What did Che Guevara Fight For?

Source:  Moorbey’s Blog / The Dawn News

September 26, 2017

Che Guevara’s daughter reminds us of the reasons behind his revolutionary struggle

By: Aleida Guevara March

che 5.jpgPhoto credit: Politico Scope

In order to speak about the Che Guevara we need time and space, but in order to explain his existence in our times we just need to look around us. If we ask what he was fighting for, the immediate answer is: for a better world. But what does this mean? Decent houses for everyone, free and high-quality education in equal conditions, accessible healthcare for all of the population, peace that would enable us to destine the available resources to research how to have better life. But, what do we really have?

Che’s view of youth

To Che Guevara, youth is the clay with which we can model the New Man. But, what are we actually doing to youth? What kind of life are we offering them? What example are we setting for them? Who can inspire them to perfect their conduct? These are many questions and there are practically no answers—at least not the answers that youth need.

He said: “How long will we continue to have this order that is based on an absurd sense of caste—that is a question I can’t answer, but it is time for our rulers to dedicate less time to propagandizing their virtues as a regime and destine more money—much, much more money—to fund works for the benefit of society”.

What do you think about that? We could say the same thing to many rulers who do a bad job at governing many of our peoples, to begin with.

“… but those people who tackle things head on, who lead by example—to follow or to get others to follow you is a difficult task at times, but it is enormously easier than to push other to get them walking…”

Where do we want to go? What do we need? If we don’t fight for what we need, who will do it for us? It is undeniable that we have strength and courage, but we need unity, we need to organize that strength in order to conquer what we need to modify what doesn’t work, at least for the majority of the people.

“… to be quintessentially human, to be so human that we approach the best qualities of humanity, to purify what’s best in mankind through work, study, the exercise of continuous solidarity with the people and with all the peoples in the world…”

“… to develop sensibility to the maximum, to the point that we feel distressed when a man is killed in any corner of the world, and to feel enthusiasm when in any corner of the world a new flag of freedom is risen”.

That’s what we want for our youth, and it is very important to keep it in mind it now that we’re raising our voices to claim for the life of a young man like Santiago Maldonado, who recently disappeared in Argentina for being on the side of the Mapuche people and defending their rights. What message are they trying to send with the forced disapparition of this young man? Fear, that’s what they want us to feel in order to paralyze us, to silence us.

We can and must fight for that better world

I remember the first time I was in Brazil. Imagine this young woman arriving in Sao Paulo and being told to not roll down the window of the car she’s travelling in, who feels fear for her driver whenever the car has to make a stop at a corner, which is when they assault you, who sees the eyes of a child high on drugs asking for something to eat—my reaction was immediate and I repeat what I said back then: it is better to die trying to change that reality than to avoid dying of hunger. But then I remembered that I come from a different culture, a different people, where the life of a human being, and especially of a child, is sacred, it is the most important thing. I thought I was reacting like this because I am Cuban, and I was raised by the socialist Revolution that we have, but I was wrong.

Later on in my journey I met Mrs. Rosa, in Rio Grande do Sul. She’s a member of the Landless People’s Movement of Brazil. This humble peasant not only said what I was thinking, but she died defending a piece of land with which to feed her children. Mrs. Rosa proved to me that we indeed can and must fight for that better world, no matter where we come from, or which culture we carry with us—what matters and what prevails is the need to live.

“Let me tell you, at the risk of sounding ridiculous, that the true revolutionary is guided by great feelings of love. It is impossible to think of a true revolutionary without this virtue” .

A virtue that is indispensable to be able to give our best for a just cause, even risking our lives. I truly believe in this and I have seen it in the dedication of many men and women, luckily, in many parts of the world.

“And we, the exploited of the world, what role do we play? The peoples of three continents are watching and learning their lesson from Vietnam. Because, with the threat of war, imperialists blackmail the entire humanity: not fearing war is the right answer”.

“Under the slogan ‘We Won’t Allow Another Cuba’ there’s a hidden possibility of widespread aggressions, such as the one perpetrated against Dominican Republic or, previously, the Panama massacre, and the clear sign that yankee troops are willing to intervene anywhere in Latin America where the established order is altered and their interests are threatened”.

The OAS and the UN

“This policy has almost absolute impunity: the OAS is a comfortable mask, however discredited; the UN has a degree of incompetence that borders ridicule or tragedy; the armies of every country in Latin America are ready to intervene to crush their peoples. The internationale of crime and betrayal has been formed de facto”.

Luckily for us, it is not like that anymore for all the peoples, but unfortunately in many the army is still a tool to crush the just claims of our people and one wonders where these men come from, who attack their own people. We’ve seen pictures of these uniformed men repressing demonstrations, attacking youth, women and even children without vacillation, and what do the Magna Cartas say about this? Because I know for a fact that many of them state that the army exists to defend the people and what happens in fact is exactly the opposite—so, whose side is violating the law?

When reading Che’s words today, 50 years after his death, many things still resonate with what we see day to day, the relevance of his thoughts is strong and we should turn to him for answers more often.

There’s plenty to do, and the road is long and difficult, but we can and we must change many things to achieve the full dignity that human beings require in order to live. I always remember something that an Argentine mother had written on the tombstone of her daughter when she found her remains: “if I die, don’t cry for me; do what I did and in you I’ll live”. That is exactly what we owe to the men and women who have given their strength to us through their example, and encourage us to take action. Go on comrades, let’s live in such a way that, when our days come to an end, we don’t feel pain for the years that passed in vain, let’s feel the joy of leaving something beautiful for those to come.

Until Victory Always!

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Cuba’s achievements in spite of the economic blockade outlined in the UN

Source:  Granma
October 3 2017

by: Prensa Latina | internet@granma.cu

On October 2, Cuba presented some of its achievements in education, health and social inclusion, and recalled that these have been attained despite the U.S. blockade against the island, in force for more than half a century

 

cuba's achievements despite the blockadeCuban Ambassador to the UN, Anayansi Rodríguez, denounced the current U.S. administration’s plans to tighten the economic, commercial and financial blockade, repeatedly condemned by the international community. Photo: Cubaminrex

UNITED NATIONS.–On October 2, Cuba presented some of its achievements in education, health and social inclusion, and recalled that these have been attained despite the U.S. blockade against the island, in force for more than half a century.

“This criminal policy causes damages and scarcities for the Cuban people, is the main obstacle to the development of our country, affects other nations because of its extraterritorial reach, and continues to harm the interests of U.S. citizens and companies,” stated Ambassador Anayansi Rodríguez.

Speaking to the Third Committee of the General Assembly, Cuba’s Permanent Representative to the UN denounced the current U.S. administration’s plans to tighten the economic, commercial and financial blockade, which has been repeatedly condemned by the international community.

According to Rodríguez, despite Washington’s sanctions, Cuba is advancing in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, with the moral strength of having fulfilled the Millennium Development Goals.

Cuba has one of the lowest infant mortality rates in the world

In this regard, she highlighted that Cuba reached an infant mortality rate of 4.1 per 1,000 live births at the end of the first half of 2017, one of the lowest rates in the world, while life expectancy at birth stands at 78 years.

Cuba was also the first country to eliminate mother-child transmission of HIV-AIDS and congenital syphilis, she added.

The Cuban ambassador also recalled that a free universal vaccination program is in place on the island against 13 diseases, the country is illiteracy free, and the state allocates more than two thirds of its budget to education, health, social security, culture, sport and scientific research.

Rodríguez also noted Cuba’s satisfaction on having cooperated with other nations in various sectors.

57 Countries Express Support to Venezuela at UN Human Rights Council in Geneva

Source: TeleSUR
September 28 2017

57 countries.jpgThe Venezuelan ambassador in the United Nations Human Rights Council
speaks for sovereignty and against interference. | Photo: teleSUR

Over 50 countries around the world expressed support for the constitutional government of Venezuela against foreign threats.

During the 36th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva on Thursday, 57 countries signed an expression of support of respect for the sovereignty and independence of Venezuela.

RELATED: Venezuelan Delegation Travels to Dominican Republic for Peace Dialogue

Pedro Luis Pedroso.jpg“We condemn any action that disturbs peace, tranquility, and democratic stability… and that threatens sovereignty, including the recent threats of a possible foreign military intervention,” the jointly signed document read, that was read by Cuba’s ambassador to the Council, Pedro Luis Pedroso.

The nations, among whom are Cuba, China, Bolivia, Russia, Iraq, Syria, Palestine, Libya, Ecuador, Vietnam, South Africa, and Iran, expressed their “support for the constitutional government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, in its commitment to preserve peace and maintain democratic institutions in the country.”

They expressed support for the calls and efforts of President Nicolas Maduro to political dialogue in Venezuela in order to “preserve peace and guarantee the stability of the democratic institutions.”

RELATED: ‘Latin America Must Be a Region of Peace’: Bolivia’s Morales on Venezuela Dialogue

Hernán-Estrada-Román.jpgAlso read during the session was a declaration by the Bolivarian Alliance for the People of Our America (ALBA) that echoed the calls for respect of sovereignty and territorial integrity in Venezuela. Presented by the Nicaraguan ambassador, Hernan Estrada, ALBA repudiated the “international media campaign” against Venezuela and condemned the recent threats of the United States President Donald Trump in his address to the United Nations General Assembly.

Jorge Valero.jpgThe Venezuelan representative to the council, Jorge Valero, also spoke, expressing solidarity to those countries who support Venezuela’s sovereignty and saying that “peace reigns” in his country due to the democratic National Constituent Assembly.

“Thanks to the National Constituent Assembly, elected through the universal, direct, and secret vote of millions of Venezuelans, peace reigns in Venezuela,” he said.

The 36th session of the Human Rights Council is currently taking place in Geneva, Switzerland, from September 11th to the 29th.

The support of ALBA and 57 countries around the world is an affirmation of the international support Venezuela has behind it, in a crucial moment as it has been subject to renewed attacks from the United States and its allied countries in recent weeks.

A Call to Hold President Trump Accountable before the UN General Assembly

International Network in Defense of Humanity

Caribbean Chapter

NDH CC 2.jpg

There is no such thing as “American Exceptionalism”! And therefore, the President and Government of the United States of America (USA) are just as subject to the rules of International Law as are the President and Government of any other country.

Thus, when– on Friday the 11th of August 2017 — President Donald Trump of the USA threatened a unilateral military strike against the sovereign and independent Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela he was breaching a rule of International Law that is so fundamental that it is enshrined in Article 2 of the United Nations (UN) Charter.

un logo.jpgArticle 2 (4) of the UN Charter stipulates that “all Members (of the UN) shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any State, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.”

But this was not the first or only time that President Trump and his Administration had committed a flagrant breach of the said Article 2 (4) of the UN Charter !

Indeed, since taking up the office of President of the USA in January of 2017, Mr. Trump has attacked the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela on no less than four occasions by issuing Executive Orders and inflicting punitive and damaging sanctions against the Government and people of that sovereign, politically independent nation.

President Trump also went on the public record on Tuesday the 8th of August 2017 threatening the Government and people of the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea (North Korea) with “fire and fury like the world has never seen” if — according to him — the Government of North Korea makes “any more threats to the United States”. This –it is clear — is a threat of a nuclear conflagration that will be much more horrific than the “atomic” decimation that the USA inflicted on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945!

And, as if to further emphasize his utter contempt for the precepts of International Law, Mr. Trump used the podium of the General Assembly of the UN on Tuesday the 19th of September 2017 to issue a further threat to “totally destroy North Korea”, and to publicly parade his arrogant determination to defy the many U N resolutions that have denounced the USA’s illegal and genocidal blockade of the Republic of Cuba and demanded its termination.

In light of the fact that the USA has proven itself to be, perhaps, the most aggressive and warlike nation in the history of the World — with a record of having initiated or participated in well in excess of two hundred major military assaults or wars against other sovereign, independent countries during the 241 years of its existence as an independent state–the international community of nations would be well advised to take President Trump’s illegal threats and attacks very seriously.

It is against this background therefore that we, the Members of the Caribbean Chapter of the International Network In Defense of Humanity, would like to remind all member states of the United Nations of their Constitutional power to bring the issue of President Trump and his flagrant and dangerous breaches of International Law before the UN General Assembly for collective discussion and for the prescribing of an appropriate response by the World community.

Article 11 (2) of the UN Charter establishes that “the General Assembly (of the UN) may discuss any questions relating to the maintenance of international peace and security brought before it by any Member of the United Nations…..and……may make recommendations with regard to any such questions to the State or States concerned or to the Security Council or to both….”

Furthermore, Article 20 of the Charter provides that “special sessions (of the General Assembly) shall be convoked by the Secretary-General at the request of……. a majority of the Members of the United Nations.”

In light of the foregoing, we — the Members of the Caribbean Chapter of the International Network In Defense of Humanity now hereby:-

(1) CALL upon the responsible and peace-loving Member States of the United Nations to join together in a collective effort to bring the issue of President Trump and his flagrant breaches of Article 2 of the UN Charter before the General Assembly of the United Nations ; and

(2) REQUEST that all responsible and peace-loving members of the human family support this CALL by:-

(a) attaching their signature, name and address to this CALL ; and

(b) forwarding this CALL to the Head of Government and Minister of Foreign Affairs of their country either via e-mail or by printing and sending a hard copy.

SIGNATURE : 

NAME  IN  BLOCK  LETTERS : 

ADDRESS:

Cuba will never accept any preconditions or impositions

Source:  Granma,  | internet@granma.cu
September 22, 2017 16:09:30

Speech by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Cuba, Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla, during the 72nd Session of the United Nations General Assembly

Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla

 

Bruno Rodriguez Parrilla sept 2017.jpg

STATEMENT BY H.E. Mr. BRUNO RODRÍGUEZ PARRILLA, MINISTER OF

FOREIGN AFFAIRS OF THE REPUBLIC OF CUBA, AT THE SEVENTY SECOND SESSION OF THE UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY. NEW YORK, SEPTEMBER 22, 2017.

Mr. President:

Mr. Secretary General;

Allow me to reiterate to you Cuba’s, support to your work at the helm of the United Nations and as a guarantor and advocate of international peace.

Heads of State and Government;

Distinguished delegates;

I would like to express my deep condolences to the relatives of the deceased and the victims of hurricanes Irma and Maria, as well as our disposition to increase our cooperation, to the extent of our modest possibilities, with the brother peoples and governments of Dominica and Antigua and Barbuda, small Caribbean islands which suffered a terrible devastation; with the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Saint Martin, Sint Maarten, Virgin Islands and Anguilla.

I call upon the international community to give the highest priority to this situation and mobilize resources to assist the small Caribbean Island States and territories which have suffered such devastation.

We would like to convey Cuba’s warmest feelings of solidarity to the government and people of Mexico, particularly to the victims and their relatives, who were affected by both earthquakes, and reiterate to them our disposition to assist the population and support the recovery works with our modest efforts.

We also want to express our sorrow to the U.S. people, as well as our heartfelt condolences to the relatives of the deceased and to all of the victims of hurricane Irma.

Mr. President:

I want to convey the testimony of the people of Cuba, who are currently carrying out a colossal effort to recover from the severe damages caused by hurricane Irma to housing, agriculture, the power system and other services. Despite the all encompassing preventive measures – which included the evacuation of more than 1.7 million persons- and the full cooperation of all citizens, we suffered the loss of ten persons.

Strengthening the unity and solidarity of our noble and heroic people

The painful damages to services as well as the loss of social and personal goods as well as the hardships endured by families that spent many hours without electricity or water, contributed to strengthen the unity and solidarity of our noble and heroic people.

The moving scenes of rescuers saving a girl and giving her back to her mother; of a little boy picking up a bust of Jose Marti from the rubble; of students helping families they had not met before; of soldiers from the Armed Forces and the Ministry of the Interior doing the toughest jobs; of local leaders heading the most difficult tasks have become all too familiar.

During a visit paid to the area that suffered the most severe devastation. President Raúl Castro issued an appeal which literally read, and I quote: “These have been tough days for our people who, in only a few hours, have seen how what was built with great effort has been destroyed by a devastating hurricane. The images received during the last few hours are too eloquent, just as much as the spirit of resilience and victory of our people that are reborn in the face of every adversity.”

On behalf of the government and the people of Cuba, I sincerely appreciate the genuine expressions of solidarity and affection expressed by numerous governments, parliaments, international organizations and representatives of the civil society.

I would like to convey my profound gratitude for the numerous offers of assistance that we have received.

Mr. President:

I still keep vivid and emotional memories of the imposing presence of Fidel Castro Ruz, the Commander in Chief of the Cuban Revolution, and the great validity of the ideas he expressed before this Assembly.

On behalf of our people and government, I would like to express our gratitude for the feelings of respect, affection and admiration we have received from all latitudes.

Mr. President:

Inequality, poverty and hunger

On Tuesday last, President Donald Trump came here to convince us that one of his purposes is to promote the prosperity of nations and persons. But, in the real world, the wealth owned by eight men altogether is equivalent to the wealth shared by 3.6 billion human beings, who make up the poorest half of humanity.

In terms of turnover, 69 of the 100 biggest entities of the world are transnationals, not States. The turnover of the world’s ten biggest corporations is higher than the public revenues earned by 180 countries combined.

Seven hundred million persons live in extreme poverty; 21 million are victims of forced labor. In 2015, 5.9 million children died of preventable or curable diseases before reaching the age of 5. A total of 758 million adults are illiterate.

Eight hundred and fifteen million persons suffer from chronic hunger -tens of millions more than in 2015. Two billion are undernourished. Even if the precarious decreasing growth rate of recent years rebounds, 653 million persons will continue to face hunger by the year 2030, and this will not be enough to eradicate hunger by the year 2050.

There are 22.5 million refugees. Humanitarian tragedies associated to migrants flows worsen and increase amidst a clearly unjust international economic and political order.

Cruel and ineffective 

The construction of walls and barriers as well as the laws and measures adopted to prevent the waves of refugees and migrants have proved to be cruel and ineffective. There is a proliferation of exclusive and xenophobic policies that violate the human rights of millions of persons and fail to solve the problems of underdevelopment, poverty and armed conflicts, which are the main causes of migration and refugee claims.

Military expenditures have increased to 1.7 trillion dollars. That reality belies those who claim that there are not enough resources to eradicate poverty.

However, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development lacks the means for its implementation, due to the egoism and lack of political will of the United States and other industrialized countries.

What is the miraculous recipe that President Donald Trump recommends to us in the absence of the financial flows of the Marshall Plan? Who will contribute the resources for that? How can this be reconciled with the “America First” idea advanced by Presidents Reagan and Trump?

President Trump ignores and distorts history and portraits a chimera as a goal to be pursued. The production and consumption patterns proper of neoliberal capitalism are unsustainable and irrational and will inexorably lead to the destruction of the environment and the end of the human species.

Can anyone forget about the consequences of colonialism, slavery, neocolonialism and imperialism?

A new inclusive international economic order

Could the several decades of bloody military dictatorships in Latin America be referred to as an example of a successful capitalism? Does anyone know of any recipe of neoliberal capitalism that has been better applied than those which destroyed the Latin American economies in the 1980s?

It is both indispensable and urgent for the United Nations to work in order to establish a new participatory, democratic, equitable and inclusive international economic order, as well as a new financial architecture that take into account the needs and peculiarities of developing countries and the asymmetries that exist in world trade and finances as a result of centuries of exploitation and plundering.

Industrialized countries have the moral duty, the historical responsibility as well as sufficient financial and technological means for that.

Climate change

Not even the rich will enjoy the announced prosperity if climate change is not stopped.

Cuba regrets the decision taken by the government of the United States, which has been historically the principal greenhouse gas emitting government in the planet, to withdraw its country from the Paris Agreement.

In 2016, and for the third consecutive year, the average global temperature increase records have been broken, which confirms that climate change is a threat to the survival of humanity and the sustainable development of our peoples.

We reiterate our solidarity with the Small Island Developing States, particularly from the Caribbean and the Pacific, which are the most affected by climate change and for which we claim a just, special and differentiated treatment.

Nuclear weapons

Mr. President:

The U.S. government has come here to tell us that, in addition to prosperity, the other two “beautiful pillars” of international order are sovereignty and security.

We all share the common responsibility to preserve the existence of human beings in the face of a nuclear threat. An important contribution to the achievement of that goal was the historical adoption of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons under the auspices of the United Nations, which proscribe the use and the threat of use of those weapons that have the capacity to annihilate the human species.

Obviously, the United States strongly opposed this treaty. It announced that it will invest 700 billion dollars in military expenditures and is developing an extremely aggressive nuclear and military doctrine based on the threat to use and the use of force.

NATO member States attempt against international peace and security and International Law by promoting military interventions and non-conventional wars against sovereign States.

As was pointed out by the Commander in Chief of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro Ruz: “Let the philosophy of plunder disappear and the philosophy of war will also disappear!”

Manipulating the concepts of sovereignty and security

The illegal imposition of unilateral coercive measures and the use of financial, legal, cultural and communication instruments to destabilize governments as well as the denial of peoples’ right to self-determination have become customary.

The covert use of ICTs to attack other States increases, while several developed countries strongly oppose the adoption of international treaties that would regulate cooperation in order to achieve a safe cyberspace.

The U.S. President manipulates the concepts of sovereignty and security to his exclusive benefit and to the detriment of all others, including his allies.

The attempt to resort to military threats and force to stop the irreversible world trend to multi-polarization and polycentrism will seriously jeopardize international peace and security, which should be defended and preserved through international mobilization.

The principles of sovereign equality, respect for the territorial integrity and non interference in the internal affairs of States should be observed. The UN Charter and International Law admit no re-interpretation.

The United Nations reform should pursue the principal goal of responding to the pressing needs of peoples and the great disadvantaged majorities. Multilateralism should be protected and reinforced in the face of the imperialist interests of domination and hegemony.

The democratization of the Security Council, both in terms of its composition and its working methods, is a most urgent task.

The strengthening of the General Assembly and the recovery of the functions that have been usurped from it are indispensable.

An exceptionalist and supremacist vision

Mr. President:

The “patriotism” invoked in the U.S. statement is a perversion of humanism, the love and loyalty to the homeland and of the enrichment and defense of national and universal culture. It embodies an exceptionalist and supremacist vision of ignorant intolerance in the face of diverse political, economic, social and cultural models.

In developed countries, the loss of legitimacy of political systems and parties worsens and electoral abstentionism is on the rise. Corruption, whether legal or illegal, has turned into metastasis. So is the extreme case of the so called “special interests” or corporate payments in exchange for benefits in the country that spends the highest amount of money in electoral campaigns and where, paradoxically, a candidate with the lowest number of popular votes can be elected or entitled to govern with a negligible support by voters.

There has been and increasing and unheard-of use of science and technology to exercise hegemony, mutilate national cultures and manipulate human behavior, as is the case of the so called “big data” or psychometry, used for political and advertising purposes. Seven consortia keep a strict control of whatever is read, watched or heard in the planet. Technologies are being monopolized. The governance of digital networks is dictatorial and discriminatory and, despite appearances, the digital divide between rich and poor countries is increasing.

The opportunities and rights of youths, migrants and workers are curtailed and their human rights are openly and systematically violated.

Pattern of systematic violations of human rights

The day before yesterday, the U.S. Vice-president, Michael Pence, ridiculously ignoring the functions of the Security Council and attempting to establish new prerogatives, said that this organ should modify the composition and methods of the UN Human Rights Council, which “doesn’t deserve its name” because “a clear majority of the Human Rights Council members fail to meet even the most basic human rights standards”. I suppose he is not including, in this case, his own country, which will in fact deserve to be included because of its pattern of systematic violations of human rights, namely the use of torture, arbitrary detentions and imprisonment -as occurs at the Guantanamo Naval Base-, the assassination of African Americans by law enforcement agents, the killing of innocent civilians perpetrated by its troops and the xenophobia and repression against immigrants -including minors- as well as its scarce adherence to international instruments.

Mr. President:

We reaffirm our strongest condemnation against all forms and manifestations of terrorism and reject the double standards in combating them.

The urgent search for a just and lasting solution to the conflict in the Middle East is based on the exercise of the inalienable right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and the existence of a free and independent State within the pre-1967 borders, with Eastern Jerusalem as its capital.

The situation in Western Sahara requires an effort in conformity with the UN resolutions to guarantee the Saharan people’s exercise to self-determination and respect for their legitimate right to live in peace in their own territory.

Cuba reaffirms its support to the search for a peaceful and negotiated solution to the war in Syria without any foreign interference and with full respect for its sovereignty and territorial integrity.

The threats to international peace and security resulting from the expansion of NATO’s presence along the Russian borders are on the increase. We continue to reject the unilateral and unjust sanctions imposed against that country.

We demand respect for the so called Nuclear Agreement signed with the Islamic Republic of Iran.

War is not an option

We reject the threat to totally destroy the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the home to 25 million human beings. War is not an option in the Korean peninsula; it would threaten the existence of hundreds of millions of persons in this area as well as in neighboring countries; it would lead to a nuclear war of unpredictable consequences. Only through dialogue and negotiation would it be possible to achieve a lasting political solution that should take into account the legitimate concerns of all the parties involved. We support the total denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, without any foreign interference, with absolute respect for sovereign equality and territorial integrity of States and strictly abiding by the principle of not using or threatening to use force.

Threats to Latin America and the Caribbean as a Zone of Peace

Mr. President:

New threats are hovering over peace and stability in Latin America and the Caribbean, in open disrespect for the “Proclamation of Latin America and the Caribbean as a Zone of Peace” signed in Havana by the Heads of State and Government of our region in January, 2014, on the occasion of the Second Summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC).

We reiterate what was expressed by President Raul Castro Ruz about the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela on July 14 last:

“The aggression and putschist violence against Venezuela harms all of Our America and only serve the interests of those set on dividing us to exercise their control over our peoples, unconcerned about causing conflicts of incalculable consequences in this region, like those we are seeing in different parts of the world.

The Bolivarian and Chavista Revolution

“Today we warn that those attempting to overthrow the Bolivarian and Chavista Revolution through unconstitutional, violent and putschist methods will shoulder a serious responsibility before history.

We strongly reject the military threats against Venezuela, the Executive Order that designates it as a threat to the national security of the United States and the unilateral, unjust and arbitrary sanctions applied against it.

We reiterate our unwavering solidarity with the Bolivarian and Chavista government and people and its civic-military union led by the constitutional President Nicolas Maduro Moros.

We denounce and condemn the NICA Act Initiative, promoted in the U.S. Congress as part of an interventionist behavior which is intended to impose an economic blockade against the people and the government of Nicaragua, to whom we reiterate our support.

We express our solidarity with former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, victim of a political persecution intended to prevent him from running for direct elections by means of a judicial disqualification. Lula, President Dilma Rousseff, the Workers*

Party and the Brazilian people will always find Cuba on their side.

We reiterate our historical commitment with the free determination and independence of the Puerto Rican people.

We support the legitimate claim of Argentina for the sovereignty over the Malvinas, South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands.

Cuba will continue to contribute, to the extent possible, and at the request of the parties involved, its efforts to achieve a stable and lasting peace in Colombia.

We will uphold our commitment to share our modest achievements with the peoples of the South, including the efforts of the 41 652 cooperation workers deployed in 63 countries to struggle for the life and health of human beings.

A setback in U.S.-Cuba bilateral relations

Mr. President:

On June 16 last, the president of the United States, Donald Trump, announced the new Cuba policy of his administration, which is a setback in U.S.-Cuba bilateral relations and undermines the bases established two years ago to advance towards a new type of relation between our countries, characterized by respect and equality.

The U.S. Government has decided to tighten the economic, commercial and financial blockade by imposing new obstacles to the already limited possibilities its business community had to trade with and invest in Cuba as well as additional restrictions on U.S. citizens willing to travel to our country.

Those decisions ignore the support from broad sectors in the U.S., including the majority of Cuban émigrés, to the lifting of the blockade and the normalization of relations. They only serve the interests of a group of Cuban origin, based in South Florida, which is an ever more isolated and minoritarian group that insists in harming Cuba and its people for having decided to defend, at all costs, the right to be free, independent and sovereign. Today we reiterate our condemnation of the measures aimed at tightening the blockade and reaffirm that any strategy intended to destroy the Revolution will fail.

Likewise, we reject the manipulation of the human rights issue against Cuba, which has a lot to be proud of and has no need to receive lessons from the United States or anyone.

This time we would like to express our strongest condemnation of the disrespectful, offensive and interventionist statement against Cuba and the Cuban government, made three days ago at this rostrum by President Donald Trump. We remind him that the United States, where flagrant human rights violations are committed, which raise deep concern among the international community, has no moral authority to judge my country. We reaffirm that Cuba will never accept any preconditions or impositions, nor will it ever renounce any of its principles.

Regarding the alleged incidents that would have affected U.S. diplomatic officials in Havana we categorically affirm that the Cuban government rigorously and seriously abides by its obligations under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations in relation to the protection and the integrity of all diplomats without any exception, including those from the United States. Cuba has never perpetrated nor will it ever perpetrate actions of this sort. Cuba has never allowed nor will it ever allow its territory to be used by third parties with that purpose.

The Cuban authorities, based on the preliminary results of the priority investigation that is being carried out with a high technical component, following instructions from the top level of our government, has taken into account the data contributed by the U.S. authorities and so far has found no evidence whatsoever that could confirm the causes or the origin of the health disorders referred to by U.S. diplomats and their relatives. The investigation to clarify this issue continues, and in order to be able to arrive to a conclusion, it will be crucial to count on the cooperation of the U.S. authorities. It would be unfortunate if a matter of this nature is politicized.

As was expressed by the Cuban President Raul Castro Ruz, Cuba is willing to continue negotiating all pending bilateral issues with the United States, on the basis of equality and absolute respect for the sovereignty and independence of our country; and maintaining a respectful dialogue and cooperation in areas of common interest with the U.S. government.

Cuba and the United States can cooperate and coexist, respecting their differences and promoting everything that benefits both countries and peoples, but no one should expect Cuba to make concessions that affect its sovereignty and independence.

The lifting and total elimination of the blockade

Mr. President:

The Cuban people will not cease in their legitimate claim for the lifting and total elimination of the economic, commercial and financial blockade and will continue to denounce the strengthening of that policy. On November Cuba will once again present to the United Nations General Assembly the draft Resolution entitled

“Necessity of ending the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the United States of America against Cuba.” While inequality, the opulence of a few and the marginalization of many are growing in today’s world, the Cuban people will keep up its struggle to achieve the most just society possible. We will continue to steadily advance down the path of revolutionary transformations that has been sovereignly chosen by all Cubans to further improve our socialism.

Thank you, very much.

 

U.S. blockade of Cuba denounced at UN

Source:  Granma
September 14 2017

Prensa Latina(PL) | internet@granma.cu

The Europe-Third World Centre (Cetim), a non-governmental organization with consultative status at the UN, denounced the U.S. blockade of Cuba, before the Human Rights Council, describing the policy as unilateral, illegal and illegitimate

bloque.jpgPhoto: TELESUR

Geneva.– The Europe-Third World Centre (Cetim), a non-governmental organization with consultative status at the UN, denounced the U.S. blockade of Cuba, before the Human Rights Council, describing the policy as unilateral, illegal and illegitimate.

In a report presented to the Council during a session held in this Swiss city on September 13, Cetim noted that the blockade is “Illegal, illegitimate, it is tantamount to an act of undeclared war of the United States against Cuba.” 

The document also states that the policy “is contrary to the right to self-determination, depriving the Cuban people of their own means of subsistence,” noting that “Its aim is to harm the physical and moral integrity of a people, to make it suffer as much as possible; for this, it could constitute a crime against humanity. It must cease immediately, unconditionally.”

The report, put together with the help of Rémy Herrera, a specialist at France’s National Scientific Research Center, also references U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to reverse some of the steps taken toward rapprochement by his predecessor, Barack Obama.
“The bilateral negotiations held over three years, having allowed real advances (such as the opening of embassies, migration accords, security cooperation…) and moved toward normalization, now enter a de facto regressive phase,” reads the document.

Bellicose, anachronistic, and interventionist

It also notes that “The motives invoked by President Trump are bellicose, anachronistic, and interventionist.”

The text goes on to highlight that the U.S. government’s new policy toward Cuba is aimed at damaging the socialist country’s economy: “The purpose is aggression against Cuba by depriving its economy of the most foreign exchange income,” in a clear demonstration of the tightening of the U.S. blockade of the island, which “has been condemned by the quasi-unanimity of the member states of the United Nations General Assembly,” for more than 25 years, notes the report.

Finally, Cetim called for a return to the road of normalization of relations between the two countries, “in conformity with the objectives and principles enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations.”

TEN  FUNDAMENTAL  PRINCIPLES  OF   REPARATIONS

Source:   Caribbean Pan African Network

by David Comissiong
September 5 2017

Marcus Garvey  2.jpg“I, and I know you, too, believe in time, and we shall wait patiently for two hundred years if need be, to face our enemies through our posterity……When I am dead wrap the mantle of the Red, Black and Green around me, for in the new life I shall rise with God’s grace and blessing……. Look for me in the whirlwind or the storm, look for me all around you…… I shall come and bring with me countless millions of black slaves who have died in America and the West Indies and the millions in Africa to aid you in the fight for Liberty, Freedom and Life….. I shall write the history that will inspire the millions that are coming and leave the posterity of our enemies to reckon with the hosts for the deeds of their fathers.”

                                                                          The Hon. Marcus Garvey
                                                                           February 10, 1925

 The fundamental point that the Honourable Marcus Garvey was making in the passage quoted above is the central message that is encased in the demand for Reparations, and it is that there is and will be no impunity for the commission of any crime against humanity. In other words, whosoever commits a crime against humanity must expect that justice will be demanded of them or their posterity—even if it takes two hundred years!

And so it is with the demand for Reparations for the multiplicity of genocides and crimes that have been committed against the sons and daughters of Africa by the nations, governments, and institutions of Europe and North America.

The good news is that the campaign to achieve the payment of Reparations to the nations and people of Africa and the African Diaspora for the atrocities committed against their ancestors and the damage inflicted on their civilization during the centuries of European-imposed slave trade, slavery and colonial domination is well and truly underway!

At an historic 2013 Summit meeting of the Heads of Government of the nations of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) — Jamaica, Antigua & Barbuda, the Bahamas, St. Kitts & Nevis, Barbados, Guyana, Trinidad & Tobago, St. Lucia, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Haiti, Dominica, Belize, Montserrat, Suriname and Grenada — a decision was taken to collectively pursue a Reparations claim  against the national governments of those European nations that actively participated in the genocide that was inflicted on the native or indigenous people of the Caribbean, and in the centuries-long imposition of slavery on the African-descended population of the Caribbean, and to establish a regional governmental “Reparations Commission” to pursue the Claim.

And so, not only do we now have a Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Reparations Commission representing 14 independent national governments and nation-states of the Caribbean, but we have also witnessed the recent establishment of such important Black civil-society institutions as the National African-American Reparations Commission of the United States of America (USA) and the European Commission For Reparations, and we are aware that similar Brazilian and Canadian initiatives are currently in various stages of preparation.

In addition, the government-owned university of the Caribbean– the University of the West Indies (UWI) — has announced that its newly established Reparations Research Institute will be situated at the Mona , Jamaica campus of the University, and will be officially launched in October of this year.

It is anticipated that this new scholarly institution will help us to structure an “outwardly directed” process in which we level demands at the liable  Governments and institutions for the compensatory money payments, developmental programmes, transfers of resources, and international and national institutional reforms that all go to make up a package of Reparations “payments”, as well as to pursue an “inwardly directed” struggle that we must engage in ourselves to repair those aspects of the damage that pertain most directly to our minds and psyches.

Furthermore, these important developments are taking place against the background of the commencement, on 1st January 2015, of the United Nations International Decade For People of African Descent– a specially designated ten year period during which the critical issues facing people of African descent are to take centre-stage and to engage the full attention of the international community.

In light of these historic happenings, there can be no better time than now for a concerted effort to be made to construct a truly global Reparations Lobby centred primarily around the African or predominantly African nations, governments and population groups of the continent of Africa, the Caribbean and other regions of the African diaspora, but also extending to important governmental and civil society allies in Latin America, Asia, and Europe .

But, it must be acknowledged that if such a development is to be actualized it will be essential that the African Union (AU) commit itself to partnering with its kith and kin governments in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) in pursuit of this sacred cause.

And there is a clear historical basis for such a partnership, in that the continent of Africa suffered just as much — if not more– from the ravages of the European-imposed and orchestrated “Slave Trade” than  did the slavery-based, plantation societies of the so-called New World.

Indeed, the famous international multi-disciplinary Pan-African scholar, Dr. Ivan Van Sertima (author of the ground-breaking “They Came Before Columbus”) succinctly described the impact of the European-orchestrated Slave Trade on the African continent as follows:-

No human disaster, with the exception of the Flood (if that biblical legend is true) can equal in dimension of destructiveness the cataclysm that shook Africa. We are all familiar with the slave trade and the traumatic effect of this on the transplanted Black, but few of us realize what horrors were wrought on Africa itself. Vast populations were uprooted and displaced; whole generations disappeared; European diseases descended like the plague, decimating both cattle and people; cities and towns were abandoned; family networks disintegrated; kingdoms crumbled; the threads of cultural and historical continuity were so savagely torn asunder that henceforth one would have to think of two Africas: the one before and the one after the Holocaust.”

(Extract from “Blacks In Science”)

But in addition to the continent’s historical grievance and cause of action, it should be noted that it was actually the continent of Africa that– through the work of the now defunct Organization of African Unity (OAU) — provided the Caribbean region with much of the initial inspiration and impetus on the issue of Reparations.

You see, the people and organizations of the Caribbean really began to reconnect with their historic claim for Reparations when, in the year 1990, word reached the Caribbean about the First International Conference on Reparations that was held in Lagos, Nigeria. This effort was pioneered by the late Chief Moshood Abiola of Nigeria and his Caribbean collaborator, the late Ambassador Dudley Thompson of Jamaica.

This International Reparations conference led to the OAU establishing a Group of Eminent Persons as well as a Commission on Reparations in 1992. And those developments led, in turn, to the staging of the OAU’s First Pan-African Conference On Reparations in Abuja, Nigeria in the year 1993, and to the issuing of the historic “Abuja Declaration” with its demand that the international community recognize that “there is a unique and unprecedented moral debt owed to the African peoples which has yet to be paid”, as well as its clarion CALL to the Heads of States and Governments in Africa and the Diaspora to establish National Reparations Committees to pursue the claim for Reparations in tandem with the OAU.

As we are all aware, in or about the year 1999 the OAU was succeeded by the African Union (AU), and as a result both theGroup of Eminent Persons and the Commission on Reparations became defunct.

Fortunately however, the historic developments of 1992 had laid a groundwork that made it possible for the Governments of Africa and the Caribbean to collaborate (even if informally) during the preparatory stages of the 2001 United Nations World Conference Against Racism (UNWCAR) , and to ensure that resolutions acknowledging that the European-orchestrated trans-Atlantic slave trade and chattel slavery were “crimes against humanity”; that Africans and African descendants continued to suffer from the consequences of these crimes up to the present day; and that reparative measures to repair the still existing damage are necessary and justified, were placed on the Agenda of the Conference and ultimately adopted.

What made this successful African/Caribbean collaboration all the more impressive is that it was engaged in against the background of strident demands by the governments of the USA, Canada, and Western Europe that the UNWCAR was not to be concerned at all with issues related to the trans-Atlantic slave trade; to the centuries of European-orchestrated slavery; or to any notion of reparative justice for these historical crimes.

However, these arrogant Western “stipulations” all came to naught as a result of the African and Caribbean delegations at the various World Conference preparatory meetings engaging with Latin American and Asian allies to defy the Western powers and to force resolutions pertaining to slavery, trans-Atlantic slave trade and Reparations unto the agenda– resolutions that the Western powers (with the sole exception of the USA, which petulantly walked out of the Conference when it became clear that it would not be getting its way) actually acceded to during the deliberations in Durban , South Africa.

This experience demonstrated conclusively that where nations — even relatively small and supposedly “powerless” nations– pursue a manifestly just and righteous cause with passion and commitment, that they will not only win over the majority opinion of the World community but will also generate a moral force that is irresistible, even for the most intransigent and powerful Governments and nations!

And then, some ten years later, in August 2012, at the AU’s “Global African Summit” in Johannesburg, South Africa, it was resolved by the governmental representatives of Africa and the Caribbean that the AU would seek to collaborate with the governments of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) in pursuing the quest for Reparations.

It is against this background that we would now like to present a brief but important outline of the Reparations concept in its holistic comprehensiveness by exploring what we have termed the ten fundamental principles of Reparations.

These ten principles are as follows:–

  1. VALIDATION OF OUR HUMANITY

The first and most basic principle of the Reparations Movement is that the very demand for Reparations constitutes– in itself– an indispensable validation by African and African-descended people of our own precious humanity!

You see, if we Africans or Afro-descendants fail to demand that the present-day representatives and beneficiaries of those persons, institutions and nations that committed the most horrible crimes imaginable against our ancestors be held accountable and made to pay restitution, we would be implicitly sending a message to ourselves and to the world at large that we do not consider our ancestors (or ourselves) to be sacred beings imbued with inalienable rights and deserving of respect and justice!

And so, the mere act of demanding Reparations is important, and is a critical component of the process, that we must engage in as individuals and as a collective, of repairing ourselves and of reaffirming the value of our civilization and heritage!

But clearly, any such validation of our humanity will have to begin with a knowledge of who we Africans or Afro-descendants were as a people before the criminal European impositions of slavery and colonialism. Thus, the Reparations Movement and the African and Caribbean governments that lead it must make it a priority to promote the study and the dissemination of information about our pre-slavery, pre-colonial African civilization, as well as of the history of European orchestrated enslavement and its effects on the civilization of Africa and on the development of the modern world.

  1. COMPLETION OF THE EMANCIPATION PROCESS

Of course, the point must also be made that the racist oppression of black or African people did not end with the formal abolition of slavery! Indeed, after the abolition of slavery in the 19th century our historical oppressors deliberately entrapped our ancestors in economic, political and social arrangements that were designed to handicap them and to serve the interests of the former enslavers– arrangements that have persisted (in modified form) down to the present day.

The struggle for Reparations must therefore be– among other things– a struggle to expose and put an end to such arrangements and to complete the Emancipation process! This is the second fundamental principle of the Reparations Movement.

It goes without saying therefore that the Reparations Movement (and our Governments in particular) must engage in an examination of our post-slavery history (with a view to identifying the many ways in which our historical oppressors unlawfully enmeshed and entrapped post-slavery generations down to the present era) , as well as in an examination of the many examples of resistance to these oppressive stratagems that were engaged in by our fore-fathers and mothers, inclusive of  their many decisive contributions to anti-colonial victories against European colonialism and to the founding of independent African and Caribbean nations .

And having properly informed ourselves we must be prepared to undertake efforts to expose and deprecate such racist present-day arrangements; to advance demands that they be terminated; and to undertake relevant protests and boycotts as well as forms of individual and collective State action to bring about the termination of all such still existing racist arrangements.

  1. COMPENSATION MUST BE PROPORTIONATE TO THE CRIME

The demand for compensation from the present-day representatives of those who inflicted horrendous crimes on our ancestors and who damaged and disabled succeeding generations must consist of a demand for the transfer of material resources in an amount proportionate to the enormity of the crimes and their deleterious effects—resources to enable present-day African and African-descendant populations to counter the economic and social imbalances derived from those centuries of criminality.

The Reparations Movement and the African and Caribbean governments that lead the Movement are therefore expected to collectively discuss and work out with civil society and other popular organizations, ideas for appropriate Reparations initiatives, payments and programmes that are capable of achieving such an objective.

  1. REPARATIONS MUST PRODUCE THE JUST SOCIETY

The fourth fundamental principle of the Reparations Movement is that the campaign for Reparations or for Reparative Justice must be designed to produce the “just society”, in that the demand for Reparations must be formulated as a demand for a fundamental transformation of the currently existing inequitable and exploitative economic and power relations that exist in the international arena and in many of our domestic societies.

It should be noted that this principle has implications not only for the restructuring of such international entities and phenomena as the United Nations Security Council, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and the terms of international trade and finance, but also for the manner in which our domestic African and Caribbean societies and Governments function. Implicit in the demand of our Caribbean and African Governments for Reparations must be a commitment to themselves deliver justice to their own people! And this is a commitment that the masses of African and Caribbean people must be prepared – through dynamic activism and advocacy– to hold our Governments to!

And here again, it will be incumbent on the international Reparations Movement and the African and Caribbean governments that lead the Movement to collectively discuss, work out and document ideas for appropriate initiatives, programmes and payments that are imbued with the potential to achieve this very ambitious (but critical) goal of producing the just society—internationally and domestically.

  1. AFRICANS MUST EXERCISE AUTONOMY THROUGHOUT THE PROCESS

An integral strategy of the Reparations Movement is to present the   demand for the payment of compensation (in financial and material resources as well as in developmental programmes) to the present-day representatives and beneficiaries of the evil system of slave trade and slavery and to invite their collaboration in addressing the tragic effects of this monumental historical crime. This, indeed, has been the approach of the CARICOM governments to date — they have collectively written to the relevant Governments of Western Europe calling upon them to acknowledge the crimes that were committed and the damage that was caused, and requesting them to agree to a collaborative approach to engaging in developmental programmes and transfers of resources designed to repair the still existing damage.

But even while adopting this approach, we Africans and Afro-descendants make it absolutely clear to all and sundry that even though we value the concept of collaboration, that the strategies and tasks to be implemented for our psychological repair and for our economic and social empowerment are our own responsibility and will be conceptualized, directed and controlled by us!

  1. WE MUST REPAIR OURSELVES

A critical component of the campaign for Reparations is the African’s and Afro-descendant’s own inwardly directed struggle for psychological, cultural and spiritual self-repair. Thus, African or Afro-descendant members of the Reparations Movement and their governments must be committed – as individuals and as collectives – to seek to identify all of the ways in which we have been and continue to be negatively affected by false notions of white supremacy and black inferiority, and to rigorously attack them and eradicate the negative effects that impact on our individual and collective psyches!

  1. SELF-REPAIR WILL GENERATE MASS SUPPORT FOR REPARATIONS

The effort to “prosecute” and hold accountable the present-day representatives and beneficiaries of the historical oppressors of the African and Afro-descendant people will require the widespread participation of Africans and Afro-descendants: and the attainment of such widespread popular participation will, in turn, be dependent on the inwardly directed struggle for self-repair and its capacity to persuade a critical mass of the African population to re-evaluate themselves and their history; to perceive the gravity of the injustice; to feel the tragic historical loss they have suffered; and to be sufficiently motivated to get involved or otherwise support the campaign for Reparations.

The Reparations Movement and the African and Caribbean governments that lead it must therefore engage in a comprehensive mass education outreach programme to the community that is designed not only to educate about the relevant history, but to also help as many of our people as possible to emotionally connect with that history and the tragic loss and injustice suffered.

  1. REPARATIONS MUST BE A BROAD MOVEMENT

The campaign for Reparations must be designed, on the one hand, to bring on board with us all of our natural allies in Africa and the Diaspora, Latin America and Asia and to enlist the tremendous weight of world opinion on our side, and, on the other hand, to isolate and publicly hold up to international embarrassment and critique all those entities that perversely and unreasonably seek to deny and resist the manifest justice and righteousness of our claim to Reparations.

This will call for a concerted effort in the field of international diplomacy by the Ambassadors, Embassies and foreign Missions of the nations of CARICOM and the AU. It will also require consistent effort at the General Assembly of the United Nations, the Organization of American States, the Commonwealth and in other relevant international organizations.

The Reparations Movement should therefore set about to bring allies (in the form of Governments and important civil society organizations) on board by reaching out and educating such entities about the African Reparations cause.

We will surely win the Reparations struggle when, wherever in the world representatives of the legally responsible governments go, other governments and people of goodwill are constantly asking them about their long outstanding moral and legal debt to the people and nations of Africa and the African Diaspora !

Just as virtually the whole world has come to know about the horrors of the Jewish holocaust and to acknowledge and respect the legitimacy and moral rightness of the Jewish demand for Reparations, we too must bring about a similar state of affairs in world public opinion in relation to the African Reparations cause.

  1. THE  MASS OF  OUR  PEOPLE  MUST BE INTIMATELY INVOLVED

The masses of our African and Afro-descendant populations must be intimately involved in the campaign for Reparations: they must be permitted enough time and opportunity to thoroughly discuss and understand the issue; their right to have the final and decisive say on the concrete details of the Reparations claim must be respected; and they must have a say – through representatives specifically selected by them – as to how the compensatory resources are utilized.

Furthermore, at a national level– within our many nation states–the Reparations Movement should systematically appeal to and challenge all of the relevant local and national organizations to put support for Reparations on their agenda and to include it in their programmes and Manifestos – political parties, trade unions, youth organizations, churches, women’s organizations, educational institutions, local government administrations, and the list goes on.

There must also be no compromise on the requirement that the “trustees” of any Reparations Fund that emerges out of the Reparations Campaign must include- along with the elected Governmental leadership– trusted representatives of the people directly selected by the people themselves for the special purpose of overseeing the expenditure of Reparations resources.

  1. NETWORK AND ESTABLISH A NEW INTERNATIONAL LEGAL STRUCTURE

The successful pursuit of Reparations will require the establishment of a world-wide network of community, regional, national and international organizations. Indeed, at the grassroots level, the community based Reparations organization must be linked into a national network, while at the level of our African and Caribbean governments we should establish a trans-Atlantic international network that is preparing and engaging in legal, diplomatic and political strategies at the international level to achieve Reparations.

The African and African-descendants Reparations Claim (s) will either be consensually negotiated between mutually respectful State parties gathered around an international negotiating table, or it will have to be litigated in a series of international law cases brought against the Governments of the liable nations.

And since the Reparations claim that is being advanced on behalf of the sons and daughters of Africa and the Diaspora is of a magnitude and complexity hitherto unknown to the currently existing international court system, it may in all likelihood require the setting up of a special new International Tribunal specifically designed by the member states of the General Assembly of the United Nations to deal with and do justice to a claim of this historical importance and magnitude.

The time has come for the African and African descendant people of the world and their Governments to finally present their Reparations Bill to the current day successor Governments of those national Governments of Europe and North America that organized, facilitated, legitimized, financed, and benefited from the trans-Atlantic Slave Trade and the associated system of racialized Chattel Slavery — the governments of Britain, Spain, France, Portugal, Holland, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Sweden, Norway, and the United States of America (a former colony that perpetuated the enslavement of African people for nearly one hundred years after attaining its independence).

Onwards to the achievement of Reparations in this United Nations International Decade For People of African Descent!

DAVID  COMISSIONG

Chairman
Caribbean Pan-African Network