Maduro Invites Presidents of Latin America to Dialogue

10 August 2017
Source:  TeleSUR

“Respect is the only path to peace, not threats or violence or the economic and commercial blockade,” said Maduro. 

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President Nicolas Maduro has called for regional dialogue at the third session of the newly-formed Constituent Assembly, ACN.

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Speaking for the first time at the Constituent Assembly, the president invited the governments of Latin America to take part in a meeting of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, CELAC, in an effort to improve relations.

“To all the presidents, I call on them to approve a meeting and through mutual dialogue, we can find a solution,” said Maduro.

“Respect is the only path to peace, not threats or violence or the economic and commercial blockade.”

Mutual respect

Maduro also invited the United States to agree to “mutually respectful” dialogue, adding that he will be in New York in September for the United Nations General Assembly.

The offer comes in the wake of new U.S. sanctions and threats.

Maduro’s invitation follows an earlier plea for dialogue after a group of neighboring countries took part in a meeting in Peru to discuss isolationist measures against the Venezuelan government.

In the face of these threats, Maduro announced he would activate a national constituent process to strengthen the structure of the Bolivarian Armed Forces.

During the special session, the Constituent Assembly ratified Nicolas Maduro as the president of Venezuela.

 

Cuba demands commitment to a culture of peace in the United Nations

Source: Granma
December 16 2016

by: Prensa Latina(PL) | internet@granma.cu

Cuba’s delegation to the UN expressed concern about the current international panorama and called for the elimination of the danger of war, in particular of nuclear war, the renunciation of the use or threat of the use of force and the peaceful settlement of disputes, in accordance with the UN  Charter

 

Ana Silvia Rodríguez.jpgUNITED NATIONS.— Cuba yesterday called for a greater commitment to a culture of peace, based on respect for the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, during a plenary session of the United Nations General Assembly.

Interim chargé d’affaires of the island, Ana Silvia Rodríguez, noted that global peace and its preservation will not be possible without full respect for the sovereignty, self-determination and territorial integrity of all states.

Rodríguez stressed that a fundamental prerequisite is respect for international law.

She explained that there can be no talk of a culture of peace as long as humanity continues to be threatened by nuclear weapons and the deep divisions persist between rich and poor, between developed and developing countries.

“We express our concern regarding this situation and call for the elimination of the danger of war, in particular of nuclear war, the renunciation of the use or threat of the use of force and the peaceful settlement of disputes, in accordance with the UN Charter”, the diplomat emphasized.

Beyond Victimhood: 5 Slaves Who Fought Back and Changed History

Source:  TeleSUR
December 1 2016

December 2 marks the United Nations’ International Day for the Abolition of Slavery, which focuses on combating and eradicating contemporary forms of slavery.

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The day also offers the opportunity to remember the horrors of the Transatlantic Slave Trade, which lasted from the 15th through to the 19th centuries and was, according to the UN, “one of the darkest chapters in human history.”

To mark the day, teleSUR aims to commemorate all victims of the trade but will pay special attention to those who dedicated their lives to ending slavery through resistance and rebellion.

Here are five slaves who fought back and truly changed the world:

  1. The Slave Who Defeated Napoleon

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Toussaint Louverture was the leader of history’s largest ever slave revolt, which started in 1791 and lasted for over 12 years. The result was the eventual transformation of the French colony of St. Domingue into the independent country of Haiti, the world’s first ever truly anti-colonial, anti-slavery Black republic.

Louverture led the anti-slavery movement in his country into a war for independence, using his political and military genius to fight the French and Spanish colonial powers in what would later become a fully-fledged, independent nation-state.

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After winning the war against the French and the Spaniards in 1800, St. Domingue gained autonomy from Napoleon’s French government and Louverture was proclaimed governor of the colony.

The French later launched an offensive to regain control of St. Domingue in 1802 and the Black revolutionary was forced to resign and was deported to France, where he died a year later during imprisonment.

In his absence, his second-in-command Jean-Jacques Dessalines retaliated, eventually leading the Haitian rebellion until its revolutionary completion, finally defeating French forces in 1803.

Haiti became the world’s first colonial society to explicitly reject race as the basis of social ranking, challenging ideas around race and racism in the wider Americas and the long-held belief that white Europeans were inherently superior to their Black counterparts.

  1. The Slave Who Documented Her Sexual Abuse, and Changed the Face of North American Minority Literature

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Harriet Ann Jacobs was one of the most important female anti-slavery activists in the 19th century, an extraordinary woman who managed to escape slavery and become a prominent abolitionist speaker and reformer.

Jacobs is known for her autobiographical work, “Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl,” published in 1861 under the pseudonym Linda Brent.

At a time when the vast majority of slaves were denied the right to education, it was one of the first books to explore the Black female slave’s struggle against sexual harassment and abuse.

Due to the U.S. Civil War, the autobiographical account did not gain recognition until the late 20th century, when interest in minority and women writers exploded due to anti-racist and women’s rights struggles in the U.S. and beyond.

Researchers later identified Harriet Jacobs, who died in 1897 at the age of 84, as the author.

  1. The First Black Nominee for US Vice President

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Escaping slavery in 1838, Frederick Douglass was an African-American anti-slavery activist, social reformer and intellectual who advocated for equality for all, whether Black, Native American or female.

Douglass was an advocate of inter-racial dialogue and formed alliances as part of the struggle for social justice and the eradication of slavery.

Criticized by fellow activists and abolitionists because he expressed a willing to engage with slaveholders, he famously replied: “I would unite with anybody to do right and with nobody to do wrong.”

Douglass went on to become a national leader of the abolitionist movement from Massachusetts and New York until his death in 1895 at the age of 77.

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He wrote several autobiographies, describing his experiences and torture as a slave in his 1845 autobiography and bestseller, “Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave.”

His last autobiography, “Life and Times of Frederick Douglass,” came after the Civil War as Douglass continued his activism for social justice even after slavery was abolished.

Connecting the struggle of Black rights to those of women and other issues, Douglass was active in the women’s suffrage movement. Victoria Woodhull, one of the leaders of the movement, selected Douglass as running mate and nominee for vice president, making him the first African-American in U.S. history to be nominated for the position.

  1. ‘The True Beginning of Modern African Literature’

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Olaudah Equiano was a prominent African author and abolitionist activist whose autobiography, “The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano,” gained widespread attention after it was published in 1789 and was considered influential in the passage of the United Kingdom’s “Slave Trade Act 1807,” which officially ended the trade for Britain and its colonies.

In the book he describes the horrors of his time as a slave and how he and his sister were kidnapped from what is now northern Nigeria, shipped across the Atlantic and eventually sold in Virginia, United States.

But Equiano was then sold to famous merchant Robert King, who allowed him to do business on the side and make enough money to buy his own freedom. He went on to travel the world for over 20 years, allegedly taking in places as far and wide as the Arctic, Turkey and the Caribbean.

Since 1967, when a version of his memoir edited by Paul Edwards was released, academic interest in Equiano grew and his work is now regarded as the “true beginning of modern African literature.”

  1. ‘The First Liberator of the Americas’

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Gaspar Yanga, known also as Yanga or Nyanga, was an African leader who led a community of escaped slaves for decades, known as the Maroons, in the highlands near Veracruz, Mexico during the early years of Spanish colonial rule in the 17th century.

Yanga was kidnapped from what is now the Gabonese Republic in Africa, sold into slavery and brought to what is today Mexico. Legend has it that he was a descendant of Gabonese royalty.

In the 1570s, along with dozens of slaves, he escaped and settled in the highlands, isolated and safe from colonial forces. For food and supplies they seized trade caravans that passed by their settlement.

When more and more slaves continued to escape to the Maroon enclave, the Spanish attacked the group in 1609. But Yanga and his people heroically managed to push back against the colonial forces.

In 1618, Yanga and his people reached an agreement with the Spanish and achieved self-rule, with the Yanga family continuing as leaders until Mexico gained its independence in the early 19th century.

In the late 19th century, Yanga was named a “national hero of Mexico” and proclaimed “The First Liberator of the Americas.”

The settlement, known as San Lorenzo de los Negros, was renamed after Yanga in 1932. It is not known when Yanga passed away.

Cuba Supports Fight vs. Racism, Discrimination and Xenophobia

Source:  Prensa Latina
September 28 2016

united-nations-human-rights-logoCuba has reaffirmed the willingness to support the international fight against racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, during the UN Human Rights Council, whose sessions continues today.

anayansi-rodriguezAfter speaking at the forum in Geneva, the permanent representative of the Caribbean nation in Geneva, Anayansi Rodriguez, recalled that despite the adoption of Durban’s Action Program referred to the issue, some practices of racism and xenophobia are still affecting the populations in many places of the planet.
‘We have seen with concern how political parties and associations with a strong anti-immigrant, xenophobic and racist nature have grown in developed countries,’ she said.
Millions of migrants are daily harassed, discriminated and marginalized in developed societies, while minorities such as gypsies or Romani citizens continue receiving a humiliating treatment, she said.

Police use of lethal force against Afro descendants

She also described as alarming the multiple examples in which police have resorted to lethal force against members of minorities and Afro descendants.
Given this facts, Cuba provided and continues providing its solidarity contribution to the realization of the basic human rights of excluded sectors in many countries, she said.

She also estimated as crucial the international cooperation on the issue because ‘most of the victims and people exposed to these practices belong to historically marginalized groups, among them are Afro descendants, indigenous people, women, migrants and ethnic minorities.’

The 33rd regular session of the Human Rights Council is being held in Geneva from September 13 to 30.

Cuba Reminds the World at UN That US Blockade is Still in Place

Source:  TeleSUR
September 22 2016

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Cuba’s Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez addresses the United Nations General Assembly in New York. | Photo: Reuters

The Cuban foreign minister also said that capitalism is not historically or environmentally sustainable.

Bruno Rodriguez, minister of foreign affairs of Cuba, said Thursday the country continues to endure the economic and financial hardships of the blockade imposed by the U.S. during a speech the 71st U.N. General Assembly in New York.

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Rodriguez said that there is still a long way to go for the two countries to re-establish diplomatic relations, citing the U.S. base in Guantanamo as an example.

“The territory illegally occupied by the U.S. navy base in Guantanamo must be returned to our country,” said Rodriguez.

The foreign minister said the blockade is still enforced and continues to hinder the Cuban economy and its relations with other countries.

Rodriguez also addressed the U.N. member states and said the organization should work toward the end of unilateralism and the political and economic control of capitalist countries.

“Any attempt to prolong the existence of a unipolar world will be suicidal,” said Rodriguez. “Capitalism will never be historically or environmentally sustainable.”

The Cuban diplomat also denounced the coup in Brazil against President Dilma Rousseff and the attempts by U.S. imperialism and oligarchies in Latin America to destabilize Venezuela and other regional countries.

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In December 2014, U.S. President Barack Obama announced the normalization of relations between the two countries, after more than 50 years of hostilities against the island nation. The countries reopened their respective embassies in July 2015.

The U.S. approved a series of measures to ease travel and commerce earlier this year but still hasn’t ended the blockade that was imposed three years after the victory of the Cuban Revolution, led by Fidel Castro, which overthrew the regime of Fulgencio Batista, a U.S.-backed dictator.

Cuba presented a report this year that says the U.S. blockade on the socialist country has cost it US$4.7 billion over the last year and US$753.7 billion over the last six decades.

Last year the U.N. General Assembly voted 191-2 to condemn the U.S. blockade of Cuba, with only the U.S. and Israel in opposition.

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The US blockade of Cuba is the principal obstacle to national development

Source:  Granma
September 9 2016

by International news staff | informacion@granma.cu

The US blockade of Cuba is the principal obstacle to national development

Bruno Rodríguez Parilla, Minister of Foreign Relations, this afternoon September 9, presented the report calling for an end to the U.S. blockade of Cuba which will be debated in the UN next month

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Cuban Foreign Minister: The blockade continues

Minister of Foreign Relations Bruno Rodríguez Parilla, this afternoon September 9, presented the country’s report on United Nations General Assembly Resolution 70/5, entitled, “The Necessity of Ending the Economic, Commercial, and Financial Blockade Imposed by the United States on Cuba,” in a Havana press conference.

During the reading of the report, which will be discussed for the 25th time by the General Assembly in October, the minister reaffirmed that the blockade continues despite statements made by the U.S. President almost two years ago calling for its end. This policy has been maintained and continues having a profound impact on the Cuban economy, and limiting the right to development of the Cuban people, the minister insisted.

The impact of the US blockade

“The blockade hurts the Cuban people. Need and hardship are daily occurrences for the Cuban family. The impact of the blockade on Cuba cannot be underestimated. It is the principal obstacle to national development,” Rodríguez said.

“We recognize the progress in relations between the governments of Cuba and the United States, but effects include those on food, the pharmaceutical industry, foreign trade, and international cooperation, among others,” he reported, adding that no sector is exempt from the blockade’s impact, not health, social security, services, or education.

Between April of 2015 and March of 2016, the blockade’s damage to Cuba has been estimated to be approximately 4.68 million dollars, Rodríguez reported.

“For these reasons, the Cuban government will present to the UN General Assembly, the report entitled The Necessity of Ending the Economic, Commercial, and Financial Blockade Imposed by the United States on Cuba,” he said.

Cuba calls for a nuclear-weapons-free world

Geneva.— On August 16, Cuba called for a nuclear-weapons-free world at the UN headquarters in this city, highlighting the need for multilateral negotiations regarding the prohibition and total elimination of such arms.
Rodolfo Benítez, head of Political Affairs at the Cuban Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Multilateral Affairs department, stated the island’s position during a session of the UN Open-ended Working Group on nuclear disarmament.

Nuclear disarmament as a top priority

During the meeting, the Cuban diplomat stressed the island’s firm commitment to nuclear disarmament as a top priority, reported Prensa Latina.

Benítez denounced the existence of nuclear weapons and the danger they pose to the world, noting that the issue represents one of the major challenges to humanity’s survival. In this regard, he stated that the use of nuclear arms can not be justified under any security model or doctrine.

Thus, Benítez proposed the adoption of a mechanism aimed at prohibiting nuclear weapons as a first step toward their complete elimination over time and under strict supervision.

The Working Group sessions will conclude on Friday, August 19, on which date participants should approve a report scheduled to be reviewed during the upcoming 71st Regular Session of the UN General Assembly.