XXI Latin American and Caribbean Cuba Solidarity and Volunteer Work Brigade

Interested individuals or groups may send information to  coventas2@amistur.cu and alatina.caribe@icap.cu.

 

From  28 July to 10 August 2014

icap logo 1The Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples invites you to participate in the XXI edition of the Latin American and Caribbean Cuba Solidarity and Volunteer Work Brigade. As in previous editions, it will be integrated by delegations from Central America, Mexico, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Venezuela, Dominican Republic and English, French and Dutch speaking Caribbean countries.

The brigade’s aim is to provide a wider understanding of Cuban reality as well as carrying out some voluntary work sessions, as a support to agricultural development and productive sphere in our country.

The program includes visits to historical, economical, cultural and social places, not only in Havana but also in other provinces, lectures about national issues as well as meetings with representatives of Cuban organizations.

The activities of the brigade will be carried out from July 28th to August 10th, 2014 in Havana, Artemisa and Ciego de Ávila provinces.

Information

Staying includes 14 nights, 10 in the International Camp Julio Antonio Mella (CIJAM) located in the municipality of Caimito, 45 km from Havana City and 4 nights in tourist facilities in Ciego de Ávila province. It will cost $340.00CUCwhich includes accommodation in shared rooms for up to 6 people in CIJAM, three meals daily, transfer in-out and transportation to all program activities.

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Latin American Journalists Denounce Media Violence against Venezuela

FINAL STATEMENT

Stop the aggression against Venezuela!

elias jaua 2 venezuelaWe, writers, journalists, researchers and anti-capitalist activists, gathered at the International Forum “Media Plot Against Venezuela” held in Caracas, on 5 and 6 June 2014; we discussed the current role of transnational communication, which today is obliged to distort the Venezuelan reality.

As shown in countless examples, the most recent of which includes the invasion of Libya, the mercenary attack against Syria and foreign interference in Ukraine, the coordinated actions of the transnationals precedes the announcement of extreme violence, invasion or formation of mercenary armies to cause large-scale civil clashes.

Thus:

1.           We denounce the demonization campaign against the Bolivarian Revolution in Venezuela and its president Nicolas Maduro.

2.            We further denounce this campaign as it represents the preamble of armed intervention, invasion and oppression against Venezuela.

3.            We will work daily to make our communication more effective to counter the current scenario of media manipulation and we propose to promote alternative methods of communication, based on the reality that this is a significant political battle, with the main protagonist being the people organized in anti-imperialist and anti-capitalist political action.

4.            We propose the creation of an international front of journalists for peace and life, bringing together those who practice this profession in different countries to build an ethical and professional-quality journalism that does not lend itself to the development of a climate of destabilization and psychological terrorism. The front will have the following tasks:

a)            the creation of a collaborative network against the media conspiracy which Venezuela is experiencing that will allow the socialization of content, information, contacts and experiences.

b)            designing and creating their own alternatives (platforms, media and computer security services) enabling technological independence of emporiums of capitalist production.

c)            coordinating with organizations and governments of the region, the mechanisms for the dissemination of Venezuelan reality, especially through alternative media and social networks.

5.            We propose to convene urgently a Special Meeting of Ministers of Communication of ALBA and other regional integration mechanisms for designing common strategies to counteract the imperial media offensive against our people.

6.           We, writers, journalists and researchers from Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Cuba, Spain, France, Mexico, Uruguay and Venezuela, invite communicators from all over the world to be vigilant against the lie, and not to rest in the battle to find the truth, today, here in the land of Simon Bolivar, Hugo Chavez and the Bolivarian Revolution, and every day, where people fight for their freedom and independence.

Source: Declaracion final

 

11th Annual World Poetry Festival in Venezuela Pays Homage to Amiri Baraka

Source: venezuelanalysis.com

Caracas. 16th June 2014

amiri baraka 2This year’s World Poetry Festival, organized by the Ministry of Culture in conjunction with the Andres Bello National House of Letters, features some 50 poets from 20 countries, performing from June 13 through the 18th. On Sunday, despite the rainy weather and a world cup match between Venezuelan favorite, Ecuador, and Switzerland, a capacity crowd attended the outdoor Poetry Festival “Celebrating Amiri Baraka in Poetry and Music.”

rafael jimenez venezuelaTwo of Venezuela’s well-known Afrodescendant actors: Rafael Jimenez (photo) and Antonieta Colon, represented Amiri and Amina Baraka, while reading from a Spanish translation of the famous couple’s poetry. Cacri Jazz trio, lead by saxophonist Pablo Garcia, supplied the music as visual artist, Javier Gutierrez painted three separate pieces inspired by the poetry and music. One, in stark back and white, outlined silhouettes of several lynched people with the phrase “Strange Fruit” scrawled down the side.

The highlight of the performance was “Somebody Blew Up America”, Amiri’s militant poem written shortly after 9-11-2001, when the Twin Towers in New York City were destroyed by two hijacked planes. At the time, Amiri had been poet laureate of the state of New Jersey. After writing the poem, which traced the history of U.S. terrorism against oppressed people both inside and outside the U.S, New Jersey state legislature eliminated the position of poet laureate rather than allow him to continue in that honored post.

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Destabilization in Latin America

by MATT PEPPE

zunzuneoNews from the AP about the U.S. government’s secret project to create a Cuban Twitter or “ZunZuneo,” to be used for disseminating propaganda and fomenting unrest in Cuba, spurring young people in that country to overthrow their government, comes as no surprise to anyone with even the most cursory understanding of U.S. policy in Cuba and Latin America in general. It is but a tiny part of a 55-year-old, completely unprovoked, genocidal policy against a nation whose only offense is failing to subordinate itself to the will of the U.S. government.

ZunZuneo was initiated and run by the ostensibly “humanitarian” U.S. Agency for International Development through a series of shell corporations which were not supposed to be traced back to the government. The project is typical of the type of subversion and interference with another nation that the U.S. government has always felt entitled to undertake, regardless of the principles of sovereignty and self-determination fundamental to international law.

life mag bay of pigs Due to Cuba’s successful revolution in 1959 and their ongoing ability to resist U.S. subversion of their socioeconomic system, U.S. actions against the tiny nation in the Caribbean have been harsher than any other victim who fails to recognize the U.S. as its rightful master. Early destabilization efforts included a vicious campaign of terrorism against Cuba, part of a massive CIA effort that later evolved into a policy of providing safe haven to terrorist exile groups and looking the other way as they violate the U.S. Neutrality Act and international law.

The largest act of subversion is, of course, the blockade, euphemistically known in the U.S. as an “embargo.” The U.S. blockade against Cuba has now lasted more than a half century as a punishment for Cuba achieving self-determination. The blockade is an act of warfare, as it is based on the Trading with the Enemy Act of 1917 (TWEA), which is only applicable during times of war. The blockade has been expanded and strengthened over the years with various violations of international law such as the Helms-Burton Act and the Torricelli Act. The policy of the U.S. blockade has been found to be an illegal violation of international law for 22 straight years by 99% of the world’s nations, who have demanded its end.

ned2The attempted subversion of a country’s political system is not unique to U.S. actions against Cuba, nor is it unique to USAID. Other U.S. government agencies, such as the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), have long carried out similar actions. Such organizations purport to be apolitical groups for “democratic” promotion but are in reality nothing more than fronts, essentially political action committees (PACs). Due to the concealment of their purpose, they are more like political slush funds used to advanced the perceived interest of the United States.

Of course, they are not used to promote American “values” or “humanitarian principles” with abstract names like “freedom” and “democracy”, but the interests of the corporate sector eager to seek new investment opportunities outside their own country and control over the resources that they refuse to recognize as the property of local populations.

us in la For example, over the last 15 years in Venezuela the U.S. spent $90 million funding opposition groups, including $5 million in the current federal budget. During this time, since Hugo Chavez first assumed office, his revolutionary party has won 18 elections and lost only 1. The margins of victory during Chavez’s tenure reached higher than 20%. After his death, his hand-picked successor Nicolás Maduro won by a margin of 1.6% in 2012. This is a very narrow margin, to be sure, but as Dan Kovalik points out it is a margin of victory larger than JFK’s victory over Richard Nixon and certainly larger than George Bush’s victory over Al Gore. Bush actually lost the popular vote but was declared the winner by the Supreme Court in an instance of political mettling that would be hard to imagine in any other democracy in the world.

Despite the success of the Chavista party, the opposition, aided and abetted by the U.S. government, has tried to portray the elections as “questionable” or “illegitimate”. Secretary of State John Kerry led the way by calling for a recount, encouraging the opposition to challenge the results of the election and refuse to concede.

“Washington’s efforts to de-legitimise the election mark a significant escalation of US efforts at regime change in Venezuela,” wrote Mark Weisbrot. “Not since its involvement in the 2002 military coup has the US government done this much to promote open conflict in Venezuela… It amounted to telling the government of Venezuela what was necessary to make their elections legitimate.”

jimmy carter 2 In fact, international organizations monitoring the Venezuelan Presidential vote attested to the “fair and transparent” election process and former President Jimmy Carter called the country’s electoral system “the best in the world.”

The U.S. government has also refused to recognize the vast advances social progress made under the current government. Under Chavez, the country drastically reduced poverty, especially extreme poverty, with the latter falling from 23.4% in 1999 to 8.5% in 2011. As the government has put its massive revenues from oil sales to use to provide universal education and health care for all Venezuela’s citizens, people traditionally shut out of the country’s economic gains have benefited tremendously. Venezuela has gone from one of the highest rates of income inequality in Latin America to the lowest, a truly Herculean accomplishment.

John kerry Yet this does not even factor into the U.S.’s policy toward Venezuela. As a cable published by Wikileaks from 2006 demonstrates, the U.S. policy of destabilization and regime change against Hugo Chavez was pursued until his death. Now, with the perceived weakness of Maduro and the propaganda value of violent street protests portrayed in the international media as a “student movement”, it seems that Kerry is like a shark who smells blood in the water when he slanderously proclaims a “terror campaign” and foments further unrest.

U.S. government officials must feel frustrated at their inability to project their will for Venezuela to be subservient to the United States. After all, it has proved much easier in countries such as Honduras to oust a democratically elected President as happened with Manuel Zelaya.

noam chomsky 2  “Zelaya was initiating such dangerous measures as a rise in minimum wage in a country where 60 percent live in poverty. He had to go,” wrote Noam Chomsky, who goes on to note that the U.S. virtually alone in the world in recognizing the “elections” later held under military rule of Pepe Lobo. “The endorsement also preserved the use of Honduras’ Palmerola air base, increasingly valuable as the U.S. military is being driven out of most of Latin America.”  (Photo:  Chomsky)

Unsurprisingly, four years after the coup a Center for Economic and Policy Research report finds that “much of the economic and social progress experienced from 2006 – 2009 has been reversed in the years since,” with “economic inequality in Honduras” rising “dramatically.”

Coup in Paraguay

The next success of Obama’s administration in Latin America was the coup in Paraguay, in which the right-wing, elite opposition was able to drive democratically-elected Fernando Lugo from the Presidency and thus stop his program of promoting land rights for a long-oppressed peasant population.

“The United States promotes the interests of the wealthy of these mostly-poor countries, and in turn, these elite-run countries are obedient to the pro-corporate foreign policy of the United States,” writes Shamus Cooke.

In Colombia

There was also the coup last year against the progressive former mayor of Bogotá, Colombia, Gustavo Petro. His supposed abuse of power was de-privatizing garbage collection in the capital city, which allegedly harmed the “freedom of free enterprise.” The anti-democratic actions in Colombia, a beneficiary of an enormous amount of U.S. aid, have not affected the U.S. policy toward the nation. Kovalik notes that the actions taken against Petro are part of a much larger pattern.

“While the press, as well as the U.S. government, will not acknowledge it, the elimination of progressive political leaders by coup d’ état is taking place in Latin America with increasing frequency,” Kovalik writes.

Destroying democracies 

Of course this is part of long-standing U.S. policy that has destroyed democracies in countries such as Guatemala, Chile, Brazil, Argentina and many other nations since the end of WWII alone. The anti-democratic measures enabled and supported by the U.S. have taken decades to recover from, if the nations victimized have been able to recover at all.

US Cuban Twitter programme

Media reporting of the story has tended to downplay or apologize for the Cuban Twitter program by stressing the U.S. government denials that it was meant to overthrow the government, or it was beneficial in allowing Cubans to communicate with each other.

Not surprisingly, Cubans themselves do not see it this way. They understandably do not appreciate an underhanded attempt to collect their personal data or to use them as pawns in a political game.

This should be a reasonable position for any American to understand. Would you support China or Russia setting up a social network meant to overthrow your government to impose one more to their liking? Certainly not. The plot in the fictitious House of Cards of infiltration of the U.S. political process by foreign money probably seems shocking to the average American. In this country, it is a crime for foreign countries or nationals to influence democracy and domestic affairs through political contributions.In reality, this is exactly what the U.S. government has carried out in foreign countries for decades. ZunZuneo is demonstrable proof they continue to do so to this day. ZunZuneo is not just a case of USAID and the U.S. government getting caught with their hand in the cookie jar. It is part of an ongoing assault against sovereignty and self-determination of any country who opposes U.S. foreign policy. People of these countries are just as smart, capable, and deserving of a government independent of outside interference as U.S. citizens are.By simply recognizing that their government has no business in determining another country’s political affairs, and demanding that their government stop spending their tax dollars to do so, U.S. citizens could do more to advance democracy and the ideals their country claims to stand for than the U.S. government has ever done.

Matt Peppe holds a master’s degree in Public Administration from the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy at SUNY Albany and a bachelor’s degree in English and American Literature from NYU. His writing about U.S. foreign policy and Latin America has appeared in Countercurrents, La Respuesta Magazine and other outlets. You can read his blog or follow him on twitter.

Source:  Destabilization in Latin America  Counterpunch
See also:  Real Cuba

 

 

Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis inaugurates Embassy in Cuba

PM Douglas St Kitts Opens Embassy in CubaPrime Minister of the Federation of Saint Christopher(St. Kitts) and Nevis, Denzil Douglas, said Wednesday that the opening of the Embassy of your country in Havana, Havana, sets a new standard in the history of cooperation and solidarity between the two nations.
The opening of this embassy makes Cuba the first country in Latin America with embassies of all the independent nations that are members of the Caribbean Community (Caricom).

Douglas thanks Cuba for assistance

In this regard, Douglas thanked the assistance provided by the Havana government headed efforts, especially towards “improving the quality of life of its people”, through collaboration in areas such as higher education, agriculture, technology, sports and health, among others.

In addition to thanking the more than 20 years of fruitful political exchange with Cuba, the Premier of Saint Kitts and Nevis highlighted the mark left at home by Cuban cooperation in fields such as health, sports, environment and agriculture .
Meanwhile, Cuban Deputy Foreign Minister Rogelio Sierra, said that the opening of this embassy Caribbean “is a sign of the deep ties between Cuba and the Caribbean Community.”

The embassy will contribute to deepen cooperation and friendly relations between the two Caribbean countries, which established diplomatic links on May 10, 1995, according to a release by the Cuban Foreign Ministry.

Source: St. Kitts and Nevis opens Embassy in Cuba

PM Douglas concludes successful Official Visit to Cuba

Source: PM of St. Kitts Concludes Successful Visit to Cuba  Office of the Prime Minister, St. Kitts & Nevis

Denzil Douglas PM St Kitts in Cuba

The Prime Minister the Right Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas returned to the twin-island Federation Thursday afternoon at the end of a four-day Official Visit to the Republic of Cuba.

Prime Minister Douglas, who was accompanied by the Hon. Patrice Nisbett, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Homeland Security, Immigration and Labour; Mr. Kenneth Douglas, Ambassador –designate of St. Kitts and Nevis to the Republic of Cuba, Mr. Jose Rosa, Vice President of the Manufacturing Division of the St. Kitts and Nevis Chamber of Industry and Commerce and Mr. Erasmus Williams, Press Secretary to the Prime Minister.

The delegation was also accompanied by His Excellency Hugo Ruiz Cabrera, Resident Ambassador of the Republic of Cuba to St. Kitts and Nevis and Mr. Giles Dickenson of the St. Kitts and Nevis Information (SKNIS).

Raul y Douglas St KittsHighlights of the visit included the opening of the St. Kitts and Nevis Embassy in Havana, Cuba; the Official Welcome Ceremony at the Palace of the Revolution by the President of the Republic of Cuba, His Excellency, Mr. Raul Castro and inspection of a Guard of Honour; a State Dinner hosted by President Castro in honour of Prime Minister Douglas, the Wreath-Laying St Kitts PM Dougas lays wreath at Jose Marti's statuteCeremony at the Monument of Jose Marti and a visit to the Jose Marti Memorial.

Prime Minister Douglas and Minister Nisbett also met and held discussions with Cuba’s Minister of Health, His Excellency, Roberto Morales; Minister of Trade and International Co-operation, His Excellency Rodrigo Malmierea; Minister of Education, His Excellency Dr. Oberto Santin and Minister of Agriculture, His Excellency Gustavo Rodriguez.

Visit to Labiofam

The St. Kitts and Nevis Leader and his delegation also visited Labiofam – a research center and Heber Biotec, makers of a product capable of stimulating the healing of diabetic foot ulcers, with the aim of significantly reducing the number of amputations in St. Kitts and Nevis.

PM Douglas St.-Kittsgreets his country's students at ELAMPrime Minister Douglas also visited the Latin American School of Medicine where he held discussions with officials and with St. Kitts and Nevis students pursuing medical degrees.

The students also joined Prime Minister Douglas and Foreign Minister Nisbett, Cuban officials and CARICOM Ambassadors at the official opening of the St. Kitts and Nevis Embassy.

 

 

Note from Fidel regarding his June 23 message to Maradona

Source: Granma International

fidel 5Yesterday I wrote Diego Armando Maradona, a renowned Argentine leading figure in the history of football, who via Telesur has offered us his opinions about the development of the world football competition.

As a sports fan, I sent a message to the Argentine star, who has additionally been an excellent friend of the Revolutions in Venezuela and Cuba.

Learning of the message, party comrades responsible for public information suggested that I publish my comments to Maradona. I responded that I preferred to send them directly to Maradona, without giving them any official publicity. I was not obliged to refrain from doing so, because of that.

Of course, numerous agencies have mentioned the message in their dispatches and, as is the rule, the reactions tend to be those which represent the interests of our adversaries.

In the world of instantaneous electronic communication, the most technologically advanced agencies rapidly disseminate their news, regardless of its content. However, other more important news items exist, which are not even released.

An example. Today, Tuesday, June 24, the web site Russia Today reported that Higgs particle theorists assert that the universe should not exist.

Recognized British cosmologists stated, “After the Big Bang, the universe should have collapsed in a matter of microseconds.

“… Robert Hogan, of King’s College in London stated that during the time of the early universe, they expected cosmic inflation. That was a rapid enlargement of the universe just after the Big Bang. This growth created a large shake-up which could make the entire universe collapse.

“… With this data, Hogan and physicist Malcolm Fairbairn, also from King’s College in London, attempted to recreate the conditions of this cosmic inflation after the Big Bang.”

I use just a few of the lines relating to the topic, but I take the liberty of asking: Why do those who inform the people not publish one line about what the world’s most important scientific centers know about what occurred, or could occur, in the universe?

Attached below  is the message I sent to Diego Armando Maradona.

I beg your pardon for the time I have taken with these lines.

Fidel Castro Ruz

June 24, 2014

5:15 p.m.