Thousands of Brazilians March to Defend Dilma and Democracy

Source:  TeleSUR
March 31 2016

thousands march in defence of dilma and democracy.png

Protests in Porto Algere against the procedure to impeach President Rousseff.  Photo @mandatofontana

The protests against the procedure to impeach President Dilma Rousseff’s coincided with the annual march commemorating the anniversary of the 1964 coup.

Social movements, trade unions and student groups

Social movements, trade unions and student groups mobilized en mass across the country Thursday, to defend democracy and condemn the right-wing coup attempt against the president, who is currently facing threats of impeachment.

lula 1.jpgProtests took place in at least 56 cities of the country, including in Brasilia where former President Lula da Silva led over 100,000 people according to the organizers’ estimate.

The protests coincided with the national annual march commemorating the anniversary of the 1964 coup, which overthrew President Joao Goulart from the progressive Labor Party.

International solidarity

Mobilizations also took place across the world, including in Paris (France), Munich (Germany), Coimbra (Portugal) and Barcelona (Spain).

brazil international solidarity with dilma.png

Berlin. @joaopaulo_pt

Coup plotters 

“We will not recognize an eventual interim government led by Michel Temer,” said President of Sao Paulo’s main trade union CUT, Douglas Izzo, commenting the mobilization. A “Temer exit” would be the result of an underhanded trick on the part of coup plotters.”

 

He added that a coalition government including the Brazilian Democratic Movement Party, the Brazilian Social Democracy Party and the Democrats would be the “worst of the world” for the workers. It would have devastating effects on labor rights and social programs, he warned.

Obama – the best to use to disguise the strategic objectives of the U.S. toward Cuba, Latam and the Caribbean

Source:  Granma
March 30 2016

There is no doubt: Obama is the gentle and seductive face of the same danger. He made no apology for crimes against Cuba, he did not mention the Guantánamo Naval Base, he did not speak of the Cuban Adjustment Act, he did not explain why he hasn’t done more to dismantle the blockade, given the powers he possesses to do so, and there were many other incredible omissions.

Author: Dario Maachado | internet@granma.cu

LIKE many others, I followed the visit by Barack Obama to our country and experienced mixed feelings: on the one hand, the healthy patriotic and revolutionary pride of witnessing a U.S. president rectifying the policy toward Cuba and repeating on our own soil that the blockade must be ended, reaffirming respect for our sovereignty and independence, which we Cubans have earned with our sacrifice, our sweat, our blood, our history; and on the other hand, the danger posed by those who believe that with these lukewarm changes, the contradiction between the interests of U.S. imperialism and the Cuban nation has disappeared. But it was only after listening to his speech that Tuesday morning that I decided to write this, because, as Fidel warned over half a century ago, from now on everything will be more difficult.

Who could doubt the enormous complexity of U.S. society, where black and white analysis is of little value?

US – a country full of contradictions

A turbulent history in which battles for independence against British colonialism and genocidal onslaughts against the indigenous population intermingle; an impetuous industrial development and a cruel internecine war that killed more than 600,000 human beings; paradigmatic creativity and inventiveness in science and technology and a warmongering and expansionist military apparatus of which Mexico and Cuba – to take just two examples from our region – have been nearby victims; a society with extraordinary cultural expressions in music, literature and film along with a messianism that does not honor those assets; industrious and enterprising citizens over whom, however, an imperialist state machinery rests heavy; the richest and the most indebted country in the world; the country that demands human rights of others and least respects them itself, as evidenced by over half a century of economic blockade against Cuba; a society in which violence serves as the guiding principle throughout its history.

In short, a country full of contractions in which it would be naive to think that the current rapprochement with Cuba is simply the result of the thinking, will and resourcefulness of Obama, and not an integral part of the interests of the real power in the U.S. – that of big business.

obama 7.jpg

If Barack Hussein Obama had proven impractical to the powers that govern the U.S., it would have been very difficult for him to have been elected president in 2008.

If Obama did not serve the interests of the powers that govern the US,…

If Barack Hussein Obama had proven impractical to the powers that govern the U.S., it would have been very difficult for him to have been elected president in 2008 and re-elected in 2011, and the change of policy toward Cuba would not have initiated.

This is the same Obama who just two months after receiving the Nobel Peace Prize, sent tens of thousands of soldiers to Afghanistan; the same who has authorized hundreds of drone attacks that have killed hundreds of civilians in several countries across the world; the same who participated in the plot that destroyed Libya; he who has armed the so-called Syrian opposition strengthening the self-named Islamic State; he who approved the supply of arms to Kiev after the coup; the President behind the “Arab spring” of fatal consequences in that area of the world. This is the same Obama, as the poet would say, who could do nothing to surprise you.

Obama – the best and most capable at hand today to disguise the strategic objectives of U.S. imperialism toward Cuba, Latin America and the Caribbean.

In effect, there are two Obamas, a “good” one and a “bad” one. We’re not talking about a bipolar personality, but a single person, a career politician, who beyond his personal characteristics and history, his way of doing domestic politics, and even his individual inclinations, and his likely aim of leaving a legacy as the U.S. President who changed policy toward Cuba, he has always been and continues to be functional to the strategic interests of the powers that govern the U.S.

It must be recognized that he is a politician with charisma, stage presence, a sense of media opportunity, communication skills – probably the best and most capable at hand today to disguise the strategic objectives of U.S. imperialism toward Cuba, Latin America and the Caribbean.

Empty words

During this visit to our country, President Obama did not miss any opportunity to call for an end to the blockade, which ultimately are the words of someone who will soon disappear from the U.S. government, phrases that he can state now, that he can claim responsibility for, as he does not aspire to, nor could he, run for another Presidential term. He can make this call as the formalities of the northern country’s political system allow him to present himself as someone with no responsibility whatsoever for the blockade, as someone opposed to the blockade, as the advocate of a new policy, when for almost all of his term he endorsed the blockade with his inertia.

But back to his deficient speech. Since a thorough analysis cannot be undertaken in a short article[1], I will only highlight some aspects that stand out at first glance while, as expressed by various analysts, much more is revealed by what he didn’t say, than the little he did, no matter how choice his words. This is the same Obama who could do much more given his Presidential powers and yet has not.

Obama – the gentle and seductive face of the same danger historically faced by Cuba

This is precisely the point, to read between the lines of his statements, which is important especially for young people whose lived experiences of this northern neighbor do not include criminal sabotage, Playa Girón, the October crisis, counterrevolutionary groups, attacks against our leaders, biological aggression, and so on, and for whom the effects of the blockade have been mitigated by the protection offered by society and their families.

There is no doubt: Obama is the gentle and seductive face of the same danger. He made no apology for crimes against Cuba, he did not mention the Guantánamo Naval Base, he did not speak of the Cuban Adjustment Act, he did not explain why he hasn’t done more to dismantle the blockade, given the powers he possesses to do so, and there were many other incredible omissions.

Looking for a way to further US’ strategic interests

Meanwhile, it was clear that he does not want to cooperate with Cuba, but rather with that part of our society which offers the best conditions for the strategic interests he represents. He hoped to seduce youth, encourage selfishness and the thirst for purely individual improvement, presenting capitalist growth as a universal panacea and not the cause of the crises, or the danger of the destruction of the environment and the disappearance of the human species. He hoped to contribute to the fragmentation of Cuban society in order to recover U.S. hegemony here and in our region. In his speech the conceited tone of someone who “grants us the right” – that no one need grant us – “to solve our own problems” was evident. We must now explain and demonstrate this.

A victory for the Cuba people 

Obama’s visit is a victory of the Cuban people and all peoples of Latin America and the Caribbean, as it demonstrates that the United States of America has been forced to recognize that it was thwarted by our dignity, and has now chosen to concoct a detour. As such, we should recall the words of Julius Fučík at the end of its historical Report from the gallows and “be vigilant”.

Obama concluded his visit to Cuba. He was – along with his beautiful family for whom Cubans have a natural affection – welcomed, treated and bid farewell politely by a people and authorities who are proud of their hospitality, respect and willingness to dialogue without impositions, but whose majorities are well aware of the land on which they stand, and are bursting with the sovereign spirit of Martí and Fidel, that spirit which was evident as the entire Latinoamericano Stadium chanted: “Raúl, Raúl, Raúl…”

[1] In a book due to be published by the Editorial de La Mujer de La Habana, I dedicate an entire chapter to analysis of Obama’s speech at the White House on December 17, 2014, aspects of which I take up again here.

US State Dept. project looks suspiciously like an infiltration plan

Sources:  Cubadebate,  progresoweekly,  Along the Malecon
March 26 2016

Within less than a week of what Fidel has described as Obama’s “most sweetened words” it is already clear that one should take what the US President said with a grain of salt as the United States Department of State’s Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs (WHA) has just announced a Notification of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) to support the Community Internship Program for Cuban Youth the aims of which clearly contradict the President’s words.

This program, which targets “(Cuban) residents who demonstrate an interest in independent organizations”, will be funded to the tune of $753,989 to train 25-30 Cubans between 20 and 35 years of age “to advance social justice causes” and “to foster a new generation of civil leaders.”

Cuban youth to travel to USA for training to build NGOs in Cuba

The Cuban participants will travel to the United States in two to three cohorts over three years and “participants will learn to function professionally and effectively in leading and managing a civil society movement at the grassroots level.”

The U.S. nonprofit organization or U.S. educational institution which receives this grant will “support the participation of young emerging leaders from Cuban civil society in a two- to four-month professional development program. The program will include specialized training and an internship with a nonprofit organization in the United States, which will fuel the participants’ development of action plans for nongovernmental community activities in Cuba.”

According to the announcement “assistance to Cuba is governed by a complex series of statutory and other restrictions. The Cuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity (Libertad) Act of 1996 (also referred to as “Helms-Burton Act”, P.L. 104-114) provides notwithstanding authority to furnish assistance and provide other support for individuals and independent NGOs to support democracy-building efforts for Cuba.”

Obama’s words

obama in cuba 2.jpgIn his speech at the Gran Teatro de La Habana, aimed at Cuban civil society, President Barack Obama said:

“The United States has neither the capacity nor the intention to impose changes in Cuba, the changes depend on the Cuban people. We will not impose our political and economic system, because we know that every country, every nation must forge their own destiny “

He also said:

“There is already an evolution that is taking place here in Cuba, a generational change. Many suggested that I came here and I had to ask the people to destroy something, but I’m not appealing to young people of Cuba who have to build something new, to rise. The future of Cuba must be in the hands of the Cuban people! “

The full text of the State Department’s announcement can be found here.

 

Brother Obama

Source:  Granma
March 28 2016

We don’t need the empire to give us anything. Our efforts will be legal and peaceful, because our commitment is to peace and fraternity among all human beings who live on this planet.

by: Fidel Castro Ruz | internet@granma.cu

fidel to be honoured by honduran congress.jpgThe kings of Spain brought us the conquistadores and masters, whose footprints remained in the circular land grants assigned to those searching for gold in the sands of rivers, an abusive and shameful form of exploitation, traces of which can be noted from the air in many places around the country.

Tourism today, in large part, consists of viewing the delights of our landscapes and tasting exquisite delicacies from our seas, and is always shared with the private capital of large foreign corporations, whose earnings, if they don’t reach billions of dollars, are not worthy of any attention whatsoever.

The knowledge and conscience that we must have to confront the realities which challenge us

Since I find myself obliged to mention the issue, I must add – principally for the youth – that few people are aware of the importance of such a condition, in this singular moment of human history. I would not say that time has been lost, but I do not hesitate to affirm that we are not adequately informed, not you, nor us, of the knowledge and conscience that we must have to confront the realities which challenge us. The first to be taken into consideration is that our lives are but a fraction of a historical second, which must also be devoted in part to the vital necessities of every human being. One of the characteristics of this condition is the tendency to overvalue its role, in contrast, on the other hand, with the extraordinary number of persons who embody the loftiest dreams.

The glorious Black leader Antonio Maceo

Nevertheless, no one is good or bad entirely on their own. None of us is designed for the role we must assume in a revolutionary society, although Cubans had the privilege of José Martí’s example. I even ask myself if he needed to die or not in Dos Ríos, when he said, “For me, it’s time,” and charged the Spanish forces entrenched in a solid line of firepower. He did not want to return to the United States, and there was no one who could make him. Someone ripped some pages from his diary. Who bears this treacherous responsibility, undoubtedly the work of an unscrupulous conspirator? Differences between the leaders were well known, but never indiscipline. “Whoever attempts to appropriate Cuba will reap only the dust of its soil drenched in blood, if he does not perish in the struggle,” stated the glorious Black leader Antonio Maceo. Máximo Gómez is likewise recognized as the most disciplined and discreet military chief in our history.

Looking at it from another angle, how can we not admire the indignation of Bonifacio Byrne when, from a distant boat returning him to Cuba, he saw another flag alongside that of the single star and declared, “My flag is that which has never been mercenary…” immediately adding one of the most beautiful phrases I have ever heard, “If it is torn to shreds, it will be my flag one day… our dead raising their arms will still be able to defend it!” Nor will I forget the blistering words of Camilo Cienfuegos that night, when, just some tens of meters away, bazookas and machine guns of U.S. origin in the hands of counterrevolutionaries were pointed toward that terrace on which we stood.

Obama was born in August of 1961, as he himself explained. More than half a century has transpired since that time.

Let us see, however, how our illustrious guest thinks today:

“I have come here to bury the last remnant of the Cold War in the Americas. I have come here to extend the hand of friendship to the Cuban people,” followed by a deluge of concepts entirely novel for the majority of us:

“We both live in a new world, colonized by Europeans,” the U.S. President continued, “Cuba, like the United States, was built in part by slaves brought here from Africa. Like the United States, the Cuban people can trace their heritage to both slaves and slave-owners.”

The native populations don’t exist at all in Obama’s mind

The native populations don’t exist at all in Obama’s mind. Nor does he say that the Revolution swept away racial discrimination, or that pensions and salaries for all Cubans were decreed by it before Mr. Barrack Obama was 10 years old. The hateful, racist bourgeois custom of hiring strongmen to expel Black citizens from recreational centers was swept away by the Cuban Revolution – that which would go down in history for the battle against apartheid that liberated Angola, putting an end to the presence of nuclear weapons on a continent of more than a billion inhabitants. This was not the objective of our solidarity, but rather to help the peoples of Angola, Mozambique, Guinea Bissau and others under the fascist colonial domination of Portugal.

In 1961, just one year and three months after the triumph of the Revolution, a mercenary force with armored artillery and infantry, backed by aircraft, trained and accompanied by U.S. warships and aircraft carriers, attacked our country by surprise. Nothing can justify that perfidious attack which cost our country hundreds of losses, including deaths and injuries

As for the pro-yankee assault brigade, no evidence exists anywhere that it was possible to evacuate a single mercenary. Yankee combat planes were presented before the United Nations as the equipment of a Cuban uprising.

The military experience and power of this country is very well known. In Africa, they likewise believed that revolutionary Cuba would be easily taken out of the fight. The invasion via southern Angola by racist South African motorized brigades got close to Luanda, the capital in the eastern part of the country. There a struggle began which went on for no less than 15 years. I wouldn’t even talk about this, if I didn’t have the elemental duty to respond to Obama’s speech in Havana’s Alicia Alonso Grand Theater.

Obama’s behavior

Nor will I attempt to give details, only emphasize that an honorable chapter in the struggle for human liberation was written there. In a certain way, I hoped Obama’s behavior would be correct. His humble origin and natural intelligence were evident. Mandela was imprisoned for life and had become a giant in the struggle for human dignity. One day, a copy of a book narrating part of Mandela’s life reached my hands, and – surprise! – the prologue was by Barack Obama. I rapidly skimmed the pages. The miniscule size of Mandela’s handwriting noting facts was incredible. Knowing men such as him was worthwhile.

Regarding the episode in South Africa I must point out another experience. I was really interested in learning more about how the South Africans had acquired nuclear weapons. I only had very precise information that there were no more than 10 or 12 bombs. A reliable source was the professor and researcher Piero Gleijeses, who had written the text Conflicting Missions: Havana, Washington, and Africa, 1959-1976, an excellent piece. I knew he was the most reliable source on what had happened and I told him so; he responded that he had not spoken more about the matter as in the text he had responded to questions from compañero Jorge Risquet, who had been Cuban ambassador and collaborator in Angola, a very good friend of his. I located Risquet; already undertaking other important tasks he was finishing a course which would last several weeks longer. That task coincided with a fairly recent visit by Piero to our country; I had warned him that Risquet was getting on and his health was not great. A few days later what I had feared occurred. Risquet deteriorated and died. When Piero arrived there was nothing to do except make promises, but I had already received information related to the weapons and the assistance that racist South Africa had received from Reagan and Israel.

I do not know what Obama would have to say about this story now. I am unaware as to what he did or did not know, although it is very unlikely that he knew absolutely nothing. My modest suggestion is that he gives it thought and does not attempt now to elaborate theories on Cuban policy.

There is an important issue:

Obama: time now to forget the past

Obama made a speech in which he uses the most sweetened words to express: “It is time, now, to forget the past, leave the past behind, let us look to the future together, a future of hope. And it won’t be easy, there will be challenges and we must give it time; but my stay here gives me more hope in what we can do together as friends, as family, as neighbors, together.”

I suppose all of us were at risk of a heart attack upon hearing these words from the President of the United States. After a ruthless blockade that has lasted almost 60 years, and what about those who have died in the mercenary attacks on Cuban ships and ports, an airliner full of passengers blown up in mid-air, mercenary invasions, multiple acts of violence and coercion?

Nobody should be under the illusion that the people of this dignified and selfless country will renounce the glory, the rights, or the spiritual wealth they have gained with the development of education, science and culture.

I also warn that we are capable of producing the food and material riches we need with the efforts and intelligence of our people. We do not need the empire to give us anything. Our efforts will be legal and peaceful, as this is our commitment to peace and fraternity among all human beings who live on this planet.

Fidel Castro Ruz

March 27, 2016

10:25 p.m.

Related:

Fight For $15 To Join Chicago Teachers Union’s April 1 Strike

Source:  Popular Resistance

By Alexia Elejalde-Ruiz, www.chicagotribune.com
March 26th, 2016

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Above Photo: Brenda Harris, in hat, gets a hug from Maria Alfaro, a Fight for $15 protest organizer, on March 8, 2016, outside the Rock ‘n’ Roll McDonald’s in Chicago’s River North neighborhood. Harris has worked at a McDonald’s on the South Side for years. Protesters called for a $15 minimum wage and advocated for other causes. (Nancy Stone / Chicago Tribune)

 

Teachers won’t be the only ones walking off the job April 1.

chicago teachers march 1

Fast-food workers organized by the Fight for $15 group plan to join the Chicago Teachers Union‘s one-day strike, connecting their push for higher wages with school funding.

fight for 15 3.jpgIt will be the first time fast-food workers strike at the same time as the teachers, though the organizing groups, part of a coalition of labor and community organizations in the city, have stood together in protests and rallies before.

Fight for $15 organizers said planning was still in the works and it wasn’t clear how many workers or restaurants would be involved. The campaign has held 10 strikes in Chicago since it launched in 2012.

Taxpayer money better spent on schools

The campaign is demanding a $15 wage and union rights, which it says are part of ending workers’ reliance on food stamps and other public assistance programs that use taxpayer money better spent on schools.

The cost of public assistance to families of workers in the fast-food industry in the U.S. is nearly $7 billion a year, including $368 million in Illinois, according to a study last year from the University of California at Berkeley’s Center for Labor Research and Education and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s Department of Urban & Regional Planning. The fast-food industry has disputed the findings of the study, which was funded by worker advocacy group Fast Food Forward.

Bob Bruno, a professor in the School of Labor and Employment Relations at the University of Illinois, said joining forces with the teachers “is a natural fit” and good strategy for the fast-food workers’ campaign, as creating a broad coalition is how progressive change comes about.

“It’s about recognizing and responding in a united way to a false narrative that Illinois and Chicago have to solve their financial problems on the backs of public sector workers, unions, low-wage workers and the poor,” Bruno said.

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St. Vincent: We will always remember Venezuela’s friendship

Source:  Caribbean News Now

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By Reggie (Vinciman) Wright, in a letter to the editor, March 26 2016

Speaking about Venezuela, a recent poll conducted by one of Venezuela’s leading Pollster group Hinterlaces shows that around “79% of Venezuelans prefer a socialist productive economic model, while 52% believe that their economic situation will be better in 2016, and 9 out of 10 Venezuelans …prefers the government to be the one to lead the country’s economy”

Moreover, another 57% says the opposition has not made any proposals to solve the country’s economic problems despite its recent victory in the December 6 parliamentary elections, and 31% of Venezuelans sympathize more with the PSUV and other supporting “patriotic” parties, compared to a paltry 27% that has more sympathy for the opposition parties. The Hinterlaces poll has a 95% level of accuracy and a 2.7% margin of error.

Read more here: Speaking about Venezuela: In SVG, we know who our friends are

Cuban youth writes President Obama

Source:  Cuba Inside the World

March 22nd, 2016
Havana, Cuba.

Mr. President,

Almost some hours ago, I had the opportunity to listen to all your speech through our national television channels, and I should recognize, that precisely your words motivated this letter that now, right after I have reflected on what you have said, I decided to write you.

obama in cuba 2.jpgI speak to you from the respect that a young Cuban feels for a man who has been able to change the history of his country, regarding its foreign policy toward Cuba, which will be an indelible merit during all his life, and the best is that it will be a multilaterally attained merit.

It pleases me very much that this new stage is openings itself in our countries, when in Cuba we still have the historic leadership of the Revolution, because you should know, that if it were not so, this process would be much more complicated for United States, because Cubans would still be more distrustful.

I would like to make reference to some aspects of the speech that you pronounced a few moments ago in the great theatre of Havana’s “Alicia Alonso”.

Respect for opponents – a natural characteristic of the Cuban people

The people of Cuba have always noted the difference relative to the rest of the world in the treatment of its enemies. The fragment of the poem of Jose Marti that you mentioned is proof of it, as well as the conduct maintained by Commander in Chief Fidel Castro Ruz, our Army General Raul Castro Ruz, the heroic guerrilla Ernesto Che Guevara and the immortal lord of the vanguard Camilo Cienfuegos Gorriaran – these leaders offered medical attention and respected, morally and physically, the life of the officers and men of the army of the dictator Fulgencio Batista during the war that led to the revolutionary triumph.  Therefore, the respect to its opposites is not a new conduct in Cuba, but a natural characteristic of our people.

I now expect US funding of internal subversion will stop

I see with approval that you express today in my country, right after more of half century of unbending contradicctions, that the governance of Cuba is a matter of Cuba and that the United States has nothing to do with regard to this matter and I expect that those were not only words and that the funds of your congress, aimed at the internal subversion in the island, stop being approved, that N.E.D and USAID, stop promoting programs against the independence and self-determination of Cuba, and they really allow the will of the Cuban people to impose the changes that we need and in which we also are already working on.

More black men in the US are murdered than those in high political office

Your personal history, your emigrant father, your mother of few resources and your present day position, is unquestionably an example of your personal sacrifice, of your will to come through but, sadly, it is not the history of most men that like you have grown up in United States. I personally know many black men murdered in the U.S. than those concentrated in a triumphant way in the politics of your country.

Cuba is a nation of similar opportunities, without social exclusion, and as well you have pointed out, it allows and promotes a similar education for boys and girls, no matter the color of their skin, or the religion and ideology of their parents. Therefore our children can forge a future with the same possibilities and their individual effort will be also determining in the consecution of their objectives.

The difference is that community and society promote these conducts just in the some way and they back the state policies with regard to this matter.

The end of the cold war and the hostility towards Venezuela

You mentioned the end of cold-war, but I am worried that the existence of socialist or progressive nations in Latin America becomes a new block of contradictions.

The case of Venezuela is one of the issue that exemplifies what I am mentioning and feel that the U.S. could commit the mistake of burying methods, and it would be unlucky for our peoples.

I want to tell you from my youth, that I regard my land as a country of democracy, a country where workers have not only voice and vote, but they also represent the majority and the policies of the Revolution are focused on them, because the workers, peasants, and we, the youngsters, are the main objective of the Cuban politics, of the social, economic and cultural development, and I also live very confident and completely proud of this.

The leaders of Latin America have changed

You mentioned that our potentialities are in our capacity of creation and I agree with you, and you also mentioned our capacity of inducing to the world, and there, I would like to make a brief comment. Cuba not only induces to the world, but It has also been able to mobilize it since 1959, and it is that mobilization precisely which has made you change your foreign policy toward our country, because nations have allied themselves to Cuba. The leaders of Latin American have changed and the U.S. was little by little being left alone.

Marti:  The grateful ones talk about the light not the stains of the Sun

We know that our society is imperfect, that we should work on aspects that you have pointed and in many others that you could not image, precisely because we are a perfectible society, but we have things, Mr. President, that shine over our imperfections, and as also Jose Marti said “The sun burns with the same light with which it heats up. The sun has stains. The ungrateful ones only talk about its stains. The grateful ones talk about its light”.

Cuba cannot forget the past

You make continuous references to the need to abandon the past. Cuba cannot forget the past, because the past is not ballast, it is a reminiscence, it is an impulse and it is our essence. Cuba can by virtue of the future, sit on my table to talk about any issue, but interlocutors should be good men, even when they are from different ideologies, they cannot be persons without decorum, without honour and without homeland pride. Cubans, precisely due to history, do not talk with mercenaries or stateless who turn their back on their people by virtue of self-interest. Individuality is respected in my homeland, but as I learned from childhood the collective interest are above self-interest.

Cuba neither had nor has any fear

I would like to come to an end, thanking you for your visit one more time, your honesty and the charm shown to our people, but It would be false on my part if I don’t include in these words, my appraisal of a sentence of your addressed to the Army General when you said “you need not to be afraid of U.S. threat”. Mr. President Barack Obama, Cuba neither had nor has any fear, the Revolution has confronted the aggressions from your country during centuries without cowardice, today we face peaceful coexistence with respect and diplomacy but the future does not frighten us, we are not afraid of the United States, any way this continues to be a people of “Homeland or Death”

Receive a cordial greeting from this young Cuban.

Julio Alejandro Gomez Pereda.