Published 11 September by Prensa Latina
(Editors note - Cuba's commitment been reported in mainstream media, including even Forbes Magazine)
Given the history of Cuban international collaboration, particularly in the health field, we have been asked to join the group of countries that will give initial response to an urgent call against Ebola in Africa, said Cuban Health Minister Roberto Morales after a meeting in Geneva with World Health Organization director general Margaret Chan.
Minister Morales visited Geneva in response to a call by the World Health Organization and the United Nations to fight Ebola, according to PL news agency.
At present, Cuban health workers, including over 2 500 doctors, are offering their services in 32 African countries, said Morales and added that Ebola must be fought in a comprehensive manner, under the coordination of the World Health Organization, to achieve a significant impact on the affected regions.
The 2014 Ebola epidemic is the worst ever in the world so far with nearly 4 thousand cases and over 2 thousand deaths.
During a working session, Margaret Chan expressed the need to learn from the Cuban experience in the treatment of emergency cases and thanked President Raul Castro because Cuba has been the first country to respond to the UN and the WHO call to fight Ebola in Western Africa
On 27th August Rene Gonzalez was again denied a visa to visit the UK. This decision was taken despite the fact that 29 MPs had invited him to speak at a meeting at the Houses of parliament on September 10th. On 5 September, he suffered a further miscarriage of justice when the British courts failed to overturn the decision.
The Cuba Solidarity Campaign has launched a letter writing campaign which you can join here
Olga Salanueva, wife of released Miami Five prisoner René González, will speak at emergency meetings on 8-10 September to protest at the British government’s denial of an entry visa for her husband.
René, the first of the Miami Five to be released, was due to speak at meetings in Liverpool and London to mark the 16th anniversary of their arrests. Despite an invitation from 29 British MPs to address a meeting in parliament and by the TUC to address their Congress in Liverpool, the British government has refused three legal appeals to overturn their decision to deny him entry to the country.
Rene is currently in the middle of visits to Portugal and France, both countries having granted him a visa without issue.
Emergency meetings with Olga Salanueva
Published on 1 September 2014 by Workers World
“The banks are a tool of Wall Street rule!” Is this political accusation just an abstract, educational slogan?
Not in the case of Cuba. On July 3, The Irish Independent reported that international transactions to or from Cuba would no longer be processed by the Bank of Ireland. The announcement coincides with the largest bank in France — BNP Paribas SA — agreeing to pay a negotiated settlement nearing $9 billion for violating international sanctions unilaterally imposed by the United States on third countries, including handling $1.75 billion for Cuba. (bloomberg.com, July 9)
But even according to the governor of the Bank of France, BNP Paribas “had broken no European or French rules.” (Financial Times, June 2 )
Neither did the Bank of Ireland. So what is the problem? The “Single European Payment Area” is a financial system to facilitate and standardize the electronic flow of capital across European borders to be fully in place by Aug. 1. But SEPA is not isolated from the global flow of money.
The Bank of Ireland claims it depends on an overseas bank to process transactions under the SEPA umbrella. On Aug. 25, the Irish Times quoted a bank spokesperson’s explanation, “‘As it happens, [the bank which processes] all Sepa transactions is a leading U.S. bank who must comply with its own regulatory requirements and obligations and to avoid a possible exposure to regulatory sanctions and penalties.’ Because of this the Irish bank says it is ‘not in a position to process such transactions’” to Cuba. In other words, it faces the specter of a BNP Paribas type fine.
Since 1992, the United Nations General Assembly has annually and overwhelmingly passed resolutions condemning the U.S. blockade of Cuba. All European Union representatives and Ireland supported these resolutions.
Simon McGuinness, the national coordinator of Cuba Support Group Ireland, said, “On the one hand we have the EU voting as a single bloc against the blockade and on the other they introduced financial regulations which facilitate it.” (irishtimes.com, Aug. 25)
The globalization of U.S. imperialism’s financial network relies increasingly on technology for the split-second transfer of capital to every corner of the earth. It is a shadowy weapon against sovereignty and independent development for formerly colonized areas in Africa, Asia and Latin America. The Bank of Ireland’s decision to eliminate transfers to and from Cuba is an example of how unelected proponents of imperialism in the corporate and financial boardrooms shape financial regulations to enforce their political goals — while giving the illusion of objectivity.
"The countries of ALBA (Bolivarian Alliance of the People of Our Americas, integrated by Venezuela, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Cuba, Bolivia, and various Caribbean nations) express their solidarity with the African descent communities of the United States," the statement added.
Published on 28 July by www.revolutionarycommunist.org
At the 6th BRICS summit held on 15-16 July 2014 in Fortaleza, Brazil, the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) announced the creation of a New Development Bank and multilateral reserve fund. This is a direct alternative to the dominance of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank and represents a significant challenge to the US and EU. The new bank gives countries like Cuba, Venezuela, Ecuador and Bolivia, which are explicitly building and working towards socialism, access to trade, credit and investment without having to accept the dictates of US and EU imperialism.
The BRICS countries represent one fifth of the world economy, almost 50% of world GDP growth in the last 10 years, and 40% of the world's population. With the New Development Bank they are claiming an international role which reflects this. The bank is due to begin lending in 2016 and within five years will hold US $100bn of pooled capital (reported World Bank capital was $223bn in June 2013). This will be underscored by $41bn from China, $18bn from Brazil, India and Russia and $5 bn from South Africa. The reserve fund is aimed to support its members against economic crisis and global financial crises, a welcome alternative to the debt-ridden structural adjustment programmes of the IMF. Whilst the main stakeholders will remain BRICS countries, other nations will also be invited to become members of the bank.
As the Cuban government said, 'Israel uses its military and technological superiority to implement a policy of collective punishment with a disproportionate use of force that causes loss of innocent civilian lives and massive property damage'.
We condemn the imperialist support for Israel, in particular in Britain where the ConDem coalition government continues to arm Israel and the British Labour Party in opposition pledges its support for Israel.
We stand with the Palestinian people and reiterate the words of Fidel Castro who expressed his 'solidarity with the heroic people who defend the last sliver remaining of what was their homeland for thousands of years'. We give our unconditional support to all resistance in Palestine
Resistance is justified when Palestine is occupied!
We take up the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine's call for urgent international solidarity.
Join us on the streets for political activity as part of the Boycott Divestment and Sanction movement.
Long Live Gaza! Long Live Palestine!
Published on 23 July 2014 by Cuba News
Cuba and China signed 29 bilateral cooperation accords on Tuesday, during the official visit here by President Xi Jinping.
The accords, aimed at further strengthening economic, commercial, cultural relations included a frame agreement of collaboration in the cyberspace, the granting by China of a line of credit to build a multi-purpose terminal at the Santiago de Cuba harbor, a free-of-interest credit line and a donation.
Other documents signed focused on transfer of technology, the development of renewable energies, biotechnology, environment monitoring, and the setting up of a Cuba-China pilot farm.
The two parties also signed protocols to control the quality of tobacco and sugar being exported to China, the increase of participation in the oils sector and the setting up of a corporation to be named Bello Monte S.A. Bilateral exchange in the education sector was also included in the accords.
Previous to the signing of the accords, Xi Jinping was granted the Jose Marti Order in acknowledgement of his friendship and solidarity with the Cuban people. Xi said he was honored to have been granted such high distinction.
Published on 21 July 2014 by Workers World
Fidel Castro writes a regular column for Granma. The Havana newspaper is named for the ship that in 1956 carried the revolutionary leader and his band of courageous young fighters to Cuba to launch an armed struggle that liberated the island from the bloody dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista and his U.S. backers. Below is his commentary of July 18.
'This morning the cables were full of reports about the unheard-of news that a Malaysia Airlines passenger plane had been hit at an altitude of 10,100 meters as it flew over Ukrainian territory, along a route controlled by the war-hungry government of chocolate king Petro Poroshenko.
Cuba, which has always stood in solidarity with the Ukrainian people, and in the difficult days of the Chernobyl tragedy provided medical care to the many children affected by the accident’s harmful radiation, and is always willing to continue doing so, cannot refrain from expressing our repudiation of the action of the anti-Russian, anti-Ukrainian and pro-imperialist government.
At the same time, coinciding with the Malaysian aircraft crime, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, head of the nuclear state, ordered his army to invade the Gaza Strip, where, over the last several days, hundreds of Palestinians have died, many of them children. The president of the United States supported the action, describing the repugnant act as legitimate defense.
Obama does not support David against Goliath, but rather Goliath against David. As is known, young men and women from the Israeli people, well prepared for productive work, are being exposed to a death without honor, without glory. I am not aware of the Palestinians’ military strategy, but I know that a combatant prepared to die can defend even the ruins of a building, as long as he has his rifle, as the heroic defenders of Stalingrad demonstrated.
I only wish to express my solidarity with the heroic people who defend the last sliver remaining of what was their homeland for thousands of years.'
Published 22 July by Academia Superior de Idiomas
The Ecuadorian Ambassador has been recalled from Israel. The Ecuadorian government has made this decision based on the recent assault on the Gaza Strip by Israeli forces, leading to the deaths of over 550 Palestinians. Out of these 550 deaths, over 130 have been children, and over 3,300 people have been injured.
South Africa has also made a similar decision this week. On Friday the South African legislators urged the president to pull their officials from Israel and cut diplomatic ties by comparing what is happening now to what happened during Apartheid. Stone Sizani, a member of the African National Congress stated: “We echo the widespread condemnation of these senseless attacks on defenceless Palestinians and call on the government of Israel to immediately cease with this blatant act of criminality,”. “As the ANC in parliament, we stand unapologetically with the people of Palestine and pro-Palestinian campaigners … As one of the measures to put pressure on Israel, we are of a firm view that our government must recall our ambassador to Israel and also ask the Israel ambassador to South Africa to leave with immediate effect.”
The decision to recall the Ecuadorian ambassador coincides with the announcement made by the African Studies Association to join an academic boycott of Israel by getting 500 academic signatures worldwide to enact an embargo. The Ecuadorian government made clear that that the reason they are withdrawing is due to the recent attacks in Gaza. The Ecuadoran Foreign Minister, Ricardo Patino, stated, “We condemn the Israeli military incursion into Palestinian territory. We require cessation of operations and indiscriminate attacks against civilians.”