Category: Fidel Castro
When is the World Going to Impose Sanctions on America?
| July 31, 2017 | 7:13 pm | Analysis, Cuba, DPRK, Fidel Castro, Imperialism, Iran, Russia | No comments

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When is the World Going to Impose Sanctions on America?

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John Wight
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https://sputniknews.com/analysis/201707271055924535-sanctions-us-justice/

Only when we are living in a world in which sanctions are imposed ‘on’ the United States rather than ‘by’ the United States will we know justice reigns.

The decision taken by the US Congress to “punish Russia” for alleged meddling in the US elections with the maintenance of existing sanctions has been followed by a bill to weaken the ability of President Trump to “weaken sanctions on Russia,” thus presenting a direct challenge to the President’s authority. The bill was passed in the House of Representatives by an overwhelming majority and at time of writing awaits a hearing in the Senate, which along with the House makes up the US Congress. The legislation also includes new sanctions against not only Russia but also Iran and North Korea, thus maintaining the pattern of waging economic war against states which refuse to accept that Washington’s writ should run wherever it decides whenever it decides.

Economic sanctions are not the benign instrument that some might assume. On the contrary, they are tantamount to an act of war, a means by which economic might is wielded as club to bludgeon ‘recalcitrant’ nations and states into submission. And though sanctions may not evoke the same sense of potency of cruise missiles, they kill just the same. The experience of the Iraqi people leaves no doubt of it.

Between 1990 and 2003 sanctions on Iraq, imposed by the UN, are estimated to have been directly responsible for the deaths of 2 million people, half a million of them children according to Unicef. Multilateral sanctions were imposed on the country in response to Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait in August 1990. Under UN Security Council Resolution 661 it was mandated that UN-member states should prevent all imports originating in Iraq and Iraqi-occupied Kuwait, business activity between nationals of member states and Iraq, and should undertake an embargo of funds or “economic resources” to Iraq or Iraqi-occupied Kuwait, except for medical or humanitarian purposes.

As journalist John Pilger wrote in a March 2000 article:

“Under economic sanctions imposed by the United Nations Security Council almost 10 years ago, Iraq is denied equipment and expertise to clean up its contaminated battlefields, as Kuwait was cleaned up. At the same time, the Sanctions Committee in New York, dominated by the Americans and British, has blocked or delayed a range of vital equipment, chemotherapy drugs and even painkillers. ‘For us doctors,’ said Dr Al-Ali, ‘it is like torture. We see children die from the kind of cancers from which, given the right treatment, there is a good recovery rate.’ Three children died while I was there.”

The sanctions imposed on Iraq were so draconian and sustained that two UN Humanitarian Coordinators in Iraq, Denis Halliday and Hans von Sponeck, resigned in protest. Yet even with the evidence of the role of the sanctions in killing half a million Iraqi children, Washington remained unrepentant. The by now infamous words of former UN Secretary of State Madeleine Albright in 1996, when in response to a question during an interview about the infanticide that was taking place as a result of the sanctions she said “the price is worth it,” exposed the barbarity that lies behind the mask of Western civilization.

The fact the sanctions were only lifted from Iraq after the devastating war unleashed on the country by the US and its UK ally in 2003 had killed countless more children tells its own story.

Cuba has suffered under the iron heel of US economic sanctions and embargo longer than any other country on the planet. A raft of economic sanctions were originally imposed on the island in 1960 by the Eisenhower administration after the Cuban revolution of the previous year succeeded in toppling the US-supported dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista, after which US corporations and businesses that had been operating without restraint in Cuba were expropriated and nationalized.

Miniature flags representing Cuba and the United States are displayed on the dash of an American classic car in Havana, Cuba.
© AP Photo/ Franklin Reyes, File
Miniature flags representing Cuba and the United States are displayed on the dash of an American classic car in Havana, Cuba.

Relations between Havana and Washington turned even more sour two years later when Fidel Castro defied Washington in forging close ties with the Soviet Union. In response, the Kennedy administration imposed complete economic sanctions, which have remained more or less in place over succeeding decades.

As French journalist Salim Lamrani pointed out in a 2016 interview on the history of US sanctions against Cuba:

“The sanctions are anachronistic because they date back to the Cold War. They are cruel because they affect the most vulnerable categories of the Cuban people, not the leaders. Finally, they are ineffective to the extent that the initial goal of overthrowing the Cuban Revolution has clearly failed.”

Most cogently, Lamrani makes the point that “Rather than isolating Cuba internationally, these sanctions have instead isolated the United States.”

The sanctions imposed by the US and its European allies/vassals on Russia, meanwhile, have been justified as a response to ‘Russian aggression’ in eastern Ukraine, along with reunification of of Crimea with Russia in 2014. As I have written previously, this is a false and tendentious rendering of what has occurred in Ukraine and why.

But regardless of the whys and wherefores, the idea that the largest country in Europe with the second most powerful military in the world, whose economy is stable and built on solid foundations, could ever be brought to its knees by economic sanctions is so preposterous it is laughable.

However the mendacity and arrogance behind Washington’s history of imposing economic sanctions against other states is certainly no laughing matter, not when we consider the ineffable human suffering they have caused and continue to cause.

Moreover, a history of subverting, destabilizing, and destroying one country after another is all the evidence needed to label the US a country so drunk with power and a corresponding sense of exceptionalism that the rest of the world would be more than justified in uniting to impose sanctions on it. In fact, given the brutal history of US imperialism the world needs to as a matter of necessity.

As Fidel Castro said, “The United States tyrannizes and pillages the globalized world with its political, economic, technological, and military might.”

The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Sputnik.

“Condemn me. It does not matter. The peoples will have the last word!”- Fidel Castro Ruz, 26 July 2003
| July 25, 2017 | 9:45 pm | Cuba, Fidel Castro, political struggle | No comments

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

“Condemn me. It does not matter. The peoples will have the last word!”- Fidel Castro Ruz, 26 July 2003

 https://communismgr.blogspot.com/2017/07/condemn-me-it-does-not-matter-peoples.html
Speech by Comandante Fidel Castro Ruz on the 50th anniversary of the attack on the Moncada and Carlos Manuel de Cespedes Garrisons, in Santiago de Cuba, 26 July 2003:
It seems almost unreal to be here in this same place 50 years after the events we are commemorating today, which took place that morning of July 26, 1953. I was 26 years old back then; today, 50 more years of struggle have been added to my life.
Way back then, I could not have imagined for even a second that this evening, the few participants in that action who are still alive would be gathered here, together with those, gathered here or listening to us all around the country, who were influenced by or participated directly in the Revolution; together with those who were children or teenagers back then; with those who were not even born yet and today are parents or even grandparents; with whole contingents of fully fledged men and women, full of revolutionary and internationalist glory and history, soldiers and officers in active duty or the reserves, civilians who have accomplished veritable feats; with a seemingly infinite number of young combatants; with dedicated workers or enthusiastic students, as well as some who are both at the same time; and with millions of children who fill our imagination of eternal dreamers. And once again, life has given me the unique privilege of addressing all of you.
I am not speaking here on my own behalf. I am doing it in the name of the heroic efforts of our people and the thousands of combatants who have given their lives throughout half a century. I am doing it too, with pride for the great work they have succeeded in carrying out, the obstacles they have overcome, and the impossible things they have made possible.
In the terribly sad days that followed the action, I explained to the court where I was tried the reasons that led us to undertake this struggle.
At that time, Cuba had a population of less than six million people. Based on the information available back then, I gave a harsh description, with approximate statistics, of the situation facing our people 55 years after the U.S. intervention. That intervention came when Spain had already been militarily defeated by the tenacity and heroism of the Cuban patriots, and it frustrated the goals of our long war of independence when in 1902 it established a complete political and economic control over Cuba.
The forceful imposition on our first Constitution of the right of the U.S. government to intervene in Cuba and the occupation of national territory by U.S. military bases, together with the total domination of our economy and natural resources, reduced our national sovereignty to practically nil.
I will quote just a few brief paragraphs from my statements at that trial on October 16, 1953:
“Six hundred thousand Cubans without work.”

“Five hundred thousand farm laborers who work four months of the year and starve the rest.”
“Four hundred thousand industrial workers and laborers whose retirement funds have been embezzled, whose homes are wretched quarters, whose salaries pass from the hands of the boss to those of the moneylender, whose life is endless work and whose only rest is the tomb.”
“Ten thousand young professionals: medical doctors, engineers, lawyers, veterinarians, school teachers, dentists, pharmacists, journalists, painters, sculptors, etc., who finish school with their degrees anxious to work and full of hopes, only to find themselves at a dead end, with all doors closed to them.”
“Eighty-five percent of the small farmers in Cuba pay a rent and live under constant threat of being evicted from the land they till.”
“There are two hundred thousand peasant families who do not have a single acre of land to till to provide food for their starving children.”
“More than half of our most productive land is in foreign hands.”
“Nearly three hundred thousand caballerías (over three million hectares) of arable land owned by powerful interests remain idle.”
“Two million two hundred thousand of our urban population pay rents that take between one fifth and one third of their incomes.”
“Two million eight hundred thousand of our rural and suburban population lack electricity.”
“The little rural schoolhouses are attended by a mere half of the school age children who go barefoot, half-naked and undernourished.”
“Ninety per cent of the children in the countryside are sick with parasites.”
“Society is indifferent to the mass murder of so many thousands of children who die every year from lack of resources.”
“From May to December over a million people are jobless in Cuba, with a population of five and a half million.”
“When the head of a family works only four months a year, how can he purchase clothing and medicine for his children? They will grow up with rickets, with not a single good tooth in their mouths by the time they reach thirty; they will have heard ten million speeches and will finally die of poverty and disillusion. Public hospitals, which are always full, accept only patients recommended by some powerful politician who, in return, demands the votes of the unfortunate one and his family so that Cuba may continue forever in the same or worse condition.”
Perhaps the most important statement I made about the economic and social situation was the following:
“The nation’s future, the solutions to its problems, cannot continue to depend on the selfish interests of a dozen big businessmen nor on the cold calculations of profits that ten or twelve magnates draw up in their air-conditioned offices. The country cannot continue begging on its knees for miracles from a golden fleece, like the one mentioned in The Old Testament destroyed by the prophet’s fury. Golden fleece cannot perform miracles of any kind. […] Statesmen whose statesmanship consists of preserving the status quo and mouthing phrases like ‘absolute freedom of enterprise,’ ‘guarantees to investment capital’ and ‘law of supply and demand,’ will not solve these problems.”
“In this present-day world, social problems are not solved by spontaneous generation.”

These statements and ideas described a whole underlying thinking regarding the capitalist economic and social system that simply had to be eliminated. They expressed, in essence, the idea of a new political and social system for Cuba, although it may have been dangerous to propose such a thing in the midst of the sea of prejudices and ideological venom spread by the ruling classes, allied to the empire and imposed on a population where 90% of the people were illiterate or semi-literate, without even a sixth-grade education; discontent, combative and rebellious, yet unable to discern such an acute and profound problem. Since then, I have held the most solid and firm conviction that ignorance has been the most powerful and fearsome weapon of the exploiters throughout all of history.
Educating the people about the truth, with words and irrefutable facts, has perhaps been the fundamental factor in the grandiose feat that our people have achieved.
Those humiliating realities have been crushed, despite blockades, threats, aggressions, massive terrorism and the unrestrained use of the most powerful media in history against our Revolution.
The statistics leave no room for doubt.
It has since been possible to more precisely determine that the real population of Cuba in 1953, according to the census taken that year, was 5,820,000. The current population, according to the census of September 2002, now in the final phase of data processing, is 11,177,743.
The statistics tell us that in 1953, a total of 807,700 people were illiterate, meaning an illiteracy rate of 22.3%, a figure that undoubtedly grew later during the seven years of Batista’s tyranny. In the year 2002, the number was a mere 38,183, or 0.5% of the population. The Ministry of Education estimates that the real figure is even lower, because in their thorough search for people who have not been given literacy training in their sectors or neighborhoods, visiting homes, it has been very difficult to locate them. Their estimates, based on investigative methods even more precise than a census, reveal a total of 18,000, for a rate of 0.2%. Of course, neither figure includes those who cannot learn to read or write because of mental or physical disabilities.
In 1953, the number of people with junior or senior high school education was 139,984, or 3.2% of the population aged 10 and over. In 2002, the number had risen to 5,733,243, which is 41 times greater, equivalent to 58.9% of the population in the same age group.
The number of university graduates grew from 53,490 in 1953 to 712,672 in 2002.
Unemployment, despite the fact that the 1953 census was taken in the middle of the sugar harvest, –that is, the time of the highest demand for labor– was 8.4% of the economically active population. The 2002 census, taken in September, revealed that the unemployment rate in Cuba today is a mere 3.1%. And this was the case in spite of the fact that the active labor force in 1953 was only 2,059,659 people, whereas in 2002 it had reached 4,427,028. What is most striking is that next year, when unemployment is reduced to less than 3%, Cuba will enter the category of countries with full employment, something that is inconceivable in any other country of Latin America or even the so-called economically developed nations in the midst of the current worldwide economic situation.
Without going into other areas of noteworthy social advances, I will simply add that between 1953 and 2002, the population almost doubled, the number of homes tripled, and the number of persons per home was reduced from 4.46 in 1953 to 3.16 in 2002; 75.4% of these homes were built after the triumph of the Revolution.
Eighty five percent of the people own the houses they dwell and they do not pay taxes; the remaining 15% pays a rather symbolic rent.
Of the total number of homes in the country, the percentage of huts fell from 33.3% in 1953 to 5.7% in 2002, while the percentage of homes with electrical power service rose from 55.6% in 1953 to 95.5% in 2002.
These statistics, however, do not tell the full story. Cold figures cannot express quality, and it is in terms of quality that the most truly spectacular advances have been achieved by Cuba.
Today, by a wide margin, our country occupies first place worldwide in the number of teachers, professors and educators per capita. The country’s active teaching staff accounts for the incredible figure of 290,574.
According to studies analyzing a group of the main educational indicators, Cuba also occupies first place, above the developed countries. The maximum of 20 students per teacher in primary schools already attained, and the ratio of one teacher per 15 students in junior high school –grades seven, eight and nine– that will be achieved this coming school year, are things that could not even be dreamed of in the world’s wealthiest, most developed countries.
The number of doctors is 67,079, of which 45,599 are specialists and 8,858 are in training. The number of nurses is 81,459, while that of healthcare technicians is 66,339, for a total of 214,877 doctors, nurses and technicians in the healthcare sector.
Life expectancy is 76.15 years; infant mortality is 6.5 for 1000 live births during the first year of life, lower than any other Third World country and even some of the developed nations.
There are 35,902 physical education, sports and recreation instructors, a great many more than the total number of teachers and professors in all areas of education before the Revolution.
Cuba is now fully engaged in the transformation of its own systems of education, culture and healthcare, through which it has attained so many achievements, in order to reach new levels of excellence never even imagined, based on the accumulated experience and new technological possibilities.
These programs are now fully underway, and it is estimated that the knowledge currently acquired by children, teenagers and young people will be tripled with each school year. At the same time, within five years at most, average life expectancy should rise to 80 years. The most developed and wealthy countries will never attain a ratio of 20 students in a classroom in primary school, or one teacher to 15 students in high school, or succeed in taking university education to every municipality throughout the country to place it within reach of the whole population, or in offering the highest quality educational and healthcare services to all of their citizens free of charge. Their economic and political systems are not designed for this.
In Cuba, the social and human nightmare denounced in 1953, which gave rise to our struggle, had been left behind just a few years after the triumph of the Revolution in 1959. Soon, there were no longer peasants, sharecroppers or tenant farmers without land; all of them became the owners of the land they farmed. There were no longer undernourished, barefoot, parasite-ridden children, without schools or teachers, even if their schooling took place beneath the shade of a tree. They no longer died in massive numbers from hunger, disease, from lack of resources or medical care. No longer were the rural areas filled with unemployed men and women. A new stage began in the creation and construction of educational, healthcare, residential, sports and other public facilities, as well as thousands of kilometers of highways, dams, irrigation channels, agricultural facilities, electrical power plants and power lines, agricultural, mechanical and construction material industries, and everything essential for the sustained development of the country.
The labor demand was so great that for many years, large contingents of men and women from the cities were mobilized to work in agriculture, construction and industrial production, which laid the foundations for the extraordinary social development achieved by our country, which I mentioned earlier.
I am talking as if the country were an idyllic haven of peace, as if there had not been over four decades of a rigorous blockade and economic war, aggressions of all kinds, countless acts of sabotage and terrorism, assassination plots and an endless list of hostile actions against our country, which I do not wish to emphasize in this speech, so as to focus on essential ideas of the present.
Suffice it to say that defense-related tasks alone required the permanent mobilization of hundreds of thousands of men and women and large material resources.
This hard-fought battle served to toughen our people, and taught them to fight simultaneously on many different fronts, to do a lot with very little, and to never be discouraged by obstacles.
Decisive proof of this was their heroic conduct, their tenacity and unshakably firm stance when the socialist bloc disappeared and the USSR splintered. The feat they accomplished then, when no one in the world would have bet a penny on the survival of the Revolution, will go down in history as one of the greatest ever achieved. They did it without violating a single one of the ethical and humanitarian principles of the Revolution, despite the shrieking and slander of our enemies.
The Moncada Program was fulfilled, and over-fulfilled. For some time now, we have been pursuing even greater and previously unimaginable dreams.
Today, great battles are being waged in the area of ideas, while confronting problems associated with the world situation, perhaps the most critical to ever face humanity. I am obliged to devote a part of my speech to this.
Several weeks ago, in early June, the European Union adopted an infamous resolution, drafted by a small group of bureaucrats, without prior analysis by the Ministers of Foreign Affairs themselves, and promoted by an individual of markedly fascist lineage and ideology: José María Aznar. The adoption of this resolution constituted a cowardly and repugnant action that added to the hostility, threats and dangers posed for Cuba by the aggressive policy of the hegemonic superpower.
They decided to eliminate or reduce to a minimum what they define as “humanitarian aid” to Cuba.
How much of this aid has been provided in the past few years, which have been so very difficult for the economy of our country? In 2000 the so-called humanitarian aid received from the European Union was 3.6 million dollars; in 2001 it was 8.5 million; in 2002, 0.6 million. And this was before the application of the just measures that Cuba adopted, on fully legal grounds, to defend the security of our people against the serious threats of imperialist aggression, something that no one ignores.
As can be seen, the average was 4.2 million dollars annually, which was reduced to less than a million in 2002.
What does this amount really mean for a country that suffered the impact of three hurricanes between November of 2001 and October of 2002, resulting in 2.5 billion dollars in damages for our country, combined with the devastating effect on our revenues of the drop in tourism after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks against the United States, the drop in sugar and nickel prices due to the international economic crisis, and the considerable rise in oil prices owing to various factors? What does it mean in comparison with the 72 billion dollars in losses and damages resulting from the economic blockade imposed by the U.S. government for more than four decades, and with regards to which, as a result of the extraterritorial and brutal Helms-Burton Act, which threatened the economic interests of the European Union itself, the latter reached a shameful “understanding” where it pledged not to support its businesspeople in their dealings with Cuba, in exchange for vague promises that the Act would not be applied to its investments in the United States?
Through its sugar subsidies, the countries of the European Union have caused billions of dollars in losses for the Cuban economy throughout the entire duration of the U.S. blockade.
Cuba’s payments to the countries of the European Union for goods imported over the last five years totaled some 7.5 billion dollars, or an approximate average of 1.5 billion dollars annually. On the other hand, over the last five years, these countries only purchased an average of 571 million dollars worth of imports from Cuba annually. Who is actually helping whom?
Moreover, this much touted humanitarian aid usually comes with bureaucratic delays and unacceptable conditions, such as creating funds of an equal value in national currency, at the exchange rate of our currency exchange bureaus, to provide funding in national currency for other projects where decisions were to be adopted with the participation of third parties.
This means that if the European Commission were to hand over a million dollars, they want the Cuban side to put up 27 million Cuban pesos in exchange, to fund other projects in national currency for the same amount, and the execution of the projects would involve the participation of European non-governmental organizations in all decision-making processes. This absurd condition, which was never accepted, practically paralyzed the flow of aid for a number of projects for three years, and subsequently limited it considerably.
Between October 2000 and December 2002, the European Commission officially approved four projects for an approximate total amount of 10.6 million US dollars (almost all of it for technical assistance in administrative, legal and economic matters) and only 1.9 million dollars for food security. None of this has been executed, due to the delays caused by the bureaucratic mechanisms of this institution. Nevertheless, in all European Union reports, these amounts appear as “approved for Cuba”, although the truth remains that until now not a penny of this funding has reached our country.
It should be remembered that additionally, in all of their reports on aid to Cuba, the European Commission and member countries include so-called indirect costs, such as airfares on their own airlines, accommodation, travel expenses, salaries and First World-standard luxuries. The portion of the supposed aid money that actually directly benefits the projects is whittled away through these expenditures, which do not help the country in any way, but are nonetheless calculated as part of their “generosity” for public relations purposes.
It is truly outrageous to attempt to pressure and intimidate Cuba with these measures.
Cuba, a small country, besieged and blockaded, has not only been able to survive, but also to help many countries of the Third World, exploited throughout centuries by the European colonial powers.
In the course of 40 years, over 40,000 youths from more than 100 Third World countries, including 30,000 from Africa, have graduated in Cuba as university-educated professionals and qualified technical workers, at no cost to them whatsoever, and our country has not attempted to steal a single one of them, as the countries of the European Union do with many of the brightest minds. Throughout this time, on the other hand, over 52,000 Cuban doctors and health care workers, who have saved millions of lives, have provided their services voluntarily and free of charge in 93 countries.
Even though the country has still not completely left behind the special period, last year, 2002, there were already more than 16,000 youths from throughout the Third World undertaking higher studies in our country, free of charge, including over 8,000 being trained as doctors. If we were to calculate what they would have to pay for this education in the United States and Europe, the result would be the equivalent of a donation of more than 450 million dollars every year. If you include the 3,700 doctors providing their services abroad in the most far-flung and inhospitable locales, you would have to add almost 200 million US dollars more, based on the annual salary paid to doctors by the WHO. All in all approximately 700 million dollars.
These things that our country can do, not on the basis of its financial resources, but rather the extraordinary human capital created by the Revolution, should serve as an example to the European Union, and make it feel ashamed of the measly and ineffective aid it offers these countries.
While Cuban soldiers were shedding their blood fighting the forces of apartheid, the countries of the European Union exchanged billions of dollars worth of trade every year with the South African racists, and through their investments, reaped the benefits of the cheap, semi-slave labor of the South African natives.
This past July 21, less than a week ago, the European Union, in a much-trumpeted meeting to review its shameful common position on Cuba, ratified the infamous measures adopted against Cuba on June 5 and declared that political dialogue should continue ‘in order to more efficiently pursue the goals of the common position’.
The government of Cuba, out of a basic sense of dignity, relinquishes any aid or remnant of humanitarian aid that may be offered by the European Commission and the governments of the European Union. Our country would only accept this kind of aid, no matter how modest, from regional or local autonomous governments, non-governmental organizations, and solidarity movements, which do not impose political conditions on Cuba.
The European Union is fooling itself when it states that political dialogue should continue. The sovereignty and dignity of this people are not open to discussion with anyone, much less with a group of former colonial powers historically responsible for the slave trade, the plunder and even extermination of entire peoples, and the underdevelopment and poverty suffered today by billions of human beings whom they continue to plunder through unequal trade, the exploitation and exhaustion of their natural resources, an unpayable foreign debt, the brain drain, and other means.
The European Union lacks the necessary freedom to take part in a fully independent dialogue. Its commitments to NATO and the United States, and its conduct in Geneva, where it acts in league with those who want to destroy Cuba, render it incapable of engaging in a constructive exchange. Countries from the former socialist community will soon join the European Union, albeit the opportunistic leaders who govern them, more loyal to the interests of the United States than to those of Europe, will serve as Trojan horses of the superpower within the EU. These are full of hatred towards Cuba, which they left on its own and cannot forgive for having endured and proven that socialism is capable of achieving a society a thousand times more just and humane that the rotten system they have adopted.
When the European Union was created, we applauded it, because it was the only intelligent and useful thing they could do to counterbalance the hegemony of their powerful military ally and economic competitor. We also applauded the euro as something beneficial for the worldwide economy in the face of the suffocating and almost absolute power of the U.S. dollar.
But now, when the European Union adopts this arrogant and calculated attitude, in hope of reconciliation with the masters of the world, it insults Cuba, then, it does not deserve the slightest consideration and respect from our people.
Any dialogue should take place in public, in international forums, and should address the grave problems threatening the world.
We shall not attempt to discuss the principles of the European Union or Disunion. In Cuba they will find a country that neither obeys masters, nor accepts threats, nor begs for charity, nor lacks the courage to speak out the truth.
They need someone to tell them a few truths, because there are many who flatter them out of self-interest, or are simply spellbound by the splendor of Europe’s past glories. Why do they not criticize or help Spain to improve the disastrous state of its educational system, which brings shame to Europe with its banana republic levels? Why do they not come to the aid of the United Kingdom, to prevent drugs from wiping out this proud nation? Why do they not analyze and help themselves, when they so obviously need it?
The European Union would do well to speak less and do more for the genuine human rights of the immense majority of the peoples of the world; to act with intelligence and dignity in the face of those who do not want to leave it with even the crumbs of the resources of the planet they aspire to conquer; to defend its cultural identity against the invasion and penetration of the powerful transnationals of the U.S. entertainment industry; to take care of its unemployed, who number in the tens of millions; to educate its functionally illiterate; to give humane treatment to immigrants; to guarantee true social security and medical care for all of its citizens, as Cuba does; to moderate its consumerist and wasteful habits; to guarantee that all of its members contribute 1% of their GDP, as some already do, to support development in the Third World or at least alleviate, without bureaucracy or demagoguery, the terrible situation of poverty, poor health and illiteracy; to compensate Africa and other regions for the damage wreaked throughout centuries by slavery and colonialism; to grant independence to the colonial enclaves still maintained in this hemisphere, from the Caribbean to the Falkland Islands, without denying them the economic aid they deserve for the historical damage and colonial exploitation they have suffered.
To a list that would be endless, I could add:
To undertake a genuine policy supporting human rights with actual deeds and not just hollow words; to investigate what really happened with the Basques murdered by GAL and demand that responsibility be taken; to tell the world how scientist Dr. David Kelly was brutally murdered, or how he was led to commit suicide; to respond at some point to the questions I posed to them in Rio de Janeiro regarding the new strategic conception of NATO as it relates to the countries of Latin America; to firmly and resolutely oppose the doctrine of preemptive strikes against any country in the world, proclaimed by the most formidable military power in all of history, for you know where the consequences for humanity will lead.
To slander and impose sanctions on Cuba, is not only unfair and cowardly but ridiculous. Thanks to the great and selfless human capital it has created, which they lack, Cuba does not need the aid of the European Union to survive, develop and achieve what they will never achieve.
The European Union should temper its arrogance an prepotency.
For decades, our people have confronted powers much greater than those possessed by the European Union; new forces are emerging everywhere, with tremendous vigor. The peoples are tired of guardians, interference and plunder, imposed through mechanisms that benefit the most developed and wealthy at the cost of the growing poverty and ruin of others. Some of these peoples are already advancing with unrestrainable force, and others will join them. Among them there are giants awakening. The future belongs to these peoples.
In the name of 50 years of resistance and relentless struggle in the face of a force many times greater than theirs, and of the social and human achievements attained by Cuba without any help whatsoever from the countries of the European Union, I invite them to reflect calmly on their errors, and to avoid being carried away by outbursts of anger or Euronarcissistic inebriation.
Neither Europe nor the United States will have the last word on the future of Humanity!
I could repeat here something similar to what I said in the spurious court where I was tried and sentenced for the struggle we initiated five decades ago today, but this time it will not be me who says it; it will be declared and foretold by a people that has carried out a profound, transcendental and historic Revolution, and has succeeded in defending it:
Condemn me. It does not matter. The peoples will have the last word!
Eternal glory to those who have fallen during 50 years of struggle!
Eternal glory to the people that turned its dreams into a reality!
Venceremos!
Aleida Guevara: “The Cuban Revolution will endure because of social consciousness”

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Aleida Guevara: “The Cuban Revolution will endure because of social consciousness”

https://communismgr.blogspot.com/2017/07/aleida-guevara-cuban-revolution-will.html

Major abstracts of an interview by Aleida Guevara, daughter of the heroic Comandante Ernesto Che Guevara, during her recent visit in Cyprus. The interview was published in the portal Dialogos / Translation in english: In Defense of Communism:

We talked about great personalities like Fidel, Che, Raul, Camilo. Their personalities frequently overshadow the Revolution of the Cuban people and the resistance which lasts for so many years. Something that imperialism feeds with illusions is (the perception) that the biological death of Fidel and Revolution’s leaders will result to her collapse. How do you comment? 
“It is exactly what they did for the people of Cuba that makes them so great revolutionaries. It is that they formated social consciousness also through their own personal example. For example my father set some basic points of reference of the Revolution. One thing he taught us is when we do not understand something, we have the tast to demand an explanation. Not to be afraid of saying what we think. Always with respect and earning the right to be heard. This is very important. Our young people have this educational method. We have full consciousness of the power we have as people. Because it is something more internal, many people do not know that is like that in Cuba.
It is difficult to understand the level of Cuban people’s consciousness. […] There is a large popular critique and our people have a big powers. They hear us. This is the important. The Revolution will endure after the biological absence of great people who led our people. We endured and resisted for many years, being so close to the largest imperialist center.
 
This didn’t happen due to a handful of revolutionaries. It happened because of the developed social consciousness of our people. The people decided and knows what they want. I wouldn’t like to be in the position of the one who will lead the people after the historic leadership of the Revolution, because of the obvious comparison with Fidel. It will be difficult, but the important is the will power of the people and the dedication by the CP of Cuba (PCC).”
Regarding the changes in Cuba’s socialist system, Aleida Guevara said:
 
“There has been much criticism. The PCC prepared a series of issues. These issues were analysed by the people in every workplace, in schools, universities, everywhere. The people expressed their view. The National Assembly of People’s Power recently adopted the final document with over 1,800 modifications made by the Cuban people. The changes in the first text were made through the popular participatory democracy and that is what the Parliament verified. We are very critical as a people. We have the political education to do something like that. Therefore, what will happen is a decision taken by the people.”
In the question about the U.S policy towards Cuba and how she evaluates Trump’s announcements on Cuba, Dr. Guevara mentioned the following:
 
“Obama “varnished” a bit the aggressiveness of the USA, but the worst sanctions of Washington against our people were set during Obama’s period. He was simply a clever politician and presented himself as someone who wanted “changes”. In tactics, not in strategy. Obama’s aim remained the overthrow of the Revolution. The same policy continues and Trump is simply rougher. He proved that when he made the statements alongside the US-funded anti-Cuban mafia of Miami. Alongside terrorists and murderers. And on that point I must say that not all Cubans living in the USA are enemies of our people, like the members of this reactionary and terrorist mafia. The aim of the USA were always the same against our people. Trump simply returned to the face of the previous US Presidents. We aren’t worried. Everyone knows that our people kneels only to pay tribute to the heroes of independence and Revolution. Our struggle continues. They gave us more strength. Maybe it is even better, because many were “drifted” with Obama. They thought that there was a change. They wrongfully thought that the blockade was ended. Exactly the opposite took place. Obama was probably the worst clamp upon Cuban economy. Our people and all the people must remember what Che was saying about imperialism: You can’t trust him at all.”
 
 
Aleida also talked about Che’s admiration for the Soviet people, his affection for reading and studying. Among other things she said:
 
“My father was always a critical person. He was applying the same with the Soviet Union, but with much respect towards the Soviet people who he admired and respected also for his role in the international level”.
 
“In order to exercise critique you have to study a lot. My father was very well-read. He studied and talked with Mao Zedong himself and he could discuss in a documented way with him. That was an advantage of Che. He wasn’t criticizing without reason. If we was criticizing something, that was because he had searched and found answers. That’s why his critique was constructive and he was treated with respect”.
 
Dr. Aleida Guevara mentioned her participation in medical brigades, where she offered her skills and knowledge, like for example in Angola. This experience, she said, strengthened her anti-racist views: “I am a pediatrician and I saw children dying, while I could save them if I had enough medicines. This is unjust. If a child is black or lives in this planet’s south, does it mean it must be condemned to death? There isn’t any right in this situation. That is why I react in everything racist and colonial and I will fight against these until my last breath”.
“Cuba remains a symbol of Socialism. She proves that with her internationalist solidarity. What makes Cuba special? Socialism and our values. The fact that human is above everything. For example, when the Ebola virus broke out in Africa, the WHO (World Health Organisation) did not call a developed capitalist country. It didn’t call the USA or the EU. It called Cuba. And the Cuban doctors stopped this epidemic which would be dangerous for the whole world. Socialist Cuba taught us to be ready to sacrifice ourselves in order to save lifes and help humanity. And the example of Cuba is very significant, because it shows that if we- a poor people- can be against american imperialism, then every people can do it.”
 
Socialism makes the difference as Cuba confronts climate change

By W. T. Whitney Jr.

  1. B. Fidel Castro’s speech at the Rio Earth Summit June 12, 1992 appears below

Cuba’s Council on Ministers on April 25 approved “Life Task (“Tarea Vida”): the State’s Plan for Confronting Climate Change.” Life task will be submitted to Cuba’s National Assembly for approval. Implementation will be the responsibility of the Ministry of Science, Technology, and Environment (CITMA). The ministry’s head, Elba Rosa Pérez, indicated the Plan will require “progressive investments executed over short (the year 2020), medium (2030), long (2050), and very long (2100) terms.”

The unveiling of Life Task comes as the latest manifestation of Cuba’s sustained endeavor to contain the impact of climate change. Over the course of many years the Cuban government has dedicated resources and talent to the project. Policy makers have relied on facts, data, and ongoing research. The process has been orderly and thorough, and yet accepting of modifications to fit new realities. Crucially, the nation has responded to climate change on behalf of all Cubans.

Climate change, of course, affects the United States, in particular Virginia’s Tangier Island, now being engulfed by Chesapeake Bay waters. “[A]t some point it will be too late to save Tangier,” announced Virginia official John Bull on June 2. That was one day after President Donald Trump indicated the United States would be withdrawing from the non-binding Paris Climate Change agreement of 2015.

Cuba’s approach is different. In June 1992, Cuban President Fidel Castro was in Rio de Janeiro attending the United Nations Conference on Environment and Developmentthe “Rio Earth Summit.” There, nations of the world arranged for future UN – sponsored meetings at which scientific findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change would be reviewed. Those recurring meetings, each a so-called “Conference of the Parties,” have led to agreements for reducing carbon emissions, such as the Paris agreement of 2015.

Castro could well have stayed home in 1992; Cubans were facing catastrophe, both humanitarian and economic, following the Soviet collapse. He was in Brazil because revolutionary Cuba speaks for solidarity with all people. In remarks to the delegates, he gave voice to Jose Marti who said: “the homeland is humanity.” Castro warned of danger to humankind “due to the accelerated and progressive destruction of its natural living conditions.”

Afterwards, the government he led took steps on behalf of its own people. It created the Institute of Meteorology, the Institute of Hydraulic Resources, and networks of environmental agencies. It produced maps: a “Climate Atlas,” a national atlas, and soil and geological maps. In 1993 it created “The National Program for the Environment and Development.” The Ministry of Science, Technology, and Environment took shape in 1994. In 1997, Law 81 defined the structure and functioning of centers specializing in environmental work.

Cuba’s Academy of Sciences initiated studies in 1991. The Institute of Meteorology issued two major reports in 1998 and in 2000. After Hurricanes Charley and Ivan in 2004, research efforts intensified. Collective scientific work culminated in a summarizing report released by the Institute of Meteorology in 2014 after three years of work. Titled “Impacts of Climate Change and Measures for Adaptation in Cuba,” the 430-page document contained articles by dozens of authors from 26 Cuban research institutes.

The report surveys climate – change manifestations in Cuba, presents likely climate scenarios “for 2050 and 2100,” evaluates potential effects on various socio-economic sectors, identifies knowledge gaps, and establishes priorities in protecting natural resources. It calls upon the government to develop new capacities and to apply remedial and protective measures in an integrated fashion.

 

Findings of the report found their way into Cuba’s contribution to the “Second National Communication to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.” Commenting on the report, Myrta Kaulard, a United Nations representative assigned to Cuba, observed that, “The team of Cuban experts was capable of achieving equilibrium between the scientific rigor imposed by an investigation of such magnitude and the necessity to explain the anticipated impacts in clear language.”

 

CITMA head Elba Rosa Pérez on April 25 explained that the “Life Task” endeavor was the fruit of research, experimentation, agricultural innovations, and previous experience with protecting natural systems. She identified three priorities: “preserving lives in the most vulnerable areas,” food security, and tourism.

 

The plan calls for “strategic actions,” among them: a ban on new home construction in vulnerable coastal areas, adaptation of infrastructure to coastal flooding, adjustment of land use to drought and salt water contamination, and new farming methods.

 

Projects under Life Task will include : crop diversification; development of heat-resistant plant varieties; protection of urban infrastructure and dwellings; rebuilding of urban sea fronts; relocation of homes; restoration of protective eco-systems such as beaches, coral reefs, and mangrove swamps; improved engineering and hydraulic infrastructure for coastal regions; enhanced water availability; and reforestation to protect soil and water sources.

All in all, Cuba’s preparations for meeting threats on the way from climate change have been persistent and comprehensive; planners relied on ample human resources and full government support.

In the United States, the Obama administration did issue executive orders in 2013 relating to carbon pollution, adverse climate – change effects, and U. S. international leadership. The Trump administration brushed them away. Despite popular mobilizations and despite former Vice President Al Gore’s educational efforts – after he left office – the U. S. approach to climate has no overarching strategy or plan, and includes no significant legislation. Discussion in the United States centers on placating special interests.

Fidel Castro’s remarks in 1992 in Brazil foreshadowed the tension that would come later between two opposed ways of dealing with climate change. People in wealthy nations, he said, enjoy “lifestyles and consumer habits that ruin the environment; … consumer societies are chiefly responsible for this appalling environmental destruction.”

Castro was referring to the flow of wealth from poor to rich nations. He suggested implicitly that that acquisitiveness and production hikes go together in those societies. Industrialized nations, he emphasized, “have saturated the atmosphere with gases, altering climatic conditions with the catastrophic effects we are already beginning to suffer.” Today we realize that production expands in tandem with unlimited energy sources, until now fossil fuels. So carbon emissions increase, and global warming accentuates.

“Make human life more rational,” Castro insisted. “Adopt a just international economic order. Use science to achieve sustainable development without pollution. Pay the ecological debt. Eradicate hunger and not humanity.” He was saying, in effect, that privilege in the industrialized countries depends on subjugation of the world’s majority population to poverty and suffering.

The entire line of reasoning, from Castro in 1992 to what we know now, reveals the imperialist and exploitative underpinnings of the prevailing approach to climate change. The link between climate change and capitalist modes of living and producing is also readily apparent.

Socialist Cuba has long resisted big – power pretentions and long defended working people against capitalist exploitation. In responding to climate change, aggravated by capitalism, Cuba had the right tools at hand, those well – used ones that are essential for moving toward a socialist society. Cuba elaborated a plan, and did so collectively. Planners looked at realities, subjecting them to scientific study. Plans for which a socialist state is responsible serve the good of all. They don’t allow for accumulation or profiteering. These devices aren’t complicated.

Maybe, as suggested by Karl Marx, peoples imbued with socialist values are, on that account, respectful of nature. If so, perhaps they are uniquely qualified to defend against climate change. In his German Ideology, Marx wrote that, “The restricted attitude of men to nature determines their restricted relation to one another, and their restricted attitude to one another determines men’s restricted relation to nature.”

Cuban President Fidel Castro’s speech at the Rio Earth Summit on June 12, 1992

An important biological species — humankind — is at risk of disappearing due to the rapid and progressive elimination of its natural habitat. We are becoming aware of this problem when it is almost too late to prevent it. It must be said that consumer societies are chiefly responsible for this appalling environmental destruction.

They were spawned by the former colonial metropolis. They are the offspring of imperial policies which, in turn, brought forth the backwardness and poverty that have become the scourge for the great majority of humankind.

With only 20% of the world’s population, they consume two-thirds of all metals and three-fourths of the energy produced worldwide. They have poisoned the seas and the rivers. They have polluted the air. They have weakened and perforated the ozone layer. They have saturated the atmosphere with gases, altering climatic conditions with the catastrophic effects we are already beginning to suffer.

The forests are disappearing. The deserts are expanding. Billions of tons of fertile soil are washed every year into the sea. Numerous species are becoming extinct. Population pressures and poverty lead to desperate efforts to survive, even at the expense of nature. Third World countries, yesterday’s colonies and today nations exploited and plundered by an unjust international economic order, cannot be blamed for all this.

The solution cannot be to prevent the development of those who need it the most. Because today, everything that contributes to underdevelopment and poverty is a flagrant rape of the environment.

As a result, tens of millions of men, women and children die every year in the Third World, more than in each of the two world wars.

Unequal trade, protectionism and the foreign debt assault the ecological balance and promote the destruction of the environment. If we want to save humanity from this self-destruction, wealth and available technologies must be distributed better throughout the planet. Less luxury and less waste in a few countries would mean less poverty and hunger in much of the world.

Stop transferring to the Third World lifestyles and consumer habits that ruin the environment. Make human life more rational. Adopt a just international economic order. Use science to achieve sustainable development without pollution. Pay the ecological debt. Eradicate hunger and not humanity.

Now that the supposed threat of communism has disappeared and there is no more pretext to wage cold wars or continue the arms race and military spending, what then is preventing these resources from going immediately to promote Third World development and fight the ecological destruction threatening the planet?

Enough of selfishness. Enough of schemes of domination. Enough of insensitivity, irresponsibility and deceit. Tomorrow will be too late to do what we should have done a long time ago.

https://www.greenleft.org.au/content/fidel-castro-earth-summit

 

 

Fidel Castro and the apologists of capitalism

Friday, May 5, 2017

Fidel Castro and the apologists of capitalism

https://communismgr.blogspot.com/2017/05/fidel-castro-and-apologists-of.html
By Nikos Mottas:
Translated abstract of a speech given in honor of Comandante Fidel Castro Ruz; Greece, 28.4.2017*.
 
 
The death of Fidel Castro last November unfolded, both in Greece as well as internationally, an orchestrated attack against the historic leader of the Cuban Revolution and socialist Cuba. A patchwork of anticommunism, from the far-right to the edge of social democracy, didn’t lose the opportunity to slander the cuban revolutionary, either by attributing to him various characterizations (e.g dictator, controversial personality, etc) or by reproducing proven lies about his supposed fabulous wealth and personal life.
 
They tried to vilify Fidel with numerous slanders…. That he was a dictator who installed a repressing establishment, that socialism was proved- as some claimed- a ‘chimera’ which gave birth to authoritarianism, lack of democracy and freedom.
Of course, the slanderers of Fidel got their response from the people of Cuba who, by hundreds of thousands filled the squares and the streets throughout the country, from Havana to Santiago, with tears in their eyes in order to pay their respects to the revolutionary and communist leader.
 
However, a question arises: What was the reason behind this attack against Castro and why did they consume so much ink in order to vilify Cuba?
 
The answer is simple. What disturbs the slanderers of Fidel Castro- and thats why they attack so fiercely- is what the Cuban Revolution herself symbolizes: This is the capability of the people, of the working class, to fight for a society free from the capitalist shackles and man’s exploitation by man.
 
Behind any slander against “dictator Castro” hides the agonizing effort of the bourgeoisie and her praetorians to obscure and distort the achievements of Socialism in Cuba, so that no conclusions can be drawn from the struggle of the Cuban people.
 
The example of the Cuban Revolution shows that the people who will walk towards Socialism, even beginning from a very low level of productive forces development, can achieve great things regarding the working people-popular needs.
 
It is evident that the great achievements of the Cuban Revolution in a series of social life’s sectors annoy the apologists of capitalist barbarity. It annoys them, for example, the fact that Fidel’s revolutionary government took over a country- colony of the USA- with a very low level of productive forces and steadily transformed her, with the invaluable and crucial economic contribution of the Soviet Union, in a state with very high quality, accessible to all people, public services of Healthcare, Social Welfare, Education, Culture, Sports.
They (apologists of capitalism) are annoyed by the fact that the socialist construction in this small island of the Caribbean, managed in a very short time to almost completely eradicate illiteracy which was dominant in pre-revolutionary Cuba. They are annoyed, of course, because the small Cuba of 11 million inhabitants became a protagonist in internationalist aid and solidarity towards people who were fighting and fight against imperialist barbarity- from south America to Angola.
Exactly because the example of Cuba disturbs them, they decided to turn white into black, to vilify Fidel Castro and the Cuban Revolution.
However, they silence the truth.
They deliberately silence the fact that in Cuba the right to Social Security is for all the people, for the entire population, while on the same time, in the neighboring superpower- the capitalist “paradise” of the USA- dozens of millions of people have no Social Security coverage.
They deliberately silence the fact that in Cuba there is not even one homeless man or woman, while on the same time the large cities of the European Union and the United States have been transformed into “camps” of homeless people.
They deliberately silence the fact that the Cuban National Health System- free and accessible for the entire population- has been characterized by UNESCO as an “example” for the whole world. You see, contrary to the capitalist world where Healthcare has become a commodity and issue to speculation, in small Cuba it remains public good.
They deliberately silence the fact that Fidel’s Cuba managed to decrease child mortality from 42% to 4%, while it is the only Latin American country without child malnutrition.
They deliberately silence that Cuba has one of the lowest illiteracy rates in the world, with the 13% of the annual state budget allocated for the improvement of the public Education System; a number which is double and triple from the respective of the governments in the USA and the EU.
While they silence all the above, Fidel’s slanderers and the anticommunists of every nature have the audacity to speak about “lack of democracy in Cuba”. Of course, we know very well about the kind of “democracy” and “freedom” the apologists of capitalism care.
It is the “freedom” in exploitation, the “freedom” of a minority to exploit the work of the majority, the “freedom” in the frantic race of capitalist profit and competitiveness that flattens lives, rights and needs for the majority of the people. It is the “freedom” that limits in capitalist ownership in the means of production which is the regarded as “sacred” and the bourgeois states protect in every possible way. The same “freedom” which leads the struggle for the share of markets and territories that creates military conflicts and imperialist interventions. It is the “freedom” and “democracy” which stop before the entrance of industries and corporations.
Indeed, this kind of “freedom” was trampled by Fidel’s socialist Cuba- like in the other socialist countries of the 20th century- because that consists a prerequisite for the working people, for those who produce the wealth, to take the power in their hands and to free themselves from the shackes of exploitation.
One thing is therefore evident: The fact that just a few kilometres south of the shores of the imperialist superpower, with a genocidal, criminal blockade that lasts for 55 years, the small island of socialist Cuba has managed not only to stand upright but to progress and achieve great conquests for the workers-people’s needs. These are conquests which in capitalism are unthinkable.
The apologists of capitalism will never forgive Comandante Fidel Castro and Cuba the fact that they didn’t bend, they didn’t make a step backwards, even when the counterrevolutionary overthrows in the beginning of the 1990s in the USSR and the socialist countries of eastern Europe were dramatically changing the correlation of forces worldwide.
In spite of the various apologists of the capitalist system, Fidel Castro and the Cuban revolutionaries have been vindicated by History. 
Comandante Fidel’s historic legacy, the capability of the people to assert their liberation from the shackles of the exploitative system haunts – and will haunt forever- the praetorians of bourgeois ideology. 
 
[…]
Indeed, being a Revolutionary in practice and not in words, Fidel, alongside his comrades, along with the Cuban people, proved that the only superpower are the people who resist, who fight against capitalist barbarity, who pave the way to socialist perspective, for a society without exploitation of man by man. 
 
Political event in honor of Fidel Castro Ruz in Thessaloniki, Greece, organised by the Greek-Cuban Association of Friendship and Solidarity and the Greek Committee for International Détente and Peace.
Event in honor of Fidel Castro held in Greece

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Event in honor of Fidel Castro held in Greece

https://communismgr.blogspot.com/2017/04/event-in-honor-of-fidel-castro-held-in.html
Photo: Embcuba Grecia.

THESSALONIKI- A political event in honor of the historic leader of the Cuban Revolution Fidel Castro Ruz was held on Friday in Greece’s second largest city, Thessaloniki. The event, which was co-organised by the local Greek-Cuban Association of Friendship and Solidarity and the Greek Committee for International Détente and Peace, was attended by the Ambassador of the Republic of Cuba in Greece Ms. Zelmys María Domínguez Cortina and the Embassy’s councellor Mr. Jose Oriol Marrero Martinez

 
Major speakers at the event were the Professor of Contemporary History at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki Giorgos Margaritis, the Secretary General of the Greek-Cuban Association of Friendship and Solidarity Nikos Mottas and the Secretary General of the Greek Commitee for International Detente and Peace Nikos Zokas
A video-tribute to Fidel, including part of his historic speech at the United Nations General Assembly in 1979, was projected at the closing of the ceremony. 
 
The event was attended by representatives of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE), such as the member of the Central Committee Theodosis Konstantinidis and the KKE member of Parliament Giannis Delis.
INTERNATIONAL COMMUNIST BULLETIN #5

Thursday, April 13, 2017

INTERNATIONAL COMMUNIST BULLETIN #5

13 APRIL 2017.
 
CP OF UKRAINE: 
PERSECUTION OF COMMUNISTS IN UKRAINE IS ONGOING.
Source: Solidnet.org.
KIEV- Lysychansk City Court of Lugansk region considered criminal case on charges of Communists Tsymbal and Ryzhevol under Part 2 of Art. 110 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine and sentenced to 3 years in prison each. This sentenced term of improsinment is calculated from 29.09.2015- from the moment of their actual detention. And the term of detention from 29.09.2015 to 21.03.2017 is calculated at the rate of one day of detention for two days in prison bazing on the Criminal Code of Ukraine, credited in the term of punishment imposed by this sentence,
Using abovementioned rate time of imprisonment of Comrades Tsymbal and Ryzhevol is ended. But they are still imprisoned. So, they are now serving sentences longer than the defined by the sentence, which is unacceptable, so deprived of their liberty unlawfully.
At this time of three years term of the sentence is ended even without crediting one day of detention for two days in prison.
Nevertheless, complaint of our lawyers was rejected by the court. This extra imprisonment is contrary not only the legislation of Ukraine but to the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms and jurisprudence of the European Court for human Rights (see “Bozano v. France” of December 18, 1986, p. 60, “Khodorkovskiy v. Russia” number 5829/04 , p. 142, of May 31, 2011, “Khayredinov v. Ukraine” number 38717/04, para. 27-28, of October 14, 2010 etc.)
According to Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights everyone has the right to a fair and public hearing within a reasonable time by an independent and impartial tribunal established by law decide its determination of his civil rights and obligations or of any against him criminal prosecution.
Currently, there is pure reason to believe that the detention of comrades Ryzhevol and Cymbal is arbitrary and consists a violation of Art. 5 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
Communist Party of Ukraine, Central Committee
Department for the International Relations.
* * * 
ITALIAN COMMUNISTS PROTESTED AGAINST THE IMPERIALIST WAR IN SYRIA.
ROME- In front of the capital’s best known landmark- the Colosseum- members from the Communist Party and the Front of the Communist Youth (FGC) demonstrated against the imperialist military aggression against Syria. The purpose of the demonstration was to show that in Italy there is another response to the war- different from the one of Gentiloni’s government (which has already declared its support to the US military intervention).
In its message, the Communist Party of Italy points out that this anti-imperialist stance must reach the working people and the youth of the country’s popular strata who have nothing to benefit from this war. This is a war pursued by the multinationals, the big monopolies from the energy sector.
* * * 
KKE: SOLIDARITY TO THE COMMUNISTS OF VENEZUELA – MEETING WITH THE VENEZUELAN AMBASSADOR IN GREECE.
Source: 902.gr.
ATHENS- On Tuesday morning, a delegation of the KKE comprised by the member of the CC and MEP Kostas Papadakis and the member of the Central Committee’s International Department Nikos Seretakis, visited the Embassy of Venezuela and met with Ambassador Farid Fernandez. The purpose of the visit was to protest against the efforts of the National Electoral Council of Venezuela to ban the Communist Party of the country.
The KKE cadres underlined that it is unacceptable to use a law passed during the period of a police-state and anticommunist regime in order to prohibit the activity of the communists. They pointed out that this attempt against the CP of Venezuela (PCV) is taking place at a time when the deadlocks of the capitalist way of development in Venezuela are being manifested and the threats against the people and the popular movement are sharpening. The government of the country and the political forces which support or tolerate this attack bear big responsibilities, said the KKE members.
The Ambassador pledged to deliver the KKE protest to his government.
* * *
DPRK: THE KOREAN PEOPLE’S ARMY (KPA) BLASTS U.S. DOUBLE STANDARDS.
Source: KCNA.
PYONGYANG- A spokesman for the General Staff of the Korean People’s Army (KPA) answered the question put by KCNA on April 10 as regards the fact that the U.S. is pulling up the KPA over its measures for self-defence while shamelessly conniving at the provocative actions of its stooges.
Noting that the U.S., accustomed to groundlessly taking issue with the DPRK, went reckless in its anti-DPRK campaign even in the UN arena with riff-raffs involved, describing each military drill of the KPA as a “serious provocation” and “threat”, the spokesman said:
This reckless action of the U.S. hell-bent on the hostile policy toward the DPRK is not something new and surprising.
However, the double-dealing approach taken by the U.S. towards the provocative actions of its stooges against the DPRK can never be overlooked.
The south Korean puppet forces are now claiming that “they could strike the whole of the north” and that “they would deploy ballistic missile Hyonmu-2 with the firing range of 800km for an actual battle within this year” but the U.S. keeps mum about it as we expected.
This is a brazen-faced stance quite different from its reaction to the routine rocket firing exercise of the KPA.
Crystal clear is the reason why the U.S. is resorting to such mean gimmick. The U.S. seeks to stifle the DPRK by force at any cost, even discarding any decency and impartiality.
It shows the true colors of the U.S. styling itself the world’s “judge”.
Emboldened by their master’s unfair double standards and double-dealing attitude of making profound confusion of right and wrong, the south Korean puppet warmongers and the Japanese reactionaries, are now going reckless, not afraid of any punishment from the Heaven.
The U.S. should ponder over the serious consequences to be entailed by its self-righteous and unilateral actions against the DPRK.
The south Korean warmongers and the Japanese reactionaries had better stop behaving foolishly.
The brigandish double standards of the U.S. can never be pardoned.
* * *
 
THE 55TH ANNIVERSARY OF CUBA’S YOUNG COMMUNIST LEAGUE (UJC).
Source: Granma.
HAVANA- The Young Communist League (UJC), founded on April 4, 1962, has seen its membership increase. The organization currently has 300,752 affiliates and over 33,000 grassroots committees. It continues to respond to today’s challenges by calling for increased participation in its aim to represent all Cuban youth
As part of activities to mark the 55th anniversary of the Young Communist League (UJC) this April 4, schools across the country held special assemblies, while membership cards were presented to new affiliates of the organization and outstanding students and young workers were also recognized.
Speaking during a press conference in Havana held prior to celebrations, Susely Morfa González, first secretary of the UJC National Committee, stated that “Every activity will have the color, joy and optimism which have characterized this organization for over half a century.”
Fifty five years after its founding, the UJC is proud to be composed of the vanguard of Cuba’s youth, and of the work it continues to do in support of children across the island.
The organization, created on April 4, 1962, has 300,752 members and more than 33,000 grassroots committees. Not only has the UJC’s membership increased, but the organization has made and continues to make concerted efforts to listen and respond to proposals by young people across all sectors.
“Despite the high figures, we want to keep adding more young people and ideas. What is more, we continue to strengthen the organization and its political processes, encouraging and motivating new generations to learn more about Cuba’s history in a more inclusive, humane and creative way,” stated Morfa.
Throughout its existence the UJC has worked to foster the value of making a useful contribution to society in Cuban youth. “There are those who question whether younger generations are conscious of their social role. I believe that they are,” noted the organization’s first secretary, who is also a member of the Communist Party of Cuba Central Committee.
Of the almost three million young Cubans living on the island, “I dare say that the immense majority are revolutionary,” Morfa added.
Many continually put their intellect and interests toward supporting the development of Cuban society something which “the organization attests to on a daily basis, every time we interact with them. There is broad representation of young people across all sectors of our economy, from where they contribute to our country’s development.”
One example, she noted, is the sugarcane sector, where young people represent 65% of the workforce. Similar levels of participation can be found in spheres such as public health and agriculture. “We recently met with young tobacco growers in Pinar del Río, whose efforts not only contribute to boosting the economy, but also preserving a tradition,” stated the first secretary.
Over the last 55 years, the UJC has also been consolidating the way in which institutions and ministries respond to the needs of the island’s youth, who are represented and participate on governing boards and commissions responsible for making decisions which will impact the new generations.
SUPPORTING YOUNG WORKERS
Susely Morfa described as exemplary the relationship between the UJC and National Association of Small Farmers, where the organization has over 8,000 members, as well as its efforts to protect and motivate young Cubans once they enter the workplace, whether it be in the state or private sector.
In 2016, the UJC organized various activities with young non-state sector workers, “where we saw many positive results, shared, exchanged, and listened to these young people. We were accompanied by representatives from the Party, government and relevant institutions in order to respond to queries by those starting out in this form of management,” she added.
This year the UJC has proposed “to continue supporting them (young private sector workers) to combat illegalities, fortify our patriotic symbols, explain to them their rights in this sector, and which ministries and organizations to approach with their queries.”
Among its priorities, the UJC is also proposing to intensify work with secretary generals of grassroots committees. “We cannot forget that although we are an organization that represents the youth, we are also a political organization, home to the vanguard. Therefore, we must continue to strengthen the functioning of our grassroots committees and to encourage youths to take on leadership roles.”
As long as young leaders love the organization, and search for something to do to improve their surroundings every day, consolidate the UJC’s ideological work, and bring together more ideas to continue building the Revolution, members and youths will want to be like them, and will accompany them in this integrationist work, commented the first secretary.
INCREASING PARTICIPATION
The UJC will continue promoting historic tours, summer camps, workshops, and forum-debates, among other important activities for Cuban youth, where they will also have the opportunity to learn more about the island’s history and culture.
“We are working with the Ministry of Culture so that our youth can enjoy recreational offers which feature both our best values and are affordable,” she added.
Cuba’s youth is the continuation of the generation that founded the Revolution, not its substitute, stated Susely, who went on to note that the new generations, strongly committed to the legacy of historic leader Comandante en Jefe Fidel Castro, and the support of the Communist Party of Cuba, will continue to defend socialism and participate in the economic and social transformations that the country needs.
“Those of us who wish to defend, transform, create and preserve everything that has been achieved over these last 55 years will always be with the UJC. Our aim is to increase participation in order to be an organization for all, so that every young person feels a greater attachment to it,” she concluded.