Published: Thursday 27 February 2020 | 11:48:01 pm. Updated: Friday 28 February 2020 | 12:16:12 am.
By Yoerky Sánchez Cuéllar
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
The pressure valve resonates and they keep adding fuel to the fire. Let the pot explode. This is what the American circles of power want every time they announce a perverse measure against this small archipelago which, at the cost of sacrifice and resistance, pays the price of being independent.
My generation was born under the effects of the blockade. Perhaps at that time its economic impact was not so visible, thanks to the mutually advantageous relations and agreements established with the socialist camp. Until I was seven years old I fully enjoyed my childhood, playing bowling or watching dolls and adventures in an old Krim 218 at the house of my friends in the neighbourhood. But then the 1990s came and the scene took a traumatic turn.
The fall of Soviet socialism cracked our economy and left it without 80 percent of its foreign trade. Transportation collapsed, factories were shut down, “gossip” lamps replaced incandescent bulbs during long hours of scheduled blackouts.
In the face of the irresistible heat, people slept on the rooftops, with their mattresses uncovered. Publications disappeared. Juventud Rebelde, for example, changed its daily frequency to a weekly newspaper. Faced with a shortage of soap, I remember my mother washing with maguey fibres. Chinese bicycles became fashionable… At that age I couldn’t really understand what was going on around me.
In the book No hay que llorar (Let’s not cry), Santa Clara writer Aristides Vega Chapú compiled testimonies from 34 Cuban authors about this period. About the difficulties of that time and how we overcame the onslaught, each Cuban can tell his own story of ingenuity and resistance. The work would be a book of many volumes.
During all this time, what was the “help” of the American rulers? Was their intention to extend their hand so that the people would overcome the crisis?
In July 1991, months before the “de-escalation,” the U.S. Senate passed several amendments imposing a number of conditions on the Soviet Union to be eligible for U.S. foreign aid. These requirements included the cessation of military and economic assistance to Cuba.
And in 1992 the US government, led by Bush senior, signed the Torricelli Act, after the Democratic candidate, William Clinton, publicly endorsed it as a result of an agreement with Jorge Más Canosa, president of the Cuban American National Foundation. The objective: to asphyxiate us economically in order to provoke social chaos and, consequently, to overthrow the political order established on the island. Illusioned by a supposed domino effect, they openly proclaimed “the end of history” for the “Castro regime”.
In that same year, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) prohibited third-country nationals from introducing tobacco and rum from Cuba into the United States, even when these were for personal consumption. They had not yet approved the unfortunate Helms-Burton Act of 1996.
In their speech on humanitarian aid to the Cuban people, they always put one condition in advance: “If Cuba holds totally free and fair elections under international supervision, respects human rights and stops subverting its neighbors, we can hope that relations between our two countries will improve significantly,” are the words of the Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs, in March 1990.
Thirty years later, the goals remain the same. We are asked to make political concessions as a condition for taking the pressure off the pot. In the face of Cuba’s dignified and unchanging stance, they resort to arrogance and overkill. These incluse the 85 aggressive measures of various kinds that they applied only in 2019 and which have been rejected by our people and by many in the world, who also suffer the consequences of imperial arrogance.
The writer Eduardo Galeano illustrated this act of genocide with an emphatic and sentimental style: “The blockade against Cuba has multiplied over the years. A bilateral affair? So they say; but nobody ignores that the US blockade implies, today, the universal blockade. Cuba is denied bread and salt and everything else. And it also implies, although many people ignore it, the denial of the right to self-determination. The asphyxiating siege around Cuba is a form of intervention, the most ferocious, the most effective, in its internal affairs.
In the face of this policy of permanent aggression, made worse by the Trump administration and his perverse advisors, aim9ing to make the pot explode, the best response from every Cuban is to do things right. And that the result of daily work neutralizes every plan that the enemy cooks up. In short, “emancipate ourselves by ourselves and with our own efforts,” as Fidel explained it to us in his concept of Revolution.
By Manuel E. Yepe
Exclusive for the daily POR ESTO! of Merida, Mexico.
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann.
On March 12, 1996, the Congress of the United States of America approved one of the most regressive and draconian imperialist foreign policy initiatives, ironically named the Solidarity Act of Freedom and Democracy for Cuba (LIBERTAD), known as the Helms-Burton Act.
Before the triumph of Cuban guerrilla weapons over the armed forces of Fulgencio Batista’s tyranny, which had been imposed by Washington on Cuba, the United States exercised absolute control. The economy of the island was ultimately subordinated to the interests of U.S. companies involved in relations with the Cuban authorities and entities.
After the victory of the revolution in January 1959, the situation changed completely. Cubans became masters of their country and their economy. Nevertheless, Cuba could not conduct its normal foreign trade relations with the US because US hostility became present in economic relations.
However, before the 1990s, the blockade on trade with Cuba had not been legally established although it started working through so-called “executive orders”.
It was President Kennedy who officially initiated the blockade, euphemistically called the “embargo”, in 1962. He did this on the basis of [U.S. national] self-interest in response to the nationalization of US assets ordered by Cuba following the revolution’s coming to power.
Happily for Cuba, that moment arrived just at the moment when Moscow was in a position to become Cuba’s main trading partner in the New World. There were special incentives from its ideological affinity and a certain economic complementarity that the political alliance would bring about.
It is rightly said that the community’s approach and world public opinion have very little influence on the policy of the United States of America. This perception was fully confirmed by history during the second half of the 20th century.
Every year, Cubans, many Latin Americans and not a few Americans, humiliated by the shame of the criminal economic, commercial and financial blockade that their country, the richest and most militarily powerful in the world, has been exercising against this small island. Cuba is a giant in terms of dignity,
The sole justification of Washington’s fear is that the example of Cuba’s successful resistance to unjust abuse will encourage other peoples and governments of the continent to defend their sovereignty, which cannot be renounced.
Once again this year, the most representative body of the international community debated and approved almost unanimously, in a plenary session of its General Assembly, the resolution “Necessity of ending the economic, commercial and financial embargo imposed by the United States on Cuba”.
A few minutes after the conclusion of this most recent session of the UN General Assembly, the whole of Cuba celebrated, as it does every year, “the new victory against imperialism” with as much joy as if it were the first time that it did so as an expression of its condemnation of the unjust blockade imposed on the Caribbean country.
This was the umpteenth time in as many consecutive years that the United Nations General Assembly approved the same resolution. It calls for the suspension of the longest blockade in human history. It has already caused the island more than $100 billion in losses. It could have served to bring Cuba out of underdevelopment through its own efforts, according to the original projects of the triumphant revolution in January 1959.
The Helms-Burton Act was not the only piece of explicitly anti-Cuban legislation circulating in Congress at the time. On February 9, 1995, Representative Charles Rangel (D-NY) introduced a bill with a diametrically opposed text, the Cuba Free Trade Act. It was aimed at eliminating the blockade and establishing a dialogue with Cuba. In doing so, Rangel sought to draft an agreement on the disposition of expropriated U.S. assets in Cuba.
Congress did not approve that law, opting for a hard-line stance against Cuba and avoiding constructive policies that would transform it.
December 27, 2019
By: Ricardo Alarcón de Quesada
Ph.D in Philosophy and Literature, writer and Cuban politician. He was Ambassador to the UN and Cuban Foreign Minister. Presided over the National Assembly of People’s Power of Cuba (Parliament) for 20 years.
April 13, 2019
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
Since the beginning of this year, the U.S. State Department has issued several announcements about the partial suspension of the application of some aspects of a chapter of the so-called Helms-Burton Act. It has done so in the deceitful, fraudulent style characteristic of the current rulers. Its clear intention is to create uncertainty and confusion, a purpose for which they have, as usual, the means that are supposed to be used for informing the public.
Above all, it must be said rigorously said that this is a secondary aspect of the Helms-Burton Law, a pseudo-juridical contraption that grossly violates International Law, whose illegality and aggressiveness does not change a bit whether or not the so-vaunted suspension is applied. It is a question of opening or not, now, the possibility of presenting lawsuits before North American courts for acts carried out outside their jurisdiction, in this case in the territory of the Republic of Cuba. Since such litigation could affect foreign companies with investments in the Island, the matter provoked rejection by other countries. It also led the European Union to present a formal complaint to the World Trade Organization in 1996. The matter was then sealed when Washington undertook to suspend the action before its courts, which Clinton, W. Bush, Obama, and even Trump, have consistently done every six months.
This was an exercise repeated for more than twenty years until, on January 16,  it was announced that this time the suspension would be for only 45 days. When the deadline expired in March, they made it known that they would extend it for another 30 days, adding that, as of the 19th of that month, they would allow the filing of lawsuits before their courts against some 200 Cuban companies arbitrarily included in a list drawn up by Washington. Again, in April, they extended the deadline by two weeks, until May 1st, maintaining the exception against Cuban entities.
Already in 1996, Fidel Castro had anticipated that the suspension clause was a “hoax”. Since last January, twenty-three years later, Mr. Pompeo appears, in a doubtful pose, “shedding the daisy”, mocking everyone, especially his European allies, turning the commitment made to them into wet paper.
This game serves, above all, to divert attention from what is fundamental, to what is barely spoken of, and to what I would like to refer to, trusting in the benevolence of the readers of Por Esto!
The Helms-Burton Act has four Chapters or Titles. The first turns into Law, all the measures, which until then were executive decisions, that shape the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed on Cuba, widens it, and tries to extend it all over the planet. The infamous policy, thus codified, could only be eliminated by a decision of both Houses of the U.S. Congress.
The Second describes, with a certain level of detail, what would happen with the hypothetical defeat of the Cuban Revolution as a consequence of the economic war. There would then be what they call a “transition period” during which all the institutions of Cuban society would be dismantled and the country would be under total U.S. domination. So that no one can doubt it, the process would be led by a U.S. official appointed by the President of the United States, whom the law discreetly calls Cuba Transition Coordinator. This true proconsul was actually appointed by W. Bush, although he never fulfilled his mandate on the island. He had to devote himself to promoting, outside Cuba, the Transition Plan that Bush, in compliance with the law, presented to Congress in 2004 and in an expanded version in 2006 and that no one has repealed.
Throughout Title II, there is a redundant insistence on the concept that for the elimination of the blockade and future relations with a supposed post-revolutionary Cuba, an indispensable condition will be the return of their properties to those who lost them on January 1, 1959 (to this subject I will have to return later).
So far, with Title I and Title II, Helms-Burton is a text that tramples on International Law from beginning to end. Its extra-territorial character is more than obvious since the Cuban archipelago is not part of the territory under Washington’s jurisdiction.
In addition to the above, Helms-Burton added a Title III that establishes the possibility of bringing legal actions before U.S. courts against companies or individuals who use, in any way, properties claimed by those who allegedly owned or inherited them. This Title includes an article that allows the US President to suspend the commencement of such actions for half-yearly periods, to which I devoted the initial part of this essay.
Finally, Title IV, which has already been applied on several occasions, denies visas to enter the United States to businesspeople and their families who use properties that are the subject of a lawsuit.
The Helms-Burton Act reminds us of the warning Carlos Manuel de Céspedes gave us very early on. The Father of the Cuban Homeland, in 1870, discovered that the “secret” of U.S. policy was to “seize Cuba.” Thanks to Helms and Burton, the designs of the Empire appear in the light of day. That they can make them a reality is, of course, something quite different. From Céspedes to Fidel, Cubans have shown that they will fight to the end and that they will never be anyone’s slaves again.
Special for Mexican daily Por Esto! Taken from Cubadebate.
By Manuel E. Yepe
Exclusive for the daily POR ESTO! of Merida, Mexico.
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann.
The mysterious case of the alleged “acoustic attacks” against US diplomatic personnel in Cuba turns out to have been a media maneuver aimed at damaging tourism in terms of as part of the blockade against the island.
One of Cuba’s greatest attractions for foreign tourism is the guarantee of security offered by the island to visitors from any part of the world. Another is the high level of public health in Cuba, one of the highest in the Western Hemisphere with health indicators comparable to those of the most developed nations.
In addition to the exceptional conditions with which the island has been endowed by nature, the popular revolution of 1959 has incorporated the dsocial conditions of peace and harmony that the visitor appreciates from the first moment of their stay in Cuba.
More than half a century of possessive paranoia, aggravated by the economic, commercial and financial blockade, have not been able to counteract the enormous achievements of socialism, even if they have postponed or limited many revolutionary economic and social advances in the country.
Basque journalist José Manzaneda, coordinator of the Cubainformación website, a channel that broadcasts news, reports and commentaries on the island from Spain, has denounced the media’s objective against Cuba over the campaign of alleged sonic attacks.
Manzaneda remembers that it was the Argentine newspaper “Clarín”, among many other media, who published a report two years ago from the Associated Press. Its focus was on an American traveler who felt “a sudden loss of feeling in his four extremities, in the same hotel where some affected diplomats were staying.”
Then there’s the growing interest among students, the sector of American visitors that has grown the most in Cuba –118% in the first half of the year– given that conventional tourism is still prohibited by the US blockade, Diario de Cuba, half-financed by the governments of the United States and Spain, wrote: “There are signs that students and retirees (from the U.S.) plan to cancel their trips to the island”, since neither “Washington nor Havana have been able to prevent the attacks, which could generate an uncontrollable crisis”.
El Nuevo Herald, a mouthpiece for the extreme right-wing Cubans in Miami, assured its readers that Raúl Castro is turning a diplomatic crisis into an economic, potentially destabilizing one.
Agencies and media collaborated in this way with the objective of the White House that came to life on September 29. That was when, recognizing that ti was “not aware” of the origin of the supposed acoustic attacks, it officially recommended not traveling to the island.
“Coming from the government of a country where every year 30,000 people die by firearms, more than a thousand by police, and 31% of the world’s mass shootings are recorded, this alarm seems like a joke in bad taste,” says Manzaneda.
The extreme-right of Cuban origin of the Republican party, which, in exchange for its vote on other matters, already manages Donald Trump’a Cuba policy. It seeks to reverse the growth experienced through the trips of Americans to the island and damage the income from them which it brings to the Cuban economy.
In line with this campaign, the conservative Washington Examiner asked the House of Representatives to demand that Cuba “evaluate security at its ten international airports.” This is an inadmissible interference that seeks to reduce the number of visitors from the US, in this case by canceling the regular flights authorized by the Obama administration.
However, RESPECT, the largest US association of travel promoters in Cuba, rejected –as unnecessary and counterproductive– the “security warning” issued by the State Department, arguing that Cuba is a “safe destination.”
The Spanish newspaper El País followed with an interview with Thomas Shannon, US Undersecretary of State. He held Cuba responsible for everything that had happened, but without clarifying what he was referring to, and without contributing any element to such an unusual story. Republican Senator Marco Rubio, Donald Trump’s current spoiled scion, seems to be, according to analysts, the one who is behind the nefarious campaign about “sonic attacks” in Cuba.
Everything indicates that, now, the tactic chosen by the right, at the service of imperialism, is to generate fear more than to legislate against Cuba. This is because, since for the former they have the concurrence –conscious or unconscious– of powerful international agencies and media, so much so that, for the second, they run the risk of increasing the division in the Republican ranks in Congress.
Let it be known then that all this diabolical mischief of sonic attacks is nothing more than another element of the blockade against Cuba that this past November 1, was condemned almost unanimously by the world community in the UN for the 26th consecutive year.
November 2 of 2017.
By Manuel E. Yepe
Exclusive for the daily POR ESTO! of Merida, Mexico
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
It appears that a new maneuver against Cuba by terrorist sectors in the US government’s foreign policy establishment has been exposed and neutralized when the Associated Press (AP) published information dated September 15, 2017 about damages caused by Hurricane Irma and the penetration of the sea that affected the building that houses the US Embassy in Havana.
According to the AP, a National Security Subcommittee (NSSC) official, who asked not to be identified, revealed to his correspondents that the NSSC was filing a lawsuit against the American Technology Corporation (ATC), maker of the LRAD equipment -RX that the NSSC uses to communicate with its agents in Cuba.
The suit was based on the auditory harm that these equipment would have caused to workers of the NSSC, its officials and relatives. According to the plaintiff, the equipment in question was purchased less than a year earlier and the ATC experts who trained those who would be responsible for using them at any time warned them against hearing problems.
Anonymous sources had then told the AP that the hearing loss may have been related to sound devices that emit inaudible waves capable of causing deafness.
According to the source, the suit presented by the NSSC included economic compensation for damages caused to workers of the teams and their relatives, as well as for operational damages suffered by the NSSC.
Immediately the NSSC knew of the auditory problems caused to the operators, it ordered discontinuance of use of the LRAD-RX but this implied an immediate change in the means of communication with its agents, which entailed higher expenses that surpassed what which is budgeted.
However, in May 2017, the State Department ordered the expulsion of two Cuban diplomats in response to “incidents” at the US embassy in Cuba without specifying what or whom they considered guilty.
The penetration of the sea in the embassy due to a hurricane. It complicated the investigation into the technological aspects of the case. This was because part of the equipment was under the sea. Although the trip to Cuba by a number of technicians and specialists was supposed to verify the condition of the equipment, this aspect of the research did not make sense. Public and staff access to the Embassy was restricted in order to disassemble the equipment and send it to the United States for eventual repairs by the manufacturers without the knowledge of the result.
It is alleged that, although the ATC is a commercially-registered US firm, it is an entity created by the security forces of the state of Israel and, as has been reported, LRAD is a weapon that emits a sound that temporarily deafens the adversary. From what we’ve seen so far, it is clear that the maneuver was intended to involve Cuba in an act of terrorism, a scourge in which the island has never dirtied its flag, although it has been a constant a victim of it.
However, when suspicions seemed to focus on supplier-related technological problems, US Sen. Marco Rubio made scandalous statements “calling for blood against Cuba”. This showed Florida’s Republican politician as likely axis of terrorist manipulation.
Shortly afterwards, Washington withdrew 60% of the staff from its embassy in Havana, and then expelled 15 diplomats from the Cuban embassy in the United States. The US argued that “there are no adequate Cuban measures to protect our diplomats from sonic attacks”. This is despite the fact that, from the outset, Cuba said that it would do everything possible to investigate the facts and invited the FBI to join the investigation in Cuba.
This investigation by Cuban authorities involved some 2000 people, including law enforcement officials and the best scientists in the country. They interviewed 300 neighbors and carried out dozens of medical examinations to see if anyone outside the diplomatic cadre had been affected.
They examined the rooms of two hotels where several employees of the United States Embassy lived, interviewed 300 neighbors in a neighborhood where many lived in houses. They analyzed air and soil samples, verified whether insects could be the culprits and considered a range of toxic chemicals and even electromagnetic waves.
However, the United States has refused to allow Cuban doctors access to the medical records of those affected or to let Cubans talk to US doctors. Neither were Cuban experts allowed to visit the homes of the US diplomats involved to conduct expert tests.
October 28, 2017
By Manuel E. Yepe
Parecía que una nueva maniobra contra Cuba de los sectores terroristas en la política exterior del gobierno estadounidense había sido expuesta y neutralizada cuando la agencia Associated Press (AP) publicó una información fechada el 15 de septiembre de 2017 acerca de los daños ocasionados por el ciclón Irma y la penetración del mar que afectó el edificio que alberga a la Embajada de Estados Unidos en La Habana.
Según la AP, un funcionario del Subcomité Nacional de Seguridad (NSSC, por sus siglas en inglés) que pidió no ser identificado, reveló a sus corresponsales que el NSSC preparaba una demanda contra la American Technology Corporation (ATC), fabricante de los equipos LRAD-RX que utiliza el NSSC para comunicarse con sus agentes en Cuba.
La demanda se fundamentaba en la afectación auditiva que dichos equipos habrían causado a operarios del NSSC, sus funcionarios y familiares. Según el demandante, los equipos en cuestión fueron adquiridos menos de un año antes y los expertos de la ATC que entrenaron a quienes se encargarían de utilizaros en ningún momento les advirtieron contra problemas auditivos.
Fuentes anónimas habían dicho entonces a la agencia AP que la pérdida auditiva pudo estar relacionada con dispositivos de sonido que emiten ondas inaudibles capaces de causar sordera.
Según la fuente, la demanda que presentaría el NSSC incluía compensación económica por los daños ocasionados a operarios de los equipos y los familiares de éstos afectados, así como por los perjuicios operativos sufridos por el NSSC.
Inmediatamente que el NSSC conoció de los problemas auditivos ocasionados a los operadores, ordenó descontinuar la utilización del LRAD-RX pero esto implicó un cambio inmediato en los medios de comunicación con sus agentes, lo cual conllevó mayores gastos que sobrepasaban lo presupuestado.
Sin embargo, en mayo de 2017, que el Departamento de Estado dispuso la expulsión de dos diplomáticos cubanos en respuesta a “incidentes” ocurridos en su embajada en Cuba sin precisar a qué o quién consideraba culpable.
La penetración del mar en la Embajada a causa de un huracán complicó la investigación acerca de los aspectos tecnológicos del caso porque una parte del equipamiento quedó bajo las aguas del mar y aunque se había planificado el viaje a Cuba de un número de técnicos y especialistas para verificar las condiciones de los equipos, ya este aspecto de la pesquisa no tenía sentido. Sólo se limitó el acceso de público y del personal a la Embajada a fin de desmontar los equipos y enviarlos a Estados Unidos para su eventual revisión por los fabricantes sin que se sepa del resultado.
Se afirma que, aunque la ATC es una firma estadounidense por su registro comercial, se trata de una entidad creada por las fuerzas de seguridad del Estado de Israel y, según se ha publicado, la LRAD es un arma que emite un sonido que deja temporalmente sordo al adversario. Por los elementos evidenciados hasta el momento es claro que la maniobra tenía el propósito de involucrar a Cuba en un acto de terrorismo, flagelo en el que la Isla jamás ha ensuciado su bandera aunque ha sido constantemente víctima de éste.
Sin embargo, cuando las sospechas parecían concentrarse en problemas tecnológicos imputables al suministrador, escandalosas declaraciones del senador estadounidense Marco Rubio “pidiendo sangre contra Cuba” evidenciaron al político republicano de Florida como probable eje de la manipulación terrorista.
Poco después Washington retiró el 60 % de los trabajadores de su Embajada en La Habana y luego expulsó 15 diplomáticos de la misión cubana en Estados Unidos arguyendo la “inexistencia de medidas cubanas adecuadas para proteger a nuestros diplomáticos de los ataques sónicos” pasando por alto el hecho de que, desde el primer momento, Cuba dijo que haría todo lo posible por indagar los hechos y había invitado al FBI a compartir las pesquisas en Cuba.
Unas 2.000 personas involucraron las autoridades cubanas en esta investigación, incluyendo agentes de orden público y los mejores científicos del país. Entrevistaron a 300 vecinos y llevaron a cabo decenas de exámenes médicos para ver si alguien fuera del cuadro diplomático había sido afectado.
Examinaron las habitaciones de dos hoteles donde vivían varios empleados de la Embajada de Estados Unidos, entrevistaron a 300 vecinos en un barrio donde muchos vivían casas. Analizaron muestras de aire y el suelo, verificaron sí podrían ser insectos los culpables y consideraron una gama de productos químicos tóxicos e incluso de ondas electromagnéticas.
Sin embargo, Estados Unidos se ha negado a permitir a los médicos cubanos acceso a las historias clínicas de los afectados o a dejar que los cubanos hablen con los médicos de Estados Unidos. Tampoco se permitió a los peritos cubanos visitar los hogares de los diplomáticos estadounidenses implicados para llevar a cabo pruebas periciales.
Octubre 28 de 2017
By Yunier Javier Sifonte Díaz
October 24, 2017
As part of the academic program of the I International Scientific Convention of the “Marta Abreu” Central University of Las Villas (UCLV), Ramón Labañino, Hero of the Republic of Cuba, gave a keynote address today and spoke with those present about the main challenges of updating the Cuban economic model.
With a title as controversial as “Is Cuba returning to Capitalism?” , the Vice-President of the Cuban National Association of Economists and Accountants, presented in his talk the main characteristics of the national context. He discussed the need to understand the changes made in the Island as a way of working to ensure a better standard of living and an equitable and fair benefit for all citizens of the nation.
“The name of my talk is just a hook, a provocation to discussion, but what really matters is to draw attention to the most negative characteristics of capitalism and what are the inviolable essences in our country in order to maintain the social model chosen by the island for more than 50 years,” he added.
In his presentation, Labañino outlined the main characteristics seen in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics years before the fall of Socialism in that country. The role of the party, the need to keep the media in the hands of the people, to avoid regionalism, as well as the “wholesale privatization and commodification of the socialist economy” are factors that are essential for us not to repeat in Cuba the mistakes made in the Eurasian nation, he said.
He also referred to the importance of preserving the policy of a single party against alternatives aimed at dismantling that idea and advocated confronting imperialism’s cultural war with intelligence and a critical sense.
“The single party strengthens us as a nation. Defending alternative formulas to ours, based on a model of democracy that has already proven its ineffectiveness in many countries, means playing Imperialism’s game. Our party has the essences of that created by Marti in 1892: anti-imperialist, sovereign and with a defense of national dignity as the first inviolable law. These characteristics make it strong and necessary in every moment of the country’s history. “
Issues such as monetary dualism, the role of the press in the country, non-agricultural cooperatives, work in the agricultural sector, the development of the labor force in the public and private sectors and the need to increase labor productivity in all the areas of the country as a basic rule to achieve an effective growth of the Cuban economy, were also among the main issues discussed between the Hero and the delegates gathered to hear it.
Regarding the new economic figures that emerged in the heat of the changes implemented in the Cuban economy, Ramón spoke about their importance to free the state from the unnecessary wear and tear of controlling small spheres, but warned of the importance of carrying them out so that their income also plays a key role in the development of society.“What we transfer to private hands is not property, but the management of social property,” he summarized.
Similarly, Labañino discussed the relevance of the main transformations to the economic, political and social model of the country. He defended the idea of that these changes are essential for subsistence as a nation, but always for the sake of maintaining our social achievements .
“In a highly democratic process, the greatest news was consulted with the majority of Cubans, because one of our great strengths is that the measures applied are based on all citizens, especially to defend the most underprivileged. Although we want a greater speed in implementation, sometimes we must stop, rectify what is wrong and move forward, because we can not afford to make mistakes and waste the few resources at our disposal,” he said.
After his comments, the Hero of the Republic of Cuba talked exclusively with Cubadebate. He said the the merit of sharing his experiences in an event like the one organized by the UCLV, a Department of Advanced Studies “with highly-qualified professionals in both the technological and the political, as well as the scientific and academic.”
Likewise, Labañino spoke of his experience of returning to the island after 15 years of absence. He said he found a country “always changing, with a beautiful and well-done opening, especially since there is an awareness that the transformations in our society exist because of an historical necessity and not because of a whim or an idea of playing at Capitalism,” he said.
Questioned on the main challenges for Cuba’s present and future, Labañino did not hesitate to describe the blockade imposed by the United States as the first of them. “Although people sometimes do not see it, every economic action bears its stamp. If this were not so, our country would do better, because we have a high cultural and educational level, natural conditions and a high professional capacity to rub shoulders with first world nations. “
In a simple dialogue, always open to discussion and sharing experiences, the anti-terrorist fighter recalled the importance of knowing history so as not to repeat negative experiences. Likewise, in these times of “empty and manipulative discourses,” he highlighted Fidel Castro’s legacy for the construction of an increasingly prosperous and inclusive country. He warned of the importance of maintaining essential principles of the Cuban Revolution, such as internationalism, anti-imperialism and solidarity with the peoples of the Third World.
Miami, October 16, 2017
Sent by: Andrés Gómez
A CubaNews translation by Walter Lippmann.
YES TO RELATIONSHIPS AND TRIPS TO CUBA
CARAVAN OF CARS THIS SATURDAY OCTOBER 21, AGAINST THE UNUSUAL AND ARBITRARY MEASURES OF THE ADMINISTRATION OF TRUMP AGAINST THE CUBAN PEOPLE THAT EVENTUALLY WILL HURT OUR RIGHT TO TRAVEL TO CUBA FREELY AND WITHOUT FEAR
Miami.- The Cuban emigration organizations that in Miami comprise the Alianza Martiana coalition: the Antonio Maceo Brigade, the Martiana Alliance – as an individual organization, the José Martí Association, the Women’s Association for the Family, the Bolivarian Circle of Miami and the Circle of Intellectuals of Miami, call their members and all people of good will to participate in these moments of crisis to a new caravan of cars to be held this Saturday, October 21.
We need to make public our repudiation of the unjustified and unjustified measures taken by President Trump that have as their obvious intention to destroy the relations that have been gradually developing during the last almost three years between the peoples and governments of the United States and Cuba.
We must publicly reject the restoration of a war policy by US governments. against the Cuban people, against our families in Cuba. Against our inalienable right to be able to travel to Cuba freely, without restrictions, to share with our loved ones in Cuba.
Trump and Marco Rubio and company have no family in Cuba. We do have them, and we want them.
As always the participants in the caravan will begin to meet in the parking lot of the Youth Fair, whose entrance is at Coral Way (Calle 24 del S.W.) and the traffic lights at Avenue 112. THIS TIME FROM 11:30 AM. To leave later to transit for important streets of our city. ///
NOTA DE PRENSA
Miami, 16 octubre de 2017
Envía: Andrés Gómez
SÍ A LAS RELACIONES Y A LOS VIAJES A CUBA
CARAVANA DE CARROS ESTE SÁBADO 21 DE OCTUBRE, EN CONTRA DE LAS INJUSTAS Y ARBITRARIAS MEDIDAS DE LA ADMINISTRACIÓN DE TRUMP CONTRA EL PUEBLO CUBANO QUE EVENTUALMENTE PONDRÁN EN PELIGRO NUESTRO DERECHO DE VIAJAR A CUBA LIBREMENTE Y SIN TEMOR
Miami.- Las organizaciones de la emigración cubana que en Miami integran la coalición Alianza Martiana: la Brigada Antonio Maceo, la Alianza Martiana –como organización individual-, la Asociación José Martí, la Asociación de Mujeres a favor de la Familia, el Círculo Bolivariano de Miami y el Círculo de Intelectuales de Miami, convocan a sus miembros y a todas las personas de buena voluntad a participar en estos momentos de crisis a una nueva caravana de autos a realizarse este próximo sábado, 21 de octubre.
Necesitamos hacer público nuestro repudio a las abusivas e injustificadas medidas tomadas por el presidente Trump que tienen como obvia intención destruir las relaciones que poco a poco se han ido desarrollando durante los últimos casi tres años entre los pueblos y gobiernos de Estados Unidos y Cuba.
Tenemos que rechazar públicamente la restauración de una política de guerra por parte de los gobiernos de EE.UU. contra el pueblo cubano, contra nuestras familias en Cuba. Contra nuestro inalienable derecho de poder viajar a Cuba libremente, sin restricciones, a compartir con nuestros seres queridos en Cuba.
Trump y los Marco Rubio y compañía no tienen familia en Cuba. Nosotros sí las tenemos, y las queremos.
Como siempre los participantes en la caravana comenzarán a reunirse en el parqueo del Youth Fair, cuya entrada está en Coral Way (Calle 24 del S.W.) y el semáforo de la Avenida 112. ESTA VEZ A PARTIR DE LAS 11:30 AM. Para partir más tarde a transitar por importante calles de nuestra ciudad. ///
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
The weekend before last, Cuba was a victim of Hurricane Irma. Since then we have received more than sixty thousand euros in the accounts of the FRA-Cuba Friendship Association ( Freundschaftsgesellschaft BRD-Kuba ). This huge figure is not enough to cover the material damages that “Irma” left in the country, but donations are always welcome and necessary.
In this situation, the ING NGB bank becomes a blocking factor, allied to the US’s adverse policies towards Cuba. A friend from Cuba, based in the Netherlands, wanted to deposit a donation in the account of our Friendship Association RFA-Cuba. On the grounds that ING does not carry out transactions that have “direct or indirect reference to certain countries”, namely Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan and Syria, the bank rejected the receipt and transfer of the sum .
The bank stated: “In connection with the above policy we can not carry out your order. The amount will be deposited into your account again. “
The FRA-Cuba Friendship Association states that the necessary normalization of relations between Cuba and the member states of the European Union can only be possible through the end of the United States blockade against Cuba, which is still supported by some states members of the EU.
In the EU there are also tight conditions for Cuba, for transactions and extra costs increases for freight or credit. The example of the ING bank shows that only our name (in which the word “Cuba” is a natural part) can be an obstacle to an economic and financial exchange with Cuba.
The FRA-Cuba Friendship Association calls on all people of good will to resist the blockade against Cuba and to help the Cuban people just now when millions are mourning damages. In this endeavor Cuba will never submit, whatever the obstacle that is put in the way. Cuba will be free while opting for the road to socialism.
Federal Office of the FRA-Cuba Friendship Association
Cologne, September 19, 2017