Yankis: Remember April

CUBA, VENEZUELA
Yankis: Remember April
Nidia Díaz

• HISTORY has its caprices which, as time passes, become symbols. On April 19, 1961, the Cubans defeated the mercenary invasion on the sandy beaches of Playa Giron. The Bay of Pigs invasion was been backed and paid for by the U.S. government, in an attempt to reverse the revolutionary process and halt the initial steps of our socialism. Meanwhile, we celebrated the victory. In Venezuela, it was the 150th anniversary of the meeting of residents from the province of Caracas in Cabildo to begin the independence struggle that has found continuity in the triumphant Bolivarian Revolution.

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Oscar Niemeyer: “Cuba has always known how to transform setbacks into victories”

BRASILIA, April 11.— A message that reached the Cubadebate editorial staff on Sunday, signed by the eminent Brazilian architect and friend of Cuba, Oscar Niemeyer, confirmed the South American artist’s commitment to the cause of the Cuban Revolution in the face of the recent anti-Cuba media campaign launched by the United States and Europe.

“The world is increasingly more conscious, mature, and connected. Lies and acts of aggression, whether in words or action, do not intimidate us. On the contrary, they strengthen us,” his letter emphasizes.

“In 50 years of Revolution you have demonstrated that the struggle for building a better world makes people of all nationalities stronger and more united,” the text reads and Niemeyer adds, “Any attempt to destabilize will meet determination, ethics, bravery, and tenderness as a response. Cuba has always known how to transform setbacks into victories.”

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Commission Report of the 5th Asia Pacific Conference of Solidarity with Cuba (19-20 March 2010, Vientiane, Lao PDR)

WORKING COMMISSION No. 1

RESISTANCE AND VICTORY OF CUBA UNDER THE IDEALS OF JOSE MARTI, CHE GUEVARA AND FIDEL CASTRO

COMMISSION REPORT

Working Commission No. 1 was participated in by around 90 delegates, of whom 22 gave their interventions — 1 from Cuba, 5 from Laos, 1 from Viet Nam, 5 from India, 3 from Sri Lanka, 3 from Australia, 1 from Bangladesh, 1 from Timor Leste, and 2 from the Philippines.

The first session was initiated with a short discussion by Cuban Ambassador Yvonne Suarez of the highlights of the works and teachings of Jose Marti, Che Guevara and Fidel Castro, who serve as beacons for the Cuban people’s continuing struggle against imperialism and for the defense of national freedom and their socialist choice.

This was followed by a short discussion by Indian Member of Parliament Alampadan Vijayaraghavan, the President of the Indian Committee of Solidarity with Cuba, on the continuing relevance of the ideals of these 3 Cuban leaders. He cited that these 3 Cuban leaders were always prepared to render every sacrifice to resist US imperialism and defend national independence, thereby giving confidence to the Cuban people and to the peoples of other countries that imperialist barbarism can be defeated and that the humane goals of socialism will triumph.

After this, Vietnam-Cuba Friendship Association Vice-President Nguyen Duy Cuong presented a comprehensive paper on the significance of the ideals of the 3 Cuban leaders. He paid homage to Jose Marti’s struggles against US hegemonism in Latin America and the Caribbean, and his clarion call for the unity of the peoples under the banner of independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity. He noted that the ideals of Marti naturally inspired the Moncada Assault led by Fidel Castro, and later the July 26 Movement which  ultimately overthrew the US-propped Batista dictatorship. He noted also that under the inspiration of Marti, Fidel Castro and Che Guevara extended further the goal of national liberation to that of the social liberation of the Cuban people through the building of socialism. Finally, he noted that through the labors of the Cuban people still led by Fidel, Marti’s dream has finally been realized in Cuba with the trail-blazing of a very high degree of progress in education, health care, culture and sports, social services and other fields of human endeavor.

Thereafter, 2 Lao delegates presented their interventions saluting the great internationalist spirit of the Cuban people under the inspiration of Marti, Che and Fidel. They paid homage to the internationalist assistance extended by Cuba to the Algerian Revolution in 1961, to the besieged people of Congo in 1963, and to Angola, Namibia and other Front-Line States fighting against the imperialist-backed apartheid regimes in Southern Africa in the 1980s. They stressed that the victory of the peoples of Southern Africa against apartheid could not have been expeditiously attained without the internationalist assistance of the revolutionary Cuban people.

The Lao delegates pointed out that under the direction of Fidel and Che, and under the inspiration of Marti, the Cuban people were able to achieve great feats — the eradication of illiteracy within a year upon the triumph of the revolution, the development of a high level of education (particularly in the field of medicine), the organization of the Henry Reeve International Medical Brigade which is ready to quickly assist any country stricken by natural calamities or catastrophes, etc.  They noted that half a million Cubans have served in Cuba’s internationalist contingents abroad in the past 50 years, that 6 million people have regained their eye sights under Cuba’s Operation Miracle, that there are now no less than 32,000 foreign students studying medicine as scholars in Cuban universities, and that thousands of foreign graduates from Cuban educational institutions are now contributing significantly to the development of their own countries. All these were accomplished despite the illegal and immoral blockade that US imperialism has imposed upon Cuba since the triumph of the revolution.

Finally, the Lao delegates pointed out that under the direction of Fidel, great emphasis is being given to the moulding of the younger generations, in order to ensure the continued capacity of the Cuban people to resist the US blockade, and to mobilize the next generations to continue the anti-imperialist  struggle and build a prosperous and advanced society which is the goal of socialism. The ideals of Marti and Che, and the continuing work of a fighting Fidel up to the present, are inspirations that have led to advances for the socialist and other left forces in Latin America and other parts of the world.

In general, the other speakers praised the spirit of daring and determination of the 3 Cuban leaders to overcome all the obstacles imposed by US imperialism. This spirit now finds refection in the Cuban people’s tenacity in the defense of socialism, despite the collapse of the former socialist community which led to a long period of hardships and privations in Cuba (known as the “special period”, which continues even today).

Under the direction of Fidel, and under the inspiration of Marti and Che, Cuba was able to pioneer  in the field of biotechnology, and to blaze new grounds in the development of vaccines and in undertaking complex health and other researches, despite Cuba’s being a small developing country. Great strides were also made in the fields of racial and social harmony, and in women’s equality and emancipation.

Today, the ideals of Marti, Che and Fidel  for Latin American and Caribbean integration find realization in the strengthening of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas (ALBA) ; and in the development of the Union of Nations of South America (UNASUR), the MERCOSUR and other mechanisms for economic and cultural integration. With the deepening crisis of the capitalist system, more and more people not only in Latin America but throughout the world are coming to realize that socialism is not just a dream — it is a widening reality, and is in the realm of a worldwide possibility.

Today, the names of Marti, Che and Fidel stand for courage, love of freedom, readiness to sacrifice, and staunch defense of human dignity. They stand for the forging of the patriotic unity of the people, for tenacity in the struggle against imperialism, and for international solidarity with all the peoples who are fighting against imperialism.

Commission No. 1 expressed the general sense that thanks to the ideals of Marti, Che and Fidel — the ideals now being carried forward by new generations of the Cuban people — Cuba remains a beacon for all peoples who are fighting against imperialist aggression and domination, a shining example for all peoples who are struggling to build socialism as the only humane alternative to save humanity from danger.

In conclusion, the participants pledged to further strengthen solidarity with Cuba in each of their countries in Asia and the Pacific — particularly to strengthen the campaigns for the immediate lifting of the criminal US blockade against Cuba, for the expeditious release of the 5 Cuban anti-terrorist heroes who have been held as hostages in US jails for more than 10 years already, and for the early return by the USA to Cuba of the Guantanamo base. The participants further pledged to help propagate the ideals of Marti, Che and Fidel in their solidarity work among the peoples of this region. In connection with the report on the work of Commission No. 2, the participants of Commission No. 1 also pledged to work out practical plans of action for solidarity with Cuba in each of their countries.

Additionally, the foreign participants in Commission No. 1 also expressed their appreciation to the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party (LPRP), to the government and people of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (LPDR), and to the Lao-Cuba Friendship Association, for very kindly and hospitably hosting this 5th Asia-Pacific Regional Conference of Solidarity with Cuba, and for providing all the excellent facilities to make possible the successful holding of this Conference.

The foreign participants in Commission No. 1 also expressed their felicitations and best wishes for every success to the LPRP, and to the government and people of the LPDR, as they celebrate this year 3 important anniversaries — the 55th Anniversary of the founding of the LPRP ; the 35th Anniversary of the founding of the LPDR ; and the 90th Birth Anniversary of the late President Kaysone Phomvihane, the great leader of the victorious revolution in Laos.

WORKING COMMISSION No. 2

ENHANCE THE SOLIDARITY MOVEMENT WITH CUBA THROUGH REGIONAL AND NATIONAL MEDIA NETWORKS

COMMISSION REPORT

The discussions in Commission No. 2 brought out the fact that the movements of solidarity with Cuba in this region, and even all over the world, are not working in uniform conditions. They are actually working at many different levels, and different levels of resources are available to them. The methods of solidarity vary greatly. One level is of those organizations which are working in friendly countries like the PDR of Laos and the SR of Viet Nam. A second level is of those organizations working in countries such as in India, where the ruling party may not be very much interested in the issue of solidarity with Cuba, but does not mind such an activity taking place in the country. Another level is of those organizations that are working in hostile conditions.

Taking into consideration these realities, and having discussed the submissions, Commission No. 2 notes and suggests the following :

1. The traditional media (newspapers, TV, etc.) and the new technological media (internet, websites, social networking, etc.) are complementary to each other.

2. The centralized way of planning the Cuban solidarity movement is very much relevant today, as is the emerging web model of communication using the new media in spreading information in a non-centralized way.

3. There is a need to have a concrete plan of action by each national solidarity movement.

4. The solidarity movement is anti-imperialist in its nature and direction. It should aim at winning the hearts and minds of the people, linking the people emotionally with the cause. The dialectics between solidarity actions and their propaganda components should be stressed.

5. Highlighting the Cuban Revolution’s contributions to health, education and the environment ; and spreading the word about the magnificent work being done by Cuban doctors and other health professionals in the Asia-Pacific region, will help win wider support for Cuba.

6. Mutual exchanges of news, articles, leaflets, reports on activities, and photographs will help strengthen the solidarity movement. Every participant in this Conference should keep in touch with each other through e-mail addresses, solidarity web sites, facebook contacts, etc.

7. Every participating organization should make efforts to sensitize the journalists in their respective country/area about the Cuban cause. Where it is possible, organize the journalists into the activity.

8. All national-level solidarity organizations must start their own websites. They should also investigate the possibility of creating an Asia-Pacific Regional Solidarity with Cuba website.

FINAL DECLARATION

of the 5th Asia-Pacific Regional Conference of Solidarity with Cuba,

19-20 March 2010, Vientiane, Lao PDR

We, the delegates from Australia, Bangladesh, Cambodia, People’s Republic of China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Korea, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, New Zealand, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Timor Leste, the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam and the World Peace Council, gathered here in Vientiane, the capital city of the Lao PDR on the occasion of the 5th Asia-Pacific Regional Conference of Solidarity with Cuba, hosted by the Lao-Cuba Friendship Association and the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples :

– inspired by the ideas of independence and justice proclaimed by the Cuban revolution, and

– being aware that defending Cuba today is the only way to keep alive the hopes and dreams of social justice,

hereby express our complete support and solidarity with the heroic Cuban people who have weathered many acts of aggression from successive US administrations for over half a century now.

We, the 197 delegates gathered here, who not only represent numerous Friendship Associations and Solidarity Groups, but also the huge and multifaceted solidarity movements with Cuba in the Asia-Pacific Region, salute the Cuban people and their Government for their many achievements throughout 51 years of the Revolution. Revolutionary Cuba has displayed selfless solidarity with many peoples in need, and continue to render assistance today — affording health and education to many peoples in developing countries — something which is well known all over the world.

At the same time :

– We condemn the unjust, illegal and criminal blockade imposed by the USA on Cuba, with the USA disregarding the demand of the international community to stop this criminal policy which today (in the context of the current global crisis that mankind suffers) imposes more burdens on the Cuban people.

– We call upon the USA to immediately repeal the Torricelli Act and the Helms-Burton Law which infringe upon the sovereignty of all states.

– We reject the double standards of successive US administrations in their so- called “war against terrorism” and their inclusion of Cuba in the list of countries that allegedly sponsor terrorism. They don’t have any moral right to draw up such a list, and much less to include Cuba in it, while well-known terrorists like Luis Posada Carriles and Orlando Bosch (authors of brutal crimes against the Cuban people) walk freely in the USA.

– We demand that President Barack Obama, the recent Nobel Peace Prize winner, should immediately release the 5 Cuban Heroes unjustly imprisoned for more than 10 year already in US jails. Their only “crime” was to fight terrorism and defend the Cuban people’s right to live in peace. They are an example of dignity and revolutionary steadfastness, and models of the new man that Ernesto “Che” Guevara dreamed about. We won’t get tired of denouncing this injustice. We will increase our struggle until they are allowed to return home free.

– We demand the return to Cuban sovereignty of the territory of the Guantanamo Naval Base, located in the eastern part of Cuba and illegally occupied by the USA, and which is used nowadays as a jail and torture center.

– We reject, at the same time, the establishment of new US military bases in some Latin American countries, which undoubtedly will be used to generate violence against the civilian population as well as against progressive governments in the region. In fact, these military bases constitute a real threat against peoples’ sovereignty.

– We condemn the way in which Cuba’s reality is presented in a distorted manner by imperialism and the mass media in its service. Trying to portray the Cuban revolutionary process with a negative image allows them to continue carrying out aggressive policies against Cuba, despite the so-called “policy of change” claimed by the new US administration. For this reason, we reaffirm our unequivocal commitment to promote awareness of the Cuban reality and the work of the Cuban people by all possible means.

– We deplore the new campaign launched by the European Union, on the basis of a resolution of the European Parliament condemning Cuba for alleged human rights violations. This is yet another example of the false allegations being presented by the propaganda agencies of the USA and its allies (including the European Union) for the past 50 years.

– We defend independence, sovereignty and the right to self-determination of the Cuban people, as well as of other peoples of the world.

– We will continue working for the widening and strengthening of the solidarity movement with Cuba in each of our countries, fighting for truth and keeping unity as the most important weapon of our actions.

This 5th Asia-Pacific Regional Conference of Solidarity with Cuba salutes the 50th Anniversary of the founding of the Cuban Institute for Friendship with the Peoples this coming December 30th. This institution which mobilizes movements based on friendship and solidarity will surely continue to gather more friends worldwide in favor of the Cuban Revolution, as it has done for the last 50 years.

We express our special congratulations and deepest  thanks to the Lao PDR government, the Lao Organizing Committee, and the Lao-Cuba Friendship Association for the warm hospitality and excellent organization of this 5th Asia-Pacific Regional Conference of Solidarity with Cuba. In this year of the commemoration of the 35th Anniversary of the founding of the Lao PDR and of the Lao-Cuba Friendship Association, we would like to extend our best wishes to all the Lao people engaged in national defense and construction.

— The Delegates to the 5th Asia-Pacific Regional

Conference of Solidarity with Cuba,

Vientiane, Lao People’s Democratic Republic,

March 20th, 2010

Statement from the National Assembly of People’s Power

IN the wake of a media campaign mounted by powerful corporations, fundamentally in Europe, which have ferociously attacked Cuba, and after a dirty debate, the European Parliament has just passed a resolution of condemnation against our country that manipulates sentiments, brandishes lies and conceals realities.

The pretext utilized was the death of a prisoner, initially sentenced for a common crime and subsequently manipulated by U.S. interests and mercenaries at its service, who, of his own free will, refused to eat, despite warnings from and intervention by Cuban medical specialists.

This lamentable event cannot be utilized to condemn Cuba by adducing that a death could have been avoided. If there is one field in which our country does not have to defend itself in words, given that the reality is irrefutable, it is in that of the fight for the lives of human beings, whether born in Cuba or in other countries. Just one example is the presence of Cuban doctors in Haiti for more than 11 years prior to the earthquake in January of this year, a fact silenced by the hegemonic press.

Behind that condemnation lies profound cynicism. How many children’s lives have been lost in poor nations because of the decision by rich countries represented in the European Parliament not to meet their commitments to development aid? All of them knew it was a mass death sentence, but they opted to preserve the levels of waste and the continuation of consumerism to suicide in the long term.

We Cubans are also offended by that attempt to teach us a lesson at a time when immigrants and the unemployed are being repressed in Europe, but while here, in neighborhood meetings, people are proposing their candidates for municipal elections, freely and without intermediaries.

Those countries which participated in or allowed the clandestine air transport of detainees, the establishment of illegal prisons, and the practice of torture, lack the ethical authority to pass moral judgments on a people under attack and brutally blockaded.

Such a discriminatory and selective condemnation can only be explained by the failure of a policy incapable of bringing a heroic people to their knees. Neither the Helms Burton Act, nor the European common position, which emerged in the same year in the same circumstances and with the same purpose, both of them damaging to our national sovereignty and dignity, have the most minimal future, because we Cubans reject imposition, intolerance and pressure as a norm within international relations.

National Assembly of People’s Power of the Republic of Cuba

March 11, 2010

Translated by Granma International

ALBA agrees to send aid for the reconstruction of Haiti

CARACAS, January 25.— President Hugo Chávez of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela led the extraordinary meeting of the Political Council of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA), which took place from Sunday in the Miraflores Palace.

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D’Escoto’s UN Farewell Speech to Include Cuban Five Case

HAVANA, Cuba, Aug 27 (acn) Miguel D´Escoto, president of the United Nations General Assembly announced in Managua, Nicaragua, that he will denounce in his farewell speech the injustices done by the US government in the case of the Cuban Five.

At the Augusto César Sandino International Airport, D´Escoto told Prensa Latina news agency that the struggle against terrorism will be part of his speech that will mark the end of this ordinary period of sessions, especially the case of the five Cuban antiterrorists unjustly incarcerated in the United States.

Ramón Labañino, Antonio Guerrero, Fernando Gonzalez, René Gonzalez and Gerardo Hernandez were arrested in September 1998 because they had infiltrated anti Cuban groups in order to alert the Cuban people of the terrorist plans against them.

D’Escoto, a Nicaraguan priest, will denounce that the US administration, once informed by the Cuban authorities of terrorist plans revealed by the Five, as they are known internationally, moved against them instead of stopping such plans.

He also said that he will expose the Palestinian situation and the US and UK policies which show they consider themselves as the world’s masters by trying to impose their positions on the international community.

REMARKS BY ARMY GENERAL RAUL CASTRO RUZ, PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF CUBA, AT THE 15TH NAM SUMMIT, SHARM EL SHEIKH, EGYPT, JULY 15, 2009

Your Excellency Mr. Mohamed Hosni Mubarak, President of the Arab Republic of Egypt:

Distinguished Heads of State or Government:

Ladies and Gentlemen:

On behalf of my delegation I wish to express our appreciation to the Egyptian government and people for their warm welcome.  We are convinced that this 15th Summit Conference will strengthen the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries. Cuba shall offer its full support to Egypt as its new chair.

It is an honor for our country to pass the chair of the Movement on to one of its founders. From its early days, the Cuban Revolution found friendship and support in this Arab nation; and this year we shall celebrate together six decades of continuous fraternal relations.

We never forget the noble gesture of President Gamal Abdel Nasser, one of the founding fathers of non-alignment, who visited the then Prime Minister of the Revolutionary Government, comrade Fidel Castro Ruz, when both converged in New York in 1960 to attend the 15th Session of the UN General Assembly and the Cuban leader was accorded a discriminatory and insulting treatment by the U.S. authorities.

The ministerial meeting of the Coordinating Bureau of NAM held in Havana April 27 to 30 this year succeeded in its basic objective of making arrangements for this summit conference. The ministers and heads of delegations assembled there reached consensus on their positions with regard to the most pressing issues affecting humanity and particularly the developing countries.

The Special Declaration on the World Economic and Financial Crisis adopted in that meeting is proof of the transcendence of the debates and of our determination to work in concert towards the solution of the international problems. NAM has asserted its firm belief that every country, and not only a few, should participate in the quest for effective and just solutions to the current crisis.

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