Archive for June, 2011

Relatives of The Five Denounce these Antiterrorists have been Subjected to Torture

June 30, 2011

 

HAVANA, Cuba, June 29 (acn) Relatives of the five Cuban antiterrorist heroes denounced on
Wednesday, within the context of the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, the
humiliations and mistreatment these men have been subjected to by the US government.
  In a meeting held at the United Nations Association of Cuba (ACNU), Elizabeth Palmeiro,
wife of Ramon Labañino, said that him and Rene Gonzalez, Fernando Gonzalez, Antonio Guerrero
and Gerardo Hernandez, have been brutally deprived of basic rights for being their case a
politicized and manipulated one.
  It’s a form of torture, together with the constant pressure exerted on The Five and their
relatives and the changeable US judicial system and its prison regime, added Palmeiro.
  She said that these five revolutionaries have been denied permission to receive visits and
the possibility of meeting their loved ones again.
  Likewise, she stressed that the final objective of the US judicial system is to undermine
the will and determination of The Five, who have been in prison since 1998 without evidence of
the commission of any crime.
  Their main concern, she emphasized, was their wish to defend their people from terrorist
actions conceived in south Florida.
  She underlined that US President Barack Obama has the power to set them free.
  Olga Salanueva, wife of Rene Gonzalez, said that the empire ha used all its weapons of
torture, among them the absolute silence of the media, hatred and impunity, reasons for which
she asked the international community to face it with the power of dignity, love and
solidarity.
  Nuris Piñeiro, member of the team of lawyers of the families of The Five, commented that
this case has been riddled with injustices.
  There are children who have grown up without seeing their parents, a mother who died
without seeing her son again, and married couples that have not been able to meet again, and
these are tortures opening wounds that last forever, she pointed out.
  Participating in the meeting were representatives of political, mass and solidarity
organizations, as well as guests.

 

The Reshaping of Cuba

June 25, 2011

Realism and Necessity in Havana (Not Washington)

The Reshaping of Cuba

By SAUL LANDAU and NELSON VALDÉS

“Revolution is grasping the historic moment, changing all that should be changed.”  

– Fidel Castro (May 1, 2000)

After more than half a century some myths need dispelling about U.S.-Cuba relations and Washington’s demand for “changes.” On the Cuban Revolution Ernest Hemingway said: “I think the people [of Cuba] now have a decent moment and I don’t believe that they ever had one before. (“Lo que dice el novelista Hemingway,” Noticias de Hoy, January 25, 1959)

In Washington, Hemingway’s description amounted to naïve idealism, tolerating unacceptable behavior from an upstart bunch of rebels. Hemingway, however, lived in Cuba, and understood what the State Department feared. Fidel and company took independence and social justice seriously. To accomplish these agenda items, Cuba began to treat U.S. properties disrespectfully (real estate, agribusiness, utilities and telephone and banks).

In March 1960, before the Soviet Union entered the equation as a major player, President Eisenhower ordered the CIA to overthrow the revolutionary government. This plan morphed into a terror war before and after the April 1961 Bay of Pigs fiasco.

In October 1960, U.S. Ambassador Phillip “Bonsal turned up one Thursday looking very serious. He brought Ernest an important, although informal message from Washington D.C. The U.S. government was beginning to think very seriously of breaking off diplomatic relations with Cuba,” wrote Hemingway’s granddaughter. Washington wanted him to “terminate his residence in Cuba,” and “also publicly declare his displeasure with the Castro government.”

Valerie Danby, who worked for Hemingway, recalled that Bonsal agreed with Hemingway, “but added that in Washington they saw things differently and that he could find himself obliged to face reprisals. He was exposing himself to being considered a traitor.” (Valerie Hemingway, Running with Bulls: My Years with the Hemingways – Ballantine, 2003)

In his January 2, 1961 speech, Castro demanded Washington reduce its embassy staff in Havana from some 300 to 11, the number of Cuban diplomats in Washington. Eisenhower used that remark as a pretext to break relations. In reality, Cuba’s nationalizing of U.S. property (even with offers of payments) went beyond the pale.

In 1954, Ike had ordered the CIA to axe the Guatemala government under President Arbenz for lesser “offenses.” The impressive U.S. record for using violence in Latin America to maintain its hegemony (Monroe Doctrine and Roosevelt Corollary) has endured for half a century during which U.S. officials tried or encouraged Cuban exiles to assassinate the Cuban president, and sabotage strategic Cuban installations: terrorism.

Ironically, Washington has continued to accuse Cuba of human rights violations (rights more sacred than life?), subversion and terrorism. Cuba’s crime from the outset of the revolution was disobedience. Washington punished. This pattern will continue, unless Cuba “adjusts” (unlikely) to U.S. demands: surrender.

China, Brazil, Russia and Spain (Venezuela gives oil aid), however, have, by making substantial investments, acknowledged steps taken by President Raul Castro to move the economy and political structure of the island into the 21st Century because he and most Cubans recognize that as necessary.

As Cuba’s economy opens to different forms of enterprise, the State has begun to decentralize its power bases toward provincial and municipal governments, better equipped to manage the changing economy. In small cities like Remedios and Caibarien local governments oversee development projects, and keep half the income and taxes generated by the new local enterprises. Norway has provided assistance for such local community initiatives in larger cities including Havana.

The U.S. media has not reported on such efforts, nor has it explored the implications behind a TV series showing U.S. officials in Cuba delivering sophisticated communications equipment to Cuban agents. Cuban police surreptitiously filmed these activities, but didn’t arrest either the Americans involved or the Cubans who received the equipment. Was Cuba sending a message to Washington?

The U.S. media also hasn’t covered Cuba’s state-controlled media’s opening of space for criticism. Juventud Rebelde now includes astute columnists like José Alejandro Rodríguez and Luis Sexto (a Progreso Weekly contributing columnist) and publishes harsh opinions of Cubans confronting the vicissitudes of daily life.

Granma, the Communist party daily, prints citizens’ complaints against administrators and bureaucratic inefficiency. Indeed, state officials now feel social pressure to respond publicly to such grievances. Radio Progreso’s “Punto de Vista” deals with demands to which the government has not responded. Radio Rebelde’s noontime “Hablando Claro” holds debates and offers criticisms of public services, and routine economic mishaps.

At a monthly forum discussion of the magazine TEMAS on the proposed economic changes an uninvited guest joined the debate. The debate moderator recognized the famous (in the U.S., not in Cuba) anti-government blogger Yoani Sánchez (despite her blonde wig and dark glasses), and asked for her opinions. The audience laughed and replied to her remarks.

Cuba in 2011 has also become “Bloggers Island.” In the widely read Catholic Espacio Laical, blog academics and Party members share thoughts. Two Cuban bishops reflected this new dialogue at a meeting with other clergy in Uruguay. “The country [Cuba] is taking steps not exactly like those in the past. This indicates it is possible for us to achieve a democracy with our own characteristics and with its own way of governing.” (Bishops Juan de Dios Hernández and Emilio Aranguren, La República, Montevideo, May 21, 2011).

Washington (deaf to the Bishop’s words) demands did not provoke Cuba’s moves toward de-centralization and her opening of space for expression and non-State initiatives. Necessity, not U.S. posturing, triggered these moves. Despite President Barack “Change” Obama’s lack of response, Cuba will continue to pursue much needed reforms.

Saul Landau’s feature-length film WILL THE REAL TERRORIST PLEASE STAND UP is distributed by CinamaLibreStudio.com.

Nelson Valdés is Professor Emeritus, University of New Mexico.

 

The Latest Example of the Media Blockade of the Cuban 5

June 23, 2011
We were more than a little surprised when a CNN journalist based in Los Angeles contacted SPARC Gallery interested in covering Gerardo Hernandez’s exhibit “Humor from my Pen” before its opening on June 4.  We remained skeptical but after several phone calls back and forth an interview was set up.
CNN photoOn June 3 the CNN journalist arrived early to set up her camera and to go over what she would be covering about the background of Gerardo’s work and the case of the Cuban 5 in general.

 

She seemed genuinely interested and did a long interview with the organizers from the International Committee for the Freedom of the Cuban 5 in both Spanish and English. She also interviewed the Executive Director of SPARC, Debra Padilla. 

 

We did not know going into the interview just how much the journalist knew about the case of the Cuban 5 but after more than 3 hours she learned not only about the artistic talents displayed in Gerardo’s cartoons but also about the deep injustice that he and his four brothers have been enduring for 13 years for defending their country, Cuba, against terrorism.   

 

We asked the journalist how long it would take before we would know if the interview was going to be aired and she told us she did not know but mentioned that her editor wanted to find someone with a different “point of view” to “balance” the story.   

 

This other “point of view” is really the only view that the people of the US are fed on a daily basis when it comes to any topic related to Cuba. That view is a steady stream of vilification, distortion and dishonest reporting of the realities of Cuba living under a 50 year blockade. Despite this we were reminded of what one of the Cuban 5 has said to us on many occasions, “It is better to have bad coverage than no coverage at all” 

 

Our surprise about the interview was even greater when we were told that the “balanced” segment was complete and going to be aired on a program of CNN called “Encuentro” on Wednesday June 15 at 2pm PST. 

 

We immediately passed this new information along to many of our friends so they could see with their own eyes that after 13 years of silence we were going to get a little break on coverage of the Cuban 5.  

 

Unfortunately it did not happen.  

 

The best answer we were able to get from the journalist who did the interview was that it was an “executive decision” not to air the segment. 

 

So many times we hear about freedom in the United States with a free media that covers all points of views; but in the end it is those at the top of the media chain of command who will determine what is news and what isn’t. 

 

Perhaps CNN was having trouble glossing over the courage of the Cuban 5 in the war against terrorism, or to show them in a human light. Perhaps they could not find a way  to deny that these sons of Cuba were extraordinary men sent to Miami to defend the sovereignty of their country. Or maybe they were nervous about the absolute double standard in the US where an admitted terrorist like Luis Posada Carriles can  show his paintings in Miami while the Cuban 5, who were here to prevent terrorism, produce art behind bars.   

 

 
Humor from my Pen - Humor desde el Encierro
Humor from my Pen – Humor desde el Encierro

 

 
 

International Committee for the Freedom of the Cuban 5

To learn more about the case of the Cuban 5 visit: www.thecuban5.org

The role of employment in the process of updating the Cuban economic model

June 20, 2011

The Guidelines of the Social and Economic Policies approved in the Sixth
Congress of the Cuban Communist Party (PCC) for updating the Cuban
economic model rely on the role of employment.

The objective is to increase its contribution to the products and revenues
created, with high representation from unconventional sources of employment.

The Marxist political economy showed that the usefulness and values of the
goods produced emerge during the process of elaboration, and constitute
material wealth which is distributed and redistributed in society.

The development of productive sources demands the loosening of red-tape
obstacles that slow down social investments and turn them into a partially
or completely lost process.

Self-employment, cooperatives involved in trading, services and other
non-agricultural productive activities will take an active role in the
management of the Cuban economy; thus breaking old patterns of generalized
statehood.

This process of expansion and opening of opportunities for employment is
full of incomprehension and lacks preparation of the required conditions,
and a coherent strategy so as to make significant contributions to the
wealth the country is in need of.

Self-employment is a valid alternative of employment and income for all
the people that need to work, for those that will be separated from the
state sector as a result of ongoing adjustments, and for those that begin
to work. However, the proliferation of activities that do not make
productive contributions acts as redistribution mechanism of the goods and
revenues created.

Increasing the social productivity is essential in order to create a
product that would favor consumption and accumulation for investments,
which will bring about the necessary growth and development of the country.

The policy of employment will change in accordance with strategic
guidelines for the readjustment of organization patterns of production and
services. The final result of the changes proposed will take into account
the relevance attained in the contribution of productive and services
activities so as to meet the real needs of the population.

Putting into practice all the potential of the human capital trained by
the Revolution, while working, will bring about the necessary wealth for
the sustainable economic take-off of the country. That’s the immediate
challenge in order to get considerable results in the short and medium terms

otherarticles/acm/10.50 AM/aga
Cuban News Agency

Emotional Meeting with Relatives of the Cuban Five in Havana

June 14, 2011

III International Meeting of Solidarity with the 5

Relatives of the five Cubans who have been unjustly imprisoned in the US for close to 13 years spoke to participants on Monday at the Third International Solidarity Gathering of Young People for the Release of the Cuban Five.
In a trial plagued with irregularities and held in a highly biased Miami court in 1998, the Cuban Five —Gerardo Hernández, Ramón Labañino, Fernando González, Antonio Guerrero and René González— were given harsh sentences ranging from 15 years to consecutive life terms plus 15 years. The five Cubans were working to uncover information about terrorist activities being planned and carried out against Cuba by ultra-rightwing organizations based in southern Florida with a long record of terrorist actions against Cuba and the Cuban people. When they turned their information over to authorities they were arrested and have been in jail ever since.
“You give us hope that one day our sons will come back home,” Magaly Llort, the mother of Fernando, told the delegates at the solidarity gathering.
The Third International Youth Congress in Solidarity with the Five Cuban Antiterrorists began on June 11 and is held every two years in Havana. Among the goals of the gathering is to provide participants with an update on the current state of the process of the Cuban Five and what needs to be done to have a greater impact in the struggle to obtain their freedom.
Family members of the Cuban Five spoke to participants prior to the start of four workshops on Monday. In the first workshop, participants will share regional experiences and strategies in the struggle to free the Cuban Five. The second workshop is devoted to new technologies and is accessible via Internet and social networks, with an interactive forum open on June 13. The third workshop is on using humor to raise awareness about the case. And finally, the fourth workshop, on culture and nation focuses on the experiences of young artists and their efforts to help gain freedom for the Cuban Five.
The relatives of the Cuban Five spoke about how the injustice has personally affected their families, about the uncertainty and their fears, but also about their dreams and hopes that the five Cubans will soon come home.
They thanked the participants and people around the world for all their efforts to obtain the release of the Cuban Five and called on good-willed people around the world to continue the campaign. Adriana Perez, the wife of Gerardo, called on delegates to multiply the ideas and skills learned at the event once they go home.
Rosa Aurora Freijane, the wife of Fernando, told the 180 delegates from 33 countries: “They deserve this effort we are making. Continue with us in this struggle.”
Irmita, the eldest daughter of René González, spoke about how the Cuban Five helped safeguard the happiness of millions of Cubans. She also spoke about how hard it has been to have her father miss the last 13 years of her life and the life of her sister Ivette, René’s youngest daughter, who has grown up without her father. “Thank-you for being so young and full of this sense of justice,” said Irmita.
Mirta Rodríguez, Tony’s mother, and her grandson Antonio Guerrero Jr., along with Elizabeth Palmeiro, Ramón’s wife, and her daughter Ailín, and René’s sister all expressed their gratitude

 

Free the five, yes you can…

June 14, 2011

 

We Need to Break the Wall of Silence Raised against the Five, said Ricardo Alarcon

June 13, 2011

La Colmenita Artistic Collective at 3rd International Youth Encounter in Solidarity with the Cuban Five,

South Journal—We need to break down the wall of silence raised by the corporative media against the Cuban Five case and it is a task to be undertaken by the youths, since it requires love and commitment and great creative energy.

The statement was part of the key lecture given by Cuban Parliament President Ricardo Alarcon this Sunday morning at the 3rd International Youth Encounter in Solidarity with the five Cuban antiterrorist fighters held in US jails.

The Sunday meeting, which is part of the agenda of the international event, started in the morning with a simple but very emotive cultural gala, marked by the performance of the La Colmenita Children Theater Company.

Ricardo Alarcon, member of the Political Bureau of Cuba´s Communist Party and Parliament president addressed the delegates and other guests, such as the relatives of the Cuban five to explain about the case with emphasis in the need to keep spreading the truth:

The Cuban Five have already been held for 13 years in unjust imprisonment.

“Our five comrades simply do not exist for the big corporations that control the media. So, denouncing this wall of silence is not enough; it is necessary to breakdown the wall of silence and this is a task to be undertaken by the youths, since it requires love and commitment and great creative energy,” said Alarcon.

“We are still far off from reaching this goal and we still have much to do. We must insist in big corporations by taking advantages of spaces like the paid ads, and denouncing their accomplice silence.”

“We must also urge our media, those progressive ones, to do creative and authentic journalism that is able to overcome the bureaucratic inertia, by using modern information technologies and without disregarding crucial methods of direct political work.”

Alarcon explained that the Five only fought terrorism and that the US government has never been able to present proofs against them, as it was revealed in a document published by the prosecution on May 25, 2001.

He also referred to the document signed by the Atlanta Court of Appeals affirming that the case had nothing to do with espionage, and declaring as null the sentences against Antonio Guerrero, Fernando Gonzalez and Ramon Labañino, while upholding those against Gerardo Hernandez and Rene Gonzalez.

Thirteen years have come by and since the very beginning they have tried to make people believe that the Five were accused of espionage, Alarcon pointed out and said that at present “we are involved in a struggle for the Habeas Corpus in the cases of Antonio and Gerardo.

Alarcon went into details about the case of Gerardo Hernandez by noting that his defense is based on two elements that reveal the nature of the process. The first one is related to the judicial farce at the Miami Trial that focused on the downing of planes from the terrorist organization “Brothers to the Rescue”. “Gerardo had nothing to do with the downing of the light planes. Even the US government admitted that they could not maintain such an accusation, and the International Civil Aviation Association asked Washington for proofs about it, but they rejected to give any proof.”

The second reason is related to having found out in 2006 that the US administration granted significant sums of money to journalists so that they unleashed a ferocious campaign against the Five. These are irrefutable proofs to convince just anybody, and enough for Obama to release the Cuban Five, conclude Alarcon.

During the opening of the meeting, the First Secretary of the Cuban Young Communist League, Liudmila Alamo Dueñas addressed the 180 participants from 36 countries of the world to say that their presence in the conference proves the growing support given to the cause of the Cuban Five around the world.

“Tomorrow, no western media outlet will echo this encounter, but we are pleased to say that along with those of you who are attending, others continue to offer their support,” said the youth leader.

MORE PICTURES

Ricardo Alarcon Lecture participants

photo

The audience, Alarcon, mothers and wives of the Five

photo

More Photos

Son of Antonio Guerreo Addresses Participants

VIDEO

Irma González, daughter of René González, speaks of solidarity with the Cuban Five.

 

International Forum in Solidarity with the Cuban Five

June 11, 2011

International Forum in Solidarity with the Cuban Five in Cuba

Posted on June 11, 2011 by lchirino

The over 180 participants include Tiago Vieira from the World Federation of Democratic Youths and Alejo Ramirez, from the Ibero-American Youth Organization.

South Journal—The 3rd International Encounter in Solidarity with the five Cuban antiterrorist fighters held in US jails will be held in Havana, June 11-13, with the attendance of representatives from 36 countries.

Among the over 180 participants who already confirmed attendance are the president of the World Federation of Democratic Youths and the general secretary of the Ibero-American Youth Organization, Alejo Ramirez.

Leira Sanchez, member of the National Bureau of the Cuban Young Communist League (UJC) said that the attendance by these two leaders proves the support by the new generations of the cause of Gerardo Hernández, Fernando González, Antonio Guerrero, Ramón Labañino and René González, internationally known as the Cuban Five.

The forum will provide space for delegates and relatives of the Five to exchange views on details relevant to the legal process and the world campaign demanding the release of the Cuban antiterrorist fighters, PL news reported.

Sanchez noted that the use of new information and communication technologies will be crucial in boosting debates and break the wall of silence raised by the corporative media against the case.

The Cuban Five are serving extremely long sentences in US high-security prisons since 1998 for having alerted Cuba about terrorist plans designed in South Florida by ultra-right and anti-Cuba organizations.

Next June 13, the forum will be on-line at www.foros.cubava.cu while it will be fully covered in blogs and social networks.

OFFICIAL ANNOUNCEMENT FOR THE 3RD INTERNATIONAL YOUTH CONGRESS IN SOLIDARITY WITH THE FIVE CUBAN HEROES UNJUSTLY IMPRISONED IN UNITED STATES JAILS.

The Young Communist League, on behalf of every youth movement and student organization in our country, summons the youth and students associations, and in general every young men or women with good will in the World, to unite, as in many occasions, for the defense of truth and justice.

The struggle for the release of this Five Heroes from prison represents a battle for the truth and against terrorism. The objective is to break the wall of silence imposed by the government of the United States to public opinion on this matter, to denounce the manipulation and the lies of a biased and unjust trial and to demand the immediate freedom of our five brothers.

Imperialism continues to level all its disdain against human dignity with total irrationality; arbitrarily ignores all the statements from international organizations and creates all kinds of legal and political barriers that hinder the finding of a solution to free the Five. Only actual mobilization of public opinion will make possible the necessary influence to achieve the justice our people is fighting for today.

Humanity is living a critical moment of its history and we as the youth are responsible for this victory for the sake of the future.

This forum will be in favor of five men that combine the highest values of dignity, altruism, courage and solidarity.

We invite you all to celebrate this event on June 12th, and 13th, 2011, celebrating the3rd International Youth Congress in Solidarity, in Havana, Cuba.

Our youth and our people will be proud to welcome you, in order to exchange experiences together and meditate about ideas that must be multiplied to achieve the victory in this battle.

Freedom for the Five Heroes!

Freedom for the Truth and Justice!

Until Victory Always!

Young Communist League

VIDEO CHOMSKY ON THE CUBAN FIVE

 

Why is the US Waging Perpetual War on Cuba’s Health Care System?

June 9, 2011

The Politics of Discomfort

Why is the US Waging Perpetual War on Cuba’s Health Care System?

By WILLIAM BLUM

In January the government of the United States of America saw fit to seize $4.207 million in funds allocated to Cuba by the United Nations Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria for the first quarter of 2011, Cuba has charged. The UN Fund is a $22 billion a year program that works to combat the three deadly pandemics in 150 countries. (Prensa Latina (Cuba), March 12, 2011.)

“This mean-spirited policy,” the Cuban government said, “aims to undermine the quality of service provided to the Cuban population and to obstruct the provision of medical assistance in over 100 countries by 40,000 Cuban health workers.” Most of the funds are used to import expensive AIDS medication to Cuba, where antiretroviral treatment is provided free of charge to some 5,000 HIV patients. (The Militant (US, Socialist Workers Party), April 4, 2011.)

The United States sees the Cuban health system and Havana’s sharing of such as a means of Cuba winning friends and allies in the Third World, particularly Latin America; a situation sharply in conflict with long-standing US policy to isolate Cuba. The United States in recent years has attempted to counter the Cuban international success by dispatching the US Naval Ship “Comfort” to the region. With 12 operating rooms and a 1,000-bed hospital, the converted oil tanker has performed hundreds of thousands of free surgeries in places such as Belize, Guatemala, Panama, El Salvador, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Nicaragua and Haiti.

However, the Comfort’s port calls likely will not substantially enhance America’s influence in the hemisphere. “It’s hard for the U.S. to compete with Cuba and Venezuela in this way,” said Peter Hakim, president of the Inter-American Dialogue, a pro-US policy-research group in Washington. “It makes us look like we’re trying to imitate them. Cuba’s doctors aren’t docked at port for a couple days, but are in the country for years.” (Bloomberg news agency, September 19, 2007.)

The recent disclosure by Wikileaks of US State Department documents included this little item: A cable was sent by Michael Parmly from the US Interests Section in Havana in July 2006, during the runup to the Non-Aligned Movement conference. He notes that he is actively looking for “human interest stories and other news that shatters the myth of Cuban medical prowess”.

Michael Moore refers to another Wikileaks State Department cable: “On January 31, 2008, a State Department official stationed in Havana took a made-up story and sent it back to his headquarters in Washington. Here’s what they came up with: [The official] stated that Cuban authorities have banned Michael Moore’s documentary, ‘Sicko,’ as being subversive. Although the film’s intent is to discredit the U.S. healthcare system by highlighting the excellence of the Cuban system, the official said the regime knows the film is a myth and does not want to risk a popular backlash by showing to Cubans facilities that are clearly not available to the vast majority of them.” Moore points out an Associated Press story of June 16, 2007 (seven months prior to the cable) with the headline: “Cuban health minister says Moore’s ‘Sicko’ shows ‘human values’ of communist system.”

Moore adds that the people of Cuba were shown the film on national television on April 25, 2008. “The Cubans embraced the film so much it became one of those rare American movies that received a theatrical distribution in Cuba. I personally ensured that a 35mm print got to the Film Institute in Havana. Screenings of Sicko were set up in towns all across the country.” (Huffington Post, December 18, 2010.)

The United States also bans the sale to Cuba of vital medical drugs and devices, such as the inhalant agent Sevoflurane which has become the pharmaceutical of excellence for applying general anesthesia to children; and the pharmaceutical Dexmetomidine, of particular usefulness in elderly patients who often must be subjected to extended surgical procedures. Both of these are produced by the US firm Abbot Laboratories.

Cuban children suffering from lymphoblastic leukemia cannot use Erwinia L-asparaginasa, a medicine commercially known as Elspar, since the US pharmaceutical company Merck and Co. refuses to sell this product to Cuba. Washington has also prohibited the US-based Pastors for Peace Caravan from donating three Ford ambulances to Cuba.

Cubans are moreover upset by the denial of visas requested to attend conferences in the field of Anesthesiology and Reanimation that take place in the United States. This creates further barriers for Cuba’s anesthesiologists to update themselves on state of the art anesthesiology, the care of severely ill patients, and the advances achieved in the treatment of pain.

Some of the foregoing are but a small sample of American warfare against the Cuban medical system presented in a Cuban report to the United Nations General Assembly on October 28, 2009.

Finally, we have the Cuban Medical Professional Parole (CMPP) immigration program, which encourages Cuban doctors who are serving their government overseas to defect and enter the US immediately as refugees. The Wall Street Journal reported in January of this year that through Dec. 16, 2010, CMPP visas had been issued by US consulates in 65 countries to 1,574 Cuban doctors whose education had been paid for by the financially-struggling Cuban government. (Wall Street Journal, “Cuban Doctors Come In From the Cold” (video), January 14 2011.) This program, oddly enough, was initiated by the US Department of Homeland Security. Another victory over terrorism? Or socialism? Or same thing?

Wait until the American conservatives hear that Cuba is the only country in Latin America offering abortion on demand, and free.

William Blum is the author of Killing Hope: U.S. Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II, Rogue State: a guide to the World’s Only Super Power. and West-Bloc Dissident: a Cold War Political Memoir.

 

Terrorism: Cuba Transparent Position

June 2, 2011

By Néstor Núñez

The recent decision to circulate among the UN member nations an official
document reiterating Cuba´s condemnation to all type of terrorism once
again shows that the island not only responds to ethical and moral
principles but in addition demonstrates the harsh experiences of the Cuban
people as victims of such criminal acts.

Cuba has been the target by the majority of the US administrations when it
comes to this sad and painful issue of organized and financed terrorist
activities.

 That is why the Cuban people are sensible to such criminal manifestations
and strongly condemn it due to its brutal character.

No less than 1 thousand Cubans have died due to terrorism and another 3
million have been mutilated or seriously injured throughout the years at
the hand of criminals that have carried out sabotages and aggressions.

These terrorists are extreme right wing Cuban Americans based in the US
protected and supported by powerful sectors of the US government.  This is
the reality.

Washington cannot deny at this point that terrorism has been among its
methods throughout history against the Cuban Revolution and the protection
of those that executed such actions are part of the strange “democratic”
doctrine and “defender of freedom”.

It is part of history.  Terrorism carried out throughout history, from the
sabotage of a French vessel carrying weapons to the Havana Port in 1960 to
supporting counterrevolutionary groups in the Escambray Mountains and
other regions of the country killing campesinos, teachers and young people
that were participating in the literacy campaign.

From the Pay of Pigs invasion to the destruction of the Cubana airliner in
mid air killing 73 innocent people on board off the coasts of Barbados,
introduction of biological agents on the island to placing bombs in Havana
hotels and tourism installations by mercenaries that were paid by
terrorists based in southern Florida.

US authorities have done nothing and continue to protect those responsible
of such violence.

Luis Posada Carriles, author of the bombing of the Cubana airliner, guilty
of repeated attempts to assassinate Cuban leader Fidel Castro and
confessed organizer of sabotages against tourism installations on the
island among other brutal acts is walking the streets of Miami even after
entering the US illegally and accused of perjury after lying to US federal
agents and finally found not guilty after a absurd trial in el Paso, Texas.

However, in tone with the peculiar manner in which the US defines
terrorism, five Cubans who attempted to stop terrorism actions against the
Cuban people from US territory are serving long unjust terms in prison for
over 12 years in the so called democratic country, amidst all types of
legal and prison arbitrations.

 


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