Cuban Deputy Foreign Minister Commences Caribbean Tour to Strengthen Relations

Cuba's Deputy Foreign Minister Rogelio Sierra Diaz arrived Wednesday at Trinidad and Tobago, the first Caribbean nation he is set to visit on his tour to the Caribbean nations to strengthen diplomatic relations.  

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Apart from Suriname, Sierra Diaz's itinerary includes traveling to Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, Guyana and Jamaica, where Cuba established diplomatic relations on Dec. 8, 1972, along with Suriname. 

As part of his tour, Sierra Diaz will hold meetings with Caribbean counterparts, along with the Cuban residents and Cuban state mission personnel in those countries. 

Through the trip that ends June 16, the Cuban minister aims to reaffirm the historic bilateral relations with the region; exchange ideas on topics of mutual interest and reaffirm Cuban solidarity to continue cooperation with the region.  

Sierra Diaz, who is holding a meeting with the leader of the Movement for Social Justice Party's David Abdulah, thanked him for his constant solidarity with Cuba. He will also be holding working meetings with executives of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the Association of Caribbean States (ACS). 

For his part, Abdulah reiterated to the Cuban vice-minister, the support of the Trinidadian social movements of Cuba's international struggle of seeking to lift the U.S.-imposed blockade against Cuba.  

At the headquarters of the Association of Caribbean States (ACS), Sierra Diaz who met ACS Secretary General, June Soomer, affirmed Cuba's commitment to the organization and its support for the revitalization process taking place in the ACS, the official note read.  

The Cuban vice minister's visit to the countries of the region, that ends June 16,  will also include Suriname, Barbados, Guyana, and Jamaica, and will be accompanied by the director of Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Jorge Luis Mayo. 

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Trump Cancels his Participation at 8th Summit of the Americas

Washington, Apr 10 (Prensa Latina) US President Donald Trump canceled his participation at the 8th Summits of the Americas this week in Peru and a subsequent visit to Colombia, in what would be his first visit to the region as president.

'President Trump will not attend the 8th Summit of the Americas in Lima, Peru, nor will he travel to Bogota, Colombia, as he was originally scheduled,' White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement on Tuesday.

According to the spokeswoman, Vice President Mike Pence will travel instead, while Trump will remain in the United States 'to monitor the US response to Syria and monitor events around the world.'

The news about the non-participation of the head of state in the hemispheric forum occurs only a day after a State Department official offered details of the trip and the Republican ruler's intentions to attend the event, which will be held on the April 13 and 14.

In that time, however, he has undertaken more distant trips to Europe, Asia and the Middle East on several occassions.

The news of the cancellation of the trip is spread after Trump said Yesterday that the United States would have 24 to 48 hours to decide the response to an alleged attack with chemical weapons in Syria, from which Washington wasted no time to blame the government of Bashar Al -Assad.

The possible presence of Trump at the Summit of the Americas in Lima was seen as a cause of tension in the meeting, as the president was with an agenda aimed at seeking regional support for his hostile stance against Venezuela, as confirmed by his administration on Monday.

Also, his position on immigration and recent comments against countries in the area considered offensive augured another reason for disagreement in the forum.

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Peru: People's Summit Begins Against Neoliberal 'Counteroffensive'

The Peoples' Summit is an alternative to the Summit fo the Americas in which social movements and progressives gather to counter neoliberal policies. 

The Peoples’ Summit was set to start Tuesday in Lima as the region’s social movements, progressive political parties, Indigenous peoples, students and workers gather in a parallel summit to the high-level VIII Summit of the Americas.  

 

RELATED: Peru's New President: Summit of Americas to Continue as Planned

 

Between April 10 and 14, they will discuss how to confront neoliberal policies and discourse, the role the United States plays in the region, and the future for regional integration in Latin America and the Caribbean.

This year’s agenda is focused on several issues, among them the court’s decision to imprison former Brazilian president and Workers’ Party candidate for the 2018 presidential elections Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, U.S. economic and diplomatic hostilities against Venezuela, and Honduras’ post-electoral crisis, among others.    

“We are facing a strong neoconservative counteroffensive from the continental right-wing promoted and financed from the U.S. empire. The traditional economic and political elites impose austerity measures of a frontal attack against our rights,” the People Summit’s official declaration states. Argentina and Brazil are currently facing harsh austerity measures after progressive governments were defeated or illegally removed.

Geronimo Lopez, Secretary General of Peru’s General Confederation of Workers and one of this year’s organizers, told Cuban press the event will be “a great act of continental solidarity.” He also announced they will issue a statement in support of Lula, explaining the sentence against Lula is part of a strategy by the U.S. “to stop the achievements by Latin American countries during progressive governments.”  

 

IN PICTURES: Massive Argentine Protests Against Macri Austerity

 

Costa Rican intellectual, Jorge Coronado, said the summit will also discuss the situation in “Honduras, where there is a government as a result of electoral fraud, recognized by the Organization of American States (OAS) and that is not included in the agenda of the VIII Summit of the Americas.”

The Summit has also organized an anti-imperialist march for April 12, hours after U.S. President Donald Trump was scheduled to arrive under the banner “Trump, Get Out of Peru.” However, Washington announced later Tuesday that Trump will not go to Lima, saying the U.S. president will remain in the White House to oversee U.S. response to Syria. 

In 2005, the Peoples’ Summit led by former Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, former Argentine President Nestor Kirchner and former Brazilian President Lula, defeated the reiterated attempts by the U.S. of create the Free Trade Area of the Americas, opposed by social movements in the region.

Today, country’s delegations to the alternative summit “will stimulate the rearticulation of popular struggles in the continent, militant solidarity, and the confluence of left-wing and progressive forces in the region, in order to stop neoconservative counteroffensive, defeat it and reopen a transformative perspective for the benefit of the excluded majorities.”

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Cubans drill the deepest horizontal oil well in Latin America

HAVANA, Cuba, Apr 5 (ACN) Using the extended-reach drill, Cuba is developing what has been considered the deepest horizontally-drilled oil well in Latin America as deep as 8,240 meters.

Operations are based on 100 percent Cuban capital and thus far the extended-reach drilling has gone over 6 thousand meters on the coast of central Matanzas province.

The record depth is expected to be reached this year, such a drilling took a technology that allows the use of crude oil under the sea from the coast, which lowers investment costs, according to Cuban Oil expert Marcos Antonio Pestana, as cited by Juventud Rebelde newspaper.

Boca de Camarioca is the area for current drilling, a site that saw the first operations in 2016. The first extended-reach drilling was called Varadero 1000 while at present there are nine wells drilled with that technology.

The Oil Drilling Company in central Cuba closed the first quarter of this year after producing 8 thousand tons of oil over schedules and meeting the gas-delivery plans.

At present, the company is drilling six new wells with promising results for the country, said Pestana, who added that operations have expanded along the coast till central Ciego de Avila province, more to the east of the island.

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José Martí and his Integration Dream for Latin America

The figure about José Martí sums up the best of the political and social thought of this continent. His ideas are still valid and are representatives of the nature, idiosyncrasy and culture of our region.

José Marti’s project for the independence of Cuba and Puerto Rico is not linked to another bigger one: the Latin American unity and integration.

It is from that historic perspective that the most recent initiatives of that continental integration such as the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas and the Trade Treaty with the Peoples (ALBA-TCP), the Association of South American Nations (UNASUR) and the Community of Latin American States (CELAC), along with their different characteristic and also many coincidences, are the most important step that has been carried out during the last decades through the path for the long-awaited Latin American integration.

 José Martí and his Integration Dream for Latin America

The pro-independence and anti-imperialist ideas of unity, which José Martí vehemently defended, mark the new guidelines in the Latin American mainland by awaking the people´s awareness.

In Cuba, José Martí found in Fidel Castro his best disciple. The journalist Marta Rojas who was awarded the National Journalism Prize and she said that it was an order and not a coincidence that Fidel Castro was photographed before a picture of José Martí in Santiago de Cuba province, after the attack against the Moncada Garrison. It is an emblematic image which has been not only in books of history but also in the life of Cubans.

After that and during his speech of defense in the trial for the events which took place on July 26th of the year 1953, the young lawyer expressed:

“I bring in my heart José Marti’s ideals.”

 José Martí and his Integration Dream for Latin America

Fidel Castro was José Marti's best disciple and his legacy as a leader of the Cuban Revolution make the local people to think about José Martí´s validity through Fidel Castro´s thought whose knowledge on José Marti’s revolutionary project allowed him to understand the Cuban and world reality and the creating his struggle's program.

Fidel Castro with his word and work was teaching José Marti's entire human, ethical, political, ideological, military, patriotic, Latin American, internationalist and anti-imperialist dimension. Fidel Castro had Jose Martí present through his daily behavior and doctrine on humanism.

 José Martí and his Integration Dream for Latin America

In the book entitled 'Cien Horas con Fidel' (A hundred Hours with Fidel), when he was then interviewed by the intellectual, Ignacio Ramonet, Fidel Castro describes himself as a Socialist, Marxist and Lenin's ideals follower, although he was a follower of Jose Marti’s ideals firstly.

José Martí and Fidel Castro are two outstanding revolutionaries and men of actions with a universal thought. The unity is José Martí´s essential word and as Fidel Castro did himself, he called for internationalism and friendship among the peoples: “the trees must stand in a row so that the seven- mile giant cannot pass through! It is the time of remembering and the united march.

Through seven centuries since the publication of the book entitled 'Nuestra America' it has been created the dream about a united mainland. The second declaration of Havana showed that it was possible to create a different society before the United States. Those two emblematic texts summarize the evolution of the emancipation project that was written by José Martí in the XIX century.

 José Martí and his Integration Dream for Latin America

In the current regional context, the Latin American nations should strengthen their unity about their common values and interests to be able to preserve the independence, sovereignty of Latin America.

As Jose Martí taught to the local people and Fidel Castro also instilled in us, only the alliance of all the progressive forces will enable to set an integration regional plan based on the solidarity, reciprocity, social justice and the preservation of culture and peace.

The Latin American left-wing movement is experiencing a crucial hour. The challenge is not easy and without unity the Latin America would not able to build its future.

By Angélica Paredes López

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The OAS as US Puppet Platform for Attacking Progressive Latin America

After a series of aggressions carried out by the counter revolutionary groups deployed throughout Cuba and financed by the CIA, Cuba was expelled from the OAS.

That situation took place in Punta del Este city in Uruguay on January, 1962 when the Economic and Inter American Economic and Social Council of Latin American States was holding sessions.

Commander Ernesto Che Guevara, who was the then representative of the Cuban government, denounced the U.S. hostile policy against the then new Revolution and the stealing nature of the US government for the Latin American region.

All the Latin American governments, except Mexico, broke off the diplomatic relations with the Cuban revolutionary government and Cuba was expelled on January 31st, 1962 from the ´Minister of Yankee Colonies´ as it was described by Foreign Minister Raúl Roa García.

The point is that the sad history carried out by the OAS in the region is really painful and wide. It appears as part of the International American Conference of Bogota city in 1948 and its front pretended to show that it was a unifying mechanism for the nations of the Latin American hemisphere by hiding its real purpose as a puppet organization of the United States.

 The OAS as US Puppet Platform for Attacking Progressive Latin America

How come forgetting its support for the U.S. military intervention in Guatemala in 1954 against its then president, Jacobo Arbenz, and its silence about the military invasion in April, 1961 and its silence before the terrorist actions carried out against Cuba?

How come forgetting its stupor for the U.S. marine disembarkment in the Dominican Republic in 1965?

It cannot be forgotten its stupor about the assassination of Prime Minister Maurice Bishop in Grenada through a coup while an U.S. intervention was being carried out in that tiny island and there was no condemnation said from that OAS.

The OAS kept silence about the Condor operation and also did not say anything against the military conflicts in Central America, let alone the invasion to Panama in 1989.

As it was denounced on many occasions by the Commander in Chief, Hugo Chávez, the OAS did not condemn the coup carried out in April 2002 in Venezuela. However, Cuba resisted and won over these decades. Cuba united others regional blocs with its example and moral notwithstanding its government made clear that nation would never return to any puppet and domineering mechanism against other nations.

In June 2009, the General Assembly of the OAS that was held in San Pedro Sula city in Honduras, repealed the embarrassing resolution that expelled Cuba from that event in 1962.

 The OAS as US Puppet Platform for Attacking Progressive Latin America

At that moment, the scenery in Latin America and the Caribbean had governments more committed with their peoples and history, but Cuba reiterated that it would never return to that institution which had carried out an active role in favor of the U.S. hostility policy against the Cuban Revolution.

In addition, Cuban President and Army General Raúl Castro Ruz has stated by remembering the National Hero, José Martí: “The sea from the north would unite to the sea from the south and a snake would be born from an eagle's egg before Cuba joined the OAS again.”

Raúl Castro has said:

“In our opinion, the OAS would be and is an imperialist domineering instrument and absolutely any reform could change its nature or history and that is why Cuba will never return to the OAS.”

At present time, we can wonder as Fidel Castro himself did it through its written reflection on April 14th, 2009 entitled 'Does OAS have the right to exist?'

Fidel Castro, as usual, was clear through his answer: “The OAS has a history that keeps all the related garbage over the 60 years of its treachery against the Latin American nations.”

 The OAS as US Puppet Platform for Attacking Progressive Latin America

 The OAS as US Puppet Platform for Attacking Progressive Latin America

By Angélica Paredes López

 

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Eternal Chavez: “America is my homeland”

Undisputed leader of the awakening of the new America, unconditional friend of Cuba, Hugo Chavez embodied the aspirations of his people. Hugo Chavez ceased physically to exist five years ago, but his legacy is more alive than ever. President and commander, he did not labour in vain. Beyond subjective appraisals, there is a resounding work, which he tirelessly worked for. It is at everyone’s sight. No matter what exalted theoreticians, the spokespersons of the big hegemonic powers, capitalism propagandists say… the truth is that any president had done so much for Venezuela and the entire America.

He offered millions of his compatriots something that cannot be measured: a notion of dignity. He led them in the attainment of a homeland, which prevails over everything, the attainment of decorum. He woke them up from an almost ancestral lethargy, put in their hands the tools to build a future. He was deeply committed with the well-being of the ever forgotten ones. He was a brilliant leader, who spoke a lot, but did a lot at the same time. His affection, his friendliness and his extraordinary charisma placed him at the head of a renewing wave that changed the rules of the game. But charisma is not enough, as history has repeatedly demonstrated. The Chavez phenomenon was based on strong convictions, a humanist sense of an authentically Christian root, a diaphanous kindheartedness and an honest militancy.

Some of his enemies said that Chavez captivated. Actually, what he used to do was to convince. He spoke to the poor in their language, sympathized with and urged them to fight. Ignoring (or pretending to ignore) the force of facts, his adversaries again and again called him dictator. There’s an irrefutable fact no head of state of the continent underwent so many electoral processes. And always respecting people’s will, the democratic spirit of his people.

Among so many facets of his political itinerary, there remains one of particular importance: his determined Latin Americanist vocation. Hugo Chavez articulated a new vision of unity, which kicks off from the recognition of differences to strengthen the extraordinary collective heritage of our peoples. He was a continental leader. The premise of that integration lies in both solidarity and complementation. His integrationist projects always started from the knowledge of sharing what you had, not what was left over. Petrocaribe, the Bolivarian Alliance for America (ALBA) and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) created a solid platform for the very elusive project of Latin American unity. There lies his main legacy, which earned him his great stature as a stateman. Hugo Chavez Frias made Bolivar and Marti’s dreams his own, but he was not happy with being a visionary: he was also a soldier. Five years after his death, our America honors him because America was the homeland for Chavez.

Translated by Jorge Mesa Benjamin / Cubasi Translation Staff

University 2018: Cuba is the Reference

Environment, renewable energy sources, sustainable and local development, the use of new technologies, tourism, industry, studies of Medicine, curricula, didactics, the role of university in different contexts, all of these subjects were discussed in the 11th International Congress of Higher Education Universidad 2018 — event that marked the 100th anniversary of the Argentine University Reform.

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University 2018 gathered more than 2,000 delegated from 60 nations.

Few hours before the closing ceremony, Cuba’s Minister of Higher Education Jose Ramon Saborido Loidi was asked by a colleague about the most interesting thing of the Congress and he highlighted that Cuba “is today a reference in the educative field.”

Without ignoring handicaps and obstacles, the truth is that our country can boast realities that are still yearnings for other countries of the world.

In this regard, following the 2030 Agenda and the UN Sustainable Development Goals (UN, 2015), the Minister pointed out: “we are in a better position to fulfill them” and noted that Cuba is working hard to meet these goals as soon as possible.

As he stressed in the opening ceremony speech: “The advance of the 2030 Agenda of Sustainable Development is imperative for the world as nations are trying to counteract the current unsustainable model of development—discriminatory, hegemonic, and predatory.

Today’s University in Cuba

There have been many changes in Cuba’s Higher Education from the Triumph of the Revolution to the present days, always aiming at improving the quality and access to Universities in Cuba.

In this regard, almost 1.5 million professionals have graduated from 1959 to present days. Therefore, 12% of the population and 22% of workers in Cuba has university level.

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Cuba’s Higher Education has graduated almost 1.5 million professionals

The remarkable growth of its institutions is another achievement. Cuba boasts today 50 universities all around the country compared to the 3 universities that existed back then (in Havana, Las Villas, and the Eastern side of Cuba). The system also includes 126 university centers in municipalities.

Destined to experience a continuous development process, the Higher Education in Cuba advances on the basis of an inclusive process, which has certainly brought positive results concerning material resources and financial savings as well as a better use of the workforce in universities, especially in the field of teaching.

The process that has been implemented since 2011 to updating Cuba’s economic and social model has demanded the accompaniment of the Higher Education as well. Thus, new policies have been approved.

A very good example of this is “the graduate and postgraduate teaching process improvement, short-and-medium term, so human potential stands behind the necessary technical, integral, and civic training, which allows working for the strategic goals for development.”

Likewise, as the Minister himself highlighted in the opening speech of Universidad 2018, “Cuba advances in the implementation of a new generation of curricula that sets the length of majors to four years and proposes a better interaction with the system of master’s degrees and postgraduate specialization through continuous training programs.”

The World and Higher Education

The critical nature and dissatisfaction of Cuban citizens lead us to believe we are the only nation in the world suffering from a certain ill.

However, this Congress allowed us not only to reflect on extremely serious problems affecting many countries in the region, but also to become aware of the right path of the policies undertaken by the Cuban State in order to overcome obstacles and certain quality index.

The testimonies of several foreign participants showed Higher Education is not going well and therefore, there is no positive sign in General Education (263 million students were not enrolled in schools as of 2014).

Uruguayan professor Fernando Rodal Mc Lean —President of the American Federation of Teachers— spoke in one of the panels about the need to “fight” against universities that limit enrollment. He also criticized that students, in order to access higher education, have to go into great debts.


“The university struggle —he pointed out— is the struggle for the quality of life of our people for the purpose of modifying the structure and functioning of capitalist society. It is to fight for a free university.”

Daniel Ricci, President of the Federation of University Teachers’ Union in South America, noted that Latin America is showing a regressive trend as the right has regained power in some of the nations. “Imperialism dislikes justice, equity, and free education and health care.”

Hence, it is important to reach that free, inclusive education and teachers can enjoy a decent job.

A moving situation was narrated by Salvadorians Monica Fernandez Rubio (Spanish woman naturalized citizen of El Salvador) and Sabas Clavel Fuentes, who showed the situations of young people in that country where just the 8% of the population have access to universities. In rural areas, this number barely represents 2%.

The International Congress of Higher Education Universidad 2018, in the words of the Minister Jose Ramon Saborido, was successful. “We have showed our truth and we have felt the appreciation of other nations for Cuba’s actions.”

The next Congress will take place on February 10-14, 2020. A lot will happen from now on. Nonetheless, Cuba will surely present new experiences, contributions, and impacts.

Translated by Sergio A. Paneque Diaz/CubaSi Translation Staff

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