ReneFirst published in www.themilitant.com

By Louis Martin and Doug Nelson
 
Recently released court documents concerning requests by Cuban revolutionary René González to return to his country now that he has served his prison term in the U.S. illustrate once again the determination of Washington to impose the highest possible price on the men and women of Cuba who have made and continue to defend a socialist revolution 90 miles from U.S. shores.

An international campaign is fighting to free González and his four comrades—Gerardo Hernández, Ramón Labañino, Antonio Guerrero and Fernando González—known internationally as the Cuban Five.

The five were living and working in southern Florida where, at the request of Cuban security services, they monitored activities by armed Cuban-American counterrevolutionary groups with a long record of violent attacks on Cuba and supporters of the Cuban Revolution, and kept Havana informed.

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mariela LGBTFirst published in Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism 228 August/September 2012

‘Socialism and discrimination are incompatible’. (Mariela Castro, director of Cenesex)

The exuberant parade down the main street of Cienfuegos in Cuba on 17 May to celebrate the country’s fifth annual International Day against Homophobia should lay to rest the old lie peddled by Cuba’s detractors on the right and so-called ‘left’ alike, that socialist Cuba abuses gay rights.

The event, the culmination of three days of arts and music events, film showings, educational events and lectures by different lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) groupings in the country, was organised by CENESEX, Cuba’s National Centre for Sexual Education, which over the last ten years has been pioneering the transformation of Cuban society in relation to LGBT rights under the slogan ‘Diversity is Natural’. CENESEX aims to contribute to ‘the education of society in general...about respect for people’s free and responsible sexual orientation and gender identity, as an exercise in equity and social justice.’

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teofilo-stevenson-610x430First published in Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism 228 August/September 2012

After winning his second Olympic gold medal at Montreal Olympics in 1976, Cuban boxer Teofilo Stevenson refused all bribes by international promoters to encourage him to defect from Cuba with the words: ‘What is one million dollars compared to the love of eight million Cubans?’

Teofilo Stevenson, the Cuban boxer regarded as one of the greatest in the world, died of a heart attack in June at the age of 60. Born to poor immigrant parents, Teofilo benefited from the new social programmes introduced by the revolutionary government after 1959. He went on to become three-time amateur world champion and three times Olympic gold medallist. Many argued that he was in the same league as, if not better than, Muhammad Ali, regarded by many as the greatest boxer ever to have lived. At his death, Muhammad Ali paid tribute to Teofilo, stating: ‘He would have been a formidable opponent to any reigning heavyweight champion or challenger. He was one of the greats of the world. May he rest in peace.’

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olympics 2012First published in Granma Internacional on 16 August.

CUBA won the most medals among Latin American and Caribbean countries in the 30th Olympic Summer Games, though Jamaica, Brazil, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Venezuela and Mexico put on brilliant performances in London as well, leading to high hopes for the next time around, the first Olympics to be held in South America, Río de Janeiro 2016.

Cuba (placing 16th in the London medal count) regained the lead in Latin American medals after being replaced by Brazil in Beijing 2008, with five gold medals, two from boxers Robeisy Ramírez and Roniel Iglesias. Cuban boxing, which did not win a single title four years ago, recovered the prestige it has always enjoyed, as one of the best schools on the planet.

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payaBy Victoria Smith. for Rock Around the Blockade

On 22 July, Oswaldo Paya died in a car accident on the Las Tunas-Bayamo highway in the proximity of Las Gabinas, Granma Province. Paya was a leading member of the counter-revolutionary organisation Christian Liberation Movement, a group that has been involved in trying to destabilise the socialist government of Cuba since 1987. In 2002 Paya received the European Union’s Sakharov Prize for his counter-revolutionary attempts to undermine Cuban Socialism. Whilst not having been officially in the pay of right-wing counter-revolutionaries in Miami, Oswaldo Paya had been receiving funding from right-wing organisations in Spain and Sweden, including the governing Popular Party in Spain. The car crash has sparked a barrage of accusations and internet rumours from Cuba’s enemies, alleging that his death was political.

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 alberto juantorenaRepresentatives from the Revolutionary Communist Group and its campaign in solidarity with the socialist revolution in Cuba, Rock Around the Blockade had the privilege of meeting with members of Cuba’s Olympics team in London during an event mark Moncada Day on 26 July.

Moncada day commemorates 26 July 1953 when, in response to the military coup of US-backed dictator Batista the previous year, Fidel Castro and others carried out an audacious attack on the Moncada Barracks in Santiago de Cuba. It failed militarily but succeeded politically and sparked the mass movement and guerrilla struggle which led the Movement for the 26 July to power in January 1959.  

Among the athletes present were previous Olympic and World Championships medallists in athletics, judo, archery, wrestling and more. It was a special privilege to meet Alberto Juantorena who in 1976 became the only athlete ever to win both the 400 and 800 metre Olympic titles. He is now President of Cuba’s Olympic Committee and Vice President of the National Institute of Sport, Physical Education and Recreation (INDER). In February this year, during a solidarity brigade in Cuba, Rock Around the Blockade donated £650 worth of sports equipment to INDER to contribute to its 'Project for Life', which promotes open air physical activity in all communities throughout the country.

In socialist Cuba access to sport is a right, not a privilege and this has been reflected in Cuba’s sporting success in the international arena. In the Olympics, Cuban medals per capita have consistently seen them among the top performing countries in the world. There are 110 athletes, including 45 women, competing in 14 of the 26 Olympic disciplines in London 2012. While the Olympics as an institution has a history of corruption and racism, RCG and RATB activists will be wishing the Cuban team all the best.

Around the country, RATB will be celebrating Moncada Day. In London, there will be a street rally outside the Angel tube station (northern line) on Saturday 28 July from 12-3pm, with music and speeches. Everyone is welcome.

 

CTC

By Gloria La Riva First published 23 May
by Liberationnews.org

Sam Farber’s article of May 15, “Who do Cuba’s unions defend?” in the “Socialist Worker,” newspaper of the International Socialist Organization, exposes once again Farber and the ISO’s undying hostility toward the Cuban Revolution.

The object of Farber’s denunciation is Salvador Valdés Mesa, the General Secretary of the Confederation of Cuban Workers, or CTC. Farber quotes Valdés Mesa’s talk on May Day 2012 at Havana’s mass rally of over 1 million people, lamenting that Valdés called on workers to “work harder and more productively.”

He derisively says, “A legitimate workers’ leader would at least have asked for a salary increase to protect the Cuban workers from the uninterrupted rise in the prices of consumer goods. But Valdés Mesa did nothing of the sort.”

Continuing, Farber says, “Without ifs, ands or buts, he declared that there will be no salary increases ‘while the country, with the measures that have been adopted, has not yet reduced payrolls and eliminated undue subsidies and free goods that conspire against an increase in the productivity of labor.’"

Farber’s latest anti-Cuba hit piece stems from his view that Cuba is not socialist, but rather what he calls a “bureaucratic collectivist” society led by a new "state capitalist" ruling class that oppresses and exploits the workers.

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elio1-300x200By Elio Delgado Legon. First published in Havana Times

The story of children in Cuba during the revolutionary period begins with a dark chapter: “Operation Peter Pan” Based on one of many invented lies against the revolution, this was an operation organized and financed by the CIA and implemented with the complicity of some Catholic priests and Falangists. They invented the lie that the revolution was going to take away the parental rights of parents and that their children were going to be sent to Russia. They then drafted and circulated a supposed law that was “signed” but allegedly had not yet been announced. In this way they deceived many parents who sent their children to the United States. These mothers and fathers also believed in the promise that the Revolution wouldn’t last long and that the children would soon return. As a result of this operation, 14,000 children were removed from the country without their parents, many of them never to see their families again. I won’t dwell on the suffering and trauma caused to those children and their parents because that’s not my aim here and these details are widely known. What I want to emphasize is that everything was organized on the basis of several lies.

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By Murray Andrews first published in Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! 226 April/May 2012The brigade meets a Venezuelan delegation

‘ALBA, and especially CELAC, are the only things that may save Latin America.’ Orlando Borrego

On the brigade, it was made abundantly clear to us that internationalism is at the core of the revolution. The clearest illustration of this is Cuba’s central role in the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas (ALBA) and the Community for Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) – two regional organisations that aim to act as a counterweight to US imperialist control in the region.

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