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Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! 225 February/March 2012

53 anniversary of cuban rev1 664 409 90

Reporting on the Sixth Congress of the Cuban Communist Party (CCP) of April 2011 and the approval of the Guidelines of the Economic and Social Policy of the Party and the Revolution we said: ‘New measures and legislation will be announced in Cuba in the coming months as the guidelines are implemented. Although there will be no surprises, we can expect these to be met by the sensationalist exclamations about the advent of capitalism from the enemies of Cuban socialism’ (FRFI 221). This has indeed been the case with the bourgeois (and social democratic) media focusing on legislation implemented or anticipated to:

a) Permit the direct purchase/sale of privately-owned houses.

b) Permit the direct purchase/sale of privately-owned cars.

c) Authorise agricultural producers to sell direct to state-owned tourist entities (regulated under the national plan).

d) Provide loans from the state to non-state workers, farmers and people who need to repair their homes (previously only farming cooperatives had access to loans).

e) Permit trade between state enterprises and workers in the non-state sector (using bank transfers, not cash payments).

f) Allow those planning to leave Cuba to transfer their home ownership to relatives or co-habitants.

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Interview with Luis Marron, former Political Councillor for the Cuban Embassy in Britain and representative from the Cuban Institute of Friendship between Peoples (ICAP)

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yoani sanchezArticle published 26 February 2012 in Mexica newspaper 'La Jornada'. Translated by Rock Around the Blockade. Original article in Spanish: http://www.jornada.unam.mx/2012/02/26/opinion/024a1mun

Yoani Sánchez, a famous blogger in Havana, Cuba, is a character peculiar to the world of Cuban dissidents. No opponent has ever benefited from such massive media exposure and international recognition of such a scale in so little time. After emigrating to Switzerland in 2002, she returned to Cuba two years later, in 2004. In 2007, she joined the world of the Cuban opposition and created her blog ‘Generation Y’ becoming a staunch critic of the government. Never has any dissident in Cuba, or perhaps in the world, achieved so many international awards in such a short time, and all with a particular characteristic: Yoani Sánchez has been provided with enough money to live quietly in Cuba for the rest of her life. Indeed, the blogger has been paid up to 250 000 euros in total, or an amount equivalent to more than 20 years of the minimum wage in a country like France, the fifth world power. The minimum monthly wage in Cuba is 420 pesos, or 18 dollars or 14 euros, so that Yoani Sánchez has won the equivalent of 1,488 years of Cuban minimum wage for her opposition activities.

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A short film with footage and speeches from the 2009 Day against Homophobia. Made by the National Centre for Sex Education (CENESEX), a government funded body which promotes Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender rights, headed by Mariela Castro, daughter of Cuban leader Raul Castro

guantanamoWednesday 11 January 2012 marked ten years since the first 20 prisoners arrived at the US prison camp in the Guantanamo Bay naval base. In these ten years the US has held 779 people in the detention camp, using the occupied Cuban land to detain innocent people without trial and subject them to a regime of systematic torture. According to US government figures, 92% of those detained have turned out not to be 'al-Qaeda fighters'. Instead Guantanamo Bay has demonstrated to Cuba and the world, the barbaric depths to which US imperialism will sink in defence of its international profits.

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By Joseph Eskovitchl

Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! 224 December 2011/January 2012

Cuban oil exploration - the revolution digs deep‘I asked Che, if you think there’s oil in the Gulf, why don’t we go and investigate? He told me that we can’t because the technology doesn’t exist.’ Juan Valdes Gravalosa*

Today, the technology to which Che aspired is steaming across the oceans towards the northern coast of Cuba in the form of Scarabeo 9; a $750 million investment by the Cuban government in one of the world’s largest semi-submersible oil drilling rigs. Drilling on exploratory wells in the Gulf of Mexico will begin before the end of 2011.

In mid-November 2011, Rafael Tenreiro, head of exploration for the state-owned oil company Cubapetroleo, stated: ‘It is not a matter of if we have oil, it is a matter of when we are going to start producing.’ JOSEPH ESKOVITCHL reports.

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maydayincubaIn a time of global crisis, Cuba represents a unique reality for women. Understanding that sexual equality is necessarily bound with economic and political equality, women's emancipation is crucial to the ongoing process of revolution. The huge grassroots political involvement of the people, and the planned economy driven by their needs, means that society actively works to challenge sexism and inequality. Accordingly, Cuba stands out in The World Economic Forum's study on gender disparity and economics - despite its small economy and the blockade which attempts to strangle development, its women rank highly in health, education, political and economic equality. The index shows Cuba's gender disparity has improved; Britain, despite its imperialist wealth, is only four places above Cuba, and has fallen in ranking.

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Bruno RodriguezOverwhelming opposition to the US blockade of Cuba was shown at the United Nations General Assembly on 25 October 2011. This is the 20th consecutive year that the Cuban resolution condemning the US blockade has won support at the UN. The resolution on The Necessity of Ending the Economic, Commercial and Financial Blockade Imposed by the United States of America against Cuba was backed by the votes of 186 UN member states. Only the US and ‘its inseparable ally in genocidal actions’, Israel, opposed the resolution. Three Pacific island countries abstained. Despite worldwide opposition, the US, as a member of the UN Security Council, will veto the vote and continue its brutal blockade against the Cuban people. While attempts to isolate Cuba from the international stage have failed, the negative impact of US policies and the blockade on Cuban living standards is in no doubt. The blockade, which has been tightened in recent years, is estimated to have caused a total $975 billion in damage to the island at present gold prices.

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Health Workers Reach Index

A recent study by Save the Children ranking the reach and effectiveness of health workers across the world proved an embarrassment for the UK and the US in 14th and 15th place - trailing behind Cuba in 8th position. The study attempted to rank the best countries to be a sick child in, tracking the proportion of children who receive regular vaccinations, and mothers who have access to life-saving emergency care at birth.

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