Category: Latin America
Response to: “US, Cuba move toward embassies, disagree on human rights”
| January 23, 2015 | 11:10 pm | Analysis, Cuba, International, Latin America, National | No comments

By James Thompson


Hypocrisy or diplomacy


Certainly all rational people understand that the current negotiations between Cuba and the USA are complex and progress will not be smooth.


One way to smooth the negotiations would be to remove the element of hypocrisy constantly being hammered by the US negotiators.


One impediment to progress is the demand by the US for Cuba to improve their stance on “human rights.”


The US negotiators should consider this biblical passage before making demands on Cuba:


John 8:7

And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.”


They also might want to consider this old saying “People who live in glass houses should not throw stones.”


The US negotiators have reached the apex of hypocrisy when they demand that Cuba improve its human rights record.


Cuba has never unleashed nuclear weapons on foreign or domestic metropolises such as the US did to Nagasaki and Hiroshima.


Cuba has never firebombed a city such as was done to Dresden, Germany.


Cuba has never bombed foreign countries throughout the world such as the US has done in Latin America, Africa, Europe, the Middle East and Asia.


Cuba has never committed genocide against foreign or domestic populations such as the US has done to Native Americans, African Americans and Latinos in the USA and to the peoples of Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. Cuba has never supported the Israeli government’s oppression and slaughter of Palestinian people. Cuba did not support and fought against apartheid in South Africa while the US stood firmly behind the fascists in South Africa.


Cuba has never maintained foreign military bases such as Guantánamo in which people are unjustly detained, and tortured. The word “hypocrisy” is not sufficient to describe the travesty of the US demands for Cuba to improve its human rights record while the US is violating human rights on Cuban soil.


Cuba has never placed economic sanctions and/or embargoes on a foreign country which resulted in that country’s people’s economic deprivation and misery.


Cuba does not have a history of supporting Nazis and fascists such as the US has done in the Ukraine and many other places in the world.


Cuba does not have a history of barbaric foreign policies of “regime change” of democratically elected governments in foreign countries such as the US has done in Grenada, Panama, Cuba, Venezuela, Yugoslavia, all socialist countries and all anti-imperialist countries around the world.


Cuba has never allowed its police force to murder with impunity young people of African descent.


Cuba has never supported terrorist organizations within its own country who have bombed the airliners of foreign countries such as was done to the airliner carrying the Cuban fencing team in a flight from Venezuela to Cuba. Cuba has never supported perpetrators of terrorism such as Luis Posada Carriles. Mr. Carriles remains free in the USA today even though it is well documented that he has murdered many Cubans.


The US negotiators have not budged in their stubborn adherence to Cuba remaining on the US list of “state sponsors of terrorism.” If the US negotiators want to negotiate in good faith, they must insist that the USA be placed on the US list of “state sponsors of terrorism.”

Venezuela: Nicolás Maduro saluda al pueblo tras gira internacional

Morales Government Generates Massive Jobs Growth in Bolivia

TeleSUR English, January 15, 2015

Since being elected, Bolivian President Evo Morales has carried out policies to create employment throughout the country. 

Bolivian Minister of Labor Daniel Santalla announced Wednesday that Bolivia has generated a half a million jobs in both the private and public sectors since 2006.

“There was major increase in employment throughout the country since 2006, according to the data we have, in both the public and private sector have created more the 500,000 jobs in the country,” he stated.

Santalla attributed the increased employment levels to the policies carried out under President Evo Morales’ administration, which has aimed to expand employment opportunities, especially for economically marginalized communities.

However, the minister also noted that the creation of jobs must also include the generation of “decent and dignified” forms of labor in which workers should receive benefits from social security.

Since 2005, the Bolivian government has made considerable progress in terms of improving labor legislation, including:

• Prohibiting unlawful firings
• Legalizing strikes
• No longer allows employers to fire women with children less then a year old
• Allows women to have paid day to go the gynecologist
• Providing three months of paid benefits after a worker is fired or resigns

Most importantly, from 2005-2013 Bolivia has achieved an increase in real minimum wage of 104 percent, higher than any other Latin American country, according to the International Labor Organization.

Colombia ready for truce talks with Farc – President Santos
| January 15, 2015 | 8:27 pm | International, Latin America | No comments

BBC. January 14, 2015.

Colombia’s president has said his government is for the first time prepared to begin talks on a bilateral ceasefire with Farc rebels.

Juan Manuel Santos said he had asked negotiators to start discussions “as soon as possible”.

He said a unilateral truce declared by the leftist rebels last month “has been a step in the right direction”.

The government had previously refused to join the ceasefire, saying the Farc would use it to rearm.

The two sides have been engaged in peace talks in Cuba since November 2012 to try to end decades of conflict.

‘Real belief’
In a televised address on Wednesday, Mr Santos said peace was closer than ever and it was now time “to de-escalate the intensity of the conflict”.

“We’re closer than ever to secure peace and make it a reality for us, our children and our children’s children.

“I have given instructions to the negotiators to initiate as soon as possible a discussion on the point of the definitive bilateral ceasefire and end of hostilities.”

Mr Santos added that high-ranking military officials had already been appointed to manage the process.

Correspondents say up to now the president has been under pressure from the military not to discuss a bilateral truce because of concerns that the Farc would use it to rearm.

For years, talks of a truce between the government and the rebels was simply unthinkable, says the BBC’s Arturo Wallace in Bogota.

But his latest announcement means the government believes the talks are entering into the final stretch, our correspondent adds.

On 20 December the rebels declared an indefinite cessation of hostilities, in an unprecedented move.

Some 220,000 people, most of them civilians, are estimated to have been killed since the Marxist-inspired rebels launched their armed struggle in 1964.

Cuban Doctor who contracted Ebola will return to West Africa
| December 30, 2014 | 9:02 pm | Cuba, Ebola, International, Latin America | No comments
Source: Telesur English
Felix Baez Sarria will reunite with his colleagues in the Ebola-stricken country next month.
After contracting the Ebola virus while attending patients in West Africa, Cuban doctor Felix Baez Sarria pledged to return to the region once he recovered.

Baez announced this week that he will rejoin his 254 Cuban colleagues in the area to keep fighting the disease.

“I feel very good emotionally and physically,” Baez told the Cuban daily Granma​ in Havana, where he arrived early December after contracting the disease during a medical mission in Sierra Leone.
 “My recovery has gone very well and I am now enjoying my family and friends.”
However, he explained to Cuban TV that he will “go back in the first days of of the new year to Sierra Leone.”
“We are going to fulfil the commitment to return to Cuba, all of us, safe and sound with the satisfaction of having fulfilled our duty”
“The first day they (Cuban colleagues in Africa) told me, ‘take care of yourself, you have to come back’ and I told them ‘of course, I’m going to be with you, don’t worry, I’m going to be back with you again as soon as possible’,” Baez continued.
Baez, 43, is one of the hundreds of Cuban medical professionals deployed in Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia – the nations most affected by the disease.
The United Nations has praised Cuba for its contribution to tackle the disease, which according to the World Health Organization has infected more than 19,000 people and killed about 7,000.
Repeal the Helms-Burton act now!

Please sign the petition

| December 15, 2014 | 10:21 pm | Analysis, International, Latin America, National, Venezuela | No comments
By A. ShawCastro Maduro Morales
Both houses of the US Congress last week passed a bill, which Pres. Obama promises to sign, imposing sanctions on Venezuela.
The sanctions deny visas to certain Venezuelans seeking to visit the USA and the sanctions seize their assets, if any, in the USA.
The main lie used as a pretext to get the bill passed was that the Venezuelan government “repressed” protesters who called for unconstitutional ouster of democratically-elected officials. In Feb. 2014, the protesters tried to force democratically-elected government officials out of office by blocking big streets with overturned cars that the protesters set afire. The street barricades caused traffic jams that sometimes involved as many as fifty thousand vehicles.
The bourgeois regime in Washington DC and the lying “cappie” media throughout the USA praised the street barricades as “peaceful” even after 40 people had been killed trying to remove or defend the barricades and this regime and media also denounced   as “repression”  any effort by Venezuelan government to clear the streets of barricades. (“Cappie,” by the way, stands for capitalist or pro-capitalist. Cappie is used to convey the same courtesies as the term “Commie.”)
This monstrous bourgeois state in DC secretly distributed over a million dollars to protesters, especially to the protest leaders, to keep the protesters in the street.
Virtually the whole  bourgeois media in the USA — reactionary, moderate, and liberal — was unable to stop lying in a futile effort to make the law-breaking protesters look good.
After several months, the protesters got tired of sleeping, eating, and urinating in the streets, so the protesters went home to do these things, giving the pristine democracy in Venezuela a huge and undeniable victory over lawless  protesters and their US imperialist allies. (“Pristine” because the Carter Center in Atlanta, GA, which has  supervised elections in over a hundred countries, says “Venezuela has the best electoral system in the world.”)
The US bourgeoisie was outraged that Venezuelan protesters quit after taking large bribes.
Vindictive in the extreme, the bourgeois regime under Obama decided to punish the Venezuelan Government for its successful defense of democracy against imperial intrigue.
Hence, the sanctions.
Why did the bourgeois-democratic regime in the USA stir up mercenary protesters?
Everywhere in the world, the aggressive regime in the USA attacks democracies and other forms of government to disrupt or interrupt or reverse a passing of state power to the working class, even where the proletarian state has a pristine democratic form. US imperialists don’t want workers in power under any circumstances, anywhere.
The  regime in the USA is a democracy with a bourgeois content or, in other words, a democracy in which representatives of the bourgeois class chiefly exercise state power and in which these representatives exercise power chiefly for the benefit of the capitalist class.
At this time, the regime in Venezuela is also a democracy with a bourgeois content. It’s a bourgeois state in a democratic form.
But in Venezuela, unlike in  the USA, a revolution is taking place.
“Revolution is a passing of state power from one class to another,” according to Lenin.
When power passes to the capitalist class or, more concretely, to elected representatives of the capitalist class, it’s a bourgeois revolution and a bourgeois state may emerge.
When power passes to the working class or, more concretely, to elected representatives of the working class, it’s a proletarian revolution and a proletarian state may emerge.
These representatives are elected by the Venezuelan electorate.
In Venezuela, a proletarian revolution is taking place in accordance with constitutional principles and democratic institutions. A concrete example, like Venezuela, of a passing of state power to the working class that accords with constitutional principles and democratic institutions is extremely relevant to the class struggle in the USA.
Perhaps, one day more of the US Left will discover this relevance.
So far in Venezuela, not enough state power has passed to the working class for a proletarian state to emerge although it evolves. Maybe something like 35% of state power has already passed to the working class. That’s nowhere near enough.
The power of elected public offices, including the presidency, is grossly overrated. Hugo Chavez discovered in 2002 how overrated his power was when the standing army kidnapped him. The bourgeoisie is connected to the bureaucracy and standing army by  “thousands of threads,”  Lenin says. It takes time and a lot of work to sever “thousands of threads.”
At least, about 51% of power must pass before a proletarian state begins to emerge.
Some observer-participants of various ideological and political trends more our less concur that the pace of the passing of state power in Venezuela from the bourgeoisie to the working class has picked-up of late.
President Maduro vows to speed up the passing of power even more in early 2015.
This pick-up in pace terrifies US imperialists who will intensify their aggressive and animal attacks on evolving proletarian democracies.hugo-chavez