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Victory! The Cuban 5 are finally free!

Published on 17 December 2014 by www.revolutionarycommunist.org

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After 16 unjust years of imprisonment, on 17 December 2014, Ramón Labañino, Gerardo Hernández and Antonio Guerrero, the three remaining members of the Cuban 5, returned to Cuba following their release from US gaols. This is a defeat for the corrupt US justice system and massive victory for Cuba, particularly for anti-terrorist Gerardo Hernandez who was serving two life sentences plus 15 years.

The five Cuban heroes were arrested in 1998 and tried in Miami in 2001, in the midst of a hostile media storm whipped up by journalists in the pay of the US government. Denied a fair trial, they were found guilty of charges ranging from spying to conspiracy to commit murder and endangering the security of the United States. These men had been working to foil the persistent attempts by right-wing counter-revolutionary groups in the United States to commit acts of sabotage and terrorism against Socialist Cuba. These attacks included 78 bombings, 61 hijackings of planes and boats, biological attacks of dengue and swine fever, and 58 attacks from the sea, killing at least 3,478 people in total. The Cuban 5 were guilty of nothing more than peacefully trying to protect their country against terrorism. Their case Illustrates the hypocrisy of the US ‘War on Terror’.

Wednesday 17 December will be recognised for decades to come as a crucial date for Cuban history when, following years of campaigning, the Cuban 5 were finally free. Ramon, Gerardo and Antonio now join Rene Gonzalez and Fernando Hernandez, who served their full sentences and were released in 2011 and 2014 respectively.

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Another USAID covert plan exposed

Published on 12 December by Granma Internacional

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According to an investigation by the Associated Press, the U.S. Agency for International Development, USAID, attempted to infiltrate the Cuban hip-hop movement as part of a covert project to destabilize the country.

Documents obtained by AP indicate that USAID hired a group of rappers to develop a youth movement in opposition to the Cuban government. The covert plan was implemented over more than two years, with the aim of using Cuban musicians to establish a network to agitate for social change on the island, PL reported on Thursday.

The Huffington Post website published a chronology of USAID covert operations in Cuba, detailing the activities of Rajko Bozic, a Serbian national who presented himself as a musical promoter and arrived in Cuba with instructions to involve Cuban rappers such as the Aldeanos duo in the covert hip hop program, to promote an opposition movement.

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Britain Taught Brazilian Dictatorship to Torture

Published 11 December 2014 by TeleSUR English

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British army officers trained Brazilian police in torture methods, perfected in Northern Ireland against people opposing British rule there, a report into human rights abuses during the dictatorship revealed.

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, who was tortured herself by the regime in the 1970s, wept as she presented the 2,000 page Truth Commission documentWednesday, which confirmed that 191 were killed and 243 disappeared.

Not only did Brazilian officials travel to the UK to learn the “English System,” but the study also shows that British officers returned the visit, teaching extreme interrogation at Brazilian police headquarters.

“At the end of 1970 we sent a group of army officers to England to learn the English system of interrogation. This consists of putting the prisoner in a cell incommunicado, a method known as the ‘refrigerator’,” the report quotes former general Hugo de Andrade Abreu.

Psychological torture techniques were adopted that the British mastered in Northern Ireland, designed to destabilize the suspect to the point of admitting to a crime.

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Over 35 Thousand Eastern Cuban Self-employed Join the Unions

Published on 9 December by Cuban News Agency 

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More than 35,000 self-employed workers have joined unions in the province of Holguín in response to the Guidelines for Economic and Social Policy of the Party and the Revolution, implemented in Cuba since 2010.

Annia González, member of the provincial secretariat of the Cuban Workers Federation (CTC by its Spanish acronym) in the northeastern territory, told ACN that for the coming 2015, the organization intends to integrate the 3 000 self-employed who are not yet affiliated to unions.

She explained that the sectors of Commerce, Industry and Transport constitute together the ones with largest concentration of non-state workers, and also have the non-integrated workers to CTC.

The creation of a wholesale market, taxes corresponding to the characteristics of each locality and the right to enjoy a month of vacation annually without paying tribute are some of the statements most frequently made by these workers.

Alexander Tamayo, self-employed affiliate for two years, highlighted the advantages of maintaining a union link because they are more organized and have an way through which to raise their rights, opinions and concerns.

Leaders Welcome Victory of Vazquez in Uruguay

Published on 1 December 2014 by TeleSur English

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The election of Vazquez closes the electoral cycle in Latin America for 2014, where progressive governments were returned to power.

Latin American leaders have sent celebratory messages to Tabare Vazquez,winner of Sunday's presidential elections in Uruguay.

Vazquez, candidate for the left-wing Broad Front coalition, won with 53.6 percent support and is the first person in Uruguay to win two presidential terms. He also received the greatest amount of support for a presidential candidate in 70 years.

Outgoing Uruguayan president, Jose Mujica, was the first to congratulate Vazquez, meeting face to face shortly after the results were known.  

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro also sent his greetings of support via Twitter, saying, “Congratulations Comrade Tabare Vazquez, president-elect of Uruguay, for this victory of the Broad Front, our brothers from the south...”

Cristina Kirchner said via Twitter, “Congratulations to the president-elect Tabare Vazquez, with whom I spoke with a moment ago to send him greetings from the Argentine people.”

Ernesto Samper, Secretary General of UNASUR, stated on his Twitter account, “The election results in Uruguay confirm the maturity of Uruguyan democracy. Congratulations to the President.”

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