Piedad Cordoba Highlights Fidel Castro's Legacy at Sao Paulo Forum

Bogota, Jul 9 (Prensa Latina) Former Colombian Presidential Candidate Piedad Cordoba today highlighted the legacy of the historic leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro, as the founder of the Sao Paulo Forum.

In exclusive statements to Prensa Latina, the renowned lawyer, politician and former senator noted the significance of the 24th edition of the Sao Paulo Forum, to be held in Havana from July 15 to 17.

On the meeting of the main progressive parties and organizations in Latin America and the Caribbean, she noted that the best tribute to Fidel Castro is to continue the struggle and move forward along the path of those like him who have been determinant in the history of the Forum.

Asked about the significance of the meeting in the current situation in Latin America and the Caribbean, Cordoba underlined that the Sao Paulo Forum is the hope for our continent at present.

Above all, after the shift to the right in the balance of forces that has taken place in the region and in light of the intention by the Pentagon and the White House to continue their plans to destabilize alternative and progressive projects, she explained.

Regarding the venue of the event, she said that Havana 'offers an incentive and support to continue along the path of transformations that many parties and movement from all over the continent and other parts of the world have for long vindicated and fought for.'

'We will meet at the house of Fidel Castro, founder of the Forum and a vital beacon for those who believe in Latin American integration; hundreds of parties, movements and organizations that struggle for justice and human rights will meet to revitalize ourselves and be able to continue the struggle,' Cordoba stressed.

Cordoba, who is also the representative of the Colombian movement Poder Ciudadano (Citizen's Power), called on all participants in the Sao Paulo Forum to further strengthen the ties of brotherhood.

'Very tough times will come for us, Colombians, in light of an imminent reconfiguration and intensification of the domestic war that is more serious than the one that we have already had,' she noted about her country's sociopolitical situation.

She underlined that the meeting in the Cuban capital will be an opportunity to express solidarity to other peoples of the region who need it, like Venezuela and Ecuador.

Finally, the outstanding advocate of peace and the rights of the excluded in Colombia pointed out that the Forum must issue a declaration of solidarity with former Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa, currently indicted and persecuted by the government of Lenin Moreno, she stated.

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Uruguay: Jose Mujica Calls For Left To Unite Against Right-Wing

"The right united out of interest, but we divide ourselves over ideas," Uruguay's hugely popular former president said.

FIDEL Former Uruguayan President Jose Mujica is calling for the left to unite and fight back against the rise of the right-wing in Latin America, and has praised Cuba and Fidel Castro as an example for the region.

RELATED: Brazil: Uruguay Ex-President Mujica Says Lula 'In Good Spirits'

Mujica pointed to historical examples to emphasize the necessity of a united left front, recalling the long rule of Spanish 20th century dictator Francisco Franco, who "died in bed, of old age, peacefully, because communists, socialists and anarchists dedicated themselves much more to fighting among themselves rather than fighting against fascism."

He said he understands the lesson is a hard one to learn, because "every sect of the left thinks it has the revealed truth," but this mentality ends up destroying possible victories.

"The right united out of interest, but we divide ourselves over ideas," Mujica said.

Mujica was reflecting on the upcoming meeting of the Sao Paulo Forum, which is an international unity of Latin American leftist groups.

The former president emphasized the importance of this meeting given the current regional political situation: "It pains me what is happening in Nicaragua, in Ecuador and in Venezuela," Mujica said.

Cuba, and former Cuban leader Fidel Castro, are examples to be followed, Mujica said: Cuba is "like a sort of altar in our religion" and Fidel Castro should be "honored daily through our militancy and everyday commitment."

  • Published in World

Workshop on Marti, Fidel Castro's Thought Begins in Cuba

Sancti Spiritus, Cuba, Jul 5 (Prensa Latina) The First National Workshop on the thought and work of Jose Marti and Fidel Castro began in this central city of the country and will continue until next Friday.

Sponsored, among other institutions, by the Jose Marti Cultural Society, the Marti's Studies Center, the Ministry of Higher Education (MES) and the University of Sancti Spiritus Jose Marti Perez, the event will be developed in four commissions.

It is attended by academics and presidents of the Jose Marti Chairs of the country.

The inaugural conference 'Marti and Fidel in the necessary ideological unity of the Revolution' was in charge of Doctor in Economic Sciences Rafael Emilio Cervantes, who said that this meeting 'teaches us to think, therefore we express our thoughts and doubts'.

In statements to Prensa Latina, Cervantes said that so far two activities on Fidel's thought have been carried out in the country 'but this is the first workshop in which we bring together Fidel and Jose Marti's ideas.'

There are many common issues in both figures, he said and cited as examples anti-imperialism, the vision of universality, of thinking about the destinies of humanity, as well as economic and emancipatory thought, and the value of ethics.

He argued that in Marti and Fidel, the sentiment towards the Homeland, dignity and the construction of a new society also converge.

In both cases the national objectives go through an armed struggle and the two become great political-military strategists, he concluded.

This First Workshop includes a tour of the historic center of Sancti Spiritus and Trinidad with visits to referential places of Cuban history, monuments and scenes of transcendent events.

On Thursday, the closing ceremony will take place, while on Friday the participants in the event will tour the historical route Sancti Spiritus-Trinidad, the latter Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

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Díaz-Canel Pays Tribute to Fidel Castro in Santiago de Cuba

Santiago de Cuba, Jun 21 (Prensa Latina) Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel paid tribute to the historic leader of the Revolution, Fidel Castro, in the Santa Ifigenia cemetery of this eastern city.

Díaz-Canel also deposited flowers in the niches of the Cuban heroes José Martí, Carlos Manuel de Céspedes and Mariana Grajales, essential names in the history of the nation.

As part of his tour of Santiago de Cuba, the head of state checked investment works, including those carried out in the port.

The day before, Díaz-Canel toured the Universidad de Oriente, where he spoke with students and professors from that institute.

Also, the president greeted residents of the territory of El Cobre, an emblematic site of Cuban religion, history and culture, guarded by the Sierra Maestra and the National Shrine of the Virgin of Charity.

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A Revolution Made Love

Twenty-two adolescents from the school for special needs Solidarity with Panama celebrated last Wednesday evening its fifteen years with a very special guest: the Cuban President Raúl Castro Ruz.

Very few dates in the life of a youth are remembered with more nostalgia than the night of your fifteenth birthday. The white dress, the waltz, the flowers, the pictures, the jitters, the company of the parents and the first juvenile love come together all at once in the magic moment of the toast.

And if that night is spent in an extraordinary place, then emotions reach unimaginable limits. Thus was the experience this Wednesday of April when twenty-two adolescents from the school for special needs Solidarity with Panama celebrated their fifteenth birthday next a very special guest: the Cuban President Raúl Castro Ruz.

Some in wheelchairs, others walking, they reached the dance floor with their couples. All dressed in impeccable white and joy reflected in their faces. While through the speakers were heard the names of each one of them as well as the names of their parents, their favorite songs, the perfume they were wearing, the food they adore, the music they like, their zodiac sign and the name of their fiancées a secret until then.

The physical or intellectual disability didn’t matter. As any Cuban youth at their age, they also enjoyed their fifteenth waltz. They were two girls and twenty boys, each making true their dream night.

On the side of the room Raúl made the happiness of the children and their parents his. You could see happiness and he told them how happy he was after the dance was over.

«I am very thrilled», he admitted to them. When I see things like this I admire Fidel more. In year 1989, a very difficult year for our country, he founded this school, when we didn't know how we will subsist. «For schools such as these we are willing to give everything».

«I believe it’s one of the most beautiful tasks, more beautiful and just of the Revolution», he assured to parents, family members, teachers, workers and guests who came together that night to make happy the 171 children with physical-motor limitations of the entire country who attend school there and are taken care of with extreme love.

He got photographed with the boys; he talked to them, even one of them spoke about his great-grandmother who was friend of Vilma; he carried in his arms the smallest, and asked them for their studies and he promised to come back soon.

He spoke with the head of the institution, Esther La O Ochoa, she had thanked Raúl to be there, for the happiness of her children, to carry on Fidel’s work who on December 31st, 1989 when the Cuban families were celebrating yearend he was here inaugurating our school.

«We have loved it ever since, we have taken care of it », she said. She has devoted for some years now to make true Fidel's dream at the school Solidarity with Panama, a place where the Revolution has been made love.

Cubasi Translation Staff / Amilkal Labañino Valdés

Fidel, Cuba, Solidarity, Words Repeated in Peru

Fidel, Cuba, Solidarity, Words Repeated in Peru

Only 24 hours since the arrival of the Cuban civic retinue in this South American country and in every conversation with the Peruvians a name is repeated over and over again: Fidel, and always accompanied by the mention of solidary actions of Cuba.

Nicolás Aguilar Ibarra, head of the National Coordinator for Solidarity Peru-Cuba remembers the Commander in Chief Fidel Castro’s altruistic actions, one of the first ones, he says, in donating blood for the earthquake victims on May 31st, 1970 in Áncash, and the later replica in Yungay.

A few months ago we were in the region of Áncash and the five hospitals Cuba donated after the earthquake of 1970 are still there. That is an example that cannot be erased, as well as the gesture of 150 000 Cuban who also donated their blood to assist victims, he commented.

Cuban health collaborators also traveled to Peruvian lands at the time, an action that Aguilar Ibarra assures took place again in 2007, three days after the Ica earthquake; and last year after the floods in the Piura area.

We are in debt with Cuba, assured Nicolás Aguilar Ibarra, because Fidel's blood is in Áncash and we have a commitment to the Island, he highlighted.

Besides the medical aid, 2 500 youths have graduated from medical school in Cuba and other 500 from other studies, he pointed out.

He said that what has been done so far regarding the Peruvian solidarity with Cuba is hardly a grain of sand in comparison to everything the Island has given even in scarce circumstances.

Although we see a lot of elder people in the solidarity movements with Cuba, young Ernesto Rojas assures that that feeling is also live in the new generations.

Rojas highlighted that in the last years the youth has gained more freedom with the access to alternative information in different media like the social networks, the multinational Telesur or Russia Today that have helped to break the ring of the large international media networks.

Peruvians support the Cuban process and little by little are more aware in the minds of the youth, he concluded.

It’s not hard to see the representatives of the Cuban civic society and the youths as brothers, in an exchange of pleasantries with the Cuban friends in Inca lands, where they will attend the forums of the VIII Summit of the Americas to begin this week.

Cubasi Translation Staff / Amilkal Labañino Valdés

Fidel in the hearts of all

More than a million visitors have come to stand before the polished boulder bearing Fidel's name, a point of arrival and departure for many, experiencing a solemn moment that generates the awareness that here lies a father and a friend, the paradigm of the man who dreamed of a better world for all

The polished boulder bearing his name is a point of arrival and departure for many, experiencing a solemn moment that generates the awareness that here lies a father and a friend, the paradigm of the man who dreamed of a better world for all.

Figures provided to Granma by authorities at the historic Santa Ifigenia Cemetery indicate that, as of last Monday, March 26, precisely 1,008,392 men, women, and children – 838,288 Cubans and 170,104 from abroad – visited the site, people who came with Fidel on their minds and left with him beating in their hearts.

But the numbers registered do not convey what is truly important: the gestures, the expressions of: Thank you, Fidel, the tears, intimate conversations, flowers, personal letters, poems, flags, a fistful of dirt from another land - and in the case of Santiago natives, the commitment to honor him with concrete acts.

According to the statistics, Germany, Italy, France, Spain, and the United States lead the long list of countries from which visitors have come, while every corner of the island is represented, a clear reflection of the reality that all of Cuba is Fidel.

Since last October 10, the 149th anniversary of the initiation of our struggles for independence, in the cemetery's central patrimonial area, joining the monument to our national hero José Martí, are those of Carlos Manuel de Céspedes, and Mariana Grajales, and to one side, the polished boulder bearing Fidel's ashes.

The Unstoppable Fidel in Terms of Inspiration

Raúl Torres is recording a new disc with the local Unicornio record company to compile some of the experiences lived in the last year entitled’ Niñito historia’by the writer of the book entitled’ Candil de nieve ’ that has become a kind of spokesperson at the time of expressing what it is felt by thousand of people. However, we all don’t have the gift for making music by placing the words in their proper order. That was what happened after Fidel death.

The occasion needed a poem, a verse and there was a line which expresses the really hard moment the nation was going through. Raúl Torres was there and he said, and even better, he sang what we wanted, besides, there was another song dedicated to Fidel some days ago and he said again that there are thousands of people who are silent and suffering under the absence of the leader.

The Unstoppable Fidel in Terms of Inspiration

“We were used to reading his writings on the Granma newspaper, his speeches and his few appearances at the end, but people were used to that. I think that is the saddest lack of former presence that is happening to the Cuban people since many years ago and that is why he is missed.” Raúl told some minutes after carrying out his vote on November 26th. He feels that there is no doubt about the related tenderness about him as he is an artist who knows what that means in Cuba.

“A song like the one entitled´Cabalgando con Fidel´ is another of the songs and there are many songs made about Fidel not only by local troubadours and singer composers in the nation but also in other nations. Fidel is endless in terms of inspiration. He has inspired many poets, writers and the also singers songwriters. There are not enough songs to describe the dimension of the Comamnder-in-chief.” He stated.

The Unstoppable Fidel in Terms of Inspiration

Taking into account the great vision of any artist, tell us how do you see Cuba in 5 years time?

I see a Cuba renewing itself, fighting with its flags raised and I think that is the only alternative to keep holding the Socialist flag and I think that is the only altearnative that Fidel showed to us to keep defending what we are in this world as a special human beings. We are Cubans and that is thanks to Fidel and the Cuban Revolution.

By Jaime Masó Torres

  • Published in Culture
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