Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
On Wednesday, October 24, a white man with a history of violence shot and killed two African Americans, apparently at random, in a store in Kroger, Kentucky, after a failed attempt to break into a church.
After “mail bombs” were sent to people who are President Donald Trump’s main political critics and enemies, authorities arrested a suspect, a man who had vilified and stigmatized Democratic supporters and minorities with hateful messages on social networks.
And on Saturday morning, 27, a man shouting anti-Semitic insults in the best style of Nazi Germany’s brown shirts opened fire on a Pittsburgh synagogue, killing 11 people attending religious services.
Those three criminal incidents that occurred in just 72 hours had only one thing in common: hatred.
Gregory Bush, a 51-year-old white man, first attempted to enter a church in Jeffersontown, Kentucky, just outside Louisville. It was the first predominantly black Baptist church, and Bush supposedly knocked on the door and tried to open it, but failed to get in. The doors were closed.
He then went to a Kroger chain store, where he shot two people, both African Americans. The first victim was Maurice Stallard, 69, who was with his 12-year-old grandson. The second was Vickie Jones (67) who was killed in the parking lot while the attacker fled.
Gregory Bush has a long history of mental disorders, of making racist threats, and repeatedly called his ex-wife the N-word (nigger), as part of a long criminal history that includes domestic violence, and other disturbances of order.
As the shooting in Kentucky took place, the number of suspicious packages in the mail grew.
The first was discovered Monday afternoon at the home of Democratic (and multimillionaire) donor George Soros. On Wednesday morning, two more, one addressed to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and another to former President Barack Obama. Four more were to be found before the end of the day, including a bomb-package sent to CNN’s New York offices, which led to the evacuation of the entire Time Warner Center complex. Another package was addressed to former CIA director John Brennan.
On Friday, news of more packages arrived and then the arrest of a 56-year-old man named Cesar Sayoc, a Florida resident. Federal authorities said they sent a total of 14 bomb-packages (the kind we know in Cuba as “nipples”), none fortunately detonated, but they were all very real.
Sayoc’s political inclinations were passionately exhibited. On his van, he had a tag that said “CNN sucks. Through two Facebook accounts and three Twitter accounts, Sayoc often posted provocative photos and comments attacking liberals, along with crude conspiracy theories against the United States.
On Saturday morning there was a massive shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue, where hundreds of worshippers had gathered at 9:45 am. Suddenly, a man came in screaming anti-Semitic insults with two guns and an AR-15 rifle and opened fire. He killed 11 people. Six more were injured.
Robert Bowers, 46, was identified as the gunman and arrested. He had frequently expressed his disdain for Jews in social media and also published xenophobic comments alleging that Jews were helping to transport members of migratory caravans in Latin America.
Hundreds gathered for a Saturday night vigil in Squirrel Hill to mourn the victims of the synagogue and show support for the Jewish community.
An interfaith service also took place at the sixth Presbyterian Church in Squirrel Hill on Saturday night.
At 5 p.m. a vigil at the Jewish Community Center (what we know in Havana as the Hebrew Community) in Woodbridge, Connecticut, brought together more than two thousand people from New Haven County.
The attendees were Christians, Jews, Muslims (2 families, one Turkish and one Bangladeshi), whites, blacks, Hispanics, Asians, children, adults and the elderly. All the best of the American people were present.
I asked several people what they thought about the cause of this unprecedented terror. All the presenters agreed that President Donald Trump’s policy of hate and threats (both nationally and internationally), the irresponsibility of his comments in the media, and his unrestricted support for the NRA (National Rifle Association) contributed to and motivated these crimes.
Was one of the three terrorists an Islamic fundamentalist? Or a radical leftist fanatic? A Russian, Chinese or Venezuelan agent? None of the above, all supporters of Donald Trump, all with a history of violence, which one imagines would give him no chance to buy arms or ammunition. Everyone in the vigil comments with anger.
Donald Trump, with his irresponsible tweets and media shows insulting minorities and anti-immigrant attitudes, has been the catalyst that the sewage of American society has overflowed and is flooding the country.
With great prudence, I asked some attendees what they knew about the “embargo against Cuba” and about the upcoming U.N. vote. Two people told me that they knew absolutely nothing about the blockade and assured me that they would be informed about it. Two others told me that they knew about the blockade and that they were vertically against it. And one of them, Eliot Meyers, looked at me in astonishment and asked me, “But didn’t Obama remove the embargo against Cuba? I explained to him that the “embargo” is in force and being applied with a maximum of inclement and cruelty by President Trump. Elliot lowered his head and said to me: “These are the same criminals, those who kill in the synagogues or send bombs and those who want to destroy the Cuban people. Elliot is an appliance dealer from Orange, Connecticut.
The pain and bitterness continue throughout the U.S., on a Sunday when people would normally talk about American football games (the Pittsburgh Steelers play at home) and the crucial fifth game of the World Series between Boston Red Sox and the Los Angeles Dodgers. But on this occasion, thousands and thousands are on the street protesting the terror of the fascists and supremacists, and more importantly, their causes, which now have a consensus in the understanding of the people.
The victims will remember the tragedies of those 72 hours filled with hatred, for a long, long time. As early as November 6, in the midterm elections, these savage crimes will motivate hundreds of thousands to go to the polls that day and vote against those who are trying to lead the U.S. to unbridled, uncontrolled fascism and humanity to its certain destruction. Of the many phrases and posters I saw and heard, there were some that impressed me in a special way. One sign read: “We cannot cure a fool, but we can vote against him.
October 30, 2018
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
Hundreds of demonstrators protested Tuesday in Pittsburgh against U.S. President Donald Trump’s visit to the synagogue where 11 people died in an antisemitic attack this weekend.
Demonstrators gathered near the Tree of Life synagogue, where the shooting took place, with banners bearing legends such as “President Hate Out of Our State” and “Trump, Renounce White Nationalism Now,” referring to criticisms that the president has not done enough to stop hate speeches.
Trump arrived at the synagogue on Tuesday accompanied by his wife Melania, his daughter Ivanka and his son-in-law Jared Kushner. The president plans to light a candle for each of the victims of the shooting that shocked the United States.
But for some local personalities, Trump’s visit was not welcome.
A group of Pittsburgh Jewish leaders published an open letter in which they blamed Trump for encouraging the nationalist sentiments that generated the attack and said that until he strongly denounces this and stops attacking “immigrants and refugees,” he will not be welcome in the city.
Former synagogue president Lynette Lederman told the president on Monday to stay away from Pittsburgh, describing him as a “provider of hate speech.
The town of Pittsburgh, still in shock after suffering the worst antisemitic attack in recent U.S. history, buried on Tuesday two of the victims of the tragedy, brothers Cecil and David Rosenthal, 59 and 54 years old.
(With information from AFP)
October 29, 2018.
A CubaNews translation.
Edited by Walter Lippmann.
Several U.S. cities were the scene yesterday of vigils in honor of the victims of last Saturday’s mass shooting at a synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where 11 people died and six were injured. Several Jewish organizations and interfaith groups held a service at the Adas Israel synagogue on Monday afternoon with the participation of the mayor of Washington, Muriel Bowser; and the governors of the neighboring states of Virginia, Ralph Northam; and Maryland, Larry Hogan. Other religious congregations, such as Temple De Hirsch Sinai and the Jewish Family Service, also organized a prayer service at their Capitol Hill shrine. (PL)
Washington, Oct 30 (PL) U.S. President Donald Trump will travel today to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to show support for the community and families of the 11 killed in a gunfight there three days ago.
The visit of the president will take place despite the request of various voices not to make that trip until the president rejects hate crimes.
According to Marianne Novy, a retired teacher and resident of the neighborhood where the synagogue of the Congregation of the Tree of Life, the site of the massacre, is located, Trump’s language has encouraged hatred and fear of immigrants.
Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto, a Democrat, said the White House should have asked the victims’ families if they wanted the head of state to accompany them.
If the president wants to come to Pittsburgh, he would ask him not to do so while we are burying the dead, Peduto said, referring to the funerals scheduled for Tuesday.
Rob Bowers, now in prison without bail while analyzing the case, also left six people injured, including four police officers, when he shot at the aforementioned place, where he said all Jews had to be killed.
Sarah Sanders, spokeswoman for the White House, said yesterday in a press conference that the first lady, Melania, will accompany her husband on the trip.
This atrocity was a chilling act of mass murder, an act of hatred and, above all, an act of evil,’ the spokeswoman said.
She also said that anti-Semitism represents a plague to humanity and is responsible for many of the worst horrors in history, for which, she added, we all have a duty to face it.
According to Sanders, Americans of all faiths are ‘in mourning’ for the ‘precious lives that were stolen.
The American people reject hatred, intolerance, prejudice and violence. We are a nation that believes in religious freedom, tolerance and respect,’ she said.
Bowers, 46, had his first appearance in court yesterday and will return the day after tomorrow for a preliminary hearing.
He waived a reading of the 29 charges he faces for the act, which the Anti-Defamation League described as the deadliest attack on the Jewish community in the United States.
According to a description in The New York Times, the defendant appeared before Judge Robert C. Mitchell at the federal courthouse in downtown Pittsburgh in a wheelchair as a result of injuries sustained in the confrontation with the police.
Charges include obstructing the free exercise of religious beliefs, a hate crime that can lead to the death penalty, press reports said.
October 28, 2018
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
“HIAS liked to bring invaders who kill our people. I can’t sit back and watch my people get killed. Screw your views, I’m going in,” Robert D. Bowers posted on the Internet Saturday, shortly before breaking into a Pittsburgh synagogue and shooting 11 people in an action that UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said is “a painful reminder of the persistence of anti-Semitism.
HIAS is a nonprofit Jewish refugee support organization, which after the massacre recalled that it is dedicated to the “rescue of people whose lives are in danger because of who they are.
Bowers almost announced his intentions days in advance, if you look at many of his social networking publications, in which he called immigrants “invaders,” distributed racist memes and claimed that Jews were the “enemy of whites.”
Bowers used Gab, an ultra-right social network taken as an alternative to Twitter that is heavily funded and favored by white supremacists, presented as “the free speech social network.” and riddled with neo-Nazi messages.
The attack left 11 dead in the Tree of Life synagogue, known for keeping a copy of the Torah rescued from the Holocaust.
The Sabbath ran and in the synagogue, located in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood, several religious ceremonies were held in different rooms, including a baptismal hall. In that context, Bowers perpetrated one of the worst attacks against the Jewish community in U.S. history, firing and shouting “All Jews must die!”
In a message condemning Saturday night’s crime in Pittsburgh, [UN Secretary General António] Guterres called on the authorities, civil society, religious and community leaders, and the general public to form a “common front” that would reverse the racist, anti-Semitic, Islamophobic, or other forms of hate such as intolerance, discrimination, and xenophobia that are gaining strength in many parts of the world.
This is in a country where immigration has become the subject of election campaigns and a way of instilling fear in voters. According to a Reuters analysis of the propaganda broadcast through October 15, 20% of the Republican Party’s ads in the congressional elections have mentioned immigration.
“All of us, in fact, are wounded by this inhuman act of violence,” said [Pope ]Francisco, who expressed his closeness to all the people of Pittsburgh “and in particular to the Jewish community, affected by a terrible attack on the synagogue.
Robert Bowers, 46, of Pittsburgh, was arrested after exchanging fire with a SWAT team. The prosecutor’s office charges him with 29 criminal charges, including crimes of violence and firearms, and violating U.S. civil rights laws.
Bowers had 21 guns registered in his name, according to authorities. Police reported that he only had one traffic violation on his record in 2015.
A few days ago, Cesar Sayoc was arrested in Florida, accused of sending parcel bombs to prominent Democratic personalities and politicians. Sayoc also posted hate messages on social networks.
(Information from agencies.)
Falling is a geriatric syndrome, a disease; when it becomes recurrent it is clearly giving alarm signals that must be paid attent to.
Author: Lisandra Fariñas Acosta | firstname.lastname@example.org
October 28, 2018 20:10:34
A CubaNews translation.
Edited by Walter Lippmann.
“It took human beings about five million years to learn to walk and only 70 years to fall. This, which humorously may be interesting, should not really be allowed, because falling is not a habitual state. Falling is a geriatric syndrome, a disease. In other words, not everyone falls, because there are people who reach the age of 90 without having suffered any event of this type.
This was explained to Granma by the doctor of the Argentine Association of Orthopedics and Traumatology and member of AO Trauma, Emilio Fantin. He emphasized the need to prevent falls in the elderly, an aspect that is not often thought of. For the expert, it is important not only to know what a fall is, but also to understand why we fall and to evaluate the old person who falls.
Participating in the Seminar AO Trauma “Traumatology in the Elderly”, which was held in recent days in the teaching Fructuoso Rodriguez orthopedic hospital, and included recognized experts from this organization, Dr. Fantin commented that if we take into account that 1 to 5% of falls end in fracture and almost all hip fractures are secondary to them, it is vital to talk about this issue.
After a hip fracture, between 20 and 50% of older people fall again within two to six months of the first fall, so that prevention is once again the key. It happens that of those who fall for the second time, approximately 12% have a new fracture and 5% a hip fracture.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there are a thousand hip fractures per million inhabitants. If this figure is taken to the aging population, it is considered that a thousand fractures occur for every 100,000 people over 60 years of age, which would correspond to 10% of this age group.
It is estimated that around 12,000 of these fractures occur annually in Cuba, with resulting costs that they imply for the patients, the family, the health system and society in general.
20.1% of the Cuban population is 60 years of age or older, as shown by data from the Center for Population and Development Studies of the National Office of Statistics and Information. According to the latest Population and Housing Census (2012), 40% of Cuban households are inhabited by older adults. In 32% of them reside up to two or three persons of 60 years or more, so it is very likely that an older adult is caring for the other, and 13% of older adults live alone.
The fall causes worries from the first moment, but when it becomes something recurrent (two or more falls in the space of a year) is clearly giving alarm signs that should be addressed, warned the specialist.
At the same time,” said the interviewee, “we must pay more attention when patients tell us “I have no strength, I fall, what can I do?
In Dr. Fantin’s opinion, the first thing is to think that falls are not normal events, because the fact of being old does not necessarily imply falling. Why does it happen? It has to do with physiology and physical structure, loss of bone and muscle mass, and functions such as hearing and sight.
But these aren’t the only causes, he explained. As we age, we must adapt to the environment, which is often aggressive in carrying out the activities of daily living. The streets, the transport, the footwear that is used, derive in reason of fractures in numerous occasions.
With respect to the profile of the older adult who falls and fractures, the professor pointed out that generally they are over 80 years old, there is a poor self-perception of their state of health, cognitive deterioration, that is, of the state of consciousness, and many have depression. To this is added the presence of visual and motor deficits, because a large part of this age group needs help to walk, using walkers, canes or someone who accompanies them.
“Even if we investigate, we can find stories of falls that deny us, or do not tell because they are ashamed. It is very rare for an older person to confess to a child who has fallen. They come to the bathroom with the fracture, but they usually fall for longer: in the early morning when they go to the bathroom, for example. Falls can also be related to the consumption of certain medications and polypharmacy, which can cause fragility and gait disturbances due to unbalance,” he said.
When evaluating a patient at risk of falling, the expert commented that intrinsic and external factors must be taken into account, in addition to others that may precipitate this fact, such as alcohol consumption.
Among the intrinsic causes, diabetes is one of the most frequent, followed by the state of consciousness, that is, dementia, delirium, or depression. A third place is given to diseases where muscle mass decreases, and the fourth element is the female sex, since a greater number of falls occur in women than in men.
Regarding external factors, the interviewee mentioned domestic animals, sidewalks, stairs, public transportation and medication.
“More than four drugs a day are considered polypharmacy, and this is a cause of falls, so making adjustments to prescribed drugs is essential. The older adult is given a medication and it is never taken away, they leave it forever,” explained Dr. Fantin.
In addition, the interviewee pointed to osteoporosis, tobacco use (mainly in women) and vitamin D deficiency, as other elements not to be lost sight of. “Older adults don’t sunbathe regularly, and it’s important to get them out in the sun. The amount of ultraviolet light needed to convert vitamin D, either from the diet or as a medicine, is 10 minutes, you don’t have to go to the beach, and you just have to discover your hands and face.
The ideal,” he said, “is to treat these fractures within 48 hours of their occurrence, which has allowed mortality in the world from this cause to decrease from 30 to 10%.
Particular emphasis was made by the expert in post-cause syndrome. “Whoever falls and fractures is afraid of falling again and the great majority does not return to their previous state. Anxiety disorder is very serious, and there is a tendency to the syndrome called immobility, which can even lead to death. For each day of rest, 1% of body mass is lost,” explained Dr. Fantin, who placed great importance on family support.
It is fundamental that prevention also begins at an earlier age, stimulating, for example, exercises such as the use of bicycles, which are less expensive, ideal for recovering muscles, stimulating the semi-circular ducts of the ears and making it easier for people to have balance, concluded the interviewee.
– AO Trauma is one of the four clinical subdivisions of the AO Foundation (Working Group to Study Fracture Problems) created in Switzerland in 1958. Its purpose was the integrating and aligning of efforts in research, community development, and education in Traumatology and Orthopedics at the global and regional levels.
– According to Dr. Roberto Balmaseda Manent, secretary of the Cuban Society of Orthopedics and Traumatology, it has been particularly useful for the training and improvement of specialists in this branch.
– About 600 professionals from all regions of the country have had the opportunity to be trained step by step in the courses, workshops and seminars that the Society has organized.
October 27, 2018
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
A heavily armed man has perpetrated a shooting inside a synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, before surrendering to the authorities. Eight people have been confirmed dead in the attack on the Tree of Life Jewish congregation in Squirrel Hill, where a strong police operation has taken place.
In addition, an unknown number of wounded are reported, including police officers who were shot during a confrontation with the suspect.
Police sources indicated that the gunman entered the religious center this Saturday morning while shouting, “All Jews must die.” The suspect opened fire both inside the facility and against officials who responded to the emergency call.
Initially it was reported that the man was in possession of an AK-47 machine gun, but officials later indicated that they believed it was actually an AR-15 rifle, as well as other smaller caliber weapons, NBC reports. Other media report that it also carried an alleged explosive device.
“Alert: There is an active shooter in the Wilkins and Shady area. Avoid the area,” the Pittsburgh Department of Public Safety said on Twitter.
It later transpired that a SWAT team negotiated with the shooter, who in turn turned himself in to the authorities. The suspect was injured as a result of the agents’ response, who had to use their vehicles as shields against the attacker’s armed reaction.
Officials have identified the suspect as Robert Bowers, 46, a well-known white supremacist in communities in the Network of neo-Nazis and far-right extremists, according to reports citing police audio recordings.
Some media reported alleged audios of officers who attended the scene. “The suspect talks about all these Jews having to die. We are still communicating with him,” an agent would have said. “The suspect talks about killing Jews. He doesn’t want any of them to live,” another policeman is quoted.
It transpired that at that time there was a Saturday service in different parts of the synagogue, and the version is handled that in the building there were almost one hundred people. The police claim to have received several calls from people barricaded inside the temple, and launched an evacuation operation.
The president of the United States, Donald Trump, pronounced on the matter. “There seem to be several dead. Beware of the active shooter. God bless everyone,” said the president.
On the other hand, Carnegie Mellon University, located near the Tree of Life religious center, is reported to have been closed and students were instructed not to leave the area.
(With information from RT)
A CubaNews translation.
Edited by Walter Lippmann.
“The closure of RT by authorities in other countries is due to fear of competition,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday, October 18, during the international discussion forum Valdái, which hosts Sochi.
Russia Today (RT) has been described since its inception, both in the United States and in some nations, as a “hostile foreign power” or “foreign agent on home soil. In fact, on July 17, it was announced that “the Australian Federal Police has opened a preliminary investigation into the chain as a suspected foreign agent.
The real sense of bitterness – or really fear or hatred – towards the Russian platform is that it is one of the few alternative voices charged with providing angles of analysis different from those provided by the mainstream American media. Organs that, no matter how “anti-Trump” they may seem, are part of the U.S.-owned corporate system.
RT represents one of the few media conglomerates on the planet (two others, bridging differences, would be Telesur in Caracas and Hispan TV in Tehran) that, without bowing to the dictates of the American empire, try to offer an objective global perspective of the local, regional and global political reality.
A balanced vision that weighs multipolar power and the sovereignty of peoples; a vision that deconstructs each deception perpetrated by the lie-repeating apparatus at the service of Washington, that gives voice to otherness and positions itself as an independent entity, cannot be well received by the Yankee powers and their European allies or clones.
The witch-hunt against the Russian station is yet another of the fronts of open war against Moscow, in the political, diplomatic and sports spheres…
Not even at the height of the Iron Curtain did American cinema and television produce as much volume of audiovisual material against Russia as they do today.
The order of the White House was and is to export that hatred. Not surprisingly, in 2016, a European Parliament report compared the “danger” of RussiaToday “with that of the Islamic State”.
The Western aversion to the progressive resurgence of the great Eurasian nation in its economic, military, scientific and communicational capacity is expressed in dissimilar ways. Attacking its website is not the least significant.
The increasing number of people who tune into the RT signal in the world puts the Western think tanks and their corporate media apparatus into a warning position. Thus, the rage against the Russian network is not only expressed in the organs of the United States, but also in a good part of the Europeans.
El País, the most read Spanish newspaper in the Spanish-speaking universe, has the challenge of the web as one of its obligatory daily tasks, along with the daily attack on Venezuela.
Granma today commemorates the 59th anniversary of the National Revolutionary Militias with the story of Idolka Sanchez, the militia face Korda immortalized with his lens in 1962.
Author: Alejandra García Elizalde | email@example.com
October 25, 2018 21:10:37
A CubaNews translation.
Edited by Walter Lippmann.
In the crowd of that May 1, 1962, a young photographer focused on the still-adolescent face of Idolka Sánchez as she marched in front of the José Martí Memorial in Havana.
She, one of the nearly 2,000 militiawomen of the Lidia Doce women’s battalion, saw him approach, camera in hand. He didn’t seem to care about anything else. It was as if he had seen her from afar and didn’t want to let her go without obsessively capturing her image. He chose her.
“The man whose name, Korda, I had barely heard, was the same man who, in March 1960, had immortalized Che’s face with his mane in the wind, during the burial of the victims of the La Coubre terrorist attack. He ordered her to “put the machine gun up”. His order was followed by several clicks of his camera and, in a matter of seconds, she disappeared.
When she had forgotten the incident, he returned that same morning. Korda wanted to repeat two new shots. She did not want to capture just one face or one image. He was looking for a symbol, and he found it. The next day the photo went from one end of the island to the other on the cover of the Revolución newspaper.
“I felt an emotion that I cannot describe. It was not vanity, but eternal gratitude. I never thought about the transcendence of that image,” Idolka Sánchez Moreno told Granma.
Fifty-six years after that encounter with Korda, the image known as “La Miliciana” endures. The sun on her face, the severe look focused on the horizon, her embrace to the rifle that points to the sky, the beret tilted …
Today, Idolka preserves the late beauty of the 22-year-old girl who was in those early and intense times of Revolution. “I will never forget that it was a beautiful, clear morning, similar to today. I didn’t expect that it would attract the attention of any photographer, being surrounded by so many women. My main interest that day was the possibility of parading in front of the Commander in Chief,” she says.
It would take years for Idolka and Korda to meet again, after “La Miliciana” became an iconic image and adorned banners, postcards, photographic exhibitions, and appeared on the walls of workplaces and embassies. Few people know that she was the young woman in the photo.
“I remember one day, walking with my sister to work, a woman saw “La Miliciana” hanging in the window of an establishment. She, a few steps away, said, without knowing that we were listening: “Look at that, surely she left the country and yet they have her everywhere. My sister confronted her, but finally we decided to continue on our way.
She joined the Militias as soon as they were created: “I came from a family that supported every step of the revolutionaries through the Sierra, and my destiny could not be any other. I studied Law at the University, I have dedicated all my life to my country and today my two children are photographers”, remembers Idolka.
Almost two decades after that May Day, in 1981, he saw Korda again. Muchacha magazine arranged a reunion between him and “La Miliciana”.
“It was very emotional, but I never expected any recognition. That was his work. I was only an occasional model, discovered in the middle of the parade, one of so many young people who proudly wore the most beautiful of all the costumes, that of the militia.
From that meeting in front of Revolution Square on May 1, 1962, Korda once recalled that “I had been looking for hours with my camera in the crowd. The Lidia Doce women’s battalion attracted me and I captured many gestures. But in revealing only one was the indisputable one: the militia woman with the rifle held high and such a decision in her eyes that I said to myself: this is the Cuban warrior, the woman in the defense of the homeland.
Alberto Díaz Gutiérrez, better known as Alberto Korda (September 14, 1928-May 25, 2001), is one of the great photographers of all time, with a body of work that forms part of the symbolic imaginary of the Cuban Revolution.
“La Miliciana”, the instant that captured the purity and strength of women at an exceptional moment in national history, was one of his most beloved portraits. “It is a photo that will survive us,” said Korda. Future generations will admire our eternally young militia. And so it was.
By Leyanis Infante Curbelo
A CubaNews translation.
Edited by Walter Lippmann.
Last week, between April 23 and 26, the 12th International May First Workshop took place at the Palacio de los Torcedores, in the Cuban capital. It is an event organized by the Cuban History Institute (IHC) and the Central de Trabajadores del país (CTC) that brings together researchers, sociologists, historians, professors and trade unionists from various countries to exchange views on the current economic and political situation, and the role of workers and trade unions in the search for a global balance where relations of equity and social justice are paramount.
As in previous editions of the event, many of the foreign participants are also part of the First of May Brigade, which at this time comes to the island to join the celebrations for the International Workers’ Day that we hold in Cuba.
This is the case with a group of trade unionists from the United States, mostly members of the Socialist Workers Party in that country. This May Day, they packed their backpacks and headed to the Plaza de la Revolución. They joined thousands and thousands of Havana residents in saluting the continuity of the Cuban Revolution. But a week ago, invited by the IHC, they shared, in a panel entitled From Clinton To Trump: How The Working People Of The United States Are Responding To The Anti-Worker Offensive Of The Bosses, their parties and their governments, their most vivid experiences in the struggle for class rights in the heart of the flagship country of world capitalism.
As a reflection of its social structure, this panel attempted to cover representatively the most disadvantaged and discriminated groups in its country: women, blacks and immigrants, and among them, members of those economic sectors that have been historically most oppressed and beaten, and who have therefore had to wage long struggles for their labor rights.
This is the case of Alyson Kennedy, a long-time coal mine worker and member of the first wave of women who broke the barriers that excluded them from jobs in underground mines. In the controversial 2016 U.S. election, she was a Socialist Workers Party presidential candidate.
Or Willie Head, a small farmer in South Georgia, veteran of many battles of black farmers to keep their land. Their struggle is part of a history that dates back more than a century and a half.
For these Americans, who defend the principle that a socialist revolution within their country’s capitalist system is possible, the Cuban Revolution represents the most concrete and current example of these aspirations.
In the opinion of Martín Koppel, journalist for the weekly El Militante, sharing these experiences in Cuba has been very important because, outside the United States in general, the situation of its workers and their struggles is not known; rather, the media conveys the idea that everything is fine with them.
Mary-Alice Waters, a member of the Political Bureau of the Socialist Workers Party, president of Pathfinder Publishing and organizer of the panel, told JR that the idea was to try to answer two main questions from each participant’s perspective: whether after Donald Trump came to power the working class that gave him his vote had also experienced a movement to the right; and whether it was actually possible for a social revolution to triumph in the United States.
On the first, Waters and the other panelists mentioned the teachers’ strike that has taken place in West Virginia recently and that has achieved a significant wage increase in this state’s public sector. Coincidentally, it’s one where Trump won with an overwhelming majority (68 percent) and where the unemployment rate is double the national average. The workers organize demands, she pointed out, because their situation has not improved at all.
In the recent history of our country, we have seen how the working class has waged its struggles at different times in our history and we have gained confidence in what it is capable of doing, said Waters. To illustrate, she mentioned the workers’ struggles of the 1930s, the mass struggle of Black people to overthrow the system of racial segregation in the 1960s, and the popular demonstrations against the Vient Nam war. All of them, she points out, have shown us how the class struggle does have the potential to change governments.
In his closing remarks of the XII International May Day Workshop, René González Barrios, President of the IHC, thanked the American delegation for its participation and affirmed that every time the American people become freer and more independent, the world will be too.