By Manuel E. Yepe
Exclusive to the daily POR ESTO! Of Merida, Mexico.
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann.
“Venezuela may be marching along the Cuban road, according to congressmen” is the title given by NBC-News to Suzanne Gamboa’s article dated Washington D.C. On July 19, 2017, citing words from New Jersey Democratic senator Bob Menendez, a vehement promoter of the genocidal blockade imposed by the United States against Cuba for more than half a century.
“Castro has condemned his own people to poverty, hunger and immense suffering, while accumulating wealth and power,” this corrupt politician declared, without blushing. He’s had a criminal trial for corruption pending since 2015 that has seriously disturbed his political career in U.S. The trial against Menéndez is scheduled for the period in which the election process will take place that will elect his replacement in a Senate seat the Democratic party does not want to lose. This has led Menéndez to conceal, as far as possible, his legal situation.
Many of the members of the US Congress who are now focusing their attention on the situation in Venezuela are of Cuban descent. It is not that they were born on the island but that they were formed in the heat of hatred for the island’s national independence and socialism. The extreme right of the United States and the oligarchies across the continent have played a key role in this struggle. Many are from Florida, Texas and New York, where the largest population of Venezuelan immigrants can be found.
Another American politician who has a leading role in the development of the current US right-wing campaign against Venezuela because of it’s winning back positions won in recent decades by the continent’s anti-imperialist left. That is Marco Rubio, a Republican senator from Florida.
Rubio played a significant role in the maneuver of the Venezuelan pro-imperialist opposition –which ended in failure two weeks ago– to call on Venezuelans to participate in an illegal “plebiscite”, which –except in the extremely pro-imperialist milieus– was totally obscured by the effort by the Venezuelan government which confirmed broad popular support for the process of choosing the Constituent Assembly on July 30.
Marco Rubio gained notoriety for his participation in the show recently starring President Trump in Miami to announce the implementation of new US government provisions against Cuba.
He gave those of Cuban for several years to take financially approve the U.S. establishment’s multi-million dollar campaign of hatred against Cuba. With this, he moved up in the ranks of his party and gained strong economic support until arriving at the first ranks of national policy like the “Cuban-American of extreme right”. He was among the possible Republican candidates for the presidency and lost in a hard race against the current president, Donald Trump.
Rubio had a serious setback when, at a certain moment in the representation of a false native identity, it was discovered that not only had he not been born in Cuba, but that he had not even been in his alleged country of origin.
Marco Rubio was born in Miami, Florida, in May 1971, when the Cuban revolution had been in power for more than a decade. His parents were Cuban immigrants who left Cuba in 1956, under the dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista, and were naturalized as US citizens in 1975.
From a Catholic family, Rubio made an abrupt switch of faith. After his first Catholic communion in 1984, and his marriage, also Catholic, he became a Mormon, soon afterwards became a Catholic again and later he went to the Baptist church until he returned to Catholicism.
Rubio is in the conservative wing of the Republican Party. In 2010, he won a position in the United States Senate as a favorite candidate of the Tea Party movement, a political formation that is located to the right of the political spectrum, but is not formally linked to the Republican party.
His candidacy for the Senate has been tarnished by unfinished investigations into embezzlement of Republican party funds.
He competed for the Republican presidential nomination during the 2016 primaries, until he finally decided to withdraw from the race because of his defeat by politician and tycoon Donald Trump in Florida, the state from which he is a senator.
It is quite logical that in the struggles for its definitive independence there are many similarities between the current political processes of Venezuela and Cuba, as well as between the independence aspirations of all the Latin American countries that have in common the objective of liberating themselves from the condition of semicolonies of the United States.
July 28, 2017.
By Manuel E. Yepe
http://manuelyepe.wordpress.com/ Exclusivo para el diario POR ESTO! de Mérida, México.
“Venezuela pudiera estar marchando por los caminos de Cuba, según congresistas” es el título que dio NBC-News al artículo de Suzanne Gamboa fechado en Washington D.C. el 19 de julio de 2017, citando palabras del senador por Nueva Jersey del partido demócrata en el Congreso federal estadounidense Bob Menéndez, vehemente impulsor del genocida bloqueo que hace más de medio siglo impone Estados Unidos contra Cuba.
“Castro ha condenado a su propio pueblo a pobreza, hambre y sufrimiento inmenso, mientras que ha acumulado riqueza y poder”, declaró sin ruborizarse este político corrupto que tiene pendiente desde 2015 un juicio criminal por corrupción que le ha perturbado seriamente su carrera política en Estados Unidos. El juicio contra Menéndez está programado para el período en que tendrá lugar el proceso electoral que elegir a su sustituto en un curul senatorial que el partido demócrata no quiere perder. Ello ha llevado a Menéndez a ocultar, en lo posible, su situación jurídica.
Muchos de los miembros del Congreso estadounidense que están centrando hoy su atención en la situación en Venezuela son de ascendencia cubana. No es que sean nacidos en la isla sino que se han formado al calor del odio a la independencia nacional y al socialismo que contra Cuba han proyectado durante muchos años la extrema derecha de Estados Unidos y las oligarquías de todo el continente. Muchos son de la Florida, Texas y Nueva York, donde puede encontrarse la mayor población de inmigrantes venezolanos.
Otro político estadounidense que lleva voz cantante en el desarrollo de la actual campaña de la derecha estadounidense contra Venezuela por recuperar posiciones ganadas en décadas recientes por la izquierda antiimperialista del continente es Marco Rubio, senador republicano por el estado de la Florida.
Rubio desempeñó un relevante papel en la maniobra de la oposición pro imperialista venezolana -terminada en fracaso hace dos semanas- de convocar a los venezolanos a participar en un ilegal “plebiscito”, que –salvo en los medios extremadamente pro imperialistas- fue totalmente opacado por el ensayo convocado por el gobierno venezolano que confirmó el amplio apoyo popular al proceso de constitución de la Asamblea Constituyente de julio 30.
Marco Rubio ganó notoriedad por su participación en el show protagonizado recientemente por el Presidente Trump en Miami para anunciar la implementación de disposiciones gubernamentales estadounidenses nuevas contra Cuba.
Se las dio de cubano durante varios años para aprovechar financieramente la multimillonaria campaña de odio contra Cuba del “establishment” estadounidense. Con ello avanzó en las filas de su partido y obtuvo un fuerte apoyo económico hasta llegar a los primeros planos de la política nacional como “cubanoamericano de extrema derecha”. Fue así que llegó a situarse entre los posibles candidatos republicanos a la presidencia y perdió en dura liza contra el actual presidente Donald Trump.
Rubio tuvo un serio tropiezo cuando, en determinado momento de la representación de una falsa identidad natal, se descubrió que no solo no había nacido en Cuba, sino que ni siquiera había estado alguna vez en su presunto país de origen.
Marco Rubio nació en la ciudad de Miami, en el estado de Florida, en mayo de 1971, cuando ya la revolución cubana llevaba en el poder más de una década. Sus progenitores eran inmigrantes cubanos que salieron de Cuba en 1956, en plena dictadura de Fulgencio Batista, y se nacionalizaron estadounidenses en 1975.
De familia católica, Rubio ha hecho un abrupto recorrido de fe. Tras su primera comunión católica en 1984 y su matrimonio también católico, se hizo mormón, luego nuevamente católico y después se convirtió a la iglesia bautista hasta que volvió al catolicismo.
Rubio se ubica en el ala conservadora del Partido Republicano. Obtuvo en 2010 un puesto en el Senado de Estados Unidos como candidato favorito del Movimiento Tea Party, formación política que se sitúa a la derecha del espectro político, pero no está vinculado formalmente al partido republicano.
Su candidatura para el Senado se ha visto empañada por investigaciones aun inconclusas sobre malversación de fondos del partido republicano.
Compitió por la candidatura presidencial republicana durante las primarias de 2016, hasta que decidió retirarse definitivamente de la contienda a causa de su derrota frente al político y magnate Donald Trump en Florida, el propio estado por el que es senador.
Es absolutamente lógico que en las luchas por su definitiva independencia se manifiesten muchas similitudes entre los procesos políticos actuales de Venezuela y Cuba, al igual que entre las aspiraciones independentistas de todos los países de América Latina que tienen en común el objetivo de liberarse de la condición de semicolonias de Estados Unidos.
Julio 28 de 2017.
Translated and edited for CubaNews by Walter Lippmann.
JULY 10, 2017 1:22 PM
The driver of a private taxi has been detained in Havana for an alleged act of racial discrimination which was denounced by a black passenger, in a case that is being investigated by the Attorney General’s Office, reports the official weekly Trabajadores.
Yanay Aguirre Calderín, a law student at the University of Havana, denounced the “ill-mannerd” and “very violent” behavior of the “almendrón” driver –old American passenger cars– in a letter published a week ago in the “Open Mailbox” section of that medium.
According to Aguirre’s story, she took the vehicle in the Havana neighborhood of Marianao and in the middle of the route decided to get off a few stops earlier than originally planned, a change of plans that angered the taxi driver.
Aguirre said in her letter that the driver began to scream and said that “every time a black man entered his car was the same and that is why he could not stand them,” according to his account.
The carrier ordered her to leave the car without reaching the destination requested and told her that “he did not want blacks in his car “, although she was able to photograph the car with her cell phone and write down the of the license plate number.
The official Trabajadores newspaper prints statements by the head of the Directorate of Citizenship of the Attorney General of the Republic (FGR), Rafael Soler López, who said that he “can not anticipate what will be the end of the process” against the driver whose Identity has not been revealed.
However, the prosecutor said that this case is being investigated in order to prove “criminal wrongdoing” in court, while the accused remains in custody.
He said that in Cuba both the Constitution and the Penal Code have articles related to the proscription of discrimination on the basis of race, sex and gender, and endorsing the right of every citizen to equality.
The publication that tracks the incident indicated that police authorities in Havana proceeded immediately to locate the owner of the vehicle and details that the driver, who admitted his involvement in the events, was identified by the complainant at a police station.
Regarding the repercussions of Aguirre’s complaint, the Attorney General’s Office indicates that he has received dozens of comments on his website and social networks, as well as telephone calls, which repudiate an “unforgivable attitude and behavior”.
Donate Blood, Not Prejudice
By LISANDRA GÓMEZ GUERRA.
Sunday, April 30, 2017
A CubaNews translation.
Edited by Walter Lippmann.
The Autoexclúyete [Self-Exclusion] Campaign seeks to guide people on the health requirements they must have so their blood can be used
At the Sancti Spíritus Provincial Blood Bank, behind the desk of the receptionist, there is a poster that, rather than informing, generates noise, misinterpretation and, above all, segregation.
Seeking to explain the health requirements that a person must have to become a blood donor, the poster warns: “There are individual behaviors and actions the law does not prohibit, but that can be a disease-transmission risk among those who practice them. It is recommended that these people self-exclude, that is, they should abstain from donating their blood. Among these practices are: homosexuality, bisexualism, sexual promiscuity …”
This is worrisome because the fact that an institution belonging to the health sector expresses such misconception on the diversity of tastes, behaviors and inclinations of human sexuality is indicative of underlying discrimination.
According to Graduate Nurse Víctor González, Deputy Director of the Center, the Autoexclúyete Campaign seeks to guide the population on what health requirements they must have for their blood to be used. Thus, everyone should be able to tell whether they are eligible or not to donate blood. But, more than that, the poster reveals that at this workplace, in the 21st Century, several myths and misconceptions are still held.
Historically, homosexuals have been blamed for the emergence and spread of HIV. Several religions maintain that it is a punishment for going against nature. For years, however, science has been responsible for denying this and, although it is true that AIDS is more common in men than in women, it has also been shown that its spreading was linked to the widespread habit of not using condoms.
It is also known that in Africa –the geographic region where the disease began spreading– the first infections were among heterosexual persons. The truth is that AIDS has no face.
This wrong perception is also linked to the prejudice that the homosexual population is promiscuous. It is striking that, for the World Health Organization, a promiscuous person is “one who has more than two sexual partners in a year”. So the label fits homosexuals, bisexuals, heterosexuals, transsexuals and as many denominations as we would care to mention.
Rather than worrying about how a person finds pleasure, it would be advisable that the Provincial Blood Bank maintain its excellent work. To this end, there are some provisions –a sort of ABC– ranging from detection by primary health care services of those who wish and are eligible to donate blood, to the analyses of blood samples to corroborate the quality and type of blood, whoever the person is.
The real risks are not in what we are, but in the responsibility (or lack of it) with which we face our lives. Only free from stereotyped conceptions can we live in a more just and less exclusionary world.
10 Responses to “Donate blood, not prejudice”
Incredible, as I read it I do not believe it … and what role has played in all this by the administration of the blood bank that has allowed such a poster ?? … UFF … attitudes like these leave a lot to be desired …
Companions of Escambray:
With my mouth open I have been left to read the Public Health reply to this letter, published in today’s print edition. I had not really read the commentary from the journalist Lisandra Gómez and ran to see her on this medium. Why have not they put that reaction here already? I hope to see you soon and, if you can, to include this opinion below.
First of all I want to say that it is a very serious disrespect to the readers to send a press text so poorly worded. The lack of agreement, coordination in ideas and misuse of gerunds and other components of language are obvious. Incidentally, even the poster contains linguistic errors. And it has been there for years, according to them, without someone noticing not only the errors of form, but, above all, content!
The poster is very eloquent, well, it is enough to publish it alone, without comment, to realize that the letter sent by the sanitary authorities seeks only to protect itself from a correct criticism, but was eluded by them, since apparently they believe themselves infallible.
A few years ago, I think that in the middle of 2014, I read another similar reaction and I think it becomes worrisome that tendency to not accept the external valuations, more when in the eyes are mistaken.
I would recommend to those who wrote this document to contact the fellows of the Cuban Association of Social Communicators to give them a course on how to write, brainstorm ideas and, finally, communicate. I’m serious. So maybe they do not incur new mistakes other than that already denounced by the publication.
Finally I recommend you reread the letter of the companera Lisandra so that they realize that yes, they exclude instead of adding followers to the campaign of blood donation. And discriminate. The poster speaks for itself.
I, too, have been stunned by such a poster. If, as from journalism itself, we have tackled on other occasions, blood banks are rigorously analyzed before use, if Cuba is ever more advanced in methods and resources to ensure safe blood, if the fact that donations are made voluntarily contributes to that aspiration, what does the campaign of self-exclusion then respond to? Do they no longer have the necessary resources for a reliable quality test, or are they increasingly costly to the country and, therefore, is it expected that this measure will contribute to safer donations? This initiative is worrying, as well as others that have appeared in recent times, but are another matter.
And who says that heterosexual people with a single partner can not be carriers of HIV, one responds to their sexual behavior, but what about the couple? What else do you do if you are gay, bisexual, straight or trans, autoexclúyete discriminates more, if you want to prevent: rapid testing is a method to detect HIV / AIDS.
What a shame to find such promotional banners like these. Apparently, we do not agree on promotion and propaganda, as close as May 17 and the day against homophobia. Thanks to whatever, we have in the world a profession called “journalism” that criticizes, values and educates. Good post
What communicator and designer could participate in the conception of this campaign? That is discrimination, segregation, an outrage and use of faculties that no institution can tell people to EXCLUDE to donate blood. I have donated blood repeatedly and have never been asked such things.
And the blood does not undergo a rigorous analysis to know if it is optimal or not? Or just for the word of the donors is approved ???
Congratulations to the journalist Lisandra.
When I saw the misleading poster (let’s call it that), I wondered where they received the title that accredits them as health officials, those responsible for such nonsense (I included from who conceived the idea of the poster, who gave the campaign its name and even who approved it and put it on).
I came back to a country lost in geography (I think beyond the stone age) and I resisted thinking that in the country where I trained as a scientist there could be people so twisted, able to hide their homophobia and disguise it from ignorance, illiteracy, medical, epidemiological and other excesses that I prefer not to mention.
SELF-EXCLUDING !!! ??? but where it has seen similar and opprobrious nonsense !!! And such inadequate and erroneous arguments. Does this nurse not know about the very rigorous quality tests to which the donated blood is (donation by donation) before being released and declared fit for use? Or is that the hidden intention of “de-instruction” another.
Is it that we are going to return to a past that we have criticized so many times and that we have so often admitted the gravity of the mistakes made?
I wonder if there is a scientific advisor who reads what is going to be published in that institution or someone responsible for such nonsense to not be displayed on behalf of a health institution that is respected ?.
I am more relaxed if it is only a local initiative, wrong but perfectly correctable. If the evil has other dimensions, then it is still much more serious.
Thank you Lisandra Gomez Guerra for this article that expresses the feeling, concern and indignation of many who have wondered, baffled, if the program of Nursing Degree where our colleague Victor González graduated should be reviewed, completed or in case this Is optimal, then analyze the suitability of who holding a professional title acting as if it were not. THANKS also to the editorial board of this newspaper for putting objectivity and social justice on the side of reason.
I understand that my words may sound a bit strong and hopefully my opinion is not EXCLUDED (in the middle of this harmful campaign) to face the lack of objectivity and put the finger in the yaga of that old behavior that disguises homophobia with many masks and has made many bleed. THANK YOU!!
I am glad that people are as prepared as you to analyze and that response so admirable, because, without offending anyone, and without ideology trastocada, has said the greatest truth, that in these times there are still people with such reasoning and even worse that there is a leader a little analyst and prepared that he did not give a stop to this stupidity, thanks to the journalist that I hope that comment has not brought consequences as usual in our country.
I imagine that many are very worried about what is written on that poster, and others do not even count, it is not necessary to offend anyone if what is just read is enough to draw some conclusions, what a shame and then they say they know what they are talking about (I.e.
We will denounce it internationally. If I could file a lawsuit with that institution, I would … but we already know that we are unprotected.
By Manuel E. Yepe
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann.
Exclusive to the daily Por Esto! of Merida, Mexico. http://manuelyepe.wordpress.com/
A rich journalistic work by Edward S. Herman, was published by Monthly Review in its July-August 2017 issue. It provides abundant information about the campaign to demonize Russia that has been a central goal of the New York Times (NYT) and the United States media as a whole for a century.
False news about Russia is a tradition that goes back, at least, to the period of the October 1917 Revolution. In a study of New York Times and the mainstream US media (MSM) coverage, of the Russian revolution, the then-prestigious journalists Walter Lippmann and Charles Merz, both conservatives, wrote in March 1920 New that, “from the point of view of professional journalism, the disclosure about the Russian revolution has been little What a disaster “.
Lippmann and Merz showed the strong editorial bias in the news as evidence that the editors wanted the defeat of the Communists. In pursuit of that impression, they denounced atrocities that had not happened and predicted the imminent collapse of the Bolsheviks at least 91 times. There was an uncritical acceptance by the official parties, and confidence in the statements of some unidentified “higher authorities”.
This lying manipulation of the news became usual practice in the NYT between 1917 and 1920 was often repeated in subsequent years. The Soviet Union became the enemy target until World War II, and the NYT was always hostile to Russia. At the end of World War II, and since the Soviet Union was an important military power that would soon be a rival of the United States in the use of nuclear energy for military purposes, the Cold War began.
According to Edward S. Herman, Professor Emeritus of the University of Pennsylvania, “Anti-communism became the American religion and the Soviet Union began to be accused of aspiring to conquer the world and in to be in need of containment. With this ideology set out and well-established by US plans for its own global expansion, the Communist threat would now serve to justify the sustained growth of its military-industrial complex and its repeated interventions to counter the alleged aggressions of the so-called “evil empire”.
One of the first and most flagrant cases of lies about this type of Russian threat was used to justify the overthrow of Guatemala’s legitimate progressive government in 1954. This was conducted by a mercenary army funded, organized and led by the United States that invaded the country from Nicaragua, then ruled by the dictatorship of the Somozas, who were faithful servants of the United States.
Herman explains that “the action was prompted by the reforms of the government of Jacobo Arbenz which had the audacity to pass a law that allowed the formation of trade unions, and planned to buy (based on their tax declarations) and distribute to farmers some untilled land that was owned by United Fruit and other large landowners. The United States, which had supported the previous dictatorship of Jose Ubico during its 14 years, could not withstand this democratic challenge. The elected government, led by Jacobo Arbenz, was immediately accused of a series of evil deeds, and harassed for having favored taking the Guatemalan government down the Moscow road.
After Arbenz’s overthrow, a right-wing dictatorship faithful to Washington’s dictates in the country was installed. Historian Ronald Schneider, after studying more than 50,000 documents seized from purportedly-communist sources in Guatemala. He demonstrated before a court that, not only had the Communists never controlled the country, but the Soviet Union was too preoccupied with its internal problems to care about Central America.
In 2011, more than half a century later, Guatemalan President Alvaro Colom had to apologize for the “great crime of the violent overthrow of the Arbenz government in 1954 …”. However, there has never been an apology or even recognition by the United States of its role In the great crime, nor by the NYT’s editors for their complicity. During the war against Vietnam, there was an infinite number of false and misleading news stories in the NYT, as in the American press in general, whose editorial lines were systematically supportive of the politics of war.
The situation recently created around alleged links with Russia in the Trump campaign indicates that the Pentagon, the CIA, the liberal Democrats and the rest of the members of the war party have won a major skirmish in the fight for or against permanent war, says Herman.
July 20, 2017.
By Manuel E. Yepe.
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann.
The opposition, for its part, called for a plebiscite for the same first Sunday July 1. However it is illegal because it does not have the endorsement of the CNE, the only body legally authorized to carry out any electoral process in the country. It has a subversive character, and was designed to prevent the electoral process for the Constituent Assembly. Neither in the national constitution nor in any other Venezuelan law is the plebiscite a method of popular consultation.
But at what point is the struggle to consolidate the Bolivarian revolutionary process initiated by Hugo Chávez in the interest of the full assumption by the Venezuelan people of sovereignty over the natural wealth, history and future of that Caribbean and South American nation?
The National Directorate of the Bolivar and Zamora Revolutionary Current (CRBZ) of the Socialist Party [the PSUV: Partido Socialista Unido de Venezuela] in a communiqué made public on July 3 in progress declares that the conflict in Venezuela is at a new level, not because of the will of the revolution, but because it was imposed by the coup plan in progress after two months of unsuccessful coup attempts.
The strategy is drawn up by the US State Department, the US Defense Department’s Southern Command headquartered in Miami and the Venezuelan economic and political right. To date, it has been observed using the deployment of different putschist weapons: the communicational, the psychological, the international, the economic, the institutional, and violence. They have tried and advanced each of them, as part of the fourth generation war, which combines the different forms of war. His greatest weakness has always been the lack of popular support.
It is in the institutional environment in which more work and beat today, betting on eventual fractures in the Chavista block.
Given its lack of popular support, the right has opted to implement several tactics at a time. One is to push the economy to raise prices, shorten and attack points of food supply and transportation in order to deepen the economic difficulties of humble people to push it to plunder.
Another is based on deploying clashes to siege entire cities for several days, leaving behind a trail of death, destruction, looting, fire, terror and other images that hit the social fabric, reports the CRBZ.
The radical aspect of the right-wing war is explained by the despair and the class character of the conflict. They seek desperately to regain political control and to lapse the historical project that is the Bolivarian revolution.
“Faced with this scenario, it is essential to maintain the unity of Chavismo, to defend the revolution not only from the State, but also from the popular protagonism, involving people in the organized protection of institutions, territories, hospitals, food centers. To ensure that doctors, workers, comuneros and neighbors, take care of their spaces so that the right does not destroy what the people have built in the exercise of participatory democracy and safeguard their conquests for so many years.
The other great purpose of Chavismo is to arrive on July 30, having started a process of participation and debate around the National Constituent Assembly. “We must activate assemblies in the territories, recreate politics from the grassroots, listen to criticism, build spaces for exchange that are not only to applaud leaders and repeat the same. That exercise will allow us to call the vote to the majorities on July 30 and have better conditions to face the next steps. “
Chavismo proposes to provide urgent answers to the material demands of people: gas, price stabilization, supply, drugs. And not from an electoral perspective, but from the imperative need to respond to needs that multiply in the territories and that are breeding ground for discontent, abstention and depoliticization.
“We are in a decisive month,” the Chavistas reckon, “the right, by US design, will do everything possible to attempt its final assault. The revolution has the strength to resist and keep moving forward. It is necessary to use all those forces, in particular that of the protagonism of the people “.
July 17, 2017.
By Francisco Rodriguez Cruz [from his blog] June 28, 2017
The closest thing I’ve ever seen of the United States was at a vantage point in Cuba from where we can see –quite far away– the unwanted Guantánamo Naval Base, in the eastern part of our country. I also got a bit close when I visited Canada, many years ago. Well, and from Mexico, not that long ago. That is, from the two bordering nations, although I did not cross the border. But this time I have stepped –technically speaking– on US territory, on my first visit to the Embassy of the world empire, here in Havana.
The motive was noble, though; and the results were positive. I was invited –as one in a small group of ten people whom the Embassy identifies as activists for the rights of the LGBTI community– to participate, this June 28, in a worldwide interactive electronic chat on thr occasion of the Gay Pride Month.
I found it a pleasant surprise that, in times like these, the State Department organized a panel on “Perspectives and voices to face hate crimes”. There were two interesting panelists and a moderator who were in New York and Washington. It may be a good sign that President Trump cannot turn back everything that the American people have already conquered.
Beberly Tillery, executive director of the New York Project against Violence, and Brett Parson, who oversees the Special Links Division of the Metropolitan Police Department in Washington, responded to questions from activists, officials and other participants who had been invited to the United States embassies in Chile, Canada, Tunisia, Malawi, and Ecuador, among other countries.
To our delight, this exchange –that lasted just over an hour and a quarter– included one of the many questions we had sent from Havana.
On closing, there was a brief summary where there seemed to be consensus on the similarity of many of the episodes of discrimination, violence and homophobic and trans-phobic crimes suffered by LGBTIQ people in the world. This included in the nations that have advanced the most in public policies and specific legislation on the topic.
For this reason, several participants pointed out the importance of maintaining a more fluid exchange of good practices between and within civil society and government institutions like the police.
In particular, I reiterated my old idea that the coincidences between Cuba’s and the United States’ policies in relation to the fight against homophobia and trans-phobia could be one of the means of rapprochement. Of course, with the proviso that the current administration rectifies its current backward standing, and there is an eventual rescue of the process of normalization of relations that President Obama began.
So far, this was a summary of the content of the meeting. Now, I’ll add a little bit of folklore, with my most personal expressions and impressions.
I cannot deny that I was curious to see the place; to nose around the environment of that building so mysterious and emblematic in our history and city. A building that the majority of the Cuban people only see from outside, mostly when we march along the Malecon or rally at the Anti-Imperialist Tribunal to protest against successive US governments.
Therefore, to keep the tradition, I thought it would be OK to take part in the dialogue, but also to make a statement –even more so if this time we were remembering the disturbances of Stonewall: an act of rebellion by definition. And so I found a nice red pullover –special for the occasion– with the phrase #UNBLOCK CUBA. This was an initiative that some compatriots present welcomed.
I must acknowledge the politeness and professionalism of the diplomats who received us: Messrs. Derek Wright, Political Secretary, and Justen A. Thomas, First Secretary with the Press and Culture Office. They courteously ignored my T-shirt. I was left with the concern that –maybe because of it– a group photo was not taken. I had been so looking forward to have them pose by my side!
I was also a bit disappointed, because in that place –where I thought I would enjoy fantastic air conditioning– full of that freedom of expression they keep throwing at us, I was not allowed to bring in my cell phone or my digital camera. And they also made a number of suggestions on what to say or not about this encounter in our blogs and social media network profiles. By the way, I did not understand very well what they said, and for that reason, I may unintentionally fail to comply.
But since I’m a law-abiding person – even if it is US law– I give you my word that I tried to behave as best as possible, even when, at the door, a security guard –apparently not very patient with my awkwardness trying to empty all my pockets– asked me if it was the first time I’d been to the place. I smiled at him and said, “It shows, doesn’t it!”
A CubaNews translation. Edited by Walter Lippmann.
By Manuel E. Yepe
Exclusive to the daily POR ESTO! of Mérida, Mexico.
Political organizations and religious institutions of all kinds, tones, and colors have tried to legislate about what have been (or are) the most appropriate “carnal relations.”
An investigative work on homosexuality in several countries, by University of New Mexico professor emeritus of sociology, Nelson Valdés, states that the Bolsheviks in Russia criminalized homosexuality for a short time in 1922. But it has been a general rule that both communists, socialists and capitalist parties always avoid defining guidelines on sexual orientation.
Valdés points out that in the United States, the change came just on December 6, 2011, when US foreign policy manifested itself in defense of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender “rights” in some countries of the world. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton then announced a global LGBT policy, although she acknowledged that she was talking about this subject “knowing that my country’s record on human rights for homosexuals is far from adequate.”
Until 2003, it was a crime in the United States to be LGBT. Many homosexuals in the United States suffered violence and harassment. For some – among them many young people – harassment and exclusion continue to be daily realities. “Hence, as in all nations, we have a lot of work to do to protect human rights in our country,” Secretary of State Clinton said in a December 2011 statement.
His new international policy promised to open the borders of the United States to give aid and protection to the LGBT refugees and asylum seekers … as long as they came from those countries of which Washington demands regime change.
Practically, the United States had only added one more pretext for its intrusion into the internal affairs of those countries that defied American power.
Shortly afterward, in the mid-1970s, the media “influenced” by Washington within their own nation and around the world unleashed a great campaign on the alleged discrimination against homosexuals in Cuba.
Simultaneously, a media crusade was initiated to demonstrate that “the roots of homophobia in Cuba were in the revolution of Fidel Castro and the new Cuban communist leadership.” In 2000, the Cuban leader admitted his personal responsibility for not having promptly corrected the phenomenon, derived from the stubborn policies of years before the revolution.
Until 1973 homosexuality was considered a mental disorder by the American Psychiatric Association (APA) and other related professions throughout the hemisphere shared similar attitudes. Homosexuality was considered until very recently a “deviation” and prohibited in the majority of the states of the United States. For its part, Cuba had inherited a macho culture because of long-standing attitudes, both in Spain and in the African cultures that contribute to its national identity.
However, in the last two decades, says Professor Nelson Valdes, the changes on issues of sexual identity and gender have been extraordinary. The Cuban media has played a systematic and concerted role in the education of the general population. Cinematography has been at the forefront in discussing these issues. In the last 13 years, Cuban television has more explicitly explored issues related to alternative sexual behavior.
The openness to openly gay behavior has not been limited to Havana alone. Homophobia is clearly in decline throughout the island as evidenced by the fact that gay and lesbian candidates are being elected to public office. A well-known foreign observer has pointed out that, in this area, “Cuba is much more liberal than the United States and Europe.”
What remains to be addressed is how it has been possible for a country characterized by such macho tendencies so entrenched in institutions, politicians, and national culture to have changed so much in the relatively short period of half a century and now that homophobia has become the enemy.
Indeed, the mainstream media and political and social leaders in the country have openly attempted to positively influence the population, in which some of the older people have tried to cling to the sexual and gender roles learned before the triumph Of the Cuban revolution.
Valdes highlights as a great achievement that Cubans have overcome the idea that machismo, manhood, and masculinity are the expressions of what defines a revolutionary. But, in my opinion, it is the awareness of the necessity of national unity for the defense of the revolution that has played an essential role in such a transcendental task for the progress of the human condition.
July 6, 2017.
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann.
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.
The Organization of Solidarity of the Peoples of Africa, Asia and Latin America (OSPAAAL) expresses its strongest condemnation of the terrorist attacks on Tuesday, June 27, against Venezuelan government facilities such as the Supreme Court of Justice and the Ministry of Popular Power for Internal Relations, Justice and Peace.
This hostile act against democratic institutionality could have very unfortunate consequences for the physical integrity of the people who were inside both headquarters and puts the lives of innocent people at risk.
How is it possible that, in the face of such arrogance and terrorist plans, in collusion with the American intelligence services and the sick Venezuelan opposition, the main means of communication at the service of the interests of imperialism are not now speaking up? Why is it that now, organizations such as the OAS do not raise a concern and remain in absolute silence? How can we understand the double standards of some governments that condemn terrorist acts that take place in the world and do not speak out at this moment?
Every terrorist demonstration deserves the strongest condemnation on the part of the international community struggling for a world of peace. Our region has had this imprint since the Second Summit of CELAC in Havana, and we can not allow any reason to jeopardize the sovereignty, peaceful coexistence between our states and much less to break democratic institutionality in our region. The defense of Latin America and the Caribbean as a Zone of Peace must be a permanent commitment.
This extremist act, as well as all counterrevolutionary actions against Simón Bolívar’s homeland and its eternal leader Hugo Chávez Frías, including the cruelest crimes against sympathizers of the Bolivarian Government. It’s part of the escalation that the most reactionary groups of the Venezuelan opposition to frustrate the Latin American emancipatory process and to force down a government that was anointed by the sovereign will of its people in elections also validated also by international organizations.
The Bolivarian Government has gone through all manner of economic, political, media, conspiracy and diplomatic actions, now faces terrorist actions that constitute a serious danger to the security of the country. It tries, by all means, to provoke military intervention. This is certainly one of the main objectives of the effort to overthrow the constitutional government.
This new escalation, aimed at violating citizen security, has cost the lives of 79 children of the brave Venezuelan people.
OSPAAAL reaffirms the strongest solidarity with the Bolivarian Revolution, its leaders and its people who remain in the struggle and at the same time reject the armed attacks perpetrated against government institutions. Also, there repeated calls for military coups, looting, and violence by opposition sectors with the objective of undermining the civic-military unity in the sister Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.
Once again we reaffirm the commitment that the sister Bolivarian nation will be able to count on us at this difficult stage, convinced that peace and reason will be imposed against the hatred and destabilizing plans of the fascist right.
Stop the pressures!
Stop interfering in the internal affairs of Venezuela!
Long live the civic-military unit!
Long live Peace!
Venezuela is not alone!
For a decisive victory in the National Constituent Assembly, WE WILL WIN!
International Executive Secretariat
Havana, June 30, 2017
CubaNews translation and editing by Walter Lippmann.
La Organización de Solidaridad de los Pueblos de África, Asia y América Latina (OSPAAAL) manifiesta su más enérgica condena ante los atentados terroristas del pasado martes 27 de junio contra instalaciones gubernamentales venezolanas como el Tribunal Supremo de Justicia y el Ministerio del Poder Popular para las Relaciones Interiores, Justicia y Paz.
Este acto hostil contra la institucionalidad democrática pudo tener consecuencias muy lamentables para la integridad física de las personas que se encontraban en el interior de ambas sedes y pone en riesgo la vida de personas inocentes.
¿Cómo es posible que ante tal arrogancia y planes terroristas, en contubernio con los servicios de inteligencia norteamericanos y la enfermiza oposición venezolana, no se pronuncien ahora los principales medios de comunicación al servicio de los intereses del imperialismo? ¿Por qué ahora, organismos como la OEA no levantan una vos condenatoria y se quedan en el más absoluto silencio? ¿Cómo entender la doble moral de algunos gobiernos que condenan actos terroristas que tienen lugar en el mundo y no se pronuncien en estos momentos?
Toda manifestación terrorista merece la más enérgica condena por parte de la comunidad internacional que lucha denodadamente por un mundo de paz. Nuestra región tiene ese sello desde la II Cumbre de la CELAC de La Habana y no podemos permitir por ninguna razón que se ponga en peligro la soberanía, la coexistencia pacífica entre nuestros Estados y mucho menos se quebrante la institucionalidad democrática en nuestra región. La defensa de América Latina y el Caribe como región de Paz debe ser un compromiso permanente.
Este acto extremista, así como todas las acciones contrarrevolucionarias contra la Patria de Simón Bolívar y del líder eterno Hugo Chávez Frías, incluso los más crueles crímenes contra simpatizantes del Gobierno Bolivariano, forman parte de la escalada que los grupos más reaccionarios de la oposición venezolana llevan adelante para frustrar el proceso emancipador latinoamericano y derribar por la fuerza a un gobierno que fue ungido por la voluntad soberana de su pueblo en elecciones validadas también por organismos internacionales.
El Gobierno Bolivariano ha pasado por todo, acciones económicas, políticas, mediáticas, conspirativas y diplomáticas, ahora, enfrenta acciones terroristas que constituyen un serio peligro para la seguridad del país y que trata por todos los medios de que se produzca una intervención militar, que es a ciencia cierta uno de los principales objetivos para derrocar al Gobierno constitucional.
Esta nueva escalada dirigida a quebrantar la seguridad ciudadana ha costado la vida de 79 hijos del bravo pueblo venezolano.
La OSPAAAL reitera la más firme solidaridad con la Revolución Bolivariana, sus líderes y su pueblo que se mantienen en pie de lucha y al propio tiempo rechaza los ataques armados perpetrados contra las instituciones gubernamentales, así como los reiterados llamados a golpes militares, saqueos y violencia por parte de sectores opositores con el objetivo de socavar la unidad cívico-militar en la hermana República Bolivariana de Venezuela.
Una vez más reafirmamos el compromiso de que la hermana nación bolivariana podrá contar con nosotros en esta etapa difícil, convencidos de que la paz y la razón se impondrán contra el odio y los planes desestabilizadores de la derecha fascista.
¡Cesen las presiones!
¡Cesen las intromisiones en los asuntos internos de Venezuela!
¡Viva la unidad cívico-militar!
¡Viva la Paz!
¡Venezuela no está sola!
¡Por una victoria contundente en la Asamblea Nacional Constituyente, VENCEREMOS!
Secretariado Ejecutivo Internacional
La Habana, 30 de junio de 2017