Cuba is Favored by its Renewable Energy Sources

HAVANA, Cuba, Aug 16 (acn)Cuba could become a leading country in the use of renewable energy sources and in the development of technology and expertise in the field, said an expert in Havana.

Solar radiation keeps thermal balance thus allowing life to develop in the planet, while it is freely available to all nations of the world, said Doctor Luis Berriz, who heads the Cuban Society for the Promotion of Renewable Energy Sources and Environment Friendliness (CUBASOLAR).

The expert said that Cuba receives 1800 times more solar radiation than all the oil used by its different local industrial and residential sectors. He said that it is not possible to assume sustainable growth without counting on the exploitation of renewable energy sources, due to the crucial relationship of these sources to the environment and development.

Over 34 thousand Cuban entities are currently operating solar panels, heaters, windmills, biogas plants, biomass-fueled ovens producing construction materials, boilers and generators, and others, according to information released by the Cuban Mining and Energy Ministry.

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International Health Organization Official Praises Cuba Dengue Control Strategy

Havana, Cuba, Aug 14.- The coordinator of the Neglected Tropical Transmissible Diseases with the Pan-American and World Helath Organizations, Guatemalan Luis Gerardo Castellanos praised in Havana the Cuban experience in vector control and the island’s strengths in the field, which helps the international organization take that practice to other nations.

In statements to the Cuban News Agency, Castellanos said that Dengue, a disease transmitted by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, has recently affected over 1.5 million people in The Americas, though the number of fatal cases has decreased.

Dengue is a global health issue at present, said the expert and stressed the need for community participation to achieve appropriate preventive measures against a disease, which is difficult to treat. He said that although vaccine projects are under studies, an effective injectable drug will not be on the market till 2017.

Castellanos is attending the 13 International Course on Dengue Control, underway till August 23 at Havana’s Pedro Kouri Tropical Medicine Institute. He said the Cuban institution is collaborating with the Pan-American and World Health Organizations not only on the dengue issue, but also in ways to fight other conditions such as Leptospirosis, T.B., Leprosy and HIV-Aids.

Meanwhile, Cuba’s first deputy health minister Jose Angel Portal stressed the significance of the subjects on the event’s agenda related to the current epidemiological reality, Dengue prevention control methods and surveillance, the fight on Dengue-transmitting mosquito and the impact by climate change on the propagation of the disease.

The Cuban government official said the international course will allow considering the strengthening of capacities in Latin America and other regions of the world to deal with any emerging dengue epidemic in the world. (ACN)

Latin America Has a Stronger ALBA

By Nuriem de Armas*

Quito (PL) After the recently concluded 12th Summit, Latin America has a strengthened Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA), in line with the social movements of the region. The final summit document claims the validity of this integration and complementarity project with the inclusion of Saint Lucia to the regional group.

This ALBA’s statement from the Pacific emphasizes that progressive forces have advanced substantially in the region in recent years, after the failure of neoliberal policies and the will of the facto powers to impose free trade schemes on our people.

The text adds that progress has resulted in an empowerment of the majority starting from increasing militancy in social movements and the rise to power of revolutionary governments in Latin America and the Caribbean.

It also explains that ALBA’s countries do not reject direct foreign investment but do impose an intelligent relationship with it, so that it can be exploited for the benefit of nations, and not optimized at their expense.

It is therefore essential an integration mechanism like ALBA while as bloc we impose conditions to prevent capital interests prevail over those of the population, it says.

ALBA’s members intend to work together for providing free education and health care -as quality public services- for people with disabilities, among others.

It demands a holistic and alternative vision of development, which is not limited to search only trade agreements, but also to ensure productive progress in areas such as energy, intraregional trade, food production, intermediate industries, investments and financing.

The vice president of the Councils of State and Ministers of Cuba, Jose Ramon Machado Ventura, who attended this regional meeting, highlighted the virtues that will be generated by the creation of an economic zone linking ALBA to Petrocaribe and the Southern Common Market (Mercosur).

The goal of the Alliance is to integrate more African countries, strengthen economic ties from the cooperativism, without allowing the rule of capital, and continue social and educational programs already developed, said Cuban Vice President.

He remarked the existing consonance between social movements and the ALBA’s leaders, since in the statements of both summits, which met in unison, the approaches and agreements had meeting points.

For two days, in Guayaquil, 200 representatives of ALBA’s social organizations debated and exchanged on topics related to sovereignty of the countries, agrarian revolution, indigenous peoples and Afro-descendance, among others.

Machado Ventura emphasized the political statement made by the leaders against international espionage orchestrated by the U.S. and the condemnation, once again, of the aggression made recently by several European countries to the Bolivian President, Evo Morales, who was forbidden to overfly their airspaces.

The 12th ALBA Summit confirmed that in our countries people rule, so they changed the power relations, said the president of Ecuador, Rafael Correa.

The mandate of the citizens, guiding us to govern our countries, generates hatred of the empire, Correa said during the meeting with social movements at the Coliseo Voltaire Paladins Polo.

This event served as close to the international meeting of presidents of nine countries in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Correa criticized double standards, falsehood and irony of imperialism, whose existence and presence should not be ignored, said the president.

Likewise, he called social movements to be alert to organizations using the demonstrations and language of these groups to defend the cause permeated by neoliberalism and rule of capital.

“Heart is not enough, we must act intelligently” against attempts to destabilize, he said.

About 10 thousand people representing social movements to ALBA marched through the streets of Guayaquil, in support of Latin American integration, the culmination of the two summits.

In the meeting with the presidents, representatives of these social groups submitted a declaration in which they reaffirmed the proposition of ALBA, Latin America and the Caribbean to be an endogenous territory, not only from the economic point of view but also political, cultural and social.

For his part, the Bolivian President, Evo Morales, said that social movements gave rise to ALBA and now it advances to complementarity and solidarity to express itself together against policies of some countries attempting to resume the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA).

To the 12th Summit attended heads of state and delegations from governments of Venezuela, Cuba, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Dominica, Ecuador, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Antigua and Barbuda and St. Lucia, which are member states.

As special guests, there were representatives of Uruguay, Argentina, Brazil, Suriname, Guyana and Haiti.

* Correspondent in Ecuador of Prensa Latina News Agency

sc/rlf/arb/nda Modificado el ( sábado, 17 de agosto de 2013 )

Reflections of Fidel: Objective truths and dreams

THE human species reaffirms with frustrating force that it has existed for approximately 230 million years. I do not recall any affirmation that it has achieved any greater age. Other kinds of humans did exist, like the Neanderthals of European origin; or a third, the hominid of Denisova in North Asia but, in no case are there fossils more ancient than those of the homo sapiens of Ethiopia.

On the other hand, similar remains exist of numerous species living then, such as dinosaurs, the fossilized remains of which date back more than 200 million years. Many scientists talk of their existence prior to the meteorite which struck the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, provoking the death of these mammals, some of which measured up to 60 meters in length.

Equally known is the prehistory of the planet which we today inhabit, which broke away from the solar nebula and cooled as a compact, almost flat mass, constituted by a growing number of well defined materials which, little by little, acquired visible traits. It is not as yet known how many remain to be discovered, and the previously unknown uses which modern technology can contribute to human beings.

It is known that the seeds of certain edible plants were discovered and began to be used around 40,000 years ago. There is also confirmation of what was a sowing calendar, engraved in stone approximately 10,000 years ago.

Science must teach all of us to be more modest, given our congenital self-sufficiency. In this way, we would be more prepared to confront and even enjoy the rare privilege of existing.

Countless generous and self-sacrificing people, in particular mothers, whom nature endowed with a special spirit of sacrifice, live in this exploited and plundered world.

The concept of fathers, which does not exist in nature, is on the other hand, fruit of social education in human beings and is observed as a norm in any part of the world, from the Arctic, where the Eskimos are to be found, to the most torrid tropical jungles of Africa, in which women not only look after their families, but also work the land to produce food.

Anyone who reads the news arriving every day on old and new behaviors of nature and discoveries of methods for confronting events of yesterday, today and tomorrow, will understand the exigencies of our time.

Viruses are transforming themselves in unexpected forms, hitting the most productive plants or animals which make possible human alimentation, making the health of our species more insecure and costly, generating and aggravating illnesses, above all among the elderly or infants.

How to honorably confront the growing number of obstacles suffered by the inhabitants of the planet?

Let us think that more than 200 human groups are disputing the Earth’s resources. Patriotism is simply the widest sentiment of solidarity achieved.  Let us never say that it was only little. It evidently began with family activities of reduced groups of people which historians describe as family clans, to explore ways of cooperation among family groups who cooperated with each other in order to undertake tasks within their reach. There was a struggle among family groups in other stages, until they reached higher levels of organization such as, doubtless, tribes.

More than 100,000 years went by. Recollections written on sophisticated parchment, however, date back no more than 4,000 years.

The human capacity to think and develop ideas was already notable, and I sincerely do not believe that the Ancient Greeks were less intelligent than contemporary humans. Their poems, their philosophical texts, their sculptures, their medical knowledge, their Olympic Games; their mirrors, with which they set alight enemy ships by concentrating the sun’s rays; the works of Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Galen, Archimedes and others, filled the ancient world with light. They were men of exceptional talents.

After a long road, we arrived at the contemporary stage of human history.

Critical days were not long in presenting themselves for our homeland, at 90 miles from the continental territory of the United States, after a profound crisis struck the USSR.

From January 1, 1959, our country took charge of its own destiny after 402 years of Spanish colonialism and 59 as a neo-colony. We no longer existed as indigenous peoples who did not even speak the same language; we were a mix of whites, Blacks and American Indians who formed a new nation with its virtues and defects like all the rest. It goes without saying that the tragedy of unemployment, underdevelopment and an extremely poor level of education ruled on the island. The people were in possession of knowledge inculcated by the press and literature dominant in the United States, which was unaware of, if it did not scorn, the sentiments of a nation which fought with arms over decades for its independence and, in the end, also against hundreds of thousands of soldiers in the service of the Spanish metropolis. It is essential not to overlook the history of the ”Ripe Fruit,” dominant in the colonialist mentality of the powerful neighboring nation, which made its power prevail and not only refused the country the right to be free today, tomorrow and for ever, but attempted to annex our island as part of the territory of that powerful country.

When the U.S. Maine battleship exploded in the port of Havana, the Spanish army, comprising hundreds of thousands of men, was already defeated. Just as one day, on the basis of heroism, the Vietnamese defeated the powerful army endowed with sophisticated equipment, including Agent Orange, which affected so many Vietnamese for life, and Nixon, on more than one occasion, was tempted to use nuclear weapons against that heroic people. It was not by chance that he fought to soften the Soviet position with discussions on food production in that country.

I would not be clear if I do not point to a bitter moment in our relations with the USSR. This was derived from our reaction on learning of Nikita Khrushchev’s decision elated to the 1962 October Crisis, the 51st anniversary of which is this October.

When we found out that Khrushchev had agreed with John F. Kennedy to withdraw the nuclear missiles from the country, I published a note of five points which I considered indispensable for an agreement. The Soviet leader knew that initially we warned the Chief Marshal of the Soviet rockets that Cuba was not interested in being seen as an emplacement for USSR missiles, given its aspiration to be an example for other countries in Latin America in the struggle for the independence of our peoples. But despite this the Chief Marshal of those weapons, an excellent person, insisted on the need to have some weaponry which would deter the aggressors. Given his insistence on the issue, I stated that if it seemed to them an essential need for the defense of socialism, that was different, because, above all else, we were revolutionaries. I asked him for two hours so that the leadership of our Revolution could make a decision.

In relation to Cuba, Khrushchev had conducted himself with much dignity. When the United States totally suspended the sugar quota and blocked our trade, he decided to buy what that country had ceased to import, and at the same price; when, a few months later, that country suspended oil quotas, the USSR supplied us with the necessities of that vital product without which our economy would have suffered a major collapse. A fight to the death had been imposed, given that Cuba would never surrender. The battles had been very bloody, as much for the aggressors as for us. We had accumulated more than 300,000 weapons, including the 100,000 we had taken from the Batista dictatorship.

The Soviet leader had accumulated great prestige. As a result of the occupation of the Suez Canal by France and Britain, the two powers which owned the canal and, with the support pf Israeli forces, had attacked and occupied the waterway. Khrushchev warned that he would use his nuclear weapons against the French and British aggressors who had occupied that point. Under Eisenhower’s leadership, the United States was not disposed at that moment to involve itself in a war. I recall a phrase of Khrushchev’s at that time, “Our missiles could hit a fly in the air.”

Not long afterward, the world found itself enveloped in extremely grave danger of war. Unfortunately, it was the most serious as yet known. Khrushchev wasn’t just one more leader, during the Great Patriotic War he was outstanding as the Chief Commissar of the defense of Stalingrad, now Volgograd, in the hardest battle waged in the world, with the participation of four million men. The Nazis lost more than half a million soldiers. The October Crisis in Cuba lost him his position. In 1964 he was replaced by Leonid Brezhnev.

It was supposed that, although at a high price, the United States would keep to its commitment not to invade Cuba. Brezhnev developed excellent relations with our country. He visited us on January 28, 1974, developed the military might of the Soviet Union, trained many officers of our forces in the military academy of his great country, continued the free supply of military armaments to our country, promoted the construction of a water cooled electronuclear power station at which the maximum security measures were implemented, and gave support to our country’s economic objectives.

Upon his death on November 10, 1982, he was succeeded by Yuri Andropov, director of the KGB, who headed the funeral ceremony for Brezhnev and took possession as president of the USSR. He was a serious man, that is my appreciation of him, and also very frank.

He told us that if we were attacked by the United States we would have to fight alone. We asked him if they could supply weapons free of charge as had been the case. He replied in the affirmative. We then communicated to him, “Don’t worry, send us the weapons which the invaders took from us.”

Only a minimum of compañeros were informed of this matter, given that it would have been highly dangerous if the enemy had this information.

We decided to ask other friends for sufficient weapons in order to organize one million Cuban combatants. Compañero Kim Il Sung, a veteran and impeccable combatant, sent us 100,000 AK rifles and their corresponding park without charging a cent.

What contributed to unleash the crisis? Khrushchev had perceived Kennedy’s clear intention to invade Cuba as soon as the political and diplomatic conditions were prepared, especially after the crushing defeat of the mercenary Bay of Pigs invasion, escorted by assault warships from the Marine Infantry and a yanki aircraft carrier. The mercenaries controlled the airspace with more than 40 aircraft including B-26 bombers, air transport planes and other support aircraft. A prior surprise attack on the principal airbase did not find our aircraft lined up, but dispersed to various points, those which could be moved and those that lacked parts. It affected just a few. The day of the traitorous invasion our planes were in the air before dawn, headed for Playa Girón. Let us just say that an honest U.S. writer described it as a disaster. Suffice it to say that at the end of that adventure only two or three expeditionaries were able to return to Miami.

The invasion programmed by the U.S. armed forces against the island would have suffered tremendous losses, far higher than the 50,000 soldiers they lost in Vietnam. They did not then have the experience that they acquired later.

To recap, on October 28, 1962, I stated that I was not in agreement with the decision, not consulted with or known by Cuba, that the USSR would withdraw its strategic missiles, for which launch pads were being constructed, to a total of 42. I explained to the Soviet leader that this step had not been consulted with us, an essential requisite of our agreements. The idea can be put in one sentence, “You can convince me that I am wrong, but you cannot say that I am wrong without convincing me,” and I enumerated five points, to remain sacrosanct. 1. An end to the economic blockade and all the measures of commercial economic coercion exercised by the United States in all parts of the world against our country. 2. An end to all subversive activities, the launching of landing of arms and explosives by air and by sea, the organization of mercenary invasions, filtration of spies and saboteurs, all of these actions carried out from U.S. territory and some complicit countries. 3. An end to pirate attacks perpetrated from bases in the United States and Puerto Rico. 4. An end to all violations of our air and maritime space by U.S. warplanes and warships. 5. Withdrawal from the Guantánamo Naval Base and the return of the Cuban territory occupied by the United States.

It is equally very well known that the French journalist Jean Daniel interviewed President Kennedy after the October Crisis; Kennedy recounted the very difficult time he had experienced, and asked him if I was really aware of the danger of that moment. I asked the French reporter to travel to Cuba, to talk with me and clarify that question.

Daniel traveled to Cuba and asked for an interview. I called him that night and conveyed to him that I wanted to see him and converse with him about the issue, and suggested that we talk in Varadero. We arrived there and I invited him to lunch. It was midday. I turned on the radio and at that moment a glacial dispatch announced that the President had been assassinated in Dallas.

There was virtually nothing left to talk about. Of course, I asked him to tell me about his conversation with Kennedy; he was really impressed with his contact with the president. He told me that Kennedy was a thinking machine; he was really traumatized. I didn’t see him again. For my part, I investigated as far as I could, or rather, imagined what happened that day. Lee Harvey Oswald’s conduct was really strange. I knew that he had attempted to visit Cuba not long before the assassination of Kennedy, and that it was supposed that he shot at a moving target with a semi-automatic rifle. I am very well acquainted with the use of that weapon. When one fires, the sight moves and the target is lost in an instant; something which does not happen with other types of firing systems. The telescopic lens, of various degrees of power, is very precise if the weapon is supported, but obstructs when used against a moving object. It is said that two lethal shots were fired consecutively in a fraction of a second. The presence of a lumpen, known for his trade, who killed Oswald in no less than a police precinct, moved by the pain that Kennedy’s wife would be suffering, would seem to be a cynical joke.

No quiero hacer imputaciones; es asunto de ellos, pero se trata de que en los planes estaba involucrar a Cuba en el asesinato de

Johnson, a good oil magnate, lost no time in taking a plane headed for Washington. I do not wish to make imputations; that is a matter for them, but the plans were to involve Cuba in the assassination of Kennedy. Later, after some years had passed, the son of the assassinated President visited and dined with me. He was a young man full of life, who liked to write. Shortly afterward, traveling in a stormy night to a vacation island in a simple aircraft, it apparently failed to find its goal and exploded. I also met in Caracas with the wife and young children of Robert Kennedy, who was Attorney General, and a negotiator with Khrushchev’s envoy and had been assassinated. Thus the world marched by since then.

Very close now to ending this account, which coincides with the 87th birthday of its author on August 13, I ask you to excuse me for any imprecision. I have not had time to consult documents.

News dispatches talk almost daily about issues of concern accumulating on the world horizon.

According to the Russia Today television channel website, Noam Chomsky stated, “”The U.S. policy is designed to increase terror.”

 “According to the eminent philosopher, U.S. policy is designed so as to increase terror among the population. ‘The U.S. is conducting the most impressive international terrorist campaign ever seen […] that of the drone planes and special forces campaign…’”

“The drone planes campaign is creating potential terrorists”

“In his view, it is absolutely amazing that the North American country performs on one hand a massive terror campaign that can generate potential terrorists against oneself, and on the other hand it proclaims that it is absolutely necessary to have mass surveillance to protect against terrorism.”

“According to Chomsky, there are many similar cases. One of the most striking, in his opinion, is that of Luis Posada Carriles, accused in Venezuela of participating in an attack on a plane aboard which on which 73 people were killed…”

Today, I am especially recalling the best friend I had in my years as a political activist – a very modest and poor man forged in the Bolivarian Army of Venezuela – Hugo Chávez Frías.

Among the many books which I have read, impregnated with his poetic and descriptive language, there is one which distills his rich culture and his capacity for expressing his intelligence and his sympathies in rigorous terms, through the 2,000-plus questions put to him by the likewise French journalist, Ignacio Ramonet.

On July 26th this year, when he visited Santiago de Cuba on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the assault on the Moncada and Carlos M. de Céspedes garrisons, Ramonet dedicated to me his latest book, Hugo Chávez Mi primera vida. (Hugo Chávez: My First Life).

I experienced the healthy pride of having contributed to the drafting of this work, because Ramonet subjected me to an implacable questionnaire, which, despite everything, served to coach the author on this material.

The worst thing is that I had not completed my task as a leader when I promised him to revise it.

On July 26, 2006, I fell seriously ill. As soon as I understood that it would be definitive, I didn’t hesitate for an instant to announce on the 31st that I was resigning from my posts as President of the Councils of State and Ministers, and proposed that the compañero designated to exercise this task should immediately proceed to occupy it.

I still had to complete the promised revision of One Hundred Hours with Fidel. I was prone, I feared losing consciousness while I was dictating and sometimes I fell asleep. Nevertheless, day by day, I replied to the devilish questions which seemed to me to be interminably long; but persisted until I finished.

I was far from imagining that my life would be prolonged another seven years. Only in this way did I have the privilege of reading and studying many things which I should have learned before. I think that the new discoveries have surprised everyone.

In relation to Hugo Chávez there remained many questions to answer, from the most important moment of his existence, when he assumed his post as President of the Republic of Venezuela. There is not one question to respond to in terms of the most brilliant moments of his life. Those who knew him well know the priority he gave to those ideological challenges. A man of action and ideas, he was surprised by an extremely aggressive illness which caused him great suffering, but he confronted it with great dignity, and with profound pain for his family and close friends who loved him so much. Bolívar was his teacher and the guide who directed his steps through life. Both of them brought together sufficient grandeur to occupy a place of honor in human history.

All of us are now awaiting Hugo Chávez, Mi Segunda Vida (Hugo Chávez: My Second Life). Without him, nobody could write the most authentic of histories better

 

Fidel Castro Ruz

August 13, 2013

9:05pm.

 

“In Cuba half of all infants less than six months of age are exclusively breastfed.”

More infants exclusively breastfed in Cuba

Israel Hernández Álvarez | Granma International

One of every two infants less than six months of age in Cuba are exclusively breastfed, according to Dr. Pablo Roque Peña, coordinator of the Ministry of Public Health’s breast feeding program.

A full 98% of newborns leaving the hospital are being fed only their mother’s milk, a result of concerted efforts to develop awareness of the importance of breast-feeding, Roque Peña reported.

Health experts explain that this type of nutrition in the first months of life contributes to better health in infants, thus the promotion of breastfeeding by the Cuban health system.

August 1-7 International Breastfeeding Week was celebrated with activities offering advice and information in community centers and clinics across the country.

It has been confirmed that colostrum in mother’s milk provides infants their best defense against intestinal and respiratory illnesses, very much like a vaccine provided directly by the mother to her child.

Scientific research confirms that breastfeeding helps form healthy teeth and reduces deformations of the mouth in babies, while contributing to less bleeding in mothers after birth and facilitating the recovery of the uterus.

Yanisleydis Reyes, mother of a two-month-old baby girl reported that the little one is doing well, receiving exclusively mother’s milk which is always available, uncontaminated and at the ideal temperature.

In addition to these advantages, breast-feeding promotes emotional and psychological bonding between baby and mother, who is naturally prepared to lactate, given that her breasts have been developing throughout the pregnancy to produce milk. (AIN)

A Story that Needed to be Told By Ricardo Alarcón de Quesada #FreeTheFive

By Ricardo Alarcón de Quesada | August 5, 2013 by ICFC5

Fernwood Publishing of Canada has just released “What Lies Across the Water – The Real Story of the Cuban Five”, so far the most complete book available in English on a subject that Americans have had little access to: the case of Gerardo, Ramón, Antonio, Fernando and René, the Cuban patriots incarcerated in the United States for fighting against terrorism

This story has been buried for fifteen years. The efforts of author Stephen Kimber to publish his book in the United States were fruitless. “How hard a sell this book turned out to be for mainstream North American publishers. We heard all sorts of explanations, of course, but the key one seemed to be belief that there wasn’t an audience in America for a book that might present a sympathetic portrait of a bunch of “Cuban spies”. I hope this book proves them wrong.”

The book is the result of thorough and deep research. The author reviewed more than twenty thousand pages of court records (U.S. vs. Gerardo Hernandez, et al) and thousands of legal pages of the longest case in American history. He also read books and newspapers about Cuba and its long confrontation with the United States, and interviewed many persons on both sides of the Florida Strait who favored one of the two sides or none.

This is not a book about the complicated and endless legal process, but its essential aspects are covered. Nor is it a biography of the Five, but its pages shows them for what they are: human beings close to the reader. The book goes far beyond that and helps the reader to understand the conflict between the two countries.

It is not a lengthy work, difficult to read; quite the opposite. Its light and clear language allows readers to move along the episodes of the conflict, and to finish in a few hours a story which captured them from the first page. It is the work of a master journalist, a great writer, and, above all, an honest intellectual committed only to what he could verify on his own.

Already in the first paragraph he tells us, “This is not the book I intended to write. That book was to be a novel, a love story set partly in Cuba.”  And, of course, it was not to be a novel about the Five because, “I had only vaguely heard of them”. In his prologue, Kimber tells us how it was that he decided to abandon his initial project and give us instead a non-fiction book, an example of rigorous, unbiased and objective truth.

In the words of its author, “the story of the Cuban Five isn’t really the story of the Five at all. Or, at least, it’s not just their story. And it isn’t a simple linear narrative. It’s a cascading accumulation of incident and irritant, of connivance and consequence, a parallel, converging, diverging narrative featuring an ensemble cast of eclectic characters on both sides of the Straits of Florida.”

“Perhaps it was the quicksand complexity of it all that ultimately convinced me this story needed to be told, and needed to be told by someone who didn’t already know which versions of which stories were true.”

Here lies the real importance of this book. It is fruit of research carried out by someone who, at the start, was not a defender or sympathizer with the cause of the Five. Kimber, like many of the thousand Canadians who visit Cuba, probably bumped more than once into a propaganda poster written with naiveté or linguistic clumsiness; or heard someone speak with admiration of the Five Heroes. But he knew almost nothing when he started his research.

The author asks a question that holds the key for understanding the problem: Why did the FBI decide to arrest them and take them to public trial? Why, if it had them under surveillance for years, and knew everything they had done and were doing? By acting in this way, deviating from its normal practice, the FBI lost an important and safe source of information. It could not accuse them of anything serious and therefore the two main charges against them were not of substantive crimes. The charges were of “conspiracy” for which they did not need to produce concrete evidence that never existed.

The only explanation is political. In the summer of 1998, the first steps had been taken for what could have been collaboration between the two countries to put an end to the terrorist actions against Cuba that originated in Miami. A delegation of high ranking FBI officials, sent by decision of President Bill Clinton, were given, in Cuba, abundant information on such terrorist activities and had promised to act.

When news of the contacts reached Miami, Mr. Hector Pesquera, the local FBI chief who had close links with the terrorists, arrested the Five with methods that revealed his motivation and the political nature of the operation. “If the espionage charges against the Cubans seemed thin – and they did, even then – why had the FBI decided to make such a big deal of that part of their case? “We have done this publicly,” Hector Pesquera explained in Spanish, in a message that was broadcast frequently on Hispanic radio stations for the next several days, “to gather information from the public.” Huh?

Intentional or not, news of the arrests and the allegations against the Cubans did serve to ratchet up hysteria levels in the always-teetering-on-the-brink Miami exile community. WQBA-1140 AM commentator – not to forget Cuban American National Foundation spokesperson – Ninoska Perez Castellon – announced the FBI switchboard’s number on air and invited people to call the Bureau (and her program) to report “suspicious characters.”

It turned out there were plenty of them. One caller said he could “die in peace” if the police charged all those involved with business promoting travel to Cuba or anyone who called for better relations with Cuba. “Let them shake down every place,” declared another caller, “because there are many, many spies here.”

Exile groups like the Cuban American National Foundation jumped on the news of the arrests, “which we now see has been threatening vital security interests of the United States,” to lobby for even tougher measures against Cuba. The day after Pesquera’s press conference, CANF’s chairman Alberto “Pepe” Hernández and vice chair Jorge Mas Santos, would fire off a letter to Florida Senator Bob Graham, a supportive member of the Senate’s intelligence committee, to ask him to stage a public hearing in Miami about Cuban espionage.”

While all this was happening, right there in Miami, under the nose of Mr. Pesquera and completely undisturbed, the terrorists who would carry out the brutal attack on September 11, 2001, were training.

The environment of hatred created by Miami local media, characterized in 2005 by the Court of Appeals as “a perfect storm created when the surge of pervasive community sentiment, and extensive publicity both before and during the trial, merged with the improper prosecutorial references” , led to the unanimous decision of the judges to rescind the trial. It was much later, in 2006, that it was known that those who unleashed the “storm” received generous and covert payment from the Federal Government.

Kimber’s book appears when the case has reached a crucial moment waiting for the Miami court to rule on the collateral appeals (habeas corpus) whose main ground is the government conspiracy which financed and organized the media campaign that poisoned the environment in Miami and that was initiated by none other than the FBI. Let us hope the Judge reads this book before making her ruling.

 

New Book Reveals Details about Assassination of Che Guevara

Havana, Cuba, Aug 6.- New and irrefutable facts about the assassination of Cuban-Argentinean guerrilla fighter Ernesto Che Guevara are revealed in a new book by Cuban writers and researchers.

The book, entitled “The Assassination of Che in Bolivia,” by authors Adys Cupull and Froilan Gonzalez discloses, through testimonies of people linked to the historic events, details of the last hours of the life of Che Guevara before he was killed and buried.

The book, edited by Cuba’s Editora Politica publishing house, will be launched at the 2014 Havana International Book Fair.

The authors provide information about the tragic end of some of the persons involved in Che’s assassination and the way that Che is still alive in the memory of Bolivian citizens.

In their book, the two researchers refer to their meetings with Bolivian journalist and writer Silvia Mercedes Avila, who was an outstanding reporter with Radio Fides radio station, then led by priest Jose Gramunt.

Avila recalled that on October 9, 1967, the radio station announced that Che Guevara had died the previous evening as a consequence of wounds during a combat at the La Higuera site.

But the news called the attention of several colleagues of the journalist, since the military command had not yet released any reports on such event, said the reporter in the book as she noted that the bad news spread throughout the world.

Avila added that during a journalism course she took in Germany, she learned about the close links between Father Gramunt and the US embassy in La Paz, and his relationship to general Rene Barrientos, who was the president of Bolivia at the time.

Many said that the priest was a CIA agent, who passed the information to the radio station, said the journalist, who pointed out that when she asked Father Gramunt about how he learned of the death of Che, he said that the US embassy in Bolivia, “knew everything and decided everything.” (ACN)