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.
I am presently involuntarily retired from the American Bridge Division of the U.S. Steel Corporation because its Maywood plant was closed in March, 1980. During the last ten years of the thirty seven that I worked for this company, one of my duties as an Inspector, was to radiograph welds to ascertain that they were of acceptable quality. I have been a member of organized labor since 1938, and I am now an Honorary member of the United Steelworkers of America. I am an active participant in the Labor Safe Energy and Full Employment Committee.
While I have not heard all of the testimony that has been presented in this hearing to date, I believe that this Commission should know that a sizable and growing section of the American labor movement does not support the use and proliferation of nuclear power. In general our opposition to nukes is based on three factors: 1 The excessive risks to the safety and health of the workers in the plants and to the public living in their vicinity. 2 The fact that nuclear power provides fewer jobs than any of the alternative sources of power that are available. 3 The high cost of nuclear power in comparison to other alternative power sources.
I don’t believe that I could add anything to the ample testimony that has already been submitted about the danger that the use of nuclear power creates in the San Onofre57rtf area. The inability to evacuate the area in a reasonable length of time in the event of an accident; the possibility of a major earthquake in the area; the evidence of an increase in the level of radiation that has already occurred due to the operation of Unit 1 are valid arguments against licensing Units 2 and 3.
To the best of my knowledge, the testimony that has been presented in these proceedings by union members has been in favor of licensing Units 2 and 3. It has come from Brothers who are employed at the San Onofre facility. One of these workers seemed to feel that the opponents of licensing were questioning his ability as a welder to produce the quality of work which nuclear powered generators require. Prior to my employment at American Bridge, I worked as a High Pressure Pipe Welder in refinery construction. Like my Brother welder, I also took pride in my ability as a craftsman to perform my duties. However, even if all the welds and the other work was perfect, it would not resolve problems such as public evacuation, earthquake danger or so-called “low-level radiation” in the plant and the San Onofre area.
I will not take the time in this hearing that would be required to discuss nuclear power from a union point of view, but members of the Labor Safe Energy and Full Employment Committee would welcome-such a discussion with other union members if it could be arranged. We believe this issue deserves far more discussion and consideration in the labor movement than it has received in the past.
Based on the training I received before radiographing welds, I think that the one thing you can say about radiation is: the less of it you get, the better off you are. Radiation exists as a natural part of our environment. If man possessed the technology, it would be logical, in my judgment, to try to lessen or even eliminate the natural level of radiation. Conversely, it is illogical to engage in anything that raises this level of radiation in the environment.
Nuclear power produces low-level radiation from its beginning to its end. Workers are radiated when it is mined. The ore tailings, once they are brought to the surface, inject more radiation into the environment than when they were buried in the earth. Workers in industries where radio-active materials are used receive increased radiation. So do workers who transport it. The end product of nuclear use is radio-active waste. There are tens of thousands of tons of this radio-active junk around right now, and nobody has come up with a trully safe way of disposing of it. In my opinion, even if the possibility of a nuclear melt-down did not exist, the foregoing facts constitute sufficient reason to stop the use of nuclear power.
When I see the problem of low-level radiation casually dismissed, as nuclear power advocates are wont to do, I am reminded of the fable about the race between the tortise and the hare. Like low-level radiation, the tortise just kept grinding away while rabbit slept, and we all know that he won. But the prize in a race where low-level radiation is a competitor, is not something anyone wants to win because it consists of medical problems and the possibility of untimely death.
At American Bridge, the level of radiation which workers outside the radiation area received, was held to one half the legal limit when this work was done. Most of the radiography was done after midnight when there were no other workers present. We had some wild cats in the plant which the workers fed. Two of them were accidentally radiated. It is not a pleasant sight to see any living thing die from excessive radiation.
With the sole exception of hydro-power, nuclear power provides fewer jobs than any other type of electric generation. Nukes employ a large number of workers during the time of their construction, but from then on, the work force is very small. Other methods of power generation not only employ more workers, but they create jobs for coal miners, oil workers and transport workers.
In this period of growing unemployment, I and other unionists are concerned about the availability of work. While the curtailment of nuclear power in the short haul could reduce the number of jobs in construction, in the long haul, they would also gain. Unemployed workers are not apt to be customers for the goods and services that they normally consume. This, of course, would include electricity. If there is a contraction in the use of electricity, there will be fewer construction jobs because new power plants will not be needed.
Nuclear power is not only the most unsafe form of energy, it is also the most costly. When the cost of a nuclear plant is amortized thru the years of its productive use, it is the most expensive means of producing electricity.
Testimony has already been introduced which shows that Southern California Edison has placed 40% of its total investment in nuclear and, power,/in so-doing, has only increased its generating capacity by 12%.This testimony has not been refuted at any time that I have been at these hearings. While I am on this subject of costs, I would like to present some further evidence. It comes from the states of Utah and Washington.
Utah Power and Light, to my knowledge, is the only utility company in the nation which generates all of its power with coal. Recently, it reported a 92% increase in profits for the second quarter of this year. Contrast this with Consolidated Edison, which is soliciting government help and trying to pass rate increases to its customers, to avoid bankruptcy because of Three Mile Island.
The Washington Public Power Supply System is also in serious financial trouble because of nuclear power. The estimated cost of the five nukes this outfit is building has risen from four billion to twenty four billion dollars. Two of these nukes have been placed on hold, and the company is considering drastic rate increases. They are also asking the Bonneville’ Power Administration, a federal energy-distributing agency, to raise its rates to help pay the cost of completing the other three nukes.
All things considered, coal generated power would appear to be the most satisfactory way to meet the general criteria which a sound union energy program would embrace. It is safe. The technology exists to burn it environmentally clean. It is cheap. It exists in such ample supply in the nation that it could supply our energy needs until new and better sources are developed. It would create more jobs than any’., other energy source, that is immediately available. It is now being brought into the Los Angeles harbor in huge amounts for shipment to Japan.
Nuclear supporters cited the extensive use of nukes in Russia as proof of its safety. However, it is well documented, that since 1970, when nukes proliferated, there has been a steady increase in the death rate of children – particularly under the age of one year.. in Russia.
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
The weekend before last, Cuba was a victim of Hurricane Irma. Since then we have received more than sixty thousand euros in the accounts of the FRA-Cuba Friendship Association ( Freundschaftsgesellschaft BRD-Kuba ). This huge figure is not enough to cover the material damages that “Irma” left in the country, but donations are always welcome and necessary.
In this situation, the ING NGB bank becomes a blocking factor, allied to the US’s adverse policies towards Cuba. A friend from Cuba, based in the Netherlands, wanted to deposit a donation in the account of our Friendship Association RFA-Cuba. On the grounds that ING does not carry out transactions that have “direct or indirect reference to certain countries”, namely Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan and Syria, the bank rejected the receipt and transfer of the sum .
The bank stated: “In connection with the above policy we can not carry out your order. The amount will be deposited into your account again. “
The FRA-Cuba Friendship Association states that the necessary normalization of relations between Cuba and the member states of the European Union can only be possible through the end of the United States blockade against Cuba, which is still supported by some states members of the EU.
In the EU there are also tight conditions for Cuba, for transactions and extra costs increases for freight or credit. The example of the ING bank shows that only our name (in which the word “Cuba” is a natural part) can be an obstacle to an economic and financial exchange with Cuba.
The FRA-Cuba Friendship Association calls on all people of good will to resist the blockade against Cuba and to help the Cuban people just now when millions are mourning damages. In this endeavor Cuba will never submit, whatever the obstacle that is put in the way. Cuba will be free while opting for the road to socialism.
Federal Office of the FRA-Cuba Friendship Association
Cologne, September 19, 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
LETTER FROM JACK SHEPHERD TO WALTER LIPPMANN
July 12, 1997
American medicine is dominated by the drug companies in alliance with the FDA and the majority of the doctors. It results in high costs and inferior medical treatment.
Drug companies cannot patent substances that occur naturally in the human body such as hormones. They cannot patent herbal remedies that have been used since ancient times. The cost of getting FBAA approval on a drug is enormous. Because of this and the inability to patent, no one is going to spend this money on hormones and herbal medicine.
The drug company – doctor – FDA combines push all kinds of risky and even life – threatening medicines. They will give you Valium for insomnia. It doesn’t work very well and is addictive if used for any length of time.
If they could patent melatonin parenthesis (a natural hormone) to combine would be pushing it as the great medical breakthrough on sleeping disorders that it really is. They must know that there are numerous papers from prestigious universities that have studied human use of melatonin and found it to be devoid of bad side effects.
P.S. I would like the paper on the ice diet returned
By Enrique Valdés Machín
September 15, 2017 13:44
Photo: ACN/Marcelino Vázquez Hernández
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann.
Havana, Sep 15 (ACN) Criminal conduct perpetrated during the passage of Hurricane Irma through Cuba, as well as those that violate the normal recovery process, will be punished with all the rigor of the law, said Yamila Peña, deputy prosecutor chief of the Attorney General of the Republic.
During a meeting with the press, the deputy prosecutor said that the investigation process continues against a group of citizens, many of them with a provisional custody order, for crimes of disobedience, attacks on and alteration of public order, among others, whose results will be subsequently reported.
From what has been confirmed in the Criminal Code and the Criminal Procedure Law of Cuba, and without violating any Due Process guarantees, the accused, faced with severe penalties, will be liable for their actions before the People’s Provincial Court, Peña explained.
According to Peña, during Irma’s passage through Cuban territory, the Attorney General, in fulfillment of its functions as guarantor of Socialist Legality, maintained, from the first moment, the vitality of its services, even in the most intricate places and even under adverse conditions.
This, he said, aims to ensure consumer protection and the proper use of resources destined for recovery.
We also watch for the correct use of food destined to homes for children without family shelter and the homes for the elderly and children without family, the people in temporary shelters (because their homes were damaged by the hurricane) and the food processing plants, he stressed.
It is not a question, he argued, of supplanting the functions of management cadres and administrative officials, but of being present to control this recovery process, to face and to anticipate, as far as possible, criminal behavior that is exacerbated under complex situations such as this.
Among the crimes are price alteration, speculation, consumer deception, which must be denounced by the population both in the units of the National Revolutionary Police and by the Single Line of the Public Prosecutor’s Office, the mailboxes located in each of their installations in the different instances and by the telephones 080212345, 7 2069073, 7 2069077 and 7 206 9088, indicated.
Peña insisted that what is important now is to reinforce prevention, to explain to the population how much is being done in favor of recovery, and to maintain the principle of zero impunity in the face of violations of the provisions.
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann. USA Today reported on Sept. 17 that the US government was providing humanitarian aid to numerous Caribbean islands devastated by Hurricane Irma. Cuba, located just 90 miles off the coast of Florida – was not among them. When Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in 2005, Cuba was the first nation to offer aid. The island prepared thousands of volunteers and huge amounts of emergency equipment and supplies to assist the victims in the affected regions with all the expenses incurred by Cuba. Even on that occasion, Havana organized a permanent aid brigade to send to to countries affected by natural disasters that was named after a US citizen, Henry Reeve (1850-1876), who fought in an outstanding way in the Cuban independence ranks against Spanish colonialism, and who rose to the rank of Brigadier General. The US government of George W. Bush rejected the magnanimous Cuban aid offer, in spite of the enormous humanitarian catastrophe that was unfolding in Louisiana at the time. Katrina caused damage to the city of New Orleans, but it did not devastate it. Shortly afterwards, the Pontchartrain lake dams and several canals were broken. A toxic broth of contaminated water flooded the streets, as well as thousands of homes and beyond the second floor of tall buildings. Tens of thousands of people, almost all of them black and poor, had to fight for survival in the worst conditions of official abandonment. An estimated 300,000 families were made homeless. Nor was the offer of Cuban aid accepted at that time. At the moment, although Cuba is recovering from the serious damage caused by Hurricane Irma, it has not hesitated to give aid to neighboring islands that have suffered a misfortune similar to its own. Hundreds of professionals, with their assistants and medical supplies, have been sent by Havana in support their Caribbean neighbors. It is known that there are now hundreds of millions of dollars worth of food, medicine, and building materials being stored in the US military base that Washington illegally occupied more than a century ago, on the shores of Guantanamo Bay, on Cuban territory, in the easternmost part of Cuba. (This also includes the concentration camp whose inmates have no rights or trial as prisoners war). But it is also known that the US military base has not shared a single bottle of potable water with the Cuban residents affected by the hurricane outside the perimeter fencing at the base. Among other nations, they are providing assistance to Cuba, Argentina, Bolivia, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, China, Ecuador, El Salvador, Spain, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Dominican Republic, Russia, Uruguay, Venezuela and Vietnam, as well as some dependencies from the ONU. In contrast, the State Department has issued a warning against travel to Cuba and advises the Americans in that regard. Meanwhile, millions of Cuban volunteers have cleared the tracks that provide the most evidence of the destructive passage of Hurricane Irma. Tourists from the most diverse countries are already going massively to the island. By denying Cubans aid, and discouraging its citizens’ travel to Cuba, Washington is once again using the occurrence of a humanitarian disaster to punish Cubans for refusing to accept US meddling in their internal affairs. However, as the Canadian tour operator “Cuba Explorer”, which has been based for years in Havana, states in a message to its clients, “Americans are preparing to visit Cuba in large numbers in the coming months, aware that social tourism is a form humanitarian and economic aid. The travelers want to keep alive the new spirit of cooperation between the United States and Cuba that began during the Presidency of Barack Obama. “Cubans are showing their disposition and their desire to welcome and warmly welcome their arrival to the island to their American guests,” said the aforementioned US tour operator, based on his own experiences and expectations. September 18, 2017. Por Manuel E. Yepe Exclusivo para el diario POR ESTO! de Mérida, México. El diario USA Today informó el 17 de septiembre que el gobierno de Estados Unidos estaba dando ayuda humanitaria a numerosas islas del Caribe devastadas por el huracán Irma. Cuba, situada a tan solo 90 millas de las costas de la Florida- no estaba entre ellas. Cuando el huracán Katrina golpeó a Nueva Orleans en 2005, Cuba fue la primera nación en ofrecer ayuda. La isla preparó miles de voluntarios y enormes cantidades de equipos y suministros de emergencia para ayudar a las víctimas en las regiones afectadas con todos los gastos sufragados por Cuba. Incluso en esa ocasión La Habana organizó una brigada permanente de ayuda a países afectados por desastres naturales que nombró Henry Reed (1850—1876), en honor a un ciudadano estadounidense que combatió de manera sobresaliente en las filas independentistas cubanas contra el colonialismo español, en las que alcanzó el grado de Brigadier General. El gobierno estadounidense de George W. Bush rechazó la magnánima oferta cubana de ayuda, a pesar de la enorme catástrofe humanitaria que se desplegaba en el estado de Luisiana en aquel momento. Katrina causó daños a la ciudad de Nueva Orleáns, pero no la devastó. Poco después, cuando los diques del lago Pontchartrain y varios canales se reventaron, un caldo tóxico de agua contaminada inundó las calles, así como miles de casas y hasta más allá del segundo piso de los edificios altos. Decenas de miles de personas, casi todas negras y pobres, debieron luchar por la supervivencia en las peores condiciones de abandono oficial. Se calcula que 300,000 familias quedaron sin techo. Tampoco fue aceptada entonces la oferta de ayuda cubana. En estos momentos, pese a que Cuba se está recuperando de los graves perjuicios que le causara el huracán Irma, no ha vacilado en prestar ayuda a las islas vecinas que han sufrido una desgracia semejante a la propia. Cientos de profesionales, con sus asistentes y suministros médicos, han sido enviados por La Habana en apoyo a sus vecinos del Caribe. Se conoce que en la base militar estadounidense que ilegalmente ocupa hace más de un siglo un espacio en la ribera de la bahía de Guantánamo, en territorio cubano, en la parte más oriental de Cuba (así como en el campo de concentración de sus prisioneros de guerra sin derecho a juicio que allí existen), hay actualmente alimentos, medicinas y materiales de construcción valorados en cientos de millones de dólares. Pero se sabe, igualmente, que la base militar estadounidense no ha compartido ni una sola botella de agua potable con los cubanos residentes afectados por el huracán fuera del vallado perimetral de la base. Entre otras naciones, están proporcionando ayuda a Cuba Argentina, Bolivia, Canadá, Colombia, Costa Rica, China, Ecuador, El Salvador, España, México, Nicaragua, Panamá, República Dominicana, Rusia, Uruguay, Venezuela y Vietnam, así como algunas dependencias de la ONU. En contraste, el Departamento de Estado ha dictado una advertencia contra los viajes a Cuba y asesora en ese sentido a los estadounidenses. Mientras tanto, millones de voluntarios cubanos han limpiado las huellas que más evidencian el destructivo paso de huracán Irma. Turistas de los más diversos países están acudiendo masivamente ya a la isla. Al negarle ayuda a los cubanos y desalentar los viajes a Cuba de sus ciudadanos, Washington está utilizando una vez más la ocurrencia de un desastre humanitario para castigar a los cubanos por negarse a aceptar la intromisión de Estados Unidos en sus asuntos internos. Sin embargo, como manifiesta en mensaje a sus clientes el turoperador canadiense “Cuba Explorer”, basado hace años en La Habana, “los estadounidenses se preparan para visitar Cuba en gran número en los próximos meses, conscientes de que el turismo social es una forma humanitaria y económica de ayuda. Los viajeros quieren mantener vivo el nuevo espíritu de cooperación entre Estados Unidos y Cuba que se inició durante la Presidencia de Barack Obama”. “Los cubanos están dando muestras de su disposición y sus deseos de dar la bienvenida y abrazar calurosamente a su llegada a la isla a sus invitados estadounidenses”, expresó el antes citado turoperador norteamericano, a partir de sus propias vivencias y expectativas. Septiembre 18 de 2017.
Cuba Recovered and Open to the World
CUBA SE RECUPERA Y SIGUE ABIERTA AL MUNDO
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann.
USA Today reported on Sept. 17 that the US government was providing humanitarian aid to numerous Caribbean islands devastated by Hurricane Irma. Cuba, located just 90 miles off the coast of Florida – was not among them.
When Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in 2005, Cuba was the first nation to offer aid. The island prepared thousands of volunteers and huge amounts of emergency equipment and supplies to assist the victims in the affected regions with all the expenses incurred by Cuba. Even on that occasion, Havana organized a permanent aid brigade to send to to countries affected by natural disasters that was named after a US citizen, Henry Reeve (1850-1876), who fought in an outstanding way in the Cuban independence ranks against Spanish colonialism, and who rose to the rank of Brigadier General.
The US government of George W. Bush rejected the magnanimous Cuban aid offer, in spite of the enormous humanitarian catastrophe that was unfolding in Louisiana at the time.
Katrina caused damage to the city of New Orleans, but it did not devastate it. Shortly afterwards, the Pontchartrain lake dams and several canals were broken. A toxic broth of contaminated water flooded the streets, as well as thousands of homes and beyond the second floor of tall buildings. Tens of thousands of people, almost all of them black and poor, had to fight for survival in the worst conditions of official abandonment. An estimated 300,000 families were made homeless. Nor was the offer of Cuban aid accepted at that time.
At the moment, although Cuba is recovering from the serious damage caused by Hurricane Irma, it has not hesitated to give aid to neighboring islands that have suffered a misfortune similar to its own. Hundreds of professionals, with their assistants and medical supplies, have been sent by Havana in support their Caribbean neighbors.
It is known that there are now hundreds of millions of dollars worth of food, medicine, and building materials being stored in the US military base that Washington illegally occupied more than a century ago, on the shores of Guantanamo Bay, on Cuban territory, in the easternmost part of Cuba. (This also includes the concentration camp whose inmates have no rights or trial as prisoners war).
But it is also known that the US military base has not shared a single bottle of potable water with the Cuban residents affected by the hurricane outside the perimeter fencing at the base.
Among other nations, they are providing assistance to Cuba, Argentina, Bolivia, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, China, Ecuador, El Salvador, Spain, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Dominican Republic, Russia, Uruguay, Venezuela and Vietnam, as well as some dependencies from the ONU. In contrast, the State Department has issued a warning against travel to Cuba and advises the Americans in that regard.
Meanwhile, millions of Cuban volunteers have cleared the tracks that provide the most evidence of the destructive passage of Hurricane Irma. Tourists from the most diverse countries are already going massively to the island.
By denying Cubans aid, and discouraging its citizens’ travel to Cuba, Washington is once again using the occurrence of a humanitarian disaster to punish Cubans for refusing to accept US meddling in their internal affairs.
However, as the Canadian tour operator “Cuba Explorer”, which has been based for years in Havana, states in a message to its clients, “Americans are preparing to visit Cuba in large numbers in the coming months, aware that social tourism is a form humanitarian and economic aid. The travelers want to keep alive the new spirit of cooperation between the United States and Cuba that began during the Presidency of Barack Obama.
“Cubans are showing their disposition and their desire to welcome and warmly welcome their arrival to the island to their American guests,” said the aforementioned US tour operator, based on his own experiences and expectations.
September 18, 2017.
Por Manuel E. Yepe
Exclusivo para el diario POR ESTO! de Mérida, México.
El diario USA Today informó el 17 de septiembre que el gobierno de Estados Unidos estaba dando ayuda humanitaria a numerosas islas del Caribe devastadas por el huracán Irma. Cuba, situada a tan solo 90 millas de las costas de la Florida- no estaba entre ellas.
Cuando el huracán Katrina golpeó a Nueva Orleans en 2005, Cuba fue la primera nación en ofrecer ayuda. La isla preparó miles de voluntarios y enormes cantidades de equipos y suministros de emergencia para ayudar a las víctimas en las regiones afectadas con todos los gastos sufragados por Cuba. Incluso en esa ocasión La Habana organizó una brigada permanente de ayuda a países afectados por desastres naturales que nombró Henry Reed (1850—1876), en honor a un ciudadano estadounidense que combatió de manera sobresaliente en las filas independentistas cubanas contra el colonialismo español, en las que alcanzó el grado de Brigadier General.
El gobierno estadounidense de George W. Bush rechazó la magnánima oferta cubana de ayuda, a pesar de la enorme catástrofe humanitaria que se desplegaba en el estado de Luisiana en aquel momento.
Katrina causó daños a la ciudad de Nueva Orleáns, pero no la devastó. Poco después, cuando los diques del lago Pontchartrain y varios canales se reventaron, un caldo tóxico de agua contaminada inundó las calles, así como miles de casas y hasta más allá del segundo piso de los edificios altos. Decenas de miles de personas, casi todas negras y pobres, debieron luchar por la supervivencia en las peores condiciones de abandono oficial. Se calcula que 300,000 familias quedaron sin techo. Tampoco fue aceptada entonces la oferta de ayuda cubana.
En estos momentos, pese a que Cuba se está recuperando de los graves perjuicios que le causara el huracán Irma, no ha vacilado en prestar ayuda a las islas vecinas que han sufrido una desgracia semejante a la propia. Cientos de profesionales, con sus asistentes y suministros médicos, han sido enviados por La Habana en apoyo a sus vecinos del Caribe.
Se conoce que en la base militar estadounidense que ilegalmente ocupa hace más de un siglo un espacio en la ribera de la bahía de Guantánamo, en territorio cubano, en la parte más oriental de Cuba (así como en el campo de concentración de sus prisioneros de guerra sin derecho a juicio que allí existen), hay actualmente alimentos, medicinas y materiales de construcción valorados en cientos de millones de dólares.
Pero se sabe, igualmente, que la base militar estadounidense no ha compartido ni una sola botella de agua potable con los cubanos residentes afectados por el huracán fuera del vallado perimetral de la base.
Entre otras naciones, están proporcionando ayuda a Cuba Argentina, Bolivia, Canadá, Colombia, Costa Rica, China, Ecuador, El Salvador, España, México, Nicaragua, Panamá, República Dominicana, Rusia, Uruguay, Venezuela y Vietnam, así como algunas dependencias de la ONU. En contraste, el Departamento de Estado ha dictado una advertencia contra los viajes a Cuba y asesora en ese sentido a los estadounidenses.
Mientras tanto, millones de voluntarios cubanos han limpiado las huellas que más evidencian el destructivo paso de huracán Irma. Turistas de los más diversos países están acudiendo masivamente ya a la isla.
Al negarle ayuda a los cubanos y desalentar los viajes a Cuba de sus ciudadanos, Washington está utilizando una vez más la ocurrencia de un desastre humanitario para castigar a los cubanos por negarse a aceptar la intromisión de Estados Unidos en sus asuntos internos.
Sin embargo, como manifiesta en mensaje a sus clientes el turoperador canadiense “Cuba Explorer”, basado hace años en La Habana, “los estadounidenses se preparan para visitar Cuba en gran número en los próximos meses, conscientes de que el turismo social es una forma humanitaria y económica de ayuda. Los viajeros quieren mantener vivo el nuevo espíritu de cooperación entre Estados Unidos y Cuba que se inició durante la Presidencia de Barack Obama”.
“Los cubanos están dando muestras de su disposición y sus deseos de dar la bienvenida y abrazar calurosamente a su llegada a la isla a sus invitados estadounidenses”, expresó el antes citado turoperador norteamericano, a partir de sus propias vivencias y expectativas.
Septiembre 18 de 2017.
By Néstor García Iturbe
Translated and Edited by Walter Lippmann.
Some compañeros from other countries have written to me worried about Hurricane Irma and its consequences. That is why I make this brief chronicle. It would be unnecessary for those who live in Cuba and surely they would have much to contribute from their personal experiences.
AFTER PREPARATION TO RECEIVE IRMA AND ITS ARRIVAL IN CUBA, THEY CAN UNDERSTAND THAT ALL LIFE HAS BEEN ALTERED.
This hurricane crossed several provinces of the country along the north coast, destroying a good part of our tourist facilities and beaches, in addition to seriously affecting many cities.
The size of the hurricane was such that when it passed through a place it affected an area of more than three hundred kilometers. The closest to the eye of the hurricane with winds of about 250 kilometers per hour, in addition to the rains, those that were far from the center of the hurricane were also affected by winds of 80 kilometers in some cases and 150 in others (approximately).
Virtually the entire country ran out of electricity, with heavy flooding, disrupted roads, telephones. The news could be heard on the radio, the one with a portable radio, because although the television was on the air, no one could receive the signal because of the lack of electricity.
Although Civil Defense properly and timely warned about the dangers and the need to be safe, people were placed at safe locations to shelter, accidents occurred that cost the lives of ten Cubans.
Losses were also suffered in agriculture, industries, housing, schools, hospitals and others.
For those who have visited Cuba and have been in Havana, I can tell you that the water the sea advanced about 800 to 900 meters from the coast, above the seawall, in some places reached the height of 1.5 meters (as in the neighborhood where alive). You can understand that it destroys mobile homes, electrical equipment, shops, streets. trees, cars, electric and telephone lines, flooding of tunnels, garages and everything that is usually the basement of a building, where people often live.
After the hurricane, work began on the restoration of normality, and although much of the services (water, electricity, gas, telephone, television, radio) have yet to be restored, they have been reestablished in almost all of the country. On Monday the school year should be restarted at all levels, people who had problems with their home will continue in shelters, but work is underway on many of these, as well as factories and power plants. Most of the streets are passable and almost all the trees that were demolished were eliminated.
We still have some work to do, we have solved a good part but there are always issues that we must resolve to bring the country and its citizens back to the situation in which they were before Irene.
We are grateful for the solidarity shown by many people who are friends of Cuba, the help that is coming to us from some countries and above all we are grateful to have so many friends, like you, who care about us.
Many hurricanes would have to pass so that the Revolution would not go ahead. A hurricane affects us, but it does not stop us.S
Thank you all,
By Manuel E. Yepe
Exclusive to the daily POR ESTO! of Mérida, Mexico.
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann.
Although the blockade of Cuba officially began on February 7, 1962, in practice it began in 1959, barely after the triumph of the popular revolution against the pro-American dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista. The recent tragedy that Hurricane Irma has meant for Cuba and several other countries in the Caribbean reminded me of a discussion I had exactly ten years ago with an American friend visiting Cuba. He maintained that Fidel Castro should be grateful to the US government for the blockade it had imposed on Cuba for half a century.
In that American friend’s opinion, it would have been extremely difficult, almost impossible, for Cubans to maintain the unity in action they have shown for the achievement of their great social, cultural, educational, scientific and economic advances, “had there not been the ferocious and stupid hostility against the island” of its powerful northern neighbor.
For this reason, he speculated, the Cuban government has acted very cleverly by not doing everything in its power to get the United States to suspend the economic blockade and normalize its relations with the island.
I argued against such speculation. I reminded him of the staunch position of the Cuban government against the blockade, the promotion it has been making for many years in favor of international agreements condemning it and Cuba’s permanent willingness to negotiate fairly all disputes with Washington.
It is unquestionable, I remarked, that the persistent pursuit of a dozen successive US governments of the blockade against Cuba has contributed to national unity. Similarly with Washington’s its policy of open and covert threats and aggressions. These have promoted Cuba’s popular unity policy which has, in turn, served to encourage the enthusiastic support of the population to the Revolution’s political project.
Similarly, hurricanes provide significant benefits through the torrential rains that enrich the water table, fill the reservoirs, and even renew the forests by knocking down old trees. Alas, their aftermath also strongly harms the population, with great damage caused by their wind, rain, tides and sea waves for the sake of such presumably beneficial effects.
Cuba is frequently hit by the powerful hurricanes that characterize its geographic location. Sometimes they do it with very short intervals to allow an effective recovery, but, every time this happens, I remember this exchange with my American friend.
Cubans are proud to belong to a people that offers such extraordinary demonstrations of unity, discipline, solidarity and creativity in facing these natural phenomena. Our avoidance of fatalities and intangible material effects, compared to other countries that do not have a similar organization based on solidarity, is a source of our pride.
I cannot avoid comparing this action by Cubans, which this people demonstrates in confrontation with the effects of the blockade, and against the hostility that the US has practiced against Cuba for almost 60 years.
Hurricanes bring water for sowing and dams; the blockade contributes to the firmness of the agreement by Cubans for national defense. But when one considers the magnitude of the material damage, the suffering, and the scourge that flows from the hurricanes and the blockade, everyone understands why hurricanes are so undesirable.
I hope meteorological science will someday be able to dissolve or divert hurricanes to uninhabited places. And that scientists will find ways and means to obtain the water they provide by other means.
Until that happens, it would be desirable if good sense moves the government of the United States to reject the blockade that it has exercised against Cuba.
Cubans will be able to find and improve –on increasingly democratic and permanent foundations– the mechanisms necessary to make the revolutionary project dreamed by Marti and Bolivar for our America irreversible.
Unfortunately for Cubans, to return to normalization after Irma’s devastating atmospheric phenomenon, also means living again under the conditions of the no less-devastating criminal phenomenon that is the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the United States on Cuba in its useless effort by to make the island return to the imperialist fold.
September 14, 2017.
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann.
“Although Samsung does not record its pronounced words, it can collect associated texts and other data,” explains the company, which clarifies that it will use it “to be able to evaluate the performance of the function and improve it.”
In short, owners of Samsung’s ‘Smart TV’ watch what they say in their own homes.(Taken from RT)