Cuba at the UN: Cuba treasures its history of solidarity with the African people

Source:  Cuba-Network in Defense of Humanity

marcus garvey none but ourselves can free our minds.jpgCuba joins today the celebration of the 53rd anniversary of Africa Day, a date when we celebrate together the creation of the Organization of African Unity (OAU), which later became the African Union, and the 130th anniversary of the abolition of slavery in Cuba.

The Cuban people are very proud of its African roots, which are present in our idiosyncrasy and our cultural manifestations. Cuban culture and nationality arose full of African heritage. Cuba has also contributed the sweat and blood of hundreds of thousands of its people to the emancipation of Africa, a continent all humanity will always be indebted to.

Cuba treasures its history of solidarity with the African peoples. The Cuban Revolution never hesitated to support the struggle of African brothers and sisters against colonialism and the Apartheid. Further on, it offered its uninterested help to the social development of African nations. Thousands of Cuban professionals in different fields have offered their modest contribution to this continent. The brigade of Cuban health professionals, members of the Henry Reeve Contingent, which was sent to Africa to offer all its medical support against the Ebola epidemic in Guinea Conakry, Liberia and Sierra Leone, constitutes another example of Cuba’s steadfast commitment with the region.

Fidel y Amilcar CabralCuba avails itself of this opportunity to convey its gratitude for the permanent support of the African Union in the struggle against the blockade and ratifies the will of the Cuban Government to continue strengthening the brotherhood and cooperation relations with the African peoples.

Permanent Mission of Cuba to the United Nations

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Related:  Africa Unite, Bob Marley

Brazil Leak Shows Senate Chief Wants to Halt Corruption Probe

Source:  TeleSUR
May 25 2016

 The latest wiretap adds to proof that suspended President Dilma Rousseff’s political rivals wanted to oust her to stop corruption investigations against them.

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Protesters demonstrate in support of suspended President Dilma Rousseff and against
the interim government of Michel Temer, Sao Paulo, May 22, 2016. | Photo: Reuters
A second major leak hit the political scene in Brazil on Wednesday, revealing that the head of the Senate, Renan Calheiros, planned to negotiate with the Supreme Court about removing suspended President Dilma Rousseff from office while also scheming to change laws governing investigations into corruption.

RELATED: Political Scandal Rocks Brazil’s Temer Coup Gov’t

A way to halt the anti-corruption campaign

In the leaked recording reported by the Brazilian daily Folha de Sao Paulo, Calheiros is heard telling Sergio Machado that all politicians are “afraid” of the corruption investigation known as Operation Car Wash, a series of probes revolving around fraud and bribery in the state oil company Petrobras.

Calheiros is caught on tape saying he wants to change the plea bargain rules, a cornerstone of the investigations, as a way to halt the anti-corruption campaign.

The Senate president, a member of unelected interim President Michel Temer’s PMDB party, and Machado, former president of the state oil company Transpetro, a subsidiary of Petrobas, are both targets of Operation Car Wash.

Scheming  to ensure Rousseff’s ouster

The leak comes after another explosive wiretap earlier this week revealed that interim Planning Minister and then-Senator Romero Juca was scheming with members of the Supreme Court and military command to ensure Rousseff’s ouster.

In the conversation, also with Machado, Juca makes clear that the goal of removing the president from office is to put a stop to the Operation Car Wash investigations, of which he was also a target. Juca has stepped aside from his cabinet post over the leak.

The Calheiros recording also reveals that the Senate chief planned to “negotiate” with the Supreme Court over guaranteeing Rousseff’s “transition.”

The real motivations behind removing Rousseff

The leaks provide the strongest evidence to date that the real motivations behind removing Rousseff from office center around protecting the corrupt political establishment from facing investigations and prosecution—quite the opposite of how the impeachment process has been portrayed as a bid to root out government fraud. Evidence of alleged negotiations with state institutions also make the whole process appear even more like a coup.

What’s more, the implication of the Supreme Court in negotiations with corrupt lawmakers about removing the president and stalling investigations casts a serious shadow on the legitimacy of the institution, which will play a key role in overseeing Rousseff’s impeachment trial.

In response to the leak, Calheiros’ spokesperson told Folha that the recording does not provide evidence that the Senate president intended to interfere with anti-corruption investigations.

RELATED:  Brazil Leak: Corrupt Leaders Seek Protection with Coup

And Supreme Court communications told Folha that Chief Justice Ricardo Lewandowski, who will coordinate Rousseff’s impeachment trial process in the Senate, “never held talks about alleged ‘transition’ or ‘changes in criminal law’ with the people cited,” referring to Calheiros and Machado and their claims in the recording.

According to Folha, Machado’s whereabouts has been unknown since last week.

The new leak comes as interim President Michel Temer has announced plans to ramp up austerity and the privatization of public assets and approved a new fiscal target to lower public expenditures.

It also comes as a Senate committee is set to decide on Wednesday the schedule for the suspended president’s impeachment trial.

Rousseff was suspended from office for 180 days on May 12 through a Senate vote to make her stand trial over allegations of budget manipulations. Interim President Michel Temer will be installed in Brazil’s highest office until 2018 if the impeachment is ultimately approved.

Over 30,000 Africans have graduated from Cuban universities

Source:  Granma
May 25, 2016

by: AIN |

The University of Havana marked Africa Day, celebrated each May 25, with a panel discussion entitled “Rethinking Africa, its history and contemporaneity”

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A bronze statue of Ghanaian leader, Kwame Nkrumah, presides over the entrance of the headquarters of the African Union in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, as a tribute to this pioneer of African independence. Photo: Reuters

The University of Havana marked Africa Day, celebrated each May 25, with a panel discussion entitled “Rethinking Africa, its history and contemporaneity”.

During the event, the strong bonds of brotherhood that unite both peoples, stemming from solidarity efforts, and the benefits of cooperation in sectors such as education, health and sports were highlighted.

Clara Pulido, coordinator for Africa and the Middle East of the International Relations Office of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba, noted that consolidating peace, independence and regional integration for development, are common goals.

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Dr. Matsobane Lekalakala who was trained in Cuba and now works at Thabaleshoba Health Centre in Limpopo,South Africa

Referring to social programs and the training of human resources, she explained that more than 30,000 Africans have graduated from Cuban universities.


In the presence of African diplomats, academics and students, Pulido highlighted Cuban collaboration in countries of the African Union (AU), and especially the work of the medical brigade that fought the Ebola epidemic in Guinea Conakry, Sierra Leone and Liberia.

She also expressed thanks for the support provided by member states of the AU in the island’s fight to end the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the United States for over half a century.

The independence of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic

Regarding pending issues for the African continent, Pulido pointed to the independence of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, whose territories are still occupied by Morocco.

juan_almeida_bosqueShe also stressed the strong African heritage in Cuba, antonio maceo 5c.jpg

referring to national heroes such as Antonio Maceo and Juan Almeida Bosque.

The event also provided an opportunity to commemorate the 130th anniversary of the abolition of slavery in the Caribbean nation.

Maduro in Jamaica: Only together can our nations develop and our people achieve happiness

Source: JIS
May 22, 2016

by Denise Dennis

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President Nicolas Maduro and Jamaica’s Prime Minister, Andrew Holness

Committed to PetroCaribe

Despite facing economic challenges, the Venezuelan Government has reiterated its commitment to maintaining its arrangements with Jamaica under the PetroCaribe Agreement.

The President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro Moros, along with a delegation of government officials, was in Jamaica on a working visit from May 21-22.

In his remarks at a press briefing at the Office of the Prime Minister today, he allayed uncertainty about his country’s commitment to the agreement, noting that both governments discussed the need to strengthen the scheme.

The PetroCaribe Agreement has been successful

He said this is important, as the PetroCaribe Agreement has been successful in bolstering the economic and energy exchanges of the member countries.

“We are fully convinced that in the last 10 years, PetroCaribe has clearly demonstrated that it’s only together that we can reach development and (achieve) happiness for our peoples,” President Maduro said through an interpreter.

He noted that the meeting with Jamaica’s Prime Minister, Andrew Holness, and Jamaican Government ministers was marked by dialogue on cooperation and a strong will to continue efforts to further unite both countries.

High-level meetings in three months

President Maduro added that improvements to trade relations particularly through the PetroCaribe Agreement, will serve to further strengthen the stability and economic development of the Latin America and Caribbean regions.

He said both governments will hold high-level meetings in three months to finalise agreements made on economic trade policies.

Prime Minister Holness, in his remarks conveyed appreciation for Venezuela’s expressed commitment to the PetroCaribe Arrangement.

He said Jamaica is committed to the Agreement which has contributed to the country’s energy security as well as its economic and social development.

PetroCaribe, which began in 2005, is an agreement between Venezuela and some Caribbean territories to purchase oil on preferential payment conditions. It allows member nations to buy oil at market value and only pay a percentage of the cost up front, with the balance being paid over 25 years at one per cent interest.

Countries under the agreement are allowed to purchase 185,000 barrels of oil per day on these terms.


The Young Turks: Brazilian Impeachment Is Actually A Corporate Coup

Source:  The Young Turks, TYT
May 12 2016

In a significant blow to democracy, the leader of Brazil has been impeached. There was an intense corporate media propaganda campaign against her, and now she’s being replaced by neoliberals brought in to impose austerity. TYT

Cenk Uygur, host of The Young Turks, breaks it down.

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Dilma: External interference is not a primary or a secondary reason for what’s happening now in Brazil

May 19 2016

President Dilma Rousseff explains what is happening in Brazil now in an interview with RT


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Women protest against Brazil’s interim President Michel Temer and in support of suspended President Dilma Rousseff in Sao Paulo, May 17, 2016. | Photo: Reuters

dilma with rt may 2016 2.jpg“I don’t believe external interference is a primary or a secondary reason for what’s happening now in Brazil.  It’s not.  The grave situation we see now has developed without any such interference.  This coup is not like usual coups is Latin America which normally involve weapons, tanks and street arrests and torture.  The current coup is happening within the democratic framework with the use of existing institutions in support of indirect elections not stipulated in the constitution.  This coup is carried out by hands tearing apart the Brazilian constitution, so we don’t know what kind of repercussions this will lead to considering that an impeachment without repercussions would only be possible in the case of a committed crime.  If there is no crime then an impeachment is illegal.”  Dilma Rousseff, President of Brazil

Brazil: Back in the Clutches of Washington

Source:  TeleSUR

Following the Senate coup against Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and installation of right-wing vice president Michel Temer, the coup plotters’ agenda has become clear.

The Temer administration is now in the midst of an all-out attack on the country’s most progressive social and political achievements, with an all-white, all-male cabinet that is absolutely hostile to the social movements and minority groups of Brazil.

Rousseff’s 2014 re-election marked the fourth consecutive victory for the Workers Party, a fact that did not sit well with the country’s right-wing politicians, who immediately started to conspire against the president. That is why her supporters see the impeachment as an effort to retroactively win the election through non-democratic means.

If You Only Watch One Thing…


If You Only Read One Thing…

In Just One Day, Brazil’s Post-Coup President Sent the Country Back Decades

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Michel Temer has waged an all-out attack on the country’s most progressive social and political achievements. READ MORE

Imperial Designs in Latin America

Current US Ambassador to Brazil Served in Paraguay Prior to 2012 Coup

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The possible role of the United States government in the ouster of the democratically elected President Dilma Rousseff is being scrutinized after it emerged that present U.S. Ambassador to Brazil Liliana Ayalde previously served as ambassador to Paraguay in the lead up to the 2012 coup against President Fernando Lugo. READ MORE

Unbreakable Dilma

Source:  TeleSUR
May 21 2016

By: Ilka Oliva Corado

Dilma is unbreakable, they will not be able to break her. But they are not going for her, they are going for the achievements of progressive government, they are going for the dreams of outcasts.

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Now is the time to assert their vote. No one can defend the rights of outcasts better than themselves.

dilma young fighter for democracy“We should have killed her,” her torturers must have repeated hundreds of times when they saw her become the first woman president of Brazil. Or they may have wanted for cancer to remove her from the political scene like with Evita (only temporarily, because she is immortal). There is a before and after Dilma in Brazil and Latin America. A woman president overcoming patriarchy and gender inequality. A woman who has created gender inclusion policies from government – social policies that have benefited millions of pariahs that the oligarchy can only see as pawns that they have exploited for centuries and want to continue to exploit.

The life of women has always been uphill, and we continue dilma y cristinato fight against the worst of enemies – patriarchy, where the misogyny and machismo that is so damaging to our society and gender is derived. It is much more difficult for women who dare to challenge the limits and rules imposed and actively participate in politics. Being female and having the dignity and the ability to lead a nation can be costly in Latin America, as Cristina and Dilma know.

Both have been sullied. Much of the post-coup analysis on Dilma, written by intellectuals and international political analysts condemn and blame her for being a woman.

Subjective analyses made from the viewpoint of patriarchy, with a high level of misogyny and stereotypes. With all kinds of insults, contempt and fallacies.

Betrayal, hatred, jealousy

For Dilma, this fraudulent coup has been dealt by betrayal, hatred, jealousy, from the feeling of inferiority and for that reason it has been so vicious.

An attack on progressivism and democracy that developed since Lula became president and increased the dose of hatred when Dilma took over: too many women and African descendants in government, something that classism and the oligarchy, and much less patriarchy could support.

dilma lula with afro braziliansToo many benefits for the hardest hit by the system, the neglected and exploited. Too much for the outcasts, the favelas, too much visibility for women and too many rights for the LGBTI community. From any ideological perspective, there is no denying the progress made in Brazil with Dilma as president.

Her performace has been backed by 54 million Brazilians but beaten back by 50 votes from the servants of capitalism. One of the new modalities of the Condor Plan are coups that are backed by media who manipulate and play the role of political actors.

No  evidence that implicates her

dilma with young afro braziliansThere is not a single shred of evidence that implicates her, and they can look under rocks for it if they want. Her capital sin has been to govern for the sullied by creating policies of inclusion, development and social equality, to seek justice on Human Rights. She sought to give voice to the voiceless, and to allow the forgotten to dream; something that no oligarchy, neoliberalism and classism can forgive or permit.

Cutting off Dilma’s head strikes at the heart of outcasts, for that reason the traitors have attacked ferociously – because they lost at the polls.

Helping millions of marginalized people

They could defeat someone who has put a roof over people’s heads and put a plate of food on the tables for millions of marginalized people. Someone who has created jobs, invested in education, health and infrastructure, who has bet on the BRICS instead of on the United States and oligarchic capital of the region.

Someone who has not sold oil to abusive hands, who has a futuristic vision of regional integration and who wants comprehensive development for Brazilian children in their own country, so they are not forced to migrate through neoliberal countries to be exploited in the United States.

Someone who wants and fights for the rights to women so that they stop being seen as third rate human beings.

A political and human obligation to take to the streets

The 54 million Brazilians have a political and human obligation to take to the streets, demonstrating peacefully defending their rights. Dilma can not do it alone, and Dilma has defended them during her tenure, even with her life since her teens: never forget that she was tortured by those who now want her removed!

Now is the time to assert that vote and make their voices heard. No one can defend the rights of outcasts better than themselves. For Dilma, for Brazil, for the favelas. For the right to live in a country that deserves to flourish. For historical memory, dignity, identity, human and labor rights. For justice, for integrity and love. For those who came before, for those who are here and those who will come.

Dilma is unbreakable, they will not be able to break her. But they are not going for her, they are going for the achievements of progressive government, they are going for the dreams of outcasts. They are going for the unprecedented beauty of a blooming Brazil. No capital, no oppressor, no traitor has never been able to deal with the enormous strength of a wounded and honest people. Brazil has to show what it is made. The time is now and the fight is today.

Today and always, my love and support for my president Dilma and my homeland Brazil.


Cuba-Africa collaboration: A bridge between sister nations

Source:  Granma
My 20 2016

By: Laura Prada |

Cuba’s legacy of collaboration in Africa is one of the finest examples of the island’s solidarity efforts

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Cuban collaboration in Africa. Photo: Granma

Cuba is always ready and willing to offer services wherever they are needed

Cuba is renowned for its worldwide collaboration efforts, due among other reasons, to the readiness of Cuban doctors to go wherever they are needed, including remote areas or in response to natural disasters or epidemics.

Likewise, educational and sports specialists share their knowledge in several sister nations, while technicians from other spheres such as agriculture also make an important contribution.

The fact is that Cuban collaborators are always ready and willing to offer services wherever they are needed.

Collaboration in Africa – one of the finest examples of the island’s solidarity efforts

fidel in africa.jpgIt is precisely Cuba’s legacy of collaboration in Africa that represents one of the finest examples of the island’s solidarity efforts.

In May 1963, Algeria was the first African country to receive an international medical brigade sent from Cuba, where 55 collaborators offered services to the people of that nation for one year.

Later, in the 1970s and 80s, Ethiopia and Angola, among other countries, received medical and military assistance. A contingent of teachers was sent to Angola, where they remained over the course of eight academic years, even during the country’s independence struggles.

Over one million Cubans have provided services in more than 160 countries worldwide

Since the triumph of the Revolution through 2015, over one million Cubans have provided services in more than 160 countries worldwide, while almost 30,000 health, education, sports, science, and construction collaborators, among other disciplines, have offered assistance across the entire African continent.

International collaboration is without a doubt one of the fundamental components of the Revolution’s foreign policy; a non-political initiative based on the principles of solidarity and humanism. Despite having reached various countries across the globe, Cuban collaboration has been concentrated in sister nations of the Third World.

When reviewing the island’s international collaboration efforts it is impossible not to mention cooperation in the sphere of health, which has won Cuba worldwide recognition and prestige.

One of the most recent examples, recognized globally, and by organizations such as the African Union, United Nations and World Health Organization, was the brigade of 256 Cuban health professionals – members of the Henry Reeve Contingent – sent to Guinea Conakry, Liberia and Sierra Leone, to help combat the Ebola epidemic.

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Noam Chomsky: The Real Reason why the US Normalized Relations with Cuba

Source:  Democracy Now


Transcript by JSC
(37:14 – 40:24)

But we have to ask: why did the US decide to normalize relations with Cuba?  The way it is presented here it was a historic act of magnanimity by the Obama administration as he himself put it and commentators echoed, we have tried for 50 years to bring democracy and freedom to Cuba, the methods we used didn’t work so we’ll try another method.

Reality, we tried for 50 years to bring terror, violence and destruction to Cuba, not just the terrorist war but the crushing embargo.  When the Russians disappeared from the scene, instead of – the pretense was that it was because of the Russians – when they disappeared from the scene how did we react under Clinton?  By making the embargo harsher!  Clinton outflanked George H W Bush from the right during the electoral campaign in harshness against Cuba … that’s how we tried to bring democracy and freedom to Cuba.

Why the change?  Because the United States was being driven out of the hemisphere.  Take a look at the hemispheric meetings which are a symbol of  … Latin America used to be just the backyard, they do what you tell ‘em.  If they don’t do it we throw em out put in someone else.  No more, not in the last 10 or 20 years.

The hemispheric meeting in Cartagena, Colombia must have been in 2012 when the US was isolated – US and Canada were completely isolated from the rest of the hemisphere on two issues.

One was admission of Cuba into hemispheric systems the second was the drug war which Latin America essentially the victims of the drug war – the demand is here actually even the supply of weapons to Mexico is largely here. But they are the ones who suffer from it.

They want to change it, they want to move in various ways towards decriminalization  and other measures.  US opposed, Canada opposed.

It was pretty clear at that time that at the next hemispheric meeting which was going to be in Panama if the US still maintained its position on these two issues, the hemisphere would just go along without the United States.

There already are hemispheric institutions like CELAC, UNASUR for South America, which exclude the United States and it would just move in that direction. So Obama bowed to the pressure of reality and agreed to make, to accept the demand, the overwhelming demand to move slowly towards the normalization of relations.