Puerto Rican Patriot, Oscar López Rivera, receives Solidarity Order in Cuba

Source:  Granma
November 14 2017

oscar lopez rivera received medalof homour.jpg

In a ceremony held at the José Martí Memorial, in Havana’s Plaza de la Revolución, Mercedes López Acea, a member of the Communist Party of Cuba (PCC) Political Bureau and vice president of the Council of State, presented the Puerto Rican patriot with the Solidarity Order.

Author: Redacción Digital | internet@granma.cu

In recognition of his bravery and resistance for over 36 years while unjustly imprisoned in the U.S., Puerto Rican patriot Oscar López Rivera received, November 14, in the Cuban capital, the Solidarity Order awarded by the Council of State of the Republic of Cuba.

oscar lopez rivera 6c.jpgIn a ceremony held at the José Martí Memorial, in Havana’s Plaza de la Revolución, Mercedes López Acea, a member of the Communist Party of Cuba (PCC) Political Bureau and vice president of the Council of State, presented López Rivera with the medal.
The independence advocate, visiting the island for the first time, thanked Comandante en Jefe Fidel Castro, President Raúl Castro, and the Cuban people for their support and solidarity.
He went on to note that Cuba will continue to be an example for the world at a time when governments are promoting war and exploiting the most vulnerable.
Decorated Hero of the Republic of Cuba and President of the Cuban Institute of

Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP) Fernando González Llort highlighted the Puerto Rican activist’s many qualities, describing him as a “brave, modest, educated man with a great artistic sensibility,” and “a concerned father, caring grandfather, and committed lover of his island and people.”
oscar lopez rivera 4There are convincing reasons to award him (López Rivera) the Solidarity Order, in fitting recognition of his struggle and his commitment maintained for almost 36 years in prison – 12 of which he spent in solitary confinement – to a single cause: struggling for his country’s independence, stated González Llort.

Arrested May 29, 1981

The ICAP President went on to recall that López Rivera, with whom he spent years in prison, was arrested May 29, 1981 and accused of seditious conspiracy, a strictly political charge used against Puerto Rican independence advocates.
In the presence of José Ramón Balaguer, a member of the PCC Central Committee Secretariat, and head of its International Relations Department, as well as Gerardo Hernández Nordelo, decorated Hero of the Republic of Cuba, among others, González Llort reaffirmed the island’s commitment to continue strengthening the fraternal ties which unite the two islands.

Prior to the ceremony, López Rivera paid tribute to Cuban National Hero José Martí, laying a floral wreath at the foot of the monument erected in his honor, in Havana’s historic Plaza de la Revolución.

oscar lopez rivera lays floral wreath.jpgDuring his stay López Rivera will also visit various central and eastern provinces, where he will tour cultural and historic sites such as the Comandante en Jefe’s childhood home in Birán, Holguín and the Santa Ifigenia Cemetery in Santiago de Cuba, where Fidel’s ashes are interred. (ACN)

Related:  Oscar Lopez Rivera Puerto Rico has been colonized by the US for 119 years

Oscar Lopez: Puerto Rico – a product of 119 years of US colonialism

Source:  Granma
November 13, 2017

by: Arlin Alberty Loforte | informacion@granma.cu

Oscar López Rivera arrives in Cuba: “I feel at home”

The Puerto Rican independence fighter was greeted at José Martí International Airport by Fernando González, president of the Cuban Institute of Friendship with Peoples.

oscar lopez y fernandoPhoto: Ismael Batista

Puerto Rican independence fighter, Oscar López Rivera, was greeted at José Martí International Airport by Fernando González, president of the Cuban Institute of Friendship with Peoples (ICAP).

Upon his arrival in Havana during the dawn hours today, November 13, the Puerto Rican patriot expressed his gratitude and affection for the Cuban people and government.

“I feel at home, this is a dream come true; for many, many years, I have wanted to come to Cuba and today for the first time I have arrived,” he said after receiving a warm embrace from decorated Hero of the Republic Fernando González, with whom he shared a cell for several years, when they were both unjustly incarcerated in the United States.

Imprisoned for almost 36 years

López, who was imprisoned for almost 36 years, convicted of “seditious conspiracy,” before being released May 17 this year, said he wished Cubans much strength, adding that the Puerto Rican people will always stand with Cuba.

“I am very encouraged to be able to enjoy some time with the Cuban people. I’m alive and kicking; at my age I believe I can work 14 or 15 hours a day. I feel good.”

Puerto Rico after 119 years of colonialism

Commenting on the extremely difficult situation in Puerto Rico, he said, “No Puerto Rican can say we govern in Puerto Rico, it is Washington and Wall Street who give orders.”

He added that the U.S. government and Donald Trump have shown they have no respect, or consideration for the suffering people.

“After Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico was left devastated and is now showing the world the poverty that existed and was hidden; the world is being shown what colonialism is, because it is perhaps the best example of what becomes of a country that has been colonized for 119 years by the U.S. government, and how the U.S. government has behaved toward Puerto Rico for these 119 years. If there is a huge debt, it is the one the U.S. owes Puerto Rico,” he emphasized.

López Rivera commented that there are more Puerto Ricans living abroad than on the island, and that many more have left since Maria struck, September 20.

US does not allow aid for Puerto Rico from Cuba

He noted that the U.S. did not allow aid from countries like Venezuela, Panama, Cuba, or México to enter Puerto Rico.

During this first visit, López Rivera will be awarded the Solidarity Order by the Council of State; visit the Che Guevara Memorial in Santa Clara; as well as Santiago de Cuba, where the remains of national hero José Martí and Comandante en Jefe Fidel Castro Ruz rest.

Also present to greet the Puerto Rican patriot were Silvia Matute, from the Party Central Committee’s International Relations Department; Yolanda Ferrer, president of the National Assembly of People’s Power International Relations Committee; and Edwin González, from the Puerto Rican mission in Cuba.

Cuba takes centre-stage at the 19th World Festival (Photos)

Source:  TeleSUR
October 22 2017

Russia Hosts the World Festival of Youth and Students

IN PICTURES: More than 20,000 young people from 150 countries are attending the event in Sochi.

The festival has as its theme, “For peace, solidarity and social justice, we struggle against imperialism. Honoring our past, we build the future!”

During the week-long event, discussions are focusing on global political issues, ranging from the fight against xenophobia in the United States to student movements, as well as health and education.

The World Federation of Democratic Youth founded the gathering to combat fascism and imperialism after World War II.

cuba takes centre stage in russia.jpgThis year’s WFYS is dedicated to Cuba’s revolutionary leader Fidel Castro, for his “legacy, and contributions to … such festivals and the defense of their founding principles,” said Radio Havana.Photo:@CubanitoenCuba

cuba takes centre stage in russia 2.jpgCuban delegate Rafael Bogonin said, “At a time when Latin American countries are facing a resurgence of hegemonic capitalism, Cuba stands out as a beacon of hope, an example for revolutionary youth”Photo:@CubanitoenCuba

cuba takes centre stage in russia 3.jpgYouth enjoy the many cultural events. Sochi Jazz and the People’s Artist of Russia will also perform.Photo:@CubanitoenCuba

cuba takes centre stage in russia 4.jpgSingers from Cuba entertain the youth participants as part of the evening events at the WFSY.

cuba takes centre stage in russia 5.jpgPeople from 150 countries are taking part in the event.Photo:Reuters

cuba takes centre stage in russia 6.jpgRussia’s President Vladimir Putin delivers a speech during the festival in Sochi.Photo:Reuters

Huge solidarity with Cuba in World Festival of Youth and Students

Source:  Cuban News Agency
October 16 2017

cuba at 19th world festival.jpgA day filled with signs of infinite love, admiration and respect for Cuba was experienced at the XIX World Festival of Youth and Students underway here, a day in which many ratified their condemnation of the unjust US blockade against Cuba.

In a workshop on solidarity with Cuba and Venezuela, and by panelists from both countries, the auditorium was full, with the presence of Aleida Guevara, the daughter of Ernesto Che Guevara, who expressed her pride in being invited to the international forum and narrated her experiences, as pediatrician, on how the blockade affects Cuban children.

Aleidita, as Che called her affectionately, said that the blockade cannot be quantified in material damages, since these are immense and it harms the Cuban people to a great extent; even those who do not yet have a political thought or criterion, such as children, she said.

Out of the 10 new drugs that hit the markets every year, eight come from US companies and sometimes Cuba must have go through several intermediaries to acquire them; not to mention that sanctions range from millions of dollars in fines to a ban on selling them to the Cuban nation.

Referring to everything Cuba does for humankind, Guevara affirmed that if she feels useful is because she was raised as a woman of the Revolution, to which the public responded with an effusive applause, a sign of that affection and respect towards her father, who is also dedicated to the world.

Rafael Bogoni, Executive Secretary of the Latin American and Caribbean Continental Organization of Students, stressed that Cuba’s resistance to the blockade for more than half a century is an example for the world and, at the same time, a political beacon of struggle.

He reiterated that the small Caribbean nation represents a model to be followed by all and therefore deserves many signs of solidarity; while adding that the fact that the world event is dedicated to Fidel and Che shows what Cuba is for those who struggle for sovereignty.

250 Cubans among  20,000 anti-imperialist youth gathered in Sochi, Russia

Sources:  Granma, WFDY, Russia2017.com

October 13, 2017

19th wfdy program.jpgThe youth of today has the challenge of making the world of tomorrow a better place,said Saber Chowdhury, President of the Inter-Parliamentary Union in his address to the participants of the 19th World Festival of Youth and Students. In his welcome letter Chowdhury stated:

“I am happy to learn that over 20 000 young people from 150 countries of the world are meeting here, in Sochi to tackle the most complicated issues of our time. You are our hope for a better future. You have the talent, the energy and the creativity to build the future. In other words, you are the power that will be able to make tomorrow better than today”.

Cuban delegates

Leaving Cuba for Sochi were 250 delegates who know that  millions of Cubans will be with them, along with Martí, Mella, Villena, José Antonio, Che, Fidel…

The persistent rain of the last few days did not dampened the spirits of those preparing for the trip with activities at the Medical Sciences Preparatory School in Casablanca, including book presentations, discussion, and workshops.

Maidolis Ojeda, from the province of Matanzas, noted that, “it is a source of pride to represent all our country’s youth. We will go to Russia to defend our Revolution and denounce imperialism.”

Alegna Peralta González.jpg

Alegna Peralta González, a twelve grade student from Sancti Spiritus, thinks that for her, being a delegate to the World Festival of Youth and Students is both expectations and responsibilities

Expectations are high among the young Cuban men and women attending the 19th Festival to defend Cuba’s reality and to share their thoughts and experiences with the youth of the world.

They are scheduled to present in 20 different workshops, cultural events, expositions, and panel discussions devoted to Fidel and Che. Planned meetings with delegations from Russia, Vietnam, and Venezuela will be of special interest.

The Cuban people are aware that their 250 representative are taken from the best of the country’s youth from all sectors of the society and will follow closely the news coming from the historic XIX World Festival of Youth and Students in Sochi, Russia.

Related:  Young Cubans Heads to Sochi: Alegna Peralta’s Passions

At the moment the city is expecting over 50 000 visitors, including the participants, volunteers, organizers, technical personnel, guests and speakers of the WFYS 2017. The 19th World Festival of Youth and Students has a chance of becoming the largest event in the festival history both in terms of number of delegations and number of participants. To this day, the largest festival took place in Moscow in 1957 with 34 000 attending.

Due to this, the event program has been expended and stretched outside the Olympic Park. Additional headquarters are put in place as well as a corporate assistance centre to service all clientele groups of WFYS 2017.

The Festival takes place 14–22 October in the Olympic Park of Sochi.

Cuban doctors around the world pay tribute to Che

Cuban healthcare professionals offering services abroad, paid tribute to Ernesto Che Guevara, the doctor and internationalist, on the 50th anniversary of his death

Source:  Granma
October 11 2017

by: Nuria Barbosa León | internet@granma.cu

Dr. Regla Angulo Pardo.jpg

Dr. Regla Angulo Pardo, director of the Central Unit for Medical Cooperation and a member of the Communist Party of Cuba Central Committee determined to continue Che’s legacy. Photo: Nuria Barbosa

Cuban healthcare professionals offering services abroad, paid tribute to Ernesto Che Guevara, the doctor and internationalist, on the 50th anniversary of his death.

Photographic expositions, theoretical events, cultural galas, health fairs to promote and help raise awareness regarding illness prevention, were just some of the activities held in communities where Cuban doctors are working to fulfill the humanist legacy of the Heroic Guerilla’s example.

Bolivia

In this regard, Dr. Regla Angulo Pardo, director of the Central Unit for Medical Cooperation (UCCM) mentioned the city of Vallegrande in Bolivia, where some 100 of the over 600 Cuban doctors which make up the brigade, joined 18 collaborators assigned to the town, to offer medical care to the population in tents set up in the areas adjacent to the Señor de Malta Hospital.

Similar activities were undertaken in La Paz, Samaipata, and Gutiérrez, areas connected to the history of Che’s struggle in the country. Later they visited the La Higuera school, were the guerilla leader was shot on October 9, 1967, on the orders of the United States Central Intelligence Agency.

Angulo Pardo, also a member of the Communist Party of Cuba Central Committee, noted, “In these tents we provided the population with healthcare services across all specialties, in large health fairs aimed at diagnosing chronic non-transmissible diseases, carrying out health promotion and illness prevention efforts, as well as identifying cases that have not been treated properly.”

Henry Reeve Brigades

She went on to highlight the work of three brigades affiliated with the Henry Reeve Contingent, founded by Comandante en Jefe Fidel Castro Ruz on September 19, 2005, and specializing in disaster situations and serious epidemics. The healthcare professional noted that the brigades are currently offering services in Sierra Leone after intense rains caused mudslides there, as well as in Dominica following the destruction left by Hurricanes Irma and Maria, while a group recently departed for Mexico to aid earthquake victims.

Henry Reeve was a young man from the United States, who at 19 years of age left Brooklyn to join Cuba’s independence struggles against Spain in the 19th century, during which he became a brigade general in the Liberator Army.
Inspired by his example and after learning of the tragedy caused by Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, Cuba offered to send 1,586 doctors, 38 tons of medicine and medical equipment to the United States, to treat victims.
Then President George W. Bush rejected Cuba’s offer, however the experience served to establish 27 brigades which have gone on to respond to disaster situations in 19 countries.

cuban doctors hail che.jpgPhotographic expositions, theoretical events, cultural galas, health fairs to
promote and help raise awareness regarding illness prevention, were just some of the activities held in honor of the 50th anniversary of Che’s death. Photo: Nuria Barbosa

The director also noted that another rapid response situation occurred as recently as 2014, when three brigades from the Henry Reeve contingent were sent to combat the lethal Ebola epidemic in Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea Conakry.

She explained that the Center has lists of qualified professionals willing to participate on such missions, meaning the Henry Reeve groups can be mobilized quickly.
“We have drawn up lists of professions who we can call at certain times and depending on each country’s language (English, French, Portuguese, or others). They feature doctors, specialists, health technology graduates, nurses, and even service personnel such as cooks, chauffeurs, people able to repair healthcare equipment and those responsible for installing and maintaining power generators in field hospitals anywhere they are needed in the world.”

This is possible because the majority of healthcare workers in Cuba have volunteered to go anywhere in the world to help those in need living in remote or hard-to-reach areas, and where sometimes inhabitants have never been treated by a doctor.

Altruism and high level of professionalism

Their altruism and high level of professionalism has earned these collaborators the respect and admiration of patients, family members, and local authorities.

The UCCM is responsible for organizing personnel for all brigades and providing each and every collaborator with information regarding the task and characteristics of where they will be working. Here, we have trained more than 372,000 healthcare workers, who have served as internationalists in 172 countries, Dr. Angulo said.

“Here in this Center we bring together collaborators set to travel to different countries as well as those returning to complete their mission after spending their vacation in Cuba. Our professionals work for two years, but some contracts are extended to three.
“The Unit prepares the collaborators assigned to replace these professionals to ensure that the work continues and all services are covered.
“We attend to the almost 50,000 Cubans distributed across 64 countries with which we have medical cooperation agreements,” stated Dr. Angulo.

In light of such altruistic and selfless work, characterized by solidarity and internationalism, the director highlighted the legacy a of Ernesto Che Guevara today. “Che, who taught us the values of humanity, of being a compañero, a friend… who taught us about dignified work and revolutionary activity. This is what our brigades represent abroad.”

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