Schools: The life and soul of the Revolution

Source:  Granma
April 26 2019

by: Vivian Bustamante Molina | internet@granma.cu

schools the life of the revolution 1.jpgPhoto: Endrys Correa Vaillant

miguel diaz sept 2018cEducation is defended with commitment, soul, creativity, and by example, and with these convictions educators will march on May Day, said Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, President of Cuba’s Councils of State and Ministers, during a National Seminar to prepare for the coming academic year, yesterday. The first session was devoted to analyzing the Ministry of Education’s (MINED) work in 2018.

This concept, he said, was reaffirmed by young leaders from Manicaragua and Cienfuegos, who reported impressive results in their schools, emphasizing the importance of personal example and dedication.

During his comments, Diaz-Canel established a collective reflection, seasoned with remembrances of his student days and those spent in leading the Ministry of Higher Education, noting the continued relevance of foundational precepts of Cuban education, jose ramon fernandez.jpgcherished by teachers and professors over the years, including Fidel Castro and José Ramón Fernández, who we all recall affectionately, as a revolutionary and pedagogue, he said.

The main task at hand, he pointed out, is the improvement of teaching, with experimental projects underway in a several institutions, the results of which will be generalized.

He noted that despite the difficult times, a new special education school was recently inaugurated in Santiago de Cuba, with another to open soon in Villa Clara, examples of what a Revolution can do.

The work of teachers and professors merits more recognition

He emphasized that the work of teachers and professors merits more recognition.

Teresa Amarelle Boué, Party Political Bureau member and secretary general of the Federation of Cuban Women, honored Ena Elsa Velázquez, Minister of Education, with the Ana Betancourt Order, for her career as an educator and government leader. Distinctions were also awarded to pedagogical schools and provincial education directorates with the best results in 2018.

The meeting was also attended by Roberto Morales Ojeda, Political Bureau member of the Party and vice president of the Councils of State and Ministers, and Olga Lidia Tapia, member of the Central Committee Secretariat, and other leaders.

Cuba Sends Field Hospital to Help Mozambique amid Cyclone Idai

Source: TeleSUR
March 26 2019

  • Patients await treatment at a hospital that had roofing blown off during Cyclone Idai in Beira, Mozambique, March 26, 2019.
    Patients await treatment at a hospital that had roofing blown off during Cyclone Idai in Beira, Mozambique, March 26, 2019. | Photo: Reuter

Cuban cooperation includes doctors and equipment to counteract the public health effects of the worst southern hemisphere tropical storm ever.

Cuba’s vice minister of Foreign Affairs Anayansi Rodriguez Camejo announced that Cuba is sending Wednestay a “field hospital”, with full staff and equipment, to Mozambique, which is a form of international cooperation whose purpose is to contribute to the management of public health conditions after the devastating impact caused by Cyclone Idai.

RELATED:  Death Toll Reaches 446 in Mozambique After Cyclone Idai

This new internationalist medical brigade will join 372 Cuban doctors who are already providing their services in the African country, 36 of whom arrived on March 14, when Idai made landfall for the first time, according to the Cuban News Agency (ACN).

In Mozambique the death toll rises to 447 and the directly affected population reaches 794,035 people, 128,941 of which are currently staying in 143 shelters provided by President Filipe Nyusi administration, according to the data updated until Monday by the National Institute of Catastrophe Management (INGC).

Cyclone Idai started as a tropical storm at Mozambique’s eastern coast on March 4. Days later, Idai made landfall and became one of the worst southern hemisphere tropical cyclones ever recorded as it reached four of five categories on the Saffir-Simpson scale, causeing multiple economic losses in Mozambique and Zimbabwe.

“Our Cuban doctors, the Cuban Revolution’s most perfect work, always upholding our values, with their love of humanity, helping with a solidarity gesture to the Mozambican people. We are Cuba. We are Continuity. Let’s go for more.”

Vice Minister Rodriguez Camejo also accompanied Tuesday Gladys Bejerano Portela, who is Cuba’s State Council vice president and Comptroller General, to the Mozambican embassy in Havana, where both officials signed a condolence book with the African republic.

“In the name of the Cuban state, government and people, we express our deepest condolences, sorrow and solidarity with the government and people of the sister Republic of Mozambique, in the face of the lamentable human and economic losses caused by Idai,” Bejerano wrote.

In the center of Mozambique, the provinces of Manica and Sofala, where some 4.4 million people live, were the most affected by the cyclone.

In the capital Maputo, some 25 million people experienced the onslaught of Idai, whose consequences have been described by the United Nations as a “Level 3” humanitarian emergency, a category which only Syria and Yemen had achieved so far.

Why do Cuban women support the Revolution so firmly?

Source:  Granma
March 8 2019

by  Fidel Castro Ruz

why cuban women support the revolution

Photo: Granma Archives Endrys Correa

Cuban women support the Revolution so firmly, so enthusiastically, so loyally… because it is a revolution that means double liberation for women. Women are a part of the country’s most humble sectors… women face discrimination not only as workers, but as women as well

I told a compañero that this phenomenon of women in the Revolution was a revolution within another revolution. And if we were asked: what is the most revolutionary thing that the Revolution is doing, we would answer that the most revolutionary thing the Revolution is doing is precisely this; that is, the revolution that is taking place within the women of our country. If we were asked: what are the things that have taught us the most in the Revolution, we would answer that one of the most interesting lessons that revolutionaries are receiving in the Revolution is the lesson that women are giving us. (…)

What is occurring to us, in reality, is that this potential force is superior to what the most optimistic of us could have ever imagined. And that is why we said that, maybe in the background, unconsciously, unconsciously there was some prejudice, or there was some underestimation, since reality is demonstrating, just beginning to march along this path, all the possibilities and all the roles women can play in a revolutionary process (…)

If women believe that their situation within society is optimal, if women believe that the revolution’s function, its revolutionary function within society, has been fulfilled, they would be mistaken.

It seems to us that women must still struggle a great deal, that women must work hard to reach the place they should really occupy (…)

If women in our country were doubly exploited, doubly humiliated, that means simply that, in a social revolution, women must be doubly revolutionary.

And this perhaps explains, or contributes to explaining, and it can be said that it is the social base that allows an explanation as to why Cuban women support the Revolution so firmly, so enthusiastically, so loyally. Simply for this reason:

Because it is a revolution that for women means two revolutions; because it is a revolution that means double liberation for women. Women are a part of the country’s most humble sectors… women face discrimination not only as workers, but as women, as well, within this exploitative society.

That is why the attitude of women in our Revolution, in our country, reflects this reality, reflects what the Revolution has meant for women. And the popular sectors, the popular sectors support the Revolution to the same extent that the Revolution has meant liberation for them (…)

It only remains to say, with all my strength: Long live Cuban women! Long live the revolutionary spirit, the discipline, the devotion of Cuban women!

Long live the female revolution within the socialist revolution!

Source: Speech during the closing session of the Fifth National Plenum of the FMC, December 9, 1966.

The OAS plays Judas in the Americas

Source:  Granma
January 23 2019

It is time for the peoples of the region to wake up and expose the onslaught against Venezuela and Nicaragua

oas plays judas

I wonder: What is the point of the OAS? Is it worth being a member? Why not build a common Latin American and Caribbean front and unmask it for what it is, along with its current Secretary General, Luis Almagro?

What is happening today against Venezuela and Nicaragua reminds me of the same OAS, conniving and servile to the dictates of the United States, and its attacks on Cuba in the year 1960, 12 months after the Revolution triumphed.

It was back then, at the VII Meeting of Consultation of Ministers of Foreign Affairs, in San Jose, Costa Rica, that the Organization urged member states to condemn the island, as part of U.S. government attempts to create a political and diplomatic context that isolated Cuba, and thus mask the planned military attacks prepared by the CIA, contained in the secret directive “A Program of Covert Action Against the Castro Regime,” approved March 17, 1960.

How can we forget – given that Washington has recently set up the same scenario, this time accompanied by a fierce media campaign, against Latin American nations such as Venezuela and Nicaragua – the Cuban position at the Costa Rican OAS meeting of 1960, voiced by the “Chancellor of Dignity” Raúl Roa García. How can we forget the exclamations of an entire people: “With or without the OAS, we will win the fight!”

Referring to the OAS decision to isolate Cuba, Comandante en Jefe Fidel Castro said that the meeting in Costa Rica was a lesson for the peoples of America, who will never forgive the betrayal of those who offered the rights of the Cuban nation to the empire on a silver platter.

Those who signed the document “will go down in history as the Judas Iscariot of the Americas!” Fidel said then.

There are plenty of examples to show that the OAS is nothing more than an imperialist instrument, acting in an interventionist way against the peoples of the region; just as there are to unmask a traitor like Luis Almagro, who has become Latin America’s most fanatical enemy, and the most submissive of the U.S. government’s lackeys.

The latest campaign by this discredited institution has been its interventionist efforts against two democratically elected governments of the region: those of Venezuela and Nicaragua.

The OAS has surpassed all expectations with regard to the Bolivarian nation, dictating disrespectful and crude resolutions, leading a media war to destabilize the country and create real chaos in the region.

Revealed for what he is, Luis Almagro recently tweeted: “We welcome the assumption of Guaidó as Acting President of Venezuela under Article 233 of the Constitution. He has our support, that of the international community and that of the Venezuelan people.”

This was the first reaction of the OAS and its secretary general to the statements of the president of the National Assembly of Venezuela (in a state of contempt), Juan Guaidó, that he would assume the presidency of the Bolivarian nation, after describing its legitimate President, Nicolás Maduro, as an “usurper.”

This is undoubtedly part of an escalating war against Venezuela, and a shameless means of interfering in its internal affairs.
AGAINST NICARAGUA

Regarding another sovereign state of the region, Nicaragua, the OAS invoked the Inter-American Democratic Charter, which may lead to the suspension of Central American country from the organization, as reported by EFE.

Luis Almagro’s speech at the last meeting of the OAS, in addition to being long and meddlesome, exposed him as the liar he is. Just as it did 60 years ago against Cuba, the OAS is now fabricating an interventionist farce with statements like: “In a democracy, there can be no repression, nor violation of the human rights of opponents, students, politicians, campesinos, civilians and minors.”

The interesting thing about all this is that within the same OAS that lacks all credibility, are representatives of countries like Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and others, the daily settings of repression against students, workers, teachers, indigenous people, and where hundreds of social leaders are assassinated. All this is done in the name of democracy, just like that defended by the Judas, Luis Almagro.

Our peoples, in some cases confused by the current reactionary attack mounted from Washington and seconded by the OAS, will unmask the traitors who vote against Venezuela and Nicaragua today, as they did against Cuba. And I am sure they will do so in the future, as long as we act promptly and unite to discredit the OAS, Luis Almagro and the self-proclaimed Lima Group.

After 60 years of struggle, we see a free, independent country, master of its own destiny

Source:  Granma
January 2 2018

Speech by Army General Raúl Castro Ruz, First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba Central Committee, at the central act to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the triumph of the Revolution, in Santiago de Cuba, January 1st, 2019, “Year 61 of the Revolution”

fidel enetrs havan

We gather today to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the revolutionary triumph of sixty 6January 1st, and we do so again in Santiago de Cuba, cradle of the Revolution, here in the Santa Ifigenia cemetery, where the immortal remains of many of the best children of the nation are venerated, very close to the tombs of the National Hero, of the Father and Mother of the Homeland, and of the Comandante en Jefe of the Cuban Revolution.

Heroic sacrifices of our people

raul 75.jpgI do not come here to speak in a personal capacity; I do so in the name of the heroic sacrifices of our people, and of the thousands of fighters who gave their lives over more than 150 years of struggle.

It seems incredible that destiny has reserved us the privilege of being able to address our compatriots on a day like today, commemorating six decades of triumph, an occasion on which, under Fidel’s command, the Cuban people attained political power for the first time, and the Mambises were able to enter Santiago de Cuba victorious, coincidentally 60 years after the establishment of absolute U.S. imperialist domination of Cuba.

A few months ago, in La Demajagua, we gathered to remember the 150th anniversary of the beginning of Cuba’s independence wars, October 10, 1868; a date that marks the beginning of our Revolution, which survived moments of bitterness and disunity, like the Pact of Zanjón, and brilliant episodes like that carried out by Antonio Maceo in the Baraguá Protest.

Marti and the Mambises

jose marti and the cuban flag.jpgThe Revolution was revived, in 1895, thanks to the genius and ability of Martí to bring together the best and most experienced leaders of the Ten Years’ War, and prepare the “Necessary War” against Spanish colonialism.

When the colonial army was practically defeated, with little combative morale, besieged by the Mambises across almost all of the island and depleted by tropical diseases which, in 1897, to mention just one example, caused 201,000 losses among its troops; the victory was usurped by the U.S. intervention and the military occupation of the country, which gave way to a long period of oppression and corrupt governments, subservient to its hegemonic designs.

Not even in these difficult circumstances was the redemptive fire of the Cuban people extinguished, manifested in figures of the stature of Baliño, Mella, Villena, Guiteras and Jesús Menéndez, among many others who did not resign themselves to living in dishonor and ignominy.

Nor was the Centenary Generation, which under the leadership of Fidel assaulted the Moncada and Carlos Manuel de Céspedes barracks on July 26, 1953, willing to tolerate, 100 years after Martí’s birth, the crimes and abuses of a bloody tyranny, completely subordinated to the interests of the United States.

Those who fell on July 26

Moments of profound pain and sadness ensued, after the setback and the vile assassination of many of the revolutionary fighters participating in these actions, powerfully denounced by Fidel in his historic defence “History will absolve me,” which became the program of the Revolution.

fidel under arrestA few meters from here lay the remains of the fallen on that July 26, and other martyrs of the insurrectional feat, including also the brave young Santiago people of the clandestine struggle, and the children of this city who fell in glorious internationalist missions.

In the hard years of imprisonment and ill-treatment, the fervor and commitment to recommence the struggle did not falter; the prestige and authority of the revolutionary leader grew to join new forces against the dictatorship.

frank pais.jpeg

Frank Pais

There was no rest during exile in Mexico; it served to prepare the next and decisive stage of battle that brought us on the Granma yacht to Las Coloradas on December 2, 1956. The delay in arriving to Cuban coasts, due to the hazardous voyage, prevented the scheduled synchronization with the Uprising of Santiago de Cuba, on November 30, organized by the bold and courageous young leader of the July 26 Movement, Frank País García, who had not yet turned 22, his age when brutally murdered by the henchmen of the tyranny, July 30, 1957.

 

Neither could the disaster of Alegría de Pío, which almost annihilated the expeditionaries, extinguish Fidel’s optimism and faith in victory, convictions that led him to exclaim on December 18 when we were reunited, with just seven rifles: Now we have won the war!

From Santiago de Cuba, as a result of the tireless efforts of the clandestine movement led by Frank País, we received in the Sierra Maestra the first reinforcement of young combatants, weapons and ammunition, which was a crucial contribution to the fighting capacity of the nascent Rebel Army.

Months of incessant fighting ensued, first in the Sierra Maestra, and then the struggle spread to other regions with the opening of new fronts and columns, and with the defeat of the great offensive of the Batista troops against the First Front led by Fidel, which marked the beginning of the strategic counter-offensive and the radical turning point of the war that led to the defeat of the regime and the seizure of revolutionary power.

The tyranny has been overthrown

Already on January 8, 1959, upon his arrival in Havana, the Commander of the Revolution expressed, (I quote): “The tyranny has been overthrown, the joy is immense and yet there is still much to be done. We do not fool ourselves into believing that from now on everything will be easy, perhaps from now on everything will be more difficult.” (End of quote).

It did not take long for Fidel’s premonitory words to become a reality. A stage of struggle began that shook the foundations of Cuban society. On May 17, just four and a half months after the triumph, in the Comandancia de la Plata, in the heart of the Sierra Maestra, the first Agrarian Reform Law was promulgated in compliance with the Moncada Program, an event that upset the powerful economic interests of U.S. monopolies and the Creole bourgeoisie, which redoubled the conspiracies against the revolutionary process.

bay of pigs us defeated

Defeated counter revolutionary after the mercenary invasion at Playa Giron in April 1961

The nascent Revolution was subjected to all types of aggressions and threats, such as the actions of armed gangs financed by the U.S. government; assassination plans against Fidel and other leaders; the murder of young literacy teachers, many of them still adolescents; sabotage and terrorism throughout the country with the terrible toll of 3,478 dead and 2,099 disabled; the economic, commercial and financial blockade, and other political and diplomatic measures in order to isolate us; the campaigns of lies to defame the Revolution and its leaders; the mercenary invasion at Playa Girón in April 1961; the October Crisis in 1962, when the military invasion of Cuba was being prepared in the United States; and an endless list of hostile acts against our homeland.

Not a minute’s calm over the 60 years
No one can deny that the Revolution that was born that January 1st, has not had a minute’s calm over 60 years. We have seen twelve U.S. administrations that have not ceased in the effort to force a regime change in Cuba, one way or another, with varying degrees of aggressiveness.

The heroic people of yesterday and today, proud of their national history and culture, committed to the ideals and the work of the Revolution, which four generations of Cubans have already joined, have managed to resist and win over the six decades of uninterrupted struggle in defense of socialism, always based on the closest unity around the Party and Fidel.

Only thus can we understand the feat of having withstood the tough years of the Special Period, when we were left alone in the middle of the West, 90 miles from the United States. Then, nobody in the world would have bet a penny on the survival of the Revolution. However, the challenge was endured and overcome without violating a single one of the ethical and humanist principles of the revolutionary process, and was worthy of the invaluable support of the solidarity movements that never stopped believing in Cuba.

Now once again, the U.S. government seems to be taking the course of confrontation with Cuba, and presenting our peaceful and solidary country as a threat to the region. It resorts to the sinister Monroe Doctrine to try to roll back history to the shameful era in which subjugated governments and military dictatorships joined it in isolating Cuba.

New lies against Cuba

Increasingly, senior officials of the current administration, with the complicity of certain lackeys, disseminate new falsehoods and again try to blame Cuba for all the ills of the region, as if these were not the result of ruthless neoliberal policies that cause poverty, hunger, inequality, organized crime, drug trafficking, political corruption, abuse and deprivation of workers’ rights, displaced people, the eviction of campesinos, the repression of students, and precarious health, education and housing conditions for the vast majority.

They are the same who declare the intention to continue forcing the deterioration of bilateral relations, and promote new measures of economic, commercial and financial blockade to restrict the performance of the national economy, cause additional constraints on the consumption and welfare of the people, hinder even further foreign trade, and curb the flow of foreign investment. They say they are willing to challenge International Law, to contravene the rules of international trade and economic relations, and aggressively apply extraterritorial measures and laws against the sovereignty of other states.

I reiterate our willingness to coexist in a civilized manner, despite the differences, in a relationship of peace, respect and mutual benefit with the United States. We have also clearly indicated that Cubans are prepared to resist a confrontational scenario, which we do not want, and we hope that the levelest heads in the U.S. government can avoid.

Cuba is accused again, when it has been demonstrated that external debt, uncontrolled migratory flows, the plundering of natural resources, are the result of the domination of transnational corporations in the continent.

The force of truth

The force of truth has thwarted the lies, and history has put the events and protagonists in their places.

All that can be attributed to the Cuban Revolution and the epic written by this heroic people is the responsibility that emanates from their example, as a symbol of full independence, victorious resistance, social justice, altruism and internationalism.

cuban doctors arrive in sierra leone.jpg

Cuban doctors arrive in Sierra Leone

As part of Our America, our respect and solidarity with sister nations has, and will be, invariable; in which more than 347,700 Cuban doctors and health workers have offered their services, many of them in remote and difficult places, and more than 27,200 young people have been professionally trained. This shows confidence in Cuba.
A few weeks ago, thousands of Cuban doctors who offered their services in Brazil returned, with dignity, with the recognition and affection of millions of patients, especially from rural areas and indigenous populations, whom the new President slandered and condemned, in order to destroy that social program and with it fulfill the directions of the extreme right in Florida, which has hijacked United States policy toward Cuba, to the pleasure of the most reactionary forces of the current U.S. government.

 

We have seen it all before

Sixty years after the triumph, we can affirm that we have seen it all before; we are not intimidated by the language of force or threats, they did not intimidate us when the revolutionary process was not yet consolidated, they will not even remotely achieve it now that the unity of the people is an indestructible reality; because if yesterday we were few, today we are an entire people defending their Revolution (Applause).

On July 26, here in Santiago, I explained that an adverse scenario had formed, and again the euphoria of our enemies had resurfaced, and the haste to materialize their dreams of destroying the example of Cuba. I also pointed out the conviction that the imperialist blockade of Venezuela, Nicaragua and our country was tightening. Events have confirmed that assessment.

After almost a decade of practicing unconventional warfare to prevent the continuity, or impede the return of progressive governments, Washington power circles sponsored coups – first a military coup to overthrow President Zelaya in Honduras, and later they resorted to parliamentary-judicial coups against Lugo in Paraguay, and Dilma Rousseff in Brazil.

They promoted rigged and politically motivated judicial proceedings, as well as campaigns of manipulation and discredit against leftist leaders and organizations, making use of monopoly control over mass media.

lula da silva 1In this way, they succeeded in imprisoning compañero Lula da Silva, and deprived him of the right to be the Workers’ Party presidential candidate, to avoid his certain victory in the recent elections. I take this opportunity to appeal to all the honest political forces of the planet to demand his release, and an end to the attacks and judicial persecution against former presidents Dilma Rousseff, and Cristina Fernández de Kirchner.

Those who entertained the illusion of the restoration of imperialist domination in our region should understand that Latin America and the Caribbean have changed, and so has the world.

For our part, we will continue to actively contribute to the processes of consensus and integration in the region, based on the concept of unity in diversity.

We have contributed to the peace process in Colombia, at the express request of its government, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, and the National Liberation Army, and we will continue to do so, above all risks, grievances and difficulties.

The political and moral authority of Cuba

The political and moral authority of Cuba is based on the history, conduct and united, conscious and organized support of the people.

raul bids maduro farewell.jpgTherefore, no threat will make us withdraw our solidarity with the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.

The aggressive actions against this sister nation must cease. As we warned some time ago, the repeated declaration of Venezuela as a threat to the national security of the United States, the open calls for a military coup against its constitutional government, the military training exercises undertaken in the vicinity of Venezuelan borders, as well as tensions and incidents in the area, can only lead to serious instability and unpredictable consequences.

The region resembles a large prairie in times of drought. A single spark could cause an uncontrollable fire that would damage the national interests of all.

It is equally dangerous and unacceptable that the United States government unilaterally sanctions and also proclaims the Republic of Nicaragua a threat to its national security. We reject the attempts of the discredited OAS, Organization of American States, to interfere in the affairs of this sister nation.

Faced with the Monroe Doctrine, the principles of the Proclamation of Latin America and the Caribbean as a Zone of Peace, signed in Havana by Heads of State and Government, which some allies of the United States now seek to disregard, must be applied and defended, for the good of all.

The greatest lesson

The greatest lesson that revolutionaries and progressive movements can draw from the situation that has shaped is that of never neglecting unity with the people, and not desisting in the struggle in defense of the interests of the oppressed, however difficult the circumstances.

For us, in the complex international situation, the words of the historic leader of the Cuban Revolution remain entirely valid, on presenting his central report to the First Party Congress, in 1975, when he said: “As long as there is imperialism, the Party, the State and the people, will pay maximum attention to defense services. The revolutionary guard will never be neglected. History teaches all too eloquently that those who forget this principle do not survive the mistake.” (End of quote).

Correspondingly, we will continue to prioritize defense training tasks, at all levels, in the interests of safeguarding independence, territorial integrity, sovereignty and peace, based on the strategic concept of the War of the Entire People, as is reflected in the recently approved Constitution of the Republic.

It is our duty to meticulously prepare ourselves for all scenarios in advance, including the worst, not only on the military level; so that we leave no room for the bewilderment and improvisation that flourishes in those with scarce will when the time to act arrives, but with the optimism and confidence in victory that Fidel bequeathed to us, and in close contact with the people, we can find the best solution to any challenge that may arise.

The economic situation

Specifically, one challenge that we will face in the year that begins today is the economic situation, hard-pressed by the external finance strains, due to the losses of export revenues, and the tightening of the U.S. blockade and its extraterritorial effects.

As expressed by our Minister of Economy and Planning at the last session of the National Assembly, the cost to Cuba of this arbitrary measure, calculated according to internationally approved methodology, amounted to 4.321 billion dollars last year, equivalent to almost 12 million in damages every day, a fact that is overlooked by analysts who tend to question national economic performance.

Regardless of the blockade and its reinforcement, we Cubans have enormous internal reserves to exploit, without increasing the external debt. For this it is necessary, in the first place, to reduce all non-essential expenses and save more; increase and diversify exports; raise the efficiency of the investment process and enhance the participation of foreign investment, which, as stated in the guiding Party documents, is not a complement, but a fundamental element for development.

miguel diaz 10cIn that same scenario, in the National Assembly on December 22, the President of the Councils of State and Ministers, compañero Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, took stock of the state of the economy during 2018, and the plan for this year, where he stressed that the economic battle remains the fundamental and the most complex task, and added that it is that which today demands the most from all of us, because it is the task most anticipated by our people.

With this purpose, he explained that a more proactive, intelligent and concrete attitude is required of leaders, promoting – not hindering or delaying – reliable and specific solutions to problems, with the continuous and intense search for flexible and efficient responses. At the same time, he called for more coherence with the Conceptualization of the Economic and Social Model, and to be more systematic and precise in the implementation of the Economic and Social Policy Guidelines of the Party and the Revolution.

It is opportune to state that the leadership of the Communist Party of Cuba firmly supports the pronouncements and actions undertaken by compañero Díaz-Canel since he took office at the helm of the state and the government, including his work system, based on visits to territories and communities; the link with collectives and direct exchanges with the people; the promotion of the accountability of leaders through the press and on social media; as well as the systematic control of the main development programs and the promotion of a collective leadership and management style in state and government bodies.

Transferring responsibilities t0 the youth

Without wishing to make a hasty assessment, I can say that the process of transferring the main responsibilities to new generations is going well. I’d go further – it’s going very well, without setbacks or surprises, and we are confident that thus we will continue. (Applause)

Those of us young people who then had the privilege of fighting under Fidel’s command, more than 65 years ago, from the Moncada, the Granma, the Rebel Army, the clandestine struggle, Girón, the confrontation with counterrevolutionary gangs, the internationalist missions and up to the present, together with the heroic Cuban people, are deeply satisfied, happy and confident to see, with our own eyes, how the new generations assume the mission of continuing the construction of socialism, the only guarantee of national independence and sovereignty.

It is 60 years since January 1, 1959. However, the Revolution has not aged, it is still young, and this is not merely rhetoric, it is historic confirmation, since from the very first moments its protagonists were young people, and this has been the case throughout these first six decades.

cuban youth.jpg

The revolutionary process is not circumscribed to the biological lifetime of those who initiated it, but to the will and commitment of the young people who ensure its continuity. The new generations have the duty to ensure that the Cuban Revolution is forever a Revolution of young people, and at the same time, a Socialist Revolution of the humble, by the humble, and for the humble. (Applause)

On this significant date, the fitting tribute to Cuban women can not be absent, from Mariana to today, always present in our struggles for the emancipation of the homeland and in the construction of the society we are building today. (Applause)

Compañeras and compañeros:

The Second Ordinary Session of the current legislature of the National Assembly of People’s Power approved the new Constitution of the Republic, which will be submitted to a referendum February 24.

Previously, for a period of almost three months, a broad popular consultation process was undertaken, in which citizens freely expressed their opinions on the content of the draft, leading to the modification of 60% of the articles, in a clear demonstration of the profoundly democratic nature of the Revolution, where the major decisions that define the life of the nation are devised with the contribution of all Cubans. Our media provided detailed coverage of the process, which frees me from elaborating on the subject. In a few days, a tabloid of the definitive text of the new Constitution will begin to be distributed.

I only wish to add the confidence that once again our noble and courageous people will demonstrate at the polls on February 24, the majority support for their Revolution and Socialism, ratifying the Constitution in the year in which we commemorate the 150th anniversary of the first Magna Carta of Cuba, approved in Guáimaro by the initiators of the war for independence.

After 60 years of struggle, sacrifices, efforts and victories, we see a free, independent country, the master of its own destiny. On imagining tomorrow, the work done allows us to glimpse a dignified and prosperous future for the Homeland.

Bearing in mind Cubans’ heroic history of struggle, on behalf of our people, with total optimism and confidence in the future, I can exclaim:

May the Cuban Revolution live on forever!

Thank you.

(Ovation)

Raul: The revolution is a symbol of full independence, resistance, altruism and internationalism

Source:  TeleSUR
January 1 2019

raul 2019

Army General Raul Castro Ruz, First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba, spoke during the Central Act in commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the  triumph of the Cuban Revolution, January 1. Raul spoke in the Santa Ifigenia patrimonial cemetery, of the heroic city of Santiago de Cuba.

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The Cuban Revolution stopped the abject military dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista and was led by Fidel Castro and others, such as Ernesto Che Guevara, Camilo Cienfuegos and Raul Castro, among others.

60th anniversary of the Revolution

“Sunrise in Cuba on the 60th anniversary of the Revolution, yes to the celebration, to joy, to the tireless defense of everything we build and raise together,” Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel stated earlier on his Twitter account. At the same time leaders, political and social organizations from all over the world have sent congratulations to Cuba for the anniversary of the triumph of the Revolution. Bolivian President Evo Morales stated that “with the triumph of the Cuban Revolution, the light of hope and invincible will was born for the liberation of the peoples.”

“Santiago de Cuba is the cradle of the revolution,” is how Raul Castro started his speech, in which he honored the sacrifice of the Cuban People during 60 years of revolution, and during the years of fight against the Batista dictatorship.

The triumph of the Cuban Revolution on January 1, 1959, was made possible thanks to the efforts of many young revolutionaries backed by the Cuban people who sacrificed everything for the emancipation of their country, according to Castro. Raul Castro named and thanked the efforts made by people like Frank Pais, who “was killed at the age of 22, by the minions of the tyranny,” backed by the United States.

The younger generations

“The optimism and the joy of Fidel for the victory,” continue today in the Cuban revolutionary process that continues to be young and fresh as “the process of transferring the main obligations of the revolution to the younger generations is going well, very well,” according to the Comandante Raul Castro.

“Together with the heroic Cuban people, we feel deeply happy and confident when we see our own eyes, that the new generations continue with the goal of building socialism, the only guarantee of national independence and sovereignty.”

The Cuban Revolution was not the war against Fulgencio Batista and his troops, the Revolution is based on the advancements made in favor of the Cuban people. With the triumph of the Cuban Revolution began a time of important struggles to change the foundation of the society, a fight for the structure of socialism in the Caribbean island.

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“I believe that this is a decisive moment in our history: tyranny has been overthrown. The joy is immense. And yet, much remains to be done. We do not deceive ourselves, believing that everything will be easy from now on; perhaps everything will be more difficult in the future,” said Fidel after the triumph and Raul quoted him during his speech.

Interventionist acts against Cuba

Since the beginning of the triumph of the Cuban Revolution, the changes made by the new order were criticized and attacked by international powers, mainly by the “U.S. imperialism (..) No one can deny that since the #CubanRevolution was victorious on that first of January, it has not had one minute of appeasement in 60 years.”

The interventionist acts against Cuba have been crystal clear and well documented for 60 years since the triumph; “bands armed and financed by the American government, attempts to assassinate Fidel and different revolutionary leaders. The economic, commercial and financial blockade, and other political and diplomatic actions. International lying campaigns. The attempted invasion of Playa Giron … and an endless list of hostile acts against our homeland.”

The Cuban Revolution has surpassed “12 U.S. administrations that have not stopped trying to impose destabilization in Cuba.” Raul Castro has warned against the new attempts of the U.S. government, led by the Donald Trump administration, that “seems to take again the road of open confrontation with Cuba, and makes an appeal to the dark Monroe Doctrine.”

According to Raul Castro, the U.S government, backed by its think thanks “fuse new falsehoods and again try to blame Cuba for all the ills in the region as if these were not the result of terrible neoliberal policies,” policies mainly sustained by economists and intellectuals based on the U.S. or from some international organizations like the International Monetary Fund (IMF) or the World Bank (WB).

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There are new forms of interventionism propagated in the Latin American region, “they are the same ones that declare the intention to continue forcing the deterioration of bilateral relations and promote new measures of commercial and financial blockade.” The revolution has resisted against countless aggressions, with an indestructible link to the Cuban people who gave the necessary strength for it.

Attack on progressivism

However, Castro warned against the new forms of attacks, that are now not only focused on Cuba but on every possible space of progressivism. The “imperialist” forces “say they are willing to challenge international law, contravene the rules of international trade and aggressively apply extra-territorial measures and laws against the sovereignty of other states.” By qualifying other countries as “treats to national security,” as they have done with Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela, “the extreme right in Florida has hijacked the US policy against Cuba,” and against progressivism.

“I reiterate our conviction to live in a civilized manner, and in a condition of respect and peace with the United States. We are also prepared to resist a confrontation, which we do not want,” stated Castro. He also warned interventionist agents against plotting against the Cuban people, as they are prepared to “face any aggression. (…) The greatest lesson that revolutionaries and progressive movements can draw from the situation that has been forged is that of never forgetting unity with the people and never ceasing to support the most dispossessed.”

The unity of the people

“We are not intimidated by the language of force or threats. They did not intimidate us when the revolutionary process was not consolidated. They will not succeed now that the unity of the people is an indisputable reality. Today we are a whole people defending their revolution.”

As the “imperial fence is closing” on Latin America, specifically on “Venezuela, Nicaragua and our country (Cuba),” Castro called for more unity in the continent, and as “the revolution is a symbol of full independence, resistance, altruism and internationalism,” the Cuban people will help and defend the principles of sovereignty and self-determination of every person in the region.

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Castro recounted the coups made against several progressive governments in different countries in the region, starting with a coup in Honduras, and with parliamentary and judiciary coups in other countries. He called for the freedom of former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who was put in jail “denying him of sure victory in the previous elections;” as well as he called to put an end to the persecution against former presidents; Brazilian Dilma Rousseff and Argentine Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner.

Castro warned the interventionist forces that they “need to understand that Latin America and the Caribbean have changed. We base ourselves on the concept of unity in diversity. As the moral and political authority of Cuba is based on history, therefore, no threat will make us desist from our solidarity with the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. The aggression against this sister republic must cease,” said Castro.

Commander Raul Castro concluded his speech by saying that “in this significant date we cannot forget about the Cuban women, who are always fighting for the emancipation of their homeland and in the construction of the homeland that we build today. LIVE FOREVER THE CUBAN REVOLUTION.”

US Government Admits It’s Making Fake Social Media Accounts to Spread Propaganda in Cuba

Source:  , Radio Angulo
November 27 2018

social mediaThe United States has repeatedly accused the Russian and Iranian governments of using social media to spread “disinformation” and foment chaos. Under US government pressure, Big Tech corporations have banned large numbers of accounts accused (in some cases falsely) of being Russian and Iranian “troll” accounts.

At the same time, however, the US government is doing exactly what it is accusing its enemies of: the US Office of Cuba Broadcasting is secretly creating fake social media accounts to inspire dissent and to spread right-wing pro-US, pro-capitalist propaganda in Cuba.

During the Cold War, the US government tried to assassinate Cuban leader Fidel Castro more than 600 times. Washington also simultaneously waged an information war. For decades, the US has maintained an elaborate propaganda apparatus committed to toppling Cuba’s socialist government.In its 2019 congressional budget justification report — which was first reported on by the Miami New Times — the US government’s Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) disclosed that it “is establishing on island digital teams to create non-branded local Facebook accounts to disseminate information.”

The US government body noted that these “native pages increase the chances of appearing on Cuban Facebook users newsfeeds.”

And it is not just Facebook where the US government will be creating these accounts. “The same strategy will be replicated on other preferred social media networks,” the BBG added.

The propaganda office said it “will continue to engage audiences on the internet using Facebook Live and YouTube as distribution channels into Cuba as the Communist regime has been wary of blocking these popular channels.”

Put more directly, the US government is creating fake accounts on Facebook and YouTube inside Cuba and going out of its way to portray these profiles as “local,” to more effectively spread this propaganda among Cubans as if it were somehow organic.

“Working with Cuban independent journalists and encouraging citizens to create user generated content on the island for OCB’s platforms continues to be a top priority,” the US government body continued in its report. “As Wi-Fi service has expanded in Cuba and with substantial numbers of Cubans now using Facebook and other social networking sites, OCB’s social media presence has increased.”

Propaganda broadcast to 11 percent of Cubans on a weekly basis

The US Office of Cuba Broadcasting (OCB) presently has 117 employees and an annual budget of $28.1 million. It estimates its audience at 1 million.

The OCB, which is headquartered in Miami, Florida, runs the broadcaster Radio y Televisión Martí, along with the website Martínoticias.com. These outlets publish extremely partisan reports that have a very clear conservative bias, and give large platforms to right-wing leaders in Latin America — not just from Cuba, but also from Venezuela and beyond.

The OCB also holds the annual Cuba Internet Freedom Conference in Miami.

The US government body claims that its propaganda broadcasts “currently reach 11.1% of Cubans on a weekly basis with audio, video, and digital content delivered by radio, satellite TV, online, and on distinctly Cuban digital ‘packages’ (paquetes).”

It also claims that 96 percent of its audience say the US government propaganda “helps them form opinions about current events and most users both share information they get from Martí and would recommend it to others.”

Distributing propaganda on DVDs and flash drives inside Cuba

The US Broadcasting Board of Governors furthermore reveals in its 2019 report that its Office of Cuba Broadcasting distributes propaganda on DVDs and flash drives inside Cuba, for those who do not have internet access.

“To circumvent the blockage of TV Marti signals, OCB is dramatically increasing the distribution of DVD’s and USB drives with Marti content, radically altering its distribution strategy to avoid dealing with bulk amounts of content entrance into the island,” the report noted.

“The content is now downloaded once inside the island, copied on the island and distributed immediately. Previously, the information was downloaded elsewhere and carried onto the island. Much of it was intercepted at the border before reaching its intended audience,” the OCB continued. “This optimization of OCB’s content supply chain will increase its availability on the island tenfold at the same cost level.”

A long history of US government propaganda campaigns worldwide

This is far from the first time the US government has been exposed for manipulating social media to spread propaganda. And these US propaganda operations are by no means limited to China.

The Broadcasting Board of Governors noted in its report that its propaganda efforts are targeting audiences “in Russia and its periphery, China, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Iran, and Cuba.”

The US government has long used social media to sow discord in Cuba in particular. In 2014, it was revealed that the US Agency for International Development (USAID), the government’s ostensibly “humanitarian” soft-power arm, had created a fake Twitter-like app called ZunZuneo to stir unrest inside Cuba.

In January 2018, the US State Department announced the creation of a Cuba Internet Task Force to try to undermine the socialist government in Havana.

Cuban state media condemned this new institution as an attempt “to subvert Cuba’s internal order.” The Cuban government’s newspaper Granma wrote, “In the past, Washington has used phrases like ‘working for freedom of expression’ and ‘expanding access to internet in Cuba’ to cover up destabilizing plans.”

And back in 2011, The Guardian likewise revealed that the US government was creating fake “sock puppet” accounts on social media to spread propaganda and manipulate public opinion.