Our Party has never failed to play a leading role in every struggle, every accomplishment

Events on August 16-17, 1925, forever marked Cuba’s destiny. On these dates, a group of courageous men founded our first Communist party, the indispensable link between patriotic thinking of the 19th century, fundamentally that of Martí, and the ideals of social emancipation of later eras.

Author: Ángel Freddy Pérez Cabrera | freddy@granma.cu

August 20, 2020

Events on August 16-17, 1925, forever marked Cuba’s destiny. On these dates, a group of courageous men founded our first Communist party, the indispensable link between patriotic thinking of the 19th century, fundamentally that of Martí, and the ideals of social emancipation of later eras. They understood the value of continuity.

Two exceptional Cubans played a key role in the Party’s founding, Carlos Baliño and Julio Antonio Mella.

The first was a member of a patriotic generation that took to the scrub to wage an armed struggle against Spanish colonialism, and an unconditional friend of José Martí, with whom he founded the Cuban Revolutionary Party, the new organization’s valuable predecessor; while the young Mella, at only 22 years of age, represented the best of the generation that would give continuity to the struggles of Céspedes, Agramonte, Gómez, Maceo and Martí.

The principal mission of these visionary individuals, upon establishing the Party and joining the Third International founded by Vladimir I. Lenin in 1919, was to set about developing a program of demands for workers and campesinos; work actively in trade unions; and defend the rights of women and youth.

This was a difficult era and, on a daily basis, Cuban revolutionaries faced the iron fist of dictator Gerardo Machado, who organized brutal repression of the newly founded organization. The Party’s elected first secretary, José Miguel Pérez, was forced into exile, while other members, like Mella, faced trumped-up charges for crimes they did not commit.

But the nascent organization continued its work valiantly, with the leadership of individuals of the stature of Rubén Martínez Villena and others.

With the world stage dominated by the historic struggle against fascism and the creation of popular anti-imperialist fronts, the Party, known at that time as the Revolutionary Communist Union and later the Popular Socialist Party, defended the people’s rights in the bourgeois parliament.

No less important was its work during the struggle against the Batista dictatorship, under very dangerous conditions, with most efforts carried out underground.

After the triumph of the Revolution, January 1, 1959, under the leadership of Fidel and Blas Roca, a process began to unify the Party and the two political organizations that had carried the most weight in the revolutionary struggle against Batista – the July 26th Movement and the Revolutionary Directorate.

Thus, in 1961, the three groups merged to form the Integrated Revolutionary Organizations (ORI), as the antecedent to the constitution in 1963 of the United Party of the Socialist Revolution of Cuba (PURSC), which on October 3, 1965, adopted the name it has maintained to date, the Communist Party of Cuba.

Since then, our Party has never failed to play a leading role in every struggle, every accomplishment, as the vanguard of Cuban society during the most important moments the nation has faced.

If the Party has earned one merit in its history, it is to have preserved the nation’s unity, which has allowed us to confront persecution, genocidal blockades, wars, and threats of all kinds – and emerge victorious.

For this and other reasons, Fidel described the Party as the soul of the Cuban Revolution, as the organization that synthesizes the dreams and aspirations of a people over more than 100 years of struggle.

Today, as the homeland faces new challenges as a result of the pandemic that is ravaging the world and affecting us, as well, aggravating the impact of the vicious U.S. blockade, the Communist Party of Cuba stands firm and guarantees the historic continuity of the Revolution.

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

To Fidel: We will fulfill your legacy!

Source:  Santiago Arde

Little girl with the name of Fidel on the face
We have been privileged with the teachings of Fidel and the other members of the historical generation. Photo:  Roberto Chile

I pondered what might be the best tribute to Fidel, three years after not being physically with us, and I am sure that “being continuity” is the answer.

Of course, it is not a word without content or repeated without feeling. It is the conviction of the great majority of Cubans, to continue «at the foot of the canyon» and know how to use it and defend it in the present, to sow a future as the Commander conceived it and dedicated his life to building it.

These two words have a very large dimension. It is to be an example, to be ethical, firm, to carry that phrase from Martí that “doing is the best way to say.”

The work conceived and undertaken by Fidel is a colossal feat, of committed men and women, inclusive and nourished by the feedback of every citizen, every place in the country, every opinion, every complaint.

It is a work to not be afraid to perfect it and strength to lift it to its maximum creation.

It is not about justifying the mistakes that are still made, nor the imperfections of human beings. Neither of regrets and lacerating phrases when we are wrong.

The Revolution is a permanent task and what has been done must represent the guidance and the conviction of how much we have left to do.

And it is precisely in this continuity that there is the guarantee that the legacy left by Fidel will be fulfilled.

As President Miguel Díaz-Canel has expressed, continuity is the commitment of young people who are now traveling along the path already cleared by previous generations.

We have been privileged with the teachings of Fidel and the other members of the historical generation. Many of them, with their example and their determination, still occupy the vanguard in the contingent of millions of Cubans.

It is up to the youth to carry on their shoulders, with facts, the conduct of the work, polish their imperfections and change everything that has to be changed, as Fidel left us in his concept of Revolution.

Today’s enemy – make no mistake – is the same one that blocks the country in order to suffocate the population. The one who organized and financed the mercenary invasion by Playa Girón.

But it is not invincible. Precisely in Girón our town, always with Fidel in front, crushed the invasion in less than 72 hours. It was the first major defeat of US imperialism in Latin America.

It is the enemy that does not get used to having men and women capable of resisting and defeating, of not giving up, and of not giving in even a tantico, before the arrogant pretensions of the empire.

The word continuity, now with a higher dimension, we must assume when Fidel is no longer physically. We must feel that from the heart of that stone taken to Santiago de Cuba from the Sierra Maestra itself, the Commander encourages us, drives us, checks us, encourages us and guides us.

However difficult current times are, they are not contemplations or “flirting” with those who want to destroy us. These are moments of confronting, with all the truth and strength, those who try to confuse and weaken us.

Every problem, of the many we have, must have an answer. Each difficulty must be assumed with “the ear at ground level” of those who have the responsibility – each in its place – to continue channeling and perfecting the great work.

If we are continuity, we are honoring Fidel. And, I am sure, the Commander will be happy when a generation of reinforcement, of committed young people and revolutionaries, complies with giving continuity to the work he devised and raised with his genius, his ethics and his example.

If today’s youth is continuity and complies, Fidel feels secure, in whatever dimension, that no one can destroy the Revolution, conceived for the present and even better for the future.

 

Fidel 2

Fidel Castro and his ideal of integration for Latin America

Source:  La Santa Mambisa
November 25 2019

“What is the history of Cuba but the history of Latin America ? And what is the history of Latin America but the history of Asia, Africa and Oceania? And what is the history of all these peoples but the history of the most ruthless and cruel exploitation of imperialism in the entire world? These words formed the speech of the then young Fidel Castro in 1962 when the revolution was just a girl and Cuba had been expelled from the Organization of American States (OAS).

He then said: “In many Latin American countries, the revolution is inevitable today. That fact is not determined by anyone’s will; it is determined by the appalling conditions of exploitation in which the American man lives, the development of the revolutionary consciousness of the masses, the world crisis of imperialism and the universal movement of struggle of the subjugated peoples. ”

Almost 60 years later, these words echo in the ears of those who listen again to the speech and reflect that history of struggle and resistance shared by the peoples of Latin America .

Integration

For Fidel Castro it  was very clear the path to be taken to change the face of misery and dispossession that the region looked and still sports. Achieving unity and integration were fundamental in their strategic vision and gave continuity to the proposals of important independence leaders such as Simón Bolívar and José Martí.

His thesis on the integration of Latin America and the Caribbean, affirmed that the political and economic union between their nations would contribute to seek their own development and avoid the influence of the United States in the region.

“Yesterday we were huge colony; we can be tomorrow a great community of closely united peoples. Nature gave us insurmountable riches, and history gave us roots, language, culture and common bonds as no other region of the Earth has, ”said the Commander in Chief on one occasion.

The president of the Institute of History of Cuba, Yoel Cordoví Núñez said that in Latin America and the Caribbean, Fidel Castro Ruz reaches a relevant place for his critical thinking towards capitalism, neoliberalism and anti-imperialism.

This researcher points out that there is no politician who, like Fidel, exemplified in the twentieth century the foundations of a Latin American emancipatory thought and considered the faithful legacy of vital importance when the ideology of nations between neoliberalism and socialism is redefined in the area.

For Fidel, unity was always an indispensable factor in achieving any victory: “These peoples of America know that their internal strength is in the union and that their continental strength is also in the union. These peoples of America know that if they do not want to be victims of tyranny again, but want to be victims of aggressions again, we must unite more and more, we must increasingly strengthen ties from town to town. ”

Under these principles of unity and integration, Fidel devised the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA), in December 2004, which gave way to the founding summit, in Caracas seven years later, of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (Celac) This first was followed in 2005 by Petrocaribe, in 2007 the Union of South American Nations (Unasur).

Internationalism

Another of Fidel’s principles was “not to give what we have left over but to share what we have.” Relevant are the achievements that the Commander in Chief promoted in Latin America with the modest help of Cuba in the fields of health, sports and education.

Internationalism was configured as a practice of the foreign policy of the Cuban Revolution. The medical aid of the Island has been in various natural disasters such as Hurricane “Jean” in Nicaragua, floods in Bolivia, the passage of Hurricane Mitch through Honduras and Guatemala, the cholera epidemic that hit Peru, among many more.

Another of the projects devised by Fidel was the creation in 1999 of the Latin American School of Medicine (ELAM), allowing thousands of humble young people from Latin America to train as professionals.

On the other hand, in 1999, Haiti asked Cuba to collaborate for the literacy of its inhabitants. In that occasion a total of 150,000 Haitians learned to read and write. Then, with the creation of the audiovisual method “I can do it” in 2001 millions of people in the region have been literate. Thanks to its application, countries such as Venezuela and Bolivia declared themselves free from illiteracy.

For Fidel being internationalists “is paying off our own debt to humanity. Who is not able to fight for others, will never be capable enough to fight for himself. ”

For the political scientist, Atilio Borón without the Revolution led by Fidel Castro, the history of Latin America and the Caribbean would have been completely different, which shows the impact of fidelist thinking in the region.

“We would not have had Lula, Dilma, Chávez, Maduro, Nestor, Cristina, Lugo, Rafael, Evo,” Mel “, Daniel, Sánchez Serén, Tabaré, the” Pepe. ” And before they had not had Allende, Velasco Alvarado, Juan J. Torres, Goulart, Torrijos, Roldós, on a list that would be endless if we included the popular and revolutionary leaderships that sprouted throughout the region under the influence of the Revolution Cuban. “

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)

Díaz Canel to Cuban emigrants in the USA: “We count on you. We are Cuba “

Source:  La Santa Mambisa
September 29 2018

Words of President Miguel Díaz-Canel at the meeting with Cubans residing in the United States

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Good evening, compatriots:

Compatriots. I was thinking about that word: compatriots. It sounds so common when you’re in the Homeland and so special when you’re away from it. I was wondering if that only happens to Cubans, because of what Martí said about the tenderness mystery of our people, about “that sweetest word: Cuban …” or it only happens here, in officially hostile territory.

This is my first visit to New York and, as you will suppose, I bring a very intense program, inside and outside the High Level Segment of the United Nations General Assembly, but I wanted you to know that we are committed to finding the space to share with you , Cubans and Cubans residing in the United States.

In less than two months it will be the 40th anniversary of the so-called “First Dialogue of the Cuban Government with people representing the Cuban community abroad” or “Dialogue of 78”.

Although I was a student recently admitted to the University, I remember very well that first contact, for the documentary “55 brothers”, where some of you appear so young that now it is difficult to identify them.

In the family separated by emigration, that dialogue had a tremendous impact. And in those that we did not have emigrated family, also, because anyone had a girlfriend, a classmate or a neighbor who emigrated to the United States, so I think that nobody was indifferent to that meeting from which the first momentous changes in the Cuban migration policy and in the treatment of our nationals abroad.

The fundamental objective was then and continues today to strengthen and strengthen ties with Cubans living abroad.

The meeting was November 20 and 21, 1978, a period -of those that have always lasted little in relations with our powerful neighbor- in which discrete changes began to take place in the policy of the United States government toward Cuba.

The first bilateral diplomatic contacts had already been established and there was a growing trend of peaceful and constructive rapprochement of our community residing abroad with their country of origin.

But that was still a difficult stage to develop our ties. The terrorism originated in the United States against Cuba continued generating a degree of distrust that forced to prioritize the defense of the country and made it difficult to approach, even with the willingness of both parties to advance in the rapprochement.

In spite of the difficulties, the tendency in favor of understanding and links was imposed year after year, with concrete advances.

Emigration ceased to be politically homogeneous and ceased to be called “exile” in block, with the impetus of new migrants and new generations of Cubans and despite the minority and extremist current that still promotes confrontation among Cubans living abroad. and his country.

Today, as in 1978, our Government wants to reiterate its willingness to continue developing a frank and broad dialogue with our nationals abroad, based on mutual respect, respect for Cuba’s sovereignty and independence and with the commitment of end the unjust blockade imposed on our people.

I do not forget for a second the price that the community of Cubans living in the United States and Puerto Rico had to pay, even in lives, for opening the rough road, full of dangers and difficulties that has brought us to this moment. And I would like to pay tribute, especially to the initiators and their martyrs: Carlos Muñiz Varela and Eulalio Negrín Santos.

Unfortunately Carlos’s son, Carlos Muñiz Pérez, could not join us tonight. His father was murdered in Puerto Rico on April 28, 1979, for promoting the rapprochement between Cuba and the United States, a purpose for which Cubans abroad continue to fight.

Indispensable in an encounter like this, the evocation of José Martí, architect and tireless promoter of the unity among all Cubans, in function of the supreme objective: the struggle for independence, sovereignty and self-determination of Cuba.

As the 150th anniversary of the beginning of our wars for independence and the 60th anniversary of the Revolution approaches, we return to the national history seeking to interpret its visible and secret springs and unity appears to us as the central, determining element. Every time it failed, we lost. Only when we shield it, we won. Martí saw it before anyone else and therefore founded a Party for the nation, not two or ten for the useless fight that confronts and weakens.

It is those fundamental contributions of José Martí that bring us together around their legacy as they brought together many of us in this room to participate in the act in which the equestrian statue was unveiled in the 13 de Marzo de La Habana park Old, to pay just tribute to the 165th anniversary of his birth. By pure coincidence today exactly 8 months of that unforgettable act.

That beautiful replica of the statue that exists for many years here in New York, synthesizes the Cuban passion for our National Hero and that the project came to a happy conclusion was the work of many, among them some of you, Cuban and Cuban residents in the U.S. To all those who in one way or another contributed to the success of such a beautiful purpose, I reiterate our gratitude.

This meeting is for us, too, a tribute to the Historical Leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro Ruz, principal architect of the strengthening of ties with Cubans living abroad.

His strategic vision, continued by the First Secretary Raúl Castro Ruz, led us to promote the most profound immigration reform carried out during the last 60 years, the cornerstone of our government’s policy towards its nationals abroad.

Let me confirm that the strengthening of the links between Cuba and its nationals abroad is continuous and irreversible, as a sign of the continuity of the Revolution and the unity of the Nation.

Irrefutable example of that continuity and unprecedented fact until today, is the decision that all Cubans abroad, without exception, participate actively and totally voluntarily in the debate on the Project of new Constitution that Cubans want to give us for the present and the future of the Homeland.

Any of you who have recently been in the country can attest to the extraordinary popular mobilization around that consultation. And I urge you to contribute your opinions to the improvement and development of our Nation: sovereign, independent, socialist, democratic, prosperous and sustainable.

In Cuba we say that none of us only knows and can as much as all of us together “and in that whole we include you.

Only the consensus of what we all contribute will lead to the construction of a society that is ever more just and inclusive and will prevail in Marti’s preaching that the “First Law of our Republic is the cult of Cubans to the full dignity of man”.

The participation of Cubans living outside the country in this debate process is consistent with our participatory democracy and a mirror of the current moment of our history, characterized, among other aspects, by growing and diverse links among Cubans living in the country. abroad and its country of origin.

At this point, let me exemplify with figures the impact of this process, which has allowed the strengthening of these links between the Nation and Cubans residing abroad, taking as a point of reference a before and after January 14 2013, the date on which a set of migratory measures that work with total normality and have been widely accepted.

  1. More than 5 years after its application, the increase in departures from the country with current passports continues, a period in which 2 million 674 thousand 76 trips were made by our nationals.
  2. In parallel, there is a sustained increase in the entry of Cubans living abroad, mainly from the United States. From January 14, 2013 to January 14, 2018 there were 2 million 080 043 entries, of which 1 million 585 575 from the United States.
  3. In 2017, 432 786 entries were from that country, a record figure in this indicator. In the first seven months of 2018, they reach 301 987, which means a growth of 20%, compared to the same period in 2017. From this trend it is foreseeable that for the first time in 2018 the figure of half a million will be exceeded. of travels of Cubans residing in the United States to our country.

However, it will not be possible to achieve completely normal relations in the migratory field until the Congress of this country abrogates or eliminates the so-called Cuban Adjustment Act, which stimulates the continuity of an irregular flow and restricts the possibility of Cubans to obtain visas for Visit the United States and establish normal contacts with your family members.

These data are irrefutable and show that today, Cubans travel increasingly, do not emigrate massively.

This is the result of Cuba’s constant and growing steps in migration matters; despite the fact that, unfortunately, since the triumph of the Cuban Revolution, the United States government used migration from our country as the spearhead of its policy of aggression against Cuba.

Today, no one disputes that the vast majority of Cubans abroad, and their families in Cuba, supported and support the process towards the normalization of relations between Havana and Washington, which began on December 17, 2014, interrupted unilaterally by the current US administration with the complicity of minority but extremely reactionary sectors of the Cuban community in this country.

Following the Presidential National Security Memorandum on the Strengthening of United States Policy towards Cuba, signed and released by President Trump on June 16, 2017, in Miami, at an event whose insulting invoice offends history and dignity of our people, has resumed the old and unsuccessful formula to intensify the blockade and subversion against Cuba.

To this is added the suspension of consular services in Havana and the expulsion of a large number of Cuban diplomatic officials in Washington and their families, many of whom worked in our only Consulate in this country, with the consequent negative impact on thousands of Cubans who require these services and the effects on their right to travel and even emigrate, if that is their wish.

The mandatory transfer to Colombia and Guyana – to this last country as of June of this year – of Cuban citizens wishing to obtain immigrant visas, and third countries for all Cubans who wish to obtain a visa to travel temporarily to the United States , makes the process practically unviable, demanding high economic, human and safety costs for travelers.

For our part, we have reiterated the willingness to talk with the government of the United States, on the basis of equality and respect for the sovereignty and independence of our country, as well as to continue the respectful dialogue and cooperation on issues of common interest.

We will continue working to preserve the spaces of exchange established in recent years. For that reason, from the first moment, our Government decidedly supported the Project “Arts of Cuba” with which, more than 400 Cuban artists who live and work inside and outside the Island, recently showed the best of our culture to the American people in the Lincoln Center of this own city.

If the regression in relations has not been greater, as was the desire of the anti-Cuban ultra right, based in South Florida, and of some allies within the Government, all interested and benefited in maintaining an atmosphere of confrontation between both countries, it has been due to the strong opposition of numerous sectors and personalities in the United States, including you, who along with other Cubans who reside in different countries, were able to verify and receive the benefits of a different relationship with Cuba.

I urge you to continue working to enforce the will of 63% of Cubans living in this country, who advocate the end of the blockade, according to the most recent survey of the International University of Florida (FIU), one of whose authors It’s Professor Guillermo Grenier.

Putting an end to the blockade, we would be eliminating, without doubt, the main obstacle to the economic development of Cuba and to relations with the United States and with the compatriots living here.

At the conclusion of the “Dialogue of 78,” the Commander-in-Chief emphasized to the participants: “Do not be discouraged by someone’s bad faith. Never be discouraged by campaigns, intrigues, lies, insults. Hold on to the conviction that you have done something absolutely right, the most correct thing to do. And I am sure that both you and we will always be satisfied with this effort that we have made together. “

Just in twelve days, we will mark one more anniversary of the Demajagua shout. 150 years ago, the revolutionary uprising led by Carlos Manuel de Céspedes launched the Cubans, forever, on the long road to the struggle for independence and the Forge of the Nation.

Since then, it has been an extremely difficult task, and faced by dangers and threats, in the conditions of a small country, victim of colonialism and slavery and very close to a power in expansion. The struggle of the Cubans for their sovereignty has been and is an epic in time and Cubans who today do not live in the country have a legitimate participation. That was the spirit that the Dialogue of 78 gave us.

I urge you to strengthen unity for the sake of independence, the sovereignty of our country, and the elimination of the blockade, and I reiterate our deepest will to continue strengthening ties with all Cubans of good will, as well as our thanks for the innumerable signs of support and solidarity that have given us in this long struggle and these days in officially hostile territory.

We will never forget the opportunity you have given us today to approach the extended Fatherland in you, here in the same city where they say that the humble Cuban émigrés gave Martí the title of Apostle.

The weeks and months to come, reserve us the intensity of the creation of a new law of laws, which you also have to enrich with your analyzes and contributions. Together we will fulfill the Martian yearning of a Republic with everyone and for the good of all.

“That is my dream,” said the Apostle in Tampa, “everybody’s dream: the palms are brides waiting and we have to put justice as high as the palms.” We count on you. We are Cuba.

Thank you very much.

(Unofficial version taken from The Sleepless Pupil )

Cubans living in Kentucky, USA, honor José Martí (+ Photos)

Source:  Prensa Latina /La Santa Mambisa
May 19 2018

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Cubans living in the US state of Kentucky paid tribute today to the National Hero of his native country, José Martí, on the occasion of the 123 anniversary of the famous patriot’s fall in action.

More than 20 members of the so-called Casa Cuba organization from Kentucky gathered and laid a wreath before a bust of the Apostle, located in a park in the town of Shively.

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The sculpture was relocated there six years ago thanks to the efforts of Cuban businessman Wilbert Fonseca and local authorities, including Mayor Sherry Sinegra Conner.

Coming from the largest of the Antilles, the piece arrived in Louisville, the most populated city of that territory, in the mid-1950s of the last century and was in public view until 1962, when it was removed and later stored in a warehouse .

After this event, which was attended by the Consul General of Cuba in the United States, Alejandro Padrón, an exhibition of photos and reproductions of Martí was inaugurated in a center of the aforementioned city.

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This show also recognizes the work of the American sculptor Anna Hyatt, who gave life to the equestrian statue of the war organizer of 1895-1898 against Spanish colonialism, which is located in the Central Park of New York, and a replica of him in Havana.

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Likewise, María Elena Segura, deputy director of the Center for Martial Studies of the Cuban capital, spoke about the final moments of Martí’s life, and highlighted the dedication to the independence cause of his country.

During her speech, the specialist referred to the Cuban Revolutionary Party, the Patria newspaper, the Montecristi Manifesto, the Master’s relationship with the military strategists Máximo Gómez and Antonio Maceo, and the role of emigration in preparing for the war.

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He answered several questions from the audience, which also offered assessments and highlighted the work of the eminent politician, writer, journalist and diplomat.

On the other hand, Segura donated texts and compact discs with the 27 volumes of the critical edition of the Complete Works of Martí, that arrive until now to 1889, when the man of the Golden Age was 36 years old.

“We wanted to pay homage to our National Hero, who summoned everyone for the good of all,” Raul Cuan, head of Casa Cuba of Kentucky, told Prensa Latina.

This entity emerged last July in order to group the Cubans as a community and keep alive collectively the love and ties with their native country.

We maintain the purpose of continuing to strengthen our unity, said Cuan, who also mentioned the importance of evoking historical events on the Caribbean island, at least in a simple way.

Three Mambises of our times

Source:  Granma
February 25 2018

Speech by Army General Raúl Castro Ruz, first secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba and President of the Councils of State and Ministers, in the tribute ceremony held in the Capitolio building, February 24, 2018, “Year 60 of the Revolution”

Compañeras and compañeros:

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Today, February 24, we celebrate the 123rd anniversary of the resumption of our War of Independence called for by José Martí.

The profound significance of this date marked the maturity and the crystallization of the project proposed by Martí, who in order to lead it and to make it happen, founded the Cuban Revolutionary Party.

When everything seemed lost, his ability to find an alternative and overcome any setback, led him to summon the people to a definitive effort: the war that he believed necessary when he thought it unavoidable. He continually called for national unity, articulating the best traditions of the past, without overlooking all those who were willing to sacrifice and give their lives for a greater cause.

A month later, on March 25, 1895, in Montecristi, the Dominican Republic, Martí, along with Major General Máximo Gómez, signed the Manifesto which set out the scope and aims of the struggle. Together they left for Cuba to join the liberation struggle, landing at Playitas de Cajobabo on April 11, just like Major General Antonio Maceo had done a few days before at Duaba.

As Fidel stated on the 100th anniversary of the Ten Years War, “Martí gathered up the flags of Céspedes, Agramonte, and the heroes that fell in that struggle and led Cuba’s revolutionary ideas in that period to their highest expression.”

Three brave compañeros

There is no better moment than this to award the honorific title of Hero of Labor of the Republic of Cuba – in fitting recognition of a lifetime of work committed to the Revolution – to three brave compañeros who already hold the honorable title of Heroes of the Republic of Cuba. I am referring to José Ramón Machado Ventura and Comandantes of the Revolution Ramiro Valdés Menéndez and Guillermo García Frías.

José Ramón Machado

As for Machado Ventura, I could highlight that he joined the struggle against the tyranny as a medical student at the University of Havana, and 65 years ago he participated in the first March of the Torches, in January 1953.

In 1957 he joined the Rebel Army in the Sierra Maestra and served as a doctor and guerilla fighter in various battles. He was a founder of the Second Front; and organized and led the Military Health Department until the end of the struggle, where he was wounded in combat. He developed a broad network of field hospitals and dispensaries which not only offered services to combatants but also, and most importantly, the area’s population, who in many places had never seen a doctor before.

After the triumph of the Revolution he was appointed Head of Medical Services of Havana and of the FAR(Revolutionary Armed Forces) and later Minister of Public Health.

He is a founder of the Communist Party of Cuba and in 1975 was elected as a member of the Political Bureau. He was First Party Secretary in various provinces.
Since 2011, he has served as second secretary of the Central Committee. He is a vice president of the Councils of State and Ministers.

Ramiro Valdés

Ramiro Valdés Menéndez joined the revolutionary struggle at a young age. He participated in the March of the Torches in January 1953 and in the attacks on the Moncada Garrison that same year, during which he was injured. He was imprisoned on the Isle of Pines and lived in exile in Mexico, where he joined the Granma expedition.

He was involved in multiple battles in the Sierra Maestra, and participated alongside Che in the invasion of the West as second commander of the Ciro Redondo Column No. 8.

Since the triumph of the Revolution he has occupied important posts, including Minister of the Interior on two occasions, and as a vice president of the Councils of State and Ministers, a position which he currently holds. He is a member of the Party Political Bureau.

A lot more can be said about each one of these figures on this occasion, but in the case of Ramiro, I have always admired him because he is the only one of us who – in addition to those actions taken some months before Moncada, during which we marched in the first March of the Torches led by Fidel 65 years ago – was wounded in the taking of the main post during the Moncada assault; where he was shot in the heel with the bullet lodging itself in his foot. When we met up, or when we were brought together again at the Vivac (prison) in Santiago de Cuba, he showed me his blood-stained socks, but said he didn’t know where the bullet was. The years went by and he began to limp in the Sierra Maestra because of a callus he had on the sole of his foot. On various occasions he was unable to continue marching with the rest of the initial group of the liberation war, until one day, he began to scrape away at the callus with his own knife until the bullet of the Moncada attack appeared, shot by an enemy as he fell to the ground mortally wounded.

There are dozens or hundreds of heroic feats or important acts linked to each one, and which of course were not even recorded in the few campaign diaries that were written. What is more, unlike the rest of us in the liberation war, Ramiro had the good fortune and honor of being the second commander of the Column led by Che to Las Villas.

Guillermo García

Guillermo García Frías, who recently celebrated his 90th birthday, organized a network of campesinos to help the Granma expeditionaries and take them to the Sierra Maestra. An astute man, he personally led Fidel and the other combatants to Cinco Palmas and recovered various rifles.

He was the first campesino to join the Rebel Army, with an outstanding record, first as a combatant and later as second commander of the Third Front when it was founded in early March 1958, led by then Comandante Juan Almeida.

There are hundreds of anecdotes about Guillermo; of the early days and following the Granmalanding, we will only touch on some aspects. It was he who led Fidel and two other compañeros, Faustino Pérez – who was a doctor – and Universo Sánchez, one of which was unarmed having left his rifle behind on treating the wounded in the first clash at Alegría de Pío.

That is to say that Fidel arrived to the Sierra Maestra with two other combatants, only one of which was armed. It was Guillermo García that got them around the blockade on the old road from the Pilón sugar mill to the municipal capital of Niquero; it was he who – fulfilling other urgent missions given him by the Comandante en Jefe, from Purial de Vicana, or Cinco Palmas de Vicana, where they first set up camp – gathered together almost all of us who originally joined up, including Ramiro himself, Almeida, Che, Camilo; and thus the initial group of three, then five more, then eight, gradually reuniting this important group of compañeros.

One of the first actions he took in support of the nascent guerilla force, was the number of rifles he collected in the days following these events of which I am speaking, from the 15th to the 18th, which together with the few we already had weren’t event sufficient to form a platoon, but were enough to launch the first attack; and although it might not have been the best moment to do so, with hundreds of soldiers hot on our heels, Fidel said that, with this first battle, we had to show the people that the guerillas were still here and would continue the war. This was the reason behind the battle of La Plata, barely a few weeks after this initial group, with the help of Guillermo García, were reunited. Other tasks would follow later.

As the first campesino to join the Rebel Army, he was also the first to be promoted. He had an outstanding track record, first as a combatant and then as second commander of the Third Front, under the command of Almeida.

After the triumph of the Revolution, he occupied various positions in the Revolutionary Armed Forces. Later he also served, among other roles, as a Political Bureau delegate in the former province of Oriente; a vice president of the Councils of State and Ministers, Minister of Transport, and President of the Flora and Fauna Enterprise Group, where he has done an outstanding job.

He was a member of the Party Political Bureau from 1965 through 1986, and is currently a member of the Central Committee and Council of State.

Loyalty to the Revolution

Regarding characteristics shared by these three Mambises of our times I can cite their loyalty to the Revolution and to Fidel, their commitment to work, modesty and humility, which have made them worthy of the recognition and respect of the Cuban people.

It is not by chance that we are commemorating this date in the Capitolio building, whose tenacious restoration, has enabled the attributes of one of the most important buildings in the country to be highlighted, and in whose crypt rest the ashes of the Unknown Mambí, before which an eternal flame burns as a tribute of the people to their founding fathers and the glorious Liberation Army, and is surrounded by the flags of nations of the continent.

Today, this building is the headquarters of the National Assembly of People’s Power. It is also irrefutable proof of the care and interest that must always be put into preserving the cultural heritage of the nation.

Let me take this solemn moment to extend a well-deserved congratulations to Havana City Historian, Eusebio Leal, and those collaborators who have been most closely associated with the massive restoration of the Capitolio; including architect Perla Rosales; engineers Mariela Mulet, Yohanna Aedo and Tatiana Fernández; restoration expert Patricia Coma; professor Juan Carlos Botello and his students from the Vocational School; historian Lesbia Méndez; director of the City Historian Office’s Construction Enterprise, Conrado Hechavarría; and German expert Michael Diegmann.

On a day like today, as we honor those noble Cubans who in 1895 returned to the battle field to free Cuba, I repeat Fidel’s words spoken in 1965: “We would have been like them then, and they would have been like us now!” This is the commitment we have upheld and will also be that which guides the present and future generations, in order that the Homeland continues to be free.

Thank you very much. (Applause)

Preparations underway for the 2019 Cuban trade union congress

Source:  Granma
February 13 2018

Author:  | internet@granma.cu

This year will see an assembly process in all trade union organizations across the country, in the lead up to the 21st CTC Congress.
Photo: Agencia Cubana de Noticias
 

Preparations for the Cuban Workers’ Federation (CTC) 21st Congress will characterize union activities this 2018, which entails an assembly process of all collectives to collect opinions, demands, and guidelines to be evaluated at the national event, stated CTC Secretary General Ulises Guilarte de Nacimiento, a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of Cuba, during a press conference.

The call for the 21st Congress was announced January 28, coinciding with the 79th anniversary of the founding of the CTC and the 165th anniversary of the birth of Cuban National Hero José Martí.

Over the next 12 months, grassroots union sections will undertake an organic discussion process, make agreements, design new strategies and elect their leaders, in the lead up to the Congress scheduled to be held January 2019, to mark the CTC’s 80th anniversary.

Workplace meetings

These workplace meetings will address issues relating to employment, salaries, improvement of working conditions, health and safety, and respect for labor rights, taking into account the role of unions in guaranteeing justice in the workplace and transparency in the labor reorganization process underway in Cuba.

Debates on changes to be made in the trade union movement and the will to transform the methods and work style applied by the organization will also feature.

In addition, Guilarte de Nacimiento noted that the Congress will mark the search for better leadership and greater recognition of the work of the union within labor collectives.

“Our Congress will take a deep, analytical, wide-ranging look at the economic issue, the main battle waged in the country to reach higher rates of growth of the Gross Domestic Product,” stated Guilarte de Nacimiento.

These topics will also be discussed by participants in the national conferences of the unions of Culture, Tourism, Civil Defense, and Sugar industry workers, which will also meet in 2018.

Drawing up strategies

All these union events will focus their debates on drawing up strategies within a labor scenario marked by the reorganization of employment, which has been growing in the non-state sector, in which 29% of the country’s economically active population now works.

“Today we have a qualitative change in the composition of our labor landscape, as guidelines have been established in the regulatory framework. Right now the legal norms of non-state work are being perfected and the improvement of the business system, referring to socialist state enterprises, has just been published in the Official Gazette of the Republic,” the CTC secretary general explained.

He also noted that the financial and material tensions experienced will persist, therefore reserves of untapped efficiency must be exploited, especially as regards savings, import substitution, and the production of exportable goods.

Unity, discipline, and solidarity

He insisted on the need to avoid wasteful use of fuel, electricity, water, and gas, and highlighted the unity, discipline, and solidarity shown by workers during the recovery process following the serious damage caused by Hurricane Irma.

“Through our own efforts we were able to rebuild the tourist infrastructure of the country, mainly in the northern keys, in only 62 days. In just another 20 days the power grids were ready for the generation and supply of energy. Under the leadership of Provincial and Municipal Defense Councils, communications and electricity workers, builders, and food industry workers were mobilized, who worked uninterruptedly and ensured basic services,” Guilarte de Nacimiento stressed.

In this regard, he noted that unions selected some 500 labor collectives and about 2,500 individual workers to receive awards in recognition of their efforts. In January 2019, individuals will be decorated as Heroes of Labor of the Republic of Cuba, and receive the Lázaro Peña Order in the first, second and third grades, medals, and diplomas. Meanwhile, outstanding collectives will receive the Labor Feat flag, distinctions, and certificates.

A message of congratulations to all

The union leader sent a message of congratulations to all. “On this new anniversary of the triumph of the Revolution, on the road to achieving 60 years of socialist victories, we send our regards, affection and appreciation, for having shown class consciousness and monolithic unity around the project we have decided to build. We wish them the greatest prosperity, health, and all our gratitude to their compañeros and relatives.”

The CTC secretary general also sent greetings to friends around the world and noted that the current international context is characterized by a divided trade union movement, under attack with the direct impact of neoliberal policies, in which underemployment, discriminatory policies against immigrants, young people and women predominate. Added to this is the loss of social gains and labor rights.

Today, trade union organizations are on the offensive, promoting integration among left forces. “We appeal for the involvement of social interlocutors such as the landless movements, ecologists, feminists, and youth and student movements, who in their mobilizing practice have reflected a standard of unity and integration, to confront this neoliberal offensive,” the Cuban union leader stressed.

“From Cuba and as part of our administration as a vice president of the World Federation of Trade Unions, we advocate for global spaces within organizations such as the International Labour Organization, forums, congresses, and events, to ensure the real mobilization of workers. We need a unified platform for action within the international trade union movement to confront imperialist policies,” he concluded.

Nicolás Maduro pays respects to Jose Marti and Fidel Castro

Source:  Granma

August 16 2017

by: Yaima Puig Meneses y Yudy Castro Morales | internet@granma.cu

The Venezuelan President was accompanied by Army General Raúl Castro Ruz, First Combatant Cilia Flores, and Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez  Parilla

raul y nicolas aug 2017 1.jpgPhoto: Estudio Revolución

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro Moros visited the Santa Ifigenia cemetery in Santiago de Cuba, yesterday August 15, accompanied by Army General Raúl Castro Ruz, to pay his respects to Cuba’s national hero José Martí and Comandante en Jefe Fidel Castro, on the 91st anniversary of his birth.

The two leaders, along with First Combatant Cilia Flores, and Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla, observed the changing of the guard ceremony at the graves where the remains of Martí and Fidel rest.

The first tribute was to the Teacher, in his mausoleum, where they deposited white roses alongside the single starred flag.

Before the granite boulder that holds Fidel’s ashes, they placed flowers, since the Venezuelan President could not miss a visit on the 91st birthday of the Comandante en Jefe who always championed the Bolivarian Revolution.

The group also paid tribute to July 26 Movement martyrs and those who gave their lives as internationalists after the triumph of the Revolution in January of 1959.

raul y nicolas aug 2017 2.jpgPhoto: Estudio Revolución

In a brief tour of Santa Ifigenia, Raúl spoke with Maduro about Cuba’s history, explaining why Carlos Manuel de Céspedes is considered the country’s founding father; recalling Mariana Grajales and María Cabrales, mother and widow of General Antonio Maceo, respectively; and informing the visiting President about several officers in the War of Independence who are buried in the historic cemetery.

Stopping alongside the tomb of Frank País García, they also left flowers, and Raúl recalled the valiant youth who was murdered, as was his brother Josue, by the Batista dictatorship.