Bolivia: Morales Vows To Do What’s Best for Bolivia, Not Afraid of Jail

Source:  TeleSur English

December 2, 2019

Bolivia's former President Evo Morales gestures next to former Vice President Alvaro Garcia Linares, in Mexico City, Mexico November 26, 2019.

Bolivia’s former President Evo Morales gestures next to former Vice President Alvaro Garcia  Linares, in Mexico City, Mexico November 26, 2019. | Photo: Reuters

The President confirmed that he will be “where he serves more” to the Bolivian people and their political party, whether in asylum in Mexico or imprisoned in Bolivia.

The democratically elected President of Bolivia, Evo Morales, said Sunday that he would value the option of being imprisoned in Bolivia, if that action helps the Bolivian people, who suffer from a climate of anxiety and instability after the coup d’etat driven by the right of the South American country.

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“For the Bolivian people, for the political instrument, for the MAS , do I serve more as an asylum in Mexico or imprisoned in Bolivia? I will be where I serve more. Here or imprisoned in Bolivia. I was imprisoned and I am not afraid of that,” Morales said.

During an interview with the Argentinian publication Page 12, the Bolivian President said he has “a deep internal debate about what to do.” Morales, who is blocked from running in the upcoming elections, will influence the election of the presidential binomial of the Movement To Socialism (MAS).

In recent days, and after the announcement by the right-wing competitors, the political and electoral strategy of the party has been organized, so it participates via teleconference and maintains long telephone sessions of debate, discussion and planning with leaders of the nine departments.

For the President, the binomial that represents the MAS must be able to “represent the humble”, as well as have “social conscience and capacity of public management and ideological formation”.

“I have learned that. The important thing is to continue with the process of change and move forward with the industrialization of our natural resources,” President Morales said.

President Morales said that “another Bolivia is possible”, without the “blackmail and conditioning of the IMF and the World Bank”, while confirming that during his administration “there have been small errors.” ”

“We are wrong, we are human. And the mistakes were not due to personal ambitions,” Morales said, while considering that in his government they managed to reduce “poverty and inequality” and brought “growth and stability” to the nation.

Barack Obama and the Ruling Class Target the Black Vote to Smother Sanders

Source:  Black Agenda Report

November 28 2019

Barack Obama and the Ruling Class Target the Black Vote to Smother Sanders

Obama’s principle task is to ensure sure that Black Americans do not vote in the direction of single-payer healthcare and housing for all.

The ruling class needs Obama as an adviser and bully of the Black vote.”

Not a month after condemning “call out culture,” Barack Obama was once again the prized speaker at an event held by Democratic Party “mega donors”  (Wall Street) in Atlanta, Georgia. Seated next to Obama protégé Stacy Abrams, Obama warned Democratic Party candidates of going too far left in their policy proposals. “The average American doesn’t think we have to tear down the system,” Obama said , adding, “They just don’t want to see crazy stuff. They want to see things a little more fair, they want to see things a little more just. And how we approach that I think will be important.”

Related article: Obama approves airstrikes against Libya

Obama’s remarks are just the most recent demonstration of his role as a weapon of counterinsurgency warfare employed by the ruling class to dampen the expectations of workers and oppressed people. His two-term presidency particularly targeted the Black polity. Black America has historically been the most progressive constituency in the United States on the issues of war and economic justice. The ruling class has not forgotten that Black rebellion pressured the formal end of chattel slavery in the American mainland or that Black rebellion overthrew slavery on the island nation of Haiti. Even in the so-called post-slavery period, Black rebellions such as those witnessed in cities across America in the 1960s signaled to the U.S. ruling class that something had to be done to protect the Empire from the transformative aspirations of Black America.

“Obama is a a weapon of counterinsurgency warfare employed to dampen the expectations of workers and oppressed people.”

The Black liberation movement that emerged from the Black rebellions in American cities inspired a ruling class project to craft a misleadership class  which could properly manage the affairs of neoliberal capital. This project was part of a broader two-pronged assault on the world socialist revolution. Black freedom struggles were deemed cells of a communist conspiracy or outright domestic terrorism. Revolutionary movements were violently undermined by the intelligence and military state from Oakland to Vietnam, Detroit to the Soviet Union. Neoliberalism sprouted from the war on socialism and national liberation to eviscerate the last vestiges of social solidarity in the United States. Wholesale economic deprivation provided fertile ground for Black political leaders, fully backed by the Democratic Party, to act as willing accomplices in the immiseration of the toiling masses in the Black community.

Barack Obama is the highest expression of the ongoing counterinsurgency war on the Black left. By targeting the very diverse , and significantly Black , Sanders base, Obama is striking two targets at once. Medicare for All and similar universal policies are “crazy” only to rich white Americans and their Black collaborators. Obama believes in a different kind of universalism, otherwise known as American exceptionalism. American exceptionalism assumes that the poor, especially the Black poor, only want their lives improved “a little” because there is nothing fundamentally wrong with the American system of racism and capitalism.

“Black freedom struggles were deemed cells of a communist conspiracy or outright domestic terrorism.”

Related article:  Obama Endorses Hillary Clinton as His Successor

Obama’s remarks are a warning to Black American voters who may be contemplating whether Bernie Sanders is in fact the most electable candidate in the 2020 Democratic Party. Black voter conservatism was massively intensified during the Obama period and gave credence to a decades long trend of Black Americans voting for any Democrat seen as capable of defeating the White Man’s Republican Party. Polls still show that Joe Biden’s relationship to Obama gives him an overwhelming edge with Black voters  over Sanders and the rest of the field. Obama’s condemnation of Sanders and so-called left Twitter feeds certainly sends a false message that Black Americans should be satisfied with business as usual. However, Obama inspires little confidence that such an approach will lead to the nomination of a corporate friendly candidate capable of defeating Donald Trump.

The truth is that the ruling class needs Obama as an adviser and bully of the Black vote because the rest of the corporate wing of the Democratic Party is mired in a crisis of legitimacy. Many Democratic Party voters now want social democracy and Bernie Sanders’ economic agenda most resembles the class struggle orientation of Black America. Black Americans have always been overrepresented in domestic movements for socialism. Two of the most popular leaders in the Black struggle, Malcolm X  and Martin Luther King Jr ., both advocated for a socialistic economic transformation of U.S. society by the end of their lives. After eight years of rightwing political retrenchment under Obama, the ruling elite understands perfectly well that its political system has lost the legitimacy it once enjoyed with workers in the United States, especially Black workers.

“Obama sends a false message that Black Americans should be satisfied with business as usual.”

That’s because Obama’s two-term presidency absolutely worsened the forty-year long assault on the conditions of the working class. Black wealth suffered the most from Obama’s bank bailouts , which rewarded the very criminal enterprises responsible for the economic crisis. For decades, Wall Street devalued Black property and then sold what Wells Fargo financiers called “ghetto loans” to “mud people.”  Obama not only let the racist bankers walk free, but he also implemented new and more innovative forms of austerity. His administration enforced trillions in deficit reductions and went so far as to place Medicare and Social Security on the chopping block in the name of bipartisanship.

A new study shows that the number of poor people in America has drastically increased when inflation is accurately factored into poverty measures . The study found that inflation is .44 percentage points higher for the bottom 20 percent of income earners than for the top 20 percent of earners. In 2018 alone, 3.2 million more people would be considered impoverished in the United States. The report calls this phenomenon “inequality inflation.” A great number of workers in the U.S. do not qualify for state and federal programs and thus pay a far higher cost of living within a capitalist economy that caters to the consumption patterns of richer Americans.  Furthermore, poverty would be three times higher  than the official measure if the median debt in the U.S., which outpaces the median income in the U.S. by over $10,000, was also factored into the statistical analysis.

“Obama not only let the racist bankers walk free, but he also implemented new and more innovative forms of austerity.”

Obama’s tenure in the White House only exacerbated the great race to the bottom that the U.S. ruling class is smothering Sanders to protect. This explains why Black Americans in cities like Milwaukee  decided to stay home rather than vote for arch-neoliberal Hillary Clinton in 2016. The situation has not improved in the 2020 election. Expert education privatizer and loyal servant of big pharma Cory Booker remains at the bottom of every major primary poll published to date. Mass Black incarceration advocate Kamala Harris has fallen so far from contention that even corporate outlets such as Politico  have described her campaign as being in a state of meltdown.

Neither Booker nor Harris has been able to apply Obama-mania toward their own presidential success. The waning electability of the Black misleadership class in the presidential circus has forced the ruling class to call on Obama to smother the social democratic aspirations of Sanders supporters. Obama’s principle task is to ensure sure that Black Americans do not vote in the direction of single-payer healthcare and housing for all. Of course, Obama is not alone in his crusade to smother Bernie Sanders by way of the Black vote. The “Stop Sanders” movement  is stuffed to the brim with the same big, nasty tent of militarists, Wall Street donors, and corporate media outlets responsible for Clinton’s losing bid in 2016.

“Neither Booker nor Harris has been able to apply Obama-mania toward their own presidential success.”

Former military intelligence operative and mayor of South Bend, Indiana Pete Buttigieg has emerged from this tent to become one of the most favored candidates among rich Democratic Party donors. However, Buttigieg is unpopular among Black Americans, especially among Black South Bend residents who have been direct casualties of his support for racist policing  and gentrification . “Mayor Pete” recently released the Douglass Plan for Black America to assuage the concerns of Black voters in the critical state of South Carolina. The Buttigieg campaign was obviously lacking confidence in mustering genuine Black support for the plan and felt compelled to make up such support out of whole cloth. According to Ryan Grim of The Intercept , Buttigieg’s campaign flaunted the support of three prominent Black representatives in South Carolina: Columbia City Councilwoman Tameika Devine, state representative Ivory Thigpen, and chair of the state’s Black Caucus, Johnnie Cordero. None of them had endorsed Buttigieg or the plan, and it is unclear whether the rest of the 400 supporters (half of whom were white) listed on the plan had merely failed to “opt out” of their support as directed in a campaign email.

What is clear from the Buttigieg’s Douglass Plan blunder is that the ruling class has every reason to be nervous over how Black America will choose to behave in the Democratic primary. Deval Patrick’s late entrance into the race hasn’t offered any comfort, either. Patrick is a talentless corporate hack with extensive experience in stealing the wealth of working class people, especially Black people, during his time in prominent positions  at Texaco, Bain Capital, and Ameriquest Mortgages. Ameriquest Mortgages was the largest retailer of subprime mortgages in the U.S. before it was sold to Citigroup in 2007.  This career blemish alone has rendered Patrick’s campaign dead upon arrival.

“The ruling class has every reason to be nervous over how Black America will choose to behave in the Democratic primary.”

Obama, Buttigieg, and Patrick’s recent blunders reflect the crisis of legitimacy currently plaguing the U.S. political apparatus. A large section of the Democratic Party’s base is hungry for social democratic reform while a large section of the world’s population is hungry to free itself from the grip of U.S. imperialism. U.S. imperialism backed a coup in Bolivia, for example, to eradicate a direct threat to its rule abroad. Bernie Sanders and his millions of working class supporters currently represent the gravest threat to the domestic tranquility of the rule of the rich. The ruling class understands that leadership from the Black left is vital to the success of any movement for social transformation in the United States and is once again placing its hope in Barack Obama to save the American Empire’s political apparatus from itself.

Danny Haiphong is an activist and journalist in the New York City area. He and Roberto Sirvent are co-authors of the book entitled American Exceptionalism and American Innocence: A People’s History of Fake News–From the Revolutionary War to the War on Terror (Skyhorse Publishing). He can be reached at wakeupriseup1990@gmail.com, on Twitter @spiritofho, and on Youtube at The Left Lens with Danny Haiphong.

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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

Evidence Talks: US Government Propelled Coup in Bolivia

Source:  Global Research

November 25 2019

 

A coup on November 10 removed the socialist government of Bolivian President Evo Morales. The U.S. government made preparations and orchestrated the final stages of the coup. It was in charge. In power for almost 14 years, Morales and Vice President Álvaro García Linera had won elections taking place on October 20. The two leaders would each have been serving a fourth term in office.

Evidence of the U.S. crime appears below.  It’s about money, U.S. influence within the Bolivian military, and U.S. control of the Organization of American States (OAS):

1. For many years the Santa Cruz Civic Committee and its proto-fascist Youth Union received funding from the U.S. National Endowment for Democracy. According to analyst Eva Golinger some years ago, the USAID provided $84 million to Bolivian opposition groups.

U.S. Embassy officials conspired with and paid the “civic committees” of Bolivia’s four eastern departments. Representing the European- descended elite of Bolivia’s wealthiest region, these groups promoted racist assaults. They concocted a separatist movement and tried to assassinate Morales. In response, the Bolivian government expelled the U.S. ambassador, Drug Enforcement Agency, and U. S. Agency for International Development.

2. Bolivian armed forces commander in chief Williams Kaliman Romero on November 10 “suggested” that Morales resign. That was the coup de grace. Within three days, Kaliman himself resigned and moved to the United States. Sullkata M. Quilla of the Latin American Center for Strategic Analysis explains that Kaliman and other military chiefs each had received $1 million and that top police officers received $500,000 apiece. U.S. Chargee d’affaires Bruce Williamson allegedly arranged for monetary transactions that took place in Argentina’s Jujuy Province under the auspices of Governor Geraldo Morales. The story first appeared on the website www.Tvmundus.com.ar.

3. Money flowed freely prior to Morales’s departure. Bolivian ambassador to the United Nations Sacha Llorenti – a Morales supporter – reported that, “loyal members of [Morales’s] security team showed him messages in which people were offering them $50,000 if they would hand him over.”

4. According to the respected Argentinean journalist Stella Calloni, Ivanka Trump arrived in Jujuy on September 4-5 ostensibly to honor a small group of women entrepreneurs. Some “2,500 federal agents” and Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan accompanied her. At the same time, Governor Gerardo Morales was informed that the United States would be delivering $400 million supposedly to pay for improvements to a big highway in Argentina. Cattaloni suggests that a freight train running through Jujuy en route to Santa Cruz, the center of anti- Morales plotting in Bolivia, was transporting military equipment to opposition groups.

There’s media speculation as to how Governor Morales may have facilitated the transfer of U.S. money to Luis Camacho, leader of the coup and head of the Santa Cruz Civic Committee. He may have done so in Santa Cruz, where he visited on September 4, or in Jujuy Province where Camacho may have showed up later that day or the next.

5. According to analyst Jeb Sprague:

“At least six of the key coup plotters are alumni of the infamous School of the Americas, while [General] Kaliman and another figure served in the past as Bolivia’s military and police attachés in Washington.”

For decades, Latin American military personnel have received training and indoctrination at that U.S. Army school now called the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation.

Sprague notes also that the top commanders of police that mutinied had received training at the Washington-based Latin American police exchange program known by its initials in Spanish as APALA.

6. The OAS played a crucial role in the coup. Votes were being tallied on October 20 when the OAS, having audited preliminary results, announced that they showed irregularities. The U.S. government echoed the findings and street protests intensified. On October 24 the Supreme Electoral Tribunal declared first-round victories for Morales and García Linare. Protests mounted. The government, under stress, requested another OAS audit.

The OAS made its conclusions public on November 10, earlier than expected:

The OAS couldn’t “validate the results of this election [and called for] “another electoral process [and] new electoral authorities.”

This was the tipping point. Morales convoked another election but shortly thereafter General Kaliman forced him to resign.

The OAS findings were false. Walter Mebane and colleagues at the University of Michigan, having examined voting statistics, indicated that fraudulent votes in the election were not decisive for the result. The Washington-based Center for Economic and Policy Research performed its own detailed study and reached the same conclusion.

The OAS served as U.S. handmaiden. Headquartered in Washington, the organization took shape under U.S. auspices in 1948 with the assigned task of protecting Latin America and the Caribbean from Communism. More recently the OAS, under Secretary General Luis Almagro’s guidance, has spearheaded U.S. efforts to expel President Nicolas Maduro’s progressive Venezuelan government.

Paradoxically, Almagro in May 2019 gave Morales the go-ahead for a fourth presidential term. That was despite a referendum having been defeated that would have allowed the extra term. Almago’s intention may have been to lull Morales into cooperating with OAS overview of the election results.

7. Other signs of U.S. coup preparations are these:

  • Prior to the October 20 elections President Morales charged that U.S. Embassy officials bribed rural residents to reject him at the polls. They traveled, for example, to the Yungas region on October 16 with pay-offs to disaffected coca farmers.
  • According to Bolpress.com, the National Military Coordinator (Coordinadora Nacional Militar), an organization of reserve military officers, received and distributed money sent from the United States to create social crisis prior to October 20. The United States also used embassies in Bolivia and the evangelical church as facades to hide its activities. Mariane Scott and Rolf A. Olson, U.S. Embassy officials in La Paz, met with counterparts in the embassies of Brazil, Paraguay, and Argentina to coordinate destabilization efforts and to deliver U.S. financing to opposition forces inside Bolivia.
  • Weapons shipments from the United States arrived at the Chilean port of Iquique on their way to the National Military Coordinator group inside Bolivia.
  • The State Department allocated $100,000 to enable a company called “CLS Strategies” to mount a disinformation campaign through social media.
  • The CIA station in La Paz assumed control of Bolivia’s Whatsapp network in order to leak false information. More than 68,000 fake anti-Morales tweets were released.
  • In mid-October “political consultant” George Eli Birnbaun arrived in Santa Cruz from Washington with a team of military and civilian personnel. Their job was to support the U.S. – preferred presidential candidacy of Oscar Ortiz and to destabilize the country politically after the elections. They provided support for Santa Cruz Civic Committee’s youth organization – specialists in violence – and supervised the U.S. – financed “Standing Rivers” NGO, engaged in spreading disinformation.
  • Sixteen audio recordings of the plotters’ pre-election conversations were leaked and showed up on the internet. Several of the voices mentioned contacts with the U.S. Embassy and with U.S. Senators Ted Cruz, Robert Menendez, and Marco Rubio. Sprague reports that four of the ex-military plotters on the calls had attended the School of the Americas.

This presentation focuses entirely on the evidence. In a criminal investigation, evidence is central to determining guilt or innocence. Considerations of motive and context are of lesser importance, and we don’t deal with them here. But when and where they are attended to, they would logically fall into categories that include the following:

1. A socialist experiment was showing signs of success and capitalists of the world were facing the threat of a good example.

2. A people once held hostage by colonial powers was able to claim sovereign independence and in that regard had endeavored to retain much of the wealth provided through natural resources, lithium in particular.

3. Throughout its existence the Morales government, headed by an indigenous president, was up against anti-indigenous prejudice, racist in origin, and social-class divisions.

4. All the while, that government was the target of hostility, plotting, and episodic violence at the hands of the entitled classes.

So the evidence is clear. It points to a controlling U.S. hand in this coup d’état. The U.S. government bears heavy responsibility. There were Bolivian instigators, of course, but the U.S. plotters fall within the range of our own political processes. That’s why our accusing finger points at them.

In this instance, the U.S. government, as is its custom, disregarded international law, morality, respect for human life, and common decency. To stifle popular resistance the U.S. government evidently will stop at nothing, other than force in the hands of the people. What kind of force remains to be seen.

*

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W.T. Whitney Jr. is a political journalist with a focus on Latin America and health care issues. He is a Cuba solidarity activist who formerly worked as a pediatrician.

Featured image is from Peoples Dispatch

Socialism must be anti-racist

Source:  Granma

November 22 2019

Work by Cuban artist Raúl Martínez. Photo: Granma

Sitting on a book fair shelf, the writing on a t-shirt caught my attention: Races do not exist; racism yes. In 1946, Fernando Ortiz wrote The Deception of Race, a key essay in the evolution of anthropological thought that led him to describe the Cuban ethnos in terms of full integration. He scientifically and conceptually dismantled the application of racial standards to classify human beings, and attempt to justify the superiority of one over another on the basis of skin color.

Half a century later, when the vanguard of the scientific community deciphered the human genome, the precocious assertion made by Ortiz was once again confirmed: there is only one race, the human race. External physical traits are determined by only 1% of our genes, thus it is absolutely unscientific and fallacious to attribute intellectual abilities or aptitudes to women and men of a certain pigmentation.

By that time, genetic studies of the Cuban population had advanced in the investigation of factors that affect human health. A rigorous investigation, led by Dr. Beatriz Marcheco, yielded, beyond the proposed initial objectives, a revealing result: “All Cubans,” emphasized the doctor after reporting the irrefutable data, “without a doubt” are mixed race, regardless of the color of the skin we have.”

Racism is a cultural construction that, in the Cuban case, is based on the heritage of a colonial past and the exploitation of African slave labor, forcefully brought to the island. The European white, who occupied the apex of the social pyramid, in the plantation economy, not only exploited and oppressed slaves, but also promoted the myth of racial inferiority of Blacks and their descendants. A myth that was accepted by most light-skinned Creoles and marked social practices during the colonial era, and later in the years of the neocolonial republic, a phenomenon linked to class divisions.

In a 1950 lecture, Ortiz also said, “In Cuba the most serious racism is undoubtedly against Blacks. Racisms are more aggravated against Blacks, in places where they are, or were, socially suppressed and some want to perpetuate this dependent condition. The blackest thing about being black lies not in the darkness of one’s skin, but in one’s social condition. The definition of black as a human type, as it is generally known and considered as the target of prejudice, departs from anthropology to enter politics. This must be done more for its social impact than its congenital nature. Blacks owe their blackness less to their dark ancestors, and more to their white contemporaries. Black is not so much about being born black but rather about being socially deprived of light. Being black is not only being black, but eclipsed and denigrated, as well.”

The revolutionary transformations that began after the January 1959 victory addressed this situation and largely reversed it. Many of the measures taken in those years dealt a devastating blow to the structural supports of racism.

On several occasions, Comandante en Jefe Fidel Castro publicly aired the issue. On March 29, 1959, when speaking during an event in Güines, he said: “We are a people of all colors and of no color; a people constituted of different racial components; how are we going to commit the stupidity and absurdity of harboring the discrimination virus? Here, in this crowd, I see whites, and I see blacks, because this is our people. The people are white, black, yellow, and this must be Cuba. This is what should prevail among us.”

However, the destruction of the foundation that gave rise to institutionalized and structural racism in the pre-revolutionary era was not accompanied by a transformation of subjectivity. It is not enough to proclaim equal rights and equal opportunity, to condemn acts of discrimination, if work is not done to change the mentality.

There are two discriminations

The historical leader of our Revolution, in the essential book One Hundred Hours with Fidel (2006), stated much later to Ignacio Ramonet: “We were naive enough to believe that establishing total, absolute equality before the law would put an end to discrimination. Because there are two discriminations, one that is subjective and one that is objective… The Revolution – despite the rights and guarantees achieved for all citizens of any ethnicity or origin – has not achieved the same success in the fight to eradicate differences in the social and economic status of the country’s black population. Blacks do not live in the best houses, they are still performing difficult and sometimes lower paying jobs, and fewer are receiving family remittances in foreign currency than their white compatriots. But I am satisfied with what we are doing to discover the causes, which, if we do not resolutely fight them, could tend to prolong marginalization in successive generations.”

The other great battle is to utilize educational and cultural methods that contribute, sooner rather than later, to this new subjectivity. At the same time, we cannot live with attitudes that, consciously or unconsciously, reveal the persistence of prejudices, evident in various areas of daily life, from work environments to television programs.

It is not possible to allow, for example, that in the essential non-state service sector, the hiring of young white women obviously predominates. In this case, sexism and racism join hands.

Nor is it possible to ignore, in a dialogue broadcast on television, that a black dancer is referred to as “blue” or that the presence of dancers of various skins colors in the country’s principal companies is described as “mulattocracy,” because when such things are taken lightly – irresponsibly, without thinking -sensibilities are injured.

The road is long, we know this, but it must be traveled step by step, without pause. On more than one occasion, over the years, Army General Raúl Castro has addressed the need to stimulate and promote the role of women and blacks and mixed race Cubans in the political, social and economic life of the country, and in the improvement of our social model. In the constitutive session of the National Assembly of People’s Power Ninth Legislature, April 18, 2018, after noting progress, he insisted that work must continue, and made a call to definitively resolve inherited problems related to the issue: “Things must be thought out,” he stated, “not just said and left to God’s goodwill. They are implemented or they are not implemented, insisting, looking for new methods, avoiding mistakes so we are not criticized in such a noble effort, and going back to think again and again, about another solution when we fail to solve the problem.”

Let us think and act accordingly. Let us recall a central concept expressed by that remarkable revolutionary intellectual who was Fernando Martínez Heredia: “The struggle for the deepening of socialism in Cuba must be anti-racist.”

Why do Cuban women support the Revolution so firmly?

Source:  Granma
March 8 2019

by  Fidel Castro Ruz

why cuban women support the revolution

Photo: Granma Archives Endrys Correa

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Long live the female revolution within the socialist revolution!

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

Hugo Chavez’s Memory Lives on in the Hearts of Latin Americans

Source:  TeleSUR
March 5 2019

hugo chavez lives onHugo Chavez’s presidency in Venezuela extended from 1999 to 2013, but his
presence still remains in the streets and the heart of the country. | Photo: EFE

Hugo Chavez’s presidency in Venezuela extended from 1999 to 2013,
but his presence still remains in the streets and the heart of the country. | Photo: EFE

Published 5 March 2019 (13 hours 5 minutes ago)

Chavez’s spirit was contagious and empowered the region with a passion for Latin America and its colorful history.

Six years since his passing and the memory of Hugo Chavez still remains not only in the hearts of Venezuelans but of Latin Americans around the globe.

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His leadership and legacy revolutionized the state of Venezuela, like no other administration in the nation’s history, cutting the chord from imperialist countries in the north, taking the reins and changing South America’s future.

After centuries of passivity, under Chavez’s administration, Venezuela bloomed into one of the strongest, most independent nations on the continent.

Over the 14 years of his presidency, Chavez made it his mission to bring equality to lower classes from mediating race discrimination to increasing employment opportunities and introducing social programs.

By exploring the expenditure of Venezuela’s oil industry, the former president was able to allocate funds for free housing, literacy, and health care initiatives. Pensions for the elderly surged, jumping from 400,000 to over two million; some 1.5 million Venezuelans benefited from the Mission Robinson I and learned to read and write.

Under Chavez’s policies, poverty rates were cut in half and the level of extreme poverty decreased by two-thirds; child malnutrition decreased and the amount of safe, clean drinking water grew.

In an article published by the Council on Hemispheric Affairs, Roger D. Harris, Task Force on the Americas, said, “Venezuela went from being among one of the most economically unequal nations in Latin America to being among the most equal through the exercise of state power for the populace.”

Chavez’s spirit was contagious and empowered the region with a passion for Latin America and its colorful history.

His experience was pivotal in the creation of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA) which united Venezuelan and Cuba in 2003 in a mutually respectful and reciprocal fair trade arrangement. What started as a two-member agreement, soon grew into an 11-member nation concord.

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A second initiative, PetroCaribe, made waves in 2005 when 17 countries from Latin America and the Caribbean joined together to secure a steady energy supply, without overdue interference from Canada or the United States.

Similarly, The Union of South American Nations (Unasur) and Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (Celac) were created again as a means to break from centuries of tradition and submission orchestrated by the Northern Hemisphere.

The progress realized in Venezuela over the last decade and a half hardly make it surprising that the United States is desperate to instate a Washington-approved head of state.

Over the last few months, the U.S. has increased its efforts to dislodge Chavez’s democratically elected successor, Nicolas Maduro. In its most recent attempt, the U.S. sent “humanitarian aid” to Colombia in a show of solidarity with the Venezuelan opposition and the “suffering boys and girls.” However, violence- perpetrated by opposition forces- broke out along the border and resulted in the injury of numerous state police officials.

This “philanthropic” ploy was denounced by Venezuelan government officials before an international delegation at the United Nations last week, when Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza revealed that the trucks of “food” were carrying equipment for barricades and anti-government movements lodged by the opposition.

Despite these hardships, Maduro’s government continues Chavez’s mission, founding new social programs to boost the economy and employment opportunities, while still ensuring the heart and spirit of “Chavismo” is reflected in modern-day Venezuela.