By Iroel Sanchez
September 23, 2022
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews
This Sunday, Cubans will vote in a referendum for a new Families Code that will mean a substantive development in rights and guarantees for all citizens, but especially for sexual minorities, the elderly, women and girls. In Cuba, for more than five decades, there has been paid maternity, the right of women to decide on their pregnancy with universal and free medical care, and to receive equal pay for equal work as men. All of this, part of guaranteeing legislation that now advances and is consolidated with the new Code, is nothing more than an aspiration for U.S. women.
However, the U.S. government, which in the name of Human Rights, unleashes wars, sanctions countries and applies against Cuba the longest and most complete system of economic punishment ever known, far from diminishing them, these days increases them by forcing any traveler to the Island who wants to visit U.S. territory to require a visa, thus damaging tourism, one of the main lines of the Cuban economy.
And worse: In its anti-Cuban propaganda war, Washington is now putting all the machinery of terrorism 2.0 in digital networks, which it finances for regime change on the island, to promote a vote against a Code that will allow, among many things, equal marriage and solidarity motherhood [surrogacy without exchange of money]. Experts say that in terms of sexual and family rights it is one of the most advanced legislations in the world and deals a hard blow to patriarchy.
Nevertheless, the U.S. foreign policy discourse sets itself up as a defender of women’s rights. It does so after creating, with its mujahideen friends, the backward Taliban to drive the Soviets out of Afghanistan, and which set back by thousands of years the freedoms that Afghan women won with a socialist-oriented government.
Or allying with the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the country Biden has just visited as an arms dealer, where women are deprived of any social and political life and condemned to medieval punishments if they deviate in the slightest from the strict rules established by a monarchy without parliament or elections of any kind. None of that arouses scruples in Washington, nor do the hundreds of women and girls “collateral damage” from its drone, helicopter and bomber fire in the Middle East and beyond.
That politicized, biased and opportunistic view of Human Rights, and in particular women’s rights, is President Joe Biden’s when he said this week at the UN to “stand with the brave citizens and brave women of Iran” over protests where the U.S. hand is evident.
Since the times when Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, back in 2009, admitted to Fared Zakariah on CNN that Washington was using Twitter to foment rebellions against the government in Tehran, much has evolved in technology but not in the cynicism installed in the White House.
Since then, there are enough elements, including U.S. diplomats arrested in the middle of previous protests, to know that although there may be real elements of nonconformity behind a street demonstration, as anywhere in the world, the long hand of the U.S. special services and the powerful media that are akin to them, are decisive in what the world perceives as real.
This time the motive is the death of young Masha Amini, who died in a police station in Tehran, after being arrested by the body known as the Morality Police, for not wearing the Islamic veil properly. The Iranian authorities have claimed that she died of a heart attack, and a security camera video released by them shows Amini in a kind of conference where only women are seen without any trace of violence, from which she gets up, walks, goes to talk to another woman and falls down on her own feet, receives medical attention and is taken away in an ambulance. Nothing to do with the victims of American drones, those tortured in clandestine prisons or Guantanamo and Abuh Ghraib, whose images outrage our retinas.
Much less the shooting of the crowds of women and children who flooded the Kabul airport trying to flee with the American troops who, in their stampede from Afghanistan, left Afghan women in the hands of the Taliban extremists. Closer to home, the names of anti-capitalist social activists Bertha Cáceres (Honduras) or Marielle Franco (Brazil), gunned down, have never been uttered by a U.S. leader. However, the mainstream media do not stop talking about the former and keep quiet about the latter.
For Afghan women, victims of a regime brought about by Washington’s failed adventures in the Middle East, there are no kind words among the governments of the West, nor for the Yemeni women who are dying themselves and their children from starvation or bullets in a war instigated by Riyadh and supported by Washington, nor for the Cuban women who day by day face the shortages imposed by the genocidal blockade that Biden is tightening against Cuba and who, starting this Sunday, despite this, will go out to vote for more and broader rights that U.S. women lack.
Double standards, hypocrisy, and geopolitical interests, zero legitimate concern for Human Rights, is the only thing shown by the American discourse on women, whether in America, Asia or the North Pole. “Brave”, for cynics, are those who with the truth right under their noses seem to ignore it.
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews
CNN journalist Jim Acosta is in the news because he had an incident with U.S. President Donald Trump during a press conference at the White House. Acosta first asked about President Donald Trump’s description of the caravan of Central American immigrants seeking to enter the United States as an “invasion”. Acosta accused Trump of demonizing them and in the exchange, a White House intern tried to remove the microphone but that time Acosta resisted and asked a second question about “the Russian investigation.”
As a result, Jim Acosta was expelled from the press conference and his White House credential was withdrawn. This has generated thousands of news dispatches. What none of those reports has remembered is that, when Jim Acosta was in Havana, “embedded” in the delegation headed by then-U.S. President Barack Obama who visited the island, he had another tense dialogue. That one was with Cuban leader Raul Castro, but no one tried to take his microphone or put him out of the room:
Jim Acosta: “Why do you have Cuban political prisoners and why don’t you release them?”
Raul Castro: “Give me the list of political prisoners now to release them. Or give me a list of names if there are political prisoners. And if there are those political prisoners, before nightfall they are going to be released.
Needless to say, Acosta did not turn in any lists, but no one expelled him from Cuba because of it.
CNN’s concern, and that of the American press in general, for political prisoners and liberties, and also its hostility toward Donald Trump, is a little selective. During his visit to Israel, which coincided with the numerous and harassed demonstrations by Palestinians in support of their prisoners in Israeli jails, nothing was asked of the Israeli President or said in those media about political prisoners in Israel.
As for the “invasion” of Central American emigrants, mainly Hondurans, neither Acosta nor CNN, nor any U.S. media has alluded to the responsibility of the United States for the state of poverty, social crisis and violence faced by the countries of the so-called Northern Triangle (Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras), who have been devastated by decades of dirty war and neoliberalism encouraged by Washington.
Particularly in the case of Honduras, when it began a path to address social needs, integrating into the education and health programs of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA) was impacted in 2009 by the military coup that began the U.S. counteroffensive in Latin America aiming to re-establish its hegemony in the region. That was led by Barack Obama’s White House, who by the way has been the U.S. president who has deported more immigrants than any other in history.
In Honduras, 15 journalists were murdered after that coup supported by the United States.There is even a video in which the murder of an informant is ordered, after the uncomfortable question to a powerful businessman linked to the coup plotters (see 10:25 minutes of the documentary The Deadliest Place in the World for a Journalist: which has been on the Internet since October 2011), but neither Democrats nor Republicans demonstrated on the matter, much less CNN nor any US corporate media. https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=633&v=dvg1JcvC3KM
One thing that Trump, Jim Acosta, Barack Obama, CNN and all the “free press” agree on is that the United States, unlike Cuba, is a country with democracy and freedom of expression, but more and more common things happen there in the countries classified as “banana republics,” a term coined in his volume of stories Cabbages and Kings by the American writer O. Henry to refer to Honduras, something that is the result of repeated military interventions and economic looting, along with the export of violence, armed gangs and corruption, as well as the export of violence, armed gangs and corruption.
But what is happening in Trump’s United States, with scandals over the president’s relations with prostitutes, dismissals of officials for spurious motives, and even brothel owners who win elections even after death, surpasses novels like The Autumn of the Patriarch or the Resource of the Method. Of course, these are conclusions too deep to be told by Jim Acosta or CNN, and, if they were to be addressed, it would be to say that it is the exceptional result of the management of an irresponsible madman, never of a system where he sends the money and thanks to which a tycoon who runs a country as if it were his company was able to become President.
CubaNews translation edited by Walter Lippmann.
A CubaNews translation. Edited by Walter Lippmann.
Antonio Guerrero, a member of the group of comrades Heroes of the Republic known as The Five, referred in his Facebook profile to the post of Raul Capote on the same social network entitled “I AM IN THE CANDIDATURE”. It is not surprising that those who rushed to take advantage of the words of the wife of one of our heroes to attack the legitimacy of the ongoing electoral process in Cuba, against the intention of that comrade, now keep silent on both Tony’s words and those of another Hero of the Group of Five, Gerardo Hernández Nordelo, which we published before.
“SELFISHNESS IS THE STAIN ON THE WORLD AND DISINTEREST ITS SUN ” JOSÉ MARTÍ
Capote, the last time we met I told you about my limitations to get into the networks [the internet]. I have read your writing and here I am trying to publish something. I AM ALSO AMONG THE CANDIDATES. “The well-told truth, said in time dissipates, as if they were smoke, its enemies.” And I continue with the Apostle. “The duty of a man is where he is most useful.” And “[it] must be fulfilled simply and naturally”. If everyone does their part “nothing can defeat us”.
And what I think is essential to Marti’s thoughts: “If I ever was of any use, I can’t remember: what I want is to be of more use”.
Eternal glory to our National Hero José Martí!
Fools like Silvio and his song.
Faithful always to Fidel and the Revolution.
EVER ONWARD TO VICTORY!
LONG LIVE FREE CUBA!
Words from Raúl Capote on his Facebook profile to which Tony refers:
In the candidacy for the ANPP there are those who have to be. There are the workers, the peasants, the students, the humble citizen and the brilliant professor, the heroes and the unknown, working men and women, the Chinese, the black, the mulatto, the white… a broad spectrum of Cuban society.
That the modest and unknown student, almost adolescent, is there, is good; that the peasant from way out in the mountain, the self-employed, our next-door men and women, women of the neighborhood, very, is very, very good.
There are the non-state sector, health, research, education, as well as the peasant and the cooperative member, workers of culture, the media, the military, sports, religious institutions and social organizations.
We are not going to vote for an assembly only of generals and doctors, there are the people, the free country represented in all its dignity.
Of the 605 Parliament candidates nominated on January 21, 47.4% are delegates from constituencies; therefore, all municipalities in the country will have representation in Parliament with at least two deputies, and one of them of municipal origin.
Women represent 53.22%, which places us as the second Parliament in the world with the largest female participation, “The vote of an entire people, of all the constant and visible entities of the Cuban people that can speak frankly, is an honor such that it anoints the one who receives it, cleanses his heart of the passions that could disturb him, and magnifies, as if by divine dispensation, the sworn forces over all the obligations of the earth, taking it to the first and foremost one: to build man a safe and decorous house on the independent soil of the homeland”. (Jose Marti)
Our democracy, new, sincere and truly popular, is based on Marti’s principle, With all and for the good of all; and it needs, given the danger of the greater war that is being waged against us, the unity of the revolutionaries. Such is the main legacy of Fidel, UNITY UNITY UNITY
Comrades all, let us all vote for all. I am also among the candidates, not in name but worthy and fully represented.
This is an English translation of a posting on Iroel Sanchez’ blog, La Pupila Insomne.
January 29, 2018
A CubaNews translation. Edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews
On Saturday, January 27,  I posted a comment on Raúl Capote Fernández’s Facebook profile to which Gerardo Hernández Nordelo, Hero of the Republic of Cuba, replied as follows:
“Certainly, brother Iroel, anyone who has an honest opinion has the right to express it, but it’s outrageous to see the way some opportunists who never raised their voice in defense of The Five when it was most needed are now throwing up their hands in horror to ‘defend us’ by adding fuel to the fire…”
This was Gerardo’s reply to my comment:
“Right this minute I can’t but remember that the owner of the journal OnCuba described as ‘unfortunate’ musician Francis del Río’s demand of freedom for The Five on Miami television. ‘It’s like going to a synagogue to speak ill of the Jews”, the said owner remarked at the time, putting Southern Florida’s filthy media on a level with a temple, and stating the journal’s view that Alan Gross was the ‘U.S. contractor imprisoned in Cuba for acts against the law’—it could be assumed that he drove through the red light or a ‘Stop’ rather than being involved in U.S. Cuba policy of subversion. Our heroes, however, were serving ‘harsh sentences’—never unjust ones—‘because they were working for the Cuban State Security apparatus.”