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 […]
By Amelia Duarte de la Rosa
November 25, 2019
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
The world commemorates this November 25 International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, even though one in three women on the planet suffers physical or sexual violence.
However, the term “Violence Against Women” coined by the UN in 1993, encompasses many types of attacks beyond physical, sexual or psychological, and also has to do with any threatening act, whether it occurs in life public as in private.
Many women in the world suffer from labor and political violence as an inalienable part of gender inequality and lack of equal rights for women and girls.
Among the highest rates of gender violence worldwide are found in the Pacific region, the Middle East and Africa, where although physical or sexual rape has a higher incidence, the female population is unprotected in terms of economic empowerment, political leadership and inclusion.
According to the United Nations Annual Report 2017-2018, women remain trapped in a network of inequalities that place them in the worst part of unpaid care, social protection and insecurity.
Gender disparities also intersect with gaps in education, income and access to services, as well as ethnicity, sexual orientation and geographic location.
In addition, women and girls are particularly vulnerable in education, which prevents them from achieving universal schooling and having more employment opportunities.
Harassment, discrimination at work and psychological aggressiveness also affect them as victims, because women are exposed to strenuous work schedules, low earnings, difficult conditions and an increased risk of violence.
UN Women data shows that one in 10 women in the European Union declares that they have suffered cyber-bullying since the age of 15. This includes unwanted, sexually explicit and offensive emails or SMS [text] messages, or inappropriate and offensive attempts in the social networks, which are positioned as the main means through which this psychological violence is exercised.
Meanwhile, a study conducted in 27 universities in the United States revealed that 23 percent of university students are victims of sexual assault or sexual misconduct.
For its part, Africa is one of the most restrictive continents in terms of women’s rights and it is estimated that millions of them have been subjected to female genital mutilation.
In addition, it leads the ranking as the region with the least safe abortions in the world, followed by Oceania and Latin America, which takes thousands of lives each year.
It is believed that only one in four abortions is carried out in safe conditions.
UN Women implements an aid plan in several countries to close these gender gaps and create counseling centers for survivors of violence.
In addition, some governments develop economic empowerment plans to counter violence against women, such as in Japan, which, for example, approved paternity leave to allow the professional development of mothers.
However, all action continues to seem useless when, UN data confirms that 71 percent of victims of trafficking worldwide are women and girls, and one in two women in 2017 was killed by their sentimental partner or a member of their family.
(Taken from PL)
On November 15, 238 years had passed since the dismemberment of the Bolivian indigenous leader. Along with thousands of his followers, he surrounded the city of Nuestra Señora de la Paz [today’s La Paz] for several months creating chaos and sowing panic among the Spaniards who lived in the small city
November 20, 2019
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
November 15, marked 238 years since the dismemberment of the Bolivian indigenous leader Túpac Katari. Together with thousands of his followers, he surrounded the city of La Paz for several months, creating chaos and sowing panic among the Spaniards and their descendants who inhabited In the small town.
Before dying, Katari formulated this prophecy: “I will die but I will return and be millions.” The historic phrase was rescued by Aymara leader Evo Morales when he assumed the presidency of Bolivia in 2006, and his government began to work for the demands for the rights of the original peoples.
Katari’s real name was Julian Apaza Nina. He was born in 1750 in the Aymara community of Ayo Ayo, province of Sica Sica, near La Paz, the son of a miner who died in the mines of Potosí. This indigenous leader led one of the most important rebellions against Spanish colonialism in Upper Peru, along with his wife, the heroine Bartolina Sisa and her younger sister Gregoria Apaza.
Legend has it that when Julian was born in 1750, two huge condors settled in the nearby mountains. One represented the Aymara and the other, the Quechua. Thus they learned that this child would be very important for the two native communities. That’s what happened.
The young Julian adopted the pseudonym of Túpac Katari in tribute to the indigenous leaders Túpac Amaro II and Tomás Katari, to fight against Spanish domination, organizing the indigenous and mestizos for the great rebellion he was preparing.
An army of more than 40,000 indigenous people from different regions such as Calamarca, Caracato, Sapahaqui, Laja and Viacha, led by Tupac Katari, twice surrounded the city of La Paz in 1781. Their seige lasted for one hundred and nine days, causing serious damage to the Spanish forces. This was mainly due to lack of supplies, however, troops sent in aid from Argentina prevented the fall of the city.
Katari was betrayed, imprisoned and sentenced to be executed through dismemberment, which took place on November 15, 1781, in the small town of Peñas, two hours from El Alto.
He was made to walk around the main square, his tongue was cut, he was quartered by stretching his limbs by four horses. They pierced his head over the tip of a pillory to intimidate the rebels. And as if that were not enough, parts of his body were exposed in different regions.
But his example led to other uprisings that achieved the expulsion of the conquerors of Bolivian land. And the fence was sculpted forever as the indigenous epic that bent the Spanish conquerors for a few months.
Now in Bolivia, a reissue of that siege is taking place. Representatives of social organizations of the city of El Alto, and the federations of coca leaf producers of El Chapare, decided to encircle La Paz. They demanded that the murders of the peasants and the mobilized people cease; human rights violations cease and the legitimate government and not the coup be restored.
In a tweet from Mexico, President Evo Morales recalled the Bolivian indigenous leader: «Spanish imperialism thought that by tearing up Tupac Katari 238 years ago, it would cut off the strength of the people to break the chains of colonialism. Today, more than ever, the fight continues. Before the repression of the racist coup, we repeat the sentence: I will return and be millions!,” he wrote.
December 11, 2019 12:12:07 | CLAUDIA PIS GUIROLA
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
It’s set in 1994 and Carlos is 14 years old. Some of his friends, neighbors and relatives leave Cuba behind the siren songs of the U.S. government. The US, which, while tightening the economic and financial blockade, promises benefits and guarantees to those who manage to set foot on American soil. In handmade boats, improvised from any material, they sail the seas: they are rafters. But Carlos (Damián González) is a teenager and in the midst of his personal pains, is unable to understand the full political-social dimension of the moment. Through his gaze, Agosto [August] is told. It is a film without excesses and with no desire to judge, which appeals to the collective memories of those who face the only Cuban film in competition in the section of Opera Prima during this 41st International Festival of New Latin American Cinema in Havana.
With the support of the Cuban Institute of Cinematographic Art and Industry (ICAIC), this production between Cuba, Costa Rica and France had to go through a long road of almost ten years to see materialize the original project of Armando Capó (director) with script by Abel Arcos. Finally, it is now possible to enjoy a work that, beyond the dramatic force of the context in which it is set, delves into more universal values such as adolescence, the loss of loved ones and the sexual awakening of a boy who will have to assume the socially accepted demands for his gender, but made even more acute by economic precariousness.
Capó, coordinator of the Fiction Chair at the International Film and TV School of San Antonio de los Baños, tells of a long documentary production (Descubriendo Pancha, 2004; La marea, 2009; Ausencia, 2011), which may have influenced the way the story is told. There are no dramatic effects or heartbreaking catharsis. Even the treatment of color from a palette without stridencies, the tempo of the edition and the use of hand-held camera contribute to achieving a story from a calm, with an unconventional narrative structure, but very attractive from, among other things, the careful recreation of the era.
With the performances of Glenda Delgado Domínguez, Felito Lahera, Verónica Lynn and Lola Amores Rodríguez, this is a film in a very different sense that proposes a healing gaze towards that moment of farewells and separations. That August was the same for many and those who still need a reconciliation with that summer, perhaps this August, will find it.
Published: Tuesday 10 December 2019 | 11:24:12 pm.
by Mileyda Mendéndez Dávila
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
WOMAN #1: What happened to Caridad’s husband was for lack of…
WOMAN #2: And what happened to the lady that lives on the corner was due to an overdose.
in sex, it is fundamental to respect oneself and the other person.
Lara Castro, Spanish sexologist
Carlos is 19 years old. He studies engineering and is an attractive young man, intelligent and nice enough to arouse the interest of whomever he wants. His friends respect and support him, his relationships have been stable and his sexual life healthy, so far without surprises.
Like many young people, Carlos has felt the need to experiment to the maximum of his abilities. Even without the traumatic experiences to justify it, he decided to venture with “the famous little blue pill”, because they promised him that he would see the clouds and show them, in addition, to his roommate.
The outcome could have been magnificent, as other young people who were pleased insist on narrating, but Carlos ended up in a hospital ward with an intense pain in his penis, erect for more than three hours, and an unbearable headache. Luckily, it was enough to drain the limb with a syringe and there were no sequels.
According to street rumors and reaffirmed by specialists in Sexology and Urology in our country, in the last decade the number of young men who consume Viagra without a prescription, has risen worryingly. This is true both in its Cuban variant and products imported illegally under the name, not always reliable, Viagra.
The interesting thing about this phenomenon is that this drug is a vasodilator (dilates the vessels of the circulatory system). It doesn’t stimulate desire, and is intended for patients with erectile dysfunction after trying other therapies whose use involves fewer physical risks.
When employed by a young man who has no circulatory problems or erection difficulties, it can cause priapism, that continuous and painful erection of the penis that lasts several hours and requires surgical intervention to resolve.
Even without immediate traumatic episodes, it is a dangerous habit because it creates dependence and deepens the insecurity, low self-esteem or anxiety of the young person. In the long run, this can generate the feared dysfunction, but of psychological origin, explains psychiatrist and sexologist Elvia de Dios, therapist at the National Center for Sexual Education (Cenesex).
In addition, possible reactions to the chemical surpass the advantages that its consumption supposedly brings, if there is no basic cause, which is lack of erection. These include headaches, palpitations, facial redness, nasal congestion, dyspepsia … Added to this is that some men should not use it because they are allergic to its components or these interfere with their treatments for chronic illnesses (such as heart disease).
There are also restrictions for uncontrolled hypotensives and men with retinitis pigmentosa. This is because, according to the Cuban expert, international studies report vision damage, since this drug relaxes smooth muscles by inhibiting the production of the enzyme FDE-5 (5-phosphodiesterase) but can also inhibit FDE-6, vital for the retina.
In the new protocols of attention to sexual dysfunctions in our country (in the process of validation to be generalized throughout the health system), we insist on the rigor of the prescription of the drug, accompanied by other indications, such as its ingestion away from meals, low-fat diet in the previous hours and not taking more than one pill a day.
It is essential to demystify other aspects that young people handle inappropriately. Viagra does not protect against any STI and its use does not increase sexual appetite: without desire and prior stimulation, it does not lead to anything positive.
These insecure young people force a process that should be natural, spontaneous and pleasant for both parties, in an attempt to look good above all else. In that state, it doesn’t matter if you use alcohol, viagra or other natural aphrodisiacs: the expected effect is in your mind, even if your body suffers the undesirable consequences.
A healthy sexuality in all senses includes unlearning prejudices that point to the man as merely responsible for the sexual relationship. It takes into account that, at that moment, responsibilities are shared equally, so the only doses that must mediate between them are that of attraction and honesty.
LA GUACAMAYA ROJA
by Marta López Fesser
December 17, 2019
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
*Free kindergarten for 2 years
*6 months paid maternity leave
*Paid paternity leave
Only 15 countries in the world have these 3 basic policies to facilitate shared parenting. Cuba is the only one in Latin America, it has the happiest babies in the world. reports UNICEF.
HAVANA, Cuba – When Juan Carlos and Maria decided to start a family three years ago, they knew there was only one way to raise children. “For a family to work, you need a team: that means sharing all the tasks and responsibilities,” says Juan Carlos.
Juan Carlos, who would be a first-time father, did not yet know the intricacies of fatherhood, but he knew he had to be present. “There are things we can’t share, like the discomfort or the physical weight of the pregnancy, but I can be there for [Maria], so that we can learn together and share this journey,” he says.
Juan Carlos did his best not to miss any of Maria’s medical exams before delivery. At the consultation, the couple observed that most of the instructions and advice given them was directed directly to her. Juan Carlos had to insist on his interest in being taken seriously. He wanted to know what his role was, how he could help his son reach his full potential, but he didn’t know who to turn to.
Cuba is one of 15 countries with three basic social policies and programs to help mothers and fathers: free public preschool education for the first two years; a minimum of six months of paid maternity leave to facilitate breastfeeding; and 12 months of paid paternity leave after the birth of the baby.
For a family to work, you need a team: that means sharing all the tasks and responsibilities.”
However, despite these programs and policies, social norms and structural barriers in Cuba make it difficult for men to participate equitably in all stages of child-rearing. Only 18 percent of fathers participate in educational activities with their children during early childhood; only 33.2 percent of children under six months of age receive exclusive breastfeeding benefits, and only 125 fathers were able to take paternity leave between 2003 and 2014.
When Maria recently became pregnant with Oliver, her second child, she and her partner did everything possible to take advantage of the resources at their disposal. “You can never be prepared enough,” says Maria. “Being a mother or father means learning that what you do and what you don’t do has lasting repercussions on the development and happiness of your children. It’s a deep, vital reflection that encourages you to want to do things right from the beginning.
On this occasion, they learned that they had access to free childbirth classes. “They were very useful; we met other couples in the same situation,” she says.
They also knew that MarIa had the right to choose a person to accompany her in childbirth, and Juan Carlos wanted to take advantage of this opportunity. “For me, it was a vital and unrepeatable experience that I believe all parents should live. It’s hard to imagine the pain and sacrifice that women have to suffer,” he says. “That arrival commits you for life.
Juan Carlos learned about these rights and services through the communication materials of “Padre desde el principio,” [Father From the Beginning] an initiative led by Cuba’s Ministries of Education and Health with help from UNICEF. The aim is to engage fathers by informing them of their rights, responsibilities and the benefits of shared fatherhood in an equitable manner.
Maria exclusively breastfed her two children for the first six months of their lives. “It would not have been possible without Juan Carlos. It is true that I am the only one who can feed them, but Juan Carlos was the one who got up at night to bring them to me and who took care of the household chores.
Juan Carlos was also the one who stayed at home with his children when Maria’s maternity leave ended, so she was able to return to work. “It’s been a wonderful experience,” he says. “Having a role in [their lives] from the beginning gives you the security to take care of them completely, and enjoy it!”
Maria agrees: “He has not only taken on traditional roles, such as washing and cleaning, preparing food or caring for the baby: they have also spent quality time together, developing a parent-child bond that will be the basis of their relationship in the future.
The “Father From the Beginning” initiative promotes equal parental responsibility from birth, precisely because if parents are involved from the beginning, they are more likely to continue to be involved throughout their children’s lives. Parents who are actively involved from the outset not only demonstrate a greater commitment to protecting their children from violence and prioritizing their education and health: they also challenge deeply rooted beliefs and stereotypes of masculinity.
“At first, our neighbors thought that our way of raising our children was strange, but they no longer see it that way,” says Juan Carlos. “I see a change: younger generations are evolving.
December 9, 2019.
by Vicky Peláez
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
Evo Morales, who managed to lift his country out of extreme poverty and turn it into an example of economic and social development in the region, must recognize that his sin of naivete was in believing that his code of ethics and his love for Pachamama would be understood by the majority of his countrymen and respected by foreigners who aspired to all his resources.
If one has a good knowledge of the means available to the enemy, the losses could be minor (Victor Serge, 1890-1947).
Evo Morales, the great leader who managed to lift his country out of extreme poverty and turn it into an example of economic and social development in Latin America, must recognize that his sin was in naively believing that his code of ethics and his love for Pachamama would be understood by the majority of his countrymen and respected by foreigners who desired all his resources.
He did not calculate well the destructive capacity of his enemies and did not worry about preparing his people to defend his revolution. [Instead, he focused] all his energy and organizational capacity on the growth of the economy and the well-being of his people. Both he and his second, Alvaro Garcia Linera, underestimated the danger signs and did not prepare for the coup that was being prepared and had been practically announced for years.
Now, North American power – and especially the CIA and the DIA – must be celebrating by finally overthrowing that Indian Evo Morales who dared for 13 years to build a proud and sovereign pluri-national state in defiance of Washington and, in particular, the transnationals, by cutting off almost free access to deposits of gas, uranium and strategic metals such as lithium, indium, gallium.
Since the arrival in power of Evo Morales on January 22, 2006, the United States conspiracy began with its servile OAS, the US intelligence services, the Jubilee Foundation, NGOs such as Standing Rivers, the national and international Evangelical Church, the Bolivian Civic Committees, the US Embassy in La Paz and the high command of the Armed Forces and the Police.
All of the coups require a great deal of preparation and training to set in motion well-organized actions by both the local civil groups and the paramilitaries. In the case of Bolivia, they wanted to hand over their country to the United States in exchange for access to power and business.
Evo Morales’ government was well aware of this process in Bolivia after the Police Crisis Resolution Tactical Unit shot down a paramilitary cell composed of Bolivian-Hungarian Eduardo Rozsa Flores and European mercenaries Michael Dwyer (Irish) and Árpád Magyaros (Romanian-Hungarian) on 16 April 2009. These terrorists were hired by Croatian-Bolivian businessman and landowner Branco Marincovik for the purpose of assassinating Evo Morales and provoking a coup d’état and the secession of the departments of the so-called Media Luna (Santa Cruz, Tarija, Pando and Beni) forming a new country.
In 2008 the intelligence services of Cuba and Venezuela warned Evo Morales that he should not rely on most of the high-ranking officers of the Armed Forces because of their pro-American indoctrination at the School of the Americas (SOA). Precisely that year, Evo Morales made the decision to no longer send the Bolivian military to the SOA. But he did not dare to reform the military institutions by instilling in them pluri-national values.
It was not until 2016 that the General Juan José Torres Gonzales Anti-Imperialist Command School was created, where the geopolitical theme of imperialism was designated as an obligatory course. On August 9, 2019, already informed about certain suspicious movements in the Armed Forces, Evo Morales proposed to create an Anti-imperialist Southern Command along with the participation of Venezuela, Nicaragua and Cuba.
However, the coup d’état had already been going on for several months. The Chargé d’Affaires of the U.S. Embassy in La Paz, Bruce Williamson, coordinated the final details of the dismissal of Evo Morales with the commander in chief of the Bolivian Armed Forces, General Williams Kaliman. (TV Mundus, Argentina, November 14, 2019). Washington strategists designated the Bolivian army as the central knot of the coup, with the Civic Committees organizing and executing acts of protest, violence, looting and all kinds of actions to destabilize the Morales government, head off the process of change from its officials to the political leaders and not allow their re-election. It was even planned that Bolivia’s first indigenous president would repeat the fate of Muammar Gaddafi and Saddam Hussein. (CounterPunch, November 2019).
When in August 2018 the Mexican journalist Luis Hernández Navarro asked Evo Morales in Cochabamba about the possibility of a coup d’état, the president replied: “I don’t think there will be a military coup, but they will try a national upheaval… The U.S. embassy is looking for a way to [promote] upheaval the country. But they have failed, failed and failed because we are with the truth. It’s the great advantage we have. (La Jornada, Mexico, 12-11-2019).
Morales was mistaken, because his truth and his code of ethics, based on the principles of equality, of patriotism, of always telling the truth, or of not stealing and protecting Pachamama were drastically opposed to the truth of the opposition. They were desirous of preserving and increasing their economic and social privileges although at the expense of national sovereignty.
Apparently, neither the Bolivian president nor his second, Álvaro García Linera, has read the essay by the Russian revolutionary Víctor Serge What Every Revolutionary Must Know about Repression (1921). Then they would have known that, from the moment a revolution is prepared, the counterrevolution looks for ways not to allow it to begin. Neither Evo nor Alvaro studied well the historical proclivity of the military of his country to betrayal and military coups. The fifteenth president of Bolivia, General Mariano Melgarejo, came to power through a coup, and handed over the Bolivian coastline with all its riches to Chileans and Englishmen, finally escaping to Chile.
The other military coup plotter, Hilarión Daza Groselle – the 19th president – betrayed his mentor Mariano Melgarejo for 10,000 pesos and offered Chileans a pretext for the Pacific War (1879-1884). He also betrayed the Peruvians and eventually deserted and escaped to Paris. The thirty-sixth president, German Busch Becerra, also military, participated in three coups and finally betrayed the homeland. President General Rene Barrientos immediately called his CIA chiefs when Che Guevara was captured in October 1967 to receive orders regarding what to do with the prisoner.
No wonder, then, that with so many sinister antecedents throughout the history of the Bolivian military, the now former commander in chief of the Bolivian Armed Forces, General Williams Kaliman – a graduate of the School of the Americas in 2003 and ex-military attaché in the U.S. – betrayed Evo Morales. It turns out that by August 7, when Kaliman declared himself anti-imperialist and a supporter of the changes the president was implementing, he was already engaged with the U.S. embassy to carry out a coup d’état. Police general and former president of Latin American police attachés in Washington, Vladimir Yuri Calderón, was also involved in the betrayal.
Analyst Sullkata M. Quilla, of the Latin American Center for Strategic Analysis (CLAE), revealed that Kaliman and other generals participating in the coup received one million dollars each and police chiefs $500,000. The payment was made by Williamson, and was made in Argentina in the province of Jujuy under the auspices of its governor, Geraldo Morales. 72 hours after the coup, Kaliman and other military and police chiefs moved to the U.S. safe from any national or international investigation. (TV Mundus, Argentina, November 14, 2019).
The Bolivian people are paying with their blood for Evo’s sin of innocence by not taking into account the experience of Hugo Chávez, who from the beginning of the process of change managed to form a solid civil-military alliance and also create the Committees for the Defense of the Bolivarian Revolution. He indoctrinated them in Simón Bolívar’s postulates and armed them with 100,000 Kalashnikov machine guns acquired in Russia. His successor, current president Nicolás Maduro, strengthened and trained these committees militarily. They already have more than 2,000,000 militants.
Since Hugo Chavez came to power in 1999, the Bolivarian National Armed Forces (FANB) was reformed and educated in patriotism as was their intelligence service. In spite of all these measures, in 2019 alone there were 47 attempts by the CIA, the DIA and the Colombian intelligence services to recruit officers of the Armed Forces, as President Maduro recently revealed.
Televen de Venezuela reported that attempts have been made to steal missiles and dismantle the system of mobile and fixed radars. Thanks to the actions of patriotic military, these attempts were discovered and those involved were arrested. According to Nicolás Maduro, his “military institutions are doing permanent intelligence work. (Televen-Tv, November 12, 2019).
This permanent intelligence work was ignored or not supervised by the government of Evo Morales and almost certainly its intelligence services – the SIE and the DIE – were already infiltrated by the U.S. CIA and DIA. The government of Evo Morales also neglected the role played by most NGOs in destabilizing MAS and its government. According to Resumen Latinoamericano (20 November 2019), in 2007 there were 1,800 NGOs in the country, of which only about 640 were registered in 2018. Many of them were financed by the US government through USAID, an organization that has spent more than $97,000,000 dollars since 2002 on promoting separatism in Bolivia and financing the opposition. So much spending by the Americans has now been recovered.
The entire effort of Morales’ pluri-national government was dedicated to the economic growth and social welfare of his people. He neglected the security of his State and forgot that the enemy, both internal and external, never sleeps, waiting for his moment. Finally it came in the form of a coup d’état and with the self-proclamation of Jeanine Áñez as president of Bolivia. This president has already received from the United States what most of the opponents so longed for: a Green Card, sent by the same Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo (Aporrea, José Sant Roz, 24-11-2019). It was also discovered that Jeanine is the perfect Bolivian birlocha (someone who hates her race).
From birth until the age of 19, she was called Anahí Ayelén Áñez. She was someone of the purest indigenous origin. In school called her Chola, chula, cholita. With time and thanks to the USAID scholarship and her identification with the evangelical religion, she tried to drive out of her body and mind everything indigenous by coloring her hair and changing the color of her eyes with contact lenses. She earned her law degree by correspondence and by the age of 38 she was director of Total Visión.
To better understand where this president and the opposition around her could take Bolivia, it is worth reproducing the de facto president’s response to a foreign journalist who asked her, after being sworn in, if she was racist. Jeanine said that “I never wanted to be president of anything, much less of this country. On the other hand, as far as I know, since the world is world supremacy has been and will have to be white. I have never seen a Supreme who is black or Indian, not even brown. The same Lord Jesus Christ is white.”
With a government of this type, the only thing that can be expected is Bolivia’s economic, social, political and cultural retreat into the past, where inequality, racism and injustice imposed their rules. The National Legislative Assembly, whose president and two-thirds of whose representatives are members of the MAS, did not dare to follow the constitution and deal with the resignation of Evo Morales. Its president, Monica Eva Copa, achieved consensus for the law enabling new elections.
The Confederación Obrera Boliviana (COB), the Mesa de Unidad and other organizations signed an agreement with the transitional government. According to the president of the Legislative Assembly, Monica Eva Copa, “if I made a decision with my heart, we would still be at war. But we have to use our heads so that this will be pacified and there will be no more death. (Pagina 12, 27-11-2019)
In the meantime, repression continues and the Minister of Government, Arturo Murillo, has published a list of senators and deputies who, in his opinion, promote destabilization of the country. He also announced the creation of a special apparatus of the Attorney General’s Office to arrest deputies and senators. At the same time, Six Federations of the Tropic of Cochabamba, the city of El Alto, Yapacaní and the North of Potosí continue with the blockade of highways demanding an end to repression.
Unfortunately, Evo Morales, Álvaro García Linera and the MAS leaders did not do in time what Monica Eva Copa calls “use your head” to prevent this sinister coup d’état and to protect both national security and the excellent economic and social achievements that Bolivia achieved in these 13 years of Evo Morales’ government. They forgot that “the enemy never sleeps” and, especially, the class enemy.
By Ana Álvarez Guerrero,
Student of Journalism of the Faculty of Communication of the University of Havana. On Twitter: @aaguerrero97
Irene Pérez, Cubadebate photojournalist. Graduated in Journalism from the University of Havana (2014). Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org, on Twitter: @irenepperezz
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
Heroes of the Republic of Cuba, Gerardo Hernandez and René Gonzalez, spoke today with Cubadebate about the Cuban premiere of the film “Red Avispa” at the 41st New Latin American Film Festival.
What did you both think of the film directed by French director Olivier Assayas?
The answer to this question and their impressions of this film – one of the most controversial of this edition of the Festival – were shared by Gerardo and René this afternoon, in an exchange that was transmitted through Cubadebate’s Facebook page.
Some of Gerardo and René’s impressions of the film
The film, as many people have said, is not exactly the story of the Five, it is the story of part of the Five, but it also goes beyond that to the story of the confrontation between Cuba and the United States. It seems important to me that from the point of view of a European, who has no direct relationship with this conflict of so many years, a film has been made on a subject that, during the time in which this story unfolded, was a subject censored by the media of the world. That is the fundamental value of the film. I know that it will generate debate in the Cuban public, because it is the most difficult audience for a film like this. This is because it knows the case, it lived it. If the film gets a rating of 50 points from Cuban viewers, it’s a good film.
What I liked most about the film was the boldness of placing the subject of terrorism in Hollywood. It is known that in Miami they have threatened to burn cinemas that show it. I think it’s brave to make a film that, without being pro-Cuban, embraces the truth and this truth favors us because we’ve been the victims for more than half a century.
The film shows 50 years of aggression, terrorism, crimes against Cuba. They are not so afraid of the film as they are of the story, a story that if they could have told it they would have done it, they have money, connections. This was a trial in which the 12 members of the jury, when they left the courtroom, took an oath of silence, did not dare to speak. In another case, each one of those 12 members would have made his book of when he was a juror in the case of the 5.
This case filled the judicial system, the judge, the jury, the prosecutors with shame, that’s why it’s a story that they can’t tell and that they’re afraid of, and that for so long they hid and tried to let nobody know. They are afraid that the history of U.S. aggression against Cuba, for so many years, will be known.
Expect an expanded summary of Gerardo and René’s statements to Cubadebate.
Posted: Saturday 07 December 2019 | 08:17:44 pm.
by Marina Menéndez Quintero
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
A decision announced a priori brings about the purposes Alberto Fernandez has in his portfolio for when he is sworn in as president. Within two days: Argentina is not going to accept the last pull of the scandalous $56 billion that Mauricio Macri sought from the IMF, It has been the largest loan granted by that institution in all its history. Nor will it negotiate more loans.
His will be a term that will be born under that Sword of Damocles, because the strong indebtedness agreed by Macri will still continue to hover over the country for some time. But Fernández will not allow the overruns with which the Fund manages the Governments to overfly it. No more recipes.
That is what would happen if the new president accepted the possibility – outlined recently by officials of the IMF – of signing another agreement for the country to receive more money lent to “help” – say the IMF officials – to pay what is owed …
Fernandez won’t do it. In the weeks since his election, he has reiterated the same idea: the country will not pay until the economy reactivates and grows.
With this conviction, he faced his first dialogue with the new head of the IMF, Kristalina Georgieva. She asked him, a few days ago, to apply policies of “fiscal viability” that allow the nation to pay off the debts contracted by the outgoing president.
The president-elect remained at “his 13” [stuck to his guns]. His administration, Fernández replied, will propose “a sustainable economic plan” and there will be no more fiscal “adjustments.”
However, Argentina has no choice but to pay, probably through renegotiation.
The new government – he has also reiterated this – will not declare Argentina in default (cessation of payments). This would mean that all credit and investor doors would be closed and, in addition, there are commitments made with private debt holders. But the incoming executive also refuses to tighten people’s belts just to favor, as Mauricio Macri has done until today, the eternal circle of indebtedness.
The situation seems unusual in its difficulty, although it is not new. It resembles too much that of Argentina in 2003, when the late former president Néstor Kirchner took over the helm of an equally indebted country. Perhaps then with more factories closed and more hunger, and the nation was the prey of a boiling up that brought the beaten middle class to the streets, put pot-banking in vogue, and pushed a president, Fernando de la Rúa, out of the Casa Rosada. Then, at the climax of the impossibility of maneuvering, the government was forced to freeze the money of savers in the banks and decreed the so-called “corralito financiero” (financial corral).
Those spontaneous mobilizations were the result of several administrations as rabidly and ruthlessly neo-liberal as the one Macri is now concluding. He has also been repudiated in the streets by those who come back from the same evils, and even by those who did not experience them before but suffer them now.
Somehow, Macri has also been taken out of the house of government by the people, only “for the better”. The electoral outcome that gave victory to the Front for All is due, in good measure, to its ability to unite its main protagonists to the strength of Peronism but also -and a lot!- to that popular rejection that gave its punishment vote to the outgoing administration.
If you look at the numbers, these four years may outweigh the critical times of the 1990s and early 2000s in depredation. If, when Nestor Kirchner arrived, Argentina’s debt was around $170 billion dollars, last June external debts were at $283.567 billion: $7.819 billion more than a quarter ago, according to data from the National Statistics Institute cited in Argentine reports. That figure represents 80 percent of GDP! Almost the same as the country produces, because it has been in recession for three years.
The times for the cabinet of Alberto Fernandez are shortened if you take into account that for 2021 they will face payment deadlines of $38 billion of capital, and $16 billion in interest.
Kirchner, at the time, paid the Fund once and for all. He renegotiated with private bondholders, in transactions that meant important “removals” of Argentina’s debt.
Now is Alberto Fernandez time to act. How will he do it? How will he be allowed to do it? Because one observer has pointed out that the gendarmes of the Monetary Fund will react to the sovereign attitude of Alberto Fernandez, as dictated by the United States.
Deputies of the Popular Unity Party denounced the outgoing president in court for having indebted the country for more than $100 billion dollars, and the fact that $86 billion of them have fled.
Upon filing the complaint, Claudio Lozano and Jonatan Baldiviezo accused him of the crimes of non-compliance with his duties as a public official and abuse of authority,. They estimated that “if we do not suspend payments, the debt could choke Argentina’s recovery.”
The weight of Macri’s external debt and the IMF’s persecution are not the only evils that the new government will have to fight economically.
An interesting article published in Página 12 by Alfredo Zaiat also points out the strong fiscal restrictions that have had to be implemented and will be against them. These include the exchange control implemented in the face of hit international reserves, weakened by the flight of foreign exchange; the weakened productive and labor scenario, the fall of the Argentine peso against the dollar (still at 63 to one) and the demands of trade and social sectors that have been hit hard by the crisis, such as teachers, scientists and state employees.
Fernandez knows where the core is to move the country forward. He hasn’t stopped working with a team of the Front for All since the good percentages obtained by his candidacy. With Cristina as vice-president, he announced that he would be the new head of state.
He has met with the provincial governors to ask for their support and also to demonstrate that he will govern by listening and counting on them. He has also spoken slowly with businessmen and industrialists, who have equally been hit by the macro crisis, to whom he gave guarantees of reactivation and asked for support.
The new government wants to return the workers’ salaries which had beenand fatten a little the slim pensions of the retirees; that there is no more need for soup kitchens, to improve access to education and health… And it has announced emerging social plans to alleviate that other macro debt: the one contracted with society.
The decision to incorporate two new ministries into the cabinet: Gender and Equity, and Habitat and Housing, illustrates where their paths go. This can also be seen in the announced Argentina program against hunger, and other social plans that will seek to provide a basic food basket to vulnerable households, and to guarantee potable water…
Those aspirations are a sign of how much citizenship needs. And the performance in the economic sphere on which many will depend; there everything is decided for Argentina today… or almost everything.
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews
Deputies and Senators
Dear Argentinean People,
The 10th of December each year is no ordinary day in our collective memory.
Today we celebrate the moment when Argentina buried the cruelest of the dictatorships we have had to endure. That day, thirty-six years ago, Raúl Alfonsín assumed the Presidency. He opened a door for us to respect the plurality of ideas and gave us back the institutionality that we had lost.
Since then, our country has gone through different moments. Some more placid and happy and others more sad and tumultuous. But in any case, we always persevered in the institutionality and any crisis that presented itself to us we knew how to bear it while preserving the functioning of the republic.
We Argentines have learned that the weaknesses and inadequacies of democracy can only be resolved with more democracy. That is why today I would like to begin by indicating my democratic commitment that guarantees among all Argentines, beyond their ideologies, coexistence in respect for dissent.
I wish to address very personally each and every one of those Argentines who inhabit this homeland.
I do so before the representatives of this Legislative Assembly, the authorities of the entire international community who are visiting us today and the various expressions of our life in society.
I do not want to use worn-out or artificial phrases.
I would like my words to express, as faithfully as possible, the echo of millions of voices that still resonate throughout Argentina.
From the humility of those listening, and from the hope that millions of compatriots expressed in the ballot boxes last October 27, I come to call for the unity of all of Argentina in pursuit of the construction of a New Contract of Social Citizenship.
A social contract that is Fraternal and Solidary.
Fraternal, because the time has come to embrace the different.
Solidary, because in this social emergency, it is time to start with the last ones, and then to be able to reach everyone.
This is the spirit of the time that we inaugurate today.
With sobriety in words and expressiveness in deeds.
I come to summon you, without distinction, to put Argentina on its feet. So that it may begin to walk. Step by step. With dignity. Towards development with social justice.
Today more than ever, it is necessary to put Argentina on its feet as a necessary condition for it to walk again. This means, first of all, recovering a set of social, economic and productive balances that we do not have today.
It’s time to give up the shock.
Be aware that the deep wounds that we suffer today need, to begin to heal, of time, peace, and, above all, of humanity.
I would like to call upon this United Argentina to unfold a new vision of humanity that reconstructs the essential links between each one of us.
That is why I need to share with you the conviction that I feel at this moment about the great walls that we have to overcome in order to put Argentina on its feet.
We must overcome the wall of resentment and hatred among Argentines.
We have to overcome the wall of hunger that leaves millions of men and women outside the table that is common to us.
And, finally, we have to overcome the wall of the waste of our productive energies.
These walls, and not our different ideas, are what divide us in this historical time.
That is why I would like these words not to be a monologue, but an invitation to a profound and sincere reflection on this transcendental moment.
Overcoming emotional walls means that we are all capable of living together in difference and that we recognize that there is no one left in our Nation, neither in their opinion, nor in their ideas, nor in their manifestations.
We have to suture too many open wounds in our homeland. Betting on the fracture and the crack means betting that those wounds will continue to bleed. To act in this way would be the same as pushing us into the abyss.
I express it from the heart, both to those who voted for me and to those who did not. Do not count on me to continue on the path of disagreement.
I want to be the President capable of discovering the best side of those who think differently from me. And I want to be the first to live with him without piercing his failings.
I want to be able to correct my mistakes, instead of placing myself on the pedestal of an enlightened one.
I come to invite you to build that democratic society.
The dream of a united Argentina does not need unanimity. Much less uniformity. In order to achieve the dream of a positive coexistence among Argentines, we start from the premise that all truth is relative. “Perhaps the sum or the confrontation of these truths will enable us to achieve a surpassing truth,” Néstor Kirchner wisely said.
In saying this, I am not unaware that the conflicts we face express distributive interests and bids.
But I am also aware that, if we act in good faith, we may be able to identify very urgent and shared priorities and then agree on mechanisms to overcome those contradictions.
Beyond the differences, I am sure that all of us agree that to begin to overcome the wall of fractures in Argentina implies creating an ethic of priorities and emergencies.
Beginning with the last ones, to reach everyone.
More than 15 million people suffer from food insecurity in a country that is one of the largest food producers in the world.
We need all of United Argentina to put a stop to this social catastrophe. One out of every two children is poor in our country.
Without bread there is no present and no future. Without bread, life suffers only. Without bread there is no democracy or freedom.
That is why the first official meeting of our Government will consist of a working meeting on this priority, the Integral Plan Argentina Contra el Hambre (Argentina Against Hunger). There, all our cabinet and the personalities of the civil society that have generously joined our call, will begin the action that will put an end to this painful present.
But I would not be sincere before you if I did not share another conviction: the marginalized and excluded of our homeland, those affected by the culture of discard, not only need us to rush a piece of bread to the foot of our table. You need to be part of it and to be diners at the same table. From the big table of a Nation that has to be our “common house”.
This requires us to reorient priorities in our economy and in our productive structure.
Solidarity in the emergency has many faces.
Family economies are suffocated by high levels of indebtedness, at usurious rates and in some cases with daily repayment schemes.
Today, our compatriots have taken out loans to buy food and medicines or to pay utility bills. Grandmothers and grandfathers went into debt to buy medicines and began to eat less and worse.
The SME situation also has dramatic proportions, requiring fiscal relief and appropriate stimuli.
The idle capacity of our factories, industries and businesses is also a waste of productive energy.
We want a present state, a builder of social justice, that gives air to family economies: that’s why we’re going to implement a massive system of non-bank loans that provide loans at low rates.
The popular economy and its organized movements, cooperativism and family agriculture will also be central actors in these public policies.
The culture of work is guaranteed by creating formal jobs with all the benefits of social security. That is why we will put in place actions that will make it easier for all the holders of the complementary social wage to insert themselves in the world of work and to receive payment for their work.
Today, unemployment affects almost 30% of young people and, even at higher rates, young women. There are more than 1,200,000 young people who neither study nor work. We must guarantee the right to first employment, through scholarships provided by the State for young people to train and work in companies, SMEs, social organizations and the popular economy and family farming.
The idea of a New Contract of Social Citizenship supposes to unite wills and to articulate the State with the political forces, the productive sectors, the confederations of workers, the social movements, that include feminism, youth, environmentalism. We are going to add to this the scientific-technological framework and the academic sectors.
I am sure we will all agree that we have reached this situation because very bad economic policies have been implemented. This series of economic decisions were decisive for the Argentine people, for the most part, to disqualify them in the last elections.
From the fidelity to this popular mandate, we are going to promote a set of economic and social measures of a different nature, which will begin to reverse the structural course of social and productive backwardness.
In the next few days we will be calling on workers, employers and various social expressions to implement a set of Basic Emergency Solidarity Agreements, which will constitute the solid foundation from which to restart the engines of our economy.
In this call, we will be proposing a series of measures to re-establish the indispensable macro-economic, social and productive balances so that Argentina can turn itself on and walk again.
We know that we will be walking a narrow, complex, challenging path, where there is no room for either magical dogmas or sectarian bids.
I would be lacking in truth and responsibility if I did not share with you the exact scenario in which we are assuming today. It has conclusive figures and data, emanating from the outgoing administration. And it is the indispensable information to understand the challenges that we will have to take on as a society.
If I didn’t do this, I couldn’t explain why it’s going to take some time to achieve what we all want.
Our current inflation is the highest in 28 years. Since 1991, Argentina did not have an inflation rate of more than 50%.
The unemployment rate is the highest since 2006.
The value of the dollar went from $9 to $63 in just four years.
Argentina continues to shrink its economy. The 2019 GDP is the lowest in the last decade.
Current poverty is at its highest level since 2008. We went back more than ten years in the fight to reduce poverty.
GDP per capita is the lowest since 2009.
External debt in relation to GDP is at its worst since 2004.
The current indigence [poverty] is at its highest level since 2008.
The level of industrial production today is equivalent to that of 2006: we went backwards 13 years.
Registered industrial employment is at the 2009 level.
The number of companies is equivalent to the level registered in 2007: we went backward 12 years. We closed 20,000 companies in 4 years. Of these, 4,229 were industrial companies.
The industrial GDP fell by 12.9%, comparing the first semester of 2019 against the same period of 2015. 23 of the 24 branches of industry lowered their level of activity in 2018 compared to 2015.
In these 4 years, more than 141,000 registered private sector jobs were lost in industry.
In inter-annual terms, the registered industrial employment has been destroyed for 42 consecutive months.
Behind these terrifying numbers, there are human beings with decimated expectations.
We have to say it with all the letters: the economy and the social fabric are today in a state of extreme fragility, as a product of this adventure that led to the flight of capital, destroyed industry and overwhelmed Argentine families.
Instead of generating dynamism, we have moved from stagnation to free fall.
In this context, I have decided that we will not give parliamentary treatment to the National Budget projected by the outgoing government for 2020. Their numbers reflect neither the macroeconomic reality, nor the social realities, nor the debt commitments that have actually been assumed.
An adequate budget can only be projected once the instance of negotiation of our debts has been completed and, at the same time, we have been able to put into practice a set of measures to compensate for the effect of the crisis on the real economy.
The Nation is indebted, with a mantle of instability that rejects any possibility of development and leaves the country hostage to the international financial markets.
We have to avoid that scenario. In order to put Argentina on its feet, the project must be our own and implemented by us, not dictated by anyone from outside with the same old recipes that have always failed.
The Argentina we seek to build is an Argentina that grows and is inclusive. An Argentina where there are incentives to produce and not to speculate.
An Argentina with a vision of a National Development Project, in which agro-industry, manufacturing industry, knowledge-based services, SMEs, regional economies and the set of productive activities are capable of adding value to our raw materials for export and to strengthen a robust domestic market.
Therefore, the Basic Emergency Solidarity Agreements will be the starting point to stop the free fall of the situation we are receiving. We will come out of this situation with consensus and in a gradual and sustained manner.
It is fundamental to recover the economy. An orderly macro-economy is a necessary condition to allow room for the creativity of development policies. There can be no progress without economic order.
To reorder the economy we need to get out of the logic of more adjustment, more recession and more debt that has been imposed in the four years that end today. In this reordering action, we are going to protect the most vulnerable sectors.
In the present that we face, the only privileged will be those who have been trapped in the pit of poverty and marginalization.
We need to relieve the burden of debt in order to change reality. We must redevelop a productive economy that allows us to export and thus generate capacity to pay.
I want all of us to understand that the government that has just finished its term has left the country in a situation of virtual default. At times I feel like I am going through the same labyrinth that trapped us in 2003 and from which we were able to emerge with the effort of the whole society.
Our plan of Basic Agreements of Solidarity in the Emergency, seeks to resolve this situation of disorder, to give economic and social consistency to our recovery.
The integral consistency of what we propose in terms of all the variables of the plan -prices, salaries, tariffs, exchange rates, monetary, fiscal and social aspects- will be made explicit in the coming days, calling on all the sectors involved.
I appeal to the responsibility and patriotism of all.
We are receiving a country that is fragile, prostrate and hurting.
It is time for a shared vocation that seeks a country that offers a better destiny to all.
The macro-economic plan that we pursue is a central but not isolated piece of a National Development Project that includes multiple interrelated areas. We are going to work simultaneously on new axes to transform our productive structure, with active policies that take into account the vertiginous [dizzying] technological change we are facing, the inter-relationship between industries, natural resources and services.
We are going to face the problem of external debt. There are no debt payments that can be sustained if the country does not grow. It’s ass simple as that: in order to be able to pay, you have to grow.
We will seek a constructive and cooperative relationship with the International Monetary Fund and with our creditors. Solving the problem of an unsustainable debt that Argentina has today is not a question of winning a dispute against anyone. The country has the will to pay, but lacks the capacity to do so.
The outgoing government took on an immense debt without generating more production with which to obtain the essential dollars to pay it. Creditors took a risk by investing in a model that has failed around the world time and time again. We want to solve the problem and for that, we need all parties to work responsibly.
We are not going to repeat the sad story of reckless technical missions that promise plans they cannot fulfill and make decisions that end up compromising the destiny of millions of Argentines.
Seriousness in the analysis and responsibility in the commitments that are assumed so that the weakest stop suffering. Under these premises, we will take over all negotiations of our debt.
There is another basic balance that we have to build: the federal and territorial balance.
Argentina needs to put an end to a structure that shows a rich and thriving “central” country and a “peripheral” country. One that seeks to develop from the minimum concessions that the “central” country gives. There can be no first-tier Argentines and second-tier Argentines. Argentina is only one, and together it must tend to the development of each and every one of its regions. That is the challenge we face and we must overcome.
We are going to implement these Basic Emergency Solidarity Agreements with the participation of Governors from all over the country, with an innovative federal criterion, in a productive and social key, beyond what is merely fiscal.
We will take a substantial part of the political and administrative activity of the National State to the provinces, creating alternative capitals. In this way, the reality of those places in our homeland can become alive to the policymakers, in the media and to acquire, in turn, the visibility that they did not have for decades.
We will also carry out an exhaustive analysis in order to decentralize and/or relocate Federal State agencies in the different provinces.
Just as the National Institute of Viticulture now operates in the Province of Mendoza and the National Institute of Fishing Research and Development operates in the City of Mar del Plata, we must think of diverse alternatives that guarantee a new federalism.
We are going to put Argentina on its feet, with a quality, sustainable and sustainable federal infrastructure, promoting regional development and together creating thousands of jobs in service cooperatives, small and large enterprises.
We are going to deploy throughout the country a Public Works Reactivation Plan, which are associated with the ecological challenge and allow us to improve an eco-system of environmental, social and productive relations.
They will be projects for fast execution and with great use of local people, destined to improve road safety and the accessibility, urban and territorial ordering, construction and maintenance of public buildings and the hydraulic infrastructure, among others.
Our commitment is to ensure absolute transparency in the administration of resources allocated to public works. The citizens will be able to access all the information about the project of the work, the costs of the same, process of bidding and selection of the executing company, to monitor the advances and to denounce irregularities.
We will develop an ambitious plan to regularize habitat and housing construction. It is inadmissible to think that in the 21st century millions of Argentines do not have a roof under which to shelter. The new Ministry of Habitat and Housing has been instituted with the purpose of addressing these shortcomings.
We are going to take care of the health of Argentines through the Ministry that they once degraded. The inattention that health in Argentina has suffered in recent years is evident. Diseases that we thought had been banished have reappeared among us. From now on, we will settle the pertinent measures so that our children are vaccinated in time and form. In that way, in the hospitals there is no lack of supplies and the remedies reach our grandparents with less income free of charge.
All these challenges must be met in a convulsed international context. Argentina must not isolate itself and must integrate itself into globalization. But it must do so intelligently, preserving national production and labor.
We want a dynamic commercial diplomacy that is politically innovative. That is why, in the area of international relations, we will set in motion a plural and global integration.
Plural, because Argentina is a land of friendship and mature relations with all countries.
Global, because that integration is with the world and with the local at the same time. An Argentina inserted in globalization, but with roots in our national interests. No more and no less than all the developed countries that promote the well-being of their inhabitants.
Our Ministry of Foreign Affairs will be focused on conquering new markets, motorizing exports, generating an active productive promotion of foreign direct investments, which contribute to modify technological processes and generate employment.
In this globalization, we also feel that Latin America is our “common home”.
We are going to strengthen MERCOSUR and regional integration, in continuity with the process initiated in 1983 and enhanced since 2003.
With the Federative Republic of Brazil, in particular, we have to build an ambitious, innovative and creative agenda, technologically, productively and strategically, one that is supported by the historical brotherhood of our Peoples and that goes beyond any personal difference of those who govern the situation.
We are going to honor it, we are going to advance together in the construction of a future of shared progress.
We continue betting on a united Latin America, to insert ourselves successfully and with dignity in the world. In 1974, General Juan Domingo Perón pointed out that “at the national level, no one can be fulfilled in a country that is not fulfilled. In the same way, at the continental level, no country can be realized in a continent that is not realized.
We know that this is a highly complex world. With serious economic problems and imbalances. Authoritarian movements have grown in several countries, there have been coups d’état and at the same time in several countries, there are growing citizen demands against neo-liberalism and social inequality.
In any scenario, Argentina will raise high its principles of peace, of defense of democracy, of full validity of human rights. We will defend the freedom and autonomy of peoples to decide their own destinies.
We reaffirm our firm commitment to the fulfillment of the 1st Transitory Clause of the National Constitution and we will work tirelessly to promote “…the legitimate and imprescriptible demandd for sovereignty over the Malvinas Islands, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands and the corresponding maritime and insular spaces…”.
We will do so knowing that we are accompanied by the peoples of Latin America and the world and convinced that the only possible path is that of peace and diplomacy. We will honor the memory of those who fell in the struggle for sovereignty. We will do so by working for the peaceful resolution of the dispute and on the basis of the dialogue proposed in United Nations Resolution 2065.
There is no more room for colonialism in the 21st century.
We know that for this task it is not enough to have the mandate of a President, or of a Government. It requires a medium- and long-term state policy. That is why I will convene a Council in the presidential orbit where all the political forces, the Province of Tierra del Fuego, representatives of the academic world and the ex-combatants will participate. Its objective will be to forge a national consensus to design and carry out the strategies that will allow the claim to be successfully carried out beyond the electoral calendars.
We will defend our sovereign rights over the Malvinas Islands, the continental shelf, Argentine Antarctica and the natural resources that these extensions possess because they belong to all Argentines.
Argentina needs an active environmental policy that promotes a transition towards a model of sustainable development, responsible consumption and valuation of natural goods.
In this search we are inspired by the Encyclical “Laudato Si” of our beloved Pope Francisco, a universal ethical and ecological Magna Carta. That is why we have taken the first decision to prioritize the environmental area as a Ministry.
We reaffirm our commitment to the Paris Agreement, promoting integral and sustainable development through a just transition that ensures that no one is left behind. These measures are essential to address the country’s vulnerabilities, particularly those of the most vulnerable sectors, which suffer most from the effects of Climate Change. We need to order the conditions for the conservation and rational use of environmental resources, forests and biodiversity, wetlands and soils, the sea and its resources.
Dear Argentines, dear Argentines:
Simultaneously with solidarity in the emergency, in the coming days, we will be sending Parliament the legislative bases to institutionalize an Economic and Social Council for Development, which will be the permanent body to design, agree and enshrine a set of State policies for the next decade.
We will give it legislative status and we will propose that its highest authorities be elected by parliamentary agreement, for a period of management that goes beyond our mandate.
We intend that in this plural scope the great institutional and productive pillars of medium and long term are designed -without circumstantial discussions-, towards an integral and inclusive human development.
We hope that this Council will open informed debates, with scientific evidence, with creative participation, with the help of technicians and professionals from all over Argentina who can inspire the construction of different directions.
We know that our country does not stand out for having had state policies. Since 1983 there have been only two constants. The irrevocable decision to live in a democratic society and the will to integrate regionally.
We have the responsibility to assume as State policies other irrevocable moral imperatives of Argentine society. Since 1983, society has worked for the Never Again for State Terrorism, to achieve Memory, Truth and Justice. The first advances were achieved since 1983 and then many others were resumed since 2003. And any regression in this matter was collectively prevented. We are proud as a society to have today Armed Forces committed to democracy.
Today is International Human Rights Day. And today, once again, Argentina commits itself to the respect of human rights and to raise that commitment as an unyielding flag in any country in the world.
Improving the quality of human and civic rights also implies overcoming this poor institutional quality in which we live.
It is time to citizenize democracy. We have a democracy with pending accounts and I feel that I express to a generation that arrives at this hour to the power to take the decision to settle them.
A democracy without truly independent justice is not democracy.
A classic criminalist knew how to say that when politics enters the Courts, justice escapes through the window.
Without a justice independent of political power, there is no republic or democracy. There is only one corporation of judges attentive to satisfy the desire of the powerful and to punish without reason those who confront them.
We have seen the judicial deterioration in recent years. We have seen undue persecution and arbitrary detentions induced by the rulers and silenced by a certain media complacency.
That is why today I come to demonstrate before this Assembly and before all the Argentine People, a resounding Never Again.
Never Again to a justice contaminated by intelligence services, “judicial operators”, obscure procedures and media lynchings.
Never again to a justice that decides and pursues according to the political winds of the power in turn.
Never again a justice that is used to settle political discussions, nor a policy that judicializes dissents to eliminate the adversary in turn.
I say this with the firmness of a profound decision: Never again is never again.
Because a delayed and manipulated justice means a harassed and denied democracy.
We want an Argentina where the Constitution and the laws are strictly respected. We want there to be no impunity, neither for a corrupt official, nor for those who corrupt him, nor for anyone who violates the laws. No citizen, no matter how powerful, is exempt from equality before the law. And no citizen, no matter how powerful, can establish that another is guilty if there is no due process and no final judicial conviction.
When the guilt of a person without a judicial conviction is assumed, not only the Constitution but also the most elementary principles of the rule of law are being violated.
In order to overcome this wall, the only thing that has been guaranteed in Argentina is structural impunity, in the coming days we are going to send to Parliament a set of laws that enshrine a comprehensive reform of the federal justice system.
At the same time, we will be reorganizing and concentrating the efforts of the justice system so that the investigation of organized crime, complex crime, drug trafficking and drugs, which are scourges that we must tackle in a systemic manner, can be emphasized effectively and transparently.
It is a question of taking advantage of the valuable and majority resources that exist today in our justice system, in order to put an end to the ominous stain that a minority sector causes to the credibility of the institutions.
In the same sense of profound transformation, I have decided that the Federal Intelligence Agency will be intervened in order to promote a restructuring of the entire intelligence and strategic information system of the State.
As an immediate step, I will revoke Decree 656 of 2016, which was one of the first and painful measures promoted by the previous administration and which meant consecrating the secrecy for the use of funds reserved by State intelligence agents.
Within the framework of the repeal of that measure, which was a regrettable institutional setback, I have also taken another decision: these reserved funds will not only cease to be secret, but will also be reallocated to finance the budget of the Hunger Plan in Argentina.
We will do the same with the rest of the reserved funds that the current national budget foresees today for the other armed and security forces, which will be maintained as such to the indispensable extent, only when very strict defense and security needs demand it, and always with a maximum level of parliamentary control.
I say this and I reiterate with the firmness of a deep conviction.
Never again to the secret state.
Never again to the darkness that shatters confidence.
Never again to the basements of democracy.
Never again is never again.
In this context, I would also like to announce that in the coming weeks we will be sending to Parliament and submitting to the informed debate of civil society and experts throughout the country a proposal for the transformation and structural coordination of the entire policy on citizen security and the prevention of violence.
We hope that it will be not only a state policy but also a societal policy. Concerted, plural, integral and co-managed, beyond the term of our mandate, among all the actors of the political system. To avoid dangerous pendulums that only call into question the credibility of institutions.
We want to put Argentina on its feet. Our armed forces must also be included in this objective.
For that they have to be qualified and equipped, enlisted and trained, for the fulfillment of the main mission and the secondary missions.
We want an autonomous, defensive and cooperative defense policy, articulating mainly with the countries of the region, with whom we no longer have a conflict hypothesis.
We are convinced that science, technology, defense production and cyber-defense can become fundamental vectors of national development.
We want the Defense System to continue supporting the national Antarctic policy, being our country the one with the greatest uninterrupted presence in the white continent and the one with the most bases. There, the logistical contribution of the armed forces makes it possible for hundreds of scientists and researchers to carry out their tasks, even in extreme situations.
We will continue with peacekeeping missions within the framework of our membership in the United Nations.
As Commander-in-Chief, I want to say clearly to our armed forces: we have an enormous opportunity to look to the future and make defense policy a true State policy, with a broad consensus of the political forces and a strong commitment to our National Constitution.
Citizenizing democracy also means respecting freedom of expression and all opinions expressed through the mass media.
In times of intoxication operations with false news through social networks, we need more than ever a vibrant media, committed to quality information.
The media are today immersed in an exponential technological change that, by challenging them, also challenges our democracy. Our Government assumes the commitment to accompany them independently in this transition. And to consolidate them as a great knowledge industry.
In this dimension of full respect, we are going to call for a better institutional quality in our relationship with the journalistic media, through the reformulation of what has been until now the handling of the State’s advertising guidelines.
The administration that ended today, spent a total of $9 billion pesos in official propaganda.
AState propaganda nonsense, in a country with a hunger for bread and a hunger for knowledge.
We want a press that is independent of power and independent of the resources that bind it to power.
For this reason, we are going to reorient the advertising budget of the State under other criteria.
We want them to stop serving the propaganda of the State so that they serve to improve the quality of education.
We are not going to cut this immense figure in its entirety, because it would affect the business movement of our journalistic media. But we are going to reorient it.
We want the ads paid for by our government, instead of advertising, to contribute to improving the learning process of our young people.
So that the mathematics, history, literature, physics and sciences of our school curricula can be taught in a more effective and creative way, through contents that are developed and disseminated by the advertising campaign that is set in motion with the resources of the State.
We do not want paid advertisements with everyone’s money to praise the kindness of the government in office.
We will invest the official advertising budget to publish advertisements in the media that will be pedagogical tools, which will help us improve the educational performance of our young people throughout the country.
We have to put these resources at the service of dictation of content more accessible and more adapted to modern demands.
In the coming weeks, we will be convening journalistic institutions throughout the country, to join with their talent to this proposal and commit together with teachers, scientists, pedagogues and experts in education, under the slogan of improving the quality of education.
The State media system -radio, television, news agencies, cultural spaces- will also contribute to this priority purpose. More and better education for all.
And we are also going to promote that all the jurisdictions and the other Powers of the State of the country, with a federal criterion, join in this purpose.
There will be no state guidelines for funding individual journalist programs. It will only be destined to journalistic institutions. In the relationship with journalists, the phrase that “clear accounts preserve friendship and respect” makes more sense than ever.
In the same context of innovation, we are going to propose a Great School of Government, with the highest academic excellence, as the axis of a process of professionalization, merit and administrative career within the framework of the National State.
We promote all these decisions because we understand that a New Contract of Social Citizenship implies to set in motion an educational, scientific and technological feat. As Arturo Frondizi once said, we must launch ourselves “with determination and courage to conquer the future”.
We will make every effort to universalize early childhood education, so that all our girls and boys, from 45 days to 5 years old, learn, play and live together in this fundamental space for their future as people and for our future as a nation, which is the school.
We will not rest until a child in a rural area has the same access to a transformative education as a girl in an urban center, living in the point of the country she lives in. Today there are regions where 3 out of every 10 boys do not start school before the age of 5 and others where half do not before the age of 4.
We will also make it a priority to make progress in extending the school day, a fundamental initiative to break down inequalities of origin. We will start with schools attended by girls, boys and young people from sectors that need the State most, who can no longer wait.
None of this will be possible if we do not value the most important part of this dream we have in our hands: we want every teacher to want to be the educators of the future, the engine of change and transformation of our society. Improving working conditions and ensuring initial and ongoing training must be a priority.
During my government we will lay the foundations for a great National Education Pact, with all the actors of the educational community and society.
And this is not the dead letter of a speech.
Argentina became valuable when Alberdi and Sarmiento worked to make education public. It became rich with the University Reform. It became more powerful when Justicialism [Peronism] declared free university education.
We demand scientific and technological research because no country will be able to develop without generating knowledge and without facilitating the access of knowledge by the whole society. I have decided that in our Government the respective area will recover its Ministerial hierarchy that it should never have lost.
Together with the organized workers’ movement, the backbone of the social agreement, we are also going to promote an essential strengthening of permanent training for present and future jobs. We want technological change to have a soul, to be at the service of living well, to multiply productivity, inclusion and equity.
I do not want to end without mentioning emphatically that in the next four years I will make every effort to ensure that women’s rights are at the forefront. We will seek, through various instruments, to reduce gender, economic, political and cultural inequalities. We will place special emphasis on all issues related to care, the source of many inequalities, since most domestic work falls on women in Argentina as well as in other countries.
Not one Less must be a flag of all society and of all the powers of the republic. The State must drastically reduce violence against women until it is completely eradicated.
In Argentina, too, there is much suffering due to stereotypes, stigmas, the way of dressing, skin color, ethnic origin, gender or sexual orientation. We will embrace all those who are discriminated against. Because any human being, any one of us, can be discriminated against for what we are, for what we do, for what we think. And that discrimination must become unforgivable.
Our political ethics affirms the values of solidarity and justice. All Argentines are affected by the crisis. I would also like to address a moment to those who are in a better economic situation. To the Argentines who, because of their effort or for whatever reason, have a more pleasant situation.
In a context of extreme gravity, of emergency, we must understand that there is no possibility of asking sacrifices to those who are hungry, you can not ask sacrifices to those who can not make ends meet. We must address this situation with solidarity, so that when the economy is turned on, all sectors, without exception, can benefit. But until hunger is eliminated, we will ask for greater solidarity from those who have the greatest capacity to give it.
Begin with the last ones, to reach everyone.
And so, we propose an Argentina where the embrace grows, multiplies, because we need to unite. If we can stop the hatred, we can stop the fall of Argentina.
The first and foremost liberation as a country is to ensure that hatred has no power over our spirits. Let hatred not colonize us. Let hatred not mean a waste of our people living in community.
I would like to end by expressing my deep gratitude for the generosity and highlighting the strategic vision that our vice-president, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, has expressed at this time in Argentina.
Allow me also to remember three people who signed me in life.
I would like to remind my mother that she marked me with her example.
I would like to remember Esteban Righi, who instilled in me like nobody else the best values of the Rule of Law.
And I want to remember Néstor Kirchner, who in 2003 allowed me to participate in the wonderful adventure of bringing Argentina out of its prostration.
I also want to thank all my comrades in the political space that has led us to victory, for their permanent dedication and militancy.
Many times in these days I have asked myself why I would like our government to be remembered in the future.
I would like us to be remembered for having been able to help bring the family table back together. May the logical and healthy political differences that can exist in a family be dialogued in peace and respect, without divisions or quarrels.
I would like us to be remembered for having been able to overcome the wound of hunger in Argentina, which is an insult to our collective project of living together.
I would like us to be remembered for having been able to overcome the perverse logic of an economy that revolves around productive disorganization, greed, speculation and infertility for the majority.
I would like us to leave a mark of having rebuilt the common house with a great national project, a Strategic Agreement for Development, of which we are proud.
That is why I hope that the final words of my first message as President of the whole of Argentina will not be an answer but a question.
Answers without questions are like trees without roots. And it is only in the encounter between questions and answers that our words take on real life.
Will we, like United Argentina, be able to dare to build this serene and possible utopia to which history calls us today?
Will we be capable as a society?
Will we be capable as leaders?
I want to be the President of listening, of dialogue, of agreement to build the country of all.
A few days ago, a friend of mine pointed out to me the importance of all of this in the coming future. He was right to say that we have to learn to listen to each other even though we do not think the same. Too long we tried the method of anger and rancor. We must all rid ourselves of the bitterness that we carry. Let’s regain each other’s trust. Let’s trust each other again.
The time has come. That is why I am here.
When my term ends, Argentina’s democracy will be in its 40th year of uninterrupted operation.
That day I wish I will be able to prove Raúl Alfonsín right.
I hope that together we can show that democracy cures, educates and eats.
Let us stand up and start our march again.
Thank you very much.
Author: Rolando Pérez Betancourt | email@example.com
December 8, 2019 22:12:47
A CubaNews translation. Edited by Walter Lippmann.
Finally exhibited at the 41st New Latin American Film Festival, The Wasp Network (Olivier Assayas, 2019) makes it clear with historical objectivity that the Cubans who infiltrated counterrevolutionary Miami exile organizations had the right to watch over the security of their country, and thus stop the wave of terrorist attacks of the 1990s carried out under the protection of the United States.
This is an important aspect to be taken into account in the film by the Frenchman Assayas, a prestigious director whose work is known in our country. He has made it possible to appreciate the sensitivity of an artist capable of tackling the most dissimilar human problems from intimate stories.
Based on the book The Last Soldiers of the Cold War, by Fernando Morais, Assayas himself wrote the script about a conflict that – it could not be otherwise – establishes who are the aggressors and who are the victims in a history that goes back half a century.
It was enough for the Miami counterrevolution, without seeing the film, only news after its presentation at the Venice Film Festival, to make a fuss and a pathetic warning: in those lands, the film couldn’t even show its head.
The theme of the Five Heroes and the stories that flow from it would allow us to make a few films and series. But in any work based on reality, there is a selection of events and characters, along with artistic licenses put into function of a dramaturgy and simplification of the plot. From Morais’s book, Assayas highlights what he considered pertinent to build a web of events that span several years and not a few intrigues. Although the film has been promoted as an espionage thriller, the director says that it is a historical vision conceived with the intention of capturing a feat that, after he learned about it it, captivated him.
It was advisable, however, to balance the tone and balance the conflict in such a way that a whole point of view in favor of the revolutionary cause did not prevail in a film with foreign funding and international distribution. Besides, the assumption of the political factor in any subject is always a reason for division of opinions and even entrenchments. These can be seen now, even, in “artistic” criticisms in which ideological positions against the “Cuban communist regime” stand out more than an unprejudiced practice of professional analysis.
But facts are facts and artistic honesty, although it is necessary to qualify, cannot be detached from them.
For this chronicler, The Wasp Network ends up being a film worthy and meritorious to see, which is not free of inconsistencies in its realization. Of these, the most significant, is the dispersion motivated by wanting to cover everything and explain more than necessary, taking into account the possible ignorance of the subject that an international audience could have. In this sense, the script resorts to leaps in time and an entry and exit of characters that leaves gaps in terms of purposes of the story and the lack of roundness of certain situations, such as the one concerning the flight to Cuba undertaken by the infiltrator Juan Pablo Roque (Wagner Moura).
Another debatable card -which for a Cuban spectator has nothing revealing about it- is the surprise factor that is intended to impregnate the infiltrators in Miami. It first, it makes them appear as traitors who escape from the Island and later, in their real function, a double game devoid of the dramatic force that, it is guessed, was among the director’s goals.
The Wasp Network is focused on the stories concerning René González (Édgar Ramírez) and his wife Olga Salanueva (Penélope Cruz, in an excellent performance).
Also the afore-mentioned Roque and the wife who is sought in Miami (Ana de Armas), each couple with their very particular love-political conflicts and was carried with considerable ease in the plot. Gael Garcia Bernal plays Gerardo Hernandez, leader of the group. It would be necessary to see the opinions that the real characters have regarding their characterizations.
The film efficiently reconstructs the terrorist attacks against tourist facilities, shows the maximum faces of the counterrevolutionary exiles and resorts to excerpts from the archives as a reminder that everything that counts comes from reality. This is how President Clinton and Fidel appear separately, towards the end, during an interview with an American journalist. Fidel is conclusive about the right of the most spied country in the world, Cuba, to know what the enemies are doing on U.S. soil to attack the Cuban people.