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 Carlos Rafael Dieguez
August 31, 2020
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
Jack Lieberman has just died physically in Fort Lauderdale and continues to live forever in the heart of the Cuban people and the world. Fervent revolutionary Liberman, one of his close friends Camillo Coco remembers him: “Our brother Jack Lieberman passed away. The South Florida activist community has lost a great organizer, a fighter, and a man full of principles and love for his fellow human beings. Jack Lieberman was simply the best. He was so good to our members, especially in the last 5 months of the pandemic. He was one of the first to see us when the layoffs started. He was a generous and kind soul, but also fiercely committed to the fight for justice. He was always, always there.
He will be deeply missed. I was lucky enough to meet Jack and I am very proud to have worked with him. This is a very sad moment for me and many others who knew and collaborated with him in many struggles. He continues to be an example of dedication to the social causes he fought for.
For our part, from RADIOMIAMITV, we have many things to say about Jack Lieberman among them, and the most important one is that he always stood by the people of Cuba in the struggle for the removal of the US blockade against our country. He participated in dozens of caravans and meetings in La Alianza Martiana, he always supported and advocated for good relations between his country and ours. He was always accompanied by a smile of joy, the same size as the firmness and love with which he confronted injustice.
In one of our last interviews with Jack Lieberman, together with André Gómez, coordinator of the Antonio Maceo Brigade, he left us his pro-Cuba opinion for history.
On his Facebook Wall, Mike Martinez writes: “I am proud to have always been at Jack Lieberman’s side. A titan among titans. A servant of the people.” Other writings also appear. Today I lost a best friend, a mentor, a hero and a role model. Jack Lieberman is part of my extended family and was my most trusted friend in politics. We spoke often and above all, he was my rock on every campaign and a North Star. Jack Lieberman (also known as Radical Jack) is a true legend and his memory will live on.
The Coronavirus has taken away a hero from a thousand battles that the American people, the Cuban people and the world will never forget.
Cuba will review more than 50 laws, as soon as the commissions are created for each of them, to decide whether to create a comprehensive law to address violence against women or to include it in other laws, said Dr. Mariela Castro Espín, President of the National Center for Sex Education, in an interview with the Cubasí website.
By We Editor
December 2, 2019
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
Cuba will review more than 50 laws, as soon as the commissions are created for each one of them, to decide whether to create a comprehensive law for the attention to violence against women or to include it in other laws, declared in an interview with the Cubasí portal Dr. Mariela Castro Espín, President of the National Center for Sexual Education (Cenesex).
Cenesex, in recent times, joins more institutions and organizations of civil society and the State to advance campaigns and concrete actions that help to take better the policy of protection to the woman to the legislative changes that arise from the constitutional change and that it has contemplated to attend this reality, pointed out the specialist.
Castro Espín pointed out that the Cuban State deals with this issue, as evidenced by the fact that during the 1st International Symposium against Gender-Based Violence, Sexual Tourism, Human Trafficking and Prostitution, it was agreed that within the National Program of Education and Sexual Health, the Program of attention to all forms of violence would be addressed.
“In September we submitted to the Ministry of Public Health the proposal for a comprehensive education policy on sexuality and sexual rights.
However, she denounced the fact that there are attacks to discredit our institutions. Specific people based on the distortion of her words and efforts on the issue “and begin unfair attacks, without foundation, with a deep ignorance and ignorance, which do not help us move forward on the issue,” she said.
She also denounced the fact that “There is a lot of money, especially from the United States government, towards five main evangelical churches, which are trying to sabotage many initiatives. They are using this term gender ideology, which was created by a Catholic bishop in the 60s, precisely to discredit the international advances in the field of women’s rights and the thought of Marxist origin in relation to this issue. And our Revolution, as Fidel said, has the right to defend itself, it has the right to defend its social conquests, the rights that have been achieved in the Constitution and in the whole legislative system that is already being changed since the constitutional change”.
As a message to Cuban women, Mariela Castro sent the request that “we study, that we prepare ourselves well, because there are many people who fall into the traps of campaigns to discredit our efforts”.
She also called for not acting in isolation: “we have to unite, make alliances, because every time we make alliances and unite, we achieve effectiveness, we really achieve changes, so we do not play into the hands of the enemies of the Revolution, we unite among the organizations and institutions that are really working and that are open to all the ideas that are truly sincere and committed to revolutionary work.
In the middle of the National Day Against Violence Against Women and Girls, Mariela Castro Espín, about the origins of this social problem, said that it comes from centuries and has been expressed from a place of power. She also emphasized the role of the Catholic Church and how it has promoted nine centuries of persecution against women.
Today, she said, there are countries where women are totally enslaved and suffer greatly. Already in the 1970s, she explained, more specific terms emerged, such as femicide, which mainly alludes, from the work that Mexican anthropologist Marcela Lagarde has developed, to the irresponsibility and abandonment of the state in the face of the problem. There are studies that differentiate what is a homicide from a femicide and characterize them.
The director of CENESEX reminds us that the struggles for women’s rights around the world, the feminist movements, and women’s organizations linked to scientific study, have been contributing ways of thinking and acting on these issues, and proposals for laws have been emerging.
(With information from Cubasí)
August 22, 2020
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
To be honest, I thought, at first, that the word nasobuco was an Asian voice like Kawasaki or Tamagochi. Since it was the genesis of the pandemic in that region, the word could well spread along with the new coronavirus. However, in recent readings of specialized articles, I could confirm that it is not so, even some scholars consider that Cuba is one of the few countries in America, where this garment or tool that protects the nose and mouth from the exit and entrance of microbes and bacteria is called this.
The most experienced ones grant the Cuban people this linguistic license because of its deep relationship with the medical and scientific community, which is where this neologism is really used more, referring to the nasal and mouth region (nose and mouth) belonging to the respiratory system.
For other countries, it is less complicated and they simply call it tapaboca, cubreboca, mascara, or barbijo… The important thing in all cases is to keep it well on and not to use it as a hat, mask, cubrementón or “tapa güergüero”, as my grandmother would call it when it is worn around the neck as if it were a bandage covering a tracheotomy.
The truth is that the nasobuco (or whatever you want to call it) has come to stay for an indeterminate period of time and with great possibilities that it will be a garment that we will carry in our wallet or pocket like we carry a handkerchief, keys or wallet.
It is already part of our attire and although many times we forget it when we leave the house and have to return to look for it, it is a component that has taken on vital (and read well: vital) importance.
Like everything new in clothing, the nasobuco does not escape fashion. Its confection already reaches personalization edges. The same is combined with the colors of clothes, shoes, cap, headscarf, necklaces, bracelets… When its color does not play with any of the above-mentioned it is that it is combined with the panties, brassiere’s or panties that we carry. In this case, it is not advisable to find out too much.
The designs and materials used are different. Those more spiritual, artistic and sensitive, make drawings, embroider flowers, embed a sticker of your company, favorite sports club or the name of your loved one. It should not be misunderstood in case you have two names embodied. It can be your wife and daughter or son, father and brother… in short, if not, it is not your business either: each one puts in their nasobuco what they want! I said whatever you like, not wherever you like; we talked about that and I hope it was clear, even though I said it with the nasobuco on.
By Mailenys Oliva Ferrales and Eduardo Palomares Calderón
August 23, 2020
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
United by the Sierra Maestra mountain range and the waters of the Cauto River, in the struggles marked by Mariana Grajales, Canducha “la Abanderada”, and more recently by Celia Sánchez and Vilma Espín, the women of Santiago and Granma are now united in this beautiful story woven by the Federation of Cuban Women (FMC), in the 60 years they observed this August 23.
It was to Vilma Espín Guillois, a brave and sensitive woman from Santiago, that Commander-in-Chief Fidel Castro Ruz entrusted the creation and strengthening of the organization destined to work for full gender equality in the new society. This is why the FMC women of her territory made a firm commitment this time to dedicate the Vanguard flag and the national act for the date.
“For all the FMC women of the country it has been a year of intense work -considers Elena Castillo Rodríguez, secretary-general of the FMC in Santiago de Cuba-, first because we started it under the incentive of such an important anniversary, and then because the appearance of the pandemic changed the life of all Cubans and, of course, it imposed the reorientation of our work.
“Based on the Party’s motto in the territory: “With the effort of all, we will win!”, we did the same intensity of work from the Guantanamo border of Yerba de Guinea to the Granmense of Baire, and that allowed us to declare all the municipalities (9) as Vanguards, and to seal that result at the level of the country.
Based on the solid tradition that has kept it in the vanguard in recent years, Granma was very close, achieving vanguard status in ten of its 13 municipalities. It wa, a challenge that, according to the Secretary General, María Elena Hechavarría Carralero, was focused on strengthening its grassroots structures and community action.
“We are one of the links that the enemy imagines with weaknesses to try to distort the reality of the Island, but, considered by Fidel as well as by Raúl and Díaz-Canel, as bastions in each project undertaken, we have taken all the spaces to demonstrate that women are an essential force in the sovereignty of the Nation”.
THE VITAL HEARTBEAT OF SOCIETY
For most of the 412,500 FMCers in Santiago and the 325,000 in Granma, one of the most important, humane and beautiful activities of recent times has been the challenge taken on from the COVID-19 pandemic, because not only was it to make thousands of nasobucos, but they also provided the fabric and thread, and then went to donate them in the neighborhoods, squares and workplaces.
In both territories, they also went voluntarily to the health control points, to the sanitation and hygienization of public areas, to the house-to-house investigation and, without thinking twice, not a few young people took the step to contribute in what was necessary in the red zone of hospitals and centers of isolation of suspects.
Perhaps there is something more emotional,” says Castillo Rodriguez, “than seeing a girl with a pharmacy card or a warehouse notebook buying medicine and food products for a vulnerable person, or for the members of the Federation who took care of the old man who lives alone and brought him the same food prepared for the family.
Our women have grown up during the confrontation with COVID-19,” says Hechavarría Carralero, “because they did not wait to be called, they began to spontaneously deploy initiatives and we generalized and brought them together so that their impact would be greater, and all this has had the moral recognition that contributes to new efforts.
Within this complex situation, both leaders agreed that the scourge of gender violence that has wounded the world so much, has not been an embarrassing problem for their respective territories, since the Women’s and Family Orientation Centers work preventively, and a differentiated work has been done in dysfunctional nuclei.
Through specialists, talks have taken place aimed at promoting family unity and curbing the tendency to burden women with domestic tasks. At the same time, through dozens of training programs, the FMC has held training courses in socially useful activities for women and men who are not working.
In this way, including in recent days, some of the so-called “choleras” received job offers in the state sector or on their own account, ranging from pharmacy and commerce clerks, technical services, gastronomy, barbers and other trades that reintegrate them with dignity.
IN FRONT OF THE FURROW
According to Castillo Rodríguez, “Hot spots” in her province are the fronts for food production that women share today. This is not because of the complexity of the work, but because of its importance. In addition to facing the pandemic, they moved to gardens and patios to plant short-cycle crops and medicinal plants, which are already bearing fruit.
A lot has been said about the initiative of the food production areas in Santiago,” he explains, “and those structures are already in all the municipalities, where, if in the agricultural ones there is parity between men and women, in the industrial ones the majority of the women are making bread, cookies, candies, preserves and dozens of assorted products.
Currently, the strategy concluded in the Second Front and that goes through the Third Front, is sealing each municipality with the patios incorporated into urban agriculture, and the creation of agreements for pigs, sheep and poultry, attended purely by women or jointly with the family, which provides them with meat, food, grains and vegetables.
The women of Granma also contribute to these forms of agri-food production, their presence in the mobilizations called for, and the empowerment achieved in the labor area, where they make up 67% of the technical force, and assume key management positions, from the base up to all levels.
VALIDITY OF VILMA
Although the Commander-in-Chief considered the full incorporation of women as a Revolution within the Revolution, among the greatest teachings bequeathed by Vilma Espín is the defense of rights and the work she has conquered. This is why Santiagueras and Granmenses are now equally focused on confronting social indiscipline.
Her actions in the face of coleros, resellers and hoarders range from preventive work with people characterized by that anti-social behavior in the community, which has made it possible to detect soluble dysfunctional problems and the incorporation of 12 cases to work in Santiago de Cuba, to the support to order in the lines [in from of] commercial establishments.
Elena Castillo and María Elena Hechavaría emphasize the enthusiasm with which the FMCers have received the respective recognitions as vanguard and outstanding women. There is in a 60th anniversary celebrated in all the municipalities, in centers such as hospitals and of textile clothing, with high presence of women, and of course in the base.
In a special way, the Vilma Espín Memorial, located in the house where she lived and matured as a revolutionary, by turning it into a meeting point and even a staff for young clandestine fighters, once again hosted the Vilma en la memoria workshop, with the presentation of 28 research papers from the provinces of Granma and Santiago de Cuba, on the extraordinary woman.
Coinciding with the date and in view of the impossibility, due to the COVID-19, of the desired mass mobilization, a representation of the municipality of Segundo Frente paid homage to the eternal President of the FMC, Vilma Espín Guillois, in the name of Cuban woman, and before the rock monument that in the mausoleum to the heroes and martyrs of the II Eastern Front receives its ashes.
By José Alejandro Rodríguez
August 22, 2020
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
Now that Cuba is on the offensive against economic crime, corruption and all sorts of indiscipline and violations, the most sensible thing is not to limit ourselves only to repudiating and neutralizing these demonstrations and the police operations. We must also diagnose with a perennial scalpel the socioeconomic causes that generate these evils and distortions, in order to prevent them and remove them at their roots.
Without ignoring the syndrome of asphyxiation caused by the imperturbable American blockade, the recent self-critical recognition by the country’s authorities of the slowness and lack of integrality in the process of updating the Cuban economic model in recent years is at least promising. And in the midst of so many difficulties and hardships, the new post-Covid-19 strategy raises expectations and encouragement to face the crisis. It also aims to translate into irreversible transformations what is pending in guiding documents such as the Economic and Social Guidelines and the Conceptualization of our Socialist Model.
In the opinion of many Cuban economists, who have been loyal to socialism since the brave critical and saving diagnosis, the recently announced strategy confers a much more audacious, systemic and integrating emphasis to transformations: it removes knots and obstacles to productive forces. It decentralizes and confers greater horizontality. It promotes food self-sustainability, greater export diversity and less dependence on imports. It makes the economy more democratic and invigorates entrepreneurship, because it seeks complementarity and similar possibilities among the different forms of ownership and management. It promotes incentives rather than prohibitions. It opens the doors of the watertight compartments.
Of course, these are the purposes. Changes will take time to reap their fruits, paradoxically in a fight against time. What is important about this strategy is not only its goals, but the way in which they are expressed, the intelligent ways to open those gates without being flooded and swallowed by the transformations. The other would be to fail through dogmatic starvation, to accept that economic problems continue to be faced with voluntary administrative measures and the attachment to the ucase, which is never political.
To the liberating and emancipatory character of the announced measures, the permanent scientific diagnosis of the transforming work should be added, so that from an observatory the errors and deviations in the shaping can be corrected. And at the same time promote the feedback of the states of opinion and popular consensus in terms of decision making.
For now, the daily episodes of police operations on economic crime reveal how far the Cuban economy has been submerged for years in the black market and illegalities, and in social coexistence with moral deterioration, to the nation’s detriment. And at the same time they alert us to how many distortions and design errors need to be corrected.
I will never justify crime and economic fraud no matter how difficult the circumstances. But it is also true that we lived for years among too many economic prohibitions that are now beginning to be rectified. And a proverbial ability to transgress the “legal” in order to survive was created, while it took a long time for these realistic processes of validation and sincerity to be carried out for many activities that were considered alien to the socialist ideal.
The result is what we are witnessing. Hence, post-Covid-19, with the ramifications of the world economic crisis and the perennial Yankee blockade, there will be no alternative but to assume all the risks of the transformations. On the one hand, rigor and discipline; on the other, incentive and entrepreneurship so that honest work, whether State-run or not, is the cornerstone that leads us to prosperity without abandoning social justice.
By Julio César Sánchez Guerra
July 29, 2020
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
This coronavirus that goes around the world, brings us some lessons and challenges. There are ancient truths that sometimes remain hidden in the agility of the days. These are some of them: sickness can knock at the door of the prince or the beggar; man’s life is fragile, and we all have, as an increasingly connected species, a common destiny. That, in a way, reminds us of César Pavesse’s dramatic verse: “Death has a look for everyone”.
Overwhelming were the images of empty cities in the midst of quarantine. It seemed as if a flutist had taken away the inhabitants of a town, or that we were leaning out of a window that let us see clip from one those science fiction images in dystopian and apocalyptic societies.
There are countries where human health is just another commodity; where a test to determine whether someone is a carrier of the virus could cost $3,000. Is that true? And how do those who have no health insurance manage? COVID-19 lays bare the structural flaws of social systems, where people are the screws of the great machinery that produces millions of dollars for a few, and poverty for many.
Now the virus is also an examination of ethics; selfishness makes its trenches, lies and morbidity run through the social networks exacerbating panic and uncertainty, and solidarity is a bit of fire that survives the drizzle.
How beautiful was the scene of the Italians singing as a chorus from their balconies! It is as if they were contaminated by the virus of collective happiness, of laughter, or that mystery of love that cannot be defeated in the best of peole.
That’s why Evangelina, in Havana, took three of her sheets and turned them into nasobucos for anyone who needs them, no matter who is a stranger. And a ship, where there were people carrying the virus, was given permission, despite the risks, to enter a Cuban port for humanity, and then sent them all home by plane.
Perhaps for Cubans, the biggest problem has been how to avoid hugs, effusive greetings, that habit of affection that identifies us as much as an identity card. It’s just is that we are used to rolling over in a conga, even after that cyclone that blows us away; to throwing the domino on the table to sing a capicua; to dance casino or to argue about a ball in a corner.
Today we still need that distance that this terrible disease forced us into. In spite of the phases that put the country on the road to a new normality, it is still necessary to delay the overdose of affection; to continue the truce by talking to us so closely; to extend the rest to the squeezes of euphoria. We still need to greet each other with closed fists, with forearms, with that gesture, which is not ours, of bowing like someone going to a judo match, or retiring from the tatami.
Let’s give ourselves one more time. Everything has its time. We are winning, but let’s not be in a hurry to go back to the burden of divided hugs, to that mania of walking mixed up in the noise and the affections. Let responsibility and patience dominate our actions, so that the unwanted return of the virus, in the form of carelessness, does not destroy love, optimism or desire.
Let us keep an open book so that, later on, we can fill it with hands that squeeze, in this Island where joy lives on guard.
Racism, whose historical cause lies in the pursuit of the most brutal exploitation as a means of enrichment, is also in its essence and necessarily a cultural phenomenon. That is why it does not end with the elimination of the economic bases that sustain it.
By Ernesto Estévez Rams
July 5, 2020
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
The kidnapping of the black from the white is not exclusive to a single country with a slave-owning or slavery-like past; rather, it is the rule. In Cuba, it can even be sought from what is sometimes considered our first literary work, Mirror of Patience, written by an acriolated canary. [from the Canary Islands]
The story, in the words of Eduardo Torres-Cuevas, is an aesthetic recreation of a lie and, at the same time, the creation of a myth. The first, associated with the fact that the work tries to hide the context of smuggling that causes the events portrayed; the second refers to the intention of enhancing the heroism of the Bayamese Creoles.
But it can also be read in other ways. In the work, black appears, fundamentally in the figure of Salvador Golomón, an “Ethiopian worthy of praise”, who puts an end to the unfortunate life of the buccaneer Gilberto Girón, kidnapper of Bishop Cabezas de Altamirano. With this courageous action, the black man achieves his freedom. Salvador’s virtue, in the eyes of Silvestre de Balboa, author of the poem, is to have served the white masters courageously in a battle for commercial reasons – for a traffic from which he did not benefit at all – in which he was only a participant in his condition as a slave. Black was seen through the eyes of white, this time in his utilitarian function.
Racism, whose historical cause lies in the search for the most brutal exploitation as a means of enrichment, is also in its essence and necessarily a cultural phenomenon. That is why it does not end with the elimination of the economic bases that sustain it. It endures over time beyond the elimination of the explicit or implicit laws that codify it, beyond the economic relations that need racism. And discrimination is not completely stopped unless the cultural fabric that supports it and which, in many cases, forms part of the structural core of countries is also stopped.
Nations such as the Cuban were shaped from the Christian Eurocentric with a significant racist component. Significant actors in the formation of this nationality saw the black as a factor of social backwardness. The Creole elites justified concrete proposals for eugenics and other more genocidal proposals.
Such racist positions, whether in their most extreme or most paternalistic variants, were the norm among defenders of the colony, annexationists, reformers, or autonomists. But racism was also present in pro-independence sectors, despite our most distinquich heroes and the profoundly anti-slavery roots of our deeds. Martí’s preaching of thinking of an inclusive and peerless republic in all its ethnic diversity did not mean by far the acceptance of an anti-racist stance by the frustrated society that emerged from the war of independence.
The intervening power favored actors who shared its anti-black vision. From the elites, Cuba’s progress was to “whitewash” it, appealing equally to processes of “advancing the race” by means of mestizaje, as to relegating the black “to his place”. Such ideas, projected from the class hegemony of the subordinate bourgeoisie of imperial power, were also used as a mechanism of fear to justify violence against components of the humble masses of whites, blacks and mestizos. They were used to justify crimes like the killing of thousands of Black people during the 1912 uprising. The fear of the Black people, which had been stirred up as a mechanism of domination in the colony, was transferred to the nascent republic for the same purpose.
The black, in the neo-colonial republican design that emerged, was a symbol of incivility, backwardness, and a hindrance to the nation’s progress. Its culture was not such, it was ignorant, lascivious, perverse and incompetent, and to the same extent that its rebellious presence in authentic Cuba was unstoppable, it made more of an effort to create its “white”, “civilized” variant, whether in music, theater or literature. That perspective is still there in sectors of the Cuban social imaginary, even after 60 years of systematic effort to change it from the political power that the Revolution gave to the dispossessed, including in them the black.
Any process of gestation of the national, essentially symbolic, necessarily generates an organic intellectuality to that effort. We know the white intelligentsia, most of them representatives of sectors of the owning class within the Creole population. The memory of the black woman was largely lost, either through the lack of her own written testimony or through an exercise that she sought to forget. But, although recovering it for the social imaginary is difficult, we have the emancipatory duty to continue doing so. We still have a debt to the Aponte of our history and we will not succeed in crowning our aspirations until we pay it off.
These shortcomings persist despite years of effort to study the country’s black roots and the intellectuals who have made and continue to make this study the reason for their scientific endeavors. Studies to which the Revolution managed to incorporate the Black himself from his literate empowerment, as a prying into his past and shaping his history. This systematic effort to discover our Black history has not been accompanied by the same success, in spite of all the progress that has been made there too, in its incorporation into the educational systems. Nor is the generation of tangible and intangible symbols of that memory sufficient.
Beyond laws and concrete efforts to eliminate the economic and social roots of racism, the Revolution set in motion gigantic cultural decolonization processes that are still in progress today. Entire spaces in society acquired dark colors, especially in artistic culture, but far beyond it. Never before in the history of this country has a more monumental effort been made to incorporate the Black, not as something grafter on, but as an essential part of the trunk of what is Cuban. This was done at the same time as the methodological tools were being developed to achieve this, based on the urgency of taking the sky by storm here too. Like all emancipatory social processes, much was achieved in a very short time and it was also erred as a result of doing and, also, not doing enough.
The special period, with the social and economic processes that it unleashed, gave rise to processes of re-marginalization of tangible and symbolic areas of Cuban society that joined others that had never ceased to be marginal, where the Black presence is marked. This pointed to structural problems of inequality or vulnerability, associated with skin color, which have not been resolved in our society. Racism is still present in Cuba today, because it underlies, often dormant, in the social consciousness of not a few compatriots and is invisible in not a few social and even institutional spaces.
Today, the symbolic marginalization has as a new component the influence of colonizing globalization. It is in this context that the fight against racism in Cuba also acquires even more peremptory connotations and scope, as part of the common cultural front against the onslaught to which we are subjected as a nation.
We also see this marginalization in the loss of civility reflected in reprehensible social attitudes, the rise of misogynistic lyrics in songs and other manifestations. When this phenomenon occurs, the underlying racism tends to re-visit it in terms of race: the Black is antisocial, the Black is the ill-mannered, the Black is the uncivilized… This image is reflected in common places that persist among us, such as when it is associated with doing things right with “let’s do it like whites” or when a person is reproached for behaving like “a Black man”.
In our current society, wide spaces, where racism has been defeated, coexist with others where it persists and expands. We can proudly see tremendous advances in this fight against racism: firstly, its banishment as a phenomenon inherent to a capitalist society, but we also have to recognize its stubborn permanence as a real social phenomenon.
We recognize our formal dress, symbolically legitimized for protocol and official acts, in the very Cuban guayabera, but also in the jacket and tie imported from white and symbolically exclusive Europe, and none other. We do not incorporate into the garments accepted as formal the beautiful clothes of our African heritage. It is a simple and “innocent” example of all those symbolic dimensions of racism that go unnoticed among us.
Some monuments erected in the bourgeois neo-colonial republic have not been adequately intervened to re-describe them in the light of an anti-colonial and revolutionary vision of our history.
We carry with us the consequences of those centuries in which the Black, culturally speaking, was forcibly inserted into a society shaped from the white and its codes. Their culture, as an everyday attitude, is still seen by many as peripheral, another reality not incorporated into a supposed white root; it is perceived as a culture of folklore. It persists in segregating certain social behaviors, such as Black behaviors. The most explicit reaction on the part of those attacked to this symbolic aggression is then reduced by some to a supposed threat to social coexistence.
A relentless struggle must be waged, on the real economic, social and cultural levels, against racism, which not only persists but threatens to advance. It must be fought with the tools that we have used and are using in all these years of immense and insufficient effort. We have a tremendous arsenal of ideas that we didn’t have before, which is also the result of what has been done since the Revolution, and which we can and must incorporate into this battle, the one we owe to all the Salvador Golomóns of our history. They did not fight to reproduce patterns of exploitation, but to open up paths to seek full human potential. We owe it to ourselves, regardless of color, all the children equally of Martí and Maceo, of Camilo and Almeida.
On the website of our newspaper, readers denounce, in addition to the resales, the effects suffered by the environment for their “campsites” in parks and sidewalks that count among papers and cans their shameless.
By Walkiria Juanes Sánchez
July 27, 2020
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
Queues and “coleros” abound in these months of COVID-19 in Cuba. They move in full view of everyone: those who mark two and three times, for several people, with the aim of selling their stuff to those who can pay high prices for rushing their time to buy. And there are also those who whisper in your ear that they have whatever you want (wet wipes, baby wipes, chicken, picadillo, oil, splits, refrigerators…), but only if you are willing to pay double, triple or who knows what number in CUC above their price in state stores. Then, to expand the resale, they even use the internet.
Like a ray of light in the midst of the global crisis, with its impacts on the internal market and the economic persecutions due to the blockade that increases the national crisis, a note from the Ministry of the Interior recently revived public debate on the subject, stating that more than 1,285 “coleros” had been sanctioned in Cuba since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In view of this figure, which in the opinion of some will increase if the gravity of the situation is taken into account, the indolence of people without social commitment, dedicated to the transfer of products necessary for families, in the midst of a context of lack of supplies and national health emergency, comes to public attention.
One could come to doubt the humanity of these beings who, moved by individualism, forget that children, the elderly, pregnant women and the sick will not have the opportunity to obtain what they need.
On our newspaper’s website, readers denounce, in addition to the resalers, the effects suffered by the environment due to their “camping” in parks and sidewalks that count among papers and cans their shamelessness.
In the case of the severity of the sanctions that these individuals receive, diverse were the petitions to correct, energetically, these types of acts. Remember, the majority of those punished by the law only received fines of one hundred to 300 quotas, a minimum amount compared to the profits generated by the collapse of the sales system in the stores and the hoarding of products.
The so-called “lists”, supposedly created to organize the queues with tickets, numbers and shifts, also cover up the activity of the “coleros”, many of whom are the same organizers of the queues in the shops from the early hours of the morning.
If the authorities already have an identity card scanning system that allows for the order and control of this process, it should be used in the best possible way so as not to leave places available for other modalities.
Control within the stores should also be improved. An efficient service depends, in addition, on the organization and rapidity at the time of collecting the products, the personalized treatment to the client and the administrative vigilance towards the workers, demands that are frequently repeated.
Some people have proposed the use of the ration book [the libreta] as a mechanism to control the distribution of products in times of crisis like these. Something that has already been explained, since the country does not have the millions of dollars needed to carry out such a distribution.
Many other citizens request a greater supply in the stores, despite the effort that it means for the country to maintain them and in view of which alternatives for their re-supply have been generated.
The issue is not new. Among the greatest discontent is that the coleros still exist and cloud a trade already hit by the crisis and the economic, commercial and financial blockade of the United States. The cooperation of all could be the key to success in putting an end to the speculators, but greater control and a more effective complaint mechanism are needed, The will of the people is evident.
Now that Belarus is facing a plot from the West, the warning to avoid the worst may be a reflective look at what happened in neighboring Ukraine, or what is being attempted to impose on Bolivarian Venezuela, or more recently, the coup against suffering Bolivia, after years of vindication and boom
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
Author: Elson Concepción Pérez | firstname.lastname@example.org
August 31, 2020 22:08:46
Also in politics there is the rear-view mirror, the one that must be observed at every moment, if the destinies of a country are being conducted, to warn when a premeditated collision can attack a work.
Now that Belarus is facing a plot from the West, the warning to avoid the worst may be a reflexive look at what happened in neighboring Ukraine, or what is being tried to impose in Bolivarian Venezuela, or more recently, the blow against suffering Bolivia, after years of vindication and boom.
Let’s look at the examples. First of all, Venezuela, which on Sunday, May 20, 2018, democratically and transparently elected Nicolás Maduro as president.
According to the National Electoral Council (CNE), with over 98% of the ballots counted, Maduro obtained 6,190,612 votes (67.8%), while in second place was the opposition candidate and former Governor Henri Falcón, with 1,917,036 votes (21%).
The plan planned from Washington was then applied: to ignore the elections and the elected president.
A few months later, on January 23, 2019, in the midst of the chaos created by terrorist groups encouraged by radical sectors of the opposition, Juan Guaidó proclaimed himself interim president of Venezuela. Quickly the government of Donald Trump, the Organization of American States (OAS) of Luis Almagro, the so-called “Lima Group”, an appendix of the latter, and other governments, mainly European, “recognized” the impostor Guaidó.
However, courage, dignity and political guidance, have put up a retaining wall, headed by civil-military unity, which the empire fears so much.
In the case of Bolivia, general elections were held on October 20, 2019. With 100 % of the votes counted, Evo Morales obtained an irrevocable victory in the first round, with 47.08 % in his favor, while his rival, Carlos Mesa, reached 36.51 %.
Then, a divided opposition burst in with all its strength, but capable of uniting in efforts such as that of removing Morales from power. With the support of military and oligarchic sectors, opposition groups with a fascist tendency took to the streets. Meanwhile the OAS, with its Secretary-General Luis Almagro at the head, and fulfilling a script prepared by the US State Department, questioned the results and encouraged chaos and repression against the party in power and its leaders, in the first place against President Evo Morales, who had to leave the country.
Then came the verification of the votes at the polls and the confirmation by international entities of their total transparency. But the coup d’état was already underway and a de facto government was taking power. In the case of Belarus, the script prepared by the West was no different. Presidential elections were held and when the vote was counted, the current president, Alexander Lukashenko, obtained 80.23% of the votes, while the opposition candidate Svetlana Tijanovskaya, only received 9.9% of the votes.
The difference was overwhelming and convincing, but, as Russian President Vladimir Putin said this week, everything was ready long before the election results were known.
Using NATO as a threatening military force, men and means of combat have been moved to Poland’s borders with Belarus, and to the also neighboring republics of Lithuania and Latvia, as sounding boards to incite bewilderment. Washington has moved its military from bases in Germany to Poland and has applied sanctions and threat mechanisms similar to those used in the cases cited in this commentary.
The European Union, too, which has ignored the election results without any real evidence, is already demonstrating this practice of sanctioning those who do not submit to what the West says.
As happened in Ukraine in 2014, the world must know that the plan prepared by the United States is directed against Russia, and for that reason, they want to cut economic, military, family and other ties. This is done under the false pretext of extricating Moscow’s influence in nations that were once part of the then Soviet Union, and that have a strong bond with Russia.
Putin warned that “his nation cannot observe with indifference what is happening in Belarus, because it is a very similar country in linguistic, cultural and religious aspects, and many others”.
“The problems that have arisen today in Belarus must be solved peacefully”, “or with the support of Russian force, if necessary”, Putin assured.
FROM THE LEFT
The death of Rosa Luxemburg marked the final step of world social democracy towards treason; it was not only a crime committed with full consciousness of its historical significance, but orchestrated in pursuit of a class hegemonism of the German workers bourgeoisie and big capital, allied after the defeat in the First World War.
A CubaNews translation.
Edited by Walter Lippmann.
The death of Rosa Luxemburg marked the last step of world social democracy towards treason. It was not only a crime committed with full consciousness of its historical significance, but it was orchestrated in function of a class hegemonism over the German working class by the bourgeois workers and big capital. They were allied after the defeat in World War I, to build a new right-wing order, the hard state of National Socialism (Nazi), which would lead Europe towards its dissolution as the center of the world.
In the cold dawn of January 15, 1919, Red Rosa wrote her last lines on the problem of the Revolution on the continent. And, although with pessimism, she referred to the hope that the masses would one day awaken from the nationalist and revenge lethargy hovering over the humiliated Germany of the time, and so the Revolution would show its true strength by saying: “I was, I am and I will be.”
Being born in a country occupied by Russians, Germans and Austrians made Rosa Luxemburg look at the national question with distrust. The most “revolutionary” she heard from many of the insurgents against foreign power was based on the restoration of the Polish feudal state of the 15th and 16th centuries. At that time it represented in Europe one of the purest reminiscences of the landowner’s system of servitude. That political creature, impervious to the ideas of the French Revolution, was devoured by three modern and authoritarian states that contained the nascent germ of capital.
For Rosa, then, the national question was a setback and she based her appraisals on the need to internationalize the socialist and workers’ underground movement, as a way to quickly win the emancipation of the oppressed classes. Living later in Germany, a country that based its strength as capital on the unity built by Bismarck, convinced her that nationalism only engendered steps backward on the road to a Revolution that, given the state of things at the end of the 19th century, seemed imminent.
In fact, in Germany the Social Democratic Party became the strongest and most numerous left party in the world, generating expectations in all revolutionaries. The very advance of this force in parliament provoked the removal of ultra-conservative and monarchical elements from the public sphere. But it also favored the establishment of pacts between that left and the central power of the State. It was the beginning of the historical betrayal of social democracy from Marxist socialism.
Rosa, who never felt Polish – much less German – encouraged this powerful left to extend eastwards, capturing countries under the aegis of old feudal empires, such as Russia. She saw in the mass movement of 1905 against the Tsar the beginning of the end of the crowned heads and the other European Caesars. However, the pragmatism of leaders and ideologues of social democracy, such as Karl Kautsky, would clash with Luxembourg’s theory of socialism as a new culture, whose idea is placed beyond nationalism.
For Kautsky, the struggle against capital was one of “attrition,” inasmuch as strikes were only intended to move power momentarily, but never to bring about its downfall, and the young socialist movement “would not know what to do with the vacuum of authority.” But she [Rosa] saw in this what it was: an unprecedented concession to conservative power by the leadership of a party that was beginning to abandon its foundations, while reviewing Marx’s thesis 11 on Feuerbach (Transforming the World). Historical facts demonstrated the lucidity of the Polish revolutionary, as opposed to Kautsky’s reformism, in heated and dangerous polemics.
Many of those who, at the height of the 21st century, are surprised by the anti-popular cutback policies applied by the non-Marxist European left, forget that this betrayal began a long time ago. Perhaps it is not a bad memory, but a voluntary forgetfulness in order not to recognize the cynicism with which the revolutionary question has been handled since then by elements [who have] sold out to the interests of capital.
Marx warned that the original accumulation product of the plundering of the third world gave the European workers (a part of them) the possibility of becoming bourgeois and, therefore, defending interests far from total emancipation, guided only towards a nationalist, local question of the selfish improvement of their living conditions. The European worker will thus support not only a conservative pseudo-socialism, but also the hard fascist who guarantees a middle-class standard of living, as we are seeing in today’s Europe.
That is exactly the explanation of German social democracy, the model on which that same continental tendency was built during the Cold War (1945-1991), as a wild card against the Marxist socialism of Eastern Europe.
Social democracy should not surprise us, because since the beginning of the First World War, the budget for the Army was approved in the German parliament. [It was] the same [army] that would kill workers and peasants of the other rival imperialist nations of Europe. That fact marked Rosa Luxemburg’s distance when she founded the Spartacus League, the germ of the German Communist Party, which would be hated by social democrats, ultranationalists and monarchists alike.
The German failure in the trenches, which showed the impossibility of the “confluence” project. It put the country on the verge of total civil war, with revolutionary forces ready to drive for power. However, years of social-democratic government and conservative trade unions that agreed with the existing powers prevented the necessary unity of action.
A poster placed in every corner of Berlin appealed, in those hungry early morning hours of December 1918: “Whoever wants bread, let him bring the head of Rosa Luxemburg”. The black legend of Nazism began by blaming the revolutionary socialists for national disaster, as it would later do with the Jews. Worst of all, this poster was sent to hang by the president of the Republic and leader of the social democratic party, Rosa’s former comrade.
Days later, a group of Freikcorps (antecedents of the Nazi SS assault troops) advanced on a lonely 47-year-old woman, who had her skull smashed with rifle butts, and then threw her blood-dripping body into a Berlin canal. A Spartacist comrade sent an obituary to Lenin, leader of Bolshevik Russia, saying that she “took her revolutionary condition to the extreme.’
The Rose was uprooted, but not hope, much less History.