Archive for the Havana 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

“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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“People participate in Labor Day rally across world” – 2014 1 May, photos of Havana, Cuba [Xinhua]

Posted in Cuba, Havana, May 1 on May 5, 2014 by Zuo Shou / 左手

People participate in the May Day parade organized by the Cuban Workers Union (CTC) at Revolution Square in Havana, capital of Cuba, on May 1, 2014. According to an official estimate, some 600,000 workers joined the parade…

Full photo article link: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/photo/2014-05/02/c_133304231_13.htm

Photo article is a bit bizarre because it starts with with French right-wing May Day rallies?!?…But the photos from Havana are just awesome – Zuo Shou

“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

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?

Continue reading

Cubans Stage a Colorful Parade with Socialist Flavor / Over Three Million Cubans Attend May Day Marches [Prensa Latina]

Posted in Cuba, Fidel Castro, Havana, Lenin, Marx on May 3, 2012 by Zuo Shou / 左手

Por Roberto Hernandez

Havana, May 1 (Prensa Latina) Hundreds of thousands of workers, employees and students marched on Tuesday in Havana bearing the colors of the Cuban flag to commemorate International Workers’ Day with socialism as a course [sic].

A huge piece of fabric with the phrase “Preserve and improve socialism” led the popular march at the Jose Marti Revolution Square, in the presence of President Raul Castro and labor leaders, representatives from the Communist Party, the State, the government and political and social organizations.

The parade, which started at 07:29 hours, local time (11:29 GMT), was led by a bloc of health workers from the capital, the flagship sector of Cuba’s international cooperation, currently present in 66 countries.

Several people bore the flags of the nations in which the Cuban medical brigades work, with representation in every continent.

Giant Cuban flags, posters allegorical to the celebration and with the colors blue, red and white were the protagonists of the parade, held simultaneously in other cities of the country.

Grouped into 23 blocs, union members, many of whom with models representing their respective areas, such as dolls dressed as nurses, taxis, computers, picks and shovels marched in front of the monument to Cuban National Hero Jose Marti.

They carried pictures of the leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro, and world revolutionaries like Karl Marx and Vladimir Ilich Lenin.

There were also prominent banners with images of the Cuban antiterrorists Gerardo Hernandez, Ramon Labanino, Antonio Guerrero, Fernando Gonzalez and Rene Gonzalez, who were arrested more than 13 years ago in the United States, and with demands for their release and immediate return home.

For nearly one and a half hour, participants chanted slogans in favor of the Revolution, socialism and the leadership of Fidel Castro and Raul Castro.

In an area of the rostrum were 1,900 union leaders representing 209 organizations from 117 countries, who saw hundreds of thousands of people marching in Havana on behalf of the entire Cuban population.

Article link: http://www.plenglish.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=502475&Itemid=1
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Havana, May 2 (Prensa Latina) More than three million people marched in the 15 Cuban provinces in the celebrations on Workers International Day, in support of socialism and the updating of the island”s socio-economic model.

[Absolutely awesome photo not replicated here; see original article – Zuo Shou]

More than 500,000 citizens attended the May Day march at the Havana’s Revolution Square in 23 blocs, led by health workers, according to information quoted by Granma newspaper on Wednesday.

President Raul Castro presided over the patriotic march, in which almost 2,000 representatives from union and solidarity organizations from 117 countries also participated in the parade.

About 400,000 people attended the march in the provinces of Santiago de Cuba and Camaguey, more than 200,000 marchers in Pinar del Rio (west) and Holguin (east), and dozens of thousands of people took the streets in Artemisa, Ciego de Avila, Cienfuegos, Granma, Guantanamo, Las Tunas, Matanzas, Mayabeque, and Sancti Spiritus.

Article link: http://www.plenglish.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=502752&Itemid=1

Wikilleaks: US Gov’t Faked Obama’s Interview by Cuban Blogger Yoani Sanchez [Prensa Latina]

Posted in Cuba, Havana, Obama, US Government Cover-up, USA on September 14, 2011 by Zuo Shou / 左手

Havana, Sep 5 (Prensa Latina) A cable revealed by the Wikileaks website shows that US President Barack Obama never really answered a questionnaire by Cuban blogger Yoani Sanchez in 2009, Cuba’s TV News Program broadcast on Monday.

The questionnaire was answered by officials at the U.S. Interests Sections in Havana, and then sent to the White House on August 28, 2009 and it took about 4 months to return, according to the source.

The message was returned with a high degree of coincidence with the original version, including almost exactly the same introduction in which Obama congratulates Sanchez for the Maria Moors Cabo prize of the University of Columbia.

The changes, as in the rest of the interview, were minimal, said the TV news program when referring to the cable of the SINA chief, Jonathan Farrar.

Farrar’s document also included the questions that Sanchez would send to the Cuban president, Raul Castro, and that she herself acknowledged she never sent.

What was a questionnaire for the Cuban President Raul Castro doing in a cable of the US diplomatic representation in Havana, questioned the TV news program.

[Original title: ‘Obama Never Answered Interview of Cuban Blogger’]

PL Article link: http://www.plenglish.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=321011&Itemid=1

See also: Yoani Sanchéz’s faked Obama interview [Machetera.wordpress.com] – http://machetera.wordpress.com/2011/09/09/yoani-sanchezs-faked-obama-interview/

and the ‘smoking gun’ original cable from US Interest Section, Havana: “Questions From Yoani Sanchez To Potus” – http://www.cablegatesearch.net/cable.php?id=09HAVANA527&q=obama%20yoani