The world against the blockade

Source:  Granma
October 26 2016

191 0.jpg

For the first time at the UN General Assembly, not a single country voted to continue the genocidal policy imposed on Cuba by the US government.  The result of the vote – 191 in favor and two abstentions – is a triumph of the heroic resistance of the Cuban people.

The United Nations General Assembly voted today, October 26, to approve the Cuban resolution expressing the need to put an end to the over 50-year economic commercial and financial blockade imposed by the United States on the island.
A total of 191 countries voted in favor of the resolution, with none voting against, and only two abstentions, for the first time ever – the United States and Israel.
The position of the United States expressed this morning is a positive sign, stated Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez at the UN headquarters, but the truth is that the blockade persists and impacts Cuba’s current reality.
The result of the vote – 191 in favor and two abstentions – is a triumph of the heroic resistance of the Cuban people.

U.S. subversion against Cuba continues

Source:  Granma
October 24 2016

by Sergio Alejandro Gómez |

Even while the ink of Barack Obama’s new Presidential Directive on Cuba is not yet dry, an announcement for new subversive projects against Cuba was published on the U.S. State Department website

us subversion against cuba.jpg

Funding announcement posted on U.S. State Department website. Photo:

If you mix the same ingredients any number of times, the result will always be the same. The United States, however, is attempting to change its Cuba policy while maintaining the same subversive recipe.

Even while the ink of Barack Obama’s new Presidential Directive on Cuba is not yet dry, an announcement for new subversive projects against the island, containing all usual ingredients of the typical aggressive and interventionist policies of the past, was published on the U.S. State Department website on October 21.

Using the guise of assistance projects

The Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, is offering funding opportunities for projects which supposedly promote “democratic changes” in the spheres of civil, political and labor rights in Cuba.

Washington has historically used the guise of assistance projects to hide their subversive plans, not only against Cuba, but also communities which do not respond to the geo-strategic interests of the U.S.; while the country maintains relations with some of the nations with the worst human rights records on this planet.

The Bureau is offering those interested in interfering in the internal affairs of the island, some 5.6 million dollars, subject to availability.


We want to engage “openly and honestly with the Cuban people,” stated U.S. National Security Advisor, Susan Rice, on October 14, in regards to the new presidential policy directive; adding that in order to do so, the so-called “democracy assistance” programs in Cuba will be made more “transparent.”

The final part of the directive contains terms almost identical to those used by various government bodies, in particular the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), which funnels billions of dollars into projects aimed at defending Washington’s interests around the world.

According to the directive, “The USAID will co-lead efforts with State to ensure that democracy programming is transparent and consistent with programming in other similarly situated societies,” as if the mere act of making these programs more transparent, without changing their subversive nature, would automatically make them acceptable for Cuba.

Off-island activities

The new announcement helps to dispel doubts surrounding euphemisms by the U.S. government: “DRL’s programmatic emphasis aligns with the U.S. government policy to promote human rights in Cuba,” reads the announcement. It continues by noting that “DRL prefers creative approaches” to fulfilling its objectives and that approved activities “should have potential for short-term impact leading to long-term sustainable reforms.”
Among activities typically funded by the DRL the announcement highlights: “Capacity building on and off the island. Off-island activities sometimes include short-term fellowships.”

To promote regime change

Cuba recently denounced the true intentions behind the World Learning program, offering surreptitious summer scholarships to Cuban youth and organized outside of the state apparatus, which aim to create an alternative leadership movement to promote regime change on the island.

“Access to software that would be easily accessible in an open society, or the adaptation of software for the Cuban technological environment,” is another priority area.
The most recent example of such projects was the case of ZunZuneo revealed by U.S. news agency AP, in 2014.

Cuban Twitter

USAID financed the creation of an alternative cell-phone messaging service, which came to be known as the Cuban Twitter, targeting the island’s youth with apparently inoffensive messages on sports and culture. However, the app was really designed to create a platform among this sector of Cuban society, which could be used to launch future destabilization initiatives.

According to the DRL announcement, projects can be submitted by “a U.S.-based or foreign-based non-profit organization/non-governmental organization (NGO), or a public international organization,” among others.

However, the document clearly states that no project involving the participation of the island’s legitimate institutions will be accepted: “DRL does not fund programs for Cuba that are directed towards supporting Cuban government institutions, individuals employed by those institutions, or organizations controlled by government institutions.”

Supposed objectives

The clearest demonstration of the masked interests of DRL funded programs lies in their supposed objectives on the island: “Programs should support the realization in Cuba of the rights and principles enshrined within the following Articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,” including “the prohibition of torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment…The right to a free and fair trial before an independent and impartial tribunal; the right to privacy; the freedom of movement within one’s country; the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion;” in addition to “the right to work in conditions of dignity with fair remuneration and the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of the workers’ interests.”

The announcement also notes that the “DRL strives to ensure its projects inter alia advance the rights and uphold the dignity of the most vulnerable, marginalized or at-risk populations.”


Anyone who stays informed as to what’s happening in Cuba, and is aware of the negative propaganda continually published by the mass media, will know that the island’s recently approved Labor Code is at the vanguard of global labor rights.

In Cuba, men and women receive equal pay for equal work, while employee maternity, paternity, and social security rights, which private sector workers also enjoy, are achievements which are still only a dream in various other countries across the world.

The only acts of torture perpetrated in Cuba are carried out in the territory illegally occupied by the Naval Base in Guantánamo, under U.S. control, where 60 individuals are currently being held, all deprived of their most basic legal rights.

African American minority in the US targeted 

It seems like a waste of money, even for a power like the United States, to allocate 5.6 million dollars to helping supposedly excluded minorities in Cuba, when African Americans in the U.S. are being targeted by police and the unemployment rate among this sector is double that of the country’s Caucasian population.

Neither does the U.S. recognize the Convention of the Rights of Migratory Workers and their Families, employing degrading practices in blatant violation of human rights against those traveling to the country in order to improve their economic situation.

U.S. maintains the highest child poverty rate

While the nation’s rich continue to amass more wealth, the U.S. maintains the highest child poverty rate among all industrialized countries, and continues to violate the rights of thousands of migrant minors; indiscriminately separated from their parents.

Washington should take care when using such explosive ingredients in its failed subversive recipe against Cuba, as it won’t be the first time the mix ends-up blowing up in their hands. One might think that Obama’s policy change toward Cuba would include abandoning “failed policies,” but everything seems to indicate that some powerful sectors of the U.S. refuse to “leave the past behind.”

Black UK Soccer Player Rejects MBE Honor Title

Source:  TeleSUR
October 8 2016

It would be a “betrayal to all of the Africans who have lost their lives, or who have suffered as a result of the Empire.”

Howard Gayle.jpg

Many label Gayle as an activist who fights racism in and out of the soccer field. | Photo: Liverpool Echo

The first black men to play for English club Liverpool FC criticized the honor title for celebrating imperialism.

The first Black soccer player to have played for Liverpool F.C. said Friday the word ‘Empire’ should be removed from British honor titles to be more inclusive for minorities living in the U.K.

RELATED:  This New Restaurant in Australia ‘Celebrates’ Empire, Genocide

Betrayal to all of the Africans

The 58-year-old ex-star Howard Gayle turned down a Member of the Order of the British Empire this year as he argued it would be a “betrayal to all of the Africans who have lost their lives, or who have suffered as a result of the Empire.”

Gayle was nominated as MBE for working against racism in soccer as part of the “Kick It Out” campaign. He said he declined it “for the reason that my ancestors would be turning in their graves after how Empire and colonialism had enslaved them.”

The former player told the BBC he was surprised his decision turned into a story when he turned down the title.

Howard Gayle 2.jpg

Gayle in a match against Bayern Munich, European Cup Semi-Final, 1981 | Source: Liverpool Echo

“If they want to be inclusive and accepting of Black people around the U.K. and the Commonwealth, then they need to change the title of it–it’s an exclusive club being an MBE or OBE or one of those gongs.”

ANALYSIS:  5 Little-Known Facts About World War I and Non-White People

John Lennon

“A lot of people around the world contacted me to say they accepted my decision and that the title of MBE did rankle.”

King George V created the titles OBE and MBE during World War I to give out to civilians and military personnel for their outstanding contributions.

John Lennon returned his MBE after four years in 1965 in protest against the U.K.’s role in the Vietnam war, while poet Benjamin Zephaniah rejected an OBE in 2003 saying it represented colonial brutality and slavery. David Bowie refused an MBE as well, saying: “I seriously don’t know what it’s for.”

WikiLeaks Reveals What Clinton Really Thinks About US-Cuba Thaw

Source:  TeleSUR
October 14 2016

The leaked emails also provide further detail on how Hillary Clinton’s team dealt with the Benghazi hearing and other campaign concerns. 

hillary clinton plagued with scandals.jpg

Hilary Clinton has been plagued by email scandals. | Photo: Reuters

The latest batch of hacked emails from Hillary Clinton’s campaign Chairman John Podesta were released by whistleblowing group WikiLeaks early Friday. The newly-released emails add to the thousands already made public that detail the inner-workings of Clinton and her staff.

RELATED:   Clinton Cozier with Big Interests Than Thought, Emails Show

On an email thread discussing a party with policy reform group Engage Cuba, Podesta’s friend Luke Albee proposed last year that Clinton deliver a Cuba speech in Miami to “be seen as future oriented” and “brave” even though “she wouldn’t be brave to do this.”

One month later, Clinton delivered the speech. A draft, shared in a later email exchange, made her position clear on Fidel Castro:

“But as Secretary of State, it became clear to me that our policy of isolating Cuba was strengthening the Castros’ grip on power rather than weakening it—and harming our broader efforts to restore American leadership across the hemisphere,” she said.

Not a gift but a threat

“They have it backwards: Engagement is not a gift to the Castros—it’s a threat to the Castros. An American embassy in Havana isn’t a concession—it’s a beacon. Lifting the embargo doesn’t set back the advance of freedom – it advances freedom where it is most desperately needed.”

RELATEDClinton Emails Reveal Direct US Sabotage of Venezuela

Harnessing the business community on Cuba

Two weeks after Albee’s email, he sent another requesting a meeting with Valerie Jarrett, President Barack Obama’s senior advisor, “so we can talk through harnessing the business community” on Cuba.

Just below, he threw in that his PAC would contribute US$5,000—at another party.

A few months earlier, Clinton was grappling with a House investigation into her emails regarding the attack on the U.S. embassy in Benghazi.

Her staff discussed a draft of her speech, likely for the House committee hearing, with two lawyers advising her on the emails looped in. Her campaign manager Robby Mook raised a red flag:

“The one thing in here I feel strongly about is that she NOT include the part about meeting with other former secretaries and that they told her she should do this. I recognize that the boss will have to approve, but if she wants to include that, I’d say we should discuss with her. I worry it opens a major can of worms and deflects the heat in a potentially unhelpful way.”

Benghazi – shifting the blame

A few months later, in an email from Podesta to Clinton discussing her Benghazi hearing, Podesta suggests shifting the blame onto the Republican Party. Podesta suggested that Clinton’s team could ask why the Benghazi committee was “spending over US$4 million dollars and two years on a tragedy involving the death of four Americans” while Republicans were not concerned about thousands of American lives lost to firearms, cigarette smoking, work injuries and cancer.

The email stated that the hearing “is about PEOPLE and not about Hillary Clinton” and that this approach would put “Benghazi Republicans on the defensive while siding with Americans.

During her time as U.S. secretary of state, Clinton took responsibility for a number of security breaches stemming from her use of a personal email account for classified communications during the hearing set up to investigate the 2012 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

RELATED:   WikiLeaks Publish 2,000 Hillary Clinton Campaign Emails

Deleted emails

The latest leak also details how Clinton’s staff prepared for the hearing through a number of draft statements and how they planned to account for deleted emails.

“Off-record: If pressed on whether we are essentially admitting the possibility that she deleted some emails: Look, we do not know what these materials are, or where they came from. Just take a look at them: many of the documents are not even formatted as emails,” an email from campaign spokesman Brian Fallon explained.

Other emails from Clinton’s staff explained dealing with the media and journalists, and how her campaign was concerned about her connection with Wall Street and their concessions on supporting a carbon tax while opposing Bernie Sanders for the Democratic nomination.

Terror prefers the innocent

Source:  Granma
October 17 2016

by: Yudy Castro Morales |


We Cubans have also been victims of this unequal distribution of condolence, just like that of wealth, much as we have been of terrorism, which has forced us to live with the death of 3,478 of our people and the maiming 2,099


On many occasions, Cuba has been alone in her mourning, such as that October of 1976, when a brutal act of terrorism saw a Cuban aircraft blown up mid-air. Photo: Jorge Oller

Just for “being in the wrong place at the wrong time,” men kill other men. And the natural balance of the world shudders. Whether for being Black or White, homosexual or Jewish, political or religious, men kill other men. This sin, contradictorily, occurs in the name of a God, or a “leader.” And the blessed balance is distorted.

Rejecting terrorism

The will to prevent and reject the horrors of terrorism, rather than a political doctrine, should emanate from our own human nature. Not even the most fanatical believers, the most loyal subordinates, or the most radical or extremist could justify the death of any one of the innocent people who inhabit our “global village.” But terror prefers the innocent.

“Any man’s death diminishes me,” wrote the English metaphysical poet John Donne. If his principle were applicable to all, there are certain characters, some renowned, who would already have been extinguished. But far from diminishing, death comforts them, and serves, unnaturally, as a mercenary or “religious,” or as I would put it, satanic, offering.

Not all dead are equal

And as distorted as it is, not all dead are equal, whether economically or mediatically speaking, despite having in common their innocence and the possibility of a whole life to live. In terms of death, credit cards, bank accounts and even latitude make a difference, as in these cases the effects of geography weigh in, almost as a curse.

The economic strength of the countries where the barbarism occurs, their weight in the international power balance and even their range of influential allies, act as either a global loudspeaker or silencer. The deaths that occur in “developed” nations change the course of history; those in Third World or “developing” countries barely make the headlines.

Poorer in death

One need not dig too deep to expose the clear examples. The world mourned for Paris and sympathized with Brussels, whereas the massacres of the South pass almost unnoticed and if anything, are only discussed among the victims. The poor are even poorer in death.

We Cubans have also been victims of this unequal distribution of condolence, just like that of wealth, much as we have been of terrorism, which has forced us to live with the death of 3,478 of our people and the maiming 2,099 others.

October 6 of 1976 – only a few shared our pain

On many occasions, Cuba has been alone in her mourning, such as that October 6 of 1976, when a brutal act of terrorism saw a Cuban aircraft blown up midair, killing all 73 passengers aboard: 57 Cubans, 11 Guyanese and five Koreans.

He had said so before, but in his speech commemorating the 25th anniversary of this barbaric act, Fidel was explicit, declaring that “No one, except a group of friendly personalities and institutions, shared our pain; there was no uproar in the world, no serious political crises, no meetings at the United Nations, no imminent threat of war.

“Few perhaps (…) understood the terrible significance of that event. (…) It was as commonplace. Thousands of Cubans had already been killed in La Coubre, the Escambray mountains, at Playa Girón and in hundreds of terrorist acts, pirate attacks or other similar events, had they not?”

Cuba has always condemned any act of terror

Despite this extreme cruelty, Cuba has always condemned any act of terror, against any country, even against that which has offered shelter and protection to the most unrelenting murderers.

Cuba has signed all 19 existing international conventions on this matter and is party to all, except the Protocol to Amend the Convention on Offences and Certain Other Acts Committed on Board Aircraft, 2014, as this has not this yet entered into force.

Cuba also strictly complies with the commitments emanating from United Nations Security Council resolutions, and has actively participated in discussions on the work of the Counter-Terrorism Committee.

Respect for human rights

Our country also remains committed to the implementation of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, especially its four pillars, which in general refer to measures to prevent and combat terrorism, increase the capacity of states in this struggle and ensure respect for human rights.

The background to this position, however, is not confined to the revolutionary period. It dates back to 1937, when Cuba was suffering and her people were far from able to protect themselves and assert a clear position.

However, in politics, always contradictory, many things are not what they seem, and explanations almost always boil down to convenience. Thus it must have been convenient, back then, for Cuba to feature among the signatories of the Convention for the Prevention and Punishment of Terrorism.

Neo-colonial puppet

I say convenient, and even contradictory, as in 1937 the Cuban government served as a neo-colonial puppet providing ongoing indignities.

For those who pulled the strings, the signing likely acted as a facade; for Cubans, however, it laid the foundations for a much more important commitment, which became definitive after 1959. Such that, beyond the differences, our authorities have repeatedly communicated to the U.S. government the willingness to cooperate in the fight against terrorism.

The list is extensive. Taken at random, we could note the year 1984, when Cuba warned of a plan to assassinate President Ronald Reagan, which led to the neutralization of those involved by the U.S. authorities. In 1998, Cuba informed the Bill Clinton administration regarding the intention to detonate bombs on Cuban planes, or those from third countries carrying U.S. passengers.

Anti-terrorism program rejected by the US government

In 1997, 1998, 2005, 2006 and 2010, the island officially submitted thousands of documents containing data on terrorists based in the United States and other nations to representatives of the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Not to be overlooked is the fact that in 2001 and 2002, Cuba presented a draft program for cooperation to combat terrorism to U.S. authorities. A proposal that was expressly rejected by the George W. Bush administration.

These refusals did not stop the island trying, and in 2009, 2010 and 2011 Cuba reiterated its willingness to cooperate in this area to the United States government. In 2012, the island submitted in writing a proposal to establish a bilateral program that would ensure effective prevention or eradication of any terrorist activity.

Moving forward with our wounds

The current process toward the normalization of relations has not been exempt from such attempts. In March 2015, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced the interest in signing agreements on issues of law enforcement, mainly related to areas in the fight against terrorism. Later that year, the first bilateral dialogue on this matter was held and since then several technical meetings have taken place.

Recently, in June 2016, such an encounter between Cuban and U.S. authorities responsible for preventing and fighting terrorism was held in Havana, who agreed on the importance of cooperation and to continue such meetings in the future.

The results, in practice, are yet to be seen; but this has not weakened the country’s will to move forward, even when we Cubans are still healing from our wounds.

Cuban youth mobilize against the blockade (+Photos)

Source:  Granma
October 17 2016

Author: Redacción Nacional |

From 9am–3pm on October 17, Cuban youth and civil society reiterated their rejection of the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed on the island by the United States

 cuban youth against the blockade 1.jpg


Swarm the blockade

Today, October 17, Cuban youth and civil society, the targets of the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed on the island for over 50 years by the United States, reiterated their rejection of the unjust policy in a day of activities entitled “swarm against the blockade,” which took place from 9am-3pm.

cuban youth against the blockade 7.jpg

University of Havana

Actions were held throughout the country, with the University of Havana (UH) hosting the main events, while other initiatives were realized by friends of Cuba around the world.

cuban youth against the blockade 2.jpg

Glories of Cuban sport

According to the website, activities included an encounter with Josefina Vidal Ferreiro, director for the United States at the Cuban Foreign Ministry; exchanges with glories of Cuban sport, including Río 2016 Olympic and Paralympic medalists; a mural painting by various renowned artists and Flasmob featuring dozens of people.

cuban youth against the blockade 5.jpg


Prizes for the winners of the #YoVotoVsBloqueo Selfies Competition promoted on social networks via @cubavsbloqueo were also awarded. Meanwhile, three new related cell phone apps, developed by students and staff at the University of Computer Sciences, were launched.

cuban youth against the blockade 4.jpg

Cuban television also provided live coverage of events which took place at the UH.

cuban youth against the blockade 3.jpg

cuban youth against the blockade 6.jpg

Brazil Social Movements Planning General Strike for November

Source:  The Real News Network

The Landless Workers’ Movement (MST) and others are ramping up opposition to the coup government, says the MST’s Ana Moraes

What is the MST?

Brazil’s Landless Workers Movement, Movimento dos Trabalhadores Rurais Sem Terra (MST) in Portugueseis a mass social movement, formed by rural workers and by all those who want to fight for land reform and against injustice and social inequality in rural areas.

The MST was born through a process of occupying latifundios (large landed estates) and become a national movement in 1984.  Over more than two decades , the movement has led more than 2,500 land occupations, with about 370,000 families – families that today settled on 7.5 million hectares of land that they won as a result of the occupations. Through their organizing, these families continue to push for schools, credit for agricultural production and cooperatives, and access to health care.

Currently, there are approximately 900 encampment holding 150,000 landless families in Brazil.  Those camped, as well as those already settled, remain mobilized, ready to exercise their full citizenship, by fighting for the realization of their political, social economic, environmental and cultural rights.

The Friends of the MST (FMST)

The Friends of the MST (FMST) is a network of individuals and organizations that support the Brazilian Landless Workers Movement (MST) in the struggle for social and economic justice while securing respect for human rights. The FMST works to build solidarity and educate the public in the US and English-speaking world in order to raise the international profile of the MST. The FMST has a direct relationship to the MST and is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt non-profit organization.