In the course of next week, Correos de Cuba will put on sale in all its units and newsstands, the Constitution of the Republic of Cuba that was approved in the Second Ordinary Session of the IX Legislature of the National Assembly of People’s Power, at the price of one peso in national currency. Correos […]
The second Bolivian political force will be the Citizens’ Community Alliance, of former President Carlos Mesa.
By Redacción Digital | firstname.lastname@example.org
October 24, 2020
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
With 97 percent of the officially counted election records, the Movement Towards Socialism (MAS) consolidated its majority in the Bolivian Legislative Assembly on Friday, reported Telesur, by securing 21 senators and 78 deputies.
The Plurinational Electoral Body (OEP) of Bolivia reported this Thursday that the MAS, of President-elect Luis Arce, obtained 78 of the 130 seats in the Chamber of Deputies, while in the Senate it obtained 21 of the 36 seats.
The Citizen Community Alliance (CC), of former president Carlos Mesa, obtained 35 deputies and 11 senators, to become the second political force of the South American country.
Meanwhile, the Creemos movement, led by former presidential candidate Luis Fernando Camacho, will have four legislators in the upper house and 17 deputies.
With this composition, the Movement Towards Socialism will be able to approve laws and make parliamentary decisions, without having to build political alliances with the opposition.
However, it will have to build agreements with CC and Creemos to designate authorities, approve judgments of responsibilities and even propose constitutional changes, since this requires the approval of two thirds of the Legislative Assembly.
Among those who must be appointed with a two-thirds majority are the ombudsman, the attorney general and the comptroller general.
This Friday, the Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE) officially declared Luis Arce, of MAS, to be the president-elect, who obtained 55.10 percent of the valid votes cast in the general elections of 18 October.
In second place was Comunidad Ciudadana, with 28.92 percent; and in third place, Creemos with 13.82 percent of the votes.
Published: Monday 19 October 2020 | 08:22:21 pm.
By Marina Menendez Quintero
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
Bolivia gave itself the necessary vote to defeat the coup d’état and not leave any gaps that would make another manipulation possible: 52.4 percent of the votes awarded to Luis Arce, compared to 31.5 percent attributed to Carlos Mesa, constitute a forceful absolute majority in favor of MAS that demolishes the calculations of all the polls, according to which the Movement Towards Socialism won “tightly” with a little more than ten percent of the votes, or it was going to a second round definitively.
The Bolivian refoundation is back and that round is now irreversible, although the slow official count by the Supreme Electoral Tribunal has not yet produced results.
The results of the exit polls, made known shortly after midnight on Sunday, are of such weight that they were recognized, half an hour after they were made public, by the usurper Jeanine Áñez herself, when she congratulated the winning couple through a brief message on Twitter and ended the tension of a thick calm.
This was a step – it must be recognized – in favor of a guaranteed stability, first, by the masses of patient and firm voters who waited in long lines to vote, without yielding to the provocations of an armed and police corps that guarded the schools with long weapons after a week, accusing the followers of the MAS of fraud in advance, and feeding the false possibility of a popular uprising that would give them the excuse for repression and violence, as a way of overturning an overwhelming victory of the left, like this one.
Áñez’s statement buried the possibility of that other feared blow and against which the declarations of the TSE, that had previously suspended the usual system of quick counting by which tendencies are offered on the same election night, weighed heavily, with which the population was left in suspense.
After the fourth press conference given by the incumbent Salvador Romero early in the night and his repeated testimony that the day had been exemplary, it was impossible to question the polls that the Jubilee center had carried out, and whose results were later published by Ciesmori -she affirms that she has the backing and credit of the authorities- through the official television channel Unitel.
It was in this way that those who remained “inside” the social networks, met at the stroke of midnight of the unofficial but already unobjectionable triumph, celebrated with modesty in a brief meeting of the MAS candidates and some of its leaders while, from his refuge in Buenos Aires, its leader, Evo Morales, commemorated in the same way an event that he considered “historic, unprecedented and unique in the world”.
“One year after the coup, we recovered political power democratically with the consciousness and patience of the people,” he added.
Sober and without fanfare, Arce also thanked the people in La Paz and ratified his commitment to work and govern for all Bolivians.
“We are going to recover the country’s economy. We have the obligation to redirect our process of change without hate, learning and overcoming our mistakes,” added the former Minister of Economy, who analysts consider the architect of the good performance of the national economy during the mandates of the MAS, when that area registered a sustained growth unique in Latin America that averaged an annual GDP of eight percent.
In 12 months, Áñez’s dismantling management now leaves a Gross Domestic Product that must contract more than six percent this year, in the midst of the worst economic crisis in 40 years. Even taking into account the damage caused by the poorly managed Covid-19 pandemic -another ballast of Jeanine- this picture expresses the mismanagement of a spurious mandate that “governed” for big capital.
However, beyond the well-earned prestige of Arce and his unquestionable gift of agglutinating, Sunday’s vote breathes the conviction of an electorate that, for the most part, has given its support not exactly to a figure, but to a project whose achievements were clearer the more aggressive was the work of destroying them led by Áñez.
Such a conviction, expressed so massively and firmly in spite of so many elements against it – let us remember the previous persecution and demonization of MAS to the point of opening judicial cases against its cadres including Evo – leaves with a sticky nose those who, once again, when looking at Latin America revive the denied assertions of Francis Fukuyama in the 1990s, when he announced “the end of history”.
The lesson must have been taken by the OAS headliner himself, an acolyte of Donald Trump who orchestrated the coup last year, and an enemy of the most puerile progressivism. With less capacity for resignation than Áñez, Luis Almagro waited for Monday morning to arrive to take the bitter pill.
“The people of Bolivia have expressed themselves at the polls. We congratulate @LuchoXBolivia and @LaramaDavid wishing them success in their future endeavors,” he wrote on Twitter. “I am sure that from democracy they will know how to forge a bright future for their country.
Contestant Carlos Mesa also had to embrace the inevitable, considering that the difference was too great for there to be any change. “It is an outcome that we accept,” he said.
A pending issue and of no small consequence will be the reaction of the armed forces, which in an artful way supported the revolt against Morales last year?
But the Latin American and Caribbean reversion, thought out and raised from the centers of power, has suffered another defeat. After the return of Peronism to the Argentine government, the return of Masismo indicates that, as much as it still has to perfect itself and learn, the model that takes man as the center as an alternative to that other system that breathes at the rhythm that the market inhales and exhales has not failed.
On the contrary, the neo-liberal execution shows today its shortcomings in the repeated popular mobilizations that are shaking countries like Colombia and Chile.
The Bolivian masses have shown that despite the injustice and the dirty war, the possibility of changing the status quo remains open if there is clarity, consciousness and the ability to resist.
The exit polls carried out by the Jubilee Foundation and the Ciesmori company show a victory for MAS in both chambers of the National Assembly.
According to their counts, the MAS would obtain 19 seats in the Senate out of the 36 it has, while two seats would be in dispute between that political force and the Citizens’ Community (CC) in Potosi and Santa Cruz, reported Telesur.
According to Jubilee information, MAS won five of the country’s nine departments: La Paz, Cochabamba, Potosí, Oruro and Pando, while Carlos Mesa’s Citizen Community won in Chuquisaca, Beni and Tarija. Finally, Creemos’s candidacy, led by Luis Fernando Camacho (who won 14 percent of the votes in the presidential race), would be the winner in Santa Cruz.
Greetings from the left
Politicians from the Latin American and Caribbean left immediately spoke out on the social network Twitter:
Congratulations to #MAS, which has recovered at the polls the power that was usurped by the oligarchy, with the complicity of the #OAS and the imperial guide. #Cuba shares joy for the triumph of #LuisArce. The Bolivarian ideal is reborn. (Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, Cuban President)
I congratulate the Bolivian people for having restored democracy. Congratulations to Luis Arce and my friend Evo Morales who after a difficult year can see the popular vote respected. (Luiz Lula da Silva, former Brazilian President)
Congratulations to Lucho Arce and David Choquehuanca who, together with Evo, built a great popular triumph in Bolivia. The happy Patria Grande. (Cristina Fernández, Vice President of Argentina)
Great Victory! The Bolivian people, united and conscious, defeated with votes the coup d’état that they gave to our brother Evo. Congratulations to President-elect Luis Arce, Vice President David Choquehuanca and our Indian Chief of the South @evoespueblo. Jallalla Bolivia! (Nicolás Maduro, President of Venezuela)
By Hedelberto López Blanch
October 14, 2020
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
After the economic-social debacle represented by the expansion of the Covid-19 pandemic through almost all the nations of the world, the People’s Republic of China, where the virus was detected for the first time, has managed to raise its economy while that of the United States continues to fall.
The specialists assure that this great difference between the two main economic powers of the world is due to the fact that China, from the first moments, took the pertinent measures to control the disease, in contrast to the United States whose President Donald Trump dismissed the seriousness of the virus.
The North American retreat has been occurring since the last decade and it increased with the appearance of the coronavirus, fundamentally due to the laziness of its officials to face it.
Several data point out the weaknesses of the American giant because despite being a power with very important resources and capabilities for the welfare of most of its inhabitants, their real wage today is lower than 40 years ago.
Under that premise, the average employee must work twice as many years as three decades ago to pay the price of a small apartment.
The level of inequality has progressively worsened among the population with stagnation of real wages compared to the cost of living. Almost 50 million people are below the poverty line and 36% of Americans lack the health insurance that gives them access to specialized health care.
In the last decade, suicides increased 24% and at the same time life expectancy decreased to only 76.10 years. In Cuba, a developing country economically and financially blockaded by Washington, that rate is 78.2 years.
Recently the Department of Commerce reported that the country’s economy contracted in the second quarter of 2020 at the fastest rate in its history and represents the biggest debacle since World War II.
According to the Department’s Bureau of Economic Analysis, real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) declined at a rate of 32.9 percent in the second quarter of 2020 due to the disastrous effects of the pandemic. In the first quarter, it was minus 5 percent.
The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) estimated a 7.3% drop in US GDP for 2020, a figure that could be altered if the coronavirus wave is sustained or increased.
Meanwhile, China emerges as the powerhouse that will end the year of the pandemic with positive economic growth. If in the first quarter its GDP was at minus 6.8%, in the second quarter it grew by 3.2%, exceeding all analysts’ forecasts.
The National Statistics Office of the Asian giant indicated that “in the second quarter growth went from negative to positive”, in a context of economic recovery after the stagnation caused by the coronavirus and that “the market outlook is generally good”.
In nominal terms, China’s total wealth in the first half of the year stood at 45.66 trillion yuan ($6.53 billion).
For the Beijing government, the health policy adopted throughout the nation has been fundamental, through which it has been able to control covid-19, even in asymptomatic people.
Since August 16, no local infections have been recorded and only imported cases have been detected, people who immediately go into a 14-day quarantine.
Of course, this way of stopping the proliferation of the disease contrasts with those applied in the United States and other Western nations. A free health-care policy has been essential to achieving this.
The IHS Markit agency reported that exports represented 20% of the global total between April and June, seven percentage points more than in the same period in 2019, and also applied the alternative of increasing domestic consumption among its large population.
The Asian giant’s recovery has been influenced by the rapid digital transformation of its economy, which was growing strongly before the pandemic, and which accelerated with it.
In 2018 it already represented 34.8% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), a percentage that grew year after year above the growth of the Product.
Zhang Jun, dean of Fudan University’s School of Economics and director of China’s Center for Economic Studies, explained that families, unable to leave their homes, adopted applications such as JD.com, Meituan, Eleme and Pinduoduo for daily product purchases.
The companies took advantage of digital tools, from communication platforms such as Enterprise WeChat and DingTalk to electronic contracts, to keep their businesses running.
The end result has been that China is on its way to an economic revival, while in the United States there is still no light at the end of the tunnel.
By Jorge Gómez Barata
September 9, 2020
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
For stating that: “If I won the elections, I would take up Barack Obama’s policy towards Cuba…”, Joe Biden, candidate for the presidency of the United States, does not need any more to settle the doubts regarding the government and the Cuban people.
Giving continuity to Obama’s Cuban policy expresses the will for détente that would configure a platform to bring positions closer, define agendas and propitiate a climate from which it is possible to advance, not only towards what Cuba wanted, but also towards what Barack Obama preferred. He considered the policy followed by the previous administrations obsolete, including the blockade that, according to his creed, instead of isolating Cuba, isolated the United States”.
Obama was neither a friend nor an ally of Cuba, but rather a president of the United States who, saving the asymmetries and the historical disagreement initiated by the Platt Amendment, as well as the insurmountable ideological differences derived both from the anti-communism in force in US policy and the aggressiveness in the face of the Revolution, worked to replace the hostility between the United States and Cuba with neighborliness.
Nobody discovers anything new when they observe that, as the political head of the empire, Obama would like a change in the orientation of Cuban policy, for which he set up premises, different from the aggressive policies of his predecessors. Obama chose options that were closer to the battle of ideas preferred by Cuba. Obviously, there are also Cubans who would applaud a socialist United States, but that does not mean that they would make such a commitment a political objective.
Whatever may be said, Barack Obama was the only US president who, in the 118 years of Cuba’s republican history, spoke with the national authorities on bilateral issues on an equal footing. He did this without prior conditions, without demands and without meanness, which had been a hope of the Cubans and a brilliant conquest of the Revolution. Besides, he is the only one who visited the Island and fraternally talked to the people and the authorities.
Raúl Castro, who added political sagacity and diplomatic skill to his firmness in the defense of national sovereignty and socialist principles, saw the moment when an opportunity opened up and, with integrity and flexibility, took advantage of it. He took steps towards meeting the political coherence of Barack Obama, reaching a common ground on which it was possible to understand each other and move forward until diplomatic relations were re-established.
The flexibility and political stature allowed both to understand that: differences do not prevent civilized coexistence. From Biden, I expect nothing else… I hope he wins. See you there.
By Osviel Castro Medel
August 25, 2020
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
From the nasobuco, that addendum of which we knew little in times of normality, one can write today almost a treatise, the same with Cuban humor as with the most serious things.
There have been those who, accustomed to using it almost all the time, forgot to take it off before performing some acts and thus spilled coffee on their bodies or bit their tongues trying to eat.
It has also been responsible for certain language tangles, such as that of a Bayamese man who spoke to his wife about “fixing the pedals to look for food for the boys” and she understood that when the carnivals were suspended they would have to sell the “males” (as pigs are called in much of the Orient). “Don’t even think about it,” she answered, to the surprise of the first.
Regardless of any joke, the nasobuco helped, along with other measures, to contain the new coronavirus in Cuba. However, for some weeks now we have seen with alarm how hundreds of people have dispensed with its use, not only in the Cuban capital, the epicenter of the disease.
Let us go -even in the provinces that are right now in the third phase- through some main streets, let us go to one of the long daily queues, let us go to the parks, to the bus stops, let us get on public transportation or let us enter centers that serve the population and we will find many citizens without the minimum protection that these times advise.
There have even been images uploaded to social networks of crowds drinking beer from the same tap, or rum from the bottle, as if they were celebrating the end of the pandemic. They have, unfortunately, entered the so-called relaxation stage, unaware of the aforementioned and recited perception of risk.
The bitter spike in numbers these days – which are people, not numbers, of course – is linked precisely to overconfidence or chanting victory ahead of time.
A few days ago a friend, in an educated hypothesis, was walking without her nasobuco in the middle of a crowd. When I made the observation, she answered the incredible: “Ah, we are already in the third phase, stop that, there is no need”.
When the Temporary Working Group of the Government for the confrontation of the new coronavirus announced the entry into the third phase of almost all the provinces and the special municipality of Isla de la Juventud, it was emphasized: “We reiterate the need to maintain the health measures and physical isolation, which are applicable in the three phases, including the use of nasobuco in public and closed places, where there is a concentration of people”.
Do we need to pressure our hands a little with the fines and other coercive measures? Could it be that the messages in the media calling for a collective conscience do not reach the majority? Will we courageously denounce the irresponsible without creating a witch-hunt? Have we already forgotten the regulations regarding the hygienization of hands and surfaces, the distance between people and the recommendation to keep ourselves informed?
These are questions that can help move thought and generate action. In the end, the most important thing is to know that the battle against the virus is not over; it has probably entered its most critical phase, and we can continue to move backwards if, as we say in the popular jargon, we throw ourselves into the middle street or get infected with “extreme freedom” and throw the nasobuco and all the rules related to the preservation of our health into a corner.
By Carlos Rafael Dieguez
August 31, 2020
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
Jack Lieberman has just died physically in Fort Lauderdale and continues to live forever in the heart of the Cuban people and the world. Fervent revolutionary Liberman, one of his close friends Camillo Coco remembers him: “Our brother Jack Lieberman passed away. The South Florida activist community has lost a great organizer, a fighter, and a man full of principles and love for his fellow human beings. Jack Lieberman was simply the best. He was so good to our members, especially in the last 5 months of the pandemic. He was one of the first to see us when the layoffs started. He was a generous and kind soul, but also fiercely committed to the fight for justice. He was always, always there.
He will be deeply missed. I was lucky enough to meet Jack and I am very proud to have worked with him. This is a very sad moment for me and many others who knew and collaborated with him in many struggles. He continues to be an example of dedication to the social causes he fought for.
For our part, from RADIOMIAMITV, we have many things to say about Jack Lieberman among them, and the most important one is that he always stood by the people of Cuba in the struggle for the removal of the US blockade against our country. He participated in dozens of caravans and meetings in La Alianza Martiana, he always supported and advocated for good relations between his country and ours. He was always accompanied by a smile of joy, the same size as the firmness and love with which he confronted injustice.
In one of our last interviews with Jack Lieberman, together with André Gómez, coordinator of the Antonio Maceo Brigade, he left us his pro-Cuba opinion for history.
On his Facebook Wall, Mike Martinez writes: “I am proud to have always been at Jack Lieberman’s side. A titan among titans. A servant of the people.” Other writings also appear. Today I lost a best friend, a mentor, a hero and a role model. Jack Lieberman is part of my extended family and was my most trusted friend in politics. We spoke often and above all, he was my rock on every campaign and a North Star. Jack Lieberman (also known as Radical Jack) is a true legend and his memory will live on.
The Coronavirus has taken away a hero from a thousand battles that the American people, the Cuban people and the world will never forget.
August 22, 2020
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
To be honest, I thought, at first, that the word nasobuco was an Asian voice like Kawasaki or Tamagochi. Since it was the genesis of the pandemic in that region, the word could well spread along with the new coronavirus. However, in recent readings of specialized articles, I could confirm that it is not so, even some scholars consider that Cuba is one of the few countries in America, where this garment or tool that protects the nose and mouth from the exit and entrance of microbes and bacteria is called this.
The most experienced ones grant the Cuban people this linguistic license because of its deep relationship with the medical and scientific community, which is where this neologism is really used more, referring to the nasal and mouth region (nose and mouth) belonging to the respiratory system.
For other countries, it is less complicated and they simply call it tapaboca, cubreboca, mascara, or barbijo… The important thing in all cases is to keep it well on and not to use it as a hat, mask, cubrementón or “tapa güergüero”, as my grandmother would call it when it is worn around the neck as if it were a bandage covering a tracheotomy.
The truth is that the nasobuco (or whatever you want to call it) has come to stay for an indeterminate period of time and with great possibilities that it will be a garment that we will carry in our wallet or pocket like we carry a handkerchief, keys or wallet.
It is already part of our attire and although many times we forget it when we leave the house and have to return to look for it, it is a component that has taken on vital (and read well: vital) importance.
Like everything new in clothing, the nasobuco does not escape fashion. Its confection already reaches personalization edges. The same is combined with the colors of clothes, shoes, cap, headscarf, necklaces, bracelets… When its color does not play with any of the above-mentioned it is that it is combined with the panties, brassiere’s or panties that we carry. In this case, it is not advisable to find out too much.
The designs and materials used are different. Those more spiritual, artistic and sensitive, make drawings, embroider flowers, embed a sticker of your company, favorite sports club or the name of your loved one. It should not be misunderstood in case you have two names embodied. It can be your wife and daughter or son, father and brother… in short, if not, it is not your business either: each one puts in their nasobuco what they want! I said whatever you like, not wherever you like; we talked about that and I hope it was clear, even though I said it with the nasobuco on.
By Mailenys Oliva Ferrales and Eduardo Palomares Calderón
August 23, 2020
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
United by the Sierra Maestra mountain range and the waters of the Cauto River, in the struggles marked by Mariana Grajales, Canducha “la Abanderada”, and more recently by Celia Sánchez and Vilma Espín, the women of Santiago and Granma are now united in this beautiful story woven by the Federation of Cuban Women (FMC), in the 60 years they observed this August 23.
It was to Vilma Espín Guillois, a brave and sensitive woman from Santiago, that Commander-in-Chief Fidel Castro Ruz entrusted the creation and strengthening of the organization destined to work for full gender equality in the new society. This is why the FMC women of her territory made a firm commitment this time to dedicate the Vanguard flag and the national act for the date.
“For all the FMC women of the country it has been a year of intense work -considers Elena Castillo Rodríguez, secretary-general of the FMC in Santiago de Cuba-, first because we started it under the incentive of such an important anniversary, and then because the appearance of the pandemic changed the life of all Cubans and, of course, it imposed the reorientation of our work.
“Based on the Party’s motto in the territory: “With the effort of all, we will win!”, we did the same intensity of work from the Guantanamo border of Yerba de Guinea to the Granmense of Baire, and that allowed us to declare all the municipalities (9) as Vanguards, and to seal that result at the level of the country.
Based on the solid tradition that has kept it in the vanguard in recent years, Granma was very close, achieving vanguard status in ten of its 13 municipalities. It wa, a challenge that, according to the Secretary General, María Elena Hechavarría Carralero, was focused on strengthening its grassroots structures and community action.
“We are one of the links that the enemy imagines with weaknesses to try to distort the reality of the Island, but, considered by Fidel as well as by Raúl and Díaz-Canel, as bastions in each project undertaken, we have taken all the spaces to demonstrate that women are an essential force in the sovereignty of the Nation”.
THE VITAL HEARTBEAT OF SOCIETY
For most of the 412,500 FMCers in Santiago and the 325,000 in Granma, one of the most important, humane and beautiful activities of recent times has been the challenge taken on from the COVID-19 pandemic, because not only was it to make thousands of nasobucos, but they also provided the fabric and thread, and then went to donate them in the neighborhoods, squares and workplaces.
In both territories, they also went voluntarily to the health control points, to the sanitation and hygienization of public areas, to the house-to-house investigation and, without thinking twice, not a few young people took the step to contribute in what was necessary in the red zone of hospitals and centers of isolation of suspects.
Perhaps there is something more emotional,” says Castillo Rodriguez, “than seeing a girl with a pharmacy card or a warehouse notebook buying medicine and food products for a vulnerable person, or for the members of the Federation who took care of the old man who lives alone and brought him the same food prepared for the family.
Our women have grown up during the confrontation with COVID-19,” says Hechavarría Carralero, “because they did not wait to be called, they began to spontaneously deploy initiatives and we generalized and brought them together so that their impact would be greater, and all this has had the moral recognition that contributes to new efforts.
Within this complex situation, both leaders agreed that the scourge of gender violence that has wounded the world so much, has not been an embarrassing problem for their respective territories, since the Women’s and Family Orientation Centers work preventively, and a differentiated work has been done in dysfunctional nuclei.
Through specialists, talks have taken place aimed at promoting family unity and curbing the tendency to burden women with domestic tasks. At the same time, through dozens of training programs, the FMC has held training courses in socially useful activities for women and men who are not working.
In this way, including in recent days, some of the so-called “choleras” received job offers in the state sector or on their own account, ranging from pharmacy and commerce clerks, technical services, gastronomy, barbers and other trades that reintegrate them with dignity.
IN FRONT OF THE FURROW
According to Castillo Rodríguez, “Hot spots” in her province are the fronts for food production that women share today. This is not because of the complexity of the work, but because of its importance. In addition to facing the pandemic, they moved to gardens and patios to plant short-cycle crops and medicinal plants, which are already bearing fruit.
A lot has been said about the initiative of the food production areas in Santiago,” he explains, “and those structures are already in all the municipalities, where, if in the agricultural ones there is parity between men and women, in the industrial ones the majority of the women are making bread, cookies, candies, preserves and dozens of assorted products.
Currently, the strategy concluded in the Second Front and that goes through the Third Front, is sealing each municipality with the patios incorporated into urban agriculture, and the creation of agreements for pigs, sheep and poultry, attended purely by women or jointly with the family, which provides them with meat, food, grains and vegetables.
The women of Granma also contribute to these forms of agri-food production, their presence in the mobilizations called for, and the empowerment achieved in the labor area, where they make up 67% of the technical force, and assume key management positions, from the base up to all levels.
VALIDITY OF VILMA
Although the Commander-in-Chief considered the full incorporation of women as a Revolution within the Revolution, among the greatest teachings bequeathed by Vilma Espín is the defense of rights and the work she has conquered. This is why Santiagueras and Granmenses are now equally focused on confronting social indiscipline.
Her actions in the face of coleros, resellers and hoarders range from preventive work with people characterized by that anti-social behavior in the community, which has made it possible to detect soluble dysfunctional problems and the incorporation of 12 cases to work in Santiago de Cuba, to the support to order in the lines [in from of] commercial establishments.
Elena Castillo and María Elena Hechavaría emphasize the enthusiasm with which the FMCers have received the respective recognitions as vanguard and outstanding women. There is in a 60th anniversary celebrated in all the municipalities, in centers such as hospitals and of textile clothing, with high presence of women, and of course in the base.
In a special way, the Vilma Espín Memorial, located in the house where she lived and matured as a revolutionary, by turning it into a meeting point and even a staff for young clandestine fighters, once again hosted the Vilma en la memoria workshop, with the presentation of 28 research papers from the provinces of Granma and Santiago de Cuba, on the extraordinary woman.
Coinciding with the date and in view of the impossibility, due to the COVID-19, of the desired mass mobilization, a representation of the municipality of Segundo Frente paid homage to the eternal President of the FMC, Vilma Espín Guillois, in the name of Cuban woman, and before the rock monument that in the mausoleum to the heroes and martyrs of the II Eastern Front receives its ashes.
By José Alejandro Rodríguez
August 22, 2020
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
Now that Cuba is on the offensive against economic crime, corruption and all sorts of indiscipline and violations, the most sensible thing is not to limit ourselves only to repudiating and neutralizing these demonstrations and the police operations. We must also diagnose with a perennial scalpel the socioeconomic causes that generate these evils and distortions, in order to prevent them and remove them at their roots.
Without ignoring the syndrome of asphyxiation caused by the imperturbable American blockade, the recent self-critical recognition by the country’s authorities of the slowness and lack of integrality in the process of updating the Cuban economic model in recent years is at least promising. And in the midst of so many difficulties and hardships, the new post-Covid-19 strategy raises expectations and encouragement to face the crisis. It also aims to translate into irreversible transformations what is pending in guiding documents such as the Economic and Social Guidelines and the Conceptualization of our Socialist Model.
In the opinion of many Cuban economists, who have been loyal to socialism since the brave critical and saving diagnosis, the recently announced strategy confers a much more audacious, systemic and integrating emphasis to transformations: it removes knots and obstacles to productive forces. It decentralizes and confers greater horizontality. It promotes food self-sustainability, greater export diversity and less dependence on imports. It makes the economy more democratic and invigorates entrepreneurship, because it seeks complementarity and similar possibilities among the different forms of ownership and management. It promotes incentives rather than prohibitions. It opens the doors of the watertight compartments.
Of course, these are the purposes. Changes will take time to reap their fruits, paradoxically in a fight against time. What is important about this strategy is not only its goals, but the way in which they are expressed, the intelligent ways to open those gates without being flooded and swallowed by the transformations. The other would be to fail through dogmatic starvation, to accept that economic problems continue to be faced with voluntary administrative measures and the attachment to the ucase, which is never political.
To the liberating and emancipatory character of the announced measures, the permanent scientific diagnosis of the transforming work should be added, so that from an observatory the errors and deviations in the shaping can be corrected. And at the same time promote the feedback of the states of opinion and popular consensus in terms of decision making.
For now, the daily episodes of police operations on economic crime reveal how far the Cuban economy has been submerged for years in the black market and illegalities, and in social coexistence with moral deterioration, to the nation’s detriment. And at the same time they alert us to how many distortions and design errors need to be corrected.
I will never justify crime and economic fraud no matter how difficult the circumstances. But it is also true that we lived for years among too many economic prohibitions that are now beginning to be rectified. And a proverbial ability to transgress the “legal” in order to survive was created, while it took a long time for these realistic processes of validation and sincerity to be carried out for many activities that were considered alien to the socialist ideal.
The result is what we are witnessing. Hence, post-Covid-19, with the ramifications of the world economic crisis and the perennial Yankee blockade, there will be no alternative but to assume all the risks of the transformations. On the one hand, rigor and discipline; on the other, incentive and entrepreneurship so that honest work, whether State-run or not, is the cornerstone that leads us to prosperity without abandoning social justice.
FROM THE LEFT
The death of Rosa Luxemburg marked the final step of world social democracy towards treason; it was not only a crime committed with full consciousness of its historical significance, but orchestrated in pursuit of a class hegemonism of the German workers bourgeoisie and big capital, allied after the defeat in the First World War.
A CubaNews translation.
Edited by Walter Lippmann.
The death of Rosa Luxemburg marked the last step of world social democracy towards treason. It was not only a crime committed with full consciousness of its historical significance, but it was orchestrated in function of a class hegemonism over the German working class by the bourgeois workers and big capital. They were allied after the defeat in World War I, to build a new right-wing order, the hard state of National Socialism (Nazi), which would lead Europe towards its dissolution as the center of the world.
In the cold dawn of January 15, 1919, Red Rosa wrote her last lines on the problem of the Revolution on the continent. And, although with pessimism, she referred to the hope that the masses would one day awaken from the nationalist and revenge lethargy hovering over the humiliated Germany of the time, and so the Revolution would show its true strength by saying: “I was, I am and I will be.”
Being born in a country occupied by Russians, Germans and Austrians made Rosa Luxemburg look at the national question with distrust. The most “revolutionary” she heard from many of the insurgents against foreign power was based on the restoration of the Polish feudal state of the 15th and 16th centuries. At that time it represented in Europe one of the purest reminiscences of the landowner’s system of servitude. That political creature, impervious to the ideas of the French Revolution, was devoured by three modern and authoritarian states that contained the nascent germ of capital.
For Rosa, then, the national question was a setback and she based her appraisals on the need to internationalize the socialist and workers’ underground movement, as a way to quickly win the emancipation of the oppressed classes. Living later in Germany, a country that based its strength as capital on the unity built by Bismarck, convinced her that nationalism only engendered steps backward on the road to a Revolution that, given the state of things at the end of the 19th century, seemed imminent.
In fact, in Germany the Social Democratic Party became the strongest and most numerous left party in the world, generating expectations in all revolutionaries. The very advance of this force in parliament provoked the removal of ultra-conservative and monarchical elements from the public sphere. But it also favored the establishment of pacts between that left and the central power of the State. It was the beginning of the historical betrayal of social democracy from Marxist socialism.
Rosa, who never felt Polish – much less German – encouraged this powerful left to extend eastwards, capturing countries under the aegis of old feudal empires, such as Russia. She saw in the mass movement of 1905 against the Tsar the beginning of the end of the crowned heads and the other European Caesars. However, the pragmatism of leaders and ideologues of social democracy, such as Karl Kautsky, would clash with Luxembourg’s theory of socialism as a new culture, whose idea is placed beyond nationalism.
For Kautsky, the struggle against capital was one of “attrition,” inasmuch as strikes were only intended to move power momentarily, but never to bring about its downfall, and the young socialist movement “would not know what to do with the vacuum of authority.” But she [Rosa] saw in this what it was: an unprecedented concession to conservative power by the leadership of a party that was beginning to abandon its foundations, while reviewing Marx’s thesis 11 on Feuerbach (Transforming the World). Historical facts demonstrated the lucidity of the Polish revolutionary, as opposed to Kautsky’s reformism, in heated and dangerous polemics.
Many of those who, at the height of the 21st century, are surprised by the anti-popular cutback policies applied by the non-Marxist European left, forget that this betrayal began a long time ago. Perhaps it is not a bad memory, but a voluntary forgetfulness in order not to recognize the cynicism with which the revolutionary question has been handled since then by elements [who have] sold out to the interests of capital.
Marx warned that the original accumulation product of the plundering of the third world gave the European workers (a part of them) the possibility of becoming bourgeois and, therefore, defending interests far from total emancipation, guided only towards a nationalist, local question of the selfish improvement of their living conditions. The European worker will thus support not only a conservative pseudo-socialism, but also the hard fascist who guarantees a middle-class standard of living, as we are seeing in today’s Europe.
That is exactly the explanation of German social democracy, the model on which that same continental tendency was built during the Cold War (1945-1991), as a wild card against the Marxist socialism of Eastern Europe.
Social democracy should not surprise us, because since the beginning of the First World War, the budget for the Army was approved in the German parliament. [It was] the same [army] that would kill workers and peasants of the other rival imperialist nations of Europe. That fact marked Rosa Luxemburg’s distance when she founded the Spartacus League, the germ of the German Communist Party, which would be hated by social democrats, ultranationalists and monarchists alike.
The German failure in the trenches, which showed the impossibility of the “confluence” project. It put the country on the verge of total civil war, with revolutionary forces ready to drive for power. However, years of social-democratic government and conservative trade unions that agreed with the existing powers prevented the necessary unity of action.
A poster placed in every corner of Berlin appealed, in those hungry early morning hours of December 1918: “Whoever wants bread, let him bring the head of Rosa Luxemburg”. The black legend of Nazism began by blaming the revolutionary socialists for national disaster, as it would later do with the Jews. Worst of all, this poster was sent to hang by the president of the Republic and leader of the social democratic party, Rosa’s former comrade.
Days later, a group of Freikcorps (antecedents of the Nazi SS assault troops) advanced on a lonely 47-year-old woman, who had her skull smashed with rifle butts, and then threw her blood-dripping body into a Berlin canal. A Spartacist comrade sent an obituary to Lenin, leader of Bolshevik Russia, saying that she “took her revolutionary condition to the extreme.’
The Rose was uprooted, but not hope, much less History.