Coronavirus and capitalism: whose ideas will prevail? Naomi Klein comments

Quote

Source:  Dear Kitty. Some Blog
March 22 2020

This 17 March 2020 video says about itself: Coronavirus Capitalism — and How to Beat It Governments around the world are busily exploiting the coronavirus crisis to push for no-strings-attached corporate bailouts and regulatory rollbacks. “I’ve spent two decades studying the transformations that take place under the cover of disaster,” writes Naomi Klein. “I’ve learned […]

via Coronavirus and capitalism, Naomi Klein comments — Dear Kitty. Some blog

The Response to Coronavirus: A Tale of Two Systems

Source:  Black Agenda Report

March 11 2020

Coronavirus Fearmongering Demonstrates U.S. Imperialism is a Drag on Humanity
The US is the most profit-oriented, business-controlled society on Earth, and therefore the least able to cope with a national health emergency, which requires sacrifice of profit for the greater good.

“U.S. imperialism offers no solutions to address the coronavirus outbreak now that it has reached U.S. shores.”

The coronavirus outbreak in China has made its way across the world, infecting thousands in nations such as Iran and South Korea. While confirmed cases in the United States remain low (likely due to underreporting), a cloud of fear and racist hysteria hangs over the U.S. populace from centuries of imperialist aggression toward China and its people. Racist attacks against Asian Americans are on the rise . The corporate media has predictably used the outbreak to demonize China’s system of economic and political governance. Yet as fear of the coronavirus’ spread increases, it becomes clearer that U.S. imperialism is the true drag on humanity, not China’s market socialist model.

The U.S. corporate media has lamented over its assessment that China’s “authoritarian” government is behind why the country has been able to address the coronavirus outbreak with such strength and vigor. This is a cynical admission that the United States and its imperialist allies are not prepared to effectively address a similar outbreak. One person based in Miami has already reported receiving a bill of over $3,000 to get tested for the coronavirus.  A 2019 survey found that up to half of all participants avoided seeking medical care due to the cost of the for-profit healthcare system. This alone places a large section of the population at risk should the number of coronavirus cases increase as predicted.

“One person based in Miami has already reported receiving a bill of over $3,000 to get tested for the coronavirus.”

The real story of the coronavirus outbreak is not the virus’ lethality but rather the difference between an imperialist world order and the alternative system located in China. U.S. imperialism and its allies across the world had over a month to take preventive measures and learn from China’s containment strategy. Instead, the corporate media and official Washington have provided ordinary Americans with nothing but a steady dose of anti-China fear mongering and non-stop coverage of the virus’ spread.

China, on the other hand, has been praised by the World Health Organization  for its aggressive response to the outbreak. New coronavirus cases have been steadily declining  in mainland China from over 3,247 new cases in mid-February to around 442 new cases at the beginning of March. The number of deaths per capita in South Korea and Italy have already surpassed those in China.

China’s impressive response

Because of U.S. imperial hostility toward China, few people in the U.S. understand just how impressive China’s response to the coronavirus  really is. Over sixty million people in mainland China remain quarantined to their homes. While economic activity has gradually returned, people are being asked to quarantine themselves for fourteen days if they have travelled outside of the country. Security has been administered to all residential areas for regular temperature checks. Television programs across the country are providing around the clock education on measures to prevent the virus’ spread.

“U.S. imperialism and its allies across the world had over a month to take preventive measures and learn from China’s containment strategy.”

Perhaps even more impressive, China’s central government has commanded companies to produce medical supplies  to make up for shortfalls. The mandate to produce medical supplies includes completely unrelated sectors of the economy such as smartphone technology and the automotive industry. Two massive hospitals were built to assist in the treatment of the virus within a three-week span . The hospitals increase the number of hospital beds in China to treat the disease by over two thousand. Over forty-one thousand medics have been sent to Hubei province as part of China’s national patriotic health campaign to contain the virus. Health experts in China estimate that the coronavirus will be under control within the country by the end of April 2020.

U.S. imperialism, on the other hand, offers no solutions to address the coronavirus outbreak now that it has reached U.S. shores. The CDC has discouraged the use of masks  prior to infection even though the novel coronavirus can take up to two weeks before symptoms become evident. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar has already warned Congress that there is a massive shortage of surgical masks and other medical supplies  in the U.S. to protect health workers in the case of an outbreak. While around 1,000 people are under a federally enforced quarantine in Washington state, such measures implemented nation-wide would cause serious disruptions to the already stagnating U.S. capitalist economy. Many people are without sick days to cover large absences  from work and the recent stock market dip indicates that financiers on Wall Street are growing increasingly concerned about their profits should the coronavirus prompt the demand for more extensive measures.

“Health experts in China estimate that the coronavirus will be under control within the country by the end of April 2020.”

The U.S. ruling class has been spreading fear about the coronavirus to avoid the reality that its social system is organized to generate massive private profits for the rich at the expense of the oppressed and toiling masses. An emergency response system does not exist in the United States beyond the channels of a security state designed primarily to wage war on the oppressed. That system is not equipped to serve the people and thus cannot be trusted to use its massive resources to address the coronavirus outbreak. U.S. imperialism is the most dangerous disease of all. U.S. imperial aggression toward Iran has already starved the country of the resources necessary to address its own coronavirus cases.

The racist hysteria spread by headlines such as the Wall Street Journal’s “China is the Real Sick Man of Asia”  negate the U.S.’ historic role in spreading disease and death around the world since its inception. Indigenous peoples were poisoned in the millions by diseases such as smallpox which settlers spread intentionally to free land for capitalist exploitation. Tens of millions of Africans died from disease, malnutrition, and colonial violence  after being captured and enslaved by invading European powers, including the United States. In the last half century alone, U.S. imperialism has killed tens of millions more and deployed biological weapons such as Agent Orange  and depleted uranium  that have left generations vulnerable to birth defect and cancer in Vietnam, Iraq, and beyond. The consequences of U.S. imperialism’s regime of austerity and endless war have also been felt on the mainland of Empire. Diseases of despair have eroded the life expectancy of the middle-aged white male population while mass incarceration and racist state terror has destroyed countless Black lives and placed Black life expectancy  well behind that of whites.

“An emergency response system does not exist in the United States beyond the channels of a security state designed primarily to wage war on the oppressed.”

U.S. imperialism is designed to produce such historical and contemporary maladies in the name of profit. All the fearmongering of China’s “authoritarianism” has done is revive the tired white supremacist and anti-communist ideology of the Cold War that serves to justify the existence of U.S. imperial hegemony. This is the same ideology that not only allowed the ruling class to threaten nuclear war on the Soviet Union China, and Korea  after using nuclear weapons on Japan, but also terrorize and demonize radical and progressive Black movement leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr.  It is past time that the left reject the anti-China, new Cold War trap created by the capitalist class. While Bernie Sanders’ Medicare for All policy is much needed to address problems such as the coronavirus and the many millions who are suffering without adequate healthcare, Bernie Sanders’ decision to fight the DNC’s attacks with anti-China and anti-Russia talking points is the wrong way to go. China’s so-called “authoritarianism” has successfully mobilized an entire country to contain the outbreak of a deadly disease, eradicated absolute poverty for nearly a billion people, and offered a new model of global economic cooperation through the Belt and Road Initiative that respects international law and the right of nations to self-determination.

“China’s so-called ‘authoritarianism’ has successfully mobilized an entire country to contain the outbreak of a deadly disease.”

The declining conditions of workers and poor people in the U.S. and the West indicate that more “authoritarianism” is needed, not less. Authoritarianism is a racist dog whistle for socialism. Socialism, rather than Bernie Sanders’ New Deal social democracy, requires public ownership of the means of production and the control of the state by the oppressed. Only when masses of people have the power to plan and direct economic activity can their interests and needs be placed in command of society. In order to get here, capitalists must be unseated from their thrones in the corporate boardrooms and political offices that empower them to privately usurp much of the wealth produced by labor.

The most socialist-oriented section of the U.S. population, Black America, knows full well what it is like to be dehumanized and criminalized for seeking the power to control its economic and political destiny. White supremacy is the bedrock of U.S. imperialism and it is being whipped up to reinvigorate the U.S.’ war on China at the expense of Black Americans and the rest of the exploited classes right here in the mainland of Empire. As a larger section of workers are subjected to the economic conditions that have plagued Black life for centuries, U.S. imperialism becomes increasingly exposed as the drag on human progress that it always was. A coronavirus outbreak in the U.S. will just add fuel to a growing fire of hatred toward the conditions of imperial decay. We must fight anti-China demagoguery to ensure that popular anger is channeled where it belongs: at the system of U.S. imperialism itself.

Danny Haiphong is an activist and journalist in the New York City area. He and Roberto Sirvent are co-authors of the book entitled American Exceptionalism and American Innocence: A People’s History of Fake News–From the Revolutionary War to the War on Terror (Skyhorse Publishing)He can be reached at wakeupriseup1990@gmail.com, on Twitter @spiritofho, and on Youtube at The Left Lens with Danny Haiphong.

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Exclusive Interview: Ex-President Manuel Zelaya – The Crisis in Honduras

Source:  Dear Kitty Some blog & The Real News
January 2 2020

Zelaya interviewed jan 2 2020

Former Honduran President Manuel Zelaya, who was ousted in a coup d’état in 2009, talks to Laura Carlsen about the origins and consequences of the crisis in His country

 

Story Transcript

LAURA CARLSEN: To talk about the current crisis in Honduras we’re here in the offices of the LIBRE party with the former president and leader of the LIBRE Party Manuel Zelaya. 

Thank you very much for talking to us, Mr. President.

There is very little coverage on the international level of what is happening now with these demonstrations –and they’ve been going on for months. 

What is your evaluation of this stage of opposition here in Honduras and what possibilities do you see for making a real change?

MANUEL ZELAYA: Well, we have to look at where we’re coming from, what we’ve gone through and what the demands and the expectations are in the short, medium and long term. I think that there’s a rupture in the democratic order from ten years ago– the constitution of the republic was broken. Instead of restoring the social pact, instead of seeking common ground between the opposing sectors, they imposed on us a single idea, a single tyrannical, dictatorial way of violently running the country.

Read more here

Cuba: The most sustainably developed country in the world, new research finds

Source:  Morning Star Online

November 29 2019

The Capitol building in Havana

Cuba is the most sustainably developed country in the world, according to a new report launched today.

The socialist island outperforms advanced capitalist countries including Britain and the United States, which has subjected Cuba to a punitive six-decades-long economic blockade.

The Sustainable Development Index (SDI), designed by anthropologist and author Dr Jason Hickel, calculates its results by dividing a nation’s “human development” score, obtained by looking at statistics on life expectancy, health and education, by its “ecological overshoot,” the extent to which the per capita carbon footprint exceeds Earth’s natural limits.

Countries with strong human development and a lower environmental impact score highly, but countries with poorer life expectancies and literacy rates as well as those which exceed ecological limits are marked down.

Based on the most recent figures, from 2015, Cuba is top with a score of 0.859, while Venezuela is 12th and Argentina 18th.

The SDI was created to update the Human Development Index (HDI), developed by Pakistani economist Mahbub ul Haq and used by the United Nations Development Programme to produce its annual reports since 1990.

The HDI considers life expectancy, education and gross national income per capita, but ignores environmental degradation caused by the economic growth of top performers such as Britain and the US.

“These countries are major contributors to climate change and other forms of ecological breakdown, which disproportionately affects the poorer countries of the global South, where climate change is already causing hunger rates to rise,” Mr Hickel said.

“In this sense, the HDI promotes a model of development that is empirically incompatible with ecology and which embodies a fundamental contradiction: achieving high development according to HDI means driving de-development elsewhere in the world. For a development indicator that purports to be universal, such a contradiction is indefensible.”

Britain, ranked 14th in 2018’s HDI, falls to 131st in the SDI, while the US, 13th in the ul Haq index, is 159th out of 163 countries featured in the new system.

Mr Hickel added: “The SDI ranking reveals that all countries are still “developing” – countries with the highest levels of human development still need to significantly reduce their ecological impact, while countries with the lowest levels of ecological impact still need to significantly improve their performance on social indicators.”

The SDI is available at sustainabledevelopmentindex.org.

MLK: “Capitalism has out-lived its usefulness”

Source:  People’s World
January 18 2018

MLK: “There’s something wrong with capitalism”

Racist violence and economic injustice were among the problems Dr. Martin Luther King laid at capitalism’s doorstep. Here, King looks at a glass door of his rented beach cottage in St. Augustine, Fla. that was shot into by someone unknown on June 5, 1964. | Jim Kerlin / AP

 

Throughout his life, Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke often and with vision about the nature of capitalism and the kind of changes needed to replace it. The following quotes reflect some of King’s key thoughts on the subject. The power of his words speaks as much to the present day as they did to the turbulent times he witnessed.

“I imagine you already know that I am much more socialistic in my economic theory than capitalistic… [Capitalism] started out with a noble and high motive… but like most human systems it fell victim to the very thing it was revolting against. So today, capitalism has out-lived its usefulness.” – Letter to Coretta Scott, July 18, 1952.

“In a sense, you could say we’re involved in the class struggle.” – Quote to New York Times reporter, José Igelsias, 1968.

“And one day we must ask the question, ‘Why are there forty million poor people in America?’ And when you begin to ask that question, you are raising questions about the economic system, about a broader distribution of wealth. When you ask that question, you begin to question the capitalistic economy. And I’m simply saying that more and more, we’ve got to begin to ask questions about the whole society…” – Speech to Southern Christian Leadership Conference Atlanta, Georgia, August 16, 1967.

“Call it democracy, or call it democratic socialism, but there must be a better distribution of wealth within this country for all God’s children.” – Speech to the Negro American Labor Council, 1961.

“We must recognize that we can’t solve our problem now until there is a radical redistribution of economic and political power…. This means a revolution of values and other things. We must see now that the evils of racism, economic exploitation, and militarism are all tied together… you can’t really get rid of one without getting rid of the others… the whole structure of American life must be changed. America is a hypocritical nation and [we] must put [our] own house in order.”- Report to SCLC Staff, May 1967.

“The evils of capitalism are as real as the evils of militarism and evils of racism.” – Speech to SCLC Board, March 30, 1967.

Dr. King speaks in Atlanta in 1960. | AP

“I am now convinced that the simplest approach will prove to be the most effective—the solution to poverty is to abolish it directly by a now widely discussed matter: the guaranteed income… The curse of poverty has no justification in our age. It is socially as cruel and blind as the practice of cannibalism at the dawn of civilization when men ate each other because they had not yet learned to take food from the soil or to consume the abundant animal life around them. The time has come for us to civilize ourselves by the total, direct and immediate abolition of poverty.” – Where do We Go from Here?, 1967.

“You can’t talk about solving the economic problem of the Negro without talking about billions of dollars. You can’t talk about ending the slums without first saying profit must be taken out of slums. You’re really tampering and getting on dangerous ground because you are messing with folk then. You are messing with captains of industry. Now this means that we are treading in difficult water because it really means that we are saying that something is wrong with capitalism.” – Speech to his staff, 1966.

“[W]e are saying that something is wrong … with capitalism…. There must be better distribution of wealth and maybe America must move toward a democratic socialism.” – Speech to his staff, 1966.

“If America does not use her vast resources of wealth to end poverty and make it possible for all of God’s children to have the basic necessities of life, she too will go to hell.” –  Speech at Bishop Charles Mason Temple of the Church of God in Christ in support of the Memphis sanitation workers’ strike on March 18, 1968, two weeks before he was assassinated.

MLK Global

White House terrified by socialism’s growth

Source Cuba Network in Defense of Humanity alainet

November 12 2018

by Manuel Yepe

capitalism isnt working1.jpgTrump and Bolton’s regime has added a new front of war to its theater of operations against the Third World.

They’ve targeted the “troika” of Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua, charging them with nothing less than the crime of being “socialist”.

The White House Council of Economic Advisors (CEA) has released a study titled Opportunity Costs of Socialism that warns of the “return” of socialism to U.S. political discourse.

The U.S. government feels threatened by a new rise in socialist ideas in the United States on the eve of the November 6 legislative elections, the report notes.

“Coinciding with the bicentennial of Karl Marx’s birth, socialism is experiencing a return to the country’s political discourse. Self-styled socialist political proposals are gaining support in Congress and a good part of the electorate,” says the White House in the report.

Some think the CEA has reacted like this after recent polls showed Republicans overwhelmingly support the Medicare for All program that the White House has worked so hard to discredit.

The 72-page report used texts from “white papers” by the Heritage Foundation and the American Enterprise Institute.

The authors of the report argue that socialism is reappearing in American political discourse. And that seriously concerns at least a subset of the Executive Branch, to the point of devoting entire pages to such “pressing” issues as the socialist debates of a century ago and such significant quotations as “to each according to their ability.

The Council of Economic Advisors (CEA) also compares vaguely social democratic policies -such as the exclusion of private interests from health care- with Mao Tse Tung’s Great Leap Forward. “There are journalists and analysts who openly assert that single-payer programs are more efficient and their objectives are similar in spirit to those of Lenin and Mao,” according to the CEA.

Among the proposals analyzed is universal public health care. Although it’s far from being part of the public opinion debate has begun to gain followers after the momentum given to this by progressive Democrats such as Senator Bernie Sanders, the former Democratic presidential candidate in the 2016 elections.

“Initiatives such as universal public healthcare are very much in line with socialist approaches,” CEA Director Kevin Hassett said at a news conference.

If public health were to be funded by higher taxes, Hassett said, it would lead to “a 9% drop in GDP.”

The document is unusual because the CEA’s job is to offer opinions from an academic and non-partisan point of view.

Hasset links politicians from the most progressive wing of the Democratic Party, such as Sanders and Senator Elizabeth Warren, who defend a social-democratic model within a market economy, with icons of socialist historical thought such as Karl Marx and Vladimir I. Lenin.

In several campaign events prior to the mid-term elections of November 6, U.S. President Donald Trump has rampaged against Venezuela and its Bolivarian revolution, warning that “if Democratic candidates like Florida’s gubernatorial hopeful Andrew Gillum and Texas Senator Beto O’Rourke were elected, the United States would run the risk of becoming another Venezuela.”

“Democrats want to raise taxes massively and impose socialism in our country. We will be another Venezuela,” Trump said recently at a rally in Nevada.

The conclusions reached by the CEA report are what one would expect: Venezuela is doing badly and free markets are doing well.

But what the report really shows is that the White House feels threatened by a rise in socialist ideas when its witch-hunt is most intense.

The CEA’s attitude toward Medicare for All shows that what worries them is the idea of a specifically American democratic socialism emerging.

“Coinciding with the 200th anniversary of Karl Marx, socialism is reborn in political discourse. The political proposals of socialists gain support in Congress and in a good part of the electorate,” the White House laments in its report.

Evo Morales Denounces Chilean Government’s Plans to Destabilize Bolivia

Source:  Internationalist 360

https://www.telesurtv.net/__export/1538868332352/sites/telesur/img/news/2018/10/06/evo_morales_arriving_to_el_alto.jpg_1718483346.jpgBolivia’s President Evo Morales has denounced plans by the Chilean oligarchy to destabilize the country after the Hague’s ruling on sea access.

“After the October 1 ruling, the Chilean oligarchy wants to destabilize and divide us so we forget about the sea, but Bolivia will never give up on its sea claim,” Morales posted on Twitter.

The president also warned of an “open” conspiracy between the Chilean oligarchy and Bolivia’s right-wing political sphere.

El capitalismo nos quiere dividir para dominarnos y dominarnos para robarnos. La derecha boliviana tiene derecho a unirse, pero no debe ser un instrumento de la oligarquía chilena. Aliarse con la oligarquía chilena es traición a la Patria.

— Evo Morales Ayma (@evoespueblo) 6 de octubre de 2018

“Capitalism wants to divide us to dominate us and dominate us to steal from us. The Bolivian right has the right to unify, but it must not be an instrument of the Chilean oligarchy. Allying with the Chilean oligarchy is treason to the motherland.”

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruled against Bolivia’s petition to discuss access to the Pacific Ocean with Chile, based on historical diplomatic commitments.

“It is not over: even if the court has decided it will not accompany the maritime claim, just as it has accompanied almost every nation in the world, the multilateral world, like former members or secretaries-general of the United Nations like Kofi Annan, rest in peace.” said Morales.

“That will continue because it is a boisterous demand from the people of Bolivia. Just think about it. I’m not sure the court understands this.”

On Tuesday, Morales announced he would write a letter to the ICJ to highlight contradictions in its ruling.

Bolivia surrendered most of its former coastline to Chile in a 1904 treaty following the War of the Pacific.

The Andean neighbors have held occasional talks about a possible corridor to the sea for Bolivia ever since, but judges said that did not create any obligation for Chile to actually negotiate one.

Aleida Guevara: “In Cuba, the people are the only masters we serve”

Source:  The Dawn
October 2017

aleida guevara jan 208.jpgPhoto Credit: El Diario

Interview with Aleida Guevara March (1)

Interview conducted by Andrea Duffour *

-How is it that a Cuban doctor is taking part in humanitarian missions in Africa and taking interest in agrarian reforms in Brazil?

In Cuba doctors are educated to care for the people, the only master we serve. From the beginning of my career I accepted the international character of my calling and that is why it is normal that I should be prepared to go and work wherever I am needed.

Already for more than 25 years I have been working with the Landless Rural Workers’ Movement in Brazil, and I am very proud of it. As a Latin American woman I think it is one of the most consistent popular movements we have, and again, as a doctor, I think of the need for adequate nourishment, especially for the children. The agrarian reform is essential for the people to be able to feed themselves; it needs to turn into reality our dream of being owners of what we produce, free from theft and plunder of our natural resources.

-What role could Che and Fidel play in the cultural struggle between capitalism and socialism today?

Che and Fidel are examples of cultured men who knew the important role cultural education plays in the struggle for liberation. Knowledge frees you, enables you to understand what it is that you need, and what you can do to fulfill these needs. Their lives are inspiring examples that push us forward. If they could succeed, why shouldn’t we?

-“Crear riquezas con la conciencia, no conciencia con las riquezas “ (Create riches, with conscience, not conscience concerned only with wealth) said late Fernando Martinez Heredia (2), great expert on Che and Fidel, who we’ve just lost…

We should realize the dream of a human being aware of its membership in a specs, capable of practicing solidarity and not brutality, compassionate and not indifferent, capable of understanding that the greatest wealth is knowing how to share what we have, even, for example, smiles. We are trying to turn this dream into reality, but we are constantly being taught that every day of our life we should be more and more individualistic, and forget that by nature we are social beings, who live in community with others. What is worst, by doing so we are destroying our foundations and are heading for a void.

-The Late Francois Houtart (3) has analysed the concept of a good life, of the indigenous peoples of the Andes, el sumak kawsay, which has been incorporated into the constitution of Ecuador. Is there anything comparable in the thoughts of Che?

Che was very clear in his thoughts and very consistent. His entire life showed what he thought. He is the best communist I know; what was important for him, throughout his work, is the well being of mankind, well being with dignity; that is why we talk of the right to work, the right to decent living accommodations, free healthcare and education as the inalienable rights of all human beings. We talk of respect, knowing that it must be won through hard work and struggle against great opposition, but we must be prepared to defend it.

-How would you define a revolutionary?

I think that our Fidel defined the revolutionary when he created the concept of Revolution: he must possess understanding of ethics, honesty, compassion, respect for the people, dedication to his goal, and a great capacity for love.

-In the film, Cuba Si! (Chris Marker, 1961), young Fidel explains that the French must understand that political parties have not resolved a single major problem, and that dominant classes might be moving in the direction of fascism, while the revolution in Cuba is on the side of socialism. In view of the social situation in France today, has this claim lost any of its relevance?

It is important to know how the French people feel. Are they happy with what they have? Do they feel safe? How do they see their future?

I live in a different society that is not perfect but concentrates on human beings and allows us to grow up learning from our mistakes, as we do so correcting them.

There are no parties in our elections – there are only the people; that fact defines the candidates and the people are without doubt the greatest participants. Perhaps it would be good to analyse the role of people’s scrutiny of candidates they name from the left. I have considerable sympathies for the workers party of Belgium, which will grow because people are able to sense the coming change. The times we are living in require that we should have fate in people. They should be shown clearly what we want, and why it is important that we do so. What do we need? Education accessible to all, which we must not allow to be privatized. For our patients, free high quality health care for all. Why do you allow, in your countries, public hospitals to be closed, or not to function as they should, forcing people to take their health problems to the private sector? And housing? If your government provides you with these, and with much more than all these, then you are happy, because otherwise you would have to look for other solutions, and only you can do that.

-If that is the case, are we in Europe usurping the world socialist?

I do not want to be too strict, but whenever I am in these regions I do not see any unity, we allow ourselves the luxury of divisions. When we are so few, what the devil are we doing? Socialism means respect for different peoples, fulfilled lives, and more than anything else unity, otherwise where can we find the strength that we need to change reality?

-Some friends from Cuba tell me that you have only one party, but that it protects the interests of the people, and that in Europe there are many parties bearing different names, but that they all represent only one party, the party of capital.

I agree.

-Frei Betto said “We have to make up our mind whether we want to save the capitalist system, or mankind” (4). What are the alternatives to capitalism in the world today?

Since the disappearance of European socialism, especially the Soviet Union, capitalism has turned into the most unscrupulous and brutal system. It no longer has any competition close by, and it is therefore not interested in preserving the public health care system, and certainly not the free high quality education; social achievements that took decades of workers’ struggle to achieve are being privatized and the worst thing of all is the indifference of the working classes that preceded this…

Do you ask yourself why it is that the World Health Organization came to my country to ask for help in trying to control the Ebola epidemic? It is because my people are educated on ethical values, solidarity, dignity and love. That is the reason why Cuban doctors risk their lives, because we are aware that the sacrifice of one man or one people is not important, if what is at stake is the fate of mankind.

-Aleida, how do you see the Cuban youth, born with all the benefits of the Revolution and perhaps taking them all for granted?

It is necessary to work with the young continuously, it is necessary to listen to them and show them the way, but always by personal example! The young are our hope, but they are, unfortunately, always put under the greatest pressure by those who wish to do harm to the revolutionary process. It is important that all the necessary information reaches them and is available to them; for example, watching recently an excellent television program about the struggle against the bandits who revolted after the victory of the Revolution, they recognized themselves in their fathers and grandfathers who had taken part in the epopee of the Revolution. The young were full of respect and admiration for our peasants, our army and the militia. I believe it is a healthy youth, compassionate, hugely patriotic and with revolutionary inclinations.

-In December of 2016 I also asked Fernando Martinez Heredia is there any reason for concern about the possible disillusionment or de-politicization of Cuban youth, comparable to the one that affected the young in the West. The Cuban philosopher agreed that capitalism is working on de-politicization and debilitation of the masses, to make sure they do not have unified ideas but by imposition no ideas at all, but he reassured me that Cuban youth is critically inclined and prepared. After the physical disappearance of Commandant Fidel, he said, many spontaneously proclaimed: “I am Fidel”.

Our dear friend was a wise man….

We are moving forward and it is true that the pain of losing the great father of all Cubans is turning into strength and creative energy; one day we will have to be prepared to say to people like them: You are gone, knowing that there is no retreat from our Revolution. Be continent, we are continuing your work and the future is secure.

-How wonderful it is to hear these words!

In 1964 one journalist (5) on the Francophone Swiss television asked Che whether anything had changed in the relationship of the US and Western Europe to Cuba. I am asking you the same question.

No, they are still dreaming of annexing the great part of the Antilles and do not understand that it is better for us to drown in the sea than betray the glory that we have lived. If you look into the documents published by the US admiral at the time when Cuba was still a Spanish colony, you will see that they were using the same methods as today, economic and naval blockades that were to destroy the island through famine and disease, decimate the population and prepare it for a take it over, because they knew us to be rebellious and invincible people.

-Can we talk about the most recent attacks, for example, the attempts to co-opt the young students and revolutionaries in Cuba, or carry out a soft coup d’état as in Venezuela, organized as usual by the US in collaboration with our European media?

They are not new attacks. They simply continue, using money as a means of subversion, a strategy to which only people with no ethics succumb. We must be aware of the strength of the enemy, Che said; North American imperialism must not be trusted at all. The case of Venezuela is a different matter; it is evidence of despair and proof that the people involved are completely without ethics. Can you imagine what it means to set fire to a children’s hospital? Can that be done by human beings? For my people, the life of a child is sacred. I do not understand and do not accept anything that jeopardizes the life of a child, so do not make me face such people because I would be in danger of losing control.

-How do the Cuban’s understand the Arab spring or the opposition in Syria?

First of all, we could ask any European how he would feel if the army of any country from the Third World interfered in their internal affairs. How would they feel if bombs started falling from the sky on their houses and hospitals? What would they think of the people who watch every day horrible scenes from those attacks and are unable to ask their governments to stop economic support for those responsible for those atrocities? The internal problems of a country can be solved only by its people and no one has the right to influence them. Our Benito Juarez has said “Respect for the rights of others means peace”. Manipulation of our lives and misinformation create confusion among people. Respect is essential; we can and we must live in peace.

-I have to ask you for help. Here in Europe we have lost all values and have become so poor that the only thing left to us is money. Che spoke of the creation of a new man (6) and of values not made of metal. How did you create this new man in Cuba? Is it possible to rise above one’s circumstances?

Dear friends, as Che has explained, the new man will never be a finished product; every time we improve society we must be prepared to improve ourselves as human beings; that would be the guarantee that everything that needs to be changed will change. That is our goal, and we are working on it.


* Andrea Duffour is member of the national Committee of the Friendship Association Switzerland – Cuba, http://www.cuba-si.ch

  1. (1)  Aleida Guevara is a medical doctor, allergy specialist, working at the William Soler Pediatric Hospital in Havana. Among other things she is the author of documentaries Chavez, Venezuela and the New Latin America (2004), Present Absences (2006), MST: Seed of Hope (2008), interview given to Joao Pedro Stédile, national leader of the Brazilian MST. She is the daughter of Aleida March and Che Guevara, and is the director of the Che Guevara Study Centre.
  2. (2)  Historian, essayist, philosopher, at the University of Havana, director of the Cuban magazine Critical Thought (Pensamiento Crítico). He died on June 12, 2017, several hours after completing his homage to Francois Houtart.
  3. (3)  Francois Houtart: cuba-si.ch/apres-le-capitalisme-quelles-alternatives-pourquoi-je-soutiens- lexperience-cubaine
  1. (5)  rts.ch/archives/tv/interview-du-che J.Dulmur, only interview in French,esp: cubadebate.cu/especiales/2017/06/16/entrevista-inedita-al-che-guevara-en-frances-1964
  2. (6)  Text by Che Guevara, written in the form of a letter in 1964, published as Socialism and Man in Cuba.

Bolivia’s President Morales Says Hurricanes are Product of Capitalism

Source:  TeleSUR
September 9 2017

evo morales sept 2017.jpgThe Bolivian President Evo Morales speaks during a ceremony in
Potosi, Bolivia. | Photo: Reuters

Morales has long identified the system as the root cause of climate change.

Bolivia’s President Evo Morales says the devastating hurricanes hitting Caribbean nations over the last week are caused by pollution created by the capitalist system, and is urging countries to implement the policies of the Paris Climate Deal.

RELATED:   Bolivia’s Morales Says ‘Most Polluted, Industrialized’ US Cannot Deny its Environmental Damage

“It is urgent to retake the Paris Agreement,” Morales wrote on his official Twitter account. “The world calls for peace between brotherly peoples and not walls against human beings.”

The Bolivian president also welcomed the comments made by Pope Francis during his visit to Colombia, calling for “a reconciliation with Mother Earth.”

Morales said the world is demanding peace between peoples, and not walls, such as the one that President Donald Trump wants to build on the U.S.-Mexican border.



In June, Trump announced that the U.S. is withdrawing from the 2015 Paris agreement.

He said moves to negotiate a new “fair” deal that would not disadvantage U.S. businesses and workers would begin.

Only three sovereign nations are not part of the accord, which aims to stem global warming.

Of the other two, Nicaragua feels the agreement does not go far enough, and Syria remains mired in a civil war.

“It is urgent to retake the Paris Agreement. The world calls for peace between brotherly peoples and not walls against human beings.”

At the the COP 21 Climate Change Conference in Paris in 2015, Morales had blamed capitalism for environmental destruction, calling it “the formula that has destroyed our species.”

Just back in July, the Bolivian leader had also remarked that “the U.S., the most industrialized and most polluted country in the world, cannot deny its responsibility for the damage it causes to the environment.”