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 […]
====================================== CUBA.- EU.- QUE SE ENTIENDE POR NORMALIZAR Por: Dr. Néstor García Iturbe En los últimos meses, sin duda alguna, una de las palabras que más se ha escuchado ha sido normalizar. Cuando utilizamos los diccionarios para buscar el verdadero significado de esta palabra, encontramos que la misma significa “Someter a norma. Poner en buen orden.” (Diccionario Manual Ilustrado VOX de la Lengua Española); “Regularizar o poner en buen orden lo que no estaba. Hacer que una cosa sea normal.” (Diccionario Océano Práctico de la Lengua Española). Normalizar puede tener un efecto beneficioso o perjudicial, según la norma a que se someta el hecho. Lo normal es que la madre sienta cariño por sus hijos. Que el maestro se preocupe por la instrucción y educación de sus alumnos. Que una mujer en estado pueda tener un parto feliz. Que un estudiante aplicado pueda terminar su carrera universitaria. También es normal que si usted prende un fosforo cerca de la gasolina, esta entre en combustión o explote. Si usted utiliza un auto y no se preocupa por asegurarse de que cuente con el aceite y el agua necesario, lo normal es que el motor se destruya. Si a un enfermo usted no le suministra la medicina y los cuidados necesarios, lo normal es que muera. Considero que estos ejemplos son suficientes para establecer que la normalización de una situación puede estar determinada por la relación existente entre dos países o personas. Lo normal es que un amigo ayude al otro. También puede considerarse normal que un enemigo trate de destruir al que considera su enemigo. En ambos casos se actúa de forma normal. Esto puede influir en el concepto de lo que uno u otro considera normal. Estoy plenamente convencido, que la acción realizada por la USAID el día 9 de septiembre, dos días antes de que comenzaran en la Habana las reuniones de las comisiones en pro de la normalización de relaciones, ellos consideran que están dentro de la mayor normalidad. El 9 de septiembre, la USAID anunció que está buscando administradores para sus programas contra Cuba. El salario que ofrecen está entre los 90, 823 a los 139,523 dólares anuales . Las personas que están tratando de contratar deben tener experiencia en promoción de la democracia, derechos humanos, desarrollo de la sociedad civil, desarrollo comunitario y formación de grupos juveniles. Como es lógico pensar, estos son los programas de subversión político ideológica que piensan desarrollar en los sectores mencionados, por eso requieren los llamados “administradores.” En el anuncio de la USAID se plantea que “ Successful candidates must obtain a “secret” security clearance within nine months of accepting the position. Information deemed “secret” is defined as that which would “cause serious damage to national security” if disclosed. Así que estos “administradores” deberán pasar el chequeo de seguridad y obtener el famoso “clearance” pues lo que realicen o conozcan, si es divulgado, puede causar serios daños a la seguridad nacional. ¿Pueden ustedes imaginarse que tenebrosas actividades desarrollará la USAID contra Cuba, que de divulgarse causaría serios daños a la Seguridad Nacional de Estados Unidos? Entre otras cosas, en el anuncio de la USAID se plantea que Cuba es un país “sin presencia física” lo cual significa que la USAID no cuenta con una oficina en el mismo por lo que la actividad se dirigirá desde Washington, lo que nos hace pensar que estos tenebrosos planes se ejecutarán por los “diplomáticos” estadounidenses asignados a la Embajada en la Habana y el envío periódico de personas con el manto de profesores universitarios, periodistas, académicos, miembros de organizaciones juveniles y otros. Para terminar la oferta de trabajo se plantea que las solicitudes a estos cargos deben presentarse antes del día 8 de octubre a las 9:00 am., aunque de acuerdo a los listados de la USAID estos puestos de trabajo se había informado comenzarían en septiembre del 2015. Todo de lo más normal. La USAID haciendo su trabajo para tratar de destruir al enemigo que se ha apoderado de Cuba. Mientras tanto, las conversaciones siguen adelante.
CUBA.- EU.- What is Meant by “Normalization”?
By: Dr. Néstor García Iturbe
September 10, 2015 In recent months, without a doubt, one of the words most often heard has been “normalization”. When we use dictionaries to find the true meaning of this word, we find that it means “Subject to rule. Put in good order ” (Manual VOX Illustrated Dictionary of the Spanish Language).; “Regulate or put in good order what was not. Make that one thing is normal. “(Ocean Practical Dictionary of the Spanish Language). Normalization can have a beneficial or detrimental effect, depending on the standard to which the fact is submitted. Typically, a mother feels affection for her children. The teacher worries about the instruction and education of their students. It is said that a woman can have a happy birth. A diligent student can finish college. It is also normal that if you light a match near gasoline bursts into flame or explodes. If you use a car and do not worry about making sure that has the necessary oil and water, it is normal that the engine is destroyed. If you are sick you do not receive the necessary medicine and care, it is normal to die. I believe that these examples are sufficient to establish that the normalization of a situation can be determined by the relationship between two countries or people. Typically, one friend helps another. It is also considered normal for an enemy to try to destroy whomever it considers its enemy. In both cases such acts are normal. This can influence the concept of what either considers to be normal. I am convinced that the action taken by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) on September 9, two days before the start of meetings in Havana of the committees towards the normalization of relations, is what they feel are normal. On September 9, USAID announced that it is seeking managers for its programs against Cuba. The salary offered is between $90,823 to $139,523 per year. The people whom they are trying to hire must have experience in promoting democracy, human rights, civil society development, community development and the training of youth groups. As is logical, these are the political and ideological subversion programs that USAID plans to develop in these sectors, so they require so-called “administrators.” In the announcement from the USAID, it states that “Successful candidates must obtain a “secret” security clearance Within nine months of accepting the position. Information deemed “secret” is defined as that which would “cause serious damage to national security” if it were disclosed. So these “managers” must pass the security check and get the famous “clearance” for what conduct or be known, which if disclosed, could cause serious damage to national security. Can you imagine that USAID develop dark activities against Cuba, which if disclosed would cause serious damage to the national security of the United States? Among other things, in the announcement from USAID it arises that Cuba is a country “without physical presence” which means that USAID does not have an office in the Cuba so that the activity will be directed from Washington, what makes us think that these sinister plans will be implemented by “diplomats” assigned to the US Embassy in Havana and sending periodic persons with the mantle of university professors, journalists, academics, members of youth organizations and others. To finish the job it is suggested that requests these charges due on October 8th at 9:00 am., But according to listings of these jobs USAID had been reported to begin in September 2015. All very normal. USAID is doing its job to try to destroy the enemy that has gripped Cuba. Meanwhile, talks are continuing.
Google translation. Revised by Walter Lippmann.
10 de septiembre 2015
CUBA.- EU.- QUE SE ENTIENDE POR NORMALIZAR
Por: Dr. Néstor García Iturbe
En los últimos meses, sin duda alguna, una de las palabras que más se ha escuchado ha sido normalizar.
Cuando utilizamos los diccionarios para buscar el verdadero significado de esta palabra, encontramos que la misma significa “Someter a norma. Poner en buen orden.” (Diccionario Manual Ilustrado VOX de la Lengua Española); “Regularizar o poner en buen orden lo que no estaba. Hacer que una cosa sea normal.” (Diccionario Océano Práctico de la Lengua Española).
Normalizar puede tener un efecto beneficioso o perjudicial, según la norma a que se someta el hecho.
Lo normal es que la madre sienta cariño por sus hijos. Que el maestro se preocupe por la instrucción y educación de sus alumnos.
Que una mujer en estado pueda tener un parto feliz. Que un estudiante aplicado pueda terminar su carrera universitaria.
También es normal que si usted prende un fosforo cerca de la gasolina, esta entre en combustión o explote. Si usted utiliza un auto y no se preocupa por asegurarse de que cuente con el aceite y el agua necesario, lo normal es que el motor se destruya. Si a un enfermo usted no le suministra la medicina y los cuidados necesarios, lo normal es que muera.
Considero que estos ejemplos son suficientes para establecer que la normalización de una situación puede estar determinada por la relación existente entre dos países o personas.
Lo normal es que un amigo ayude al otro. También puede considerarse normal que un enemigo trate de destruir al que considera su enemigo. En ambos casos se actúa de forma normal. Esto puede influir en el concepto de lo que uno u otro considera normal.
Estoy plenamente convencido, que la acción realizada por la USAID el día 9 de septiembre, dos días antes de que comenzaran en la Habana las reuniones de las comisiones en pro de la normalización de relaciones, ellos consideran que están dentro de la mayor normalidad.
El 9 de septiembre, la USAID anunció que está buscando administradores para sus programas contra Cuba. El salario que ofrecen está entre los 90, 823 a los 139,523 dólares anuales .
Las personas que están tratando de contratar deben tener experiencia en promoción de la democracia, derechos humanos, desarrollo de la sociedad civil, desarrollo comunitario y formación de grupos juveniles. Como es lógico pensar, estos son los programas de subversión político ideológica que piensan desarrollar en los sectores mencionados, por eso requieren los llamados “administradores.”
En el anuncio de la USAID se plantea que “ Successful candidates must obtain a “secret” security clearance within nine months of accepting the position. Information deemed “secret” is defined as that which would “cause serious damage to national security” if disclosed.
Así que estos “administradores” deberán pasar el chequeo de seguridad y obtener el famoso “clearance” pues lo que realicen o conozcan, si es divulgado, puede causar serios daños a la seguridad nacional. ¿Pueden ustedes imaginarse que tenebrosas actividades desarrollará la USAID contra Cuba, que de divulgarse causaría serios daños a la Seguridad Nacional de Estados Unidos?
Entre otras cosas, en el anuncio de la USAID se plantea que Cuba es un país “sin presencia física” lo cual significa que la USAID no cuenta con una oficina en el mismo por lo que la actividad se dirigirá desde Washington, lo que nos hace pensar que estos tenebrosos planes se ejecutarán por los “diplomáticos” estadounidenses asignados a la Embajada en la Habana y el envío periódico de personas con el manto de profesores universitarios, periodistas, académicos, miembros de organizaciones juveniles y otros.
Para terminar la oferta de trabajo se plantea que las solicitudes a estos cargos deben presentarse antes del día 8 de octubre a las 9:00 am., aunque de acuerdo a los listados de la USAID estos puestos de trabajo se había informado comenzarían en septiembre del 2015.
Todo de lo más normal. La USAID haciendo su trabajo para tratar de destruir al enemigo que se ha apoderado de Cuba.
Mientras tanto, las conversaciones siguen adelante.
NEITHER ENEMIES, NOR RIVALS, NEIGHBORS
By: Dr. Néstor García Iturbe
August 14, 2015
A CubaNews translation. Edited by Walter Lippmann.
Today, in his speech in the city of Havana, the Secretary of State of the United States Government, John Kerry, exlained the actions the Obama administration plans to implement in relation to Cuba, including the efforts it has done and will do with Congress to try to achieve the lifting of the blockade.
Mr. Kerry delivered some parts of his speech in Spanish, probably to prevent the translation changing what he wanted to convey. He wanted the message to directly reach all present. In Spanish language he clearly said:
“We are neither enemies nor rivals, we are neighbors.”
This was a very important phrase from Mr. Kerry, as well as was his description of the efforts of the Obama administration to achieve the lifting of the blockade.
I believe that within a little more than twenty days –certainly soon enough– President Obama will have the opportunity to take an action that will confirm his efforts for the elimination of the blockade, and also give proof to the idea that Cuba and the United States are neither enemy nor rivals, but neighbors.
On September 5, 2014, President Barack Obama extended the Trading with the Enemy Act for Cuba for another year. This action was part of the continuation of the blockade against our country.
The Trading with the Enemy Act was approved by Congress on October 6, 1917, and gives the President the power to restrict trade with countries considered “hostile” to the United States. Section 5(b) gives the chief executive the possibility of applying economic sanctions in wartime, or in any other period of national emergency, and prohibits trading with the enemy or its allies during military conflict.
Under this law, the oldest of its kind, the Regulations for the Control of Cuban Assets were adopted in 1963, after the blockade against Cuba was declared in 1962 by President John F. Kennedy. Cuba is the only country against which this legislation is in force after it was suspended for North Korea in 2008. Other countries like China and Vietnam were also subject to the application of this legislation in the past.
Although since 1959 the White House has never declared a national emergency with respect to our country, successive US presidents have extended and applied this law to Cuba. In addition to this legislation, the legal framework of the blockade is broad and complex. It includes other laws and administrative regulations such as the Foreign Assistance Act (1961), the Export Administration Law (1979), the Torricelli Law (1992), the Helms-Burton Law (1996) and the Export Administration Regulations(1979).
The action of extending the Trading with the Enemy Act for Cuba is repeated every year. It has become a routine procedure for the White House which, after 50 years, has not given up this outdated and failed policy toward Cuba. Meanwhile, internal debate for a change of policy in the US grows. Once again the US government will be internationally isolated when the overwhelming majority of states vote in favor of Cuba’s resolution calling for the elimination of the economic, commercial and financial blockade, which is presented each year to the United Nations General Assembly since 1992.” (1)
We heard the statements of the Secretary of State, Mr. Kerry, declaring that Cuba is not an enemy or a rival, but a neighbor. It would not be consistent with such statement to see that President Obama –who a year ago extended the Trading with the Enemy Act for Cuba –extends it again for another year, until September 2016.
Now Obama, who has the power to exclude Cuba from the Act, can give a sign of seriousness in his approach and prove he is pursuing a consistent policy aimed at improving relations with Cuba.
Go ahead Mr. Obama, go ahead Mr. Kerry. Show that when you say something, you do not change your minds.
This is asked by your neighbors, not your enemies.
(1) Cubaminrex/ Dirección General de EE.UU.
CUBA.- EU.- NI ENEMIGOS NI RIVALES, VECINOS
Por : Dr. Néstor García Iturbe
14 de agosto 2015
En el discurso que pronunció en la ciudad de la Habana, en el día de hoy ,el Secretario de Estado del gobierno de Estados Unidos, John Kerry, estableció las acciones que la administración Obama tiene planificado ejecutar en relación con Cuba, incluyendo los esfuerzos que realiza y realizará con el Congreso, para tratar de lograr el levantamiento del bloqueo.
Algunas partes del discurso el señor Kerry las pronunció en español, seguramente para evitar que la traducción pudiera modificar lo que deseaba trasladar y que el mensaje llegara directamente a todos los presentes. Claramente en idioma español dijo: “No somos ni enemigos ni rivales, somos vecinos.”
Muy importante esta frase del señor Kerry y su descripción de los esfuerzos de la administración Obama por lograr el levantamiento del bloqueo. Considero que dentro de un poco más de veinte días, bastante cercano por cierto, el presidente Obama tiene oportunidad de realizar una acción, que ratificará sus esfuerzos por la eliminación del bloqueo y además, que Cuba y Estados Unidos no somos ni enemigo sin rivales, sino vecinos.
El 5 de septiembre del año 2014, el presidente Barack Obama prorrogó para Cuba, por un año más, la Ley de Comercio con el Enemigo ,lo que es una acción que forma parte de la continuidad del bloqueo contra nuestro país. “La Ley de Comercio con el Enemigo fue aprobada por el Congreso Federal el 6 de octubre de 1917 y le otorga al Presidente la facultad para restringir el comercio con países “hostiles” a Estados Unidos.
La sección 5 (b) delega en el máximo jefe del Ejecutivo la posibilidad de aplicar sanciones económicas en tiempo de guerra o en cualquier otro período de emergencia nacional, y prohíbe el comercio con el enemigo o sus aliados durante conflictos bélicos.
En virtud de esta ley, la más antigua de su tipo, se adoptaron las Regulaciones para el Control de Activos Cubanos en 1963, luego de que fuera declarado el bloqueo contra Cuba en 1962 por el presidente John F. Kennedy.
Cuba es el único país para el cual está vigente esta legislación luego de que en 2008, fuera suspendida para Corea del Norte. Otros países como China y Vietnam también fueron objeto de la aplicación de esta legislación en el pasado. Aún cuando la Casa Blanca nunca ha declarado una emergencia nacional con respecto a nuestro país desde 1959, sucesivos presidentes estadounidenses han prorrogado esta ley para Cuba.
Además de esta legislación, el entramado legal del bloqueo es amplio y complejo ya que abarca otras leyes y regulaciones administrativas como la Ley para la Asistencia Exterior (1961), la Ley para la Administración de las Exportaciones (1979), la Ley Torricelli (1992), la Ley Helms-Burton (1996) y las Regulaciones para la Administración de las Exportaciones (1979).
La acción de prorrogar la Ley de Comercio con el Enemigo para Cuba se repite cada año por lo que se ha convertido en un procedimiento rutinario de la Casa Blanca, que luego de más de 50 años no ha renunciado a esta obsoleta y fracasada política hacia Cuba.
Mientras tanto, se acrecienta el debate interno en EE.UU. a favor del cambio de la política y una vez más el gobierno estadounidense quedará aislado ante la abrumadora mayoría de los Estados que votarán a favor de la resolución de Cuba reclamando la eliminación del bloqueo económico, comercial y financiero, que es presentada cada año en la Asamblea General de las Naciones Unidas desde 1992.” (1)
Después de haber escuchado los pronunciamientos del Secretario de Estado, señor Kerry , donde declara que Cuba no es un enemigo ni un rival, que es un vecino, no sería consecuente con ese pronunciamiento que el presidente Obama, al cumplirse un año de haber prorrogado para Cuba la Ley de Comercio con el Enemigo, la prorrogue nuevamente por otro año, hasta septiembre del 2016.
Ahora Obama, que tiene la facultad de no incluir a Cuba en dicha Ley, puede dar una muestra de seriedad en sus planteamientos y de que está llevando a cabo una política consecuente encaminada a mejorar las relaciones con Cuba. Adelante señor Obama, adelante señor Kerry. Muestren, que cuando dicen algo, no cambian de opinión. Se lo piden sus vecinos, no sus enemigos.
(1) Cubaminrex/ Dirección General de EE.UU.
CRISIS AND HOPE IN PUERTO RICO
By Manuel E. Yepe
A CubaNews translation. Edited by Walter Lippmann.
These days, the “For sale” sign on houses can be seen all over the place in San Juan, Puerto Rico and other cities on the island. These signs have been put up by more than 144,000 Puerto Ricans who are leaving the island to go abroad in search of employment. Some of these ads read, as a sort of retaliation against those responsible for their misfortune:
“THIS HOUSE IS FOR SALE, BUT NOT TO AMERICANS”
The current plight of Puerto Rico, however painful, could be the harbinger of a new awakening of patriotic awareness among the Puerto Rican people. This could open the way to their deserved inclusion in the part of America where they rightfully belong.
Puerto Ricans cannot be blamed for their misfortunes in the current crisis when foreign trade, currency, communications, citizenship and nationality laws and procedures, internal and external navigation, migration, labor and wage procedures, the land, airspace, coasts, and borders, ports, forests, minerals, as well as citizen military service and defense of the country are all the responsibility of a foreign power.
Since the US invasion of the island in 1898, Puerto Rico has successively experienced: military occupation in the first two years, a civilian government with a governor and supreme judge appointed by the president of the United States until 1948, and a native governor of annexationist orientation (Luis Muñoz Marín), also appointed by Washington, with a bicameral legislature restricted to bilingual property owners subject to imperial veto.
In 1952, it became a “Associated Free State” and. to mask its colonial status, Washington gave the island the right to a constitution and the election of a governor and parliamentarians, while maintaining and ensuring the country’s colonial subordination to the United States.
Currently on the small territory of Puerto Rico there are about 15 bases commanded by the US Atlantic Command (LANTCOM). The current state of bankruptcy of Puerto Rico is because –as its governor, Alexander Padilla said– the country does not have money to pay its debt of $73 billion dollars to its creditors. This amount represents 100 percent of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
The country has not even been able to honor a partial payment of $58 million to the Public Financing Corporation (PFC) of which it has only managed to pay the amount of $628,000. The colonial government has officially declared itself unable to pay the debt (default), and there is not a glimpse of a solution for now. Neither Washington nor the IMF have ruled on the matter, or have contributed remedial solutions that would prevent the country from becoming insolvent by the end of this summer.
Peruvian journalist Vicky Pelaez, in the Russian magazine Sputnik, expresses the view that “actually, the country’s debt began to grow in the 1970s. “Its economy, since the middle of last century was based mainly on the pharmaceutical industry; but with the appearance of maquiladoras in Mexico and Asia, this sector began to move to those regions in search of cheaper labor and higher productivity.”
“To attract multinational corporations to the island, Washington exempted them from paying taxes and thus further weakened the local economy.” The country, with its policy of mortgage liberalization, was further affected by the mortgage crisis of the beginning of the 21st Century. In 2006, the governor of Puerto Rico, alarmed by its weak GDP growth, made the decision to suspend the tax exemption for corporations. This led to the exodus and closing of companies.
The country went into recession and the migration of Puerto Ricans, mainly to Florida and New York, grew alarmingly. Today, 45% of the total 3.5 million inhabitants of the island live in poverty, and 83% its of children live in poor areas.
Puerto Rico suffers the consequences of classic colonialism, in which a foreign country makes decisions for it and has the military and political capacity to manage the public and collective life of another country.
But the news coming from the island reflects a deepening awareness that the elimination of the US colonial system –which has been in place over the past 117 years– is the only road to achieving independence and the full exercise of its national sovereignty. These will bring about the recognition and international support indispensable for the country’s development.
August 22, 2015.
LA CRISIS Y LAS ESPERANZAS DE PUERTO RICO
Por Manuel E. Yepe
Por estos días proliferan por doquier en San Juan de Puerto Rico y otras ciudades de la isla anuncios de la puesta en venta de viviendas fijados por más de 144.000 puertorriqueños que están abandonando la isla para marchar al exterior en busca de empleo. Algunos de estos carteles expresan, como pretendida represalia a los causantes de su desgracia:
“SE VENDE ESTA CASA, PERO NO A LOS AMERICANOS”
La grave situación actual de Puerto Rico, por dolorosa que sea, pudiera constituir el augurio de un nuevo despertar de la conciencia patriótica del pueblo borinqueño que le abra merecido paso a su plena inclusión en la parte de América a que pertenece por derecho propio.
No se puede responsabilizar por desgracias como la actual crisis a los puertorriqueños, cuando el comercio exterior, la moneda, las comunicaciones, las leyes y procedimientos de ciudadanía y nacionalidad, la navegación interna y externa, los procedimientos migratorios, laborales y salariales, la tierra, los espacios aéreos, las costas y fronteras, los puertos, los bosques, el subsuelo mineral, así como el servicio militar ciudadano y la defensa del país, son de la incumbencia de un poder extranjero.
Desde la invasión estadounidense de la Isla en 1898, Puerto Rico ha conocido, sucesivamente, la ocupación militar en los dos primeros años; un gobierno civil con gobernador y juez supremo nombrados por el presidente de Estados Unidos hasta 1948; un gobernador nativo de orientación anexionista (Luis Muñoz Marín), igualmente designado por Washington, con un cuerpo Legislativo bicameral restringido a propietarios bilingües sujeto a veto imperial, y un “Estado Libre Asociado”, instaurado en 1952 para enmascarar el status colonial, otorgando a la Isla derecho a una Constitución y a la elección de gobernador y parlamentarios, pero manteniendo y asegurando la subordinación colonial a Estados Unidos.
Actualmente hay en el reducido territorio de Puerto Rico unas 15 bases norteamericanas bajo el mando US Atlantic Command (LANTCOM). La actual situación de bancarrota en la que ha caído Puerto Rico obedece, ha dicho su gobernador Alejandro Padilla, a que el país no tiene dinero para pagar su deuda de 73 mil millones de dólares a sus acreedores, cifra que representa el 100 por ciento de su PIB (Producto Interno Bruto).
No ha podido siquiera cancelar en fecha reciente un pago parcial de 58 millones de dólares a la CFP (Corporación para el Financiamiento Público) del que sólo logró desembolsar una fracción de 628 mil dólares.
El Gobierno colonial se ha declarado oficialmente incapacitado para pagar la deuda (default) sin que se vislumbre solución por el momento. Ni Washington ni el Fondo Monetario Internacional se han pronunciado sobre el asunto ni han aportado soluciones remediales que eviten que el país se declare insolvente hacia el fin de este verano.
Según criterio de la periodista peruana Vicky Peláez en la revista rusa Sputnik, “en realidad la deuda del país empezó a crecer desde los años 1970. Su economía desde la mitad del siglo pasado estaba basada principalmente en la industria farmacéutica pero con la aparición de las maquiladoras en México y en Asia, este sector empezó a trasladarse a aquellas regiones en búsqueda de la mano de obra más barata y de mayor productividad.
Para atraer las corporaciones multinacionales a la isla, Washington las exoneró del pago de impuestos y con ello debilitó aún más a la economía local”. La crisis hipotecaria al comienzo del Siglo XXI afectó aún más al país con su política de liberalización de la hipoteca.
En 2006, el gobernador de Puerto Rico, alarmado por el débil crecimiento del PIB tomó la decisión de suspender la exención fiscal a las corporaciones lo que provocó el éxodo y el cierre de las compañías. El país entró en recesión y la emigración de boricuas, principalmente a la Florida y Nueva York creció alarmantemente.
Hoy, un 45 por ciento del total de 3,5 millones de habitantes de la isla vive en la pobreza y el 83 por ciento de los niños habitan en áreas pobres. Puerto Rico sufre las consecuencias del coloniaje clásico, aquel en el que un país extranjero decide y tiene capacidad violenta y política para administrar la vida pública y colectiva de otro país.
Pero las noticias que llegan de allí reflejan una profundización de la conciencia de que la eliminación del sistema colonial a que ha estado sometido por Estados Unidos durante los últimos 117 años es el único camino hacia el logro de la independencia y el ejercicio pleno de su soberanía nacional, propiciadores del reconocimiento y apoyo internacional indispensables para el desarrollo del país.
Agosto 22 de 2015.
By Mileyda Menéndez Dávila
February 27, 2015 22:07:41 CDT
Updated: Thursday, September 21, 2017 | 11:19:15 PM
A CubaNews translation. Edited by Walter Lippmann.
CIENFUEGOS: She entered through the door when there were almost no more people. She waited for the last one in line and asked the heavens not to let anyone else in. But it’s almost impossible to find an empty pharmacy in Cuba. Then she left. I wouldn’t be able to stand those prying eyes again when I asked the salesgirl for five pesos worth of condoms.
Like her, many women are ashamed to buy condoms. Despite education and advocacy on these issues, they prefer to risk unprotected sexual intercourse rather than purchase them in a public institution.
Although the product is easy to access, buying it is for many a personal challenge. Adolescent girls worry that people will know or suspect them to be sexually active; unmarried women fear being labeled promiscuous; married women fear being unfaithful; and women over the age of 50 fear being ridiculed.
These are criteria that deny women’s empowerment in sexuality and therefore limit the practice of some sexual and reproductive rights.
In an article on the subject, the Mexican writer Luza Alvarado explains: “The heart of the matter is in the fear that causes us to accept that women are desirous subjects (…). For centuries, women were educated to be a passive object, whose desire was only legitimate when it was placed in function of male desire. That scheme persists in our collective unconscious through prejudice and unwritten rules like “condoms are his business”.
This leaves it up to men to buy them, open them, put them on, avoid spills or breakages and throw them in the trash. Some, however, reject them, claiming that they do not experience the same sensations or that they are harmed. And as they see themselves as without alternatives, they give in to these excuses and venture into a game of Russian roulette whose price can be an unwanted pregnancy and even a sexually transmitted infection.
Studies conducted in Mexico in 2010 reveal that 83 percent of women in that country do not buy or carry a condom because of social prejudice. They fear being considered “easy women”, which contradicts the difficulty of often demanding responsible intercourse from men.
Take care of you (and me)
“The condom prevents the exchange of fluids between the penis and the vagina, which can not only transmit HIV, but also other infections such as the papilloma virus, a frequent cause of cervical cancer,” says Cienfuegos psychologist Yanisuleidy Tamayo Días, who recommends the use of this barrier method even in steady couples.
“Despite the myths, the low number of women diagnosed with HIV compared to men reflects that Cuban women do protect themselves. Most cases occur in married women, who acquire the disease from their steady partners. Several surveys confirm this,” she explains.
That is the price of the cultural stereotypes that still regulate female behavior. It takes a lot of effort not to trust our partner’s appearance or word, but it is necessary to take the initiative in terms of precaution.
Writer Luza Alvarado sums it up as follows: “Every exercise of freedom implies taking responsibility. (….) I feel that if something can prevail over time as a positive and transversal value, it is personal health care, which in the case of sexual life becomes caring for the other, of the community and of society.
“The biggest advantage is that it works like life insurance: if the man doesn’t carry condoms and we both feel like it, I don’t put my sexual health in his hands. It doesn’t matter if it’s casual sex or a more serious relationship, life is what’s at stake and if you take care of yourself you’re taking care of each other, your other potentials and your partner’s potential others… I mean, taking care of yourself is taking care of everyone.”
Also in Cuba, many women are a little apprehensive about the act of buying condoms. For them we bring some tricks, such as asking one or two friends to go with them, buying them along with other medicines, looking for a place where it is a man who dispatches and trying to get a low turnout (early morning or early evening).
The best advice is to always remember that this action shows you as a responsible woman, aware of the risks you take, and that for you to protect yourself is not just an option, but a vital obligation.
Mileyda Menéndez Dávila
27 de Febrero del 2015 22:07:41 CDT
CIENFUEGOS.— Entró por la puerta cuando ya no había casi personas. Esperó por la última en la cola y pidió a los cielos que no llegara nadie más. Pero es casi imposible encontrar una farmacia vacía en Cuba. Entonces se fue. No sería capaz de soportar de nuevo aquellas miradas indiscretas cuando pedía cinco pesos de condones a la dependienta.
Como ella, muchas mujeres sienten vergüenza de comprar preservativos. A pesar de la educación y la promoción en torno a estos temas, prefieren arriesgarse en una relación sexual desprotegida antes que adquirirlos en un establecimiento público.
A pesar de que es sencillo acceder al producto, comprarlo es para muchas un desafío personal. A las adolescentes les preocupa que la gente las sepa o sospeche sexualmente activas; las solteras temen ser calificadas de promiscuas; las casadas, de infieles; y las mayores de 50 años, de ridículas.
Son criterios que niegan el empoderamiento femenino en la sexualidad y, por ende, limitan la práctica de algunos derechos sexuales y reproductivos.
En un artículo sobre el tema, la escritora mexicana Luza Alvarado explica: «El meollo del asunto está en el miedo que nos provoca aceptar que la mujer es un sujeto deseante (…). Durante siglos, la mujer fue educada para ser un objeto pasivo, cuyo deseo solo era legítimo cuando se ponía en función del deseo masculino. Ese esquema persiste en nuestro inconsciente colectivo a través de prejuicios y reglas no escritas como “los condones le tocan a él”».
Así se deja a los hombres la responsabilidad de comprarlos, abrirlos, ponerlos, evitar derrames o rompimientos y botarlos a la basura. Sin embargo, algunos declaran su rechazo, al alegar que no experimentan las mismas sensaciones o que les hacen daño. Y como ellas se ven sin alternativas, ceden ante esas excusas y se aventuran en un juego de la ruleta rusa cuyo precio puede ser un embarazo no deseado y hasta una infección de transmisión sexual.
Estudios realizados en México en 2010 revelan que el 83 por ciento de las mujeres de ese país no compra o carga un condón por prejuicios sociales. Ellas temen ser consideradas «mujeres fáciles», lo cual contradice la dificultad que implica muchas veces exigir al hombre un coito responsable.
«El condón evita el intercambio de fluidos entre el pene y la vagina, los cuales no solo pueden transmitir el VIH, sino también otras infecciones como el papiloma virus, causa frecuente de cáncer cérvicouterino», comenta la psicóloga cienfueguera Yanisuleidy Tamayo Días, quien recomienda el uso de este método de barrera incluso en parejas estables.
«A pesar de los mitos, el bajo número de mujeres diagnosticadas con VIH, en comparación con el de los hombres, refleja que las cubanas sí se protegen. La mayoría de los casos se dan en las casadas, quienes adquieren la enfermedad con sus parejas estables. Varias encuestas así lo confirman», explica la especialista.
Ese es el precio de los estereotipos culturales que aún regulan la conducta femenina. Cuesta mucho no confiar en la apariencia o la palabra de nuestra pareja, pero es preciso tomar la iniciativa en materia de precauciones.
La escritora Luza Alvarado así lo resume: «Todo ejercicio de libertad implica una toma de responsabilidad. (…) Siento que si algo puede prevalecer en el tiempo como un valor positivo y transversal, es el cuidado personal de la salud, que en el caso de la vida sexual se convierte en un cuidado del otro, de la comunidad y de la sociedad.
«La mayor ventaja es que funciona como un seguro de vida: si el hombre no lleva condones y ambos tenemos ganas, no pongo mi salud sexual en sus manos. No importa si se trata de sexo casual o de una relación más seria, la vida es lo que está en juego y si uno se cuida está cuidando al otro, a sus potenciales otras y a los potenciales otros de ellas… O sea, cuidarse es cuidar a todos».
También en Cuba muchas sienten cierta aprensión hacia el acto de adquirir condones. Para ellas traemos algunos trucos, como pedirle a una o dos amigas que la acompañen, comprarlos junto a otros medicamentos, buscar un lugar donde sea un hombre quien despache y procurar horarios de poca afluencia de público (primeras horas de la mañana o en la noche).
El mejor consejo es recordar siempre que esa acción te muestra como una mujer responsable, consciente de los riesgos que asumes, y que para ti protegerte no es apenas una opción, sino una obligación vital.
LIKE AN IDYLLIC BEAUTY PAGEANT By Manuel E. Yepe
A CubaNews translation. Edited by Walter Lippmann. “Mainstream political commentators both liberal and conservative– would like us to believe that US Presidential contests are like beauty pageants. Primaries allow the two-party “beauties” to appear before the judges (the voters) to show their wares. Televised debates are meant to expose the contestants’ political personalities. And, in the fine tradition of high-school-civics-book democracy, the people are allowed to decide the winners.” “As polished and innocent as this shallow imagery appears, it hides a far more insidious process. We are deceived into confusing fantasy with reality. And our corporate media refuses to pull back the curtain to expose the deceit,” explains US Marxist political analyst Zoltan Zigedy in his article Wake me when it´s over. “Take the Republican primary, for example,” suggests Zigedy. “With 16 (or more) candidates announced as primary contestants, it looks like a multiple set of options for the voters. The truth is that most of the candidates have no hope of winning the nomination, but do hope to gain political advantage, jobs, or future consideration from the extremists of the Republican Party, that only serve as a social base for a future fascism.” “But they present a painful contradiction for the Republican Party, a party first and foremost serving the interests of monopoly capital. They can, and have won regional and local power, but they will not win a national election. The leaders of the Republican Party know this. They also know that the vulgar xenophobic right will not necessarily or consistently carry out the corporate agenda.” “The multi-billionaire Donald Trump’s campaign has been a setback for Republicans because it has brought the Republican social conservatism to center stage, which is a potentially deadly problem for the party. Although polls prior to the televised debate of candidates for the Republican nomination showed him with an advantage over others, Party leaders know that this would not result in a majority in a general election.” Fearing disaster, party big wigs call for moderation and the most likely Republican candidates will be “corporate” i.e. those who best represent the interests of monopoly capitalism, namely: Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio and Scott Walker. “For the Democratic Party the only thing that could resemble the Trump phenomenon is the case of progressive Bernie Sanders whose poll results are the closest to Hillary Clinton’s. But unlike Trump, Sanders’ most loyal followers pose no threat to Hillary. The afterglow of the Sanders’ populist revival will deflect critics of her corporate allegiances and rabid foreign policy.” According to Zigedy, “we stand in 2015 in the same position we stood in 2007.” The media are doing their best (hundreds of millions of advertising dollars are engaged) to create the excitement of a contest where the outcome will ultimately be decided more by fundraisers than by voters. Campaign veterans in both parties estimate that the winning candidate and (her) opponent will spend over a billion dollars before the election. Leftists can only wish that the Democratic Party had the same problems as the Republicans. We can only imagine that Hillary Clinton wakes up every night in a cold sweat, dreading the next morning’s news about Bernie Sanders. That is not happening. Like Trump, Sanders polls high among Democratic primary voters, but unlike Trump his numbers are far below Clinton’s numbers. Sanders has assured the Party establishment that he will not run independently of the Democratic Party or attack the Party or the primary victor. His main contribution seems to be avoiding the traditional turns to the right to win over the “vital” center. Zigedy believes that a true insurgent candidate would need to begin years before an election and build a formidable mass base to counteract the power of money and the entrenched Democratic leadership. The candidate would need to commit to building a movement that would encompass state and local organizations while promising to sustain movement building beyond the current and even future elections. That has not happened in the past and appears most unlikely with the Sanders campaign. August 8, 2015.
CUAL IDÍLICO CONCURSO DE BELLEZA Por Manuel E. Yepe http://manuelyepe.wordpress.com/ “Los comentaristas políticos de la gran prensa corporativa, tanto liberales como conservadores, quieren hacernos creer que las elecciones presidenciales estadounidenses son iguales que los concursos de belleza. Las primarias permiten a las bellezas de los dos partidos exhibirse ante los jueces (los votantes) para mostrar sus productos y los debates televisados pretenden exponer la personalidad política de los concursantes. Finalmente, según la más fina tradición democrática que enseñan los libros de educación cívica que se imparten en las escuelas, a las personas les estará permitido decidir los ganadores. “Pero tras este superficial e inocente imaginario se esconde un proceso mucho más insidioso mediante el cual somos engañados y llevados a confundir la fantasía con una realidad de la que nuestros medios corporativos se niegan a retirar la cortina para dejar ver el artificio”, explica el analista político marxista estadounidense Zoltan Zigedy en un trabajo que titula “Despiérteme cuando todo haya pasado”. Tomando como ejemplo las primarias republicanas, con al menos 16 aspirantes principales a convertirse en candidatos, Zigedy explica que, aunque ello parecería representar una multiplicidad de opciones para el elector, la verdad es que la mayoría de esos aspirantes a ser candidatos no tiene posibilidad alguna de ser nominados, sino apenas la esperanza de obtener ventajas políticas, puestos de trabajo o la consideración de las fuerzas extremistas de este partido que solo sirven como base social para un posible futuro fascismo. Estas fuerzas representan una contradicción dolorosa para el partido republicano, un partido orientado principalmente a servir a los intereses del capital monopolista que pueden y han ganado poder regional y local, pero que jamás ganarían a nivel nacional. Los dirigentes del partido republicano saben que la derecha xenofóbica ramplona no necesariamente, ni siempre, sería capaz de llevar a cabo la agenda corporativa de la organización. La campaña del multibillonario Donald Trump ha constituido una contrariedad para los republicanos porque les ha traído el conservadurismo social republicano al centro del escenario, lo que constituye un problema potencialmente mortal para el partido. Aunque las encuestas previas al debate televisado de aspirantes a la nominación republicana lo mostraban con una ventaja sobre los demás, los líderes del partido saben que ello no se traduciría en una mayoría en una elección general. Temiendo un desastre, ellos instan a moderación y de ahí que Zigedy estime que los candidatos republicanos más probables sean “corporativos”, como Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio y Scott Walker, los más significativamente al servicio de capital monopolista. En el partido demócrata, lo más parecido al fenómeno Trump, ha sido el caso del progresista Bernie Sanders cuyos números en las encuestas son los más cercanos a los de Hillary Clinton. Pero a diferencia de los de Trump, sus seguidores no representan una amenaza para Hillary. El resplandor del renacimiento populista de Sanders desviará a críticos de las lealtades corporativas de Clinton y sus inconsistencias en temas de política exterior. Según Zigedy “estamos en el año 2015 en la misma situación que en 2007”. Los medios de comunicación dedican cientos de millones de dólares de publicidad a crear la emoción de un concurso donde el resultado en última instancia será decidido más por la recaudación de fondos que por los votantes. Los veteranos de la campaña de ambos partidos estiman que el ganador y su oponente gastarán más de mil millones de dólares antes de las elecciones. Los izquierdistas desearían que el partido demócrata tuviera los mismos problemas que el republicano; que Hillary Clinton se despertara cada noche sudando frío por temor a los avances de la campaña de Bernie Sanders. Pero tal cosa no está sucediendo. Las encuestas sitúan a Sanders con un porcentaje de apoyo entre los votantes primarios del partido demócrata similar al de Trump entre los republicanos. Pero, a diferencia de Trump, Sanders está muy alejado de los números de Clinton en su partido. Sanders se ha comprometido con el partido demócrata a no hacer campaña independiente ni atacar a quien resulte ganador en las primarias demócratas y su aporte principal parece ser evitar los tradicionales virajes a la derecha para ganar terreno en el centro. Zigedy estima que un verdadero candidato popular insurgente tendría que haber comenzado a construir una formidable base de masas años antes de la elección para contrarrestar el poder del dinero y del arraigado liderazgo demócrata. El candidato tendría que comprometerse a construir un movimiento que abarque las organizaciones estaduales y locales, y sustentar la construcción de movimientos más allá de las elecciones presentes y aún futuras. Eso no ha ocurrido en el pasado y no parece probable con la campaña de Sanders. Agosto 8 de 2015.
LIFTING THE BLOCKADE WILL BENEFIT BOTH PEOPLES
By Manuel E. Yepe
A CubaNews translation. Edited by Walter Lippmann.
“Want to Improve the Health of Millions of Americans? Lift the Embargo on Cuba” is the title of an article written by Peter Bourne and published in the Observer Chronicle on August 8. Forty years ago, under President Jimmy Carter –when he partially lifted the travel to Cuba ban imposed on US citizens– Peter Bourne was appointed Special Assistant to the President for Health Issues.
“By reopening embassies, removing Cuba from the “terror list” and making it a bit easier for Americans to travel there, President Barack Obama’s White House has taken initial steps to put an end to a policy that has adversely affected the health of the American people for over half a century. The Senate Appropriations Committee’s action last week to even further ease restrictions on travel to Cuba by U.S. citizens and relax some provisions of the economic embargo, is welcome for a variety of reasons, but perhaps most urgently for the health of citizens in both countries.”
Bourne says it became very clear to him that no element of the two societies would benefit more from the free exchange of ideas than the health of the two peoples.
He adds that the announcement earlier this month that Cuba has become the first country in the world to end mother-to-child transmission of HIV and syphilis is but one example of developments on the island of potential benefit to Americans. “With the door cracked open through diplomatic relations, we now glimpse the possibilities for joint learning, research and development leading to effective health strategies and new treatments.”
“As a result of our long isolation from Cuba, most Americans are unaware that researchers in Cuba have developed many effective treatments at the country’s Molecular Immunology Institute. These are innovations that not only prolong life, but also improve the quality of life for patients with lung and other types of cancer. And they have proven effective with pediatric patients in clinical trials. One such treatment –CimaVax, the potential lung cancer vaccine– has recently received extensive media attention for its innovation, but less so for the enormous obstacles that continue to stand in the way of the benefits it offers for US lung cancer patients.”
Bourne explains that Cuba already has considerable experience in prevention and treatment of dengue, a brutally painful and sometimes fatal mosquito-borne disease which is endemic in most of the Caribbean basin, including Puerto Rico, and which has now moved into the Florida Keys, Texas and as far north as San Francisco, California. Cuba is home to the world’s only World Health Organization [WHO] Collaborating Center in Dengue and is also managing the world’s most advanced phase clinical trials for a vaccine against this disease.
The US scientist believes that Cuba’s most dramatic breakthrough, however, may be a medication called Heberprot-P, which has already treated more than 165,000 diabetic-foot ulcer patients in 26 countries, reducing the risk of amputation by 75 percent.
Bourne regrets that, unfortunately Heberprot-P, is not available in the United States, where diabetes affects more than 29 million people, almost ten percent of the population. American diabetics, who suffer 85,000 limb amputations annually, don’t benefit from this limb –and life– saving treatment developed by Cubans.
“We are now in a moment when decisive action in Washington could move from the symbolic to the practical – and improve the health of millions of Americans in the process,” says Bourne.
“The ball is now in Congress’ court. The House should follow the Senate Appropriations Committee’s lead and beyond that, vote to lift the economic embargo on Cuba. Our peoples will be healthier for it,” stresses Bourne.
Under certain modifications introduced by the US executive branch on the provisions of the “embargo” after the agreements between the Presidents of the United States and Cuba, US citizens may be allowed to travel to Cuba more liberally by Washington if they have a scientific, religious or sporting purpose, among others. However, they are prohibited by the US blockade –in place for more than half a century– to practice tourism activities in the island (excursions, visits to beaches, entertainment) and all forms of investment or trade with Cuban entities.
August 12, 2015.
LEVANTAR EL BLOQUEO SIRVE A AMBOS PUEBLOS
Por Manuel E. Yepe
“¿Queremos mejorar la salud de millones de estadounidenses? Levantemos el bloqueo a Cuba”, tal es el título de un artículo publicado el 8 de agosto en la revista estadounidense Observer Chronicle por Peter Bourne, quien hace 40 años fuera asesor especial en temas de salud del Presidente Jimmy Carter, cuando éste levantó parcialmente la hasta entonces total prohibición de viajar a Cuba impuesta por Washington a los ciudadanos estadounidenses.
“Con la reapertura de las embajadas, la eliminación de Cuba de la “lista del terror” y las medidas que han hecho un poco más fácil para los estadounidenses viajar allí, el gobierno del Presidente Barack Obama ha dado pasos iniciales para poner fin a una política que ha afectado la salud de los estadounidenses por más de medio siglo. Las acciones para aligerar las restricciones sobre viajes a Cuba por ciudadanos estadounidenses y la relajación de algunas disposiciones del bloqueo económico, son positivas por varias razones, pero quizás la más urgente sea por lo que representa para la salud de los ciudadanos de ambos países”.
Bourne asegura que entonces le quedó muy claro a él que ningún elemento de las dos sociedades se beneficiaría más con el libre intercambio de ideas que la salud de ambos pueblos.
Apunta que el reciente anuncio de que Cuba se ha convertido en el primer país del mundo en acabar con la transmisión de madre a hijo del VIH y la sífilis es sólo un ejemplo de la evolución en la isla de beneficios potenciales para los norteamericanos. “Con la puerta abierta por las relaciones diplomáticas, ahora vislumbramos las posibilidades del aprendizaje conjunto, investigación y desarrollo de estrategias eficaces de salud y nuevos tratamientos”.
“Como consecuencia de nuestro largo aislamiento de Cuba, la mayoría de los estadounidenses desconocen que los investigadores cubanos han desarrollado muchos tratamientos eficaces en el Instituto de Inmunología Molecular del país. Son innovaciones que no sólo prolongan la vida, sino también mejoran la calidad de vida de los pacientes con afectaciones de pulmón y otros tipos de cáncer. Y han demostrado ser eficaces con los pacientes pediátricos en ensayos clínicos. Un tratamiento denominado CimaVax – potencial vacuna del cáncer de pulmón – ha recibido atención de los medios por su innovación, pero no está accesible a los pacientes de cáncer de pulmón de Estados Unidos por los enormes obstáculos que obstaculizan el conocimiento de sus beneficios mediante la información científica”.
Precisa Bourne que Cuba tiene una experiencia considerable en la prevención y tratamiento del dengue, una enfermedad dolorosa, y a veces fatal, transmitida por mosquitos que es endémica en la mayoría de la cuenca del Caribe, incluyendo Puerto Rico, y que ahora se ha trasladado a los Cayos de Florida, Texas y, más al norte, a San Francisco. Cuba es la sede del único centro de colaboración de que dispone la Organización Mundial de la Salud (OMS) sobre Dengue y administra los más avanzados ensayos de fase clínica para el logro de una vacuna contra esta enfermedad.
Considera el científico estadounidense que el avance más espectacular de Cuba, sin embargo, puede ser un medicamento llamado Heberprot-P, con el que ya se ha tratado a más de 165.000 pacientes de pie diabético en 26 países, reduciendo el riesgo de amputación en un 75 por ciento.
Lamenta Bourne que el Heberprot-P no está disponible en los Estados Unidos, donde la diabetes afecta a más de 29 millones de personas –casi el diez por ciento de la población- y los diabéticos sufren anualmente 85.000 amputaciones de miembros, sin beneficiarse de este tratamiento salvador creado por los cubanos.
Ahora estamos en un momento cuando una acción decidida en Washington podría pasar de lo simbólico a la práctica y mejorar la salud de millones de estadounidenses en el proceso, concreta Bourne.
La pelota está ahora en la Cámara del Congreso, que debía seguir el ejemplo del Comité de Apropiaciones del Senado y, más allá de eso, votar por el levantamiento del bloqueo económico contra Cuba. Nuestros pueblos serán por ello más saludables, enfatiza Bourne.
En virtud de ciertas modificaciones introducidas por el ejecutivo de Estados Unidos en las disposiciones del “embargo” tras los acuerdos entre los Presidentes de Estados Unidos y Cuba, los estadounidenses pueden ser autorizados mas liberalmente por Washington a viajar a Cuba si es con un objetivo científico, religioso o deportivo, entre otros, aunque todavía les está prohibido por el bloqueo norteamericano de más de medio siglo practicar en la isla actividades propias el turismo (paseos, playas, diversiones) y toda forma de comercio o inversión con entidades cubanas.
Agosto 12 de 2015.
THE USA’S SUPERHERO DAYS ARE OVER
By Manuel E. Yepe
A CubaNews translation. Edited by Walter Lippmann.
“Many governments and their citizens would be sympathetic to a United States that behaves more like a normal country; but most Americans still believe that their country is exceptional, even those who disagree on what it does, or on how it protects such exceptionality. However, some say the time has come for the United States to mind its own business and let other countries solve their own problems,” says economist and political scientist Ian Bremmer in his book “Superpower: Three Choices for America’s Role in the World “, published in May 2015.
In the foreseeable future, he says, the United States will remain the only country on Earth with enough military, economic and political muscle to persuade governments in every region of the world to take actions that they otherwise would not take. This is because no other country has the hard power, innovative economy and cultural influence the United States can exercise.
In his book, Bremmer proposes the adoption of three alternative strategies for the future leaders of the US. These are essentially:
Being an independent country. Instead of wasting lives and resources on poorly-planned foreign policy adventures; minding our own business and letting other countries take greater responsibility for their own security and prosperity. The US must rebuild the country’s strength from within, investing in education, innovation and infrastructure that are presently crumbling because of the billions we waste abroad. Pay more attention to veterans in the country and leave more money in the taxpayers’ pockets to promote advancement of the US economy.
Being an economically viable country (Moneyball). If the country is to stay safe and prosperous, we must face some outside challenges. We cannot afford to intervene in so many p at once; nor should we retreat and expect others to deal with the mess. We must stop treating the rest of the world as Americans in pre-development. We must abandon meaningless arguments about “US exceptionality” and build a foreign policy designed exclusively for making the country safer and more prosperous, and monitor costs and set priorities accordingly.
Being an indispensable country. In a deeply-interconnected and dangerous world, our country cannot remain safe unless Washington works to ensure that governments around the world are accountable to their citizens. Americans must fight for democracy, the rule of law, human rights and open markets, because the world –and therefore the United States– will never enjoy sustainable security and prosperity without them. Promote alliances to manage conflicts, prevent terrorists from accessing more dangerous weapons and threats in cyberspace. Lead the fight against transnational crime and the worst effects of climate change. Who but the United States can deal with these problems?
Bremmer regrets that US foreign policy in the last 25 years has been inconsistent. From Somalia to Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as in their relations with Russia and China, Presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama have improvised their responses to the problems and crises as they have arisen, and they have certainly not improvised well.
Bremmer believes that, as the only superpower in the world, these three policy choices are the only viable ones, but only if future presidents can build lasting public support to maintain them. “It is easier said than done, of course, and that is one of the reasons why the independent nation is the option that comes closest to what I think is best for the country.”
He believes that this is not isolationism and that the US must never become a closed fortress. It must export its value products –particularly technology, energy and food– and welcome those who come to the US to build a better life for themselves and their families.
This is not a defeatist view. Imagine the momentum that the US economy would have had if the billions spent in Iraq and Afghanistan had gone to reinforce US strength and resistance, ending the superhero foreign policy and investing more in education in the country; building a country that others consider too important to fail.
During the last 25 years, Washington has acted as if the United States were growing stronger in the world. It is not; and its foreign policy should reflect that, says Bremmer.
August 15, 2015.
LOS DIAS DE EEUU COMO SUPERHÉROE ACABARON
Por Manuel E. Yepe
“Muchos gobiernos y sus ciudadanos verían con simpatía a un Estados Unidos que se comporte más como un país normal, pero la mayoría de los estadounidenses todavía cree que su país es excepcional, incluso quienes no están de acuerdo en lo que hace o en la manera de proteger esa excepcionalidad y creen que es hora de que se ocupe de sus propios negocios internacionales y deje que otros hagan lo mejor que pueden con los suyos”, afirma el economista y politólogo estadounidense Ian Bremmer en su libro “Superpotencia: tres opciones para el papel de Estados Unidos en el mundo” (“Superpower: Three Choices for America’s Role in the World”), publicado en mayo de 2015.
En el futuro previsible, afirma, Estados Unidos seguirá siendo el único país en la tierra con militares, economía y músculo político suficientes para persuadir a los gobiernos en cada región del mundo a tomar acciones que de otro modo no tomarían porque ningún otro país tiene el poder duro, la economía innovadora y la influencia cultural que Estados Unidos puede ejercer.
Las 3 estrategias alternativas cuya adopción propone Bremman en su libro a los futuros líderes de Estados Unidos son en esencia: Ser un país independiente, en vez de malgastar vidas y recursos en aventuras mal planificadas de política exterior, ocuparse de sus propios asuntos y dejar que otros países asuman una mayor responsabilidad en su propia seguridad y prosperidad. Hay que reconstruir la fortaleza del país desde adentro invirtiendo en la educación, la innovación y la infraestructura actualmente desmoronada los miles de millones que derrochamos en el exterior. Prestar mayor atención a los veteranos del país y dejar más dinero en los bolsillos de los contribuyentes para potenciar el avance de la economía estadounidense.
Ser un país económicamente viable (Moneyball): Si el país ha de permanecer seguro y próspero, habrá que enfrentar algunos desafíos exteriores, no puede permitirse intervenir en tantos focos a la vez, y tampoco debe retroceder y esperar que otros asuman el entuerto. Dejar de tratar al resto del mundo como norteamericanos en una etapa anterior de desarrollo. Abandonar argumentos sin sentido sobre la “excepcionalidad de Estados Unidos” y construir una política exterior diseñada exclusivamente para hacer más seguro y más próspero al país. Vigilar los costos y establecer las prioridades en consecuencia.
Ser un país indispensable: en un mundo profundamente interconectado y peligroso, el país no puede permanecer seguro a menos que Washington trabaje para asegurar que los gobiernos en todo el mundo respondan a sus ciudadanos. Los estadounidenses deben luchar por la democracia, el estado de derecho, los derechos humanos y la apertura de los mercados, porque el mundo – y por lo tanto Estados Unidos– nunca sabrán de seguridad sostenible y prosperidad sin ellos. Hay que llevar alianzas para manejar los conflictos, impedir que los terroristas accedan a armas más peligrosas y amenazas en el ciberespacio. Dirigir la lucha contra la delincuencia transnacional y los peores efectos del cambio climático. ¿Quién sino puede Estados Unidos puede hacer frente a estas cosas?
Bremman se lamenta de que la política exterior estadounidense de los últimos 25 años ha sido incoherente, porque desde Somalia hasta Afganistán e Iraq así como en las relaciones con Rusia y China, los presidentes Clinton, Bush y Obama han improvisado sus respuestas a los problemas y las crisis en la medida que éstas han ido surgiendo, y ciertamente no han improvisado muy bien.
Bremman cree que, como superpotencia única del mundo, sus tres opciones de políticas son las únicas viables, pero sólo si los futuros presidentes pueden construir un duradero apoyo público para sostenerlas. “Es más fácil decirlo que hacerlo, por supuesto, y esa es una de las razones por las que la nación independiente es la opción que más se acerca a lo que creo mejor para el país”.
Considera que esto no es aislacionismo y que Estados Unidos nunca debe convertirse en fortaleza cerrada. Debe exportar sus productos de valor, particularmente tecnología, energía y alimentos, y acoger a quienes llegan a Estados Unidos para construir una vida mejor para ellos y sus familias.
Tampoco es una visión derrotista, imaginando el impulso que habría tenido la economía de Estados Unidos si los cientos de miles de millones gastados en Irak y Afganistán hubieran ido a reforzar la resistencia y la fuerza estadounidense, poniendo fin a la política exterior de superhéroe e invirtiendo más en la educación en el país. Construir un país que los demás consideren demasiado importante para fracasar.
Durante los últimos 25 años, Washington ha actuado como si Estados Unidos fuera cada vez más fuerte en el mundo. No lo es, y su política exterior debe reflejarlo así, afirma Bremmer.
Agosto 15 de 2015.
CUBA.- EU.- WELCOME, MR. KERRY By: Néstor García Iturbe August 13, 2015 A CubaNews translation. Edited by Walter Lippmann. The United States Secretary of State, Mr. John Kerry, comes to our country on 14 August. The purpose of the visit is the formal opening of the US Embassy in Havana. We say formal, because, as of July 20, the former United States Interests Section began to function as an embassy just as did our Interests Section in Washington, as agreed between the governments of Cuba and the United States. According to what is known of the program, Mr. Kerry will be present on the premises of the Embassy at the time and at that the same time the American flag shall be flown. There will also be present some officials and Cuban personalities. A meeting between the Secretary of State and our Foreign Minister will be held. Subsequently, a joint press conference, as was held in Washington when our embassy reopened, will take place. So far it is not known if there will be in any other meeting between Mr. Kerry and Cuban officials. Let me suggest that you visit some places of interest in Havana, according the time that is available. Later, Mr. Kerry will meet with what the United States refers to representatives of civil society. This meeting will take place at the residence of Mr. De Laurentis who is acting as Chargé d/Affaires because the US has not yet appointed its Ambassador to Cuba. At this meeting at Mr. De Laurentis’ residence, they have invited people who belong to groups called dissidents, so that Mr. Kerry might have contact with them without interfering with the official activities. Our people and government welcomes Mr. Kerry, with all due respect and consideration he deserves. We see him as an Ambassador of Peace, promoting friendliness between the two countries, an increase in friendship, trade, art, science, sports and academics. Someone who really wants relations between the two countries to improve as much as possible and to maintain respect for the independence, internal affairs and sovereignty of both. I hope that Mr. Kerry does not disappoint us and deserves the welcome we offer. To end this article we allow ourselves to quote you a sentence of our national hero, José Martí. “To respect that which deserves it also honors those who know how to be respectful.” ===================================================== CUBA.- EU.- BIENVENIDO MR. KERRY. Por: Néstor García Iturbe 13 de agosto 2015 El Secretario de Estado del gobierno de Estados Unidos, el señor John Kerry, llegará a nuestro país el día 14 de agosto. El motivo de la visita es la apertura formal de la Embajada de Estados Unidos en la Habana, decimos formal, puesto que a partir del día 20 de julio, la antigua Oficina de Intereses de Estados Unidos comenzó a funcionar como Embajada, al igual que nuestra Oficina de Intereses en Washington, según lo acordado entre los gobiernos de Cuba y Estados Unidos. De acuerdo a lo que se ha conocido del programa, el señor Kerry estará presente en los predios de la Embajada en el momento en que se izará en la misma la bandera de Estados Unidos, también estarán presente en dicho acto algunos funcionarios y personalidades cubanas. Se llevará a cabo una reunión entre el Secretario de Estado y nuestro Ministro de Relaciones Exteriores. Posteriormente se efectuará una conferencia de prensa conjunta, al igual que se realizó en Washington cuando se reabrió nuestra Embajada. Hasta el momento no se conoce de alguna otra reunión del señor Kerry con funcionarios cubanos. Es posible que se le sugiera visitar algunos lugares de interés en la Ciudad de la Habana, acorde la tiempo que el mismo disponga. Más tarde, el señor Kerry se reunirá con lo que Estados Unidos denominan representantes de la sociedad civil, esa reunión se efectuara en la residencia del señor De Laurentis que está actuando como Encargado de Negocios debido a que aún Estados Unidos no ha nombrado su Embajador en Cuba. En esta reunión en casa del señor De Laurentis se han invitado a personas que pertenecen a los grupos llamados disidentes, para que el señor Kerry pueda tener contacto con los mismos sin que esto interfiera con las actividades oficiales. Nuestro pueblo y gobierno le da la bienvenida al señor Kerry, con todo el respeto y la consideración que se merece. Lo vemos como un Embajador de la Paz, el fomento de la cordialidad entre ambas naciones, del incremento de la amistad, el comercio, el intercambio artístico, científico, deportivo y académico. De alguien que realmente desea que las relaciones entre los dos países mejoren en todo lo posible y que se mantenga el respeto por la independencia, los asuntos internos y la soberanía de ambos. Espero que el señor Kerry no nos defraude y merezca la bienvenida que le ofrecemos. Para terminar este artículo nos permitimos citarle una frase de nuestro Héroe Nacional , José Martí. “El respeto a lo que lo merece honra al que sabe respetar”.
Speech delivered by the President of the Council of State of the Republic of Cuba, Fidel Castro Ruz, on the occasion of the 50th Anniversary of the Foundation of the People’s Republic of China, in the Universal Hall of the Revolutionary Armed Forces (FAR), on September 29, 1999
A CubaNews translation by Ana Portela
Edited by Walter Lippmann and Robert Sandels
Notes on the seventh anniversary of this speech: 9/30/2005:
Original Spanish transcript:
(Shorthand Version – Council of State)
As you can see, they were closing the curtains [laughter], but I looked at my watch and noticed we had a little time left. That’s why I thought it would be worthwhile to use these minutes to add a few brief thoughts about what was said here.
A few days ago we were busy with a great number of activities but we often thought that it would now be 50 years since the Chinese Revolution, not only the revolution, but also the independence of China. And that was of really great historical importance.
Similar words are often used, but now we are faced with a real event, a date of real historical importance. And I asked myself: How are we going to commemorate it, what relevance are we going to give it? That’s why I asked about the program they were going to have. I asked the Ambassador and first he told me there would be a reception in the Embassy on the evening of the 30th and warmly invited me.
I answered, “Ambassador, the evening of the 30th is not the anniversary of the triumph of the Chinese Revolution!”
And he said, “Yes, because at that hour on the 30th in China it’s already the 1st of October.”
And, actually, the reception was not being organized for the 2nd, which would have been the result of organizing it, as is traditionally done, on the first. By doing it tomorrow night, on the 30th, it would coincide perfectly with the day of the founding of the People’s Republic of China. Also, I know that they have set up television screens so that the guests can view the parade and the commemoration in Tiananmen Square.
I was very pleased that the Ambassador remembered that Cuba was the first Latin American country to recognize the People’s Republic of China and to establish relations with it, because there was a very strong blockade, an effort of total isolation. In fact, there was total obedience to the United States in our hemisphere, where there were even many countries, like the Caribbean sister islands of Anglophone extraction still not independent. The independence of those islands increased the strength and spirit of independence in this hemisphere, but no one here in Latin America then had relations with the People’s Republic of China, and that was the case in many parts of the world.
Since we also became independent on January 1, 1959, it did not take long to establish relations with the People’s Republic of China.
But he remembered something more, and that is that when the Cuban Revolution triumphed, China was represented in the Security Council and the United Nations by Taiwan. At the time, only the Soviet Union, one of the permanent members of the Security Council, was not an ally of the United States. And as an example of imperialist imposition, the most populous country in the world was ignored completely. The oldest country in the world, we could say, of the modern ones, the most ancient civilization in the world was not represented in the Security Council, as was its right according to all the agreements made during the Second World War.
They kept Taiwan there, the defeated puppet government, which continued to be an ally of the United States. We had to fight hard, every year, many countries, mostly of the Third World, including Cuba, just as today, we fight the blockade. We fought for the recognition of the People’s Republic of China and for it to occupy its rightful seat on the Security Council as one of its permanent members.
This was achieved in 1971 when it was no longer possible to resist world public opinion and the growing membership of the United Nations. At that time, many African countries and other areas of the world won their political independence – countries of great weight. After the Second World War, India, another of the most populous countries in the world besides China, achieved independence. Indonesia, also a heavily-populated Asian country, achieved its independence. Japan was occupied for many years and gradually achieved the rights of a sovereign nation. Many others in the Middle East received independence, as did many in the South Pacific. I have already mentioned the Caribbean. Consequently many countries were added, and it was the determination and tenacity of this struggle that finally won China its basic rights.
Today, 26 years later, I would say that event achieved its full significance within the present world situation due to China’s importance and weight. Today China is incomparably greater than it was when its status as a member of the Security Council was finally accepted.
China has been the country that has least used its veto power in the Security Council. China has used it only on exceptional occasions – perhaps Alarcon knows how many. On the other hand, the “master of the world,” because it does not own the world but almost all the world, has used this right an infinite number of times.
Today, the Third World has a country that is a friend, that Third World which supported China so often, has a friend among the Security Council’s permanent members.
I remembered something that was not mentioned here: the suffering of the Chinese people, the enormous sacrifices of that people after the triumph of their revolution and their independence. I have to say it that way, because the country was not fully independent, just as Cuba was not, until the day of the Revolution’s triumph. For example, they were economically blockaded for a long time, almost totally isolated.
During the earlier years it had the collaboration of the Soviet Union – to some extent, because the Soviet Union had just come out of a terrible war where its industry, its agriculture, its infrastructure were practically destroyed – a support the USSR offered, a determined support that I know the Chinese appreciated very much, until differences and difficulties arose between them.
I do not want to dwell on these subjects but I recall the years of the economic blockade of China. And I also remember the U.S. troops under the command of MacArthur, their intervention in the Korean conflict, a country that they divided and that is still divided; and they reached the Chinese border. Very soon after their war of liberation, no less than one million Chinese volunteers took up arms and participated in that conflict together with the Korean people. They inflicted a severe and terrible blow to the interventionist troops of the United States and its allies until reestablishing the situation that existed before that war, that is, the present border between the two parts of Korea. This event cannot be forgotten nor can the thousands of lives Chinese troops lost.
I have talked to some who participated in that counter-attack. It was during a severe cold, crossing mountains, without mechanical means, with total air control by the United States and its allies and even threatening to use nuclear weapons. In the desperation of their defeat, there were many in the United States who favored attacking beyond the Chinese border. The advance of the Chinese troops was uncontainable in spite of the enormous differences in military power, until they reached the point that is still today that line – a tremendous battle.
Later the economic blockade continued. The Yankee imperialists also intervened in Viet Nam and unleashed a genocidal war. There, the Chinese expressed solidarity with the Vietnamese people. At the time, there were two countries, China and the Soviet Union, who supplied weapons and gave political support to the Vietnamese who fought heroically and were victorious. This victory was obtained during the 1970s. Cuba also made its modest contribution of a free annual supply of sugar for the Vietnamese during the war years. It’s worth mentioning, but only as an expression of the good will and the spirit of solidarity of our people who also offered total political support. There was also an enormous feeling of solidarity with Viet Nam by our people.
The Chinese had to endure so many hardships after the war, and for how long! But imperialism was repeatedly defeated. The lesson of Viet Nam marked important turning points. I would say that Cuba’s resistance to the blockades, the mercenary invasions, the threats of nuclear war and all that, marked other little points that were also important in that struggle. They demonstrated to the world that it was possible to fight and win against imperialism. They suffered a harsh economic blockade for many years, a little less than us, but at the time it was a record. They were blockaded for 28 years, and we are now going on 40 years.
The events mentioned are irrefutable proof that this lunacy, these criminal policies, cannot last forever.
After all the blows it has received from many parts, the United States began to understand that its position on China was unsustainable from the point of view of rights, of political principles, of the United Nations Charter and everything else. But it was also unsustainable according to its own economic interests. China was an enormous potential market. In fact, they have advantages in many things. In one sense in particular they have an enormous advantage compared to Cuba, and that is the fact that their population – they are have a little more – their population was about one hundred and twenty times more than that of Cuba, and a territory, as mentioned here, of 9.6 million square kilometers, almost one hundred times ours and, undoubtedly a country of great natural resources.
I could add other advantages: They did not live in the West as we do. We are bearing, to a large extent, the culture inherited from the West. China had a millennia-long culture. The Chinese people’s great advantage is its language, its own very complex writing. It is not an easy language, not precisely of Latin origin nor, we must say, of Western origin. They had a millennial language. I have no way of knowing how much it evolved since the period before our times. These cultural features are a very important force with which to defend the identity, the integrity, and independence of a great country and are less susceptible to penetration by the western culture that surrounds us.
You can see what the Ambassador explained: after 25 years of conflicts, wars, and blockades, they had recovered important rights such as that seat in the Security Council, a growing respect in the world, and in spite of errors, as the Ambassador pointed out, of various kinds of difficulties that occurred in its own internal policy at a time when the West had no other choice but to acknowledge the rights of China. And when all the blockades ended, you can see the extraordinary rhythm of progress in the country.
What he read here – I was just looking over a copy of the speech and had already heard about some appearances of the Ambassador – a sustained average growth of 9.8% for 21 years has no precedent in the history of any human society.
I did some calculations of how many times it doubled its economic production during that period. By then, they had already achieved important advances. I remember that after the revolutionary triumph, the Chinese built great seawalls rock by rock to prevent flooding and promote irrigation. Many social programs were begun from the very triumph of the Revolution. But undoubtedly the economic advances were slowed down considerably by the economic blockade to which subjective factors were added as well.
When, as I said, they had to recognize the rights of China and all the blockades disappeared and they rectified some errors – I don’t call them errors but rather their points of view, we would have no right to judge each internal event in China – but, as the Ambassador explained, they had made certain corrections, had overcome certain errors and everyone commits errors and that cannot be denied. After this, they achieved this impressive record because, as he pointed out, and above all, they grew since 1978, for 21 years. There is no precedent; there has never existed anything like this figure.
It is truly very satisfying to listen to the Ambassador reaffirm that these successes were possible due to the political ideology, to a political science, to Marxism-Leninism, to which they added important theoretical contributions of Mao Zedong, theoretical contributions to the revolutionary struggle, theoretical contributions to Marxism to which they later added theoretical and practical contributions of Deng Xiaoping. Added to this is the undeniably hard-working characteristic of the Chinese people. They are a people, really very hardworking. That is recognized everywhere in the world and, in Cuba, it is acknowledged because, dedicated to agriculture, specifically vegetable production, they greatly contribute to the supply of fresh produce in the city.
So, this spirit of labor is an important factor that, in my opinion, also contributed to the advances of the Chinese people, along with a theory and through a revolution that won, together with deep social changes, the independence of that great nation; a true and exemplary revolution when you analyze its roots, from the beginning when it organized its first nucleus of the Chinese Communist Party during the twenties, its rich history and, among the outstanding events, the long march, a military achievement that is unparalleled in history – and history has many military achievements.
We have read some books on what constituted that advance, day by day, surrounded by large enemy units of the puppet government that was supplied with all the weapons it needed, with hundreds of divisions. And that great military achievement occurred in very difficult conditions, always surrounded by large forces, constantly outmaneuvering the enemy, overcoming natural barriers. At times these included snow-capped mountains, and other times, wide and rushing rivers, until they reached the base that would be their permanent site during the war of liberation.
There was a time that the others, the so-called nationalists, the Puppets and reactionaries were fighting a foreign invasion, a war against the Japanese militarists and, to some extent, joined forces with the revolutionary Chinese. However, they were not serving the people nor the true independence of the country and they made all kinds of errors and had all kinds of weaknesses. Many times the Communists had to fight against the nationalists of Chiang Kai-Shek and against Japanese troops. In spite of this, they made a decisive contribution to the defeat of the Japanese militarists. These events are also in the pages of modern Chinese history.
And those who served reaction and Yankee imperialism at the end of the Second World War, who were crushingly and irreversibly defeated, took refuge on the little island of Taiwan, which is an integral part of Chinese territory because it was a part of China for an infinite length of time, like the keys to the north of Cuba, more so than the Isle of Youth is ours. Those who live there are of Chinese nationality, speak the Chinese language and have Chinese culture in spite of the western penetration they have received. This possession is an unquestionable right of the Chinese nation. It absolutely cannot be denied that it is an internal problem of China. No one has the right to interfere, and that is what they demand: respect for the sovereignty of their country, the universal recognition of this right. They are not demanding the union of two different nations, of different ethnicities, and different cultures.
Even the Taiwanese, until recently, and especially in the Security Council, spoke for 22 years of only one China completely integrated. Until recently they have been speaking in this language.
Ah! What was the first military intervention by the United States to secure Taiwan? I remember. During the days of the Korean War, the U.S. fleet took up a position between the continent and the island of Taiwan. This cannot be forgotten. That position was maintained by force. The country did not have conditions for that battle, nor did the country want to wage this battle. The country demanded its rights, demanded recognition, and wanted to solve the problem peacefully. What it determined with all its rights, was that it would not admit the loss of part of its territory, the tearing up of its country through the declaration and recognition of an independent republic of Taiwan. They have said it categorically, that they will not permit it, and I am sure that they will not, as I have the hope that this problem and the recognition of the theory and the practice of the inalienable rights of China occur without any form of war or loss of blood.
What is really happening today is that the United States and other western countries, while they talk of only one China, supply the separatist government of the island with the most modern and sophisticated weapons and nourish the movement against the integrity of China.
The Ambassador recalled and Machadito also mentioned the problem of Hong Kong. They knew how to have the necessary patience until the day came when the West and the world had no other choice but to acknowledge the right of the People’s Republic of China to the reintegration of this piece of its territory seized by colonial wars, disgraceful colonial wars.
Today much is said against drug trafficking. Then, the British Empire took over that territory and the West unleashed a war and sent troops who reached Beijing to impose the rights of the Western powers over the opium trade with China. That is a historical truth.
They recalled that this same year Macao would be returned, the little piece that was in the hands of a European country and it would be done peacefully through an agreement made thanks to Chinese patience, a patience we should all learn from and that, partially, we have. And if we have not learned from it we have figured out on our own because the duty of all revolutionaries it to also act with the necessary wisdom.
They waited and that year took possession of the territory. To make things easier, they thought of a country with two systems. They promised those who stayed in Hong Kong the existing economic and social systems, the existing institutions but under Chinese sovereignty. They have also made this offer to Taiwan, with an even broader scope. The proof of the peaceful spirit of China is the fact that, even though the Portuguese enclave of Macao had no form of defense, they did not take advantage of the circumstance or any situation to take over the enclave.
India, a neighboring country, also very populated, did not have so much patience and, at a certain time, took over a Portuguese enclave that was on Indian territory. It is a good example of the peaceful spirit of the People’s Republic of China. They did not use force to recover that territory and with the help of time and international support they are recovering all the rights they were stripped of.
The Ambassador mentioned how they had broken up the country. He could mention many other things. I mentioned the history of opium. How many crimes were committed against that great nation until mid-century, and how many rights were denied and ignored until they were reestablished in the course of the final two-thirds of this century!
Respect the people! Respect territorial integrity! This is not the time to break up nations. At a time when many peoples, separated by borders, by flags and hymns fight for integration, join together, and peacefully wipe out borders, the countries of the Caribbean fight for integration. The countries of Central America fight for integration The countries of South America fight for integration. Latin America fights for it. In the future, no small nation can exist isolated in practice.
I will say more: Switzerland a country traditionally very protective of its sovereignty that, due to its excellent geographic position in the heart of the Alps, could maintain neutrality during the First and Second World Wars. And Switzerland, I know because I went there and spoke with leaders who were, along with 49% of the people, in favor of integration into the European Economic Community, only a small fraction is lacking to make a majority – could not live alone in the Alps, isolated from the rest of the European community. The move is inexorably toward integration in that community.
Who has the right to support the disintegration of China? Who has the right to deny China’s demand for acknowledgment of its sovereignty over Taiwan? It is absurd that when the entire world is integrating that someone should call for the disintegration of a piece of China.
You can see the disaster of disintegration of the Soviet Union countries; a disintegration that became a race of all to run, primarily the United States, to invest and establish its hegemony, its domination and its possession of the fundamental resources of the former republics, mainly gas and oil, products of which they are very rich, as well as other minerals.
The world doesn’t move towards disintegration, it moves towards integration. It is not only a historical fact but also a principle of the modern world, a necessity of modern life. That is what the People’s Republic of China demands. And now, the People’s Republic of China of today, of this millennium, or of this century about to begin, is very different from that republic that arose 50 years ago in a country devastated by many years of war, against foreign invasion.
Added to this was the revolutionary war. More than 20 years of fierce battles against the internal and external enemies of the Chinese people. The country destroyed, a country that was poor, a country that had been exploited by external and internal exploiters. Everything needed to be built. I already mentioned under what conditions.
It is a country whose economy strongly moves forward. It’s curious; Machadito mentioned their contribution during the Asian crisis. There is something more: the People’s Republic of China gave an extraordinary service to the world in recent months, especially since 1998 in that crisis that began in Southeast Asia and that lead the second world power in the field of economy, Japan, into a deep crisis, that later spread to Russia and was seriously affecting the stocks and shares of the United States exchanges and which threatened to wipe out the economy of Latin America.
You can see how great the danger was that Latin America as a whole grew, if it grew at all, by 0.5% in 1999; and if it grew 0.5% it is because the countries with an important weight in the region produced greater growth. Mexico was between 4% and 5%. There are countries with growth below zero, negative in several countries, several important countries. It was a very serious world economic threat that has not yet been overcome, and it is not known with certainty if it will soon be overcome and there is the certainty – at least I have it – that when it recovers it will not be for long.
China had made an enormous economic sacrifice without which the crisis would not have been stopped. It was in a complicated situation because its exports grew year by year, but when the Asian crisis devaluated the currencies in many countries with a certain level of development – the so-called Asian tigers, pride of the neoliberal economy, pride of imperialism as an example of what can be achieved through their adverse formulas – and when they fell in a matter of days, since one after the other economy of those countries collapsed with terrible consequences, both for the economy of the world, especially for the countries of the Third World that are totally unprotected in this crisis, the Chinese found themselves at a disadvantage because the prices of the merchandize of all these countries cheapened amazingly because with the devaluation of their currency they could export whatever they wanted at low prices.
China could have devaluated the yuan to protect itself against that competition, to maintain the rhythm of increase in its exports and with this maintain an uninterrupted rise in growth. The world was shaking – the world! Not just the Third World but also the industrialized world was shaking thinking of the idea that China, with its rights, and to protect its exports and economic growth could devaluate the yuan. It did not and still there has been no acknowledgement that the People’s Republic of China deserves for this service it gave to the world and at the cost of its own economy.
In other words, it acted with a great sense of responsibility, the prestige of the country grew last year more than the 7.8% that Machadito mentioned referring to the growth of the Chinese economy. The prestige of China must have grown, for this reason alone, at least by 20% or 30%. But I think its prestige deserved a growth of 200% because no one can imagine the consequences of a measure of this kind by China. However, they are haggling over its membership in the World Trade Organization and we are all fighting for the membership of China to the WTO.
Europe and the United States assume the right to decide who becomes a member and who does not. The battle in the United Nations repeats itself. And the WTO is frightful because it can be a terrible instrument against the interests of the Third World.
The Third World is interested to have China in the World Trade Organization, which is responsible for regulating this activity; an instrument created, undoubtedly – the same as other instruments that already exist such as the IMF and similar institutions that have imposed the famous neoliberalism whose consequences our compatriots know about through the thousands of visitors who come from all over the world and the press releases regarding this ever increasing loss of prestige and more damaging – like an instrument of domination. All that imperialism has created since the fall of the socialist camp have been instruments to strengthen its domination in all fields. In the economic sphere it enjoys some incredible privileges that cannot continue to survive. They are the ones who print the money reserves of the world, investing only in the paper. The Europeans are trying to create another to protect itself from these super-privileges that exists at the cost of the interests of the rest of the world and benefit, to a certain extent, by sharing them.
All these subjects are part of the issues that must be discussed to change the existing world order that has been established for that reason.
The club of the rich, a group of rich countries – there are around twenty something, I think it is 29 now – invented a multilateral agreement project of investments to make it an international treaty. Today there are bilateral agreements, but the member countries of this club known as the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) invented a project that was shrouded in silence. They discussed it behind closed doors and were getting ready to release it when some people – I think it was in France – discovered the text that, although it was known and being discussed the contents were unknown. They mounted a great scandal and the authors had to put a stop to it.
Where this had to be discussed was in the WTO because over a hundred countries were there and not the 30 richest countries. They did not want to discuss it in the WTO although the WTO was set up as an instrument to strengthen the economic, political and all other forms of United States hegemony. They imposed the conditions of that organization as an instrument of imperialism. That’s why it was created although it could be sidetracked to become an instrument of the peoples where we of the Third World are a wide majority. But the peoples of the Third World are very divided because of their poverty they depend heavily on the United States and the trade institutions and financial organizations it created and that, often, breaks the unity.
Acting in unity, the Third World with China in the WTO could become an instrument of justice, an instrument of resistance to the hegemony of the United States, for a new economic order, against the current economic order they have imposed which is the important reason to reform the United Nations. All this is linked. The WTO could be an instrument of justice. We are a majority. We are the majority in the United Nations as you can see from some of the votes in the UN General Assembly, for example, those against the blockade.
One day the General Assembly managed to impose the recognition of China’s rights – the real China, the only China that exists – in the Security Council. Ah, that is why we also call for more powers for the UN General Assembly. That institution must change.
The Chinese ambassador clearly explained and mentioned all the concepts of limited sovereignty, global threats, right to intervention like the one in Yugoslavia, to which is added the new strategic concept of NATO, approved days before that genocidal war, a right that NATO assigns itself of intervening whenever it wants in any country.
As I said, all these problems are linked; the intention of ignoring the United Nations, that is all we have; a world organization that exists, that was founded after the Second World War. It no longer corresponds to the present situation in the world, having almost 200 independent states. It began with around thirty or forty something states controlled by the victorious powers after the Second World War. It definitely needs to be restructured and democratized, but this requires tactics and strategies. At least it is very clear for me the importance of the ties of the Third World with China and the need for the support of China in that restructuring that can no longer be delayed because China is a permanent member with the right to veto.
Under certain limits the United States can try to prevent it and will do so for a long time. But it will have to discuss it, as it has had to discuss other things. It refused to discuss it for many years and will be unable, also, to prevent the democratization of the United Nations, as a result of the mobilization of world public opinion, through the unity of the nations.
He mentioned those principles that imperialism wants to wipe out. It is very important to listen here to the Chinese Ambassador asserting that these principles must be defended and that is a fundamental factor of Chinese foreign policy.
Fortunately, yesterday, we had the opportunity to listen to the Russian Chancellor – because Russia exists. It is not a superpower but still is a great power.
What is my opinion about the difference between a superpower and a great power? That the former has the power to destroy the latter fifteen times over and the latter has the power to destroy the other three or four times, but one is enough, and hopefully that will never happen!
Russia is a great power. China is a great power in a different way, and in some ways a much greater power than Russia; but Russia is a great nuclear power. It has a nuclear military power that China does not. China does not yet have it and hopefully it will not need it.
What forces China to maintain a technical development in the military field is simply the aggressive policy against it, the interference in its internal affairs, the denial of its fundamental rights, and strategic concepts that amount to threats. At any time, NATO could intervene because it decides that China posed a global threat due to some internal problem – any kind of problem that might arise. It is inconceivable that they assume that right. That is why I say I hope they never have to become a great nuclear power!
But what do the others do? Invest increasingly in weapons, in the development of military technology. Recently, we read the declaration of one of the nominees to the presidency of the United States who promised to invest enormous sums in military research to improve conventional weapons, among other things. What is the purpose of all this improvement? Why all that technological development when the Cold War has been long dead? What is the justification for all this weaponry but the clear intention of dominating the world, not only through political and economic measures but also military ones, to maintain discipline in this chaotic world? I am not going to try to explain why, but we know very well all the details and the hundreds of arguments for why the world is chaotic. And those cannot be solved with nuclear or conventional weapons. It is their desperation that makes them take this course, to hold everything in their hands: military, political, and economic.
Even Europe was humiliated by its ridiculous role in the war against Yugoslavia since 100% of the bombs were made in the United States and 90% of the operations were made by US aviation and missiles. Europe felt so humiliated that the ambition to have its own European forces has taken wing because of the crushing superiority created by its ally. What a difficult ally Europe has and what a dangerous one in every way.
I already told you how pleased I was to listen to the Russian Chancellor – I didn’t say Soviet, right? I said Russian because sometimes we make mistakes out of an old habit. Now it is not Soviet, it is not a socialist country. Today The International would not be sung in an event to commemorate something related to Russia. But Russia is a country threatened by NATO, which is moving towards its borders. Russia is a threatened country that US imperialism wants to see weakened and even torn apart, to take over its enormous natural resources. The great capital of the United States is not satisfied with the investments it has made in all parts of the defunct USSR, above all in the area of the Caspian Sea where there are said to be enormous oil and gas reserves, and in other republics in the region. They are not satisfied with their ambitious program of taking over and controlling all that wealth. They also want to take over and control all the wealth of Russia, apply conditions, even upbraiding it a few days ago when they scolded the country in a meeting of the G-7 regarding the financial scandal.
That is not a socialist nation. It has common interests, many common interests with other countries. It has them with Europe, and Europe is neither calm nor happy. Above all, Europe does not like adventures imposed from the other side of the ocean, like the Yugoslav adventure and any others the United States might think up.
Since that last experience of the genocidal war, more proclamations are made of the new strategic-military doctrines and enthusiastic political theories intended to ravage the United Nations Charter and establish the rights of the powerful to intervene in any part of the world. The world feels threatened and we know that well.
It’s very good, we have read, that relations between Russia and China are improving. That’s very good. We have read that they have adopted similar positions concerning the barbarous war against Yugoslavia. That’s good. We know that they have taken common positions against the alleged right to dismantle whatever it wants to, like they dismantled Yugoslavia and succeeded in dismantling the USSR.
All these are issues that worry many nations in the world.
And in Europe there wasn’t only the disintegration of the USSR but U.S. capital, which as I said, is taking over the economies of the old socialist countries. They want to take over everything there. Ah, but we are living in new times, a new century that will begin in something over a year – because 2000 is the last year of this century, lets not forget this – there are great challenges and tasks for the nations of the Third World, for countries like China, for countries like Russia.
We know that Russia tries to develop relations not only with Europe but also with the Third World. And we heard from the Russian Chancellor words similar to those said today by the Chinese Ambassador referring to the principles that I mentioned previously, intending to sweep away the rights of the peoples who form part of the United Nations and the principles that provided some measure of relative protection for their sovereignty independence. I say relative because we know that, in spite of these rights, the United States has intervened in a group of countries during these last decades without anyone’s permission – we know that – but always clashing with international law and now they want to do as they please without troubling with any international law or any established principles.
A hard battle must be waged in the United Nations, like the one our delegation waged. There is much to do battle about and there are many common interests among some of the nations that are members of the Security Council and the rest of the world.
For various reasons, the world is becoming aware of these problems and it is visible. There is sufficient strength to resist, to move forward, more so backed by the laws of history and the reality of a system and world economic order that is unsustainable; that is collapsing and that is capable of collapsing by itself, although this collapse must be helped along. And more than aiding in the collapse, the world must be made aware of these realities so that the peoples can resist this order with more strength and contribute to its progressive disappearance. Although one is sure that the disappearance will not be very progressive, because when a catastrophic economic crisis occurs, like the one that almost occurred, and being greater, because the more the delay the stronger the crisis will be, the spirit of struggle of the peoples must be lifted, their will to resist. We must make them aware that they must prepare for new concepts, a new concept of the world, a new world economic order, truly fair, that must come about as the result of the struggle of the peoples.
The peoples must struggle not only to protect their economy and Rights, but also must struggle to defend their own survival. They wipe out the environment; they destroy it. Scarcely a year ago Mitch hit Central America with devastating damage and now we see images of colossal floods, a visible climactic change and that no one denies. Who does it hit first? The poor countries; the nations of the Third World.
That is why I thought it was necessary to express these thoughts because I feel they are very important questions, worthy to be taken into consideration on a day such as today. But, I also wanted to say that, during these difficult years, when we suddenly lost our markets, we had the Chinese market. When it was difficult to acquire some supplies, we acquired some of them in the Chinese People’s Republic. Our ships come and go, they take and bring products. They have a very developed pharmaceutical industry, many raw materials for our drug industry, many raw materials for our pharmaceutical industry; some that are very difficult to acquire we find in China and at good prices. They have cooperated with our country. They have developed exchanges and economic relations with Cuba. They have also developed political relations with Cuba during the special period. Most of its leaders have visited our country.
We had the honor of receiving President Jiang Zemin and, in our fist contact, we were not wrong in appraising his intelligence, his political and human conditions, his capacity as a responsible leader and statesman with solid principles.
We also see in China, because we read the news cables every day, the other country where western propaganda is furious. A day doesn’t pass where international cables do not appear about internal questions and affairs in China. If China arrests someone for breaking the law, the outcry follows immediately. If China forbids a small splinter group because they are endangering the stability and union of the country or because of a policy that is treasonable to the interests of this great people, the outcry follows. Today the propaganda concentrates mostly against Cuba, but there is also strong propaganda against China, a diversionist propaganda using all the mass media possible creating new stations transmitting western ideas, western consumer habits or US madness to the 1.25 billion Chinese people – against a country with which it is waging, as much as possible, an ideological battle.
That is why, today, aware of our forces, the potential forces of the world, the potential allies of the Third World, the possibility of our peoples, thinking about this, listening to the words of the Ambassador, I felt a deep satisfaction and was very pleased to attend this event although I had not thought of speaking. I’ve extended myself a little more than what I had promised – and to listen to the Ambassador here speak the phrase that received so much applause and in Spanish because he spoke with precision in Spanish. He knows Cuba. He lived and worked in Cuba several years ago. That is why he speaks Spanish so clearly, like any one of us, when he said: “Socialismo o muerte” and when he added “Venceremos” he said something that we are absolutely convinced about.
Also, that is why I was so deeply moved to hear The International in this event endorsed by what was said here, expressed with exact data that was outlined here to demonstrate that only socialism can solve the problems of the world. Only socialism can feed 1.25 billion Chinese, give them a home, a television for each Chinese family, and many other household articles, and especially the essential resources for life. That is to say, that country feeds approximately 22% of the world’s population with 7% of the world’s agricultural lands.
Another great example: The country went through periods of starvation under the domination of the feudal lords and capitalism, always allied with colonial and dominating powers when the population was only 400 million or 500 million. Today the population has tripled and hunger has been eradicated forever. And here the Ambassador explained that they have been capable of producing 40% of the eggs produced in the world, 490 million tons of cereals, and other similar statistics.
And we could say that China is just beginning, that 7.8% growth was by brute force. How could they manage that if the rhythm of exports fell considerably? Ah! Because of the resources they have been accumulating. High reserves of convertible currencies allowed them not only to make the contribution I spoke of about the yuan but of maintaining a rhythm of growth that, if it was not going to depend so much on exports, would depend on the increase of internal consumption and maintain the rhythm of development for employment, because in all these tasks of restructuring, logically there is an important need to create jobs. They must also confront the movement from the countryside to the city as the former increases productivity and produces a surplus of hand labor.
They were able to maintain the yuan. It would have been easier to devaluate the yuan but they did not do it. Instead, they maintained their reserves, managed their economy with wisdom and managed a 7.8% growth under these conditions. They not only endured the Southeastern Asian crisis in those countries where the owners of capital took their money, where the owners of world finances plundered the last dollar of their reserves creating the ideal conditions for the large US transnationals to acquire companies and factories in any of those countries at a low cost. They not only endured the crisis and without devaluating the yuan but also performed an incredible service to the world. And in spite of that, they grew by 7.8%. They are able to continue the battle, in spite of the difficulties that oppress the world today.
All that has been said today of this story is the fruit of something that is called socialism. It is the fruit of a doctrine that arose to shake the world, a Marxist doctrine, of scientific socialism, a revolution of the poor, by the poor, and for the poor, that has, also made possible this incredible heroic exploit of resisting 40 years of blockade and almost 10 years of special period.
That is why I repeat the slogan with which the Ambassador ended his speech:
¡Socialismo o Muerte!