In what is a usual democratic practice in Cuba, workers in different economic sectors began debating a new labor code recently proposed to the Cuban Parliament, which the lawmakers forwarded for the workers' consideration before its final approval by the top legislative body.
Video highlights produced by Cubanos en UK from the successful celebration of the 60th anniversary of the attack on Monaca Barracks which sparked the Cuban revolution in 1953. The event at Bolivar Hall, London, was organised by Rock around the Blockade and Cubanos en UK and supported by the Cuban embassy, along with other Cuban artists in Britain.
On 29 April, José Graziano da Silva, Director-General of the United Nations Organisation for Food and Agriculture (FAO), sent congratulations to Fidel Castro, historic leader of the Cuban Revolution, and the Cuban people, ‘for having fulfilled in advance the goal set by the World Food Summit, held in Rome in November 1996, that proposed to halve the number of undernourished people in each country by the year 2015.’ Da Silva adds that Fidel’s speech at that Summit still lingers in their collective memory, especially his conclusion that: ‘the bells that toll today for those who die of hunger every day, will toll tomorrow for humanity if it refused, failed or could not be wise enough to save them.’
Da Silva refers to Fidel’s comment in the subsequent press conference that even if the target were achieved ‘we would not know what to say to the other half of humanity if it would not be freed from the scourge of hunger.’ Da Silva said the FAO conference in June 2014 would finally make the total eradication of hunger its priority. He ended: ‘At that time, we will pay a tribute to Cuba and 15 other countries that have been most successful in reducing hunger’. Meanwhile UNICEF cites Cuba as the only country in Latin America free from child malnutrition.
Since 1959, nearly 3,500 Cubans have been killed and 2,100 permanently maimed as a result of terrorism launched from the United States by groups with links to the US government. Not a single US citizen has been injured or killed by terrorism linked to revolutionary Cuba. The only Cuban terrorists are counter-revolutionaries recruited by the CIA. Most infamous among them is Luis Posada Carriles, who lives freely in Miami. President Obama has excelled in the US practice of state terror: through its occupying armies, support for dictators, rendition flights, torture of prisoners, forced feeding of hunger strikers in Guantanamo prison camp, drone-strike assassinations around the world and repression of internal dissent. Yet in the topsy turvy world of imperialism, the US labels socialist Cuba as a state sponsor of terrorism and points to black revolutionary Assata Shakur to prove it. HELEN YAFFE reports.
By Jack Colhoun, OR Books, New York, 2013, 361 pages, £17.
Paperback ISBN 978-1-935928-89-8. Ebook ISBN 978-1-935928-90-4
Jack Colhoun is a journalist and archive researcher with a distinguished record of investigating US foreign policy in Vietnam, Cambodia and the Middle East and publicising the impact of special interest lobbies on domestic politics like the Obama Healthcare legislation. He was the leader of the draft and military resistance registers exiled in Canada during the Vietnam War.
The author laboured for nineteen years over source material, primarily the US intelligence documents on Cuba from the John F. Kennedy Assassination Collection (JFKAC) at National Archives II in Maryland. This archive collection was created by the President Kennedy Act of 1992, which mandated the declassification of documents with possible relevance to Kennedy’s assassination in November 1963.i The declassified documents offer new insights into US policy making: from Eisenhower’s decision to seek the overthrow of the Cuban revolution in November 1959; to the CIA’s failed Bay of Pigs invasion in April 1961; to Kennedy’s provocative Operation Mongoose in 1962; to the Cuban missile crisis of October 1962; to Kennedy’s covert funding of ‘autonomous’ Cuban exile commando operations in 1963; to back-channel discussions between the Kennedy Administration and Castro in the weeks before President Kennedy’s assassination in November 1963; and President Lyndon Johnson’s de-escalation of US policy in Cuba .
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.
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.