October 28, 2018
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
“HIAS liked to bring invaders who kill our people. I can’t sit back and watch my people get killed. Screw your views, I’m going in,” Robert D. Bowers posted on the Internet Saturday, shortly before breaking into a Pittsburgh synagogue and shooting 11 people in an action that UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said is “a painful reminder of the persistence of anti-Semitism.
HIAS is a nonprofit Jewish refugee support organization, which after the massacre recalled that it is dedicated to the “rescue of people whose lives are in danger because of who they are.
Bowers almost announced his intentions days in advance, if you look at many of his social networking publications, in which he called immigrants “invaders,” distributed racist memes and claimed that Jews were the “enemy of whites.”
Bowers used Gab, an ultra-right social network taken as an alternative to Twitter that is heavily funded and favored by white supremacists, presented as “the free speech social network.” and riddled with neo-Nazi messages.
The attack left 11 dead in the Tree of Life synagogue, known for keeping a copy of the Torah rescued from the Holocaust.
The Sabbath ran and in the synagogue, located in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood, several religious ceremonies were held in different rooms, including a baptismal hall. In that context, Bowers perpetrated one of the worst attacks against the Jewish community in U.S. history, firing and shouting “All Jews must die!”
In a message condemning Saturday night’s crime in Pittsburgh, [UN Secretary General António] Guterres called on the authorities, civil society, religious and community leaders, and the general public to form a “common front” that would reverse the racist, anti-Semitic, Islamophobic, or other forms of hate such as intolerance, discrimination, and xenophobia that are gaining strength in many parts of the world.
This is in a country where immigration has become the subject of election campaigns and a way of instilling fear in voters. According to a Reuters analysis of the propaganda broadcast through October 15, 20% of the Republican Party’s ads in the congressional elections have mentioned immigration.
“All of us, in fact, are wounded by this inhuman act of violence,” said [Pope ]Francisco, who expressed his closeness to all the people of Pittsburgh “and in particular to the Jewish community, affected by a terrible attack on the synagogue.
Robert Bowers, 46, of Pittsburgh, was arrested after exchanging fire with a SWAT team. The prosecutor’s office charges him with 29 criminal charges, including crimes of violence and firearms, and violating U.S. civil rights laws.
Bowers had 21 guns registered in his name, according to authorities. Police reported that he only had one traffic violation on his record in 2015.
A few days ago, Cesar Sayoc was arrested in Florida, accused of sending parcel bombs to prominent Democratic personalities and politicians. Sayoc also posted hate messages on social networks.
(Information from agencies.)
Falling is a geriatric syndrome, a disease; when it becomes recurrent it is clearly giving alarm signals that must be paid attent to.
Author: Lisandra Fariñas Acosta | firstname.lastname@example.org
October 28, 2018 20:10:34
A CubaNews translation.
Edited by Walter Lippmann.
“It took human beings about five million years to learn to walk and only 70 years to fall. This, which humorously may be interesting, should not really be allowed, because falling is not a habitual state. Falling is a geriatric syndrome, a disease. In other words, not everyone falls, because there are people who reach the age of 90 without having suffered any event of this type.
This was explained to Granma by the doctor of the Argentine Association of Orthopedics and Traumatology and member of AO Trauma, Emilio Fantin. He emphasized the need to prevent falls in the elderly, an aspect that is not often thought of. For the expert, it is important not only to know what a fall is, but also to understand why we fall and to evaluate the old person who falls.
Participating in the Seminar AO Trauma “Traumatology in the Elderly”, which was held in recent days in the teaching Fructuoso Rodriguez orthopedic hospital, and included recognized experts from this organization, Dr. Fantin commented that if we take into account that 1 to 5% of falls end in fracture and almost all hip fractures are secondary to them, it is vital to talk about this issue.
After a hip fracture, between 20 and 50% of older people fall again within two to six months of the first fall, so that prevention is once again the key. It happens that of those who fall for the second time, approximately 12% have a new fracture and 5% a hip fracture.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there are a thousand hip fractures per million inhabitants. If this figure is taken to the aging population, it is considered that a thousand fractures occur for every 100,000 people over 60 years of age, which would correspond to 10% of this age group.
It is estimated that around 12,000 of these fractures occur annually in Cuba, with resulting costs that they imply for the patients, the family, the health system and society in general.
20.1% of the Cuban population is 60 years of age or older, as shown by data from the Center for Population and Development Studies of the National Office of Statistics and Information. According to the latest Population and Housing Census (2012), 40% of Cuban households are inhabited by older adults. In 32% of them reside up to two or three persons of 60 years or more, so it is very likely that an older adult is caring for the other, and 13% of older adults live alone.
The fall causes worries from the first moment, but when it becomes something recurrent (two or more falls in the space of a year) is clearly giving alarm signs that should be addressed, warned the specialist.
At the same time,” said the interviewee, “we must pay more attention when patients tell us “I have no strength, I fall, what can I do?
In Dr. Fantin’s opinion, the first thing is to think that falls are not normal events, because the fact of being old does not necessarily imply falling. Why does it happen? It has to do with physiology and physical structure, loss of bone and muscle mass, and functions such as hearing and sight.
But these aren’t the only causes, he explained. As we age, we must adapt to the environment, which is often aggressive in carrying out the activities of daily living. The streets, the transport, the footwear that is used, derive in reason of fractures in numerous occasions.
With respect to the profile of the older adult who falls and fractures, the professor pointed out that generally they are over 80 years old, there is a poor self-perception of their state of health, cognitive deterioration, that is, of the state of consciousness, and many have depression. To this is added the presence of visual and motor deficits, because a large part of this age group needs help to walk, using walkers, canes or someone who accompanies them.
“Even if we investigate, we can find stories of falls that deny us, or do not tell because they are ashamed. It is very rare for an older person to confess to a child who has fallen. They come to the bathroom with the fracture, but they usually fall for longer: in the early morning when they go to the bathroom, for example. Falls can also be related to the consumption of certain medications and polypharmacy, which can cause fragility and gait disturbances due to unbalance,” he said.
When evaluating a patient at risk of falling, the expert commented that intrinsic and external factors must be taken into account, in addition to others that may precipitate this fact, such as alcohol consumption.
Among the intrinsic causes, diabetes is one of the most frequent, followed by the state of consciousness, that is, dementia, delirium, or depression. A third place is given to diseases where muscle mass decreases, and the fourth element is the female sex, since a greater number of falls occur in women than in men.
Regarding external factors, the interviewee mentioned domestic animals, sidewalks, stairs, public transportation and medication.
“More than four drugs a day are considered polypharmacy, and this is a cause of falls, so making adjustments to prescribed drugs is essential. The older adult is given a medication and it is never taken away, they leave it forever,” explained Dr. Fantin.
In addition, the interviewee pointed to osteoporosis, tobacco use (mainly in women) and vitamin D deficiency, as other elements not to be lost sight of. “Older adults don’t sunbathe regularly, and it’s important to get them out in the sun. The amount of ultraviolet light needed to convert vitamin D, either from the diet or as a medicine, is 10 minutes, you don’t have to go to the beach, and you just have to discover your hands and face.
The ideal,” he said, “is to treat these fractures within 48 hours of their occurrence, which has allowed mortality in the world from this cause to decrease from 30 to 10%.
Particular emphasis was made by the expert in post-cause syndrome. “Whoever falls and fractures is afraid of falling again and the great majority does not return to their previous state. Anxiety disorder is very serious, and there is a tendency to the syndrome called immobility, which can even lead to death. For each day of rest, 1% of body mass is lost,” explained Dr. Fantin, who placed great importance on family support.
It is fundamental that prevention also begins at an earlier age, stimulating, for example, exercises such as the use of bicycles, which are less expensive, ideal for recovering muscles, stimulating the semi-circular ducts of the ears and making it easier for people to have balance, concluded the interviewee.
– AO Trauma is one of the four clinical subdivisions of the AO Foundation (Working Group to Study Fracture Problems) created in Switzerland in 1958. Its purpose was the integrating and aligning of efforts in research, community development, and education in Traumatology and Orthopedics at the global and regional levels.
– According to Dr. Roberto Balmaseda Manent, secretary of the Cuban Society of Orthopedics and Traumatology, it has been particularly useful for the training and improvement of specialists in this branch.
– About 600 professionals from all regions of the country have had the opportunity to be trained step by step in the courses, workshops and seminars that the Society has organized.
A CubaNews translation.
Edited by Walter Lippmann.
“The closure of RT by authorities in other countries is due to fear of competition,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday, October 18, during the international discussion forum Valdái, which hosts Sochi.
Russia Today (RT) has been described since its inception, both in the United States and in some nations, as a “hostile foreign power” or “foreign agent on home soil. In fact, on July 17, it was announced that “the Australian Federal Police has opened a preliminary investigation into the chain as a suspected foreign agent.
The real sense of bitterness – or really fear or hatred – towards the Russian platform is that it is one of the few alternative voices charged with providing angles of analysis different from those provided by the mainstream American media. Organs that, no matter how “anti-Trump” they may seem, are part of the U.S.-owned corporate system.
RT represents one of the few media conglomerates on the planet (two others, bridging differences, would be Telesur in Caracas and Hispan TV in Tehran) that, without bowing to the dictates of the American empire, try to offer an objective global perspective of the local, regional and global political reality.
A balanced vision that weighs multipolar power and the sovereignty of peoples; a vision that deconstructs each deception perpetrated by the lie-repeating apparatus at the service of Washington, that gives voice to otherness and positions itself as an independent entity, cannot be well received by the Yankee powers and their European allies or clones.
The witch-hunt against the Russian station is yet another of the fronts of open war against Moscow, in the political, diplomatic and sports spheres…
Not even at the height of the Iron Curtain did American cinema and television produce as much volume of audiovisual material against Russia as they do today.
The order of the White House was and is to export that hatred. Not surprisingly, in 2016, a European Parliament report compared the “danger” of RussiaToday “with that of the Islamic State”.
The Western aversion to the progressive resurgence of the great Eurasian nation in its economic, military, scientific and communicational capacity is expressed in dissimilar ways. Attacking its website is not the least significant.
The increasing number of people who tune into the RT signal in the world puts the Western think tanks and their corporate media apparatus into a warning position. Thus, the rage against the Russian network is not only expressed in the organs of the United States, but also in a good part of the Europeans.
El País, the most read Spanish newspaper in the Spanish-speaking universe, has the challenge of the web as one of its obligatory daily tasks, along with the daily attack on Venezuela.
Granma today commemorates the 59th anniversary of the National Revolutionary Militias with the story of Idolka Sanchez, the militia face Korda immortalized with his lens in 1962.
Author: Alejandra García Elizalde | email@example.com
October 25, 2018 21:10:37
A CubaNews translation.
Edited by Walter Lippmann.
In the crowd of that May 1, 1962, a young photographer focused on the still-adolescent face of Idolka Sánchez as she marched in front of the José Martí Memorial in Havana.
She, one of the nearly 2,000 militiawomen of the Lidia Doce women’s battalion, saw him approach, camera in hand. He didn’t seem to care about anything else. It was as if he had seen her from afar and didn’t want to let her go without obsessively capturing her image. He chose her.
“The man whose name, Korda, I had barely heard, was the same man who, in March 1960, had immortalized Che’s face with his mane in the wind, during the burial of the victims of the La Coubre terrorist attack. He ordered her to “put the machine gun up”. His order was followed by several clicks of his camera and, in a matter of seconds, she disappeared.
When she had forgotten the incident, he returned that same morning. Korda wanted to repeat two new shots. She did not want to capture just one face or one image. He was looking for a symbol, and he found it. The next day the photo went from one end of the island to the other on the cover of the Revolución newspaper.
“I felt an emotion that I cannot describe. It was not vanity, but eternal gratitude. I never thought about the transcendence of that image,” Idolka Sánchez Moreno told Granma.
Fifty-six years after that encounter with Korda, the image known as “La Miliciana” endures. The sun on her face, the severe look focused on the horizon, her embrace to the rifle that points to the sky, the beret tilted …
Today, Idolka preserves the late beauty of the 22-year-old girl who was in those early and intense times of Revolution. “I will never forget that it was a beautiful, clear morning, similar to today. I didn’t expect that it would attract the attention of any photographer, being surrounded by so many women. My main interest that day was the possibility of parading in front of the Commander in Chief,” she says.
It would take years for Idolka and Korda to meet again, after “La Miliciana” became an iconic image and adorned banners, postcards, photographic exhibitions, and appeared on the walls of workplaces and embassies. Few people know that she was the young woman in the photo.
“I remember one day, walking with my sister to work, a woman saw “La Miliciana” hanging in the window of an establishment. She, a few steps away, said, without knowing that we were listening: “Look at that, surely she left the country and yet they have her everywhere. My sister confronted her, but finally we decided to continue on our way.
She joined the Militias as soon as they were created: “I came from a family that supported every step of the revolutionaries through the Sierra, and my destiny could not be any other. I studied Law at the University, I have dedicated all my life to my country and today my two children are photographers”, remembers Idolka.
Almost two decades after that May Day, in 1981, he saw Korda again. Muchacha magazine arranged a reunion between him and “La Miliciana”.
“It was very emotional, but I never expected any recognition. That was his work. I was only an occasional model, discovered in the middle of the parade, one of so many young people who proudly wore the most beautiful of all the costumes, that of the militia.
From that meeting in front of Revolution Square on May 1, 1962, Korda once recalled that “I had been looking for hours with my camera in the crowd. The Lidia Doce women’s battalion attracted me and I captured many gestures. But in revealing only one was the indisputable one: the militia woman with the rifle held high and such a decision in her eyes that I said to myself: this is the Cuban warrior, the woman in the defense of the homeland.
Alberto Díaz Gutiérrez, better known as Alberto Korda (September 14, 1928-May 25, 2001), is one of the great photographers of all time, with a body of work that forms part of the symbolic imaginary of the Cuban Revolution.
“La Miliciana”, the instant that captured the purity and strength of women at an exceptional moment in national history, was one of his most beloved portraits. “It is a photo that will survive us,” said Korda. Future generations will admire our eternally young militia. And so it was.
By Leyanis Infante Curbelo
A CubaNews translation.
Edited by Walter Lippmann.
Last week, between April 23 and 26, the 12th International May First Workshop took place at the Palacio de los Torcedores, in the Cuban capital. It is an event organized by the Cuban History Institute (IHC) and the Central de Trabajadores del país (CTC) that brings together researchers, sociologists, historians, professors and trade unionists from various countries to exchange views on the current economic and political situation, and the role of workers and trade unions in the search for a global balance where relations of equity and social justice are paramount.
As in previous editions of the event, many of the foreign participants are also part of the First of May Brigade, which at this time comes to the island to join the celebrations for the International Workers’ Day that we hold in Cuba.
This is the case with a group of trade unionists from the United States, mostly members of the Socialist Workers Party in that country. This May Day, they packed their backpacks and headed to the Plaza de la Revolución. They joined thousands and thousands of Havana residents in saluting the continuity of the Cuban Revolution. But a week ago, invited by the IHC, they shared, in a panel entitled From Clinton To Trump: How The Working People Of The United States Are Responding To The Anti-Worker Offensive Of The Bosses, their parties and their governments, their most vivid experiences in the struggle for class rights in the heart of the flagship country of world capitalism.
As a reflection of its social structure, this panel attempted to cover representatively the most disadvantaged and discriminated groups in its country: women, blacks and immigrants, and among them, members of those economic sectors that have been historically most oppressed and beaten, and who have therefore had to wage long struggles for their labor rights.
This is the case of Alyson Kennedy, a long-time coal mine worker and member of the first wave of women who broke the barriers that excluded them from jobs in underground mines. In the controversial 2016 U.S. election, she was a Socialist Workers Party presidential candidate.
Or Willie Head, a small farmer in South Georgia, veteran of many battles of black farmers to keep their land. Their struggle is part of a history that dates back more than a century and a half.
For these Americans, who defend the principle that a socialist revolution within their country’s capitalist system is possible, the Cuban Revolution represents the most concrete and current example of these aspirations.
In the opinion of Martín Koppel, journalist for the weekly El Militante, sharing these experiences in Cuba has been very important because, outside the United States in general, the situation of its workers and their struggles is not known; rather, the media conveys the idea that everything is fine with them.
Mary-Alice Waters, a member of the Political Bureau of the Socialist Workers Party, president of Pathfinder Publishing and organizer of the panel, told JR that the idea was to try to answer two main questions from each participant’s perspective: whether after Donald Trump came to power the working class that gave him his vote had also experienced a movement to the right; and whether it was actually possible for a social revolution to triumph in the United States.
On the first, Waters and the other panelists mentioned the teachers’ strike that has taken place in West Virginia recently and that has achieved a significant wage increase in this state’s public sector. Coincidentally, it’s one where Trump won with an overwhelming majority (68 percent) and where the unemployment rate is double the national average. The workers organize demands, she pointed out, because their situation has not improved at all.
In the recent history of our country, we have seen how the working class has waged its struggles at different times in our history and we have gained confidence in what it is capable of doing, said Waters. To illustrate, she mentioned the workers’ struggles of the 1930s, the mass struggle of Black people to overthrow the system of racial segregation in the 1960s, and the popular demonstrations against the Vient Nam war. All of them, she points out, have shown us how the class struggle does have the potential to change governments.
In his closing remarks of the XII International May Day Workshop, René González Barrios, President of the IHC, thanked the American delegation for its participation and affirmed that every time the American people become freer and more independent, the world will be too.
By Manuel E. Yepe
Exclusive for the daily POR ESTO! of Merida, Mexico.
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann.
On October 7, the American magazine Vanity Fair was awarded by the Tel Aviv regime with the exclusive right to a story about the Israeli special police force YAMAM. Today it one of the most sinister anti-terrorist units in the world because its repressive tactics have given it an unarguable prestige.
Under the signature of Adam Ciralsky, the publication included on October 7 a report entitled “From inside the most secret antiterrorist operation…”. The author relates his arrival at a fortified complex in the Ayalon Valley, between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv where YAMAM is headquartered.
That’s where a gang of anti-terrorist operatives, whose work for four decades has been shrouded in impenetrable secrecy. The journalist crossed through a uniformed Israeli border police combat post and entered an explosion-proof shed where his credentials were scanned, his electronic devices locked up, and a counterintelligence officer gave them a warning sermon.
“Don’t reveal our location,” “don’t remember our faces,” “forget our names,” and “try to forget everything you see,” were the basic instructions.
YAMAM is part of Israel’s national police. It is not subordinate to the Israeli army or Mossad (Israel’s CIA) or Shin Bet (Israel’s FBI). Its situation in Israel’s organization chart is more like Britain’s M.I.5, although recently the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has blurred some of the dividing lines between the tasks of these agencies. YAMAM’s main task, according to the hosts, is to thwart terrorist plans, engage with opposing militants during attacks, combat so-called crime syndicates and prevent border incursions
YAMAM is considered the most qualified agency of its kind in the West to confront a war of espionage. The organization has devised new methodologies to respond to terrorist incidents and mass shootings, which, until now, it only shared with a few of its politically-related counterparts around the world.
At a time when veterans of the so-called Islamic State or ISIS are attacking Western targets outside their strongholds in the Middle East, their expertise is in high demand. Increasingly, the world’s top intelligence and police chiefs are turning to YAMAM (the Hebrew acronym for “special police unit”).
Yet Israel, which, as an occupying power, faces international condemnation for its unequal war against the Palestinians, boasts that some senior government officials who are very critical of Israel on the world stage have begun to ask them for help with their most intractable security problems.
And now the Israeli regime has evidently felt that the time has come to share its experiences with other countries, for its own benefit of course.
The main objective assigned to YAMAM is to thwart terrorist plans against the government before they occur, to involve the military during attacks, to combat “crime syndicates” and to prevent border incursions. In contrast, the military forces are often called upon to confront protest demonstrations in the West Bank, using what human rights activists call exaggerated force.
But protests along the fence separating Israel from Gaza, said to be organized by Hamas, are met only by Israel Defense Forces (IDF) outside YAMAM. It is these IDF forces that are generally accused of killing unarmed Palestinians, according to Ciralsky,
When Hamas sends rockets or balloons carrying weapons to Israel, or when it launches rockets, it is the IDF that responds with devastating air strikes. Occasionally, members of YAMAM participate in these attacks, although to a large extent they play a secondary role.
For a year, the author and his team traveled to train and exchange tactics with their U.S., French and German counterparts in areas such as the retaking of passenger trains, frustrating suicide attacks, and disarming men armed with grenades or bombs.
YAMAM’s technology includes robots and drones, and dazzles the uninitiated. But so do the statistics: YAMAM performs an average of about 300 missions a year in which its commandos have prevented the explosion of no less than 50 “time bombs” carried by suicide bombers en route to their targets and hundreds of other attacks in early stages.
YAMAM is a lamentable manifestation of the most modern technology designed as part of the Israeli genocide against Palestine, a nation whose people legitimately aspire to their sovereign space.
October 25, 2018.
This article may be reproduced by quoting the periodical POR ESTO! of Merida, Mexico.
Learn about the victory of a grandmother’s love in the voice of attorneys Anahita Sanchez and Rodolfo Echevarria.
By IPS Cuba, Feb 24, 2018
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
HAVANA: Lawyers linked to the case where a Cuban court awarded custody and care of three minors to their grandmother, a lesbian woman who lives with her partner, note that the sentence recognized in some way the union between people of the same sex.
This was expressed in an interview with IPS Cuba by lawyers Rodolfo Echevarría and Anahita Sánchez, who were in charge of the legal representation of Eumnice Violeta Cardoso, the grandmother of three children who were orphaned.
The event transcended as a victory for the community of lesbians, gays, bi, trans en intersexuales (LGBTI), which is waiting for the legalization of equal marriage and respect for other rights such as homoparental adoption.
It all began in March 2016, when Vioem Karen Díaz Cardoso, the daughter of Eumnice Violeta and mother of two girls and one boy, aged nine, eight and six respectively, died after fighting lymphatic cancer.
To determine the custody and care of the three children, the grandmother and the children’s father, Guillermo Gomez, went to court.
In October 2017, the family room of the Tribunal Municipal Popular de Boyeros, a municipality on the southern outskirts of Havana, mediated the family conflict and left custody and care in the hands of the grandmother.
The news broke last January in international news media and Internet social networks.
“In the ruling, which is the binding and obligatory part of the sentence, the court confers the guardianship and care only in favor of Eumnice. That has to be well clarified,” said Echevarría, because current local legislation does not recognize same-sex couples or homoparental families.
“Although the sentence recognizes in its first Considering the active role of Isabel (the couple of Eumnice), who is also the godmother of children, in the upbringing of minors, “he detailed.
“Nor is there any sign of “discrimination” in the sentence, that is, indirectly there is a recognition of the union between these two people, because it refers to the godmother of the children, her partner, also plays a fundamental role in the care of the three minors,” he continued.
“Perhaps that is the novelty of the sentence,” said the lawyer.
And he clarified that the father was not deprived of parental authority. “He has duties and rights also with respect to these minors,” he said.
Do we say they are lesbians?
Both jurists admitted that they had doubts about whether or not they should address the homosexuality of the grandmothers when filing the lawsuit.
“In self-consultation with my conscience, I said to myself, “Do I put all the data related to this family?” recalled Echevarría.
The lawyer was concerned that the other party might use the fact that it was a homosexual couple to allege alleged harm to children because of same-sex relationships.
“And I said to myself… why not? You have to put the patch on before the hole comes out. They are in a relationship as a couple and that doesn’t in any way affect minors,” she recalled.
“To introduce that element, she obviously had to have the consent of Eumnice Violeta. She always agreed, even asked that this information be introduced in the lawsuit,” she continued.
Attorney Sanchez described the court’s reaction on the day of the hearing as “impressive.”
“When the grandmother finished speaking, with very personal and moving experiences, the godmother stood up and explained. Everyone ended up crying, and the two of them embraced,” she shared.
“It was a very nice process, because the court didn’t have the slightest doubt that they have a relationship. But that didn’t mean that they were deprived of their rights, on the contrary,” she said.
The lawyer maintained that “the judiciary didn’t show any kind of opposition, neither in the act of appearance nor in the sentence” because of the sexual orientation of the grandmothers.
An exceptional case
The case of Eumnice arrived in April 2017 at the hands of Rodolfo and Anahita, two professionals from the Law Firm Specialized in Cassation Resources, thanks to the recommendation of a colleague who assessed the sensitivity of the problem.
“They had been given little hope, and the granting of guardianship and care to grandparents is certainly unusual,” Echevarría said, as the law states that custody should be vested in the father after the mother’s death.
However, “this is not the first case of detachment of custody and care in favor of the extended family, such as grandparents, although they have not been abundant,” said the lawyer.
Due to the very nature of the work in the law firm where they work, which handles cases from all over the country, Rodolfo and Anahita affirm that there will have been three or four similar cases in the rest of the Cuban provinces.
Nor do they believe that he is the only one in Havana, although “there are many judges who have not yet had any in their jurisdiction. Since it’s not the first, it’s not that many,” Sánchez said.
In fact, the first setback faced by the family was that the Popular Municipal Court of Old Havana, in an unusual intervention by the Attorney General’s Office, alleged a lack of competence to deal with the case and ordered its transfer to the municipality of Boyeros, where the children’s father resided.
New paths in family law
As professionals, Echevarría and Sánchez maintain that the positive solution to this case brought them great satisfaction.
“Law has to go hand in hand with these new family paths. There are reconstituted, assembled families, and there is already a recognition of the role of the extended family,” Echevarría reflected.
For the lawyer, “the right has to look at the new paradigm shifts, from a nuclear family based on the ties derived from marriage, to a family that is sustained by affection.
The family rooms today reinterpret current but outdated Cuban norms and apply international agreements signed by the country to solve family law cases, pending the postponed revision by parliament of a draft of a new Family Code to replace the one drafted in 1975. (2018)
By Flor de Paz, Cuban journalist and plastic artist
March 8, 2018
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
This is the last interview given by the director of Editorial de la Mujer, who passed away in Havana on Sunday, March 4. Her testimony is part of an audio-visual series that was recently recorded to dignify the work of Cuban journalists, who will be holding their 10th Congress this year.
The project, which will soon be broadcast on Cuban television, is being carried out by young graduates of FAMCA and is the fruit of collaboration between the Union of Journalists of Cuba (UPEC) and the Association Hermanos Saíz (AHS).
— Constance and strength? A trait of my personality. I am, I don’t want to use the term fighter because it has many meanings, but I am a combative woman who always believes in Anaïs Nin’s phrase: “Put your dreams on the horizon and start walking”. You never reach the horizon, we know that, but push.
The entrance hall and living room of Isabel Catalina Moya Richard’s house are very spacious, as in most Havana construction of the first decades of the 20th century. Both spaces are demarcated only by four circular columns, and are passageways for the furniture that inhabits it —sofás, armchairs, armchairs, tables— and, among the latter, a huge one that Enrique Sosa, a professor at the University of Havana and panelist for years in the television program Escriba y Lea [Write and Read], gave to Isabelita.
It’s San Lázaro Street, in the popular neighborhood of Centro Habana. The noises of the road buzz around the house like a volcano erupting. And Isabel, seated in front of the precious wooden table that Professor Sosa gave her, now supporting an old typewriter, a souvenir from La Catrina, photos with Juan Carlos, and Gabriela, the 20-year-old daughter of both of them, as well as other ornaments, talks about the image she has hanging on one of the walls of the room: “it is Frida Kahlo’s Blue House”. It was given her by its author, the Mexican Aurea Alanis, who was in Havana for a course in gender photography.
—I’ve always been very gregarious, I enjoy being in a group, I’m very social, but I realized that I wanted to study journalism because I liked to write, I liked to research, I liked to read, I liked Humphrey Bogart’s films, from film noir, in which it was always a journalist who discovered everything. And I thought: I want to be that kind of person who investigates, who reveals secrets, she says, while Daniela Muñoz Barroso and Lena Hernández’s cameras “focus” on her eloquence.
During a pause, her mother, also named Isabel, also 72, reaches for a glass of water and medication. “All my life I have known what my faculties and shortcomings are. I have a degenerative bone disease that has forced me to use braces to walk since I was born. I’ve been operated on many times and during those periods I devoured books and books; of course, without order or concert, I read The Consecration of Spring, by Carpentier, as well as seven novels by Corín Tellado.
At that stage she tried, above all, to fill herself with a world of words that would allow her to live other lives in her own life. And then, in high school, when teachers began to direct their reading, she realized that she really had writing skills.
—But look, I never approached journalism as literature; I have not written stories or fiction as journalism. No, I’ve always been interested in writing essays on history or politics. It’s important to write about reality. And, of course, I’ve written poems, like everyone else, to give them to the groom, but not because they are publishable. Far from it.
—I would say that I had a beautiful childhood; a very happy growth process. Starting school was an important time because I always loved studying. In the fifth grade, I won a literature contest with a fantasy fiction story. I felt tremendous joy!
“I don’t forget that in elementary school my political life began, even though I wasn’t very aware of that reality at the time. Many times, we would go with Vietnamese hats and leaflets glued on our uniforms to support Vietnam in its war against the United States. Also, one of the first marches I participated in as a child was for Angela Davis’ freedom. Then she came to Cuba and I realized that I was already worried about those problems. Later, in the middle school and high school years, when I made friendships that I still have, and when my interests were taking shape, I definitely knew that I wanted to study journalism.”
Isabel Catalina Moya Richard was born in Havana on November 25, 1961. She is the eldest daughter of a family of four, including her parents. Their existence – marked by the impossibility of their organisms to assimilate calcium and, in turn, an optimism compensating for the lack of the mineral and all difficulties – can be summed up this way:
On her feet, on crutches or in a wheelchair, she is still herself: PhD in Communication Sciences, director of Editorial de la Mujer and the magazine Mujeres, the Associate Professor of the Faculty of Communication at the University of Havana, the president of the Chair of Gender and Communication and coordinator of the International Diploma in Gender and Communication at the José Martí International Institute of Journalism; the admirable José Martí Prize for Dignity and the National Journalism Prize (for her life’s work), awarded by the Union of Journalists of Cuba in 2016 and 2017.
—When I graduated, in 1984, I was the first in the group and was placed as a disseminator in the Office of Nuclear Affairs, but I did not agree. My dissatisfaction did not go down well because that institution was very important at the time. However, I wanted to do journalism and, when I asked to be relocated, I didn’t know where I was going to work for three months. The second choice was Mujeres [Women} magazine, and I took it as a punishment.
“How wrong I was! There were opportunities that many of my classmates didn’t have. I know all of Cuba thanks to my work as a reporter for Mujeres. I have been in the Pico Turquino, on the black beaches of the Isla de la Juventud, in the wonderful landscapes of Pinar del Río, in the Escambray… And, as at the same time I was attending the correspondence section, one day I thought: “Oh, I’m going to do a postgraduate course in research methodology”. And so I was able to design a content analysis tool that allowed us to classify all the letters we received. We get a lot of information from them, both for the magazine’s work and for the attention to the problems they alluded to. And I was forever hooked on research.
With the support of the Federation of Cuban Women (FMC), Isabelita had the opportunity to do a course on feminism at Casa Morada in Chile, and to participate in numerous international events on gender. Until in one of her daily inner dialogues, she asked herself: “Well, I have to try to create an environment where theories of gender and communication converge and thus we will have a better journalism”. And in this approximation, her doctoral thesis is aligned, for which she received the highest grade.
In the School of Communication, Isabelita gave her first gender classes, a horizon reached by which she lets us see great passion. When thinking about it, she brings to mind, that master’s degree given in Villa Clara, “one of the adventures in which I enrolled with UPEC: the teachers had to stay there every school week”.
Then it was time to found the Chair in Gender and Communications at the José Martí International Institute of Journalism, thanks to Guillermo Cabrera, she said. In this way, a line of training and research was opened in our country, of which we can be proud today. This is because, in addition to having graduates from numerous graduate schools, some of them have done their doctoral theses on the subject.
—More than two hundred communicators from all over Latin America have graduated from our courses. Through the Chair, I have also been able to teach at several important universities in the region and in Europe. Two years ago, for the first time, I gave online TV classes to some high schools in the United States. Having students everywhere is a delightful experience.
It’s February 3, 2018, Saturday morning. Isabelita, in front of Daniela and Lena’s cameras, talks about the issues that move her the most. Irina, with a demanding expression, reveals her concern for the continuous sounds coming from Calle San Lázaro, but this is the daily environment in which she lives.
—The challenges facing women in Cuba? The first is to think that they have already achieved everything. When we look at the statistics and see the number of women in the National Assembly, the number of women scientists and women communicators, and that more than seventy percent of the prosecutors are women, and so on, we come up with a distorted idea of reality. Because we have managed to open ourselves up in professions that were not previously considered feminine, we are now in the most complex moment, that of confronting subjectivity, culture, value judgments, and customs. These are much more difficult to change, since they are based on collective imagery and social representations. This is what we sing when we sing a bolero, a salsa song or sometimes, unfortunately, a reggaeton and what the novels tell us: romantic, dependent loves.
Her reflection is based on two substantive arguments: the communicational processes in Cuba do not problematize the reductive approaches of these audiovisual spaces, nor the subjective gaps that in the seventies the media managed to tackle documentaries such as that of Sara Gómez, Mi aportación, and the feature films Retrato de Teresa. Furthermore, attitudes that unwittingly blame and associate the advancement of women with certain family crises are frequent.
Today they say, “Women don’t give birth,” but that’s not the problem. The problem is that society has put women in the dichotomy of motherhood or professional fulfillment, so society has to change in order for the couple, the family, to have more children. It is not just a matter for women because even with all the advances in science and technology, it takes an egg and sperm to conceive a human being. But the media, instead of questioning this sexist approach, return and blame women for the problem of low birth rate.
Despite being public, of representing a social system that has human beings as the center of its goals, the media in our country does not achieve a racial balance, for example, Its aesthetics are very homogeneous: the majority of women come out with straightened hair. I liked it very much that the other day I saw a young black girl with her braids on the Morning Magazine. Because, as I say, there is no problem with straightening your hair, but in that fashion, it becomes a cultural mandate that forces you to assume aesthetics with which not all want to express themselves. It is still a challenge for diversity to be understood.
Using her experience as an example of what can be done in the communication processes, Isabelita talks about a work recently published in Mujeres magazine. It was about the people who sell coffee and fried foods from a window of what was the living room of her house, of a small house. And she asks, “What about the children living in these homes, where do they do their homework? You guys get to work? How do you reconcile business and family life in a small space like that??? Oh, and what good is it, grandparents live longer, but now the child is going to marry so grandma must move out of her room, and sleep in the living room…?
I know that there are people who think that these issues are minor and that the only thing that matters is global warming, but in what happens global warming there are people who live similar tragedies every day, so it is very good that there is journalism for global warming and that there is journalism that helps in the day-to-day, a service journalism and a journalism of social activism.
Isabelita, what does journalism mean to you?
A commitment to my contemporaries, to my country, to my people; a passion, a passion that saves. I have been sick, in the hospital at terrible times, when one of those moments in which the fragility of the human body is observed. Someone passed by and said to me, “Oh, how I like your magazine”. And, listen to me, all the fears and pains have been frightened away. So I tell you, journalism is my salvation.
And she added:
Rosa Luxemburg said that socialism is not just a knife and fork problem, it is a profound cultural revolution. I, therefore, believe that journalism will help transform machismo, sexism, homophobia, racism, the inheritance of five hundred years of Western Judaeo-Christian culture, first, from an atrocious first colonialism and, later, from a capitalism that destroys human beings.
(taken from Cubaperiodistas)
By Zbigniew Marcin Kowalewski*
Translated and edited for CubaNews by Walter Lippmann.
“The initiative of the International Proletarian Army should not die in the face of the first failure,” Che Guevara wrote after his departure from the Congolese guerrillas. He reaffirmed it on the eve of his departure for the Bolivian guerrilla writing: “That a true proletarian internationalism be developed; with international proletarian armies, where the flag under which it fights is the sacred cause of the redemption of humanity. “
“Latin America will be one country”. This was the idea with which Che had come to fight in Bolivia and for which he sacrificed his life, as Guido “Inti” Peredo explained in his messages while working tenaciously to rebuild the National Liberation Army.
Fifty years after Che’s death, Pombo, a legendary Cuban survivor of this guerrilla, insists, with the same force of conviction and the same ardor: “It is the most important of all tasks: to achieve the union of all Latin American peoples,” because union is “the only way in which Latin American peoples can resist the aggression, influence, alienation to which imperialism submits.”
The historic and at the same time revolutionary value of the conversations of Maria del Carmen Garcés with today’s general Harry Villegas Tamayo is enormous. In the abundant literature on Che’s guerrilla, this book stands out for reviving with exceptional fidelity its political program, its deeds, its ideas, its spirit and – its respect! – its incredible morale.
One of the most striking things in this book is precisely the constant presence, in the life and action of the guerrilla, of the morale factor with its two aspects which, in Che’s words, “complement each other” – “a morale as to the ethical sense of the word and another in its heroic sense “- as a fundamental weapon of every true revolutionary movement.
Pombo, from Yara to Ñancahuazú, restores the truth against so many lies and so much petty discourse that they have accumulated distorting, dwarfing and trivializing the history of the Bolivian guerrilla.
“We do not always have to wait for all the conditions for revolution; the insurrectionary foco can create them.” This was another of Che’s fundamental ideas. How much had been said that the fate that the guerrilla ran in Bolivia denied and buried forever!
Harry Villegas and María del Carmen Garcés show that Bolivia had fully confirmed that it was a fair idea. The guerrillas contributed to creating conditions for the revolution by mobilizing and gaining the support of “a revolutionary force like that of the Bolivian miners, the most advanced of the continent.”
It was because of the fear that a miner’s uprising would be combined with the guerrilla action that the army perpetrated the San Juan massacre in the mines. “It was very unfeasible,” explains Pombo, that the single guerrilla group, with its own small force, could “catalyze and take advantage of this revolutionary situation” without counting on “the vanguard role that left parties should play.” But “within their conception of the mass struggle” they “could not play it,” notes Pombo. Che was right to comment at this political juncture: “It’s a pity not to have 100 more men.”
From Bolivia, within the framework of an incredibly bold strategy for the continental revolution, the internationalist guerrilla under his command had to contribute decisively to the development of the revolutionary movements in the Southern Cone and to coordinate or unify all these movements on a Latin American scale. By creating “two, three … many Vietnams” on an even wider plane -the tricontinental- it was possible to give the imperialist superpower an irreversible defeat.
In this strategy, the struggle for Latin America’s “unique, true and inalienable independence”, announced in the Second Declaration of Havana, was combined or interwoven with the socialist revolution, because for Che, there were “no more changes what to do: or socialist revolution or caricature of revolution. “
When Che and his fellow Cubans, Bolivians and Peruvians fought in Bolivia, the great majority of revolutionary movements and left-wing organizations from all Latin American countries met in Havana at the conference of Latin American Solidarity Organization (OLAS).
The Cuban delegation, explaining in its report that the objective was “to elaborate a common strategy to fight against Yankee imperialism and the oligarchies of bourgeois and landowners” and exposing the strategy of the continental revolution, he claimed “the Bolivarian ideology of conceiving Latin America as one and great Fatherland. “ Deepened by José Martí, “today the continental conception of a single Latin American people has been strengthened,” he said.
The Cuban delegation presented at the conference an “evident fact that has not been evaluated in all its dimension: never before has such a large group of people been known, with such a large population and a vast territory, cultures so similar, interests as similar and anti-imperialist purposes identical.
Each of us feels part of our America. We learned this from historical tradition; as our ancestors bequeathed to us, as our heroes taught us! None of these ideas is new to the representatives of the revolutionary organizations of Latin America. But have we sufficiently appreciated what these events represent?
Have we analyzed in depth what it means from as far back as the first years of the nineteenth century, and we had a continental idea of the struggle that was taking place throughout Latin America? Have we analyzed with sufficient clarity the irrefutable fact that Latin America constitutes one and great people? “
In July 1969, weeks before his capture and murder, Inti Peredo, faithful to the “Bolivarian dream and that of Che to politically and economically unite Latin America,” Che declared in his proclamation “We will return to the mountains! : “Our only and final goal is the liberation of Latin America, which is not only our continent, but also our homeland temporarily broken up into twenty republics.”
Pombo, from Yara to Ñancahuazú, collects today and again sends this message of Che, Inti, Coco, Chino, Tania, Moisés, Tuma, Joaquin, Ricardo, Rolando and all the other revolutionary fighters who fell in Bolivia. “To some extent,” says Harry Villegas, “Bolivia was the Moncada of America. Today we are seeing how crops are really being harvested from this blow that shook all of our America. “
Reading, studying, discussing and disseminating this book, in Latin America and in any other region of the world, is to politically, ideologically and morally rearm ourselves.
Warsaw, September 1, 2017
* Deputy editor-in-chief of the Polish edition of Le Monde Diplomatique and editor of Quaderni della Fondazione “Ernesto Che Guevara” edited in Italy
LETTER FROM AUTHOR:
(Translation from Spanish. Original below)
Years ago we were in contact, we exchanged emails. The contact between us was an initiative of Celia [Hart].
From the very beginning (specifically since the reporting of [NY Times writer Herbert L.] Matthews) I followed the Cuban revolution and was politically formed largely under its influence. In 1967 I won an international contest by Radio Havana Cuba (they rewarded my essay Che’s Message to the Tricontinental) and I was invited to Cuba; It was my first trip. Worked on the guerrilla movements in Latin America, published a book on them in Poland (left in 1978). In the second half of the 1970s I spent four and a half years in Cuba, helping to train translators at the Pablo Lafargue Institute.
I was a leader of the Solidarność trade union (a member of the Lodz Regional Executive, then one of the most important industrial centers in Poland). The establishment of the state of war in December 1981 surprised me in France where I was traveling, so I spent the 1980’s in exile in France.
Then I came back and now I’m living in Poland. Since 1981 I have been a member of the Fourth [International]. Between 2005 and 2013 Militant in the Polish Labor Party (PPP), an almost purely labor party in its composition, created by a combative minority union that comes from a split from Solidarność and is called Free Trade Union “August ’80”. I was secretary for programmatic affairs of this party. The party was not maintained and in the long run and disappeared, while the union remains active.
At various stages of my life I tried to promote some work of solidarity with Cuba, although conditions there were never conducive. In People’s Poland there was no official work of solidarity, beyond a purely bureaucratic facade, and all unofficial political work provoked an intervention by the political police.
During the 1990s. There were very strong anti-Cuban bells here, both in the media and, indeed, in the State. Since the year 2000 I took a whole series of initiatives in this area, there was some development of a solidarity association, I was a member of its leadership, but the association disintegrated little by little. Then I had support from the Polish Labor Party for a job in Cuba, but finally, at the beginning of this decade, all work of solidarity with Cuba, which was already becoming smaller and more marginal, became extinct.
If you translate my text on the book of Maria Garces I will check it, evidently.
Hace anos estuvimos en contacto, intercambiamos mails. El contacto entre nosotros fue una iniciativa de Celia.
Desde el comienzo (concretamente desde el reportaje de Matthews) segui la revolución cubana y me forme politicamente en buena medida bajo su influencia. En 1967 gane un concurso internacional de Radio Habana Cuba (premiaron mi ensayo sobre el mensaje del Che a la Tricontinental) y fui invitado a Cuba; fue mi primer viaje. Trabaje sobre los movimientos guerrilleros en America Latina, publique en Polonia un libro sobre ellos (salió en 1978). En la segunda mitad de los 70 pase cuatro anos y medio en Cuba, formando traductores en el Instituto Pablo Lafargue.
Fui dirigente del sindicato Solidarność (miembro de la ejecutiva de la dirección regional de Lodz, entonces uno de los mas importantes centros industriales de Polonia). La instauración del estado de guerra en diciembre de 1981 me sorprendió en Francia donde me encontraba de viaje, asi que pase los anos 80 en exilio en Francia.
Luego volvi y estoy viviendo en Polonia. Desde 1981 soy miembro de la Cuarta. Entre 2005 y 2013 milite en el Partido Polaco del Trabajo (PPP), un partido casi puramente obrero en su composición, creado por un sindicato minoritario combativo que proviene de una escisión de Solidarność y se llama Sindicato Libre “Agosto ’80”. Fui secretario para asuntos programaticos de este partido. El partido no se mantuvo a la larga y desapareció, mientras que el sindicato sigue activo.
En varias etapas de mi vida intentaba promover algun trabajo de solidaridad con Cuba, aunque jamas habia condiciones propicias. En la Polonia Popular no habia ningun trabajo oficial de solidaridad, mas alla de una fachada puramente burocratica, y todo trabajo politico no oficial provocaba una intervención de la policia politica.
durante los anos 90. hubo aqui muy fuertes campanas anticubanas, tanto de los medios como, de hecho, del Estado. Desde el ano 2000 tome toda una serie de iniciativas en este terreno, hubo algun desarrollo de una asociación de solidaridad, fui miembro de su dirección, pero la asociación se desintegró poco a poco, Luego tuve apoyo del Partido Polaco del Trabajo para un trabajo Cuba, pero finalmente , a comienzos de esta decada, todo trabajo de solidaridad con Cuba, que ya era cada vez mas reducido y marginal, se extinguió.
Si traduces mi texto sobre el libro de Maria Garces lo verificare, evidentemente.
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
For a formatted printable facsimile pdf file of this draft click here.
The draft Constitution of the Republic approved by the National Assembly of People’s Power in its ordinary session on July 21 and 22, 2018, and which is now being submitted for consultation to our people, is the result of in-depth work begun in 2013.
At that time, the Political Bureau agreed to create a working group, chaired by Army General Raúl Castro Ruz, First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba, with the objective of studying the possible changes to be introduced in the constitutional order. This follows the agreements of the Sixth Congress and the First National Conference of the Party, the process of strengthening the institutions developed in the country, the need to bring the Constitution into line with our reality, the foreseeable future and the other measures that have been approved in recent years; having as an essential presupposition the thought of the historical leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro Ruz.
During all this time, an in-depth study was carried out of our history and constitutional tradition, the constitutional processes developed in Latin America in recent years and the experiences derived from those countries that are building socialism, as well as constitutional texts from other nations.
As is well-known, the National Assembly of People’s Power, in the exercise of its constituent power, agreed, in its extraordinary session of June 2, to form a committee among its deputies. Its task is to represent an important part of the sectors that make up our society, under the leadership of comrade Raúl Castro Ruz, with the aim of preparing a preliminary draft of the Constitution of the Republic.
The Commission has worked intensively, taking as a reference the studies carried out previously and the contribution of experts and specialists from various institutions, and after extensive debates presented the National Assembly of People’s Power with a draft Constitution of the Republic.
The text consists of the preamble, 224 articles (87 more than the current Constitution), divided into 11 titles, 24 chapters and 16 sections.
Eleven articles of the current Constitution of the Republic are maintained, 113 are amended and 13 are deleted.
It is distinguished by a coherent and systematic structure, achieving a logical rearrangement of its contents and avoiding its dispersion.
The language used corresponds to the terminology that should characterize a constitutional text and to our political, economic and social reality. The general wording of its contents confers greater flexibility, durability, security and applicability of the Constitution.
The draft reaffirms the socialist character of our political, economic and social system, as well as the leading role of the Communist Party of Cuba.
The concept of the socialist rule of law is incorporated in order to strengthen the institutional framework and the rule of law, including the supremacy of the Constitution.
The economic system being reflected maintains as essential principles the socialist ownership of all the people of the fundamental means and planning, in addition to the recognition of the role of the market and of new forms of non-state ownership, including private ownership.
Of particular note is the development of a wide range of rights in keeping with the international instruments to which Cuba is a party in this area. Those relating to the right to defense, due process and popular participation are highlighted. The economic and social rights are reformulated, in particular, the right to health and education, which are maintained as a function of the State and free of charge, although it is envisaged that the law will define other issues related to them. The content of the right to equality is further developed by incorporating non-discrimination on the basis of gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, ethnic origin and disability into existing rights (skin color, sex, race, etc.).
It provides for the possibility for individuals to apply to the courts for restitution of their rights or for compensation or reparation for damage or injury caused by the act or omission of State organs, managers, officials or employees in the improper exercise of their functions. In relation to marriage, the current conception that it is only possible “between a man and a woman” is modified and defined as being between two persons.
With regard to citizenship, the fundamental change lies in the fact that our affiliation to the non-admission of dual citizenship is changing and, instead, we are proposing to accept the principle of “effective citizenship”, which consists in the fact that “Cuban citizens, within the national territory, are governed by this condition and cannot make use of a foreign citizenship”.
With regard to the organs of the State, an appropriate balance is maintained between them. The figures of the President of the Republic are incorporated as Head of the State and that of the Prime Minister in charge of the Government of the Republic; both are required to be deputies to the National Assembly of People’s Power. The Council of State retains its character as a permanent body of the National Assembly of People’s Power, with greater interaction with it, among other aspects, because the President, Vice-President and Secretary of both institutions are the same persons. A novelty among the State bodies is the National Electoral Council, a permanent institution in this area, and the inclusion of the Office of the Comptroller General of the Republic in the Constitution has been resolved.
As for the local bodies, the provincial assemblies of People’s Power were eliminated and a Provincial Government was established, composed of the Governor and a Council at that level.
The municipalities acquire greater relevance from the recognition of their autonomy, which they exercise in correspondence with the interests of the nation.
The Municipal Administration Council is ratified as the body that directs the Municipal Administration, in charge of an Intendent, a term that is proposed to replace that of President and Chief currently employed.
With regard to the Electoral System, it is maintained that Cubans over 16 years of age have the right to vote, with the exceptions provided for by law. The National Defense and Security Act appears in a Title, which specifies the mission of the National Defense Council, with powers to carry out tasks since peacetime, and the recognition of a Disaster Situation, in addition to the other exceptional ones.
With regard to the mechanism for Constitutional Reform, unlike the current Constitution, the legitimacy to promote it is pointed out and the intangibility clauses are specified.
Special, transitional and final provisions are established for the entry into force of the main issues regulated in the Project, as well as the period during which the complementary rules must be issued and others in force amended.
The consultation process that is proposed to be developed is an expression of the democratic and participative character of the revolutionary state and constitutes an exercise of the sovereign power of the people, which has become the constituent body of the nation, and which distinguishes us favorably from other processes developed in various countries.
This particularity represents a high responsibility of all citizens in the study of the project and in the participation in the popular consultation, as well as in each of the proposals made. It must be borne in mind at all times that the Constitution is a norm that establishes essential and minimum principles and values, which implies not covering and expressing in detail all areas of political, economic and social life.
All the proposals and suggestions made will be duly assessed. We Cubans must be aware of the commitment that the new Constitution of the Republic, forged by the people to give continuity to the Revolution and socialism, implies for present and future generations.
More than ever, the following words of our undefeated Commander in Chief Fidel Castro Ruz are valid:(1)
“One of the things that concerns us, and that must be of perennial concern, is that […] the Constitution that we make be complied with strictly. We cannot have or approve a single one of these precepts that is not rigorously applied. The Revolution cannot create a Constitution, cannot create institutions, cannot create principles that are not fulfilled.
“That’s why it is our purpose once this Constitution has been approved, to fight consistently and tenaciously, so that each and every one of the precepts of that Constitution will be fulfilled; so that no one can ever blame the Revolution for agreeing to laws and principles that were decided but not fulfilled”.
(1) Excerpts from the remarks of Commander-in-Chief Fidel Castro Ruz, Revista Cubana de Derecho, Año 5, No. 11, enero–junio, 1976, La Habana, pp. 54 y 55.
I want the first law of our Republic to be the worship of Cubans for the full dignity of man;
54 (c) to preserve national security;
55 (d) to ensure equality in the enjoyment and exercise of rights and the fulfilment of the duties enshrined in the Constitution;
59.(h) to protect the natural, historical and cultural heritage of the nation; and
60 (i) to ensure the educational, scientific, technical and cultural development of the country.
129.(a) foreigners who acquire citizenship in accordance with the provisions of the law.
ARTICLE 39: The Cuban State shall guarantee the enjoyment and exercise by the individual of the inalienable, indivisible and interdependent enjoyment and exercise of human rights, in accordance with the principle of progressivity and without discrimination. Their respect and guarantee are obligatory for everyone.
161.(i) be deprived of one’s rights only by decision of a competent authority or a final judgement of a court; and
Any evidence obtained in violation of this provision is null and void and those responsible are punished in accordance with the law.
ARTICLE 51: In its prison policy, the State shall promote the social reintegration of persons deprived of their liberty, guarantee respect for their rights and compliance with the rules established for their treatment in prison establishments.
400.The President of the Republic is the Head of State.
(i) the Office of the Comptroller General of the Republic, in matters within its competence;
ARTICLE 190. Delegates have the following rights:
712.ARTICLE 214. In order to be valid, the sessions of the Municipal Assembly of People’s Power require the presence of more than half of the total number of its members. Its resolutions are adopted by a simple majority of votes. 213The National Defense Council shall be composed of the President of the Republic, who shall preside over it, who shall in turn appoint a Vice-President and such other members as may be determined by law.
TITLE XI: REFORM OF THE CONSTITUTION
The numbers incorporated at the beginning of each paragraph are intended to facilitate discussion during the popular consultation and the analysis and processing of the opinions expressed.
Glossary of terms
For the purposes of a better understanding of the draft Constitution of the Republic, the following terms are specified:
INALIENABLE PROPERTY: These are those goods of socialist property of the entire people and those that make up the cultural heritage; they may not be sold, assigned, donated or exchanged under any circumstances.
IMMEMBERABLE PROPERTY: These are those goods owned by the whole people and which are part of cultural heritage; they cannot be seized or confiscated by any authority.
CONSTITUTION: It is the fundamental law of a State. It establishes the essential principles and values of a country’s socio-political organization and contains its political, economic, social and legal foundations, as well as the structure of the State and its relations with individuals.
POPULAR CONSULTATION: A form of participation in which the people express their opinion on a particular issue, without this having binding effect.
ENTITIES: It is used in its broadest sense as a legal entity that performs economic, social, cultural, scientific, etc. functions. Includes non-state actors.
STATE: It is the system of organs through which public power is exercised and includes various functions (legislative, executive, judicial, control, etc.).
SOCIALIST STATE OF LAW: It is the conception of the State that reflects that its structure and functioning are governed by the observance of what is established in the Constitution of the Republic and in the rest of the normative dispositions that make up the legal system.
GOVERNORS: Position with which the authorities in charge of the executive-administrative functions in the province are recognized.
GOVERNMENT: This includes the bodies whose essential objective is to carry out executive-administrative acts. At the national level it is the Council of Ministers; in the province, the provincial governments and in the municipality, the councils of the administration.
HABEAS CORPUS: Legal procedure that safeguards the freedom of citizens from illegal or arbitrary deprivation of liberty and guarantees the right of individuals to go to court to decide whether or not detention is legal.
IMPRESCRIPTIBILITY: It means that the rights over the socialist property of all the people and those that make up the cultural heritage, do not prescribe, that is, do not lose validity over time.
INDIVISIBILITY OF RIGHTS: It means that human rights cannot be divided or fragmented.
SUPERINTENDENT: Position with which the Board of Directors in the municipalities is identified.
INTERDEPENDENCE OF RIGHTS: Recognizes that all human rights are intertwined with each other. For the realization of a human right, the realization of other rights will be necessary; if one right is violated, it is undeniable that others will be understood to have been violated.
LAWS: Although the term literally refers to the normative dispositions approved by the National Assembly of People’s Power, it is also conceived in the text to refer to any type of norm regardless of the body that issues it.
ABSOLUTE MAJORITY: This is the mode of voting in which more than half of the votes are required to reach a decision, taking into account the total number of members of the deciding body.
SIMPLE MAJORITY: It is the voting system by which a decision is taken to obtain more votes in favor than against, regardless of the number reached.
CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTION: Is the act by which a citizen wields a certain belief in order not to fulfill an obligation or duty established by law.
ORGANS OF THE STATE: It includes all the organs, agencies and institutions that allow the performance of the functions of the State.
PLEBISCITE: Form of direct popular participation, aimed at knowing whether or not to approve a certain political or government act or measure of relevance to society.
PROGRESS IN RIGHTS: It is the possibility of future recognition of rights not understood at a historical moment, without this leading to a setback or regression of those already achieved.
REFERENCE: Form of direct participation, through which the approval, modification or repeal of a certain legal provision of transcendence is submitted to the people for their decision.
UNIVERSALITY OF RIGHTS: Assumes that all people enjoy all human rights, without distinction of any kind.
NOMINAL VOTING: The one that is carried out by indicating each voter’s decision in person when he or she is appointed to the respective list.
I’d like to thank two people who helped mightily to bring this about. Kimberly Sloss, computer technician, without whose help I would never have even thought to take on such a project.
Peter Roman, whose proofreading of a first draft found many since-corrected errors. Prof. Roman is the author of PEOPLE’S POWER: Cuba’s Experience with Representative Government (Westview Press 1999).
Please let me know of any other errors or omissions you may find. I’m happy to correct all errors. I’d rather not argue over small nuances in translation, but will happily read comments, questions or corrections.