Archive for the Fidel Castro Category

Fidel Castro cautiously supports Cuba’s reconciliation with U.S. [Xinhua]

Posted in Cuba, Fidel Castro, Havana, US imperialism, USA on March 26, 2015 by Zuo Shou / 左手

HAVANA, Jan. 27 (Xinhua) — Cuba’s former president and revolutionary leader Fidel Castro expressed his cautious support for the peaceful solution to the 50-year-odd controversy [sic] with the United States.

In a message to the University Young [sic]Federation published Tuesday by Cuba’s official daily “Granma”, Castro, 88, wrote that he does not trust the U.S. policies, but that does not mean a rejection to a peaceful solution of conflicts and dangers of war.

“Defending peace is a duty of all,” said the veteran revolutionary.

“Any peaceful and negotiated solution to the problems between the United States and the peoples or any people of Latin America, not involving force or the use of force, should be handled according to international principles and standards,” he said.

“We will always defend the cooperation and friendship with all peoples of the world, including those of our political opponents,” he added.

Castro stressed that the Cuban president (Raul Castro) has taken appropriate steps according to his prerogatives and powers granted by the National Assembly and the Communist Party of Cuba.

This is the first time that the former Cuban leader spoke of the resumption of diplomatic relations between Cuba and the United States, which was announced by U.S. President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro on Dec. 17…

Edited &excerpted by Zuo Shou

Full article link: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2015-01/27/c_133951254.htm

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“Statement of President Raúl Castro” on normalization of US-Cuban relations [Workers World]

Posted in Canada, Cuba, Fidel Castro, Havana, Obama, US imperialism, USA, USA 21st Century Cold War on December 28, 2014 by Zuo Shou / 左手

Dec. 22, 2014

The Cuban government released the following statement by President Raúl Castro on Dec. 17.

Since my election as President of the State Council and Council of Ministers I have reiterated on many occasions our willingness to hold a respectful dialogue with the United States on the basis of sovereign equality, in order to deal reciprocally with a wide variety of topics without detriment to the national independence and self-determination of our people.

This stance was conveyed to the U.S. government both publicly and privately by Comrade Fidel on several occasions during our long-standing struggle, stating the willingness to discuss and solve our differences without renouncing any of our principles.

The heroic Cuban people, in the wake of serious dangers, aggressions, adversities and sacrifices, have proven to be faithful and will continue to be faithful to our ideals of independence and social justice. Strongly united throughout these 56 years of Revolution, we have kept our unswerving loyalty to those who died in defense of our principles since the beginning of our independence wars in 1868.

Today, despite the difficulties, we have embarked on the task of updating our economic model in order to build a prosperous and sustainable Socialism.

As a result of a dialogue at the highest level, which included a phone conversation I had yesterday with President Obama, we have been able to make headway in the solution of some topics of mutual interest for both nations.

As Fidel promised on June 2001, when he said, “They shall return!” Gerardo, Ramón and Antonio have arrived today to our homeland.

The enormous joy of their families and of all our people, who have relentlessly fought for this goal, is shared by hundreds of solidarity committees and groups, governments, parliaments, organizations, institutions and personalities, who for the last 16 years have made tireless efforts demanding their release. We convey our deepest gratitude and commitment to all of them.

President Obama’s decision deserves the respect and acknowledgement of our people.

I wish to thank and acknowledge the support of the Vatican, most particularly the support of Pope Francisco, in the efforts for improving relations between Cuba and the United States. I also want to thank the government of Canada for facilitating the high-level dialogue between the two countries.

In turn, we have decided to release and send back to the United States a spy of Cuban origin who was working for that nation.

On the other hand, and for humanitarian reasons, today we have also sent the American citizen Alan Gross back to his country.

Unilaterally, as has always been our practice, and in strict compliance with the provisions of our legal system, the concerned prisoners have received legal benefits, including the release of those persons that the government of the United States had conveyed their interest in.

We have also agreed to renew diplomatic relations.

This in no way means that the heart of the matter has been solved. The economic, commercial and financial blockade, which causes enormous human and economic damages to our country, must cease.

Though the blockade has been codified into law, the President of the United States has the executive authority to modify its implementation.

We propose to the government of the United States the adoption of mutual steps to improve the bilateral atmosphere and advance towards normalization of relations between our two countries, based on the principles of International Law and the United Nations Charter.

Cuba reiterates its willingness to cooperate in multilateral bodies, such as the United Nations.

While acknowledging our profound differences, particularly on issues related to national sovereignty, democracy, human rights and foreign policy, I reaffirm our willingness to dialogue on all these issues.

I call upon the government of the United States to remove the obstacles hindering or restricting ties between peoples, families and citizens of both countries, particularly restrictions on travelling, direct post services and telecommunications.

The progress made in our exchanges proves that it is possible to find solutions to many problems.

As we have reiterated, we must learn the art of coexisting with our differences in a civilized manner.

We will continue talking about these important issues at a later date.

Article link: http://www.workers.org/articles/2014/12/22/statement-president-raul-castro/

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“Break the silence: a world war is beckoning” by John Pilger [JohnPilger.com]

Posted in Afghanistan, Anti-Arab / Antisemitism, Anti-communism, Anti-Islam hysteria, Chile, Fidel Castro, Hugo Chavez, Iran, NATO, Russia, State Department, Ukraine, US "War on Terror", US imperialism, USA, USA 21st Century Cold War, Venezuela on May 21, 2014 by Zuo Shou / 左手

13 May 2014

Why do we tolerate the threat of another world war in our name? Why do we allow lies that justify this risk? The scale of our indoctrination, wrote Harold Pinter, is a “brilliant, even witty, highly successful act of hypnosis”, as if the truth “never happened even while it was happening”.

Every year the American historian William Blum publishes his “updated summary of the record of US foreign policy” which shows that, since 1945, the US has tried to overthrow more than 50 governments, many democratically elected; grossly interfered in elections in 30 countries; bombed the civilian populations of 30 countries; used chemical and biological weapons; and attempted to assassinate foreign leaders.

In many cases Britain has been a collaborator. The degree of human suffering, let alone criminality, is little acknowledged in the west, despite the presence of the world’s most advanced communications and nominally freest journalism. That the most numerous victims of terrorism – “our” terrorism – are Muslims, is unsayable. That extreme jihadism, which led to 9/11, was nurtured as a weapon of Anglo-American policy (Operation Cyclone in Afghanistan) is suppressed. In April the US state department [sic] noted that, following Nato’s campaign in 2011, “Libya has become a terrorist safe haven”.

The name of “our” enemy has changed over the years, from communism to Islamism, but generally it is any society independent of western power and occupying strategically useful or resource-rich territory. The leaders of these obstructive nations are usually violently shoved aside, such as the democrats Muhammad Mossedeq in Iran and Salvador Allende in Chile, or they are murdered like Patrice Lumumba in the Congo. All are subjected to a western media campaign of caricature and vilification – think Fidel Castro, Hugo Chávez, now Vladimir Putin.

Washington’s role in Ukraine is different only in its implications for the rest of us. For the first time since the Reagan years, the US is threatening to take the world to war…

Excerpted; full article link: http://johnpilger.com/articles/break-the-silence-a-world-war-is-beckoning

National Network on Cuba condemns U.S. ‘terrorist’ bounty on Assata Shakur [Workers World]

Posted in Assassination, Cuba, FBI, Fidel Castro, Obama, US "War on Terror", US drone strikes, US imperialism, USA, Venezuela on May 28, 2013 by Zuo Shou / 左手

May 20, 2013

The following statement was issued by the National Network on Cuba.

On May 3, the U.S. government falsely branded Assata Shakur … as a “terrorist,” placing her name as the first woman on the most-wanted terrorist list, with obvious alternative motives, but supposedly for the false charges 40 years ago. This act is doubly scurrilous as it implies that Cuba, a country that has suffered nearly 3,500 deaths from relentless U.S.-based terrorist attacks since its revolution for sovereignty in 1959, harbors “terrorists” because in the 1970s and 80s it gave Shakur and other Black freedom fighters refuge. The National Network on Cuba rejects this slanderous act and demands that it be reversed immediately.

The National Lawyers Guild explained: “Assata Shakur is a former member of the Black Panther Party in New York City. That organization, which advocated community control and self-determination in the Black community, was one of the chief targets of the FBI’s infamous counterintelligence program known as ‘COINTELPRO.’

“According to documents released in the 1970′s, ‘COINTELPRO’s stated goal was to ‘expose, misdirect, destroy and neutralize’ Black political organizations and their leadership. The illegal and unconstitutional program resulted in the police murder of scores of Black Freedom Fighters and others including BPP members, Fred Hampton and Mark Clark in Chicago, and the frame-ups and wrongful convictions of many others, such as Geronimo Pratt and Dhoruba Bin Wahad, both of whom spent two decades in prison before their frame-ups were exposed. Many former Panthers remain in prison today, such as Marshall Eddie Conway, Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin and Mumia Abu Jamal.”

This convenient smokescreen comes at an historical moment when world opinion rejects the U.S. blockade of Cuba and demands that the Obama administration end the injustice, release all of the Cuban 5 and allow them to return to their families in Cuba. The Cuban 5 have been in prison for nearly 15 years for preventing terrorism against their homeland — Cuba.

It is the United States that is harboring terrorist Luis Posada Carriles. Carriles was convicted of endangering the public welfare in a thwarted 2001 attempt to assassinate then Cuban President Fidel Castro who was speaking at a university in Panama.

Carriles now shamelessly walks the streets of Miami, although there is an open extradition request from the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, where he is wanted to stand trial for the … mid-air bombing of a civilian aircraft. Carriles has boasted about his role in downing Cubana Flight 455 as it left Barbados in 1976, killing all 73 men, women and children aboard. It is a crime for which international treaties required extradition or trial in the host country. He has not been tried nor extradited. And Carriles is not the only terrorist living in the United States with the knowledge and protection of the U.S. government.

The U.S. alternative motives for this upping the ante on Assata also place her on the Obama’s administration drone assassination program’s list; this is the list from which drone targets are chosen. In their offensive against the left in this hemisphere (Argentina, Cuba, Honduras, Ecuador, Uruguay, Venezuela, Haiti, and Nicaragua) the U.S. is using Assata as a precedent on their regime-change objectives for the Latin American and Caribbean left.

We must organize to Free Assata [Shakur], the Cuban 5, Mumia Abu-Jamal, Leonard Peltier and all political prisoners and prisoners of war in [U.S.] custody. Assata is our sister, mother, daughter, comrade and friend. The NNOC asks all our membership organizations for support in this struggle to remove Assata Shakur from the FBI terrorist list.

Article link: http://www.workers.org/2013/05/20/national-network-on-cuba-condemns-u-s-terrorist-bounty-on-assata-shakur/

“We have lost our best friend” – Fidel Castro on death of Hugo Chavez [Granma Internacional]

Posted in Cuba, Fidel Castro, Havana, Hugo Chavez, Venezuela on March 18, 2013 by Zuo Shou / 左手

Havana. March 11 2013

THE best friend the Cuban people have had throughout their history died on the afternoon of March 5. A call via satellite communicated the bitter news. The significance of the phrase used was unmistakable.

Although we were aware of the critical state of his health, the news hit us hard. I recalled the times he joked with me, saying that when both of us had concluded our revolutionary task, he would invite me to walk by the Arauca river in Venezuelan territory, which made him remember the rest that he never had.

The honor befell us to have shared with the Bolivarian leader the same ideas of social justice and support for the exploited. The poor are the poor in any part of the world.

“Let Venezuela give me a way of serving her: she has in me a son,” proclaimed National Hero José Martí, the leader of our independence, a traveler who, without cleansing himself of the dust of the journey, asked for the location of the statue of Bolívar.

Martí knew the beast because he lived in its entrails. Is it possible to ignore the profound words he voiced in an inconclusive letter to his friend Manuel Mercado the day before he died in battle? “…I am in daily danger of giving my life for my country and duty – for I understand that duty and have the intention of carrying it out – the duty of preventing the United States from extending through the Antilles as Cuba gains its independence, and from falling, with that additional strength, upon our lands of America. All that I have done thus far, and will do, is for this purpose. I have had to work silently and somewhat indirectly because, there are certain things which, in order to attain them, have to remain concealed….”

At that time, 66 years had passed since the Liberator Simón Bolívar wrote, “…the United States would seem to be destined by fate to plague the Americas with miseries in the name of freedom.”

On January 23, 1959, 22 days after the revolutionary triumph in Cuba, I visited Venezuela to thank its people and the government which assumed power after the Pérez Jiménez dictatorship, for the dispatch of 150 rifles at the end of 1958. I said at that time:

“…Venezuela is the homeland of the Liberator, where the idea of the union of the peoples of America was conceived. Therefore, Venezuela must be the country to lead the union of the peoples of America; as Cubans, we support our brothers and sisters in Venezuela.

“I have spoken of these ideas not because I am moved by any kind of personal ambition, or even the ambition of glory, because, at the end of the day, ambitions of glory remain a vanity, and as Martí said, ‘All the glory of the world fits into a kernel of corn.’

“And so, upon coming here to talk in this way to the people of Venezuela, I do so thinking honorably and deeply, that if we want to save America, if we want to save the freedom of each one of our societies that, at the end of the day, are part of one great society, which is the society of Latin America; if it is that we want to save the revolution of Cuba, the revolution of Venezuela and the revolution of all the countries on our continent, we have to come closer to each other and we have to solidly support each other, because alone and divided, we will fail.”

That is what I said on that day and today, 54 years later, I endorse it!

I must only include on that list the other nations of the world which, for more than half a century, have been victims of exploitation and plunder. That was the struggle of Hugo Chávez.

Not even he himself suspected how great he was.

¡Hasta la victoria siempre, unforgettable friend!

Fidel Castro Ruz
March 11, 2013
12:35 a.m.

Article link: http://www.granma.cu/ingles/cuba-i/11marz-friend.html

Fidel Castro turns 86 [Xinhua]

Posted in Cuba, Ecuador, Fidel Castro on August 14, 2012 by Zuo Shou / 左手

HAVANA, Aug.13 (Xinhua) — Cuba celebrated its former leader Fidel Castro’s 86th birthday on Monday, with an exhibition and a book fair.

The birthday of Castro, who quitted public life after handing over power to younger brother Raul in 2006, was marked with an exhibition of his portraits, an art and book fair in the central province of Villa Clara, local media said.

The books on show included Castro’s several memoirs published over the last three years, and others written about him, such as "Fidel Castro and History" and "Fidel, Women and Children".

The portrait exhibition featured 13 oil paintings based on photographs of key moments in his life, from childhood to moments when meeting important world leaders.

Also Monday, newspapers and magazines across the Caribbean island published articles on Castro and congratulatory messages from countries around the world.

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Reflections of Fidel: “The marvelous world of capitalism” [Granma Internacional]

Posted in Capitalism crisis early 21st century, Cuba, Fidel Castro, Havana, Japan, NATO, Police, Police brutality, Tokyo, US Government Cover-up, US imperialism, USA, Wikileaks on July 6, 2012 by Zuo Shou / 左手

Havana.  April 2, 2012

(Taken from CubaDebate)

THE search for political truth will always be a difficult task, even in our times when science has placed a large body of knowledge in our hands.  One of the most significant aspects of this scientific knowledge has been learning of and studying the fabulous power of energy contained in matter.

The discoverer of this energy and its potential use was a peaceful and good-natured man who, in spite of his repudiation of violence and war, sought its development in the United States, during the Presidency of Franklin D. Roosevelt, who was known to have an anti-fascist position, and the leader of a capitalist country in deep crisis, which he had contributed to saving with strong measures which earned him the hatred of the extreme right wing of his own class.  Today, this state is imposing on the world the most brutal and dangerous dictatorship that our fragile species has known.

Cables from the United States and its NATO allies refer to the crimes committed by these countries and their accomplices. The most important cities of the United States and Europe are seeing constant pitched battles between demonstrators and well trained and fed police agents, with armored cars and protective gear, dispensing blows and kickings [sic] and firing gases at women and men, arm-locking the hands and necks of young and old, displaying to the world actions being committed against the rights and lives of citizens of their own countries.

For how much longer will these barbarities continue?

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