UNICEF: Cuba, a champion of children’s’ rights

Source:  Granma
March 12 2018

Cuba is a global leader in the protection and promotion of children’s rights, according to Unicef regional director for Latin America and the Caribbean María Cristina Perceval

Cuba is a global leader in the protection and promotion of children’s rights, according to Unicef regional director for Latin America and the Caribbean María Cristina Perceval.

During a forum recently held in Managua on children’s rights, Perceval spoke to Prensa Latina about Cuba’s achievements in this field.

The island has the Educa a tu hijo (Educate Your Child) program, and an early infant development model that has been implemented in other countries, noted Perceval.

The UN representative also highlighted the Cuba’s achievements in regards to health, becoming the first country in the world to receive validation from the World Health Organization that it has eliminated mother-to-child transmission of HIV and syphilis in 2015.

She also praised Cuba’s effective disaster response mechanisms and systems.

“In this sense, we recognize the capacity of the government and its ability for community organization, not only in regards to preparing for emergencies, but also effective, professional and swift action during disaster situations,” she noted.

Perceval went on to express her gratitude to the Cuban government and people for accepting a contribution from Unicef toward recovery efforts after the destruction caused by Hurricane Irma last year.

Teen pregnancy prevention

“I also want to thank you for allowing us to share what you have built in regards to early childhood education, in the elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HIV and syphilis, teen pregnancy prevention… Cuba is a champion, champion, champion! She exclaimed.

Regarding the Educa a tu hijo program, the specialist noted that it was created 26 years ago and is designed to contribute to the comprehensive development of infants from zero to six years of age who do not attend educational institutions. It also aims to promote the role of the family in the development of children from a community and multi-sectoral approach.

Perceval also highlighted the priority afforded adolescents on the island, with participative methodologies and a social commitment to creating opportunities and projects for this sector of the population.

In this same vein, she expressed her gratitude to the Cuban people and government for “allowing us to humbly work in whatever necessary.”

Perceval also talked about collaborative efforts linked to stopping violence against children, especially girls.

The Federation of Cuban Women

“The Federation of Cuban Women has an immense strength, but we also know that sometimes violent practices occur in convivial spaces and that we must keep working to eradicate all types of mistreatment against children from the community and institutions,” she stated.

Meanwhile, the UN official noted that she hopes to visit Cuba this year to attend the Unicef regional meeting, postponed last year following Hurricane María.

Given the vulnerability of the zone Perceval mentioned the importance of preparing for natural disasters “which affect old people, women, children and the disabled, above all.”

Perceval traveled to Nicaragua to recognize the country’s efforts and achievements in combating malnutrition in children, one of the main problems of the region.

Caribbean, Latin America Meeting to Tackle Rural Poverty

Source:  TeleSUR
February 20 2018

caribbean latin american meet to tackle povertyRegional FAO representative Julio Berdegue (r) and FAO representative in Chile,
Eve Crowley (l) during a meeting in Santiago. | Photo: EFE

An FAO report shows the region is the most unequal in land distribution.

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) announced the 35th Regional Conference for Latin America and the Caribbean scheduled for March 5 – 8 in Jamaica will focus on identifying where rural poverty is most entrenched to launch strategies aimed at fighting hunger and obesity.

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Julio Berdegue, the regional representative for the FAO, said in a press conference on Monday in Chile “we have over 43 million people in Latin America and the Caribbean who go to sleep every day with empty stomachs. We also have an epidemic situation of malnutrition and particularly of overweightness and obesity.”

In a previous statements Berdegue explained the region was making rapid progress, “the problem is that in the last years we’ve lost speed. So we are here to debate with countries how we can step on the accelerator again.”

The FAO representative believes the slow-down is a result of “reaching the hard core of the problem, the hunger that is concentrated in remote Indigenous rural populations,” making them a central player in solving hunger.

“If Indigenous communities are not central actors, there is no way to solve hunger in those places. This will not be solved by bringing food in a helicopter,” Berdegue said. The U.N. official also mentioned the importance of Indigenous women empowerment to eradicate hunger and extreme poverty

Last year, the FAO published a report placing Latin America and the Caribbean as the most unequal region in land distribution. In that report, FAO also acknowledged that tackling the high concentration of land is “a fundamental aspect to reduce rural poverty.”

Furthermore, Berdegue mentioned the ill effects of water and chemical-intensive agriculture and argued “we cannot continue with agriculture that consumes 70 percent of the freshwater. It is no longer tolerable to say that we produce more food but on the basis of destroying tropical forests. Intensive agriculture based on the use of fertilizers that end up in rivers causing pollution is no longer acceptable.”

These changes will require the active commitment by governments to reverse these trends

World Peace Council: We reject US interference for the destabilization of Venezuela!

Source:  World Peace Council
February 5 2017

world peace council 6.jpgWith renewed alarm and repudiation, we again denounce US imperialism in its interference in the affairs of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, reaffirmed by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who suggested that the Government of President Nicolás Maduro could be overthrown by the Venezuelan Army.

Beginning a visit to Latin America and the Caribbean, Tillerson even referred to past military coups that overthrew popular or progressive governments under the guidance and support of the United States and imposed untold suffering on the people! The dictatorships fed and coordinated by his country decreed as politics the terror of the criminals who instituted the torture basements, the kidnappings and murders, for decades. That is why memory and indignation will surely prevent Latin Americans from accepting such ignominy!

Solidarity with the Venezuelan people

The World Peace Council has repeatedly affirmed its solidarity with the Venezuelan people in defending the Bolivarian Revolution, stability and peace in the country, based primarily on respect for Venezuela’s sovereignty and internal political dialogue, without foreign interference. It is widely known, however, that the increasingly fascist opposition in the country counts on the broad support and encouragement of US imperialism, as evidenced by the criminal attitude of its Secretary of State and that of other reactionary forces in Latin America.

Therefore, we express total repudiation of any attempt by the US to promote the destabilization of Venezuela and the region, by insulting democracy and the sovereignty of nations! We repudiate the persistent media war and inflammatory speeches against the government of President Maduro, who is legitimately elected and committed to a solution to the crisis.

We vehemently reject any suggestion of intervention or military coup promoted by reactionary forces and US imperialism. We believe that the incitement will certainly be frustrated by the conscious and already asserted support of Venezuelan officials for the defense of their country’s peace and sovereignty, rejecting the role of the slaughterers of democracy that the US would like to see them play.

Hands off Venezuela, now!

Down with imperialist interference!

Socorro Gomes
President of the World Peace Council

US Will Build New Military Base in Northern Argentina

Source:  TeleSUR
February 11 2018

us building military base in argentina.png

George Piro (middle l), Subdirector for FBI International Operations and Patricia Bullrich, Argentine Minister of Security, meet with other U.S. functionaries in Washington, D.C. to discuss U.S. military and FBI presence in Argentina. Feb. 9, 2018. | Photo: @PatoBullrich

Argentine President Mauricio Macri is also letting in more DEA, FBI, and U.S. military forces to control narcotrafficking and terrorism within the country.

Argentina is allowing the U.S. to build a new military base at its northern border with Brazil and Paraguay. Officials of the South American country also announced that it will work with Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) at the triple border “to analyze where drugs are coming from.”

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Argentina’s Minister of Security, Patricia Bullrich announced in Washington that the Mauricio Macri administration is going to allow the U.S. to build a military base in Posadas, Misiones, bordering Brazil and Paraguay.

Bullrich says her government is creating “an analysis center with Paraguay and Brasil (and the U.S.) to figure out where, how and with whom narco traffickers operate” at the triple border region.

This “task force,” as its being called, will operate in conjunction with the DEA, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and the U.S. Southern Command, which watches over U.S. operations in Latin America and the Caribbean.

This will be the second task force against drug trafficking in Argentina. The first one was installed in Salta province located near the borders with Bolivia and Chile during the Barack Obama administration.

Bullrich told the press that the DEA initially wanted Argentine officials to send drug samples to the U.S. so the agency could analyze them for their origin. She said this would be against Argentine law and that officials within the country would analyze the drugs.

The U.S. and Argentine functionaries also discussed the suspected presence of Lebanese Hezbollah, an organization the U.S. government considers a terrorist group, at the border shared by Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay.

“It’s important for our government to collaborate (with the U.S.) and that they collaborate with us. We’re going to work together at the triple border regarding terrorism. We think we’ll have DEA and other agencies there to better understand what’s happening in the region,” Bullrich assured the press.

The minister of security also met with Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officials in Washington to discuss their training of Argentine Federal Police.

After leaving Washington Bullrich flew to Miami to meet with the chief of U.S. Southern Command, Admiral Kurt W. Tidd and the Defense Minister of Argentina, Oscar Aguad.

Admiral Tidd was recently in Colombia meeting with its military forces.

Human rights organizations are protesting the increased U.S. military presence in Latin American and the Caribbean.

The former Argentine ambassador to Venezuela and the United Kingdom, Alicia Castro, tweeted of Bullrich’s proposed policies, “Do you want to see how the U.S. … ‘combats terrorism’? Look at the Middle East devastated. And ‘combating narcotrafficking’? (sic) Look at the cartels and assassinations in Colombia y Mexico, the places where the DEA intervenes.”

Cuba: The EU can contribute to the construction of a more just, equitable world

Source:  Granma
June 12 2015

Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, First Vice President of Cuba’s Councils of State and Ministers, speaking at 2nd CELAC-EU Summit in Brussels, June 10-11, calls on Europe to support development in Latin America and the Caribbean

miguel diaz canel and frederica mogheriniHonorable heads of state and government:

For Latin America and the Caribbean, this 2nd CELAC-EU Summit constitutes a challenge, since here we must establish the objective of re-thinking ties between the two regions, so that they, in fact, have the desired impact on economic, commercial and cooperative relations.

The history of Latin America and the Caribbean 

History shows that under-development in Latin America and the Caribbean began with colonial plunder, the extermination of millions of persons among the original peoples, and the horrors of slavery. The structural deformities of our economies were worsened by neo-colonial exploitation; industrialized nations and transnational companies imposed their interests; capitalism established irrational and unsustainable patterns of production and consumption. The United States appropriated our territory and took sovereignty of our natural resources, violating the independence of nations in the region, even resorting to bloody military dictatorships. Neoliberalism erased a decade of progress. The global economic crisis and financial speculation spread to our economies.

The world’s most unequal region

Despite the progress made, Latin America and the Caribbean is the (world’s) most unequal region in terms of the distribution of wealth and the persistence of poverty, inadequate access to education, healthcare and knowledge.

In June of 1999, during the Río de Janeiro Summit, the European Union proposed a “strategic bi-regional association.”

In Santiago de Chile, in January, 2013, CELAC reiterated its desire to cooperate and extend bi-regional relations based on “respect, equal sovereignty and no external interference.”

In Havana, in January of 2014, CELAC approved the Proclamation of Latin America and the Caribbean as a Zone of Peace, establishing guiding principles to govern ties between countries in the region – applicable to our relations with the rest of the world.

Solidarity with Venezuela

I evoke this Proclamation to express solidarity with the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and its President, Nicolás Maduro Moros, given the unfounded, arbitrary executive order issued by the President of the United States, imposing sanctions which our region has demanded be rescinded.

While, in fact, we share important historic and cultural ties, our region continues to occupy a marginal position within the economic-commercial priorities of the EU. Asymmetries are reinforced, and cooperation with small Caribbean states is being mechanically and unjustly withdrawn.

The Millenium Development goals continue to be unreachable

The Millenium Development goals continue to be unreachable. Without another international economic and financial order, the Post-2015 Agenda is an illusion, and will increase dependency and the North-South gap. Political models and the welfare state in Europe are in crisis. Cutbacks and austerity programs have seriously hurt workers, families and immigrants. Significant numbers of an entire generation have not found their first job.

To survive it is imperative to detain climate change, with a legally binding, ambitious, just and equitable agreement, which guarantees financing, technology and cooperation in the areas of adaptation and mitigation, on the basis of shared but differentiated responsibility, and recognition of the historic debt owed by the developed countries.

Opposition to sanctions against Russia

Growing threats to peace and international security, conventional and non-conventional wars and poverty, which devastate nations and destroy states, are pushing waves of desperate human beings to seek refuge. Very early on, we warned that NATO’s expansion to the borders of the Russian Federation would imply a serious threat to peace, security and stability, internationally and in Europe itself. We reiterate our opposition to sanctions against that country.

The economic, commercial, financial blockade of Cuba remains in place

Despite the historic decision by Cuba and the United States to reestablish diplomatic relations, the economic, commercial, financial blockade of Cuba remains in place, with the same intensity. The moment has arrived for Europe to advocate for its total elimination, and an end to the unethical understanding with the United States, from November of 1996, accepting the international application of the legislation upon which it is based, the Helms Burton Act.

An end to this unjust policy, along with the return to Cuba of territory illegally occupied by the Guantánamo Naval Base; the termination of radio and television broadcasts which violate international norms; compensation for the human and economic damages suffered by our people; and the cancellation of subversive programs are some of the premises which are indispensable to the normalization of relations between the two countries.

We continue to work for the conclusion of the Political Dialogue and Cooperation Accord between the European Union and Cuba, based on reciprocity, mutual respect and non-interference, which we agreed upon in 2008, to re-initiate cooperative relations between the two parties.

The EU can contribute to the construction of a more just, equitable world

The European Union, which is an important economic associate of Cuba, has the opportunity to accompany us in our development. At the same time, it can contribute to the construction of a more just, equitable world, which requires the demolition of the current system of domination, hegemony, plunder of resources and financial speculation.

As the historic leader of the Revolution Fidel Castro did during the first of these meetings, I invite you to work on “the miracle of making the impossible possible.”

Source:  The European Union has an opportunity to accompany us in our development  Granma

ALBA Celebrates 10 Years of Solidarity and Integration

See ALBA’s Management Report here:   ALBA 2004 – 2014: 10 years consolidating solidarity and integration among the peoples of our Americas.

chavez y skerrit

Roosevelt Skerrit
Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of Dominica

“The hope of our peoples was reborn in the hands of presidents Hugo Chavez and Fidel Castro. The proposal of the Bolivarian alternative for the peoples of our America (ALBA) came to represent the potential launching of our nations’’.

Hugo Fidel y EvoHugo Chavez Frias
Late President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela

‘‘It has occurred to us, to introduce a proposal that could be called the ALBA, the Bolivarian alternative for the peoples of our America. A new concept of integration that is not new at all: It Is about bringing back a dream that we believe is possible, It Is about a new path, It Is about a quest, for integration is certainly vital for us: either we unite or we fail. Let us then choose the alternatives’’.

Evo Morales Ayma
President of the Plurinational State of Bolivia

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CELAC Rejects Inclusion of Cuba on List of States that Promote Terrorism

twisted reality

Source: aldia.cu

May 7 2014

The Community of Latin American and Caribbean States ( CELAC) rejected on Wednesday the U.S. government ‘s decision to include Cuba again, in an arbitrary and unilateral way, on the list of States that are promoters of International Terrorism.

In a communique, the CELAC expresses its concern about the stance of the U.S. State Department on April 30 to include Cuba, for the 32nd time, on this list, despite the condemnation caused by this measure in the United States and internationally.

The CELAC reiterated its total opposition to the making of unilateral lists accusing States of allegedly supporting and co-sponsoring terrorism and urged the U.S. government to end this practice.

The regional bloc expressed its position in paragraph 41 of the Declaration of Havana and in the Special Declaration of Support for the Struggle against Terrorism in all its Forms and Expressions, both adopted by the Heads of State and Government of Latin America and the Caribbean at the Second Summit of CELAC, held in January.

The rejection of unilateral lists affecting Latin American and Caribbean nations

The article specifies the rejection of unilateral lists and certifications created by the developed countries particularly those related to terrorism, human and drug trafficking which affect nations of Latin America and the Caribbean, .

In addition, the paragraph confirms the Special Communique approved by the CELAC which rejects the inclusion of Cuba in the U.S. list of States sponsoring terrorism.  CELAC sees this as manipulation of a sensitive topic like international terrorism to turn it into an instrument of politics against the  island.

Source:  aldia.cu  CELAC Rejects Inclusion of Cuba on the List of Terrorism Promoters 

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