**As an author, Marta Harnecker published more than 80 books, including “Elementary Concepts of Historical Materialism”, written in 1969 and now in its 70th edition.
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews
June 15, 16:25 pm
Chilean writer, psychologist and journalist Marta Harnecker passed away this Saturday.
This activist was born in Chile in 1937 and is recognized as one of the main figures of the Latin American left. She lived in the first person the socialist government of Salvador Allende and managed to survive the violence of Augusto Pinochet’s military coup.
Many were politically formed by her works. Her book “Elementary Concepts of Historical Materialism”, written in 1969 and now in its 70th edition, has been part of the formation of militants of leftist parties.
Of Austrian roots, Harnecker studied Psychology at the Catholic University of Chile in 1962. She did postgraduate studies in Paris with Paul Ricoeur and Louis Althusser. Upon her return to Chile in 1968, she taught Historical Materialism and Political Economy in Sociology at the University of Chile and was director of the political weekly Chile Hoy.
After the 1973 coup, she went into exile in Cuba, where she married Commander Manuel Piñeiro with whom she had a daughter.
There she lived through that country’s heartbreaking “special period” and described as “admirable” the way Cuba confronted the fall of socialism in Eastern Europe and the USSR.
After being widowed in 1998, Harnecker continued her research career and drew on the testimonies and experiences of Latin American political leaders that are part of the articles and texts that are now study material in multiple universities around the world.
Among these experiences is that of Venezuela, where she was an advisor to former president Hugo Chávez and the Ministry of People’s Power, where she was part of the management team of the Miranda International Center [CIM] in Caracas.
During her stay in the South American country, she was able to analyze the flourishing of popular struggles in Latin America.
Marta Harnecker, an authentic Marxist
Marta Harnecker demonstrated that socialism is not a “project” thinkable without struggle and that it cannot be done “from above”, since it must be the product of the struggles of the movement of the peoples and dominated classes.
“In this sense, she is an authentic Marxist, continuing the work initiated by Marx, without fear of enriching it – and permanently taking into account of what is new in the reality of the world, of capitalism, of imperialism, of struggles. Thus renewing the conceptualizations, the theoretical proposals and those relative to the strategies of action”, she was pointed out the journalist Samir Amin in an article published by La Haine.
“She helped to give living Marxism a Latin American dimension, as others have given it an Asian or African dimension. Marta Harnecker helped to give Marxism the universal dimension that should be her own; she helped it to be heard by the great majority of the peoples of the world, which are those of the three continents. She managed to escape Marxism from a deadly Eurocentric imprisonment. The experience of advances in the struggles of the peoples of Latin America has paved the way in recent decades, through the theoretical thought of Marta Harnecker, which has been decisive in this sense,” Amin stressed.
Most recognized works
As an author, Harnecker published more than 80 books: El capital: conceptos fundamentales (1971), Cuba: ¿dictadura o democracia? (1975), Pueblos en armas (1983), La revolución social (Lenin y América Latina) (1985), ¿Qué es la sociedad? (1986); Indígenas, cristianos y estudiantes en la revolución (1987); América Latina: Izquierda y crisis actual (1990); Haciendo camino al andar (1995); Haciendo lo imposible: La izquierda en el umbral del siglo XXI (1999); Reconstruyendo la izquierda (2006) and Un mundo a construir (nuevos caminos) (2013), for which he won the Premio Libertador al Pensamiento Crítico .
Harnecker, who suffered from cancer, spent his last years between Cuba, where his daughter resides, and Canada, together with her husband, the outstanding intellectual, Michael Lebowitz.
IGNACIO RAMONET: It’s been said that Che even had some Trotskyite sympathies. Did you see that in him at that point?
FIDEL CASTRO: No, no. Let me tell you, really, what Che was like. Che already had, as I’ve said, a political education. He had come naturally to read a number of books on the theories of Marx, Engels and Lenin . . . He was a Marxist. I never heard him talk about Trotsky. He defended Marx, he defended Lenin, and be attacked Stalin — or rather, he criticized the cult of personality, Stalin’s errors … But I never heard him speak, really, about Trotsky. He was a Leninist and, to a degree, he even recognized some merits in Stalin — you know, industrialization, some of those things.
I, deep inside, was more critical of Stalin [than Che was], because of some of his mistakes. He was to blame, in my view, for the invasion of the USSR in 1941 by Hitler’s powerful war machine, without the Soviet forces ever hearing a call to arms. Stalin also committed serious errors — everyone knows about his abuse of force, the repression, and his personal characteristics, the cult of personality. But yet he also showed tremendous merit in industrializing the country, in moving the military industry to Siberia — those were decisive factors in the world’s fight against Nazism.
So, when I analyze it, I weigh his merits and also his great errors, and one of those was when he purged the Red Army due to Nazi misinformation — that weakened the USSR militarily on the very eve of the Fascist attack.
FIDEL CASTRO, My Life. By Fidel Castro and Ignacio Ramonet, p. 181.
On another occasion you said to me that there was no longer any ‘model’ in the sphere of politics and that today no one knew very well what the concept ‘Socialism’ meant. You were telling me that at a meeting of the São Paulo Forum that was held in Havana, which all the Latin American Lefts attended, you, the participants, had to reach an agreement not to speak the word ‘Socialism’ because it’s a word that ‘divides’.
Look — what is Marxism? What is Socialism? They’re not well defined. In the first place, the only political economy that exists is the capitalist one, but the capitalist one of Adam Smith.’ So here we are making Socialism sometimes with those categories adopted from capitalism, which is one of the greatest concerns we have. Because if you use the categories of capitalism as an instrument in the construction of Socialism, you force all the corporations to compete with each other, and criminal, thieving corporations spring up, pirates that buy here and buy there. There needs to be a very profound study [of this].
Che once got involved in a tremendous controversy about the consequences of using budget financing versus self-financing. We talked about that.’ As a government minister, he had studied the organization of several great monopolies, and they used budget financing. The USSR used another method: self-financing. And he had strong opinions about that.’
Marx made just one slight attempt, in the Critique of the Gotha Programme,’ to try to define what Socialism would be like, because he was a man of too much wisdom, too much intelligence, too great a sense of realism to think that one could write a utopia of what Socialism would be like. The problem was the interpretation of the doctrines, and there have been ‘a lot of interpretations. That was why the progressives were divided for so long, and that’s the reason behind the controversies between anarchists and socialists, the problems after the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917 between the Trotskyites and the Stalinists, or, we might say, [in deference to] the people on one or another side of those great controversies, the ideological schism between the two great leaders. The more intellectual of the two was, without a doubt, Trotsky.
Stalin was more a practical leader — he was a conspirator, not a theorist, even though once in a while, later, he would try to turn theorist … I remember some booklets that were passed around in which Stalin tried to explain the essence of ‘dialectical ‘materialism’, and he used the example of water. They tried to make Stalin into a theorist. He was an organizer of great ability, I think he was a revolutionary — I don’t think he was ever at the service of the tsar, ever. But then he committed those errors that we all know about — the repression, the purges, all that.
Lenin was the genius; he died relatively young, but he would have been able to do so much had he lived. Theory doesn’t always help. In the period during which the Socialist state was being built, Lenin desperately applied-beginning in 1921 — the NEP,” the new economic policy . . . We’ve talked about that, and I told you that Che himself didn’t like the NEP.
Lenin had a truly ingenious idea: build capitalism under a dictatorship of the proletariat. Remember that what the great powers wanted to do was destroy the Bolshevik Revolution; everybody attacked it. One mustn’t forget the history of the destruction they caused in that underdeveloped country; Russia was the least-developed country in Europe, and of course Lenin, following Marx’s formulation, thought that the revolution couldn’t occur in a single country, that it had to occur simultaneously in the most highly industrialized countries, on the basis of a great awakening of the forces of production.
So the great dilemma, after that first revolution took place in Russia, was what path to follow. When the revolutionary movement failed in the rest of Europe, Lenin had no alternative: he had to build Socialism in a single country: Russia. Imagine the construction of Socialism in that country with an 80 per cent illiteracy rate and a situation in which they had to defend themselves against everybody that was attacking them, and in which the main intellectuals, the men and women with the most knowledge, had fled or were executed. You see?
It was a pretty terrible time, with intense debates.
There were many, many controversies. Lenin had died by then. In my opinion, during the ten years of the NEP the Soviet Union wasted time setting up agricultural cooperatives. Since individual production yielded the maximum of what could be produced under those conditions, collectivization was precipitate. In Cuba there were always, out in the country, over 100,000 individual landowners. The first thing we did in 1959 was give everyone who was leasing land or working as sharecroppers the property they were working on.
FIDEL CASTRO, My Life. By Fidel Castro and Ignacio Ramonet, p. 387-389.
By Manuel E. Yepe
Exclusive for the daily POR ESTO! of Merida, Mexico.
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann.
In clear violation of the Vienna Convention, the United States police entered by force, after 37 days of resistance, the premises that housed the Venezuelan Embassy and arrested the four activists protecting the diplomatic headquarters from the terrorist vandalism of the so-called “Venezuelan opposition.
“The Venezuelan government will respond to the invasion of its embassy in Washington within the framework of international law,” declared Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza. “Once again, Donald Trump’s administration has shown how much the truth hurts and has reacted with arrogance, in violation of international law.
The Bolivarian Minister of Foreign Affairs reported on Thursday, May 16, that his country is evaluating its response to the illegal invasion of its Embassy in the United States, although he advanced that this will be within the framework of international law and protected by the principles of reciprocity.
From his Twitter account, Arreaza had repudiated the illegal seizure of the diplomatic headquarters by the U.S. police on Thursday. He emphasized then that with this action Washington was not fulfilling its obligations under the Vienna Convention, to which the United States and Caracas are signatories.
The foreign minister said that by forcibly evicting the four activists who were inside the embassy with the authorization of the Venezuelan government, the U.S. security forces additionally violated their human rights. “The morale of these activists proved to be more powerful than the force of repression carried out by the dozens of armed police officers deployed by Washington,” Arreaza said.
Carlos Ron, Bolivarian vice-minister for North America, recalled in an improvised press conference that the only legitimate government of Venezuela did not authorize the entry of U.S. police forces into the building of what was its embassy in Washington, so the police irruption constitutes, according to the Vienna Convention, a flagrant violation of international law.
The Washington Metropolitan Police illegally entered the facilities of the Venezuelan embassy in that U.S. capital city, violating the immunity from jurisdiction of the diplomatic headquarters and the documents and archives that rest there.
This action by the United States sets a dangerous precedent, because it sends a message to the world about possible aggressions of this nature that threaten other diplomatic offices in the future.
Medea Benjamin, co-founder of the Code Pink movement for peace, on Thursday had denounced the entry into the facilities of the Venezuelan Embassy of the Metropolitan Police Department of Washington (MPD) to forcibly evict the activists stationed there. The activist and public health specialist warned that the police illegally broke into the diplomatic headquarters in an act that she described as a violation of international law.
“By breaking into the Venezuelan Embassy to illegally arrest the Embassy Protection Collective, the police violated the Vienna Convention and international law,” Medea Benjamin said through his Twitter account.
CodePink had assumed the defense of the Venezuelan diplomatic headquarters in the United States in support of democracy in the South American country violated by Donald Trump’s administration.
Last Friday, President Nicolás Maduro publicly acknowledged the group of activists defending the Venezuelan embassy in Washington, “who have faced the aggressions of a “sick right” and imperialist interference.
“I send a solidarity greeting, full of deep gratitude and admiration to the Protection Collective of our Embassy in Washington, who have bravely faced the aggressions of a sick rightist and a criminal empire,” the Bolivarian President declared in a message posted on his Twitter account.
Outside the Venezuelan embassy in Washington D.C., activists were present to support the collective in defense of the building, who were guarding it to demand that food be allowed in. The activists denounced that supporters of the opposition to the Venezuelan government maintained the siege of the building, preventing the entry of food and medicines, cutting off the electricity and water supply, all in collusion with the government of Donald Trump.
About 15 activists remained inside the compound since mid-April to prevent Carlos Vecchio, the “representative” of the self-proclaimed opposition deputy interim president, Juan Guaidó, from taking over the embassy.
May 17, 2019.
This article may be reproduced by quoting the newspaper POR ESTO as the source.
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
I have taken some time to reflect on the regrettable events that occurred during the 12th edition of the Day Against Homophobia. I pause at this moment with the conviction that this is not a finished debate.
I am the founder of the Cuban Days Against Homophobia, at a time when the idea that all activism in relation to sexual rights is political had already matured in me; therefore, it will always be permeated by specific political values and ideologies. Whoever does not situate himself from this angle sins out of naivety or tries to manipulate the complex reality.
No ideological struggle is free of contradictions and the complex process of building political consensus (if that is possible between Cubans) always has advances and setbacks.
The march not authorized by the government last May 11 was not produced only by the suspension by the State/Party of the traditional conga included in the programs of the Cuban Days against homophobia. The antecedents and the conjunctures that I perceive are:
Unique vertical dialogue and legitimacy of the CENESEX leadership by the State/Party in the fight against homophobia.
The State/Party’s obsessive and pernicious fear of horizontal leadership and the emergence of LGBT groups within civil society collides with a gradual public awareness of sexual rights as human rights. The formation of activists by CENESEX and the Cuban Days against Homophobia have generated a critical mass of activists that overflows institutional spaces and challenges the doctrines of control of thought and action that are generated from there. There are also many good people who are activists without having been linked to any institution.
Since a group of activists introduced the Yogyakarta Principles in 2007, their use has expanded to advocate non-discriminatory policies on sexual orientation and gender identity in accordance with international human rights law. The heterogeneity of these groups includes many ideological positions that fluctuate between radical Marxists, bourgeois social democrats, anarchists and neo-liberals and neo-annexionists. There are also the usual mercenaries who serve any ideology. For the monochrome vision of the State/Party and its institutions, these people are nothing more than counterrevolutionaries and any initiative arising from them is criminalized, in the name of national unity. It does not take into account that except for the neoliberals, annexionists and mercenaries, there are many progressive people who would put forth, from organized civil society, anti-discriminatory public policies.
Arbitrary arrests, violent repression, censorship and discrediting are neither revolutionary nor do they adhere to the Martian principles of a Republic, as endorsed in the recent Constitution.
2. The Cuban Days against Homophobia and Transphobia have lost their political character and their capacity for interlocution with people with non-homoregulatory sexualities and genders.
From the first editions, tensions arose in conceiving this space as a political and revolutionary celebration or commemoration. The result has been the celebration and the dangerous approach to banality and to what we wanted to avoid: to turn it into a march of Cuban gay pride with strong classist and neoliberal inspiration. While recognizing that pride in our identity is a political attitude, the conga itself has distorted that meaning and the parade of its leaders in pink convertible cars, the floats, the carnival atmosphere and the strange participation of transnational emporiums such as Google (in edition 11) are just some of the most notorious elements of this point.
The suspension of the conga last May 11 and the change of the party at the same time that the unauthorized march would take place, was a very counterrevolutionary and irresponsible maneuver. The high participation in the march and the follow-up in the social networks by the participants in the celebration of what was happening in the Padro speak for themselves of the fragmentation and violence that could have been avoided.
The parade of more than 100 people, peacefully chanting slogans in favor of sexual rights and recognizing rights for all citizens, without counterrevolutionary expressions along the Prado promenade, moves away unfounded statements (such as those accompanying the conga suspension) that the march was organized from Miami. What happened in the end, with the crude police repression and the detention of four people, was a provocation far removed from the meaning of the march. The presence of the media was taken advantage of and the unfortunate events that are now circulating in the news were unleashed.
On the other hand, the rich public exchanges with LGBT people have not taken place in Havana for more than six editions. Written speeches, the introduction of other just causes but without the conviction of those present, have hampered citizen participation. It would seem that music, half-naked bodies, transformationism [cross-dressing] and dancing in the conga are the fundamental objective. The essentially political has been enclosed to academic spaces where we cook in the same sauce.
3. The State/Party has negotiated with the rights for sexual orientation and gender identity like a pendulum.
This point is also complex. Without a doubt, CENESEX, the leadership of its director Mariela Castro and the voice of numerous activists have contributed to placing the rights of LGBT people on political agendas and in human rights discourses in Cuba. However, in the international context, pendulum positions have been shown. In 2010 our State/Party had to rectify its vote at the United Nations when it aligned itself with third world countries that condemned homosexuality with the death penalty and did not consider it to be the cause of extrajudicial executions. Since then, our representatives have been absent from several votes on LGBT rights, especially at ECOSOC.
From 2011 to date, the need to eliminate all forms of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity is recognized in documents issued by the State/Party that include the Statutes of the Communist Party of Cuba and the Labor Code Law. However, from 2012 to 2013 serious tensions were generated by the public speeches of numerous activists associated with CENESEX on pending policies, including marriage equality.
On this issue, the director of CENESEX herself has expressed opinions that vary according to the circumstances. Her speech was finally profiled in favor of marriage equality during the debate on the constitutional project. Later we learned that in the same period the Catholic Church had been the mediator in the restoration of diplomatic relations between the governments of Cuba and the United States. At this point I paraphrase the Apostle [: in politics what is most important is what is not seen.
More recently, the elimination of article 68, which opened up the possibility in the Constitutional Bill of recognizing marriage equality, was a complicit wink from the State/Party to the fundamentalist religious groups, which have gained strength in Cuba and enjoyed complete freedom to demonstrate against the aforementioned article. In the meantime, they maintained tight control over the activists associated with the institution and no street actions were allowed against religious and fundamentalist hate speeches.
The first three months have passed since the proclamation of the Constitution and there is no debate or concrete action to comply with the complementary laws that define the adoption of the Family Code within two years. The approval of this Law will be taken to a referendum, thanks to the decisions of our representatives, experts in dictating policies through decree-laws in agendas that are peremptory to them.
I note that the Christian churches have been too quiet during the present day, although we know in good faith that many of their proselytes were in the vicinity of the feast organized by CENESEX doing their fundamentalist ideological work.
4. The 11/5 march marks a historic milestone in the construction of a Cuban LGBT movement.
Depends. Not thefirst unauthorized gear. It is preceded by some actions in the late 1990s, the wedding between a transgender person and a gay man, and other unpopular attempts that were marked by interests to subvert order. Most of these unconvinced activists are in the United States because of the gratifications of their political masters. Let’s not lose sight of the fact that we have many more here who will do the impossible to torpedo any attempt at civil organization that dialogues with the State/Party.
We also have former activists who now live abroad, who are patriots and want to continue participating in the construction of a sovereign nation and have every right to do so.
Some have said that what happened on Saturday compared to May 1968 in Paris. Others have evoked the Stonewall Rebellion*, whose legacy has been taken as a global reference but which has been distorted by the generation of a universally classist, elitist LGBTI movement that reproduces the essences of the market and patriarchal domination of heteronormative oppression. In fact, in many countries, an attempt has been made to found anti-system movements and praxis that move away from the ideological right-wing and the political and commercial banalization of the international LGBTI movement.
What happens from now on will depend on concerted action and the lessons learned from these experiences. The permanence in force of a Law of Associations that limits and subsumes the rhetoric of a besieged square plus the fragile mechanisms of citizen participation hinder these actions.
Some view the march as a matter of winners and losers and focus their activism on opposition to CENESEX and Mariela Castro. With such a narrow vision it is not possible to make much progress either. Having a government institution to deal with these issues is necessary, but it does not limit the recognition of the right of LGBT people to self-organize as part of civil society, with the capacity to participate and challenge policies.
The march of May 11 also reflects that Cuba is not Paris 68 nor New York 69. A good part of political participation and the exercise of civil rights are done in social networks. The call became viral and despite the final outcome, people came to express their positions on this issue. To say that everyone was deceived or confused is contempt for people’s intelligence and at the same time, we must be very careful about who (or whom) benefits from results alien to our struggles.
On the other hand, to those who believe themselves to be owners of the Revolution and of thought, I inform you that a change of era has occurred in Cuban society. Comply with the Constitution and return the Revolution. [Santos Suarez, May 13, 2019]
*The Stonewall Inn bar was the epicenter of a rebellion of gay men and transgender people against police harassment in New York City in 1969. June will be 50 years old.
By Manuel E. Yepe
Exclusive for the daily POR ESTO! of Merida, Mexico.
A CubaNews translation edited by Walter Lippmann.
Two distinct, but well-founded and valuable views about international relations, comparing the points of view of the two most important economies in the world, was provided by the Strategic Culture Foundation in a comparative report by expert Federico Pieraccini on two events held respectively in Washington and Beijing, on some of the most transcendental issues of global development.
In Beijing, in the Belt and Road Forum, more than 40 world leaders discussed the Initiative of the Belt and the Road (B&R), a project destined to transform the entire Eurasian continent, improving free trade between dozens of countries through investments in infrastructure, transport, energy and technological cooperation.
B&R is a gigantic project called to expand over the years to the pace that today’s technology allows, without ignoring the needs of the countries involved.
The number of participants in the Beijing B&R event is astounding: more than 5,000 delegates, 37 heads of state and 10 of the most important members of ASEAN.
One hundred and twenty-five countries have declared intentions of cooperating in the big project, and 30 organizations have ratified 170 agreements that add up to an investment project by the People’s Bank of China of more than $1.3 trillion between 2013 and 2027.
It is a revolutionary project that will characterize the upcoming decades, if not centuries. It contrasts with the U.S. trend toward hegemonic domination because it is based on humanitarian considerations to overcome conflicts, as well as avoiding wars by means of cooperation and shared prosperity.
Washington, demanding loyalty in exchange for nothing, and incapable of inflicting damage to Russia and China by itself, resorts to pressure on its European allies through a war of tariffs and technological prohibitions to favor U.S. companies.
Beijing is behaving in a way that is opposed to the moral in Aesop’s fable of of “The North Wind and the Sun”, offering in the B&R project a win-win cooperation and the benefits that derive from it.
The project tends to raise the standard of living of the population through huge loans to improve the basic infrastructure of the countries: railways, schools, roads, aqueducts, bridges, ports, Internet connectivity and hospitals. The objective is to create a sustainable system in which dozens of countries cooperate among each other for the collective benefit of their population.
The Chinese initiative aims to offer all participant countries equal opportunities for development on the basis of their real ability to improve the well-being of all parties involved and not on military or economic power.
The B&R so far has the support of 126 states and territories, as well as a large number of international organizations. It is the new face, truthful and realistic, of a true world community.
This Chinese initiative could only have taken place in a post-unipolar world with multiple power centers.
Washington is aware of the changes that have taken place in the last ten years and of the change of attitude of their political allies. This is reflected in the wording of the two documents that guide every U.S. administration: the Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) and the National Defense Strategy (NDS). These explain how the United States sees the world and what it intends to do to combat the emerging multi-polar world order.
Trump can’t afford a conflict with Venezuela, Iran or North Korea, neither militarily or politically. In the cases of Brazil, Colombia and Venezuela, they don’t seem very willing to sacrifice themselves for Washington; and there are no jihadists to arm and launch against helpless civilians as happened in the Middle East. So Washignton doesn’t find forces capable of defeating the peoples determined to resist U.S. imperialism for patriotic reasons.
Attacking Iran would result in a devastating Iranian response against the U.S. troops deployed in dozens of bases scattered throughout the Middle East. It would inflict losses that would be too costly for Washington, which would make any breakthroughs pyrrhic.
The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) is untouchable by virtue of its nuclear deterrence policy.
What’s left for Trump and his neoconservatives are just empty war threats. and a great deal of war propaganda that is only good to fill the coffers of the U.S. weapon manufacturers.
May 13, 2019.
This article may be reproduced by quoting the newspaper POR ESTO as the source.
Author: Miguel Febles Hernández | email@example.comMay 16, 2019 19:05:11
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
CAMAGÜEY. – For those who insist on the siege, intolerance and excessive attack against everything that smells of Revolution, Mariela Castro Espín has the exact answer: the irreverent and “undisciplined” who star in this marvelous revolutionary experience do not allow themselves to be dominated by anyone.
In a meeting with professors and students from the Carlos J. Finlay University of Medical Sciences in this province, the director of the National Center for Sexual Education (Cenesex) referred to the challenges facing the Cuban people today in the face of the intensification of the aggressive policy of U.S. imperialism.
She placed special emphasis on the media campaign orchestrated in recent times by external and internal enemies to discredit the reality of the Cuban Revolution, its dreams, goals and desires, and the marvelous quality of this people, united by values and by an emancipatory historical project.
Faced with so much hostility, attempts at manipulation and bad intentions that only try to confuse, dismantle processes and put an end to the Revolution, the deputy to the National Assembly of People’s Power called to counterpose to it the intelligence, sensitivity, and commitment of the true patriots.
In that first battlefront, Cenesex is marching today, as an institution of the Cuban State in charge of advising on the definition of policies related to the defense of sexual rights, through comprehensive sexuality education and health promotion.
Together with an enthusiastic team of specialists and activists, she also carries out active research, organizing educational and community programs, and carrying out educational campaigns, such as the one she has been promoting for twelve years in the country against homophobia and transphobia.
“That is what we fight against: everything that generates discrimination, inequalities and inequities to humiliate, exclude and take away rights and opportunities,” said Mariela Castro Espín, referring to the essence of the work of the institution she directs, which she rightly called: educate in the sense of freedom.
The twelfth edition of the Cuban Days Against Homophobia and Transphobia, based in this city, has been a step forward in the effort to make the motto that presides over it a reality: All rights for all people, knowing that, along with the necessary legal changes, a profound process of cultural transformation must also take place.
CENESEX-MONDAY, MAY 6, 2019
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews
Given the current situation in the country, the Organizing Committee of the twelfth edition of the Cuban Days against Homophobia and Transphobia has had to make an adjustment to the program, as indicated by the Ministry of Public Health (Minsap), an organization to which the National Center for Sex Education (Cenesex) belongs and which serves as rector of the National Program for Education and Sexual Health, in compliance with the policies of the Party, the State and the Revolution.
Complying with Minsap guidelines, the Cuban Conga against Homophobia and Transphobia will not be held this year, due to certain circumstances that do not help its successful development, both in Havana and Camagüey, without this implying that it will not be resumed next year.
The new tensions in the international and regional context, directly and indirectly, affect our country and have tangible and intangible impacts in the normal development of our daily life and in the implementation of the policies of the Cuban State.
We must emphasize that this change in the program of the Conference does not imply the suspension of the rest of the activities. On the contrary, the decision taken seeks to strengthen and protect everything planned for this edition, which even surpasses last year’s program, with a strong component of academic spaces.
As always in these twelve years, we have the accompaniment of the Party and the Government, as well as the mass media, other state institutions and organizations of Cuban civil society.
National Center for Sex Education
Organizing Committee of the 12th Cuban Conference against Homophobia and Transphobia
Cenesex Community Social Networks
By Manuel E. Yepe
Exclusive for the daily POR ESTO! of Merida, Mexico.
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann.
A little more than 100 years ago, Mexico had a very popular president who was well-loved and had been democratically-elected, named Francisco Madero.
Determined to reduce foreign influence and the obscene profits that were extracted from the country, Madero wanted to raise the standard of living of his people.
The financial interests of Wall Street rejected such projects by the president of a country that was within its hegemonic sphere. It then orchestrated a military coup against him and made sure that he was brutally murdered.
Journalist and researcher Martin Sieff — in the January 21 edition Strategic Culture Foundation (Fundación de Cultura Estratégica)website– starting from the orthographic similarity of the surnames Madero and Maduro, clarifies that the president of Mexico to whom he refers is not in any way related to the Bolivarian and Chavista leader Nicolás Maduro, President of Venezuela, but the parallels and contrasts between the two men motivate consideration.
Francisco Madero, the idealistic reformist leader who ruled Mexico as President from 1911 to 1913, did not have the political acumen and common sense shown by the Venezuelan leader Nicolás Maduro.
Madero naively relied on the commander in chief of the army, General Victoriano Huerta, whom he had inherited from his predecessor, President Porfirio Diaz,. Throughout the 35 years of Diaz’s government, from 1876 to 1911, Huerta had carried out a series of genocidal campaigns against the Yaqui and Mayan natives.
In 1913, Wall Street interests enthusiastically supported Huerta when he carried out a coup against Francisco Madero. The US president at the time, Woodrow Wilson, was a recalcitrant racist who despised the Mexican people, initially supported Huerta’s coup from the start.
The huge financial and mining interests of New York were anxious to continue plundering Mexico’s resources. Those were times when more than 90% of its population lived in virtual slavery in the frightful poverty that Diaz had represented and defended.
In the last decade of Porfirio Diaz’s government –supported by the financial bandits of Wall Street and by the complacent administrations of Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft– at least 600,000 people were worked to the death as rural slaves in the properties of Diaz’s supporters.
In Washington, there was not a whisper of disapproval toward Huerta’s coup d’état, who ruled with his usual thuggish brutality for less than a year and a half until he was expelled after a brief but bloody civil war.
Huerta fled to the United States, of course, but then made the mistake of encouraging American business and military leaders alike to openly embrace imperial Germany in order to plan his militaristic return to Mexico.
Huerta died in U.S. military custody in 1916 after a night of binge drinking. Poisoning by his American captors was widely suspected, but the cause could have been simply excessive intake of alcohol. His autopsy revealed terminal liver cirrhosis.
To this day, Huerta is vilified as the mass murderer and cowardly tool of the cynical foreign interests he was, while the well-intentioned, but the ineffective Madero is loved by the Mexican people.
The days elapsed since the beginning of Huerta’s coup and the execution of the president –along with his own brother and vice-president– by an improvised firing squad are remembered as The Tragic Ten Days.
In the following years, Mexico endured all the horrors of a collapsed State with rival gangs slaughtering each other and whoever stood in their way.
The country’s population plummeted from 15 million, in 1910, to 11.6 million a decade later. More than 25 % of the country’s population died in the years of anarchic violence brought about after the murder of President Madero by the hated Huerta.
The tragic decade continues to resonate in Mexico to this day when the current president Andrés Manuel López Obrador resists enormous pressure from the Trump administration to force Mexico into recognizing their puppet, Juan Guaido, as president of Venezuela.
At the same time, Lopez Obrador reveres the martyred president Madero, and painfully remembers the bloodbaths and chaos that the hated Huerta unleashed after toppling him.
Madero naively trusted the honor of the man who had been his army commander, the murderer Huerta. On the contrary, Nicolas Maduro as President of Venezuela, just like his predecessor and political mentor Hugo Chavez, has always made sure of having a high command of the army loyal to the democratically-elected national civilian leaders.
February 25, 2019.
This article may be reproduced by quoting the newspaper POR ESTO! as its source
This is a copy of the State Department’s Cuban Medical Parole Program, which was used to publicize US efforts to encourage Cuban doctors on missions abroad to defect.
Think about the comments made by the American extreme right and, therefore, the Miami anti-Cuban right, about the famous caravan of migrants approaching the southern border of the United States. They bring to my memory that verse of the poet Campoamor in which he says: “And it is that in the traitorous world/ there is neither truth nor lie, / everything is according to the color/ of the glass with which one looks”.
Remember. more or less two years ago, Cubans who had left Cuba legally and who were residing in different South American countries began to advance through Central America with the idea of arriving in the United States? In order to be able to take advantage of the famous Cuban Adjustment Act. The right-wing made statements about a supposed humanitarian crisis. Those Cubans were fleeing, according to them, from the “Cuban communist dictatorship”, and that those compatriots only had the desire to reach “lands of freedom” in order to find the famous American dream.
Very selectively, the same people who described Cubans in Central America as people who pursued the American dream, now accuse the migrants who approach the border with Mexico of being a gang of thieves, criminals, drug traffickers and the sick. They supposedly came exclusively with the idea of murdering, stealing and infecting the citizens of this country (the US). What do you think? A humanitarian crisis in one case and an invasion by criminals in the other.
That caravan is made up of those who have been coming for years, people who flee poverty in search of better living conditions. The constant stream of migrants has never stopped. The difference is that in these moments they have come together to make the journey in larger groups. Perhaps they hope to gain more publicity for their attempt to reach the United States. Hostility is what they have received, not a compassionate welcome like that of the Cubans two years ago, but a negative and demonized one.
Those people who arrive and those who for years have been arriving, come from countries where everything exists that, since the very day of the triumph of the Revolution, the US right-wing have asked of Cuba. These include a multiparty system, market economy, representative democracy, with elections every four years, freedom of the press, etc. And if all that exists in their countries and if by implementing it all problems are solved, we have to ask ourselves, why do they emigrate? Why do they abandon the paradise that should exist in their countries since their social, economic and political system is the one that, according to the right, must prevail in all nations so that progress, wealth and social development can exist?
Obviously, the fact is that there is a multi-party system does not solve anything, but it does create a lot of politicking, corruption and demagogy. Freedom of the press only guarantees that those who have money can control the media to defend their interests. Those who believe that the market should be allowed to regulate everything, if not they are dreaming, at least they are sleeping, since even in the most developed countries there are control mechanisms over it. Representative democracy has shown time and again that it does not represent anyone in the long run. Although, well, it does represent the sectors that in one way or another control power, be it the army, the oligarchy or the political parties.
The poor wretches who come in caravan for the United States were taken as an electoral campaign flag by the Republican right. The President got tired of scaring the voters, telling them that a real invasion of thugs was coming, with the idea of them going to the polls in support of the candidates of the Republican Party. So much so that, starting from election day itself, the man stopped talking about the imminent dangers represented by the arrival of the caravan. Even the army was mobilized to the border and there this part of the troops are waiting for the supposed unarmed invaders to arrive.
The control of a country’s borders is normal and it is a duty of the government. It is true that no one has the right to enter illegally into a nation that is not their own, but what should not be done is to politicize immigration and to let some in and not let others in, only because it suits them politically.
Even now, after the policy of dry feet, wet feet, has been abolished, Cubans are subject to the same treatment as the other peoples of Latin America, since there is still the famous Cuban Adjustment Act, which makes Cubans different and privileges us only for political reasons Why? Oh because, and we have to go back to poetry, “everything is according to the color of the glass with which one looks”.