More solidarity with the people and government of Venezuela from Cuba

Yesterday, at the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP), an event was held to reiterate solidarity with the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela which is facing imperialist threats and the criminal acts of its oligarchic right wing opposition

Source:  Granma
August 22 2017

by: ICAP | informacion@granma.cu

icap in solidarity with venezuela.jpgYesterday, at the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP), an event was held to reiterate solidarity with the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela which is facing imperialist threats and the criminal acts of its oligarchic, right wing opposition.

The documentary Venezuela, oscura causa, by Hernando Calvo Ospina, was screened, while Venezuelan ambassador in Cuba, Alí Rodríguez, thanked participants for their many expressions of solidarity with his country, denounced imperial ambitions to control the country’s natural riches, and reaffirmed his people’s determination to defend their independence and sovereignty.

International media campaign against Venezuela

Graciela Ramírez, president if the International Committee for Peace, Justice and Dignity for the Peoples, condemned the international media campaign against Venezuela in which reality is manipulated and lies repeated.

Also speaking was Silvio Platero, president of the Cuban Movement for Peace and Peoples’ Sovereignty, who reiterated the support for Venezuela expressed by the World Peace Council.

Lilia María Zamora, acting director of ICAP, noted, “This past July 30, with the victory at the polls to install the National Constituent Assembly and return peace, stability, and dialogue to the country, the people of Venezuela dashed the empire’s plans, and offered the world another example of true democracy.”

During the event presided by ICAP Vice President Elio Gámez, participants also observed a moment of silence to honor victims of recent terrorist attacks in Europe.

 

‘Unacceptable’ for Trump to Threaten Venezuela Says Lula

lula caravan of hope 2.jpg

Lula visits the Brazilian state of Bahia during his “Caravan of Hope” tour. | Photo: @LulapeloBrasil

Source:  TeleSUR
August 21 2017

Lula said that Venezuela’s institutional crisis should be overcome “through dialogue and political negotiation.”

Still on the first leg of his “Caravan of Hope” tour, which will take him through nine Brazilian states in the northeast of the country, Brazil’s former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has denounced military threats made by U.S. President Donald Trump against Venezuela.

RELATED: ‘Brazil Needs Credible Government’: Lula on Presidential Tour

In defense of Venezuela’s sovereignty and the right of its people to determine their country’s fate, Lula stated, “It’s unacceptable that Donald Trump makes military threats on Venezuela or any country, anywhere in the world,” according to Brasil de Fato.

He added that if the country finds itself amid an “institutional crisis, they should seek to overcome it through dialogue and political negotiation, always respecting the officials who were elected by popular vote, within democratic rules, as was the case of President Hugo Chavez and President Nicolas Maduro.”

Lula recalled similar incidents in Venezuela in 2003, during his first term as president of Brazil. To help resolve the crisis, Lula proposed the formation of a group of countries that held the best interest of Venezuela’s sovereignty to help negotiate a peaceful solution.

However, the former head of state admitted that, as of today, Brazil is in no moral position to offer any such assistance to Venezuela’s internal affairs.

“How ridiculous it is for an illegitimate coup government, enemy of its own people, to want to school Venezuela on the terms of democracy,” Lula said, referring the unelected government of Michel Temer.

He said that only when Brazil itself, with democratic participation from all sectors of society, elects a president will it be able to collaborate with countries such as Venezuela to help restore peace and stability.

RELATED:Future of Venezuela Rests in the Hands of the People: Maduro

Meanwhile, Temer has met with Paraguayan President Horacio Cartes and both men have reaffirmed that they do not recognize the ANC in Venezuela, which was elected by over eight million Venezuelans on July 30 as a means to achieving peace in the country and intensifying citizen participation.

In a joint communique issued after their meeting, Temer and Cartes also reiterated their support for both the decision of the Mercosur trade bloc to suspend Venezuela and the so-called “Lima Declaration” that twelve regional countries signed on Aug. 8, condemning what they called “the rupture of the Venezuelan democratic order.” These are the same right-wing countries that, led by the United States, were unable to have Venezuela censured in the Organization of American States.

According to Folha de Sao Paulo, Temer’s administration was considering sanctions on the import of Venezuelan oil derivatives of over US$220 million, which constituted more than half of Brazilian imports from Venezuela in 2016. However, the idea has been scrapped due to worries of the adverse effects it will have on the population.

https://videosenglish.telesurtv.net/player/668303/who-is-lula-da-silva/?aspectratio=auto

 

Lula Begins ‘Caravan of Hope’ Tour Through 25 Brazilian Cities

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Supporters of Brazil’s Worker’s Party at a rally. | Photo: AFP

Source:  TeleSUR
17 August 2017

The caravan will look to identify needs and struggles, and stimulate resistance against the unelected Temer government.

The former President of Brazil and founder of the Workers Party, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva embarked on the “Caravan of Hope” tour which will take him through nine states and 25 cities in Northern Brazil.

RELATED:Lula Pulls 6 Points Ahead in Brazil’s Opinion Polls

The caravan’s first stop is in Salvador, and will continue until the last stop in Sao Luis do Maranhao on September 5th.

According to Marcio Macedo, who is the current Workers Party Vice President and the coordinator of the caravan, the journey will have the dual aim of meeting with mayors, governors, and officials in the region, as well as identifying the legacy of the Lula and Dilma Workers Party government, and identify needs and struggles that have set in as a result of the unelected Michel Temer government.

The project looks to both stimulate resistance, and formulate future strategy.

“Both the Workers Party and Lula are imbued with the desire to bring a little hope to the Brazilian people, showing that it is possible to reconstruct a national project overcoming hatred and intolerance,” Macedo said.

Sao Paulo Mayor Fernando Haddad spoke on the need for the Workers Party to formulate a strategy in close coordination with the needs of the people.

“It cannot be bureaucratic. There must be more caution, more humility, and to process everything with generosity, including to incorporate the criticism that arises from the people, the workers, and to take note of the errors they point out,” Haddad said.

For many long-time observers, the Caravan of Hope is an effort to echo and recall Lula and the Worker’s Party’s origins, when Lula began the Caravan of Citizenship in 1992 to help construct the social programs that defined his government.

Lula was recently charged with alleged corruption, and handed a nine-and-a-half year prison sentence. In spite of this, he is the highest polling candidate for the upcoming 2018 presidential elections.

Both he, his lawyers and his supporters, have repeatedly argued that the accusations against him are fabricated and part of a campaign to prevent him running again for president in the elections.

 

Black Lives Matter in Cuba

Source:  TeleSUR
August 21 2017

By: Andrew King

Afro-Cubans in Havana Plaza | Photo: EFE

It is precisely because of Cuba’s anti-racist and pro-worker policies that the U.S. government has labeled the country “a violator of human rights.”

As activists unite to confront white supremacy in the United States, it is important for us to study other societies outside the U.S. that have made true strides in racial and economic justice, in order to better envision the world that we want to create.

OPINION: Britain’s Open University Bows to US Pressure over Cuba

After listening to President Donald Trump’s June speech on Cuba, in which he reversed all the steps that the Obama administration had made to improve relations, one might not think to look towards this island nation as such an exemplary society. However, one must understand the history of Cuba to see why the U.S. government is escalating the six-decade war and embargo against the socialist country. It is not hard to see that the issue of race is central to the capitalist empire’s war on this socialist stronghold.

The Revolution’s Early Measures Against Racism

Like most colonial nations, institutional racial oppression was brutal in pre-revolution Cuba. Black Cubans formed the most oppressed sector of society: they faced rampant job discrimination in which they had no access to most positions in government, health care, transportation, and retail. A system of Jim Crow-style segregation relegated Afro-Cubans to specific neighborhoods and schools, and they were banned from hotels and beaches.

Illiteracy was widespread among the most oppressed sectors, and medical care was out of reach. Few know that after Castro’s failed guerilla attack on the Moncada Garrison in 1953, it was a black lieutenant from then Dictator Fulgencio Batista’s army that found him in the hills, and — sympathizing with the rebel cause — saved Castro’s life by sending him to jail in Santiago rather than to the Moncada Barracks where he would have been shot and killed along with the 70 guerilla soldiers who met such a fate. History works in mysterious ways.

When the revolution triumphed six years later, one of new government’s first measures was to abolish racial discrimination in employment and recreational sectors. When the rebel army tanks entered Havana, they crushed the hotel fences, which represented the old racial order signifying where the black and poor could not go. Castro’s government abolished the private school system of the white Cuban elites and established a well-funded and integrated public school system for all.

OPINION: US Human Rights Record, Not Cuba’s, Should Be Condemned

Laws were passed to outlaw racial discrimination

Revolutionary laws were passed to outlaw racial discrimination in housing, employment, healthcare and education. Hence, while the white upper class Cubans fled to Miami, there were no questions of loyalty from working class blacks as to whether they would support the socialist government. The fight against racism and the struggle for socialism go hand in hand.

The revolution dramatically improved the socioeconomic conditions of black workers and farmers, cutting rents in half, redistributing land, and providing universal free education and healthcare to all. Before 1959, over a quarter of Cubans were illiterate. The revolution launched a massive literacy campaign, sending brigades of student teachers into the most remote areas of the countryside, and in 1961, Cuba was declared free of illiteracy. Today Cuba has a 99.8 percent literacy rate, the highest in Latin America.

Solidarity with African-Americans

fidel y malcom.jpgCuba has always been a guiding light in the black freedom movement. Fidel’s historic visit with Malcolm X in Harlem’s Theresa hotel in 1960 was symbolic of the Cuban revolution’s blow against colonialism and world white supremacy. Both Malcolm and Castro understood the centrality of racism to the capitalist system: “you can’t have capitalism without racism,” Malcolm once famously said. Along the same vain, at the 2001 World Conference against Racism , Castro argued that:

“Racism, racial discrimination and xenophobia are not naturally instinctive reactions of the human beings but rather a social, cultural and political phenomenon born directly of wars, military conquests, slavery and the individual or collective exploitation of the weakest by the most powerful all along the history of human societies.”

Assata Shakur

Assata Shakur, former leader of the Black Liberation Army and one of “America’s Most Wanted’, escaped prison in the 1970s, and sought refuge on the socialist island. Cuba has vowed to protect this revolutionary heroine, a crime for which the empire will never forgive her. This past June, when President Donald Trump demanded that Cuba return Shakur, Cuba’s Deputy Director of American Affairs said: “It is off the table .” Throughout the ‘70s, other African-American revolutionaries such as Eldridge Cleaver, Huey Newton and Stokely Carmichael all visited the revolutionary Caribbean nation. Over the decades, black pastors and community leaders have led key US-Cuba solidarity initiatives such as Pastors for Peace which has made over 20 annual trips to Cuba and raised awareness to end the embargo of the island. Indeed, the African-American people have been the most consistent and loyal of friends to the Cuban people.

Cuba’s Contribution to African Liberation Movements

Less well-known is Cuba’s historic and pivotal role in supporting the African Liberation movements of the 1960s and ‘70s. For a period spanning over a decade, the small island nation sent over 300,000 volunteer soldiers to Angola, not in pursuit of diamonds, oil or natural resources like the imperialist nations, but to assist the anti-colonial fighters of Angola in their struggle against the South African apartheid army which had invaded the newly independent nation.

Fidel y Amilcar Cabral.jpgAs Guinea Bissau’s legendary independence leader Amilcar Cabral once said of this selfless solidarity: “When the Cuban soldiers go home, all they will take with them are the remains of their dead comrades.” Cuban forces struck the decisive blow to defeat the apartheid army in the battle of Cuito Cuanavale.

In addition, Cuba sent troops to battle alongside independence fighters in Algeria, the Congo, Ethiopia and Guinea-Bissau. In his 2000 speech at Harlem Riverside Church, Fidel exclaimed that:

“Half a million Cubans have carried out internationalist missions in numerous countries in different parts of the world, especially Africa. They have been medical doctors, teachers, technicians, construction workers, soldiers and others. When many were investing in and trading with the racist and fascist South Africa, tens of thousands of voluntary soldiers from Cuba fought against the racist and fascist soldiers.”

It was these historic feats of internationalist solidarity that prompted Nelson Mandela to visit the Caribbean nation after his release from prison, where he proudly stated : “The Cuban people have a special place in the hearts of the people’s of Africa.”

Socialist Health Care

One of the landmark pillars of the revolution has been the establishment of a world-class health care system which provides free, quality medical care to all Cuban citizens, and has disproportionately benefitted the island’s black and historically marginalized citizens. While all Cubans have free access to comprehensive medical care, people of color in the United States (the richest country on earth) face extreme health disparities and make up over half of the 32 million nonelderly uninsured. Cuba has twice as many primary care doctors per capita than the United States, due to its prioritization of community-level preventative care.

OPINION: The World Must Learn From Cuba

Infant mortality rate is an important indicator of a country’s health. In pre-revolution Cuba, the infant mortality rate was over 50 infant deaths per 1,000 live births. Now it is down to 4.3 . Meanwhile the United States, one of the richest nations on earth, has a rate of 7.7 . Further, when you look at underserved regions of the US like Mississippi — which has the largest black population of any state – the infant mortality rate is 9.6 , double that of the Cuba’s. In other words, Black babies matter in Cuba — more so than they do in the US.

Revolutionary Doctors

If there’s one accomplishment the international community cannot ignore it is Cuba’s ‘medical internationalism’ which in 2014, saw 50,000 Cuban doctorssaving lives in over 60 developing nations across the globe. While activists around the world attend protests, Cuba demonstrates her belief that black lives matter by sending doctors and medical personnel overseas to African and Caribbean nations to literally save black lives. Cuban doctors operate a comprehensive health program, which makes 3,000 doctors available for the region of Sub-Saharan Africa. Speaking on Zimbabwe, a nation where the former apartheid regime did not train any black doctors, Fidel explains that, “We sent teams of 8 to 10 doctors to every province: specialists in comprehensive general medicine, surgeons, orthopedic specialists, anesthiologists and x-ray technicians.”

In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the Cuban government assembled the Henry Reeve Brigade — 1,500 fully equipped health professionals trained in disaster medicine — which were brought together on an airstrip, ready to depart for New Orleans immediately to help save black lives.

Cuban doctors in Haiti

President Bush rejected the offer. Many of these same doctors then went to Haiti, the Western Hemisphere’s first free black republic, where today there are several hundred Cuban doctors and specialists providing free health care to 4 million people. After the deadly 2010 earthquake, Cuba health professionals arrivedwithin 72 hours as some of the first responders.

OPINION: Representation and Resistance: Slavery Depictions in Cuba vs. US

The United States, on the other hand, sent thousands of marine soldiers to the island. This juxtaposition speaks volumes regarding the values of capitalist and socialist societies. In the aftermath of catastrophic disaster, one society exploited the crisis and sought to control black life; the other sought to save it. More recently, the same international Medical brigade spearheaded the fight against the Ebola epidemic in West Africa, sending surgeons, intensive-care doctors, epidemiologists and pediatricians. These efforts earned Cuba an award from the World Health Organization.

Over 100 scholarships for African American and low-income students from the United States

If it were not enough to export its own doctors to countries in need, the Cuban revolution has also taken up the admirable task of training doctors from other countries free of charge in Havana’s Latin American School of Medicine (ELAM). ELAM currently has an enrollment of over 19,000 students most of which are from Africa and Latin America. Medical school is free for all students, and this includes over 100 scholarships for African American and low-income students from the United States who have agreed to use their training to serve low-income communities at home.

Despite these social gains, Cuba is far from a racial utopia; blacks are still underrepresented in high-level government positions and in the lucrative tourism industry, and whites have had disproportionate access to the new market-driven sector of the economy that emerged during the special period. However, most can acknowledge that it is quite difficult for a society to overcome a racial legacy of 400 years of colonialism, in just 50 years of revolution. The struggle against racism in Cuba is an ongoing process.

Lift the embargo on Cuba

It is precisely because of these anti-racist and pro-worker policies, and Cuba’s audacity to stand tall in the face of empire, that the U.S. government has labeled her “a violator of human rights.” On the contrary, it is the U.S. government whose police forces continue to take black lives with impunity, and wage a war on the poor, who is the real human rights violators. Let us lift the embargo on Cuba and put the embargo on US capitalism and racism. Let us not forget that if there ever was a place where black lives truly matter, it’s Cuba.

Andrew King is a public policy doctoral student at UMass Boston, an activist-scholar, and has supported Black Lives Matter organizing and other racial and economic justice campaigns. Andrew has also done solidarity organizing with and research on Latin American social movements and has traveled to Venezuela and Cuba. He can be reached at andrew.king003@umb.edu.

 

2017: 256 Angolan students graduate in Cuba

“Cuba not only trains men of science, but also of conscience,”  Angolan student

This year, a total of 256 Angolan students graduated in Cuba…Granma spoke with some of them and found that almost all defined their studies in Cuba as one of the best experiences of their lives

Source:  Granma
August 21 2017

by: Darcy Borrero Batista | informacion@granma.cu

cuban trained angolan graduate 1.jpgEsmeralda de Fátima Damiao graduated with a high academic average of 5.03 points in Educational Psychology from the University of Sancti Spíritus. Photo: Darcy Borrero Batista

“It was all like a flash of lightning. It was a shock for me to come here. At first I didn’t want to. My father, as a former revolutionary soldier who adores the history of Cuba, wanted me to study here. My brothers had already done it; so I tried too, even though the first few days I didn’t feel like eating and was a little depressed.

I met wonderful teachers

“Then I started to interact with people and, in the end, I loved it. I fell in love with the province of Holguín, where I met wonderful teachers, a father, a mother, friends, who have offered me a life experience because we have shared everything. I learned the concept of fraternity, and that inspired me to write my thesis on local development.

“I was the first Angolan to write an applied thesis on local development!” Augusta Lopes Miranda explains, today a graduate of Economics from the University of Holguín.

Born in central Luanda, the capital of Angola, Lopes is mainly interested in politics. She is not the only one among the thousands of international students who graduated in different specialties in Cuba this year to have such an interest. Many leave the island wanting to change the world.

This year, a total of 256 Angolan students graduated in Cuba, among them psychologists, biologists, economists, architects, mathematicians, physicists, doctors, chemists, and engineers.

Granma spoke with some of them and found that almost all defined their studies in Cuba as one of the best experiences of their lives.

I would like to become the first female President of my country

“I arrived at just 20 years of age and here I became a woman, a professional, and I’m leaving ready to contribute to the development of my beautiful homeland. I would like to become the first female President of my country,” Lopes states, noting her desire to expand the social participation of women.

Esmeralda de Fátima Damiao is another Angolan graduate. At the University of Sancti Spíritus, she studied the specialty of Educational Psychology, and graduated with a high academic average of 5.03 points.

“From the time I arrived I was always very clear on the objective that brought me here. I did my degree in four years, even though it was five. I had the opportunity to do fourth and fifth year in a single course, due to my commitment and dedication,” she reveals.

I can consider myself a doctor today

International students on the island can opt for a range of careers in the university system throughout the country.

In the case of Angola, “There is a national cadre training program and an administrative institute for scholarships abroad. Through this body, scholarships are awarded to students who meet the requirements: to be healthy, not to be over 25 years of age, and have a good academic average,” explains Mauro Molose, who just graduated as a doctor.

Aged 30, he is the seventh of eight children in a family from the south of Angola. “I have always been very dedicated to my studies and, thanks to that, I can consider myself a doctor today.

The experience in Cuba was magnificent

“Our educational system is very different from that of Cuba. In fact, many of us have had certain difficulties entering universities here due to the change of evaluation system. Nevertheless, human beings have an adaptive capacity and we have managed to leave here as professionals,” he adds.

Back in his home country, Dr. Molose studied Agrarian Sciences, but “without giving up my dream of becoming a doctor someday. I knew that Cuba is a world power in this field and when it was announced in my country that they would grant scholarships to Angolans, at that very moment, without looking back, I suspended my agricultural studies and I came here.”

He now considers himself to be Cuban, more specifically from Santiago, and expresses with satisfaction that the experience in Cuba was magnificent. “We lived far from our families, but in Santiago de Cuba we were met with a very welcoming people, very similar to ours. As for seismic activity, Angola is a fairly quiet country. However, in Santiago we always had to deal with tremors. The one that marked us most was that of January 17, 2017, we were very scared.

I leave as a doctor, but also as a more humane person

“We experienced very important moments in the history of this country: the arrival of the Five Heroes, the death of our Comandante…

“We experienced many other events that marked our lives significantly, and I leave as a doctor, but also as a more humane person.”

Yuri Dos Santos, 27, graduated in Architecture at the University of Camagüey. Before coming to the island, he was already studying the third year of Architecture in Angola.

“But I left everything behind and started over here in Cuba. Until I came to Cuba, I felt an uneasiness that I could not explain. So, coming here and being exposed to a different environment, made me grow. Cuba has been exactly that, a school in terms of the development of my thought.

Studying here has been a privilege

“Studying here has been a privilege because being a graduate of a Cuban university is, for Angolans, synonymous with pride and respect.”

The most important thing for this young man, of everything he has learned here, is the philosophy with which degree courses are taught, at least in his case.

“We learn not only the technical aspect, but the social philosophy. The architecture I have learned is the product of a socialist system, and that is tangible when drawing. I can not create a 41-story tower; I have to think of buildings for the poor and the rich.”

WHAT DO INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS FACE ON RETURNING TO THEIR COUNTRIES?

cuban trained Angolan graduate 2Yuri Dos Santos, aged 27, graduated in Architecture from the University of Camagüey. Photo: Darcy Borrero Batista

“In the case of Angola, we must enter the labor market and present our curricula to companies,” notes Yuri from Luanda, who studied alongside students from China, Djibouti, and several countries of the Americas.

“Spanish was the common language for all of us, even though the language was a barrier at first. I’m not going to lie. The early years were not easy, especially as I got sick, but the help of doctors and teachers meant I survived. Not only on the health side of things; also as a human being,” he explains.

The most successful international student

José Antonio Ferrera, the most successful international student in his graduation, is from the province of Kwanza Sul, Angola.

“What motivated me to come in principle were the results of Cuban education. My brother came before me and that also served as my inspiration. Now that I have graduated as a mechanical engineer, I do not regret having trained here. There I studied at a polytechnic, which would amount to a vocational course here, and I felt I had a solid base to study on the island.”

I am what I am now thanks to Cuba

“Angola is emerging from a civil war and we have had just a few years of peace, so our education system cannot be excellent. That’s why we are turning to sister nations to train the intellectuals and scientists who will build the country. We are going to involve them in the country’s social development,” notes José Antonio, who chairs the Assembly of Angolan Students in Cuba.

“I have spent more than half of my youth here and, throughout history, the island has offered its contribution to my country; and today Angola is what it is, thanks to the sisterhood of the Caribbean nation,” José Antonio stresses.

“Cuba not only trains men of science, but also of conscience,” he adds.

Meanwhile, Dr. Mauro, who graduated with an academic average of 4.92 points, notes: “In my town, we believe that he who is not thankful, is a sorcerer. That’s why I thank Cuba. Because I am what I am now thanks to Cuba.”

fidel y neto 2.jpg

Maduro Invites Opposition Youth to Join Employment Program

Source:  TeleSUR
August 19 2017

Nicolas maduro aug 2017Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro speaks at Miraflores Palace in Caracas | Photo: REUTERS

 

Maduro said that the program will welcome all youth participating in the opposition protests with “open arms for work and study.”

The President of Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro, has invited the young people who have been caught up in the violence of far-right opposition groups to join the efforts to build productive and educational pathways for youth, called the “Plan Chamba Juvenil.”

RELATED:  Venezuela’s ANC President Proposes New Liaison Commission

“The Democratic Unity Table (MUD) led them on the road to violence… I, for the sake of peace in our country, extend my hand so that we follow the path of education, work, and culture,” the President said on Friday, speaking from the Miraflores Presidential Palace in Caracas.

Maduro assured that if the youth who have been used by opposition leaders during recent months to foment a violent coup d’etat wish to leave that behind and follow the path of productivity and respect for law and constitution, they will have his full support and be able to participate in the Youth program, created by the Bolivarian government to ensure education and employment opportunities for the country’s young people.

Related:  Venezuelans speak to TRUMP

Your greatest ally

“If some of you who went down that path of violence and want to do politics, do it in peace. And if you want to change the schemes of politics and attend to social problems, you can count on me. I am not your enemy, I am your greatest ally if your desire is to bring education, sport, culture, and employment to our community’s youth, to all the neighborhoods, to the whole country. Stop the violence!” Maduro said.

Plan Chamba Juvenil

He said that the Plan Chamba Juvenil would welcome all youth participating in the opposition protests with “open arms for work and study,” in order to engage them in productive activities to benefit society.

The plan offers education opportunities, as well as employment in areas such as social and health services, recreation, urban agriculture and maintenance, and security.

As of today, over 594,000 young Venezuelans have signed up for the program, and 300,000 of those have already been enrolled in a job.

 

Nicolás Maduro pays respects to Jose Marti and Fidel Castro

Source:  Granma

August 16 2017

by: Yaima Puig Meneses y Yudy Castro Morales | internet@granma.cu

The Venezuelan President was accompanied by Army General Raúl Castro Ruz, First Combatant Cilia Flores, and Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez  Parilla

raul y nicolas aug 2017 1.jpgPhoto: Estudio Revolución

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro Moros visited the Santa Ifigenia cemetery in Santiago de Cuba, yesterday August 15, accompanied by Army General Raúl Castro Ruz, to pay his respects to Cuba’s national hero José Martí and Comandante en Jefe Fidel Castro, on the 91st anniversary of his birth.

The two leaders, along with First Combatant Cilia Flores, and Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla, observed the changing of the guard ceremony at the graves where the remains of Martí and Fidel rest.

The first tribute was to the Teacher, in his mausoleum, where they deposited white roses alongside the single starred flag.

Before the granite boulder that holds Fidel’s ashes, they placed flowers, since the Venezuelan President could not miss a visit on the 91st birthday of the Comandante en Jefe who always championed the Bolivarian Revolution.

The group also paid tribute to July 26 Movement martyrs and those who gave their lives as internationalists after the triumph of the Revolution in January of 1959.

raul y nicolas aug 2017 2.jpgPhoto: Estudio Revolución

In a brief tour of Santa Ifigenia, Raúl spoke with Maduro about Cuba’s history, explaining why Carlos Manuel de Céspedes is considered the country’s founding father; recalling Mariana Grajales and María Cabrales, mother and widow of General Antonio Maceo, respectively; and informing the visiting President about several officers in the War of Independence who are buried in the historic cemetery.

Stopping alongside the tomb of Frank País García, they also left flowers, and Raúl recalled the valiant youth who was murdered, as was his brother Josue, by the Batista dictatorship.