Fidel’s Vision and the Cuban Interferon in China

Source:  La Santa Mambisa

By Ángel Guerra

The selection by the Chinese health authorities of the Cuban interferon alfa 2B (IFRrec) among 30 other drugs to combat the new coronavirus Covid-19 should not be surprising.

In fact, there is a Sino-Cuban mixed company in the Asian giant in the province of Jilin that, with Cuban technology, has produced the drug since 2007, which has been used with good results by the Chinese health system to combat viral diseases, especially hepatitis B and C.

The product can also be used to treat HIV infections, respiratory papillomatosis caused by human papilloma, and condylomata acuminata.

“Interferon alfa 2B has the advantage that in situations like these it is a mechanism to protect oneself, its use prevents patients with the possibility of aggravating and complicating themselves from reaching that stage, and ultimately resulting in death,” said the doctor in Sciences Luis Herrera Martínez, one of the creators of the recombinant INF in Cuba and today a scientific and commercial advisor to the Cuban business group BioCubaFarma, holder of the patent, manufacturer and distributor of this and other Cuban biotechnology products.

The fruits of Fidel’s vision

fidel a2But it is natural that news like this cause strangeness or curiosity in many people, since Cuba is a poor, underdeveloped country, subjected to the merciless blockade of the United States and this may lead to doubts that it has an international biotechnology industry. Furthermore, there is the tremendous difficulty that the largest of the Antilles is one of the countries on which the dominant media machinery is most misinforming.

Many Mexicans can explain it better in these times, when they verify daily the grotesque way in which most of the national and international media deforms the reality of the administration of the government of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador. They are the same media that also silence the economic, social, humanistic and scientific achievements that Cuba achieves in the midst of the redoubled harassment by Washington because their editorial interest is to disqualify it.

That is why many do not know that in 1965 Fidel Castro inspired the emergence of the National Center for Scientific Research (CNIC), where many young Medicine graduates voluntarily went to his call to train as researchers. Gradually, new research centers emerged from the CNIC harvest.

The Cuban Revolution gave birth to the universal and public health system

By then Fidel had given a huge boost to the development of medical sciences and research in this field and was looking for new scientific findings and technologies to strengthen the universal and public health system created by the Cuban Revolution. So in 1981 he inquired with the American oncologist Randolph Lee Clark, visiting Havana, what was new in the cure for cancer. His interlocutor told him about work that was being done with a new medicine called interferon at the Anderson Hospital and Tumoral Institute, in Texas, which he directed.

The commander was interested in the possibility of sending Cuban professionals to familiarize himself with the novel product, which only existed in a few first-world countries, and Clark agreed to receive two investigators, something possible then because Trump was not in the White House. The Cubans fulfilled the mission but were unable to bring INF back to the island because the American hospital center still received it from Finland, where it was produced under the direction of Professor Kari Kantel, in Helsinki.

The envoys, summoned by Fidel upon arrival in Cuba, explained to him the need for a group of researchers to carry out an internship in Dr. Kantel’s laboratory to learn how to produce the INF of blood cell banks. Between the moment the leader of the Cuban Revolution heard a suggestion like that and the researchers’ departure to Helsinki, not many days could pass.

A trip to Finland

Fidel, concerned like very few heads of state about the health of his compatriots and, it must be said, of humanity, saw in the new product the possibility of saving many lives. This explains not only the trip of five Cubans and one Cuban to the center of Kantel in Finland, but less than four months after their return to Cuba they already had the first amounts of INF from bank globules produced on the island and very soon INF Recombinant, which allows for increased production and is the desirable type in most diseases.

On the island, the appearance of the INF coincided with a great dengue epidemic, which allowed a number of serious cases to be successfully treated with the new product. Thus, in 1981, Cuba became the first third world country to produce INF.

From that initiative emerged the Center for Biological Research and five years later an institution with much more complex and ambitious objectives from a scientific point of view: the Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology.

Interferon

Interferon is a substance made by cells of the immune system of vertebrate animals and can be produced in large quantities in the laboratory. Refined from bacteria or yeast is called recombinant and counteracts viral diseases mentioned in the first part of this article. It is also useful to help fight certain types of cancer and other viral diseases such as Covid-19.

When China decided to use interferon alpha 2B (IFRrec) in the fight against Covid-19, there were not enough quantities of the drug in the warehouses of the Chinese-Cuban company Chang Heber. Explaining its executive director Li Wenlan: “Upon learning of the serious outbreak of the new coronavirus in China and the urgent need for the original interferon for the production of antiviral drugs, the Cuban side postponed its previous import requests to China.

Cuba – China cooperation 

In addition, he appointed a group of Cuban experts to help China. ” As Cuba deferred in favor of China the receipt of quantities of IFRrec produced by Chang Heber, it was possible to shorten the time to make a certain amount of the product available to Chinese patients from 50 to 21 days.

The Cuban cooperation was mentioned in a telephone conversation by President Xi Jinping with his Cuban counterpart Miguel Díaz-Canel. Xi said China highly appreciates the understanding that the Cuban side and President Díaz-Canel himself have shown in China’s efforts against the epidemic.

It is very interesting that in this talk, around February 28, the Chinese president already stated that “the positive trend” in the prevention and control of Covid-19 “was gaining strength” and that his country had “full confidence, capacity and certainty ”that he will win the battle against the epidemic. The facts have confirmed XI’s claim, with the constant decrease in the number of infected and deceased in China, lately almost exclusively in Hubei, whose capital Wuhan is the epicenter of the epidemic.

The fact that the 16 provisional hospitals authorized in Hubei for the treatment of the disease have been closed and that on Monday 5 only 19 cases were presented in all of China, including two imported cases, demonstrates the robustness, humanism and ability to efficiently solve very complex problems that characterize the Asian giant’s socio-political system, contrary to what is claimed by the racist, anti-communist and anti-Chinese slander and lies of the Western hegemonic media.

In the telephone talk, Xi added that China is ready to continue cooperation with Cuba in the fields of medicine and the control of epidemics. China and Cuba “are good friends, good comrades and good brothers who can depend on each other in difficult times and are as close as lips and teeth.”

The Chinese leader recalled that this year marks the sixtieth anniversary of bilateral diplomatic relations, adding that his country will take the opportunity to raise bilateral exchanges and cooperation in different fields to new levels, starting from a new historical starting point.

The advantages of the socialist system

I do not remember reading warmer words from the Chinese leader to another country. For his part, Díaz-Canel stressed that this experience has fully demonstrated China’s mobilization capacity and the advantages of the socialist system. He added that China’s timely and effective response made outstanding contributions to controlling the spread of the epidemic, which has been highly appreciated by the international community, including the UN and WHO.

Interferon, Dr. Luis Herrera has said, was the inspiration for Cuban biotechnology. The always visionary commander took this product as if it were a lever and around it he developed natural production and created the bases for intensive genetic engineering development. The maturation of a biotech industry on the island is expressed with the emergence of the powerful Biocubafarma Business Group that employs more than 22,000 workers, exports to more than 50 countries, has 1,800 patents outside of Cuba, and its annual income amounts to around 2,000 million dollars, a totally new item in Cuban exports, which, in addition, has made a substantial contribution to the health of the people.

Among the institutions affiliated to the group are the Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, the Center for the Production of Laboratory Animals, the National Center for Biopreparations, the Center for Immunoassay and the Center for Molecular Immunology. Cuba has created very prestigious unique medicines :, among others, Heberprot-P, for the cure of diabetic foot; the CIMAvax-EFG C vaccine has opened up hope for the survival of people suffering from lung cancer; PPG is mainly used to lower cholesterol, but it has been shown to have antiplatelet, antiischemic and antithrombotic effects; VA-MENGOC-BC is the only effective vaccine in the world that attacks meningococci B and C.

167th Anniversary of José Martí’s birth celebrated in Jamaica

Source:  Minrex

January 28 2020

The celebration in Jamaica of the 167th anniversary of the birth of our National Hero, José Martí, took place at the Technical School that bears his name, with the presence of officials from the Cuban State Mission and members of the board of the Association of Cubans Resident in Jamaica, who were invited for the occasion.

Kingston, Jamaica, 28 January 2020. 

The celebration in Jamaica of the 167th anniversary of the birth of our National Hero, José Martí, took place at the Technical School that bears his name, with the presence of officials from the Cuban State Mission and members of the board of the Association of Cubans Resident in Jamaica, who were invited for the occasion.

This institution, located in Spanish Town, was a gift that the people and Government of Cuba gave to the people and Government of Jamaica 43 years ago.

This January 28, the morning devotion ceremony at the School was conducted entirely in Spanish and the Simple Verses of the apostle of Cuban independence were recited or sung to the sound of La Guantanamera.

Speaking on behalf of the Cuban State Mission, Mr. Ulises Calvo, Head of the Consular Office, highlighted the qualities of José Martí as a revolutionary leader, teacher of generations and defender of the most advanced ideas and values ​​of his time.

Regarding the School and what it represents, he said: “There are many things that make it unique: its architecture, the combination of study and work as part of learning; the level of Spanish language proficiency and the vast knowledge about Cuba that teachers provide to students; the murals with portraits of Martí and Fidel … everything I see here reminds me a lot of my school in Cuba […] We are grateful and proud to see the hard work carried out by the staff, the students and the community in general to honour the name of this school and the eternal friendship between our two sister islands.”

At the conclusion of the ceremony, the visitors paid tribute to José Martí at the bust that honours his memory. They toured the teaching facilities and exchanged with students, teachers and members of the board of directors.

 

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Raul Congratulates the Communist Party of Vietnam

Sources: Cuban News Agency, invent-the-future.org, vovworld.vn

The struggle of the Vietnamese people against colonialism and imperialism was clearly an inspiration to Fidel and the Cuban revolutionaries.

Cuba's revolutionary legend Fidel Castro in Vietnam during American war - ảnh 3

As Fidel explained in a discussion on why the Cuban revolutionaries decided on the route of armed struggle,

“Vietnam has definitely demonstrated to the world, to every revolutionary, and all the people confronted by imperialism, how, even with modern technology, a strong and massive weaponry, and even with a coalition of forces well-armed like those deployed by the United States in Vietnam, it is impossible to break down a revolutionary movement and its guerillas supported by the people.

I believe today nobody can deny that the United States failed in its war against the heroic people of Vietnam .  And I believe that this is one of the greatest favors the Vietnamese people have offered the world”

With his famous statement: “For Vietnam, Cuba is willing to devote all our blood”, Cuba’s revolutionary legend Fidel Castro became a symbol of the comradeship and brotherhood between Vietnam and Cuba. He was the only foreign head of state to visit the liberated zone in Quang Tri province during the American (Vietnam) war. The visit was made in September 1973 at his own proposal.

Related: Cuba’s revolutionary legend Fidel Castro in Vietnam during American War

tankForty five years ago, on the 29th of April 1975, the joint forces of the North Vietnamese Army and the National Liberation Front entered the southern capital of Saigon, where they were greeted with the open joy of a population which had endured untold misery over the course of decades at the hands of foreign invaders and puppet governments. Just a day later, at around 10:45am, a North Vietnamese tank crashed through the gates of the presidential palace and raised the red flag. The head of the collapsing South Vietnamese regime, Duong Van Minh, reportedly told North Vietnamese colonel, Bùi Tín, “I have been waiting since early this morning to transfer power to you,” to which Bùi Tín replied: “There is no question of your transferring power. Your power has crumbled. You cannot give up what you do not have.”

The Vietnamese defeat of the world’s biggest imperialist power, the USA, was an incredible achievement that was the culmination of decades of heroic and brilliant struggle.

The beginning

Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh: ‘On lynching & the Ku Klux Klan ...90 years ago, on this day, 3 February 1930, at a meeting in Kowloon (China) convened by Nguyen Ai Quoc (the famous Vietnamese revolutionary later to be known as Ho Chi Minh), the Indochinese Communist Party was formed, uniting the three existing parties of the Vietnamese left.  It was this Communist Party, guided by Ho Chi Minh that led the people in the struggle to defeat the seemingly invincible US and to inspire the Cuban revolutionaries to later do the same in their homeland.

On the occasion of the 90th anniversary of the Communist Party of Vietnam, several organizations throughout the world have sent congratulatory messages to Party General Secretary and President Nguyen Phu Trong.

The Communist Party of China’s message affirmed that China attaches great importance to developing relations with Vietnam, and is willing to join Vietnam in strengthening the Vietnam-China comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership.

Raúl Castro Ruz, first secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba (PCC), message to Nguyen Phu Trong, general secretary of the PCV, confirmed the commitment of the Commander in Chief of the Cuban Revolution Fidel Castro Ruz, of loyalty and brotherhood with the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, heir of the legacy of Ho Chi Minh ‘.

0-Raúl Castro-VietNam.jpg

In commemorating the landing of Granma and the creation of the Revolutionary Armed Forces, on December 2, 1960, Fidel declared the popular decision to officially establish diplomatic relations with Vietnam.  The Cuban and Vietnamese governments will commemorate the 60th anniversary of their diplomatic relations, which constitutes an expression of our deep friendship and an example of the will to be united in the face of the challenges imposed by the current international scenario.

Related:  Fidel Castro: A Great Friend of Vietnam,  Pictorial

Cuba 61. Respect Due!

December 30 2019

Jamaicans in Solidaritry with Cuba

fidel enetrs havanThe Cuban revolution will celebrate 61 years of existence on January 1st 2020.

Simply to have survived despite a US invasion while in its infancy, despite a brutal US economic and financial blockade in force since 1960, despite a constant international media campaign of lies and half-truths, despite biological warfare, the bombing of hotels, despite hundreds of assassination attempts on Fidel’s life; despite the numerous destabilization attempts including the use of social media conveying propaganda aimed at the toppling of the government and the ending of the Revolution – to have survived all this is no mean achievement.

A revolution by the humble for the humble

But Cuba has done much more than just survive. The Cuban people, regardless of colour or class, now have access to education up to the tertiary level at no cost to them or their parents. Student debt is alien to the Cuban culture. The Cuban people, again regardless of colour or class, have access to the best medical care that the society has to offer. In fact, in Cuba both education and health care are seen as basic human rights.

The Cuban revolution also made sports a right of the people. Before the triumph of the Cuban revolution on January 1 1959, sports in Cuba was limited to basically four professional baseball teams and a few outstanding individuals. Today, Cuba’s impressive sports infrastructure and massive participation level have allowed the small nation to become one of the leading countries in the world in terms of Olympic medals won per capita. From the start of the Olympic Games in 1896 up until 1956 — a span of over 60 years — Cuba won only four Olympic gold medals. However, starting from almost nothing, in its 61 years of revolution the nation has won 78 gold medals up to the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil.

Cubans do not have to worry about crime and drugs – in fact, while their men and women know how to shoot in the cause of national defense, gun crime is virtually non-existent in Cuba, and Cuban society is basically drug-free, thanks to the Revolution.

The relatively low crime rate and the general peacefulness of Cuban society are due to the high level of education and the ability of the people to analyze and participate, with a well-developed sense of human empathy in formulating guiding measures taken by their egalitarian society.

In a separate article, we will look at many other achievements of the Revolution which we have not had the space to mention here.

Cuban Internationalism

The Cuban revolution boasts not just local or national achievements. Cuban internationalism is well known throughout the world, especially among the poor, the oppressed and the marginalized. Cuba’s contribution to the ending of the brutal apartheid system in South Africa is well documented. As Nelson Mandela noted when addressing Cubans in Matanzas in 1991:[i]

fidel y mandela 6I must say that when we wanted to take up arms, we approached numerous Western governments for assistance and we were never able to see any but the most junior ministers. When we visited Cuba, we were received by the highest office and were immediately offered whatever we wanted and needed. That was our earliest experience with Cuban internationalism.

We in Africa are used to being victims of countries wanting to carve up our territory or subvert our sovereignty. It is unparalleled in African history to have another people rise to the defense of one of us…. Your [Cuban] presence and the reinforcement of your forces in the battle of Cuito Cuanavale was of truly historic significance.

In addition, Cuba’s medical assistance to the rest of the world has saved millions; and thousands of the poor, from all over the planet, have graduated as doctors and other health care specialists from Cuban universities without paying a cent to Cuba. Specifically, more than 400,000 health professionals have participated in missions outside of Cuba since 1963, including those carried out after hurricanes, earthquakes and the battle against the deadly Ebola virus in West Africa. Since 1963. a total of 1,923,712,555 consultations have been made, according to figures released by the Cuban Ministry of Public Health.  There are currently about 29,000 medical personnel in 65 countries.

Cuba remains a model of moral fortitude, courage, cultural richness, unity, solidarity, sovereignty, internationalism and dedication to building a just society based on the highest ideals of man.

Congratulations to the heroic Cuban people. Respect due!

May their influence continue to spread and continue to lay the basis for the better world envisaged by Fidel; one in which human dignity, happiness, love and solidarity take centre stage over corporate greed, war, hatred, racism, disunity, mindless consumerism and egotism.

fidel michael and maurice

fidel y daniel

fidel hugo y evo

 

[i] Nelson Mandela, in How Far We Slaves Have Come, by Nelson Mandela, Fidel Castro, Pathfinder Press, pp. 19, 23.

 

Cuba and Ghana celebrate 60 years of diplomatic relations

Source:  Cuban News Agency
December 19 2019

Cuban Vice President Salvador Valdes Mes presided over on Wednesday a political and cultural event in Havana to celebrate the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the Republics of Cuba and Ghana.

The event was held at the Latin American School of Medicine (ELAM), where Napoleon Abdulai, the Ghanaian ambassador to Cuba, recalled that on December 23, 1959, Ghana was the first nation in sub-Saharan Africa to establish diplomatic relations with the Caribbean country.

He also recalled the meeting that day in Harlem, New York, between Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, Prime Minister of the then recently independent African nation of Ghana and Commander in Chief Fidel Castro Ruz.

fidel y nkrumah2

The diplomat stressed that in Ghana, Cuban support has been forthcoming in different ways, including security, health and education, and he highlighted the fact that over 4.000 Ghanaians were educated in the Cuban municipality of Isla de la Juventud, with professors from both states, and this year 226 young people graduated from medical school.

For her part, Anayansi Rodriguez Camejo, Cuban deputy foreign minister, stressed that in the six decades of relations between the two countries, they have developed and strengthened in the political, economic and cooperation fields.

Jose Angel Portal Miranda and Jose Ramon Saborido, heads of the Ministries of Public Health and Higher Education, respectively, and Fernando Gonzalez Llort, President of the Cuban Friendship Institute, among other officials, were also present on the Cuban side.

Cuba: Sharing in solidarity where other bring weapons

Source:  Granma

December 16 2019

Photo: Estudios Revolución

Speech by Miguel Mario Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, President of the Republic of Cuba, during the political-cultural event commemorating the 15th anniversary of the Bolivarian Alliance for the peoples of Our America-Peoples Trade Agreement, at the University of Havana’s Grand Stairway, December 14, 2019, Year 61 of the Revolution

(Transcript: Presidency of the Republic)

Good evening.

This event is turned around: Maduro, Ralf and Daniel spoke just a bit and now I am going to have to speak a little more. (Laughter)

Dear Army General Raúl Castro Ruz, first secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba Central Committee;

Dear ALBA-TCP heads of state and government;

Dear heads of delegations and guests:

Students of our universities, the present and future of the Cuban nation. To you and to all young people of Cuba, Latin America and the Caribbean, we address you today!

Fidel & young Chavez

We have come here, to our glorious Grand Stairway, to celebrate 15 years of ALBA-TCP, because this alliance has its roots in the first meeting of two giants of Our America: the Comandante en jefe of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro Ruz, and the then (young) leader of the Bolivarian Movement 200, Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías.

That meeting, which changed the history of Latin America and the Caribbean and impacted the world, took place December 13-15, 1994.

As is occurring today, we were living complex, uncertain days for the region and the world. And it was here nearby, in the University of Havana’s Aula Magna, where for the first time the analyses and premonitory proposals were heard of what, with time, joint effort, and the advance of progressive governments, would emerge in 2004 as this paradigm of solidary integration that we know as ALBA-TCP.

We also choose the Stairway, the door to our University, one of the oldest in America, because the present and future of Cuba and much of the rest of the world pass through here every day, young people from sister nations, students who share classrooms and dreams with our sons and daughters.

We firmly believe that universities cannot be disconnected from our world or its pressing problems. Here Fidel became a revolutionary, here he spoke to his Latin American contemporaries, with Hugo Chávez, here we study and think about the best possible world that we revolutionaries have set out to set our minds to winning.

Sisters and brothers:

Exactly one year ago, the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America met with the objective of establishing common positions in the face of the evident intensification of aggression against our nations. The forecasts of that moment were not exaggerated.

US destabilization campaign

The government of the United States and its allies launched, and insist on continuing, a ferocious, unscrupulous destabilization campaign in the region.

They are doing so by resuming the brutal application of the Monroe Doctrine, to which the current administration in Washington has openly and arrogantly committed itself.

They have escalated their actions against the sister Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, violating the most elementary principles of international law. They have gone so far as to designate who can speak on behalf of Venezuela and make decisions on the country’s funds and real estate outside its territory. Never before in history has democracy been so offended, speaking in the name of democracy while trampling it.

The recent invocation against Venezuela of the obsolete Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance (TIAR) – which never served to safeguard the interests of the region – is another warning that peace, democracy and security are being threatened.

What else is the purpose of reviving an institution like TIAR, which backed coups, established military dictatorships and was unable to support one of its members when an extra-regional power occupied its territory and unleashed a war?

The determination of the Venezuelan people

The United States coordinated attacks on the homeland of Bolívar and Chávez without understanding that the determination of its people is strengthened even more in the face of foreign aggression. They failed and will continue to fail before the solid civil-military union and the courage of millions of Venezuelans, who have always sworn to be loyal, and never traitors. (Applause)

Photo: Angélica Paredes

Here is our brother Nicolás Maduro, representing that victorious, firm union.

Long live the Bolivarian Revolution! (Exclamations of: Viva!)

We reiterate our solidarity with the Sandinista Popular Revolution, which with its president at the forefront, Comandante Daniel Ortega Saavedra, is resisting imperial attacks on Nicaragua, despite the threats, and advancing on the path of reconciliation, peace and just development for its country.

Long live the Sandinista Revolution! (Exclamations of: Viva!)

We celebrate the release of the Brazilian workers’ leader and former President of that country, compañero Luiz Inácio “Lula” da Silva, and at the same time we call on everyone to continue demanding his full freedom, the recognition of his innocence and the restitution of all his political rights.

Despite imperial conspiracies and the politicization of judicial systems, corruption, and the discrediting of politics by agents of imperialism, neoliberalism and the media, Lula’s example shows that we will always find a way to fight for truth, dignity and solidarity in order to defeat lies.

Bolivia, the absent brother, deserves special mention.

The faithful pawn of the US:  the OAS

The coup against constitutional President Evo Morales Ayma confirmed that the United States and reactionary forces do not hesitate to violate, by any means, the people’s freedoms and human rights to reverse emancipatory processes in the region. As always, they used their faithful pawn: the Organization of American States (OAS).

It is no surprise that the first foreign policy move by the coup plotters in Bolivia, following the imperialists’ script, was to leave ALBA.

In countries like Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Brazil, we watch with pain and indignation as the number of deaths rises and injuries reach thousands, with eye injuries increasing to hundreds of young people, as a result of repression as brutal as that we remember from the dark days of military dictatorships. Social activists, journalists and former guerrillas are murdered. Cases of violence, torture and rape of detainees now number in the hundreds.

Several of the military and police authorities who today are the protagonists of this horrible repression were trained at the now defunct School of the Americas. Those who persecute leftist and progressive leaders were trained in the current International Academy for Law Enforcement, also made in the USA.

The people’s resistance

Day by day, we follow with admiration the dramatic course of the people’s resistance and the growing mobilizations.

From this podium, we emphatically denounce the complicit, shameful silence of many, the distortion and cover-up of what occurred in Bolivia by the corporate, oligarchic media.

And here today, Cuba reaffirms our support and solidarity with compañero Evo Morales Ayma. (Applause) Long live the governments and peoples who uphold dignity and sovereignty by welcoming and supporting the persecuted leaders! (Exclamations of: Vivan!)

Our health personnel who served in Bolivia are closely acquainted with the brutality of the coup plotters, whose repressive forces, led directly by the United States, physically assaulted two collaborators, while 54 were unjustly detained, some for several days.

Members of the Cuban Medical Brigade were, for absolutely no reason, humiliated, searched and stripped of their belongings. The coup authorities incited hatred against Cubans.

The cowardice of these repressors contrasted sharply with the dignity and courage of our self-sacrificing professionals, who deserve recognition for their unwavering stance, a product of Cuba’s internationalist tradition. (Applause)

They are all back, ready to defend the homeland, and take on the next mission.

Once again, “the tiger lurks”

The events that have transpired in Bolivia sound the alarm and alert us. Once again “the tiger lurks,” as Martí said in his magnificent essay Our America:

“The colony continued to live within the republic; and our America is being saved from its great errors (…) by the superior virtue, fertilized with necessary blood, of the republic that fights against the colony. The tiger waits, behind every tree, crouched in every corner”.

In our recent visit to Argentina, to attend the inauguration of Alberto and Cristina, we held a valuable dialogue with important intellectuals and artists in that country.

From all of them, we heard the most formidable criticism of neoliberalism “the tiger that lurks” and its serious consequences for the peoples of America that have been destroyed by neoliberal experiments.

Argentine filmmaker and current Minister of Culture Tristán Bauer has just documented the serious social costs of neoliberalism in the four years of the Macri administration, in a documentary titled: Tierra arrasada.

Others present recalled that these processes are supported by a powerful media network that progressive projects must confront in an unequal battle. And proposals were made to promote a kind of cultural strategy that addresses this asymmetry.

What remains of the colonial mentality in America must disappear before our peoples disappear, with their dreams of emancipation and integration, postponed since Bolivar’s times.

Disseminating ideas and values to defend our conquests

It is essential to disseminate ideas and values to defend our conquests. And it is also necessary to join together in the area of communication so that the colonial mentality does not engulf us with its ammunition of false symbols, like the mirrors that the conquerors gave to our noble, original inhabitants, in exchange for the natural wealth with which they have built their power.

The magnificent ideas that were presented in just two hours, during the meeting with Argentine friends, confirm the enormous potential of the imaginative Latin American intelligentsia, whose best exponents have always been allies in the battle for social justice.

Compañeras and compañeros:

Even in the face of the most brutal U.S. pressure, Cuba won a resounding victory at the United Nations, when 187 countries voted in favor of our resolution condemning the U.S. economic, commercial and financial blockade.

Those who did not have the courage to resist U.S. pressure and did not dare to condemn the blockade of Cuba bear the responsibility of supporting a policy that no people on earth approves, because it is criminal, because it violates the human rights of millions, because it is extraterritorial, illegal and outrageous.

And because what they are doing to Cuba, today, they will do tomorrow to other nations, as has been proven more than once in recent years. No one is exempt from the empire’s whip, and to allow others to be beaten is to open the way to lashings for all.

We are pleased to know that this attitude does not reflect what the fraternal peoples of Brazil and Colombia truly feel.

In victories such as the UN condemnation of the blockade, ALBA has been and must continue to be a front of unity and resistance to the empire, to coups and to interventionist positions that shame the honorable men and women of our continent.

Progressive victories in Mexico and Argentina

Likewise, we salute and are encouraged by progressive victories in Mexico and Argentina, where new governments have already shown, in a very short period, their commitment to peace, democracy, development and social justice for the peoples, and to the genuine unity and integration of Our America.

In recent months we have heard ridiculous accusations of the Cuban and Bolivarian revolutions, in a malicious attempt to justify what they refuse to understand: the profound reasons for popular revolts against neoliberalism that continue to take place in several countries of the region. They do not surprise us.

The popular demonstrations are the result of struggles against inequality and social injustices accumulated over the years. And they are here to stay, and will increase if their causes are not addressed.

Pushing the “de-historization” of time

Those who repress refuse to see in these demonstrations the real causes, because, in order to maintain power, neoliberalism attempts to prevent us from developing historical consciousness, pushing the “de-historization” of time. That is why ideologues, like Francis Fukuyama, insist that history has ended.

They try to tell us that capitalism is eternal. So, they want to perpetuate social inequality, misery, exclusion. Time is history! And ours is based on Bolívar, San Martín, Sucre, Martí, Che, Fidel, Chávez, Sandino, the struggle against slavery, against Spanish domination, against invasions and against the blockade of Cuba by genocidal imperialism.

Neoliberalism has forced the world economy to move from production to speculation. While the world Gross Domestic Product is growing at an annual average of 1% to 2%, financial profits grows more than 5% a year. While eight hundred and twenty million people are threatened with death by hunger, twenty trillion dollars are stashed in tax havens!

Brutal dehumanization and global colonization

Neoliberalism produces what Marx foresaw: people have no value as human being, but on the basis of the commodities they hold. This is brutal dehumanization.

Neoliberalism does not promote globalization, but global colonization. Its purpose is to make the world a great market to which only the rich have access, the rest are excluded; they are disposable beings, condemned to an early death.

Neoliberalism is based on competition, socialism on solidarity. Neoliberalism in the private accumulation of wealth; socialism in the sharing of wealth. Neoliberalism in defending the interests of capital; socialism, human rights and those of nature.

The United States and the Latin American oligarchies cannot forgive us for constructing models that are inclusive and committed to the people despite pressure and the sieges of sanctions and blockades.

Building solidarity models

We can give them the formula: We don’t build models for the 1%. We don’t build exclusion models. We are building solidarity models and practicing integration. (Applause)

And we are not forgiven for uniting in solidarity as Latin Americans and Caribbeans without imperial tutelage.

They do not forgive us not only for choosing to assert independence, freedom, sovereignty over our resources and self-determination, but also for demonstrating that we are capable of defending this choice.

Sharing in solidarity where other bring weapons

They do not forgive Cuba for defending the philosophy of sharing in solidarity what we have, of taking health and literacy where others bring weapons, of teaching people to read and write, or restoring sight and saving the lives of those who have never had quality health services.

Now, when in some countries Cuban cooperation has been interrupted, as a result of imperialist and oligarchic conspiracies, we note with concern that millions of Latin Americans have been stripped of their human right to health. The oligarchies don’t care and they bend under pressure from the pathological Yankee campaign.

The only military and security forces that interfere in the internal affairs of countries and threaten Latin America and the Caribbean are those of the United States.

Cuba will resist all threats. We have been hardened in the struggle. We have a united people. We count on the solidarity of the world, of the peoples of Latin America and the Caribbean, and especially of our brothers and sisters in ALBA.

We will not renounce socialism! We will not renounce solidarity! We will not renounce friendship! We will not renounce dignity! (Applause)

ALBA compañeros:

I reiterate the embrace of this noble, courageous and solidary people, in this beautiful city that has just completed 500 years of history and struggle. A city to which you can always return to receive the affection of those who do not surrender, will not surrender, and will continue the vibrant Revolution that brought us thus far.

Let us conclude as such events always do, on this historic stairway, with a celebration of life, of the future that is prepared here to make possible the better world for which so many generations have given their blood and their very lives.

We are Cuba!

And we are also Latin America and the Caribbean, all united by ALBA-TCP!

Always onward to victory!

(Ovation)

Cubans and Namibians honor Fidel

Source:  Minrex

November 25, 2019

Cubans and Namibians honor the Commander in Chief on the anniversary of his death.

Namibia, November 25th, 2019-

With the presence of Ambassador Sidenio Acosta and Martha Shilyomunhu, principal of the “Fidel Castro Ruz” Elementary School, the members of the Cuban State Mission in Namibia, together with members of the Namibia -Cuba Friendship Association and “Patria” Association of Cuban Residents, paid tribute to the Commander in Chief of the Cuban Revolution three years after his physical disappearance.

In the emotional tribute the historical significance of Fidel was recalled. His revolutionary work was also exalted from the assault on the Moncada Barracks until his death, without leaving out his decisive support for the struggle for the independence of several countries, including Namibia.

During the evening, as every year, Ambassador Acosta delivered, on behalf of the Cuban collaborators and the Embassy, ​​a voluntary contribution to the principal Shilyomunhu, to be used to improve the students’ learning conditions.

The Cuban diplomat highlighted the validity of the revolutionary and emancipatory ideology of Fidel, in an international context where imperialism increases its aggressions against the peoples of the world.

For her part, the Namibia professor deeply thanked the gesture of the Cuban community. She also expressed the pride and commitment which represents for her teachers and students, the fact that the school bears the name of Fidel Castro.

“Fidel Castro Ruz” Elementary School is located in the Katutura neighborhood, the most disadvantaged in Windhoek, capital of Namibia. Around 1200 children study at the school, from first to seventh grade. Founded in 2007, with only 12 enrollment students, today it is a public educational center of national reference.

Related:  Makgone Inaugurates Fidel Castro Primary School

Left:  Fidel and first President of Namibia, Sam Nujoma

 

Back to Fidel!

Source:  Resumen; LatinoAmericano and the Third World

November 25 2019

By Carlos Aznarez, on November 25, 2019

Going back to Fidel Castro’s passion of transforming politics into something feasible regardless of having to face a thousand adversities on the way.

Back to his boldness when up against enemies a thousand times more powerful than him and not giving up in his attempt.

Back to his determination to continue advancing in the hardest of circumstances, as it was after the assault on the Moncada Barracks or the complicated landing of the Granma yacht.

Back to his intelligence when defending the ideas that inspired him to enter into the difficult task of defeating tyrant Fulgencio Batista and to defend himself during his Moncada trial, claiming that Jose Marti was the one to be blamed for this assault.

Back to his harshness without abandoning his fondness, evidenced in every combat, every decisive moment in which the slightest doubt would have cost his own and his comrades’ lives.

Back to his lessons about the necessary combination between mass struggle and armed struggle to achieve conclusive victories as the one reached by Cuba during these sixty years of existence. Sound victories that are not taken out with coups or conspiracies, as the U.S. imperialism has always desired.

Back to his military strategist’s sagacity that allowed him to overcome, as in the Sierra Maestra as in hard years in government; moments that foretold of impending defeats but were instead turned into victories thanks to his coherence and fighting spirit.

Back to that of the foresight, together with his brother in arms Ernesto Che Guevara, that as soon as the dictator was defeated—the significance and necessity of building a tool to fight the disinformation and misrepresentation of their ideals and transformations. The two of them, together with another warrior in Jorge Ricardo Masetti, were the masterminds of Prensa Latina news agency, which continues triggering accurate information to this day.

Back to giving the constant example so that the entirety Cuba could understand that weapons ready for combat are as important as voluntary work, in order to boost production and generate a self-sufficient economy.

Back to his endless patience to teach, train and foster knowledge among those who had always been marginalized, excluded, humiliated. Literacy as a starting point and then, throughout the entire Revolution, training and studying were among his greatest concerns in order to achieve an educated nation willing to continue growing in this sense.

Back to his huge humanity, devising tools to ensure public health for all men and women in Cuba but then doubling the bet by creating an army of white coats bringing solidarity to faraway places around the world.

Back to his brightness when determining that U.S. imperialism was the enemy to be fought and to not leave a day without denouncing it as the opposite to a society in which life is always defeating death.

Back to his brightness when realizing that Cuba’s women were as valuable as its men, helping from the beginning to create the female guerrilla group Mariana Grajales and then, when building the revolutionary government, “collaborating as necessary to create, together with Vilma Espin, the Federation of Cuban Women, an essential agency for training and struggle of the spirit.

Back to his understanding of socialism and communism, in which society becomes a world of equals without a chance for variants of capitalism, neither shortcuts aimed at deceiving the peoples, including reformism or social democracy.

Back to his understanding of internationalism, in which the struggle of any nation in the world facing imperialism is the same as Cuba’s struggle, something clearly evidenced during these sixty years.

Back to Fidel, the hero of a thousand battles but also the thoughtful statesman a step ahead of the future, predicting that this Humanity shall be saved among all of us or it will perish.

Back to Fidel, who contrary to other fake leaders made humbleness his lifestyle, avoiding unnecessary self-worship and elitist behaviors. He was always ready with his people for whatever would come, always ready to lead them to victories in the hardest battles.

Now, three years after he passed away, his revolutionary legacy continues enlightening this tough moment for the American continent and the world. But these new insurgencies awaking among our people evidence that he was not wrong when predicting that beyond its brutality and uncontrolled ambition, U.S. imperialism is going to collapse this century.

Going back to Fidel is to continue imagining a socialist Revolution as the one he built to prove that the path is already marked. The only thing we have to do, as Uruguayan folk singer Daniel Viglietti would sing, is start walking.

Source: Resumen Latinoamericano, translation North America bureau

Three keys of Fidel’s party

Source:  Granma
November 27 2019

Three key concepts, that sustain the essential political instrument that is our Party, are unity, providing an example, and sacrifice, as confirmed by notable historians, philosophers, writers, and journalists

As Fidel and Raúl have taught us, in our society and in our Party, one principle must prevail: the example, which means merit, ability, and modesty. Photo: Granma Archives

Fidel’s great work, says Brazilian theologian Frei Betto, is the Cuban Revolution, which did not begin January 1, 1959, but much earlier, and it has not concluded. But the backbone of this monumental project, underway just 90 miles from the most powerful empire in history, could not be explained without its Party.

This is confirmed by notable historians, philosophers, writers, and journalists, who highlight, among others, three keys that support this essential political instrument.

UNITY

Fidel’s obsession was unity. He was timid, he seemed to almost request permission to be who he was, “despite all his genius, of all the history he embodied,” Frei Betto noted. He was transformed when a challenge arose or when he explained to the multitudes “the art of building a correlation of social, political, and military forces that allows current conditions of the struggle to be changed, making possible, in the future, what at the present time appears impossible,” adds Chilean sociologist Marta Harnecker.

He understood, as few others, that unity is not achieved with sermons, but with action, and that in this effort we must be willing to do everything. “He bared his chest to the bullets when the invasion came,” Uruguayan writer Eduardo Galeano recalled, “faced hurricanes as an equal, one hurricane to another, survived 637 attacks. It was not the work of Mandinga’s spell, or a miracle from God, that this new homeland would survive ten U.S. Presidents (currently 12), who had set the table for lunch with knives and forks.”

To confront such powerful forces as U.S. imperialism and local oligarchies, the main task of a revolutionary of these times, Fidel insisted again and again, was to build unity of the revolutionary forces. A broader effort should be considered, only after making an effort in this regard. However, he was not rigid in this objective, Harnecker clarifies. When the goal was not achieved immediately, the leader of the Cuban Revolution did not give up on progress toward broader unity. He insisted, “We should not start by setting the highest goals, but rather the minimum ones.”

But of all Fidel’s accomplishments, one of his most important legacies was the creation of the Party, the main instrument for unity. He knew that every revolution is a war and to face it in better conditions, essential is “a single command capable of guiding the fight, clearly defining the strategic enemy and the immediate enemy, the form the fight must take, and the current situation, as well as the policy to continue gaining supporters against the immediate enemy,” states Harnecker, reflecting on the political legacy of the Comandante en jefe.

October 3, 1965, the first Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba (PCC) was established, reflecting the consolidation of the political instrument of unity. In the formal act, Fidel read Ernesto Che Guevara’s farewell letter, which bore double symbolism: the Heroic Guerrilla had gone to continue the revolutionary project in “other lands of the world demanding the contribution of my modest efforts.” It was also a message sent by an archetypal Communist, who in another letter to Fidel, that same year, had written:

“The Party and every member of the Party must be in the vanguard … The moral standing of Communists is their most precious award, they must take care of individual morality …” (letter from Che to Fidel, March 26, 1965, before leaving to complete his internationalist mission in Congo).

If the key to the vanguard party is unity, inclusion is its essence. “There is no revolutionary, social sector that is not represented,” Fidel would explain when he announced the newly founded Central Committee, insisting that the Revolution must be above all that members had done in the past. The important thing was what all these forces would do together in the future. That is why, adds Harnecker, the Cuban leader did not “enforce his copyrights and, although the July 26 Movement was recognized by the vast majority of the people as the architect of the victory, he abandoned the flag of his movement to assume the flag of the Revolution.”

Fidel himself explained that via union and ideas, unity and doctrine, in the crucible of a revolutionary process, “this Party has been formed. And we must always be protective of these two things, because they are our fundamental pillars.”

EXAMPLE

The Communist Party of Cuba was assigned the task of assuring and defending the Revolution of the entire people, with the participation and organization of workers, peasants, technicians, professionals, students, and the rebel youth.

The logic of organizing people’s power was closely linked to the failure of all attempted coups, invasions or sieges, which would be tested over more than half a century, in the face of repeated aggression by imperialism and the economic blockade, which would have brought down any government that did not have the support of the vast majority of an organized people.

“But the Party would not have survived without a moral component, the example,” says Mexican intellectual Pablo González Casanova.

Cuba was, and is, the only country that maintains its socialist project as a “moral world,” or “another possible world,” as is often said, or “another way of organizing work and life in the world,” González explains.

Many times Fidel was heard saying: “In our society and in our Party, one principle must prevail: the example, which translates into merit, ability, modesty.” Fidel’s greatest concern was that the Party never lose its virtue, that affectionate respect, that fraternal respect and affection the masses feel for it. Let there be sacrifice and work, self-denial, honor, “but never privilege,” Fidel would insist in 1974, speaking before a PCC accountability assembly in the province of Oriente.

Both the practice of confrontation and that of reaching consensus imply measures to organize collective morality, conscience, and will, and that is the Party organized by Fidel, Pablo González Casanova states.

The Cuban Communist Party takes the approach that agreement can be reached amidst conflict and class struggle, which continues even when consensus seems to predominate. “Cuba’s experience in this respect is immense, and not only in defense of its own Revolution and the many confrontations and agreements with the United States, but for having participated in the war in Angola against the army of the former colonialist, racist country of South Africa – the most powerful on the continent – and having helped defeat it, and sit at the negotiating table until reaching a compromise for peace,” concludes González.

SACRIFICE

“He had a chivalrous sense of honor, based on sacrifice,” says Uruguayan writer Eduardo Galeano. While Armando Hart, Cuban revolutionary thinker and former Cuban Minister of Education and Culture, interpreted the selfless vocation of the Party as a value ​​that cannot be separated from the life of its principal leader: “The man who intelligently conceived, led, and defended, without hesitation, the gigantic work of the Cuban Revolution was called upon to be an uncommon, prime example of ethics, culture, confidence, experience, and firmness of principles: all in one.”

As early as 1962, while concluding the Seventh National Conference of Revolutionary Instruction Schools, Fidel stated: “The Party is not an extra benefit. The Party is sacrifice. The Party is not looking for anything. Above all, let us teach every revolutionary that one joins the Party to give everything…”

And on March 14, 1974, at the abovementioned assembly in Santiago de Cuba, he would add: “The Party must have authority before the masses, not because it is the Party, or because it has power, or because it has the strength or the authority to make decisions. The Party must have authority before the masses based on its work, its connection to those same masses, its relations with the masses; the Party is in the masses, the Party is with the masses, but never above…”

And he concluded: “…May the Party never lose this virtue, may the Party never lose the affectionate respect, the fraternal respect and affection the masses feel for it; may the Party be sacrifice, may the Party be work, may the Party be disinterest, may the Party be honor, but never privilege.

Socialism must be anti-racist

Source:  Granma

November 22 2019

Work by Cuban artist Raúl Martínez. Photo: Granma

Sitting on a book fair shelf, the writing on a t-shirt caught my attention: Races do not exist; racism yes. In 1946, Fernando Ortiz wrote The Deception of Race, a key essay in the evolution of anthropological thought that led him to describe the Cuban ethnos in terms of full integration. He scientifically and conceptually dismantled the application of racial standards to classify human beings, and attempt to justify the superiority of one over another on the basis of skin color.

Half a century later, when the vanguard of the scientific community deciphered the human genome, the precocious assertion made by Ortiz was once again confirmed: there is only one race, the human race. External physical traits are determined by only 1% of our genes, thus it is absolutely unscientific and fallacious to attribute intellectual abilities or aptitudes to women and men of a certain pigmentation.

By that time, genetic studies of the Cuban population had advanced in the investigation of factors that affect human health. A rigorous investigation, led by Dr. Beatriz Marcheco, yielded, beyond the proposed initial objectives, a revealing result: “All Cubans,” emphasized the doctor after reporting the irrefutable data, “without a doubt” are mixed race, regardless of the color of the skin we have.”

Racism is a cultural construction that, in the Cuban case, is based on the heritage of a colonial past and the exploitation of African slave labor, forcefully brought to the island. The European white, who occupied the apex of the social pyramid, in the plantation economy, not only exploited and oppressed slaves, but also promoted the myth of racial inferiority of Blacks and their descendants. A myth that was accepted by most light-skinned Creoles and marked social practices during the colonial era, and later in the years of the neocolonial republic, a phenomenon linked to class divisions.

In a 1950 lecture, Ortiz also said, “In Cuba the most serious racism is undoubtedly against Blacks. Racisms are more aggravated against Blacks, in places where they are, or were, socially suppressed and some want to perpetuate this dependent condition. The blackest thing about being black lies not in the darkness of one’s skin, but in one’s social condition. The definition of black as a human type, as it is generally known and considered as the target of prejudice, departs from anthropology to enter politics. This must be done more for its social impact than its congenital nature. Blacks owe their blackness less to their dark ancestors, and more to their white contemporaries. Black is not so much about being born black but rather about being socially deprived of light. Being black is not only being black, but eclipsed and denigrated, as well.”

The revolutionary transformations that began after the January 1959 victory addressed this situation and largely reversed it. Many of the measures taken in those years dealt a devastating blow to the structural supports of racism.

On several occasions, Comandante en Jefe Fidel Castro publicly aired the issue. On March 29, 1959, when speaking during an event in Güines, he said: “We are a people of all colors and of no color; a people constituted of different racial components; how are we going to commit the stupidity and absurdity of harboring the discrimination virus? Here, in this crowd, I see whites, and I see blacks, because this is our people. The people are white, black, yellow, and this must be Cuba. This is what should prevail among us.”

However, the destruction of the foundation that gave rise to institutionalized and structural racism in the pre-revolutionary era was not accompanied by a transformation of subjectivity. It is not enough to proclaim equal rights and equal opportunity, to condemn acts of discrimination, if work is not done to change the mentality.

There are two discriminations

The historical leader of our Revolution, in the essential book One Hundred Hours with Fidel (2006), stated much later to Ignacio Ramonet: “We were naive enough to believe that establishing total, absolute equality before the law would put an end to discrimination. Because there are two discriminations, one that is subjective and one that is objective… The Revolution – despite the rights and guarantees achieved for all citizens of any ethnicity or origin – has not achieved the same success in the fight to eradicate differences in the social and economic status of the country’s black population. Blacks do not live in the best houses, they are still performing difficult and sometimes lower paying jobs, and fewer are receiving family remittances in foreign currency than their white compatriots. But I am satisfied with what we are doing to discover the causes, which, if we do not resolutely fight them, could tend to prolong marginalization in successive generations.”

The other great battle is to utilize educational and cultural methods that contribute, sooner rather than later, to this new subjectivity. At the same time, we cannot live with attitudes that, consciously or unconsciously, reveal the persistence of prejudices, evident in various areas of daily life, from work environments to television programs.

It is not possible to allow, for example, that in the essential non-state service sector, the hiring of young white women obviously predominates. In this case, sexism and racism join hands.

Nor is it possible to ignore, in a dialogue broadcast on television, that a black dancer is referred to as “blue” or that the presence of dancers of various skins colors in the country’s principal companies is described as “mulattocracy,” because when such things are taken lightly – irresponsibly, without thinking -sensibilities are injured.

The road is long, we know this, but it must be traveled step by step, without pause. On more than one occasion, over the years, Army General Raúl Castro has addressed the need to stimulate and promote the role of women and blacks and mixed race Cubans in the political, social and economic life of the country, and in the improvement of our social model. In the constitutive session of the National Assembly of People’s Power Ninth Legislature, April 18, 2018, after noting progress, he insisted that work must continue, and made a call to definitively resolve inherited problems related to the issue: “Things must be thought out,” he stated, “not just said and left to God’s goodwill. They are implemented or they are not implemented, insisting, looking for new methods, avoiding mistakes so we are not criticized in such a noble effort, and going back to think again and again, about another solution when we fail to solve the problem.”

Let us think and act accordingly. Let us recall a central concept expressed by that remarkable revolutionary intellectual who was Fernando Martínez Heredia: “The struggle for the deepening of socialism in Cuba must be anti-racist.”