Published on 21 July 2014 by Workers World
Fidel Castro writes a regular column for Granma. The Havana newspaper is named for the ship that in 1956 carried the revolutionary leader and his band of courageous young fighters to Cuba to launch an armed struggle that liberated the island from the bloody dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista and his U.S. backers. Below is his commentary of July 18.
'This morning the cables were full of reports about the unheard-of news that a Malaysia Airlines passenger plane had been hit at an altitude of 10,100 meters as it flew over Ukrainian territory, along a route controlled by the war-hungry government of chocolate king Petro Poroshenko.
Cuba, which has always stood in solidarity with the Ukrainian people, and in the difficult days of the Chernobyl tragedy provided medical care to the many children affected by the accident’s harmful radiation, and is always willing to continue doing so, cannot refrain from expressing our repudiation of the action of the anti-Russian, anti-Ukrainian and pro-imperialist government.
At the same time, coinciding with the Malaysian aircraft crime, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, head of the nuclear state, ordered his army to invade the Gaza Strip, where, over the last several days, hundreds of Palestinians have died, many of them children. The president of the United States supported the action, describing the repugnant act as legitimate defense.
Obama does not support David against Goliath, but rather Goliath against David. As is known, young men and women from the Israeli people, well prepared for productive work, are being exposed to a death without honor, without glory. I am not aware of the Palestinians’ military strategy, but I know that a combatant prepared to die can defend even the ruins of a building, as long as he has his rifle, as the heroic defenders of Stalingrad demonstrated.
I only wish to express my solidarity with the heroic people who defend the last sliver remaining of what was their homeland for thousands of years.'
Published 22 July by Academia Superior de Idiomas
The Ecuadorian Ambassador has been recalled from Israel. The Ecuadorian government has made this decision based on the recent assault on the Gaza Strip by Israeli forces, leading to the deaths of over 550 Palestinians. Out of these 550 deaths, over 130 have been children, and over 3,300 people have been injured.
South Africa has also made a similar decision this week. On Friday the South African legislators urged the president to pull their officials from Israel and cut diplomatic ties by comparing what is happening now to what happened during Apartheid. Stone Sizani, a member of the African National Congress stated: “We echo the widespread condemnation of these senseless attacks on defenceless Palestinians and call on the government of Israel to immediately cease with this blatant act of criminality,”. “As the ANC in parliament, we stand unapologetically with the people of Palestine and pro-Palestinian campaigners … As one of the measures to put pressure on Israel, we are of a firm view that our government must recall our ambassador to Israel and also ask the Israel ambassador to South Africa to leave with immediate effect.”
The decision to recall the Ecuadorian ambassador coincides with the announcement made by the African Studies Association to join an academic boycott of Israel by getting 500 academic signatures worldwide to enact an embargo. The Ecuadorian government made clear that that the reason they are withdrawing is due to the recent attacks in Gaza. The Ecuadoran Foreign Minister, Ricardo Patino, stated, “We condemn the Israeli military incursion into Palestinian territory. We require cessation of operations and indiscriminate attacks against civilians.”
On 11 July Cuba strongly condemned the new Israeli attack against the population of the Gaza Strip that has caused the death of more than 100 people and wounds to hundreds.
In a communique, the Cuban Foreign Ministry denounced that Israel uses its military and technological superiority to execute a policy of collective punishment with out-of-proportion use of force, which causes the death of innocent civilians and huge material damage.
Faced with that situation, we are calling to the international community to demand that Israel ends its escalation of violence, said the statement signed by the Director for Bilateral Issues of the Cuban Foreign Ministry, Gerardo Peñalver.
Only talks on the grounds of equality can lead to a fair peace that allows the Palestinian people to exerise their inalienable rights and establish definitively the Palestinian State, with its capital in East Jerusalem, the text said.
According to international media outlets, Israeli troops and armor-plated vehicles are stationed at the border with Gaza, awaiting the order to enter and occupy the territory.
There have been denunciations of the air raids against the civil population in the Gaza Strip that have caused numerous deaths, including those of women and children, who were taken by surprise inside their homes while asleep
Havana.- Paris National Bank (BNP) Paribas agreed to pay an 8.9-billion-dollar fine to avoid penal actions, after admitting its violation of the US economic, commercial and financial blockade of Cuba and other nations.
Representatives of the French bank admitted before a Southern Manhattan Court, in New York, the falsification of commercial documents to hide operations considered illegal in the United States.
This is one of the largest fines ever imposed on a French entity for violating the sanctions maintained by Washington against some countries of the world.
It is not known yet if the fine will be joined by other measures such as the laying off of at least a dozen employees and the temporary suspension of the rights of the bank to do transactions in US dollars, as it was originally demanded by US authorities.
Last February, BNP Paribas closed its offices in Havana amidst a probe by US authorities for alleged transactions that violated Washington's prohibitions to do business with Cuba, Iran and Sudan.
Ecuadorian foreign minister Ricardo Patiño said in Quito that without Cuba's full participation there will be no Summit of the Americas in Panama next year.
In a press conference on Wednesday, the foreign minister said that there is regional consensus on the Cuba issue as was evidenced at the recent meeting of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR), held in the Galapagos Islands and at the Forum of the Organization of American States (OAS), in Paraguay.
Ecuadorian president Rafael Correa recently stated that his country will not go to the Panama Summit of the Americas if Cuba is not there.
It is unacceptable holding a Summit of the Americas without Cuba, as it is also unacceptable the existence of the Organization of American States without Cuba, and Latin America cannot tolerate this situation, said Correa.
Ecuador did not attend the 2013 Summit of the Americas in protest against Cuba's absence.
www.revolutionarycommunist.org by Louise Gartrel
This speech was written as an introduction to a meeting titled ‘Revolutionary Women: The Story of Rebellion’, which formed part of Scotland FRFI’s ‘Voices of Resistance’ series of events. The meeting was held on 16 March 2014 in celebration of International Women’s Day.
Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! has called this meeting today to pay tribute to the undeniable contributions which women have made towards the Revolution throughout history and to make the point that the struggle against imperialism and towards a society rid of oppression and exploitation must necessarily have women at the forefront. It must also be recognised that women throughout history have had to face not only oppression from the ruling-classes in terms of the effects of a capitalist system, but have also experienced the domination of, and subjugation to, male privilege within the home and throughout society. And for this, we see that women have had to face the greatest hardship and as a result shown the strongest resistance.
I will be discussing the historical and political importance of the role of women in four different parts. I will begin by outlining the crucial role of Sylvia Pankhurst in the early 1900s and the birth of organised mass political movement of women here in Britain. I will then move on to the women of the Cuban Revolution and their historically critical role in developing a socialist model of organisation. Thirdly, I will outline the resistance of Palestinian women in the face of Zionist oppression and destruction, and their consequent imprisonment. And lastly I will be addressing in what ways these battles apply to the fight here in Britain today as women lead the struggle against the cuts.
The Cuban program of anti-vectorial struggle to control malaria and other diseases transmitted by mosquitoes, rats and mice continues in a satisfactory way in 18 Angolan provinces de Angola, asserted a health authority in Luanda on Friday.
Cuban-American groups gathered in the city of Miami, Florida, demanded the lifting of the U.S. economic and financial blockade imposed on Cuba for more than 50 years, local media reported today.
The conference was sponsored by four organizations that back the improvement of ties between the two countries, including the Cuban-American for Relations (known as CAFE), the Foundation for Normalization of Relations, Generation Cubano Change and Educational Travel to Cuba.
Those attending the event, held on Saturday, discussed the bilateral dynamics in recent years and called for the abolition of all kinds of unilateral sanctions of Washington against Havana, in order to boost bilateral trade and restore normal relations between the two countries.
Arturo Lopez-Levy, director of CAFE, demanded the White House to remove Cuba from the list of terrorist countries and questioned that the Caribbean nation is seen as a threat to U.S. national security, the newspaper The Miami Herald said.
The expert said that most Cubans living in this country oppose the blockade, which he described as illegal, contrary to international law and condemned on multiple occasions by the UN General Assembly. A recent survey by the Atlantic Council of the United States shows that 56 percent of Americans support the normalization of relations with Cuba, and that figure reaches 63 percent in Florida, which has the largest population of Cuban Americans.
Late on Monday 3 March, just a few hours before he was due to fly from Havana to London, René González, was refused a visa to enter in the UK.
René González is the principal witnesses for the International Commission of Inquiry into the case of the Cuban Five which takes place at the Law Society in London on 7 and 8 March.
In its letter of refusal, the UK Immigration and Visa Office states that it is due to point 320 (2b) of UK immigration law, which says entry can be denied to a person who has been sentenced to more than four years in prison. Although, dispensation can be granted in exceptional circumstances, the UK government states that it does not consider Mr González’s attendance at the International Commission to be reason enough to justify this or “outweighed by the public interest in maintaining a refusal.”