Solidarity

  • Published on 1 December 2015 in Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! 248 

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    In December 2015, Rock around the Blockade (RATB) celebrates the 20th anniversary of its first solidarity brigade to Cuba. RATB was set up by the Revolutionary Communist Group (RCG) in 1995 to support socialist Cuba. Active solidarity with Cuba has distinguished the RCG from the majority of the British ‘left’, enabling it to raise ‘socialism’ as a viable alternative to capitalism and imperialism and move beyond idealistic sloganeering, to introduce real questions of relations of production, power and democracy. After five years of austerity and with further savage cuts to benefits and public services on the way the need to present a socialist alternative is greater than ever. Helen Yaffe reports.

    The first RATB brigade travelled to Cuba with over 30 brigadistas in December 1995 in the midst of Cuba’s ‘Special Period’. The Special Period began in 1991 with the severe economic crisis following the disintegration of the socialist bloc and consequent collapse in Cuba’s foreign trade. By 1993 Cuba’s international trade and gross investment had fallen by 80% and GDP had plummeted by 35%. Cuba’s crisis was exacerbated by punitive US laws tightening the blockade. The result was critical scarcities of hydrocarbon energy resources, fertilisers, food imports, medicines, cement, equipment and other resources in every sector. Calorific intake decreased by nearly 40%, industries closed and unemployment rose.

    The impact of the economic crisis was obvious during the brigade. We stayed in a large agricultural camp in Ciego de Ávila in central Cuba. Conditions were austere. We got woken up at 5am with rock music blasted top volume over the dormitories to work in the banana plantation. On other days we visited schools, hospitals, cultural centres – all remarkable, but almost completely lacking resources. In one school we visited, the director showed us a writing book – the only one they had to supply all the children for the coming term. Our bus broke down frequently, petrol was scarce; spare parts did not exist and had to be invented. We shared the camp with 300 young people who had volunteered to labour on the land, determined that their Revolution would survive the crisis. Of course, many thousands of Cubans gave up: leaving the island or opting out of the collective. What is more interesting is understanding how and why the Revolution retained the commitment of the majority of Cuba’s population.

  • Published 13 October 2017 by Granma

    Cuba publishes annual report on blockade damages

    The report to the United Nations General Assembly on Resolution 71/5 entitled “The Necessity of Ending the Economic, Commercial, and Financial Blockade Imposed by the United States on Cuba” was recently released, exposing the extensive damages suffered by the island

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    Almost 60 years after its implementation, the United States blockade policy against the Cuban people is intensifying, in a context of heightened tensions impacting on the progress achieved by the two countries in the diplomatic sphere.

    This is reflected in the Report to the United Nations General Assembly on Resolution 71/5 entitled “Necessity of Ending the Economic, Commercial, and Financial Blockade Imposed by the United States of America on Cuba,” whic

    h outlines the extensive damages suffered by the island.

    The document, which analyzes the period between April 2016 and June 2017, estimated 

    These figures relate to restrictions that affect the island’s economic and social development

    , despite the enormous efforts of the Cuban government to mitigate the obsolete and illegal policy.

    Education, health, sports, culture, industrial development, tourism, food and information and communications technology continue to be some of the sectors most affected by the coercive measures of the current U.S. administration.


    the total actual damages to the island to be in the order of $4,305,400,000 dollars.

    The report, published on the Cuban Foreign Ministry’s website, and available to download in English here: http://www.cubavsbloqueo.cu/sites/default/files/InformeBloqueo2017/informe_de_cuba_sobre_bloqueo_2017_ingles.pdf outlines the extraterritorial nature of the blockade, impacting on cooperation and in open violation of international law, with the express purpose of punishing a sovereign and independent people.

    President Donald Trump’s signing of the National Security Presidential Memorandum on Strengthening the Policy of the United States Toward Cuba, backed by a minority in Miami, is the latest example of the escalating aggression against the island.

    This Report, presented by Cuba every year as a prelude to the UN vote on the resolution, also exposes the widespread condemnation of the blockade within U.S. society and the international community, and the Cuban people’s demand for an immediate end to the failed policy.

    After 57 years of fallacious rhetoric and failed attempts to undermine our sovereignty and social project, the Report reiterates that the economic, commercial and financial blockade constitutes the biggest obstacle to the implementation of the country’s National Economic and Social Development Plan, the wellbeing of the Cuban people, and the normalization of relations with the United States.

    More than an official report, the presentation of this document is yet another clear sign that the Cuban people will not give up their efforts to put an end to the blockade. The truth, respect and peaceful coexistence will once again be the most solid arguments in defense of our cause.

    As the Report notes: “The damages caused by the implementation of the blockade throughout almost six decades have been estimated at 822,280,000,000 dollars, taking into account the devaluation of the U.S. dollar vis-à-vis the price of gold in the world market.”

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    Published on 27 April  2017 on Granma 

    We have once again witnessed another infamous and immoral decision by the discredited OAS, against the Bolivarian Revolution; a repetition of the shameful pages written against the Cuban Revolution in the 1960s.

    The calling of a Meeting of Ministers of Foreign Affairs, to continue harassing the Venezuelan government, constitutes another action consistent with the OAS’ traditional role as an instrument of imperialist domination in the hemisphere; in order to undermine the sovereignty, independence and dignity of Our America.

    The OAS has always remained with its back to the peoples of America, over an almost 70 year history of subordination to oligarchic and imperialist interests. It has been absent when our region has been the victim of political, economic and military intervention and aggression, or serious democracy and human rights violations.

    It is now time to recognize that the OAS is incompatible with the most pressing needs of the peoples of Latin America and the Caribbean. It is incapable of representing their values ​​and interests. It imposed a doctrine of false democracy, responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Latin Americans and Caribbeans and the impoverishment and exclusion of millions. The OAS chooses to attack and impose, rather than reconcile or dialogue; and disregards the right of states to equality and self-determination. It conspires and subverts genuine and legitimately constituted governments with proven popular support, and deserves the most profound repudiation.

  • Published 15 Febuary 2018 by en.granma.cu

    Ministry of Foreign Affairs Statement

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    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cuba energetically rejects the announcement by a group of nations in the hemisphere, released February 13 in Lima, that constitutes unacceptable interference in the internal affairs of the Bolivarian Republic de Venezuela, and at the same time categorically rejects the decision to reconsider the participation of the Venezuelan government in the 8th Summit of the Americas, to be held this coming month of April, in Peru.

    A few days ago, the U.S. Secretary of State, on a tour of several countries in the region, stated that continuing in effect is the Monroe Doctrine, the most notorious interventionist policy of U.S. imperialism in our region. He called for a military coup against the constitutional government of Venezuela and advocated strengthening sanctions on the country. The decision adopted is not unrelated to these declarations and actions.

    In this context, Cuba's Ministry of Foreign Affairs recalls the arbitrary and aggressive U.S. Executive Order, renewed in January of 2017, that describes Venezuela as "an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy" of the superpower, and President Donald Trump's most recent warning about utilizing "a possible military option, if necessary."

    It is unprecedented and incredible that now being used as a pretext is an alleged "unconstitutional rupture of the democratic order," precisely in a country which has held, within a few months time, municipal, regional, and Constituent Assembly elections, and has just called Presidential elections, precisely as has been demanded, including via external interference and unconstitutional, violent methods.

    Cuba denounces this statement and the exclusion of Venezuela from the Summit of the Americas as contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter and the Proclamation of Latin America and the Caribbean as a Zone of Peace, signed by heads of state and government of countries which are members of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States.

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    Published on 28 March 2016 by venezuelanalysis.com.

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    Caracas, March 28, 2016 (venezuelanalysis.com) – Haitian-Venezuelan political leader and solidarity activist Fritz Saint Louis, 54, was shot dead in his home by masked gunman on Saturday evening.

    According to a statement by the Public Prosecutor’s office, Saint Louis was reportedly inside his home located on the outskirts of Caracas in Santa Lucia del Tuy, “when a group of armed men entered and, without a word, shot the politician various times, causing his immediate death.”

    Saint Louis’ son, Louis Nervil Fritz Jr., 23, was also injured in the incident, suffering a shot to the arm.

    Two suspects in the case, Victor Jose Cisneros (22) and Henry Anthony Torrealba (23), reportedly died in a shootout with police on Sunday afternoon, while three others were arrested by authorities. Police recovered two 16mm shotguns without serial numbers alleged to have been used in the murder.

  • Published on 4 August 2016 by teleSUR.

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    Defence of the Spanish Republic during Spain’s civil war is probably the most well-known modern European example of a highly organized and committed progressive solidarity movement. Currently, international solidarity activity in the Americas and in Europe remains closely associated with progressive political movements and governments working to defend their peoples against NATO country aggression of one kind or another. They do so despite determined efforts at co-option by Western governments and corporations along with their media and NGOs.

    Selfless people in solidarity with grassroots resistance from Palestine to Mexico have made huge sacrifices trying to defend vulnerable communities from aggression and abuse. In Palestine, Rachel Corrie’s supreme valour put the US government and its NATO country allies to shame for their abject collusion in Israel’s destruction of the Palestinian people. In Oaxaca, activist reporter Brad Will was murdered covering yet more repression by systemically corrupt, violence-addicted authorities in Mexico. Recently in Honduras, international solidarity activists bravely confronted the notoriously violent Honduran security forces in order to commemorate Berta Caceres and defend her legacy of resistance.

  •  Published on 11 May 2017 by revolutionarycommunist

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    The Revolutionary Communist Group stands in solidarity with the Bolivarian revolution in Venezuela! Defend the struggle for socialism against the US backed opposition whose violent protests have resulted in the deaths of over 42 people. 

    Break the media blockade, read and share our recent article here: Venezuela: Behind the media lies 

    Supporters of Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! Manchester held a Venezuela solidarity protest on 22 April against the growing threat of a Trump-backed coup against the socialist government. Passers by stopped to sign the petition and Palestine solidarity activists came to show support after a picket for the hunger striking prisoners in Israeli jails. 

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    On Mayday, FRFI students in Salford joined the TUC march and called on others to mobilise in defence of the Venezuelan revolutionary process. 

    In Newcastle, Jorge L Garcia, consellor from the Embassy of Cuba, joined RCG comrades at a Mayday rally to defend Venezuela 

    Whilst in London the comrades took to the streets with the Cuban and Venezuelan flags, calling for solidarity with the Bolivarian revolution. 

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    No to foreign intervention - Hands off Venezuela! Defend the struggle for socialism!