In the course of next week, Correos de Cuba will put on sale in all its units and newsstands, the Constitution of the Republic of Cuba that was approved in the Second Ordinary Session of the IX Legislature of the National Assembly of People’s Power, at the price of one peso in national currency. Correos […]
By Fabián Escalante Font
La Pupila Insomne, August 9, 2019
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews
On December 10, 2015, in a message to Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, Fidel expressed, among other ideas: “Cuban revolutionaries – a few miles from the United States, which always dreamed of taking Cuba and turning it into a hybrid of Casino and brothel, as a way of life for José Martí’s children – will never renounce its full independence and [demand] total respect for its dignity,” something necessary to remember today, when, from the North, the intention is to “glorify” Fulgencio Batista and the Cuban society of that time.
Relations between the United States and Cuba have been conflictive since ancient times, due to their old geopolitical ambitions. The Monroe doctrine, promulgated in the first third of the 19th century, advocated its right over the countries of the continent. When Cuba became independent from Spain, they were entitled to it, as long as it was located in its sphere of influence. They seemed to be unaware that Cuban independence was achieved by the sacrifice and blood of its children, who suffered the complicit support of the Metropolis of that country, which only decided to take sides when the Cuban forces had defeated the Spanish army.
The U.S. military intervention that put an end to the war installed a provisional government, which, after dissolving the Mambí Army and holding elections in which the patriots were relegated [to the sidelines] and divided, created a neo-colonial republic. New interventions, and finally a constitutional amendment (Platt), which granted Washington the right to intervene militarily when they considered it [justified], opened a neo-colonial era in our homeland, frustrating our national independence and sovereignty.
Before, during the colonial period, U.S. economic interests had begun to establish themselves in Cuba and after the republican process had begun, financial groups from that country took over the Cuban economy, mainly in sugar, agriculture, livestock and services. In those first days. they invested approximately $1,500 million dollars. Sugar was their primary objective, from which they derived important dividends, not only because of the weight it had in their production, but also because they were the ones who commercialized it and later had to pay tariffs to their government for its export. In the 1920s, the government charged an incredible 1,119’000,000 dollars for this concept.
Cuba and its riches belonged to them. The Rockefeller group, one of the pioneers in settling in the Island, possessed a score of sugar factories, 40,000 caballerías of land [1,326,461 acres], the King Ranch for cattle development, the exploitation of nickel in the north of the Cuban east (Nicaro), Banks (like Chase Manhattan Bank and others) and petroleum refineries (Standard Oíl of New Jersey, Texaco…) and other businesses more.
The thirties were about definitions. On the one hand, the need to thwart the Revolution [of 1933), the result of the overthrow of Machado’s dictatorship, and on the other, the urgency of establishing a heavy-handed government that would provide stability for trade and business, a role then assigned to Colonel Fulgencio Batista.
Those years were the beginning of the penetration of the tentacles of the Yankee mafia, first with the smuggling of alcohol and then with money laundering. In the 1940s, U.S. capital invested in the island began to emigrate from the agricultural sector to services, mining, industry and tourism. The Constitution of 1940, which foresaw the possibility of an Agrarian Reform, forced them to make this decision, in addition to the reduction of the sugar quota assigned to Cuba in the North American market, which decreased significantly from 50% to 28%.
During the Second World War, in the United States, there had been a strategic alliance between the State, finance capital, the security and intelligence complex and the mafia. Its first result was to guarantee the security of the North American ports from possible German sabotage and then to facilitate the disembarkation of its troops in Sicily, Italy. This “holy” alliance would be strengthened over the years. The effects of this alliance would reach Cuba. One was the 1946 meeting of all the chiefs of the North American mafia at the Hotel Nacional, where the control and spheres of influence of the “families” on the island and the legalization of their fortunes were decided.
Graham Greene, the well-known British writer, after one of his visits to Cuba wrote: “Havana is the city where all vice is allowed and all business is possible. He delighted in talking about it at the Floridita, in its brothels, the roulette in the hotels, the Shanghai theater where for a dollar and twenty-five cents one could see a show of extreme obscenity. When he got bored with this, he would go to look for a little bit of cocaine, which was within everyone’s reach. The favorite brothel (Marina2) was furnished with spotless linoleum tables and chairs arranged around a small dance floor. The girls, all teenagers, were in shorts and were white and many were blond, with Latin eyes.
In Havana, U.S. Ambassador Arthur Gardner observed with growing disbelief and publicly lamented that “The masses of people who come here are inclined only to pleasure and think only in terms of fun, rum and nightclubs.
Little by little, the great North American economic interests took over the nascent industries, export and import companies and leisure tourism. Meanwhile, the smuggling of drugs, diamonds, sumptuous items, skilled prostitution and money laundering grew disproportionately. To this end, 72 banks and financial institutions were opened, of which just to mention one, the Gelats, received almost $1 million a day in 1949 to be “laundered”.
The economic project consisted of making Cuba the “Monte Carlo of the Caribbean”. According to Batista’s “memoirs”, the Cuban government invested one billion dollars, of which some was given for services (electricity and telephones), others for airlines, others for infrastructure, in short, all aimed at facilitating this enormous plan to make this country a brothel. At that time, Havana alone had 270 brothels and 11,500 registered prostitutes, although some commentators at the time considered a figure close to 100,000.
According to prominent Cuban intellectual Graziellla Pogolotti, “the leisure industry expanded throughout the country, the dives, meeting points for organized prostitution and the business centers of the mafia multiplied throughout the provincial capitals. In that scenario, the government outlined a master plan for tourism development, called the “National Planning Law,” through which it designed urban plans aimed at developing infrastructure in Varadero, Trinidad, Isla de Pinos and East Havana, and projected a new Presidential Palace between El Morro and La Cabaña.
The tourist function was enhanced with hotel development in front of the Havana Malecón and was reinforced with the creation of an artificial island (opposite the mouth of the Almendares River) to receive new facilities for leisure, hotels, casinos and shopping centers. It was proposed to extend the Jesús del Monte roadway through Muralla Street and the extension of Habana Street, directly connected to the Havana tunnel and eliminating the blocks between Lamparilla and Amargura, to create a landscaped promenade from the Capitol to the Port”.
The Financial and Atlantic banks owned by Julio Lobo and Amadeo Barleta, one, a sugar businessman and the other head of one of Havana’s mafia families, created two partnerships for this project: the Riviera company in Havana and the Hotel company in Cuba. They were in charge of – with the illegal money that constantly arrived from the United States – investing it in legal operations, which at that time consisted in the construction of 50 hotels in the capital and as many in the provincial capitals of Pinar del Rio, Matanzas, Cienfuegos, Camagüey, Holguín and Santiago de Cuba.
As if that wasn’t enough, dirty money began to invade all sectors: the department store La Filosofía, TV channels 2 and 12, the newspaper El Mundo, Ámbar Motors, a company selling the latest model cars, import and export companies in charge of introducing duty-free goods from the United States into the Latin American market, etc, etc, etc.
Until the early 1950s, the main drug consumed in the North was heroin, but when Batista inaugurated “aerovías Q” that provided trips between Havana, Camagüey and Barranquilla, cocaine began to flow from Colombia to the United States, at the same time as it flooded Cuban markets.
At the time of the revolutionary triumph, 23% of the population over the age of 15 was illiterate, only 55% of the children between the ages of 6 and 14 were enrolled in school; one million inhabitants of the 6 who had not passed any school grade, the population under the age of 15 had less than a third grade, 600,000 children had no school and 100,000 teachers had no jobs.
A single example shows the unjust distribution of arable land in the country. In the Ciénaga de Zapata, of the 25,000 existing caballerías laborables, only 273, or 1.15%, were in the hands of farmworkers.
In the city of Havana, tall buildings, mansions, hotels, gambling casinos, luxurious deals, flourished, while slums or favelas took over the capital’s periphery. There, the poor, unemployed and peasants who came by the thousands to try their fortune ended up, becoming cheap and disposable labor. However, seen from an airplane, the roof of a luxurious hotel or a tourist ship, the Cuban capital dazzled, hiding its vices and rottenness.
Those, in short, were the plans of the United States, its capitals and the mafia, along with the lackey government of Fulgencio Batista. He had the mission of maintaining order and tranquility in Cuba with blood and fire, which would cost our people 20,000 victims. His role was to facilitate the construction of the “Monte Carlo of the Caribbean,” the dream of the “owners of Cuba.”
These were the causes of the rebellion of our people, which was started on July 26, 1953, in the attacks on the Moncada and Carlos Manuel de Céspedes barracks. José Martí, in his speech known as Los Pinos Nuevos, declared himself heir to those foundational events. Fidel, who led these actions in the face of the prevailing corruption and injustice, said during the Moncada trial that the Apostle was its intellectual author. A few years later, in 1968, during the commemoration of the centenary of our independence struggles, he stated that “then we would have been like them and now they would be like us.
1 James Monroe, first secretary of state and then president of the United States.
2 Marina was a madam subordinate to Meyer Lansky’s mafia who owned a “chain” of “high-class” brothels in Havana.
By Manuel E. Yepe
Exclusive for the daily POR ESTO! of Merida, Mexico.
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann.
Cunning, stubborn and politically dangerous… Thus the foreign policy analyst, columnist of the British news agency Reuters, Daniel R. DePetris, describes the firing of the murky multiple killer in the politics of the United States John Bolton, announced yesterday by his boss, the no less murky Donald Trump, president of the United States of America.
“John Bolton is just the opposite of what a presidential national security adviser should be. He is as stubborn as a rhinoceros, as cunning as a snake, and as dangerous as a scorpion. Bolton’s is an extreme, black and white view of the world: if you’re not an ally of the United States, you’re an adversary who needs a boot on his neck in the form of military force or economic sanctions.
“The second and third order strategic consequences are no obstacle to Bolton. Why go through the humiliating spectacle of negotiating when you can simply bomb Iran’s nuclear facilities or violently end Kim Jong-un’s “regime” by force?
“Diplomacy, after all, is for the weak, the State Department bureaucrats and the appeasers. If the boss insists on diplomacy, then advise him to demand the moon, the stars and everything else rather than offering a bargaining chip in the form of relief from sanctions.
John Bolton made his career by acting as a wrecker of arms control agreements and, indeed, of agreements of any kind. Before joining the Trump administration as national security advisor, Bolton was, for a brief time, ambassador to the United Nations and undersecretary of state for arms control. There, he attempted to remove an intelligence analyst for not agreeing with his position on Cuba’s alleged biological weapons program.
When the president asked Bolton to serve as his national security adviser last year, it generated many concerns and much confusion because Trump and Bolton could not have had more fundamental disagreements on foreign policy. Although both made fun of the United Nations, as well as international organizations in general, and had divergent views on some of the most important issues on the agenda, Bolton would prefer to attack Iran rather than have any dialogue with its leaders. This was an alternative that Trump has said on numerous occasions that he would be more than happy to consider (at the next meeting of the UN General Assembly, for example).
As for Venezuela, Trump seems to have regretted trying to overthrow Nicolás Maduro, when Bolton was attacking Caracas as part of a “troika of tyranny”. Bolton’s obsession with unilaterally denuclearizing North Korea – an approach that weighed on Trump during his second summit with Kim Jong-un in February – is far more likely to lead to the end of diplomacy than to the end of Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons program. (If ever there was one).
Trump got tired of Bolton in the same way he got tired of other members of his closest staff: Rex Tillerson, James Mattis, Steve Bannon, Reince Priebus, H.R. McMaster, and John Kelly were all convenient to the president at one point, only to be abruptly fired or convinced to resign.
Bolton, as thorny as a porcupine in dealing with his colleagues, had long been strained in relations with Trump. NBC News reported that the two men had a screaming fight behind closed doors the night before Bolton’s resignation.
Trump said he will announce the name of his new national security adviser next week, and the corridors in Washington are already filled with speculation.
According to DePetris, Trump needs an adviser who is willing to engage in pragmatic negotiations and is prepared for an uncomfortable but necessary negotiations. He needs someone to help him end the wars that have continued aimlessly and purposelessly. You need someone to hold members of the administration accountable when they refuse to implement the policy once it is approved by the agencies.
All this will be easier with Bolton off the team.
But Humanity has no illusions. In the Oval Office of the White House there are many other falcons almost as cruel and ruthless as this one to advise the Falcon-in-Chief. But there has undoubtedly been a respite.
September 11, 2019.
This article can be reproduced by quoting the newspaper POR ESTO as the source.
Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator
By Juventud Rebelde email@example.com
Published: Wednesday 04 September 2019 | 09:46:25 am
A CubaNews translation.
Edited by Walter Lippmann.
Iranian authorities have demanded that an Islamic court in Bahmai County, Kohkiluyeh Province and Buyer Ahmad annul the marriage between a 28-year-old man and a 9-year-old girl, journalist Babak Taghvaee reported on his Twitter account.
This decision was taken under public pressure after the wedding images went viral on social networks, RT says.
The wedding video was made public by the journalist and women’s rights defender in Iran, Masih Alinejad.
This is a wedding party for a girl under 13 years old. I cried when I received this video … According to Islamic laws, a girl […] can get married but can’t choose her own dress, the activist said on her Twitter account when she posted the video.
Under Iranian law, a girl can get married after the age of 13, and a boy from the age of 15.
The pedophile #Basij militia member named Milad Cheshani has contacted the journalists who reported his marriage. He has claimed that it is just temporary marriage. He also has threatened the journalists who criticized him for act of pedophilia!!https://t.co/1xqOpEJVZr
— Babak Taghvaee (@BabakTaghvaee) September 3, 2019
According to 2015 data, every seven seconds a girl under 15 gets married somewhere in the world, according to the NGO Save the Children. Meanwhile, India is the country with the highest rate of underage wives, according to statistics from the same year, more than 24.5 million marry before they turn 18.
The organization condemned Washington’s policies towards the Caribbean country which have had a devastating effect and have hindered the development of solidarity ties between the citizens of both countries.
Author: Web Editor | firstname.lastname@example.org
September 2, 2019 09:09:14
A CubaNews translation.
Edited by Walter Lippmann.
Washington, The Democratic Socialist Organization of America (DSA) expressed its solidarity with the people of Cuba and expressed its categorical opposition to the economic, commercial and financial blockade that the United States maintains today against the island.
DSA, which identifies itself as the largest socialist organization in the United States, condemned that Washington’s policies toward the Caribbean country have had a devastating effect on the Cuban people and have hindered the development of solidarity ties between the citizens of both countries.
In a statement approved by its National Political Committee and released this week, the group said it opposes U.S. imperialism and economic sanctions or other actions that would undermine the self-determination of the Cuban people.
“We also oppose the continued existence of the U.S. Naval Base at Guantánamo Bay,” added the communiqué regarding the military enclave maintained by Washington in eastern Cuba against the will of the government and people of the island.
According to the document, the group will work with other organizations in solidarity with Cuba to achieve its objective of defending the sovereignty of the largest of the Antilles, subjected to the siege imposed by the United States almost 60 years ago.
The text also cited a communiqué issued by DSA in 2014, when the administration of former President Barack Obama and the government of the Caribbean country announced the decision to begin a process of normalization of relations, now held back by the Donald Trump administration.
Our government’s actions were never designed to help the Cuban people, but rather to appease U.S. right-wing citizens of Cuban origin and punish a country that rejected imperialism and capitalism, the group said.
We hope that the normalization of relations will reduce the negative actions of the United States in the future, the organization added at that time.
The new declaration on Cuba was the result of the provisions of Resolution 62 of the biannual convention held by the DSA last August 2-4 in Atlanta, Georgia.
According to an article published in The New York Times earlier that month, Democratic Socialists of America went from 5,000 members three years ago to 56,000 today.
Members include Democratic Congresswomen Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Rashida Tlaib, as well as more than 20 local elected officials from across the country.
TEXT OF DSA STATEMENT ON CUBA:
By Juventud Rebelde
Sunday 18 August 2019 | 09:42:37 am.
A CubaNews translation.
Edited by Walter Lippmann.
LIMA, August 18.- This Saturday thousands of people held a demonstration in the Peruvian capital called Ni una menos. Women’s organizations demanded protection in the face of the growing number of cases of femicide in the South American country.
It was the fourth edition of the annual march to demand an end to femicide, which this year stands at 105, while cases of attempted femicide total about 150 more so far in 2019.
We have to promote a culture free of machismo, said Peruvian Minister of Women and Vulnerable Populations Gloria Montenegro, who was present at the demonstration organized by the collective Ni Una Menos, reports Telesur.
Alejandra Ballón, a spokeswoman for the group, said she was dismayed by the figure of 105 femicides, which means that in Peru a woman is murdered every day.
But there are about 250 femicide attempts and it must be said that for each attempt of femicide there are children, parents, grandparents, a whole family that is dismayed because it has a direct relative who is a victim, Barrón added.
She mentioned that in 2018 there were more than 12,000 cases of rape and that, of those cases, 60 percent of the aggressors are family members and of the adolescents who become pregnant, 90 percent are incest, she said.
Another participant in the demonstration, which toured the streets of downtown Lima, was attorney Arlette Contreras, who denounced the fact that women are also victims of the state through its operators who deny access to justice.
We are in the streets again to denounce gender violence by the aggressors, as well as to denounce the gender violence of the Peruvian State that affects, harms and hurts women victims and survivors, said the jurist.
By Juventud Rebelde
Wednesday 14 August 2019 | 09:51:48 pm.
A CubaNews translation. Edited by Walter Lippmann.
Facebook, the company founded by Mark Zuckerberg, explains that the purpose of the practice of listening to and transcribing conversations from its users was to test the functioning of its artificial intelligence system.
“Hundreds” of external Facebook contractors have listened to and decrypted voice messages that users of the technology giant send in their chats on Facebook Messenger, Bloomberg revealed on Tuesday, quoting sources familiar with the project.
According to its statements, the company paid them to transcribe audio conversations, but did not explain where the recordings were from – several of them with vulgar content – were obtained and why they had to be deciphered.
Facebook has confirmed the information in this regard, specifying that the project ended only a few days ago. “Like Apple and Google, we stopped the human review of audios more than a week ago,” said the company. They also noted that affected users gave their consent to the practice by checking the option of transcription of their recordings in the “Settings” of Facebook Messenger.
Facebook clarified that the aim of the project was to test the functioning of its artificial intelligence system, said RT, which describes it as “a new scandal.”
This is not the first report on the violation of the privacy of users of technological giants. In early August, the corporations Google, Apple and Amazon modified their privacy policies, responding to a wave of criticism caused by reports that they listen to and transcribe audio recordings recorded by their virtual assistants – Google Assistant, Siri and Alexa, respectively – without the consent of the users.
Thus, on August 1, German regulators announced that Google had informed them that it had suspended the transcription of conversations for at least three months. In turn, Amazon allowed Alexa users to delete voice recordings from a database accessible to company employees and contractors on Aug. 2.
That optimism was not clouded when, also on the morning of the 26th, I knew that a part of me – the writer – had entered the blacklist with which the President of the United States intends to drown us and force us to be a neo-colony – or perhaps one more star of the flag – of his country.
by Pedro de la Hoz | email@example.com
July 27, 2019 01:07:40
A CubaNews translation.
Edited by Walter Lippmann.
The morning of July 26th confirmed my optimism. To see and feel the people from Granma province [granmenses], in the name of many and in my name, honoring the legacy of the heroes of the Moncada; I could feel, in plain sight and with the heart ahead, the line of continuity between the revolutionary historical generation and the current one; knowing that poetry goes beyond words to settle in the most endearing place of collective memory. This happened when our President referred to the words of Miguel Barnet and Roberto Fernández Retamar, made me think about how much I can, can, deliver to be really better.
That optimism was not clouded when, also on the morning of the 26th, I knew that a part of me – the writer – had entered the blacklist with which the President of the United States intends to drown us and force us to be a neo-colony – or perhaps one more star on the flag – of his country.
As an author, I have signed contracts and published with the Captain San Luis publishing house. Now it turns out that this publisher, together with Verde Olivo [Olive Green, the magazine of Cuba’s Revolutionary Armed Forces] and two more hotels, were added to the list of Cuban entities with which US citizens are prohibited from having financial transactions.
In the case of n publisher, the ban indicates that there is no possibility that a similar American institution negotiates with it the publication of any work in its catalog, nor that a distributor or bookstore in that territory acquires or markets books published in Cuba from the houses mentioned, nor that a US citizen – not the very few who come to the Island in the midst of so many delusional restrictions, but those who visit the book fairs in the world and come up with them at a Cuban kiosk or another country to buy a volume from Captain San Luis and Verde Olivo – is suspected of having acquired publications from entities newly included i\on the Index.
I use this last term because it is obvious the kinship of the measure with the Index Librorum Prohibitorum et Derogatorum (commonly named by the first word) of the Holy Inquisition, in force from 1612 to 1819.
My editor, Julio Cubría, described the situation quite clearly: «The government of President Donald Trump has just included the publishing houses Captain San Luis and Verde Olivo in the list of entities restricted to the people of the United States. By simple presidential decree, the children of that country will not be able to read The Black Doll, by José Martí; nor discover The Night of the Rainbows, with Olga Marta Pérez, nor rescue with Enrique Pérez Díaz to Agatha in Danger. Their adults may not reveal the legend of the National Hotel of Cuba, written by Pedro de la Hoz and Luis Báez; nor to know the stories of the Capitolio, narrated by Ciro Bianchi and, of course, they will not be allowed in any way to know the true history of the dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista in Why the Cuban Revolution?, let alone the monstrosity of the biological war against Cuba, nor what did Fidel find to the triumph of the Revolution? What a great fear of Cuban culture. In spite of laws and blockades, our publishing house will continue as up to now exalt the truth ».
Behind the fight against Captain San Luis and Verde Olivo, the White House uses a pretext: both editorials are attached, respectively, to the Ministries of the Interior and the Revolutionary Armed Forces. Witch hunters don’t give a damn if published books deal with history, be they fiction, or testimonial accounts of general interest.
Looking at things well, however, it occurs to me that such a ban is associated with the cultural needs of the current occupant of the Oval Office. His response to the journalist Megyn Kelly was public and notorious when inquiring about his literary tastes: “I read passages, summaries, chapters, but I don’t have time to read.”
The last straw is that they are given by the author. His titles? How to get rich and think like a multi-illionaire. It would be enough to compare themes and contents with the books of the publishers Capitán San Luis and Verde Olivo, to coincide with what a writer expressed in the Mexican magazine Letras Libres – nothing to see or by any means with a thought close to the left – about the character : “Trump’s lack of culture will go down in the history of the country as a loss”.
Thursday 08 August 2019 | 12:06:11 am
A CubaNews translation.
Edited by Walter Lippmann.
As of this Wednesday, an updated version of Transfermóvil is available, the application that allows managing various public services through online payment, developed jointly with Etecsa, Banco Popular de Ahorro, Banco de Crédito y Comercio and Banco Metropolitano.
On this occasion, the Nauta Top-Up and Mobile Micro Top-Up services are added, features that are free of charge and do not consume mobile data, according to Etecsa’s Facebook page.
Among the services offered are banking, public and communications. You can download the APK from Etecsa’s websites (www.etecsa.cu); Apklis (www.apklis.cu), through the Central Bank’s websites and through Cubacel’s Facebook page.
Mayra Arevich, executive president of Etecsa, in her Twitter account commented: “Today we are launching a new version of Transfermóvil, a Cuban application that facilitates payment management for its clients. We will continue this August adding new services”.
Transfermóvil is a computer platform for cellular network subscribers. It allows them to make online payments for public services and to manage telecommunications services from any mobile terminal, using their Telebanca card associated with one of their bank cards, according to the bank to which they belong.
By DUNIA TORRES GONZÁLEZ
August 8, 2019
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews
Roger Calero was recently in Havana, in March 2019, at the Museo de los Trabajadores Palacio de los Torcedores, this time on behalf of Pathfinder Publishers to present Teamster Bureaucracy, by Farrell Dobbs (Missouri, 1907-California, 1983), and In Defense of the North American Working Class, by Mary-Alice Waters (1942), two publications that write about the labor movement in the United States. Calero is a union activist and correspondent for The Militant newspaper…
I was happy to know much more about his work, which made me admire the Cuban cause with greater fortitude. I remember the first time we met: Roger Calero and his compañeros, came to Santiago de Cuba to find out about the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy. He wanted to help. Later, in a room in San Carlos de la Cabaña, at the 2014 Havana International Book Fair, our first conversation began.
“I’m not that important,” he said, but he agreed to tell me about how he got involved in political activities. His story shows us that other face of the situation of immigrants in the United States, which has nothing to do with the “American dream”. He proudly repeated, “I’ve been a militant for 20 years”.
“Many families risk their children’s lives [trying] to reach ‘the promised land’. For the past 25 years, I have been living in the United States. I witnessed the early years of the Nicaraguan Revolution. I was very impressed. When I moved to the U.S., I learned about the real life of the workers. As a child, you can imagine what the movies convey, what is beautiful, everything in quotation marks… that fetishism of merchandise, that you have to have it, but reality immediately won out. When I started school I realized what the place of each social class was,” he said on that occasion.
From 1990 to 1991, the world witnessed a sad event: the Persian Gulf War, between Iraq and an international coalition of 34 nations led by the United States. His experience tells us: “At that moment thousands of workers showed their opposition. It was time for me to get involved in a conscious way in the political activities and that’s what I did.”
A few years later, in 1994, the California State government passed Proposition 187, a legislative proposal submitted for elections that denied undocumented immigrants social, medical, and public educational services. This was the background to many laws that were imposed by both the Bush and Obama administrations.
This situation provoked great mobilizations among immigrant workers: there were student strikes, work stoppages in which I had the opportunity to participate and help organize. That’s when I came into contact with the Socialist Workers Party (SWP).
His working life was no less intense. In 1999, when he moved to Minnesota, he had the opportunity to participate in the struggle for unionization in a slaughterhouse: “Between 500 and 600 cows a day were being slaughtered. The employers’ desire for enrichment increased the pace of work. The number of cows, then, was 800 a day. They were the same working days and the same staff, but with a significant change in production.
“This created extremely dangerous conditions for repetitive operations during the eight hours of work. Once again the answer was not long in coming. Among the workers who reacted were Latinos, Somalis, African-Americans… who joined together to organize a union. This fact was a little symbolic, typical of what is happening in the United States today,” he said.
“There is nothing that any Democrat or Republican politician says that can be believed regarding unemployment, working conditions and minimum wages, because the evidence shows the opposite. When you lose your job, the average amount of time between that day and the day you start your new job is 40 weeks. This puts us in a difficult situation because rents do not wait, health insurance does not wait, food does not wait. In a matter of a week or two, you could be losing your apartment.
He later told about the work of The Militant, a weekly newspaper of the People’s Party. They go to working-class neighborhoods, door-to-door, with astonishing results: “The workers are reading not only what is happening in the United States, but also the world. The crisis has been creating uncertainty; but at the same time, interest in our work. Two or three years ago, current readers would not have been interested in the issues we are defending today.”
From the left in the United States, they continue to be part of the class struggles, they did what they had to do in the battle for the liberation of Antonio, Ramón, René, Gerardo and Fernando: “On many occasions we have been blocked from entering the penitentiaries; but immediately we have received the response of the organizations defending constitutional rights, democratic rights and prisoners. This is how they try to limit the spaces that workers and trade unionists need to be able to organize…”.
On that day, Mary-Alice Waters reaffirmed Calero’s words, in the José Lezama Lima room, when she spoke about the work they do in U.S. prisons and support for solidarity campaigns with Cuba.
Calero proudly said some words that I still remember: “This is the story of many workers, but not as happy as mine, because now I know the objective of my struggle.”
By Manuel E. Yepe
Exclusive for the daily POR ESTO! of Merida, Mexico.
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann.
Shortly after the Venezuelan government denounced the huge blackouts in March that were caused by cyber and electromagnetic attacks, Donald Trump signed an Executive Order paving the way for his country’s critical infrastructure to be investigated and defended against foreign electromagnetic pulse offensives.
The initiative took many by surprise, as electromagnetic pulse weapons (EMPs) look like something from the movies rather than real threats.
Since 2001, the US Congress has been evaluating the possible risks of an EMP attack against the US through a Commission made up of scientists, engineers and corporate operators intimately linked to the structure of the Defense Department and private contractors linked to the military-industrial complex.
The reports produced by the Commission study a high altitude EMP attack (the so-called Rainbow Bomb), capable of producing a blackout with power similar to a lightning discharge (50 thousand volts per meter) and the explosion of an atomic bomb about 700 kilometers above the target.
Also mentioned are small-scale EMP weapons, with the ability to damage specific areas such as the electrical system, telecommunications, banking and finance, the oil and gas industry, transportation, food and water infrastructure, and security and emergency services, as well as those of any country’s government.
The Commission’s first executive report was published in 2004 with fairly general considerations on the possible consequences of the Rainbow Bomb on the US. The in which the EMP attack is described there as a “terrorist activity” that uses a small number of nuclear weapons to produce a catastrophic impact on society.
The electronic and electrical collapse scenarios are neatly described, and related to some natural and man-made disasters that have had similar effects in recent North American history.
With the same vehemence with which the U.S. is concerned about electromagnetic attacks, which it claims is imminent, the Venezuelan government denounces the possibility of an EMP attack against the Simón Bolívar Hydroelectric Plant system in Guri.
The report emphasizes the fact that the U.S. electricity grid is deeply connected to all activities of society and the economy, as in many other parts of the world (including Venezuela). In the US, load distribution is divided into three, with the (oil) state of Texas being the backbone of a network with 300 million dependent users.
This means that a modest alteration to the electrical system can cause a functional collapse, with catastrophic consequences.
As it was denounced with respect to the attack against the Guri Hydroelectric Plant, the United States maintains that the electrical network of its country could be attacked “using information of the operations in the control systems”, that is to say, there must be internal hand that assists the terrorist operation.
Such is the capacity of a small EMP weapon that, without the use of the Rainbow Bomb, an attack on a precise target in the U.S. electrical system could take place that would leave 70% of its territory without light in the blink of an eye.
In fact, the Commission admits that a small EMP attack can wreak electrical and electronic havoc similar to those left by Hurricane Katrina (2005), which left some 4 million people without light in some 233,000 km² (989961.8029 square miles) of the US, an area equivalent to that of the UK.
The anti-chavista media have ridiculed the denunciations of cybernetic and electromagnetic attacks in Venezuela, which shows either ignorance about the new tendencies of the military industry with these technologies in the context of a new “cold war”, or that they operate as bleachers of information and scenario before some consumers of news without any critical reading of the facts.
Neither the Commission formed in 2001 nor Trump’s recent Executive Order had been interested in these weapons, either because of their own vulnerabilities or because of their future offensive prospects.
But the arms race and the technological development between powers is currently going through this arms scheme that sounds like science fiction films. And this armament industry is part of a much more current dimension than those shown by Hollywood.
July 29, 2019
This article can be reproduced citing the newspaper POR ESTO! as source.