Archive for March 5th, 2011

Alberto Granado Passed Away in Havana

March 5, 2011

Che Guevara’s Travelling Companion Alberto Granado Passed Away in Havana

HAVANA, Cuba, Mar 5 (acn) Argentinean biochemistry doctor, writer, and
scientist Alberto Granado, a close friend of Ernesto Che Guevara who
accompanied him during a trip around Latin America, died suddenly on
Saturday in Havana at the age of 88.

A note read on Cuban television on Saturday afternoon informed that,
in accordance with his wishes, Granado’s body is to be cremated and his
ashes spread in Cuba, Argentina and Venezuela.

Between December 29, 1951, and July 1952, Granado embarked on a tour
of South America with Che Guevara. They witnessed first hand the poverty
of disenfranchised native peoples and their frequent lack of access to
otherwise cheap and basic medical care. These experiences galvanized both
men in realizing their future vocations.

Granado was the author of the book ‘Travelling with Che Guevara: The
Making of a Revolutionary’, which served as reference for the 2004 film
‘The Motorcycle Diaries’ in which he was played by Rodrigo de la Serna,
while Che Guevara was played by Gael García Bernal.

CUBA: SELF-EMPLOYMENT KEEPS GROWING

March 5, 2011

Some 113,618 Cubans entered the self-employment sector by the end of January 2011, since new laws were passed in October 2010 to widen and make more flexible this type of employment in the country.
South Journal–Some 113,618 Cubans entered the self-employment sector by the end of January 2011, which takes the total figure of self-employees to nearly 158 000 out of an active population of 5, 158,5. The increasing number of self-employed people came on the heels of new laws that were passed to widen and make more flexible this type of employment in the country in October 2010.
The director of the Employment department of the Cuban Ministry of Labor and Social Security, Idalmys Alvarez told Juventud Rebelde newspaper that more than 68% of those who joined self-employment from October 2010 to January 2011 are people who were not working.
Alvarez said that 20% of the newly self-employed workers chose to sell food, either in small cafeterias or restaurants with a capacity of up to 20, or offering home-delivery service. This constituted the number one area of growth.
Secondly, is laborers authorized for 83 of the non-state work options, with 15% of the total of applications. Alvarez said that in this case there is no subordination relation between the employer and the employee because the two self-employed workers agree on the hiring terms.
In third place is the transportation of people and cargo, making up 6% of applications; followed by vendors, representing 4%.
Other self-employment options include house rentals, construction workers and messenger services, all three representing 3%; other growth sectors were recycling, manicure services, carpentry or a cobbler, all with 2%.
Regarding the territorial distribution of the new self-employed workers, 32% are in Havana; followed by the provinces of Camagüey and Matanzas, with 8% each.
With the current reorganization process being carried out in the employment sector, authorities are expecting an increase of non-state employment. The current process is part of a nationwide government strategy to update the socialist economic model looking for more efficiency in all sectors.
[JR]

Cuban agents prove US finances ‘dissidents’

March 5, 2011

by Helen Yaffe

The spontaneous demonstration which broke out on Saturday night in Nueva Gerona, capital of Cuba’s Island of Youth, was not the anti-regime uprising for which the US government, bourgeois media, and the internal opposition hopelessly craves. Instead it was a celebration of the revolutionary commitment shown by local resident Carlos Serpa Maceira, as neighbours welcomed him back into the arms of his people.

On the evening of Saturday 26 February, Cuban television broadcast the programme ‘Pawns of Imperialism’ detailing close links between the internal counterrevolution, the right-wing exile community and the government of the United States. Evidence of these links was provided by two Cuban state agents who had infiltrated the ranks of the so-called ‘dissident’ movement. The first was Moisés Rodriguez, who spent 20 years inside the counter-revolution, working closely with the US Interest Section (USIS) in Havana. The second was Carlos Serpa, who spent ten years posing as an ‘independent journalist’ for Radio Martí and numerous blogs and websites. As President of the Union of Free Journalists in Cuba, an organisation without members, Serpa worked closely with the Ladies in White (relatives of US-paid mercenaries imprisoned in Cuba in 2003), accompanying their processions through Havana.

It was the revelation that Serpa had all this time been acting in defence of the socialist Revolution which led people in Nueva Gerona to pour onto the streets outside his home singing revolutionary songs and carrying him on their shoulders. Serpa told the crowds: ‘In every moment I held the example of Commandante Fidel Castro, of Raul and of the Revolution’. He demanded the release of the Cuban Five, five men imprisoned in US goals for uncovering macabre plots against the Cuban people being hatched by terrorist groups in Miami.

In Pawns of Imperialism, Rodriguez explains that he received instructions directly from functionaries of the USIS, who even sent him to the US to meet infamous terrorist Luis Posada Carriles – currently on trial in Miami, not for terrorism but concerning his immigration status. Rodriguez was informed of plans to destabilise Cuba. Both agents had evidence that the Ladies in White receive payment for their activities from another known terrorist Santiago Alvarez, a subordinate of Carriles. They described the Ladies in White as part of the US strategy to destroy the Cuban Revolution and explained how the USIS staffs the counterrevolution in Cuba.

The documentary relays a conversation between a radio station presenter and Laura Pollen, leader of the Ladies in White. The presenter plays Pollen a recording of Roberto Micheletti, then dictator of Honduras following the military coup in June 2009, declaring his support for her group which he hopes ‘will achieve their objectives as we have achieved ours here’. Pollen says she is delighted that Micheletti supports the struggle for democracy, peace and happiness in Cuba, as background images show the brutal repression by the coup regime of the Honduran people. At another moment, Pollen is shown speaking to the US media via mobile phone from the head of a Ladies in White parade, decrying harassment from Cuban security agents, while the camera scans around to show not a single Cuban official in that area.

Finally, Serpa demonstrates how easy it is to launch a media campaign against Cuba. He rings Radio Marti and tells them that he was arrested and detained by Cuban police who confiscated his camera and memory stick. This is clearly a made-up story. However, one hour and a half later the ‘news’ is broadcast on Radio Marti with no attempt to verify the claim. The lie becomes fact.

In broadcasting this documentary the Cuban government has yet again shown evidence that imperialist plans to destroy the socialist revolution continue. It has also shown its patient and intelligent strategy towards the counterrevolution. Aware of the opposition’s resources and its plots, the government maintains direct communication with the Cuban people so that they are capable of knowing their enemies and defending their revolution.

The programme Pawns of Imperialism with is available with English substitles here: http://revolutionarycommunist.org/index.php/cuba/2080-cuban-agents-prove-us-finances-dissidents-28-february-2011.html,


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