Published on 4 November 2014 by Granma Internacional
The New York Times has called on President Barack Obama to exchange Alan Gross, an employee of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), imprisoned in Cuba for covert operations, for the three Cuban anti-terrorists unjustly incarcerated in the United States since 1998.
In an editorial published on November 2 entitled, “A Prisoner Swap With Cuba,” the newspaper acknowledged that Alan Gross, a U.S. citizen who is serving a 15 year sentence, was arrested in Havana as a result of an irresponsible strategy on the part ofthe U.S. government and that a solution must be found.
The editors of The New York Times believe that Washington and Havana should study the Gross case and that of the Cubans, Gerardo Hernández, Antonio Guerrero and Ramón Labañino, in order to take the first steps towards normalizing relations between the twocountries.
"A prisoner exchange could pave the way toward re-establishing formal diplomatic ties, positioning the United States to encourage positive change in Cuba through expanded trade, travel opportunities and greater contact between Americans and Cubans," the newspaper highlighted.
Published on 2 November 2014 by AFP
Guinea authorities buried a Cuban man Saturday who died of malaria while working in the west African nation to help battle the killer Ebola virus. Jorge Juan Guerra Rodriguez, 60, was an administrator with a team of Cuban medical personnel sent to west Africa in October to stem the spread of the virus.
He died of cerebral malaria on Sunday, the Guinean government and Cuban officials said. His funeral in the capital Conakry was attended by work colleagues and aid workers, as well as Cuban and Guinean officials, according to an AFP journalist at the ceremony.
"We will always remember him and we pray for the repose of his soul because he died on the soil of Cuba's friend, Guinea," government spokesman Albert Damantang Camara said.
Published on 30 October 2014 by Granma Internacional
Given the possibility of adapting its methodology to the culture and needs of a country in which it is being applied, the ‘Yo, sí puedo’ (Yes, I can) program has been implemented in 30 countries, and taught more than 203,324 people across the globe to read, stated César Torres Batista, Sciences Phd. and director of the Latin American and Caribbean Pedagogical Institute (IPLAC).
Promoting the professional development and postgraduate training of Latin American and Caribbean educators; contributing to reducing illiteracy and offering lifelong learning to young people and adults; as well as facilitating exchanges between educators of the region in order to advance the development and consolidation of a Latin American pedagogical format based on the region’s shared realities, are all among program’s goals, which today, more clearly than ever, are being achieved.
Torres Batista commented that since the launch of the program in Venezuela on July 1, 2003, satisfactory results have been achieved.
“In the course of one year Venezuela has declared itself an illiteracy-free nation with more than 1 million Venezuelans learning to read through this method. In addition the program is now available in Spanish, Portuguese, English, Quechua, Aymara, Creole, Tetún, Zuahili and Guaraní, depending on where it is implemented,” he stated.
Based on the official election results Dilma Rousseff has won the Brazilian presidential Elections.
According to the Brazilian Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE), Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff has won the Brazilian presidential elections with 51.45 percent of the vote compared to her political rival Aecio Neves who captured 48.55 percent, a difference of two million votes.
Voting began at 8 a.m. and ended at 5 p.m. Voters also selected federal parliament and state governors.
More than 142 million Brazilians have voted in the country's presidential election, marking the end to a dramatic campaign.
Some 15,000 soldiers have been deployed in 280 cities across Brazil to provide security, down from the 30,000 troops deployed during the October 5 runoff election.
Rousseff won the first-round vote with 41.6 percent versus 33.6 percent for Neves, a difference of eight million votes. Neves was endorsed a week ago by Marina Silva, a popular environmentalist who placed third with 22 million votes.
As Brazil’s first female President, Rousseff was first elected in 2011. Born in 1947, she was raised in an middle-class household in Belo Horizonte.
In 1970 she was captured and imprisoned for three years where she subjected to torture, including electric shocks, for her role in the underground resistance against the Brazilian military dictatorship.
Under her first presidential term, Brazil's economy grew by an average of more than four percent each year, transitioning more than 30 million people out of poverty.
The incumbent focused her campaign message on expanding the social programs that reduced poverty and inequality in the country during her Workers' Party 12-year rule.
In addition, she has promised to continue to invest in infrastructure, particularly in connecting important economic zones to ports by rail. She has said that she would like to bring universal broadband Internet access to the country.
Meanwhile, the loosing candidate Aeicio Neves had vowed to cut back on government spending, and implement austerity if elected.
Published on 23 October by The Guardian
West Africa needs what Cuba has: a well-trained, coordinated healthcare system. Anything less and Ebola wins
Guatemala, Pakistan, Indonesia, Haiti. Four different nations that share a common experience: in the past decade, they were all struck by natural disasters which overwhelmed their under-staffed and under-funded public health systems. Into the rubble, flooding, and chaos of these distinct cultures and contexts, Cubadispatched a specialised disaster and epidemic control team to support local health providers. It was a story of unprecedented medical solidarity by a developing country which few media outlets picked up – until now.
The Henry Reeve Brigade, as it’s known, was established in 2005 by more than 1,500 Cuban health professionals trained in disaster medicine and infectious disease containment; built on 40 years of medical aid experience, the volunteer team was outfitted with essential medicines and equipment and prepared to deploy to US regions ravaged by Hurricane Katrina (the offer was rejected by the Bush administration). Today, Cuba’s Henry Reeve Brigade is the largest medical team on the ground in west Africa battling Ebola.
Published on 28 October 2014 by New York Times
A little-known former American ambassador on Tuesday addressed the General Assembly to perform a dreaded task: defending the issue that has isolated the United States diplomatically like no other, the Cuban embargo.
“This resolution only serves to distract from the real problems facing the Cuban people,” Ronald D. Godard admonished, before the United States voted against a non-binding resolution submitted yearly by Havana calling for a repeal of the sanctions Washington has imposed on the island for more than five decades.
Only Israel sided with the United States, although the Israelis were happy to forgo a turn at the podium to defend their position. Of the 193 members of the United Nations, 188 backed Cuba. The three abstentions — Marshall Islands, Micronesia and Palau — are not widely regarded as diplomatic heavyweights.
Following the triumph of Evo Morales in Bolivia's 12 October Presidential elections we republish data circulated by Centre for Economic and Policy Research on 8 October 2014
Below are ten graphs on economic and social developments since Evo Morales' election in 2005 that help explain the strong support for his re-election.
1. Economic Growth: Bolivia has grown much faster over the last 8 years under President Evo Morales than in any period over the past three-and-a-half decades.
Source: International Monetary Fund.
Published on 21 October 2014 by Venezuela Analysis
At the request of Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro, member countries of the ALBA trade bloc met yesterday at a special summit in Havana, Cuba to discuss methods of preventing the spread of the ebola virus in Latin America and the Caribbean. The Venezuelan government has donated US$5 million to the United Nations to fight the spread of the virus.
“I am of the conviction,” Cuban president Raul Castro said in his opening statement, “that if this threat is not stopped and resolved in West Africa, with an efficient international response backed by sufficient resources, coordinated by the World Health Organization of the United Nations, it could become one of the gravest pandemics in human history.”
First published on 20 October 2014 by New York Times
Cuba is an impoverished island that remains largely cut off from the world and lies about 4,500 miles from the West African nations where Ebola is spreading at an alarming rate. Yet, having pledged to deploy hundreds of medical professionals to the front lines of the pandemic, Cuba stands to play the most robust role among the nations seeking to contain the virus.
Cuba’s contribution is doubtlessly meant at least in part to bolster its beleaguered international standing. Nonetheless, it should be lauded and emulated.
The global panic over Ebola has not brought forth an adequate response from the nations with the most to offer. While the United States and several other wealthy countries have been happy to pledge funds, only Cuba and a few nongovernmental organizations are offering what is most needed: medical professionals in the field.
Published on 17 October by Global Research
Our country did not take a single minute to give a response to the international agencies requesting its support to combat the brutal epidemic outbreak in Western Africa.
This is what our country has always done, without excluding anyone. The Cuban Government had already given the relevant instructions to urgently mobilize and reinforce the medical personnel that were offering their services in that region of the Africa continent. An equally fast response was given to the United Nations, as has always been the case in an event of a request for cooperation. Any sensible person would know that the political decisions that entail some risk for the highly qualified staff involve a high level of responsibility from those who call on them to fulfill a risky task. This is something far more difficult than sending soldiers to fight and even die for a just political cause; and they also did so because they always thought it was their duty.
The best example of solidarity that human beings can offer
The medical staff that is ready to go to any region to save lives, even at the risk of losing their own, is the best example of solidarity that human beings can offer, particularly if they are not moved by any material interest. Their closest relatives are also contributing to that mission a part of what they love and admire the most. A country seasoned by long years of struggle can fully understand what is being expressed here.
We all understand that in fulfilling this task with maximum preparation and efficiency, we would also be protecting our people and the brother peoples of Latin America and the Caribbean, by avoiding the spread of the virus, since it unfortunately has entered and could further spread in the United States, a country with so many personal links and exchanges with the rest of the world. We will gladly cooperate with the US staff in this endeavor, not in the pursuit of peace between the two States which have been adversaries for so many years, but, in any case, for world peace, which is a goal that could and should be pursued.
The time of duty has come.
Fidel Castro Ruz
October 17, 2014 9:23 p.m.
Evo Morales, re-elected Sunday, gave a press conference at the Government Palace in La Paz, Bolivia.
President Evo Morales welcomed both local and international press Monday morning for a press conference to discuss his victory and the gains made by his party Movement Toward Socialism (MAS).
Morales declared that “We are very happy, it is not easy to be reelected with more than 60 percent, We have made history in Bolivia.” He signaled that the electoral results constitute a victory for the social movements in the country as well, adding, “It moves me to share this triumph with all of you, with the Bolivian people.”
Morales emphasized that this victory also carries symbolic weight, “[In Bolivia] we have changed, it is important to ratify that politics is about service for the people,” saying “Nationalization has won here and that our services are a human right.”
He called on the opposition, who suffered a large defeat to work with his government and to offer concrete proposals, explaining “Bolivia no longer wants confrontation, it is for that reason that we invite all sectors to work together with us.”
President Morales then opened the floor up to questions, where he analyzed his own personal trajectory to the Presidency. The final question came from a North American reporter who asked the President to respond to accusations that his government acts in authoritarian manner. Morales responded by asserting that his government has always worked hand-in-hand with social movements, putting forward proposals together. He criticized the governments of the past who “Never left the Government Palace” and who ruled, not by winning the confidence of the people, but rather through so-called mega coalitions.
Last night, when greeting his supporters, Morales dedicated his victory to Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez, saying “This victory of the Bolivian people is dedicated to all the peoples in Latin America and the world that struggle against capitalism and against imperialism.”
Elections were also held for the 130 seat Chamber of Deputies, where MAS won 117 of the seats — 13 more than before — results for the Senate elections were not immediately available but are expected to be consistent with the results in the lower chamber. With two thirds of the seats in the Congress, Morales and the MAS party will be free to implement their program and policies.
Published on 12 October by The Guardian
The island nation has sent hundreds of health workers to help control the deadly infection while richer countries worry about their security – instead of heeding UN warnings that vastly increased resources are urgently needed
As the official number of Ebola deaths in west Africa’s crisis topped 4,000 last week – experts say the actual figure is at least twice as high – the UN issued a stark call to arms. Even to simply slow down the rate of infection, the international humanitarian effort would have to increase massively, warned secretary-general Ban Ki-moon.
“We need a 20-fold resource mobilisation,” he said. “We need at least a 20-fold surge in assistance – mobile laboratories, vehicles, helicopters, protective equipment, trained medical personnel, and medevac capacities.”
But big hitters such as China or Brazil, or former colonial powers such France and the UK, have not been stepping up to the plate. Instead, the single biggest medical force on the Ebola frontline has been a small island: Cuba.
That a nation of 11 million people, with a GDP of $6,051 per capita, is leading the effort says much of the international response. A brigade of 165 Cuban health workers arrived in Sierra Leone last week, the first batch of a total of 461. In sharp contrast, western governments have appeared more focused on stopping the epidemic at their borders than actually stemming it in west Africa. The international effort now struggling to keep ahead of the burgeoning cases might have nipped the outbreak in the bud had it come earlier.
Published on 10 October by Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Cuba
Cuba was represented ant the “Defeating Ebola in Sierra Leone” held at Lancaster House in London and co-chaired by British Minister of Foreign Affairs Philip Hammond and International Development, Justine Greening.
The Foreign Secretary highlighted that the conference was summoned to urge the international community to take immediate action in facing the disease in Sierra Leone.
Cuba, in response to an invitation by the British government was represented by Cuban Health Vice-minister Marcia Cobas Ruiz.
The conference was attended by delegates from over twenty countries and international organizations including the United Nations, WHO as well as NGOs and private companies.
Cuba participated in the conference after responding to a call by the UN and WHO by sending 165 health care professionals which joined another 23 already in Sierra Leona, totalling 188 Cuban medical and nursing staff part of a Brigade of the International Contingent Henry Reeve of Doctors Specialized Tackling Disasters and Epidemics.
American journalist and Havana resident Gail Reed spotlights a Cuban medical school that trains doctors from low-income countries who pledge to serve communities like their own.
Many of the doctors treating ebola patients in Africa were trained in Cuba. Why? In this informative talk, journalist Gail Reed spotlights a Cuban medical school that trains doctors from low-income countries -- if they pledge to serve the communities who need them most.
Published 2 October 2014 by Russia Today
"I think we are going to have to smash [Cuban President Fidel] Castro," Kissinger told President Gerald Ford at a February 25, 1976 meeting. "We probably can't do it before the [1976 presidential] elections."
"I agree," the president responded.
The exchange was the first in a series of meetings over the Cuban intervention in Angola, which led to the secretary of state laying out various contingency plans on how the US could “clobber” its southern neighbor.
“I think sooner or later we have [to] crack the Cubans... even the Iranians are worried about the Cubans getting into the Middle East countries. I think we have to humiliate them,” Kissinger told Ford in a meeting on March 15, 1976. “But I think we might have to demand they get out of Africa.”
At a meeting of national security officials nine days later, Kissinger told Gen. George Brown, a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff: "If we decide to use military power it must succeed. There should be no halfway measures.”
Published on 27/09/14 by Prensa Latina
An international workshop on the development of renewable energy sources, mainly gasification of forest biomass, will be held on Oct. 6-8, said organizers.
It is the most important project implemented by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (Unido) in Cuba, ongoing in the special municipality of Isle of Youth, explained in a press conference Maria Tomas, commercial specialist of energy, research, development and services.
Jorge Luis Isaac, a specialist of public service firm Union Electrica de Cuba, said that the project includes the use of wind energy and the technology of gasification of forest biomass in the Isle of Youth, considered for its size as a very climate change-related vulnerable site with difficulties for energy supply.
This technique means the conversion of forest industry wastes into fuel gas through a thermochemical process to generate electricity or heat for the industry. At least 1.5 kg of biomass is needed to produce 1 kilowatt.
The project was signed in 2005 and went through several phases up to now, including the training or staff, the creation of firms to promote renewable energy sources and the transfer of technologies for the design, production and operation of forest biomass gasifiers.
To introduce this technology in Cuba, Unido donated a forest biomass gasification plant, located in Cocordilo town, in the Isle of Youth, to supply energy to a community of 80 houses and 230 inhabitants from waste generated by cleaning the forest.
The project, worth some 5.3 million USD, is supported by the Global Environment Fund under the United Nations Environment Program to implement actions to mitigate the effects of climate change and develop renewable energy sources.
Published on 27 September 2014 by TeleSUR English
Cuba pledged 300 more doctors and nurses to battle the Ebola epidemic in West Africa on Friday. With a staff of over 460 Ebola specialists, Cuba will by far have the largest foreign medical team combating the disease in West Africa.
The new batch of Ebola specialists are undergoing intensive training, said head of the Cuban medical relief agency, Regla Angulo. They will be sent to Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia.
Cuba, which has about 50,000 health workers stationed across the world, received accolades from the UN and the World Health Organization (WHO) for its effort against Ebola, last week, when it already had the largest foreign medical team fighting the killer virus in West Africa, consisting of 62 doctors and 103 nurses.
Published on 29 September 2014 by TeleSUR English opinion
Despite centuries of intervention and political repression, the Haitian people continue to forge a revolutionary path. We are a people of resistance Slavery, occupation, nothing has broken us. We have slipped through every trap. We are a people of resistance
Rezistans, by Annette Auguste (So Anne), a Haitian folksinger, Lavalas activist and former political prisoner (2004-2006).
The Lavalas movement is the living legacy of the Haitian Revolution. And, its organizers are the descendants of leaders such as Jean Jacques Dessalines, Tousaint Louverture and thousands of other historically anonymous maroons who fought for freedom. "We are never afraid, we continue to fight. The most important thing is to share our message," explains a Haitian journalist in Port-au-Prince.
Thousands of international non governmental organizations built on so called good intentions have invaded Haiti since the 2010 earthquake. Many Haitian organizers consider NGOs "our worst enemies," as they absorb funds and distract from grassroots efforts.
NGOs occupy Haiti's political landscape and eclipse the past and present history of popular movement led initiatives to provide education, housing, medical care as well as encourage spaces for youth and women's empowerment.
The Haitian people denounce the daily devastation of their country at the hands of Michel Martelly's government, the United Nations and an overwhelmingly absent international community. In the wake of all this, the Haitian people continue to build alternatives under politically repressive conditions. In honor of the 256th anniversary of Dessalines' birth, here lies some of the voices and visions from the grassroots and a popular account of Haitian history.
"We have been fighting for 208 years, we are the first free black nation"
In August 1791, the Haitian Revolution began after a series of anti-colonial rebellions by Africans determined to achieve liberation. The uprising in the name of a free Ayiti, an indigenous and African term meaning 'home or mother of the earth' in Taino-Arwak as well as 'sacred earth or homeland' in Fon, instilled fear into France and other colonial empires at the time.
Countless freedom fighters sacrificed their lives in the effort to declare Haitian independence. The final battle at Vertieres in today's Cap Haitien led to the definitive declaration of Haiti as the first Black republic of the western hemisphere on January 1, 1804.
As such, the Haitian people were punished and shunned out internationally by global powers and states in the region. Today, Haiti still suffers the consequences of being a Black nation that defied empire. Dessalines became the first emperor of Haiti in 1804 and was assassinated October 17, 1806, representing Haiti's first coup d'état.
An Era of Achievements and Assaults, Lavalas from 1991-2004
Jean Bertrand Aristide's rise to power in 1991 on the shoulders of the Haitian people represented Haiti's revival as a revolutionary nation. During Aristide’s grassroots led government, the people organized the most progressive policies in the island nation’s history. Before the revolutionary and left practices of governments like Hugo Chavez’s Venezuela and Evo Morales’ Bolivia, Haiti forged the path toward more recent decades of change following Cuba’s revolution in 1959. Aristide, who the people refer to as ‘Titid’, won the presidential elections with 67 percent in 1990 and 92 percent in 1999.
Lavalas’ achievements during Aristide’s unfinished two terms span wide. Haiti built more schools from 1994-2000 than between 1804-1994, created a women’s ministry, recognized Haitian creole and vodun (a religion based out of African Yoruba and Bantu belief systems) as the national language and religion respectively, doubled the minimum wage as well as disbanded the Haitian military responsible for countless atrocities under the Duvalier dictatorship.
However, following the 1991 coup in particular, thousands of Lavalas militants were arrested, tortured and murdered. Thousands fled as the coup government and the Tonton Macoute death squad persecuted community leaders across the country. More than 5,000 people were killed in the aftermath of the coup against Aristide from 1991-1994.
Subsequently, the United States arranged for the installation of United Nations troops in 1994 to take over foreign occupation in the country following the coup. In addition, after Aristide refused to privatize state owned enterprises upon his return to Haiti, the Clinton administration withheld its aid package. These trends in militarization and targeted economic sanctions continue to materialize, disfranchising the Haitian people.
Several years later, in 2000, after Lavalas swept the parliamentary elections, the United States and a variety of European aid and loans were cut off. However, the Haitian government and people continued to build together, with limited economic resources, inspired by strong popular will. In response, Aristide initiated a campaign to collect the elite class’ unpaid taxes in order to fund social services and projects.
During his second term, Aristide guaranteed a number of constitutional rights and formally established how elections should be carried out in the country. Other constitutional guarantees include state ownership of Haitian resources and the redistribution of land among Haitians.
These guarantees threaten exploitative ventures by transnational mining and oil companies interested in gold, petroleum and uranium among other minerals.
Aristide’s popular government addressed the two century decay of Haiti's infrastructure by investing in social services. He welcomed Cuban doctors and established an exchange program for Haitian medical students. In 2002, Aristide's administration renovated the School of Midwifery and rebuilt 40 health clinics, hospitals and dispensaries.
Aristide also provided the country’s first public school transportation program and implemented universal education and literacy campaigns. Education continues to be at the forefront of Aristide and Lavalas' efforts.
On the 200th anniversary of Haitian independence in 2004, Aristide demanded reparations from France in the amount of $US21.7 billion dollars; the equivalent of what Haiti had to pay over 100 years in 90 million francs for their independence. Aristide's demand jolted the United States, Canada and France. And, along with international accompaniment from the United Nations, they halted such progressive advances by militarily disposing Aristide and unconstitutionally exiling him from the country in 2004.
Haitians Demand Overdue Justice
In the last year, the Haitian people have taken to the streets following a devastating earthquake and the installation of a politically corrupt and repressive government. The Haitian people have called for the resignation of Michel Martelly and Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe, the removal of all UN troops and have demanded their national sovereignty.
The Haitian people have denounced the blue helmets for committing rape, torture, murder and fostering the cholera epidemic over their two decade long occupation. Inconsistent with Latin American efforts of regional integration, Brazil has led the UN occupation since 1994 and other Latin American nations such as Bolivia, Ecuador and Uruguay continue to participate in the recolonization of Haiti.
Currently, Haitian police are training in South America with Ecuadorean military. And although Uruguayan President Jose 'Pepe' Mujica has promised to withdraw Uruguay's troops by the end of this calendar year, meanwhile the Legislative Assembly of Bolivia unanimously approved to dispatch more military troops to Haiti this year.
Despite their overwhelming presence, one Haitian woman remarks, "The UN troops are like dust, we will blow them away."
While efforts at the hands of global powers such as France, United States and Canada continue to paint Haiti as a country in need of charity and unable to rebuild their own nation, Haitian people know otherwise. "They say we are a tiny country to keep us down, but they know we are not," explains one Haitian organizer of a woman’s rights organization.
Organizations such as the Aristide Foundation for Democracy, recuperated after the UN illegally occupied the school and used it as a base of operations, sheds light on a piece of Haiti's grassroots approaches. Haitians hold weekly assemblies, debates on democracy and provide basic services for their communities. Haitian organizers run mobile schools, clinics and carry out projects with peasant farmers and strengthen women's economic opportunities through micro-credit programs.
In Haiti, Lavalas the political party serves as the country's finger and not the guiding hand, explains one Haitian politician and long-time organizer. So, as global powers continue to attack former President Aristide and exclude Lavalas' political participation, the Haitian people lend their struggles to Latin America and the Caribbean's growing movement toward self-determination.
Cuba is currently building in the Argentinean city of Cordoba an eye-treatment hospital to train young doctors as part of a cooperation project with the A Better World is Possible Foundation.
The hospital will be named after Cuban-Argentinean guerrilla fighter Doctor Ernesto Guevara, Telesur TV reported.
Foundation president Claudia Camba, who is responsible for the Cuban medical missions in Argentina, called for donations and efforts to contribute to the bilateral project.
Some 48 thousand Argentineans have recovered their sight since 2005, when the free eye-surgery program known as Operation Miracle began to be implemented in the South American nation.
During the first years that a Cuban medical mission worked in Argentina, the patients would travel to Cuba for eye surgery, later they travel to Bolivia, but since 2009 they have been assisted in a small health center in the city of Cordoba, which has administered about 4,800 surgeries, particularly on cataracts.
Cuba-Argentina collaboration in the education field has benefitted over 26 500 citizens who learned how to read and write with the implementation since 2003 in that country of the Yes, I Can Cuban literacy methodology
Published on 18 September 2014 by www.cadenagramonte.cu
The executive director of the UN Environment Program, Ibrahim Thiaw, described as impressing the Cuban sustainable development and disaster mitigation plans.
In statements to Granma newspaper, Thiaw said that it would be of great interest for the rest of the world to learn about the Cuban experience in disaster mitigation actions. The UN official said that his agency is willing to contribute in order to spread the Cuban experience.
The UN expert visited Cuba this week to take a first-hand look at Cuban environmental efforts and consider future cooperation with Cuban authorities, bearing in mind the significance of the island in the Caribbean area.
“Unfortunately, this is a country that undergoes the effects of natural phenomena, but the system set up here from the local to the national level is really impressing,” said the UN official.
As to sustainable development efforts Thiaw referred to what he called concrete examples about sustainable food production and consumption, and that they have met local farmers who have developed chemical-free crops. The UN official also visited a biosphere reserve in which they praised the results of environmental preservation efforts over the past 40 years.
The interview was conducted by Granma journalist Dalia González Delgado. The Militant has translated it into English and provided footnotes on facts many readers in the U.S. and elsewhere may not be familiar with.
Born in 1938, Sánchez-Parodi was active in the urban underground during the revolutionary struggle. In 1957 he and others were arrested at a residence in Havana where they had planned to meet with Faustino Pérez, head of the July 26 Revolutionary Movement in the capital. They escaped from prison a few weeks later.
Since the revolution’s triumph in January 1959, Sánchez-Parodi has shouldered leadership responsibilities in the Communist Party of Cuba, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of the Interior before taking diplomatic assignments in the United States. He is currently an aide to Ramiro Valdés, vice president of the Council of State and Council of Ministers, as well as a writer and journalist.
BY DALIA GONZÁLEZ DELGADO
Although he is reluctant to talk about himself, he has been a participant in historic events. Author of the book Cuba-USA: Diez tiempos de una relación [Cuba-USA: Ten Moments in a Relationship],1 he has studied the relations between the two countries not only from theoretical work but from real-life experience.