By Leyanis Infante Curbelo firstname.lastname@example.org
and Maykel Espinosa Rodríguez email@example.com
Published: Wednesday 14 February 2018 | 06:21:23 PM
Updated: Thursday 15 February 2018 | 12:12:12:40 PM
Translated and edited for CubaNews by Walter Lippmann.
With the proposal that we bring you to inaugurate 2018, it is almost impossible that you won’t feel identified. In fact, most of our readers, whether or not they love photography, will feel they have something to say or show for it.
We are referring to travel photography, which with the rise of cyber platforms, and the amplification and cheapening of access to equipment capable of taking photos, is one of the themes that has been most developed and popularized worldwide: travel photography.
It is no longer just professional photographers who display their impeccable graphic memories of the places they have visited. Increasingly, from social networks and blogs people share their experiences in other latitudes, offer advice, suggest itineraries… and show their images. Some even live make a living from it.
So much so that travel photography has begun to be recognized as a [distinct] genre and enough literature has already been written about it.
Usually, we all take images of the places we visit, with the intention of remembering them later and to enlarge our personal graphic memory. But what kind of images do we make, of what objects or subjects we photograph and above all, why.
It’s not just a postcard.
For some authors, travel photography is just one facet of photojournalism, another way to tell stories. And the fact is that, although it is not wrong to want to immortalize in our images in a kind of postcard of what we have seen, there are many other ways to face a tourist visit.
It is clear that there are essential photos. For example, if you visit the Valley of Viñales, you will not fail to take a panoramic photo from the Hotel Los Jazmines, nor from the paradisiacal beaches of Varadero. But you will make a difference when you also begin to tell stories, when you imbue your images with the feeling of the place you visit, portraying its inhabitants in their surroundings, detail traditions, gastronomic culture… and everything that grabs your attention (animals, streets, doors, trees).
Take pictures from the first moment. Preparations for the trip are also part of it.
Take photos on the means of transport, including the plane. To do this, you will have to be attentive and request the seat in a window in which the wings of the plane do not obstruct your vision. Take advantage of this opportunity to take aerial photos.
In addition to the typical places, it also seeks to bring out daily customs and characters.
Photograph the people of the place… but first, ask them for permission, not only to take the photo but also if you plan to publish it or upload it to your social networks.
Include tourists and passers-by in your images, that will make them more attractive and moving.
If you photograph your fellow travelers in a space or in front of an important building or monument, take a short shot of your friends, half-body or closer. Otherwise, they’ll be so tiny that you won’t notice them in the picture.
Above all, try to do things with common sense, discretion, and education. When in doubt, always ask.
When you return from your trip, make a rigorous selection. Make the selection as if it were a projection, at 4 seconds per photo, you should be able to see the selected photos in 3 or 4 minutes maximum so you don’t bore your audience.
With information from https://www.blogdelfotografo.com and https://saltaconmigo.com
Cuba Observes International Yoga Day
• by Reno Massoby
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews
This weekend the celebration of International Yoga Day took place in Havana. The activities took place in the Círculo Social Gerardo Abreu Fontán of this city.
Yoga is one of the most important legacies of our culture, and we are very proud that the United Nations has designated this day to celebrate it, at the request of the Prime Minister of India, Rajendra Modi and with the support of more than 170 countries, explained His Excellency Mr. C. Rajasekhar, Indian Ambassador to the Island.
From 9.00 am to 5.00 pm massive sessions were held and the physiological, therapeutic and ethical aspects of Yoga, which are becoming an effective remedy against everyday stress, were discussed.
Organized in coordination with the Cuban Yoga Association, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, International Yoga Day was also celebrated in 7 provinces of the country where the Association has its headquarters.
Parkland students’ pressure even reached the White House, where President Donald Trump met with several of them and their parents on Wednesday.
Author: Sergio Alejandro Gómez | firstname.lastname@example.org
22 February 2018 20:02:57
A CubaNews translation.
Edited by Walter Lippmann.
Hundreds of young people, with tears in their eyes for the friends they lost and, also, although it may seem contradictory, for the good fortune of having survived; human chains guarded by the police evacuating the danger zone and Valentine’s Day balloons and teddy bears lying on the ground. Those were the images that toured the world after the massive shooting at a school in Florida that left 17 dead and about 20 injured on February 14.
Those same faces today throughout the United States are demanding “Never Again” about tragedies like the Stoneman Douglas School in Parkland and for the enforcement of stricter gun control laws.
“No matter how many people die. Legislators in power don’t take action,” Ryan Deitsch, one of the surviving students who met with legislators, told reporters.
Now is the time to get on the right side of this, because it’s not something we’re going to sweep under the carpet,” Emma Gonzalez told NBC News Meet the Press.
But what were isolated appearances in the media and spontaneous displays of pain, has become a whole movement that is already known by the label #NeverAgain.
The young people touched a sensitive fiber of public opinion and began to mobilize in city councils demanding a change in gun control laws.
They soon won tens of thousands of fans on social networks and made frequent appearances on national television. They also received millions of donations from celebrities like George Clooney, Oprah Winfrey, and Steven Spielberg to fund future demonstrations.
A march is being called in Washington for March 24, which they hope will have a national repercussion.
Its impact is greater than previous initiatives, since the voice of young people comes in the midst of a politicized scenario in which the issue of arms is diluted in political conflicts and economic interests that go beyond the traditional parties.
The legitimacy of the lawsuits, which in many cases come from the families of victims or survivors of the massacre, are putting politicians like Florida Senator Marco Rubio, who has received more than $3.3 million from the National Rifle Association (NRA) to buy his votes on the weapons issue, on the ropes.
During a public assembly in Sunrise, Florida, the father of one of Parkland’s victims challenged Rubio to tell the truth and acknowledge that “guns were a factor in his son’s death.” Rubio tried to sneak away and responded that if he believed that a ban on assault weapons “would have prevented this from happening, he would have supported it.> His response was booed by the audience.
Then, student Cameron Kasky told the senator, “It’s hard to look at you and not see the barrel of an AR-15 and not see Nikolas Cruz,” referring to the assault weapon used in the shooting and the 19-year-old perpetrator, who acquired the rifle legally despite a history of violence. “Can you tell me right now that you won’t accept a single donation from the National Rifle Association?”, she added.
Parkland student pressure even reached the White House, where President Donald Trump met with several of them and their parents on Wednesday.
The president was pressured to declare that he will seek “solutions” to the problem.
But so far, some of his ideas are on the way to authorizing teachers to carry weapons in schools and be more severe with the background check of prospective buyers.
That is precisely the vision that the NRA supports to divert attention from the main problem that American students now denounce:”guns are not only a variable of the situation, but they are the key to the problem.”
RAZONES DE CUBA [clearH=10]
“Did you smoke marijuana and want to go to war? The Army allows it .“ That is the call or promotional announcement that the Latino press recently began to reproduce in the US, as part of a broader recruitment effort for the military.
This was the title of a recent report by the Miami newspaper El Nuevo Herald, where it is announced that, given the order to increase the number of US military personnel. and the increase in the number of North American states that have legalized or decriminalized the use of the herb, the Army will grant exemptions to those who have consumed that substance and want to enlist in military adventures of the superpower.
According to the rep[ort, the number of exemptions granted by the army to marijuana smokers amounted to half a thousand this year compared to 191 in 2016. He adds that this type of flexibility was not granted for three years and it’s justified by the need to fulfill the order to increase the forces that the White House has given. The army added that almost 69 thousand recruits this year, some 6,000 more than in 2016.
The only requirement is that addicts have to commit not to use the drug while serving in the armed forces. “As long as they understand they can not do it while doing military service, I’ll give them all the exemptions they want,” said Maj. Gen. Jeff Snow, head of the army’s recruiting command.
He added that exemption figures will increase as the states where the drug is allowed increases. Currently, in eight, the possession of marijuana is legalized and in 13 other states, it has been decriminalized, which means that the possession of a small amount is the equivalent of a traffic infraction or another minor crime that is not punishable by jail. Another 29 together with the national capital and the territories of Puerto Rico and Guam allow consumption for therapeutic purposes.
According to the report, recently Congress and other areas have expressed concern about the drop in the quality of new recruits. Army data reveal that more than 8,000 recruits received exemptions in 2017, compared to 6700 last year, mostly for reasons of physical or mental health.
In this sense, it stands out that the exemptions for marijuana use represent 25% of the total of those granted for misconduct in the fiscal year that ended on September 30. They also represent 50% of the general increase in exemptions granted to those who needed it for some type of misconduct.
In addition to the poor quality of recruitment, it is suspicious that armed forces that have been accused in the past of having a “hallucinogenic arsenal” that they have used in recent wars to manipulate their own forces, the civilian population, and its adversaries, so it is betting on the massive use of addicts for future war adventures.
According to the book “Drugs in war”, by Polish author Lukasz Kamienski, the Vietnam war was “the first real pharmacological war” with consumption among US military personnel that reached levels never previously seen. The study points out that in 1973, the year of US withdrawal from the Asian country, 70% of the soldiers took some drug, be it marijuana, dexedrine, heroin, morphine, opium, sedatives or hallucinogens.
He points out that no less outlandish have been later US projects. like the one to bombard enemy forces with pheromones to sexually uncontrol the soldiers or the one to use viagra with the members of their own special forces to make them more aggressive. Pheromones are chemical substances that cause specific behaviors in other individuals.
The Polish scholar describes as hypocritical that there are “very restrictive anti-drug policies … and in other cases official policies of distribution of these substances to soldiers in war”.
The call for marijuana addicts to enter the US Army triggers alarms when military budgets increase to exorbitant levels, when Washington establishes a foreign policy of threats of extermination against its enemies, of sanctions against adversaries and superpowers, of revenge and reprisals, and the executive’s capacity for strategic leadership is questioned.
Unedited Google translation of comments:
From the Cuban sexual diversity strategy, unique in the world, many countries, even developed ones, could learn from it,” says Canadian researcher Emily Kirk, author of the first foreign book on the official approach to sexual diversity in the country.
Cuba’s Gay Revolution: normalizing sexual diversity through a health-based approach is the first overseas vision of the Cuban Program to normalize sexual diversity based on health. Author: Youth Rebel Published: 09/02/2018 | 09:00 pm
Although it is not among the books presented these days in La Cabaña, the debut of a text on Cuban reality is news in the international media.
This is the first vision from abroad of the Cuban program to normalize sexual diversity based on health: Cuba’s gay Revolution: normalizing sexual diversity through a health-based approach was published by Lexington Books, from the United States, after two years of persistent effort by its author, Canadian Emily Kirk, Doctor of Science in Latin American Studies and expert on global development issues.
She decided to first publish the results of her field research in the world’s most difficult publishing market, not so much because of the controversy over the sexual issue, but because of the suspicion that any scientific defense of the social achievements of revolutionary Cuba raises in that country.
This year, the book will be printed in the UK and Canada and presented in Spain. It has already been translated into Turkish and a Cuban publisher offered to take it to Spanish. Meanwhile, a copy of the work will be available at the Cenesex documentation center, courtesy of Kirk.
Beyond its publicized novelty as a first approach to the Cuban official vision on this issue, the text is a working tool for the multidisciplinary team that examines the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals in Brazil, Fiji, Ecuador, India, South Africa and Cuba.
As an international expert in health programs, she emphasizes the virtues of a strategy that is almost invisible to our population because of its daily obviousness. Her opinion is conclusive: the Cuban treatment of sexual diversity is a unique and very special experience in the world. Many countries, even developed ones, could learn from it to advance in the solution of problems that accumulate centuries of inequality.
You don’t have it all figured out, there is much to gain even in terms of laws, conduct, sexist stereotypes…But it is impressive how they have managed to focus their actions on the unquestionable value of human health, their physical and emotional well-being, beyond the subjective interpretation of what is a sexual right or how they exercised, which is the most frequent approach that other countries work with,” explained Dr. Kirk in an exclusive interview for Sexo Sentido.
The choice of the title of her work certainly reflects an advertising strategy, Emily said, smiling. The Cuban Revolution is well-known and attracts a lot of interest. Part of that admiration is due to the government’s obsession with the health of the people and its sincere efforts to bring that care to other parts of the world, he said.
She began her research on the Cuban health system in 2008, and from 2011 she focused on the systematization of treatment of sexual diversity. She has known the island since she was a child because he used to accompany her father, Dr. John Kirk, whose love for the history of Cuba she honors with this book today.
In the last ten years, she has been able to observe the country’s evolution regarding these issues, and she admires very much what has been achieved by Cenesex, the Federation of Cuban Women and other Cuban institutions, but above all, the change of mentality that is already being felt in the street.
It also believes that we have great advantages over other countries in the area in terms of laws in favor of the family and individual rights. It states that our society is prepared to update its codes in terms of what is popularly incorporated as knowledge, feeling and social behavior.
He enthusiastically asserts that her studies of Creole reality do not end here. The book is a balance between 1959 and 2014, but Cuba continues to evolve and she is eager to observe this process and share her achievements with other nations where her academic tasks and her humanist vocation also take her.
In all countries, this is a problem to be addressed. In my city, diversity marches began 25 years ago and the first time around 100 people participated (including my family); however, in 2016,100,000 people marched, a quarter of the entire population “.
Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator
By Manuel E. Yepe
Exclusive for the daily POR ESTO! of Merida, Mexico.
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann.
In the United States, approximately 2.1 million undocumented immigrants who arrived in the United States as children face a situation that is very different from the American dream.
For their benefit, in June 2012, the Barack Obama administration proposed an immigration policy known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). It allowed a number of people admitted to the United States as minors who had entered or remained in the country illegally to receive residence permits for renewable periods of two years, deferring the action. Every two years they should be able to reaffirm these data to retain the benefits of DACA.
Approximately 800,000 people who have taken refuge in five years with DACA’s deportation protection can apply for a 2-year work permit with a renewable option, ask for their Social Security registration number, and apply for driver’s license.
Although DACA has never been subject to specific legal approval, its visibility and that of the dreamers grew enormously in the American public. The dreamers, who have lived in a limbo of illegality for most or all of their lives, in an atmosphere of sympathy and sympathy, if not rejection, have become the subject of debate beyond the negotiations in Congress.
After several months of presidential silence on the matter, on September 5,2017, U. S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that the Trump regime had decided to end the DACA program. He said this was because nine general prosecutors, hard-line conservatives on immigration issues from as many states in the country, threatened to denounce the official policy implemented by their predecessor, Barack Obama, arguing that the policy was the responsibility of President Obama
Sessions called DACA an unconstitutional exercise by the Obama Administration. Trump only sent out one of his usual twitter sketches: “I am not in favor of punishing children, most of whom are now adults, for the actions of their parents. But we must recognize that if this is a nation of opportunity, it is because we are a nation of laws.
Since the beginning of his presidential campaign, Trump has issued dramatically opposed opinions about what he intends to do with the Dreamers. In a White House ceremony, he said they should be deported. But shortly afterwards, he said they should be protected from deportation “because they are great guys.”
On another occasion he said he will treat them with “big heart” but at the end of Obama’s term in office he has put an end to the program that protected them, USA Today points out.
Although members of the two parties that monopolize the U. S. electoral landscape complain that they can’t identify what the White House is looking for, Sarah Sanders, Trump’s press secretary, repeats over and over again: “The President has been clear about what his priorities are in that process.
At the height of the presidential campaign in 2016, Trump’s most significant political initiative was the promise to build and a “big and beautiful” wall that will separate the United States from Mexico, which will be paid for by the Mexican side.
Trump promised to speed up the deportation of the country’s eleven million undocumented immigrants, but when asked on Meet the Press if he would make an exception with the dreamers, he simply answered: “They have to go.”
Fifteen states and the District of Columbia have spoken out against the presidential decision to end .DACA. They will file a lawsuit against the federal government against such a decision by Trump. The original complaint was filed in New York, led by the Attorney General of that state and Massachusetts. He has been joined by North Carolina, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, New Mexico, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and the District of Columbia.
Chuck Schumer (D-NY), leader of the Democratic minority in the Senate, offered a very different definition of the image Trump wants to project as a white supremacist male, saying that arguing with Trump is like “negotiating with Jell-o.”
February 12, 2018.
CubaNews translation edited by Walter Lippmann.
A CubaNews translation. Edited by Walter Lippmann.
Antonio Guerrero, a member of the group of comrades Heroes of the Republic known as The Five, referred in his Facebook profile to the post of Raul Capote on the same social network entitled “I AM IN THE CANDIDATURE”. It is not surprising that those who rushed to take advantage of the words of the wife of one of our heroes to attack the legitimacy of the ongoing electoral process in Cuba, against the intention of that comrade, now keep silent on both Tony’s words and those of another Hero of the Group of Five, Gerardo Hernández Nordelo, which we published before.
“SELFISHNESS IS THE STAIN ON THE WORLD AND DISINTEREST ITS SUN ” JOSÉ MARTÍ
Capote, the last time we met I told you about my limitations to get into the networks [the internet]. I have read your writing and here I am trying to publish something. I AM ALSO AMONG THE CANDIDATES. “The well-told truth, said in time dissipates, as if they were smoke, its enemies.” And I continue with the Apostle. “The duty of a man is where he is most useful.” And “[it] must be fulfilled simply and naturally”. If everyone does their part “nothing can defeat us”.
And what I think is essential to Marti’s thoughts: “If I ever was of any use, I can’t remember: what I want is to be of more use”.
Eternal glory to our National Hero José Martí!
Fools like Silvio and his song.
Faithful always to Fidel and the Revolution.
EVER ONWARD TO VICTORY!
LONG LIVE FREE CUBA!
Words from Raúl Capote on his Facebook profile to which Tony refers:
In the candidacy for the ANPP there are those who have to be. There are the workers, the peasants, the students, the humble citizen and the brilliant professor, the heroes and the unknown, working men and women, the Chinese, the black, the mulatto, the white… a broad spectrum of Cuban society.
That the modest and unknown student, almost adolescent, is there, is good; that the peasant from way out in the mountain, the self-employed, our next-door men and women, women of the neighborhood, very, is very, very good.
There are the non-state sector, health, research, education, as well as the peasant and the cooperative member, workers of culture, the media, the military, sports, religious institutions and social organizations.
We are not going to vote for an assembly only of generals and doctors, there are the people, the free country represented in all its dignity.
Of the 605 Parliament candidates nominated on January 21, 47.4% are delegates from constituencies; therefore, all municipalities in the country will have representation in Parliament with at least two deputies, and one of them of municipal origin.
Women represent 53.22%, which places us as the second Parliament in the world with the largest female participation, “The vote of an entire people, of all the constant and visible entities of the Cuban people that can speak frankly, is an honor such that it anoints the one who receives it, cleanses his heart of the passions that could disturb him, and magnifies, as if by divine dispensation, the sworn forces over all the obligations of the earth, taking it to the first and foremost one: to build man a safe and decorous house on the independent soil of the homeland”. (Jose Marti)
Our democracy, new, sincere and truly popular, is based on Marti’s principle, With all and for the good of all; and it needs, given the danger of the greater war that is being waged against us, the unity of the revolutionaries. Such is the main legacy of Fidel, UNITY UNITY UNITY
Comrades all, let us all vote for all. I am also among the candidates, not in name but worthy and fully represented.
This is an English translation of a posting on Iroel Sanchez’ blog, La Pupila Insomne.
January 29, 2018
A CubaNews translation. Edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews
On Saturday, January 27,  I posted a comment on Raúl Capote Fernández’s Facebook profile to which Gerardo Hernández Nordelo, Hero of the Republic of Cuba, replied as follows:
“Certainly, brother Iroel, anyone who has an honest opinion has the right to express it, but it’s outrageous to see the way some opportunists who never raised their voice in defense of The Five when it was most needed are now throwing up their hands in horror to ‘defend us’ by adding fuel to the fire…”
This was Gerardo’s reply to my comment:
“Right this minute I can’t but remember that the owner of the journal OnCuba described as ‘unfortunate’ musician Francis del Río’s demand of freedom for The Five on Miami television. ‘It’s like going to a synagogue to speak ill of the Jews”, the said owner remarked at the time, putting Southern Florida’s filthy media on a level with a temple, and stating the journal’s view that Alan Gross was the ‘U.S. contractor imprisoned in Cuba for acts against the law’—it could be assumed that he drove through the red light or a ‘Stop’ rather than being involved in U.S. Cuba policy of subversion. Our heroes, however, were serving ‘harsh sentences’—never unjust ones—‘because they were working for the Cuban State Security apparatus.”
By Manuel E. Yepe
Exclusive for the daily POR ESTO! of Merida, Mexico.
A CubaNews translation. Edited by Walter Lippmann.
Cuba produces, consumes and exports substantial amounts of Havana cigars and rum, products that enjoy a lot of prestige and are in high demand in international markets.
It is somehow perplexing that a nation which –according to United Nations specialized agencies– contributes greatly to the prevention and cure of ailments through the medical assistance offered by its scientists in many countries, is likewise an important supplier in the world market of products that are harmful to health, such as alcohol and tobacco.
The inhabitants of the islands that make up the Cuban archipelago took control of their destiny after a bloody liberation struggle. By then, the humble and exploited Cuban peasants and workers had managed to develop –with sweat and tears resulting from strenuous capitalist exploitation– cultivation techniques, handicraft and manufacturing techniques which, together with climatic and agricultural conditions specific to parts of the Cuban archipelago, had placed the island at the head of the world in these product which make it proud today.
Cuba had always been denied democratic paths. It had to achieve its independence, in the decade of the 1950’s, through an armed struggle waged by a rebel vanguard at the cost of thousands of lives.
But when the popular revolution won and the Cuban people became owners of the country’s destiny, the new government was forced to limit the scope of its social welfare goals.
This was because of the need to defend against the counter-revolutionary actions of the oligarchy, already displaced from the government but supported by the United States superpower.
After the proclamation of Cuba’s independence from Spanish colonial rule, the US played the same hegemonic role that Spain had exercised previously.
Not all the big companies that were nationalized by the revolution reacted in the same way.
Virtually all non-US foreign companies accepted the path of negotiation and resolved the matter sensibly, without further conflict. Several of them, over the years, have returned to have investments in Cuba at much higher levels.
For more than sixty years, US companies nationalized in Cuba were not allowed by the US blockade laws against Cuba (euphemistically called “embargo”) to sit down and normally discuss compensation issues.
Everything had to be done in an organized manner, and the inevitable impact had to be treated carefully to minimize violent effects, always in the hope of future understanding and tolerance.
In the case of Bacardí, the former owners of the firm opted for making a legal war against Cuba.
Shortly after the triumph of the revolution, they registered the Bacardí Company in Bermuda and fought a legal battle in the International Court of The Hague for the ownership of the brand.
They managed to maintain the right to the Bacardi brand and the bat as its symbol, but they were denied the right to identify their rum as Cuban or originally from Havana.
In 1999, thanks to their political links and the blockade, Bacardi managed to get the US Congress to approve a provision that would allow it to seize the Havana Club brand within the US territory.
The World Trade Organization condemned the action, but allowed Bacardi to market, within the United States, the fake Havana Club rum made in Puerto Rico.
Through bizarre legal maneuvers, Bacardí allegedly had acquired from an industrialist named José Arechabala, the property of a small rum factory called Havana Club. This had been his property since 1934 until its nationalization in 1960. In truth, those rights were non-existent, because they belonged to the Cuban state.
Despite the blockade, Cuba has regularly renewed the Havana Club brand with the US Patent Office since 1976.
The brand was given to the rum Cuba produces that in the past had been named Bacardí. Cuba has continued producing the Havana Club rum with total international legal backing. Obviously, because of the US blockade, the Havana Club brand could not be registered in the United States.
Since 1994, the production of Havana Club rum and its worldwide distribution, except in the United States, has been done by a joint venture of the French Pernod Ricard and the Cuban Ron Cuba. This is a measure of defense against the intense harassment of the blockade against the Island.
In a short time, the Cuban Havana Club rum quality has captured the preference of rum drinkers from around the world who have stopped consuming Bacardi (manufactured in Puerto Rico). Drinkers of the best rum in the world, including Americans, do not settle for the fake that Bacardí is today.
February 6, 2018
By Manuel E. Yepe
Exclusive for the daily POR ESTO! of Merida, Mexico.
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
The crass coarseness of the president of the United States, Donald Trump, in matters of civic and formal education cannot justify the daily barbs of this false lunatic turned head of state that, ultimately, goes to the main detriment of the reputation and dignity of US citizens.
Following Trump’s racist pronouncement, which described Haiti and the whole of the countries of Africa as “shithole nations”, Cuban journalist José A. Téllez Villalón published on the Spanish site “Rebelion” a work to remind us that a large part of the arms, ammunition and men with which France contributed to the independence of the then Thirteen Colonies, passed through the then-French colony of Saint-Domingue (today Haiti) which had contributed with the blood of its children to the triumph of the forces in struggle for their independence from the British metropolis.
On March 12, 1779, the French colonizers began the recruitment of a body of volunteers to participate in the American Revolution. “The Volunteer Hunters of Saint-Domingue,” as the contingent was called, was made up of French settlers and between 500 and 800 black and mulatto freedmen.
Between the end of 1780 and the middle of 1781, the troops commanded by General George Washington and those commanded by the French general Jean Batiste de Vimeur, Count of Rochambeau, had been left without resources to land a final blow on the English troops positioned in Yorktown.
George Washington, the leader of the independence movement, reflected it on May 1, 1781 in his diary: “In a word, instead of having everything ready to go to the campaign, we have nothing. Instead of having the perspective of a glorious offensive campaign before us, we have but a confused and defensive situation, unless we receive powerful aid in the form of ships, land troops and money from our generous allies. For now, this is too eventful to be able to count on it. “
French Marshal Rochambeau wrote to French Admiral François Joseph Paul, Count de Grasse: “I must not hide from you, Sir, that the Americans are at the limit of their resources. Washington does not have half the troops it calculates, and in my opinion, although he remains silent about it, he does not have 6,000 men, nor does Mr. de La Fayette gather 1000 regulars in the militia to defend Virginia … “.
Téllez Villalón explains that Rochambeau asked the head of the fleet to recruit troops and bring them with him as reinforcements for General Washington’s Continental Army. The Admiral complied with instructions, recruited 3,000 volunteers from Port-au-Prince and Cap-Haïtien, and placed them under the orders of the young officer Claudius Henry of Saint-Simon who was the founder of French socialism and utopian socialism. The same man who, for Engels, was, together with Hegel, the most encyclopedic mind of his time and in whose work most of the later ideas of socialism are contained.
The multinational reinforcement, consisting of a battalion of ex-slaves, pardos [tri-racial descendants of European, black and indiginous peoples] and mulatos from Port-au-Prince and Cap-Haïtien commanded by Saint-Simon, disembarked in the Chesapeake Bay, Maryland, and took part, between September 26 and October 19, 1781, in the Siege of Yorktown.
So, says Tellez, the Americans owe a lot to foreign forces -French, Latin American and Haitian- for the achievement of their Independence. It was ratified by the United States Congress on November 15, 1784, after Great Britain capitulated on September 3, 1783 with the Treaty of Paris.
Alexander Hamilton, one of the founding fathers of the American nation, acknowledged in an editorial published on July 5, 1803 in the New York Evening Post that “to the fatal climate of Saint-Domingue (Haiti), and to the courage and obstinate resistance of its black inhabitants, that we owe the obstacles that delayed the colonization of Louisiana until the favorable moment when a rupture between England and France gave a new turn to the latter’s projects”.
Nevertheless, another American founding father, Thomas Jefferson, principal author of the Declaration of Independence, who was second vice president (1797-1801) and third president (1801-1809) of the United States, showed no gratitude for this assistance. On the contrary, he suspended all trade with Haiti in 1804.
The United States resisted recognizing the newly independent country for many years, joining the European empires in punishing Haiti for its insubordination. It was not until June 5, 1862 that President Abraham Lincoln granted American diplomatic recognition of the generous and heroic Fatherland of Toussaint Louverture and Jean-Jacques Dessalines.
February 7, 2018.