Maduro Invites Opposition Youth to Join Employment Program

Source:  TeleSUR
August 19 2017

Nicolas maduro aug 2017Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro speaks at Miraflores Palace in Caracas | Photo: REUTERS

 

Maduro said that the program will welcome all youth participating in the opposition protests with “open arms for work and study.”

The President of Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro, has invited the young people who have been caught up in the violence of far-right opposition groups to join the efforts to build productive and educational pathways for youth, called the “Plan Chamba Juvenil.”

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“The Democratic Unity Table (MUD) led them on the road to violence… I, for the sake of peace in our country, extend my hand so that we follow the path of education, work, and culture,” the President said on Friday, speaking from the Miraflores Presidential Palace in Caracas.

Maduro assured that if the youth who have been used by opposition leaders during recent months to foment a violent coup d’etat wish to leave that behind and follow the path of productivity and respect for law and constitution, they will have his full support and be able to participate in the Youth program, created by the Bolivarian government to ensure education and employment opportunities for the country’s young people.

Related:  Venezuelans speak to TRUMP

Your greatest ally

“If some of you who went down that path of violence and want to do politics, do it in peace. And if you want to change the schemes of politics and attend to social problems, you can count on me. I am not your enemy, I am your greatest ally if your desire is to bring education, sport, culture, and employment to our community’s youth, to all the neighborhoods, to the whole country. Stop the violence!” Maduro said.

Plan Chamba Juvenil

He said that the Plan Chamba Juvenil would welcome all youth participating in the opposition protests with “open arms for work and study,” in order to engage them in productive activities to benefit society.

The plan offers education opportunities, as well as employment in areas such as social and health services, recreation, urban agriculture and maintenance, and security.

As of today, over 594,000 young Venezuelans have signed up for the program, and 300,000 of those have already been enrolled in a job.

 

Cuba to celebrate International Youth Day

With demonstrations of the art and work of young Cubans, the island will celebrate International Youth Day on August 12, which this year will commemorate the 60th anniversary of the assassination of the Saíz brothers

Photo: Yander Zamora

In memory of Sergio and Luis Saíz

With demonstrations of the art and work of young Cubans, the island will celebrate International Youth Day on August 12, which this year will commemorate the 60th anniversary of the assassination of the Saíz brothers.

Asael Alonso Tirado, head of the Communications section of the National Committee of the Young Communist League (UJC), told reporters that as part of the activities, young people will remember Sergio and Luis Saíz, killed on August 13, 1957, on the orders of dictator Fulgencio Batista.

sergio y luis saiz.jpg

Artistic and sporting events

This Friday, on the eve of International Youth Day, singer Paulo FG will play a concert in Havana’s José Martí Anti-imperialist Tribune, together with the finalists of the second season of the Sonando en Cuba project. The concert will mark the end of his summer 2017 national tour.

Among other activities, this weekend will see artistic and sporting events, as well as visits to historic sites.

The municipality of San Juan y Martínez, in Pinar del Río, will host the main national celebrations. “There, among other activities, a visit was organized to the house museum of the Saíz Montes de Oca brothers,” Asael Alonso Tirado explained.

Pico Turquino

The Hermanos Saíz Association will lead the commemoration and a group of representatives of the institution will climb, as is traditional every August 13, the emblematic Pico Turquino, the highest point of the island.

pico-turquino-cuba.jpg

On Sunday, August 13, youth will “visit the birthplace of Comandante en Jefe Fidel Castro Ruz in Birán, and other historic sites in the province,” the UJC official added.

The day will also see the close of the provincial Youth and Students Festivals in the capital and the Special Municipality of the Isle of Youth, concluding the selection process of delegates to the 2017 World Festival of Youth and Students, to take place in Sochi, Russia, this October.

Nicaragua creating job opportunities for at-risk young people

Source:  NicaNotes Nicaragua News

daniel ortega 7.jpgRepresentatives of the Central America law enforcement organizations noted that Nicaragua is the country with the lowest juvenile delinquency rate in the region. The Nicaragua educational model and the creation of job opportunities for at-risk young people are some of the factors that have influenced the decline in juvenile offenses in the country.

Crime reduction in children under 17

The Nicaragua National Police has found that reduction of crime rates in children under the age of 17 is due to integrated programs designed for at-risk young people, keeping them from joining criminal groups.

Construction of new sports facilities

aminta-granera-nicaraguaConstruction of new sports facilities has also been a priority of the Nicaraguan  government to promote healthy entertainment and maintain low juvenile crime rate.

At the meeting of the Chiefs and Directors of Police of Central America, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Colombia, Nicargua’s Police Chief Aminta Granera (photo) was re-elected president of the body. Many of Nicaragua’s police reforms have been initiated under her leadership. (Nicaragua News, Dec. 14; El Nuevo Diario, Dec. 14)

Investing in youth: The future is now

Source:  Granma
July 15 2016

by: Lisandra Fariñas Acosta | lisandra@granma.cu &  Lauren Céspedes Hernández | informacion@granma.cu

Since 1987, the United Nations Population Fund has worked to promote and protect the rights of youth.

world population day 2016 1.jpg

When, on July 11, 1987, the world reached the landmark population of five billion inhabitants, the need to address population problems and their relationship to socio-economic development was becoming increasingly clear. Thus, the United Nations General Assembly recommended the annual observation of World Population Day, as an opportunity to focus on gaps and challenges, and this year the 27th edition has taken as its watchwords, “Investing in teenage girls.”

Focusing efforts on this age group is crucial to development, while young women face vulnerabilities because of their gender, requiring special attention and specific interventions to address issues such as violence, abuse, early and underage marriage, teenage pregnancy and motherhood – all of which prevent young women from developing to their full potential and improving their physical, economic, and social wellbeing.

Every adolescent girl has the right

Rafael Cuestas“Every adolescent girl has the right to a transition to adult life in secure conditions and the right to take advantage of the opportunities the future holds for her,” emphasized Rafael Cuestas, international coordinator of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) office in Cuba, during an interview with Granma International.

“The Unfpa is devoted to promoting and protecting these rights and supporting adolescent girls so they can determine their own future, since it is they who, throughout the world, face more and greater challenges than their male counterparts. In many countries, families believe that girls, once they have reached puberty, are ready for marriage, pregnancy, and childbirth, and many are obliged to leave school. A girl may suffer a debilitating experience giving birth, since her body is not ready for it, thus denying her human rights. The challenges and obstacles that an adolescent girl confronts are multiplied if she is part of an ethnic minority, lives in a poor village or home,” he stated.

“When an adolescent girl has power, the means, and information to make her own decisions in life, it is more likely that she will reach her full potential, and become a positive force for change in her household, community, and nation,” Cuestas emphasized.

cuban teenage girls 2016.jpgPhoto: Jorge Luis González

Cuba stands out as the country with the highest development of youth in Latin America

“In the Latin American context, Cuba has always been an obvious exception, both in terms of the organization of the state in general, and in regards to public policy addressing youth in particular. This is so much the case that when relevant comparative analysis is done, around general or specific issues, the Cuban model is often left to one side or barely mentioned, as a special case, different, difficult to compare,” said Ernesto Rodríguez, director of the Latin American Center For Youth, during the last International Congress of Youth Researchers.

He emphasized at that time, “The entire world, and Latin America in particular, have taken note of two important comparative studies, in which Cuba stands out as the country with the highest development of youth in Latin America,” and holds 11th place internationally.

But what is the situation facing this age group in Cuba? How are they being supported with investment? A single article is not adequate to address the multiple points of view and matters affecting youth, to draw conclusions and identify the challenges that remain to be faced, but this piece is a beginning, based on the premise that this issue is crucial to the future of the nation in which we live, and the one we hope to construct, a future already taking shape in each of us.

Schooling, a protective factor

“Cuban adolescents are schooled, and this is always a protective factor. They have access to sexual and reproductive health services, and comprehensive sexuality education in their schools, among many other benefits,” Rafael Cuestas pointed out, while emphasizing the potential Cuba has to continue taking action, “because the political will is evident, and a platform already exists within the different programs implemented.

“In Cuba, the challenges are different from those we can identify in the region,” he said, referring, for example, to teenage pregnancy, a focus of attention because, even though the rate is lower here than in other countries of the region, Unfpa is working in collaboration with the ministries of Health and Education, and other institutions, to further lower its incidence.

“It’s a question of identifying provincial differences, the less visible causes, as we always say, spin a fine thread (go deeper).”

“What a country cannot be without are policies and investment in health and education, including comprehensive sexuality education, actions that empower adolescents and create economic conditions which generate employment. This takes on particular importance when we’re talking about the young population, because they have the potential to drive forward and accelerate economic growth,” he explained.

Cuestas asserted, “Those in charge of making political decisions play an important role in ensuring that the rights of citizens, including adolescents, are respected; and in this sense, investment in youth can be diverse, infinite, but one point of departure is not to look at adolescents and youth as homogeneous groups.”

Obligatory investments

Education; health; culture; recreation; providing healthy and attractive family, community, and school environments, are all obligatory investments, Cuestas asserted, recognizing the need for differentiated policies as part of the plan.

He likewise emphasized that within the unquestionable need to invest in public health, sexual and reproductive health have a special place, saying, “There are many events related to sexual health, to sexuality, which occur during this period. That is why Unfpa has defended the importance of adolescents feeling secure, feeling capable; having information and someone to talk with; and being able to access education on sexuality and sexual and reproductive health services which meet their needs. Creating the capacity within the health system to work with this age group is central,” he explained.

Inter-sectoral policy making

Work with adolescents cannot be sectoral, he said. “An issue that is much discussed today is the effectiveness of policies on youth, since they end up isolating the group and not placing youth within the context of relations with other generations. Cuba is an example of inter-sectoral policy making, adolescents and youth are addressed via multiple sectors, disciplines, and focal points,” Cuestas said.

According to Cuestas, the new Sustainable Development Agenda 2030 constitutes an unprecedented opportunity for young people to assert their rights, make their aspirations a reality, and transform the world, “When countries invest in the health and education of their youth, especially adolescents, and generate opportunities that allow their potential to be put to good use, they are additionally in a better position to benefit from a demographic dividend that can drive economic growth forward, as a way of fighting poverty.”

Data and indicators that give adolescents visibility

“The generation of updated data and indicators that give adolescents visibility is a great challenge, above all in regards to those under 15 years of age, who many times are left out of the statistics,” said Marisol Alfonso de Armas, who works on Unfpa’s projects in Cuba and spoke with Granma.

In this respect, she mentioned that the international organization supports and accompanies programs developed by strategic partners like the ministries of Public Health and Education, the National Center for Sexual Education, and the national program serving mothers and infants. In this context, she said, the Unfpa makes a modest contribution with the donation of contraceptives for specific groups, adolescents among them.

“One of Unpfa’s most important commitments is to continue supporting the National Program for Sexual Education and Health, as a platform to coordinate all the initiatives in comprehensive sexual education that exist in the country. This inter-sectoral work, with participation from civil society, constitutes a reference for the region,” Cuestas added.

Research centers focused on youth

In a similar way, he said, Unpfa accompanies research centers focused on youth, in training and development of national studies on issues related to adolescents and youth, noting that national surveys are essential to decision-making.

We asked how investment in adolescence can be articulated with investment in the older adult segment of the population, which occupies an increasing important demographic position.

“Countries like Cuba, with advanced or completed demographic transitions, face this challenge, because several generations are living together, not only in the family environment, but also in the community, the neighborhood, in services for transportation, food, culture… The key lies in achieving the harmonious co-habitation of these generations,” Cuestas said.

Not a problem but a challenge

He noted that Cuban society is inclusive by nature, and this is already a step forward, “Demographic aging must be situated in its rightful place. Avoiding the connotation of a ‘problem,’ when it is a challenge, and not only for less developed countries, but for all, which therefore requires changes in the design of our cities, in infrastructure, and more expenses in the area of health for a growing age group which must be guaranteed the right to a longer life with quality.

“Inter-generational dialogue must be encouraged; we need spaces, that aren’t the traditional ones, they must perhaps be more attractive, to produce that so necessary mix of knowledge, energy, histories, for all, male and female,” he said, summarizing the great challenge ahead.

Encouraging the desire to be useful to society

Investing in youth to assure tomorrow’s investments requires awareness that we must encourage the desire to be useful to society within our economically active population, and continue providing greater opportunities to participate, to make proposals, to learn and create.

Awareness is also needed to celebrate what we have accomplished as a nation, and develop sufficient know-how to recognize and address diverse problems which, despite progress made, exist in our midst: teenage pregnancy, the impact of emigration on families and youth, and challenges the youngest face in the workforce within the country’s new socio-economic context.

Only a few notes, but an initial look inside Cuba.

Economics, ideology and the youth in times of uncertainty

Source:  Granma
January 27 2016

A series of talks took place in Havana as part of the Second International Conference on the ideas of José Martí, entitled “With all, for the good of all”, addressing topics such as the global economy, culture and identity and the role of the youth

Authors: Lauren Céspedes Hernández | informacion@granma.cuJesús Jank Curbelo | internet@granma.cu

A series of talks took place in Havana this Tuesday, January 26, as part of the Second International Conference on the ideas of José Martí, entitled “With all, for the good of all”, addressing topics such as the global economy, culture and identity and the role of the youth.

Leonel Fernández Reyna.jpgFormer Dominican president Leonel Fernández Reyna in his speech entitled, “Global trends in an era of uncertainty”, addressed issues of interest for the global economy, such as globalization and the free market.

Referring to the global economic crisis, the lawyer and writer highlighted that China, the world’s second largest economy, has not been unaffected. (Photo:  Reyna at the ConferencePhoto: Anabel)

The Chinese stock market

Fernández Reyna explained that throughout January, the Chinese stock exchange has continued to decline. The Shanghai Composite Index, for example, has suffered a fall of 10%; while the Shenzhen Composite Index declined by 6.6%. This represents million-sum losses for the Asian nation and its contagion effect has had a negative impact on stock markets in several countries, including the United States, which has recently reported losses equivalent to 1.36 trillion dollars

He added that as a result, the Chinese central bank set the yuan at its weakest level since March 2011, with the currency losing 6% against the dollar.

However, the U.S. economy is going through a slow recovery process, the former president said. He added that the U.S. economy expanded by 2.5% in 2015, at the cost of a significant increase in public debt. For the first time in the history of this nation, the public debt exceeds GDP, presenting a tense situation for the country in the years ahead.

Regional economic growth

Fernández Reyna also noted that according to data provided by the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, the region’s economy grew by just 0.4% in 2015.

As for global economic growth, the former president highlighted that this amounted to 2.4% in 2015, with an expected increase of 2.9% over the current year, and 3.1% in 2017.

The outlook appears bleak, he stressed, but awareness of the situation can help to find ways to reverse it, and work towards achieving an overall improvement.

Trenches of ideas are worth more than trenches of stone

Atilio Boron 3.jpgMeanwhile, during his talk entitled, “The new national security doctrine of the United States: allies, competitors and enemies”, Argentine sociologist Atilio Borón stressed the validity of Martí’s thought in the current stage of relations between Cuba and the United States.

We must commit to further spreading the work of Martí, as unfortunately it is not widely known in Latin America. Now more than ever we need to study Martí, as “trenches of ideas are worth more than trenches of stone,” the member of the World Council of the José Martí Project of International Solidarity stressed.

Regarding the process of the normalization of relations between Cuba and the United States, Borón stressed that everything possible must be done to put an end to the blockade, and advance bilateral relations, while resisting erosion of the island’s cultural identity, an increasing threat in this age of cultural imperialism.

Ideology

Fernando Martínez Heredia.jpegSocialism is the guarantee of national liberation, especially in a continent such as ours, which serves as a paradigm of hope for today’s world, essayist Fernando Martínez Heredia stressed, speaking on the panel on “Neoliberalism, New scenarios in Latin America and the Caribbean and the global balance sheet”.

He noted that despite this being the most unequal region on the globe, Latin America has accumulated a number of initiatives, ideas and projects – projects which aim for a new political, economic and social model for the world that overcomes imperialist domination.

The role of the youth

Yusuam Palacios Ortega.jpgSpeaking during the forum of the José Martí Youth Movement, the national President of the organization, Yusuam Palacios Ortega, noted that contributing their ideas on solving global problems is a privilege for young people; and to do so based on the thought of José Martí has a double significance.

It is necessary to strengthen the role of the youth in a world marked by digital culture, and in which we must learn to position ourselves so that we can use these tools for revolutionary purposes, he added.

Lucía Topolansky.jpgAlso participating in the forum was Uruguayan politician Lucía Topolansky, member of the Tupamaros National Liberation Movement and spouse of the former president of this South American nation, José “Pepe” Mujica.

A meeting of this kind is indispensable to a collective thought, in order that a diversity of views contribute to the freedom of our countries, Topolansky stated. She added that this challenge, as always, falls to the youth, noting, “How old were the rebels who came down from the Sierra? They were just youngsters!”

She referred to technological advances, primarily the internet, which today can serve as both positive and negative tools. The internet can help us generate collective thought and advance Latin American integration, as it shortens the physical distance between us, she noted. However, she stressed that this technology must be approached from a critical perspective, and that this task falls to the youth, who have a much better understanding of these networks than older generations.

Elián González: “The youth aren’t the future, they’re the present”

Source:   Granma

By : Lissy Rodríguez Guerrero

June 28, 2015

The return of little Elián González to the homeland 15 years ago, represented a victory for the Cuban people and their Battle of Ideas. Granma spoke to the young Elián, industrial engineering student at the Camilo Cienfuegos University of Matanzas

“Cuba’s youth today are the same as they were 15 years ago.  Then, as  pioneros (elementary school students), they stood at the anti-imperialist tribunal and instinctively denounced and demanded the empire return a small boy they didn’t even know.” Photo: Alberto Borrego

“Cuba’s youth today are the same as they were 15 years ago. Then, as pioneros (elementary school students), they stood at the anti-imperialist tribunal and instinctively denounced and demanded the empire return a small boy they didn’t even know.” Photo: Alberto Borrego

THE airplane that brought Elián González back to the homeland touched down on June 28, 15 years ago. Since then the little boy – now a young university student – has remained in the Cuban people’s memory, because for them, for us, he is the son for whom our flags waved and hearts beat; for whom we cried when he was all alone in the middle of the sea where he saw his mother disappear, for whom we felt that hurt when we raised our arms and called for his return to the homeland, where his father and family were suffering the pain of a process which was keeping the young boy away from them. Elián became an essential part of the warm-hearted Cuban homeland, and he knows it.

15 years after he descended the steps of that airplane, after that loving look converted the pain and trauma into endless joy, Elián has become a member of the Matanzas 55th Anniversary of the Committees for the Defense of the Revolution (CDR) Party, who invited to participate in the flag-baring ceremony which took place in the capital, agreed to answer some questions, revealing himself to be a down-to-earth and humble, deep and mature young man.

What do you like to do most in your free time?

– I do the same as all other young people. Simply, you have to be a young person of these times, know how to have fun, share, play sports, but also be linked to the efforts of the Revolution, don’t lose the essence of the importance of the youth to carry forward the development of the country.

“In my case I like to study, and in my free time I go out with my brothers, my friends. I enjoy swimming and I like baseball, what young Cuban doesn’t like baseball?”

What about football?

– No, I’m not really a fan of football, but I do watch it and enjoy it. Just like any other young person, I watch TV series and films. It’s true that a lot of their content promotes the consumerist values of a capitalist society, but the most important thing is to watch them with a critical conscience, not “get taken in” by them. Maybe our media doesn’t offer the best choice, or have the best production, but we know that to our news stations, in their essence, in their content, is where we must turn in order to find out what is happening in the world.

“I also like to listen to music. And although I listen to a bit of everything, I really enjoy a genre which isn’t very popular among the youth, but which I appreciate and enjoy when I hear it, and that’s repentismo. In the visits I have made as part of the flag presentation ceremonies to the youth parties for the 55th anniversary of the CDRs, I have been accompanied by this genre of music and am happy to see how the youth spontaneously applaud in response. It is a genre that is genuinely Cuban, typical of our culture and traditions, we must revive it. It’s amazing to see how it can move so many people.

“I read Fidel, I really enjoy reading Fidel. He likes to give me books, he sends me one whenever he can and for me it’s like getting homework and you have to read it. I also enjoy reading the books by our former agents, because this also forms part of our history.”

You have been invited to participate in the 10th Young Communist League Congress taking place July 18-19. What is the greatest challenge facing Cuban youth today?

– To become stronger. To say that the youth is lost is a mistake. Young people aren’t the future they’re the present. Sometimes people say the youth haven’t done anything for the Revolution. But Cuba’s youth today are the same as they were 15 years ago. Then, as pioneros (elementary school students), they stood at the anti-imperialist tribunal and instinctively denounced and demanded the empire return a small boy they didn’t even know. So, we can’t keep saying that the youth hasn’t done its bit, because it has. Many of those who went to fight Ebola in West Africa – demonstrating the greatness of Cuba – were also young people.

“The Congress is coming at a difficult time, when it’s essential to rethink strategies, because although Obama has made it clear that U.S. policy has failed thus far, their intentions remain the same. Therefore we, with our own ideals and objectives, must also change ours.

”This is the ideal space to reorganize that strategy and strengthen our organization, so that young people have the chance to express their criticisms and opinions about how to develop in the face of adversities and how to carry on the work of the historic generation of the Revolution. We have quality young people, not only those going to the Congress, but also those who have participated over these days in the 55th CDR anniversary celebrations. A young person from every CDR was selected and later one from each one of the zones and municipalities in Cuba will be chosen.

”I will attend this event, and will be proud to talk personally with each of the delegates.”

How would you like to see the future of Cuba in a few years?

– I would be very disappointed if Cuba loses its essence, loses everything the Revolution – led by Fidel and Raúl – has achieved. It would mean reversing all the advances, everything that has been achieved, like the spaces women now occupy. I hope Cuba develops, and I believe we are going down the right path. I think it’s important to continue contributing even more to the country’s economic development.

“Sometimes we young people think that if we stop being a socialist country, and give way to capitalism, we will become a developed country like the United States, France, Italy…But it must be understood that if Cuba stops being socialist, it won’t be like the U.S., it would be a colony, it would be Haiti, a poor country, a lot poorer than it is now, and everything that has been achieved would be lost. It is true that we could have accomplished more, but we can never forget the most important historic question: we have been a country besieged by a blockade.

What are your future plans?

– I am currently in my fourth year studying industrial engineering at the Camilo Cienfuegos University of Matanzas, and am hoping to serve in the Revolutionary Armed Forces once I graduate.

“I have a lot to thank the world, my father, the Comandante and my family for, and when I say my family I mean the Cuban people in general. My life in Cuba I owe to this people, and it is for them that I will always work, struggle, to whom I owe all my respect. 15 years after I returned, I realize that the Cuban people still consider me as part of their family, and this is my debt, to try to repay that love.”

Source:  Elián González: “The youth aren’t the future, they’re the present”    Granma

Díaz-Canel urges students to question negative cultural patterns

Invited to participate in the Third FEU (Federation of University Students) National Congress, Miguel Díaz-Canel Ber­múdez highlighted the importance of creating recreational spaces that provide valuable content and encourage the cultural, ethical and humanistic enrichment of the youth.

diaz urges studentsSimilarly, he called on participants to reflect on, and identify, the role of Cuban university students in a global context marked by the increase of banal cultural expressions and the promotion of unnecessary consumption.

Changing negative modes of consumption

During the event students also discussed their important role in changing these negative modes of consumption, as well as the search for recreational alternatives for university students.

Antonio Darias, President of the FEU at the University of the Arts, highlighted the need to defend Cuban identity from within student institutions, which at the same time, act as cultural centers in every region.

In addition, he warned of the cultural divides among the new generations, which alienate them from reality and generate negative values.

Rethink ways of using leisure time

Alberto Periche, representing the University of Holguín, proposed to rethink ways of using leisure time, although without imposing recreational patterns on students or forcing them to consume determined artistic manifestations.

Abel Prieto, advisor to the President of the Council of State and Ministers, also invited to attend, proposed to create a climate of collective debate, bearing in mind that recreational spaces are decisive to the formation of values.

It is not about banning, but about analyzing the cultural options that we are exposed to and taking a critical stance with respect to these.

Also participating in the event were Yuniasky Cres­po, first secretary of the Union of Young Communists and member of the Party Central Committee; Julián González, minister of Culture, and José Ramón Saborido, first deputy minister of Education.

Source:  Díaz-Canel urges students to question negative cultural patterns  Granma