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Thread: President Barack Obama’s visit to Cuba

  1. #61
    Despite Economic Challenges, Cuba Prioratizes Human Development


    Cuban President Raul Castro. | Photo: Reuters

    Published 30 December 2016

    President Raul Castro has stressed that foreign capital must not be demonized, and that it can be still be employed to further the island's socialist goals.
    Even as Cuba faces economic and financial challenges in the upcoming year, the island’s government has announced it will assign 51 percent of the budget towards health, education and social welfare.

    Speaking at the closing session of the 8th Legislature of the National Assembly for 2016, Finance and Prices Minister Lina Pedraza said the new budget would contain an 11 percent increase in expenditures for social welfare programs. These would account for the increase of people in retirement age in the socialist nation, she explained.

    Tax cuts for the use of labor force would also be implemented, she announced, to decrease the burden of expenses in the private and public entrepreneurial sectors in accordance with the nation’s Tax System Law. These measures would also allow local governments to retain 50 percent of revenue from local taxation to use towards economic and social development plans, Prensa Latina reported.

    The 11 percent increase in the 2017 budget has been possible due to the growth of production that replaced imports and investments in 2016, Minister Pedraza explained, according to Prensa Latina.



    Despite a 0.9 percent decline in the country’s Gross Domestic Product as 2016 ends, President Raul Castro pointed out that the GDP is expected to moderately grow 2 percent in 2017. For this to happen, however, Raul stressed the need to ensure exports and timely payment for them, to step up domestic production to further lower the need for imports, and to lower non-essential expenses by efficiently using available resources.

    For all this, he added, foreign investment must be welcomed as a way to further the island’s socialism rather than abandoning it.

    “We are not going towards capitalism, that is completely ruled out, as our Constitution states,” he said. “But we must not be afraid of it (foreign capital) and put obstacles in the way to what we can do within the framework of existing laws.”

    Economic challenges will remain, however, as the 2017 budget expects a deficit of around 11.5 billion pesos, or 12 percent of the GDP. Still, Minister Pedraza is confident in the people’s support to make it through.

    “We'll be starting a year full of challenges, but we feel reassured by the support of the people all across the island,” she told Prensa Latina.

    http://www.telesurtv.net/english/new...1230-0001.html

    Video at link.
    "We say to the workers: 'You will have to go through fifteen, twenty, fifty years of civil wars and international wars, not only in order to change existing conditions, but also in order to change yourselves and fit yourselves for the exercise of political power."'

    MARX (On the Communist Trial at Cologne, 1851).

  2. #62
    Jennifer Bello: We will not give up our principles
    By: Jennifer Bello Martínez
    2 January 2017


    Replica of the yacht Granma. Photo: Roberto Garaycoa Martínez / Cubadebate
    Intervention by Jennifer Bello Martínez, member of the Council of State and President of the University Student Federation, in the Plaza of the José Martí Revolution, on January 2, 2017, "Year 59 of the Revolution"

    Compatriots,

    Friends of the world who are with us today,

    People of Cuba:

    Summoned by history, the present and the future, we attended this historic Plaza just two days after arriving at the 58th Anniversary of the Triumph of the Cuban Revolution to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the heroic uprising in Santiago de Cuba and the Arrival of The Granma expeditionaries, Revolutionary Armed Forces Day.

    This commemoration has special motivations, which for every Cuban and Cuban represent commitment, will and security in the future of the Marti, Socialist and Fidelist revolution. In honor of the Commander in Chief of the Cuban Revolution and our youth, heiress and continuation of the struggles and victories of our people, we dedicate this anniversary.

    What will happen this morning, is only possible when there is a united people, maximum expression of having a Revolution of workers, peasants, students, soldiers; Worthy men and women who are proud of this society.

    Last December, two years of announcements about the decision of Cuba and the United States to restore diplomatic relations and to begin a process towards the normalization of bilateral ties were celebrated.

    We would not have reached this moment without the heroic resistance of the Cuban people and their loyalty to the ideals and principles that have guided it throughout its history as a nation.

    Much remains to be done to advance this process, which will be long and as part of which will have to solve the complex problems accumulated for more than 50 years. Cuba will not stop demanding the lifting of the blockade, which causes damage and deprivation to our people, nor cease to demand the return of the territory occupied by the United States Naval Base at Guantanamo, against the will of the Cuban government and people . Nor will it stop demanding the end of subversive and interventionist programs, aimed at bringing about changes in the political, economic and social order that our people chose sovereignly.

    Sample of it, has been the mobilization and energetic participation of the students and all the society, that like a hornet, we proclaim before the world to defend every conquest. The avant-garde will remain avant-garde, always patriots and anti-imperialists.

    As expressed by our Army General Raúl Castro Ruz in his speech on September 17, at the 17th Summit of the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries held in Venezuela: "Cuba will not give up only one of its principles, nor To make concessions inherent to its sovereignty and independence. It will not give in to the defense of its revolutionary and anti-imperialist ideals, nor in the support to the self-determination of the towns ".

    As part of the preparation of the country for defense, we developed the Bastion 2016 Strategic Exercise, with the objective of updating and exercising in the conduct of the actions foreseen in the defensive plans and in the confrontation of the different actions of the enemy. The Bastion as an essential element in the materialization of the doctrine of the War of the All People, demonstrated once more the unwavering will of the Cubans to defend our sovereignty and preserve the work of the Revolution.

    Precisely, these have been the principles for which we have fought since the cry of independence, and we will demonstrate this in this Military Review and march of the fighting people, which bring together our history, our symbols, rebellion and heroism of this people . Around here the Cuban mambises, to whom the Homeland looks at you proudly, arrive on their horses with the liberating machete.

    The replica of the Granma yacht, a feat of those courageous expeditionaries who made possible the dream of national liberation, this time will sail on a joyful sea of ​​pioneers, the new pines will wave their blue scarves, with the commitment to be the future and always be Ready to conquer the future.

    In a tight picture, four columns of young men will depart representing those brave guerrillas who constituted the Rebel Army; From his blood emerged free, strong and invincible the new homeland.

    The epic of Girón, decisive for the nascent revolution, will also be remembered. 90 combatants of this heroic battle will be paraded through this Square, representing the Rebel Army, the Police and the nascent Revolutionary National Militias. The decision to pay the price that is necessary for the cause of socialism continues to feed the millions of Cubans who inhabit this island.

    Today we also remember the work that children and young people carried out with love and courage in the Literacy Campaign; 90 students from the University of Pedagogical Sciences Enrique Jose Varona wear the uniform that lit this square when the flag was raised with which our people proclaimed to the world that Cuba was already Territory Free of Illiteracy.

    There will also be seven blocks of combatants who performed missions in more than 40 nations, where they exemplified respect for the dignity and sovereignty of the country. The confidence gained in the hearts of these peoples was the result of the unblemished conduct of our combatants.

    Our children are hope, the purest essence of the work of the Revolution. The little members of La Colmenita, laborious bees who give their love, peace and wisdom with their honey come to represent all the country's children.

    Under the eyes of the Apostle, our troops, composed of young people from the educational institutions of the Revolutionary Armed Forces and the Ministry of the Interior, the members of our three valuable Armies, soldiers and militiamen will make their martial and emotional step pay homage to the thousands of Combatants who preserve the security and tranquility of the Cuban people.

    Representing the popular character of the country's defense, will parade provincial, municipal and zone defense councils; The Production and Defense Brigades and our university militias, who, in response to the call of the Mother Country, respond: Present!

    The people of Havana, representing all of Cuba, will fill the Plaza de la Revolución with the responsibility of continuing to fight for our sovereign, independent, socialist, democratic, prosperous and sustainable Nation.

    The new generations as symbols of life, love, human justice and the Revolution, we show our commitment to our country, our Party, Fidel and Raúl, we will walk these streets with the enthusiasm and the impetus that characterizes the youth Cuban, with the conviction to defend this sky and our unique flag.

    Since October 10, 1868, Cubans and Cubans have decided to live in Cuba free, sovereign and independent. No one can make us forget our history or the symbols of resistance of this people.

    We make our own the ideas of the historic leader of the Revolution, in the plenary session of the 7th Congress of the Communist Party of Cuba: To our brothers in Latin America and the world we must tell you that the Cuban people will overcome (...) We will start the march and perfect what We must perfect, with meridian loyalty and united force, like Martí, Maceo and Gómez, in an indescribable march.

    Glory eternal to the fallen for the Fatherland!

    Long live the Cuban Revolution!

    Long live Fidel!

    Viva Cuba Libre!

    http://www.cubadebate.cu/noticias/20.../#.WGp3nVMrLIU

    Google Translator
    "We say to the workers: 'You will have to go through fifteen, twenty, fifty years of civil wars and international wars, not only in order to change existing conditions, but also in order to change yourselves and fit yourselves for the exercise of political power."'

    MARX (On the Communist Trial at Cologne, 1851).

  3. #63
    All hands, all ..
    The cohesion of all Cubans is the most effective way of ensuring the continuity of the Revolution and perpetuating the benefits of our socialist social system ...

    IRIS LEYDI WOOD CHURCHES

    1/1/2017 EXCLUSIVE


    Many underestimate the power of a united nation that has also demonstrated its loyalty to the social project we stand for. (Fernando Medina Fernandez / Cubahora )

    What a chorus of glory can be heard the laughter of the children, to the joy of Dad and Mom. A new year draws its curtains. What do we have in 2017? It is the million dollar question, and after some answers we are looking from the Chinese horoscope to scientific studies. In the end, it is a collective desire: Let the family have health and be always united.

    United. It is easy to say, but it is the task of giants, like a colony of ants in the eagerness to move a grain of sugar into the den. These days we also ask the cohesion of all Cubans as the most effective way of ensuring the continuity of the Revolution and perpetuate the benefits of our socialist social system.

    "The unity of thought, which in no way means the servitude of view, it is certainly an indispensable condition for the success of any political program , " said José Martí , because he had the foresight to know that there was another way to victory after having analyzed the factors that put paid to the Ten Years' War .

    It was precisely the Apostle of our independence who understood that, if liberating Cuba was a political instrument capable of banishing the lags of regionalism and caudillismo, eliminating differences of creed or races, uniting generations, reuniting those within and outsiders, create a new force: the Cuban Revolutionary Party , whose creation was approved on January 5, 1892.

    Months later, on April 10 of that same year, the organization was born. Its foundations already advanced the essential task: "The Cuban Revolutionary Party does not intend to perpetuate in the Cuban Republic, with new forms or alterations more apparent than essential, the authoritarian spirit and bureaucratic composition of the colony, but to base in the frank exercise And cordial of the legitimate capacities of man, a new and sincere democracy, capable of overcoming, through the order of real labor and the balance of social forces, the dangers of sudden freedom in a society composed for slavery. "

    Similar interests also moved the Communist Party founded by Julio Antonio Mella and Carlos Balino in 1925, which was continued then with the work of the revolution, in the current Communist Party of Cuba . It is precisely this association that, today as yesterday, brings together the vanguard, the most honest workers and peasants, the most committed professionals, faithful to the ideals of those who fell fighting for a future of equity; And is, at the same time, much more than a selection of people, the Party is the whole people.

    Two years after the reestablishment of diplomatic relations between the United States and the island, which has led to a series of negotiations with progress and setbacks, some international opinion leaders are looking for a return to capitalism in Cuba, based on internal contradictions that crumble the ideal Socialist, theories that gain followers after the physical loss of the endearing historical leader Fidel Castro, still recent.

    However, they underestimate the power of a united nation that has also demonstrated its loyalty to the social project it defends. There was not a soul in the Plaza de la Revolución that night of vigil to dismiss the Commander in Chief, nor was space left on January 2 in the Military Magazine and March of the Combative People.

    For this reason, now, when you barely count a few nights in 2017 and embrace your friend, your sister, your son, also think of the older family, the inhabitants of a whole country, Cubans of blood and heart. Feel the weight of the work that has been maintained by sacrifices, but with faith in progress and without succumbing to the game of the dishonest, this Revolution that every minute is reborn with goodness and evil, like all human activity, and alone Will be sustained with the unit made wall, like the poem of Guillén.

    http://www.cubahora.cu/sociedad/todas-las-manos-todas

    Google translator
    "We say to the workers: 'You will have to go through fifteen, twenty, fifty years of civil wars and international wars, not only in order to change existing conditions, but also in order to change yourselves and fit yourselves for the exercise of political power."'

    MARX (On the Communist Trial at Cologne, 1851).

  4. #64
    Declaration of the Revolutionary Government (+ Video)
    Cuba and the United States sign an agreement aimed at ensuring regular, safe and orderly migration. This agreement eliminates the policy "dry feet-wet feet" and the provisional admission program (parole) for Cuban health professionals

    Author: Granma | Internet@granma.cu
    January 12, 2017 19:01:54

    An important step in the progress of bilateral relations has taken place on January 12 with the signing of an agreement between the governments of Cuba and the United States, which came into force that day, aimed at ensuring a regular, safe and secure migration. Ordered

    This agreement removes the commonly known "dry feet-wet feet" policy and the provisional admission program (parole) for Cuban health professionals, which Washington applied in third countries.

    For several years, it had been a permanent interest of the Cuban government to adopt a new immigration agreement with the United States to solve the serious problems that continued to affect migration relations, despite the existence of bilateral agreements in this area. For the first time, Cuba formalized this proposal in 2002, which was rejected by the then President George W. Bush. He resubmitted a new draft immigration agreement in 2009, which was updated in 2010 and most recently reiterated on 30 November 2015.

    After nearly a year of negotiations and encouraged by the re-establishment of diplomatic relations on July 20, 2015, based on mutual respect and political will to strengthen those ties and establish new understandings on various issues of common interest, governments succeeded This commitment must contribute to the normalization of migratory relations, which have been marked since the Triumph of the Revolution by the application of aggressive policies in this area by successive US administrations that encouraged violence, irregular migration and trafficking Of people, causing numerous innocent deaths.

    The agreement reached is part of the provision of Cuba, ratified by the President of the Councils of State and of Ministers, General of the Army Raul Castro Ruz, in his address on December 17, 2014, and reiterated on numerous occasions "to sustain with The government of the United States a respectful dialogue, based on sovereign equality, to deal with the most diverse issues in a reciprocal manner, without prejudice to national independence and self-determination of our people, (...) position that was expressed to the Government of States States, public and private, by Fidel at different times in our long struggle, with the approach to discuss and resolve differences through negotiations without giving up one of our principles. "

    It is also consistent with the expressed willingness of the Cuban government, in the exercise of its sovereignty, to update the current migration policy and adjust it to the conditions of the present and the foreseeable future, as demonstrated by the implementation of an important group of measures from Of January 14, 2013.

    Commonly known as the "dry feet-wet feet" policy, a blatant violation of the letter and spirit of the migratory agreements reached between Cuba and the United States in 1994 and 1995, has hitherto been a stimulus to irregular migration, Trafficking of migrants and irregular entry into the United States from third countries of Cuban citizens legally traveling abroad, and by automatically admitting them to their territory, conferred preferential and unique treatment on them not received by citizens of other countries. Was an incitement to illegal departures. Its implementation and that of other policies led to migratory crises, kidnapping of ships and aircraft and the commission of crimes, such as trafficking in migrants, trafficking in persons, immigration fraud and the use of violence with a destabilizing extraterritorial impact on others Countries of the region, used as transit to arrive at American territory.

    The decision to eliminate such a policy implies that "as of the date of this Joint Declaration, the United States of America, consistent with its laws and international norms, shall return to the Republic of Cuba, and the Republic of Cuba, consistent with its Laws and international norms, will receive all Cuban citizens, who after the signing of this agreement, are detected by the competent authorities of the United States of America when they tried to enter or stay irregularly in that country, "violating its laws .

    The United States also undertook to apply to the Cuban citizens in the future that the same immigration procedures and rules will be detected in that situation as the rest of the migrants of other countries, without a criterion of selectivity, which is a positive signal in The purpose of eliminating exclusivity in the case of Cubans, who have a marked political nuance.

    Likewise, the so-called Parole Program for Cuban Medical Professionals, which was part of the arsenal to deprive the country of doctors, nurses and other professionals of the sector, is removed in a virtual international operation of brain theft promoted by the United States since 2006 and an attack against Cuba's humanitarian and solidarity medical missions in Third World countries that need it so much. This policy prompted Cuban health personnel working in third countries to abandon their missions and emigrate to the United States, becoming a reprehensible practice that damaged Cuba's international medical cooperation programs.

    These two hurdles have disappeared on January 12, but in order to be consistent with the letter and spirit of this Joint Declaration, to ensure regular, safe and orderly migration, effectively address the threats to the security of both countries arising from Irregular migration, and achieving normal migratory relations between Cuba and the United States, it will also be necessary for the US Congress to repeal the Cuban Adjustment Act of 1966, the only one of its kind in the world that does not correspond to the current bilateral context.

    Except as provided in this Joint Declaration, the other migratory agreements previously reached by Cuba and the United States remain in full force and effect: the Joint Communiqués of December 14, 1984 and September 9, 1994, and the Joint Declaration of May 2, 1995. Among other things, it confirms the decision of both parties to prevent illegal departures by sea and to return to Cuba all persons who are intercepted in those acts or who enter the Guantánamo Naval Base. The Government of the United States will continue to guarantee regular migration from Cuba with a minimum of 20 thousand people per year.

    Both governments agreed to apply their migration laws in a non-selective manner and in accordance with their international obligations. They also undertook to prevent risky exits that endanger human life, to prevent irregular migration and to combat violence associated with such manifestations, such as trafficking and trafficking in persons.

    In this regard, the parties will promote effective bilateral cooperation to prevent and prosecute those involved in trafficking in persons, as well as crimes associated with migratory movements, which endanger their national security, including the hijacking of aircraft and vessels . This is in line with the progress made in the short term in bilateral security cooperation.

    The competent authorities of the two countries have undertaken the necessary coordination to ensure the effective implementation of this agreement, including corresponding operational procedures between law enforcement and enforcement bodies, with a view to preventing actions that are intended to cloud this effort Or try to jeopardize the security of both nations.

    In keeping with its international obligations and its legislation, the Government of the Republic of Cuba ratifies its commitment to guarantee regular, safe and orderly migration, as well as to fully comply with this new agreement, for which the corresponding measures have been taken internally. It will continue to guarantee the right to travel and emigrate to Cuban citizens and to return to the country, in accordance with the requirements of immigration law. It will also gradually adopt other measures to update the current migration policy.

    Havana, January 12, 2017.


    http://www.granma.cu/cuba/2017-01-12...-2017-19-01-54

    Google Translator

    Of course Cuba must pretend that the incoming administration will not rescind this within a week in the hope that maybe, just maybe it doesn't. But with 'little Marco' in the mix this is especially unlikely. What Obomber is doing here making Trump piss off liberals & such even more than they already are, for the benefit of the Democratic Party. Cause they are the only 'realistic' hope of opposing this monster, don't ya see? Gonna be fat times for Skinner & Co, all over again. A least I guess that's the plan, cause they ain't got nothing else.

    I think only a movement towards a genuine working class party can prevent a re-do of this sorry scenario.

    Trump will overturn most if not all of these actually good things that Obomber is bequeathing us as his swine-song and I'm sure 'O' knows and even anticipates this, thus his abandon in doing so. But doing something that Trump couldn't negate, like commuting the sentences of political prisoners like Mumia Abu-Jamal or Leonard Peltier, I wouldn't bet on it.
    "We say to the workers: 'You will have to go through fifteen, twenty, fifty years of civil wars and international wars, not only in order to change existing conditions, but also in order to change yourselves and fit yourselves for the exercise of political power."'

    MARX (On the Communist Trial at Cologne, 1851).

  5. #65
    But with 'little Marco' in the mix this is especially unlikely.
    Not sure about this only because Trump is a vindictive a-hole with an elephant memory. Trump hates "Little Mario" - hates him. Little Mario hates Trump, as well - he's an "Anybody but Trump"-ster. This week he really showed his ass in Tillerson's confirmation hearings and it was pissing Tillerson off, you could see it. No doubt that episode was filed away by Crazy Donald. So if Little Mario is against something, my bet is Trump will just automatically be for it, and if Tiny Ruby is for something, Crazy Donald will be against.

    These mooks are hard to read. Right now, I think Trump could care less about Cuba - he owns no buildings there. That could make Cuba a throw-away for the King of the Americas (yeah, works on so many levels), but with Trump you never know.

    One thing I've noticed is that the MSM continue to rave about Trump and his various billionaire-twit cabinet nominees not agreeing on issues and "things-of-importance". The "news" folks never explain why it is important for all of them to agree on anything. These fuck-wads are all either billionaires and/or recently generals in the military - why would any of them agree with anyone. All of these bourgeois thugs have made careers out of disagreeing with everybody - hell, that's Trump's MO. But it is breathlessly reported at every opportunity that "so-and-so" disagrees with POTUSE Trump!
    "America was never great"

    "Anyone who analyzes the state of affairs in the world will find that it is the imperialists and capitalists, who subject the world to the worst poverty, the worst backwardness, and they are simply the scourge of mankind." - Fidel

    "Privilege begets psychopathy" - blindpig

  6. #66
    Quote Originally Posted by Dhalgren View Post
    Not sure about this only because Trump is a vindictive a-hole with an elephant memory. Trump hates "Little Mario" - hates him. Little Mario hates Trump, as well - he's an "Anybody but Trump"-ster. This week he really showed his ass in Tillerson's confirmation hearings and it was pissing Tillerson off, you could see it. No doubt that episode was filed away by Crazy Donald. So if Little Mario is against something, my bet is Trump will just automatically be for it, and if Tiny Ruby is for something, Crazy Donald will be against.

    These mooks are hard to read. Right now, I think Trump could care less about Cuba - he owns no buildings there. That could make Cuba a throw-away for the King of the Americas (yeah, works on so many levels), but with Trump you never know.

    One thing I've noticed is that the MSM continue to rave about Trump and his various billionaire-twit cabinet nominees not agreeing on issues and "things-of-importance". The "news" folks never explain why it is important for all of them to agree on anything. These fuck-wads are all either billionaires and/or recently generals in the military - why would any of them agree with anyone. All of these bourgeois thugs have made careers out of disagreeing with everybody - hell, that's Trump's MO. But it is breathlessly reported at every opportunity that "so-and-so" disagrees with POTUSE Trump!
    Best I understand it Trump needs Marco's vote to get Tillerson in. I expect a quid pro quo, 'it's a great deal!' I think that badgering was before this announcement was made. I'd be happy to be wrong about this one.

    The MSM is beside itself in anti-Trump frenzy, even if they are not politically motivated as I think, they are selling advertising. They sure seem to be trying to cast every aspersion upon the incoming administration and depict Trump as unfit for office. Now ya got the fuckin' idiot Rosie Odonell burning up twitter with a call for martial law to prevent the inauguration, if anything an indicator of the liberal state of mind. Which is funny, 'situational materialism', they're all for authoritarianism when it's theirs.

    It would be a big, irrevocable step and seriously damaging to the US 'brand' if the ruling class goes for it or something like it and I think the odds are against it for just that reason. But it ain't impossible, the 'intelligence community' is burning bridges, a lot of careers on the line.
    "We say to the workers: 'You will have to go through fifteen, twenty, fifty years of civil wars and international wars, not only in order to change existing conditions, but also in order to change yourselves and fit yourselves for the exercise of political power."'

    MARX (On the Communist Trial at Cologne, 1851).

  7. #67
    Quote Originally Posted by blindpig View Post
    Best I understand it Trump needs Marco's vote to get Tillerson in. I expect a quid pro quo, 'it's a great deal!' I think that badgering was before this announcement was made. I'd be happy to be wrong about this one.

    The MSM is beside itself in anti-Trump frenzy, even if they are not politically motivated as I think, they are selling advertising. They sure seem to be trying to cast every aspersion upon the incoming administration and depict Trump as unfit for office. Now ya got the fuckin' idiot Rosie Odonell burning up twitter with a call for martial law to prevent the inauguration, if anything an indicator of the liberal state of mind. Which is funny, 'situational materialism', they're all for authoritarianism when it's theirs.

    It would be a big, irrevocable step and seriously damaging to the US 'brand' if the ruling class goes for it or something like it and I think the odds are against it for just that reason. But it ain't impossible, the 'intelligence community' is burning bridges, a lot of careers on the line.
    These are interesting times, as the Chinese would say. We (the worldwide "we") are in uncharted waters. There hasn't been this amount or kind of disruption of US ruling class unity since the late 1850s.

    But maybe I misspeak, here. Is the ruling class disrupted? There seems to be a rather large consensus within the RC that Trump has to go. Maybe the "disunity" is only in how to do it? PR and "face" mean a lot to the bourgeoisie, but power and dominance mean even more. The US RC controls almost all of the media, have almost all of the "pulpits" in the world, so any PR stumble should be reparable in short order. If federal marshals simply appeared and took Trump away and Pence was inaugurated, within a few months only "cranks" and CT weirdos would even care.
    I don't know, this is all so bizarre and "out-there" that speculation is pointless. The RC is just too opaque right now, the confusion too rife.

    Just as an observational aside: Hillary has certainly dropped off the face of the earth, eh? I guess 'Brand Clinton' is no longer marketable.
    "America was never great"

    "Anyone who analyzes the state of affairs in the world will find that it is the imperialists and capitalists, who subject the world to the worst poverty, the worst backwardness, and they are simply the scourge of mankind." - Fidel

    "Privilege begets psychopathy" - blindpig

  8. #68
    Cuba and Our Common Future
    Submitted by Danny Haiphong on Tue, 01/24/2017 - 18:40



    by Danny Haiphong

    With the Left in the U.S. in such obvious disarray, it is more critical than even to examine the experience of the Cuban revolution. “It was power in the hands of the working class and oppressed that gave Cuba the ability to assist national liberation struggles in Angola, Mozambique, and Namibia against South African apartheid.” In the U.S., however, much of the Left is completely obsessed with on Donald Trump, which “ultimately distracts the movement from the need to organize a struggle against the entire state apparatus.”

    Cuba and Our Common Future
    by Danny Haiphong
    “Trump and his cabinet have already bred significant opposition from both the establishment and the masses, but only ideological clarity can prevent opposition from getting behind figures like Corey Booker.”

    These remarks were delivered by the author in the closing panel of Fidel: The Cuban Revolution and Our Common future, a conference held at the historic Church of the Advocate in Philadelphia on January 21st. For more information about the conference, visit http://www.fidelinrevolution.org/about-us.html

    Hello everyone, my name is Danny Haiphong and it is an honor and a privilege to be here. I want to begin with a short narrative about who I am. I come from a working class background of so-called "mixed race" descent, my mother being Vietnamese on her side and my father Irish and German on his. There was never a day growing up where economic hardship and racism didn't shape my experience. I eventually attended a small liberal arts college. The student population was flooded with Wall Street-to-be technocrats who forever changed my worldview. Since 2010, I have been involved in a number of anti-war and socialist activities searching for the correct ideology and path to carry out the struggle to replace a system that trains the rich in elite universities and condemns the poor to lives of misery. By the end of my college experience, to paraphrase George Jackson, I was redeemed by the likes of Lenin, Mao, Ho Chi Minh, and, of course, Fidel Castro. Black Agenda Report was a large component of this process and I began regularly contributing a little over three years ago. I was invited here to discuss my assessment of the current crisis of US imperialism and what we can learn from Fidel Castro and the Cuban Revolution in the process. The question is -- how should we proceed from the particular conditions that we find ourselves in?

    “Our constant struggle, it seems, is to ensure that action is guided by diligent study of theory and history, and theory and history is tested and verified in practice.”

    My experience in social movements in the US has taught me that this question cannot be answered without a solid theoretical analysis of the current period. I have been involved in many activist efforts that primarily focused on "doing something" about important campaigns and problems. I have also participated in many efforts that studied theory but did not apply it to practice. Our constant struggle, it seems, is to ensure that action is guided by diligent study of theory and history, and theory and history is tested and verified in practice. However, the contradiction between theory and practice, just like all contradictions, is not a static phenomenon. One aspect of the contradiction is more developed, and the other in a state of decay. When we are first born, the contradiction between life and death usually favors life. But no matter the circumstances, death eventually becomes the principle contradiction. The cause of death possesses an antagonistic relationship to life itself. Sometimes the cause occurs at birth, other times it occurs late in life. Regardless, the contradiction reaches completion and quantitative change become qualitative.

    The same could be said about political economy. Political economies undergo similar processes of transformation, whether we are talking about the transformation from feudalism to capitalism in Europe during the 17th and 18th centuries or from neo-colonialism to socialism as in Cuba. The US is no different in this regard. At this moment, US imperialism is on life support, but few who proclaim to be in "the movement" have said much about it. The crisis of US imperialism is understudied and under analyzed. Thus the actions taken against the ills of the crisis have made little impact on the lives of working class and oppressed people.

    “The crisis of US imperialism is understudied and under analyzed.”

    What do I mean by crisis? There are many aspects to the crisis. It begins at the economic base, where every new attempt at capitalist expansion brings more joblessness and a further decline in the rate of profit. The rising costs of technology, the instability of finance capital, and the misery of working people have brought about endless economic stagnation. The crisis then extends to the realm of the military, where the US is engaged in a dangerous program of endless war to resolve the economic crisis and has destabilized much of the planet as a result. Most recently, we saw the crisis of imperialism significantly impact the 2016 elections. Millions of people voted for two candidates in Sanders and Trump who spoke to the frustrations of working people with the economy, among other things.

    Each of these elements of crisis could be spoken about at length, but really it is the material conditions that should interest us the most. For at the moment, unemployment sits at 23 percent if we count those who have stopped looking for work and that number can be safely doubled for the Black community. The 1 percent has never been richer. Eight individuals own more wealth than half of the world's population. Our political prisoners Sundiata Acoli, Mumia-Abu Jamal and countless others remain behind bars within the largest prison state in the world. The Obama Administration has placed us at the precipice of World War with Russia and China and has used Russia as a scapegoat to intensify surveillance and repression at home. Yet all we can hear at this moment is the danger of Donald J. Trump. It was estimated that hundreds of thousands would descend on Washington this weekend to protest the Donald. Such a scene should be exciting, and could be an opportunity, but there are problematic aspects to this development that must be addressed first.

    “The rising costs of technology, the instability of finance capital, and the misery of working people have brought about endless economic stagnation.”

    I want to quote at length a speech by Fidel Castro that illuminates not just the achievements of the socialist revolution, but the potential pitfalls of a US-based movement focused solely on opposition to the orange billionaire. The speech contains a historical narrative of the Revolution, which begins with Fidel and his comrades analyzing where they would take the struggle during its embryonic stage. At first, the enthusiasm to be rid of the Batista dictatorship was evident among various members of the ruling class. But rather than ending the misery of the masses, such opposition only sought to replace Batista with another variation of the neo-colonial order.

    Fidel warns that "in the final analysis, neither imperialism nor the ruling classes give a hoot who the President is, who is a representative, who is a senator. Naturally, imperialism would like to have for President, if possible, a man who is not a complete crook, that he be honest, that he spend money to advance the interests of the ruling classes. . . What is imperialism interested in? It is interested in, naturally, in a government that looks after the interests of the monopolies." In other words, a complete analysis of the function of the state is imperative and we can see this clearly in the current period.

    From this assessment, Fidel and his comrades chose to wage guerrilla warfare as the means to win over the peasants to socialism. The Cuban Revolutionaries rejected collaboration with the state. This development was critical in the progression of the revolution because it represented a complete break from the existing establishment. However, the decision to base the struggle to liberate Cuba in the peasants and workers did not drop from the sky. It derived from a leadership that was guided by socialist thought and committed to bringing about its realization in the material world.

    “The Obama Administration has placed us at the precipice of World War with Russia and China and has used Russia as a scapegoat to intensify surveillance and repression at home.”

    Fidel gave this speech on December 2nd 1961 on the fifth anniversary of the landing of the Granma. In this speech, Fidel declares that he would be a Marxist-Lennist until the end of his life. He goes on further to say:

    "Do I have any doubt about Marxism . . .? No, I do not have the slightest doubt! What occurs to me is precisely the opposite: the more experience we gain from life, the more we learn what imperialism is -- and not by word, but in the flesh and blood of our people -- the more we have to face up to that imperialism; the more we learn about imperialist policies throughout the world, in South Vietnam, in the Congo . . . everywhere in the world; the more we dig deeper and uncover the bloody claws of imperialism, the miserable exploitation . . . the more, in the first place, we feel sentimentally Marxist, emotionally Marxist, and the more we see and discover all the truths contained in the doctrine of Marxism. The more we have to race to the reality of a revolution and the class struggle, and we see what the class struggle really is, the more convinced we become . . . of the ingenious interpretations of scientific socialism Lenin made."

    This is important because it is from these ideas that the Cuban Revolution and Fidel Castro took power and transformed the state from neo-colonial to socialist in character. The revolution's achievements in healthcare, education, and racial and gender equality should be seen as products of a state that is owned and administered by the masses, otherwise known as the dictatorship of the proletariat. Without the National Assembly of People's Power, the Committees to Defend the Revolution, or the Federation of Cuban Women, things like a one hundred percent literacy rate or the fact that tens of thousands of Cuban doctors administer free healthcare abroad would be impossible. It was power in the hands of the working class and oppressed that gave Cuba the ability to assist national liberation struggles in Angola, Mozambique, and Namibia against South African apartheid. The dictatorship of the Cuban proletariat has protected a number of Black revolutionaries, from temporary asylum for Robert Williams and Huey P. Newton to the decades-long protection of Assata Shakur. Marxism was the road map that guided each and every one of these actions.

    “The decision to base the struggle to liberate Cuba in the peasants and workers did not drop from the sky.”

    The various movements in the United States remain without a road map. On this inauguration weekend, where thousands will protest Donald Trump, what can the words of Fidel and their actualization in the Cuban Revolution teach us? First, none of Cuba's achievements would have been possible if the movement that brought it about settled for a mere replacement of the Batista dictatorship with another political party or politician within the pre-revolutionary state. The Cuban Revolution's historic achievements are the result of the complete dissolution of the neo-colonial military, the police, and the organs of state power that sold Cuba's assets to the United States. A complete focus on Donald Trump ultimately distracts the movement from the need to organize a struggle against the entire state apparatus.

    This becomes all the more important given the current state of US imperialism. The Democratic Party and many leading Republicans are currently trying to push Trump into a world war with Russia. They did not get their candidate in Hillary Clinton and are doing everything possible to ensure that Trump either toes the line or is ousted for a more savory ruling class politician. The current movement in the streets against Trump has not yet condemned the New Cold War against Russia now being used to delegitimize Trump. But the danger of a nuclear war is very real. The stop Trump movement's limited analysis only benefits an imperialist system that millions of people have expressed utter contempt for, whether through their vote for Sanders, Trump, or no one at all.

    Second, and related to the first, the Cuban experience teaches us that without the working class and oppressed, revolution is impossible. It teaches us that without a theoretical road map from which to base our revolutionary movement, victory is remote. The movement within the United States right now is in possession of neither of these things. We must work to correct these errors. We must let imperialism die and take advantage of its vulnerable state under Trump. We must not caste a gaze of fear over his rule, but develop the leadership and the courage to present demands to the Trump Administration that can win over young people, workers, the unemployed, and those living under racist, neo-colonial hell in the US. And when the inevitable moment comes that neither Trump nor the Democrats can achieve such demands, we intensify the struggle and educate the masses as to why. This is how revolutions are born.

    “The current movement in the streets against Trump has not yet condemned the New Cold War against Russia now being used to delegitimize Trump.”

    Third, we need a road map like the Cuban Revolution had a road map. We need to develop ideology and intellectual, political debate and discussion with the oppressed. Only a higher level of political development among the people can purge Democratic Party influence over the working class and oppressed masses. Trump and his cabinet have already bred significant opposition from both the establishment and the masses, but only ideological clarity can prevent opposition from getting behind figures like Corey Booker. There is no neutrality in the course of history. Either the anti-Trump opposition will develop to reject the entire state apparatus or it will enter into the Democratic Party graveyard and dissolve into irrelevancy once a Democrat or an establishment Republican replaces Trump.

    So we must be like Fidel and the Cubans and have a clear understanding that socialist revolutions are not mere copies of each other. We live inside of an empire in crisis. Our immediate task is to fight the forces of reaction wherever they are, from the ruling class all the way down to those within our ranks who are merely looking to replace Trump with a Pentagon and Wall Street Democrat. Our long-term task is to develop a party and a program of the working class and oppressed and to find the road map that will lead us to victory. The Cuban experience indicates that the road map is Marxism and the application of scientific socialism.

    “The discontent of masses of people has forced the two-party system into a crisis of legitimacy that opens up the possibility for genuine social transformation.”

    The road map we choose to advance the cause of workers and oppressed people in the United States will be determined in debate and in struggle. What we can conclude in this moment is that we live both in a time of peril and a time of opportunity. A time of peril because Cuba and much of the world’s people have been deemed threats to “national security” while the US wages ceaseless war and acquires no such label. It is a time of opportunity because the discontent of masses of people has forced the two-party system into a crisis of legitimacy that opens up the possibility for genuine social transformation. So I leave you with one last quote from Fidel's speech that we must unite upon before going forward, "Anyone who analyzes the state of affairs in the world will find that it is the imperialists and capitalists, who subject the word to the worst poverty, the worst backwardness, and they are simply the scourge of mankind." My dear comrades and friends, it is past time we take heed to these words and prepare for a class war that arrived far before Trump emerged onto the scene. Long live Fidel and Long Live the Cuban Revolution! Thank you.

    http://blackagendareport.com/cuba_and_our_common_future

    bolding added.
    "We say to the workers: 'You will have to go through fifteen, twenty, fifty years of civil wars and international wars, not only in order to change existing conditions, but also in order to change yourselves and fit yourselves for the exercise of political power."'

    MARX (On the Communist Trial at Cologne, 1851).

  9. #69
    Eyewitness: The ‘indomitable strength’ of Cuba’s Revolution
    By Nathaniel Peters posted on February 14, 2017


    March of the Torches, Havana, Jan. 27.

    On Jan. 1, 1959, the Cuban people, with the leadership of Fidel Castro, Che Guevara and others, overthrew the U.S.-backed regime of Fulgencio Batista and established a socialist state 90 miles off the coast of Florida.

    The accomplishments of the Cuban Revolution are many, including free education and health care for all Cubans, a long record of support for anti-imperialist struggles around the world, and enormous relief efforts in response to humanitarian crises, such as the 2014 West African Ebola outbreak.

    The Revolution has also overcome enormous obstacles, including the U.S.-orchestrated invasion at the Bay of Pigs in 1961, the U.S. blockade (in place since 1960), numerous terrorist attacks by Cuban exile militias based in Florida and the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.

    In spite of this extraordinary endurance, U.S. journalists and politicians constantly declare impending collapse of the Revolution. After 58 years of incorrect predictions, they’re still at it. These voices have only grown louder since the 2011 changes in Cuban economic policy, the 2014 thaw in U.S.-Cuba relations and the death of Fidel Castro last year.

    So are the naysayers right this time? How strong is the Cuban Revolution? Will it endure?

    The people are the revolution

    Last month, this writer had the opportunity to visit Cuba and witness the indomitable strength of the Revolution firsthand. On Jan. 27, thousands of students marched through the streets of Havana in the annual “March of the Torches” to commemorate Jose Martí, the Cuban national hero. The march was first organized at the University of Havana in 1953 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Martí’s birth. This year’s march was the first since the passing of Fidel Castro and was dedicated to him.

    When asked about the recent developments in Cuba, Alejandro, an electrical engineering student at the José Antonio Echeverría Higher Polytechnic Institute who attended the march, put it this way:

    “A lot of people think that when Fidel died the Revolution was going to fall apart, but that is not going to happen. The young Cubans are going to strengthen the Revolution and carry it forward. A big change is the change in U.S.-Cuba relations, which should benefit both countries … but that doesn’t mean we will give up any of the principles we have struggled for, or that we will let ourselves be defeated.”

    Richael, who is studying biochemistry and Chinese at the University of Havana, made it clear what those principles are: “Fidel took [Martí’s] ideas and values, the ideas of anti-imperialism, patriotism and Latin-Americanism and put them into practice… . Some things are never going to change: free health care and education.”

    Given Fidel’s enormous significance to the Cuban people, one might expect to find his face painted on every surface since his passing. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth: Fidel’s image is almost nowhere to be seen.

    Raúl Castro announced at a tribute to Fidel before his burial, “Faithful to Martí’s philosophy that ‘all the glory in the world fits into a kernel of corn,’ the leader of the Revolution rejected any manifestation of a cult of personality, and remained true to this position until the last hours of his life, insisting that, after his death, his name and likeness never be used to designate institutions, plazas, parks, avenues, streets or other public spaces, nor monuments, busts, statues and other such tributes be erected.” (en.granma.cu)

    Alejandro explained this decision, “Fidel wanted to make it clear that he wasn’t the Revolution, that the people were the Revolution. Don’t think the Revolution is over because Fidel has died. We are strong and will continue with his ideas.”

    http://www.workers.org/2017/02/14/ey...r#.WKWytG_yvIU
    "We say to the workers: 'You will have to go through fifteen, twenty, fifty years of civil wars and international wars, not only in order to change existing conditions, but also in order to change yourselves and fit yourselves for the exercise of political power."'

    MARX (On the Communist Trial at Cologne, 1851).

  10. #70
    Here's Why Cuba Denied Entry to OAS Head Luis Almagro


    OAS head Luis Almagro. | Photo: Reuters

    Published 23 February 2017 (9 hours 40 minutes ago)

    "Cuba will never return to the OAS," Cuba's Ministry of Foreign Affairs wrote in a statement.
    Cuba on Wednesday denied entry to Organization of American States, OAS, head Luis Almagro, who was scheduled to accept an award from a dissident group in Havana.

    RELATED:
    The World Must Learn From Cuba

    The socialist government also denied entry to former Mexican President Felipe Calderon and Mariana Aylwin, the daughter of former Chilean President Patricio Aylwin. Calderon and Aylwin were travelling to the same event.

    Mainstream media quickly painted Cuba’s decision to block their entry as another example of the country’s so-called “totalitarianism.” But shortly after they released these reports, Cuba’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs commissioned a statement clearing up these accusations.

    “The plan, plotted on several trips between Washington and other capitals of the region, was to mount in Havana an open and serious provocation against the Cuban government, generate internal instability, and damage the international image of the country,” the statement reads.

    “Upon learning of these plans and enforcing the laws that underpin the nation's sovereignty, the Cuban government decided to deny foreign nationals associated with the events described above to the national territory.”

    According to the statement, Cuba refused entry to Almagro for three main reasons.

    First, because of his connections to illegal right-wing groups operating in Cuba that are trying to destabilize the nation. Latin American Network of Youths for Democracy, the group that was awarding him, is connected to the U.S. National Endowment for Democracy and the Inter-American Institute for Democracy, which frequently call for the overthrow of Cuba’s government.

    Second, because of his attacks on progressive and leftist governments in Latin America and the Caribbean. Almagro has been a staunch advocate of regime change in Venezuela and is also closely connected with opposition activists like Henrique Capriles and Leopoldo Lopez. Almagro has also called for "regime change" against the administrations of Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega and Bolivian President Evo Morales.

    Third, because the Washington-led OAS has isolated and attacked Cuba since the 1959 revolution that brought the Cuban Communist Party to power.

    “They’re trying to sell to the Cubans 'the values and principles of the inter-American system’ against the hard and undemocratic reality generated by the same system,” Cuba’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs also said in the statement.

    “Over fifty years later and with the company of peoples and governments around the world, it is necessary to reiterate, as President Raul Castro assured, that Cuba will never return to the OAS.”

    RELATED:
    Cuba's Ongoing Resistance to US Ideological War

    Calderon and Aylwin’s travel bans were issued for similar reasons.

    Mariana Aylwin is seen as an ideological leader of the most conservative segment of Chile's center-left ruling coalition. Aylwin was traveling to the island to receive a prize on behalf of her father, Chile’s first president after the end of the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet.

    Calderon, from Mexico's right-wing National Action Party, was president from 2006 to 2012 and oversaw the country’s war on drugs with the help of the United States.

    http://www.telesurtv.net/english/new...0223-0001.html

    Khrushchev was a dope, a traitor, or both. There can be no 'peaceful co-existence', it is a death-match.
    "We say to the workers: 'You will have to go through fifteen, twenty, fifty years of civil wars and international wars, not only in order to change existing conditions, but also in order to change yourselves and fit yourselves for the exercise of political power."'

    MARX (On the Communist Trial at Cologne, 1851).

  11. #71
    Being a revolutionary in Cuba today
    Socialist democracy, essentially superior, still has a long way to go. Being revolutionary is participating with a perspective of committed criticism. Criticizing is not reporting a known fact; it is acting on it, pushing toward its solution

    Author: Enrique Ubieta Gómez | informacion@granma.cu
    september 27, 2016 17:09:20


    Photo: Granma

    What does being a revolutionary mean? Students of Marxism know that the Social Democratic Party broke from its roots. The reformists, who from then on increasingly moved away from Marxist concepts, were left with the name, and revolutionaries created the Communist Party. The "reform or revolution" controversy has a long history.

    There are the texts of Lenin, Rosa Luxemburg, among others.

    But the definition, the revolutionary option, its practical reflection, is not exclusive to one party or social class, although, yes, it is exclusive to an era. The bourgeoisie was revolutionary in its time, and the anti-colonial movement in the era of imperialism, in general, took on a revolutionary character. José Martí created the Revolutionary Party to win the independence of Cuba, and he talked about the necessary revolution that would need to be initiated once power was achieved.

    I would therefore like to refer to the Cuban tradition of the term. Cintio Vitier, for example, assuming the reductionist risks, establishes two "spiritualist" tendencies to define any grouping in the last third of the 19th century: the revolutionary (Independentism, literary modernism, anti-evolutionism) and the reformist (Autonomism, literary preceptism, positivist evolutionism.)

    Certainly, Revolution is Creation, a leap into the abyss, or over the wall of apparent impossibility - "Let us be realists, let us do the impossible," the Paris students of 68 said - the view of a condor, but above all, taking sides with the "poor of the earth." If we take José Martí as our model of a revolutionary, we observe in him three characteristics that are repeated in Fidel Castro.

    1. The ethical choice before the theoretical: a theory is adopted in order to struggle against exploitation and not the reverse. It is a vocation for social justice. Martí wrote, "Every true man must feel on his own cheek a blow to the cheek of any other man." Ernesto Che Guevara asserted, "The true revolutionary is guided by great feelings of love." Fidel has said, "It is precisely man, fellow man, the liberation of one's fellows that is the goal of revolutionaries." The revolutionary Salvadorian poet Roque Dalton mocked the snobbish positions of "café latte Marxists" in these verses, "Those who/in the best of cases/want to make the revolution/for History/ for logic/for science and nature/for next year's book or those of the future/to win the debate and even/ to finally appear in the papers/and not simply/to eliminate hunger/to eliminate the exploitation of the exploited."

    There are revolutionaries who do not know Marxist theory. And there are Marxist academics who are very knowledgeable of every text, every phrase of Marx, but have never gone out onto the streets, who are incapable of feeling, of trembling, with the pain or joy of others, who do not take sides. These academic "Marxists" are not revolutionaries. Nor are they the continuators of Marx. One of the springboards and agents of a Revolution is solidarity.

    2. Radicalism in understanding and in action; the revolutionary seeks the root of a problem, even when it cannot be extirpated immediately, even when one errs in pointing it out and moves rapidly into action. Unlike the reformist, the revolutionary makes no effort to mitigate or cover up the pain, but rather to eliminate the illness.

    3. The revolutionary is a person of faith. Not in the religious sense. There is no better statement on this than the one Martí (once again) made to his son, in the dedication of Ismaelillo: I have, he wrote, "Faith in human improvement, in future life, in the utility of virtue, and in you" - faith in people, in their capacities. The revolutionary understands the apparent limits of the possible, and breaks through them, because of faith in the people. In this, a revolutionary differs from a reformist, who for reasons of class does not trust the people, or underestimates them. Believing is not eliminating doubt. We revolutionaries live anguished by doubt, which is that of knowledge. The cynic, however, is counterrevolutionary, although he may not know it.

    Some ideologues of the counterrevolution reduce a revolutionary attitude to violent action, the taking up of arms. As if armed revolutions do not occur in response to the violence of bourgeois power. Being radical - going to the root - is not choosing violence. In their rush to depoliticize even the most minimal concept of revolution, these types attempt to pass off as revolutionary actions violent revolts by politicos of the pseudo-republic, who wanted to assert their personal power. Not even all those who opposed Machado or Batista were necessarily revolutionaries.

    And they counterpoise revolutionary socialism to that which they call "democratic" (social democratic), because the first does not respect bourgeois order. Socialism can not only be, but must be democratic, although not in the sense which the capitalist system gives the term. It must, and can be more participative, more inclusive, more representative, and show more solidarity. It must and can defend individuality, but not individualism, because socialism is the only route which can transform the masses into a collective of individuals.

    Several qualities or ethical virtues constitute the foundation or base upon which a revolutionary stands. But it is an essentially political, social ethic, not private or one that is useless, or like those ethical virtues that serve to empty oneself, to remove oneself from the fundamental contradictions of the era. It is not revolutionary in terms of personal interests, but with regards to society.

    There are people who are conservative - for biographical reasons, maybe even for genetic reasons - who avoid abrupt changes, the uncertainty of the new, who enjoy order and routine.

    They are not counterrevolutionaries. In his "Words to intellectuals" (1961), Fidel Castro said, "No one has ever assumed that … all honest men must be revolutionaries, just because they are honest. Being a revolutionary is also an attitude toward life, being a revolutionary is an attitude toward existing reality…" And he added later on, "It is possible that men and women who have a truly revolutionary attitude toward reality may not constitute a majority of the population; revolutionaries are the vanguard of the people, but revolutionaries must aspire to having all the people march along with them … the Revolution must never renounce having the majority of the people; of having not only revolutionaries, but all honest citizens with the Revolution, although they may not be revolutionaries, that is, although they may not have a revolutionary attitude toward life. The Revolution must only renounce those who are incorrigibly reactionary, who are incorrigibly counterrevolutionary."

    Where a Revolution has triumphed, the adjective - which in the globalized world of bourgeois officialdom is used as an insult - becomes a compliment. A person is hard-working, "good people," and revolutionary. The everyday use of the term may de-contextualize the rebellious substrate and its political meaning, reducing the characteristics of a revolutionary to honesty and decency.

    At times, given that the Revolution has taken power, the term is identified with good or correct behavior. We say, "Deep down, he/she is a revolutionary," as if we were saying, "Beyond appearances, he/she is a good person." And we believe that the "most revolutionary" child or youth is the one who behaves. In a certain way, the adjective has become bourgeois. This appears almost inevitable, but it is not: a revolution in power needs to establish its "new normal," its ability to govern.

    Defending one's political power is a basic premise of any political power, more so when it is a counter-power encircled by a world power, which not only harasses it on the physical plane (materially, militarily), but also spiritually, in the arena of passing on values, and its normality is an "anomaly" beyond its geographic borders.

    Being revolutionary is participating in the consolidation of the revolutionary government, establishing a common front with this government, to defend every conquest and establish new goals, even when the degree of participation in the determination of these objectives is not as yet sufficient, or is exercised in a formal manner.

    Socialist democracy, essentially superior, still has a long way to go. Being revolutionary is participating with a perspective of committed criticism. Criticizing is not reporting a known fact; it is acting on it, pushing toward its solution. What gives a criticism veracity and fairness is not that it is vocalized; but rather its meaning. If criticism is depoliticized, it is gutted, and its content is falsified.

    Imperceptibly a slow process of separation occurs, the removal of the "rebel" content which a revolutionary attitude always presupposes. This is not good. Rebellion is then taken up and counterpoised to being revolutionary - a longstanding aspiration of imperialist subversion: promote anti-revolutionary rebellion, which is to say, the rebels are anti-rebels, who aspire to be "normal," opposed to rebellion, and in agreement with global alienation - or in an antithesis, there are those who believe that the rebel is the true revolutionary.

    These latter can lose their sense of direction, because rebellion alone, regularly manipulated by the capitalist market, has a long history of coexistence, and at times collusion, with capitalism. Youthful rebellion is not, and cannot be, the enemy of a revolutionary spirit. Being revolutionary is the highest form of rebellion. Without the nonconformity that rebellion produces, and its propensity for breaking the mold, norms, and frameworks, it is difficult to be a revolutionary.

    Cuban universities cannot be "of and for revolutionaries;" they are training centers and, yes, they must train revolutionaries. From their classrooms, Mella and Fidel emerged. Capitalism (the culture of having) attempts to tame rebellion by promoting its primary expressions: contempt, irreverence. It attempts to isolate the rebel, encouraging self-absorption, exploiting individualism to the maximum, transforming the rebel into a cynic. Socialism (the culture of being) attempts to channel this rebellion toward transformative action, giving it capital letters, making it part of the era's most just causes.

    I lived in the Central Havana neighborhood of Colón, and I know that many people in that area must confront more concrete, close-at-hand enemies than U.S. imperialism, at least this appears to be the case, when corruption, bureaucracy, double standards, insensitivity, the "save yourself if you can" attitude, hold sway. I believe, as they do, that this is the principal enemy.

    But we cannot be confused as to its name: this is about capitalism, of its capacity to regenerate within socialism, which is nothing more than a route (not a point of arrival) to another place, to another hope or assurance of a better life. If we detach this name from these manifestations, or we erroneously link them to the socialist road we have taken, we could lose our way. We cannot be revolutionaries today, in this globalized world, if we are not anti-capitalist; if we are not anti-imperialist; if we do not feel the conquests, the dangers, the humiliations of other peoples as our own; if we do not defend the unity of Cuban revolutionaries and that of the peoples of Latin America in the face of imperialism.

    We cannot be revolutionaries if we think that the world has the breadth or length of a street, of a neighborhood, or a country; if we accept the consensus others have constructed, and do not construct our own; if we empty every word from our texts of struggle, because they will be immediately filled with other content by those fighting us.

    Martí, Mella, Guiteras, Che, Fidel, are too much alike for us to invent the issue of generational rifts. They have not ceased to be young. Tasks change, the coordinates change, but not the attitudes, the principles, the horizon toward which we always advance without arriving.

    On the other hand, no one becomes a revolutionary once and for all.

    One must be reborn as a revolutionary every morning, every day. Roles are not predetermined or immutable: the hero of 1868 could became a traitor 20 years later; the person who was indecisive at that time, perhaps took up arms with dignity in 1895; the valiant independence fighter may have allowed himself to be seduced by corrupting neocolonial politics; the energetic opponent of Machado could become disillusioned with the ideals of his youth or become an instrument of violence; the revolutionary of the Sierra or the city could accommodate or be caught up in the web of bureaucratism; the skeptic of those days could become a fervent militia member, an everyday, invisible hero; the student leader trapped in good behavior and applause, could become a repeater of empty slogans; and the perennial rebel can continue growing to become truly revolutionary.

    Disguised among one or another of these are the opportunists, the “pragmatic” cynics of all times. History is besieging them, and of their multiple actions, all that will last is the instant of fundamental morality which sustains the homeland: “this sun of the moral world,” which illuminates and defines human beings, according to the phrase Cintio recovered from José de la Luz y Caballero. A homeland which is humanity, which is not the “grass upon which our feet tred,” or in some always-evolving customs, but rather a collective project of justice. A homeland which aspires to merge with humanity, and which in the meantime defends its space to forge, to create, to protect the full dignity of its men and women.

    http://en.granma.cu/cuba/2016-09-27/...oday#pq=U2XEmX

    This is outstanding, makes my day.

    Cuba ain't gonna be a walk in the park for the capitalists, it could be something else entirely.
    "We say to the workers: 'You will have to go through fifteen, twenty, fifty years of civil wars and international wars, not only in order to change existing conditions, but also in order to change yourselves and fit yourselves for the exercise of political power."'

    MARX (On the Communist Trial at Cologne, 1851).

  12. #72
    Trump Spokesperson: 'Cuba Hasn't Made Any Concessions'


    A man walks by a mural of the Cuban flag. | Photo: Reuters

    Published 8 March 2017

    The Trump administration has made it clear it will be reviewing all agreements with Cuba.
    U.S. President Donald Trump believes that Cuba, “with all the things it has been given,” has not made any “concessions” within the process of normalization of bilateral relations, according to Trump's adviser Helen Aguirre Ferre in an interview with EFE Wednesday.

    “President (Trump) has been very clear about the fact that all the agreements reached during the previous administration with Cuba will be re-assessed,” said Ferre, the White House director of media affairs.

    U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had already warned during his confirmation hearing that "there will be a comprehensive review of current policies and (Obama's) executive orders regarding Cuba to determine how best to pressure Cuba to respect human rights and promote democratic changes," even adding that he will commit to “reverse” them.


    Beside the pretext of “human rights,” Tillerson highlighted how he will pressure Cuba to serve U.S. economic and political interests.

    He promised to work with the Treasury Department to ensure that no revenue from U.S. firms goes directly toward supporting the Cuban government, and to use trade to pressure Cuba to have Black Panther activist Assata Shakur extradited to the United States. Shakur was accused of killing a U.S. police officer during a shootout in New Jersey in 1977.

    Tillerson added that the U.S. will continue to actively support Cuba's counter-revolutionary forces, including the funding of Miami-based programs like Radio and TV Marti.

    http://www.telesurtv.net/english/new...0308-0025.html
    "We say to the workers: 'You will have to go through fifteen, twenty, fifty years of civil wars and international wars, not only in order to change existing conditions, but also in order to change yourselves and fit yourselves for the exercise of political power."'

    MARX (On the Communist Trial at Cologne, 1851).

  13. #73
    Key remarks by Army General Raúl Castro Ruz, President of the State Council and the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Cuba, at the ALBA Summit, Venezuela, March 5, 2017 [En]



    Comrade Nicolas Maduro Moros, President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela,

    Esteemed Heads of State and Government of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America,

    Esteemed Heads of delegations and guests,

    Dear people of Venezuela,

    I would dare say that we are at a crucial time in our history, where a backward step at a regional level could have very negative repercussions for our peoples.

    From Fidel we learned to be mindful of history, to be audacious but also realistic, and to think that what may seem impossible we can attain if we set out to do it, and work for it steadily and consistently.

    The member countries of ALBA-TCP feel that integration with solidarity is an indispensable premise to move forward, and achieve development, vis-à-vis the perceived advance in the establishment of large blocs controlling the global economy. We believe it takes political will to give greater opportunities to commerce, investment and intra-regional cooperation, without which our progress will remain insufficient. We have also proven our capacity for concerted action.

    ALBA would not have been possible when the Cuban Revolution triumphed. It was the civic-military rebellion of February 4, 1992, and the victory of the Bolivarian Revolution headed by the unforgettable Commander Hugo Chávez Frías, that made possible for such an initiative like this to come to fruition.

    It was also important that Fidel and Lula’s ideas converged at the Sao Paulo Forum to receive and support Chávez.

    Today, the sustained connection of the ALBA and the Sao Paulo Forum remains decisive to relations between revolutionary and progressive governments and popular movements, and with trade union, peasant, student and academic organizations as well as with the local intelligentsia.

    Chávez always explained the complexity of trying to make a revolution in an oil-producing country, which depends on just one market, and where a corrupt financial oligarchy prevails; a nation whose people was imposed unsustainable habits of consumerism, and a neoliberal rentier economy that led the country to bankruptcy.

    Chávez realized that to undertake the necessary transformations he should focus his efforts on the construction of a far-reaching civic-military unity, the same headed today by President Nicolás Maduro with the support of the followers of Bolívar and Chávez.

    The construction of unity is the most important challenge faced by any true revolution.

    As revolutionaries, we have many ideas and a vision of what path to pursue and how to do that successfully. However, the consolidation of unity demands acting with modesty, and putting aside everything that may divide or separate us.

    It is thanks to unity that the Bolivarian Revolution has survived the constant pressure and harassment of its enemies.

    Thanks to that unity, the revolution has survived the OAS despicable actions, the irritating and unjust American sanctions, and the recent accusations against its executive vice-president comrade Tareck El Aissami. All of these actions intend to deflect attention from the real problems and to discredit those committed to saving, developing and defending their homeland.

    The agenda of the new U.S. Administration risks giving free reign to an extreme and selfish commercial protectionism that will have an impact on the competitiveness of our foreign trade. It will hurt environmental agreements to privilege the revenues of transnational companies, and persecute and deport migrants generated by the uneven distribution of wealth. As it will also increase poverty caused by the imposed international order.

    The wall whose construction is intended along Mexico’s northern border is an expression of such irrationality not only against that sister nation but against our entire region. We state the solidarity of Cuba with the Mexican people and government. Poverty, catastrophes, and migrants cannot be contained with walls but rather through cooperation, understanding and peace.

    Venezuela has made a great contribution to regional integration with its solidarity and generosity, especially with the peoples of Latin America, and particularly with those of the Caribbean, as it called on us all to join PETROCARIB, UNASUR and CELAC.

    You are not alone. I reiterate the commitment made in our Declaration to accompany the defense of Venezuela and the brave, constructive and dignified stance held by President Nicolás Maduro.

    Comrades all,

    Venezuela is today the decisive battlefield where sovereignty, emancipation, integration and development in Our America are at stake.

    Such is the aspiration that we laid down in the Proclamation of Latin America and the Caribbean as a Zone of Peace adopted by CELAC in its Havana Summit of January 2014. It is essential to abide by that declaration. There, we committed to honor “our obligation to not interfere, directly or indirectly, in the internal affairs of any other State, and to observe the principles of national sovereignty, equality of rights and the self-determination of the peoples.” Also, to resolve our differences peacefully and to respect “the principles and norms of International Law and the principles and objectives of the United Nations Charter.” Moreover, to respect “the inalienable right of all States to choose their political, economic, social and cultural system as a fundamental premise to ensure peaceful coexistence between nations.”

    That historic document urges “all member States of the International Community to fully respect that Proclamation in their relations with the member States of CELAC.”

    The defense of justice in the Greater Homeland concerns us all. We will never fail our beloved Caribbean brothers and sisters.

    We reaffirm our support for their legitimate claim to reparation for the horror of slavery and slave trade as well as their demand to receive cooperation according to their necessities, and not based on indicators that rate them as middle-income countries. We support their demand for special and differentiated treatment concerning access to commerce and investments, and funds to help them adjust to the effects of climate change and to natural disasters, since they are small and vulnerable island states. At the same time, we condemn the unfair persecution brought against them by the centers of financial capital.

    We reaffirm our solidarity with Dilma Rousseff, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, three deservedly recognized leaders of Our America.

    We shall continue supporting Correa and his comrade Lenín Moreno in Ecuador. We will never abandon Evo, for he is the true leader of Bolivia and of all native peoples. In addition, we shall keep accompanying Daniel and the Sandinista people of Nicaragua.

    Thank you.

    http://solidnet.org/cuba-communist-p...arch-5-2017-en
    "We say to the workers: 'You will have to go through fifteen, twenty, fifty years of civil wars and international wars, not only in order to change existing conditions, but also in order to change yourselves and fit yourselves for the exercise of political power."'

    MARX (On the Communist Trial at Cologne, 1851).

  14. #74
    Most Important Battle Is Beating Demoralization: Cuban Minister
    worker | March 19, 2017 | 8:56 pm

    By: teleSUR


    Cuban Minister of Culture Abel Prieto Jimenez. | Photo: Reuters

    Published 13 March 2017


    A conversation with the Cuban minister of culture reminds us, “The battle of consciousness and ideas must be won.”
    The great battle underway today on a global level is taking place in the minds of each and every one of us, rather than in specific physical locations. Revolutionaries, warriors of ideas, are not lacking; but the forces are dispersed in the face of a powerful, compact bloc of mass media which looks to turn human beings into captives of their emotions, disconnected from their ability to think.

    It is no coincidence that Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro called for a communication revolution in November 2016, one that includes traditional media, social networks, streets, and walls, inviting us to assume the intense, necessary task of progressive thinking.

    It was precisely this urgent work which was discussed by the Network of Intellectuals, Artists, and Social Movements in Defense of Humanity during its 15th summit held March 6-7 in Caracas, with more than 60 thinkers from Venezuela and other countries in attendance titled, “Emancipatory Communication or Colonized homelands.”

    Just minutes prior to the meeting’s second day, Cuban Minister of Culture Abel Prieto Jimenez dedicated a few minutes to a dialogue, speaking of the times in which we live, insisting on the importance of the fight for critical, revolutionary thinking, saying, “The battle of consciousness and ideas must be won.”

    Alina Perera Robbio: You have commented during this meeting that the left has not constructed a paradigm, in terms of communication, which could provide an alternative in the face of right-wing media hegemony. Would you share some reflections on this issue?

    Abel Prieto Jimenez: Intellectuals from Venezuela and other countries have spoken here about this traditional weak point of the left, in the sense of being able to create a kind of paradigm, in terms of communication, that could be effective in the face of the lying, defamatory machine — to which we could add any number of adjectives — but which is undoubtedly effective in domesticating consciousness, dampening critical thinking, imposing on the people, for example, candidates who offer villas and castles, but later betray them.

    That’s why we see everyday people voting against their own interests, everyday people voting against their country’s future, against conquests won. These are chilling things that are related to the world in which we live today, in which a few media corporations control everything.

    There has been talk during this workshop of the role of social networks, of how even in electoral processes, those targeted for messages are very clearly defined, based on the great database these social networks provide, from which psychological profiles are created and different messages crafted for each one of these persons. That is to say, this is where the machinery of manipulation and trickery is, an issue that has been constantly raised in discussions within the Network in Defense of Humanity.

    I recalled a panel that was held at the Cuartel de la Montaña, in December 2004, when Chavez called on us to take the offensive, and he called on us to create a breach in the media wall. From that discussion, the idea emerged for teleSUR, which has had so much success and been so important. Since that era, we have been talking about the machinery of manipulation. But I would say that today, the concentration of the media, the use of people’s unconscious reflexes, has grown to an almost Orwellian level — thinking about that famous book of George Orwell, “1984,” in which he talks of a policed world. We are facing a tremendous challenge and most important are trying to create this new paradigm, which must be participatory, because it must be the revolutionary people, using social networks, who resist being hypnotized, being driven like a herd from one place to another. And at the same time, we must be able to generate content. We must be critical with respect to the system, and at the same time proactive.
    Perera Robbio: Circumstances have changed dramatically since 2004. The difficulties, as you say, have increased.

    Prieto Jimenez: Fidel, Chavez founded so many extraordinary things. Then Evo (Morales), (Rafael) Correa, Daniel (Ortega), ALBA joined in. The Free Trade Agreement of the Americas (FTAA) was defeated in Mar del Plata (Argentina) — a truly glorious moment for the left in our America. Nestor Kirchner participated in the defeat of the FTAA and later so did Cristina (Fernandez). It was a significant moment. In Brazil, the Workers’ Party was in power; it was a time that really awakened many hopes, that made Latin America a pole.

    We see now how there is talk of a pendulum. One of the most sinister things one can do is accept the idea that there was a pendulum swing toward the left, and now a swing to the reactionary right is coming. It’s crazy because history does not move by way of pendulum swings. History is made by men, women, the people, and I think what is most important is to put an end to the demoralization, the discouragement, the worry among progressive forces — stop the idea that what is happening now is fate, that neoliberal ideas can survive another ten years, instead of going to the ideas of Bolivar, Jose Martí, of Fidel, Chavez, of the Cuban Revolution and the Latin American Revolution.

    Everything that happens is inevitably affected by our ability to communicate in an effective manner, in a serious, profound manner.

    Perera Robbio: How can the left meet this challenge, continue the struggle, not be discouraged?

    Prieto Jimenez: Participants in this 15th Network meeting unanimously concur on the need to leave here with an agreement on concrete steps, an action plan.

    One of the tasks the Network could undertake is linking the nuclei of cultural resistance, the alternative media, radio, the work of digital guerillas in social networks. There are many people who have not allowed themselves to be defeated and are fighting for liberation, against the neoliberal offensive, but they are not linked up.

    I think the Network must take on the task of attempting to link these forces, so that people understand we are facing a global struggle, and that the little wars at a local level are not going to resolve the problem, even though victories may be won at this local level.

    The idea of ethical monitoring of the media is important. During this workshop, one participant spoke about the slander of Fidel that appeared in Forbes magazine, according to which the leader of the Cuban Revolution had amassed a huge fortune, and was among the richest leaders in the world. I told this speaker that Fidel said something tremendous on Cuban television, in front of many compañeros, saying that if they showed him just one scrap of evidence, he would resign immediately. This reply was never published by Forbes.

    The mass media lies, and if there is a reply, they never accept the fact that they lied, and the lie continues floating about. It’s Goebbels’ theory: repeat and repeat a lie until it becomes true. This is the philosophy of all the mass media at this time.

    There has been talk in this forum about what Venezuela (mass media) did with the guarimbas (violent street protests), of how they circulated pictures of acts of violence, of throat slashings, of beatings which never occurred and were attributed to the police and the Bolivarian government, supposedly taking place during confrontations with opposition demonstrators. That is to say, they are constantly disseminating slanderous lies. Well, there is talk of post-truth politics, of totally invented events meant to create destabilization, which suddenly go viral on social networks, so people believe them.

    The situation is terrible. The mass media has trained a massive group of people, mostly young who are very aware of what is going on, of what is moving around the web, and who are very credulous. That is why I believe that the other thing we need to do is to promote the critical study of these communications phenomena, especially among adolescents.

    The use of intelligence must be promoted. Let us recall what Fidel said many times: They want to dismantle our ability to think. This is the great project: that the people don’t think; that the people don’t critically examine the lies that are everywhere.

    Something else which has been discussed during these hours is that which is customarily referred to as the training of young cadres, revolutionary cadres. In this regard, the issue of new technologies must be included, the necessity of knowing how to use them, the issue of the battle of ideas on social networks.

    During these times, we can ask a question: Are we going to allow the thinking of Fidel, allow generations in Cuba and Latin America, to be seen as something archaeological, something of the past? Are Venezuelans going to let the thinking of Chavez be put away in a museum, as something that happened but has no relevance? I think this depends a great deal on us.

    First published in Juventud Rebelde on March 7, 2017. Translated by Granma International.

    Alina Perera Robbio is a writer for Juventud Rebelde.

    http://houstoncommunistparty.com/mos...uban-minister/
    "We say to the workers: 'You will have to go through fifteen, twenty, fifty years of civil wars and international wars, not only in order to change existing conditions, but also in order to change yourselves and fit yourselves for the exercise of political power."'

    MARX (On the Communist Trial at Cologne, 1851).

  15. #75
    Drought and Agriculture: Water Management for Food Security
    By: Theodor Friedrich

    March 24, 2017 | +


    Climate is only one factor that determines the availability of water. Photo: Agriculturers.

    We all know the importance of water for life on earth, and how, faced with the prospect of its scarcity, as is happening in many parts of the world, wars are foreseen for access to it .

    It is also known of the destructive power of water, something that our comrades in eastern Cuba have experienced last year after Hurricane Matthew in Guantanamo province and the phenomena that are currently plaguing Peru.

    In fact, in many parts of Cuba, this force of water can be noticed in the landscapes; Especially in agricultural areas are signs of water erosion in soils. These waters are lost without being used, like other "sewage", the motto of World Water Day 2017. But wastewater is not only those that do not take advantage, but also those that are wasted and that can contribute to the pollution of Water resources and therefore affect other waters in their utility.

    Curiously, signs of water erosion are noticeable in dry areas of the world. And so, at the opening of the event Cubagua the Chief Engineer of the Chinese Ministry of Water, Wang Hong, mentioned drought, flood, pollution and the environment as factors that coincide in the theme water.

    This brings me to the current issue of concern to Cuba: drought . No Cuban has failed to realize that we are having a drought. And the drought is largely blamed on climate change, or it is most often said. This almost absolves us of our part of the problem. But is it really so?

    Returning to the United Nations that proclaimed World Water Day in 1993 - one year after the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro - we can expand the vision of the complexity of the issue a little more: last year the world with leadership Of the UN approved a new agenda of sustainable development with 17 objectives, all interconnected. Two of these goals - 6 and 14 - are dedicated to water and its ecosystems; But the water problem and its management relates to other sustainable development goals directly or indirectly.

    Therefore, climate change , climate, it is only one factor that determines water availability. There are many other factors, which are under our direct control . And since the sustainable development agenda can not be fulfilled by focusing on isolated objectives, the water problem does not resolve by looking at water alone.

    While it is true that the rains in recent years have decreased and we have spent less than average time in terms of rainfall, we still have significant levels: a national average above one thousand millimeters per year . The reduction of precipitation was so gradual that it can not explain the current crisis that the country is experiencing, with many of the over-exploited aquifers under critical conditions, with danger of salinization due to the intrusion of marine waters and with the catchment dams With historically low levels. This situation has dragged us for many years in which the exploitation of the terrestrial waters exceeded the use of rainfall.

    We still have many areas where we can improve water management and care; We all know of the waste of the water, the losses in the conductive lines and the low efficiency in the use. One sector that is particularly committed in this regard is agriculture, which uses almost 70% of the water consumed and suffers from drought . Many irrigation systems used, such as irrigation by flooding in rice fields or irrigation by spraying, cause in the tropical climate significant losses of water, without contributing to the production.

    But there is an even more serious problem: we take only part of the rain. When a downpour falls on Cuba, only in the wooded areas of the Island this water is captured in the water table. But Cuba only has 30% of its area with forest. In the rest of the country up to 90% of the water drains to the surface, causing the erosion traces that I mentioned, ending without utility, as "residual water" and seeking its direct exit to the sea, without contributing to the filling of the terrestrial aquifers . Where we have dams, we can retain perhaps 40% of this water, but with the sedimentation in the reservoirs this quota also decreases with time, and a good part evaporates in the same dams. In short, if we only take less than half of the rainwater that falls, it is not surprising the drought we are going through.

    That is why we have to understand the relationships between land management and water resources. We have to ensure that the largest possible surface area of ​​the island is able to infiltrate all the falling water and to fill the aquifers, to make the most of it without loss. If we also reduce the waste and increase the presence of trees in our landscapes, I am sure, there will be no drought despite climate change.

    But we have to learn, that nature is something complex and "obvious" or "easy" solutions do not solve the big problems: nature is not fooled.

    Thus, the construction of dams solved the problem of flooding, but not that of drought, particularly the management of underground aquifers. Nor will the drilling of infiltration wells solve it, which in addition brings a danger of contamination of the water table.

    The sustainable solution will be to provide all the lands of Cuba with the natural water infiltration capacity of our forests, starting from the fact that this forest infiltration capacity does not result from trees, but from the fact that in The soil is tilled, the natural structure of the soil is not broken. Thus, this land opens with biological tillage and allows the water cycle to function naturally.

    We have technologies, such as Conservation Agriculture, that allow us to convert all land areas, particularly agricultural productive areas, into "water creators" . Let us help nature to function again, with soils as a key element, so that it can bring the services of the ecosystem itself, above all, enough clean water. We have to learn to live with nature instead of trying to dominate it, so that it provides us with a safe and pleasant environment to live.

    http://www.cubadebate.cu/especiales/.../#.WNUgYG_yvIU

    Google Translator

    Our socialism is scientific and as a matter of course understands that preservation and repair of 'ecosystem services' is meeting human need. Implicit in this is the maintenance of biodiversity which is both a functional part and outcome of a well functioning ecosystem.

    Compare this to classism, immaterial sentimentalism, barely disguised cupidity and chronic despair of 'environmentalism' in capitalist society.
    "We say to the workers: 'You will have to go through fifteen, twenty, fifty years of civil wars and international wars, not only in order to change existing conditions, but also in order to change yourselves and fit yourselves for the exercise of political power."'

    MARX (On the Communist Trial at Cologne, 1851).

  16. #76
    Committed to agro-ecological models
    The scientific center was founded on March 8, 1962, by Comandante en Jefe Fidel Castro Ruz, in response to work being undertaken in the agricultural and livestock sectors, regarding animal nutrition

    Author: Nuria Barbosa León | internet@granma.cu
    march 24, 2017 14:03:20


    Giraldo Jesús Martín Martín PhD, director of the center, highlights the staff’s commitment to contributing to sustainable local development through the use of ecological agricultural methods. Photo: Nuria Barbosa

    Current challenges at a national and international level are leading the Indio Hatuey Experimental Pasture and Forage Station to constantly develop innovative institutional strategies toward achieving sustainable local development through the use of productive agro-ecological models.

    Located in the municipality of Perico, Matanzas province, and affiliated with the Camilo Cienfuegos University, the scientific center was founded on March 8, 1962, by Comandante en Jefe Fidel Castro Ruz, in response to work being undertaken in the agricultural and livestock sectors, regarding animal nutrition.

    The facility is named after the Indigenous cacique (chief) Hatuey, also considered to be Cuba’s first hero, after he was burned at the stake on February 2, 1512, for resisting Spanish colonization and inciting others to rebel.

    Since the triumph of the Revolution on January 1, 1959, the institution has undertaken important work, such as research into developing agricultural and livestock systems able to meet the population’s food needs, and in accordance with the island’s social and economic strategies.

    In this sense, Cuba’s agricultural model from 1976 through 1990 was characterized by the use of new technologies, influenced by the ideas of the so called Green Revolution promoted by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO); the sharing of experiences with countries which formed part of the then socialist camp, and reliable suppliers, established through agreements with the former Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (CMEA).

    The fall of socialism in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe in the 1990s and the tightening of the criminal economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the United States on the island, forced the country to think of solutions to resolve problems within the institution, the nation, the agricultural and livestock sector, and those linked to climate change and environmental damage.


    The Indio Hatuey Experimental Pasture and Forage Station conducts research into agro-ecological techniques toward ensuring human wellbeing and improving ecosystems. Photo: Nuria Barbosa

    For this reason, the Experimental Station’s research agenda has moved from studies into different varieties of grass and herbaceous plants, to important woody species to feed livestock. As such a silvopastoral system was developed, based on planting these species in the same area, in order to meet animals’ nutritional needs.

    The way these scientific processes were managed evolved from a geocentric model, where pasture and forage varieties were the principle focus of studies; to a system-centric one, with the production system representing the fundamental aspect of scientific strategy.

    Therefore, research areas are now focused on forage genetic resources such as nutrition, reproduction and animal health; diversified agricultural production; agro-energy; and sustainable local and rural development; combined with thorough professional training.

    The Station’s 340 employees are currently working on four research programs, and undertaking 22 nationally financed projects, as well as another three benefiting from international collaboration (while six more are in the preliminary stages of development). As such the facility has 22 PhD and 40 Masters graduates, while 31% of technical staff hold a university degree across a wide range of disciplines.

    This, according to the center’s Director, Giraldo Jesús Martín Martín PhD, speaking with Granma International; who praised the commitment and efforts of staff working to support the country’s agricultural development; interaction between the facility, community and local government; the promotion and adoption of technologies; as well as the management of technologies and innovation initiatives by state enterprises and the agricultural cooperative sector.

    Important to this work, noted the Director, are the links the center maintains with the FAO, UN Development Program, World Food Program, Environmental Fund and Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (COSUDE), which direct and implement collaborative projects and finance different stages of research.

    “Over 30 results and technologies are being applied in the productive sector, across more than 530 areas nationwide,” stated Martín Martín, also a deputy to the Cuban Parliament, noting that agro-energy and bio-fuels are priority areas for research undertaken at the Indio Hatuey Experimental Station.

    Proof of this is the study - ongoing for over 50 years - into more than 2,000 pasture and forage species, above all different varieties of grass (1,921) and legumes (881), and herbaceous and tree species (285), in order to develop a new kind of pastoral system known as silvopasture.

    Extensive investigations are being carried out into three species (Morera, Moringa and Tithonia) which contain proteins and other important nutrients for animals, while local food production plants are being renovated, where by-products of industrial production, conventional forages and protein rich species are used.

    A tangible result of research efforts has been the creation of biodiesel from non-edible oilseed plants. Experiments revealed the existence of a group of shrubs whose seeds or fruits produce useful oil, which can be used as an alternative to liquid bio-fuels made from crops like soya, corn or sugar cane.

    The center is also working on building biodigesters on farms dedicated to cattle or pig rearing, used to produce gas and clean energy from animal excrement. The fuel obtained is used to power local homes, while rural families were provided with equipment designed especially for methane gas as part of an international collaboration initiative.

    The center is also promoting sericulture (the rearing of silkworms) through the development of technologies to aid white mulberry tree cultivation. The worms live off the leaves of these trees, and spin a cocoon of silk threads which are then collected and processed to make silk cloth, used by artisans to create decorative items and homewares.

    The director of the entity added that “We are also conducting research into the grassy areas of hotel and sporting facilities. We also take care of embellishing different types of gardens.”

    As such the Station offers scientific-technical services to national and international entities related to the use, conservation and production of pasture grass and forage seeds; the promotion and utilization of silvopasture systems; turfed areas; bio-products made with native microorganisms; the rearing and exploitation of silkworms; agricultural production using agro-ecological methods; designing diversified agroenergy farms; developing strategic plans with rural entities and municipalities; and the installation of different types and sizes of biodigestors.

    For Fernando Funes Aguilar PhD, who has been working at the Station since 1966, the institution will provide coherent responses as the process toward finding a balance between intensive or basic science, and science linked to production, the economy and society, advances.

    According to Aguilar, to date efforts have been based on making investments to obtain knowledge, which, with a more innovative approach, involves “investing in knowledge for economic gain;” a proposal in which the Indio Hatuey Experimental Pasture and Forage Station is currently immersed, 55 years after its founding.

    http://en.granma.cu/cuba/2017-03-24/...logical-models
    "We say to the workers: 'You will have to go through fifteen, twenty, fifty years of civil wars and international wars, not only in order to change existing conditions, but also in order to change yourselves and fit yourselves for the exercise of political power."'

    MARX (On the Communist Trial at Cologne, 1851).

  17. #77
    Cuba sending medical brigade to Peru in the wake of severe flooding
    Cuba is preparing to send a contingent of health professionals to Peru, to help address the emergency facing the population in the wake of heavy rain

    Author: TELESUR | internet@granma.cu
    march 27, 2017 09:03:00

    Cuba is preparing to send a medical brigade to Peru to help address the emergency facing the population, in the wake of heavy rain in several of the country's regions over the last few weeks.

    The Cuban embassy in Lima offered the Peruvian Foreign Ministry the services of a contingent from the Henry Reeve Medical Brigade specialized in disasters and epidemics. The group, including 11 doctors, ten healthcare professionals, an administrator, and lead doctor, will stay for one month, and is equipped with sufficient medicine and supplies to treat thousands of people.

    The embassy released a statement, reported by teleSUR, that the professionals are ready to travel as soon as Peruvian authorities indicate that they are ready to receive the contingent.

    This is not the first time Cuba has supported Peru in responding to natural disasters, having participated in recovery efforts following earthquakes in 1970 and in 2007.

    Last week, President Raúl Castro sent his Peruvian counterpart, Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, a message expressing condolences given the human and material losses suffered by the country as a result of heavy rain and flooding.

    Since last December, Peru has faced severe weather, which has caused 90 deaths and destroyed thousands of homes and buildings. Some 120,890 persons have been affected.

    http://en.granma.cu/cuba/2017-03-27/...evere-flooding

    meanwhile the US is sending..........

    Who can doubt the superiority of socialism other than the misanthrope?
    "We say to the workers: 'You will have to go through fifteen, twenty, fifty years of civil wars and international wars, not only in order to change existing conditions, but also in order to change yourselves and fit yourselves for the exercise of political power."'

    MARX (On the Communist Trial at Cologne, 1851).

  18. #78
    Some Challenges of Economic Development
    After a five-year implementation of the mechanisms for updating, the non-state sector of the economy has made an exponential jump

    Author: Katheryn Felipe | Internet@granma.cu
    March 30, 2017 22:03:28


    When in April 2011 the 6th Congress of the Communist Party of Cuba (PCC) approved the Guidelines for the Economic and Social Policy of the Party and the Revolution, the process of economic updating initiated in the country was taking new steps.

    Recall that, without waiting for obstacles and contradictions in their concreteness, the Guidelines defined that the prevailing economic system would continue to be based on the socialist ownership of the whole people over the fundamental means of production, governed by the (also socialist) Each according to his ability, each according to his labor. "

    From understanding that only socialism is capable of overcoming difficulties and preserving the revolutionary ideals of equality and justice, the national economy would continue to be driven by planning, which would at the same time respond to market trends and give more autonomy to State enterprises and new forms of management.

    In the words of the Cuban Minister of Economy from 1995 to 2009, José Luis Rodríguez, it is a question of maintaining social property over the means of production that are determinant for the country's development, establishing limits to the development of non-state property, Reducing their capacity for accumulation, and ensuring the provision of basic social services, in a universal and free way.

    In addition to retaining the socialist state enterprise, updating, we know, recognizes and promotes "the modalities of foreign investment, cooperatives, small farmers, usufructuaries, tenants, self-employed workers and other forms" .

    According to Rodríguez, an adviser to the World Economic Research Center, opening up small private property (self-employment or self-employment), the agricultural and non-agricultural cooperative, and joint ventures with foreign capital is a way to give them participation In the advance of the country "without being predominant and if they are properly channeled, that is to say, without becoming preponderant".

    From the point of view of the Psychologist Maria del Carmen Zabala, specialist in social equity issues and adviser to the Cuba Program of the Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences, the Guidelines are committed to equity and involve the implementation of measures that are important alternatives Employment and income for the benefit of families.

    That is why the strategic document states that "in non-state forms of management, ownership will not be allowed in legal or natural persons" and the tax system will impose higher taxes on higher incomes in order to "reduce inequalities Among citizens'.

    As Cuban President Raul Castro Ruz made clear during the 7th. Congress of the PCC in April 2016 in Havana "neoliberal formulas that advocate accelerated privatization of state assets and social services, such as health, education and social security, will never be applied to Cuban socialism."

    The first secretary of the Central Committee of the PCC has expressed that "a Revolution of the humble, for the humble and for the humble", as defined by Fidel, with an undeniable social work built "will never find a solution to his problems with his back to the people , Nor with the restoration of capitalism, which would lead to the application of shock therapies to the population with less resources and would destroy the unity and trust of the majority of our citizens around the Revolution and the Party. In Cuba, he has reiterated on more than one occasion "no one will be left homeless".

    MEDIUM, SMALL AND MICRO

    After a five-year implementation of the mechanisms for updating, the non-state sector of the economy has taken an exponential step. While state employment was 81.2% in 2010, it reached 70.8 in 2015.

    While there were 157 371 account holders in September 2010, there were just over half a million at the end of 2016.

    Although "the increase in self-employment and the authorization of the hiring of labor force has in practice led to the existence of medium-sized, small and private micro-enterprises which today operate without due legal personality and are governed by the law by a Regulatory framework designed for natural persons dedicated to small businesses that are carried out by the worker and his family ", in correspondence with comrade Raúl, an atmosphere is formed that does not discriminate or stigmatize non-state work.

    In addition, in socialist and sovereign Cuba, the property of the people over the basic means of production constitutes the basis of the real power of the workers, has also explained the President of the Councils of State and Ministers that favors the success of non- State management, on the basis, in all cases, of strict compliance with current legislation and with well-defined limits.

    In this regard, he said that "we are not naive nor ignore the aspirations of powerful external forces that bet on what they call the" empowerment "of non-state forms of management, in order to generate agents of change in the hope of ending The Revolution and socialism in Cuba by other means. "

    He also argued that "cooperatives, self-employment and the medium, small and micro-private enterprises are not essentially anti-socialist or counterrevolutionary" and the vast majority of those who work there are patriots.

    With economic development, the struggle for peace and ideological firmness as the main missions of the CCP, the operation of non-agricultural production cooperatives, especially trade, gastronomy, technical services, small industry and construction, is an experimental process.

    A PROCESS ORDERED AND PAULATINO

    It is worth reviewing more closely the guidelines governing the gradual and orderly process of separation of state and business functions, and whose fundamental obstacle has been the burden of an outdated mentality. The President of the Greater Antilles has warned that it is necessary to ensure more explanation to the people, more discipline and demand and a greater and more close follow-up to the change process. "We must have, as we have already said, ears and feet on the ground."

    Empowering enterprises, reshaping employment and wages to eliminate inflated staff in all spheres of the economy, and ensuring that work is the main form of income for the population will facilitate the freeing of the state. Small business administration.

    On the other hand, progress has been made in the development of procurement markets that sell at wholesale prices and provide media rental and equipment services, without subsidy, to the business system, budgeted and non-state management forms.

    The Guidelines also include the possibility of making the corporate purpose of companies more flexible so that they can maximize their potential and the need for companies to manage their working capital and investments up to an expected limit.

    Another point of evolution is in what is known as "pay by results". As easy as the income of workers in both state and non-state facilities, they are tied to the results they get.

    The conceptualization of the economic model, proposed during the 7th. Congress of the PCC, states that "the consolidation and sustainable development of socialism is possible only from preserving values ​​and increase labor productivity, so that wealth grows for its fair distribution and with it the level and quality of life, As well as the realization of the collective and individual aspirations of the people.

    At the same time, the National Economic and Social Development Plan until 2030 defines strategic axes that are pillars and driving forces of Cuban development, which focus on: effective and socialist government, social integration, productive transformation and international insertion, Infrastructure development, human potential, science, technology, innovation, natural resources and the environment, human development, equity and justice.

    Let us not forget that all these changes occur in a reality defined by the slow population growth of the population, low fertility and mortality rates, a negative migration balance and the sustained process of urbanization and population aging, which imposes great social and economic challenges to the country.

    http://www.granma.cu/economia-con-ti...-2017-22-03-28

    Google Translator
    "We say to the workers: 'You will have to go through fifteen, twenty, fifty years of civil wars and international wars, not only in order to change existing conditions, but also in order to change yourselves and fit yourselves for the exercise of political power."'

    MARX (On the Communist Trial at Cologne, 1851).

  19. #79
    After a five-year implementation of the mechanisms for updating, the non-state sector of the economy has taken an exponential step. While state employment was 81.2% in 2010, it reached 70.8 in 2015.

    While there were 157 371 account holders in September 2010, there were just over half a million at the end of 2016.

    I am going to trust the Cubans, they've earned it (like they care what I think), but that slope is slippery as owl shit.
    "America was never great"

    "Anyone who analyzes the state of affairs in the world will find that it is the imperialists and capitalists, who subject the world to the worst poverty, the worst backwardness, and they are simply the scourge of mankind." - Fidel

    "Privilege begets psychopathy" - blindpig

  20. #80
    Cuban doctors head to Peru in the wake of severe flooding

    Cuban doctors departed for Peru early this Friday, March 31, to provide services in areas of the country affected by the recent heavy rains. On leaving, they dedicated their solidarity efforts to the historic leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro

    Author: Lissy Rodríguez Guerrero | informacion@granma.cu
    march 31, 2017 10:03:11


    Photo: Jose M. Correa
    Cuban health personnel departed for Peru early this Friday, March 31, tasked with providing services in areas of the country affected by the recent heavy rains.

    Gathered at the Central Medical Cooperation Unit for a farewell ceremony yesterday evening, they dedicated their solidarity efforts to the historic leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro.

    They were joined by Public Health Minister Roberto Morales Ojeda, who presented this 23rd Brigade of the Henry Reeve International Contingent of Doctors Specializing in Disasters and Serious Epidemics, with the customary Cuban flag.

    The 23-strong brigade is made up 12 physicians and 11 health professionals, with more than ten years experience and having fulfilled other international missions.

    Morales Ojeda, who is also a member of the Party Political Bureau, noted that the Henry Reeve Contingent was formed as part of the solidarity initiatives led by Fidel, and that today 50,000 Cuban collaborators are offering their services across 62 countries.

    The Minister also told reporters that the brigade is armed with 7.2 tons of medicines and expendable supplies, which will allow these professionals to provide health care services to some 20,000 people.

    Dr. Rolando Piloto, leading the medical mission, noted that Cuba has provided solidarity of this kind on two previous occasions to the people of Peru, flowing earthquakes in May, 1970, and August, 2007.

    http://en.granma.cu/cuba/2017-03-31/...evere-flooding

    Perhaps they can work with the American doctors...oh, wait.
    "We say to the workers: 'You will have to go through fifteen, twenty, fifty years of civil wars and international wars, not only in order to change existing conditions, but also in order to change yourselves and fit yourselves for the exercise of political power."'

    MARX (On the Communist Trial at Cologne, 1851).

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