Arnold August'Arnold August’s 'Cuba and Its Neighbours: Democracy in Motio'n is an exceptional work that will succeed in the objective of educating its audience. It will assist toward broadening the outlook of all those who read it.

The chapter on democracy in the United States is among the best critical analyses I have read of the American nation’s formation, ideology and political system. The documents linked to the book in the website www.democracyintheus.com have struck me as being very interesting and educational. The commentaries are brief but they go to the very essence of each of the themes, clarifying the reasons for which the political elite in this country operate the way that they do. Everything related to the Puritans and their thought, as well as other idiosyncrasies of the ideology that gave birth to the genesis of this nation, is of great interest, seeing that throughout history they are reflected in domestic and international policy.

Published in Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! April/May 2013

Activists in Brazil attack the role Sanchez has played

International prize-winning Cuban opposition ‘blogger’, Yoani Sanchez, is touring 12 countries over three continents in 80 days. She plays the lead in a grotesque circus performance which sees a handful of counter-revolutionaries jet-set to high-profile platforms, mainly in the US and Europe, to call for ‘regime change’ in Cuba. Others include Berta Soler, from the Ladies in White, and fellow ‘blogger’ Eliecer Avila. This follows the relaxation of Cuban migration legislation earlier this year (see FRFI 230). The tours are exposing the hypocrisy of these so-called champions of human rights and their links to imperialist interests. Helen Yaffe reports.*

Sanchez’s blogging activity was evidently conceived as part of a renewed strategy by US imperialism and its allies to generate a viable opposition in Cuba. The socialist Revolution had survived the economic crisis of the Special Period and was forging new anti-imperialist alliances in Latin America. The existing opposition in Cuba had no relevance to ordinary Cubans. In March 2013, 75 so-called ‘dissidents’ had been arrested and were subsequently tried and imprisoned for breaking Cuban laws and assisting the US programme of ‘regime change’. Sanchez spearheaded the formation of a new group of mercenaries to be seen as politically less crude, technologically more modern and financially less overtly linked to US imperialism.

Message of condolence from René González Sehwerertfidel chavez

'Dear loved ones of Comandante Chávez: 

The anticipated fear of losing this great Bolivarian has not tempered the grief we feel at his loss. We always carried the hope that with his indomitable spirit he would return to us to say firmly “for now”, and then, rising above the wounds of his body, the soldier would become whole in order to continue guiding an entire continent toward the just future that so many times has been taken away from us.

It hasn’t been possible. It would seem that the price of being so Bolivarian is that of being extinguished, not unlike the Liberator, or like the volcano that erupts with full force only to suddenly fall silent. But the mountain remains, that material which was once burning lava, and after the flames are quieted becomes a guiding light pointing out unequivocally towards that horizon we’ll reach one day, only to humble ourselves at its feet in perpetual homage, our chains broken and Jose Marti’s handful of free nations as our offering.

Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! 231 February-March 2013

usaid 

Documents posted on the US National Security Archive website on 18 January 2013 reveal that the government has ‘between five to seven different transition plans’ for Cuba, and that USAID-funded ‘democracy’ programmes designed to promote regime change are ‘an operational activity’ requiring ‘continuous discretion’. The documents were filed in a US court in response to a $60 million lawsuit filed by the family of Alan Gross, a US citizen serving a 15-year prison sentence in Cuba for ‘subversion against the state and the revolution’, against his employer Development Alternatives Inc (DAI).

Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! 231 February-March 2013

enrique oltuskiEnrique Oltuski Osacki
18 October 1930-16 December 2012

Enrique Oltuski made an indelible contribution to the revolutionary struggle in 1950s Cuba, to the process of socialist transition and as member of government until his death, aged 83, on 16 December 2012. Oltuski led the urban wing of the Movement of the 26th July (M26J) in central Cuba in the final year before the Revolution toppled the Batista dictatorship in January 1959. The English publication of his memoirs, Vida Clandestina, was politically important in undermining the lie that Cuba’s urban population was not active in the revolutionary struggle.

Born in Cuba in 1930 to a family of Polish Jewish immigrants, his family lived in Santa Clara in central Cuba, where his parents’ business prospered. Oltuski wanted for nothing, bothered only by the grinding daily poverty around him: ‘I saw barefoot children my own age begging, elderly people dressed in rags. At night women with children in their arms slept in the doorways of public buildings and in parks…we concluded that this had to be changed.’*

First published by Xinhua HAVANA, 26 February

Cuba is geared up to expand the application of biogas as part of a campaign to promote sustainable development, especially in the agricultural sector.

Experts with the Cuban Society for Promotion of Renewable Energy Sources and Environmental Protection (Cubasolar) convened on Tuesday to analyze the viability of some biogas projects presented at a national forum on biogas last week.

by Pedro Martínez Pírez 
25 February translated by Walter Lippmann

Photo: An election official gives a man ballot papers at a special polling station set up in Havana's main train station February 3, 2013. Cubans go to polls to elect National Assembly representatives.

An election official gives a man ballot papers at a special polling station set up in Havana's main train station February 3, 2013. Cubans go to polls to elect National Assembly representatives.

Cuba on Monday woke up with a new Parliament, renewed by 67 percent and made up of 612 national deputies, which include workers, farmers, teachers, doctors, scientists, writers, artists, religious leaders, students, political leaders, businessmen, sportsmen and military, with an average of 48 years old.

About half of the deputies in the National Assembly of People's Power are women, more than 82 percent have college educations and 37 percent are black, among the latter the new Parliament President Esteban Lazo Hernandez, who replaced as president of the top legislature to Ricardo Alarcón de Quesada, who held office for twenty years, and hereafter who will continue his talented work dedicated to the defense of the five Cuban prisoners of the empire.

Published in English on Palgrave blog:  Helen Yaffe

Yoani Sanchez-protest

These questions are addressed to international prize-winning Cuban 'blogger' Yoani Sanchez, who recently began a three-month international tour of the Americas and Europe. They were formulated by Salim Lamrani, a lecturer in France and specialist on relations between Cuba and the US, who, in early 2010 interviewed Yoani Sanchez in a hotel in central Havana. That important and sweeping interview can be found here

The questions were originally posted on Opera Mundi in French, then reposted in Spanish and translated from Spanish into English by Colin Brayton.

Yoani Sanchez is greeting by supporters of Cuba's revolutionary government in Brazil, first destination after leaving Cuba on 18 February 2013.

First published on www.politicker.comMarco Rubio

Rising Republican star and Florida Senator Marco Rubio might have made up a dramatic story about his family immigrating to the U.S. to flee Cuban leader Fidel Castro. Documents indicate Mr. Rubio fabricated a compelling personal narrative to go with the other unique qualities that have earned him status as a top potential White House contender and prime Vice Presidential pick..

Documents obtained by the Washington Post show Mr. Rubio’s parents arrived in the United States on May 27, 1956. At the time, Mr. Castro was in Mexico plotting his revolutionary return to Cuba. Mr. Rubio has always said his parents arrived here after escaping Mr. Castro’s Communist revolution that took place in 1959. As the Washington Post notes, “the second sentence of the official biography on his Senate Web site … says that Mario and Oriales Rubio ‘came to America following Fidel Castro’s takeover.’” Mr. Rubio has often referred to the story of his parent’s  departure from Cuba in speeches.