Cuba takes centre-stage at the 19th World Festival (Photos)

Source:  TeleSUR
October 22 2017

Russia Hosts the World Festival of Youth and Students

IN PICTURES: More than 20,000 young people from 150 countries are attending the event in Sochi.

The festival has as its theme, “For peace, solidarity and social justice, we struggle against imperialism. Honoring our past, we build the future!”

During the week-long event, discussions are focusing on global political issues, ranging from the fight against xenophobia in the United States to student movements, as well as health and education.

The World Federation of Democratic Youth founded the gathering to combat fascism and imperialism after World War II.

cuba takes centre stage in russia.jpgThis year’s WFYS is dedicated to Cuba’s revolutionary leader Fidel Castro, for his “legacy, and contributions to … such festivals and the defense of their founding principles,” said Radio Havana.Photo:@CubanitoenCuba

cuba takes centre stage in russia 2.jpgCuban delegate Rafael Bogonin said, “At a time when Latin American countries are facing a resurgence of hegemonic capitalism, Cuba stands out as a beacon of hope, an example for revolutionary youth”Photo:@CubanitoenCuba

cuba takes centre stage in russia 3.jpgYouth enjoy the many cultural events. Sochi Jazz and the People’s Artist of Russia will also perform.Photo:@CubanitoenCuba

cuba takes centre stage in russia 4.jpgSingers from Cuba entertain the youth participants as part of the evening events at the WFSY.

cuba takes centre stage in russia 5.jpgPeople from 150 countries are taking part in the event.Photo:Reuters

cuba takes centre stage in russia 6.jpgRussia’s President Vladimir Putin delivers a speech during the festival in Sochi.Photo:Reuters

Huge solidarity with Cuba in World Festival of Youth and Students

Source:  Cuban News Agency
October 16 2017

cuba at 19th world festival.jpgA day filled with signs of infinite love, admiration and respect for Cuba was experienced at the XIX World Festival of Youth and Students underway here, a day in which many ratified their condemnation of the unjust US blockade against Cuba.

In a workshop on solidarity with Cuba and Venezuela, and by panelists from both countries, the auditorium was full, with the presence of Aleida Guevara, the daughter of Ernesto Che Guevara, who expressed her pride in being invited to the international forum and narrated her experiences, as pediatrician, on how the blockade affects Cuban children.

Aleidita, as Che called her affectionately, said that the blockade cannot be quantified in material damages, since these are immense and it harms the Cuban people to a great extent; even those who do not yet have a political thought or criterion, such as children, she said.

Out of the 10 new drugs that hit the markets every year, eight come from US companies and sometimes Cuba must have go through several intermediaries to acquire them; not to mention that sanctions range from millions of dollars in fines to a ban on selling them to the Cuban nation.

Referring to everything Cuba does for humankind, Guevara affirmed that if she feels useful is because she was raised as a woman of the Revolution, to which the public responded with an effusive applause, a sign of that affection and respect towards her father, who is also dedicated to the world.

Rafael Bogoni, Executive Secretary of the Latin American and Caribbean Continental Organization of Students, stressed that Cuba’s resistance to the blockade for more than half a century is an example for the world and, at the same time, a political beacon of struggle.

He reiterated that the small Caribbean nation represents a model to be followed by all and therefore deserves many signs of solidarity; while adding that the fact that the world event is dedicated to Fidel and Che shows what Cuba is for those who struggle for sovereignty.

Raul: Venezuela has given another great lesson in peace, democratic vocation, courage, and dignity

Message from Army General Raúl Castro to Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro

raul y nicolas 4.jpg“I congratulate you on the results of the state elections. Venezuela has given another great lesson in peace, democratic vocation, courage, and dignity.

Source:  Granma
October 17, 2017 08:10:30

by: Granma | internet@granma.cu

Havana

October 16, 2017

Comrade Nicolás Maduro Moros

President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela

Esteemed Nicolás:

I congratulate you on the results of the state elections. Venezuela has given another great lesson in peace, democratic vocation, courage, and dignity .

The legacy of Chávez is alive. He and Fidel would be very proud of this victory.

You can always count on the support and solidarity of Cuba.

An embrace,

Raúl Castro Ruz

President of the Councils of State and Ministers of the Republic of Cuba

Cuba is full of committed youth

Source:  Granma
october 13, 2017 10:10:59

by: Julio Martínez Molina | informacion@granma.cu

At 34 years of age, Kirenia Viscay de la Cruz, Cuban delegate to the World Festival of Youth and Students and chief prosecutor for the municipality of Cienfuegos for the last two years, is a young person committed to Cuba and its youth.

 

Kirenia Viscay de la Cruz.jpgPhoto: Julio Martínez Molina

Cienfuegos.– Kirenia Viscay de la Cruz is a gentle, tender young woman, whose friendly demeanor and good manners don’t stop her from exercising justice with the necessary rigor.

At 34 years of age, Kirenia, Cuban delegate to the World Festival of Youth and Students and chief prosecutor for the municipality of Cienfuegos for the last two years, is a young person committed to Cuba and its youth.

“The proof is this very office; and not just here, but the rest of the country and our great homeland is also full of selfless and committed youth,” she stated.

“It’s true there are problems, and you see some young people and feel disappointed. Me personally, as someone whose job means you come into contact with lots of unpleasant things, I sometimes get worried; but I feel better when I stop and reflect and see that there are lots more good, committed people, whose valuable examples we must replicate,” she noted.

“We are going to present our country’s successful examples and experiences -numerous and visible every single day – at the World Festival of Youth and Students”

“We are going to present our country’s successful examples and experiences -numerous and visible every single day – at the World Festival of Youth and Students, an event which is also dedicated to our timeless Fidel, eternal compañero and teacher,” stated Cuba’s representative to the international event in Sochi.

fidel y wfdyMother to a five-year old son; an avid reader who loves good Cuban music and can’t stand reggaeton, Kirenia was selected to attend the event given her successful career to date, in particular her years of outstanding work as a provincial prosecutor in the Department of Criminal Proceedings; as well as her constant link with the Young Communist League (UJC) and island’s youth in general.

She joined the UJC in 10th grade, going on to successfully serve as secretary general of its grassroots committees, and a Federation of University Students department president, among other roles.

Kirenia, who was born in Guantánamo, but came to Cienfuegos at three years of age, believes that the best way to support the Revolution, and the country’s social processes, is to try to be a better person, and better professional every day.

Regarding the challenges of her job, Cienfuegos’ chief prosecutor stated, “If you think about the problems we face in today’s society, any job that entails disputes is very complicated, but it is possible to overcome such a challenge.”

Asked how, she noted, “Firstly by gaining – and never losing – the trust of the people as representatives of the Law, by listening to them and trying to understand their problems; and secondly, by doing our best to try to resolve whatever situation they might have, since people come to us because they believe that we are going to resolve their issue.
“What is more, when they don’t get the outcome they want and although we explain why this is so, this person must feel like you care, like you believe them, that you investigated, and tried to help, that you sought the truth.

“To find the truth and act justly, you must be very responsible with what you do and say, be very committed to the Revolution and a just legal system. You must be a passionate lawyer or prosecutor, in love with their profession, because it’s a demanding job,” she noted

Cuba-China relations: A cooperation model based on equality, respect, and mutual benefit

Source: Granma
October 2 2017

by Iramsy Peraza Forte | informacion@granma.cu

Miguel Ángel Ramírez, Cuban ambassador in Beijing, agreed to speak with Granma International about the current state of Cuba-China relations and their future prospects

cuba china relations oct 2017.jpgThere exists great potential to develop economic and political ties between Cuba and China. Photo: Ismael Batista

Beijing.- Cuba and China have enjoyed a special relationship since diplomatic relations between the two countries were established on September 28, 1960.
che y mao.jpgMonths before these ties were officially recognized, Comandante Ernesto Che Guevara led a delegation representing the nascent Cuban Revolution to Beijing, with the aim of cementing relations with the People’s Republic of China, founded 11 years prior.
Today, 57 years later, Cuba and China are celebrating having built a relationship which is not only an example for the world, but also a reference for the development of fraternal ties between two parties, governments, and peoples, which have stood the test of time.

Miguel Ángel Ramírez, Cuban ambassador in Beijing, agreed to speak with Granma Internationalabout the current state of Cuba-China relations and their future prospects.
This year is the 57th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the Republic of Cuba and People’s Republic of China. More than half a century later how would you describe the current state of these ties, and the over 50-year relationship between the two countries?

fidel 200.jpgThe precursor to the emergence of these ties between Cuba and China is one of the most important moments of our history when, during the First Declaration of Havana on September 2, 1960, over one million Cubans, representing our people and led by leader of the Cuban Revolution Comandante en Jefe Fidel Castro Ruz, decided to recognize the People’s Republic of China.

Thus, Cuba became the first country in the western hemisphere to recognize the new China, even while the illegitimate government of Taiwan continued to hold its place in the United Nations. Since then, we have maintained ties of friendship, fraternity, and mutual support, which have strengthened over time.

The close ties of friendship between the two governments, parties, and peoples have a solid historical base, dating back to our independence struggles, in which Chinese immigrants played an important part; while the 170th anniversary of their arrival to the country is being celebrated this year. This important date, which laid the foundations for the creation of a Chinese-Cuban community, and the full integration of Chinese immigrants into our society to become part of our national identity, has been commemorated in both countries.

A model of cooperation

Our relations represent a model of cooperation based on equality, respect, and mutual benefit between two socialist, independent, economically strong nations.
Cuba has always shown its unequivocal support for the One China policy, and strongly rejects any actions which threaten its sovereignty and territorial integrity. The Chinese government and people have also continued to support the Cuban Revolution, and in particular its struggle against the U.S. blockade, a policy which despite continual, broad international rejection, remains intact and continues to escalate as seen by the continual persecution of Cuba’s financial transactions abroad.

Over recent years, more than 3,000 Chinese students have come to study in Cuba through government scholarship programs, which give new generations from the country’s least developed provinces the opportunity to study Spanish, medicine, tourism, and education, among other degrees, on the island. Meanwhile, the number of self-financing students from that country wanting to earn a degree here has also risen, proof of the popularity and quality of Cuba’s educational system among Chinese youth.

How can economic exchanges be expanded between the two countries?
China became Cuba’s top trading partner for the first time in 2016, with exchanges between the two nations amounting to 2,585, 516,000 USD.
Chinese companies are present in almost all sectors of the island’s economy, via projects linked to foreign trade, through which our country obtains various types of equipment, consumer goods, or through direct Chinese investment in the country.

We have seen important achievements in promoting Chinese Direct Foreign Investment in Cuba with projects such as the Bello Monte initiative linked to golf-course real estate, in which Beijing has invested 500 million USD.

We are also working on various Chinese investment projects in the Mariel Special Development Zone as well as others in practically all spheres of our country’s social and economic life, meaning a substantial boost for commercial exchange.
Cuba is also in the process of transforming its energy matrix, for which substantial long-term investments are needed, and that goes for both wind, solar, and bio energy, areas in which the world’s second largest economic power should play a key role.
In fact, construction has already begun on what will be the country’s largest bioelectric plant, a joint venture featuring technology and financing from China, as well as Cuba and the UK.

The success and level of development achieved by various Cuban-Chinese ventures, is proof of what we can achieve through tenacity, motivation, and revolutionary spirit. As such, I would like to highlight the Shanghai-Suncuba company, owner of the Grand Kempinski-Shanghai and the three largest joint ventures in the biotechnology sector, based in different locations across the island: an expression of the strength and recognition achieved by this sector, founded by our Comandante en Jefe, and an example of the strategic direction being taken by the country.

Based on their individual realties, China and Cuba – two countries in the process of building socialism – share a similar outlook on many issues. What experiences can the two nations share in this process?
Cuba and China have both expressed their commitment to continue constructing socialism in accordance with each nation’s particular characteristics and under the leadership of their respective Communist Parties. We consider ourselves to be mutual references in the construction of socialism deriving from our own unique characteristics, on the basis of which we conduct a broad and systematic exchange of experiences.
The country is immersed in updating its socio-economic model, a process which, under the leadership of the Communist Party, establishes the bases for medium and long-term national development, to achieve sustainable, prosperous socialism in accordance with our reality. China’s experience in its “reforming and opening up” process has been an important reference in this phase, defined by a continual analysis of the achievements, mistakes, and particularities of each country.

As the world’s second largest economic power China is actively working to contribute to global economic stability, combat climate change and build a new type of international relations. How would you describe China’s efforts in this regard?

China is without a doubt a stabilizing factor in many aspects of the global scenario. As an emerging power, it has been leading efforts to promote peaceful global development. Its rise as a key player in an increasingly globalized world, has also seen it become a protagonist in defending the rights of Third World countries, with the G-77+China representing the most compelling example of cooperation between equals.
It has made a transcendental contribution in terms of poverty reduction, food production, the transfer of technology, and successful launching of satellites into space, among others areas.

More recently, the country’s 21st century One Belt One Road initiative and the launch of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) represent a vote of confidence in the creation of a new international system.

The expansion and strengthening of its ties with Latin America and the Caribbean represent another example of balance and stability for the region. These ties have the potential to produce great benefits for all involved, especially looking toward the upcoming Second China-Celac Ministerial Forum, set to be held early next year in our region.

CNC’s Cuba Hurricane Relief Campaign Off to a Good Start

Canadian Network on Cuba
Working in friendship and solidarity with Cuba

 209 Oakwood Avenue, Toronto, Ontario, M6E 2V3
cncexec@canadiannetworkoncuba.ca   www.canadiannetworkoncuba.ca

September 30, 2017

TO: CNC groups and friends
FROM: Keith Ellis, Coordinator
2017 CNC Hurricane Relief

RE: 2017 Canadian Network on Cuba Hurricane Relief Campaign

hurricane relief for cuba 2.jpgOur campaign is off to a good start thanks to a spirit in which suggestions and initiatives are being taken in an organized way that keeps reminding us of one of Fidel’s frequently repeated dictums: “cada soldado un comandante” (every soldier a commander).  This spirit was abundantly evident in a very successful event held last Friday, September 22, in Toronto by the end of which, combined with other events, and including donations received from other parts of the country, we can say that we have so far collected $35,000.

We fully expect that this spirit will continue to be manifested here and throughout Canada, as we try to help the admirably courageous Cuban people who themselves are so deeply and intelligently involved in this recuperative effort against the terrible effects of Hurricane Irma.

You will be pleased to know that Venezuela was prompt in beginning to provide its substantial aid to Cuba.  President Maduro himself arrived in Havana with one of the first shipments on September 21.  Also, very promptly too, Venezuela and Cuba have announced their plans to aid Puerto Rico.  Venezuela has proposed a “special plan of support and solidarity.”  Cuba has 39 doctors ready to go to help its historically sister island (the phrase “dos alas del mismo pájaro” [two wings of the same bird] was first applied to Cuba and Puerto Rico when they were both struggling against colonialism).

For us, as simple human beings, not corrupted or dehumanized by the big media, this response by Cuba and Venezuela will seem to be commendable and inspiring.  But don’t be surprised if it further incites the punitive anger of our Minister of External Affairs, Chrystia Freeland.  She knows that the plan of the moneyed vultures, some of them well-placed in the Trump administration, is to take advantage of Puerto Rico’s heightened crisis, to squeeze the “associate state” to the point of asphyxiation, so that it will offer privatization of its publicly-owned assets at give-away prices as the only exit from the crisis.  The Puerto Rican people will thus become enslaved to the new owners for use of erstwhile public utilities.  A part of Hillary Clinton’s family benefited in just this way from the very tardy response to the horrendous Haiti earthquake of 2010.

You will remember how prompt Cuba and Venezuela were in their response to that great tragedy, when within the first twenty-four hours some 1100 medical interventions were carried out by the Cuban medical team that happened to be in Haiti on a different humanitarian mission.

Alas, a similar rapidity of response cannot be achieved in the case of Puerto Rico.  It is U.S. territory; and permission, as in the case of Hurricane Katrina, will have to be obtained from that country’s government in order for Cuba and Venezuela to carry out their humanitarian activities there.  Permission was denied in the case of Katrina, at the expense of many lives.  We hope that when President Trump gets there, as he is scheduled to do on Tuesday, the 3rd of October, he will make a just assessment of the people’s needs and allow appropriate interventions.

During his slow, apparently reluctant, journey to the nearby island, he is taking every opportunity to remind his 3.5 million unfortunate compatriots there that they have a pre-hurricane debt of 70 billion dollars to New York banks that must be paid.

An interesting proposal aired by President Maduro is to work toward making Puerto Rico eligible for membership in CELAC (the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States).

Let us remember always, as we raise funds for Cuba, that our efforts are never ever linked to swindlers’ pipe-dreams, to frauds, of the kinds that may well be hoodwinking our Minister of External Affairs, but to short-term and long-term help to and solidarity with the Cuban people and their government.

Cheques should be written to “CNC,” with the following words on the memo line. – “Hurricane Relief”.   They should be mailed:

c/o Sharon Skup
56 Riverwood Terrace
Bolton ON L7E 1S4

Un abrazo,

Keith Ellis, Coordinator
2017 CNC Hurricane Relief Campaign

A call to our combative people

Source:  Granma
September 11 2017

Raúl Castro Ruz | internet@granma.cu

We face the recovery with the example of Comandante en Jefe de la Revolución Cubana, Fidel Castro Ruz, who, with his unwavering confidence in victory and iron will, taught us that nothing is impossible.

hurricane irma el malecon.jpg

Hurricane Irma, with its destructive power, battered our island for 72 hours, beginning the morning of September 8 until this Sunday afternoon. With winds that surpassed 250 kilometers per hour on occasion, it crossed the north of the country from Baracoa – hit hard by another phenomenon of this type almost a year ago – to the outskirts of Cárdenas. However, given its immense size, practically no province was spared its effects.

Described by experts as the largest ever to form in the Atlantic, this meteorological phenomenon caused severe damage to the country, which, precisely because of its scope, has yet to be quantified. A preliminary view shows evidence of an impact on housing, the electrical system, and agriculture.

hope amid destructionPhoto: Jose M. Correa

It also struck some of our principal tourist destinations, but damage will be repaired before the beginning of the high season. We have on hand for this the human resources and materials needed, given that this constitutes one of the principal sources of income in the national economy.

These have been difficult days for our people, who, in a few hours time, have seen what was constructed with great effort hit by a devastating hurricane. Images from the last few hours speak for themselves, as does the spirit of resistance and victory of our people that is regenerated with every adversity.

The unity of Cubans has prevailed

In these difficult circumstances, the unity of Cubans has prevailed, the solidarity among neighbors, discipline in response to instructions issued by the National Civil Defense General Staff and Defense Councils at all levels, the professionalism of specialists at the Institute of Meteorology, the immediacy of our communications media and its journalists, the support of mass organizations, as well as the cohesion of National Defense Council leadership bodies. Special mention for all of our women, including leaders of the Party and government, who with aplomb and maturity provided leadership and confronted the difficult situation.

The days that are coming will be ones of much work, during which the strength and indestructible confidence in the Revolution of Cubans will again be demonstrated. This is not a time to mourn, but to construct again that which the winds of Irma attempted to destroy.

With organization, discipline, and the coordination of all our structures, we will move forward as we have done on previous occasions. No one should be fooled; the task we have before us is huge, but with a people like ours, we will win the most important battle: recovery.

At this critical moment, the Cuban Workers’ Federation and the National Association of Small Farmers, along with all other mass organizations, must redouble efforts to eliminate as quickly as possible the trail left by this destructive event.

One principle remains immovable: the Revolution will leave no one unprotected and measures are already being adopted to ensure that no Cuban family is left to their fate.

As has been customary every time a meteorological phenomenon has struck us, there have been many expressions of solidarity received from all parts of the world. Heads of state and government, political organizations, and friends in solidarity organizations have expressed the desire to help us, whom we thank in the name of more than eleven million Cuban men and women.

fidel sierra maestra.pngWe face the recovery with the example of Comandante en Jefe de la Revolución Cubana, Fidel Castro Ruz, who, with his unwavering confidence in victory and iron will, taught us that nothing is impossible. In these difficult hours, his legacy makes us strong and unites us.

Raúl Castro Ruz

Havana, September 10, 2017