Cuba Prioritizes its Friendship with the Pacific Islands

Cuba attaches a high priority to its relations of friendship and cooperation with all the Pacific Island states, Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez stated Monday.

Through a message posted on Twitter, the Cuban minister expressed gratitude for the invitation for a Cuban delegation to attend the 50th edition of the Pacific Islands Forum, scheduled for August 13-16 in the Republic of Tuvalu.

The Cuban delegation will be headed by the Director General of Bilateral Affairs of the Cuban Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Emilio Lozada.

The meeting constitutes the main space for dialogue and political exchange in the Pacific region, which brings together 14 small island states.

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Left Parties Should Work Closely With People, Says Daughter Of Che, Aleida Guevara

Aleida Guevara, daughter of Argentine revolutionary Che Guevara, was in India last week to take part in the solidarity meetings to commemorate the 60th anniversary of Cuban revolution. A pediatrician by profession, Guevara says she was overwhelmed by the love and following for Che’s ideologies in India. In an interaction at the Cuban Embassy in Delhi, Guevara spoke about Cuba’s resistance to the US blockade and the relevance of communism in the current political scenario.

Q) You are visiting India after 23 years. Tell us a bit about your experience of solidarity meetings here.

I will take back the huge amount of warmth particularly of the people of Kerala. It was an overwhelming experience.  It’s impossible to reciprocate the love I received from the people. We can have thousands and thousands of Che replicated in Kerala. My impression is that the state government has done some good work in the field of education and health. I have plans to come back next year. But I will come back as a doctor and work among the people, only then I will get to know people more.

Q) Cuba has been facing decades-long blockade by the United States of America. How is Cuba resisting the hostility towards it?

It’s extremely important that world should know about Cuban blockade. The problem is that the US doesn’t allow other countries also to trade with Cuba. For instance, Cuba doesn’t produce milk but our children love milk. US, the biggest producer of milk powder, is only 90 miles from us. Because of this, we have been able to invent many medicines and other systems to survive.

India and Cuba could have done trade on several counts. Cuba today produces extremely important medicines like vaccines for lung cancer. But India cannot acquire those medicines because of the embargo.

Q) The recent elections saw the worst performance of the Left parties in India. What could be the reasons for its decline and how can the Left reclaim its ground?

We have one serious problem with the Left in general. We have leaders who can speak and communicate very well. But people need something else. When they face a problem, the leaders should be around and in action. The party needs to work closely with people.

I cannot give a recipe for a country where I don’t live. But I can give examples of what we have done in Cuba so that you can surge ahead. Another important thing is the unity of the Left parties. They have to demonstrate to the working class that the party is with them. Umpteen examples are out there and it can be applied to our reality.

Q) World over, we are witnessing the rise of right-wing populist forces. Is it the cycle of history or beginning of the end?

It is little more than the beginning of the end. The situation is of course dangerous. Any time, we think that we are close to third world war, which of course would be the last in the planet.

One of the most important things is to defend our life. The Brazilian amazon is perhaps the last lung of the planet. There you have the largest second iron mine. Every inch of growth of the mine means destruction of the forest. We cannot live without oxygen, no one is responding.

Big countries like India and China will have to help the world open this and create consciousness. You will bear the brunt more than anyone. We have to learn a lot from our indigenous people how to respect our mother earth.

Q) In the 60th year of Cuban revolution, why do you think Che’s ideology still holds appeal?

In the last 60 years of revolution, we have suffered the impressions of the biggest empire and we have resisted almost on a continual basis. It’s not that we are better than others or are braver than others, but we are united.

When united people decide to fight for an idea, no force can stop them. For any revolutionary process, it’s paramount that it has the participation of youth and women. We need to take them along. That’s why Che’s example is always present in my heart. Che always said that ‘what’s important is that to make people follow you, don’t push them.

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Cuba to Participate in 50th Pacific Islands Forum

Cuba will participate in the 50th Pacific Islands Forum to be held August 13-16 in the Republic of Tuvalu, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Minrex) announced Saturday.

The Cuban delegation will be headed by Emilio Lozada, director general of Bilateral Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The meeting constitutes the main space for discussions and political exchange in the Pacific region, which gathers 14 small island states, as well as observers and dialogue partners, a status that Cuba has held since 2013, according to a Minrex statement.

The central issue of the annual meeting on this occasion is 'Securing the future in the Pacific' and will focus on the agreement of positions on confronting climate change, the protection of oceans and maritime borders, fishing and regional security, as well as the strengthening of cooperation for development.

The Cuban delegation will share experiences on the common challenges faced by small island states, and will hold meetings with leaders of the region.

The Minrex Director of Bilateral Affairs will also visit Fiji.

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US sanctions, an opportunity to expand Iran-Cuba relations

The two countries of Iran and Cuba reestablished their diplomatic ties on August 8, 1979, and Cuba was among the first countries that recognized the Islamic Revolution.

During these forty years, the two countries backed each other overwhelmingly and expanded their amicable ties in various fields such as biotechnology and health, notes the statement.

Cuba attaches great importance to its relationship with the Islamic Republic of Iran and recognizes Iran’s inalienable right for the use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, it adds.

The statement notes that the Cuban government strongly condemns the imposition of US unilateral sanctions on Iran which contravenes international rules and regulations.

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In solidarity with the people of Cuba – SACP

SACP pledges resolute solidarity with the people of Cuba, strongly condemns imperialist machination and draconian measures pushed by the Trump administration

The South African Communist Party (SACP) strongly condemns United States (US) imperialist aggression and machination directed at the people of Cuba, their land and other basic wealth. The SACP unwaveringly pledges its international solidarity with the Cuban people, and fully supports their fundamental right to self-determination. Exercising their democratic national sovereignty, the Cuban people have chosen their own path of transformation and development, the pursuit of socialism as opposed to capitalist barbarity. In negative reaction against Cuban independence, the US unleashed a variety of extraterritorial measures and other forms of imperialist interference, for over half-a-century now, since the triumph of the Cuban revolution in January 1959 against a US-backed dictatorship led by one Mr Fulgencio Batista.

The US has been occupying until now the Cuban territory of Guantanamo Bay for many decades predating the Cuban revolution and has been sponsoring all sorts of regime change attacks on Cuba against the revolution. Very recently the Trump administration chose a warmongering path of tightening draconian measures to destroy Cuban independence and subordinate Cuba to the dictates and interests of the US ruling class. The latest measures aim to extend the United States imposed illegal blockade against Cuba.

The Helms-Burton Act of 1996, sponsored by the so-called “democrats” and “republicans” working in collaboration with each other, is now being pushed by the Trump Administration to agitate for and permit lawsuits to be filed in the US against Cuban entities. This draconian action will have adverse social and economic impact on the Cuban people, including on but not limited to the ownership of their homes, schools and polyclinics where they receive medical care. Through the machination, the Trump administration intends to seize the wealth of the Cuban people, including infrastructure, agricultural land, industries, and mineral and energy resources.

The disregard of international law by the Trump administration, through its unilateralism and imperialism, must be strongly condemned and practically opposed by the peace loving and democratic people across the world.

Issued by Alex Mohubetswane Mashilo, National Spokesperson & Head of Communications, SACP, 6 August 2019

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Venceremos Brigade Celebrates 50th Birthday Anniversary in Cuba

The group brings together people from around the world with the purpose of supporting Cuba, its people and its Revolution

In the land of José Martí and Fidel Castro, the Venceremos Brigade celebrated Tuesday half a century of tireless work in favor of the friendship and solidarity between the peoples of the United States and Cuba and the cessation of the genocidal blockade imposed on the Caribbean island by consecutive Yankee administrations.

Jorge Cuevas Ramos, member of the Secretariat of the Communist Party of Cuba Central Committee, presided over the commemoration, held at the headquarters of the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP) in Havana, which brought together the members of the 50th contingent of the first brigade created, not only in the northern giant or in this hemisphere, but worldwide, with the purpose of supporting Cuba, its people and its Revolution.

This heterogeneous group, the most numerous over the last few years, has among its 150 members very young people and veterans such as Dennis Duncanwood, Tarnel Abbott and Leslie Kagan, who were part of that first and enthusiastic troop that accepted the invitation of Commander Fidel and came to the island in 1969 to make its contribution to the historic 10 million harvest.

We then believed that the Cuban Revolution was an extraordinary event, something transcendental, that needed and deserved our participation and contribution, and half a century later that conviction continues to accompany us and bringing us to this land, year after year, Kagan said.

The “Venceremos” (the Brigade) has taught us all that solidarity is much more than a beautiful word and that it must be taken on as a commitment to life, both individually and collectively, and live it, and practice it, every day, she added.

Later on, two young leaders of this fiftieth contingent, Rachel Ibrahimi and Malcolm Sacks, joined their voices to reaffirm the founding purposes of the Brigade and to demand the unconditional and total cessation of the blockade imposed on Cuba for 60 years by the US government and intensified by its current administration.

We have challenged our government and its unfair ban on traveling to Cuba and here we are, as the Brigade has been, year after year, to defend and also to help build this Revolution, convinced that a better world is not only possible, but essential, Ibrahimi and Sacks said.

They thanked Cuba for the possibility of living incredible and unforgettable experiences, which they will take back to share them with friends, relatives, in their communities, in all spaces and in all possible ways, to ensure that the truth is known and continues to build bridges between the two peoples.

When closing ceremony, the Hero of the Republic of Cuba and ICAP President Fernando González LLort stressed that each action, however small it may seem, is valuable and will always have an impact. He said that for Cuba, the solidarity of the members of the brigade is and will be essential and thanked the countless expressions of friendship and unconditional in support of the campaign for his liberation that of the other four Cuban anti-terrorist fighters unjustly held in American prisons for more than a decade.

Hero of the Republic of Cuba and ICAP President, Fernando González LLort, delivered the closing speech of the ceremony. (Photo: Omara García Mederos / ACN)
He also thanked them for their commitment and for defending the friendship between the two peoples, adding that they have demonstrated that Cuba is not and will never be alone. Finally, González Llort called to make Fidel’s confidence in the solidarity work of the Brigade and its ability to tear down walls and overcome obstacles forever valid.

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Italians Demand to End US Blockade against Cuba

The Italian-Cuba National Friendship Association (Anaic) has demanded this Monday the lifting of the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the United States against Cuba for almost six decades.

In the Final Declaration of its First National Festival, held in Livorno on July 24-28, Anaic recalled that the extraterritorial effects of the blockade 'harm people, businesses, banks and even non-governmental organizations in the European Union and the rest of the world.

The solidarity organization's demand also included the closing of the U.S. military base in Guantanamo and the return of that illegally occupied territory to Cuba.

They also supported 'the progressive governments and movements of Latin America and the Caribbean in their struggle against imperialism, defending their sovereignty, including the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.

In addition, 'by positively assessing the political result of the event,' they proposed to the Presidency and National Direction of the Association the holding of another similar meeting on the occasion of the 67th anniversary of Cuba's National Rebellion Day, on July 26, 2020.

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‘Cuba, Iran culturally resistant to economic pressure’

During a meeting with the Iranian ambassador to Havana Rashid Bayat-Mokhtari, Rodriguez pointed to the good relations between Iran and Cuba.

He also referred to the visit the Iranian parliamentary friendship group made to Havana, saying resistance is the common point between the Iranian and Cuban cultures, which can be used to expand ties, IRNA reported.

On U.S. pressures against Tehran and Havana and the U.S. withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal, Rodriguez said, “The U.S. economic terrorism goals against Iran and Cuba are illegal. That’s a conspiracy to dominate independent countries, for example Iran and Cuba.”

The Iranian ambassador, for his part, pointed to the 60 years of Cuba’s and 40 years of Iran’s resistance to the evil plots hatched by the U.S., saying despite the deceitful calls of the U.S. for negotiations, Washington’s actions regarding the nuclear deal proves that “the U.S. is not trustworthy.”

He also said European countries did not do anything special to safeguard Iran’s benefits under the deal in the one-year opportunity Tehran gave them, causing Tehran to gradually decrease its commitments to the deal.

However, Bayat-Mokhtari continued, if Iran’s interests are met, Tehran will go right back to its full JCPOA commitments.

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