Published on 19 April 2015 by www.vivavenezuela.co.uk
Following an international initiative for a global day of action in solidarity with Venezuela, branches of the Revolutionary Communist Group responded with solidarity actions around the country. 19 April 2015 marks the 205th anniversary of the first declaration of Venezuelan independence from Spain in 1810. The global actions coincided with marches and rallies across Venezuela, declaring their defiance against imperialist intervention, the US decree and the latest round of US sanctions.
In Lewisham, anti-austerity and anti-cuts campaigners from South London RCG held a street stall in solidarity with Venezuela.
Published on 14 April 2015 by teleSUR English
U.S. President Barack Obama said Tuesday that he intends to remove Cuba from the list of state sponsors of terrorism list. In a brief statement, the White House said it no longer considers Havana a state sponsor of terrorism. “The Government of Cuba has not provided any support for international terrorism during the preceding 6-month period; and ... the Government of Cuba has provided assurances that it will not support acts of international terrorism in the future,” the statement reads.
White House press secretary Josh Earnest commented that Obama's decision is in line with U.S. “interests and values.” “We will continue to have differences with the Cuban government, but our concerns over a wide range of Cuba’s policies and actions fall outside the criteria that is relevant to whether to rescind Cuba’s designation as a State Sponsor of Terrorism,” he said.
Published on 13 April 2015 by venezuelanalysis.com
Regional leaders flocked to Panama City this past weekend for the VII Summit of the Americas, which has been widely hailed as a victory for left-leaning and progressive forces in the region, particularly Venezuela and Cuba.
The summit was marked by the historic presence of Cuba whose president Raul Castro addressed his counterparts and held face to face talks with Barack Obama, the first Cuban leader to do so since the socialist nation's US-imposed expulsion from the Organization of American States in 1962.
However, the much anticipated rapprochement between the two nations was largely upstaged by regional leaders' near uniform rejection of President Obama's March 9 Executive Order labeling Venezuela a "national security threat", which has been condemned by all 33 nations of the CELAC (Community of Latin American and Caribbean States) and other regional bodies.
While positively noting the steps taken by Obama to reestablish bilateral ties with Cuba, Castro nonetheless criticized the US president for his aggressive measures against Venezuela.
"Venezuela is not and could never be a threat to the national security of a superpower like the US," declared the Cuban leader, calling on Obama to "repeal the Executive Order" and "lift unilateral sanctions".
"I must reaffirm all of our loyal and resolute support for the sister Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, for the legitimate government and civil-military union headed by President Nicolas Maduro."
Published on 10 April 2015 by teleSUR English
Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos announced Thursday that he would extend the suspending of air raids on camps used by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia for an additional month. President Santos originally issued the suspension of bombings of FARC camps on March 10, stating at the time that it was a temporary measure to help de-escalate the more than 50-year conflict in the country and help move the peace negotiations forward.
The FARC implemented a unilateral cease-fire in December 2014, which has been independently verified by human rights defenders. Santos added that the Ministry of Defense had also confirmed that the FARC was abiding by the unilateral cease-fire. “For this reason, I have decided to extend the suspension of bombings for one more month, I will continue to do so into the future,” said Santos.
However the decision to suspend bombings does not preclude the Colombian government from engaging in combat on the ground, which the FARC has warned threatens the peace process.
Published on 9 April 2015 by www.venezuelanalysis.com
Caracas has joined Havana in withdrawing its delegation to the Civil Society Forum at the 7th Summit of the Americas this week, after Cuban delegates broke the news that at least 20 counter-revolutionary Cuban “mercenaries” had also been invited to participate in the event.
Among the highly controversial figures set to participate in the forum are the radical anti-Cuban government dissidents, Manuel Cuesta Morúa, Elizardo Sánchez and Rosa María Payá, as well as members of the Cuban exile community. All are known to have financial ties to U.S. funding agencies such as the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and have a history of trying to subvert the Cuban government. Ex-CIA agent, Félix Rodríguez Mendigutía, better known for his role in the assassination of Argentinian revolutionary, Ernesto “Che” Guevara, is also participating in the summit.
Published on 10 April 2015 by www.venezuelanalysis.com
The Venezuelan Committee for the Victims of the Barricades have branded a decision to deny them entry into a Summit of the America’s Forum as a “premeditated” attempt to silence them.
The victims of last year’s barricades, which were headed by Venezuelan opposition figures Leopoldo Lopez and Maria Corina Machado, had travelled out to Panama earlier this week to participate in the Civil Society and and Social Actors Forum, as well as in the “People’s Summit” - an accompanying event to the Organisation of American States (OAS) 7th “Summit of the Americas”.
“This is no coincidence, they want to silence our voices so that we can’t tell the stories of our family members who are now dead, thanks to who they are calling political heroes like Leopoldo Lopez,” said Yendry Velasquez, whose soldier husband was killed in the violence.
The exclusion of the committee, which was formed last year in a bid to highlight the stories of the 43 people who were killed and the hundreds who were injured in last year’s violence, is just one of many recent attempts to silence the group. They say that they have been discriminated against by the largely privately owned Venezuelan media and its international counterparts, which have prevented them from telling their stories.
“They want to shut us up, they don’t want us to tell the truth,” said Desirée Cabrera, whose infant daughter almost died in an arson attack during the barricades.
As part of its awareness raising work, the committee has submitted official documentation of their experiences to bodies such as the Spanish and U.S. embassies in Venezuela, as well as to a U.N. mission in Caracas. To date, they have received little in the way of a response.
Published on 2 April 2015 by ACN
Experts of the Pan-American and World Health organizations praised the results of the program of eastern Santiago de Cuba province to prevent and eliminate the mother-child transmission of HIV/AIDS and syphilis.
Doctor Maria Dolores Mafran, responsible of the Department for Prevention and Control of Infections by Sexually Transmitted Diseases/HIV-AIDS in the territory, told ACN that the specialists visited health centers as part of actions to validate the vertical elimination of these diseases in Cuba.
Likewise, she pointed out, they showed interest in the structures of these centers, at the level of doctor's offices, in which they verified prenatal care from Primary Health Care, serology for syphilis and HIV in pregnant women's registers, and the experience of the staff in communities.
Exchanges with civil society were significant, underlined Mafran, represented in members of the Federation of Cuban Women, the Committees for the Defense of the Revolution, transsexual and homosexual persons living with HIV, and in the project of youngsters and adolescents promoting health care.
Mafran conveyed the opinion of Adele Benzaken, co-president of the Regional Committee of Experts that visited the country, who, during her visit to Santiago de Cuba expressed that the assessment was yet another opportunity to know more about eh island's public health system, in addition to the hospitality, transparence and dedication to work of specialized staff. The verification exercise was also carried out in the provinces of Havana and Villa Clara, and results will be presented in Geneva, headquarters of the WHO.
Published on 2 April 2015 by ACN
The last group of Cuban doctors and nurses that fought Ebola in Sierra Leone arrived this Wednesday in Cuba from that Western Africa country,
The 64 health workers arrived at night at the Juan Gualberto Gomez International Airport in Varadero, after spending six months in a risky mission to save the lives of those people afflicted with the disease.
A 310-300 aircraft, from the Portuguese airline Whyte, landed at 10:12 pm with such precious human cargo, and the joy and satisfaction for the accomplishment was evident on the face of each of them.
The workers of the airport gave them an enthusiastic reception on behalf of all Cubans and they were immediately transported to the hospital where will undergo the process of surveillance and control established for all those arriving from countries affected by Ebola.
On Sunday, March 23, a first group of 150 health staff, 98 of them from Sierra Leone and Liberia 52, returned to the country
Over 250 Cuban doctors and nurses are members of the Henry Reeve contingent, who at the call of the Secretary General of the UN, Ban Ki Moon, and the World Health Organization, traveled in October 2014, to fight the virus also in Guinea Conakry.
In these three countries in West Africa, the most affected by the disease, the Cuban health staff played not only a major role in curing Ebola, but on prevention, as recognized by the authorities of those nations and international organizations.
Published by La Alborada on 31 March 2015
The US and Cuba have recently met to exchange concerns about the observance of human rights in the respective countries. Following are some differences between the two countries that may be mentioned. Because the concepts of civil and human rights are often confused, we include also some of the former.
Cuba has a one-party system that is focused on building socialism. In the last few years, however, it has fostered a new private sector of agricultural and non-agricultural cooperatives and individual businesses. The US, on the other hand, has a two-party system (with a few other micro-parties that do not make a difference at any higher level of government) that is focused on maintaining capitalism.
Cuba's legislative assembly generally follows the lead of the Communist Party, as is in fact provided in the Constitution. The legislature of the US generally follows the lead of banks and corporations and of the industrial-military-security complex, which is not in the Constitution. Cuba's elections to the assembly are low-cost, while elections in the US are highly dependent on financial contributions, as are legislative initiatives.
Published on 20 march by TeleSUR English
The World Health Organization is set to confirm Cuba as the first country in the world to have eliminated the STI transmission from mother to child. Experts from the World Health Organization (WHO) will visit Cuba soon to review if the country can be certified to have eliminated the transmission of HIV and syphilis from mother to child.
In order to receive the certification from the WHO, a country must have a transmission rate in less than 0.5 percent of live births in the case of syphilis and less than 2 percent in the case of HIV. Medical care for pregnant women and access to HIV tests must exceed 95 percent and antiretroviral treatment must be available for 95 percent of seropositive pregnant women. “We believe Cuba meets the indicated requirements and we hope to receive certification,” said Dr. Rosaida Ochoa, director of the Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Unit.
Published on 21 March by TeleSUR English
As Palestinians continue to face economic hardships and services and housing shortagtes after the Israeli bombardments last year, dozens of Gazans joined a rally on Saturday morning in solidarity with Venezuela.
teleSUR’s correspondent in Gaza, Noor Harazeen reported from the rally that attendees were calling for the U.S. to keep its hands off Venezuela. The event was organized by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PLFP), and several Palestinian officials attended, including Sami Abu Zuhri from Hamas.
“In light of the terrible threats that the government and people of Venezuela have received from the U.S. government ... all sorts of people have mobilized in support of the Venezuelan people ... The only threat to humanity is the government of the United States and its allies ... And the people of Gaza, are showing their love today in the streets, their support for Venezuela,” Valeria Cortes, one of the organizers, told teleSUR.
Several PLFP leaders gave speeches at the rally, and Luis Fernandez, the Venezuelan representative to the Palestinian Authority, addressed the rally by phone from Ramallah. Palestinians waved Venezuelan flags and pictures of Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro and former president Hugo Chavez.
Published on 18 March 2015 by Granma Internacional
Speech by Army General Raúl Castro Ruz, First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba and President of the Councils of State and Ministers, at the 9th Extraordinary Alba-TCP Summit, convened in solidarity with the sister nation of Venezuela, held in Caracas, the BolivarianRepublic of Venezuela, March 17, 2015
Esteemed Heads of State and Government of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America; Esteemed Heads of delegations and guests; Compañeras and compañeros:
ALBA brings us together today to reaffirm our firmest support for the Bolivarian people and government in the face of the latest interventionist measures and threats from the U.S. government against Venezuela.
Published on 17 March 2015 by TeleSUR English
Declaration of the Extraordinary Summit of the Heads of States and Government of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America – People's Commerce Treaty (ALBA – TCP)
We, the heads of state and government, representatives of the member countries of ALBA, gathered on March 17, 2015 in Caracas, Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, declare:
1. Our rejection of the Executive Order issued on March 9, 2015 by the Government of the United States of America, on the basis that this Executive Order is unjustified and unjust, which constitutes a threat of interference that runs counter to the principle of sovereignty and the principle of non-intervention in the internal affairs of states.
The United States government has a long history of declaring certain countries to be a “national security threat.” The policy of declaring a particular country, no matter how small, a threat to the United States – the economically and militarily largest country in the world - has its roots in the “Trading with the Enemy Act” of 1917. Since then the legal framework for declaring another country to be a national security threat has changed several times. The current legal framework is governed by International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) of 1977.
Once a U.S. president has declared a country to represent a national security threat under the provisions of the IEEPA, the president is authorized to block transactions and freeze assets of any government entity or government official of that country. If there is an actual armed conflict, then the president has the authority to confiscate the property of any government official or entity of that country. In the case of Venezuela, which owns a major multi-billion dollar oil company in the U.S. - Citgo – this would be a significant blow to the country.
The 2001 Patriot Act, which was passed in the aftermath of the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, further expanded the IEEPA to include “terrorist” organizations. The U.S. Treasury Department and the subsidiary agency that is in charge of implementing such freezing of assets, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), does not even need to present any evidence that the organization, official, or entity is involved in illegal activity in order for the OFAC to sanction it.
Currently the following governments have been declared to be national security threats under the IEEPA:
Cuba (since 1977)
Iran (since 1979)
North Korea (2008)
The U.S. government has consistently worsened relations with Venezuela ever since Obama became president. Already in late 2010 the newly appointed U.S. ambassador to Venezuela, Larry Palmer, issued uncharacteristically undiplomatic declarations against the government against Venezuela during his appointment hearing in the U.S. Senate. When his remarks became public then-president Chávez rejected Palmer's nomination and thereupon the Obama administration expelled Venezuela's Ambassador to the U.S. Ever since then there have been no ambassadors in the two countries and, as Venezuela's Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez recently pointed out, just in the past year Obama officials have issued over 50 declarations that interfere in domestic Venezuelan affairs.Below, the full text of the executive order:
Declaration of a National Emergency with Respect to Venezuela
- - - - - - -
BLOCKING PROPERTY AND SUSPENDING ENTRY OF CERTAIN PERSONS CONTRIBUTING TO THE SITUATION IN VENEZUELA
By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.) (IEEPA), the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.) (NEA), the Venezuela Defense of Human Rights and Civil Society Act of 2014 (Public Law 113-278) (the "Venezuela Defense of Human Rights Act") (the "Act"), section 212(f) of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 (8 U.S.C. 1182(f)) (INA), and section 301 of title 3, United States Code,
I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, find that the situation in Venezuela, including the Government of Venezuela's erosion of human rights guarantees, persecution of political opponents, curtailment of press freedoms, use of violence and human rights violations and abuses in response to antigovernment protests, and arbitrary arrest and detention of antigovernment protestors, as well as the exacerbating presence of significant public corruption, constitutes an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States, and I hereby declare a national emergency to deal with that threat. I hereby order:
Section 1. (a) All property and interests in property that are in the United States, that hereafter come within the United States, or that are or hereafter come within the possession or control of any United States person of the following persons are blocked and may not be transferred, paid, exported, withdrawn, or otherwise dealt in:
(i) the persons listed in the Annex to this order; and
(ii) any person determined by the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State:
(A) to be responsible for or complicit in, or responsible for ordering, controlling, or otherwise directing, or to have participated in, directly or indirectly, any of the following in or in relation to Venezuela:
(1) actions or policies that undermine democratic processes or institutions; 2
(2) significant acts of violence or conduct that constitutes a serious abuse or violation of human rights, including against persons involved in antigovernment protests in Venezuela in or since February 2014;
(3) actions that prohibit, limit, or penalize the exercise of freedom of expression or peaceful assembly; or
(4) public corruption by senior officials within the Government of Venezuela;
(B) to be a current or former leader of an entity that has, or whose members have, engaged in any activity described in subsection (a)(ii)(A) of this section or of an entity whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order;
(C) to be a current or former official of the Government of Venezuela;
(D) to have materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to or in support of:
(1) a person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order; or
(2) an activity described in subsection (a)(ii)(A) of this section; or
(E) to be owned or controlled by, or to have acted or purported to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order.
(b) The prohibitions in subsection (a) of this section apply except to the extent provided by statutes, or in regulations, orders, directives, or licenses that may be issued pursuant to this order, and notwithstanding any contract entered into or any license or permit granted prior to the effective date of this order.
Sec. 2. I hereby find that the unrestricted immigrant and nonimmigrant entry into the United States of aliens determined to meet one or more of the criteria in subsection 1(a) of this order would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, and I hereby suspend entry into the United States, as immigrants or nonimmigrants, of such persons, except where the Secretary of State determines that the person's entry is in the national interest of the United States. This section shall not apply to an alien if admitting the alien into the United States is necessary to permit the United States to comply with the Agreement Regarding the Headquarters of the United Nations, signed at Lake Success June 26, 1947, and entered into force November 21, 1947, or other applicable international obligations. 3
Sec. 3. I hereby determine that the making of donations of the type of articles specified in section 203(b)(2) of IEEPA (50 U.S.C. 1702(b)(2)) by, to, or for the benefit of any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to section 1 of this order would seriously impair my ability to deal with the national emergency declared in this order, and I hereby prohibit such donations as provided by section 1 of this order.
Sec. 4. The prohibitions in section 1 of this order include but are not limited to:
(a) the making of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services by, to, or for the benefit of any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order; and
(b) the receipt of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services from any such person.
Sec. 5. (a) Any transaction that evades or avoids, has the purpose of evading or avoiding, causes a violation of, or attempts to violate any of the prohibitions set forth in this order is prohibited.
(b) Any conspiracy formed to violate any of the prohibitions set forth in this order is prohibited.
Sec. 6. For the purposes of this order:
(a) the term "person" means an individual or entity;
(b) the term "entity" means a partnership, association, trust, joint venture, corporation, group, subgroup, or other organization;
(c) the term "United States person" means any United States citizen, permanent resident alien, entity organized under the laws of the United States or any jurisdiction within the United States (including foreign branches), or any person in the United States;
(d) the term "Government of Venezuela" means the Government of Venezuela, any political subdivision, agency, or instrumentality thereof, including the Central Bank of Venezuela, and any person owned or controlled by, or acting for or on behalf of, the Government of Venezuela.
Sec. 7. For those persons whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order who might have a constitutional presence in the United States, I find that because of the ability to transfer funds or other assets instantaneously, prior notice to such persons of measures to be taken pursuant to this order would render those measures ineffectual. I therefore determine that for these measures to be effective in addressing the national emergency declared in this order, there need be no prior notice of a listing or determination made pursuant to section 1 of this order.
Sec. 8. The Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State, is hereby authorized to take such actions, including the promulgation of rules and regulations, and to employ all powers granted to the President by IEEPA and 4
section 5 of the Venezuela Defense of Human Rights Act, other than the authorities contained in sections 5(b)(1)(B) and 5(c) of that Act, as may be necessary to carry out the purposes of this order, with the exception of section 2 of this order, and the relevant provisions of section 5 of that Act. The Secretary of the Treasury may redelegate any of these functions to other officers and agencies of the United States Government consistent with applicable law. All agencies of the United States Government are hereby directed to take all appropriate measures within their authority to carry out the provisions of this order.
Sec. 9. The Secretary of State is hereby authorized to take such actions, including the promulgation of rules and regulations, and to employ all powers granted to the President by IEEPA, the INA, and section 5 of the Venezuela Defense of Human Rights Act, including the authorities set forth in sections 5(b)(1)(B), 5(c), and 5(d) of that Act, as may be necessary to carry out section 2 of this order and the relevant provisions of section 5 of that Act. The Secretary of State may redelegate any of these functions to other officers and agencies of the United States Government consistent with applicable law.
Sec. 10. The Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State, is hereby authorized to determine that circumstances no longer warrant the blocking of the property and interests in property of a person listed in the Annex to this order, and to take necessary action to give effect to that determination.
Sec. 11. The Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State, is hereby authorized to submit the recurring and final reports to the Congress on the national emergency declared in this order, consistent with section 401(c) of the NEA (50 U.S.C. 1641(c)) and section 204(c) of IEEPA (50 U.S.C. 1703(c)).
Sec. 12. This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.
Sec. 13. This order is effective at 12:01 a.m. eastern daylight time on March 9, 2015.
Published on 8 March 2015 by Prensa Latina
The Cuban social process that started in 1959 includes, among its priorities, maintaining public policies in favor of inclusion and development of the potentialities of women, who are broadly represented in today''s society.
Since the beginning of the revolutionary project, some measures have been adopted to eliminate problems such as prostitution and gender discrimination, and to boost family planning, among other issues.
An important step was the adoption of a Family Code, establishing absolute legal equality of women and men in marriage.
At the same time, the Family Code defines equal duties and rights by married couples with their children and development at home.
The government also implemented actions to recognize equal rights in the economic, political, cultural, social and family aspects included in the Constitution.
According to statistics published by Granma newspaper, on the occasion of Women's International Day, there are 5,620,719 women in Cuba and until 2013, life expectancy for Cuban women was 80.4 years.
Women in Cuba represents 48.8 percent of lawmakersds in the People's Power National Assembly (Parliament), 41.9 percent of the members of Council of State and 66.6 percent of the presidents of People's Power Provincial Assemblies.
According to statistics from the latest Population and Housing Census released by the newspaper until 2012, about 44.2 percent of women were heads of household.
In the social-productive sphere, there are 1,838,600, 31,200 of whom are members of cooperatives and 175,500 are self-employed workers. About 1,631,900 women work in the state sector.
Published on 6 March by FARC-EP Peace delegation
On March 6, two days before International Women's Day, the third (and last) meeting between the Gender sub-Commission (a joint commission of FARC delegates and government delegates, mostly women) and six representatives of women's organizations from Colombia took place.
The official meeting (with plenipotenciaries, guarantor and accompanying countries and UN) lasted until one o'clock, but after lunch the sub-Commission sessioned alone with the representatives for two more hours, to gather ideas and proposals that will help to guarantee a gender perspective in the partial agreements. The five women and one man (representative of the LGTBI community) held a press conference at 4 o'clock. Victoria Sandino, head of the Gender sub-Commission of the FARC-EP, read a document to welcome the representatives:
Published on 24 February by CounterPunch Written by W.T. Whitney Jr
Colombia is seemingly a “no-go” zone for most U. S. media and even for many critics of U.S. overseas misadventures. Yet the United States was in the thick of things in Colombia while hundreds of thousands were being killed, millions were forced off land, and political repression was the rule.
Bogota university professor and historian Renán Vega Cantor hasauthored a study of U.S. involvement in Colombia. He records words and deeds delineating U.S. intervention there over the past century. The impact of Vega’s historical report, released on February 11, stems from a detailing of facts. Communicating them to English-language readers will perhaps stir some to learn more and to act.
The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the Colombian government have been at war for half a century. Vega’s study appears within the context of negotiations in Cuba to end that conflict. Negotiators on both sides agreed in August, 2014 to form a “Historical Commission on Conflict and its Victims” to enhance discussions on victims of conflict. The Commission explored “multiple causes” of the conflict, “the principal factors and conditions facilitating or contributing to its persistence,” and consequences. Commission members sought “clarification of the truth” and establishment of responsibilities. On February 11 the Commission released an 809 – page report offering a diversity of wide-ranging conclusions. Vega was one of 12 analysts contributing individual studies to the report.
Having looked into “links between imperialist meddling and both counterinsurgency and state terrorism,” he claims the United States “is no mere outside influence, but is a direct actor in the conflict owing to prolonged involvement.” And, “U. S. actions exist in a framework of a relationship of subordination. … [T]he block in power had an active role in reproducing subordination, because, (Vega quotes Colombia Internacional, vol 65), ‘there existed for more than 100 years a pact among the national elites for whom subordination led to economic and political gains.’” As a result, “Not only in the international sphere, but in the domestic one too, the United States, generally, has the last word.”
In 1903, after 50 years of minor interventions, the United States secured Panama’s independence from Colombia as a prelude to building its canal there. As a sop to wounded Colombian feelings and to secure oil- extraction rights, the United States paid $25 million to Colombia under the Urrutia-Thompson Treaty of 1921. Colombia that year sent 72 percent of its exports to the United States, thanks mostly to U.S. banana and oil producers and U.S. lenders.
Vega highlights Colombia’s “native” brand of counterinsurgency. Under the flag of anti-communism, the Colombian Army violently suppressed striking oil, dock and railroad workers. On December 6, 1929 at the behest of the U.S. United Fruit Company, that Army murdered well over 1000 striking banana workers near Santa Marta.
Cubans continued the process of nominating candidates Thursday for the upcoming municipal elections.
The selection process for candidates began nationwide Tuesday, and will continue until March 25.
According to the National Electoral Council (CNE), 167,263 Cubans have already stepped forward as potential candidates. Around 44 percent of the hopefuls are women. The final candidates will vie for positions in Cuba's 12,589 municipal councils, with between two and eight candidates required by law for each position.
Any of Cuba's roughly 8 million eligible voters can run, but not along party lines. Municipal elections are strictly non-partisan and very little campaigning takes place. Instead, candidates are expected to woo voters familiar with their track records as responsible members of the community, rather than through the types of expensive publicity campaigns common in Western nations.
After candidates have been selected, voting will take place on April 19. Runoff votes will be held on April 26 for any positions where no candidate secured more than 50 percent of the vote.
The municipal elections are one of three tiers of voting in Cuba's government, along with provincial and national elections. Municipal level voting takes place once every two and a half years.
Since the mid 1970s, all municipal elections have had turnouts above 90 percent of eligible voters, though voting isn't compulsory in Cuba. According to government figures, the last municipal level elections in 2012 saw turnout just over 90 percent – similar levels to the national and provincial elections of 2013.
TUESDAY 24 MARCH 2014 - 7:30PM
THE APPLE TREE PUB 45 MOUNT PLEASANT CLERKENWELL ROAD, LONDON, WC1X 0AE
On 21 January 2015 Cuba and US held direct talks about restoring diplomatic relations for the first time since 1961. This meeting took place one month after historic announcements in December 2014 announcing a thaw in US-Cuba relations. This included a prisoner swap which finally freed the remaining Cuban anti-terrorist agents, the Cuban Five.
Bourgeois press is claiming that this is the beginning of the end for socialism in Cuba. Meanwhile the right-wing anti-Cuban lobby in Florida are livd that the US has ended its isolationist policy towards Cuba. In reality the Cuban people have no illusions in US imperialism. The US has been forced to change its failed policy towards Cuba, which is a victory for Cuba, but the US still hopes to destroy the Cuban revolution through other means. The Cuban people are alert to these dangers.
Come and hear RATB activists talk about these changes and what they mean for Cuba’s future. Followed by an open discussion.
Free event, all welcome to attend.
Organise the resistance with Rock Around the Blockade
Saturday 18 april 2015
8:00 pm - late
Oak & Pastor Pub
86 Junction Road, London,
N19 5QZ Tube: Archway
Cuban Night * FREE ENTRY
Ever wondered what Cuba’s really like? Fascinated by the country’s politics or Cuban culture?
Well this event is for you. ‘Rock Around The Blockade’ will be hosting a night of film and fun.
Sons of Cuba is a fascinating documentary film set in the Havana Boxing Academy, a school at the heart of Cuba's Olympic success in the ring.
It follows the stories of three young hopefuls through eight months of training and schooling as they prepare for Cuba's National Boxing Championship for Under-12s’. The film will be followed by a raffle, rum, cigars, and music!
Rock around the Blockade
Published on 1 February 2015 in www.revolutionarycommunist.org
On 21 and 22 January, Cuba and the US held direct talks about restoring diplomatic relations for the first time since 1961. The meeting in Havana took place one month after the historic announcements made simultaneously on 17 December 2014 by Presidents Obama and Raul Castro about a thaw in US–Cuban relations. This included a prisoner swap which finally freed the remaining Cuban anti-terrorist agents imprisoned in the US, known as the Cuban 5. This followed 18 months of secret talks facilitated by Canada and the Vatican. The tactical change by the US administration reflects the failure of its Cuba policy, and economic and strategic developments which put competitive pressure on US capitalists who do not benefit from the blockade. Helen Yaffe reports.
Historic announcements: 17 December 2014
President Obama announced three broad policy changes:
‘These are the steps I can take as President to change this policy’, Obama stated. He cannot, however, unilaterally end the US blockade of Cuba which is codified in legislation. He made explicit, however, that he considered the US blockade to be a failed policy, and hopes the US Congress will lift the embargo.
It is important to be absolutely clear. Obama is not supporting Cuba’s right to self-determination; to develop its socialist system without interference and sabotage 90 miles from the US shore. He believes that a more effective strategy to destroy Cuban socialism is to distort, seduce and pervert it through what he calls ‘engagement’, by imposing the logic of the capitalist market, social relations and cultural values on Cuba: ‘We will end an outdated approach that, for decades, has failed to advance our interests … these 50 years have shown that isolation has not worked. It’s time for a new approach…through a policy of engagement, we can more effectively stand up for our values.’