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.

First published 10 February 2013 on

The world's most famous "secret annex" is tucked behind a bookcase where 13-year-old Anne Frank hid out during the Nazi occupation.
Lesser known is the secret annex to a report describing the U.S. government's Cuba strategy in the post-Castro era.

gerardo-hernandezFirst published 11 February 2013 the International Committee for the Freedom of the Cuban Five

The Los Angeles-based Center for Human Rights and Constitutional Law has initiated several requests under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) seeking access to records that may show (1) what the U.S. Government knew about the likelihood for a confrontation between Cuba and Brothers to the Rescue (BTTR) planes that were routinely taking off from Florida after filing false flight plans and penetrating Cuban airspace in 1995-96, and (2) what the U.S. Government could have done to prevent the February 24, 1996 incident in which a Cuban MiG shot down two Brothers to the Rescue planes that had illegally penetrated Cuban airspace.

This interview was conducted on February 8, 2013 by the International Committee for the Freedom of the Cuban 5 with Peter Schey, President of the Center for Human Rights and Constitutional Law and lead counsel in the FOIA cases.

cubans residents in europeFirst published in Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism!

The new migration laws to be enacted on 14 January 2013 present a challenge to US imperialism and should bring political and economic benefits to Cuba. Announced in October 2012, the legislation removes the requirement of an exit visa, known as a ‘white card’, and letter of invitation for Cubans planning to travel overseas, and extends the period for which Cubans may stay overseas without losing citizenship rights. The measures also facilitate the return to Cuba, either permanently or for visits, of Cubans currently living overseas, including those who left illegally or who abandoned internationalist missions. HELEN YAFFE reports.

From Granma, November 2, 2012

Ministry of Foreign Affairs Statement

THE U.S. Interests Section in Havana continues to function as the general staff in charge of implementing the government's policy of subversion toward Cuba, which has as one of its principal goals the fabrication of an opposition movement challenging the legitimate Cuban government and fomenting internal destabilization, in order to provoke a 'regime change' in the country.