Remembering Fidel and Cuba’s Internationalism on African Liberation Day



South Africa:  Economic Freedom Fighters – ” … we want to be like Cuba in South Africa …we want to pursue a progressive socialist agenda that will bring about free education for all … that’s why we say here in the South African parliament, that the Cuban flag must fly forever …      Floyd Shivambu

Chávez lives on in the unity of revolutionaries

Source:  Granma
March 12 2018

Fidel, Raúl, Chávez and Maduro: Four giants of our time. Photo: Anabel Díaz

Five years after his passing, neither the figure or legacy of Hugo Chávez have been forgotten, because the leader of the Bolivarian Revolution, together with other liberators who have passed through these lands, will be there right beside progressive forces in his country and Our America as they continue their struggles.

From his native Venezuela to Cuba, which welcomed him as a son, various tributes were held to recall not the death, but the life of this tireless revolutionary.

In the Cuban capital, Chávez was honored in a ceremony at the University of Havana’s Aula Magna, which saw the participation of Dr. Eusebio Leal, Havana City Historian; Venezuelan Ambassador to Cuba Alí Rodríguez Araque; members of the diplomatic corps and various friends of the Bolivarian Revolution.

There, Leal, one of the first Cubans to meet Comandante Chávez, recalled the conversation he had with the Venezuelan leader during their last encounter, during which Chávez stated: “I want to live, for my homeland and for Cuba.”

Nor could the historian forget to mention the strong ties between two great men that fought for Cuba and Latin American and Caribbean integration, recalling the great friendship that existed between these “two forces of nature” – Chávez and Fidel Castro.

Such was the strength of the bond between Chávez and Cuba, that Fidel described the former President of Venezuela as the island’s greatest friend, the Cuba intellectual recalled, who went on to note that despite having other friends and acquaintances, some self-interested, Cuba never had as good and selfless a friend as Chávez.

Just like every March 5, the people of Venezuela gathered at the Cuartel de la Montaña to pay tribute to Chávez.Photo: AVN

A man who stood in solidarity with the people of Latin America, we are indebted to Chávez, and it is our moral duty not to betray him, stated Leal.

The Havana City Historian, citing José Martí, stressed that “Death is not real when one’s life work is fulfilled,” and explained, in a touching speech, that we must remember the victorious Chávez; the Chávez that in the midst of a torrential downpour, and in ill health, was able to give everything and draw strength from his own weakness.

Meanwhile, the people of Venezuela awoke early this Monday, to commemorate five years since the passing of Comandante Hugo Chávez, and just like every March 5, they gathered at the Cuartel de la Montaña to pay tribute to the man, father, friend and Bolivarian leader.

Also present there just before the beginning of the 15th ALBA-TCP Summit, was another key figure of Latin American and Caribbean integration and dear friend of Chávez, Bolivian President Evo Morales.

Regarding his comrade in the struggle, the indigenous leader had nothing but words of praise: “We will never again see these qualities anywhere in the world.”

And there, just as happens every day at the Cuartel de la Montaña, also known as Cuartel 4F – in reference to the civil-military rebellion led by Chávez on February 4, 1992 – a canon salute was held at 4:25 p.m., marking the time the leader of the Bolivarian Revolution died.

Heads of State attending the 15th Summit of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America-People’s Trade Agreement at Miraflores Palace, as well as people from across the world, also paid tribute to Chávez this March 5.

In Nicaragua, thousands of citizens including members of government and Sandinista youth, gathered in the center of Managua, where a rose was laid in remembrance of a great friend of the country and of President Daniel Ortega.

Meanwhile, a photographic exhibition was inaugurated at the Venezuelan Embassy in Beijing, featuring images of the Cuartel de la Montaña, where the remains of the Bolivarian Comandante rest.

Social media also offered a platform to remember and honor Chávez, with users sending heartfelt messages under the hashtag #A5AñosDeTuSiembraComandante throughout the day.

The legacy of Hugo Chavez

Reblogged from La Santa Mambisa

chavez' legacy

by Atilio Borón

Today, March 5, five years have passed since the physical disappearance of Hugo Chávez Frías and it is fair and necessary to provide a brief reflection on the legacy left by his presence in Venezuela and in Latin America and the Caribbean.

As before, in 1959, Fidel with the triumph of the Cuban Revolution, Chávez’s irruption into the politics of his country quickly became internationalized and reached a continental projection. It would not be an exaggeration to say that in a forty-year period (remember that the Bolivarian assumed the presidency of his country in 1999) the contemporary history of Our America experienced those two political earthquakes that irreversibly modified the political and social landscape of the region.

Fighting for the Second and Definitive Independence

Chávez picked up the flags that had been raised by Fidel and with his martial exhortation to fight for the Second and Definitive Independence of our peoples, he enclaved them in the fertile terrain of the Bolivarian tradition.  With Chávez, that which portrayed Neruda’s verse when the Liberator said “I wake up every hundred years when the town wakes up” became a reality. And with the rebellion of 4F Chávez ended the lethargy of the people, a rebellion that, “for now”, had been defeated. But Chávez knew that this people was already getting ready to fight the great battles that had been summoned by Bolívar, re-incarnated in the bodies and souls of millions of Venezuelans and Venezuelans who took to the streets to install Chávez in the Miraflores Palace.

A revolution in consciences

The five years that have elapsed since its sowing provide enough perspective to evaluate the scope of its leafy and multifaceted legacy. The economic and social advances experienced by the Venezuelan people, today attacked with fierce savagery by the American debauchery and the infamy of their local lieutenants, are important but they are not essential. In our opinion, the fundamental, the essential thing is that Chávez produced a revolution in consciences, forever changed the heads of our peoples, and this is a more significant and lasting achievement than any economic benefit. Thanks to Chávez,

In his native country and in all of Latin America and the Caribbean, the idea became evident that the advances achieved in the last twenty years are irreversible and that any pretension to return to the past will face enormous popular resistances. The immense popularity of Chávez throughout the region reveals the depth of these changes experienced in the popular imagination.

Some say, with obvious malice, that the “progressive cycle” has come to an end. But the ventriloquists of imperialism in vain try to hide that the heroic resistance of Venezuelans to the brutal aggressions and attacks launched by Washington reveals, on the contrary, that despite the enormous difficulties and privations of all kinds to which the Chavist people are subjected, they will not tolerate a return to the past, to that “moribund constitution” that Chávez replaced with an exemplary piece of law. And that town resists, and it does so with such force that the opposition that asked for elections to end the government of Nicolás Maduro now does not want to compete because he knows that it will be devastated by a Chavista tsunami. His choice now is clearly extra institutional or, more clearly, insurrectional.

The people are resisting

The people are resisting in Venezuela, the Honduran people fought with incredible heroism, before the electoral farce mounted by “the embassy” in Tegucigalpa. Three months have passed since the proclamation of the triumph of Juan O. Hernández and the people remain in the streets protesting that obscene electoral robbery. As did the Mexicans before, for months, because of the robbery perpetrated against Andrés Manuel López Obrador in the 2012 elections. People who support the progressive and left candidates in Mexico (again with López Obrador) and in Colombia (Gustavo Petro); have displayed, as was shown in Chile with their abstention, their rejection of the electoral fraud mounted in the presidential elections.

The people are resisting also in Brazil, where Michel Temer, is the most unpopular president in recent history (with a level of approval of 3%, while his negative image is around 75%) and fight for honest elections with Lula as a candidate . And in Peru, where the government of Pedro P. Kuczinski was burdened by the evidence of the Odebrecht case and is shaken by the growing wave of discontent that runs through the country. The people in Argentina are resisting with determination and courage , placing on the defensive the government of Mauricio Macri and throwing thick shadows of doubt about the possible continuity of the government of Cambiemos after the elections of 2019.

No “end of cycle”

Here is the extraordinary legacy of Chávez: he changed the conscience of the people, triumphed in the “battle of ideas” claimed by Fidel and as a result of which in Latin America and the Caribbean the right can no longer win elections, with the lonely -and surely temporary – exception of Argentina. In other countries the empire must resort to the “soft coup” as in Honduras, Paraguay, Brazil; or to the most blatant fraud, as in Honduras and Mexico; or unloading its immense media power to frighten and confuse the population, as in Bolivia, or to mediate the corruption of the government of Mauricio Macri in Argentina; or appealing to the old Colombian record of assassinating the candidates of the opposition forces, just two days ago they tried to do it with Gustavo Petro, which leads the intention to vote in the suffering and endearing Colombia. And where there are still no leftist or progressive forces that are constituted as true alternatives, in the case of Chile, the popular response is the withdrawal and repudiation of that conservative and neocolonial political leadership. Conclusion: no “end of cycle”. The struggle continues while the right tries unsuccessfully to stabilize its restoration project, which until now is just that, a project.

Cuba to create an entity to preserve and spread the legacy of Fidel

Source:  La Santa Mambisa / Cubadebate

raul presides over meeting re fidel's legacy feb 2018.jpgMeeting of the working group in charge of elaborating proposals for the creation
of an institution that conserves and spreads the memory of the historical leader
of the Cuban Revolution. Photo: Revolution Studies.

In a meeting chaired by Army General Raul Castro Ruz , first secretary of the Central Committee of the Party, a working group was set up to prepare proposals to create an institution aimed at the preservation of documentary heritage, the study and dissemination of thought and the work of Commander in Chief Fidel Castro Ruz .

To complete the hard work, described by Raúl as of the utmost importance and which will be attended by the country’s top management, some thirty experts from different specialties and representatives of various agencies, entities and institutions were invited.

As explained by the first vice president of the Councils of State and Ministers, Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez , in charge of controlling the fulfillment of this task, the objective is to collect and perpetuate in an institution the valuable information that over the years has gone Treasuring about the activities that the Commander in Chief developed during his fertile life and that are part of the historical memory of the nation.

To this end, Presidential Decree No. 21 was announced .  The Decree allows for the creation of the group of comrades who will elaborate the ideas for the establishment of the aforementioned institution and will be presided over by Alberto Alvariño Atiénzar.   On behalf of all those present,  Alberto Alvariño Atiénzar said that they assumed a historical task, of great political responsibility and to which they would dedicate themselves with absolute consecration.

The Presidential Decree specifies that in the proposals that are submitted, the conceptual bases, principles, mission, functions and structure of the institution must be defined, among other matters.

The decision is in accordance with the provisions of Law No. 123 , of December 27, 2016, on the use of the name and figure of Commander in Chief Fidel Castro Ruz, for the future of any institution that is created for the study of his invaluable trajectory in the history of the nation.

New ‘Fidel’ Musical Celebrates Cuban Revolution in London

Source:  TeleSUR
November 15 2017

Late Cuban revolutionary leader Fidel Castro, who is being immortalised in a new London musical. | Photo: Reuters

“With just a few hundred soldiers and limited means, they took on Batista’s army of thousands with its tanks, aircraft and backing from the United States.”

The Cuban Revolution will be brought to London audiences in musical form this week when “Fidel,” a new stage show celebrating the life of the revolutionary in song, premiers at the Actor’s Church.

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The musical depicts Fidel Castro’s life in the years leading up to and during the Cuban revolution of 1953-59. It was written by University of Southampton Professor Denise Baden, who was inspired by what she called the “David and Goliath story” of the Cuban Revolution during a research trip to the socialist country.

“I can’t believe it’s not on stage already as a massive musical,” Baden said.

Baden hopes to depict – entirely through song – how Cuba overcame “impossible” odds against the U.S.-backed dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista to fight for independence and sovereignty.

“With just a few hundred soldiers and limited means, they took on Batista’s army of thousands – with its tanks, aircraft and backing from the United States… and won,” reads the play’s official billing.

“Their secret was bravery, dedication, and the support of the Cuban people, who desperately longed for justice and an independent Cuba.”

The musical score was composed entirely by students from schools across the United Kingdom through a nationwide songwriting competition, in an attempt to mirror “Cuban values” of “education and inclusion,” according to the show’s website.

One actor, from Latin America, pointed to the stark difference in how the Cuban leader is commonly viewed in the South and the vilifying propaganda so prominent in the U.S. and Europe.

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“Back home he’s not seen in the same way they see him here,” he said. “He is quite vilified in the U.S. He’s like this evil dictator who, whatever. Back home the whole left side of politics still kind of view him as a hero.”

Actress Gabriela Garcia, who plays revolutionary Celia Sanchez, said she is deeply inspired by the role of women in the Cuban revolution, and hopes to depict that to London audiences through her character.

“For me, women like her in the Revolution or most of the time get forgotten. So everything, all the stories you hear, is about Fidel or Che Guevara and Camilo Cienfuegos, but actually, when you really start digging in deep and read about all these revolutionary women, there were so many. Especially in the Cuban Revolution,”

Fidel Castro is admired by leftist and anti-imperialist movements around the world for his role in building a sovereign Cuba, staving off the United States, and assisting worldwide revolutionary movements. He died last year at the age of 90.

Cuban National Ballet announces program-tribute to Fidel, from November 23 to 26

Source:  Cubadebate
November 17 2017

ballet tribute to fidel.jpgThe fille mal gardée. Photo: Carlos Quezada

The National Ballet of Cuba can not miss in the Tribute to Fidel Day, the historical leader of the Revolution, which has meant so much in the history and development of the company .

The program-tribute includes works with different interpretative styles and will be presented on Thursday 23, Friday 24, Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 November, at the Gran Teatro de la Habana “Alicia Alonso” .

This season also celebrate the 140th anniversary of the premiere of La bayadera, and the 65th of the staging of Alicia Alonso’s version of La fille mal gardée .  It also includes the world premiere of the ballet Anyali , by Ely Regina Hernandez

The Grand pas de La bayadera (choreography: María Elena Llorente, on the original by Marius Petipa, music: Ludwig Minkus, set design: Ricardo Reymena, costumes: Salvador Fernández) was produced in 1877, at the Marinski Theater, St. Petersburg, as lead soloist to Lev Ivanov, who would later achieve celebrity as a Nutcracker choreographer and the second and fourth acts of Swan Lake .

The libretto of La bayadera , created by Serguei Kuschelok and Marius Petipa, was inspired by two dramas by the Hindu poet Kalidasa. The present Grand pascorresponds to the scene of the festivities for the betrothal of Gamzatti, the daughter of the Raja, and Solor, a warrior prince.

In the oriental culture, the bayaderas were dancers and singers who intervened both in religious ceremonies and in profane parties. In the theatrical dance of the 19th century, populated by extraordinary female creatures – sylphs, undines, wilis, swan-women, shadows, ghosts … -, the bayaderas, for their exoticism, enjoyed special popularity.

In the repertoire of the National Ballet of Cuba is another fragment of the ballet La bayadera : the scene known as The Kingdom of Shadows . The protagónicos will be assumed by Anette Delgado, Sadaise Arencibia, Bárbara Fabelo, Rafael Quenedit, Raúl Abreu and Ariel Martínez, who debuted in the roles of Gamzatti, the daughter of the Raja, and Solor, respectively.

The world premiere of Anyali (choreography and costumes: Ely Regina Hernández, assembly assistants: Yasser Domínguez and Mercedes Piedra, music: Ezio Bosso, light design: Ruddy Artiles) will have as interpreters Anette Delgado, Bárbara Fabelo, Adrián Sánchez, Daniel Rittoles, Darío Hernández, Ariel Martínez and Adniel Reyes.

Close the program, La fille mal gardée (choreography: Alicia Alonso, on the original by Jean Dauberval, music: Peter Ludwig Hertel, designs: Salvador Fernández).

This ancient choreographic comedy, created by Dauberval in 1789 and whose music and choreography have subsequently undergone frequent changes and adaptations, was reconstructed by Alicia Alonso for the National Ballet of Cuba in 1952, in a summarized version in one act. It presents a synthesis of the most characteristic elements of the plot and the style of the time, but without neglecting the incorporation of technical and theatrical elements that have subsequently enriched the language of ballet.

The protagonists of these functions are Anette Delgado, Viengsay Valdés, Chanell Cabrera and Claudia García, who debuts in the role of Lisette. Rafael Quenedit, Patricio Revé, Yankiel Vazquez and Raúl Abreu are the Colin. In Mama Simón you can enjoy the experienced Ernesto Díaz and Félix Rodríguez. The cast is completed by Daniel Rittoles, Narciso Medina and Brian González, who debuted in the Alain. In the sympathetic character of Don Tomás, Adniel Reyes and Yansiel Pujada will premiere, those who will alternate with Ernesto Díaz. All seconded by soloists and body dance.

Tickets for these performances (Thursday 23, Friday 24 and Saturday 25, 8:30 pm., And Sunday 26, 5:00 pm.) Can be purchased at the box office of the Gran Teatro de La Habana “Alicia Alonso” from next Tuesday, November 19 .

Uruguay: Activists pay tribute to Fidel in Conference Against Neoliberalism

Sources:  TeleSUR,  La Santa Mambisa
November 16 2017

Thousands of union workers and citizens are attending the conference in protest against “disastrous neoliberal politics in the world.”

protests against neoliberalism in uruguay nov 2017.pngProtesters march against neoliberalism in Montevideo, Uruguay.
| Photo: Twitter / @confed_bancaria

Thosuands of activists are participating in Day 2 of the Continental Conference For Democracy And Against Neoliberalism hosted in Montevideo, Uruguay.

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Union workers and citizens are attending the conference in protest against “disastrous neoliberal politics in the world.”

On Thursday, activists from across Latin America marched in the capital city, waving flags and chanting against the policies of leaders like Argentine President Mauricio Macri and Brazilian President Michel Temer.

Gabriel Molina, general secretary of the Union of Workers-National Convention of Workers, PIT-CNT, described the conference as “one of the most important mobilizations in recent years.”

PIT-CNT President Marcelo Abdala announced at the march that in 2018, Latin American workers will mobilize together “without exclusion.” Around 2,000 representatives from 23 countries are participating in the summit, according to the group.

Abdala said the meeting will serve to “confront the neoliberal policies that politicians are implementing, like the policies Uruguay lived in the 1990s.”

“We’re a part of America Latina and … we need to liberate the peoples of the continent and world,” he added.

Support for Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia, Nicaragua and El Salvador

The union president said that the neoliberal structural crisis in Uruguay led by right-wing corporations not only negatively affected the economy, but the country’s culture, values and humanity. Abdala and others fear that Uruguay will soon begin to suffer the austerity measures currently in place in Brazil and Argentina.

Abdala added that Uruguayan workers support Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia, Nicaragua and El Salvador, who are “attacked … with a machine gun that is directing the destiny of the world’s main power.”

He said the United States no longer has the power to act unilaterally, but has to negotiate with India, Russia and China, with whom Uruguayan workers will work with to create a better life for all. Abdala stressed Uruguay’s unions will continue to fight collectively and, “live, love and struggle” for a just world, “like the revolutionaries.”

Special day for Cuba

Today is a special day for the participants and for Cuba as a whole, since it is the day in which tribute is paid to the historical leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro.

The homage of the more than 30 organizations and social movements is named “Fidel, eternal companion of fights”, and will take place at the Municipal Velodrome of Montevideo, at 7 pm (Uruguayan time), although since yesterday, in the mobilizing march that started the activities was the presence of the Commander in Chief, when those present from different regions of Latin America shouted Viva Fidel!

The Commemorative Act occurs in the context of the activities for the first anniversary of his physical disappearance. Representatives of Cuba, Uruguay, Venezuela and Argentina are expected to speak along with Oscar Andrade, the Executive Secretariat of the Central Única de Trabajadores, of Uruguay PIT-CNT; Yarisleidis Medina, of the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples, and Dayan González, of the University Student Federation of Cuba.

Let us all unite to pay homage to the undefeated Commander in Chief, promoter of Latin American Unity, defender of the humble and eternal fighter against neoliberalism.

fidel 44.jpg