Thursday, August 31, 2006

Chomsky Slams Silence on US-Cuba
Havana, Aug 30 (Prensa Latina) US academic Noam Chomsky criticized Wednesday western silence on US plans for Cuba, terming them a reflection of an imperial mentality that is imperceptible for those who suffer from that disease."The idea is totally offensive," he said to Prensa Latina Chomsky, and also spoke of new White House threats on the island, which mention a secret chapter which makes some people suspect of a possible military aggression.Political activist from the times of the war in Vietnam, which he was always opposed, the professor is among the almost 22,000 figures and citizens of the world, including nine Nobel prizewinners, who have signed the Declaration "Cuba"s Sovereignty Must Be Respected."By retaking the anti-Cuban plans, he stated the US reflecting a savage imperial mentality that "has caused terrible suffering on the world for several centuries."Among US signers are journalist Saul Landau, actors Benicio del Toro, Danny Glover and Harry Belafonte.The declaration "Cuba"s Sovereignty Must Be Respected" warns that right after Fidel Castro"s proclamation on his health and the provisional delegation of his responsibilities, US top officials formulated explicit declarations on Cuba"s immediate future.Faced with this threat against integrity of a nation, peace and security in Latin America and the world, signers demand that the US government respect Cuba"s sovereignty."We must impede at all cost a new aggression," states the text.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Cubans Faced Storm with Discipline and Organization
Havana, Aug 29 (ACN) Cubans in the eastern part of the island faced the passage of tropical storm Ernesto with discipline and organization; while there were no accidents or victims, material damaged is being assessed. During a televised round table discussion, held on Monday night in the presence of Cuban Vice-president Carlos Lage Davila, panelists analyzed the impact of tropical storm Ernesto and the actions taken to prevent damage during its passage. Participants agreed that the general public and authorities gave a rapid and effective response to the passage of the storm.Civil Defense official Colonel Jose Betancourt noted that 1,204 safe areas were set up for evacuees, though nearly 80 percent of those who were evacuated went to homes of their neighbors and relatives where they received material support and food. Betancourt stressed the effectiveness of measures to prevent damage to public and personal property, stored food and raw materials and other resources. A group of power generators were also activated to guarantee electricity for the production of basic services. Likewise, herds of cattle were transferred to safe locations and communications and other equipment were protected from damage.Betancourt said no accidents or fatalities were reported and he called on the people to keep abiding by preventive measures over the coming hours. He underscored the importance of the recovery stage, beginning with essential services for the population, including the reestablishing of transportation. The assessment of infrastructure damage is underway, said the Civil Defense official. Meanwhile, air and railway transportation to eastern Cuban provinces were re-established by Tuesday morning. Tropical Storm Ernesto is expected to gain intensity on its way to the US southern Florida coast, where it could arrive as a hurricane, warned Cuban weather expert Jose Rubiera. On its passage through the western Cuban provinces, Ernesto left rainfall accumulation of more than 100 millimetres, resulting in floods in local areas - particularly in Guantanamo province. Heavy seas, high tides and floods caused by rains could still be consequences of Ernesto along Cuban coasts, said Rubiera. The meteorologist said some atmospheric conditions have limited the development of storms in June, July and August, though only five storms have thus far formed in the western Atlantic. He warned though that September and October are the most dangerous stage of the hurricane season in this part of the world. However, he Tropical storm Ernesto reportedly left at least one death in Haiti while thousands were evacuated in the Dominican Republic.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

More US Students at Cuba Med School
"We are bringing young people who couldn’t fulfill their dreams in the United States," said Rev. Lucius Walker, as he accompanied a new group of US students to the Latin American School of Medicine (ELAM) in Havana.
ELAM began primarily as a center to train doctors from the Central American countries hit by hurricane Mitch in 1998. Soon after, it expanded to accept low-income students from around Latin America and more recently has also given underprivileged
young people from the United States the opportunity to study medicine.
Rev. Walker said that the new students are themselves victims of "the values in our country" that turns medicine into a commercial product and of a deficient public health system. He noted that these young people haven’t lost their dreams and now can continuing dreaming thanks to Cuba.
"We have a marvelous task through Pastors for Peace —which each year sponsors a caravan to Cuba in defiance of the US
blockade against the island—, but we have never been part of a project that brings so much joy as the Latin American School of Medicine, said Walker.
After expressing his gratitude for all that Cuba does, Walker asked that Fidel Castro be told "the immense appreciation we feel for him, for his ideas, and also reiterate to him our commitment to continue working together for this project."
The new US students, seven women and six men, were welcomed by ELAM President Dr. Juan D. Carrizo Estevez. With this new group, a total of 88 young people from the US are now studying medicine in Cuba.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Miami, shelter of a hysterical and merciless mafia
By Orlando de la Cruz Barbán
Miami has become the paradise of the rage and the lies, where for some miserable dollars a fauna of frustrated people cry our for Fidel Castro’s death, one of the men that history already recognizes as a moral giant.
Those who pay are the same guys that have got rich with a hostile and murderous policy toward the Cuba people for decades; and of course, they are those who take the biggest cut in the money that the government of the United States dedicates to its faithful servants of the counterrevolution, at the taxpayers’ expense.
Fortunately, in Miami, not everybody is in favour of those who define themselves “anti-Castro fighters”; that is the members of the Cuban American National Foundation, and others of same kind, as the so-called Comandos F-4, Alpha-66, Omega-7 and Brothers to the Rescue who intimidate no one in this untamable Island with boasts of criminals.
Amid the rarefied atmosphere of that city, marked by a sordid, anti-human, warlike spirit and saturated of lies and public scandals, Five Cuban patriots were judged for penetrating those groups in southern Florida; groups devoted themselves to illegal activities including terrorism.
The mission of de Antonio Guerrero, Gerardo Hernández, René González, Ramón Labañino and Fernando González was to impede that those radical organizations could fulfil their macabre plots against Cuba, activities that they have been perpetrating for almost 50 years affecting not only Cubans, but citizens from other nations.
With all these antecedents and more, the jury of Miami-Dade did not have the enough courage to issue a fair verdict, when the real terrorists such as the members of the Cuban American National Foundation launched all kind of threats; liked that of José Basalto, ringleader of Brothers to the Rescue when said: “These jurors have to be concerned unless they convict these men of every count lodged against them”.
It seems that the members of the jury had to “understand” that clear and evident message: " if you don't indict the Five, then you’ll have to accept the consequences!, and if you want more elements, just look at the television cameras, everyone knows that you are members of the jury, and you cannot forget that and you cannot make a mistake."
That is why, the Five Cubans that are serving long and unjust sentences in federal prisons in the United States should not be tried in Miami, because it was not a neutral city, on the contrary the law of the jungle rules there and the justice is permanently squashed by the enemies of the Cuban people, that roll around on the dunghill of their ill hatred against the Revolution.
But little by little the North Americans will learn the injustices that have proliferated around the trial of the Cuban Five, thanks to George W. Bush ‘s “buddies”, masterminds of the cheatings that took him to the White House.
The world must know everything about it, and know that the current president of the United States that “champion” of the antiterrorist crusade, houses infamous murderers like Luis Posada Carriles and Orlando Bosch in his own country.
As far as I know, you can not put out a fire with a thimble of water, and the truth of the Cuban Five antiterrorists fighters, imprisoned in jails of the Empire, is more or more known by the public in the United States. Definitively, they are the ones who will demand justice for René, Fernando, Antonio, Gerardo and Ramón.
That’s enough! Justice should be done.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Cuba Opens Baseball Tournament with Adiel Palma
"We’ve got a team ready to win a birth in the [Beijing] Olympics, with strong pitching, excellent defense, clutch hitting and most importantly, tremendous inspiration on the field," said the manager of the Cuban national baseball team at a press conference on Thursday.
The Olympic qualifying event hosted by Cuba gets underway Friday evening with a lone night game between Cuba and Colombia.
Cuba, competing in Group A of the two group event that will determine two qualifiers from the Americas for the 2008 Beijing Olympics, announced lefthander Adiel Palma as its starting pitcher.
The Cuban manager said that if the Colombian starter is a righthander he will use a lineup with Eduardo Paret SS, Michel Enriquez 3B, Yulieski Gouriell 2B, Alexander Mayeta 1B, Frederich Cepeda in LF, Ariel Pestano C, Osmani Urrutia DH, Alexei Ramirez RF and Giorvis Duvergel in center. "It’s a fast team with three left handed batters, a lineup that did well in Cartegena" [the site of the recent Central American and Caribbean Games].
Two noticeable absences on the Cuban team are outfielder Yoandry Garlobo and pitcher Yadel Marti who both played extremely well in the World Baseball Classic in March, but poorly in the Cartegena Games. Coach Benito Camacho said Garlobo was not up to par in practice and Yadel is still not fully recovered from a shoulder injury.
The opening game between Cuba and Colombia will be preceded by an inauguration ceremony of the Pre-Olympic Tournament, which features a tribute to more than 70 stars of Cuban baseball since the 1959 revolution.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Medical graduates: 1,593 from 26 countries
IF a system for training doctors en masse like the one implemented by the Cubans is not adopted, the future of the peoples is uncertain, because between epidemics and social marginalization the health of the poor of the planet is constantly threatened.
So said Cuban Health Minister José Ramón Balaguer at the central graduation event for students in Medical Science yesterday afternoon at the Victoria de Girón Institute of Basic and Pre-Clinical Science.
As of yesterday, Cuba has 2,314 new health professionals and 1,593 students from 26 countries also received their medical diplomas.
It was in this same venue, inaugurated by Fidel 44 years ago, that the mass training of doctors began after many of those existing on the island emigrated to the United States as a result of campaigns against the Revolution, he recalled.
“Cuba now has 71,000 doctors,” he noted. “Thanks to their responsibility and human sensibility we have achieved a giant army that is giving solidarity within and without the island, not only raising the quality of life of their patients but other values that are also promoters of health.”
“Our country is lending medical assistance in 68 nations and has offered aid in a hundred countries,” noted Balaguer, who recalled the interest in establishing 11 faculties similar to that of the Latin America School of Medicine (ELAM) in various Third World countries, above all in Africa.
Brazilian doctor Alexander Sales, the best all-round ELAM graduate, affirmed that the principles forged in the six years of study will be applied in their countries of origin and wherever they are needed.
Reading out the oath of the graduates, Julio Arma, a general doctor, emphasized maintaining the ethics of the profession in any part of the world and serving the most unprotected peoples of the planet.
This central event, dedicated to President Fidel Castro’s 80th birthday and the 50th anniversary of the Granma Landing, was attended by José Ramón Machado Ventura, Pedro Ross Leal and Concepción Campa, members of the Political Bureau.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Terrorist Disclosures Could Help Cuban Five
Havana, Aug 22 (ACN) One of the most important daily newspapers of California, US, Los Angeles Time assured that the latest disclosures on anti-Cuba groups' conspiracies against Cuba could help the Cuban Five obtain a new trail.
In an article entitled "Anti-Castro Disclosures Could Help Cuban Five" by journalist Carol J. Williams indicates that recently disclosed information on terrorists Tonin Llama, Robert Ferro and Santiago Alvarez could help bring about a new trial for the Cuban Five, reported Granma newspaper.
The Times recalls that Gerardo Hernandez, Fernando Gonzalez, Antonio Guerrero, Ramon Labanino and Rene Gonzalez, known as the Five, were sentenced five years ago under the federal charges of conspiracy to commit espionage during their 2001 trial, while they were actually in the US to infiltrate radical Cuban exile groups that had devised and executed dozens of missions to topple the Communist government in Cuba."
The L.A. Times refers to the case of 'La Esperanza' yacht seized in Puerto Rico in 1997 with weapons on board en route to Magarita Island, Venezuela, to assassinate Fidel Castro. Their plan was later corroborated by Jose Antonio Llama, who admitted having "financed a 1997 mission to kill Castro for which he had already been tried and acquitted," says the article.
In addition, the article refers to the case of Californian Robert Ferro who "collected 1,500 guns and grenades for an assault on Cuba."
The journalist notes that next month the trial begins in the case of Miami developer Santiago Alvarez on charges of amassing guns last year for an attack on Castro.
"We are following these new developments and when we feel we are closer to having the full story, we will bring it to the court's attention," said Leonard Weinglass, the civil rights attorney handling appeals for Antonio Guerrero, who is serving a life sentence in Colorado.
The L.A. Times goes on to state, "earlier this month, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta rejected a new trial sought on grounds that the men's 2001 process was conducted in a tainted venue: emotionally charged Miami after the Elian Gonzalez custody battle." The Aug. 9 ruling was a setback, but "not the end of the case --far from it," lawyer Weinglass is quoted as saying.
"He [Weinglass] noted that the appeals court had yet to rule on nine challenges to the Miami federal court conviction," said the Times.

Friday, August 18, 2006

No enemy can defeat us

Affirms Raúl in a statement to Granma. He affirmed that Fidel continues to improve and thanked people for the thousands of messages of solidarity and support from our country and abroad. Measures have been taken to prevent any attempt at aggression. The people are giving a conclusive demonstration of confidence in themselves
The General of the Army Raúl Castro Ruz has offered an interview to Granma daily. The conversation took place in his office at the Ministry of the Revolutionary Armed Forces (MINFAR) and focused on the principal events of recent days.
Comrade Raúl, our people joyfully received the message and photographs of the Comandante en Jefe published in the press and the subsequent television report of the encounter with president Chávez. Nevertheless, taking advantage of this opportunity, it would be greatly appreciated by millions of people who have attentively followed information on the state of health of compañero Fidel, to hear your personal assessment, as someone always so united to him.
Without any doubt, what most interests all of us at this time is the Jefe’s health.
On behalf of all the people, I will begin by congratulating and thanking the doctors and the other compañeros and compañeras who have attended to him in an excellent manner, with an unsurpassable professionalism and, above all, with much love and dedication. This has been a very important factor in Fidel’s progressive recovery.
Moreover, I think that his exceptional physical and mental nature has also been essential to his satisfactory and gradual recovery.
We Cubans, even when we don’t see you for a while on television or in the written press, know that you are there, at your combat post as always. But I think that these words of yours will also disarm the speculation and lies present in some of the foreign media.
If you are referring to those in other countries who entertain themselves by speculating about if I am going to appear on television or in the papers or not; well, I appeared with Fidel on Sunday (August 13) and when I received President Chávez , although really those comments don’t bother me in the slightest.
What does interest me greatly is what our people are thinking, although, fortunately, we live in this geographically small island, where everything that we are doing is known. I can confirm that when I talk with the population or other local leaders in my tours of the country.
As a point of fact, I am not used to making frequent appearances in public, except at times when it is required. Many tasks related to defense should not be made public and have to be handled with maximum care, and that has been one of my fundamental responsibilities as FAR minister. Moreover, I have always been discreet, that is my way, and in passing I will clarify that I am thinking of continuing in that way. But that has not been the fundamental reason why I don’t appear very often in the mass media; simply, it has not been necessary.
No essential orientation has been overlooked…
Effectively, the Comandante en Jefe’s Proclamation gave the information that could be given at that time and moreover, proposed specific tasks for everyone. The main thing is to dedicate oneself in body and soul to fulfilling them. That is what all the leaders at different levels have been doing, together with our people who have known how to maintain an exemplary discipline, vigilance and working spirit.
On behalf of the Comandante en Jefe and the Party leadership, I will take the opportunity of thanking everyone for the innumerable displays of support for the Revolution and for the content of his Proclamation, as well as the demonstrations of affection that have been expressed by figures from the cultural sector; professionals and workers in all sectors; campesinos, soldiers, housewives, students, pioneers; among them numerous believers, public figures and religious institutions from the overwhelming majority of denominations; finally, the people of Cuba. It has been a conclusive demonstration of their unbreakable unity and their revolutionary consciousness, essential pillars of the fortitude of our country.
The breadth of support coming from all over the world has also been impressive.
Yes, really heartening. That is why I should also like to express thanks for the numerous messages of solidarity and respect from all over the world, from people of the most diverse social categories, from simple workers to intellectual and political figures, as well as a significant and representative number of religious institutions and figures. All of them have done so without any conditions whatsoever. Messages from the few who did not act in that way were not accepted or acknowledged.
Also, they have been joined to date (August 17) by some 12,000 signatories supporting the call made 10 days ago by prominent cultural personalities from more than 100 countries, among them various Nobel Prize winners, condemning the interfering and aggressive statements of the government of the United States, and which also exposes the openly interventionist nature of the Bush Plan, as we are calling that monster that would seem to be dusted off from the times when – as at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th – they frustrated the independence of Cuba and imposed their administrators on us.
Now they have also designed one for the supposed "transition." One McCarry, who recently stated that the United States does not accept the continuity of the Cuban Revolution, although he didn’t say how they are thinking of averting that.
One gets the impression that the enemies of the Revolution have been left speechless by the conclusive reaction of the Cuban population, immune to their giant and disgraceful campaign of offenses and lies. They are talking with surprise at the calm reigning in Cuba, as if it was something unusual and not exactly normal, and which all of us here knew would happen in a situation such as this.
Yes, it would seem that they have come to believe their own lies. The most probable is that their "think tanks" and many of their analysts are now drawing other conclusions.
As you were saying, absolute tranquility is reigning in the country. And something even more important, the serene, disciplined and decisive attitude that can be felt in every workplace, in every city, in every neighborhood. The same one that our people always assume in moments of difficulty. If we were to be guided solely by the internal situation, I am not exaggerating in affirming that it would not have been necessary to mobilize even one pioneer from among those who guard the ballot boxes in the elections.
But we have never ignored a threat from the enemy. It would be irresponsible to do so when faced with a government like that of the United States, which has is declaring with the greatest audacity that it does not accept what is established in the Cuban Constitution. From over there, as if they were the rulers of the planet, they are saying that there must be a transition to a social regime of their liking and that they "would take note of those who oppose that." Although it seems incredible, this boorish and at the same time stupid attitude was assumed by President Bush a few days ago.
They’ll have to waste a lot of paper and ink...
A lot. For that reason I would advise them to do the opposite. To "take note," as they say, of the annexationists on the payroll of the U.S. Interest Section here in Havana, those who are going to receive the crumbs of the announced $80 million earmarked for subversion, because the bulk of it will be distributed in Miami, as is usually the case.
On the contrary, the list is going to be interminable. They would have to list the names of millions and millions of Cuban men and women, the same ones who are ready to receive their designated administrator with rifles in hand.
At this juncture, they should be very clear that it is not possible to achieve anything in Cuba with impositions and threats. On the contrary, we have always been disposed to normalize relations on an equal plane. What we do not accept is the arrogant and interventionist policy frequently assumed by the current administration of that country.
Recently rereading Party Congress documents, I found ideas that seemed to have been written today. For example, this excerpt from the Central Report presented by Fidel to the Third Congress in February 1986:
"As we have demonstrated many times, Cuba is not remiss to discussing its prolonged differences with the United States and to go out in search of peace and better relations between our people."
And he continued:
"But that would have to be on the basis of the most unrestricted respect for our condition as a country that does not tolerate shadows on its independence, for whose dignity and sovereignty entire generations of Cubans have fought and sacrificed themselves. This would be possible only when the United States decides to negotiate with seriousness and is willing to treat us with a spirit of equality, reciprocity and the fullest mutual respect."
Similar formulations are contained in the documents from the other Party Congresses and have also been reaffirmed by its first secretary on diverse occasions.
Nevertheless they are continuing with the same aggressive and arrogant policy as always.
That is the reality. More than 20 years have passed since Fidel pronounced the words that I have just cited; they have that 485-page interventionist plan that I already mentioned, approved in 2004, in which they detail how they propose to dismantle the achievements of the Revolution in health, education, social security; agrarian reform and urban reform; in other words, to kick the people off their land, out of their homes so as to hand them back to their former owners, etc. etc. etc.
To cap it all, just a few days ago, on July 10, President Bush officially approved a document complementing the former one, and which they had posted with a very low profile on the Internet in June. They have openly stated that it includes a secret appendix that is not being published "for reasons of national security" and "to ensure its effective implementation;" those are literally the terms that they used, and which constitute a flagrant violation of international law.
For a while now we have been adopting measures to confront those plans. These were reinforced particularly when the current U.S. government initiated the unbridled warmongering policy that it has maintained to date, including the announced intention to attack without previous warning any of those places that they call the "sixty or more dark corners of the world."
A notable escalation of aggression…
Effectively, and in 2003 the plans became more explicit. On December 5 of that year, Mr. Roger Noriega, then assistant secretary of state for Western Hemisphere Affairs, declared – I don’t know if it was intentional or a slip – that "the transition in Cuba – in other words – the death of Fidel – could happen at any moment and we have to be prepared to be agile and decisive." That "the United States wanted to be sure that the regime’s cronies have no hope of holding onto power" and, so as to leave no doubt, he added that they were working "to ensure that there was no succession to the Castro regime." Subsequently he and other senior U.S. officials have returned to the theme insistently.
What other form exists for obtaining these goals that is not military aggression? Thus, the country adopted the pertinent measures for counteracting that real danger.
Faced with similar situations, Martí taught us what to do: "Plan against plan. Without a plan of resistance, a plan of attack cannot be defeated," he wrote in the newspaper Patria on June 11, 1892.
The United States government is not revealing the contents of that appendix because it is illegal. Its publication must be demanded, above all now that they have spoken about its existence in order to threaten Cuba.
On the contrary, our defense plans are transparent and legal, simply because they do not threaten anybody; their sole objective is to guarantee the sovereignty and independence of the homeland; they do not violate any national or international law whatsoever.
The country’s media has informed about the seriousness and reach of the measures that we have been adopting recently to steadily strengthen our defense. Just over a month ago, on July 1, the issue was analyzed extensively by the Fifth Plenum of the Central Committee of the Party.
Some of the empire’s war hawks thought that the moment had come to destroy the Revolution this past July 31.
We could not rule out the risk of somebody going crazy, or even crazier, within the U.S. government.
Consequently, at 3 a.m. on August 1, in fulfillment of the plans approved and signed on January 13, 2005 by compañero Fidel, and after having made the established consultations, I decided to substantially raise our combative capacity and readiness via the implementation of the projected measures, including the mobilization of several tens of thousands of reservists and militia members, and the proposal to our principal units of regular troops, including the Special Troops, of missions demanded by the political/military situation that has been created.
All of the mobilized personnel has completed or is currently completing an important cycle of combat training and cohesion, part of that under campaign conditions.
These troops will rotate, in approximately equal numbers, as the proposed objectives are attained. All of the reservists and militia members who are to participate in these activities will be informed, with the necessary anticipation, of the date of incorporation into their units and the time that they will remain in these to fulfill their guard duty to the homeland.
To date, the mobilization that we began on August 1 has developed satisfactorily, thanks to the magnificent response by our reservists and militia members, as well as the commendable labor undertaken by the military commands and especially by the Defense Councils, under the leadership of the Party, at every level.
It is not my intention to exaggerate the danger. I never have done so. Up until now, the attacks during these days have not gone further than rhetorical ones, except for the substantial increase in subversive anti-Cuba broadcasts over radio and television.
They have announced the use of a new airplane...
Previously, they were using, at varying intervals, a military airplane known as Comando Solo. From this past August 5, they began using another type of aircraft that has effected daily transmissions. On August 11, it did so in conjunction with the aforementioned Comando Solo.
In fact, on the 5th and 6th, our radars detected that transmissions were being made from international waters, in outright violation of the agreements of the International Telecommunications Union, to which the United States is a signatory, which once again we are condemning via the corresponding channels and agencies, given that moreover these transmissions are affecting broadcasting in our country.
In reality, we are totally unconcerned at the hypothetical influence of this crude and abysmally-made propaganda, very much below the cultural and political levels of the Cuban population and which moreover our people reject, just as they reject the little signs on the U.S. Interests Section. That is not what this is about; it is above all a matter of sovereignty and of dignity. We would never passively allow the consummation of that aggressive act, and that is why we interfere with it.
All things considered, they are spending millions in U.S. taxpayers’ money to achieve the same result as ever: a TV that is not seen.
I add to these reflections on the country’s defense an idea expressed by Fidel in 1975, in his Central Report to the First Party Congress, which I have quoted so much that I know it by heart:
"As long as imperialism exists, the Party, the State and the people will give their utmost attention to the services of defense. The revolutionary guard will never be neglected. History shows with too much eloquence that those who forget this principle do not survive the error."
That has been our guide throughout many years, and continues to be today for more than enough reasons.
I think that we Cubans have shown during these days that we all share that conviction.
I agree with you, and that is why I conclude by ratifying my congratulations to the Cuban people for their overwhelming demonstration of confidence in themselves; a demonstration of maturity, serenity, monolithic unity, discipline, revolutionary consciousness and — put this in capital letters — FIRMNESS, which reminded me of the conduct of the Cuban people during the heroic days of the so-called Missile Crisis in October 1962.
They are the fruits of a Revolution whose concept Fidel summed up in his speech of May 1, 2000, in 20 basic ideas that constitute the quintessence of ideological political work. They are the results of many years of combat that, under his leadership, we have waged. Let nobody doubt, as long as we remain like that, no enemy will be able to defeat us. •

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

World Personalities Step up to Defend Cuba’s Sovereignty

A document demanding that the United States respect Cuba’s sovereignty has so far gathered 10,800 signatures from important individuals from around the world including nine Nobel Prize laureates, artists, writers, scholars, humanists and social activists.
The document, entitled The Sovereignty of Cuba Must Be Respected, was first circulated after an August 7 reading at Havana´s Casa de las Americas Cultural Center by Belgian theologian Francois Houtart and Cuban poet Roberto Fernandez Retamar.
The text denounces Washington’s recent threats against the island’s territorial integrity that came after a July 31 proclamation made by Cuban President Fidel Castro that temporarily delegated his powers to Vice President Raul Castro and other top officials.
The document reads that the Bush Administration has come out with statements that are "increasingly explicit about the immediate future of Cuba," such as that made by US Secretary of Commerce Carlos M. Gutierrez who said, "[…] the moment of a real transition to a real democracy has arrived."
The document has been signed by Nobel Prize for Literature winners Jose Saramago, Nadine Gordimer, Dario Fo and Wole Soyinka; Nobel Peace Prize laureates Desmond Tutu, Rigoberta Menchu and Adolfo Perez Esquivel; and Nobel Prize winner for Physics Zhores Alfiorov.
British playwright Harold Pinter was the ninth Nobel Prize laureate to sign the document, along with actors Benicio del Toro, Danny Glover and Jorge Perugorria; and writers Juan Gelman, Mario Benedetti, Frei Betto, Eduardo Galeano, and Ignacio Ramonet.
The document also condemns statements by White House spokesperson Tony Snow —later reiterated by Bush— that said the US government was "ready and eager to provide humanitarian, economic and other aid to the people of Cuba."
The US State Department has said that plans for Cuba include measures that will remain secret "for national security reasons" and to assure an "effective completion" —an admission that has led many to think about the possibility of a military aggression against the Caribbean nation.
Along with the growing menace against Cuba, the document warns that peace and security in Latin America and the world are also increasingly threatened, "We must, by all means, stop a new aggression."
Other individuals who have signed The Sovereignty of Cuba Must Be Respected are former US Attorney General Ramsey Clark, Tomas Borge, James Petras, Piero Gleijeses, Belen Gopegui, Miguel D'Escoto, Volodia Teitelboim, Oscar Niemeyer, Manu Chau and Chico Buarque.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Unforgettable Afternoon among Brothers

As announced Saturday, when he launched his presidential reelection campaign, Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez arrived to Havana on Sunday to celebrate Fidel Castro’s 80th birthday.
Interim President Raul Castro met Chavez at the airport with a hug that symbolized the warmth of the Cuban people and their appreciation of a friend who has demonstrated his great compassion and solidarity.
Fidel awaited Chavez in his hospital bed where he is recovering from surgery. The two leaders —close personal friends—, spent more than three hours together in an emotional meeting, exchanging anecdotes, laughs, photographs, gifts and a snack.

"This is the best visit I’ve made in my life," said the Venezuelan president. Amazed by Fidel’s ability to recover he said: "What kind of a human being is this? What is he made of? It’s like you say, of Caguairan," (an especially resistant hard wood tree found in Cuba).
Chavez told Fidel that he had wanted to surprise him and spent a week trying to paint a portrait of him, but finally gave up in the early hours of the 13, unsatisfied with his drawing of Fidel’s nose. Instead he gave Fidel a painting by Jose Antonio Quinerto, a young Venezuelan artist, along with a bowl from the dinnerware of Napoleon collected by South American liberator Simon Bolivar and Bolivar’s dagger.
Raul Castro gave Chavez a portrait of Fidel made in 1959 by Mexican painter David Alfaro Siquieros, which for some time hung in his office at the Ministry of the Revolutionary Armed Forces.
It was an unforgettable afternoon, shared by brothers of blood and cause, bringing strength and new inspiration to the battle-hardened commander of a thousand clashes, committed to obtaining a new victory for life.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Message sent by Fidel Castro to the Cuban people

Dear countrymen and friends of Cuba and the rest of the world: Today is already day 13 and I have arrived to the 80 years of age. To say that the objective stability has improved considerably is not to invent a lie. To affirm that the period of recovery will last few days and that it doesn't already exist risk some, it would be absolutely incorrect. I suggest to all optimistic being, and at the same time to be always ready to face any adverse news. To the Cuban people, infinite gratitude for their affectionate support. The country goes and it will continue going perfectly well. To my fight friends, eternal glory to resist and to overcome to the empire, demonstrating that a better world is possible. Today, August 13, I feel very happy. To all those that wanted my health, I promise them that I will fight for her. taken of Juventud Rebelde.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Unprecedented Decision in Atlanta on Cuban Five Case

Exactly a year after a three judge panel of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals of Atlanta unanimously overturned the convictions in Miami of five Cuban anti-terrorist fighters, the full court ruled Wednesday on the prosecution’s request to reconsider the August 9, 2005 decision.
In a 120-page document the full 12-magistrate court decided, with two judges dissenting, against the defense request for a change of venue and a new trial and sent the case back to the three judge panel for consideration of remaining issues.
In their ruling a year ago the judges had limited themselves to addressing the Cuban Five’s contention that pervasive community prejudice against the Cuban government and publicity surrounding the case prevented them from receiving a fair trial.
In throwing out their convictions and sentences the three-judge panel had unanimously agreed that pretrial publicity combined with pervasive anti-Cuba feeling in Miami didn't allow for a fair trial. The US government then asked the full appeals court to reconsider, ending in yesterday’s decision and a return to square one.
The ruling means a further dragging out of the case and continues the indefinite imprisonment of the five Cubans, who will reach eight years behind bars on Sept. 12.
The Cuban Five maintain their efforts were restricted to gathering information on violent Miami-based rightwing groups, some of whom have carried out terrorist actions against the island for over four decades.
The goal was to keep Cuban and US citizens from being the victims of terrorist acts promoted by individuals like Luis Posada Carriles, a confessed assassin accused of being behind the blowing up of a Cuban airliner killing 73 persons.
Posada Carriles is currently under US government protection and a hearing on his request for US citizenship is scheduled for consideration on August 14. Posada believes he deserves US citizenship for services rendered in the US army and with the CIA under George Bush Sr.
The news on the Atlanta court ruling came shortly after the nightly Cuban television Round Table program had updated viewers on the Cuban Five case. The panelists in the program noted that six months had gone by since the full court had listened to oral arguments from the defense and prosecution.
The full court’s very acceptance to reconsider the original unanimous decision of the three judge panel overturning the Cuban Five’s convictions was considered by many legal experts to be unprecedented in US law.
Cuba has repeatedly maintained that the bad faith demonstrated by the prosecution confirms the political nature of the case, filled from the beginning with hate and a desire for revenge against Cuba.
The ruling comes at a time of stepped up calls in Miami from Cuban-American extremists for a blood bath on the island, while advocating political assassination and genocide to destroy the Cuban Revolution once and for all.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

The sovereignty of Cuba must be respected

As a result of the communication of Fidel Castro on his state of health and the provisional delegation of his responsibilities, high ranking U.S officials have formulated more explicit statements about the immediate future of Cuba. The Secretary of ommerce Carlos Gutierrez said that “the moment has arrived for a true transition towards a true democracy” and the White House spokesman Tony Snow said that his government is “ready and eager to provide humanitarian, economic and other aid to the people of Cuba", as was recently reiterated by President Bush. Already the “Commission for Assistance to a free Cuba”, presided over by the Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, pointed out in a report issued on June “the urgency of working today to ensure that the Castro regimen's succession strategy does not succeed” and President Bush indicated that this document “demonstrates that we are actively working for change in Cuba, not simply waiting for change”. The Department of State has emphasized that the plan includes measures that will remain secret “for reasons of national security” and to assure its “effective implementation”. It is not difficult to imagine the character of such measures and the “announced assistance” if one considers the militarization of the foreign policy of the present American administration and its performance in Iraq. In front of this increasing threat against the integrity of a nation, and the peace and the security of Latin America and the world, we the signatories listed below demand that the government of the United States respect the sovereignty of Cuba. We must prevent a new aggression at all costs.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Proclamation of the Commander-in-Chief Fidel Castro Ruz to the Cuban people.

Because of the enormous effort I have made at visiting the Argentinean Córdoba City, participating at the meeting of MERCOSUR, participating at the closing of the Summit of the people in the historical University of Córdoba and at the visit to Altagracia, the city where Che lived when he was a child, and together with this my immediate attendance to the commemoration of the 53rd Anniversary of the attack to the Moncada and Carlos Manuel de Céspedes Garrisons, on July 26th, in Granma and Holguín, and days and nights after a continuous work without sleeping, brought about a wane of my health, which has resisted a lot of proofs, and my health got stressed and is having problems.

It caused me a high intestinal crisis with a continuous bleeding which obliged me to face a complicated surgery. All the details of this health accident are in radiographies, endoscopes and filmed materials. The surgery obliges me to stay in bed for several weeks, away from my responsibilities and charges.

As our country is been threaten nowadays by the Government of the United States, I have made the following decision:

1) For the time being, I authorize Mr. Raúl Castro Ruz as Second Secretary to take the charge of First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Cuban Communist Party.

2) For the time being, I authorize General of Army Mr. Raúl Castro Ruz, to play the role of Commander in Chief of the heroic Revolutionary Armed Forces.

3) For the time being, I authorize Mr. Raúl Castro Ruz as Vice-president to take the charge of President of the Council of State and Ministers of the Government of the Republic of Cuba.
4) For the time being, I authorize Mr. José Ramón Balaguer Cabrera as Member of the Politic Bureau and Minister of Public Health to take the charge of main impeller of the National and International Program of Public Health.

5) For the time being, I authorize Mr. José Ramón Machado Ventura and Mr. Esteban Lazo Hernández as Members of the Politic Bureau to take the charge of main impeller of the National and International Program of Education.

6) For the time being, I authorize Carlos Lage Dávila as Member of the Politic Bureau and Secretary of the Executive Committee of the Council of Ministers to take the charge of main impeller of the National Program of the Cuban Energetic Revolution and the Program of Collaboration with other countries in this field.

The corresponding funds to these three programs: Health, Education and Energetic, shall continue being managed with priority as I have personally done until now, it will be carried out as usual by Mr. Carlos Lage Dávila, Secretary of the Executive Committee of the Council of Ministers, Mr. Francisco Soberón Valdés, Minister and President of the Central Bank of Cuba, and Felipe Pérez Roque, Foreign Minister, who have been with me in these affairs and shall constitute a commission for fulfilling this objective.

Our glorious Communist Party, held on mass organizations and people, has the mission of assuming the assigned duty in this Proclamation.

The meeting Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement, which will take place between September 11th and September 16th, shall receive the best assistance of the State and the Cuban Nation so that it can be held brilliantly on the date that was set.

The 80th Anniversary of my birthday, which thousands of great personalities gently agreed to celebrate next August 13th, I beg you to postpone it for next December 2nd of this year, on the 50th Anniversary of the Landing of ‘Granma’.

I ask the Central Committee of the Cuban Party and the National Assembly of the Popular Power the firmest support to this Proclamation.

I have no shade of doubt about the fact that our people and our Revolution will stand up until death for defending these and other ideas and measures that will be necessarily taken in order to protect this historical process.

The imperialism will never defeat Cuba.
The Battle of Ideas will go on.
Long life the Homeland!
Long life Revolution!
Long life Socialism!
Until Victory forever!
Fidel Castro Ruz
Council of State and Ministers of the Republic of Cuba, Comander in Chief, President Fidel Castro Ruz.
July 31st, 2006
6:22 p.m.