A call to our combative people

Source:  Granma
September 11 2017

Raúl Castro Ruz | internet@granma.cu

We face the recovery with the example of Comandante en Jefe de la Revolución Cubana, Fidel Castro Ruz, who, with his unwavering confidence in victory and iron will, taught us that nothing is impossible.

hurricane irma el malecon.jpg

Hurricane Irma, with its destructive power, battered our island for 72 hours, beginning the morning of September 8 until this Sunday afternoon. With winds that surpassed 250 kilometers per hour on occasion, it crossed the north of the country from Baracoa – hit hard by another phenomenon of this type almost a year ago – to the outskirts of Cárdenas. However, given its immense size, practically no province was spared its effects.

Described by experts as the largest ever to form in the Atlantic, this meteorological phenomenon caused severe damage to the country, which, precisely because of its scope, has yet to be quantified. A preliminary view shows evidence of an impact on housing, the electrical system, and agriculture.

hope amid destructionPhoto: Jose M. Correa

It also struck some of our principal tourist destinations, but damage will be repaired before the beginning of the high season. We have on hand for this the human resources and materials needed, given that this constitutes one of the principal sources of income in the national economy.

These have been difficult days for our people, who, in a few hours time, have seen what was constructed with great effort hit by a devastating hurricane. Images from the last few hours speak for themselves, as does the spirit of resistance and victory of our people that is regenerated with every adversity.

The unity of Cubans has prevailed

In these difficult circumstances, the unity of Cubans has prevailed, the solidarity among neighbors, discipline in response to instructions issued by the National Civil Defense General Staff and Defense Councils at all levels, the professionalism of specialists at the Institute of Meteorology, the immediacy of our communications media and its journalists, the support of mass organizations, as well as the cohesion of National Defense Council leadership bodies. Special mention for all of our women, including leaders of the Party and government, who with aplomb and maturity provided leadership and confronted the difficult situation.

The days that are coming will be ones of much work, during which the strength and indestructible confidence in the Revolution of Cubans will again be demonstrated. This is not a time to mourn, but to construct again that which the winds of Irma attempted to destroy.

With organization, discipline, and the coordination of all our structures, we will move forward as we have done on previous occasions. No one should be fooled; the task we have before us is huge, but with a people like ours, we will win the most important battle: recovery.

At this critical moment, the Cuban Workers’ Federation and the National Association of Small Farmers, along with all other mass organizations, must redouble efforts to eliminate as quickly as possible the trail left by this destructive event.

One principle remains immovable: the Revolution will leave no one unprotected and measures are already being adopted to ensure that no Cuban family is left to their fate.

As has been customary every time a meteorological phenomenon has struck us, there have been many expressions of solidarity received from all parts of the world. Heads of state and government, political organizations, and friends in solidarity organizations have expressed the desire to help us, whom we thank in the name of more than eleven million Cuban men and women.

fidel sierra maestra.pngWe face the recovery with the example of Comandante en Jefe de la Revolución Cubana, Fidel Castro Ruz, who, with his unwavering confidence in victory and iron will, taught us that nothing is impossible. In these difficult hours, his legacy makes us strong and unites us.

Raúl Castro Ruz

Havana, September 10, 2017

Gathering of Social Movements and Political Forces “FOR PEACE, UNITY AND THE INTEGRATION OF OUR AMERICA”

Invitation

V-Cumbre-Celac.jpgThe social and popular organizations, including trade unions, peasant, youth, student and organizations of solidarity with the peoples in Dominican Republic, call to all organizations of Latin America and the Caribbean to the Meeting of Social Movements and Political Forces “For Peace, Unity and the Integration of our America”

The Meeting of Social Movement and Political Forces will take place prior to the Fifth Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Community of Latin American and the Caribbean (CELAC). The purpose of the event is to raise our voices against imperialism, to demand sovereignty and self-determination and to defend peace, unity and the integration of our great country. The event will provide a space to reaffirm the popular mobilization and solidarity with all just causes that we defend.

As a result of the discussions that we will engage in, a statement will be issued and will be delivered to the presidents attending the V Summit of the CELAC, as our contribution to the preservation of the principles of community and as a contribution to peace, unity and the integration of our America.

Articulación Nacional Campesina

Justicia Climática

Comité Solidaridad con Venezuela

Movimiento Caamañista

Confederación Nacional Unidad Sindical-CNUS

Centro de Solidaridad para el Desarrollo de la Mujer, CE MUJER

Frente Estudiantil Flavio Suero-FEFLAS

Movimiento de Mujeres Trabajadoras

Asociación Nacional de Enfermería-ASONAEN

Fuerza de la Revolución- FR

Cloc-Via Campesina

La Multitud

Confederación Nacional Mujeres  del Campo-CONAMUCA

Partido Comunista del Trabajo- PCT

Juventud Caribe

Fundación Francisco Alberto Caamaño

Campaña Dominicana de Solidaridad con Cuba-CDSC.

Unión Trabajadores Cañeros- UTC

Fundación Máximo Gómez

Gathering of Social Movements and Political Forces
For the Integration and Unity of Latin American and the Caribbean

When:  January 23 and 24
Place: Pedro Mir Library, Autonomous University

Contact: Ivan Rodriguez
Phone. 809-962-5026
Email: leticiaprimero@yahoo.es

Agenda

Monday, January 23

9:00 a.m.  Welcoming and general introduction of the meeting.
10:00 a.m. Panel (3):

  • Topic: The sovereignty of the peoples of our America
  • Topic: Human rights for all men and women
  • Topic: Peace, unity and the integration of Latin American and the Caribbean

12:30 p.m. Lunch
3:00 p.m.  Approval of the Declaration in support of CELAC
8:30 p.m.  Cultural Gala

Tuesday, Janurary 24

9:30 a.m.  Solidarity Event

Latin American left looks to strengthen unity in Nicaragua

Source: Granma
January 8 2017

by Redacción Internacional | informacion@granma.cu

Representatives of various left political parties and groups from across Latin America are meeting in Nicaragua, reviewing an official proposal to strengthen unity among progressive movements in the region

President Daniel Ortega and first lady  Rosario Murillo greet supporters during celebrations to mark the 37th anniversary of the Sandinista Revolution at the Juan Pablo II square in Managua

Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo representing the Sandinista Front For National Liberation (FSLN) won the country’s presidential elections last November 6. Photo: el 19 digital

Managua.—Representatives of various leftist political parties and groups from across Latin America are meeting in Nicaragua, reviewing an official proposal to strengthen unity among progressive movements in the region.

According to sources closely linked to the event, today, Monday January 9, participants will consider proposals for the Consensus of Our America – a programmatic platform designed to combat actions by regional neoliberal oligarchies – which will be presented to the Sao Paulo Forum working group, according to Prensa Latina.

Unity vital in the present situation

After a year which saw Argentina elect a conservative government, a parliamentary coup staged in Brazil, and hostile media campaign against Venezuela, it is vital for social movements to unite, given such a complex state of affairs, emphasized event organizers.

At least 40 delegates from groups from over 10 countries are scheduled to attend the meeting.

The Sao Paulo Forum

The Sao Paulo Forum was founded by Brazil’s Workers Party in 1990 in the city of the same name, to unite efforts by leftist parties and movements in response to the ideological rupture created by the fall of the socialist camp in Europe and the advance of neoliberalism in countries across Latin American and Caribbean.

With Comandante Daniel Ortega set to be inaugurated on January 10 – after winning Nicaragua’s presidential elections for a third term on November 6, 2016, with 72.5% of the vote – leaders and representatives of political parties and social movements will come together in Managua, where from January 11-12, the meeting of the Sao Paulo Forum working group will take place.

Cuban youth have decided to live in our free Cuba

Source:  Granma
January 4, 2017

by: Jennifer Bello Martínez | internet@granma.cu

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Remarks by Jennifer Bello Martínez, a member of the Council of State and President of the Federation of University Students in José Martí Plaza de la Revolución, January 2, 2017, “Year 59 of the Revolution”

Compatriots,

Friends from around the world accompanying us today,

People of Cuba:

Photo: Anabel Díaz


The landing of the Granma  expeditionaries

Called together by history, the present and future, we come together at this historic Plaza only two days after the 58th anniversary of the triumph of the Cuban Revolution, to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the heroic uprising in Santiago de Cuba, the landing of the Granma expeditionaries, and Revolutionary Armed Forces Day.

This celebration has special motives which, for every Cuban, represent commitment, will, and confidence in the future of the socialist Revolution true to the ideas of Fidel and Martí.

We dedicate this commemoration to Comandante en Jefe of the Cuban Revolution and our youth, heirs and continuators of our people’s struggles and victories.

A united people

What will take place this morning, is only possible because there exists a united people, the ultimate expression of a Revolution of workers; campesions; students; soldiers; noble men and women who are proud of this society.

Last December marked two years since the announcement of the decision by Cuba and the United States to re-establish diplomatic relations and initiate a process toward the normalization of bilateral relations.

We would not have arrived at this historic moment if it were not for the resistance of the Cuban people, their loyalty to the ideals and principles that have guided them throughout their history as a nation.

Demanding the lifting of the blockade

Much remains to be done to advance in this process, which will be long and as part of which complicated problems accumulated over more than 50 years must be solved. Cuba will not stop demanding the lifting of the blockade, which causes damage and deprivation to our people, nor stop demanding the return of the territory occupied by the United States Naval Base in Guantánamo, against the will of the Cuban government and people. Neither will it stop demanding an end to subversive and interventionist programs intended to provoke changes in the political, economic and social order freely chosen by our people.

A demonstration of this has been the mobilization and energetic participation of students and the entire society, which like a hornet’s nest, we proclaim before the world to defend every conquest. The vanguard will continue to be the vanguard, forever patriots and anti-imperialists.

Bastión 2016

Just as Army General Raúl Castro Ruz remarked in his speech last September 17, during the 17th Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement held in Venezuela: “Cuba will never renounce any of its principles or compromise its sovereignty and independence. Cuba will not cease defending its revolutionary and anti-imperialist ideals, or supporting the self-determination of all peoples.
As part of the country’s defense preparation we conducted the Bastión 2016 Strategic Exercise, in order to update and carry out actions outlined in defense plans and to combat different enemy actions. Bastión 2016, an essential element to the implementation of the doctrine of “War by the Entire People,” once again demonstrated the unbreakable will of the Cuban people to defend their sovereignty and preserve the work of the Revolution.

Always at the ready to conquer what is to come

Precisely these principles have been those for which we have struggled since the cry of independence, and we are showing this with this Military Review and March of the Combatant People, which bears within it our history, our symbols, the rebelliousness, and heroism of this people. Marching by will be the mambises, (independence fighters) who the homeland will contemplate with pride, on their horses and with their machetes of liberation.

A replica of the Granma yacht, representing the feat accomplished by those 82 expeditionaries who made possible the dream of national liberation, this time will set sail upon a joyful sea of children, the next generation waving their blue neckerchiefs, with the commitment to be the future and be always at the ready to conquer what is to come.

In tight ranks, four columns of youth will march, representing those brave guerillas who created the Rebel Army; from their blood the new homeland emerged: free, combative, and invincible.

Recalling the epic of Girón and the Literacy Campaign

The epic of Girón, decisive for the nascent revolution, will also be recalled. Parading through the Plaza will be 90 combatants from that heroic battle, representing the Rebel Army, the police, and the newly formed National Revolutionary Militias. The decision to bear any cost necessary for the cause of socialism continues to motivate the millions of Cubans who populate this island.

Today, as well, we remember the Literacy Campaign work done by children and youth, with love and bravery, represented by 90 students from the Enrique José Varona University of Pedagogical Sciences, wearing the uniforms which illuminated this plaza when our people raised the banner proclaiming, before the world, that Cuba was an illiteracy-free territory.

Also marching will be seven blocs of combatants who completed missions in more than 40 nations, where they served as examples of respect for the dignity and sovereignty of the country. The confidence gained in the hearts of these peoples, was the fruit of the impeccable conduct of our soldiers.

Our girls and boys are hope, the most pure essence of the Revolution’s work. Representing all of the country’s children here are young members of La Colmenita, (Children’s theater company) little hardworking bumblebees who share love, peace, and wisdom with their honey.

Committees for the Defense of the Revolution

Under the gaze of José Martí, our troops composed of youth from the Revolutionary Armed Forces and Ministry of the Interior academies; from the three valuable armies; soldiers, and militias will march, and pay heartfelt tribute to the thousands of combatants who keep the peace and provide tranquility for the Cuban people.

Representing the popular character of the country’s defense, the provincial, municipal, and neighborhood Committees for the Defense of the Revolution will parade, along with Production and Defense Brigades and our university militias, who respond to the nation’s call: Present!

The people of Havana, representing all of Cuba, will fill the Plaza de la Revolución with the responsibility to continue struggling for our sovereign, independent, socialist, democratic, prosperous and sustainable nation.

Since October 10, 1868

Younger generations, as symbols of life, love, human justice, and Revolution, will demonstrate their commitment to the homeland, our Party, to Fidel and Raúl. We walk these streets with the enthusiasm and the drive that characterize Cuban youth, committed to defending this sky and our only flag.

Since October 10, 1868, Cuban men and women have decided to live in a free, sovereign, independent Cuba. No one can make us forget our history, or the symbols of this people’s resistance.

We make our own the ideas of the historic leader of the Revolution, expressed in the plenary session of the 7th Congress of the Communist Party of Cuba: “To our sisters and brothers of Latin America and the world, we must convey to you that the Cuban people will triumph … We will set forth on the path and perfect what we must perfect, with absolute loyalty and our forces united, like Martí, Maceo, and Gómez, in an unstoppable march.”

Eternal glory to those who have died for the homeland!

Long live the Cuban Revolution!

Long live Fidel, forever!

Viva Cuba Libre!

Ortega: SICA needs to meet the demands of the regional people

Greater Integration, Central America’s Challenge

Managua, Dec 21 (Prensa Latina)

Consolidating unity and meeting the demands of the people are today two of the greatest challenges for the Central American Integration System (SICA, in Spanish), whose member States have agreed to push forward a sustainable development.

daniel ortega sica.jpg

On closing last night in Managua the 48th SICA Summit, Nicaragua’s President Daniel Ortega said that the global economy imposes new challenges on the region’s nations.

Re-founding SICA

He suggested to work on re-founding SICA because despite advances the System is not meeting the demands of the regional people and those the global economy imposes.

Nicaragua has handed over SICA’s pro-tempore Presidency to Costa Rica that will lead the bloc during the next six months

Founded in February 1993, SICA is made up of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Belize and Dominican Republic.

Unity and integration 

In the face of today’s challenges, the more integrated and united we are, the better and stronger we’ll be to deal with global trade, tackle poverty, hunger and provide better welfare for our people, stressed the Nicaraguan President.

Ortega insisted that despite the region’s economic indicators are not bad and they have been able to sort out the international crisis, we can do better and advance even more through integration a unity.

Keida’s Reggae message: Peace, unity and love

Source: KING2LA kingstontola.com

Progression is a process. It’s every artist’s pursuit. From painter to poet, the end game for every creative is the manifestation of the truest form of themselves. This pursuit is lofty, yet it is the driving force that pushes artists to continue their movement forward.

keida live1.jpgKeida performing live alongside Kranium at the 32nd annual Reggae on the River.

Makeida Beckford, known by her stage name Keida, has blossomed before the reggae world’s eyes. Originally from Bull Bay, Jamaica, Keida burst on the scene with her hit “Jamaica Boy” in 2009. This single instantly gained popularity and remained a favorite with DJs all over the world. She then released singles throughout the next few years, showing her versatility on tracks such as “We are the West Indies,” a song that complimented a campaign to revitalize cricket on the islands. Yet, this song was significant, as it showcased Keida’s crossover potential and proved that, no matter the vibes, Keida adapts and manages to keep her signature sound intact.

Her most recent release, Ebb and Flowis her best and most complete work to date. It’s rare to listen to an album and feel as though you are picking up something “real” from an artist; songs that let the listener in on something personal through struggle, understanding and feeling. These things come across in Keida’s album and still have the world craving the artist’s vibes. Check out “Mad World” below to hear the singjay’s ebb and flow:

We were excited to explore these themes and more with Keida when we sat down with her for a recent interview:

KINGSTONTOLA: Your sound and style are unique in today’s music coming out of the Caribbean. Who are your biggest influences both musically and socially?

KEIDA: As an artist, both vocally and visually, I draw influence from many different aspects of life and people’s experiences, but when it comes to influential artists, I have been largely impacted by artists like Sade Adu, Roberta Flack, Tracy Chapman, Sister Nancy, Bob Marley and … I could go on forever. Socially, I look up to people like Russell Bell (a great mathematician and youth advocate), Emperor Haile Selassie I, and, of course, my parents, Jamaican fine artists Owen Beckford and Michele Gauntlett.

KNG2LA: Your message of peace and unity are central themes to your music. How do you stay grounded in that thought process?

keida 2.jpgKEIDA: Well, I was taught to speak things into being, so I try to use my music to focus on the positive, even by sometimes highlighting the negative, as a means to bring awareness to some of the things we can and need to change. For question two, you need to capitalize on what’s happening globally. With the current global affairs, I’m constantly reminded of the need for a message of peace and unity. World events and, in particular, civil wars, terrorist activity and hate crimes, inspire me to continue spreading this message of love and unity in the face of divisiveness.

KNG2LA: Your songs draw on several influences: roots reggae, calypso and R&B. How does the writing process begin and how are styles chosen?  Does your writing dictate the sound?

KEIDA: Each writing session is a little different. Some songs can be born out of reasoning with self or another person and just having a concept that resonates with me, while other times, the song may be influenced by the feel and sound of the riddim. I usually start off by listening to the riddim and just writing what it makes me feel. The way I deliver the lyrics all depends on the message I’m bringing across.

KNG2LA: Are there any causes that you are currently championing?  Are there any social causes that you would like to get the word out about?

KEIDA: I’m an ambassador for R.E.A.P., an in-school, environmental program encouraging kids to learn about the impact they have on their environment. I would also like to continue to use my voice to champion a message of love and unity, instead of tyranny and terrorism, as I did in my recent song “One Love.”

When we interviewed Keida, the singer was about to embark on her tour stop to the 32nd annual Reggae on the River festival in northern California, our home away from home. Keida blew the crowd away with two special guest performances during the festival. She ignited the crowd as she joined Jesse Royal and his band onstage. The chemistry and vibes between the two talents was obvious as the crowd grooved along to the duo’s collaboration.

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Keida and Jesse Royal exchange the mic and a smile while performing together at Reggae on the River.

While the crowd was taken through a journey of hits by dancehall favorite Kranium, Keida joined him for her second performance and showcased her singjay skills, much to the crowd’s delight. Their performance was one of the best dancehall contributions to the festival.

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Keida performing alongside Kranium at the 32nd annual Reggae on the River.

Flexibility and progression, two things that define artistry, also define Keida. Impressive is her movement through musical styles and the stage. We look forward to what she blesses her fans with next!

Listen to one of our favorite singles from Keida’s Ebb and Flow EP titled “One Love” here on KingstonToLA:

Cuba: Promoting unity in the church

“If it continues this way, Cuba will be the capital of unity,” Pope Francis said

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Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill look to Raul in appreciation

Nearly 1,000 years after the Eastern and Western branches of Christianity split apart, the meeting at an airport terminal in Cuba was the first ever between a Roman Catholic pope and a Russian Orthodox patriarch.

“Finally!” Francis exclaimed as he embraced Kirill in the small, wood-paneled VIP room of Havana’s airport, where the three-hour encounter took place on Friday.

“We are brothers,” Francis added.

The Vatican is hoping the meeting will improve relations with other Orthodox churches and spur progress in dialogue over theological differences that have divided east from west ever since the Great Schism of 1054 split Christianity.

Raul in yet another historic moment

Cuban President Raul Castro stood to the side during the ceremony, in yet another historic moment having recently been a part of the renewing of diplomatic relations between Cuba and the United States and meeting with US President Barack Obama in Panama in April – the first such meeting in over 50 years.

Cuba is also sponsoring peace talks between the Colombian government and leftist rebels seeking to end a 50-year war.

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“Now what’s left is Colombia,” Raul told reporters after the pope boarded his plane for Mexico, where Francis arrived on Friday evening for a five-day visit to some of the poorest and most violent corners of the country.

Cuba: The peace capital of the world

“If it continues this way, Cuba will be the capital of unity,” Pope Francis said.

Following the meeting, Francis and Kirill issued a joint declaration expressing their concern about the plight of Christians in Iraq and Syria who are being killed and driven from their homes by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group.

In a joint appearance, Francis told reporters he was “grateful for the humility” of Kirill, while praising the Cuban president for hosting the talks.