Cuba will expand public internet services during June in some 118 cyber centers operating throughout the country, according to a resolution issued by the island’s Communications Ministry.
The Internet services will be offered in all commercial offices of the Cuban Telecommunications Company ETECSA, which count on Internet rooms. With this aim a total of 118 facilities were set up on the island, particularly in main cities, while other similar facilities will progressively be opened.
First published 8 May 2013 by Jorge Martin
See www.marxist.com for video
You couldn’t have made it up. A family of Cuban “dissidents” brought to Spain by the Spanish government over two years ago found themselves evicted from their home in Alicante by the police because they couldn’t afford to pay the rent. Now they say they want to go back to Cuba!
Gilberto Martínez, 50, and his family, arrived in Spain in 2011, as part of a group of a few hundred Cuban “dissidents” in an agreement between the Spanish Socialist Party government, the Cuban government and the Catholic Church. As part of the deal these so-called political exiles were entitled to receive benefits and financial help and they were also given accommodation.
Ironically, with the arrival of the right-wing Popular Party government in November 2011, some of the benefits they were receiving were abolished as part of the austerity cuts. Now, these opponents of the Cuban revolution found themselves in the middle of an acute capitalist crisis in which millions of workers have lost their jobs and as a consequence hundreds of thousands of families have been evicted from their homes.
In July last year they stopped paying their rent of 400 euro a month and then from September they could no longer afford to pay for electricity or water. After the end of the special government subsidies, the exiles had had to rely on charity aid from the Red Cross and Caritas, but even that had dried up.
On May 7, the police arrived at their flat with the intention of enforcing an eviction order for non-payment of rent. Evictions and repossessions of homes have reached epidemic proportions in Spain as a result of the capitalist crisis. In dozens of cities and towns across the country people have organised anti-eviction campaigns (Plataformas de Afectados por las Hipotecas, StopDesahucios) and are using all means at their disposal to highlight the issue and resist evictions and repossessions.
A group of 80 activists had gathered outside the flat to try to prevent the Cuban family from being thrown out. There have been many small victories of the anti-evictions movement. This was not to be one of them, however. Two people were arrested, four were injured and a family of five found themselves out on the streets without a roof over their heads. This was the balance-sheet of a day in the life of capitalist democracy enforced by the armed bodies of men in defence of private property. Ah, but the democratic right of the owner of the flat to make a profit on it was dutifully protected.
Celebrating 60 years since Fidel, Raul and the revolutionary rebels attacked the Moncada Barracks, sparking the Cuban Revolution.
Saturday 20 July 2013, 1-5pm
54 Grafton Way
London, W1T 5DL
Tube: Warren St
With Cuban music, salsa classes, Cuban art & photo exhibition, snacks, drinks, raffle, kids’ games, face painting, live music & more...
• Omar Puente - Cuban violinist: www.omarpuente.com
• Al MacSween (pianist): www.almacsween.com
• Alejandro Gortazar - Cuban photographer: www.13thegallery.com
• Sarahy Martinez (painter): cubanos.org.uk/cubanos-en-uk
• Awate: awatewillmakeyourlifebetter.com/
• Duo Betty Rhaza and Fernando Vergara
- Free entry & free mojitos for the first 40 people to arrive.
Organised by Rock around the Blockade and supported by: the Cuban Embassy, Cubartista, Cubanos en UK & 13 The Gallery.
Facebook : Celebrating 60 years since the attack on Moncada Barracks
60 Aniversario del asalto a los cuarteles Cuartel Moncada y Carlos Manuel de Céspedes.
Celebración del aniversario 60 del asalto a los cuarteles Moncada y Carlos Manuel de Céspedes, realizado por Fidel, Raúl y otros jóvenes revolucionarios.
Sábado 20 de julio 2013, 1-5pm
54 Grafton Way
London, W1T 5DL
Estación: Warren St
Música cubana, clases de salsa, bufé, bebidas, exhibición de arte y fotografía, rifas, juegos para niños, pinta caritas, música en vivo y mucho más ...
• Omar Puente (Violinista): www.omarpuente.com
• Al MacSween (Pianista): www.almacsween.com
• DJ cubano Armando Lao Álvarez
• Alejandro Gortazar ( Fotógrafo cubano): www.13thegallery.com
• Sarahy Martinez (Pintora): cubanos.org.uk/cubanos-en-uk
• Awate: awatewillmakeyourlifebetter.com/
• Betty Rhaza (Cantante)
• John Cuevas (Trovador Sudamericano)
• Jose Alejandro (Cantante)
- Entrada gratis y mojitos gratis para las primera 40 personas en llegar.
Organizado por Rock around the Blockade y con apoyo de: la Embajada de Cuba, Cubartista y Cubanos en UK y 13 The Gallery.
Para más información escribir a:
Facebook : Celebrating 60 years since the attack on Moncada Barracks
3 May 2013 www.freethefive.org
In a huge development in the case of the Cuban Five, the court has finally granted a motion, first made last June, to allow René González to serve the remaining portion of his three-year parole in Cuba, after which he will of course be able to remain in Cuba, outside the jurisdiction of the court. Until this time, the court has required him to spend that parole at an undisclosed location in Florida, requiring him to remain in virtual seclusion because of the danger to his life from the very terrorists whose plots he and the other members of the Five came to the U.S. to expose.
René has been in Cuba for two weeks to attend a memorial service for his father Cándido, who died recently.
Phil Horowitz, Rene's attorney, said: "Rene and I are happy that he will be able to be permanently reunited with his family. Rene's exemplary conduct shows that these are not individuals that the government has made them out to be. We are just so happy and will take all the steps pursuant to the court order."
The 7-page court order by Judge Joan Lenard (click to download), describes the requirements for his right to remain in Cuba. The principal requirement is that he renounce his citizenship, which he willingly offered to do previously (René held dual U.S.-Cuban citizenship). To renounce a U.S. citizenship, it must be done outside of the United States, as per U.S. federal code, Section 1481 a(5).
We are extremely happy for René, who has, along with his Cuban Five brothers, been unduly punished for being a proud defender of his people, his homeland and the Cuban Revolution.
This development must give all the Cuban Five supporters great inspiration to continue the fight so that Gerardo, Ramón, Antonio and Fernando can return home immediately
Statement by H.E. Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cuba, during the presentation of the National Report to the Universal Periodic Review performed by the Human Rights Council. Geneva, May 1st, 2013
Cuba is honored to present its second National Report to the Universal Periodic Review Mechanism (UPR) performed by the Human Rights Council. It does so feeling proud of its humane work and its performance to ensure the enjoyment of all human rights by all its citizens.
The economic, political and media blockade imposed by the United States which Cuba has resisted undefeated for more than fifty years, is a mass, flagrant and systematic violation of human rights which causes damages, scarcities and hardships, but has not managed to hinder the provision of equal opportunities, the equitable distribution of wealth or the realization of social justice.
The relentless attempts by the United States to impose a “change of regime” on the Cuban people is a serious violation of its right to self-determination, which has failed to prevent the active, democratic and direct participation of its citizens in the construction of its constitutional order, the decisions adopted by its government or the election of its authorities.
Appearing before this Council is a country without persons who are helpless or deprived from their dignity; where there are no children lacking quality education; where there are no ill persons lacking a dedicated medical assistance or senior citizens devoid of social protection. Ours is a nation where there are no workers, peasants, intellectuals or students whose rights are not protected by law; a place where public safety is guaranteed; where there is no organized crime or drugs. Appearing before this Council is a united people, with a profound social cohesion; a State where there has not been a single extrajudicial execution; where there are no tortured or disappeared persons; where there are no kidnaps or secret prisons.
This exercise is being held on the International Workers’ Day, which is being joyfully celebrated in Cuba by millions of compatriots and hundreds of friends from all over the world in all streets and squares. They do so as free men and women, in the defense of the rights they have achieved. They are not masses of people who are rightfully outraged, or workers who have lost their jobs, or students besieged by high costs or debts, or immigrants persecuted for reasons of selfishness, racism or xenophobia. May our solidarity go to all those who are struggling, anywhere in this planet, for human rights for all, for peace and development, for the survival of the human species, which is being threatened by colossal arsenals and climate change.
Cuba has become a world-class medical powerhouse with very limited resources, while “the US squanders perhaps 10 to 20 times what is needed for a good, affordable medical system.” As a result, the Cuban infant mortality rate is “below that of the US and less than half that of US Blacks,” and Americans can hardly claim to have a health care system.
by Don Fitz www.realcuba.wordpress.com
“Cuban-trained doctors know their patients by knowing their patients’communities.”
Furious though it may be, the current debate over health care in the US is largely irrelevant to charting a path for poor countries of Africa, Latin America, Asia and the Pacific Islands. That is because the US squanders perhaps 10 to 20 times what is needed for a good, affordable medical system. The waste is far more than 30% overhead by private insurance companies. It includes an enormous amount of over-treatment, making the poor sicker by refusing them treatment, creation of illnesses, exposure to contagion through over-hospitalization, and disease-focused instead of prevention-focused research.
Poor countries simply cannot afford such a health system. Well over 100 countries are looking to the example of Cuba, which has the same 78-year life expectancy of the US while spending 4% per person annually of what the US does.
We wake up in the morning and the media tells us about the world. Among the deluge of headlines in recent days one figure stands out which defies simple mathematical analysis: 48.86% of deputies to the Cuban National Assembly are women. This is an event which cannot be overlooked by the National Secretariat of the Federation of Cuban Women (FMC) and one we wish to share with our people.
The 299 recently elected deputies did not reach their seats as the result of a quota policy, a strategy utilized in various countries of the world to promote gender equality. They are in the Assembly on the basis of their own merit and popular recognition of that merit. They are a reflection of the development achieved in all spheres of the country’s economic, political and social life set in motion by the Revolution within the Revolution, or the process for equality of rights, possibilities and opportunities between women and men.
An analysis of the 2012 World Map of Women in Politics allows us to appreciate the relevance of this fact beyond our borders: the average of women parliamentarians at the global level is below 20%. Thus, the 48.86% places us as one of the countries of the world with the highest female representation in Parliament.
Nicolas Maduro, candidate of the Bolivarian Revolution, has won the 14 April snap presidential election with 50.66 percent of the vote against 49.07 percent for his neoliberal challenger Henrique Capriles Radonski. With the turn out at nearly 79 percent of the electorate, the results were announced with 99.12 percent of the votes totalled and were considered an irreversible trend.
Carrying out the premeditated plan exposed by the Bolivarian government, Capriles and the opposition have refused to recognise the result declaring to Nicolas Maduro, ‘The one who has been defeated is you and everything you represent’. The national electoral body, the CNE, will now conduct a citizens’ audit of 100 percent of the ballot boxes, with the backing of both candidates. Maduro stated: ‘Let’s do it! No problem. Perhaps they will find that my victory will be larger’.
'Arnold August’s 'Cuba and Its Neighbours: Democracy in Motio'n is an exceptional work that will succeed in the objective of educating its audience. It will assist toward broadening the outlook of all those who read it.
The chapter on democracy in the United States is among the best critical analyses I have read of the American nation’s formation, ideology and political system. The documents linked to the book in the website www.democracyintheus.com have struck me as being very interesting and educational. The commentaries are brief but they go to the very essence of each of the themes, clarifying the reasons for which the political elite in this country operate the way that they do. Everything related to the Puritans and their thought, as well as other idiosyncrasies of the ideology that gave birth to the genesis of this nation, is of great interest, seeing that throughout history they are reflected in domestic and international policy.
Oakland, CA April 8th(IC)
Yesterday another incident of injustice against one of the Cuban 5 took place at the Victorville Penitentiary in the high Mojave desert of California.
In a planned visit well known actor and social activist Danny Glover was prohibited from visiting Gerardo Hernandez. Glover, who has visited Gerardo on 9 different occasions since 2010, was told that he would not be admitted because they did not know he was coming. This is an arbitrary decision; any person who is on a prisoner's list has a right to visitation. Glover had flown yesterday morning from Northern California and then rented a car to reach the remote location of the prison 10 miles outside of Victorville only to have to turn around and go back without having seeing his friend. Undaunted Danny Glover has made it clear that he will return to Victorville soon.
Published in Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! April/May 2013
International prize-winning Cuban opposition ‘blogger’, Yoani Sanchez, is touring 12 countries over three continents in 80 days. She plays the lead in a grotesque circus performance which sees a handful of counter-revolutionaries jet-set to high-profile platforms, mainly in the US and Europe, to call for ‘regime change’ in Cuba. Others include Berta Soler, from the Ladies in White, and fellow ‘blogger’ Eliecer Avila. This follows the relaxation of Cuban migration legislation earlier this year (see FRFI 230). The tours are exposing the hypocrisy of these so-called champions of human rights and their links to imperialist interests. Helen Yaffe reports.*
Sanchez’s blogging activity was evidently conceived as part of a renewed strategy by US imperialism and its allies to generate a viable opposition in Cuba. The socialist Revolution had survived the economic crisis of the Special Period and was forging new anti-imperialist alliances in Latin America. The existing opposition in Cuba had no relevance to ordinary Cubans. In March 2013, 75 so-called ‘dissidents’ had been arrested and were subsequently tried and imprisoned for breaking Cuban laws and assisting the US programme of ‘regime change’. Sanchez spearheaded the formation of a new group of mercenaries to be seen as politically less crude, technologically more modern and financially less overtly linked to US imperialism.
25.03.13 Ewan Robertson Venezuelanalysis.com
Uruguay has requested to join the regional SUCRE currency, a move that will bring it into greater cooperation with the leftist ALBA alliance of Latin American nations.
The SUCRE is the regional currency used by the Bolivarian Alliance of the Peoples of Our America (ALBA) to allow for international transactions between member states without having to use the US dollar.
In effect since 2010, transactions in the virtual currency are conducted between central banks, while exporters are paid and importers charged in local currency. The system is used by Bolivia, Cuba, Ecuador, Nicaragua and Venezuela.
'Dear loved ones of Comandante Chávez:
The anticipated fear of losing this great Bolivarian has not tempered the grief we feel at his loss. We always carried the hope that with his indomitable spirit he would return to us to say firmly “for now”, and then, rising above the wounds of his body, the soldier would become whole in order to continue guiding an entire continent toward the just future that so many times has been taken away from us.
It hasn’t been possible. It would seem that the price of being so Bolivarian is that of being extinguished, not unlike the Liberator, or like the volcano that erupts with full force only to suddenly fall silent. But the mountain remains, that material which was once burning lava, and after the flames are quieted becomes a guiding light pointing out unequivocally towards that horizon we’ll reach one day, only to humble ourselves at its feet in perpetual homage, our chains broken and Jose Marti’s handful of free nations as our offering.
‘Hay hombres que luchan un día y son buenos, otros luchan un año y son mejores, hay quienes luchan muchos años y son muy buenos, pero están los que luchan toda la vida, y esos son los imprescindibles’
'There are men who struggle for a day and they are good. There are men who struggle for a year and they are better.There are men who struggle many years, and they are better still. But there are those who struggle all their lives: These are the indispensable ones.'
Rock Around The Blockade, which campaigns in solidarity with socialist Cuba and revolutionary Latin America, sends condolences to the people and government of Venezuela, and to the friends and comrades of Commandante Chavez. This death is a loss for the international anti-imperialist movement and for those who struggle for economic, social, political, cultural and environmental justice.
28 July 1954-5 March 2013
The death of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez from complications following surgery for cancer, is a huge loss to the revolutionary movement worldwide, and the Revolutionary Communist group joins with the people of Venezuela in mourning the loss of a great socialist leader.
Hugo Chavez was first elected to power in 1998, following a military coup in 1992; elected again in 2000 under the new, progressive constitution of the Bolivarian Revolution. In 2002 a US-backed coup against him was defeated as working class Venezuelans poured out of the barrios in their hundreds of thousands to defend their president. He was re-elected as president with sweeping majorities in 2006 and again in 2013.
Hugo Chavez was a political giant, under whose leadership of the Bolivarian Revolution and vision of ‘socialism for the 21st century’ the lives of ordinary working class Venezuelans were transformed. In the last ten years, Venezuela has achieved the lowest levels of inequality in the region (excluding Cuba); it has wiped out illiteracy, brought infant mortality down from 25 per 1,000 to 13 per 1,000 live births, slashed levels of extreme poverty, provided free health care and education for all, built hundreds of thousands of units of social housing and ensured that – unlike in Britain – no child goes to school hungry in the morning. Chavez built anti-imperialist alliances, first with Cuba and then, through ALBA and other trade and cooperation treaties, more widely across Latin America and the Caribbean, to challenge the hegemony of the United States and begin to create a new anti-imperialist bloc on the world stage. On the international stage, he challenged the hypocrisy and brutality of a world dominated by the interests of imperialism.
Inevitably, he has attracted the unswerving hatred of Venezuela’s middle classes and their backers in the US and Europe; the vitriol of the international bourgeois press has been relentless. The vultures of reaction have been circling ever since the seriousness of President Chavez’s condition was made public, with counter-revolutionary forces attempting to foment the destabilisation of the Bolivarian Revolution. They perpetrate the big lie - that without Hugo Chavez there can be no Bolivarian Revolution – that it lives or dies with him. Nothing could be further from the truth. Despite the mass popular support, admiration and indeed love Chavez enjoyed as the living embodiment of the aspirations of the Venezuelan people, the Bolivarian Revolution has never been about just one man. It is a revolution being built from below, by the conscious organisation of the Venezuelan working class to transform society from one of neoliberal exploitation, hunger, sickness and poverty for the majority, to one moving towards collective, socialist organisation and production.
The Venezuelan people will not allow these vital gains to be lost. The tremendous popularity of the governing PSUV was demonstrated again in December’s regional elections, where the party won 20 out of 23 states. Under the stewardship of vice-president Nicolas Maduro and National Assembly leader Diosdado Cabello, Bolivarian revolutionaries in their own right, the Venezuelan government has begun to implement the Programa Patria manifesto on which Chavez was elected, ‘developing socialism beyond the point of no return’. The battle lines are drawn as the Venezuelan people prepare to fight tooth and nail to defend and develop that revolutionary process. We stand with all those defending the Bolivarian Revolution, mourn with them the loss of a great socialist and revolutionary, and defend the continuing struggle for socialism.
On 17 February, the Ecuadorian people overwhelmingly re-elected Rafael Correa as their president. Correa’s governing PAIS alliance took some 70% the 137 seats in the National Assembly, including six for overseas workers and three of the country’s five Andean Parliament seats Correa received 51.17% of the total vote for president, 6% more than in 2009. It was more than twice that of the runner-up, banker Guillermo Lasso (23.3%), a neo-liberal figure deeply involved in the chaos and corruption of previous governments.
It is important to understand that Correa heads an alliance that took 52.24% of the votes for the National Assembly seats (with 98% returns counted). This makes his decisions more closely tied to social movements themselves than would be the case if he were heading a traditional political party. Since first taking office in early 2007, he has directed an energetic and radical reform process. He led the rewriting of the constitution and replaced the old corrupt Congress through a Constitutional Assembly. 64% of the voters endorsed the 2008 constitution. This created new rights for women, and indigenous and disabled people. The law now requires women to account for 50% of the party lists in national legislative elections. Subsequently, women took 40 of 124 National Assembly seats in the 2009 elections (32%). Correa’s political project is the ‘Citizens Revolution’ with five axes that are: Political revolution, Economic Revolution, Ethical Revolution, Social, and finally the Sovereignty Revolution and Latin American Integration. With these postulates PAIS seeks to direct Ecuador towards 21st century socialism.
Documents posted on the US National Security Archive website on 18 January 2013 reveal that the government has ‘between five to seven different transition plans’ for Cuba, and that USAID-funded ‘democracy’ programmes designed to promote regime change are ‘an operational activity’ requiring ‘continuous discretion’. The documents were filed in a US court in response to a $60 million lawsuit filed by the family of Alan Gross, a US citizen serving a 15-year prison sentence in Cuba for ‘subversion against the state and the revolution’, against his employer Development Alternatives Inc (DAI).
Enrique Oltuski made an indelible contribution to the revolutionary struggle in 1950s Cuba, to the process of socialist transition and as member of government until his death, aged 83, on 16 December 2012. Oltuski led the urban wing of the Movement of the 26th July (M26J) in central Cuba in the final year before the Revolution toppled the Batista dictatorship in January 1959. The English publication of his memoirs, Vida Clandestina, was politically important in undermining the lie that Cuba’s urban population was not active in the revolutionary struggle.
Born in Cuba in 1930 to a family of Polish Jewish immigrants, his family lived in Santa Clara in central Cuba, where his parents’ business prospered. Oltuski wanted for nothing, bothered only by the grinding daily poverty around him: ‘I saw barefoot children my own age begging, elderly people dressed in rags. At night women with children in their arms slept in the doorways of public buildings and in parks…we concluded that this had to be changed.’*