Palestinian special envoy in Cuba to bolster ties

Sabri Saidam, special envoy of the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, was in Cuba to meet with top government officials, state daily Granma said on Wednesday.

Saidam took a message from Abbas to Cuba's President Raul Castro, the daily said.

Saidam, who is also a member of the Palestinian Central Committee of Fatah and Palestinian Minister of Education, met Tuesday night with Cuban First Vice President Miguel Diaz-Canel to express his country's appreciation for Cuba's unwavering support for the Palestinian cause in international forums.

Diaz-Canel ratified "Cuba's unconditional support for the inalienable right of the Palestinian people to constitute their state, with the pre-1967 borders, and capital in East Jerusalem," said the report.

The Cuban vice president also confirmed Havana's rejection of the U.S.' unilateral decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Saidam is taking part in the international congress University 2018, which is being hosted by Havana through Friday and attended by 2,500 academics and specialists from around 60 countries.

  • Published in Cuba

Continued settlement construction will lead to Israel’s demise – Iran Revolution Guard

As the dust settles on a UN resolution condemning illegal Israeli settlement building in occupied Palestinian territory, Iran has come out with a statement saying that Israel will pay dearly for continuing with the construction.

A spokesman for the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) said that, by going ahead with settlements, the Israeli regime is risking “complete destruction,” as it will “definitely provoke a reaction,” as quoted by Tasnim news agency.

READ MORE: 2-state solution 'only way' for lasting peace between Israelis, Palestinians - Kerry

The rhetoric from Iran comes a day after US Secretary of State John Kerry had criticized Israel’s activities in occupied Palestine, while playing down the United States’ role in facilitating the passage of the UN Security Council’s anti-settlement resolution.

Washington chose to abstain from voting at a Security Council meeting last Friday, when members voted to condemn the illegal construction. The Iranian spokesman hailed the move as a “sign that Washington has come to realize the course of events and continued settlement construction will result in the collapse of the Zionist regime of Israel.”

The resolution was upheld with 14 votes in favor. While the US didn’t vote for the resolution, it didn’t veto it either, which is seen by some as a landmark change, given that Washington has blocked virtually every attempt to criticize Israel at the United Nations for decades.

Israel took control of Palestine in 1967, and has since faced mounting criticism of its occupation, which has included the construction of Israeli settlements on Palestinian land. Though the UN maintains that the settlements are illegal, construction has only been stepped up over the last year.

Some 430,000 Israeli settlers currently live in the West Bank, with another 200,000 calling occupied East Jerusalem home – a city that the Palestinians also view as their own capital.

In his recent comments, Kerry sharply criticized Tel Aviv, asserting that Israel’s settlements in the Palestinian territory have “nothing to do with Israel’s security,” as Israel often claims.

Kerry argued that, without a two-state solution, “Israel can either be Jewish or democratic, it cannot be both, and it won’t ever really be at peace.”

  • Published in World

Palestinian Holocaust in Gaza

I again request that Granma not use the front page for these relatively brief lines about the genocide of Palestinians being committed.

I am writing them rapidly, to state only that which requires deep reflection.

I think that a new, repugnant form of fascism is emerging with notable strength, at this time in human history when more that seven billion inhabitants are struggling for their survival.

Palestinian Holocaust in Gaza

None of these circumstances have anything to do with the creation of the Roman Empire, around 2,400 years ago, or with the U.S. empire which, in this region only 200 years ago, was described by Simón Bolívar who exclaimed, “…the United States appears to be destined by providence to plague America with misery in the name of liberty.”

England was the first true colonial power to use its dominion over a large part of Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Australia, North America, and many Caribbean islands, in the first half of the 20th century.

On this occasion I will not talk about the wars and crimes committed by the United States empire over more than 100 years, but will only state what it wanted to do to Cuba, what it has done to many other countries in the world, and only served to prove that “A just idea in the depth of a cave is stronger than an army.”

History is much more complicated than everything I have said, but that is the was it is, in broad strokes, as the inhabitants of Palestine know, and it is likewise logical that the modern communications media reflect the news which arrives daily, as has occurred with the shameful, criminal war in the Gaza Strip, a piece of land where the population lives in what remains of what was independent Palestine only 50 years ago.

The French agency AFP reported August 2, “The war between the Islamist Palestinian movement Hamas and Israel has caused the deaths of close to 1,800 Palestinians,… the destruction of thousands of homes, and ruined an economy which was already weakened,” although it does not indicate, of course, who initiated the terrible war.

Added later, “… As of Saturday at midday the Israeli offensive had killed 1,712 Palestinians and injured 8,900. The United Nations was able to verify the identities of 1,117 dead, in their majority civilians … UNICEF counted at least 296 dead minors.”

“The United Nations estimates …some 58,900 persons homeless in the Gaza Strip.” 

“Ten of the 32 hospitals were closed and another 11 damaged.”

“This Palestinian enclave of 362 km² does not have the infrastructure needed for 1.8 million inhabitants, above all in terms of the provision of electricity and water.”

“According to the IMF, the rate of unemployment surpasses 40% in the Gaza Strip, territory subjected to an Israeli blockade since 2006. In 2000, unemployment was 20%, and in 2011, 30%. More than 70% of the population depends on humanitarian aid during normal periods, according to Gisha.

The Israeli government declared a humanitarian truce in Gaza at 07:00 GMT on Monday, nevertheless within a few hours, it broke the truce attacking a house, injuring 30 persons, in their majority women and children, and an eight-year-old girl died.

In the dawn hours of this same day, 10 Palestinians died as a result of Israeli attacks in all of Gaza and the number of Palestinians murdered has already increased to 2,000.

The killing has reached the point that, “French Minister of Foreign Affairs Laurent Fabius stated this Monday that Israel’s right to security does not justify the massacre of civilians taking place.”

The Nazi genocide of Jews outraged all the earth’s peoples. Why does this government believe that the world will be insensitive to the macabre genocide which today is being perpetuated against the Palestinian people? Perhaps it is expected that the complicity of the U.S. empire in this shameful massacre will be ignored?

The human species is living in an unprecedented stage of history. A crash between military planes or warships which are closely watched, or other similar events could unleash a conflict with the use of sophisticated, modern weapons, which could become the last known adventure of Homo sapiens.

There are events which reflect the almost total inability of the United States to face the world’s current problems. It can be stated that there is no government in this country, no Senate, no Congress, CIA or Pentagon which will determine the final outcome. It is truly sad that this should happen when the dangers are so great, but the opportunities to move forward are great as well.

When the great patriotic war took place, Russian citizens defended their country like Spartans, underestimating them was the worse error made by the United States and Europe. Their closest allies, the Chinese, who like the Russians achieved their victory on the basis of the same principles, constitute today the earth’s most dynamic economic force. Countries want yuan and not dollars to acquire goods and technology, and increased trade.

New, indispensable forces have emerged. Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa - establishing links with Latin America and the majority of countries in the Caribbean and Africa struggling for development – constitute the forces which in our era are willing to collaborate with the rest of the world’s countries, without excluding the United States, Europe or Japan.

Blaming the Russian Federation for the in-flight destruction of the Malaysian airplane is a stunning oversimplification. Not Vladímir Putin, nor Serguéi Lavrov, Russia’s minister of Foreign Relations, or any other leader of this government would ever come up with such nonsense.

Twenty-six million Russians died in the defense of their homeland against the Nazis. Chinese combatants, men and women, inheritors of a millennial culture, are people of uncommon intelligence and an invincible spirit of struggle. Xi Jinping is one of the strongest and most capable revolutionary leaders I have met in my life.

Fidel Castro Ruz

August 4, 2014

10: 45 p.m.

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