A moral bastion named Cuba

Source:  Granma
March 9 2018

Photo: Alainet

IN any emotional or intellectual assessment (together or separately) that we make of Latin America and the Caribbean, we will find Cuba as an inevitable reference and representing an unpayable debt. Many political, intellectual or artistic figures, in their life and work, have an original reference point in Cuba. Those of us who grew up with the Revolution, who knew of it through victories and setbacks, have the special benefit of its ethics, of the resistance expressed in all its battles. Cuba taught us the importance of being and acting as a revolutionary, no matter what. No matter, even, the differences or the similarities. Cuba was and Cuba is there, always steadfast.

The “Latin American left” is unimaginable without the influence, unequal and combined, that Cuba implies on attempting to understand the continental present and the tasks of the immediate future. The “Great Homeland” is inconceivable without the revolutionary brilliance of Cuba at the decisive hours for continental unity and in the crucial hours of “individual” struggles.

It is not only the figure of Fidel (who alone constitutes a monumental legacy of theory and practice), it is not only the role of Raúl, as strategist and supporter of a thousand tasks; it is not only Camilo and Che with their straightforward didactic action… it is also the “Casa de las Américas,” the Agrarian and the Urban Revolutions. It is the Revolution of Health and Education, the Revolution of Science, the Revolution of Philosophy, the Revolution of Poetry and Song. The resistance and the intelligence to live life with dignity. And none of this without debates, doubts or reconsiderations.

Thus, we learned that love for Cuba (among other “requirements”) includes hatred of the blockade; that we cannot speak of Cuba without a precise evaluation of what it has lost through the “embargo” (what has been snatched away from it in the objective and subjective senses). One can’t, one shouldn’t, speak of Cuba without a correct estimate of the moral value that, house-to-house, facing all adversities and defending in an organized manner the revolutionary praxis against any economic, political, or media offensive represents; which have not ceased, not even for a second, since the triumph of the Revolution with its “bearded men.”

In addition, under harassment of all kinds, Cuba developed its democratic project, determined to set its own parameters and to stake its political life by differentiating itself from all hegemonic formats and the certain stubborn incapacity of some to understand other forms of democratic life, in concrete historic conditions, without the predominant formulas. The shrapnel of some “friendly fire” has also rained over this. In any case, it is an open debate… as it should be.Principio del formulario

When talking about the Cuban economy, all sorts of valuations, speculations and errors converge. Together or separately. Some with certain doctoral superiority, feel authorized to deploy their remote-controlled recipes to become the self-proclaimed Messiahs of perfect solutions. On the other side of the irrationality, there abound those who dream of a “wide open” Cuba, surrendering its sovereignty and socialist principles. There is no shortage of “middle ground,” appeasing or conciliatory terms, that suppose the possibility of a little capitalism and a little socialism to offer a moderate cocktail spiked with illusions and trickery.

But it is the power and prerogative of the Cuban people to explore and try all sorts of solutions that, in the concrete conditions and without becoming accustomed to them, guarantee the indispensable requirements for a good and dignified life, without renouncing principles and without abandoning the struggle for socialism. “With the Revolution, everything. Against the Revolution, nothing.” And with the empire just a few kilometers away.

A beloved Revolution

So one can not, and should not, remain indifferent, or just expectant, before the Cuban electoral process, with all that it implies and all that it involves. It is, although some don’t know it and others don’t want it to be, also a process of continental and historic transcendence, which demands clear attention and solidarity of the peoples from every corner of the globe, and even the exemplary hearts of the revolutionary people of Cuba.

A grassroots political agreement is required to explain, step by step, what is happening (and will happen) in Cuba, and organized communicational action is essential to let Cubans know how we feel and experience their crucial decisions, with the magnitude and the validity of the Cuban Revolution. A beloved Revolution, which is also ours.

The only valid expression for Cuba is the internationalist and energetic participation of the workers, of its people. Their unabated, direct intervention in the problems that arise, and the strengthening of the forces and instruments to organize themselves, always based on advanced training methods. Giving the assemblies, workers’ and district councils renewed vigor, without privileges or bureaucracy.

The deepening of democracy

The deepening of a living, direct democracy, exercised as an expression that sculpts history and the Party, so as not to be reduced to the mere choice of people and circumstances. That the people govern themselves, massively and transparently, in periodic elections and with a dynamic program capable of being permanently perfected, based on their methods. Democracy against the blockade and the errors, the dialectical democracy of a cultural and educational Revolution, converted into suffrage and vice versa; a participatory and protagonic democracy of permanent scrutiny at all levels. Serious and organized consultation in all areas of the political economy and the systematic practice of collective will.

Cuba is a permanent insurrection of dignity transformed into a serene, advisory didactic of ideas and invigorating action. It is a bridge extended between the Revolution of a people who have decided to be free, and the struggles that view themselves in its mirror image to advance their rebellions.

Cuba is bigger than the blockade, than all blockades, because it built itself on its own historic foundations in order to perpetuate its stubborn renovation of the future. Because, despite what has been said, despite it all, despite the attacks and the abuses, there is Cuba with its Socialist flag dancing and saluting in the wind, in the face of history and hand in hand with the peoples who, with the poor of the Earth, have decided to try their luck. Iron will, sister Cuba, moral bastion ready for the fight. •

Raul Castro: Our peoples have no future without unity, without integration

Source:  Granma
March 72018

Speech by Army General Raúl Castro Ruz, President of the Councils of State and Ministers of the Republic of Cuba, at the 15th ALBA-TCP Summit, held in Caracas

(Council of State transcript / GI translation)

raul at alba summit 2018c.jpgCompañero Nicolás Maduro Moros, President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela;

Esteemed Heads of State and Government;

Esteemed Heads of delegations and guests:

This March 5, on which we commemorate the fifth anniversary of the passing of President Hugo Chávez Frías, founder together with Fidel of ALBA, my first words are dedicated to reaffirming our tribute to his work and his example and the unwavering loyalty to his legacy.

Today, ALBA has as its strategic and urgent task the joint defense of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.

maduro at alba 2018.jpg

The military threat, hostility and economic aggression of U.S. imperialism against Venezuela; the neoliberal onslaught to reverse the social gains; the interference against the sovereignty of progressive governments; the attempts to dismantle the progress in the integration of Latin America and the Caribbean, destabilize the region and pose risks to regional peace and security.

The United States, since 1999 when Comandante Hugo Chávez became President, and even more so when compañero Nicolás Maduro did so, has resorted to methods of unconventional warfare, with the aim of defeating this country, the owner of immense riches coveted by imperialism. President Donald Trump has just renewed the executive order that declares Venezuela an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States.

The threats to peace and stability in Venezuela also represent a threat to regional peace and stability.

Some appear to have forgotten the lessons of the past, the cruel years of the military dictatorships, the impact of neoliberalism; that they attempt to reinstate the disastrous consequences that the policies of extortion, humiliation and isolation had for our region that, as then, have the United States as their chief articulator.

They openly announce the full validity and relevance of the Monroe Doctrine which proclaims colonial subordination to the governments and corporations of Washington and that, as Bolívar warned, plagued Our America with sorrow and misery in the name of liberty.

Once again, they underestimate our peoples.

We proclaim unwavering support for the Bolivarian Revolution and the civic-military union of its people, led by their President, compañero Nicolás Maduro Moros.

We condemn the unilateral coercive measures and external interference against the Bolivarian and Chavista process that threaten the peace and dialogue between Venezuelans, with destabilizing purposes, and create hardships for its population.

Cease the economic aggression against Venezuela so that its people can enjoy the rights conquered by their Revolution.

We reject the exclusion of President Nicolás Maduro from the 8th Summit of the Americas. This illegal decision is unacceptable and interventionist, whilst it takes the hemisphere back to stages that appeared to have been overcome.

Exclusions do not contribute at all to peace, dialogue or hemispheric understanding.

It is unacceptable that a group of countries, with no right or mandate, intend to speak for the region and serve as an instrument of aggression against a member of the Latin American and Caribbean family, using as a pretext an alleged rupture of the democratic order, precisely in a country that has undertaken more than twenty electoral processes and has now called presidential elections, as was previously demanded, even via violent methods.

Why don’t they denounce the covert coup d’états, the massacres, the forced disappearances suffered by the peoples of the region?

Nor do we recognize any moral authority of the discredited Organization of American States (OAS) to give lessons in democracy, governability or constitutionality.

They violate the postulates of the Proclamation of Latin America and the Caribbean as a Zone of Peace, signed by Heads of State and Government of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, during the 2nd CELAC Summit, in Havana, and evade strict compliance with the obligation not to interfere, directly or indirectly, in the internal affairs of any other state, and observe the principles of national sovereignty, equality of rights and the self-determination of the peoples.

The only solution to the problems of Venezuelans is in the hands of Venezuelans themselves.

Esteemed compañeros:

I speak on behalf of our Revolution and our people, as will any other Cuban compatriot from this position in the future, who will always know, as Fidel believed, that “Our peoples have no future without unity, without integration.”

Bolívar and Martí, Fidel and Chávez bequeathed us invaluable teachings, among them loyalty to principles. Their lessons show us the course to follow in this decisive hour of the Great Homeland, which calls for our unity to forge together our second and definitive independence. Thank you very much. (Applause).

Latin America Rejects OAS Call to Cancel Venezuela Elections

Source:  TeleSUR
February 23 2018

nicolas maduro feb 2018The date for Venezuela’s presidential elections was set after the opposition
refused to sign an agreement with the government. | Photo: Reuters

Venezuelan Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs for North America Samuel Moncada accused the OAS of promoting violence and destabilization.

VenezuelaNicaraguaBolivia, the Dominican Republic and El Salvador have rejected a resolution by the Organization of American States (OAS) requiring Venezuela to cancel its planned April 22 presidential elections.

RELATED:  Nicaragua Rejects ‘Political Intolerance’ Against Venezuela

Late Friday, Venezuelan Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs for North America Samuel Moncada accused the OAS of promoting violence and destabilization in the Latin American nation.

Speaking from OAS headquarters, Moncada – also a United Nations representative – said the organization was trying to install a government that would bow to the interests of the United States.

“We reject this new aggression by a group of OAS states that persist in seeking to protect Venezuela in flagrant violation of international law, disrespect for the sovereignty and self-determination of peoples,” Moncada told the Permanent Council of the OAS.

He also rejected the resolution proposed by Mexico and the United States for Venezuela to reconsider the presidential elections.

A formal statement issued earlier on Friday and presented by Nicaragua’s First Lady and Vice-President Rosario Murillo said: “The government of Nicaragua ratifies its invariable, principled position on respect for the sovereignty and independence of States and peoples.”

The statement went on to reiterate the Daniel Ortega administration’s “support for Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro and the Bolivarian people in the defense of its institutions, its legislation and its own, sovereign and independent decisions.”

Ortega had refused to attend the OAS meeting called late Thursday on the grounds that it concerned “interventionist declarations and resolutions” against the Venezuelan government and people.

Luis Alvarado, Nicaragua’s ambassador to the OAS, said the government would not endorse the council or its agenda, which he described as “illegitimate, illegal and violating international law.

The date for Venezuela’s presidential elections was set after the opposition refused to sign an agreement with the government following prolonged dialogue in the Dominican Republic aimed at restoring peaceful relations between the two parties.

The opposition Democratic Unity Table (MUD) has since confirmed it will not take part in the April 22 elections.

Conference on U.S. Foreign Military Bases

Source:  World Peace Council
January 23 2018

coalition against us foreign military basesThe Conference on U.S. Foreign Military Bases was held successfully on January 12-14, at Learning Commons Town Hall, University of Baltimore, USA. Attached are the resolutions of the conference.



(on or around February 23rd, 2018)

WHEREAS, February 23, 2018 is the 115th Anniversary of the seizure of Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, by the United States to create a foreign Military Base, a result of the U.S. provoked Spanish-American War, and further

WHEREAS, the United States used its military power to force the Cuban Constitutional Convention to accept the seizure in its Constitution, and further

WHEREAS, upon the success of the Cuban Revolution in 1959 Cuba demanded the repudiation of the Treaty, ceased cashing the annual U.S. Payment of $4,085 and called for the complete sovereignty of the Bay by the Cuban Government, and further

WHEREAS, the United States has refused to return Guantanamo Bay to the Cuban people, citing the forcibly imposed Clause in the Treaty that BOTH parties must agree to the cancellation of the Treaty, and further

WHEREAS, U.S. occupation of Guantanamo Bay provides United States military dominance in the Caribbean and South America and is a threat to the independence and sovereignty of the peoples in that vast area, and further

WHEREAS, under U.S. control, Guantanamo Bay has become a center of torture and abrogation of human rights, violations of elementary U.S. and international standards that are condemned by the civilized world,

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Coalition Against U.S. Foreign Bases unanimously calls upon the global peace movement to organize, on or around February 23, 2018, Actions calling for the United States to promptly withdraw all its forces and personnel from Guantanamo Bay and immediately declare ALL agreements ceding Cuban control of Guantanamo Bay to the U.S. to be null and void.

Cuba rejects interference and exclusion of Venezuela from Summit of the Americas

Photo: Archive

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cuba energetically rejects the announcement by a group of nations in the hemisphere, released February 13 in Lima, that constitutes unacceptable interference in the internal affairs of the Bolivarian Republic de Venezuela, and at the same time categorically rejects the decision to reconsider the participation of the Venezuelan government in the 8th Summit of the Americas, to be held this coming month of April, in Peru.

A few days ago, the U.S. Secretary of State, on a tour of several countries in the region, stated that continuing in effect is the Monroe Doctrine, the most notorious interventionist policy of U.S. imperialism in our region. He called for a military coup against the constitutional government of Venezuela and advocated strengthening sanctions on the country. The decision adopted is not unrelated to these declarations and actions.

Photo: Archive

In this context, Cuba’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs recalls the arbitrary and aggressive U.S. Executive Order, renewed in January of 2017, that describes Venezuela as “an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy” of the superpower, and President Donald Trump’s most recent warning about utilizing “a possible military option, if necessary.”

It is unprecedented and incredible that now being used as a pretext is an alleged “unconstitutional rupture of the democratic order,” precisely in a country which has held, within a few months time, municipal, regional, and Constituent Assembly elections, and has just called Presidential elections, precisely as has been demanded, including via external interference and unconstitutional, violent methods.

Cuba denounces this statement and the exclusion of Venezuela from the Summit of the Americas as contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter and the Proclamation of Latin America and the Caribbean as a Zone of Peace, signed by heads of state and government of countries which are members of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States.

Photo: Archive

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs reaffirms Cuba’s unwavering solidarity with the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and the military-civic union of its people, led by constitutional President Nicolás Maduro Moros.

Absolutely relevant are the words of Raúl Castro Ruz, President of the Councils of State and Ministers, on July 14, 2017, when he said, “Aggression and coup violence against Venezuela hurt all of Our America and only benefit the interests of those who attempt to divide us, in order to assert their dominance over our peoples, regardless of the incalculable consequences for the region, like those we are witnessing in different parts of the world. We warn those who today attempt to overthrow the Bolivarian Chavista revolution, using unconstitutional, violent, coup-plotting methods, that they are assuming a serious, responsibility before history.”

Saint Vincent PM Rejects US Interference in Venezuela

Source:  TeleSUR
February 10 2018

st vincent pm rejects us.jpgSaint Vincent Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves speaks to teleSUR during an
interview in Haiti Friday. | Photo: teleSUR

Ralph Gonsalves said that his government supports the sovereignty and independence of all nations against U.S. interference in internal affairs.

In an interview with teleSUR Friday Ralph Gonsalves, the Prime Minister of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, stressed the importance of sovereignty and independence of Latin American and Caribbean states against U.S. interference, highlighting his country’s role in stopping the attempt by the Organization of American States to interfere in Venezuela’s internal affairs last year.

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“Imperialism, historically in Latin America and in the non-english speaking Caribbean, has tended to want to have governments which are very compliant with their wishes and interests,” Prime Minister Gonsalves told teleSUR alongside Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza as they attended meetings in Haiti.

“There is a long history and goes back to the 19th century. This is a phenomena in the U.S. foreign policy that they see Latin America and the Caribbean as their backyard or front yard but certainly as part of their yard which they should control. We do not share that perspective,” he added.

He spoke of the U.S. actions over the decades ousting progressive governments and installing right-wing dictators in countries such as Guatemala and Chile, while trying to do the same in Venezuela under former President Hugo Chavez and now under his successor Nicolas Maduro.

“We played a very important leadership role in making the OAS see sense and not wanting it to intervene in the internal affairs of Venezuela,” Gonsalves said and highlighted how “last June at the OAS foreign ministers meeting we played an important leadership role in making sure there was not a majority for intervention.”

RELATED:  Dialogue Not Interference, Says Ralph Gonsalves on Venezuela

Venezuela and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines have “very strong relations” which were specially strengthened in early 2000s when President Chavez came to power and with the elections of Gonsalves’ Unity Labour Party.

“Because of the similarity of the many of the profound ideas of Latin American and Caribbean integration and strengthening our independence and sovereignty that we have gotten closer and we have been very good partners,” he stressed.

He concluded by saying that while his government has “excellent relations with the U.S.” such ties are based on “mutual respect” while also rejecting Washington’s attempts of “interference in the internal affairs of another country.”

“All of us are nation-states with our own populations and our own special history and circumstances and must be respected,” the prime minister warned.

Cuba cannot be defeated

Source:  Granma
February 14 2018

Author:  | internacionales@granma.cu

Once again the Organization of American States (OAS) has demonstrated that rather than working for a more united and prosperous region, it seeks to create divisions and tension between all its member-states.

Cuba will continue along its own path, and as much as submissive and servile lackeys, like the current Secretary General of the Organization of American States, Luis Almagro, would like to destroy us, they will never be able to do so.

Rogelio Sierra cuba.jpgThis according to Cuba’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Rogelio Sierra in response to recent interventionist remarks by Almagro regarding Cuba’s electoral process.
According to Rogelio Sierra, the OAS Secretary General “tried to misrepresent the electoral process underway (in Cuba) in an attempt to de-legitimize it, in a show of support for campaigns against the Cuban Revolution and their allies.”

“The Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS),” noted Sierra “has no moral or ethical credibility whatsoever to judge what the Cuban government and people are doing. He is making a big mistake by failing to acknowledge, by ignoring, the Cuban people’s decision to be sovereign and independent,” he stated, in reference to remarks made by Almagro in an event held recently in Miami.

Almagro’s heavily interventionist tone

The main theme of the Secretary General’s speech, with a heavily interventionist tone, was the Cuban electoral process, a subject on which he demonstrated a great lack of understanding.
During his speech Almagro noted that a non-democratic succession of power must not be permitted in Cuba – ignoring the fact that the island has a participative electoral system which ensures that the President of the Councils of State and Ministers is elected with support of the vast majority of the Cuban people. Direct elections are not they only democratic or most effective model, as the former Foreign Minister of Uruguay is well aware.

Almagro also made the most of the occasion to insult the Cuban government, which he described as a “regime” and “dictatorship,” while categorizing the Cuban Revolution as a “dangerous example;” in remarks which contradict those made when he visited the island alongside former President of Uruguay Pepe Mujica. So when was Almagro lying, now or then?

In this regard, the Secretary General of the OAS also mentioned another of his “favorite topics,” Venezuela and the government of Nicolás Maduro, which he described as a “clumsy attempt to replicate the Cuban experience.”
With the Eighth Summit of the Americas, to be held in Peru only months away, Almagro’s speech in Miami comes as he seeks to build support for his interventionist plans against progressive governments in the region.

Thus, once again the Organization of American States (OAS) has demonstrated that rather than working for a more united and prosperous region, it seeks to create divisions and tension between all its member-states, just as Washington intended when the group was founded.

Bolivia condemns US intervention

Bolivian President Evo Morales described Commander of the United States Southern Command Kurt Tidd’s recent visit to the continent, during which he met with Vice President of Colombia Oscar Naranjo, as a threat to peace in Venezuela.
Taking to his Twitter account, Evo stated, “Any imperialist military threat against the peace of the sister nation of Venezuela and our region will be thwarted by the dignity, sovereignty, and unity of our democratic peoples.”