60 years of the criminal US imperialist blockade against the Cuban Revolution

Source: marxism.com

by Jorge Martin 09 February 2022

On 3 February 1962, US president Kennedy signed proclamation 3447, decreeing an embargo on all trade with Cuba, which was to enter into effect on 7 February. This marked the official beginning of a 60-year blockade (though the imperialist assault had started earlier), which has progressively been strengthened and tightened.

The aims of this campaign of imperialist bullying were openly declared in an April 1960 secret memorandum by Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs Lestor Mallory. The memorandum, optimistically entitled “The Decline and Fall of Castro”, starts by establishing the following fact: “the majority of Cubans support Castro”. What’s the problem, one would think? There is a government in Cuba that has the overwhelming support of the population. Why should this worry the US? Ah, but, as Mallory points out: “Fidel Castro and other members of the Cuban Government espouse or condone communist influence.”

Memorandum

Image: National Archives

That is the problem. “We cannot allow a country go Communist just because the population supports it!”, is what he seems to be saying. This line of reasoning sums up the total worth of Washington’s references to the US defending “democracy” in its dealings with Cuba. The Cuban people can give itself any government it wants… as long as that is the government US corporations want.

Punishing Cuba with hunger

Incidentally, at the time of writing this secret memorandum, 6 April 1960, the Cuban Revolution had not yet made any statement nor taken any measure which could be described as socialist or communist. It had implemented agrarian reform and had taken steps to reassert its national sovereignty (both national democratic measures). It was only later that same year and in response to US provocations (the refusal to purchase an agreed sugar quota, and the refusal to refine oil at US-owned refineries) that the Cuban Revolution proceeded to expropriate US property on the island, moving very quickly towards the abolition of capitalism. And it was not until a year later, on the eve of the US-sponsored Playa Girón (Bay of Pigs) invasion, that Fidel Castro talked of the socialist character of the revolution.

But let’s return to Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Mallory and his memorandum. Not only is Castro’s government extremely popular and has communist leanings, he says, furthermore “there is no effective opposition”. He then considers the question of foreign intervention, which he seems to discard: “militant opposition to Castro from without Cuba would only serve his and the communist cause.” This is, of course, a sharp insight, but also a piece of cynicism. By this time, the US was already working closely with reactionary forces in Cuba and in Miami, sponsoring a campaign of terrorism, sabotage, aerial bombardment and counter-revolutionary insurgency in Cuba. Perhaps what Mallory was trying to say was that these methods were proving counter-productive, which is true.

Not that this appraisal would prevent the US imperialism from organising the counter-revolutionary disembarkment at Playa Girón in April 1961, which was swiftly defeated by the armed workers and peasants of Cuba.

What conclusion does Mallory draw from his observations? He writes: “The only foreseeable means of alienating internal support is through disenchantment and disaffection based on economic dissatisfaction and hardship.” To achieve that, he then proposes “a line of action which… makes the greatest inroads in denying money and supplies to Cuba, to decrease monetary and real wages, to bring about hunger, desperation, and overthrow of government” (my emphasis).

So, there you have it in black and white, from the horse’s mouth. If the Cuban people have the temerity to overwhelmingly support a government that “condones Communist influence”, then they should be punished, by bringing hunger and desperation until they change their minds and overthrow the government. This is the reasoning behind the policy of aggression US imperialism has followed for 60 years towards the Cuban Revolution. It is a criminal policy based on punishing a whole people for having dared to free themselves from imperialist domination and abolished capitalism.

The refusal of US-owned refineries to process oil bought from the Soviet Union led to their state intervention of Texaco, Shell and Standard Oil refineries between 28 June and 1 July 1960. To this, the US replied with a cut in the sugar quota they had agreed to purchase from Cuba, in what was known in Cuba as the “Ley Puñal” (“Dagger Law”, as it was stabbing the revolution in the back). But the Cuban Revolution did not retreat in the face of economic blackmail. On the contrary, it responded by nationalising (between July and October 1960) all US owned corporations On the island. US president Eisenhower then imposed a ban on all US exports to Cuba, except food and medicine.

The 1962 presidential proclamation by Kennedy, imposing “an embargo on all trade with Cuba,” was therefore not the first measure of economic aggression against Cuba, but it represented a qualitative turning point in the campaign of US imperialism against the Cuban Revolution. It imposed a blanket ban on all US imports from and exports to Cuba, which Washington had earlier calculated would deprive Cuba of hard currency earnings of 60 to 70 million US dollars (about US$650 million in today’s currency).

The decision was also informed by the complete disaster of the attempted Playa Girón invasion the previous year and was part of a broader programme of sabotage and paramilitary attacks launched from the United States, organised and coordinated by the CIA, aimed at regime change. These activities, under the name of Operation Mongoose, included the infiltration of armed counter-revolutionaries in the island, saw funding of several million dollars, were coordinated at the highest level, by presidential authority, and were supposed to culminate in the overthrow and assassination of Fidel Castro by October 1962.

Kennedy had wanted economic action against Cuba to be taken jointly by the Organisation of American States (OAS). At the January 1962 OAS summit in Punta del Este, Uruguay, Washington put pressure on all countries to expel Cuba from the body and subject it to an economic blockade, but did not get unanimity. When it realised it would not get unanimity, it then settled for a two-thirds majority of 14 votes and a watered-down resolution. In order to achieve the necessary 14 votes, Washington agreed to resume aid to Haiti, then ruled by the brutal dictator François Duvalier in exchange for a favourable vote at the OAS. The whole operation, clearly, had nothing to do with “democracy” nor “human rights”, but rather with containing “communism” and revolution throughout the continent. There was not even a pretence that it was about anything else.

Under instructions from their masters in Washington, the OAS countries expelled Cuba, and 14 of them also agreed to different measures of economic sanctions. It was not until 1964 that the OAS as a whole, under pressure from the US and with the excuse of Cuba’s support for guerrilla struggle in Venezuela, agreed to a trade blockade against Cuba, with only Mexico voting against. The resolution talks of Cuba having put itself outside the “Christian and democratic traditions of the American peoples” (!!) But of course, no such action was ever taken by the OAS against ruthless dictatorships in Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Nicaragua (which was ruled by Somoza at the time of agreeing the Cuba blockade), etc. Perhaps these dictatorships did not violate the “Christian principles of the American peoples” …

While European countries did not formally join the US blockade, they also sharply curtailed trade with Cuba.

It is significant to note that the blockade was originally put into law under the Democratic administration of Kennedy. The failed military invasion of Playa Girón was also carried out under his watch. This should be enough to dispel any illusions that the Democrats in power have a somehow more “humane” foreign policy. The foreign imperialist policy of the US is bipartisan, as both parties defend the interests of the ruling class.

The Cuban revolution responded to Kennedy’s blockade on 4 April 1962, with a mass rally at which Fidel Castro proclaimed the Second Declaration of Havana, expressing continued defiance against US imperialism and calling for revolution across Latin America.

Resilience of the revolution as embargo tightens

It is a testament to the resilience of the Cuban Revolution that the blockade has failed to destroy it. There was a short period of time in the 1970s when there was an attempt at normalising relations between Cuba and the US, and there was a partial easing of economic measures, but that came to nothing, and under the Reagan administration in the 1980s the blockade was tightened again.

For a whole period of time, the close alliance with the USSR propped up the Cuban economy, though that came with strings attached. But after the collapse of Stalinism in the Soviet Union, the Cuban Revolution was left on its own, suffering a massive economic collapse.

It was precisely at this time that new pieces of legislation were introduced by US imperialism, widening the scope of the blockade. The 1992 Torricelli Act, sponsored by a Democrat, backed by Bill Clinton and signed by George W Bush, reintroduced the blockade for subsidiaries of US-based companies and prevented ships that had docked in Cuban harbours from docking in US ports for 180 days.

Donald Trump Signs The Pledge 18 Image Michael VadonTrump introduced 243 separate measures to tighten the blockade on Cuba, and Biden has continued this policy / Image: Michael Vadon

Then came the even-worse Helms-Burton Act of 1996, initiated by Republican representatives and signed by Bill Clinton, which made the US blockade extraterritorial by threatening non-US companies with legal action in the US if they traded or invested in Cuban assets confiscated by the revolution.

Later on, particularly between 2002 and 2014, the Venezuelan Revolution provided both a political and an economic lifeline to Cuba, proving the point that, ultimately, the fate of the Cuban Revolution will be resolved in the arena of world class struggle. But the economic crisis in Venezuela has also had a negative knock-on effect on Cuba.

60 years later, a section of the US ruling class has admitted that this policy has not worked and has not achieved its aims. The Obama thaw represented an attempt to pursue the same objectives (to smash the revolution) by different means (through the battering ram of world capitalism).

Trump put an end to that policy and introduced 243 separate measures to tighten the blockade, in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic, including the activation of Title III of the Helms-Burton Act, which had been left in suspension. These had a catastrophic impact on Cuba. It is calculated that, in 2020 alone, the blockade has caused US$9bn worth of damages. It should be noted that not a single one of these measures has been repealed by Biden.

The US blockade is a criminal policy, which is designed, as clearly explained in the 1960 Memorandum, to punish the Cuban people with hunger for having dared to defy imperialism and having abolished capitalism.

The blockade has been consistently condemned by the United Nations General Assembly for the last 30 years. In 2020, only two countries voted against a motion condemning the blockade, the US and Israel. In its report to the United Nations, Cuba estimated the cumulative cost of the embargo over six decades at $148 billion dollars.

However, 30 years of UN votes have not changed the position of the US one single inch. This is a demonstration of how toothless of a talking shop this body is. The UN can pass any resolutions it wants. If US imperialism doesn’t agree, nothing will be done. On the other hand, if US imperialism thinks it can use the UN as a fig leaf for imperialist intervention, then it will; as in the case of the Congo in the 1960s, the first Gulf War in 1991, or more recently the UN intervention in Haiti.

Not all the problems the Cuban Revolution faces stem from the blockade. The isolation of the revolution on a small island with limited economic resources and the existence of a bureaucracy in the state are serious obstacles to building socialism. But certainly, the blockade is a factor of the first order of importance.

It is the duty of all revolutionaries, but also all consistent democrats, to wage a consistent struggle against this criminal imperialist blockade and unconditionally defend the Cuban Revolution.

Where to train doctors for the people who need them the most?

October 1 2014

Gail Reed: I want to tell you how 20,000 remarkable young people from over 100 countries ended up in Cuba and are transforming health in their communities.  Ninety percent of them would never have left home at all if it weren’t for a scholarship to study medicine in Cuba and a commitment to go back to places like the ones they’d come from — remote farmlands, mountains, ghettos — to become doctors for people like themselves, to walk the walk.

Havana’s Latin American Medical School: It’s the largest medical school in the world, graduating 23,000 young doctors since its first class of 2005, with nearly 10,000 more in the pipeline. Its mission, to train physicians for the people who need them the most: the over one billion who have never seen a doctor, the people who live and die under every poverty line ever invented. Its students defy all norms.

They’re the school’s biggest risk and also its best bet .  They’re recruited from the poorest, most broken places on our planet by a school that believes they can become not just the good but the excellent physicians their communities desperately need, that they will practice where most doctors don’t, in places not only poor but oftentimes dangerous, carrying venom antidotes in their backpacks or navigating neighborhoods riddled by drugs, gangs and bullets, their home ground .

The hope is that they will help transform access to care, the health picture in impoverished areas, and even the way medicine itself is learned and practiced, and that they will become pioneers in our global reach for universal health coverage, surely a tall order .

Declaration of the XX ALBA-TCP Summit 

Source: Internationalist 360

Final Declaration of the XX ALBA-TCP Summit Highlights Efforts Towards Real Latin American and Caribbean Integration

We, the Heads of State and Government and the heads of delegations of the countries of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America-People’s Trade Treaty (ALBA-TCP), gathered in Havana, Cuba, on December 14, 2021, to commemorate the XVII anniversary of the Alliance. By signing this Declaration, we renew our commitment to strengthen this mechanism of political coordination, based on the principles of solidarity, social justice, cooperation and economic complementarity, fruit of the political will of its founders, Commanders Fidel Castro Ruz and Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías.

We ratify that the cardinal principle that must guide ALBA-TCP is the broadest solidarity among the peoples of our America, based on the thinking of Bolivar, Marti, San Martin, Sucre, O’Higgins, Petión, Morazán, Sandino, Bishop, Garvey, Tupac Katari, Bartolina Sisa, Chatoyer and other heroes of Latin American and Caribbean independence, according to the joint declaration of Commanders Chávez and Fidel on December 14, 2004.

We ratify our commitment to a genuine Latin American and Caribbean integration, which will allow us to face together the pretensions of imperialist domination and hegemony and the growing threats to regional peace and stability.

We advocate for a transparent, democratic, fair and equitable international order, based on multilateralism, observance of the purposes and principles enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations and International Law; that guarantees international peace and security and respect for the right of peoples to self-determination, territorial integrity, peaceful settlement of disputes, non-interference in internal affairs and sovereignty of States.

We recognize the laudable work of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines as a non-permanent member of the Security Council during the last two years, raising the voice of the peoples of the Caribbean and representing the struggle for just causes within this important organ of the United Nations.

We reaffirm the full validity of the postulates of the “Proclamation of Latin America and the Caribbean as a Zone of Peace”, signed by the Heads of State and Government of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), at its II Summit held in Havana, in January 2014.

We underscore the need to continue strengthening CELAC as a genuine mechanism for political coordination, cooperation and regional dialogue based on the principle of unity in diversity, in order to face the common challenges we face. We ratify the results of the VI Summit of the Community, held in Mexico City on September 18, 2021, while commending the work of the Mexican pro tempore presidency to revitalize CELAC and reiterate our commitment to support its management.

Read full Declaration here

Hatred cannot take possession of the Cuban soul, which is one of goodness

President Diaz-Canel again addresses the nation on Cuban television, calling for peace and tranquility, respect and solidarity among compatriots and others around the world, saving Cuba to continue building and dreaming

-Source: Cubadebate

Communist Party of Cuba First Secretary and President of the Republic, Miguel Díaz-Canel, appeared on Cuban television, yesterday evening, and stated, “Peace and citizen tranquility, respect and solidarity among compatriots and others in need around the world, saving Cuba to continue building, growing, dreaming and achieving the greatest possible prosperity. This is our message to our people.”
– If they remove the blockade, if they leave us alone and allow us to act with our own talent, we can achieve prosperity and expand the Revolution’s immense work for social justice, he insisted.
– We have not been able to address many of the people’s dissatisfactions, because of the blockade, among other factors, he said.
– In the midst of fake news reports and perverse manipulation regarding Cuba, he noted that Army General Raúl Castro Ruz is present, ready to support the Revolution, with his boots on and a foot in the stirrup.
– He added that the way social networks are being used to attack Cuba constitutes media terrorism.
– We cannot allow them to disunite us, to divide us, he said.

Fidel’s words about difficult times

– The First Secretary referred to Fidel’s words in 1992: Difficult times are difficult times; in difficult times the number of people wavering increases. In difficult times – and this is a law of history – there are those who become confused, there are those who become discouraged, there are those who are intimidated, there are those who become soft, there are those who betray, there are those who desert.

We cannot allow those who do not want the best for our land to disunite us, to divide us. But it is also in difficult times that men and women are tested; it is in difficult times that those who are worth something are really tested,” and Diaz-Canel added: “Our people are worth something; they are worth a lot and will act in this way, fearlessly, with courage and determination. This people will never lack patriotic virtues.
– We are calling for peace, understanding and harmony, the President reiterated.

We call for the unity of the entire Cuban family

We are going to defend the Revolution, whatever the cost, we are calling for harmony and for no one to allow hatred to be introduced. Let us not allow anyone to divide us. Our problems will be solved by Cubans. We call for the unity of the entire Cuban family, our institutions and the people… This is a country of security and tranquility, Díaz-Canel insisted.

Fidel’s valuable example of brotherhood with Africa

Source: Cuba – Network in Defense of Humanity

August 4 2020

 By María Inés Álvarez Garay

The struggles against racial domination and discrimination in Africa had in Fidel the highest expression of internationalism, as defender of the rights of man. The leader of the Cuban Revolution extended his help to the African people oppressed for decades by the colonialism and segregationist regimes.

With the triumph of the Cuban Revolution in January 1959, Algeria was in the midst of the struggle for  independence against French colonialism, Cuba decided to support the African country.

 Algeria marked the beginning of the internationalist collaboration of the largest of the Antilles in Africa.

 In 1961 the Cuban government sent a ship with support to the Algerian military forces, on its return to Havana it brought hundreds of wounded and orphaned children to be cared for.

 “We will never forget how you [Cubans] took care of our orphans and our wounded. Ahmed Ben Bella, Prime Minister of the Republic of Algeria, 16 October 1962. Later, Cuba’s participation in internationalist missions for the liberation from racist and colonialist regimes was present in countries such as Ghana, Congo (Brazzaville), Zaire, Equatorial GuineaZimbabwe, Ethiopia, Somalia, Eritrea, Yemen, Tanzania, Angola, Namibia and Guinea Bissau.

The decisive battle against apartheid was that of Cuito Cuanavale, in Angola between December ’87 and March ’88. After months of confrontation, Cuban and Angolan soldiers staved off the advance of the South African troops.

“The crushing defeat of the racist army in Cuito Cuanavale was a victory for all of Africa! That resounding defeat of the racist army in Cuito Cuanavale gave Angola the chance to enjoy peace and consolidate their own sovereignty! The defeat of the racist army allowed the fighting people of Namibia to finally reach their independence!” Nelson Mandela, anti-apartheid leader and former president of South Africa.

Currently, the bilateral links between Cuba and African countries are based on that feeling of solidarity and internationalism, for which the most oppressed nations for years feel grateful and honest. Thanks to Fidel Castro, the forerunner of those revolutionary ideas.

Africa is an essential part of what we Cubans are today, and Fidel was consistent with this postulate that guided from the very beginning of the Cuban Revolution the special relations with the African continent.

Fidel referred to his country’s presence as a “duty of compensation”, for what the Africans contributed to the formation of Cuba, its roots, its independence and its culture.

 Our eternal Commander-in-Chief foresaw the future. A little more than half a century later, thousands of professionals have passed through Africa in health and education, the education of children, culture, sports, agriculture. and many others.

Our Party has never failed to play a leading role in every struggle, every accomplishment

Events on August 16-17, 1925, forever marked Cuba’s destiny. On these dates, a group of courageous men founded our first Communist party, the indispensable link between patriotic thinking of the 19th century, fundamentally that of Martí, and the ideals of social emancipation of later eras.

Author: Ángel Freddy Pérez Cabrera | freddy@granma.cu

August 20, 2020

Events on August 16-17, 1925, forever marked Cuba’s destiny. On these dates, a group of courageous men founded our first Communist party, the indispensable link between patriotic thinking of the 19th century, fundamentally that of Martí, and the ideals of social emancipation of later eras. They understood the value of continuity.

Two exceptional Cubans played a key role in the Party’s founding, Carlos Baliño and Julio Antonio Mella.

The first was a member of a patriotic generation that took to the scrub to wage an armed struggle against Spanish colonialism, and an unconditional friend of José Martí, with whom he founded the Cuban Revolutionary Party, the new organization’s valuable predecessor; while the young Mella, at only 22 years of age, represented the best of the generation that would give continuity to the struggles of Céspedes, Agramonte, Gómez, Maceo and Martí.

The principal mission of these visionary individuals, upon establishing the Party and joining the Third International founded by Vladimir I. Lenin in 1919, was to set about developing a program of demands for workers and campesinos; work actively in trade unions; and defend the rights of women and youth.

This was a difficult era and, on a daily basis, Cuban revolutionaries faced the iron fist of dictator Gerardo Machado, who organized brutal repression of the newly founded organization. The Party’s elected first secretary, José Miguel Pérez, was forced into exile, while other members, like Mella, faced trumped-up charges for crimes they did not commit.

But the nascent organization continued its work valiantly, with the leadership of individuals of the stature of Rubén Martínez Villena and others.

With the world stage dominated by the historic struggle against fascism and the creation of popular anti-imperialist fronts, the Party, known at that time as the Revolutionary Communist Union and later the Popular Socialist Party, defended the people’s rights in the bourgeois parliament.

No less important was its work during the struggle against the Batista dictatorship, under very dangerous conditions, with most efforts carried out underground.

After the triumph of the Revolution, January 1, 1959, under the leadership of Fidel and Blas Roca, a process began to unify the Party and the two political organizations that had carried the most weight in the revolutionary struggle against Batista – the July 26th Movement and the Revolutionary Directorate.

Thus, in 1961, the three groups merged to form the Integrated Revolutionary Organizations (ORI), as the antecedent to the constitution in 1963 of the United Party of the Socialist Revolution of Cuba (PURSC), which on October 3, 1965, adopted the name it has maintained to date, the Communist Party of Cuba.

Since then, our Party has never failed to play a leading role in every struggle, every accomplishment, as the vanguard of Cuban society during the most important moments the nation has faced.

If the Party has earned one merit in its history, it is to have preserved the nation’s unity, which has allowed us to confront persecution, genocidal blockades, wars, and threats of all kinds – and emerge victorious.

For this and other reasons, Fidel described the Party as the soul of the Cuban Revolution, as the organization that synthesizes the dreams and aspirations of a people over more than 100 years of struggle.

Today, as the homeland faces new challenges as a result of the pandemic that is ravaging the world and affecting us, as well, aggravating the impact of the vicious U.S. blockade, the Communist Party of Cuba stands firm and guarantees the historic continuity of the Revolution.

WFTU: Give Nobel Peace Prize to Cuban Medical Brigades

Source:  MLToday | Aug 19, 2020 | 

WFTU: Give Nobel Peace Prize to Cuban Medical Brigades

2021 Nobel Peace Prize for Cuba’s Henry Reeve International Medical Brigade!

“Our country does not drop bombs on other peoples, nor does it send thousands of planes to bomb cities. Our country does not possess nuclear weapons, chemical weapons, or biological weapons. Our country’s tens of thousands of scientists and doctors have been educated in the idea of saving lives”

Fidel Castro

Dear colleagues, brothers and sisters of the world working class,

The World Federation of Trade Unions salutes its members, friends and simple workers around the world who have been struggling day by day for their survival, for the defense of their labor rights, for having a human life in the midst of unprecedented pandemic conditions.

The workers of the capitalist countries, since the outbreak of the pandemic, not only have been counting their dead, but also have seen in the most blatant way the inhumanity of the bourgeois governments, which without any hesitations did not take effective measures for the protection of the people, so that the big capital, the bosses, would gain even more. The countless dead in the USA, Brazil, Italy and Colombia, as well as in other countries, are witnesses to the crimes of their governments against their own peoples.

However, despite the pain and grief, we workers have proudly seen the solidarity and selfless spirit of the heroes of the working class, of the medical personnel who are waging the battle against the pandemic on a daily basis across the planet.

With that in mind, we consider as the highest expression of humanity and internationalist solidarity the contribution selflessly made  by the Cuban medical brigades that for 60 years have been providing services in almost the whole world with an altruism, solidarity and humanitarianism, in particular the Henry Reeve Contingent, founded by Fidel, with the purpose of saving lives in times of disasters, epidemics, pandemics and other events that require Cuban medical and paramedical assistance.

For this reason, we consider it very important that the affiliated organizations of the WFTU, each militant union, demand that the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize be awarded to the International Health Contingent “Henry Reeve” of Cuba!

In this way, the prize will be awarded to a group that truly contributes and works for the good of humanity and not for the objectives of the imperialists. At the same time, a global response will be given to those who cannot accept that a small and blocked country in the target of international imperialism can offer such a great service to humanity.

Therefore, we call upon every union to send solidarity resolutions, statements and declarations, to  demand that the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize be awarded to the Cuban Medical Brigades, via the following e-mail: info@wftucentral.org All documents will be published on the WFTU website.

Long live international solidarity!

The WFTU Secretariat
Athens, Greece – 18 August 2020

Build a Garveyite Political Party in Jamaica. Start Now!

August 17 2020

By Al Gray

If Marcus Garvey’s spirit passed through Jamaica today, still with his inexhaustible energy, passion and vision for the unity of all Africans at home and abroad, and for the establishment of a United States of Africa, what would he be saying to us?

No one can be sure but here are my thoughts.  First, he would be asking those who have withdrawn from this national election process: where is your party? where is the party with the red, black and green flag, with the programme to teach (or hopefully continue teaching) the youth about their roots in the great civilizations of Africa like Songhai and Mali?  Where are our strong non-exploitative business and cultural links to organizations in Africa?  What about the Black Star Line?  True, I was sabotaged but the vision was correct.  What have you done to establish a Black Star Line 2?

What are you doing to stand up with the African brothers in the US who are being slaughtered like chickens and whose consciousness as a dignified race and people is now beginning to re-emerge?  We, Jamaicans, have always been at the forefront of African consciousness.  What specifically are we doing to continue this great legacy?  Are you in touch with the Black is Back Coalition in the USA?  Look beyond your borders to express and receive solidarity.

Related: 10 Quotes from Marcus Garvey

Why don’t we see vibrant UNIA organizations in all communities’ island-wide, linked through businesses, schools and cultural activities?

Why are our universities, the centres of education for those who are usually among the most progressive in our society, the youth, why are they so backward in this regard?  Why, since Michael Manley dared revive our slogan of self-reliance, despite the might of US imperialism, why have we seemingly reversed his slogan to “backward ever, forward never”?  What are you teaching our youth about the need to change this society to work in the interest of people of African descent?

Have the two traditional parties united or divided the people?  Have they contributed to the legacy of brutal warfare of brother African against brother African?  If so, what is on your agenda to wipe this remnant of mental slavery from the face of our country?

Related:  Ghana President Nana Akufo Addo Speech on 100 Anniversary of UNIA

Or, are we still a colony just dressed up differently with the new colonizers working behind the scenes – divide and rule?  Why are we still looking to the IMF, the World Bank, USAID, and the agencies that everyone knows operates as an instrument of the imperialists?

We need a new vibrant party, no matter how long it takes and no matter how many challenges internally and externally that are placed in the way.  There are enough people who are not involved in the present political parties, at home and abroad, who can be brought together under the umbrella of the red, black and green flag. The two-party system took many countries to so-called political independence, but life has shown us that they cannot go any further.  A different kind of party is needed for economic and cultural liberation. Parties that are linked across geographical borders.

Brothers and sisters, he might say, its time, in fact way past time, to look within your class, within your communities for leaders, those who will unite the hundreds of thousands who dominate the ranks of the poorer class.  It is time to look for those among yourselves who have the courage, and who cannot be swayed by money and other forms of bribery.  it can be done; it has been done.  Toussaint and the heroic Haitian people did it in 1804‼!.  Bolivar and the heroic Latin American people did it shortly after; Fidel, Che and the heroic Cubans did it.  It is time for Jamaicans to show that our greatness is not just in music and athleticism, we are the sons of Nanny, Tacky and Sam Sharpe.  Parliamentary “democracy’ is a scam, we all know that it has kept us in- dependence on the imperial powers.

Related:  Marcus Garvey’s Glowing Praise of Lenin

As we celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Declaration of the Rights of the Negro People’s of the World, let us rekindle the spirit of Marcus Garvey and target having a vibrant UNIA branch in every community in Jamaica in the next decade, as we lay the foundation for a new Garveyite party or the strengthening of any that now exists.  Do not wait on anyone, start now and make this a lifelong task‼!

One aim, one love, one destiny

Al Gray is a retired Jamaican living in the USA. He can be reached at greyal2@yahoo.com

What Cuba reaffirms

August 13 2020
Source:  Granma

Fidel
Photo: Archivo de Granma

The world is living hard times; Cuba, for its part, is, too. After a year of arduous battles, with our neighbor to the North holding our neck, attempting to force us to surrender and accept the imperialist yoke, in mid-March the pandemic reached our shores.

Horrendous images from all parts of the world of a desperate battle with death; a British cruise ship in trouble, with infected passengers aboard, which Cuba allowed to dock, to facilitate their safe return home; rich countries with health systems overwhelmed by the rapidly spreading disease; Cuban medical brigades preparing to save lives around the world, and the empire maliciously attempting to discredit what can only be described as glorious: a small island nation challenging Goliath, protecting its own, while making whatever it has available to all, without a single soul turning away from the task.

When the adversity gets worse, at a bad moment, when all our effort is not enough, and we must find another way; when a hopeful project is cut short, given the countless difficulties caused by the blockade, that anyone with any common sense can see, we ask ourselves: What would Fidel do? As if, in him, all answers can be found.

Wherever he might be – if in addition to breathing in the very essence of a people, he may live someplace else – Fidel is watching us.

The man who lived to return to his compatriots the dignity we were denied for centuries; who made sure all of Cuba could read, to ensure that ignorance did not prevent understanding; who made the happiness of children the homeland’s first priority, with no exclusions of any kind, offering all the right to shine as who they are and not what they have; who demolished barriers so no human being might believe him or herself superior to others; who trained doctors for Cuba and the world; Fidel knew how, with no other lesson than his own example, to create continuity.

It is no accident that President Díaz-Canel, who, with the sure guidance of Raúl, is today conducting the destiny of Cuba along a clear path, bases every one of his decisions on Fidel’s principles, those of the Cuban Revolution. Working very closely at his side in the last years was enough for our President to appreciate the rigor and value of Fidel’s essential teachings.

He knows that, to put an end to the neoliberal catastrophe that has cost us so much, the world needs a categorical change, and therefore upholds the banner of socialism, as the most just and humane of social systems.

His confidence in the people; his tested solidarity; his natural eloquence, always in front, calling everything by name; his hope for the future; his unassuming decency and willingness to work and build, leave no doubt. Fidel would do, in every new task, what Cuba, with the direction of our President, has reaffirmed.

Anti-imperialist unity is the tactic and strategy of victory

Source:  Granma

Full text of remarks delivered by Cuban President Díaz-Canel during the videoconference Meeting of Leaders, commemorating the 30th anniversary of the Sao Paulo Forum’s founding

diaz-canel aug 2000

Cuban President Díaz-Canel participated in the online leaders’ meeting commemorating the 30th anniversary of the Sao Paulo Forum. 
Photo: Estudio Revolución

Remarks by Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, President of the Republic of Cuba, via videoconference, at the Meeting of Leaders, commemorating the 30th anniversary of the Sao Paulo Forum’s founding, July 28, 2020, Year 62 of the Revolution

(Transcript: Presidencia.gob.cu /Translation: GI)

Dear Nicolas, Daniel, Rosario and Monica

Brothers and sisters of the political forces following this videoconference with interest:

I am accompanied by compañero José Ramón Machado Ventura, second secretary of our Party Central Committee, and compañero Bruno Rodríguez, Foreign Minister of the Republic of Cuba and member of our Political Bureau.

Thank you, Daniel, for your words; thank you, Maduro, for your words, for the book and the beautiful video about Chávez.

Thirty years ago, doomsayers of despair, enthusiasts of the market, advocates of a single thought, would have the world believe that history had ended.

And here we are, the intransigent defenders of hope and another possible world, celebrating 30 years of an embrace that is now history.

Today we celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Sao Paulo Forum, an idea born from the political genius of Fidel and an exceptional protagonist of this unifying accomplishment: Brother Lula, former President and leader of the Brazilian and Latin American left.

When the Soviet Union and the socialist camp in Eastern Europe collapsed and their gravediggers set out to bury the emancipatory ideas of the left on this side of the world, the creation of the Sao Paolo Forum provided a sharp shove to a ship that seemed to be drifting.

The revolutionary, progressive and democratic political forces of Latin America and the Caribbean converged in this organization of legitimate consensus to construct unity of the left for the emancipation and integration of our peoples, challenging the Monroe Doctrine and its allies on the continent.

The march of history could not be stopped. Socialist ideals have reared their heads in the empire’s backyard with their own personality and strength, and today it is only right to recognize compañero Lula and the leaders of Brazil’s Workers Party for their performance leading the Executive Secretariat of the Sao Paulo Forum.

This celebration also allows us to thank the Sao Paulo Forum for their unwavering support to the Cuban people and especially the solidarity campaign, undertaken this year, calling for an end to the blockade against Cuba.

This virtual meeting is taking place on the 66th birthday of a dear friend of Cuba, who Fidel described as the best friend of Cuba and of all peoples who struggle, Comandante Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías, who at the Sao Paulo Forum in 2012 invited us to lay “the cornerstone of South American, Latin American, Caribbean and world liberation, without fear.”

The invincible example of Chavez now summons us to continue the struggle, with firmness and optimism, convinced that there are no obstacles, however difficult they may seem, that our peoples, united, cannot overcome, as Venezuela, Nicaragua and Cuba demonstrate today.

“Doctors, not bombs”, Fidel said one day, responding to the ridiculous imperial pretension of subjugating peoples with wars and threats of intervention against 60 or more “dark corners of the world.”

And today we are witnessing the confirmation of his words, amidst the most complex human drama on the planet in real time.

Not even the most powerful and sophisticated weapons have been able to stop the new coronavirus pandemic. On the contrary, now the true, anti-human essence of capital has become more visible and more terrifying, with its insistence on the market and its uncontrolled rise under ruthless neoliberal policies: governments that are helplessly witnessing the collapse of their health systems, unable to save millions of lives, even those that were thought to be out of danger in the chaotic, brutal northern empire that despises us.

The region of the Americas is today sadly the epicenter of the pandemic. The neoliberal policies of many governments, bent on placing the market above human lives, make it impossible to predict the moment when a definitive control of the disease will be possible. The spread of the virus is a fact, if we consider that the first million cases were confirmed over 96 days, but the latest million were counted within only 16. Neoliberal paradigms have fallen into absolute disrepute. Whether their credulous followers like it or not, the history of their economic experiment is about to end, or human existence will be further compromised.

Despite the indisputable emergency the pandemic has created for everyone, the United States government has not desisted in its hegemonic plans for the region, reactivating the Monroe Doctrine and McCarthyism, escalating interference, threatening the use of force, and promoting a policy of legal attacks on leftist and progressive leaders and organizations.

While thousands die every day within the empire’s territory, the current tenant of the White House maintains continuous pressure on governments that are not to their liking, while receiving support from regional lackeys who operate in their interests.

Of particular concern, within this deplorable scenario, are imperialism’s interventionist actions in violation of international law against the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, which we condemn and reject with the same vehemence with which we reaffirm our solidarity with legitimate President brother Nicolás Maduro Moros and the civic-military union that sustains the country’s sovereignty.

We also reiterate our solidarity with the Sandinista government and people, led by Comandante Daniel Ortega, and reject unilateral coercive measures that threaten the peace, well-being, justice and development of the Nicaraguan people.

We reaffirm, once again, our strict adherence to the Proclamation of Latin America and the Caribbean as a Zone of Peace, signed by the Latin American and Caribbean heads of state and government in January of 2014, in Havana, and confirm our unwavering commitment to the eradication of colonialism until the debt to the peoples still living under colonial status is settled.

Dear brothers and sisters:

I speak on behalf of a sovereign, revolutionary and solidary Cuba, which will never allow itself to be subjugated, either by seduction or by force: the homeland of Martí, Fidel and Raúl.

I am speaking on behalf of a heroic and noble people who for 60 years have resisted the most cruel and genocidal of blockades, an economic, commercial and financial siege by the world’s greatest power, intensified as we battle the pandemic, with relentless, perverse persecution, insisting on a plan to force us to surrender with hunger and hardship.

Under the leadership of the Party, the government of our small, blockaded nation, along with political, mass and social organizations and our people, has controlled and is defeating COVID-19, without over-confidence.

This victory, which includes our commitment to make it sustainable over time, is the fruit of the will of a socialist state that places human beings at the center of our policies, with a free, universal health care system and the coordinated and dedicated intelligence of professionals and workers in the arenas of health, science, biotechnology and pharmaceuticals.

After more than four months actively confronting the pandemic, Cuba regrets the loss of 87 lives, but we are consoled and encouraged by the fact that not a single child, no pregnant woman, doctor or health worker has died.

Unquestionable successes were achieved thanks to the coordinated action of our public health system and the country’s network of scientific institutions, incorporating the accumulated experience of 60 years of revolutionary science and medicine in measures adopted by the government.

For the post-Covid-19 stage, a strategy was approved that should allow us to return gradually, step by step, in a differentiated fashion, to a new normality in our productive and social activities.

The Party Political Bureau, in a meeting led by its first secretary, Army General Raúl Castro Ruz, approved an economic strategy to address the negative effects of the pandemic, recover and reach adequate levels of development and well-being for our entire people, without leaving any citizen abandoned to fate.

As I expressed recently, those results seem to have made our adversaries very uncomfortable. The aggressiveness of the United States government against the island is growing, as are its plans for political and ideological subversion with actions meant to discredit Cuban leaders and the work of our government, along with constant attempts to provoke a social explosion and opposition within our institutions.

We are facing very well designed and heavily financed plans to act with unprecedented ferocity and impunity on multiple platforms within the complex contemporary media scene. We are not surprised. The strategies of manipulation, distortion of reality and deceit that are used daily to confuse and demobilize social movements and the peoples of our region are no different.

But we are a people raised by Fidel, who eliminated the word surrender from our political dictionary, very early on.

We know and face the openly aggressive enemy, without losing focus on our political and social priorities, without moving even one millimeter away from the vocation of solidarity, cultivated by Fidel and the Revolution, with the help of other sister peoples who, as Che said, clamor for the concurrence of our modest efforts.

A total of 45 Henry Reeve brigades specialized in disasters and major epidemics are now working in 38 countries and territories, with 3,772 members – including 2,399 women – who have assisted more than 250,000 covid-19 patients and saved more than 8,000 lives. In addition, 28,000 health collaborators in 58 countries have joined national and local efforts to combat the disease, caring for more than 83,268 covid-19 patients and saving 13,636 lives, to date.

The altruism of our health professionals irritates the empire which, instead of attending to the serious situation of its own infected citizens, has unleashed a campaign to discredit Cuban medical collaboration.

This useless war will not destroy or bury in oblivion the human work to protect life carried out by our professionals, earning the admiration, recognition and gratitude of millions around the world, which has led to a movement across the planet advocating the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to the Henry Reeve contingent.

Worthy of note, in this battle, is the fraternal collaboration of the Bolivarian Revolution of Venezuela, the Sandinista Revolution in Nicaragua and the Cuban Revolution, three revolutions with governments fully dedicated to saving lives and providing well-being to their respective peoples; three revolutions that, facing the brutal onslaught of the empire and its allies in the neoliberal right on the continent, have, with integration and firmness, defended themselves and preserved, under very difficult conditions, the independence, sovereignty and dignity of the homeland of Bolivar and Chavez, of Sandino and Carlos Fonseca, of Marti and Fidel.

This experience confirms that only cooperation and international solidarity will save humanity from this crisis, unprecedented in world history.

The preamble of the “Consensus of Our America,” a document that emerged from the Sao Paolo Forum’s experience in struggle, is dedicated to the leader of the Cuban Revolution and states: “Among the innumerable examples Fidel bequeathed to Latin America and the Caribbean revolutionaries, two stand out as decisive in the struggles of our peoples, our parties and movements. These are unity and consistent internationalism.”

Faithful to his legacy, and given the challenging reality that we are facing, the Cuban people continue the construction of a prosperous and sustainable socialism, with the premise of what Army General Raul Castro Ruz has stated: “Fidel’s enduring teaching is that it is possible, that human beings are capable of overcoming the most difficult conditions, if they do not lose their will to triumph, correctly evaluate every situation, and do not renounce their just, noble principles.”

Dear brothers and sisters:

Cuba we will continue on the independent and sovereign path, with the people leading the way. There will be no pandemic, no blockade, no imperial pressure that will change our course.

To political forces in the Sao Paulo Forum, we call on you to mobilize in unity to face the new challenges, along with social and popular movements and intellectuals of the left.

The true, definitive independence of Our America depends on the character, strength and correctness for our current struggles.

We will continue, alongside the Sao Paulo Forum, to contribute to the unity and integration of Latin America and the Caribbean.

History is made by the people, even if it is written by others. No empire can decree the end of history as long as there are chains to be broken, walls to be demolished, exclusions and abuses to be fought.

For the life and independence of our peoples; for the legacy of our founders, who taught us that even in the most difficult conditions it was always possible, it is always possible and will always be possible; for the new generations giving continuity to the struggle, as Maduro explained; for anti-imperialist unity that is the tactic and strategy of victory: We will struggle, we will live and triumph! (Applause).