Raul Castro assesses status of Cuba-US normalization process

Statement by the President of the Councils of State and Ministers Army General Raúl Castro Ruz

” . . . we have achieved some results, particularly in the political, diplomatic and cooperation spheres . . . we have not made any progress in the solution of those issues which are essential for Cuba to be able to have normal relations with the United States . . . “

Declaration by Army General Raúl Castro on the occasion of the first anniversary of the announcements made on December 17, 2014, regarding the decision to reestablish diplomatic relations between Cuba and the United States

Source:  internet@granma.cu

December 18, 2015

One year has gone by since the simultaneous announcements made on December 17, 2014, by the presidents of Cuba and the United States to re-establish diplomatic relations between both countries and work to improve our relations.

One year ago, on a day like yesterday, as part of the agreements reached to find a solution to issues of interest for both countries, we were able to announce, to the great joy of all of our people, the return to our homeland of Gerardo, Ramón and Antonio, with which we made true the promise made by Fidel who had asserted that our Five Heroes would return.

Cuban Five return home.jpgOn that same date, in accordance with our reiterated disposition to hold a respectful dialogue with the Government of the United States, on the basis of sovereign equality, to discuss a wide variety of issues in a reciprocal way, without any detriment to our people’s national independence and self-determination, we agreed to take mutual steps to improve the bilateral atmosphere and move on towards the normalization of relations between the two countries.

We have achieved some results

It could be said that, since then, we have achieved some results, particularly in the political, diplomatic and cooperation spheres:

  • Diplomatic relations were re-established and the embassies in both countries were re-opened. These actions were preceded by the rectification of the unjust designation of Cuba as a State sponsor of terrorism.
  • High level meetings and visits have taken place.
  • The already existing cooperation in areas of mutual interest, such as aviation safety and security as well as the combat against drug-trafficking, illegal migration, alien smuggling and migration fraud has been expanded. The regular and respectful meetings between the military commands of Cuba and the United States in the perimeter of the U.S. Naval Base in Guantánamo have continued.
  • New possibilities for bilateral cooperation have opened up in areas of mutual benefit, such as environmental protection, law enforcement, maritime and port security and health.
  • New dialogues have been initiated on bilateral and multilateral topics of interest, such as climate change, mutual compensations, traffic in persons and human rights, this latter being the one on which we have profound differences and about which we are having an exchange on the basis of respect and reciprocity.
  • We have signed agreements on environmental protection and the re-establishment of direct postal services.

All of this has been achieved through a professional and respectful dialogue based on equality and reciprocity.

No progress on issues essential for normalization

Quite on the contrary, this year we have not made any progress in the solution of those issues which are essential for Cuba to be able to have normal relations with the United States.

Although President Obama has repeatedly stated his opposition to the economic, commercial and financial blockade and has urged Congress to lift it, this policy remains in force. The persecution of Cuba’s legitimate financial transactions as well as the extraterritorial impact of the blockade, which causes damages and hardships to our people and is the main obstacle to the development of the Cuban economy, have been tightened.

The steps taken so far by President Obama, although positive, have proved to be limited in scope, which has prevented their implementation. By using his executive prerogatives, the President could expand the scope of the steps that have already been taken and take new steps that would substantially modify the implementation of the blockade.

US illegal occupation of Guantanamo Bay

Despite Cuba’s repeated claim for the return of the territory illegally occupied by the Guantánamo Naval Base, the Government of the United States has stated that is has no intention to change the status of that enclave.

The U.S. Government is still implementing programs that are harmful to Cuba’s sovereignty

The U.S. Government is still implementing programs that are harmful to Cuba’s sovereignty, such as the projects aimed at bringing about changes in our political, economic and social order and the illegal radio and television broadcasts, for which they continue to allocate millions of dollars in funds.

US Cuban migration policy encourages an illegal, unsafe, disorderly and irregular migration

A preferential migration policy continues to be applied to Cuban citizens, which is evidenced by the enforcement of the wet foot/dry foot policy, the Medical Professional Parole Program and the Cuban Adjustment Act, which encourage an illegal, unsafe, disorderly and irregular migration, foment human smuggling and other related crimes and create problems to other countries.

The Government of Cuba will continue to reiterate that, in order to normalize relations, it is imperative for the U.S. Government to derogate all these policies that date from the past, which affect the Cuban people and nation and are not in tune with the present bilateral context and the will expressed by both countries to re-establish diplomatic relations and develop respectful and cooperative relations between both peoples and governments.

The right of every State should be respected

No one should expect that, in order to normalize relations with the United States, Cuba will renounce the principles and ideals for which several generations of Cubans have struggled throughout more than half a century. The right of every State to choose the economic, political and social system it wishes, without any interference whatsoever, should be respected.

The Government of Cuba is fully willing to continue advancing in the construction of a kind of relation with the United States that is different from the one that has existed throughout its prior history, that is based on mutual respect for sovereignty and independence, that is beneficial to both countries and peoples and that is nurtured by the historical, cultural and family links that have existed between Cubans and Americans.

Cuba consolidating the achievements attained by the Socialist Revolution

Cuba, in fully exercising its sovereignty and with the majority support of its people, will continue to be engaged in the process of transformations to update its economic and social model, in the interest of moving forward in the development of the country, improving the wellbeing of the people and consolidating the achievements attained by the Socialist Revolution.

Thank you.

Source:  Statement by the President of the Councils of State and Ministers Army General Raúl Castro Ruz

 

Clinton Tops List of Arms Company Donations

Source:  TeleSUR
14 December 2015

 

clinton 1

 

Hillary Clinton has a close relationship with the world’s top arms companies. | Photo: Reuters

 

lockheed martin 1

Lockheed Martin

U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was also a favorite of the arms producing giants during her 2006 senate campaign.

Hillary Clinton has received more money from arms and military service companies than any other candidate during the 2016 presidential campaign, data from Open Secrets shows.

northrop grumman

Northrop Grummar

All but one of the world’s 10 biggest arms producers have contributed to Clinton’s previous campaigns, giving her — along with the top Republican receiver Ted Cruz — a significant margin over the other candidates.

boeingThe numbers, collected by the Federal Election Commission and compiled by Open Secrets, also reveal that Rand Paul and Bernie Sanders make the list of top 20 senators and top six presidential candidates to receive money from arms and defense companies.

Most of the funding is channeled through Political Action Committees, which have no limits to how much they donate. About 18 percent comes from individual contributions, totaling almost US$10 million between all of the companies.

RELATED: Clinton Presidency Would Fuel the War Machine

obama 12c.jpgThe biggest donors — Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and Boeing — devote about a third of their funds to Democrat candidates. In the last presidential elections, Barack Obama won more funding than his contender John McCain, though McCain is the top-earning senator this year.

A report released Sunday by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute showed that while U.S. arms sales have slowed, U.S.-based Lockheed Martin’s profits soared in 2014. Overall sales rose steadily until the financial crisis of 2008, when they mostly stabilized.

US:  54 percent market share of the global arms market

Sunday’s report also indicates that the U.S. accounts for a staggering 54 percent market share of the global arms market. The United Kingdom has the second largest market share, with 10.4 percent. Russia has a market share of 10.2 percent, while France has a market share of 5.6 percent.

The world’s top 10 arms companies are based in the U.S. and Western Europe, according to the report. Among these are Lockheed Martin, Boeing and BAE Systems, who make up the top three companies in terms of global market share.

5 Ways the COP21 Deal Dooms the Planet to Climate Change Chaos

Source:  TeleSUR
14 December 2015

state of climate emergency.jpgRepresentatives of Indigenous communities protest and demand respect for Indigenous rights at COP21 in Paris on Dec. 12, 2015. | Photo: Reuters

The COP21 deal has been celebrated as a binding agreement, but what exactly countries are bound to is a telling sign of how far short the deal falls.

Global leaders are celebrating the outcome of the COP21 Paris climate talks as a “historic” deal and a “monumental triumph” for the climate.

But as environmental organizations and activists slam the agreement for doing too little too late and dooming the world to climate chaos, here are five things you should know about the COP21 climate deal.

  1. It puts the world on track for 3 degrees Celsius global warming.

The COP21 text states that the purpose of the climate deal is to keep global warming “well below” 2 degrees Celsius while aiming for 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, but the agreement lacks the mechanisms to make this goal a reality.

Instead, the deal puts the world on track to far overshoot these targets and hit 3 degrees Celsius warming. Global emissions reductions are achieved through voluntary, intended national pledges. These pledges mean the biggest climate culprits that carry the historical burden of climate change can voluntarily contribute emissions reductions that they think they can achieve, not what is globally necessary.

Scientists say that 2 degrees Celsius warming is the maximum limit the world can hit before facing catastrophic and irreparable planetary damage that could bring an end to human life as we know it. Many Latin American countries and front-line affected communities, already feeling the impacts of climate change, have pushed for the more ambitious 1.5 degrees Celsius limit, which climate scientists agree is the appropriate target to protect the most vulnerable.

But so far, global leader have not risen to the high-stakes challenge.

  1. It has no legal commitment to climate reparations.

The deal refers to “loss and damage” related to climate change and its impacts, but explicitly states that the relevant article in the core text of the deal is not a basis for liability and compensation. This means that climate reparations though would see wealthy countries largely responsible for fueling climate change pay their carbon debts to poorer countries are still far from a reality.

OPINION: World Leaders Signed a ‘Death Warrant for the Planet’ at COP21

obama 12c.jpgAccording to a report from Democracy Now!, President Barack Obama only agreed to include loss and damage in the COP21 deal if the clause could not be used as a legal basis for paying climate compensation. The issue was a key area of dispute throughout the negotiations.

Climate reparations were never on the agenda at COP21, despite being put forward by Global South countries such as Ecuador and Bolivia as a strategy to help the most vulnerable in the face of climate change, while holding rich and polluting countries accountable.

But the loss and damage component is a big disappointment for climate justice campaigners, and likely to doom developing countries to climate-induced suffering due to the lack of legally-binding compensation for big polluters’ damage to the climate.

  1. The legally binding commitments are weak, while key items are not binding at all.

While the COP21 deal has been widely celebrated as a binding agreement, what exactly countries are bound to is a telling sign of how far short the deal falls.

There is no legally binding agreement on climate finance, a critical but highly disputed part of the agreement. While the deal urges rich countries to take the lead on helping to provide developing countries with financing and technologies to help adapt and mitigate climate change, all financing is voluntary.

RELATED: 5 Things You Need to Know About COP21

Voluntary financing is a huge let down for climate activists, which have been calling for wealthy countries to help finance global transition to clean energy.

The utter lack of mention of fossil fuels in the text of the deal also points to failure of the deal to grapple with urgent climate change priorities. It calls for globally emissions to peak “as soon as possible,” but does not mandate a specific timeline for emissions reductions, leaving countries ​free to keep polluting.

The deal also does not come close to laying out a plan for phasing out fossil fuels. As a result, the agreement is even weaker than the preliminary draft deal set out by G-7 nations earlier at the U.N. Climate Change Conference this year, slammed by climate advocates for dooming the world to “climate chaos” by proposing to phase out fossil fuels by the end of the century.

What’s more, though 195 countries have signed onto the climate deal, which will only come into effect after being ratified by at least 55 nations, any country can withdraw from the deal after three years.

So while global leaders pat themselves on the back for overcoming the failure of COP15 in Copenhagen in 2009 by reaching a so-called legally binding agreement, the deal has still failed to force world leaders to commit to changes on core issues to tackle climate change in an urgent, effective, and holistic way.

  1. There are no measure to hold corporations accountable.

The deal focuses on the responsibilities of countries to lower carbon emissions by their own voluntary pledges, and as a result leaves corporations off the hook from legally binding climate action.

The agreement “welcomes” and “invites” stakeholders other than countries, including private corporations, to participate in efforts to tackle climate change, it does not mandate corporations to change their practices in response to an increasingly warming world. This leaves the door open for fossil fuels companies to continue to pollute.

RELATED: TPP Dooms World to Climate Crisis

What’s more, many of the same global leaders who made high-profile speeches about the urgency of climate change at COP21 are at the same time cozying up to big corporate polluters with the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership, currently pending approval. The draft text of the TPP reveals enhanced power for corporations, including fossil fuels giants, such as rules to allow corporations to challenge national and international laws in secret trade courts.

This means the TPP could undermine any action that does result from the COP21 agreement by setting new limits on governments’ abilities to introduce strong policy to tackle climate change, such as renewable energy programs.

At the core, the COP21 agreement fails to recognize the underlying roots of climate change and the systemic and economic reasons for global carbon inequality and increasingly boiling global temperatures.

  1. It has no mention of human rights in the core body of the text.

The only mention of human rights in the final COP21 text appears in the preamble, not the core articles, which means there is no legally binding commitment to human rights in the deal.

While the draft text included a provisional mention of human rights in the section highlighting the purpose of the deal, world leaders ultimately opted for the weaker option of removing human rights from the purpose, leaving it only in the non-binding preamble.

OPINION: Climate Action: Why Justice in Paris is Unlikely

The deal also have no substantial attention to the rights of Indigenous peoples, among the hardest hit by climate change, and recognition of the role Indigenous communities play as stewards of the environment. There is also no mention of intergenerational equity or biodiversity in the core of the text, sidelining any commitment to protecting future generations and integrated ecosystems from the devastation of climate change.

As a result, the deal fails to take into account systemic causes and the key issues of human and environmental rights in the context of climate change and falls far short of a just climate deal.

Source:  5 Ways the COP21 Deal Dooms the Planet to Climate Change Chaos

Fomenting Cuban scientific talent

Source:  Granma
December 9 2015

by Nuria Barbosa León | internet@granma.cu

The National Center for Scientific Research (CNIC) was founded in July 1965, with the aim of using scientific methods to solve biomedical problems and develop sophisticated products

national centre for scientific research.jpgThe National Center for Scientific Research was inaugurated in July, 1965. Photo: Arnaldo Santos

The National Center for Scientific Research (CNIC) was founded in July 1965, with the aim of using scientific methods to solve biomedical problems and develop sophisticated products, and has seen great progress across all its specialist areas.

Blanca Rosa Hung Llamos CNIC Director General.jpgCNIC Director General, Blanca Rosa Hung Llamos (photo), explains to Granma International that the institution’s leading product is Policosanol (more commonly known as PPG), a cholesterol reducing medicine which was awarded the Gold Medal from the World Intellectual Property Organization in 1996.

Affiliated with the Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical Industry Group BioCubaFarma, the center also develops nutritional supplements with anti-osteoporotic and gastro-protective benefits, which help to improve the health and quality of life of Cubans.

In 1984, the CNIC manufactured MEDICID-03, the first automated electroencephalograph, a continuation of NEUROCID-M, which registers electrical activity in the musculoskeletal system. In 1990 the center took a step further developing AUDIX, the world’s first electro-acoustic analyzer and SUMA, an Ultramicro-Analytical System.

The institution has trained thousands of Cuban scientists in the field of biotechnology

CNIC Director General Blanca Rosa Hung Llamos notes that the institution has trained thousands of Cuban scientists in the field of biotechnology.

Llamos, with a PhD in Applied Life Sciences, also highlights research carried out by the institution across the food, agriculture, livestock and neuroscience industries as well as the development of microbiological equipment and that used for ozone therapies, environmental protection and electron microscopy.

The entity has also obtained molecular markers for research into genetic improvement and plant disease resistance, heart monitoring equipment, and cosmetics.

Creating products from natural sources

She notes that 566 employees are currently working at the CNIC, 48% of which are women and 72% university graduates, with an overall average age of 42. Workers at the institution conduct research to create base products from natural sources such as honey, sugar cane, Royal Plam fruit (palmiche), ozone, and sunflower oil, among others, which are used to treat and alleviate the symptoms of various illnesses.

Since an outbreak of cholera in Peru in 1993, the CNIC has been working on developing a preventative vaccine, an effort which intensified after an epidemic of the disease erupted in Haiti in 2010. Also participating on this research project, currently in the advanced phase, are two other Cuban institutions: the Finlay Institute and the Pedro Kourí Institute of Tropical Medicine.

The CNIC is composed of three research departments: the Center for Natural Products, Infectious Diseases, and Environment, together with the Ozone Research Clinic.

An infectious diseases lab.jpgAn infectious diseases laboratory where studies in to cholera are carried out. Photo: Jose M. Correa

Training human resources

“Something which distinguishes the Center,” notes the director “is the role it plays in training human resources, which currently work in the field of biotechnological sciences nationwide; given our status as a Ministry of Higher Education accredited institution, we train university graduates and technicians.”

For over 50 years, the CNIC has seen more than 30,000 specialists across all its departments and laboratories undertake further studies, 389 of which have earned a PhD, with many becoming leaders in their fields; while it is also normal to find managers trained at the emblematic institution working across the network of other affiliated entities, notes the director.

The CNIC according to its workers 

 Dr. José Ilnait Ferrer began working at the CNIC – the first scientific center founded by the Revolution – after graduating as a medical doctor over 50 years ago.

“I have worked on countless projects related to hereditary and nutritional illnesses. I proposed the method for studies into Phenylketonuria in newborns, which I applied to my own children and grandchildren,” states the doctor.

“I am currently working on pharmacological research in the line of natural medicine. I recently finished a study into treating benign prostate diseases,” he states.

Fidel, the inspiration

Fidel 222Ferrer also notes that Comandante en Jefe Fidel Castro was the main inspiration behind, and founder of, the CNIC. He is moved recalling the long conversations the historic leader of the Cuban Revolution would have with workers, interested in progress being made in research into cures for illnesses, his main concern.

The doctor highlights that the center faced its most difficult time during the special period, with the fall of the socialist camp and tightening of the genocidal U.S economic, financial and commercial blockade during the 1990s, which continues to be the primary obstacle to the center’s work, a sentiment shared by Dr. Talena Ledón Pérez, who joined the institution in 1995, after graduating in Biochemistry.

The US blockade

“The blockade policy not only prevents us from accessing advanced technology,” according to Pérez, also head researcher at the CNIC, “but also from purchasing replacement parts, acquiring visas for our professionals to attend events held in the U.S. and exchanges between experts from the two countries. I think about how U.S. citizens are being deprived of the opportunity to benefit from our medicines, products and services.”

She speaks passionately about the cholera prevention vaccine, a project she has been working on for over 20 years, highlighting the sacrifices made by her colleagues to achieve results, which include missing family celebrations and time with spouses and children.

Working like a team

Pérez emphasized the good relationships maintained between all colleagues, noting that exchanges take place in a positive environment. “We all participate in scientific discussions and all opinions are valid no matter where they come from,” she notes.

Twenty-seven year old Eladio Cruz Clemente, director of Economy agrees, stating, “They invite me to attend research project debates and our opinions are heard and even taken into consideration when decisions are made, we work together like an interconnected team.”

He points out that young people are mostly attracted to the center given the opportunity it provides to expand their knowledge and advance in any of the roles they undertake. Clemente highlights his personal experience as a perfect example of this. Joining the center in 2007 as a mid-level technician in Finance and Prices, he has now finished his undergraduate degree and is currently doing a Masters in Administration with the possibility of continuing onto a PhD. He is carrying out research into the logistics of the center and developing proposals to improve the CNIC ’s internal administration system.
“Generational barriers are overcome through good human relationships and workers exchanging opinions. Youth easily adapt to changes in technology and make a positive impact on the group dynamic. The oldest members have a wealth of experience and knowledge, accumulated through great dedication to their work.”

He sums up his personal assessment of the CNIC, stating, “I feel proud working alongside scientists who have achieved important results in Cuba and the world. Working as Director of Economy fascinates me. I never imagined advancing professionally so fast. One always dreams and aspires to make it, and I feel very pleased to have done so, so quickly.”

Source:  Fomenting Cuban scientific talent

Agreement over Climate Change Reached in Paris Summit

Source:  escambray.cu
December 13 2015

cop21 2.jpgFinally, a day after the deadline, the Paris Agreement was adopted, and even though it is not perfect, it encompasses consensus about the work being done on the planet to counter the negative effects of climate change.

The Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21), held in Paris, produced a legal instrument that contains the clear differentiation between what the developed countries must do against global warming and what the developing nations must do.

Elba Rosa Pérez cubaIn statements to Prensa Latina at the Le Bourget Exhibition Park in Paris, where the COP21 summit was held, the Cuban Minister of Science, Technology and Environment, Elba Rosa Perez, noted the fact that the new agreement defines the matters to be done to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Adaptation, vulnerability and financing

At the same time, the minister added, the document refers to adaptation to face climate change, one of the matters that have been demanded for many years by the developing countries.

It also has to do with vulnerability, and how it is present in each of the regions and countries and reflected in the letter of the agreement. The Paris agreement also dealt with financing although this still needs support.

1.5 degrees Celsius

Regarding ambition, the agreement highlights the need to work in function of temperature not going up more than 1.5 degrees Celsius. And although the national contributions made by all countries will not guarantee right now that that limit will not be exceeded, it is something that the process must achieve.

There are matters that have to be solved, like how and when all these will be implemented, when financing will come and other elements debated at the summit.

Working groups

One good result is the creation of several working groups to continue advancing in those issues.

“Everything that Cuba has stated in the text, since the preparatory sessions, like the issues of adaptation, financing, transference of technology, the use of scientific breakthroughs, was included in the agreement and are positive elements,” the minister said.

A new stage to deal with climate change

Regarding the developing countries, especially the most vulnerable states, the small islands, there is a lot to be done.

In that regards, the Paris Agreement is not a finish line, but the beginning of a new stage to deal with climate change.

There are some developing countries that first have to eradicate poverty, inequalities, which are a group of aspects that are the premises to speak about climate change; therefore, it is a long road and the solution will have to come in a long term.

It can be achieved, if …

But if there is political will of the governments and state, and if there is interest, it can be achieved. But there are matters on which we have to continue working, so it was agreed to analyze the progress made regarding what was agreed upon at COP21 every five years.

Nozipho Joyce Mxakato-Diseko, South African delegate to COP21

Nozipho Joyce Mxakato Diseko, South African delegate to COP21

It is a very important agreement for the future, with many expectations, and having reached it means that the sense of unity of the different regions and countries was on the table.

 

The small insular states remain very close in their stances, as well as the Group of 77 plus China. The South African negotiators played an extraordinary role, amid the diversity of opinions and views.

A landmark to remember

The Paris Agreement will be a landmark that we will have to remember, because the current realities of climate change is delicate not only in a long term but also in a short term.

The fact that 150 heads of State or Government came to Paris speaks about the political support it has received so far, and people are more aware about the need to continue working on that direction.

Cuba has been represented by a group of negotiators, and everywhere the Cuban delegation has provided balanced and in-depth analyses to reach consensus.

The presidency of the French COP acknowledged that the Cuban representatives have made several proposals at this historic conference. The stance of the Cuban delegation was always to seek consensus and bring forth constructive aspects at the debates in Paris.

Source:  Agreement over Climate Change Reached in Paris Summit

 

Fidel’s message to President Nicolás Maduro

Source:  Granma
December 11 2015

I share the unanimous opinion of those who have congratulated you for your brilliant, valiant speech on the night of December 6, as soon as the election’s outcome was announced.

fidel y maduro 6.jpg

Dear Nicolás:

I share the unanimous opinion of those who have congratulated you for your brilliant, valiant speech on the night of December 6, as soon as the election’s outcome was announced.

In world history, the highest level of political glory which a revolutionary can reach, is that of the illustrious Venezuelan combatant, Liberator of America, Simón Bolívar, whose name now belongs not only to this sister country, but to all peoples of Latin America.

Another Venezuelan official of honorable legacy, Hugo Chávez, understood and admired him and struggled for his ideas until the last moment of his life. As a boy, attending elementary school in the country where the poor children of Bolívar were obliged to work to help support their families, he developed the spirit in which the Liberator of America was forged.

The millions of children and youth who today attend the largest and most modern system of public schools in the world are Venezuelan. More can be said about the country’s network of medical care centers and the attention paid to the health of its people, brave but poor as a result of centuries of plunder by Spanish colonialism, and later by huge transnationals, which for more than 100 years extracted from its entrails the best of the immense oil reserves nature bestowed on this country.

History also bears witness that workers exist, and make possible the enjoyment of nutritious food, medicine, education, security, housing and the world’s solidarity. You could ask the oligarchy, if you like: Do you know all of this?

Cuban revolutionaries – just a few miles from the United States, which always dreamed of taking possession of Cuba to make it a hybrid casino-brothel, as a way of life for the children of José Martí – will never renounce their full independence or respect for their dignity.

I am sure that human life on Earth can only be preserved with peace among all peoples of the Earth, and acknowledgement of the right to make the planet’s natural resources common property, as well as the sciences and technologies created by human beings to benefit all of its inhabitants. If humanity continues along the path of exploitation and the plunder of its resources by transnationals and imperialist banks, the representatives of states meeting in Paris, will draw the relevant conclusions.

Security does not exist today for anyone. There are nine states which possess nuclear weapons. One of them, the United States, dropped two bombs which killed hundreds of thousands of people in just three days, and caused physical and psychological harm to millions of defenseless people.

The People’s Republic of China and Russia know the world’s problems much better than the United States, because they were obliged to endure the terrible wars imposed on them by fascism’s blind egoism. I do not doubt that, given their historical traditions and their own revolutionary experience, they will make the greatest effort to avoid a war and contribute to the peaceful development of Venezuela, Latin America, Asia and Africa.

Fraternally,

Fidel's signatire

Source:  Fidel’s message to Ptresident Nicolas Maduro

Hope

December 9 2015

Hope
by Michael Heslop

rising sun jan 27 15 - Copy.jpgThere is hope in the sun’s light

Because

It ends darkness and and all that it represents,

Like the sunlight,

Hope resides in water,

For those who are thirsty and those who tend to the land,

Hope also lives in the quest for peace,

Peace saves lives and sustains hope,

Hope also resides in those who are hungry for Justice,

Since in the absence of Justice,

The light of the sun will fail to light the many ghettoes of darkness created by man,

Likewise in the absence of Justice,

The natural flow of water by itself will fail to quench the thirst of those who die from thirst and those too weak to get water,

Hope also resides in the kindness of earthly souls one to another,

Yet

The kindness of so many souls by itself fails to dispense Justice because kindness is like the clouds and

Justice is like the stars in the clouds for those who have never known it,

Hope in the end is meaningless without the light of Justice flowing like water to extend kindness to those who only know the unkindness of man!