Month: February, 2012
Rene Gonzalez: Motion seeking permission to travel to Cuba for two weeks
| February 29, 2012 | 8:08 pm | Action | No comments

To: CubaNews@yahoogroups.com
Sent: Mon, February 27, 2012 6:19:24 PM
Subject: [CubaNews] Rene Gonzalez: Motion seeking permission to travel to Cuba for two weeks

(From his attorney, Phil Horowitz.
Quickly reformatted from the PDF.)
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COMES NOW the Defendant RENE GONZALEZ by and through his undersigned counsel and moves this Court for the entry of an order modifying his probation to allow him to travel to Cuba for two weeks and as grounds therefore would state as follows:

On October 7, 2011, the defendant completed the fifteen (15) year incarcerative portion of his sentence and commenced his three year term of supervised release. The defendant. a dual citizen of the United States and Cuba, was ordered to remain in the United States and to commence his term of supervised release.

Over the past nearly five (5) months since his release from incarceration, the defendant has faithfully complied with each and every condition of his supervised release.

Well prior to his release from federal prison, the defendant brother Roberto Gonzalez was diagnosed with lung cancer. Over the past two year his lung cancer was in remission due to radical treatment that he received in Cuba and in Mexico. Unfortunately in on May 12, 2011, just prior to his brother’s release, Roberto Gonzalez was additionally diagnosed as having a malignant tumor in his brain.

He continued to receive chemotherapy and radiation therapy both in Cuba and in Mexico and once again, appeared to be regaining strength and vigor. He also received radiotherapy for the brain tumor in Mexico. He was able to celebrate his brother’s release from custody but returned to Cuba on October 26, 2011 to continue his treatment which had rendered him glycemic and bloated. He was also diagnosed with pneumothorax in December 2011. Ultimately with with his blood sugar and bloated condition under control, once again Roberto Gonzalez began to shows signs of recovery and was allowed to return to his home in Havana by late January 2012. Unfortunately, less than two weeks ago, Roberto Gonzalez took a turn for the worse and has been hospitalized in Havana since approximately February 9, 2012.

Doctors in Cuba have discovered a severe blockage in the artery that allows blood to travel to his brain. The onset of these circulatory problems stem from the massive amounts of chemotherapy and radiation that Roberto Gonzalez has been subjected to over the years. He is now unable to travel to Mexico to continue his treatment there. According to the doctors in Havana, the prognosis for Roberto Gonzalez is not good as he is not responding to treatment and his condition continues to worsen. The original cancerous tumors that was found is his lung is growing again and is pressing against vena cava cutting of his circulation. The prognosis is not optimistic and Rene Gonzalez seeks permission of the court to travel to Cuba as soon as this court allows for a period of two (2) weeks. This will allow his to spend time with his seriously ill brother.

As this court may recall, Roberto Gonzalez is an attorney in Havana. During the trial in this case that was held in this case for more than seven months from November 2000 until June 2001, Roberto Gonzalez was a fixture during the trial rarely missing a single day in order that he could be there to support his brother. Due to the breaking events as it pertains to Roberto Gonzalez’s medical condition, the undersigned is filing this motion for permission to travel without supporting medical documentation. The undersigned has made a request from Roberto Gonzalez’s treating physician for a report which includes Roberto Gonzalez’s medical diagnosis and for his prognosis to support the filing of this motion should this court require. This motion will be supplemented with those records as soon as they are received and translated.

In order to best document the nature of Roberto Gonzalez’s current condition, the undersigned has attached the translation of February 23, 2012 medical report signed by three physicians including the internal medicine treating physician, the head of the intensive care unit and finally the hospital director confirming the current, serious nature of Roberto Gonzalez’s illness and his short term prognosis. If this court were to grant this motion, the defendant would be residing with his wife and children and will promptly return to the United States when this court requires. In light of the serious nature of Roberto Gonzalez’s illness, it is respectfully requests that the defendant be given permission to travel to Cuba for two (2) weeks as soon as possible.

On February 23, 2012, the undersigned spoke with the defendant’s supervising probation officer who has informed the undersigned that the defendant has been fully compliant during his term of supervised release during the past five (5) months and though these types of request have been granted in the past as to this type of international travel, he would defer to the court in this matter. WHEREFORE, the Defendant RENE GONZALEZ respectfully requests that this Court enter an order permitting his to travel to Cuba for two (2) weeks as requested.

CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE

I HEREBY CERTIFY that a true and correct copy of the foregoing was electronically filed with the Clerk of Court by using the CM/ECF system which will send a notice of electronic filing to all counsel of record this 24th day of February 2012. Respectfully submitted, LAW OFFICES OF PHILIP R. HOROWITZ Attorney for Defendant RENE GONZALEZ Suite #1910 – Two Datran Center 9130 South Dadeland Boulevard Miami, Florida 33156 Tel.: (305) 670-1915 Fax.: (305) 670-1901 E-Mail: mailto:HorowitzDefense%40aol.com /s/ Philip R. Horowitz By: PHILIP R. HOROWITZ, ESQUIRE Florida Bar No.: 466557 Case 1:98-cr-00721-

Another view of Henry Winston’s legacy

By James Thompson

In the book “Henry Winston: Profile of a U.S. Communist” by Nikolai Mostovets (Progress Publishers, Moscow, 1983) can be found a recounting of a historic speech by Henry Winston at the 15th Convention of the CPUSA which was held in Harlem. The speech was later developed into a pamphlet entitled “What it means to be a Communist.”

Mostovets tells us:

“In his speech, Henry Winston denounced some Party leaders who were showing bureaucratic inclinations. He especially elaborated on the work Communists were to conduct in the unions. Party members were to educate the working-class politically, organize the unorganized and secure a close interrelationship between the economic and the political aspects of working-class struggle. Winston stressed that economic struggle alone led to opportunism and collaboration with the monopolies. That was important because recently some left and Communist union leaders and activists have forgotten the importance of political struggle and been caught in the quagmire of opportunism.

Winston also touched on the major aspects of the Party’s cadre policy. he emphasize the importance of establishing and maintaining close contact between the party leadership and rank-and-file union members: ‘the job of leadership is not alone to guide and direct the work of others-it is also necessary to learn… from the members and the workers. Separation from the membership, from the workers can result only in bureaucracy, and placing oneself above the Party, above the interests of the workers.

‘Secondly, it is necessary to show the utmost vigilance and noting and checking the corrupting influences of our present-day society on the thinking and living habits of some comrades, to expose these influences in the interests of the comrade himself, but primarily in the interest of the party as a whole.

‘Thirdly, it is necessary to eliminate all self complacency, cliquish and ‘family circle’ atmosphere in relationship between Communists, especially rooting out all elements of false praise and flattery. For, as one wise comrade put it, flattery corrupts not only the flattered but the flatterer as well. Fourthly, it is necessary to apply criticism and self-criticism in the molding of Party cadres. Criticism and self-criticism are not to be applied on occasions-on holidays-so to speak. They must be applied daily, as indispensable weapons in the examination of the work of our Party and the individual cadres… Only by learning the lessons from mistakes can our Party cadres develop Communist methods, habits, and qualities of leadership.

‘Finally, only those leaders can withstand the pressures of enemy ideology, can relentlessly fight against opportunism in practice, who constantly strive to master Marxism Leninism-the great liberating science of the working-class which alone gives us the confidence in the inevitable victory of the working-class, headed by its Communist vanguard. Those who see only backwardness, immobility and disunity in the working-class are bound to ignore the essential truth that it is the working-class that possesses all the necessary qualities to bring about the transformation of society and build Socialism.'” (PPS. 46-47)

At the end of the book, there are several tributes to Henry Winston:

“The Soviet people know and deeply respect Henry Winston, a staunch revolutionary and Marxist scholar, a sincere friend of the USSR and other socialist countries, and a dedicated champion of friendship between the Soviet and the American people, of peace throughout the world.

On February 4, 1977 the Learned Council of the USSR Academy of Sciences Institute of US and Canadian studies conferred a doctorate honoris causa on Henry Winston. Pravda wrote in this connection: ‘Henry Winston, a prominent figure in the international communist movement, has been awarded this degree for his outstanding contribution to the national liberation struggle theory, for his profound scholarly analysis of practical revolutionary struggle by the working people of the United States for a democratic and social transformation of society, against imperialism and racial discrimination.’

Henry Winston was in Moscow during the 26th Congress of the CPSU is a member of the CP USA delegation.

Upon his return to the United States he declared: ‘I am proud that I have witnessed a historic Congress. The Soviet Communists have advanced a program of further raising the people’s well-being and a comprehensive platform of struggle for peace, détente and disarmament. Only this road of concrete and constructive negotiations and accords to curb the arms race can save mankind from the threat of nuclear catastrophe. This isn’t glaring contradiction to the policies of the current Republican administration. The latter not only dooms millions of Americans to poverty and unemployment but also pushes the world to the brink of catastrophe accelerating war preparations and fomenting anti-Soviet hysteria. Common sense demands acceptance of the Soviet proposals. Today, we American Communists view efforts to publicize and explain the new Soviet peace initiatives to our people as one of our foremost tasks.’

On April 2, 1981 Henry Winston turned 70 years old. The Central committee of the CPSU sent him the following message to mark the occasion:

‘Dear Comrade Henry Winston,

‘The Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union since you warm fraternal greetings and heartfelt congratulations on your 70th birthday.

‘You are well known as a prominent leader of the US Communist Party who has devoted all the long years of his sociopolitical activities to a courageous struggle for the interests of the working class and all the working people of his country, against racism and reaction, for genuine equality, democracy and social progress. Your unwavering loyalty to the ideals of Marxism Leninism and proletarian internationalism has gained you prestige with the world Communist movement. The Soviet people value highly your tireless efforts in the name of peace, disarmament, understanding and peaceful cooperation between the peoples of the United States and the Soviet Union.

‘We wish you, dear Comrade Winston, good health and success in your work for your people, peace and progress.’…

Henry Winston received messages of congratulations from other Communist parties, progressive organizations and individuals. Among them was a message from Fidel Castro:

‘On your 70th birthday, we wish to extend greetings from our Party and reiterate the admiration of our people feel for a life dedicated to the Communist cause.

‘We Cuban Communists heard in your voice the message of solidarity from the most just people in North America at the Second Congress of our Party. We wish you knew success in your indefatigable struggle for social justice and peace.’

And another message:

‘On the occasion of your 70th birthday, please accept the Portuguese Communists’most sincere wishes of good health, fruitful work and personal happiness, as well as our tribute to a lifetime wholly dedicated to the cause of liberation of the working people.
Alvaro Cunhal
General Secretary
Communist Party of Portugal’…
Gus Hall… had written in an article to mark Winston’s 60th birthday: ‘the bonds that unite us are something more than political ties. We are brothers in regard each other with particular wants, typical of soldiers fighting for a, and in just cause. In this sense we happen to represent the common destiny which unites white and black workers in a close brotherhood of class, in a union for national liberation and working-class struggle. They are involved together in a single worldwide revolutionary process which embraces all nations and all races and which is aimed at freedom and prosperity for all mankind.'” (pps. 130-132)

Two more tributes can be found on the back cover of this book:

“The life of Comrade Henry Winston is a proud page in the history of our Party. It is an illuminating page in the history of the working-class, in the history of Black Americans fighting against racial and national oppression. It is a page of leadership, of courage, of dedication. It is commitment to the full measure.”
Gus Hall
General Secretary, CPUSA

“The spirit that animates Henry Winston infuses the courageous and beautiful people who are fighting imperialism. It is the spirit of people who know deep down within themselves which side they are on, and who know, to, that their side-our side-is invincible.”
John Abt

Stern advice to the left from the House of Lords
| February 26, 2012 | 8:05 pm | Action | No comments

This article is a reaction to the article posted at the link:

http://www.politicalaffairs.net/say-no-to-protectionism/

A sense of humor is essential to balance the humbuggery of much of the political commentary that surfaces today. “Astonishment” is the best word for a recent “provocative discussion” (Say No to Protectionism) posted on the Political Affairs website and authored by Peter Mandelson–“Lord Mandelson” to his UK peers. In the past, Political Affairs was the source of timely, informative articles that expressed the views of advocates of the Marxist-Leninist perspective, authors like Jacques Duclos, Palmiro Togliatti, William Z. Foster, Henry Winston, Herbert Aptheker, Paul Robeson, and many other committed Communists.

But today Political Affairs embraces a far wider spectrum of opinion including now, for undoubtedly the first time, a “lord” from the prestigious UK House of Lords, Lord Peter Mandelson. Unlike Foster, Winston, and Robeson, Mandelson has established his credentials by championing the “third way”, a position to the right of traditional social democratic doctrine.

Mandelson, a pal of George Bush’s subservient buddy, Tony Blair, argued that the UK Labour Party should transform into a market-friendly, classless party located somewhere in the narrow political space occupied by the US two-party farce.

While advocating the vacuous, yet successful ideological fakery of Tony Blair, he managed to cash in on the new opportunities afforded by the “third way”. Undeterred by the media scandals—the multiple resignations from government positions forced by shaky financial dealings—Mandelson persevered with his personal program. Like his US counterparts in governing, he managed to accumulate a fortune and achieve a tainted celebrity.

Mandelson’s subservience to capital has earned him—besides a “lordship”—a consultancy firm, an advisory position with the banking firm, Lazard Freres, and participation in the elite Bilderberg conference: all dubiously supportive of his leftist credentials.

Though Mandelson’s career has been tarnished by opportunistic changes of heart, charges of corruption, and political expediency, those facts do not necessarily diminish his argument. In other words, it doesn’t follow that Mandelson is wrong simply because he is a scoundrel.

So what does Mandelson have to say?

Put bluntly, Mandelson offers a simple, lordly scold to the Left: Say “no” to protectionism; say “yes” to globalization. In his words, “The most important focus for the left should be on equipping people to live in an uncertain economic world, not shutting that world out.”

But let us be clear: in the tortured language of modern day media punditry, Mandelson isn’t scolding the traditional Left of Marx, Lenin, or even the Left of Ralph Nader or Dennis Kucinich, as the editor of Political Affairs might want us believe. Instead, Mandelson means the tepid, slippery left of Barack Obama and Francois Hollande, the Left defined by its ever-so-slight distance from the Center and its merely rhetorical commitment to common folks. One might better call it the “corporate Left” for its refusal to decouple any popular reform from the promotion of corporate interests. That is, Obama and Hollande are really “third way” Left poseurs like Mandelson’s pal, Tony Blair. Hollande, the Presidential candidate of France’s misnamed Socialist Party, says as much in a recent interview in the UK Guardian (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/feb/17/francois-hollande-uk-city-london ) where he heaps lavish praise upon Blair as well as associating himself with Obama’s policies.

While monopoly capital has little to fear from these third-wayers, Mandelson knows that in the heat of both Obama and Hollande’s electoral campaigns, they may well reach deep into their bags of campaign tricks and pull out a calculated populist promise to be tossed to the masses. His concern is that some may take them at their word and actually expect a mild rebuke to the corporate agenda.

For Mandelson, the great fear is that his ideological compatriots might back away from a fully enthusiastic commitment to “globalization”. Now “globalization” is one of those unfortunate and lazy terms that rise to the surface of popular discourse while masking more than it reveals. For decades, talk of free trade, the sins of protectionism, and the enhancement of international competitiveness have been a cover for the exploitation of labor markets. In the end, all the speeches, legislation, and agreements have been constructed to allow capital to flow freely and easily to centers of cheap labor—no more, no less.

It should be obvious that regions, countries, sections, and cities differ vastly in terms of resources, infrastructure, technologies, and capital. But the one element that they all share, the one element that can flexibly change to meet competition, is the cost of labor-power; workers can always be convinced or forced to work for less. A country or region cannot choose to compete globally in the energy market if it has no energy resources, but any country can compete to offer cheaper labor for production or services. Thus, behind all the promised benefits of globalization lies a profit-driven motive: cheap labor. Of course capitalists are not concerned that this process inevitable results in a wage death spiral.

The big lie proffered by Mandelson and his ilk is that global, unfettered competition can produce a world of winners. Yes, even the most apathetic sports fan knows that competition is about winners and losers; someone loses when someone else wins. Perhaps when David Ricardo wrote nearly two centuries ago about countries enjoying relative advantages, the idea of winning some competitions and losing others made some sense. But in today’s world of huge trans-national monopoly enterprises rushing from one low wage area, then to another, the ancient argument dissolves. Only a fool does not see this. And Mandelson is no fool.

He writes that: “The banking crisis discredited certain kinds of financial capitalism and financial regulation and not capitalism in general…we still have to have faith in the basic model of an open and competitive economy.”

And faith is all that Mandelson offers. Only a “lord” in the church of market fundamentalism could disconnect the financially-triggered crisis from the trajectory of global capitalism. Vast wealth and income inequalities, spawned in large part by the “globalization” so dear to Mandelson’s heart, generated a vast ocean of capital seeking investment opportunities. Capitalists found a haven for this enormous glut of surplus value in the banks and other financial institutions, a haven promising strong returns through speculative ventures. Of course this was not a random series of events, but another logical step in the evolution of monopoly capitalism driven by the insatiable thirst for profit.

If over four years of global economic turmoil, four years of mass unemployment and declining living standards, does not “discredit… capitalism in general”, one wonders what would. With even conservative institutions like the IMF and the OECD projecting 5 to 10 more years of pain and suffering in Europe, one wonders what stands behind Mandelson’s vote of confidence.

Perhaps Lord Mandelson’s advice to the left will advance his career and earn him the prestigious knighthood. Certainly he has served the ruling class well.

Zoltan Zigedy

zoltanzigedy@gmail.com

http://zzs-blg.blogspot.com/2012/02/stern-advice-to-left-from-house-of.html

International criticism of Sam Webb’s “A party of socialism for the 21st century”
| February 26, 2012 | 7:53 pm | Action | No comments

Check out the link below which reproduces the Greek CP, Canadian CP, Mexican CP and German CP’s criticism of Sam Webb’s article:

http://mltoday.com/subject-areas/opportunism-reformism-revisionism/international-criticism-of-webbs-a-party-of-socialism-for-the-2st-century-1232-2.html

CPUSA celebrates the life of Henry Winston with a special appearance by Angela Davis
| February 26, 2012 | 7:31 pm | Action | 2 Comments

You can find a video of the CPUSA’s event “Celebrating the life of Henry Winston” at

http://www.cpusa.org/celebrating-the-life-of-henry-winston/

You will also note that Angela Davis is the last speaker in this event. Please listen and feel free to make comments by clicking on “action” at the top of the page of this article.

Constitutional Consequences Of The Medical Condition of Venezuelan Pres. Hugo Chavez
| February 25, 2012 | 9:37 pm | Action | No comments

At this moment, the most pertinent Venezuelan constitutional provision relating Pres. Chavez current medical condition is Article 234.

Article 234: A President of the Republic who becomes temporarily unavailable to serve shall be replaced by the Executive Vice-President for a period of up to 90 days, which may be extended by resolution of the National Assembly for an additional 90 days.

If the temporarily unavailability continues for more than 90 consecutive days, the National Assembly shall have the power to decide by a majority vote of its members whether the unavailability to serve should be considered permanent.

Based on the news we have heard so far from the bourgeois and proletarian media about Chavez’ medical condition, the two sentences in Article 234 are admittedly applicable to the current governmental situation in Venezuela.

The bourgeois and proletarian media say Pres. Hugo Chavez is scheduled to undergo surgery in Havana on Monday or Tuesday of next week to remove a one inch size cancerous growth from his pelvic region where doctors removed a similar growth last year.

The important things about Article 234 is it says that the vice president (VP) can replace the president ANY TIME after the president becomes temporarily unavailable to serve and the Article says that after 90 days of temporary unavailability by the president, the National Assembly MAY remove the president by declaring his temporary unavailability to be a permanent one.

But everybody should be extremely careful if or when they try to apply the language of Article 234.

The first sentence of 234 refers to a president who becomes temporarily unavailable to serve.

The question, then, is when do you start counting the days or recognize the state of unavailability. In the case of Pres. Chavez, do you start counting these days of unavailability on Monday or Tuesday of next week ( that is, the 27th or 28th of Feb.) when Chavez is scheduled to undergo surgery in Havana? Or, do you start counting after the results of the surgical operation have been determined. After all, how do you know whether Chavez is unavailable, if you don’t know the results of the operation?

Another question is how much of a work-load does the president have to carry to be deemed “serving.” After all, as long as the president is serving to some degree, he is not unavailable to serve. In other words, what is the minimum degree of “service” that prevents replacement of the president by the vice president?

It seems that the president, like everybody else, is entitled to some days off work … that is, days when he doesn’t “serve.” As long as the president remains in this entitlement period of days-off, the replacement of the president by the VP is unjustified and unconstitutional.

Entitlement to days-off implies a difference between unavailability to serve and mere unavailability. Not every unavailability is an unavailability to serve.

While he’s in Havana, as long as Pres. Chavez consults, by phone or in person or over the net, with his cabinet ministers about the affairs of state, he is “serving” and nobody, including the VP and National Assembly, should think about replacing him.

There is clear danger of a premature or promiscuous replacement of the president by the VP, meaning the replacement happens before the president’s unavailability to serve is firmly demonstrated.

Article 234 is hard to understand. This is why everybody should be careful with it. Just look at all those things in the Article.

For example, there is an initial 90-day period during which the VP replaces the president, beginning once the president is unavailable to serve. Again, Article 234 doesn’t specify a period of unavailability to serve necessary for the replacement of the president.

As if that isn’t enough complexity, then comes a second 90-day period of VP replacement which the National Assembly may or may not wish to add on to the first 90-day period of VP replacement.

There is an indefinite and indeterminant period of unavailability to serve by the president which triggers the replacement of the president by the VP. This indefinite period of unavailability to serve by the president may be 90 seconds or 90 years.

Finally, after 90 days of “temporary unavailability,” the National Assembly can decide that the temporary unavailability is permanent unavailability. Permanent unavailability obviously means the National Assembly removes the president from office.

Remember that “temporary unavailability” that triggers replacement by the VP may or may not begin at the same time as the temporary unavailability that triggers the removal of the president from office by the National Assembly. Evidently, the National Assembly can decide when and if the Assembly will start counting the 90 days of temporary unavailability that triggers removal.

It’s not easy to unravel these difficulties.

Given the potential for vexation that Article 234 can cause within both the state and civil society, everybody should pray that Pres. Hugo Chavez gets well soon.

What is for sure is that with or without the great patriot and revolutionary Hugo Chavez, revolutionary patriots of Venezuela will win the presidential election set for Oct. 7 this year.

The reactionary quislings of US imperialism will go down in defeat again.

Angela Davis’ tribute to Communist Henry Winston
| February 24, 2012 | 9:46 pm | Action | 2 Comments

Here is a link to Angela Davis’ tribute to Henry Winston:

http://politicalaffairs.net/tribute-to-henry-winston/