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

October 1 2014

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

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

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

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

Cuba: Return of fallen internationalists commemorated

Source: Granma

Thirty-two years have passed, but Cuba has not forgotten. On December 7, 1989, the remains of 2,289 combatants who gave their lives on internationalist missions in Africa were returned to the arms of the homeland

Author: Pedro Ríoseco | internet@granma.cu

december 7, 2021 11:12:53

All the country’s cities received the remains of their prodigal sons, and honored to them in Pantheons of the Fallen established in all municipalities. Photo: Liborio Noval

Thirty-two years have passed, but Cuba has not forgotten. On December 7, 1989, the remains of 2,289 combatants who gave their lives on internationalist missions in Africa were returned to the arms of the homeland, in an effort entitled Operation Tribute.
All the country’s cities received the remains of their prodigal sons, and honored to them in Pantheons of the Fallen established in all municipalities.
General Antonio Maceo’s mausoleum, in El Cacahual, hosted the symbolic national ceremony with the remains of 16 internationalists, one from each provinces and the Isle of Youth special municipality, on the date when the Titan and his faithful assistant Panchito Gomez Toro fell in battle against the Spanish colonialists.
“These men and women, to whom we give an honorable burial today, in the warm land where they were born, died for the most sacred values, they died fighting against colonialism and neocolonialism, racism and apartheid, plundering and exploitation of the peoples of the Third World, for independence and sovereignty, for the right to wellbeing and development of all peoples, for socialism, for internationalism, for the revolutionary and dignified homeland that Cuba is today,” said Fidel at that time, reaffirming the commitment follow their example.
Of these internationalists, 2,085 were participating in military missions in the defense of the nascent independence of the People’s Republic of Angola, and 204 took on civilian tasks, as part of the 377,033 Cuban volunteers who fought in that country during the 15 and a half years of Operation Carlota.
The Cuban government always informed families of the death of each internationalist (in combat, due to accidents or illness), but it was impossible, in the middle of the war, to repatriate their corpses and bury them in their hometowns. But the Revolution did not forget any of its sons and daughters, and to fulfill that humanitarian commitment, Operation Tribute was organized.
As Army General Raul Castro Ruz said on December 12, 1976, “From Angola we will take with us only the intimate friendship that unites us to that heroic nation, the gratitude of its people and the mortal remains of our dear brothers and sisters who fell in the line of duty.” And so it was.

A shameful attack on those whose work benefits millions of humanity’s neediest

Source:  Cuban News Agency
December 19 2019

Cuba responds to OAS attack on medical collaborationCuba denounced the new attack by the Organization of American States (OAS) against international medical collaboration.

The call for a forum in Washington on Wednesday sponsored by the OAS seeks to discredit the participation of Cuban health specialists in social programs in Third World countries, Cubaminrex stated.

The conference is part of the defamatory campaign launched by the White House to attack the Cuban Revolution in those fields where it is most admired, Johana Tablada, deputy director general of the U.S. Ministry of Foreign Affairs, affirmed.

Johana described as shameful the intention to attack an activity that benefits millions of human beings in the world, being part of the South-South cooperation plans, protected by International Law, the United Nations programs and the World Health Organization.

Cuba condemns new OAS aggression against its international medical collaboration

With this approach, Almagro once again goes against the people and serves the most reactionary interests of the Donald Trump government and the oligarchies that support it, she added.

These aid workers offer their services voluntarily, driven by a humanist conviction, in a disinterested way, and respond to this task as a genuine internationalist duty.

Cuba: We will continue to save lives within the limits of our possibilities

Source:  Granma
December 6 2019

Photo: Granma Archives

As MINREX warned in a statement released August 29, 2019, the United States government has, since last year, been waging an intense, offensive campaign against the medical collaboration Cuba provides, along with threats of sanctions against Cuban leaders and pressure on recipient states to end such cooperation.

Directed in detail by the National Security Council at the White House, the campaign has the active participation of Senators and Representatives associated with the anti-Cuban mafia in Florida and rabid State Department officials.

They accuse Cuba of alleged “modern slavery” and “trafficking in persons,” referring to Cuban health system professionals, for the purpose of their exploitation and alleged interference in the internal affairs of the nations in which they are located.

Active efforts to incite defection

The U.S. government is also attempting to re-establish the so-called “Parole Program for Cuban Medical Professionals,” in existence until January 12, 2017, as the basis for active efforts to incite defection, offering to pay for travel and legal services, provision of U.S. visas and documents to collaborators in third countries, with the purpose of sabotaging bilateral agreements signed with these nations, depriving them of our services and depriving Cuba of highly qualified human resources.

In May of 2019, the secretary general of the Organization of American States organized a conference at its headquarters on the alleged crimes against humanity committed by Cuba in connection with our medical cooperation abroad.

In June, the State Department, in its 2019 Report on Trafficking in Persons, disparaged Cuba’s international medical cooperation and, a month later, imposed visa-restriction sanctions on Cuban officials linked to medical missions.

$3m earmarked for projects against Cuba’s medical brigades

Later, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), a U.S. institution that provides funds for subversion programs against the Cuban government, earmarked three million dollars for projects directed against Cuba’s medical brigades abroad.

This U.S. persecution began in Latin America and has forced the suspension of cooperation programs in Brazil, Ecuador and Bolivia.

The servile, fascist Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro insulted and abruptly expelled our specialist doctors who, under a tripartite agreement with the Pan American Health Organization, effective August 2013 through November 2018, treated 113,359,000 patients in more than 3,600 of the country’s municipalities, and provided permanent coverage to 60 million Brazilians.

In our country, 1,214 Brazilian students have completed medical school.

This decision allowed Bolsonaro to demonstrate his subservience to the U.S. government, while dismantling a program for low-income families, as part of a brutal policy to eliminate social gains made during progressive Workers Party governments.

Senior U.S. officials have used the slander that Cuban medical brigades in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela are military troops, which Bolsonaro parroted, in September of 2019, during his speech in the United Nations General Assembly, maliciously or ignorantly tripling, in a ridiculous manner, the false, unfounded figure used by Washington.

Officials from the State Department, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and U.S. embassies have turned to national authorities, as in Guatemala, to peremptorily and suspiciously request precise data on Cuban medical cooperation, looking for a way to eliminate it.

In May of 2019, the U.S. embassy in Ecuador asked senior government officials for detailed information on agreements and services provided by Cuban collaborators. Five months later, the Ecuadorian government terminated these programs precipitously, despite their imminent expiration, citing economic reasons.

6,749,666 medical consultations by Cuban health professional in Ecuador

Since the beginning of medical collaboration in this country, a total of 3,565 Cuban health professionals have provided their services, including 6,749,666 medical consultations, 212,360 surgeries, 3,548 births assisted, and 100,084 vaccinations administered. Some 153 collaborators participated in Operation Miracle, a program through which 168,543 surgical interventions were performed. As a result of the Manuela Espejo Solidarity Mission, 825,576 people were assisted, 35,257 of them in specialized neurophysiology and otorhinolaryngology consultations and 21,062 patients underwent clinical genetic studies.

2093 Ecuadoreans completed medical studies in Cuba

Additionally, 2093 young Ecuadorians completed medical studies in Cuba.

In October, Ecuador’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs requested information on the purpose of trips to the country by a group of Cuban citizens carrying diplomatic and official passports. Later, the Minister of Government offensively declared that several Cubans, associated with cooperation agreements, had participated in protests by the Ecuadorian people against the implementation of neoliberal measures, at that time.

As has been shown, no Cuban participated in or organized these massive popular demonstrations, and not a single official or diplomatic passport was improperly used. The manipulators have not been able to present a single piece of evidence.

The Cuban state issues diplomatic, official and service passports, in accordance with the provisions of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic and Consular Relations, and guarantees that the holders comply with what is established for their proper use.

Hostile actions against Cuban collaborators in Bolivia

During the coup in Bolivia, the U.S. embassy in La Paz instigated, conducted, and participated in hostile actions by police forces and, surprisingly by firefighters, against Cuban collaborators. As was publicly denounced, U.S. officials participated directly in these acts, using a U.S. diplomatic car with license plate 28 CD-17.

During these days, there were 26 serious incidents against our collaborators, including the beating of two; public incitement to violence by coup authorities; brutal searches of their persons, belongings and homes; false accusations; the arbitrary, temporary detention of 50 health workers, four for several days.

Faced with this situation, the Cuban government was forced to proceed with the immediate withdrawal of our personnel, while energetically condemning the false statements of the so-called minister of Health, named by the coup-plotters, who shamelessly exaggerated the value of stipends earned by Cuban medical specialists, in reality lower than those of Bolivian general practitioners, and concealing the fact that Cuba did not receive a penny as compensation for this cooperation.

The Cuban medical brigade in Bolivia, 54% female, was composed of 406 doctors in 32 specialties, including General Integral Medicine, Pediatrics, Internal Medicine, Gynecology and Obstetrics, Anesthesiology and Reanimation, Ophthalmology, General Surgery, Orthopedics and Traumatology, Intensive and Emergency Medicine, Neonatology, among others. Also performing outstanding work were 258 graduates in health technologies such as imaging, endoscopy, electromedicine, clinical lab testing, rehabilitation and nursing.

73,330,447 consultations by Cuban health professional in Bolivia

Over the years, they provided 73,330,447 consultations and 1,529,301 surgeries. Some 60,640 births were assisted; 22,221 vaccinations administered; and 508,403 ophthalmic surgeries performed.

5,184 Bolivian doctors graduated from Cuban universities

Additionally, some 5,184 Bolivian doctors graduated from Cuban universities.

The persecution and search for information has included attempts to interrogate Cuban personnel by U.S. “diplomats” in the very health centers where they work, including in North Africa and the Middle East.

It is immoral and unacceptable to question the dignity, professionalism and altruism of the more than 400,000 Cuban health care collaborators who, over 56 years, have completed missions in 164 nations.

They have made outstanding contributions to the fight against Ebola in Africa, against blindness in Latin America and the Caribbean, and cholera in Haiti; in 26 brigades from the Henry Reeve International Contingent of Doctors Specialized in Disasters and Major Epidemics, in Pakistan, Indonesia, Mexico, Ecuador, Peru, Chile and Venezuela, among others.

With the same disinterest and dedication, 35,613 health professionals from 138 countries have been trained free of charge in Cuba.

In the case of nations with less favorable economic conditions, Cuba assumes practically the entire cost of collaboration. Similarly, and in line with United Nations conception of cooperation between developing countries, our support is offered in other nations on the basis of complementarity and partial compensation for services provided.

The Cuban technicians and professionals who participate in these programs do so absolutely of their own free will. During the performance of their missions, they continue to receive their full salary in Cuba, and also a stipend in the country of destination, along with other benefits.

When Cuba receives compensation for our cooperation, these collaborators are meritoriously providing a fair and totally legitimate contribution to the financing, sustainability and development of our country’s free, universal health system, accessible to all Cubans, as well as to cooperation programs provided free of charge, in many parts of the world.

As we stated last August 29, access to health care is a human right. The U.S. campaign against our international medical cooperation is a disgraceful, criminal act against peoples in need of medical assistance, which cannot overshadow the solidarity and human contribution of the 29,000 Cuban health care professionals, who, with enormous sacrifice and understanding on the part of their families, currently provide services to 65 nations.

The attitude of the United States government in this matter is despicable. Cuba’s response is firm: we will continue to save lives, to seek health and well-being for the world, within the limits of our possibilities, wherever we are requested.

Havana, December 5, 2019.

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

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.

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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)

Cuban Doctors Head to Haiti to Help with Quake Recovery

Source:  TeleSUR
October 7 2018

cuban doctors off to haiti oct 2018.pngCuban doctor Elisa Barrios Calzadilla inspects a patient during a house call in
Itiuba in the state of Bahia, Brazil November 20, 2013 | Photo: Reuters

Two teams of Cuban doctors arrived in Haiti on Sunday morning after a 5.9 magnitude quake shook the country that’s still recovering from its 2010 tremor.  

Two teams of Cuban doctors left for Haiti Sunday morning to attend to the victims of the country’s 5.9 magnitude quake that took place on Saturday.

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General Coordinator of the Cuban Medical Brigade, Evelio Betancourt, said that two surgical teams were sent to support Haitian health personnel.

According to Reuters, the earthquake has left 14 dead so far, mainly in Port de Paix and Gros Morne in Artibonite near the quake’s epicenter that struck at a depth of 11.7 kilometers, 20 km off Haiti’s northwest coast, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

The tremor was felt in all parts of the Caribbean country that borders the Dominican Republic, and several towns and cities have registered damaged and destroyed infrastructure and housing.

The Cuban ambassador to Haiti, Luis Castillo, confirmed to Prensa Latina that the embassy went undamaged.

According to Haitian President Jovenel Moise that convoys of food and drinking water kits are on their way to the most affected areas.

The Haitian Civil Protection Agency said early on Sunday that at least 135 people were being treated for injuries.

This is Haiti’s biggest quake since the 7.3 magnitude earthquake struck near the capital, Port-au-Prince, in 2010 that killed over 230,000 of people and cost the already impoverished nation US$7.8 billion to $8.5 billion in damage. According to The Balance, Haiti’s gross domestic product has shrunk by 5.1 percent over the past eight years and 55,000 still live in temporary humanitarian camps from the 2010 tremor.

At that time a Cuban medical brigade of 1,200 Cubans doctors was operating in the earthquake-torn Haiti.

The wrath of loving men

Source:  Granma
May 14 2018

by: Ortelio González Martínez | internet@granma.cuGermán Veloz Placencia | german@granma.cu

BAJANTE: Lázaro Martínez Pérez, a humble man from Ciego de Ávila, recounts, with confidence and modesty, the story of how 40 years ago he faced enemy planes unloading their fury on residents of a small Angolan enclave, an event the world knows as the Cassinga Massacre

Lázaro Martínez Pérez.jpgLázaro (right), with Pascual Corbea Jiménez, another of the Ciego de Ävila natives who shed blood in Cassinga.Photo: Ortelio González Martínez

As if to present all he has done in the struggle for life and ideas as only a skirmish, Lázaro Martínez Pérez, a humble man from Ciego de Ávila, recounts, with confidence and modesty, the story of how 40 years ago he faced enemy planes unloading their fury on residents of a small Angolan enclave, an event the world knows as the Cassinga Massacre, despite the fact that the corporate media, especially in the United states, ignore it.

“When I was about 13, I met Che, and from then on, I wanted to be like him, and I became a Guevaran with a cause. When I left (for Angola) I was already a Literature teacher and had read a good number of texts.

“I took six books to African lands: Con la adarga al brazo, by Che, and his Diario en Bolivia; and Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes. Also going with me were César Vallejo, José Martí, and a poetry book by Miguel Hernández.

“I had also read a great deal about the Great Patriotic War and WWII; Leon Tolstoy and Fyodor Dostoyevsky. Armed with all this, I arrived in Africa, but nonetheless, I can say today that I went afraid of combat, and I am not ashamed; but when fear and dignity are counterpoised, dignity wins.”

With his 68th birthday coming in November, Lázaro tells the story without adding or neglecting anything, exactly as it happened that May 4, 1978, when the sun scorched the earth and they were in Tchamutete, some 16 kilometers from hell.

Attack on Namibian refugees by South Africa

The attack on the camp of Namibian refugees, in southern Angola, was well planned by South Africa. Participating in the operation, given the code name “Operation Reindeer,” were 527 paratroopers from the Bravo combat group, who were sent to destroy the Cassinga camp (codename: Moscow) and then escape aboard helicopters.

“The Cassinga Massacre was one of apartheid’s worst crimes. First, the aviation bombing; then the paratroopers who landed and murdered hundreds of defenseless residents, among them women, children, and elders,” recalled Lázaro, who as a young man had arrived in Angola of his own free will, in January of 1978.

Jesús and Sixto.jpgJesús (left) and Sixto  honor their fallen comrades with everyday loyalty. Photo: Germán Veloz Placencia

“Etched into my memory is the image of a little girl that didn’t weigh 60 pounds. Eusebio González picked her up. Her leg was wounded. Many years later I learned that she was Claudia, who was one of the children who came to study on the Isle of Youth and went on to become her country’s ambassador in Cuba. Who could have imagined!”

Clothed in dignity, a man is invincible, no matter the glory, life, death, or medals.

“With the first explosion, I didn’t wait for the order and I said to Eusebio: Negro, let’s go, they’re attacking us. From the emplacement, we opened fire, though later we were obliged to fire on the march, when the planes were within reach.

“We were heading to the settlement of Cassinga to defend the Namibian refugees. We advanced along the raised roadbed, and those flying devils were always on us, clear shots for bombs and rockets. It’s wasn’t long before the three artillery pieces in my platoon were separated from the group, and we were obliged to unhitch from the vehicles and set up.

“By about 3:00pm, the only “four mouths” (anti-aircraft artillery) that fired was mine, from one barrel. The only artillery-men left in the platoon were Eusebio González and me. Eusebio, the bravest man I have ever known, was mortally wounded and I think the same projectile, or maybe another one, threw me into the air. I tried to get up with a great deal of effort, and realized that both my legs were wounded. Practically without strength, I get back to the artillery and see a plane come straight ahead, I shoot and hit it. I’m almost certain I downed it.

Fallen comrades

“Everyone’s courage came to the fore. When you are far from your homeland, valor and dignity go within each person. It doesn’t matter if your hair stands on end during the battle, although the misfortune of losing a friend, a brother in struggle, may arrive. As I remember, there they killed our Eusebio, Antolín, Francisco Seguí, Ricardo González, Zamora, El Yoni, and Pedro Valdivia Paz, all from Ciego de Ävila. And a young man from the East, last name Barea.

“I would estimate that the South African aviation operated without interruption for about three hours or a bit longer, but I was fighting half the day. I was going to pieces, overwhelmed by inexplicable feelings… Just imagine, seeing your friends, your brothers, dead, seeing them fall before your eyes; seeing the civilian population, the children, women, old people, ripped apart by the machine gun fire, with handfuls of spikes in different parts of their bodies… Inside I felt something very strange: the hate of men who love, I say.”

A good dancer, a bad cook, in the kaleidoscope of his life, he’s been, at some point, a journalist, teacher, reader, principal at a rural secondary school, taxi driver, Party militant – plus the father of four boys, two of them with María Esther Alcorta Chau, the same woman who, after Cassinga, heard the mysterious knock at her door and the whisper that stills the soul: “We’re here to inform you that your husband, Lázaro, has died in Angola.”

Luck would have it that the nightmare was short. The next day, the same men came back, to say, according to María Esther, “That business yesterday was a mistake. Lázaro is alive, and being treated in a hospital, but he’s not doing well… He still has several wounds on his legs, although that hasn’t kept him from walking.”

Tribute to fallen comrades

Death, like the ebb and flow of daily life, creates brotherhood. So say Jesús Acosta Lanchazo and Sixto Salvador Ledea Velázquez. Both pay eternal tribute to their fallen comrades, who did everything humanly possible with their anti-aircraft artillery to aid a group of Namibian refugees sheltered at Cassinga.

“I’m 77 years old and my memory is beginning to fail me, but what happened that day is right here (inside) with almost all the details,” Jesús Acosta says, holding back the emotion. It’s enough to see the slight trembling of his hand as he removes his cap.

“The alarm was given when we heard the morning news. Within a short time we were on the march, because we were always completely ready for battle. Cassinga wasn’t far; we only had to circumvent a reservoir of water.

“The truck that was pulling the artillery piece, a 14.5mm or ‘cuatro-bocas,’ as people know them, went off-road to avoid the mines, and took the bank. A few minutes later, close to nine in the morning, it got stuck, and from that moment, well into the afternoon, we resisted the aviation attacks in a clearing with no protection at all.

“I operated the artillery sight block. Not being able to move made us an easy target for the planes. So we kept up constant fire, calculating the number of projectiles used and the heat of the barrels, although this (overheating) was inevitable and they began to stick.

“At one of those moments, I told Manuel Cruz, one of my companions, to go over to the place, not too far off, where the other artillery unit had stopped firing. When he came back, he said the cannons of that piece were bent; it had fired with more intensity than ours. The worst was hearing that the squad was dead.

“Around five in the afternoon, they sent a truck to pull us out. Back on the road, we met a plane that attacked us with missiles and bursts of projectiles. Along with the other artillery pieces we concentrated our fire on the plane, and saw it retreat trailing black smoke.”

But there was no time to celebrate the damage done. What would be the enemy’s last aerial incursion left another casualty: Alfredo Barea Franco, one of 47 compatriots from the municipality of Urbano Noris in Holguín, who participated in the operation. He was part of the command squadron, which had lost its truck early in the fighting. This didn’t prevent the group from continuing to fire on the AKM planes, supporting all the artillery squads they could reach.

Once the battle was over, Jesús joined the group of Cubans who entered the camp. The pain he felt for the deaths of his comrades turned to wrath and hate for the aggressors who had caused the deaths of more than 700 persons, among them children, women, and elders. Some bodies showed clear signs of shots at close range; others with bayonet wounds delivered by the paratroopers who arrived and were retrieved by air. They found bodies riddled with spikes from the cluster bombs.

Alfredo Barea Franco

The death of Alfredo Barea Franco made a strong impression on Sixto Salvador, a member of artillery squad number four, who said, “He was face down. When we picked him up and took off his helmet, we saw the impact of a missile fragment. We placed the body under a tree that we marked, because we had to move on. After the battle had ended, we returned for the cadaver. We wrapped him in my hammock and left him at the Tactical Group Medical Post, in Tchamutete. That’s the way things are in a war.

“Practically the entire time, my artillery piece was firing in motion, on the rapid, well-armed planes, like the Mirages. I always say that those pilots knew their trade; surely they had studied our combat tactics. The whole time, they tried to interrupt our zigzag movements, trying to estimate the moment we would change directions. It was on one of these turns that they destroyed the command squad truck.”

Sixto is satisfied with his 74 years of life and the retirement he is enjoying, after working a long time in the sugar industry. He had other experiences from the beginning of that hard day, until the end. Entering into action, he was the only loader of the artillery piece. When the alarm was given, his companion had to drive their truck, since the usual driver was in the hospital.

Overcoming fear

He says he doesn’t know exactly how he managed to react. But listening to him, there is no doubt that his knowledge – and the will to live with the honor of overcoming fear – prevailed.

“I am not ashamed to say that I trembled many times amid the explosions that lifted columns of dirt, uprooted trees and everything around us. I even thought I might never see my family again, but I overcame it, as did the other compañeros.

“Juan Pavón Matos, head of the artillery squad, was wounded when he was getting out of the truck. Dionisio Millán, who was the Number 1, that is the shooter, yelled out loud that he assumed command of the squad. So we kept firing on the planes that attacked almost always with their tails to the sun, to hamper our vision. My job was to follow their movement, indicate the direction of the attack and keep the piece supplied with enough projectiles.

“We knew that the cannons had to be changed every so often, after completing a certain number of shots, but the enemy fire was so intense, we couldn’t give them any relief, until we forced a retreat.” And that’s the way it was.

Jesús and Sixto talk about Cassinga only when they are asked. The rest of the time, they are everyday men. But just like many of their comrades in arms in the municipality of Urbano Noris, they are faithful to the tradition of getting together every May 4 in San Germán. In the company of Alfredo Barea Franco’s family, they visit the school and community center for elders that bear his name.

And they march to the Fallen Patriots Cemetery, where his remains rest.

On these occasions, there are no flowery words. Sometimes, they don’t talk at all. Silence reigns, to contain the emotions evoked by memories of their epic internationalist mission on African soil.

Asking nothing in return

Source:  Granma
October 6 2017

by Yenia Silva Correa | informacion@granma.cu

In only 39 years, the young man from the city of Rosario accomplished something not achieved by many who lived a century. He became part of the people’s history and remains so today.

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Che’s Bolivian Diary contains entries from only the first week of October – the final days of the enduring life of the heroic guerilla. In his summary of the month of September, he wrote, “The army is now showing its effectiveness in action and the bulk of campesinos won’t help us at all, and are becoming informers.”

The proximity of army forces in the area in which Che’s guerillas were moving was a constant theme in his notes, be it a result of chance sightings or news heard on the radio, which as is often the case in such situations, could well contain misinformation purposefully disseminated to put pressure on the revolutionaries.  (Photo: Korda, Alberto)

Broadcast on the radio in fact (October 4), was a commentary that foreshadowed the events, projecting possible scenarios of a trial of the guerilla leader after his capture. The speaker did consider the fact that Che would not give himself up without a struggle, except in extraordinary circumstances like those that eventually occurred.

On October 5 and 6 soldiers were again sighted and the radio reported a disproportionate number of troops searching for the small number of guerillas. It was the prelude to the last note Che would write in his notebook.

October 7, final entry: A chance encounter with a woman crossing their path through the mud and a radio report. Beyond this, the mention of four comrades, but no indication of desperation. This was the human being murdered in Bolivia 50 years ago, who had accumulated much experience in guerilla struggle, both in Cuba and on African soil.

The same man who in December of 1964 had summarized his internationalism in a few phrases before the United Nations General Assembly, saying “… at the moment it may be necessary, I am willing to give my life for the liberation of any Latin American country, without asking anything of anyone.”

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Che Guevara during target practice Photo: Archive

For Che, the idea of death, as part of the revolutionary struggle, was nothing foreign, nor a motive for fear. He was very clear: “In a revolution, one triumphs, or one dies (if it is a real one).” He was true to this principle until the last moment of his life.

Since his untimely death, the tributes to the paradigm of a new man, in every corner of the globe, have not ceased.

In Cuba, 1968 was declared the Year of the Heroic Guerilla. For decades, youth departed for Africa and Latin America to complete internationalist missions, inspired by his example. Hundreds of thousands immortalize his likeness on clothes and in tattoos; others venerate him like a saint; more than a few are committed to disseminating his thought and work.

Part of the people’s history

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Guerrillas in Bolivia. Photo: Cubadebate

In only 39 years, the young man from the city of Rosario accomplished something not achieved by many who lived a century. He became part of the people’s history and remains so today, from the time of his travels across the continent of his birth, and his participation in the Cuban Revolution (first as a Rebel Army Comandante and then playing a leadership role in the country) to his departure to other lands calling for his contribution. Asking for nothing, and giving his all, he left much more than his celebrated “Hasta la victoria siempre” (Forever onward to victory). His exemplary life and action are here. They never die.

Fidel: What is revolution?

Source:  ICAP, Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples

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“Revolution is having a sense of the historic moment; it is changing everything that must be changed; it is full equality and freedom; it is being treated and treating others like human beings; it is emancipating ourselves on our own and through our own efforts; it is challenging powerful dominant forces in and beyond the social and national arena; it is defending the values in which we believe at the price of any sacrifice; it is modesty, selflessness, altruism, solidarity, and heroism; it is fighting with courage, intelligence and realism; it is never lying or violating ethical principles; it is a profound conviction that there is no power in the world that can crush the power of truth and ideas. Revolution is unity; it is independence, it is struggling for our dreams of justice for Cuba and for the world, which is the foundation of our patriotism, our socialism, and our internationalism.”  Fidel Castro

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Angola

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May Day 2015 in Cuba