Cuba Expresses Solidarity with Nicolas Maduro and Lula da Silva.

raul 20.jpeg

The Cuban president has condemned the attempts to destabilize Venezuela.

Source:   Cuba Inside the World
July 15 2017

President Raul Castro has repeated Cuba’s support for the Venezuelan government as it faces “an unconventional war” led by “imperialism” and the country’s “oligarchy” in a bid to topple President Nicolas Maduro with a coup.

RELATED: Ecuador Ratifies Respect for Venezuela’s Sovereignty

During a speech marking the end of the Cuban Congress’s extraordinary session, Castro condemned the opposition violence initiated in April on the streets of Caracas and other cities as “fascists actions.”

He mentioned the videos showing several young Venezuelans being burnt alive during anti-Maduro protests.

He urged the opposition to stop the “terrorist violence” designed “to oust” the president, and called for Maduro’s opponents to accept the Bolivarian government’s offer of dialogue.

Stop attacking Venezuela

Castro also asked the Organization of American States and its Secretary General Luis Almagro to “stop attacking Venezuela” and “manipulating reality.”

“Venezuela’s legitimate right to find a peaceful solution to its domestic affairs should be respected with no foreign interference,” he said, adding that only the sovereign Venezuelan people are entitled to use the right to self-determination.

Cuba’s President also condemned the “political persecution” of Brazil’s former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, recently condemned to a 9-year prison sentence over bribeery and money-laundering charges.

Lula denies any wrongdoing.

Raúl bids farewell to President Maduro

Source:  Granma

December 16 2016

On the afternoon of December 15, Army General Raúl Castro Ruz, President of the Councils of State and Ministers of Cuba, bid farewell to Nicolás Maduro Moros, President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, at Havana’s José Martí International Airport

by: Granma | internet@granma.cu

raul bids maduro farewell.jpg

Photo: Estudio Revolución

On the afternoon of December 15, Army General Raúl Castro Ruz, President of the Councils of State and Ministers of Cuba, bid farewell to Nicolás Maduro Moros, President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, at Havana’s José Martí International Airport.

Also returning to Venezuela with Maduro were First Combatant Cilia Flores; Ricardo Menéndez, vice president of the Councils of Ministers for Planning and Knowledge, and Minister of Planning; Eríka Farías, vice president and minister for Social Participation; Admiral Carmen Meléndez, minister of Defense; Eulogio del Pino, minister for Oil; and Wilmar Castro Sotelo, minister of Agriculture, who also participated in the solidarity event supporting the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela held at the Havana International Convention Center, to celebrate the 12th anniversary of the creation of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America-People’s Trade Agreement (ALBA-TCP) and 22 years since the first encounter between Fidel Castro and Hugo Chávez.

Cuba and Venezuela Celebrate 12th Anniversary of ALBA Creation

Source:  TeleSUR
December 14 2016

“I see Fidel standing on the leg of the ladder, I was carrying a small suitcase, and I put it on the floor to give him a hug. ALBA began with that hug.”  Hugo Chavez

raul y maduro 3.jpg

Cuban President Raul Castro (L) and Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro (R) during an ALBA conference, March 17, 2015 in Caracas, Venezuela. | Photo: EFE

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and Cuban President Raul Castro celebrate the 12th anniversary of the formation of the historic regional alliance.

On Thursday the Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and Cuban President Raul Castro will commemorate the 12th anniversary of the formation of the historic progressive continental alliance, ALBA, in Havana, Cuba.

OPINION:  ALBA’s Vitality Versus the Neoliberal Living Dead

Fidel y chavez sign alba agreement.jpg

Late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and then Cuban President, Fidel Castro sign the founding ALBA agreement in 2004 (AIN Cuba)

Originally launched by Cuba and Venezuela on Dec 14. 2004 as an anti-imperialist response to U.S. plans for a Free Trade Area of the Americas, the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America, ALBA, is a “political, economic, and social alliance in defense of independence, self-determination and the identity of peoples comprising it.”

Solidarity and cooperation

Based on the principles of solidarity and cooperation, and a key promoter of 21st Century Socialism, ALBA is now made up of 11 countries from South and Central America and the Caribbean including Bolivia, Nicaragua, Ecuador, Grenada, Dominica, and Antigua and Barbuda. Suriname and Haiti are both allied and have declared their intention to become full members.

For the past 12 years, the alliance has worked to strengthen Latin American political and economic unity, promote the political vision of the Bolivarian Revolution, respond to U.S. interventions in the region, combat poverty and illiteracy, and promote and protect the rights of Indigenous nations and people with disabilities.

PetroCaribe

ALBA has helped launch PetroCaribe, which guarantees subsidized oil to its Caribbean members, in particular, Cuba, who thanks to the U.S. embargo had faced severe oil and gas shortages; as well as PetroSur, an organization which attempts to use oil resources to fund social development projects throughout the region. In 2008 ALBA members created a regional virtual currency, the Sucre, which is used in trade between member countries.

Maduro’s visit to Cuba also coincides with the 22nd anniversary of former Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez’s first meeting with Fidel Castro which many see as the birth of both ALBA as well as Chavez’s movement for 21st Century Socialism. In writing about that first meeting many years later Chavez wrote, “I see Fidel standing on the leg of the ladder, I was carrying a small suitcase, and I put it on the floor to give him a hug. ALBA began with that hug.”

During the signing ceremony for the creation of ALBA in 2004, Fidel Castro spoke of Chavez saying, “You promised to return one day with purpose and dreams fulfilled. You have returned and become a giant, not only as leader of the victorious revolutionary process of your people, but also as a relevant international personality, loved, admired and respected by many millions of people in the world, and especially our people.”

¡Hasta la victoria siempre!

Source:  Granma
November 26 2016

Message from the President of Cuba’s Councils of State and Ministers, Army General Raúl Castro, notifying the Cuban people and world of the death of the late leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro.

Raúl Castro Ruz | internet@granma.cu

 fidel-abc

Photo: Archivo

“Dear people of Cuba:

It is with deep sorrow that I come before you to inform our people, and friends of Our America and the world, that today, November 25, at 10.29pm, Comandante en Jefe of the Cuban Revolution Fidel Castro Ruz passed away. In accordance with his express wishes Compañero Fidel’s remains will be cremated. In the early hours of the morning of Saturday 26, the funeral organizing commission will provide our people with detailed information regarding the posthumous tributes which will be paid to the founder of the Cuban Revolution.

¡Hasta la victoria siempre!”

Fidel Castro, Leader of the Cuban Revolution Dies at 90

Source:  TeleSUR
November 25 2016

The leader of the movement that won Cuban independence and champion of the Global South has died in Havana.

Fidel Castro, former president and leader of the Cuban revolution, died Friday night at age 90, Cuban state television confirmed.

RELATED: Fidel Castro: A Latin American Legend

Raul Castro, Cuba’s President and Fidel Castro’s brother, announced that Fidel would be cremated on Saturday. “The commander in chief of the Cuban revolution died 10:29pm tonight,” said Castro.

Born in 1926 to a prominent landowner in Holguín Province, Cuba, Fidel went on to lead Cuba’s revolutionary independence movement, defeating the U.S.-backed Batista dictatorship in 1959.

Soon after his movement took power, Fidel adopted an explicitly socialist model of development and forged strong ties with the Soviet Union, earning the wrath of the United States.

For the next 48 years, until resigning in 2008, Fidel led the tiny island nation to historic levels of development, leading the world in many social indicators including literacy and public health rates.

Influence and Internationalism

The success of Cuba’s revolution also meant facing down more than 50 years of a hostile and destructive U.S. blockade, while also surviving multiple CIA assassination attempts. Fidel and Cuba inspired a growing decolonization movement throughout the world, one which Fidel actively supported by creating networks of mutual aid throughout Latin America, Africa, and the rest of the Global South.

Under Fidel’s leadership, Cuba’s internationalism expanded beyond support for liberation movements such as Nelson Mandela’s African National Congress, with the small island sending thousands of health and education professionals across the world. Cuba’s literacy program is credited with having taught millions to read outside of Cuba, while Cuban doctors earned even the admiration of the United States, who recently lauded their “heroic” contribution to combatting the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

Fidel was also vital in the upsurge of left-wing government in Latin America, beginning with the election of Hugo Chavez in Venezuela in 1998. Fidel and Chavez not only developed a famous friendship, but the two leaders pushed for a radicalization and coordination of regional movements which yielded left-wing victories in Ecuador, Bolivia, and Nicaragua, along with left-leaning governments in Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina.

The two leaders also founded the Bolivarian Alternative for Our America, or ALBA bloc, which promoted an alternative to neoliberal free trade.

Fidel Recently Turned 90

Revered by many and loathed by others, the Cuban leader remained influential and was highly regarded even by his detractors as a keen analyst of world affairs.

RELATED:  How Fidel Castro’s Revolution Turned Cuba into Olympics Power

His native Cuba recently celebrated his 90th birthday, where in typical Fidel style, he foreshadowed what was to come with elegance and dignity.

“I’ll be 90 years old soon,” Fidel said at an April 2016 communist party congress where he made his most extensive public appearance in years. “Soon I’ll be like all the others. The time will come for all of us, but the ideas of the Cuban Communists will remain as proof that on this planet , if one works with fervor and dignity, they can produce the material and cultural goods that human beings need and that need to be fought for without ever giving up.”

Raul: There is no room for improvisation or defeatism

Source:  Granma
July 8 2016

Speaking during the plenary session of the National Assembly of People’s Power, July 8, President Raul  Castro Ruz, insisted, “When facing difficulties and threats, there is no room for improvisation or defeatism.

Author: Granma | internet@granma.cu

raul no room for defeatism.jpgPhoto: Juvenal Balán

Speaking during the plenary session of the National Assembly of People’s Power, July 8, President Raúl  Castro Ruz, insisted, “When facing difficulties and threats, there is no room for improvisation or defeatism.”
In an explication of the current economic conjuncture, Raúl commented that a June 25 Council of Ministers meeting and Party Central Committee Plenum, July 7, had both concentrated their analysis on the economy’s performance during the first half of the year.

Financial limitations 

“In December of 2015, I explained that financial limitations were being projected as a consequence of a reduction in income, as well as effects on mutually beneficial, advantageous cooperative relations with several countries, in particular with the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, subjected to an economic war meant to weaken support for its revolution,” Raúl said.

The Cuban President reported that a growth rate of 1% of the GDP, half of what was planned, has been the result of “the sharpening of external financial restrictions caused by lower than projected income from exports, along with limitations being confronted by some of our principal trade partners, due to the drop in oil prices.”

Difficulties in oil supplies

He noted that in addition to this, tensions exist as a result of difficulties Venezuela is having with supplying contracted oil, despite President Nicolás Maduro’s firm commitment to do so.

The continuing effects of the U.S. blockade and prohibitions on Cuba’s use of the U.S. dollar in international transactions

Raúl reported that, although payments recently restructured with foreign creditors are being made, delays in some currently due payments to suppliers have occurred, and he thanked these foreign creditors for their understanding. He cited, as well, the continuing effects of the U.S. blockade and prohibitions on Cuba’s use of the U.S. dollar in international transactions, more than three months after President Obama announced the elimination of this policy.

Thus he said, these are the circumstances which have led to measures adopted by the Council of Ministers, directed toward guaranteeing the continued functioning of principal economic activities and minimizing the impact on the population.

Given speculation that has appeared about an imminent economic crisis, or a return to the most difficult times of the Special Period, he noted that this challenge, “was overcome thanks to the Cuban people’s capacity to resist and its unlimited confidence in Fidel and the Party,” adding that the country is in a better position now to face “even greater” difficulties and turn the situation around.

Acting with much optimism and confidence

“To victoriously overcome a conjuncture like the one we are facing requires acting with energy, equanimity, rationality and political sensitivity, tightening up coordination between the Party and the government, and above all, with much optimism and confidence in the present and future of the Revolution,” he said.

The Cuban President called for reducing expenses, promoting conservation, and efficient use of available resources, concentrating investments on activities which generate exports and replace imports; strengthen infrastructure; assure the sustainability of electrical generation; and facilitate better use of energy resources.

He emphasized that plans did not include detaining development programs, and that social services achieved by the Revolution for the people will be protected, and efforts to improve their quality will continue.

A broad process of democratic debate

Raúl also noted that the National Assembly, the country’s highest state body,  had voted to approve the updated Economic and Social Policy Guidelines for the period 2016-2020, approved at the 7th Party Congress, reiterating that this support implied the responsibility to draft and approve the legal and institutional framework needed to implement these modifications.

He likewise recalled that since this past June 15, a broad process of democratic debate was underway on the documents “Conceptualization of the Cuban economic and social model of socialist development,” and the “National Plan of economic and social development through 2030: Proposed vision of the nation, strategic axes and sectors.”

Forging consensus and unity among Cubans

He reaffirmed, “We will continue the updating of our economic model at the pace we sovereignly determine, forging consensus and unity among Cubans in the construction of socialism. The speed of changes will continue to be conditioned by our capacity to do things well, since that has not always been the case.”

The Cuban President insisted on the need for prior preparation, the drafting of normative documents, training, and full understanding of the content of changes at the level where they will be implemented, with follow-up and direction for implementation, supervision, and timely rectification, in the event of missteps.

On another issue, he recognized joint work carried out by the Public Health system, the Party, the Revolutionary Armed Forces, government bodies and grassroots organizations to confront mosquito born diseases like Zika and dengue, which has prevented epidemics thus far and must continue.

Cuba’s solidarity with the Bolivarian Chavista Revolution will not be weakened 

Referring to the country’s foreign policy, Raúl reaffirmed that, during these difficult economic circumstances, Cuba’s solidarity with the Bolivarian Chavista Revolution, with President Maduro, his government, and the sister Venezuelan people, will not be weakened in the slightest.

Finally, Raúl recalled that Second Party Secretary José Ramón Machado Ventura will deliver the main speech at the July 26th celebration in Sancti Spiritus of the 63rd anniversary of the assaults on the Moncada and Carlos Manuel de Céspedes Garrisons.

He concluded his remarks stating, “We will commemorate our National Rebellion Day with the conviction that the revolutionary Cuban people will again rise to face the difficulties, without the least trace of defeatism, with full confidence in their Revolution.”

Related information

 

Colombian gov’t, FARC rebels sign historic ceasefire agreement in Cuba (Video)

raul the peace maker 4.jpg

peace in colombia.jpg

raul the peace maker 5Raul:  Peace is not a utopia

“Peace will be a victory not only for the entire Colombia, but also for all of Our America. The short history of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) recorded a major landmark, which was the proclamation of this region as a Zone of Peace.

The end of the armed conflict in Colombia will be a new evidence of the rock-solid commitment of our peoples against the use and the threat of use of force and in favor of the peaceful settlement of controversies. In the face of differences, dialogue is of the essence. In the face of challenges concerted actions should prevail.

The achievement of peace in Colombia will also represent a hope for millions of persons in the planet, whose main concern continues to be the human survival in a world shaken by violence and wars.

Peace is not a utopia; it is a legitimate right of every human being and of all peoples. It is a fundamental condition for the enjoyment of all human rights, particularly the supreme right to life.”    Raul Castro