In the course of next week, Correos de Cuba will put on sale in all its units and newsstands, the Constitution of the Republic of Cuba that was approved in the Second Ordinary Session of the IX Legislature of the National Assembly of People’s Power, at the price of one peso in national currency. Correos […]
The audiovisuals show a compact crowd, with the presence of many young people carrying the flag of the original peoples, known as Wiphala
Author: Granma | firstname.lastname@example.org
February 3, 2020 23:02:39
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
Thousands of people who support the Movement Towards Socialism joined to support the Arce-Choquehuanca duo for the May 3 elections. Photo: ANSA
The social networks are publishing videos of a massive demonstration by the population in La Paz, Bolivia, to support the registration of the Movement Towards Socialism (MAS) candidates on the last day of the term granted by the Plurinational Electoral Tribunal for this administration, said PL.
The audiovisuals show a compact crowd, with the presence of many young people carrying the flag of the native peoples, known as Wiphala. They march from the Plaza San Francisco in La Paz to the headquarters of the electoral body in the Bolivian capital.
As it is known, the registration period for the Bolivian political alliances and parties for the presidential elections of May 3 ended this Monday and from now on the electoral campaign for each of the registered candidates begins.
According to the Plurinational Electoral Tribunal (TEP), eight presidential candidates are registered, including the duo of Luis Arce and David Choquehuanca, for the MAS, while the right is divided between the self-proclaimed president Jeanine Áñez; former president Carlos Mesa, and Luis Fernando Camacho.
Meanwhile, Evo Morales presented a request before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to demand that the entity issue a precautionary measure in his favor that guarantees respect for his right to run for the Plurinational Legislative Assembly by MAS.
Recently, lawyers Patricia Hermosa and Wilfredo Chávez were arrested. They were to present before the electoral authorities the documentation required to register Evo as a candidate for the Plurinational Legislative Assembly.
Published: Saturday 01 February 2020 | 08:58:50 pm.
By Marina Menéndez Quintero
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
With the certainty that reason instills, the new Argentine government has already stood on its feet and is preparing to take the first and most important step of the beginning of its term, from which everything can be defined.
The renegotiation of the foreign debt in which Mauricio Macri’s government was trapped is essential to achieve the goals that the Frente de Todos wants to achieve in Argentina.
The urgency is understood in a simple way, and not only because the term will last only four years. It is not possible to walk around while a bundle of more than 280 billion dollars owed to private holders and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is being dragged along. This is not only because the bundle of bills weighs too much: if each disbursement is not made within the established time frame, the country would be declared in default -that is, in cessation of payment- and then the world would indeed cut off the Argentines’ water and electricity.
The official start to get “relief” has been the first meeting of the young Minister of Economy, Martín Guzmán, with the private creditors; a meeting that took place this week at the Council of America in New York, and from which not all the businessmen came out very happy, according to certain sources that, perhaps, want to see things only from the dark side.
The headline, said the complainants, did not provide details of the “offer” to renegotiate, let alone the fiscal plan to be implemented by the Argentine government. Do businessmen have to control what the executive will do?
In any case, Guzmán had already given the details before leaving for the meeting. They are the same ones that President Alberto Fernández announced when he was still a candidate.
At that time, the president warned that, from now on, he would not borrow another dollar. And that, before paying, the first thing would be to resume growth.
At this point, it is clear that what Argentina is seeking is to “re-profile” the payment schedule, a term used to replace the familiar word “renegotiation,” and that it has different conceptual nuances because the nation does not aspire to “quitas,” that is, to a reduction in the nominal value of debts. What is sought is a restructuring -another current definition- that allows for the postponement of maturity dates.
The position is one of unquestionable technical reasoning: how to pay if the country does not produce, perhaps by asking for more debt, as Mauricio Macri did?
But Fernandez’s path, which Guzman follows, also carries with it a sense of national sovereignty that cannot be ignored if the economy and the country are to be brought to fruition.
“The economic program was designed and executed by us (…) What is ours is ours,” said Martín Guzmán before leaving for the United States, when asked about the expected negotiations with the Fund.
The security with which the holder conducts himself is not surprising. First, because it has been the international financial institution’s conditioning – in exchange for the credits granted to Macri – that has caused things to be the way they are again: unemployment triggered by state layoffs and the bankruptcy of small and medium-sized companies, a slowed-down economy, less purchasing power that made food shortages and in some cases hunger resurface, pension cuts, job insecurity, rising gas and electricity prices, and a long list of other similar things everywhere this neo-liberalism is applied in blood and fire.
Secondly, because Guzmán is not an upstart. He has worked for several years alongside the Nobel Prize winner in economics, Joseph Stiglitz, and has become an expert precisely on the issues surrounding sovereign debt.
“He is the right man at the right time (…) A brilliant and knowledgeable economist who can combine youthful vigor with experience beyond his 37 years,” Stiglitz said at the time.
On the other hand, prestigious economists who look at things from a more political angle and located in the Third World, such as the Belgian Eric Toussaint, say that Alberto Fernandez’s executive has all the arguments not to pay, because the Fund violated its own technical requirements by negotiating with Mauricio Macri the delivery of the largest credit that the institution has ever approved ($ 57 billion), even knowing that, even then, Argentina had no possibility of paying it back.
Some consider that the IMF followed Donald Trump’s instructions to support Macri; but others consider that the purpose was to tie Argentina back to the International Monetary Fund, as it was from the mid-1980s until the recovery achieved with Néstor Kirchner as of 2003, after the renegotiation of the debt at that time and the break with the dictates of the IMF. This would make the country “more manageable”.
Now some fear the interests and influence that Trump could have on the attitudes that the Monetary Fund adopts when negotiations are opened.
Many concerned people
Although it was routine, this week’s meeting in New York had nuances of urgency. The first debt repayments to the private sector are knocking on the doors, and the country’s coffers are empty.
In spite of the premiere flavor of the meeting with 50 bondholders who represented, according to what happened, 40 percent of all private creditors, there were already other meetings, especially with the IMF.
The Fund disbursed and now does not lose any footprint to the country. As soon as the primary elections (PASO) showed the possibility of a Peronist triumph in October, its officials went to sound out the ground and meet with Fernández.
More recently, the president himself spoke with the new head of the institution, the Bulgarian Kristalina Georgieva; and then the Minister of Economy who, it seems, left the interview with more satisfaction than regret, in accordance with his belief that the IMF “has changed”.
Now Martin has just met with two of its top officials, and will return to the dialogue with Georgieva in February. Both of them are protected by the good wishes of Pope Francis, because the meeting will take place during the presence of both of them in the Vatican.
What follows will not be easy. Argentina aspires to postpone the payment terms without taking away – as is required, moreover, by a loan as large as the one Macri squandered – but, according to the monitary fund manuals, to grant this postponement, the nation would have to assume commitments… And Buenos Aires insists that there will be no more recipes.
“We are not going to allow any conditionality,” said the head of Economy.
A united front
Perhaps one of the best things about the Argentine position is the unitary way in which it is forged and sustained.
Four days ago, in an unprecedented debate, the Chamber of Deputies approved almost unanimously, even with the backing of the legislators of the now-opposition Juntos por el Cambio, a bill that empowers the executive to renegotiate the debt in dollars with foreign private creditors.
It is expected to become law when the Senate debates it next week and, although the text limits the government to setting the terms of the negotiation, the strong support it received from 224 votes to two with one abstention also gives strong moral credit (and not just official authorization) for the government to act.
In any case, nothing seems to have been left “to the good Lord”. While with the private ones the executive is left free to act, it will go as a team to the negotiations with the International Monetary Fund. A team will accompany Guzmán in the preparation of the proposals for this procedure: the most difficult.
The new body is called the Unit for Technical Relations with the IMF. Its mission will be to assist the Economy Minister in the “formulation and execution of the strategy” of these links and, according to the Argentine press, the one who formulates the proposals.
There seems to be a growing consensus on the perniciousness of loans and debts, judging by the loud applause that followed the intervention of Maximo Kirchner Fernandez, head of the Frente de Todos party in the Chamber of Deputies, during the discussion of the law passed there this week.
“What we have to say here is “never again” to the foreign debt, and to start elaborating, among all of us, an economic policy that will eliminate, from now on, this kind of problem of the Argentine society”.
This is the second time in that nation that such a challenge is faced. And the bidding has just begun.
An intense and insulting campaign against the medical collaboration that Cuba provides to the world characterized the U.S. imperial strategy implemented in 2019. It found submissive governments that preferred to leave their people without health care, in order to play along with the White House.
by Nuria Barbosa León
January 24, 2020
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
An intense and insulting campaign against the medical collaboration that Cuba provides to the world characterized the U.S. imperial strategy implemented in 2019. It found submissive governments that preferred to leave their people without health care, as long as they played along with the White House.
One example is the recent statements made by the self-proclaimed president of Bolivia, Jeanine Áñez. On January 22, at the ceremony to celebrate the founding of the Plurinational State, Áñez once again used hackneyed arguments against the altruism of Cuban health professionals.
In response to such fallacies, Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez, in his Twitter account, described the lies of the coup leader as vulgar. He urged her to explain to her own people that, after the return to Cuba of the collaborators, as a result of the violence to which they were subjected, more than 454,440 medical visits had been cancelled.
He also said that the two months of absence of Cuban doctors in that Andean-Amazon nation have resulted in almost a thousand women who have not received specialized assistance in their deliveries, and 5,000 surgeries, as well as more than 2,700 ophthalmological durgeries, which were not performed. “They are not just figures, they are human beings,” wrote the Head of Cuban diplomacy.
The dismantling of the programs based on Cuban medical cooperation has been financed with more than $3 million, granted by the Agency for International Development (USAID), a U.S. institution that provides funds for different aggressive actions against governments that Washington does not like.
The Cuban medical brigades in Brazil, Ecuador and Bolivia disappeared as a result of all this persecution by the United States, which questioned the professionalism and dedication of the more than 400,000 Cuban health workers who, in 56 years, have carried out missions in 164 nations.
This campaign to discredit Cuba is led by the White House National Security Council under the sponsorship of senators and congress members associated with the anti-Cuban mafia in Florida and right-wing State Department officials.
They invent the premise of a supposed “modern slavery” and “human trafficking” for Cuban doctors and hide the humanistic sense of such missions abroad. These have helped to recover health indices such as the decrease of infant mortality and maternal deaths; the curing of infectious diseases by epidemics and others.
They do not know that Cuban doctors, before leaving, receive training about the place where they will work. They sign a contract of employment with all the legal guarantees and where the terms to be fulfilled by both parties are made explicit. They take with them a medical record with the updating of their vaccines, plus the legalization of their professional titles.
Several countries even require these professionals to take knowledge tests, and medical authorities from these countries travel to Cuba to take tests in languages other than Spanish.
Those who go on medical missions do so absolutely freely and voluntarily. In Cuba, their families receive their full salary or it is kept in a bank account, while they have a stipend in the country of destination, along with other benefits (payment of accommodations, electricity, water and basic services).
The compensation Cuba receives for the cooperation it provides goes towards the financing, sustainability, and development of the public health system, which is free for one hundred percent of Cubans. This is something difficult to understand in the capitalist world, where a good part of the health services are paid for.
All the discrediting promoted by Washington is accompanied by attempts to re-establish the so-called Parole Program for Cuban Medical Professionals, which existed until January 12, 2017. This encourages desertion, payment of tickets and legal services, provision of U.S. visas and travel documents to aid workers in third countries. Its is the sabotaging bilateral agreements signed with them, depriving them of their services and depriving us of highly qualified human resources.
Today, the response to this new war has been to continue saving lives, providing health and welfare. While the governments denigrate the stories of Cuban internationalism, the beneficiaries are grateful and recognize that this achievement completely transcends geopolitical interests and any ideology.
– November 2018:
Cuba decides to return home to its brigade in Brazil, because President Jair Bolsonaro questioned the dignity and professionalism of our doctors present in 3,600 municipalities in that country, which between 2013 and 2018 provided health coverage to 60 million Brazilians.
– May 2019:
The Secretary-General of the OAS presided over a conference to accuse Cuba of alleged crimes against humanity, based on Cuban medical cooperation abroad.
– June 2019:
The State Department, in its Report on Trafficking in Persons 2019, denounced Cuba’s international medical cooperation.
– July 2019:
USA The US imposes visa restriction sanctions on Cuban officials linked to medical missions.
– July 2019:
The Agency for International Development (USAID) provides three million dollars for projects against Cuban doctors abroad.
– During 2019:
U.S. Embassy and U.S. government officials went to authorities in several countries to inquire into accurate data on Cuban medical cooperation, with the aim of finding ways to eliminate it.
– October 2019:
The Government of Ecuador decides to conclude the health agreement with Cuba, alleging economic reasons, but spreading slander in the press about the participation of Cubans in the protests carried out by the Ecuadorian people.
– November 2019:
There were 26 serious incidents against our aid workers in Bolivia, and therefore the medical mission in that country was terminated.
– Throughout the year 2019:
27 bilateral legal instruments were signed in Cuba with 23 countries.
Sources: Minrex Declaration: The United States Crusade against Cuba’s International Medical Cooperation, December 5, 2019, and “Continue to promote Cuban health as a reference for the world”, Minsap report 2019.
Many of the affected patients experience some form of discrimination and exclusion and therefore face mental health problems, such as depression or anxiety.
by Web Editor
January 29, 2020
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
Many erroneous beliefs are related to leprosy, but specialists in the field prefer to point out three truths about it:. It is curable, it is not contagious because it ceases to be transmissible beginning with the first doses of treatment and it does not produce deformities or disability if it is diagnosed in time.
World Leprosy Day is observed on the last Sunday of January, this time on the 26th. Dr. Raisa Rumbaut Castillo, head of the National Leprosy Program of the Ministry of Public Health, explained that every year in Cuba an average of 200 new cases of both sexes are reported, from all provinces, mainly Granma, Santiago de Cuba, Camagüey, Ciego de Ávila and Havana, the latter because of the number of migrants it receives.
Many of the affected patients experience some kind of discrimination and exclusion and therefore face mental health problems, such as depression or anxiety. In view of this, this year’s theme will be: Stigma and human rights of people affected by leprosy.
The doctor stressed that unlike other countries where treatment is only supervised in the first dose, in Cuba leprosy patients receive free, supervised and controlled care (on an outpatient basis) in primary health care, that is, through the Family Doctor and Nurse Program. Patients are no longer isolated in sanatoriums (formerly called leprosaria).
The also First Degree specialist in Epidemiology and Master in Infectious Diseases said that this treatment is donated by the World Health Organization (WHO), which recently decreed that every January 30 (and from this year) will be commemorated the World Day for Neglected Tropical Diseases (WTD), which includes leprosy.
Apart from the fact that there is no neglected disease here, both dates will be remembered on 30 and 31 January with a national scientific day to be held in the capital, at the Comandante Manuel Fajardo University Clinical Surgical Hospital, which will be supported by the Cuban Dermatology Society.
Leprosy is a chronic disease that affects the peripheral nerves and the skin, but has no defined symptoms. This is why specialists call it a “great simulator”.
However, the most common symptoms are light patches of skin (brown and red), which may or may not have sensitivity disorders. That is to say, difficulties in differentiating the cold temperature from the hot one in the affected areas, as well as the loss of the sensation of pain.
The risk of contagion is very low and the incubation period, on average, is five years, but it can be as long as two years and as long as 20 years. The bacillus penetrates through the skin or the mucous membranes of the body and evolves slowly, progressively affecting the nervous system and the skin. This means that close and repeated contact with an untreated patient is required.
The first news of the disease in Cuba is dated January 17, 1613 and corresponds to the act of the Cabildo, when a group of neighbors from Havana, reported that “there are 4 or 6 people touched by the San Lazaro disease that have come from outside”. This document, of importance for the Medical History of Cuba, indicates the beginning of the leprosy endemic.
Every year, according to WHO data, around 200,000 new cases are diagnosed in the world, with India (more than 120,000 cases), Brazil (more than 28,000 cases) and Indonesia (more than 18,000 cases) being the nations with the greatest number of reports of the disease.
For years this organization has proposed to eliminate this disease. The goal was for each nation to achieve a prevalence rate of less than 1 case per 10,000 inhabitants. Cuba has been meeting this goal since 1993, and is now in the post-elimination phase.
“Behind a leprosy patient, there is always the one who infected them. That is why the most important thing is to interrupt transmission,” said the doctor.ef
By Ana María Domínguez Cruz email@example.com
Published: Thursday 30 January 2020 | 12:39:43 pm.
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
Lung cancer is the leading cause of death in Cuba for women and men, according to recent statistics registered by the Ministry of Public Health (Minsap). This shows the need to be aware, first of all, of the increase in dependence on smoking, the main risk factor for this disease.
This reflection was shared by Dr. Maria Caridad Rubio Hernandez, head of the Independent Section for the control of cancer in Minsap, who warned that the age of initiation in this habit is increasingly younger and the number of women has increased in recent years.
It is important to work on raising public awareness of this type of cancer, because, although we have the Cuban vaccine against lung cancer (CIMAvax-EGF), thanks to the work of scientists at the Center for Molecular Immunology, it is for a specific treatment, not for all types of lung cancer. It is vital to respect the non-smoking areas in public establishments and to address the impact of second-hand smoke, among other actions.
The oncology specialist revealed that in 2019, 48,617 new cases were recorded, and 24,912 people died during that period, with the provinces of Artemisa, Mayabeque, Las Tunas, Granma and Santiago de Cuba recording the highest number of deaths from this type of disease.
We aspire to position cancer as a chronic controlled disease, the official stressed, but to do so we need the responsible behavior of the population and intense educational work.
“Unfortunately, there are non-modifiable risk factors for cancer, such as age and heredity, but self-care and self-responsibility are essential for early diagnosis and timely treatment. This is the case, for example, with breast and cervical cancer, for which the female population does not always understand the urgency of learning to perform breast self-examination or the need to go for cytological testing.
Access to cancer diagnosis and treatment is organized based on the strategy developed by Minsap at the national level, said Rubio,. He mentioned 42 medical oncology services in all the country’s hospitals, the two third-level institutions such as the National Oncology Institute and the Hermanos Ameijeiras Hospital. In addition, there’s the upcoming incorporation of Cimeq for comprehensive cancer diagnosis, 25 nuclear medicine services, nine radiotherapy services and nine oncopediatrics services as the main access routes.
“Cancer is one of the priorities of our health system and cases of pediatric cancer are becoming more relevant and urgent in the care system. As a result, central nervous system tumors, leukemias and lymphomas being found more frequently in infants.
Rubio pointed out that, in the midst of the hostile context that conditions the blockade imposed on the country, Cuba consolidates the introduction of new technologies for the diagnosis and treatment of this pathology, whose cost is very high.
“Increasingly, personalized medicine is being advocated, which makes care processes more expensive, but it is part of the interest of out health system to maintain a high life expectancy in our population, and with quality”.
By Prensa Latina
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
La Paz, Jan 29 (Prensa Latina) Bolivian presidential candidate for the Movement Towards Socialism (MAS), Luis Arce, explained that a hearing against him set by the coup government was suspended today due to irregularities.
This morning, Arce went to the Public Prosecutor’s Office in this capital to comply with the summons, but the hearing was canceled due to the defense’s claim that the prosecutor’s signature was missing from the summons and that he did not know the details of the process.
For the above-mentioned reasons, recognized by the prosecutor Heydi Gil, the Prosecutor’s Office decided to suspend the hearing and set a new date, still unknown.
Upon his departure from the Justice building, Arce declared that the irregularities of the process are a sign that he is a victim of political persecution. Its the objective is the undermining of his race for the presidency of the Republic, a position for which he is considered a favorite.
I am a transparent man, I came to testify because I have nothing to hide, I am not corrupt, I am not a thief. My team of lawyers and the prosecutor herself noticed the procedural flaws in the notification of my person. This is eminently political against our MAS candidacy, declared Arce.
Former Minister of Economy and Finance during almost all of Evo Morales’ governments, Arce also warned that in order to reduce his chances of winning at the polls, he does not rule out the appearance of new legal cases.
The things that will get us out, is that the people will judge the way they proceed, arbitrarily, against a candidacy that they know has popular support, because we are absolutely innocent of anything they want to tell us, said the MAS candidate.
General elections in Bolivia are scheduled for May 3, and according to recent polls, the MAS duo of Arce and former Foreign Minister David Choquehuanca (for vice president) is the favorite.
Denunciations of political persecution of activists and leaders of this political movement and related organizations have been reiterated since the coup d’état that forced President Evo Morales to resign from office on November 10.
By Dixie Edith
Cuban journalist and professor at the Faculty of Communication of the University of Havana.
On Twitter @Dixiedith
January 16, 2020
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
From a bad joke to sexism is only one step removed. Evidence abounds; it is enough to review, even as the crow flies, various communication spaces, in any format. But what happens when the dubious attempt of a joke, as if that were not enough, makes a crime acceptable?
The question is neither banal nor exaggerated. A few days ago, a group of students from the Communications Department at the University of Havana, had just finished their semester of studies on gender. They were debating via WhatsApp about the photo that accompanies this text. “But what is this?”, some asked. “Doesn’t anyone realize this nonsense?”, asked others.
The photo captured the pictograms that point to a public bathroom located in the new recreational space of the capital’s coast, at the intersection of 1st and 70th streets, in Playa municipality. The figures show a man sneaking a look at a woman, above what looks like the wall that divides the two stalls. And here, the frustrated attempt at a “joke” came and went.
We are no longer talking about old hats: top hats for them and full of flowers or lace for them; or stereotypical film characters showing the gallant and the maiden, the flamenca and the bullfighter. Not even of those other attempts at “creativity” that appeal to phallic symbols, heels or ties, or any other topic tinged with sexism, by the work and grace of the macho tradition that pursues us.
Now we are also witnessing incitement to an act that is punishable under our laws. And, as if this were not enough, it not only positions women once again as the subject – the “natural” victim – of hegemonic masculinity, but also places all men in the position of violators of the law, of victimizers. This is called symbolic violence.
In the opinion of Yamila González Ferrer, a lawyer and expert on gender and family issues, “when what this image is showing occurs, we are dealing with a crime of harassment, provided for in Article 303 of the Criminal Code, which refers to sexual outrage”. But, for her, the most serious thing in this particular case is that “this type of symbolism is used in a public place”.
The aforementioned Article 303 has three subparagraphs, which propose sanctions of up to “three months’ imprisonment” or a “fine of one hundred to three hundred pesos“ for those who harass other persons “with sexual requirements”; offend “modesty or good manners with obscene exhibitions or acts”, or produces or puts into circulation “publications, recordings, cinematographic or magnetic tapes, recordings, photographs or other objects that are obscene, tending to pervert or degrade customs”.
If I were to make a dynamic or evolving interpretation of the law,” says Yamila, “then subparagraph c of that offense of sexual abuse could be applied perfectly well to that case.
Another lawyer, Dr. Arlín Pérez Duarte, agrees with her, in this case an experienced criminal lawyer. In her opinion, this last section applies in this case from what she calls an “analogical interpretation” of the law, since it “appeals to the effects provoked”. The specialist says that, in this matter, “from the point of view of rights, there is a lot of room for improvement”.
For example, criminal implications could be sought from so-called voyeurism or, or as we say jokingly, peeping, which in the eyes of the law is considered a form of outrage or a crime against honor. Although traditionally this type of infraction in Cuba is not punished as a crime, but more as a contravention,. However, in the opinion of the penalist, in this case “it has a greater scope, since it is in an institution that provides a public service”. In other words, it goes beyond affecting an individual person.
The world of signage to label the doors of public toilets and bathrooms serves as a preview of what we will find inside. But it is an soup where multiple proposals are cooked. There are designs that move, between the thorny waters of good and bad taste, the vulgar and really creative. In this unfortunate case, to put more spice to the broth, the half-assed sign also violates Article 40 of the recently approved Constitution of the Republic, which defends human dignity; Article 43, which condemns gender violence in all its forms and Article 48, which defends the right to privacy. And we could continue looking.
Currently, many public discussions around the world are occupied with how to achieve more inclusive signage and urban spaces that do not reproduce those stereotypes that our patriarchal societies have imposed on women and men. There is talk, for example, of unisex toilets, which serve them equally, which would also help not to humiliate or discriminate against other people who have different sexual orientations and gender identities.
If we still find signs like the one in the above mentioned photo, it is clear that we are still far from those other controversies. The unfortunate thing is that the case is not unique. The same students who questioned and argued about the 1st and 70th signs also claimed to have seen similar pictograms in other establishments, especially in the self-employed sector.
As with advertising, urban design, intentionally or not, helps to perpetuate ideas through graphic codes and creative nods. And because machismo is so naturalized in our lives, we often find it hard to identify that behind those seemingly innocent jokes is a deeply violent, threatening message that, according to García Márquez, could become the advertised chronicle of a crime of harassment.
By Marina Menéndez Quintero
January 25, 2020
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
Chilling tales of lies, slander and unjust prison sentences could come to the fore, totally naked, if nothing blocks the work of the judges who make up an unusual court: the Ethics Tribunal which has set out to investigate – and ventilate! – the most notorious cases of lawfare.
Perhaps because the court is presided over by an Argentine constitutionalist magistrate – the prestigious and experienced Eduardo Barsesat – or because the news has had wide repercussions in his country, the media has pointed out that the entity is a creation of “sectors close to Kirchnerism” .
However, Barsesat explained that the idea had been around for two years and, in fact, it was conceived in Madrid, not in Buenos Aires. It was in the Spanish capital that the foundation of the court was first announced last November, and the city in which its ruling will also be announced exactly one year later, next November.
According to the magistrate’s statement to the alternative media El Destape Radio, this is “a joint initiative of the Lawfare Institute of Sao Paulo, which includes Lula’s defense lawyers, and the Common Action Forum of African countries.
The lawyer – who has participated as a prosecutor and judge, respectively, in two other ethical judicial processes (the one that was developed to establish the responsibilities of the Argentine military dictatorship and the one that analyzed crimes for economic, social and cultural crimes) – is concerned that lawfare “is not foreseen in any international doctrine” and constitutes, he says, “a perverse practice that generates the civil death” of those who are its victims.
“Many believe that the processes that disqualified Lula from being a presidential candidate or that they used here to persecute Cristina (Fernández) or to outlaw (Rafael) Correa, are normal processes; and we want to demonstrate that they are irregular,” he explained to other media.
“It’s a judicial persecution in which nobody is very sure of what their rights are,” he said in one of the many interviews he has given in recent days, while denouncing the digital publication Perfil: “Lawfare, or judicial warfare, which would be its meaning in Spanish, is a practice of persecution and destruction of political opponents or enemies, using judicial processes as a weapon.
In accordance with the announcement, the Ethics Tribunal that has just been set up will issue summonses and collect testimonies and documents, interview detainees and then issue an ethical judgement.
Barsesat is not too concerned that such a ruling will not lead to effective penalties.
In an article close to a declaration of principles about the functioning of the court and signed by the jurist himself in El Destape, Barsesat recognizes that, in the face of what he calls “a new modality of the former doctrine of “national security” – and which operates, fundamentally, by implementing the rotten leg of the administration of justice – it is difficult to expect a trial of lawfare before the same judges who are its executors and ideological supporters.
“Nor are there any jurisdictional bodies, regional or international, that can operate with training and authority to disrupt the lawfare,” he adds.
However, it also takes into account that there is a need to “make people aware of the irregularity and anti-juridicality of this phenomenon, while advancing in “the task of making people aware of this new instrument of social domination, and opening up paths for future challenges before judicial bodies, national, regional and international.
These political crimes will not be the only ones to be tried, as they could be considered.
What Barsesat calls “a new undertaking of that juridical consciousness of humanity that comes from a resolution of the CAF (the Common Action Forum), to constitute the Common Action Tribunal (the name of this very special court)”. It also intends to prosecute the practice that he identifies as whistleblowing: “the persecution as informants, of those who make public data described as secret by the hegemonic powers,” he explains.
And one wonders if it would be possible, then, to also analyze the persecution that keeps the Australian journalist Julian Assange virtually under kidnapping. Unfortunately, many in the world seem to have forgotten the effectiveness of the leaks that published, in black and white, the hairs and signs of the warlike execution of W. Bush. This was thanks to the audacity of his web site Wikileaks. The same could be said of then Sergeant Bradley Manning (Chelsea Manning).
There is reason to wonder whether the penetrated judicial systems that have put this practice into effect will allow the court headed by Barsesat and composed of also experienced jurists from other nations to proceed, when they require files, or the “evidence” that in many cases does not exist?
But the truth is that his appearance could not be more fair and timely.
A look at recent events in Latin America – just to look at this part of the world – and even a glance at the events that are taking place right now, allows us to see how recurrent the use of “the judicial war”, or “the judicialization of politics”, as it is more commonly known, is to stone not only progressive or frankly leftist political leaders. It is also being used to demonize movements and parties, to twist the destinies of some countries and, of course, to criminalize political processes.
The case of Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, who was confined in an improvised prison at the police headquarters in Curitiba for a year and a half after a trial that was rushed to a close when the resources of the defense had not yet been exhausted, and against whom some six legal cases are still open on unproven charges, so that his freedom is still not definitive, is the most notorious.
He was succeeded by his fellow worker and co-religionist of the Workers’ Party, Dilma Rousseff, the first piece of work to be broken in Brazil by means of treason, distortion and lies, in an impeachment that anticipated the political play in gestation.
Also victims of lawfare are former Ecuadorian Vice President Jorge Glas, locked up and then transferred to an inhospitable maximum security prison for acts that were not sufficiently proven and considered corrupt. Also, former President Rafael Correa himself, prevented from returning to Ecuador by the arrest warrants circulated to Interpol against him,. These are also on the basis of unproven accusations that have ranged from an alleged attempt to kidnap a congressman to the presumption that he was organizing a coup d’état. It’s a fantasy!
But the judicial persecution has also been hung on less prominent figures such as former ministers or ex-officials of the Argentine governments of “the Kirchners”. It is still hanging over Vice President Cristina Fernandez, accused of several alleged acts of corruption, and the first voice to denounce lawfare as a way of judicializing politics.
In any case, if anyone doubts the artful and opportunistic way in which this is being employed, they need only look at Bolivia. Evo Morales, who left the country after being threatened by the military to prevent the coup d’état from ending in a massive bloodbath, has now been accused by the coup leaders of “terrorism” and “sedition”.
And less than 24 hours after his name was included on the Movement Toward Socialism (MAS) ballot for the announced presidential elections in May, former minister Luis Arce has just been included among those accused of alleged embezzlement from the Indigenous Fund. Here is another way to prevent the MAS from regaining the presidency!
However, such examples are not the only ones that are outrageous. Glenn Greenwald, the U.S. journalist who runs the website The Intercept in Brazil. He published, along with two other colleagues, the audios that prove how the trial against Lula, in the midst of Operation Lava Jato, was “fabricated”. They followed the instructions of the prosecutor-turned-Justice Minister Sergio Moro, another one being pursued by “justice”, which accuses him of committing computer piracy and cyber-crimes.
Dr. Bersesat is right when he explains that lawfare is based, among other things, on fictional stories. What is not fiction at all is its extermination character, as could only happen to the minds that are credited with its creation in 2001 as part of the U.S. military’s doctrines of domination and unconventional methods.
Lawfare is a form of war consisting of the use of the legal system against an enemy, such as by damaging or delegitimizing them, tying up their time or winning a public relations victory. The term is a portmanteau of the words law and warfare.
By Marina Menéndez Quintero firstname.lastname@example.org
January 13, 2020
A CubaNews translation.
Edited by Walter Lippmann.
Each day that passes sows more scepticism about the cleanliness of the elections announced by Jeanine Áñez. She is the head -only the visible head, of course- of the executive under which a blow is masked that continues, while the breakup of Evo Morales’ refoundational work does not cease. And this includes society as a whole… and individuals.
The harassment of the masses in the streets – which characterized the first days after the military’s “commotion” of the reelected President to leave – has been followed by selective repression that in various ways, as is the practice in the unconventional wars in now in vogue. These include imprisons, segregation, demonizing and persecuting while trampling and destroying everything that the Movement Toward Socialism (MAS) had built. The actions of the usurpers are by presidential decree, as they should be.
The signs are seen, precisely, in this devastating effort, undertaken with speed and urgency as if it were a matter of leaving no trace of the society that was built during the most recent 14 years. It’s as if it were necessary for Bolivia to enter “aseptically” in the period that will open when Áñez – as “God commands” – will hand over the position she illegally holds, since, moreover, she is supposed to be heading a transitional government.
It is only because of this desire to exterminate that we could talk about “cleaning up” in Bolivia today.
Some headlines are enough to show what is happening and to confirm, in passing, the transcendent role that “the media” continues to play in the Bolivian panorama, first bombarded, as has been denounced, by sophisticated work on social networks that includes the tens of thousands of fale Twitter accounts opened to support the coup.
Added to this are these media that, just yesterday, were spreading the work of the MAS and in 24 hours took on the lying discourse of the coup leaders. In this way, they were also showing the brutal way in which the official communication channels have been taken over and are used to manipulate.
With bayonets, and without them
There is a lot of crudeness, however, in the projection of these media, so that someone moderately aware of the truth does not read between the lines. This is how one can infer the interested sponsorship of the so-called “civil resistance” groups, a term coined in Bolivia during the uprising to attribute the positions of the coup leaders to those from below. They were pretending that they had support in the people, and which is now used to disguise the identity of paramilitary groups – that’s how Evo has called them – that replace the military and police forces in the persecution of the Morales government leaders.
In this way, one of these groups surrounded the home of the former government minister, Carlos Romero, “to avoid a possible escape,” said ABI, until the saving declaration arrived from the now appointed head of that ministry, Arturo Murillo – a man who seems to give more orders than Áñez herself – saying that Romero “has no formal accusation and absolutely nothing yet (…); then, he can circulate on the streets normally.
But not everyone has had the same “luck” as the former Romero. A woman identified only as an “employee” of former presidential minister Juan Ramon Quintana – a wanted man who has been given protection by the Mexican Embassy, which is still guarded and surrounded – was arrested on Thursday at an airport, accused of attempting the “irregular” transfer to Argentina of an unusually large sum of money.
In this way, the most atrocious persecution is orchestrated, which does not even use false charges and makes one think, at times, of the possibility of a lynching.
On the other hand, the hunt advances by means of the false criminal proceedings that once again remind us of how politics is judged in Latin America.
No less than 592! people will be investigated by the Attorney General’s office just for being in “the top” of MAS, for having occupied some “position of authority” during their terms, or even for being a relative of one of them.
The announcement was made by Alvaro Coimbra, who has been given the Justice portfolio. He said that among those being investigated are all those who have held state functions between 2006, the date of Morales’ arrival to the presidency, and last November.
It is alleged that the aim is to identify and judge those who have committed “corrupt acts of corruption”. The suspected investigation will work on a list that includes senior politicians, government officials, judicial officers, military personnel, senior executives of state-owned companies and important political party officials, according to the alternative web publication Tercera Información.
“The de facto justice minister is violating the CPE by presuming the guilt of 592 former MAS officials and their families. He puts himself above the judges by passing sentence, without a prior trial. The regime of Áñez, Mesa and Camacho is violent, a sower of false evidence and a slanderer”, Evo denounced in his Twitter account.
But there is a growing threat to him. In addition to the charges of “terrorism” and “sedition” that are falsely attributed to him, the coup leaders have now “requested” that Interpol activate an international arrest warrant for him.
In such a scenario of persecution, with hundreds of MAS leaders and social activists imprisoned or threatened by corrupt judicial processes, it has been announced by the current Supreme Electoral Tribunal – renewed by the coup d’état, with a hand-picked membership and departments where it was not possible to propose candidates – that the elections will take place on May 3.
With these elections, the coup regime hopes to pass the baton and give itself a facelift. The MAS, in a daring decision, is going to the electoral tournament to recover the space that has been stolen from it, in an artful way, in Bolivian institutions.
Although the registration period for candidates closes on February 3, there are already candidates linked to the usurpation who have confirmed their candidacy, such as Carlos Mesa, Evo’s main rival and loser in the unknown elections of October. It was Mesa who set in motion the strategy of the alleged fraud since before those elections. Then there is the Santa Cruz coup-plotter and civic leader Fernando Camacho, who is already campaigning in Cochabamba, the bastion of Evo and the MAS, and the Korean-born Bolivian Chi Hyung Chu, who, like Mesa, is running again after the October elections.
The MAS has yet to reveal its candidates, which it has announced it will do in the coming days. But they are using names like former Foreign Minister David Choquehuanca, the also former head of the Economy Department Luis Arce, or the young coca growers’ leader Andrónico Rodríguez, who has just denounced the existence of “a systematic operation to behead and destroy the leadership of the Movement Toward Socialism,” and the attempt by the de facto executive to disqualify him, presenting him to the population “as the radical, as the one who seeks death and violence, and that is totally false,” he said.
Not only does the massive participation of its followers in the expanded meeting that took place in December in Cochabamba show the roots of the MAS.
An early poll released in recent days, and when the identity of the MAS candidates has not yet been revealed, gave whoever represented it the highest percentage of voting intentions (20.7 percent), above the usurper Áñez (15 percent, although she says she will not run), and Carlos Mesa (13.8 percent), among other hypothetical contenders.
However, it is doubtful that the coup d’état would allow clean and transparent elections like those he said he would demand in October: it was they who burned amphorae, committed violence, and dirtied the game to reinforce the false accusation of fraud that “justified” Evo’s deposition.
Another element, external, not only shows where the umbilical cord of that Bolivian coup is tied, but also allows one to guess what purposes that cord feeds.
Donald Trump has just announced the resumption of the so-called aid for the anti-drug struggle that Morales resigned due to the lying and interfering nature of that combat from the United States, and from its representative, the DEA.
The most eloquent thing is not that the mendacious Republican President returns to the usurpers the money that the Bolivian refoundation resigned, but the reason why he is giving it now.
According to Trump, Bolivia “is vital” to his country. And he has just discovered this after the coup leaders called for elections. It is not difficult to see what the aid is really for, and what he is looking for.
by Yoerky Sanchez, Director, Juventud Rebelde newspaper
January 11, 2020
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
Distinguished participants in the 25th Rosa Luxemburg Conference:
As a young Cuban, it is a real privilege for me to address you in this event. Since 1996 it has become a reference point for revolutionary vanguard thinking. It is a space to which Cuba gives the most precious attention. It allows us to exchange viewpoints, to join forces in the struggle against capitalism and to denounce the aggressions to which we, the peoples who have chosen the path of dignity and independence, are subjected.
Don’t the poorest, those of us who lack great resources, also have the right to our own development? Should the countries of the Third World be satisfied with being sources of raw materials and cheap labor for transnational capital? What degree of consciousness is needed to sweep away the injustices of the planet, wrapped in neoliberal packages?
Our small Caribbean island is located only 90 miles from the United States, the warrior empire that today threatens peace on Earth. From there, Cuba shows that it is possible to build “a socialist state of law and social justice, democratic, independent and sovereign, organized with everyone and for the good of all.” A socialist state that is based “on the work, dignity, humanism and ethics of its citizens for the enjoyment of freedom, equity, equality, solidarity, well-being and individual and collective prosperity.
This is expressed in the text of Article Article 1 of the new Constitution of the Republic, which was endorsed last year by 86.85% of those who went to the polls. Previously, in a broad process of consultation with the people, about nine million citizens made contributions to the constitutional proposal, which made adjustments to 60 percent of its content. This is just one example of the broad democracy we enjoy, which has emerged from our roots, which takes into account universal experience but does not copy foreign models.
The new Magna Carta guarantees the continuity of the Revolution, the irreversibility of socialism in Cuba. It projects the path towards the advancement of the communist society. Those who expected the youngest generations of Cubans to be betrayed and discouraged, or to abandon the socialist path, were once again mistaken. The people are more united than ever, with the accurate leadership of Raúl Castro, First Secretary of the Communist Party, and the leadership of President Miguel Díaz-Canel, a man born and formed by the Revolution.
This is another piece of bad news for the Trump administration. Perhaps that is why the economic, commercial and financial blockade that the United States has been imposing on our country for almost 60 years is growing at unimagined levels. The impact of this amounts to more than $138.8 billion dollars at current prices.
The blockade is overwhelmingly condemned by the international community every year. It constitutes the main obstacle to the development of our nation. No sector of Cuban life is immune to the impact of this genocidal policy.
Sometimes we find analysts who approach Cuban reality from pure theory. They attack the nature of socialism in order to present it as a decadent system. They ignore concrete objective realities, as if the losses due to the blockade had nothing to do with the difficulties of our daily life. Even so, in the midst of vicissitudes and deficiencies, Cuba exhibits a successful social model. How much more could we do for the benefit of our children, men, women and the elderly if this relentless economic war were to cease to exist?
North American officials claim that the blockade is a pretext for the Cuban government. They say that the real cause of our country’s problems lies in the political, economic and social system we have chosen. If this were so: Why don’t they repeal the blockade? Why don’t they remove the pretext? Then we would see how much more we could develop.
Trump and Pompeo’s statement that the people of Cuba are not the target of their attacks, but the government, is false and hypocritical. Their arrogance leads them to underestimate the capacity of millions of the island’s children. We are well aware of the intentions behind that discourse: to undermine national unity, and to make people believe that those who lead us are to blame for our economic problems. These are not international sanctions against the Government, as they claim. They are directly aimed at our people.
As the director of a communications medium, mainly aimed at young people, I have had the responsibility of reporting every aggressive action of the US government against Cuba, and the response of our country. In 2019, it was at the rate of one measure per week; “a turn of the screw every seven days”, as President Díaz-Canel pointed out in his recent speech to the National Assembly.
The mere chronology of those actions exceeds the time limit for my presentation in this room. But it can be consulted on the web sites of the Cuban media. I will briefly address the most notorious ones.
In May 2019, President Trump activated Title 3 of the Helms-Burton Act, which is absolutely illegal, in violation of international law, Cuban and U.S. laws. Previous presidents have not done so. Title 3 allows U.S. citizens, including Cuban Americans who were not US citizens in 1959, to file lawsuits in court against individuals or corporations with economic interests in property legally nationalized by the Cuban government.
This Act transgresses elementary rules and principles recognized in the UN Charter. These include self-determination, freedom of trade and non-interference in matters within the internal jurisdiction of States, as well as the principle of peaceful coexistence among nations.
All its sections lead to aggression and interference. For example, Title II proposes a future outline of Cuba’s political, economic and social organization once the constitutional revolutionary government is overthrown.
That is why, once the Helms-Burton Act was passed in March 1996, our Parliament responded with Act No. 80, the Cuban Dignity and Sovereignty Act. That declared the Helms-Burton Act illegal, inapplicable and without any legal force or effect in our national territory.
Also last year, the Government of [the United] States reduced the sending of remittances to persons in Cuba to only $1000.00 dollars per quarter. It banned travel on cruise ships from the United States and air flights from there to the provinces, except for Havana. It reactivated the ban on entities from third countries from selling us goods containing more than ten percent U.S. components. It reinstated the ban on U.S. intermediary banks accepting payments in dollars between Cuban banks and banks in third countries, and increased the list of entities and individuals financially blocked by the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control.
I will give just one example of financial persecution, which is very close. On February 14, 2019, the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control imposed a penalty of more than $5 million on a U.S. subsidiary, based in Germany, for 304 apparent violations of the Cuban Assets Control Regulations. This entity, which manufactures laboratory substances and chemical products for industrial use, sold its products to Cuba between May 2012 and February 2016 in violation of the blockade laws, according to OFAC.
In particular, the U.S. government conducted a fierce hunt for the oil tankers that supply our country with fuel, which put the national economy in a complex situation. Any other nation, under those circumstances, would have cut social budgets or increased the prices of hydrocarbons and electricity.
Although the impact was severe, not one school was closed in Cuba. Not one hospital was closed. We will never resort to neo-liberal formulas. The call was for savings and solidarity among us. The call was to think as a country. We showed, once again, that the Cuban people’s capacity to resist is stronger than any aggression by imperialism.
The report that Cuba presents every year at the United Nations clearly and precisely details the effects produced. The blockade is real, it exists, it is nobody’s invention but a cruel and harsh reality that seven out of ten Cubans have already experienced and suffered.
Another of the permanent points of attack, and one that has gained greater strength in recent months, is our medical collaboration. In 56 years, more than 400,000 Cuban specialists have worked in 164 countries, offering their solidarity and care to those who need it most. They do so absolutely freely and voluntarily. The World Health Organization itself has recognized this performance, particularly the island’s contribution to the fight against the Ebola epidemic in Africa.
However, to the imperial power and its media, our doctors are “slaves”. They are attacked with visceral hatred through smear campaigns, which are replicated by some lackey governments such as that of Bolsonaro in Brazil or the de facto government in Bolivia.
In Latin America and the Caribbean, we cannot forget that the oldest doctrine in the foreign policy of the United States is the Monroe Doctrine, now taken up again by the representatives of the empire. “America for the Americans”, they repeat, but they’re not just saying that.
Recent events show the reactionary right-wing’s attack on the progressive processes in our region. With unconventional warfare methods, they limit the exercise of the free self-determination of the peoples. They employ the media consortia and social networks in favor of their interests, they extend as a practice the so-called judicialization of politics or they promote the coups d’état. The cases of Lula in Brazil and Evo Morales in Bolivia are the most paradigmatic.
Imperialism and its allies on the continent take a dim view of any attempt at transformative emancipation. They cannot tolerate the existence of progressive governments in what they consider their backyard. They use their best efforts to domesticate minds through the big media. They seek to sweep away indigenous values, to make our nations identityless, and to put in their place alienating capitalist symbols. They sell the neo-liberal model as a panacea and demonize anyone who stands up to their dictates.
In the capitalist dictionary, they reserve the terms dictators and tyrants for those who mention the word socialism, or simply pretend to rule in favor of the usual oppressed. The campaign against Venezuela is part of that strategy designed in the United States.
From Cuba, we defend the Proclamation of Latin America and the Caribbean as a Zone of Peace, as ratified at the Summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States in 2014, in Havana.
We advocate the right of each nation to determine its own political, economic, social and cultural system, without external interference or pressure. In this way, we reject the claims of Western powers to impose a single model of democracy, because this is not the heritage of any country or region.
Cuba does not export its democratic model, nor does it pretend to give formulas to anyone. We are aware of its improvement, of its perfectibility. We know that our own realities and those of planetary coexistence can change. What we will never change are the principles for which we have fought several generations of Cubans. What we will never change is the will to continue building socialism.
Although in my speech I have dealt with the most recent events, the conflict between the United States and Cuba has a historical character. It did not begin with the triumph of the Cuban Revolution in 1959. Its origin lies in the policy of ripe fruit, of 1823. And the attempts to buy or annex the island by the various American presidents in the 19th century. The territory illegally occupied by the Guantanamo Naval Base is also a reliable proof.
In the face of every maneuver by the empire to take over our homeland, there has always been an energetic and forceful response by the Cuban people.
In 2019, our people responded to US aggression with more resistance, work and unity. There are results. The Cuban economy did not decrease and was higher than the average in Latin America and the Caribbean. We continue to develop free and quality education and health care, sectors to which we allocate 52 percent of the State budget in 2020. The infant mortality rate was 5 per thousand live births. The number of people employed has increased and, despite the boycott on tourism, more than 4.3 million citizens have visited Cuba. More housing was built, progress was made in Internet access and computerization, and new foreign investment projects were achieved.
We arrive at 2020 with the challenge of continuing to grow and develop with our own efforts, despite the imperial siege.
Dear Conference Participants
On a day like today, 60 years ago, Commander in Chief Fidel Castro, the historic leader of the Cuban Revolution, handed over to the Ministry of Education one of the repressive centers of Batista’s dictatorship, the Fifth Police Station, to be turned into a school.
In homage to his figure, with the certainty that the new generations will continue the work he gave us, I wish to conclude my speech at the Rosa Luxemburg Conference with the words of Fidel on that January 11, 1960:
“We are calm, because if there is something they will never achieve, if there is something they will never achieve, is to confuse the people, to take away from our people the affection they feel for the Revolution, to take away from the people the faith they feel in the Revolution, to take away from the people the hope they have in a better country. If there is something they will never achieve is to take away from the people the memory of the hateful past, which will never come back”.
Thanks to Yoerky Sanchez for the text of his remarks
Juventud Rebelde’s report on the conference:
Intervención en la Conferencia Rosa Luxemburgo, Berlín, Alemania
Por Yoerkey Sanchez Cuellar, Director, Periodico Juventud Rebelde
11 de enero de 2020
Distinguidos participantes en la edición XXV de la Conferencia Rosa Luxemburgo:
Como joven cubano, constituye para mí un verdadero privilegio dirigirme a ustedes en este evento que desde 1996 resulta un referente para el pensamiento revolucionario de vanguardia. Es un espacio al que Cuba le otorga la más preciada atención. Nos permite intercambiar criterios, unir fuerzas en la lucha contra el capitalismo y denunciar las agresiones a las que somos sometidos los pueblos que elegimos el camino de la dignidad y la independencia.
¿Acaso los más pobres, los que carecemos de grandes recursos, no tenemos también derecho a un desarrollo propio? ¿Los países del Tercer Mundo deberán conformarse con ser fuentes de materias primas y mano de obra barata para el capital trasnacional? ¿Qué grado de conciencia se necesita para barrer con las injusticias del planeta, envueltas en paquetes neoliberales?
Nuestra pequeña isla del Caribe está ubicada a solo 90 millas de Estados Unidos, el imperio guerrerista que hoy amenaza la paz en la Tierra. Desde allí Cuba demuestra que sí es posible construir «un estado socialista de derecho y justicia social, democrático, independiente y soberano, organizado con todos y para el bien de todos». Un estado socialista que se funda «en el trabajo, la dignidad, el humanismo y la ética de sus ciudadanos para el disfrute de la libertad, la equidad, la igualdad, la solidaridad, el bienestar y la prosperidad individual y colectiva».
Así lo expresa textualmente el artículo 1 de la nueva Constitución de la República, refrendada el pasado año con el voto favorable del 86,85 % de quienes concurrieron a las urnas. Previamente, en un amplio proceso de consulta con el pueblo, alrededor de nueve millones de ciudadanos realizaron aportes a la propuesta constitucional, que hicieron variar el 60 por ciento de su contenido. Es solo un ejemplo de la amplia democracia que disfrutamos, surgida de nuestras raíces, que tiene en cuenta la experiencia universal pero no hace copia de modelos foráneos.
La nueva Carta Magna garantiza la continuidad de la Revolución, la irreversibilidad del socialismo en Cuba y proyecta el camino hacia el avance de la sociedad comunista. Quienes esperaban de las más jóvenes generaciones de cubanos y cubanas la traición y el desaliento, o que abandonáramos el camino socialista, se volvieron a equivocar. El pueblo está más unido que nunca, con la conducción certera de Raúl Castro, Primer Secretario del Partido Comunista, y el liderazgo del Presidente Miguel Díaz-Canel, un hombre nacido y formado en Revolución.
Es otra mala noticia para el gobierno de Trump. Tal vez por ello arrecia a niveles insospechados el bloqueo económico, comercial y financiero que por casi 60 años Estados Unidos impone contra nuestra patria. La afectación por esta causa suma más de 138 mil 800 millones de dólares a precios corrientes.
El bloqueo recibe cada año la condena abrumadora de la comunidad internacional. Constituye el principal obstáculo al desarrollo de nuestra nación. No hay sector de la vida del cubano ajeno al impacto de esta política genocida.
En ocasiones encontramos analistas que abordan la realidad cubana desde una asepsia teórica. Atacan la naturaleza del socialismo para presentarlo como un sistema decadente. Obvian realidades objetivas concretas, como si las pérdidas por el bloqueo no tuvieran relación alguna con las dificultades de nuestra vida cotidiana. Aún así, en medio de las vicisitudes y carencias, Cuba exhibe un modelo social exitoso. ¿Cuánto más podríamos hacer en beneficio de nuestros niños, hombres, mujeres y ancianos si esta implacable guerra económica dejara de existir?
Los funcionarios norteamericanos plantean que el bloqueo es un pretexto del gobierno cubano. Dicen que la verdadera causa de los problemas de nuestro país está en el sistema político, económico y social que hemos escogido. Si fuera así: ¿Por qué no derogan el bloqueo? ¿Por qué no quitan el pretexto? Entonces veríamos todo lo más que nos podríamos desarrollar.
Resulta falso e hipócrita el planteamiento de Trump y Pompeo acerca de que el pueblo de Cuba no es el blanco de sus ataques, sino el Gobierno. Su arrogancia los conduce a subvalorar la capacidad de millones de hijos de la Isla. Sabemos bien la intención detrás de ese discurso: socavar la unidad nacional, y hacer creer que la culpa de nuestros problemas económicos es de quienes nos dirigen. No son sanciones internacionales contra el Gobierno, como proclaman ellos. Están directamente enfiladas contra nuestro pueblo.
Como director de un medio de comunicación, dirigido fundamentalmente a los jóvenes, he tenido la responsabilidad de informar cada acción agresiva del gobierno norteamericano contra Cuba, y la respuesta de nuestro país. En 2019 fue a razón de una medida por semana; «una vuelta de tuerca cada siete días», según señaló el presidente Díaz-Canel en su discurso reciente ante la Asamblea Nacional.
La sola cronología de esas acciones rebasa el tiempo límite para mi ponencia en esta sala. Pero puede ser consultada en los sitios digitales de los medios cubanos. Abordaré, someramente, los más notorios.
En mayo de 2019 el presidente Trump activó el Título 3 de la Ley Helms-Burton, absolutamente ilegal, violatorio del Derecho Internacional, de las leyes cubanas y estadounidenses. Los presidentes anteriores no lo hicieron. El título 3 permite a los ciudadanos de Estados Unidos, incluidos los cubanoamericanos que no tenían esa ciudadanía en 1959, presentar demandas en tribunales contra personas naturales o jurídicas con intereses económicos en propiedades nacionalizadas, legalmente, por el Gobierno cubano.
Esta Ley transgrede normas y principios elementales reconocidos en la Carta de la ONU, como la libre determinación, la libertad de comercio y la no injerencia en asuntos de jurisdicción interna de los Estados, así como el principio de convivencia pacífica entre las naciones.
Todos sus postulados conducen a la agresión y la injerencia. Por ejemplo, el Título II propone un esquema futuro de la organización política, económica y social de Cuba una vez derrocado el Gobierno Revolucionario constitucional.
Fue por ello que una vez aprobada la Ley Helms-Burton en marzo de 1996, nuestro Parlamento respondió con la Ley No. 80 Ley de la Dignidad y la Soberanía Cubanas. En ese texto se declara ilícita la Ley Helms-Burton, inaplicable y sin valor ni efecto jurídico alguno en nuestro territorio nacional.
También el pasado año el Gobierno de Estados redujo el envío de remesas a personas en Cuba a solo mil dólares por trimestre. Prohibió los viajes en cruceros desde Estados Unidos y de los vuelos aéreos desde allí a las provincias, excepto La Habana. Reactivó la prohibición a entidades de terceros países de vendernos bienes que contengan más del diez por ciento de componentes estadounidenses. Retomó la prohibición de que bancos intermediarios estadounidenses acepten los pagos en dólares entre bancos cubanos y bancos de terceros países, y aumentó la lista de entidades y personas bloqueadas financieramente por la Oficina de Control de Activos Extranjeros del Departamento del Tesoro.
De la persecución financiera señalo solo un ejemplo, muy cercano. El 14 de febrero de 2019, la Oficina de Control de Activos Extranjeros del Departamento del Tesoro impuso una sanción de más de 5 millones de dólares a una empresa subsidiaria estadounidense, con sede en Alemania, por 304 aparentes violaciones de las Regulaciones para el Control de Activos Cubanos. Esta entidad, que fabrica sustancias de laboratorio y productos químicos para uso industrial, vendió sus productos a Cuba entre mayo de 2012 y febrero de 2016 en violación de las leyes del bloqueo, de acuerdo a lo indicado por la OFAC.
De manera particular, el Gobierno de Estados Unidos realizó una feroz cacería de los buques petroleros que suministran combustible al país, lo que puso a la economía nacional en una coyuntura compleja. Cualquier otra nación, en esas circunstancias, hubiera recortado presupuestos sociales o aumentado los precios de los hidrocarburos y la electricidad.
Aunque el impacto fue duro, en Cuba no se cerró una escuela; no se clausuró un hospital. Jamás acudiremos a fórmulas neoliberales. El llamado fue al ahorro y a la solidaridad entre nosotros. El llamado fue a pensar como país. Demostramos, una vez más, que la capacidad de resistencia del pueblo cubano es más fuerte que cualquier agresión del imperialismo.
En el informe que Cuba presenta cada año en Naciones Unidas se detallan de modo claro y preciso las afectaciones producidas. El bloqueo es real, existe, no es un invento de nadie sino una cruel y dura realidad que ya hemos vivido y sufrido siete de cada diez cubanos.
Otro de los puntos de ataque permanente y que en los últimos meses ha cobrado mayor fuerza, es nuestra colaboración médica. En 56 años más de 400 mil especialistas cubanos han laborado en 164 países, brindando su solidaridad y atención a quienes más lo necesitan. Lo hacen absolutamente de manera libre y voluntaria. La propia Organización Mundial de la Salud ha reconocido este desempeño, particularmente la contribución de la isla en la lucha contra la epidemia del ébola en África.
Sin embargo, para el poder imperial y sus medios de comunicación nuestros médicos son «esclavos». Arremeten contra ellos con odio visceral a través de campañas de descrédito, que replican algunos gobiernos lacayos como el de Bolsonaro en Brasil o el gobierno de facto en Bolivia.
En América Latina y el Caribe, no podemos olvidar que la doctrina más antigua en la política exterior de Estados Unidos es la Doctrina Monroe, retomada nuevamente por los representantes del imperio. «América para los americanos», repiten, mas no se queda solo en el discurso
Hechos recientes demuestran la arremetida de la derecha reaccionaria contra los procesos progresistas en nuestra región. Con métodos de guerra no convencional, limitan el ejercicio de la libre autodeterminación de los pueblos, emplean a los consorcios mediáticos y las redes sociales a favor de sus intereses, extienden como práctica la llamada judicialización de la política o promueven el golpe de Estado. El caso de Lula, en Brasil, y de Evo Morales, en Bolivia, resultan los más paradigmáticos.
El imperialismo y sus aliados en el continente ven con malos ojos cualquier intento de emancipación transformadora. No soportan que existan gobiernos progresistas en lo que consideran su traspatio. Se emplean a fondo para domesticar las mentes a través de los grandes medios. Buscan barrer los valores autóctonos, dejar huérfanas de identidad a nuestras naciones, y en su lugar, colocar los símbolos capitalistas enajenantes. Venden el modelo neoliberal como una panacea y demonizan a todo aquel que se enfrente a sus dictados.
En el diccionario capitalista reservan los términos de dictadores y tiranos para aquellos que mencionen la palabra socialismo, o simplemente, pretendan gobernar a favor de los oprimidos de siempre. La campaña contra Venezuela forma parte de esa estrategia diseñada desde Estados Unidos.
Desde Cuba defendemos la Proclama de América Latina y el Caribe como Zona de Paz, tal como fue ratificado en la Cumbre de la Comunidad de Estados Latinoamericanos y Caribeños en 2014, en la Habana.
Propugnamos el derecho de cada nación a determinar su propio sistema político, económico, social y cultural, sin injerencias ni presiones externas. De esa manera, rechazamos las pretensiones de potencias occidentales de imponer un modelo único de democracia, porque esta no es patrimonio de un país o región alguna.
Cuba no exporta su modelo democrático ni pretende darle fórmulas a nadie. Somos conscientes de su mejoramiento, de su perfectibilidad. Sabemos que las realidades propias y de convivencia planetaria pueden cambiar. Lo que no cambiaremos jamás son los principios por los que hemos luchado varias generaciones de cubanos. Lo que jamás cambiaremos es la voluntad de seguir construyendo el socialismo.
Aunque en mi intervención he abordado los hechos más recientes, el conflicto entre Estados Unidos y Cuba tiene un carácter histórico. No comenzó con el triunfo de la Revolución Cubana, en 1959. Su origen está en la política de la fruta madura, de 1823, y en los intentos de compra o anexión de la isla por parte de los distintos presidentes norteamericanos en el siglo XIX. El territorio ilegalmente ocupado por la Base Naval de Guantánamo también es una prueba fehaciente.
Ante cada maniobra del imperio por apoderarse de nuestra patria, ha existido siempre una respuesta enérgica y contundente del pueblo cubano.
En 2019, frente a la agresión de Estados Unidos nuestro pueblo respondió con más resistencia, trabajo y unidad. Ahí están los resultados. La economía cubana no decreció y fue superior a la media de América Latina y el Caribe. Continuamos desarrollando una educación y salud gratuitas y de calidad, sectores a los que destinamos en este 2020 el 52 por ciento del presupuesto del Estado. La tasa de mortalidad infantil fue de 5 por cada mil nacidos vivos. Creció la ocupación laboral y, a pesar del boicot al turismo, visitaron Cuba más de 4 millones 300 mil ciudadanos. Se construyeron más viviendas, se avanzó en el acceso a internet y la informatización y se lograron nuevos proyectos de inversión extranjera.
Llegamos al 2020 con el desafío de continuar creciendo y desarrollándonos con nuestros propios esfuerzos, a pesar del cerco imperial.
Estimados participantes en esta Conferencia:
Un día como hoy, hace 60 años, el Comandante en Jefe Fidel Castro, líder histórico de la Revolución Cubana, entregaba al Ministerio de Educación uno de los centros represivos de la dictadura de Batista, la Quinta Estación de Policía, para convertirla en escuela.
En homenaje a su figura, con la certeza de que las nuevas generaciones continuaremos la obra que él nos entregó, deseo concluir mi intervención en la Conferencia Rosa Luxemburgo con las palabras de Fidel aquel 11 de enero de 1960:
«Estamos tranquilos, porque si algo no lograrán jamás, si algo no lograrán jamás será confundir al pueblo, arrancar de nuestro pueblo el cariño que siente por la Revolución, arrancar del pueblo la fe que siente en la Revolución, arrancar del pueblo la esperanza que tiene en una patria mejor. ¡Si algo no conseguirán jamás es arrancar del pueblo el recuerdo del pasado odioso, que no volverá jamás».
Gracias a Yoerky Sánchez por el texto de sus palabras.
Informe del peridico Juventud Rebelde sobre la conferencia Rosa Luxemburgo