Mexico 68: The Olympic path in Latin America

From the place where is Granma yacht, which transported 82 expeditionary since Tuxpan in the year 1956 with Fidel as leader, a replica of Olympic Flame of Mexico 1968 departed, which will travel several states in this brother country, till arrive to the capital city.

Sixty eight glories of the Cuban sport movement, among which were several protagonists of the first Olympic Games celebrated in Latin America, guarded the Torch since the Museum of the Revolution till the quay of the capital, where it departed towards Veracruz in the “Cuauhtémoc” school ship.

The General Secretary of the Cuban Olympic Committee, Ruperto Herrera, thanked the gesture of initiate the commemorative activities for the 50 years of the Olympic exploit, by our Homeland. “For Cuba this event had very special motivations, because it deals about a brother country linked to our national liberation heroic deeds in many ways. Besides it allowed showing to the world the beginning of a world sport potency”, he pointed out.

Mexico 68: The Olympic path in Latin America

By his side the Ambassador of Mexico in Cuba, the excellent sir Enrique Martínez, said that between these two countries always has existed a great brotherhood. “We feel the support of the Cubans for receiving those Games. What a so extraordinary scenario this! With the Granma that has been the emblem and testimony of our brotherhood. We must recognize that the Cuban trainers have been key pieces in the development of the Mexican sport”.

The sprinter Enrique Figuerola, silver in the relay race 4x100 meters in the Olympic appointment of 1968, remembered those moments that lived together with the Mexicans. “We are reliving the stimulating and important that were those Olympics for us and for Latin America, due to they had a really hard time to receive the headquarters”, the first Olympic medalist after the Triumph of the Revolution declared.

Mexico 68: The Olympic path in Latin America

The First Vice-president of the Mexican Olympic Committee, Jimena Saldaña, manifested her gratefulness to the Cuban sport authorities for being part of these celebrations and she left as a remembrance, a replica of the Olympic Flame of Mexico 68.

In that Olympics, the Cuban athletes achieved four medals of silver, in both relay races 4x100 and through the boxers Enrique Regüeiferos and Rolando Garbey. Among the ladies the posts were integrated by Marlene Elejalde, Fulgencia Romay, Violeta Quesada and Miguelina Cobián. Besides Enrique Figuerola; Hermes Ramírez, Pablo Montes and Juan Morales were in the male short relay race.

  • Published in Sports

Coffee: The Pride of Ticos

At the end of the 18th century, coffee came to Costa Rica for the first time. It was also the first Central American country to develop this important crop. In those remote times, our country had subsistence agriculture, but with the arrival of coffee in these lands, the way of thinking of the Costa Ricans began to change.

The richness of Costa Rica lies in the cultural diversity of its people: coffee is a culture in itself with a tradition built day by day, with a gained value for the people who are dedicated to its cultivation.

Costa Rican coffee is the main engine of development for the national economy. It was from almost the birth of the country as an independent nation, that coffee cultivation in the mid-nineteenth century had social and cultural consequences.

Coffee has been very important for our country, which is why it has lent its identity to create symbols and stereotypes that are of great emblematic importance for Costa Ricans.

By the time of independence, in 1821 Costa Rica was the poorest and most backward population of the Spanish colonial empire. However, by the year 1830, the country showed progress and economic recovery due to the abundant profits from coffee exported to England. In this way, coffee was positioned as the first and only export product of the country at that time.

Today the coffee themes are one of the most represented motifs in the arts, crafts, folklore and popular culture of the Ticos.

Coffee for Costa Rica became a civilizing agent, the “grain of gold” for the prosperity that was obtained from it; it became a great economic and social advance that was strengthened with the process of idealization and construction of national identity.

And this is how it deserved the title of “grain of gold” since the profits that were obtained from it allowed the development of banking, the road that connects San Jose and Puntarenas, the construction of railways to the Pacific and the Atlantic, the emergence of hospital services and education among other advances.

Over time, a class of medium and small peasant farmers was formed in the territory of the central valley, occupying large areas for the cultivation of coffee, thus forming a social and political elite enriched by the cultivation of coffee. This oligarchy marked the political destinies of Costa Rica for many years.

The government introduced policies that were achieved in the coffee industry, including the granting of land for coffee plantings and the delivery of coffee plants to farmers interested in producing coffee.

In the 19th century, coffee was the main part of banknotes and coins in Costa Rica; in fact, its image is present in the national coat of arms. The folkloric literature captured the genotype of the peasant of the central valley with his jovial air, simple good-natured and somewhat naive.

National art and architecture had coffee as its main impulse. The National Theater of Costa Rica built in 1897 was mainly financed with taxes from the sale of coffee. It is considered a jewel and historical heritage of the nation, the decorations and works of art present in this building are allusive to this bonanza obtained by the magnificent export of grain.

Coffee arrived to make a myth-symbol of a successful past and the promise of an assured future. This is how the idea arises that in Costa Rica “the best coffee in the world” is produced

Stereotypes of Coffee in Costa Rica

The carts are an interpretative art; they are intimately linked to coffee, within the coffee culture in Costa Rica, and have a tradition that dates back more than three centuries.

Being a resource through which the past is idealized, coffee continues to be manifest in new forms of expression such as the cultivation of organic coffee, “ecological and in harmony with the environment”

The production of Gourmet coffee, the coffee tours that attract foreign tourists, the most diverse handicrafts associated with the cultivation of coffee: the coffee pot and the tin cup, the painted cart and its yokes of oxen loaded with coffee beans, the little houses of Abobe, the peasant woman with her colored petticoat, the baskets to collect the grain, the handkerchief, the machete and the peasant.

At present, although it is no longer the only export product that the country has, coffee remains positioned among the most valuable products of Costa Rica and is recognized worldwide for its high quality.

  • Published in Culture

Cuba, ECLAC Discuss Preparations for Sustainable Development Forum

United Nations, Jul 18 (Prensa Latina) Cuban Minister of Foreign Trade and Foreign Investment, Rodrigo Malmierca, presided today a working meeting of the member States of the Latin American and Caribbean Forum for Sustainable Development.

The permanent mission of Cuba to the UN hosted the meeting, which was also attended by the Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America of the United Nations (ECLAC), Alicia Barcena, and ambassadors of the area.

By welcoming the participants, the Cuban Minister reiterated the interest of his country to continue promoting the work of ECLAC and its subsidiary entities, as well as to support the work of that Commission in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Meanwhile, Barcenas presented the results of the organization's session period and reviewed the new preparations for the ECLAC forum that examines the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.

Cuba currently holds the pro-tempore presidency of ECLAC in the period 2018-2020, from which it boosts regional cooperation and sustainable development in Latin America and the Caribbean.

During the 36th session of ECLAC, held in Mexico from May 23 to 27, 2016, the member states approved a resolution through which the Forum of the Countries of Latin America and the Caribbean on Sustainable Development was created as a regional mechanism for monitoring and reviewing the implementation of these goals.

Subsequently, the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations endorsed the creation of the forum.

The Third Meeting of the Forum of the Countries of Latin America and the Caribbean on Sustainable Development will be held at the ECLAC headquarters in Santiago de Chile, from April 22 to 26, 2019.

  • Published in Cuba

Ralph Gonsalves Asks for Defense for Latin Countries

Havana, Jul 15 (Prensa Latina) The Prime Minister of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Ralph Gonsalves, called today in this capital to defend the governments of Nicaragua and Venezuela, and to support the people of Brazil.

'We have to support these sister nations with their successes and failures, that is the meaning of our struggle,' said Gonsalves, speaking on the opening day of the 24th Annual Meeting of the Sao Paulo Forum that takes place at the Convention Center until Tuesday.

'One day is Venezuela, anotherday, it is Brazil and then Nicaragua, we always remember the coup against the government of Manuel Zelaya in Honduras in June 2009,' Gonsalves explained.

'Now Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva is in prison but the people support him because people continue to see him as their leader,' he said.

The Prime Minister of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines lamented the impact of the economic, financial and commercial blockade that Cuba suffers, as this policy of the United States affects in other latitudes.

He denounced how external agents conspire against governments and systematically practice interference in the internal affairs of countries.

To date Cuba has hosted two editions of the meeting, the one in 1993 and the one in 2001.

  • Published in World

More Than 430 Delegates Attend the 24 th Sao Paulo Forum in Cuba

Havana, Jul 15 (Prensa Latina) More than 430 delegates from Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, Asia and Europe are participating in the 24th Meeting of the Sao Paulo Forum, a three-day meeting inaugurated today in this capital with the Left's unity as its central theme.

The inauguration of the meeting was held in the Convention Palace, presided over by the second secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba, Jose Ramon Machado Ventura, and gathered more than a hundred left-wing and progressive parties and organizations from Latin America and the Caribbean.

The opening ceremony was also led by the executive secretary of the Sao Paulo Forum, Monica Valente, with the participation of personalities such as the Prime Minister of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Ralph Gonsalves, and the Puerto Rican independence fighter Oscar Lopez Rivera.

On its first day, the annual forum - which returns to Havana after the 1993 and 2001 editions - includes a debate to establish a position against colonialism and in favor of anti-imperialist solidarity and peace.

It will also host the meeting of the regional secretariats, the 3rd Seminar between the Left Party and the Sao Paulo Forum, and a meeting of the Network of Intellectuals in Defense of Humanity.

This regional left-wing initiative was created in 1990 by the historic leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro (1926-2016), and the former president and founder of the Brazilian Workers' Party, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

According to the participants, the new edition of the Sao Paulo Forum should promote the momentum of the revolutionary and progressive forces of Latin America, in response to the onslaught of the right and the hostility of the United States towards governments and peoples who oppose its hegemony and interference.

  • Published in Cuba

Sao Paulo Forum: Space for Criticism and Construction of Perspectives

Port-au-Prince, Jul 14 (Prensa Latina) The Sao Paulo Forum, to be in session this Sunday in Havana, will be a space for criticism and the construction of new perspectives, said Haitian economist and political activist Camille Chalmers.

The teacher is also a delegate to the 24th Annual Meeting of political agreement of the regional left-wing forces, which aims to discuss and set guidelines on the struggles that unite us, he said.

'We are going to have a really important presence of all the left-wing forces, a wide range of options and trends, and innovation this year is that there will be a meeting with social movements,' Chalmers told Prensa Latina.

Camille, who is a great friend of Cuba and a follower of progressive social projects, remarked that the exchange with these movements will allow a rapprochement between concrete social struggles and policies, which can lead to 'the creation of a front to resist the pressure and the permanent threat of imperialism.'

He warned that an enormous violence against democracy, peoples and workers has been unleashed at present, with the intention of dismantling the conquests of the left in recent years.

'It is very important to create a front that can oppose this and that can overcome and relaunch the process of progressive accumulation in Latin America,' he said.

The Sao Paulo Forum, created by the leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro, and former Brazilian president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, groups 112 left-wing political parties from Latin America and the Caribbean.

  • Published in Cuba

Sao Paulo Forum to Condemn Campaigns against Governments

Havana, Jul 10 (Prensa Latina) The Sao Paulo Forum will condemn the destabilizing campaigns against Nicaragua and Venezuela, the U.S. blockade of Cuba and the imprisonment of former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, analysts and political leaders from the region denounced.

The 24th edition of the event, to be held in this capital from July 15 to 17, will be attended by representatives of progressive and left-wing organizations from several countries.

Latin America is today subjected to an intensive imperialist counteroffensive, warned the renowned Argentinean intellectual Atilio Boron, who noted that this counteroffensive aims to overthrow the government of Venezuela, further tightened the tourniquets of the U.S. blockade of Cuba, isolate the Bolivian government of Evo Morales and create an opposition beachhead in Nicaragua.

In light of the situation in Latin America today, it is necessary to create a big anti-neoliberal and anti-imperialist wave, and build strategies of unity, said the executive secretary of the Sao Paulo Forum, Monica Valente.

Valiente, who is also the International Relations secretary of the Workers' Party (PT) of Brazil, noted that the meeting in Havana will contribute to denouncing the political persecution against former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who has been in prison for more than 90 days in Curitiba, on charges that he did not commit and that, according to denunciations, are a maneuver to prevent his candidacy to the presidency, as he is leading all vote intention surveys.

That will be the main issue that the PT will submit to the meeting of the Forum in Havana, Valente pointed out.

Lula and the historic leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro, played a key role in the foundation of the Forum in 1990 in Brazil, with participation of more than 100 left-wing parties and groups.

On the last day of the meeting, participants will hold a plenary session dedicated to Fidel Castro's thinking.

'Fidel will be present in that forum. He has been since he summoned us and we want to feel dignified sons and daughters of him,' said the general secretary of the Communist Party of Uruguay, Juan Castillo, who added that the best tribute to the revolutionary leader is to continue to strengthen unity.

According to the official from the International Relations Department of the Communist Party of Cuba (PCC), Idalmis Brook, the meeting in Havana will allow discussing urgent issues for the region's left-wing forces, particularly the importance of unity.

For his part, Chilean writer and journalist Manuel Cabiese noted that Havana offers 'the best scenario' for a serious debate on the prospects of Latin America's left wing.

  • Published in World

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
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