Second Secretary of the Cuban Communist Party chairs the Sao Paulo Forum working group meeting

Jose Ramon Machado Ventura, Second Secretary of the Cuban Communist Party, chairs the Sao Paulo Forum working group meeting, running at Havana´s Conventions Center, in the context of the Anti-imperialist Meeting of Solidarity, for Democracy and against Neoliberalism.

The meeting that gathers the leaders of left parties aims to review the agreements reached at the previous encounter, held last July in Caracas, Venezuela, and discuss the main challenges facing progressive movements in the present world.

After an analysis of the current context in the region, to be presented by Monica Valente, executive secretary of the Forum, there will be a debate on the main solidarity campaigns carried out with Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela, and in favor of the liberation of the unjustly imprisoned Brazilian leader Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

The participants also analyze the progress of electoral processes in Latin America and the Caribbean, ratify support for the peace process in Colombia, and discuss the challenges of the environment and the Amazon.

At the same time, they will reject the judicialization of the policy against leftist and progressive leaders, and will also discuss the impact of neoliberal policies on countries and people in the region.

In the afternoon session, they will assess compliance with the plan of action proposed in Caracas and will consider applications for membership. (ACN)

  • Published in Cuba

Outstanding Cuban women awarded Mariana Grajales and Ana Betancourt Orders 08:28 AM

A group of 25 members of the Federation of Cuban Women (FMC) have been awarded the Mariana Grajales and Ana Betancourt Orders for their outstanding careers.  

During a ceremony chaired by José Ramón Machado Ventura, Second Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba, the event took place in Havana.

Rosmery Santiesteban Lago, Second Secretary of the FMC, spoke about the brilliant political, labor and social trajectory of this group of women, whom she described as worthy defenders revolutionary work.  She also pointed out that the awards constituted a proposal by the National Secretariat of the organization to the Council of State.

«There are extraordinary women who carry in their blood the rebelliousness of Casiguaya, the desire for freedom of Carlota, the patriotism of the Mambisas and the defiant will of the fighters of the Sierra and the plains.  A group of them accompany us today.  With the dignity of the tallest of palm trees and their commitment in each battle, their work is invincible.”

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Raul Castro celebrates Cuban independence, honors revolutionary leaders

Cuban President Raul Castro on Saturday commemorated the 123rd anniversary of Cuba's War of Independence from Spain, and decorated three of the most senior leaders of the 1959 Revolution.

At a ceremony held in Havana's Capitol building, home of the National Assembly, Castro recalled the day national hero Jose Marti relaunched the independence struggle on Feb. 24, 1895, which eventually freed Cuba from Spanish rule.

In a rare speech, Castro highlighted Marti's determination. In the face of what seemed like insurmountable setbacks, he found alternatives and rallied people together.

"Marti appealed to national unity, articulated the best traditions of the past, without leaving out any of those who were willing to sacrifice and give their lives for a greater cause," Castro said.

Castro also bestowed the title of "Work Hero of the Republic" on three revolutionary veterans who fought alongside Fidel Castro and himself to overthrow dictator Fulgencio Batista: Jose Ramon Machado, current second secretary of the Communist Party, and commanders of the revolution Ramiro Valdes and Guillermo Garcia.

"As a common characteristic of these three liberators of our time, I can cite their loyalty to the revolution and Fidel, their dedication to work, modesty and humility, which have made them worthy of the recognition and the respect of Cubans," Castro said.

Valdes, 85, and Garcia, 90, are the only revolutionary commanders still alive today. Machado, 87, served as the country's first vice president between 2008 and 2013.

All three were previously honored with "Hero of the Republic," the highest praise awarded by the Cuban government.

On Saturday, Castro, 86, was initially set to hand over the presidency to a new leader, but the National Assembly extended his term by almost two months after general elections were pushed back due to the devastating aftermath of Hurricane Irma late last year.

Elections are set to take place on March 11 to choose more than 600 national lawmakers. The new parliament will then convene on April 19 to vote for a new Council of State, including its president.

In December, Castro reiterated his intention to hand over the presidency in April.

"When the National Assembly is constituted, I will have finished my second and last term leading the state and the government, and Cuba will have a new president," Castro said in a speech to lawmakers.

Castro will remain first secretary of the ruling Cuban Communist Party until the organization's next Congress in 2021.

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  • Published in Cuba
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