By Francisco Castro, November 12, 2017.
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews
Whistles and compliments – sometimes risque – are constant and common. So are harassment and even sexual attacks in exchange for work or favors, and complaints, due to fear, ignorance or immigration status, are nonexistent.
This is how Ramona Félix, coordinator of the program on harassment and sexual assault and human trafficking for the Líderes Campesina organization, describes what happens in the countryside to rural women.
“People are afraid to report it, they are afraid of being fired, many are single mothers,” about what agricultural workers live on. “There have been cases where there is harassment and run and supervisors spread the word ‘she is problematic’. The woman is left without any money. For fear, for the legal status, for what they will say, they remain silent. “
That’s why this Sunday, almost two dozen of them traveled from Ventura County to be present and participate in the #MeToo March against sexual harassment that took place in Hollywood.
Survivors of harassment and sexual assault and abuse walked from the meeting point – the corner of Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue – to the offices of a television station [CNN] where several people spoke out against this social scourge, before going back to the point initial.
The scandal over allegations of sexual harassment against powerful men in the film industry has opened the door for women in all kinds of industries to raise their voices and tell their cases.
“For every Harvey Weinstein (the famous Hollywood producer), there are hundreds more men in the neighborhood who are doing the same,” said Tarana Burke, founder of the #MeToo movement. “The conversation around Hollywood will spread to include other industries if we force it to happen.”
“This goes beyond Hollywood,” said Brenda Gutierrez, one of the organizers of the march. “I think it’s time that we no longer keep silent, that we are not ashamed and that we end up with the stigma and I think that is the great message of this march.”
“If a person can go out and get help, that will make me happy,” Gutiérrez added.
With chants of “Stop the violence, stop the rapes”, “Stand up for the women of the world” and “Violence must disappear”, hundreds of women – and men – joined the march yesterday in solidarity with their wives, mothers and sisters, as well as, some actresses.
“If people start talking about this, I think it will make a difference,” said Elizabeth Perkins, actress of the movie “Big” with Tom Hanks.
Many women said that men’s help in stopping this is essential.
“They are the ones who can solve this,” said Gretchen, who did not want to give her last name. “There are many wonderful men out there, but they have to go and talk to those who cause problems.”
TIME MAGAZINE story, including support statement by female farmworkers:
Claudia González Corrales
Havana, Oct 13 (ACN) Even though the level of women’s inclusion in Cuban society is high, violence against women adopts more overlapping forms of expression, said María Isabel Domínguez, director of the Center for Psychological and Sociological Research, of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment.
By intervening in the panel Youth Imaginaries about violence against women. Cooperation for social research, held in the context of the VI International Meeting on Children and Youth, Dominguez stressed that this is due to cultural factors and prejudices associated with women.
From face-to-face interviews with 435 youngsters -230 women, 200 men and three transgenders- from western, central and eastern Cuba, it was identified that violence is perceptible in the recycling of domestic life and in the prevalence of stereotypes in as for gender roles, the specialist said.
Gender violence is also evident in the idea of women’s “weakness” and the spirit of overprotection by men, in the fact that she must be “controlled” by him, in the acceptance of male infidelity and punishment of the female, among other manifestations, she stressed.
This assessment came to light from a study carried out since the first quarter of the year and convened by the Latin American Council of Social Sciences (CLACSO) and Oxfam, an international confederation of non-governmental organizations fighting poverty and inequality .
The research focuses on physical, material and symbolic violence against women and their representation in the juvenile imagination, and focuses its study in Cuba and six other countries in the region: Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Dominican Republic.
Pablo Vommaro, director of the Working Groups of CLACSO, stressed that the study is still ongoing, but some preliminary results are already known about the dimensions of the problem.
So far, more than 3,500 youth surveys have been taken, some 80 in-depth interviews conducted and more than 40 focus groups, he said.
As part of the meeting, Julián Loaiza, a Colombian specialist who belonged to the team of authors, said that 680 young people were surveyed in his country. They identified forms of violence that may be due to structural, symbolic and direct causes.
Only a situation of violence is perceived when physical aggression occurs, and this is due in large measure to strongly entrenched contextual factors, prejudices and power relations, he emphasized.
Christian Ferreyra, an adviser to Oxfam, said that the most interesting aspect of this inquiry is that, once the results are known, it will be possible to establish a campaign to question the attitudes that legitimize the different forms of violence.
The full report is expected to be released in March next year, Ferreyra said.
clau / fr / clg 17 17:56
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann.
Debaten sobre inclusión femenina y violencia de género
Claudia González Corrales
La Habana, 13 oct (ACN) Aun cuando los niveles de inclusión femenina en la sociedad cubana son altos, la violencia contra la mujer adopta formas de expresión más solapadas, aseveró hoy en esta capital, María Isabel Domínguez, directora del Centro de Investigaciones Psicológicas y Sociológicas, del Ministerio de Ciencia, Tecnología y Medio Ambiente.
Al intervenir en el panel Imaginarios juveniles acerca de la violencia contra las mujeres. Cooperación para la investigación social, celebrado en el contexto del VI Encuentro Internacional sobre Infancias y Juventudes, Dominguez subrayó que ello se debe a factores culturales y prejuicios asociados a la mujer.
A partir de la entrevista cara a cara a 435 jóvenes -230 mujeres, 200 hombres y tres transgéneros- del occidente, centro y oriente cubano, se identificó que la violencia es perceptible en la recarga de la vida doméstica y en la prevalencia de estereotipos en cuanto a los roles de género, indicó la especialista.
La violencia de género también se evidencia en el ideal de “debilidad” de la mujer y el espíritu de sobreprotección del hombre, en el hecho de que esta debe ser “controlada” por él, en la aceptación de la infidelidad masculina y el castigo a la femenina, entre otras manifestaciones, destacó.
Tal valoración salió a relucir a partir de un estudio que se realiza desde el primer trimestre del año, y convocado por el Consejo Latinoamericano de Ciencias Sociales (CLACSO) y Oxfam, confederación internacional formada por organizaciones no gubernamentales que luchan contra la pobreza y la desigualdad.
La investigación se enfoca en la violencia física, material y simbólica contra la mujer y su representación en el imaginario juvenil, y centra su objeto de estudio en Cuba y otros seis países de la región: Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua y República Dominicana.
Pablo Vommaro, director de los Grupos de Trabajo de CLACSO, destacó que el estudio continúa en curso, pero ya se conocen algunos resultados preliminares sobre la dimensiones de la problemática.
Hasta el momento se han aplicado más de tres mil 500 encuestas a jóvenes, unas 80 entrevistas en profundidad y superan los 40 grupos focales, apuntó.
Como parte del encuentro, Julián Loaiza, especialista colombiano que integra el equipo de autores, destacó que en su país fueron encuestados 680 jóvenes, quienes identificaron que las formas de violencia pueden ser debido a causas estructurales, simbólicas y directas.
Solo se percibe una situación de violencia cuando ocurre una agresión física, y eso se debe, en gran medida, a factores contextuales, prejuicios y relaciones de poder fuertemente afianzadas, enfatizó.
Christian Ferreyra, asesor de Oxfam, precisó que lo más interesante de esa indagación es que, a partir de que se conozcan los resultados, será posible establecer una campaña para el cuestionamiento de las actitudes que legitiman las distintas formas de violencia.
Se espera que el informe completo sea divulgado en marzo del próximo año, informó Ferreyra.
clau/fr/clg 17 17:56
By Manuel E. Yepe
Exclusive for the daily POR ESTO! of Merida, Mexico
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann.
The largest US association of travel organizers in Cuba, after holding an assembly of its members, issued a statement in which it unanimously disagrees with the decision of the US State Department to withdraw 60% of its Embassy staff from Cuba. Havana and its warning to US citizens to avoid their trips to Cuba.
As a result, the US Consulate in Havana suspended the issuance of visas for travel to the United States indefinitely, although it will continue to provide emergency services to US citizens when they are in Cuba.
The motivation for these actions is that it has been known that 21 US diplomats accredited in Havana have reported hearing problems of unknown origin.
“From the evidence available to date and from the fact that the State Department asserts that no other American citizen has been affected, we believe that such a decision is unjustified and, therefore, we will continue to organize trips to Cuba and encourage others to do so.” said Bob Guild, Co-Coordinator of RESPECT (Responsible Ethical Tourism of Cuba), a professional association made up of 150 representatives of travel agents, tour operators and other service providers related to trips to the island founded in December of 2016, on the anniversary of the opening of the Cuban-American dialogue.
Guild emphasized that US law allows citizens and US residents to travel to Cuba and there is no provision from the State Department that would in any way prohibit US citizens from visiting the island.
At the aforementioned RESPECT meeting, representatives of US commercial airlines traveling to Cuba express their intention to continue to do so.
Gail Reed, founder of the scientific journal MEDICC and deputy coordinator of RESPECT, said categorically in the proposal that “Cuba remains a very safe destination for travelers from the United States.”
At the invitation of the Cuban authorities, the FBI was in Havana earlier looking for evidence of what the United States has described as “sonic attacks” causing hearing loss and other symptoms, but its agents found no device or other evidence to explain the mystery.
None of the 500,000 US visitors to Cuba this year2017 have reported similar health problems and, according to Secretary of State Tillerson’s statement last week, “we have no reports from any other US citizen who has been affected …”.
Neither have had detours approximately two million deturistas of other countries that has visited Cuba in what goes of the present year.
Not a single guest has experienced in Cuba problems related to “hearing loss” or other health claims that concern the Trump administration.
Of the many thousands of foreign guests who were in Cubacuando the island was recently whipped from one end to the other by Hurricane “Irma” not one was damaged. Cuba remains one of the safest nations in the world for its guests and there are no drug wars, no terrorism, no arms trafficking, no gang wars, no kidnappings, no tropical pandemics.
The president of AFSA , an association representing 15,000 US diplomats around the world, Barbara Stephenson, has opposed any decision to withdraw diplomats from Cuba. He said that his members are against the reduction of the Embassy staff in Havana and that they are prepared to continue their mission regardless of whether there are real health problems. “We have to stay in the field and play,” Stephenson said.
In response to Washington’s move to reduce its embassy’s diplomatic staff in Cuba, Josefina Vidal, the Director General of US Affairs in the Cuban Foreign Ministry, called the decision a precipitous decision and considered that this will affect bilateral relations and cooperation in areas of interest mutual. Vidal had urged the United States not to politicize the issue and insisted that Cuba needs active cooperation from the US authorities to reach a definitive conclusion.
Obviously, we are in the presence of a new maneuver against Cuba of the sectors of the extreme right terrorist in the foreign policy of the American government. The insistence on the issue of representatives as representative of these sectors of US diplomacy as Republican Senator Marco Rubio confirms this hypothesis.
October 2, 2017.
By Manuel E. Yepe
Exclusivo para el diario POR ESTO! de Mérida, México.
La mayor asociación estadounidense de organizadores de viajes a Cuba,luego de efectuar una asamblea de sus miembros, emitió una declaraciónen la que discrepa, por unanimidad, de la decisión del Departamento deEstado de su país de retirar el 60 % del personal de su Embajada de laHabana y de su advertencia a los ciudadanos estadounidenses de queeviten sus viajes a Cuba.
Derivado de ello, el Consulado estadounidense en La Habana suspendiópor tiempo indefinido la expedición de visas para viajar a EstadosUnidos, aunque seguirá prestando servicios de emergencia a losciudadanos estadounidenses cuando están en Cuba.
La motivación que se argumenta para estas acciones es que se habíaconocido que 21 diplomáticos Usamericanos acreditados en La Habana hanreportado problemas auditivos de origen ignorado.
“A partir de la evidencia disponible hasta el momento y del hecho deque el Departamento de Estado afirma que ningún otro ciudadanoestadounidense han sido afectado, creemos que tal decisión esinjustificada y, por tanto, continuaremos organizando viajes a Cuba yanimando a otros a hacerlo”, declaró Bob Guild, Co-Coordinador deRESPECT (por las siglas en ingles de Turismo Ético Responsable deCuba), una Asociación profesional integrada por 150 representantes deagencias de viajes, turoperadores y otros prestadores de serviciosrelacionados con los viajes a la isla fundada en diciembre de 2016, enel aniversario de la apertura del diálogo cubano-estadounidense.
Destacó Guild que las leyes estadounidenses permiten a los ciudadanosy residentes estadounidenses viajar a Cuba y no hay disposición algunadel Departamento de Estado que de alguna manera prohíba a ciudadanosde Estados Unidos visitar la isla.
En la arriba citada reunión de RESPECT, los representantes de lasaerolíneas comerciales de Estados Unidos que viajan a Cuba expresaronsu intención de continuar haciéndolo.
Gail Reed, fundadora de la revista científica MEDICC yvice-coordinadora de RESPECT, destacó categóricamente en la propiareunión que “Cuba sigue siendo un destino muy seguro para los viajerosde Estados Unidos”.
Por invitación de las autoridades cubanas, el FBI estuvo en La Habanaanteriormente buscando evidencias de lo que Estados Unidos ha descrito como “ataques sónicos” causantes de hipoacusia y otros síntomas, perosus agentes no encontraron dispositivo alguno u otra evidencia queexplicara el misterio.
Ninguno de los 500,000 visitantes de Estados Unidos a Cuba en este año2017 ha reportado problemas de salud similares y, según declaración deSecretario de Estado Tillerson de la semana pasada “no tenemosinformes de ningún otro ciudadano estadounidense que haya sidoafectado…”.
Tampoco han tenido contratiempos aproximadamente dos millones deturistas de otros países que ha visitado a Cuba en lo que va delpresente año.
Ni un solo huésped ha experimentado en Cuba problemas relacionados con”pérdida auditiva” u otros reclamos de salud que preocupan a laadministración de Trump.
De los muchos miles de invitados extranjeros que se hallaban en Cubacuando la isla fue recientemente azotada de una punta a la otra por elhuracán “Irma” ni uno solo sufrió daños. Cuba sigue siendo una de lasnaciones más seguras del mundo para sus huéspedes y, además, tampocohay guerras por la droga, ni por terrorismo, ni por tráfico de armas,ni guerras de pandillas, ni secuestros, ni hay pandemias tropicales.La presidenta de AFSA, asociación que representa a 15,000 diplomáticosde Estados Unidos en todo el mundo, Barbara Stephenson, se ha opuestoa cualquier decisión de retirar los diplomáticos de Cuba. Dijo que susmiembros están en contra de la reducción del personal de la Embajadaen La Habana y que están preparados para continuar a su misiónindependientemente de que hubiera problemas de salud reales osupuestos. “Tenemos que permanecer en el campo y en el juego”, alegóStephenson.
En respuesta a la medida de Washington de reducir el personaldiplomático de su Embajada en Cuba, Josefina Vidal, Directora Generalde asuntos de Estados Unidos en la Cancillería cubana, calificó ladecisión de precipitada y consideró que ello afectará las relacionesbilaterales y la cooperación en áreas de interés mutuo. Vidal habíainstado a los Estados Unidos a no politizar el asunto e insistió enque Cuba precisa de una activa cooperación de las autoridadesnorteamericanas para llegar a una conclusión definitiva.
Evidentemente, estamos en presencia de una nueva maniobra contra Cubade los sectores de la extrema derecha terrorista en la políticaexterior del gobierno estadounidense. La insistencia en el asunto depersoneros tan representativos de esos sectores de la diplomaciaestadounidense como el senador republicano Marco Rubio confirma estahipótesis.
Octubre 2 de 2017.
By Manuel E. Yepe
Exclusive to the daily POR ESTO! of Mérida, Mexico.
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann.
The speech with which Donald Trump, as President of the country that hosts the world’s largest organization, inaugurated the 72nd session of the United Nations General Assembly, overshadowed even more the prospects for peaceful coexistence in the world. Far beyond offering evidence of his disrespect for the international community as a whole. Trump was particularly direct with regard to some of the most representative world powers, such as China, Russia, India and Iran, among others.
Perhaps It was Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, who had the most ingenious and educated response to Trump’s speech, which had been full of calls for violence, along with his arrogance, haughtiness and total disrespect for the world organization. When all the dignitaries present hoped that the Iranian leader would respond with justified indignation to Trump’s insulting characterization of his government as “a corrupt dictatorship behind the false appearance of democracy,” the Iranian leader contrasted Trump’s uncultured rhetoric with a fine reference to Persian literary masters of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries.
“In order to promote our culture, civilization, religion and revolution, we enter into peoples’ hearts and capture their minds. We recite poetry and spread our philosophy in speeches. Our ambassadors are our poets, mystics and philosophers. We have flown to the shores of this side of the Atlantic through Yalal Al-Din Rümi extending our influence throughout Asia with Saadi (Musarrif ibn Muslih). We have already captured the world with Hafiz (Sams al-Din Muhammad), and we do not need new conquests, “quipped the head of the Persian government.
Rouhani used the word “moderation” no less than ten times, contrasting with Trump’s repeated use of the words “violence, chaos and bloodshed.” He even recited a poem with many healthy tips:
“Moderation seeks neither isolation nor hegemony; and it does not imply either indifference or intransigence”.
“The path of moderation is the way of peace; but a just and inclusive peace: not peace for a nation and war and agitation for others. Moderation is freedom and democracy; but in an inclusive and comprehensible way.”
“Do not pretend to promote liberty in one place by supporting dictators elsewhere; moderation is synergy of ideas and no dance of swords; the path of moderation nourishes beauty. Exports of lethal weapons are not beautiful; peace is.”
Dozens of heads of state, presidents of governments and other senior officials of the countries represented in the United Nations contributed to this 72nd session of the highest global organization without appealing to the arrogant language of Trump.
The United States, the dominant imperialist power in these times, now has a president at its head whose evident ineptitude confirms the total incapacity of the capitalist system to represent a unifying role of the world community that would serve to confront old and new challenges that stand in the way of survival.
It would seem that the spectacle offered by the UN General Assembly evidenced the fragmentation in which humanity lives. This starts with the distance between the head of state and government of the United States and his own people, and the insurmountable contradiction between the dominant power and the rest of the world .
When humanity’s articulated response to the challenges that are being imposed on it by nature is most needed, the President of the United States opposes everything positive that the international community has advanced in its fight against climate change.
The nearer the world has been to atomic war since the United States dropped its weapon on Japan, Trump announces the desire to “destroy” a nation possessing nuclear weapons, one which is not willing to sacrifice its sovereignty to imperialist impertinence.
Trump boycotts long-negotiated compromises for high-level nuclear issues with North Korea and with Iran in whose development his predecessors played sterner roles than he.
Today the planet needs the United Nations all the more as a center to harmonize the efforts of nations to achieve their common ends, to fulfill their role of maintaining world peace and security, to eliminate threats of war, to suppress acts of aggression and other breaches of peace. By contrast, the United States –in the voice and presence of its highest representative– boasted of its power to mobilize and railed against the world organization itself without sparing all kinds of lies.
September 25, 2017.
Thanks to David Walters, at Holt Labor Library, for the scanned version, which has been OCRed and edited for reposting here by Walter Lippmann and Kimberly Sloss. Please let me know if you find any typos. This essay is just under 5000 words.
The party’s resolutions, while analyzing and portraying the political reality and the relationship of class forces at given conjunctures in time, stresses the more favorable variant in the further evolution of the class struggle. Generally this approach has been characterized as “the right to revolutionary optimism.” It is something I have always supported in our movement, and it has been my observation that those who questioned this proposition were embarking on a path that led out of the party.
Even as I had been a firm supporter of the party’s decisions to follow the radicalization in peripheral struggles such as the anti-war, civil rights, women’s and gay movements, I supported the party’s turn to industry. This support was motivated by the opinion that the economy had entered a deeper and more intractable crisis than any which had occurred since World War II. It was not based upon the concept that the workers had miraculously shed the effects of the preceding thirty years which had nurtured and sustained the generally conservative mood which shaped their thinking.
Making a turn in the party is not an easy thing. I listened to reports and assessments, which in my judgment, were overly optimistic, but were also a necessary part of carrying out the turn. Optimism has been, and always will be a legitimate part of our party and I want to affirm my support to Ito continued use. .
The party has reached the stage in our turn to the industrial workers where any fears that we are going to be left on the sidelines when they go into action should be allayed. I think the time has come when we can realistically assess the level of radicalization in the unions and build the party in the process.
We should continue the party’s present trade union policy
I am a supporter of the party’s trade union policy. I believe that the flanking tactic with respect to the trade union leadership is, soundly conceived, that the open socialist policy, within, the limits of what is possible, is correct, and that we should continue to concentrate our work in the unions around the social and political issues. It follows that I think Comrade Weinstein and his co-thinkers are mistaken.
I have always been loath to judge the application of any party policy from afar. I believe you have to have all the details and facts before a sound judgment can be made. Truth manifests itself in the concrete. The reports from Lockheed in Marietta, Georgia, and from Newport News should have clarified any misunderstandings about how our trade union policy was carried out in those situations.
It is a fact of life that any trade union policy will always result in some casualties. Sometimes it is because it is ineptly applied. In such instances, the leadership, as it has been doing, must intervene and educate against these misapplications. Sometimes the bosses take off on a tangent as is the case with Lockheed. In these situations, we are required to mount a counter-attack using every available means to win. The outcome of such a fight also shapes the application of our trade union-policy, The only tirade union policy which might not have called us to Lockheed’s attention, in my judgment, would have been to just work and do nothing.
Taking union posts has not helped other radical parties
The policy of taking union posts and concentrating on union issues is not the panacea that some comrades believe. This is basically what the other radicals have been-doing. A look at some of their 4 experiences should be instructive.
The first of these experiences involves the Communist Party (Marxist-Leninist). They were in a caucus which won some posts, including the presidency, in the Ford Motor plant in Pico Rivera, California. From the time they took, office, they were in a fight with a right-wing majority on the executive board, which enjoyed the support of the UAW Regional Director. This red-baiting fight was so intense that the majority of the members would not even take a .union leaflet when it was passed out at the plant gates.
After the plant closed, the president was put on trial for allegedly using the phone for unauthorized calls. At the trial, he said that he didn’t care what the verdict was, because he was going into the construction business. He was found guilty.
The CP (ML) has lost many of its members. It is in a political crisis over Maoism. It also has organizational problems. It is in a major internal discussion to decide whether it should continue as a party or dissolve.
The second experience involves the Communist Labor Party in the Bethlehem Steel plant in Huntington Park, California. The CLP ran candidates for union offices with mixed results. They lost the presidency to Wilfred Anderson, but they won some griever posts. Had they been more successful, they could have very easily found themselves in the same situation that prevailed at Ford because the local has a right-wing majority on its executive board.
This plant is first on a list of plants which Bethlehem is considering closing. Anderson, who is basically a good unionist, is trying to keep the plant open by cooperating with the company. He says that if he pushes grievances the way he used to, the plant will fold in 60 days.
The CLP is critical of Anderson, and will probably run against him in 1983 if the plant is still open. Basically this is a no-win situation. The CLP advocates a policy that is a little more militant, but they agree with Anderson that the plant is on the verge of being closed. Having gone through the experience of a plant closure myself, the last thing I would recommend would be to take union office to administer the procedure.
The CLP operates out of a front group called Californians Against Taft-Hartley (14b). I was trapped into attending one of its meetings because a co-worker who was riding with me wanted to go: In the past, these meetings attracted more than thirty. This particular meeting was down to eight or nine. The discussion was about what could be done to keep the committee functioning. Like other radical parties, the CLP has lost members and is now down to its hard-core cadre.
The third experience involves the Communist Workers Party. I recently had an opportunity to listen to a report on the union struggle at NASSCO by Rodney Johnson. The wages at this shipyard are about $2.00 per hour less than the rates paid by the industry on the West Coast, and the safety conditions are very poor. Military expenditures sustain the expectations of NASSCO workers that they will have contracts. The CWP and their friends ran for office and were elected. They combined militancy with democratic worker mobilizations to press for resolution of the many problems, particularly around safety, which existed. The company retaliated against one of these in-plant demonstrations that took place at lunch hour in conjunction with a ship launching, by discharging a large number of the union’s officers and shop stewards. The workers established picket lines and closed the shipyard. The strike was ended on the basis that the discharges would be given expedited arbitration. Twenty-seven cases are involved. The Ironworkers International put the local in receivership. The authorities put Boyd, Loo and Johnson on trial for allegedly conspiring to blow up the shipyard’s electrical facilities. They have been found guilty, and the verdict is being appealed. The CWP and their supporters are also petitioning to decertify the Ironworkers Union at NASSCO and replace it with an independent union.
While a final balance sheet must be delayed until the outcome of the arbitrations, the court appeal and the decertification election is known, I believe it is safe to say that we would not like to see any of our comrades in a similar situation. Johnson reported that the CWP and its friends still retain the support of a large Section of the NASSCO workers, but the obstacles to be overcome are formidable. The answer may well be that worker militancy must exist in many locals before it can be translated into victories in any of them.
Of course, all of the experiences I relate are in California. Perhaps it is different in other parts of the country. If there is some place where radicals, or for that matter even militants, are winning victories and recruiting, it would be a valid argument for adopting a more interventionist trade union policy.
Our trade union policy now and during World War II
Of all previous party, trade union policies, the present one is closest to our trade union policy during World War II. At that time we refrained from taking union posts and devoted our efforts to socialist propaganda work, Minneapolis Trial support and general union educational propaganda around the no-strike pledge, etc. We characterized this union position as “a policy of caution.” I might add that, in my judgment, this cautious policy served us well. It laid the groundwork for our extensive intervention into union leadership and the post-World War II struggles of the industrial workers.
The present union policy puts a little more stress on the open socialist approach, but I can recall selling about 40 Militant subscriptions not too long after I had completed my probationary period. Our abstention from taking positions of union leadership was based on the proposition that the wildcat strikes, which occurred in greater numbers as the war went on, could not be led to victories. The combination of the government, the companies and the union bureaucrats, plus the political support which most workers gave the war, led to assorted strikes and victimizations of the strike leaders.
Of course, John L. Lewis scored a major victory when the UMWA struck during World War II. But that was an action sanctioned by the International leadership of a major union and not a wildcat strike led by radicals or militants.
The success of the UMWA strike was powerful testimony in support of our trade union analysis. We were the only section of the labor movement that propagated the idea that the unions had to withdraw the no-strike pledge in order to resolve the accumulating problems of their members. Towards the end of the war the idea began to spread. At its last war-time convention, the UAW debated a resolution to withdraw the no-strike pledge. It lost by a handful of votes. However, it was not until the war was coming to an end and it was apparent that the working class was getting ready to go into action that were able to recruit these workers.
The economy and capital mobility has the workers on the defensive
Although it is masked to a certain extent by the inflation, the situation today is one in which the deflationary forces in the economy are coming more and more to the fore. The days when workers were fighting for reverse seniority in order to take extended vacations while they were collecting unemployment and supplementary unemployment benefits are behind us.
Since 1929, the last time these deflationary forces were unleashed, the ruling class has developed a powerful new weapon – capital mobility. During the years 1969-1976, 15 million jobs in the United States were wiped out by plant and department closures. The trend has escalated since then, and while I don’t have figures, I think it is safe to say that almost 25% of the U.S. workforce has lost jobs due to closures.
Most of these job losses were not due to business failures, but rather to capital mobility. Most of the capital migration within the U.S. has been from the Frostbelt to the Sunbelt and from unionized areas to non-union areas. But all areas of the U.S. have been affected by capital migration overseas. As a matter of fact, the rate of plant-closures in the South has been greater than in the U.S. as a whole. During the 1969-76 period, more than one third of the plants in the South, employing 100 or more workers, were closed, primarily due to capital migration overseas.
Because of their ability to freely move capital, the bosses, in many instances, have been relieved from the task of making frontal assaults on the unions to drive down wages and working conditions. To date, nobody has come up with a strategy that workers can employ on the economic front to stop these closures. At the prompt time, the choice for workers appears to be: 1) Refuse a wage cut, remain militant and go down with the flags flying like the workers did in the Gary, Indiana, American Bridge plant; or 2) Make concessions, go home and pray and probably go out with a whimper like they appear;, to be doing at the Bethlehem Steel plant in Huntington Park.
In 1950, the U.S. multinationals had $11 billion invested overseas. By 1974, it had grown to $118 billion. While I don’t have figures on what U.S. overseas investments are now,. we can rest assured that the amount has expanded since the trend to overseas investment has increased, in the last seven years.
Plant closures and the threat of plant closures are exerting enormous pressure on the unions and the workers. Ford, for- example, recently asked the UAW to open its contract before its termination date so that the company could share in the concessions that were being given to Chrysler. When its request was refused, Ford said: We are now building a world car. We can close all of our U.S. plants and still produce as many cars as we can expect to sell:
Perhaps someone may believe that you can confront problems like this one facing the Ford workers by taking a griever position and being militant on the assembly line. I don’t. The only answer I see is a long-range one. It requires the radicalization and politicalization of the workers. And this type of educational work can best be done without the burden of a griever job.
Any serious worker fightback must be political
As I have already noted, nobody has come up with any strategy, on the union level to stop these closures. Nor have they been able to use the closure of a particular plant to speed worker radicalization. This is something we should try to initiate if the opportunity presents itself, or be prepared to assist if it is initiated by someone else.
The right to invest, disinvest and move capital throughout the capitalist sector of the world is assured to the ruling class by their control over the political process. Both the Republican and Democrat parties are supporters of “free enterprise,” the economic system which makes the aforementioned rights possible. Any political party which would challenge these rights or start dismantling the structure upon which they rest would have to be anti-business, anti-free enterprise and anti-capitalist. A labor party, or any other party, would be as helpless as a baby in terms of arresting the ruling class assault on the living standards of the workers if it didn’t possess some of the foregoing ingredients. A return to a Democrat administration would be unlikely to provide the union leaders or the workers with any of the relief that they hope to obtain.
The ability of capital to move overseas was won in World War II and formalized at Bretton Woods. But it also rests on a number of subsequent government decisions such as: 1) Government insurance to compensate U.S. companies if their investments are lost through nationalizations by foreign governments; (This law may, have expired, but it existed for decades.) 2) Favorable tariff rulings; 3) IRS rulings which exonerate overseas profits from being taxed in the year they were made and taxes them in the year they are repatriated to the U.S.
Can anyone imagine any capitalist party tampering with the structure which presently facilitates overseas capital flight? Yet this is exactly what would be required if a political party was going to help Ford workers in their pending negotiations.
Domestic capital mobility also rests on a political base such as: 1) Publicly financed incentives and tax breaks to encourage investment in a particular city, county or state; 2) Low accident, disability and unemployment benefits for workers in some states; 3) Right-to-work laws which inhibit unionization.
The unions have been trying for years to solve some of the problems that encourage domestic capital migration through the Democratic Party. In a period of economic uncertainty, are the Democrats apt to pass laws which correct these inequities?
Under free enterprise, the right to invest or disinvest in a way that maximizes profits in the most sacred of all rights. Many of the plants that have been closed were profitable. But workers need jobs. Communities should have the to a decent environment rather than being converted into slums as the effects of the economic dislocated ripples through their economies.
A capitalist politician, in the name of corporate responsibility, might ask a company not to close a plant. But what if the company refuses? Is he or she going to enact legislation that says worker and community rights must be given pre-eminence over the right to maximize profits?
Most of the workers that I have talked to during the last twenty years –even those who went through the great depression– were of the opinion that it could never happen again. What is happening now is contrary to everything that they had been led to expect. Many still have hopes that things will get better. Some even, think Reagan will deliver on his promises in a reasonable period of time. We believe that the economic downturn is in its preliminary stages. If we are correct, the next period will be one in which the working class begins to dispel its misconceptions and illusions. It will begin to deepen and expand its radicalization into more meaningful and broader areas. We can do our work best as open socialists unencumbered by union posts and responsibilities, We also must be patient and confident. Time is on our side.
Where the union leadership is going now
In a recent issue of the western edition of Steelabor, the official publication of the United Steelworkers of America, the front page featured a quotation from Woody Guthrie, and its back page carried an interview with a Polish steelworker who was representing Solidarity at an AFL-CIO meeting. I have read this paper for nearly forty years. Not so long ago, If I were a betting man, I could have gotten odds of more than 100 to 1 that there never would be a Steelabor with a format that was this radical. As a matter of fact, I don’t think I would have been willing to bet a dollar on it.
Some comrades have expressed the opinion that radicalism of this type by the union leadership reflects pressure from the ranks below. I think they are mistaken.
The first time I encountered this kind of radicalism emanating from the union leadership was shortly after the enactment of the Taft-Hartley law. I believe it was in 1948.
During about a six-months period, the leadership published rearms of material showing that the U.S. was really run by a handful of the super-rich, etc. I don’t know what they did in other locals, but we were in the leadership of my local. We saw to it that it was passed out to the membership. It was just about the time that we were beginning to get a response from rank and file members that this anti-capitalist propaganda offensive stopped.
Then, as now, the union leaders were of the opinion that they were facing a major crisis. Nor was it a figment of their imaginations. If the Taft-Hartley law had been enforced with the same conservative, anti-labor vindictiveness with which it was passed, the unions would have been in a struggle to survive. Of course, we know this didn’t happen. The union leadership established a detente with the bosses, and class conciliation continued to prevail in government circles. Through the years, however, this conciliation shifted more to the side of the bosses, and it returns were more meager for labor.
Reagan’s election, the increased number of union-hating conservatives in Congress and in the state legislatures, plus the economic crisis, have again convinced the union leaders that they are in jeopardy. That is why they have mounted another radical propaganda offensive. It is a good thing. We should use it for all it’s worth and for as long as it lasts. But again, I repeat, we should not interpret this leadership radicalism as a reflection of wide-spread radicalization in the ranks of the union membership.
The union leaders are ready to make another deal
On the other hand, the union leadership is exploring the possibilities of another deal. Kirkland establishes a committee to meet with Reagan administration officials to set what can be worked out. The July 7th Wall Street Journal reports that the Steelworker leadership is opening negotiations with the steel industry to decide if the no-strike agreement will be extended to cover the 1983 negotiations. The industry wants the terms of the no-strike agreement watered down because “past settlements were too costly.” This policy of union cooperation with the steel industry was justified to the workers, after the 1959 strike, as a way to save jobs. At that time, I believe, there were more than 400,000 workers covered by the Basic Steel agreement. The WSJ says that 286,000 are covered now.
As has already been noted in this internal discussion the union leaders are seeking to solve the problems of their members by increasing their cooperation with the industrialists. We can be sure that the price the bosses are willing to pay for this cooperation will be less and less acceptable to the workers. But this is a part of the learning process which the workers have to go through before they will be ready to strike out in a new direction. It is conceivable, even likely, that this worker dissatisfaction will take some time before it manifests itself in action unless the bosses’ terms are so bad that the union leaders are forced to call a strike.
Radicalization in other social sectors will outpace industrial workers
Meanwhile, the Reagan program is devastating the many other sections of our society in the here and now. In the next immediate period, the radicalization of these affected sectors, in my judgment, will outpace the radicalization in the ranks of the industrial workers.
These other sectors don’t have the same social weight or significance of the industrial workers, but we should not underestimate the importance of their radicalization. In fact, this radicalization, if transmitted into the unions, can accelerate the radicalization of the industrial workers. And we have an almost perfect opening to start this operation.
The September 19 coalitions
As a result of their left turn, the union leaders are anxious to be seen with Black leaders, environmentalists, etc., who they formerly shunned. They want all the help they can get if Reagan and his union-hating cohorts come down on them, and they want to influence and rebuild the Democratic Party. They have set September 19 as a day of national mobilization against the Reagan program in Washington, D.C. and in major cities across the country.
In Los Angeles, the September 19th coalition is called the Greater Los Angeles-Labor Community Coalition. It is open to all union locals, AFL-CIO or independent, any community organizations, other coalitions and political parties that are opposed to all or any part of the Reagan program. As they put it: “Any group that is capable of fogging up a mirror in the morning is eligible to join and have one representative at coalition meetings.”
I have been representing the Coalition Against Plant Closures, September 19th coalition meetings are held in the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO office, and they are usually attended by about 25 people. More are involved, but sometimes they miss meetings. A representative of the New American Movement usually attends, so the coalition, is clearly open to any radical party that wants to participate.
To date, one expanded coalition meeting has been held. I suggested that we should invite a representative of the hunger-striking Vietnam veterans to this expanded meeting. While some coalition members expressed reservations, the vote was favorable, and a veteran did speak. The expanded meeting was attended by about 175.
I also serve on the coalition steering committee. At one of its meetings, a member expressed the opinion that the coalition should oppose the military budget. Another member supported the military. Since the AFL-CIO also supports the military program, it was agreed that a position against the military program would destroy the coalition. In this discussion, I made the point that the anti-draft, anti-war movement was a legitimate part of the coalition’s constituency. Everyone, including the military supporter, agreed with this position.
Of course, these September 19th coalitions may not be as open in other areas as it is in Los Angeles. If we enter these coalitions and involve our co-workers, I can’t think of any better way to get them to “think socially and act politically.” The Democrat politicians will speak at the September 19 rallies, but I can’t think of any better way to open a political discussion with our co-workers. We can contrast our labor party and socialist politics against what the Democrats have to offer. These rallies should attract the more union-minded and politically conscious industrial workers.
What the September 19th coalitions have to offer
I have already mentioned that the anti-war movement is welcome. The Nicaraguan, Salvadoran and Guatemalan movements have been asking the unions—with some success—for support. I think we should advise them to join these September 19th coalitions. They should come not seeking help, but offering their support. They may not get a speaker on the program, but if they mobilize their supporters, it would really be appreciated—and they could put anti-interventionist leaflets in the hands of everyone present.
Someone in the course of this discussion said that it was difficult to encounter Stalinists in the plants because they avoid us. If they come around these coalitions they will find them, both young and old. In fact, all of the radical parties are there. These coalitions just could be the best vehicle for a dialogue with other radicals that we have ever had during my time in the party. It is also the best time, that I can remember, to have such a discussion. The Stalinists are stuck with an indefensible position on Poland. The DSOC-NAMers are stuck with the Democrats. The Maoists are stuck with the Chinese events. I think these rallies may become poles of attraction for the newly radicalizing.
I also believe we should make a major effort to bring the student movement into September 19th. They are not only against the military buildup, but they are also against increased tuitions and decreased student loans. While on this subject, I would like to give my support to the proposition that the YSA should re-establish an on-campus presence as soon as possible. The issues are there, and, it is the only place, that I know of, where some recruitment to radical parties has been taking place during recent times.
The Reagan administration is obviously moving against the senior citizens on social security. I think we should ask our SWP seniors to make a probe with a view to bringing this, movement into September 19th. The Grey Panthers and the union-organized senior-citizens would seem to be the logical place to start.
Radicalizing industrial workers
Dining the Vietnam War most demonstrations appeared to have very little impact on the consciousness of workers in my plant. The workers knew that I was involved because I passed out leaflets. The company wouldn’t let me pass them from its parking lot which Was adjacent to the gate where the workers walked into the plant. They made me pass them from the street at the gate where the cars drove in. The union officials offered to fight for my right to use the parking lot. I turned them down because I learned from experience that I got more sympathy from my coworkers using the street gate. Even some supporters of the war thought the company was striking a low blow by not allowing me to use the parking lot. I might add that very few of my co-workers ever came to a demonstration.
The big 1969 demonstrations in Washington, D.C. and San Francisco, however, got their attention. More than once I was asked by co-workers if the San Francisco demonstration was really as large as it looked on TV. I assured them that it was even bigger. Their comment always was “I didn’t know there were that many people against the war.”
There have been many demonstrations since Reagan took office. We know that they are significant and important. But there is nothing like size to get the attention of industrial workers. September 19th may give us the opportunity to pull it all together. If we don’t accomplish it then, we will have more opportunities later, because it is supposed to be an ongoing coalition. Big demonstrations will help radicalize and politicize the industrial workers. The sooner we get them, the quicker this process will unfold in the ranks of the workers.
In conclusion, I would like to say that the foregoing represents just one comrade’s opinion about where we are now, and what we ought to do next. If it contributes in any way to helping us through this rather difficult period, it will have served its purpose.
July 10, 1981
By Manuel E. Yepe
Exclusive to the daily POR ESTO! Of Mérida, Mexico.
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann.
For US imperialism and the continental right, July 30th in Venezuela should be a conclusive political lesson. It should also be a lesson for the organizers of the media campaigns against popular processes, whose reliability has been demonstrated by the mass exercise of their rights by a mature and determined population who rejects them.
The election on that day of the members of the Constituent National Assembly (ANC), according to the Constitution and the laws of the country, involved an enthusiastic participation of more than 8,090,230 Venezuelans –41.53% of the electoral roll– who said yes to Constituent Assembly and the Bolivarian revolution.
The President of the United States threatened the Venezuelans with an increase in economic sanctions. The event would certainly take place, no doubt assuming that the people, intimidated, would repudiate the democratic act and refrain from participating in it.
But, on the contrary, Trump’s threats and terrorist actions against the voters stimulated their attendance because patriotic motivation was added.
The Bolivarian government called on democratic and peace–loving people to be alert to this new interventionist escalation of US imperialism. They called for a categorical rejection of the violent, fascist, racist and criminal actions of the Venezuelan opposition who are so afraid of this democratic, legal, sovereign, peaceful and civilized act .
For his part, the angry American president, who has been forced to move all his chips at the same time to coincide with other serious clashes unleashed separately against Russia and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. This has led Washington to impose sanctions on Venezuelan President, Nicolás Maduro, according to a statement from the US Treasury Department.
The statement specifies that all assets of President Maduro which are or may be under US jurisdiction will be frozen. In addition, US citizens will be prohibited from any agreement with Maduro. He, in turn, has reiterated that, as President of Venezuela, he does not have to render accounts to anyone but Venezuela’s women and men.
The Venezuelan president has described the day as the “biggest” of the Bolivarian Revolution and has based his success on the option that made the peace proposal ;his banner of struggle in such complex circumstances.
Maduro stressed that, until the last moment, he kept the doors open for the Venezuelan opposition, which did not cease to call for violence and destabilizing actions on election day. He revealed that a delegation of his government had been meeting for several weeks with opposition leaders. Among these he mentioned the President of the Parliament, Julio Borges, to try to add them to the constituent initiative. “Two weeks ago I proposed to the opposition that they register for the Constituent Assembly. But they did not accept,” said the leader.
“In the last six weeks there have been direct talks between the delegations of the Democratic Unity Roundtable and a delegation presided over by Jorge Rodríguez, Delcy Rodríguez and Elías Jaua,” head of state Nicolas Maduro announced Saturday. To reach an agreement to publish a statement approved by all parties of the MUD,” said the First Minister. He added that the leadership of the right “wanted to be registered before the National Electoral Council (CNE) for the elections of governors and governors. I called on them to get into the Constituent Assembly and they were afraid.” The meetings held were kept hidden at the request of the opposition sector.
President Maduro spoke at Bolívar Plaza in the city of Caracas, after the National Electoral Council (CNE) issued the first bulletin with results. The Venezuelan president stated that the Constituent National Assembly had been born amid great popular legitimacy. “Not only does the Constituente have power, but it has the strength of legitimacy, the moral force of a people who heroically, warlike, came out to vote, to say: we want peace and tranquility,” said Maduro.
“The newly-elected Constituent Assembly had the support of a people who were not intimidated by the destabilizing climate that the Venezuelan opposition intended to create. It is the largest vote that the Revolution has had in all electoral history. The one who has eyes that sees and the one who has ears that hear,” said the president.
By Manuel E. Yepe
Exclusivo para el diario POR ESTO! de Mérida, éxico.
Para el imperialismo estadounidense y la derecha continental, loocurrido el 30 de julio en Venezuela debía ser una concluyente lecciónpolítica y debía serlo también para los organizadores de lasabrumadoras campañas mediáticas contra los procesos populares, cuyafalibilidad ha sido demostrada por el ejercicio masivo de sus derechospor una población madura y decidida que las rechaza.
La elección ese día de los integrantes de la Asamblea Nacional Constituyente (ANC), conforme a la Constitución y las leyes del país,involucró una participación entusiasta de más de 8,89 230 venezolanos y venezolanas –41.53% del padrón electoral– que dijo sí ala constituyente y a la revolución bolivariana.
El Presidente de Estados Unidos, había amenazado a los venezolanos conun incremento de las sanciones económicas contra el país suramericanosi llegara a realizarse el evento, sin duda partiendo de la suposiciónde que el pueblo, amedrentado, repudiaría el acto democráticoabsteniéndose de participar en él.
Pero resultó todo lo contrario, la amenaza de Trump y las acciones terroristas contra los votantes estimularon la asistencia de éstos, porque le agregaron motivaciones patrióticas.
El gobierno bolivariano llamó a los pueblos democráticos y amantes de la paz a estar alertas frente a esta nueva escalada injerencista delimperialismo norteamericano y a rechazar categóricamente las acciones violentas, fascistas, racistas y criminales de la oposición venezolanaque tanto temen al acto democrático, legal, soberano, pacífico y civilizado.
Por su parte, el colérico presidente estadounidense, quien se ha visto obligado a mover todas sus fichas al mismo tiempo por coincidir entiempo con otros serios enfrentamientos desatados separadamente contra Rusia y con la República Democrática Popular de Corea, ha hecho que Washington se haya limitado a imponer sanciones al presidente deVenezuela, Nicolás Maduro, según comunicado del Departamento del Tesoro estadounidense.
El comunicado especifica que se bloquearán todos los activos del mandatario que estén o puedan estar bajo la jurisdicción de EE.UU. Además, se prohibirá a los ciudadanos estadounidenses contra cualquier acuerdo con Maduro quien a su vez ha reiterado que, como Presidente de Venezuela no tiene que rendir cuentas más que a los venezolanos y las venezolanas.
El primer mandatario venezolano ha calificado la jornada como la victoria “mas grande” de la Revolución Bolivariana y ha basado su éxito en la selección que hizo de la propuesta de paz como su banderade lucha en tan complejas circunstancias.
Maduro destacó que hasta el último momento mantuvo las puertas abiertapara la oposición venezolana, que no cesó de llamar a la violencia y alas acciones desestabilizadoras durante la jornada electoral. Revelóque una delegación de su gobierno estuvo reunida por varias semanascon dirigentes opositores, entre los que mencionó al presidente delParlamento, Julio Borges, para intentar sumarlos a la iniciativaconstituyente. “Hace dos semanas propuse a la oposición que seinscribieran en la Constituyente. Pero no aceptaron”, indicó elmandatario.
“En las últimas seis semanas se han dado conversaciones directas entredelegaciones de la Mesa de la Unidad Democrática (MUD) y unadelegación presidida por Jorge Rodríguez, Delcy Rodríguez y ElíasJaua”, anunció este sábado el jefe de Estado, Nicolás Maduro.“Estuvimos a punto de llegar a un acuerdo para publicar un comunicado aprobado por todos los partidos de la MUD”, aseguró el Primer Mandatario y añadió que la cúpula de la derecha “lo que quería era inscribirse ante el Consejo Nacional Electoral (CNE) para las elecciones de gobernadores y gobernadoras. Los llamé a que se metieranen la Constituyente y tuvieron miedo”. Las reuniones llevadas a cabose mantuvieron ocultas por solicitud del sector opositor.
Durante su discurso en la Plaza Bolívar de la ciudad de Caracas, luegode que el Consejo Nacional Electoral (CNE) emitió el primer boletín deresultados, el mandatario venezolano afirmó que la Asamblea NacionalConstituyente nació en medio de una gran legitimidad popular. “No sólotiene la fuerza constituyente nacional, sino que tiene la fuerza de lalegitimidad, la fuerza moral de un pueblo que de manera heroica, encondiciones de guerra, salió a votar, a decir: queremos paz,tranquilidad”, aseguró Maduro.
“La Constituyente recién electa contó con el apoyo de un pueblo queno se sintió intimidado ante el clima desestabilizador que pretendíaimplantar la oposición venezolana. Es la votación más grande que hayasacado la Revolución en toda la historia electoral. El que tenga ojos que vea y el que tenga oídos que oiga”, aseveró el presidente.
Julio 31 de 20
By Ricardo Alarcón de Quesada, Red DH
Much has been said and will be said about the grotesque show that took place in Miami on June 16 and the lies and threats against Cuba there pronounced. Trump’s speech, incoherent and clumsy like all of his, made at least two things clear: he will do all he can to harden US policy toward Cuba, canceling the timid steps that his predecessor had taken and [the fact that] the current President is an irremediable liar.
It is customary there in the North to mix politics with spectacle, information with entertainment, even if, as in this case, in terrible taste. For those who look at it from the outside, a good dose of Cartesian doubt is advisable and prudence is necessary to avoid being confused. Especially if it’s about what someone says like the quirky occupant of the White House.
Congresswoman Barbara Lee, a tireless fighter for justice and civil rights, was right to reject Trump’s speech. She stressed the importance of fighting to prevent specific regulations which would translate the presidential directive into mandatory rules that are even more damaging to peoples of the two countries. There, on that very day, there was evident proof of the correctness of her concern.
In his speech, Trump announced that he would issue a new executive order to replace the one already repealed that had guided Obama’s policy in its last two years. There in front of everyone, he added his signature to the document that appears on the official site of the White House, but which nobody read.
What he said does not correspond exactly with what he signed and the latter is what counts, because it has legal force and will guide the conduct of his administration. The contrast is evident, for example, in the case of remittances many Cubans on the island receive from their relatives residing in the United States. According to the speaker in Miami, such remittances would continue and would not be affected.
But right there, in the same act, without hiding, he signed an order that says exactly the opposite. On this issue of remittances, the document entitled “Presidential Memorandum for the Strengthening of The United States Policy towards Cuba,” which Trump signed and which was publicized by the White House. The fine print states that there would be millions of Cubans living on the island who would not be allowed to receive remittances.
In Section III, subsection (D), the definition of “prohibited officials of the Government of Cuba” is now extended to cover not only the leaders of the Cuban State and Government, but its officers and employees, the military and civilian workers of the Armed Forces and the Ministry of the Interior, the cadres of the CTC, of the trade unions, and the Defense Committees of the Revolution. Professor William M. Leogrande estimates that this would be more than one million families.
Trump boasted that he would drop all Obama’s moves and he probably intends to do so.
But he knows that this contradicts the interests and opinions of some business sectors linked to the Republican Party and that is why he hides behind aggressive rhetoric and often undecipherable jargon. With regard to the issue of Cubans and remittances he had no choice but to use his favorite weapon: the lie.
We must now see how they write and apply this new order that seeks to punish the Cuban population as a whole.
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann.
By Juan Morales Agüero
A CubaNews translation.
Edited by Walter Lippmann.
Social Workers considered this social problem in territorial evaluations and agreed that it has to be faced by all factors.
Las Tunas.-Nationwide, 2008 was the best year ever with regard to the reintegration and incorporation of young people to classrooms or workplaces. But, it has not yet reached all young people who neither do one, nor the other.
This statement was made by Enrique Gomez Cabezas, head of the social workers program in the country, during the provincial assembly of these professionals. The assembly analyzed the performance of this important program of the Revolution during 2008.
The most debated issue was, without doubt, young people who neither study nor work. Participants made a profound analysis and agreed that it needs a multi-factor approach. This is logical, because it is an issue that has a high priority today.
“We need to establish a link with the community, so that the different factors can keep us informed in a permanent and rapid way of the situation of the universe of their young people,” said Gomez Cabeza. He added that the work has to be personalized because there are no two cases alike. “Until we achieve this, we won’t have arrived at total results “, he said.
An aspect of the problem that received particular attention during the evaluation was the time period in which the identified cases must be dealt with. It is not enough to have the names of the young people in this situation. What is urgently needed is to work with them and resolve their situation.
Edgar Fernandez, from the municipality of Jesús Menéndez, took the floor to clarify that social workers have an enormous job before them regarding unemployed young people. He added that lots of creativity is needed to deal with it. And, that it depends on the links established with the family and the environment of the young person in question.
Cabeza Gomez took the floor again to remind participants that to have the healthy, just society we want to build, we can not have people that do not contribute anything to the country in terms of employment. He added that, in fact, many cases are very difficult and seemingly impossible to solve, but you can not dismiss anyone. We need to detect, identify and take care of them. “You have to be the social microscopes Fidel spoke about,” he said.
Yariri Torres, from the Amancio municipality, spoke about the usefulness of accompanying former prisoners throughout the process of getting jobs. She said former prisoners appreciate the presence of a social worker when they begin their new life in a workshop, a cooperative, or in any another job.
In a special intervention Deibis Garcia, provincial director of Labor, said that follow up is just as important as identifying and taking care of unemployed youths. If after the young person is studying or working, he doesn’t continue and gives up, then that defeat will be charged to our account.
April 7, 2017
Cuban-American filmmaker Lisette Poole recently presented her documentary “Reggaeton Revolution: Cuba in the Digital Age” at the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Havana and the credits were still running when the debate began. In almost twenty minutes, Poole introduces everything: how the alternative recording houses operate; the production of this genre; the vital importance of “El Paquete” [The package] for its dissemination … the lifestyle of representatives of this genre; and the business concept that has been the cornerstone of this underground industry.
But she doesn’t go beyond that: an introduction. After seeing the documentary, it would seem that being a Cuban reggaeton performer is the quintessence of success as an artist in Cuba. Many of us remained waiting for the turning point where it would talk about why it is a censored genre in the Cuban mass media. Neither was there time to criticize the way it presents women as barely more than objects, or the patriarchal hegemony and gender violence that abound in the audiovisual products of this artistic expression.
Lisette Poole’s images and the documentary glorify reggaeton, throwing much light on its spectacular dimensions and leaving the elements that justify its censorship in the shadow.
The premiere was planned for two moments: the showing of the documentary that would be followed by a discussion between a group of panelists: The Goddess (Dianelis Alfonso Cartaya), performer of Cuban reggaetón; Carmen Souto, musicologist with Casa de Las Americas, Marcos Junco, independent producer, and Marcos Juárez, director of the Latin Music Department at the US Digital Music Production Company “Pandora”.
Producer Marcos Junco commented on his firsthand experiences witnessing “the turning point of rap towards reggaeton, and how the boom of independent studios began. All artists left the official studios and went into their rooms with a computer and a microphone to do wonders.
“In independent studies there is a person behind a computer playing many roles at the same time: making music, recording it, adding its voice, and even going out in the streets to promote the work done –trying to get it played on the radio, on TV, etc.–“
Carmen Souto, a musicologist with Casa de las Américas, analyzed the particular rhythmic and generic elements that make Cuban reggaeton so striking: “It is fusion music with a strong influence of timba and rumba. This makes it extremely attractive and generates a world special interest on the reggaeton that is made in Cuba.
Regarding censorship, the musicologist said that “when an institution represses a certain genre, it makes it visibl; because everyone feels the need to consume what is being forbidden.”
“Censorship was frequently mentioned in the documentary; I think it was one of the reasons they made this communication product: the fact that despite being a genre highly censored by the media, it is still very popular inside and outside Cuba, but mainly inside.”
Women and Reggaeton
It may seem that the role of women in Cuban reggaeton would be that of –paraphrasing [Argentinean comic strip artist Kino’s character] Mafalda– a rag … in particular a tiny bikini.
Reggaeton performer known as The Goddess spoke about women and their representation in this cultural expression: “Starting from the idea that we live in a society ruled by patriarchal precepts, reggaeton is also a gender dominated by men; it has been so from the beginning, and the participation of women in these spaces is very difficult”.
Danilo de la Rosa, activist of “Súmate”, the campaign for non-violence against women and girls, was among the audience present at the premiere of the documentary. He drew attention to phenomena that are seen in Cuban musical videoclips, where “men take it on women and women take it on men, and thus tend to create ghetto-like divisions”.
“Often, artists do not realize that they harm the public by symbolically reproducing within the media the violence that is exerted on women and girls. In certain videoclips they are being used as a sex objects or worthless things. This is not only the artists’ fault, but I believe that they should approach the campaigns for non-violence that are implemented in Cuba,” de la Rosa said.
He also asked the panelists how they work on the issue of gender equality in commercial communication products that promote reggaeton. Producer Marcos Junco said that it should be officials from the media who talk about the censorship of the lyrics in Spanish of reggaetón, and how, however, “the lyrics in other languages, such as those in rap , that are much more violent, are played on national radio and television channels. It is necessary to do more than a campaign to end gender discrimination. “
Those who see the documentary “Reggaeton Revolution: Cuba in the Digital Age” could infer that in Cuba, in matters of reggaeton “everything is peachy” –as is popularly said by many performers of this genre. However, beyond the usefulness or virtue of the material, more documentaries are needed to deepen on the question of the success of the music industry of underground urban genres in Cuba bis a bis the debacle of the official national system of musical production. Likewise, it is also urgent to discuss more about the relationship between this type of urban music and the media, as well as to analyze in detail the current censorship codes, and the coherence (or lack of it) of the Cuban cultural policies concerning reggaeton.
And this is so, because everything is not “peachy” when “El Paquete” –avidly awaited by much of the Cuban public in every corner of the country– delivers videos, photographs, songs and other elements that reinforce a questionable “artistic” concept in terms of aesthetics, quality and values.