the big banks, and creation of a public development bank to rebuild the national infrastructure without going into debt to private capital. Anybody that doubts masses of people will join in this demand doesn’t know their fellow Americans and their deep hatred for Wall Street banks.

“The social movement activists that allow themselves to be swept up in the Democrats’ offensive-from-the-Right against Trump are the biggest dupes of all.”

Ferguson set the new Black movement on a course of confrontation with the Mass Black Incarceration State, in all its manifestations. Obama’s legacy — and that of the Black misleadership class that has collaborated with mass Black incarceration for two generations – is to intensify intelligence gathering in Black communities, while dispersing Black population concentrations through gentrification. Trump or no Trump, there is no avoiding the logic of the movement’s central grassroots demand: Black community control of the police. Non-Blacks on the Left must support that demand.

There is no such thing as a genuine Left that supports imperialism, but there are plenty of fakers that do, including phony socialists. How sad — and maddening, at the same time — that a Donald Trump can speak of “cutting down” on “regime change,” while purported leftists rally to Obama’s “humanitarian” military interventionism, the lip-stick on the imperial pig. The Democrats want war so badly, they are fouling their bourgeois institutional nest and bearing down hard from the Right to prevent any let-up in tensions with Russia and China. The Left’s job is to oppose the warmongers, not to band with them.

There is no mystery to what the moment demands. What’s needed is Left movements for social transformation, not a farcical, Democrat-led anti-Trump pseudo-movement, whose real agenda is war.

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

Latin American left looks to strengthen unity in Nicaragua

Source: Granma
January 8 2017

by Redacción Internacional | informacion@granma.cu

Representatives of various left political parties and groups from across Latin America are meeting in Nicaragua, reviewing an official proposal to strengthen unity among progressive movements in the region

President Daniel Ortega and first lady  Rosario Murillo greet supporters during celebrations to mark the 37th anniversary of the Sandinista Revolution at the Juan Pablo II square in Managua

Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo representing the Sandinista Front For National Liberation (FSLN) won the country’s presidential elections last November 6. Photo: el 19 digital

Managua.—Representatives of various leftist political parties and groups from across Latin America are meeting in Nicaragua, reviewing an official proposal to strengthen unity among progressive movements in the region.

According to sources closely linked to the event, today, Monday January 9, participants will consider proposals for the Consensus of Our America – a programmatic platform designed to combat actions by regional neoliberal oligarchies – which will be presented to the Sao Paulo Forum working group, according to Prensa Latina.

Unity vital in the present situation

After a year which saw Argentina elect a conservative government, a parliamentary coup staged in Brazil, and hostile media campaign against Venezuela, it is vital for social movements to unite, given such a complex state of affairs, emphasized event organizers.

At least 40 delegates from groups from over 10 countries are scheduled to attend the meeting.

The Sao Paulo Forum

The Sao Paulo Forum was founded by Brazil’s Workers Party in 1990 in the city of the same name, to unite efforts by leftist parties and movements in response to the ideological rupture created by the fall of the socialist camp in Europe and the advance of neoliberalism in countries across Latin American and Caribbean.

With Comandante Daniel Ortega set to be inaugurated on January 10 – after winning Nicaragua’s presidential elections for a third term on November 6, 2016, with 72.5% of the vote – leaders and representatives of political parties and social movements will come together in Managua, where from January 11-12, the meeting of the Sao Paulo Forum working group will take place.

March of the torches across all of Cuba

Source: Granma
January 16 2017

by María Elena Álvarez Ponce | internet@granma.cu

The people united will march the night of January 28, on the eve of the anniversary of José Martí’s birth, from San Antonio to Maisí, with Fidel as always

march of the torches in cuba.jpg

Photo: Yaimí Ravelo

The night of January 28

Havana.–From San Antonio to Maisí, for Cuba and Martí, and as always with Fidel, the people united will march the night of January 28, in a tribute to José Martí, on the eve of the anniversary of his birth.

In 168 municipalities 

Confirming the news was Susely Morfa González, member of the Communist Party of Cuba’s Central Committee and the Council of State, first secretary of the Young Communists League (UJC). She reported to the press that marches will take place in 168 municipalities across the country, in which men, women, youth, children, workers, older adults, retirees, homemakers, veteran combatants, and students will fill the nation’s streets to honor the national hero.

The demonstrations of patriotism will begin in unison shortly after 10pm on the night of the 27th, in an unequivocal show of support for the Revolution by a people which is true to its roots, proud of its history, conscious of all that has been accomplished, and confident in the future being constructed, she said.

World Festival of Youth

Together we will raise torches, the flame of life and liberty, as Fidel and his generation did on the first such march held in 1953, Morfa explained, departing from the University of Havana’s Grand Staircase and culminating at the Fragua where the youthful José Martí was imprisoned.

The Young Communist League leader additionally noted that the march will take place after a meeting of the national committee making preparations for Cuba’s participation in the upcoming World Festival of Youth, set to take place this coming October in the Russian city of Sochi. (ACN)

Marabu charcoal: First Cuban export to the U.S. in 50 years

As Cuban fields are being cleared of Marabu, U.S. citizens will now be able to purchase this quality variety of charcoal. On January 18, two days before U.S. President-elect, Donald Trump, is sworn into office, the first 40 ton shipment will arrive to the U.S. from Cuba, representing a historic occasion – the first export of Cuban goods to the U.S. in five decades.

This is the result of an agreement signed between the CubaExport entity and U.S. Coabana Trading LLC company, which took place at midday, January 5, at Cuba’s Ministry of Foreign Trade and Investment (Mincex), following a lengthy negotiation process.

The accord was signed by director of CubaExport, Isabel O’Reilly, and President of Coabana Trading LLC, Scott Gilbert.
“This will be the first contract, but we hope to continue our relations for many years to come and not just with vegetable charcoal, but other exportable products such as honey and coffee,” explained O’Reilly speaking to Cubadebate.

The product will be sold at 420 USD per ton, the highest price achieved by CubaExport in over 10 years marketing this product, which normally sells on the international market for between 340 and 380 USD, “but with the U.S. we were able to get a higher price,” added O’Reilly.

Meanwhile, Scott Gilbert noted that it was a privilege to be visiting the island, and described the agreement as important for both countries and a step further toward building bridges between the U.S. and Cuba.

Regarding Donald Trump’s presidency, to begin January 20, Gilbert noted that if his administration supports free trade, then there should be no problem establishing these types of agreements.

The process to export Cuban marabu charcoal starts with agricultural cooperatives which cut down the material to clear the way for their crops. This is then sold to another entity which processes and prepares it for sale, with CubaExport responsible for handling export procedures.

In addition to CubaExport, Cuban charcoal is also marketed by Cimex, Cítricos Caribes and Alcona, which between them export a maximum of 80,000 tons a year to between five and six countries. Meanwhile, efforts are currently underway to branch out to the UK and German markets.

Marabu charcoal has a high calorific power, making it one of the best in the world. It is produced in natural wood burning stoves and does not contribute to deforestation. (Cubadebate)

Cuban youth have decided to live in our free Cuba

Source:  Granma
January 4, 2017

by: Jennifer Bello Martínez | internet@granma.cu

jennifer bello feu cuba 2.jpg

Remarks by Jennifer Bello Martínez, a member of the Council of State and President of the Federation of University Students in José Martí Plaza de la Revolución, January 2, 2017, “Year 59 of the Revolution”

Compatriots,

Friends from around the world accompanying us today,

People of Cuba:

Photo: Anabel Díaz


The landing of the Granma  expeditionaries

Called together by history, the present and future, we come together at this historic Plaza only two days after the 58th anniversary of the triumph of the Cuban Revolution, to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the heroic uprising in Santiago de Cuba, the landing of the Granma expeditionaries, and Revolutionary Armed Forces Day.

This celebration has special motives which, for every Cuban, represent commitment, will, and confidence in the future of the socialist Revolution true to the ideas of Fidel and Martí.

We dedicate this commemoration to Comandante en Jefe of the Cuban Revolution and our youth, heirs and continuators of our people’s struggles and victories.

A united people

What will take place this morning, is only possible because there exists a united people, the ultimate expression of a Revolution of workers; campesions; students; soldiers; noble men and women who are proud of this society.

Last December marked two years since the announcement of the decision by Cuba and the United States to re-establish diplomatic relations and initiate a process toward the normalization of bilateral relations.

We would not have arrived at this historic moment if it were not for the resistance of the Cuban people, their loyalty to the ideals and principles that have guided them throughout their history as a nation.

Demanding the lifting of the blockade

Much remains to be done to advance in this process, which will be long and as part of which complicated problems accumulated over more than 50 years must be solved. Cuba will not stop demanding the lifting of the blockade, which causes damage and deprivation to our people, nor stop demanding the return of the territory occupied by the United States Naval Base in Guantánamo, against the will of the Cuban government and people. Neither will it stop demanding an end to subversive and interventionist programs intended to provoke changes in the political, economic and social order freely chosen by our people.

A demonstration of this has been the mobilization and energetic participation of students and the entire society, which like a hornet’s nest, we proclaim before the world to defend every conquest. The vanguard will continue to be the vanguard, forever patriots and anti-imperialists.

Bastión 2016

Just as Army General Raúl Castro Ruz remarked in his speech last September 17, during the 17th Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement held in Venezuela: “Cuba will never renounce any of its principles or compromise its sovereignty and independence. Cuba will not cease defending its revolutionary and anti-imperialist ideals, or supporting the self-determination of all peoples.
As part of the country’s defense preparation we conducted the Bastión 2016 Strategic Exercise, in order to update and carry out actions outlined in defense plans and to combat different enemy actions. Bastión 2016, an essential element to the implementation of the doctrine of “War by the Entire People,” once again demonstrated the unbreakable will of the Cuban people to defend their sovereignty and preserve the work of the Revolution.

Always at the ready to conquer what is to come

Precisely these principles have been those for which we have struggled since the cry of independence, and we are showing this with this Military Review and March of the Combatant People, which bears within it our history, our symbols, the rebelliousness, and heroism of this people. Marching by will be the mambises, (independence fighters) who the homeland will contemplate with pride, on their horses and with their machetes of liberation.

A replica of the Granma yacht, representing the feat accomplished by those 82 expeditionaries who made possible the dream of national liberation, this time will set sail upon a joyful sea of children, the next generation waving their blue neckerchiefs, with the commitment to be the future and be always at the ready to conquer what is to come.

In tight ranks, four columns of youth will march, representing those brave guerillas who created the Rebel Army; from their blood the new homeland emerged: free, combative, and invincible.

Recalling the epic of Girón and the Literacy Campaign

The epic of Girón, decisive for the nascent revolution, will also be recalled. Parading through the Plaza will be 90 combatants from that heroic battle, representing the Rebel Army, the police, and the newly formed National Revolutionary Militias. The decision to bear any cost necessary for the cause of socialism continues to motivate the millions of Cubans who populate this island.

Today, as well, we remember the Literacy Campaign work done by children and youth, with love and bravery, represented by 90 students from the Enrique José Varona University of Pedagogical Sciences, wearing the uniforms which illuminated this plaza when our people raised the banner proclaiming, before the world, that Cuba was an illiteracy-free territory.

Also marching will be seven blocs of combatants who completed missions in more than 40 nations, where they served as examples of respect for the dignity and sovereignty of the country. The confidence gained in the hearts of these peoples, was the fruit of the impeccable conduct of our soldiers.

Our girls and boys are hope, the most pure essence of the Revolution’s work. Representing all of the country’s children here are young members of La Colmenita, (Children’s theater company) little hardworking bumblebees who share love, peace, and wisdom with their honey.

Committees for the Defense of the Revolution

Under the gaze of José Martí, our troops composed of youth from the Revolutionary Armed Forces and Ministry of the Interior academies; from the three valuable armies; soldiers, and militias will march, and pay heartfelt tribute to the thousands of combatants who keep the peace and provide tranquility for the Cuban people.

Representing the popular character of the country’s defense, the provincial, municipal, and neighborhood Committees for the Defense of the Revolution will parade, along with Production and Defense Brigades and our university militias, who respond to the nation’s call: Present!

The people of Havana, representing all of Cuba, will fill the Plaza de la Revolución with the responsibility to continue struggling for our sovereign, independent, socialist, democratic, prosperous and sustainable nation.

Since October 10, 1868

Younger generations, as symbols of life, love, human justice, and Revolution, will demonstrate their commitment to the homeland, our Party, to Fidel and Raúl. We walk these streets with the enthusiasm and the drive that characterize Cuban youth, committed to defending this sky and our only flag.

Since October 10, 1868, Cuban men and women have decided to live in a free, sovereign, independent Cuba. No one can make us forget our history, or the symbols of this people’s resistance.

We make our own the ideas of the historic leader of the Revolution, expressed in the plenary session of the 7th Congress of the Communist Party of Cuba: “To our sisters and brothers of Latin America and the world, we must convey to you that the Cuban people will triumph … We will set forth on the path and perfect what we must perfect, with absolute loyalty and our forces united, like Martí, Maceo, and Gómez, in an unstoppable march.”

Eternal glory to those who have died for the homeland!

Long live the Cuban Revolution!

Long live Fidel, forever!

Viva Cuba Libre!