www.revolutionarycommunist.org FRFI 238 Apr/May 2014
On 27 January, Cuban President Raul Castro and Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff inaugurated the first 700 metre section of a container terminal at the port of Mariel, Cuba, in a ceremony attended by the Presidents of Haiti, Bolivia, Venezuela and Guyana and the Prime Minister of Jamaica. Raul Castro declared: ‘This container terminal, and the powerful infrastructure accompanying it, are a concrete example of the optimism and confidence with which we Cubans see a socialist and prosperous future.’ The heads of state were in Havana for a summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (see FRFI 237).
The Mariel Special Economic Development Zone is a 465km2 deepwater sea port and industrial park area in Artemisa Province, 45km west of Havana. The $950m development is intended to ‘increase exports, the effective substitution of imports, [promote] high-technology and local development projects, as well as contributing to the creation of new jobs’, and to stimulate foreign investment in Cuba. Mariel is the nearest port to the US. The Zone will benefit from the expansion of the Panama Canal, to be completed in 2015, and the creation of the transoceanic Nicaragua Canal by the HKND Group, expected to be completed by 2019. With world-leading technology and sufficient depth, Mariel will be able to accommodate huge post-Panamax vessels and act as a transhipment hub for the region.
- Written by RATB
Cuba has historically served as a laboratory for the application of U.S. non-conventional warfare methods, Cuban media are charging today as reports about the unveiled ZunZuneo program continue to surface.
Assassination attempts, introduced diseases, support for armed counter-revolutionary grouplets, invasion, and the application of an economic, financial and trade blockade are all part of the history of Washington's aggressions against Havana over the past 50 years.
ZunZuneo, an invention of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) meant to promote destabilization in the country through a text-messaging platform similar to Twitter is one more for the list.
According to the Granma newspaper, there is a striking similarity between the data revealed by the Associated Press report, and training manuals that are part of the U.S. Army's guides for Non-Conventional Warfare, such as Training Circular (TC) 18-01.
- Written by RATB
The Hummingbird Tweet: An Espionage Tale
by ALFREDO LOPEZ www.counterpunch.org
For two years, starting in 2010, the United States Agency for International Development ran a social networking service — similar to Twitter — for the Cuban people. Its long-term objective was to forment popular revolt against the government and de-stabilize the country.
They called it “ZunZuneo” (Cuban slang for a hummingbird’s “tweet”) and launched it under absolute secrecy about who was really running it. “There will be absolutely no mention of United States government involvement,” according to a 2010 memo from one of the companies supposedly running the service. “This is absolutely crucial for the long-term success of the service and to ensure the success of the mission.”
The “mission” was to reach a critical mass of Cuban users by offering tweets on sports, entertainment and light news over the service and signing recipients up through word of mouth — you call a phone number and your phone is hooked up. With that critical mass in place, the tweets would start getting more political: inspiring Cuban citizens to organize “smart mobs” — mass gatherings called at a moment’s notice to spark a kind of a “Cuban Spring” or, as one USAID document put it, “renegotiate the balance of power between the state and society.”
- Written by RATB
Cuban doctors have filed March 26 in Havana, the result of 14 years of research, a solution of antitumor peptides whose natural analogue is able to offer positive dynamics in cancer treatments.
According to Cuban specialists, what makes this solution unique is that peptides can act in areas of the human body that are impossible to operate on or treat with chemotherapy or other modern therapies.
A clear example of the success of the new method is the child, Leo, who was suffering from brain cancer. Now the boy looks like a regular guy and it is hard to tell at first glance that a few months ago he won a battle against death. The place where Leo had the tumor did not allow submission to the operation he needed, as undergoing the operation meant running a great risk of losing his life. The only possible remedy was using the minor drug developed by Cuban researchers Labiofam business group based on natural peptides.
This video shows Elizardo Sánchez and his wife, Baby, selling the equipment they receive from the United States to perform their work as 'dissidents'. The video was filmed by fellow dissidents, in protest that they are not receiving resources sent via this dissident 'vanguard' to be shared out between them all. It shows how US taxpayers' money ends up being used in the 'dissident' business.
Elizardo Sánchez is one of the main characters behind accusations of supposed human rights abuses in Cuba. Not only does he earn a living by reporting fictional mass arrests on the island, he also sells computers, printers, portable DVDs, mobile phones, and so on, on the black market.
This video shows the internal contradictions within the counter-revolutionary movement and the mercenary character of those individuals who are prepared to sell their country to the US government.
The United States government invests at least $20 million annually attempting to create a loyal and viable opposition in Cuba to assist in the objective of regime change. The policy has failed throughout the 55 years of Revolution.
I wrote this book review of Stephen Kimber's 'real story of the Cuban Five' for Science & Society. It is not due to be published until October 2014 (Vol. 78, No.4), but they have kindly given me permission to post it on my blog prior to publication. I wanted to post the review early to draw attention to an important event which takes place in London next month: the International Commission of Inquiry into the Case of the Cuban Five, on 7 and 8 March. The Commission website can be found here: The following day, Sunday 9 March, there will be a rally to demand justice for the Five in Trafalgar Square from 2pm. Details here:
Stephen Kimber, What Lies Across the Water: the real story of the Cuban Five, Winnipeg: Fernwood Publishing, 2014. 296 pages. $29.95 CAD. ISBN: 9781552665428
Review by Helen Yaffe*
According to the author, this book owes its existence to serendipity. In 2009 Stephen Kimber was in Havana researching for a love story he planned to write when, he explains, he ‘got sideswiped by the truth-is-stranger-but-way-more-interesting story of the Cuban Five.’ (1) Thanks to serendipity, Kimber has produced the first full-length book in English about the case of the Cuban Five. During his research, the Canadian writer, broadcaster and professor of journalism read 20,000-pages of court transcripts, and a mass of books, media reports and documents. He conducted interviews and established correspondence with the Five in prison. The book is organized chronologically into sections which are sub-divided by diary-like entries providing updates on the entire ‘cast of characters’. This work is meticulously researched, factual without being dull and written with sensitivity and honesty - warts and all. It is as gripping as an action-packed movie and deeply moving.
- Written by RATB
Supporters say Hernandez and four others wrongfully convicted
Reprinted from Victorville Daily Press
Victorville Prison, where Gerardo Hernández is incarcerated, was in "lockdown" in November. To raise local awareness and help build local support for Gerardo, the National Committee to Free the Cuban Five contacted the local media, which had never covered Gerardo's case. The Victorville Daily Press published this excellent article.
VICTORVILLE • An inmate housed at the United States Penitentiary-Victorville has drawn support from a wide range of dignitaries as he serves a double-life sentence at the maximum security facility.
Gerardo Hernandez, 48, was arrested by FBI SWAT team members in 1998 along with four other men: Antonio Guerrero, Ramon Labanino, Fernando Gonzalez and Rene Gonzalez.
The men, who have come to be known as the Cuban Five, were Cuban intelligence agents who were tried and convicted in Miami on numerous counts including failing to register as foreign agents, using false identities and conspiracy to commit espionage. Hernandez, the leader of the network, was also charged with conspiracy to commit murder for his alleged involvement with shooting down two Brothers to the Rescue aircraft.
Hernandez was convicted in 2001 and was transferred after his trial to Lompoc U.S. Penitentiary. In 2004, he was transferred to Victorville.
Supporters say Hernandez is innocent and is the victim of political persecution by the U.S. government.
“The idea that anyone could live through this and maintain a sense of dignity is remarkable,” Hernandez’s attorney, Martin Garbus, said in a telephone interview.
- Written by RATB
Important that we remain alert and ready to act to assure Fernando's return home to Cuba
On February 27, 2014, when Fernando González is released from Safford federal prison in Arizona, he will have completed
15 years, 5 months and 15 days of an unjust imprisonment imposed after a U.S. government political prosecution.
Each day has been a cruel punishment for Fernando and his Cuban Five brothers, who courageously sacrificed their well-being to defend their homeland and people of Cuba from the scourge of terrorism that emanates from Miami, with the full knowledge and protection of Washington.
But Fernando will not simply walk out of Safford on Feb. 27. As one of his appeals attorney Richard Klugh explains, since Fernando is not a U.S. citizen, he will be detained temporarily by Immigration authorities.
"In order to facilitate his immediate return to Cuba, he has quashed any pending appeal or Habeas proceeding, so that it cannot be used as a basis to keep him here. And he has waived any right to contest his deportation to Cuba. Fernando has that paperwork completed and negotiations are taking place for what we hope is an immediate return to Cuba and his wonderful family."
Fernando's sentence was reduced to 17 years from the original 19-year term, after his resentencing in 2009, and 13% credit reduction is given for good behavior in federal prison. "Fernando has been a model prisoner in everything, he has never had any incident whatsoever."
As Fernando's freedom approaches, Klugh says, "Everyone on the defense team has always had strong feelings and a bond with Fernando. He is an extremely sensitive and caring person, extremely mild-mannered, strong and honorable."
We are hopeful for the return of Fernando to his family and to Cuba. We honor his integrity and the commitment to the freedom and security of his people. We pledge to keep fighting to ensure that justice is done and that Gerardo, Ramón and Antonio can join Fernando and René and return to their families in Cuba as soon as possible
- Written by RATB
Havana, Jan 30 Prensa Latina
Cuba has exported its medical-pharmaceutical and biotechnological products to more than 50 countries, Granma newspaper reports today.
Executives from the Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment also told the daily that in 2013, of 880 items of the country' s basic medicines, the sector has produced 580, among them are eight of the 13 vaccines of the immunization program.
The number of Videocolposcopy produced in the country for early detection of cervical cancer amounted to 121. It displays real-time enlarged images of the uterine tube to detect any malignant or pre-malignant lesion in its initial phases, Granma states.
The application of this technology ensures the implementation of mass screening programs of the disease, which is the most frequent kind of cancer in Cuban women in ages between 20 and 59 years old.