The blockade is more than the Helms-Burton and the Helms-Burton is more than Title III

Source:  Granma
May 7 2019

A panel of experts dissects the infamous law during a public hearing called by the Association of Cuban Jurists and the Cuban United Nations Association

Author: Raúl Antonio Capote | informacion@granmai.cu

the blockade ismore than the Helms Burton.jpg

Photo: Juvenal Balán

Members of Cuban civil society, intellectuals, journalists, and students gathered on May 3 in Havana, in a public hearing convened by the Association of Cuban Jurists and the Cuban United Nations Association to discuss the activation of the Helms-Burton Act’s Title III, a law that violates the principle of sovereignty, and seeks to destroy our nation and subordinate it to the power of a foreign government.

The public hearing was held at the Higher Institute of International Relations in the Cuban capital and featured a panel that included Ricardo Alarcón de Quesada, former president of the National Assembly; attorney Rodolfo Dávalos; Luis Solá Vila, president of the Cuban Society of Public International Law; and Johana Tablada, deputy general director for the United States at Cuba’s Foreign Ministry.

Professor Solá Vila clarified in his speech that the Helms-Burton Act should be viewed as a whole, “not only Title III, but the complete law, from the first letter to the last.”

He reminded those present that on July 6, 1960, the President of the United States announced the cancellation of Cuba’s sugar quota in that country’s market, a heavy blow to the Cuban economy, based on a single product and dependent on sales to the U.S.

Days later, the administration decreed an oil embargo, and the Revolutionary Government responded to these measures in kind, with nationalizations.

johana tablada.jpgJohana Tablada warned that we are facing a dangerous context, in which the current U.S. government seeks “to cause the greatest possible damage to Cuba in the shortest time possible,” and will not be satisfied with full application of the Helms-Burton.

They need to blame someone for their failures in Venezuela, justify their mistakes, said Tablada: “The battle today in Venezuela is also the battle for Cuba.”

They are in a hurry, they are fighting against time, she said, they use any pretext to “cause the greatest harm.”

The U.S. knows they have everything against them and “cannot break the level of support for Cuba even within the U.S.” she stressed.

She recalled the alleged “sonic attacks” on U.S. diplomats in Cuba, a blatant lie kept alive to attract the attention of the public. In Latin America this lesson has been learned, she added. Fidel, Chávez, Evo, Correa, Cristina, Lula, left a deep mark very difficult to erase, she insisted, adding, “History is on our side.”

Rodolfo DávalosProfessor Rodolfo Dávalos made it clear that the nationalizations were conducted in full compliance with the law. “What is illegal,” he said, “is an extraterritorial law like the Helms-Burton.”

Lawsuits recently filed in Miami courts may take months to resolve, perhaps years, he explained. Lawyers for the companies targeted are already taking steps to respond.

“Are these courts competent? Can there be an impartial jury in Miami?” asked Gerardo Hernández, decorated Hero of the Republic of Cuba, adding, “I know what I’m talking about,” referring to the trials of the Five Cuban anti-terrorists in that city.

Ricardo Alarcón emphasized the importance of not letting the corporate media impose the agenda, recalling the beginning of the blockade: “Kennedy was said to have started it in 1962, other dates are also cited without much meaning, but the reality is that it began January 1, 1959.”

Alarcón also referred to the thieves who made off with the country’s money in 1959. They are the ones now demanding compensation for the property they left behind in Cuba.

He called on participants to study, to read the Helms-Burton Law in its entirety. “We are a free and sovereign country, and a foreign nation has no right to dictate laws against Cuba,” he emphasized.

Cuba: For Peace and Against War

Source:  Granma
May 3 2019

The International Solidarity Conference for World Peace and Against War, held May 2 in the Cuban capital, was a great embrace shared by brothers and sisters from around the world

by: Bertha Mojena Milián | internet@granma.cu

rising up against imperialism 1.jpg

Photo: Dunia Álvarez

The International Solidarity Conference for World Peace and Against War, held May 2 in the Cuban capital, was a great embrace shared by brothers and sisters from around the world. Approved was a Declaration of international solidarity and for world peace, in which the Helms-Burton Act was condemned; and demanded were an end to the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the U.S. government on Cuba for 60 years and the return of territory illegally occupied by the U.S. Naval Base in Guantanamo.

The declaration calls on the international solidarity movement to denounce the illegal nature of new sanctions levied on Cuba that violate the United Nations Charter and international law, and reiterated support for the struggles of peoples around the world for sovereignty and self-determination.

“Let us rise up against imperialist barbarism, for peace and a world without exploitation,” the document concludes.

“No matter how dark the path, the response of the Cuban people will be to resist and victory will always be ours,” reiterated the president of the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP), Fernando González Llort, who announced the “Hemispheric fernando gonzalez.jpgAnti-Imperialist Encounter of Solidarity, for democracy, and against neoliberalism,” to be held in Havana November 1-3.The call states, “Without neglecting or moving away from the specific agendas of multiple struggles, to which our organizations and movements are articulated, we are aware that it will not be possible to face the enemies of our peoples in isolation, dispersed.”

Thus, the call invites “the continent’s networks and platforms; popular movements of campesinos; women and feminists; trade unionists and excluded workers; environmentalists; youth and students; religious, indigenous, ethnic, regional, and LGTBI movements… all sectors committed to the struggle to stop the advance of the neoliberal right, to construct and defend a common emancipatory project.”

The International Solidarity Conference for World Peace and Against War began with a tribute to the historical leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro Ruz, received with a prolonged ovation. In thanking the more than 1,400 participants from more than 103 organizations in 57 countries, the general secretary of the Federation of Cuban Workers (CTC) and Party Political Bureau member, Ulises Guilarte de Nacimiento, reported that this May Day, more than six million Cubans marched across the island, demonstrating the people’s support for the Revolution, our ability to fight, and the conviction that we will always achieve victory.

The trade union leader observed that this type of gathering provides an opportunity to share experiences on social battles in many regions, disseminate ideas, and construct the consensus needed to confront the neoliberal offensive, and the escalation of U.S. attacks on the independence and self-determination of peoples.

He noted that Venezuela, Nicaragua, and Cuba are being targeted directly by imperialism, given the determination of their peoples and governments to resist domination, despite efforts to discredit progressive government that have produced benefits for the people and made social gains.

Guilarte reaffirmed solidarity and support for the Bolivarian Revolution and its constitutional President; for Luiz Ignacio Lula da Silva, unjustly imprisoned in Brazil; and for all workers around the world struggling against capitalist exploitation.

Adan Chavez

Adan Chavez

A special guest attending the conference was Venezuela’s ambassador in Cuba, Adán Chávez, who thanked participants for the numerous committed and courageous demonstrations of support for the Bolivarian Revolution around the world, recalling that the attacks on his country began as soon as eternal

Comandante Hugo Chávez was elected President the first time, but that the region’s peoples have decided to be free, and any victories of the empire and its allies are circumstantial, insisting, “The attacks will continue, and we will continue defeating them.”

The Venezuelan diplomat also pointed out that Venezuela will not be a U.S. colony ever again, just like the Cuban people, the Nicaraguan, all those who fight for just causes, for their rights, because left political projects are moving forward, adding “The peoples are in the street, fighting, more and more united”.

gail walker.jpg

Gail Walker

For her part, Gail Walker, daughter of the beloved friend of Cuba, Reverend Lucius Walker, said that it was an honor to be one of the many people from the United States who have come to express their solidarity with Cuba.

She noted that among those from the United States, marching with Cuba this May Day, were many visiting the island for the first time, and from a variety of sectors, including education and health, workers, community groups, and women. We are all here to express the continuity of our solidarity, she said, as progressive forces from different states, “united in love and solidarity.

lula da silva 3c.jpg

Lula da Silva

“Likewise, the president of the World Peace Council, Socorro Gómez, thanked those present for their support in the campaign to free former Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, especially Army General Raúl Castro in his capacity as First Secretary of the Party Central Committee, and Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez. “Their solidarity reaches deep into the hearts of the Brazilian people and is an incentive to free Lula and continue fighting for democracy in Brazil,” she reaffirmed.

On behalf of the International Democratic Women’s Federation (FDIM), its president Lorena Peña said, “It is time to take the offensive in resistance to interventionist imperialism, and overcome the media war and the dangerous actions of imperialism.” The fight must be constant, without making concessions to the opponents, she emphasized.

Russia Puts Up Strong Support for Venezuela

Source:  Prensa latina

May 6 2019

Lavrov y Arreaza.jpgRussian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and his Venezuelan peer Jorge Arreaza,
Russia has made clear it supports the legitimate and constitutional government of President Nicolas Maduro after the failed US-backed coup attempt of April 30.
After meeting on Sunday in Moscow with his Venezuelan peer, Jorge Arreaza, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov underscored Moscow’s support for Maduro administration ‘principled, consistent and firm’.‘We now see an unprecedented campaign, led by the United States, to overthrow the legitimate authorities of Venezuela. We condemn this campaign for violating the principles of international law,’ Lavrov stressed.

Lavrov further said Russia never meddles in the domestic affairs of other states, ‘and we urge all others to act precisely like this’, he added.

Attempts at a forced change of power in Venezuela undermine the crisis settlement process and carry a risk of catastrophe, the Russian minister warned.

Attempts to forcibly change the government in Caracas, of course, have nothing to do with the democratic process, but only hamper the prospects for a political settlement of the crisis, and the continuation of this line is fraught with the most serious consequences’, Lavrov added.

He stressed that Moscow condemns the unprecedented US campaign aimed at overthrowing the legitimate Venezuelan government.

The minister went on to say that Moscow and Caracas are set to strengthen their strategic cooperation.

Venezuela has been trapped in a political crisis since January, when opposition leader Juan Guaido declared himself interim president, challenging the outcome of the country’s last presidential election.

The move was promptly backed by the United States, which vowed to support Guaido and imposed a row of sanctions against the Latin American country, seizing billions of dollars’ worth of the country’s oil assets, Sputnik News recalled.

Moreover, a number of senior US officials, including President Donald Trump, have repeatedly stated that all options remain on the table with regard to the Venezuelan crisis, including military action.

Maduro: Loyal Military Defeated the Coup Attempt

Dear military comrades of the General Staff, I would like to congratulate you for the courageous loyal and enormously wise attitude with which you have led the resolution and the defeat of the small group that tried to fill with violence in the coup plot and I ask the people of Venezuela to give a round of  applause to the national Bolivarian armed forces, who are loyal, firm, obedient disciplined and who serve the constitution and the commander in chief. [Applause]  (Google translation)

Manufacturing A Crisis In Venezuela

Source:  Popular Resistance
By Eva Bartlett, Informationclearinghouse.info

EDUCATE!
massive pro govt rally

 

Above Photo: A massive pro-government rally on March 16, Caracas. ©  Eva Bartlett

US IS MANUFACTURING A CRISIS IN VENEZUELA SO THAT THERE IS CHAOS AND ‘NEEDED’ INTERVENTION

March 30, 2019 “Information Clearing House“ –  Venezuela is America’s current target for mass destabilization in the hope of installing a puppet government.

America has for years been waging an economic war against Venezuela, including debilitating sanctions which have dramatically affected the state’s ability to purchase medicines, and even mundane replacement parts needed in buses, ambulances, etc. Alongside the economic war there has been a steady propaganda war, but in recent months, the propaganda has escalated dramatically, from corporate media to US political figures.

Venezuela is described as “the country pilots are refusing to fly to,” as per a March 18, 2019, AP article on American Airlines cancelling all flights to Venezuela, containing scary phrases like “safety concerns” and “civil unrest.

On March 9, American cancelled my Miami-Caracas flight on the basis that there wasn’t enough electricity to land at Caracas airport. Strangely enough, the Copa flight I took the following day after an overnight in Panama had no problem landing, nor did Copa flights on the day of my own cancelled flight, according to Copa staff.

The cancellation of flights to Venezuela then lends legitimacy to the shrill tweets of Marco Rubio, Mike Pence, John Bolton, and the previously unknown non-president, Juan Guaido.

I’ve been in various areas of Caracas since March 10, and I’ve seen none of this “civil unrest” that corporate media are talking about. I’ve walked around Caracas, usually on my own, and haven’t experienced the worry for my safety corporate media is telling Westerners they should suddenly feel more than normal in Venezuela.

In fact, I see little difference from the Venezuela I knew in 2010 when I spent half a year here, except the hyperinflation is absurdly worse and in my absence I missed the years of extreme right-wing opposition supporters street violence – a benign term for the guarimbas which saw opposition supporters burning people alive, among other violence against people and security.

So it strikes me that the decision of American Airlines to stop flying to Venezuela is not about safety and security issues, but is political, in line with increasingly hollow rhetoric about a humanitarian crisis that does not exist, even according to former UN Special Rapporteur, Alfred de Zayas.

I asked Paul Dobson, a journalist who has lived in Venezuela the last 14 years, if anything like this had happened before. Turns out it has, also at a very timely moment.

At the time of the National Constituent Assembly elections, July 30, 2017, the major airlines – including Air France, United, American, pretty much all of the European airlines – suspended their flights one day before the elections, citing “security reasons.” Most of the services were reopened about four days after the elections, some of them two weeks after the elections.

So were there ‘security concerns? I asked Paul.

This was towards the end of street violence (guarimbas) that had been going on for six months in the country. Why didn’t they suspend their activity six months before, two months before? They did it the day before the elections, clearly trying to influence votes and the way that people see their country internationally. There were no extra security concerns that day than any day over the last 6 months. So, there was really no justification for it. And it caused massive problems on the ground, around elections.”

America Manufactures Crises; Venezuelans Respond With Calm

On February 23, a month after a previously largely-unknown, US-backed man named Juan Guaido claimed he was the president of Venezuela, there was a short-lived period of instability at the Venezuelan border with Colombia, when America insisted on forcing aid trucks into Venezuela.

Aid trucks that burned that day were the result of attacks of masked young men on the Colombian side, and not from the Venezuelan military as western corporate media and Marco Rubio would have you believe. Less-known is that the ‘aid trucks’ contained very odd humanitarian aid, including nails and wire.

Were their fake concerns genuine, the US could have done what Cuba, China, and Russia, among others, have done and send the aid through appropriate channels, like the UN and the Red Cross. America’s attempt to ram trucks through Venezuela’s border has been revealed as the cheap propaganda stunt that it was.

A couple of weeks later, suddenly there was a very timely country-wide power outage for six days, affecting most things in Venezuelan infrastructure and life, a reality that Palestinians in Gaza have been living since at least 2006 when Israel bombed their sole power plant, never since allowing them to import the parts needed to adequately repair it.

When I lived in Gaza, I grew accustomed to outages of 16-22 hours a day, for months on end. Near-daily sustained 18 plus hour power outages continue in Gaza, but that’s not something the regime-change squad were or are outraged about.

Western media coverage of the blackout was tabloidesque, claiming without any proof whatsoever that 300 people had died due to the outage,portraying Venezuelans collecting water from a spring at the Guaire river in Caracas as collecting dirty sewage water, looting (which actually occurred in the Western border city of Maracaibo and not in Caracas, unless there were localized and unreported incidents), and in general blaming the Maduro government for everything under the moon.

Talking with journalists of Mision Verdad, an independent Venezuelan investigative news site, I learned that one of the targets of looting was a mall in Maracaibo, where electronics were the items of choice, not food. Another incident reportedly involved looting beer and soft drinks. Odd behaviour for a starving people in a humanitarian crisis.

When I arrived three days into the outage, aside from darkened buildings, empty streets, and in following days long lines at water dispensaries and ATMs, I saw no instability. Instead, I saw and learned of Venezuelans working together to get through the drastic effects of the power outage.

I learned at the Ministry of Urban Agriculture of how they took vegetables and crops to hospitals and schools during the electricity outage, but also of how urban agriculture has become an act of resistance in a climate of war and fake news. At a circular plot next to a social housing block I saw young men and women working the land, bursts of lettuces, herbs, beetroots, spinach, and peppers, as well as plots still being planted.

At the Fabricio Ojeda commune, in Catia—a western Caracas barrio of over 1 million people—residents spoke of the 17 tons of produce they generated a few years ago, then sold in the community at prices 30-50% lower than the average market price.

One of the commune leaders spoke of raising rabbits as an affordable, and easy to maintain, source of protein.

We’re trying to achieve self sustainability of this produce, for the community. This is what we’re doing against the economic war,” he said.

Two days ago, visiting the Caracas barrios of Las Brisas, I asked Jaskeherry, head of a colectivo (organized group of people) how the community had managed during the power outage.

We had a contingency plan with all the colectivos in the area to organize ourselves to help the people. My fridge is connected to a power bank. The community brought their meat here and I stored it. We brought a cistern here. Around 300 families were benefiting from this. Each community has their own colectivo that does things like this to help out.”

I’ve heard from several different people here that one reason for the lack of chaos is that Venezuelans have already dealt with US-instigated crises, and have learned to remain calm at such times, surely to the dismay of US pot-stirrers who hoped for scenes of chaos, the pretext to US intervention.

Manufactured Poverty; Support From & For Government

I’ve gone into a number of smaller and large supermarkets in the lower middle-class areas of Caracas, and in it’s upper middle-class regions of Chacao and Altimira. There is food, including luxury items, which Venezuela’s poor can’t afford.

And in some stores there are said to be empty shelves, although I haven’t yet seen this.The policies of private companies —including the largest, Polar, whose CEO opposition supporters wanted him to run against Maduro in the last elections – to hoard goods and create false shortages is well known. That said, this theme that there is no food is one continually pumped by Western corporate media, along with the “humanitarian crisis” claim.

To help the poorest, the government initiated a food box delivery program known by its acronym, CLAP, wherein organized communities distribute government subsidized food to 6 million of Venezuela’s poorest families.

The system is not perfect, and I’ve heard complaints of boxes being late in reaching some communities. However, I’ve been told—including by a woman I interviewed yesterday who herself works in CLAP distribution—that problems lie in corruption on a local level, individuals in communities not distributing fairly or evenly.

Hotheads like Marco Rubio, and script reading corporate media, try to maintain that President Maduro has little support. But massive rallies of support, and a notable absence of opposition rallies of recent, counter that propaganda.

On March 16, for two hours I walked with Venezuelans at their anti-Imperialist, pro-government march, filming them, speaking with them, hearing person after person insist on their support for their elected president, Maduro.

Many or most of those marching were from Caracas’ poorest communities, the darker skinned, Afro-descendant Venezuelans that are scarcely given a voice by corporate media, almost certainly because they are ardent supporters of the government and Bolivarian revolution.

When I asked about their feelings of corporate media coverage of Venezuela, people told me it wasn’t depicting the reality, “they make it up, it’s all lies, all lies. The only president we recognize is Nicolas Maduro. And we want this man, Juan Guaido, to be arrested immediately”.

A young tax lawyer told me:

We’re here to support our (Bolivarian) project. We don’t want any war. We want medicine for our people—we don’t want sanctions from any government that prevent us from purchasing medicine. It’s very difficult for us to bring what’s needed for our people.”

Leaving the still crowded demonstration, I went towards Caracas’ eastern districts, hoping to attend one of the three or four opposition actions that a local journalist told me they had been tweeting about. None panned out.

A few days later, I went to Bellas Artes metro, the same scenario transpired, I couldn’t find the opposition protest that I’d heard was planned. Eventually, in front of the National Assembly, I did film between 15-20 well-dressed men and women not doing much other than standing around. Eventually, most passed by security and onto the premises. I didn’t hear them issue, or attempt to issue, any opposition statement, nor was there any violence from or against them.

A mass of government supporters arrived on motorbikes. A nearby man told me that these women and men on bikes had come to preserve the peace. He said that opposition had said they would stage a provocation (his words match what the local journalist told me, based on tweets to that effect from opposition/supporters), and that the pro-government bikers were not going to allow that to happen.

On Avila, the mountain overlooking Caracas, I saw long line of tankers being filled by mountain spring water to be distributed around the city and outside, with a long list of hospitals to be supplied. pic.twitter.com/uwr6QZtS2F

— Eva Bartlett (@EvaKBartlett) March 27, 2019

Height Of Hypocrisy And Irony; US To Ensure ‘Foreign Influences Are Not Controlling Venezuela’

The US has been forcibly exerting its foreign influence over Venezuela for years, to the detriment of the Venezuelan people it crocodile-tear purports to care about. Most Western corporate media do not mention the manifold adverse effects of the immoral sanctions imposed on Venezuela.

At the end of January, UN human rights expert Idriss Jazairy denounced the sanctions, clearly noting they are, “aimed at changing the government of Venezuela,” and that, “Coercion, whether military or economic, must never be used to seek a change in government in a sovereign state.”

On top of this, America recently withheld US$5 billion intended for the purchase of medicines and raw materials used in medical production, Venezuelanalysis reported, after already freezing numerous Venezuelan assets, apparently holding them for their groomed puppet would-be president, Juan Guaido.

Unsurprisingly, John Bolton recently again menaced Venezuela, reiterating Trump’s, “all options are on the table,” military intervention threat and as though hallucinating blathered on about foreign influence and Venezuela and keeping the Imperialist Monroe Doctrine alive.

In a meeting with the US Peace Council delegation in mid-March, Venezuela’s Foreign Minister, Jorge Arreaza, spoke of the openly-hostile US leadership.

When you have such an administration saying almost every single day, ‘all the options are on the table.’ And they say the military option is not discarded, then we have to be prepared for all of the options.

We told Mr.Elliott Abrams, ‘the coup has failed, so now what are you going to do?’ He kind of nodded and said, ‘Well, this is going to be a long term action, then, and we are looking forward to the collapse of your economy.’”

President Maduro, in a meeting with the delegation, told us:

We do not want foreign military intervention. Venezuelan people are very proud of the national independence. These people surrounding president Trump—John Bolton, Mike Pompeo, Marco Rubio, Elliott Abrams —every single day on Twitter, these guys are tweeting about Venezuela. Not about the US, the American people…they have an obsession with Venezuela, like a fatal obsession with Venezuela. This is extremely dangerous, and we need to denounce it and make it stop.

Having written extensively about the war propaganda and Imperialist rhetoric around Syria over the past eight years, this obsession is very familiar. As Alfred de Zayas, said in a recent interview:

If you call Maduro corrupt, people will gradually believe, he must be somewhat corrupt. But nobody reminds you that corruption in Venezuela in the 1980s and 90s – before Chavez, before Maduro – was rampant. The press is focusing only on Maduro, because the name of the game is to topple him.”

We’re seeing Syria (and Libya, Iraq…) all over again. The demonization of the leadership of a country America wants to dominate. The absurd rhetoric steaming daily from corporate owned media, pretty much in chorus. The troll army ready to attack with an energetic vitriol on social media anyone who dares to present a non-Imperialist perspective. And most worrisome, the acts of terrorism intended to hurt the people and incriminate the government.

Sadly, it seems the United States is ready to stoop to the same dirty tactics it and allies used against Syria over the past eight years: backing and collaborating with terrorists to attack the state. Indeed, last night while trying to finish this article, the power cut and remains off in many areas of the country.

Earlier this week, Information and Communications Minister Jorge Rodriguez tweeted that the cause of this recent outage was an attack at the Guri Hydro complex, Venezuela’s central hydroelectric power plant and transmission area.

By today, electricity has partially been restored to Caracas.

I spent much of this afternoon riding on the back of a motorbike around Petare. The district is known as the largest “slum” in Latin America, an extended series of barrios, and is one of Caracas’ poorest and most dangerous areas. Wherever we rode, I looked for the humanitarian crisis corporate media insists exists. Instead, I found vegetables, fruit, chicken and food basics sold wherever I went, from the main square to hillside barrio of 5 of July (5 Julio).

On the hillside of Avila, the mountain overlooking Caracas, I saw at intervals while riding lines of people collecting spring water in jugs since the power outage has affected water distribution. I also saw lines of tankers, being organized by the municipality and with the military, to distribute water around the city and country. A chart listed over twenty hospitals designated to receive water.

The Venezuelan government has accused America of being behind both the March 7 outage and this week’s, stating the former was a combination of cyber, electromagnetic and physical attacks on the power grids (like the alleged secret US plan to do the same to Iran’s grid), and the latter a direct physical attack on the Guri complex, causing a fire at three transformers.

Clearly, the goal of such attacks is to create so much suffering and frustration among the public that there is chaos, and a “needed” US intervention.

The chaos has not happened, the people have refused it.

Díaz-Canel: The Association of Caribbean States must continue to be the mainstay of Greater Caribbean unity

Source: Granma
April 1 2019

Photo: Estudios Revolución

Speech by Miguel M. Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, President of the Councils of State and Ministers, at the VIII Meeting of the Association of Caribbean States, in Managua, Nicaragua, March 29, 2019, Year 61 of the Revolution

(Council of State transcript / GI translation)

Compañero Comandante Daniel Ortega Saavedra, President of the sister Republic of Nicaragua and of the VIII Meeting of the Association of Caribbean States;

Compañera Rosario Murillo, Vice President of the Republic of Nicaragua;

Distinguished heads of state and government and heads of delegations;

Her Excellency Ambassador June Soomer, general secretary of the Association;

Dear delegates and guests:

Our national poet, Nicolás Guillén, a singular voice among the great voices of this region, dedicated a short poem to the sea that joins us, with which I would like to greet you. It is entitled “The Caribbean” and goes:

In the aquarium of the Great Zoo,

swims the Caribbean.

This enigmatic marine animal

has a crystal crest,

a blue back, a green tail,

a belly of compact coral,

gray hurricane fins.

In the aquarium, this inscription:

“Be careful: it bites.”

This verse of Guillen’s speaks of the crystal crest that makes our Caribbean fragile. And also of the fierce beast that lives here. Fragility and ferocity distinguish us. Fragility and ferocity unite us. And unity, we know well, makes us strong.

Born of this strength, sustained only by unity, is the very timely Managua Declaration adopted by this meeting, with the title: “Joining forces in the Caribbean to confront climate change,” an issue that has generated growing concern over the last few decades.

As the Comandante en Jefe of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro Ruz, warned almost 30 years ago, during the Earth Summit held in Río de Janeiro, in 1992, “An important biological species is in danger of extinction as a result of the rapid and progressive elimination of its natural living conditions: man.”

The Caribbean knows this well since it often suffers the impact. Surely for this reason, since its Second Summit in Santo Domingo, in 1999, the Association of Caribbean States has included among its lines of work agreement and cooperation on climate change and disaster risk reduction.

The causes of climate change have been identified by the scientific community and recognized by practically all governments.

But neither efforts made or international commitments in environmental matters are sufficient to stop the alarming increase in global temperature and stabilize it in the area of 1.5ºC, as developing countries demand.

More developed nations, who are mainly responsible for today’s unsustainable situation, must honor the commitment to provide at least 100 billion USD a year to support the work of developing countries.

The global commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions must prevail based on the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities, within a framework of international cooperation that ensures the resources and necessary transfer of technologies to developing countries.

Required is the modification of patterns of production and consumption that have been imposed on us, and the promotion of a fair, democratic, and equitable international economic order, to confront climate change and achieve sustainable development.

Mr. President:

Each of us understands what is being talked about. The intensity and persistence of natural phenomena of various kinds in the Greater Caribbean constantly punish us with the adverse effects of climate change, particularly developing small island states.

Living with hurricanes has conditioned our lives; modifying our geographies and affecting migration. And it has also educated us in the need to devote more study to these phenomena that plague us and work to reverse the damage they cause. The Cuban Revolution was obliged to learn this lesson very early on, the hard way, during Hurricane Flora in 1963, which left the former province of Oriente under water and took the lives of more than a thousand people.

More recent history has shown that, in the worst moments, working together has saved us. We firmly believe that only our unity and mutual cooperation will allow us to face the dangers and effects of meteorological events and assume the subsequent recovery.

Solidarity must be a fundamental principle for the members of the Association of Caribbean States

Along this very line of thought, today, I would like to reiterate the unwavering support of Cuba, under all circumstances, to the right of small island states and developing nations to receive special and differential treatment in access to trade and investment.

We also support the just and necessary demand to receive cooperation according to a nation’s real situation and needs, and not on the basis of per capita income statistics that classify them as middle income countries and exclude them from access to financial resources, indispensable for development.

We welcome the election of Barbados as President of the Board of Directors of the Association’s Council of Ministers. We express our fraternal congratulations for this and for the country’s willingness to contribute during this period.

Dear delegates:

The President of the United States, the Secretary of State, and the National Security Advisor declare that the Monroe Doctrine is as relevant today as the day it was written, and that it is the country’s formal policy, as in the time of expansion and intervention of the United States in our region, of military aggressions and impositions.

These statements and consequent actions challenge our Proclamation of Latin America and the Caribbean as a Zone of Peace, signed by heads of state and government, in January 2014, in Havana, on the occasion of the Second CELAC Summit.

We declared then our permanent commitment to the peaceful settlement of disputes in order to banish forever the use of force, and threats to use force, in the region; to strictly comply with the obligation not to intervene, directly or indirectly, in the internal affairs of any other state; to foster relations of friendship and cooperation among ourselves and with other nations, regardless of differences in political, economic, and social systems or levels of development; to practice tolerance and coexist in peace as good neighbors; to the intention of Latin American and the Caribbean states to fully respect the inalienable right of all to choose their own political, economic, social, and cultural system, as an essential condition for ensuring peaceful coexistence among nations; to the promotion in the region of a culture of peace based, among others, on the principles of the United Nations Declaration on the Culture of Peace.

The Proclamation also urges all member states of the international community to fully respect these purposes and principles in their relations with CELAC member states.

In this context, our nations must continue working together. It is our duty to protect peace, amongst us all, and preserve what has been achieved, confident that the current situation of confrontation and threats will be overcome.

Cuba, in particular, has been subject to an irrational and perverse tightening of the blockade by the United States, whose administration has unleashed, at the same time, a campaign of distortions, lies, and pretexts to sustain a policy of persecution and harassment that the international community openly rejects and condemns.

I would like to express our profound gratitude to all the countries of the region for their opposition to this irrational, illegal, and cruel policy against our people.

Beyond political or ideological differences, I call on all Caribbean governments to defend peace and oppose military aggression and the escalation of coercive economic measures against Venezuela that seriously damage its citizens and put the stability of the entire region at risk.

We also reiterate our solidarity and support for the government of Reconciliation and National Unity of the Republic of Nicaragua in the face of destabilization attempts, and we celebrate the negotiation process to ensure peace and preserve the social and economic gains achieved in this sister nation.

Faithful to our vision of defending unity within diversity, as on innumerable occasions the First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba, Army General Raul Castro Ruz, has asserted in forums like this one, we call on you to continue working together, concentrating on all that unites us, incomparably superior to the little that separates us, and to prioritize the fulfillment of agreements reached by the XXIII Council of Ministers regarding the strengthening and revitalization of the Association.

The Association of Caribbean States must continue to be the mainstay of Greater Caribbean unity, which is the only alternative given the enormous challenges we face.

Member states of this organization share the responsibility to avoid damaging the consensus that we have built together over the years, and to continue fostering solidarity, as an indispensable premise to develop actions on all the issues that are part of the organization’s mandate.

Cuba will continue working in favor of this unity and for the consolidation of our Association, and hope that this important meeting will contribute decisively to the effort.

Thank you very much!

Maradona Dedicates Soccer Win to Venezuelan President Maduro

Source:  TeleSUR
April 1 2019

  • Diego Maradona, technical director of the Sinaloa Dorado soccer team in Mexico defends President Nicolas Maduro during press conference Sunday night. Nov. 2018

    Diego Maradona, technical director of the Sinaloa Dorado soccer team in Mexico defends President Nicolas Maduro during press conference Sunday night. Nov. 2018 | Photo: Reuters

As technical director of the Sinaloa Dorados soccer team in Mexico, famed former player Diego Maradona dedicates Dorado victory to Maduro, jabs at Trump.

World renowned former Argentine soccer play who brought his team to victory at the 1986 World Cup, Diego Maradona took a jab at ‘Yankee’ interventionism in Latin America and dedicated the win of his Mexican team to Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.

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“I want to dedicate this triumph to Nicolas Maduro and to all Venezuelans who are suffering. The sheriffs of the world—who are these Yankees?” asked the FIFA Player of the 20th Century Sunday night to the press.

“Just because they have the biggest bombs in the world they think are so much more advanced than us. No, they are not” Maradona declared at a press conference after a soccer match in Mexico that the Dorados de Sinaloa, the team Maradona is the technical director of since September 2018, won 3-2 over the Tampico Madero Sunday night.

“We don’t buy that ‘chirolita’ they have as president,” added Maradona referring to an Argentine vantriloquist puppet famous in the 1970s that resembles United States President Donald Trump and was famous for its rogue, childish personality.

Since January the U.S. and its allies have tried unsuccessfully to replace Presidennt Maduro with the so-called ‘interim president’ Juan Guiado.

President Donald Trump began his soft coup attempt against President Nicolas Maduro after taking office in 2017, implementing a growing list of economic sanctions on Venezuela and its people that have cost the government billions.

Named the best player in the history of the World Cups, Maradona called Maduro a “dear friend” and came out in defense of Maduro when the Venezuelan president faced an assassination attempt last August.

The Argentine denounced the attack on Maduro over social media and that Venezuela “does not surrender.” Maradona was a close friend of the deceased leftist presidents Hugo Chavez and Fidel Castro.

When Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador was declared victor of last July’s Mexican presidential elections, Marado said: “He finally won the elections in Mexico and the truth is he made us all very happy.”