Archive for November, 2014

Expo : 15 watercolors of Antonio Guerrero

November 15, 2014

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For the first time in Belgium . Expo : 15 watercolors of Antonio Guerrero . ” I will die the way I’ve lived “
From nov 14 till dec 11…

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Outline of my artistic development
BY ANTONIO GUERRERO
Nov. 15, 2007
At the beginning of 2003, when I had just completed my first year of imprisonment in
this penitentiary in Florence, Colorado, I searched, anxiously, for something that would
occupy my time, far from the tense and violent atmosphere that reigned in this prison.
Poetry had been an effective weapon to overcome the long periods of unjust punishment
in the cells of the so-called “hole,” as well as the prolonged “lockdowns,” which the
whole prison population here was subjected to after any violent incident. But with the
constant commotion during the “normal” routine of the prison, my muse, sometimes
startled, would fade away and fail to inspire me.
So, one fine day, I went to the so-called “Hobby Craft,” (Department of Recreation) and
I found a prisoner giving pencil drawing classes; basically everyone was making a
portrait. I was impressed above all by the work of the instructor and I asked him how I
could participate in his class. It turned out this person was very enthusiastic about
teaching what he knew, and even more fortunate, he was in my dorm unit.
He gave me some materials and by the following day I had decided on my first project:
a portrait of my beloved mother.
Before I even finished this first work, that sudden and vile punishment came in which
we were isolated in cells in the “hole,” the five of us in our five prisons. It was the result
of the application of the Special Administrative Measures (SAM), ordered by the U.S.
Attorney General. International solidarity and the energetic demands of our attorneys
made it possible for that unjust punishment to be lifted in one month.
It so happened that upon returning to my dormitory unit I had “lost” my placement and
they had no cell in which to put me. I noticed that the inmate who gave the drawing
classes was alone in his cell, and I told the guard: Put me with him. He was surprised
because that prisoner was Black, what they call here Afro-American, and here it is
rarely seen (nor is it accepted by the prisoners) that prisoners of different races or
groups (or gangs) live together.
As I hoped, Andre accepted me into his cell. Living together my interest in drawing
grew and we formed a good friendship.
Every day I dedicated several hours to drawing. My first five works required the help of
the instructor. But I remember we were locked down for almost a month, and Andre
told me, “Now you are going to do portraits on your own.” And it was during that
lockdown that I made the portraits of José Martí and Cintio Vitier on my own. When I
finished I realized that I could now continue my independent course, and it was the right
moment because Andre was transferred to another penitentiary in California as soon as
that lockdown was lifted.
A Native Indian, also imprisoned in my unit, took Andre’s place as instructor. We also
became good friends. Every night we worked together on different projects. The
combination of Andre’s and the new instructor’s teachings allowed me to create my
own method of work.
On some occasions I was able to finish a painting in one day. Up to now I have created
more than 100 works with pencil.
In 2005 I met a prisoner who offered to teach me calligraphy. I was interested in making
a clean copy of all the poems I had written in these years of imprisonment. I acquired
some essential materials, but I realized that the watercolors that I used as ink were not
good, nor was there enough. Looking for something that could take the place of the ink
(which they don’t authorize for purchase) a bunch of watercolor paint tubes fell into my
hands from another prisoner. But using it for the calligraphy proved to be another
disaster and I asked myself, “What do I do with all this?” I decided to try them out with
small paintings. Nobody here painted with that technique, so I could only count on the
help of some books I had bought with the paintings. Little by little I was gaining
confidence in my strokes with the handful of brushes that I had and I started setting
bigger goals.
Color gave another life to my creations. Painting made me happy. In one or two days
now I finished each work.
With the help of a great friend of Cuba and the Five, Cindy O’Hara, who sent me books
and photos, I was able to finish two interesting projects in watercolor: the birds that are
endemic to Cuba and the species of Guacamayos. Other caring friends in the United
States, like the tireless Priscilla Felia, have sent me books that have been very useful for
my self-taught progress in these and other techniques.
At the end of 2005 a prisoner arrived from Marion in Illinois, who began to show
impressive pastel photo works. They placed him in my dormitory unit and right away I
became interested in this new technique. I acquired some materials, following his
instructions. He had a great will to teach, but soon he had problems and was taken to the
“hole.” He never returned to the general population.
Once again I found myself wondering what to do with the painting materials I had
acquired and once more I returned to the books to immerse myself in an unfamiliar
technique. I decided a portrait of Che would be my first work in pastel and after that I
undertook a project of 14 portraits of the most relevant figures of our history. I have
continued using pastels without interruption in my artwork. The most recent with this
technique are a group of nudes which I have used to study the human figure and the
different skin tones under the effect of lights and shadows.
Just two months ago, also being self-taught, I broached painting in acrylics, using an air
gun (in English this technique is known as “airbrushing”).
And oil painting didn’t escape my interest either. Here they only authorize a type of oil
paint that is soluble in water and although it is not the traditional paint it is similar
enough in its use and results. Up to now I have completed five works with this
technique.
Without a specific plan or guide, I believe that it was the right path to first do pencil
portraits, and then to take on watercolor, pastels, and finally, oils. Of course, all of these
works have been without benefit of the professional instruction that an art school would
give, or the guide of an instructor with real knowledge of plastic arts.
What is most important, I think, is that I have overcome imprisonment with a healthy
and useful activity like plastic arts. Each work expresses not only my human essence
but that of the Five, united by unbreakable principles.
The little I have learned I share unselfishly with other prisoners, and, at times, with
great patience. “Truth desires art” as José Martí said, and truth reigns in our hearts,
forged with love and commitment to the just cause of our heroic people: That is my
motivation for each work of art!

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Daughter of Cuban Hero Receives Warm Welcome in Peru

November 15, 2014

Ailí-Labañino-lucha-por-la-libertad-de-su-padre

Lima, Nov 13.- Ailí Labañino, the daughter of Cuban anti-terrorist fighter Ramón Labañino, was warmly welcomed in Lima, Peru where she arrived on Thursday to take part as a guest in the 15th Peruvian Meeting of Solidarity with Cuba.

The young woman was given a fraternal welcoming at the Jorge Chávez International Airport by Ambassador of Cuba stationed in this South American country Juana Martínez and also an active member of the organization which sponsors the abovementioned meeting slated to be held in the Andean city of Huancayo, some 310 kms to the east of LIma.

On behalf of family members of the Cuban Five -arrested 16 years ago in the United States and unjustly sentenced to long terms of imprisonment- Ailín Labañino attends this meeting.

The Cuban Five were arrested in Miami, Fla, where they were gathering public information about plots that terrorist groups were organizing to carry out outrageous attacks on the island nation. René and Fernando González already served their sentences and are now free in Cuba, but Gerardo Hernández, Antonio Guerrero and Ailín’s father, Ramón, are still behind bars in the United States.

In the next few hours, young Ailín will travel to Huancayo in what is her second visit to Peru because in 2009 she took part in the 10th Meeting of Solidarity with Cuba which then was held in the historical city of Cusco.

The 15th Meeting will open tomorrow in Huancayo and a variety of topics will be discussed among which a demand to put an end to the infamous US blockade on Cuba and the case of the Cuban Five will top the agenda.

The Houses of Friendship with Cuba and the Peruvian Committee in Solidarity with the Cuban Five will read reports on the actions they have been doing as well as their youth arm and their intellectuals.

Besides, participants will be updated on the real situation facing Cuba nowadays and will decide which actions they might take in Peru, a country with a long tradition of solidarity with the Caribbean country.

This same solidarity was recently showed up by President Ollanta Humala, who while addressing to the UN General Assembly in September he asked to end the U.S. economic, financial and commercial blockade on the island country. In this respect, the Peruvian Parliament also passed a multi-party motion backing up Cuba.

As another proof of solidarity, Peru voted ‘Yes’ to a resolution presented by Cuba at the UN General Assembly demanding to lift the U.S. unilateral measure, which has been enforced for over 50 years. (Prensa Latina/Radio Cadena Agramonte).

Renowned experts from 15 countries tackle cancer at workshop in Cuba

November 15, 2014

JSC: Jamaicans in Solidarity with Cuba

Source:  Granma International
new advances in cancer granma international

Renowned experts from 15 countries, including Nobel Prize winners for Physics, Biochemistry and Mathematics, will present the latest advances in cancer immunotherapy research, during an event which will take place in the capital November 10-15.

Speaking exclusively to the Cuban News Agency, Sonia Ponce de León, communication specialist at the Molecular Immunology Center (CIM), an entity affiliated with the BioCubaFarma group, stated that the institution organizes the International Cancer Immunotherapy Workshop every two years.

She reported that scientists from the CIM will impart the latest advances in cancer immunotherapy therapy, which since 2012 has been the principal cause of death in Cuba.

The institution develops therapeutic vaccines and monoclonal antibodies which are used to treat different areas and levels of pain, with good results, according to Cuban and foreign experts.

The most advanced technology in the world

Dr. Yicel Saurez, CIM’s commercial medicine manager, emphasized that during the event

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Ne me quittes pas

November 14, 2014

desnuda y con sombrilla

nina-simone

Cuando en 1959 Jacques Brel escribiera la canción más hermosa que puede escribirse de una súplica, ya Eunice Kathleen Waymon cantaba bajo el nombre de Nina Simone en los bares de Atlantic City. No hay evidencias de que ambos se hayan conocido nunca. Brel murió en Francia en 1978 a causa de un cáncer pulmonar, época en la que Nina andaba por Barbados, evadiendo los impuestos que había dejado de pagar como protesta a la guerra de Viet Nam. Sin embargo existe una conexión, un vínculo entre ambos: Nina Simone susurraría junto al piano, años después, casi en silencio, la versión más sublime del arrepentimiento de Brel, la desesperación del belga por recuperar a su esposa en una canción, el miedo insostenible a las cosas que no se pueden olvidar, el grito de no me dejes menos ahogado de la historia de la música.

Ne me quittes pas es, ciertamente…

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UNASUR Slams Cuba’s Exclusion from Summit of the Americas.

November 14, 2014

November 14, 2014

European Union Says Cuba Offers Important Attraction to Foreign Investment.

November 11, 2014

The new normalization?

November 11, 2014

International Course on Ebola Opens in Havana

November 11, 2014

JSC: Jamaicans in Solidarity with Cuba

HAVANA, Cuba, Nov 10

ebola course in havanaThe first international course on the prevention and fighting against the Ebola virus in the Americas begins Monday at Havana´s Pedro Kouri Tropical Medicine Institute.

The initiative came out of a technical meeting by specialists and directives on the issue, which was held October 29 and 30 in Cuba with the participation of experts from 34 nations of the region and representatives of the World and Pan-American Health organizations, PL news agency reported.

Establishing epidemiological surveillance systems

Along with the international course, the meeting proposed to take actions like establishing epidemiological surveillance systems in institutions set up to receive persons coming from areas with Ebola transmission risk, as well as the reinforcing the relations between sectors at different terminals to get information on transport means, their crews and travelers arriving to the countries.

The meeting will also provide an opportunity for the exchange of experience and learned lessons in the fight…

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The Far Reach of the Helms-­Burton Act

November 10, 2014

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By Richard Grassl
!
The Economic War Against Cuba
by Salim Lamrani (Monthly Review Press NY, 2013) is a valuable
resource on the 53-­‐year-­‐old U.S. economic blockade of Cuba. Through an objecNve descripNon of
documented facts, Professor Lamrani explains how an obsolete policy that ignores “just cause” has led
eleven consecuNve residents of the White House to conNnue a program doomed to fail.
U.S. policy toward Cuba originates from an expansionist desire to possess Cuba. The
Helms-­‐Burton
Act
passed by Congress in March 1996 reflects U.S. contempt for internaNonal law. Lamrani’s Chapter 5,
“Extraterritorial ApplicaNons of the Economic SancNons,” provides an understanding of the complex
relaNons involved with 3
rd
countries as a result of such an anachronisNc law. Foreign businesses and
financial insNtuNons are forbidden to engage in transacNons with direct or indirect connecNon to Cuba.
Helms-­‐Burton’s primary objecNve was to consolidate all previous U.S. regulatory codes, amendments,
laws and ExecuNve orders “on the books,” in order to strengthen the U.S. posiNon against Cuba. To
accomplish this, one strategy was to remove discreNonary power from the President to conduct certain
foreign policy. This enabled self-­‐interest groups to manipulate the Cuban-­‐American community -­‐-­‐ and to
pressure Congress -­‐-­‐ for their own narrow purposes. Although hosNlity had existed many years before
the collapse of the Soviet Union, “Strengthening InternaNonal SancNons against the Castro government”
was the focus of Helms-­‐Burton Title I. Helms-­‐Burton has o^en been referred to as the modern day
equivalent of the Pla` Amendment (1901). This was an appendix to the Cuban ConsNtuNon that, among
other sNpulaNons, allowed U.S. military intervenNon in Cuba’s internal affairs whenever a U.S.
“governor” deemed that popular rebellion threatened U.S. corporate interests on the island.
Helms-­‐Burton further provided codificaNon that allowed the Florida-­‐based anN-­‐Cuban old guard to
obstruct normalizaNon of relaNons through Congressional roadblocks. Not unNl codificaNon of the
blockade did U.S. foreign policy move from being an internaNonal issue to a domesNc
cause
, thereby
damaging U.S./Cuba relaNons. When Radio MarN moved from Washington DC to Miami in 1996, U.S.
hosNlity toward Cuba intensified, resulNng ulNmately in the convicNon of five Cuban anNterrorists (the
Cuban Five).
The right of a sovereign, independent naNon to conduct its own affairs free from external interference by
foreign powers is a fundamental asserNon of internaNonal law. Lamrani points out: “Numerous United
NaNons resoluNons condemn the use of unilateral and arbitrary economic sancNons and extraterritorial
measures… Not all of these principles are respected by the United States.” Helms-­‐Burton is controversial
because it violates these very principles. Title II makes demands on Cuba that would result only in a
collision course with their revoluNonary government; it purports to define the type of government most
desirable for Cubans. The cynicism does not stop here. In an a`empt to twist the meaning of democracy
and solidarity that are contained in the official name,
The Cuban Liberty and DemocraNc Solidarity
(Libertad) Act of 1996,
the law is perversely worded. SecNon 204 describes steps to “terminate the
economic embargo of Cuba” pending the destrucNon of the revoluNon, i.e. once “a transiNon
government is in power,” while SecNons 205 and 206 list requirements for a Cuban government
subservient to U.S. interests. Finally, SecNon 207 establishes that the essenNal condiNon for full
resumpNon of economic and diplomaNc relaNons between the U.S. and Cuba remains the return of all
land and property [legally] naNonalized by the Cuban government a^er January 1, 1959. In this regard,
U.S. refusal to accept a Cuban offer for compensaNon, authorized by the Agrarian Reform Law of May 17,
1959, precipitated the breaking of diplomaNc relaNons with Cuba on January 3, 1961.
Obviously, the complexity of economic and poliNcal relaNons makes li^ing the blockade a lengthy and
formidable task. It may indeed be impossible to negoNate terms using an incremental approach.
However, one imagines that taking Cuba off the State Department list of naNons supporNng terrorist
organizaNons would be a priority. Furthermore, the U.S. President must be willing to “relinquish
the
exercise of authoriNes
” under the Trading with the Enemy Act , in order to use his consNtuNonal
prerogaNve to influence a change of direcNon in foreign policy. And, Congress could reverse travel
sancNons and arrange financial credit approval for U.S. banking insNtuNons to do business with Cuba. In
this way, the ExecuNve Order 3447 “Embargo on all trade with Cuba,” imposed by President Kennedy in
February 1962, would be li^ed.
Resolving the case of five
Cuban anN-­‐terrorist fighters
, three of whom sNll remain unjustly incarcerated
in U.S. prisons, is another challenge. Cuba is a signatory to the Montreal ConvenNon, January 26, 1973,
that commits governments to prosecute any act of air piracy or bombing related to commercial airliners.
U.S. officials fail to exonerate innocent men, calling them “bad terrorists” for exposing violent criminal
plots against Cuba. Yet Luis Posada Carriles, who is responsible for the bombing of a
Cuban plane in 1976
among other crimes, and an internaNonal fugiNve from Venezuelan jusNce, walks the streets of Miami in
freedom and is called a “good terrorist”.
The secret to dialogue with Cuba does not require “back channels” if discussions are done in public.
What is keeping President Obama from discussing issues with the Castro government, when 188 naNons
repeatedly vote YES for the Cuban resoluNon to condemn the U.S. economic, commercial and financial
blockade?
!
Richard Grassl lives and writes in Washington.
http://www.letcubalive.org/news–views.html,


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