Thursday, August 31, 2006

Raul Castro Received Syria Minister of Information

Raul Castro, Second Secretary of the Cuban Communist Party, received on Sunday August 27 a delegation from Syria headed by the Minister of Information, Mohsen Bilal.

The Syrian minister traveled to Cuba as a personal emissary of President Bachar Al Assad. He carried a message to Raul Castro wishing Cuban President Fidel Castro a speedy recovery and reaffirmed his country’s solidarity with the people, Communist Party and government of Cuba at a time when the island faces stepped up threats and aggressions from the Bush administration.

During the meeting, Bilal confirmed that President Al Assad will participate at the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Summit set for Sept. 11-16 in Havana and gave the Syrian government’s total support for Cuba as the next president of 116-member NAM.
The minister informed the Cubans on the situation in the Middle East and his country after the Israeli invasion of Lebanon, the increased repression and massacres against the Palestinian people and the increased threats against Syria.

Raul Castro expressed appreciation for the message from President Bachar Al Assad and reiterated Cuba’s support to the Syrian people in the face of aggressions and hostilities from Tel Aviv. He also confirmed the island’s support of Syria’s efforts to recovery the Golan Heights, occupied by Israel since the 1967 invasion.

Raul Castro told the visitor that President Fidel Castro was gradually and satisfactorily recovering from his surgery. He noted the total peace reigning in the country and the effort being made by the Communist Party, government and the people in general to carry out the tasks entrusted in them by Fidel in his Proclamation of July 31, including the decision to substantially raise the country’s combat capability and readiness.

The Defense Minister said that Cuba is ready for the Non-Aligned Summit and highlighted the numerous displays of support received from around the world.
Accompanying Raul Castro in his meeting with the Syrian minister were Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque and Fernando Remirez de Estenoz, member of the Communist Party Secretariat.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Fidel Castro Better Every Day
Responding to concern in Lima over President Fidel Castro´s health, Pedro Ross, head of the Cuban Workers Union (CTC), reported the president´s marked improvement.
Fidel Castro is very well, every day improving and he is walking, Ross said to thunderous applause during a dialog with hundreds of sympathizers of the Cuban Revolution.

The union leader, who ends a six-day visit to this country tomorrow, said there is absolute calm in the island in spite of the difficulties with the statesman s health. Fidel Castro had emergency surgery at the end of July.
Life in Cuba goes on as well as before, said the also member of the Cuban State Council, after remarking that the supposed transition prompted by US president George W. Bush will have to wait until most Cubans die.
Facing those not-so-new threats, Cuban men and women are ready to receive aggressors with rifles in hand, said Ross.

The Cuban union leader then dealt with the country s economic advances. Previously, he and the delegation that accompanies him held talks with the Peruvian CGTP (General Confederation of Workers).
Ross also visited the city of Arequipa and conversed with leaders of Peru s leftwing political parties.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006


Syria's President Bachar Al Assad sent a get-well message to Cuban leader Fidel Castro wishing him a prompt recovery and reaffirming his solidarity against US threats of the Caribbean country's sovereignty.

Syrian Minister of Information Mohsen Bilal, who was the special envoy of Al Assad, gave the message to Cuban Army General Raul Castro, Granma daily reported on Tuesday.
Bilal ratified the support and participation of the Syrian head of government in the Non-Aligned Movement Summit, and reiterated his government s total backing of the Caribbean country.

The Syrian minister also gave detailed information about the situation in the Middle East and his country after the Israeli invasion of Lebanon, and talked about Tel Aviv's increasing repression and massacres against the Palestinian people, as well as the escalating threats against Syria.

The Cuban Army general appreciated Al Assad s message, and reiterated Cuba's support for the Syrian people in the face of the Israeli hostilities and aggressions.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Cuba Rejects Miami Annexation

Cuba discarded Monday any possibility of the island being annexed to the United States, and said those any who support that option are on Washington's payrolls.
Entitled Neo-annexionism, Granma newspaper publishes Monday a comment which rejects this trend from some sectors that want Cuba to become the Union's 51st state with the name of Havami.

As a consequence of President Fidel Castro's disease, the initiative, dated from some years ago, took strength in south Florida, where an extremist group celebrated the statesman's health problems.

On July 31, the Cuban leader informed through a proclamation the temporary delegation of his state responsibilities to First Vice President Raul Castro, and talked to the people about his health.

While the island carried on normality, wishes for the president prompt recovery have been multiplied, while a "transition" was pushed from Miami and the White House, which the island silenced with more unity and commitment to defend the Revolution.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Cuban Teachers in Nicaragua Wish Fidel Castro a Fast Recovery
Cuban teachers and other educational workers currently offering their services in Nicaragua sent Fidel Castro a message wishing him well and a fast recovery from recent surgery.
The Cuban collaborators said they have been following news about President Castro’s rehabilitation and that they were pleased to learn of the successful treatment he has undergone.
Half a dozen of Cuban teachers have been working in Nicaragua for a year now. They have helped foster the national literacy program launched by the Sandinista Front, the Prensa Latina news agency reported.
Ned Quevedo, a teacher from eastern Cuban province of Camaguey, said that the teaching program has been successful in that Central American nation, while the Nicaraguan people have welcomed the Cuban personnel with open arms.

The literacy campaign, based on the Cuban methodology known as “Yo Si Puedo,” has helped some 20,000 people how to read and write in several municipalities of Nicaragua.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Miriam Makeba Sends Message to Cuban Leader

Message from Miriam Makeba, (a friend of Cuba who visited our country in October 2005) received through the International Relations Direction of the Ministry of Culture and which expresses congratulations and her wish for a rapid recovery to Fidel. Makeba is one of the singers that will attend the Cuban festival Todas las voces todas (All of the voices) next December.

Dear Commander-in-Chief Fidel Castro,
I am writing on behalf of Ambassador Dr Miriam Makeba, her band and myself to extend our very best wishes for the continued improvement of your health. I apologise for not having written sooner to let you know that we are, and have been, sending you our warmest thoughts at this time: we were travelling away from home when we first learned of your health issues.
I would like to take this opportunity on behalf of us all to wish you many happy moments for your birthday. We look forward to visiting Cuba again to attend your delayed celebration later in the year and send you our best wishes in the interim.

Abigail Parker
Personal Assistant and Tour Manager to Ambassador Miriam Makeba
Cuban Writers and Artists Renew Commitment to Justice.

Message to Fidel Castro on the 45th anniversary of the founding of the Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba

A renewed commitment with dignity and justice was the center of a message from Cuban authors and artists as they celebrated the 45th anniversary of the Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba (UNEAC) Tuesday in Havana.

The message addressed to President Fidel Castro was read by UNEAC president, poet Carlos Marti.

"Your dreams of humanity and social justice and the opening that embodied the idea of founding the UNEAC gave our work the dignity it deserved, as we joined together to use art and literature to defend our traditional ethical and esthetic values and to create a Cuban and international culture supported by our profoundly radical and humanist revolution."
The highpoint of the anniversary celebration was when a diploma, especially designed by national award winning artist Jose Gomez Fresquet, that recognizes Fidel as the founder of the revolutionary organization of writers and artists, was handed to Parliament President Ricardo Alarcon de Quesada for delivery to the commander.

Friday, August 18, 2006

No enemy can defeat us
Affirms Raúl in a statement to Granma. He affirmed that Fidel continues to improve and thanked people for the thousands of messages of solidarity and support from our country and abroad. Measures have been taken to prevent any attempt at aggression. The people are giving a conclusive demonstration of confidence in themselves.The General of the Army Raúl Castro Ruz has offered an interview to Granma daily. The conversation took place in his office at the Ministry of the Revolutionary Armed Forces (MINFAR) and focused on the principal events of recent days.Comrade Raúl, our people joyfully received the message and photographs of the Comandante en Jefe published in the press and the subsequent television report of the encounter with president Chávez. Nevertheless, taking advantage of this opportunity, it would be greatly appreciated by millions of people who have attentively followed information on the state of health of compañero Fidel, to hear your personal assessment, as someone always so united to him.Without any doubt, what most interests all of us at this time is the Jefe’s health.On behalf of all the people, I will begin by congratulating and thanking the doctors and the other compañeros and compañeras who have attended to him in an excellent manner, with an unsurpassable professionalism and, above all, with much love and dedication. This has been a very important factor in Fidel’s progressive recovery.Moreover, I think that his exceptional physical and mental nature has also been essential to his satisfactory and gradual recovery.We Cubans, even when we don’t see you for a while on television or in the written press, know that you are there, at your combat post as always. But I think that these words of yours will also disarm the speculation and lies present in some of the foreign media.If you are referring to those in other countries who entertain themselves by speculating about if I am going to appear on television or in the papers or not; well, I appeared with Fidel on Sunday (August 13) and when I received President Chávez , although really those comments don’t bother me in the slightest.What does interest me greatly is what our people are thinking, although, fortunately, we live in this geographically small island, where everything that we are doing is known. I can confirm that when I talk with the population or other local leaders in my tours of the country.As a point of fact, I am not used to making frequent appearances in public, except at times when it is required. Many tasks related to defense should not be made public and have to be handled with maximum care, and that has been one of my fundamental responsibilities as FAR minister. Moreover, I have always been discreet, that is my way, and in passing I will clarify that I am thinking of continuing in that way. But that has not been the fundamental reason why I don’t appear very often in the mass media; simply, it has not been necessary.No essential orientation has been overlooked…Effectively, the Comandante en Jefe’s Proclamation gave the information that could be given at that time and moreover, proposed specific tasks for everyone. The main thing is to dedicate oneself in body and soul to fulfilling them. That is what all the leaders at different levels have been doing, together with our people who have known how to maintain an exemplary discipline, vigilance and working spirit.On behalf of the Comandante en Jefe and the Party leadership, I will take the opportunity of thanking everyone for the innumerable displays of support for the Revolution and for the content of his Proclamation, as well as the demonstrations of affection that have been expressed by figures from the cultural sector; professionals and workers in all sectors; campesinos, soldiers, housewives, students, pioneers; among them numerous believers, public figures and religious institutions from the overwhelming majority of denominations; finally, the people of Cuba. It has been a conclusive demonstration of their unbreakable unity and their revolutionary consciousness, essential pillars of the fortitude of our country.The breadth of support coming from all over the world has also been impressive.Yes, really heartening. That is why I should also like to express thanks for the numerous messages of solidarity and respect from all over the world, from people of the most diverse social categories, from simple workers to intellectual and political figures, as well as a significant and representative number of religious institutions and figures. All of them have done so without any conditions whatsoever. Messages from the few who did not act in that way were not accepted or acknowledged.Also, they have been joined to date (August 17) by some 12,000 signatories supporting the call made 10 days ago by prominent cultural personalities from more than 100 countries, among them various Nobel Prize winners, condemning the interfering and aggressive statements of the government of the United States, and which also exposes the openly interventionist nature of the Bush Plan, as we are calling that monster that would seem to be dusted off from the times when – as at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th – they frustrated the independence of Cuba and imposed their administrators on us.Now they have also designed one for the supposed "transition." One McCarry, who recently stated that the United States does not accept the continuity of the Cuban Revolution, although he didn’t say how they are thinking of averting that.One gets the impression that the enemies of the Revolution have been left speechless by the conclusive reaction of the Cuban population, immune to their giant and disgraceful campaign of offenses and lies. They are talking with surprise at the calm reigning in Cuba, as if it was something unusual and not exactly normal, and which all of us here knew would happen in a situation such as this.Yes, it would seem that they have come to believe their own lies. The most probable is that their "think tanks" and many of their analysts are now drawing other conclusions.As you were saying, absolute tranquility is reigning in the country. And something even more important, the serene, disciplined and decisive attitude that can be felt in every workplace, in every city, in every neighborhood. The same one that our people always assume in moments of difficulty. If we were to be guided solely by the internal situation, I am not exaggerating in affirming that it would not have been necessary to mobilize even one pioneer from among those who guard the ballot boxes in the elections. But we have never ignored a threat from the enemy. It would be irresponsible to do so when faced with a government like that of the United States, which has is declaring with the greatest audacity that it does not accept what is established in the Cuban Constitution. From over there, as if they were the rulers of the planet, they are saying that there must be a transition to a social regime of their liking and that they "would take note of those who oppose that." Although it seems incredible, this boorish and at the same time stupid attitude was assumed by President Bush a few days ago. They’ll have to waste a lot of paper and ink...A lot. For that reason I would advise them to do the opposite. To "take note," as they say, of the annexationists on the payroll of the U.S. Interest Section here in Havana, those who are going to receive the crumbs of the announced $80 million earmarked for subversion, because the bulk of it will be distributed in Miami, as is usually the case.On the contrary, the list is going to be interminable. They would have to list the names of millions and millions of Cuban men and women, the same ones who are ready to receive their designated administrator with rifles in hand.At this juncture, they should be very clear that it is not possible to achieve anything in Cuba with impositions and threats. On the contrary, we have always been disposed to normalize relations on an equal plane. What we do not accept is the arrogant and interventionist policy frequently assumed by the current administration of that country.Recently rereading Party Congress documents, I found ideas that seemed to have been written today. For example, this excerpt from the Central Report presented by Fidel to the Third Congress in February 1986:"As we have demonstrated many times, Cuba is not remiss to discussing its prolonged differences with the United States and to go out in search of peace and better relations between our people."And he continued:"But that would have to be on the basis of the most unrestricted respect for our condition as a country that does not tolerate shadows on its independence, for whose dignity and sovereignty entire generations of Cubans have fought and sacrificed themselves. This would be possible only when the United States decides to negotiate with seriousness and is willing to treat us with a spirit of equality, reciprocity and the fullest mutual respect."Similar formulations are contained in the documents from the other Party Congresses and have also been reaffirmed by its first secretary on diverse occasions. Nevertheless they are continuing with the same aggressive and arrogant policy as always.That is the reality. More than 20 years have passed since Fidel pronounced the words that I have just cited; they have that 485-page interventionist plan that I already mentioned, approved in 2004, in which they detail how they propose to dismantle the achievements of the Revolution in health, education, social security; agrarian reform and urban reform; in other words, to kick the people off their land, out of their homes so as to hand them back to their former owners, etc. etc. etc.To cap it all, just a few days ago, on July 10, President Bush officially approved a document complementing the former one, and which they had posted with a very low profile on the Internet in June. They have openly stated that it includes a secret appendix that is not being published "for reasons of national security" and "to ensure its effective implementation;" those are literally the terms that they used, and which constitute a flagrant violation of international law.For a while now we have been adopting measures to confront those plans. These were reinforced particularly when the current U.S. government initiated the unbridled warmongering policy that it has maintained to date, including the announced intention to attack without previous warning any of those places that they call the "sixty or more dark corners of the world."A notable escalation of aggression…Effectively, and in 2003 the plans became more explicit. On December 5 of that year, Mr. Roger Noriega, then assistant secretary of state for Western Hemisphere Affairs, declared – I don’t know if it was intentional or a slip – that "the transition in Cuba – in other words – the death of Fidel – could happen at any moment and we have to be prepared to be agile and decisive." That "the United States wanted to be sure that the regime’s cronies have no hope of holding onto power" and, so as to leave no doubt, he added that they were working "to ensure that there was no succession to the Castro regime." Subsequently he and other senior U.S. officials have returned to the theme insistently. What other form exists for obtaining these goals that is not military aggression? Thus, the country adopted the pertinent measures for counteracting that real danger. Faced with similar situations, Martí taught us what to do: "Plan against plan. Without a plan of resistance, a plan of attack cannot be defeated," he wrote in the newspaper Patria on June 11, 1892. The United States government is not revealing the contents of that appendix because it is illegal. Its publication must be demanded, above all now that they have spoken about its existence in order to threaten Cuba. On the contrary, our defense plans are transparent and legal, simply because they do not threaten anybody; their sole objective is to guarantee the sovereignty and independence of the homeland; they do not violate any national or international law whatsoever. The country’s media has informed about the seriousness and reach of the measures that we have been adopting recently to steadily strengthen our defense. Just over a month ago, on July 1, the issue was analyzed extensively by the Fifth Plenum of the Central Committee of the Party. Some of the empire’s war hawks thought that the moment had come to destroy the Revolution this past July 31. We could not rule out the risk of somebody going crazy, or even crazier, within the U.S. government. Consequently, at 3 a.m. on August 1, in fulfillment of the plans approved and signed on January 13, 2005 by compañero Fidel, and after having made the established consultations, I decided to substantially raise our combative capacity and readiness via the implementation of the projected measures, including the mobilization of several tens of thousands of reservists and militia members, and the proposal to our principal units of regular troops, including the Special Troops, of missions demanded by the political/military situation that has been created. All of the mobilized personnel has completed or is currently completing an important cycle of combat training and cohesion, part of that under campaign conditions. These troops will rotate, in approximately equal numbers, as the proposed objectives are attained. All of the reservists and militia members who are to participate in these activities will be informed, with the necessary anticipation, of the date of incorporation into their units and the time that they will remain in these to fulfill their guard duty to the homeland. To date, the mobilization that we began on August 1 has developed satisfactorily, thanks to the magnificent response by our reservists and militia members, as well as the commendable labor undertaken by the military commands and especially by the Defense Councils, under the leadership of the Party, at every level. It is not my intention to exaggerate the danger. I never have done so. Up until now, the attacks during these days have not gone further than rhetorical ones, except for the substantial increase in subversive anti-Cuba broadcasts over radio and television. They have announced the use of a new airplane...Previously, they were using, at varying intervals, a military airplane known as Comando Solo. From this past August 5, they began using another type of aircraft that has effected daily transmissions. On August 11, it did so in conjunction with the aforementioned Comando Solo. In fact, on the 5th and 6th, our radars detected that transmissions were being made from international waters, in outright violation of the agreements of the International Telecommunications Union, to which the United States is a signatory, which once again we are condemning via the corresponding channels and agencies, given that moreover these transmissions are affecting broadcasting in our country.In reality, we are totally unconcerned at the hypothetical influence of this crude and abysmally-made propaganda, very much below the cultural and political levels of the Cuban population and which moreover our people reject, just as they reject the little signs on the U.S. Interests Section. That is not what this is about; it is above all a matter of sovereignty and of dignity. We would never passively allow the consummation of that aggressive act, and that is why we interfere with it. All things considered, they are spending millions in U.S. taxpayers’ money to achieve the same result as ever: a TV that is not seen. I add to these reflections on the country’s defense an idea expressed by Fidel in 1975, in his Central Report to the First Party Congress, which I have quoted so much that I know it by heart: "As long as imperialism exists, the Party, the State and the people will give their utmost attention to the services of defense. The revolutionary guard will never be neglected. History shows with too much eloquence that those who forget this principle do not survive the error." That has been our guide throughout many years, and continues to be today for more than enough reasons. I think that we Cubans have shown during these days that we all share that conviction. I agree with you, and that is why I conclude by ratifying my congratulations to the Cuban people for their overwhelming demonstration of confidence in themselves; a demonstration of maturity, serenity, monolithic unity, discipline, revolutionary consciousness and — put this in capital letters — FIRMNESS, which reminded me of the conduct of the Cuban people during the heroic days of the so-called Missile Crisis in October 1962. They are the fruits of a Revolution whose concept Fidel summed up in his speech of May 1, 2000, in 20 basic ideas that constitute the quintessence of ideological political work. They are the results of many years of combat that, under his leadership, we have waged. Let nobody doubt, as long as we remain like that, no enemy will be able to defeat us. •

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

The New Hitler Is Bush

When an astronaut was asked how he saw the Earth from the moon, he responded: "Fragile." He also noted that no divisions could be seen between nations. Life, the greatest flowering of evolution, is threatened today and there is great urgency to take care of it, says Leonardo Boff.
I congratulate all of you gathered at a peace congress in Berlin and as I have been officially asked to send you a message since I couldn’t be present, I’m sending this: Just as at one time the cause of the wars was Hitler, now the cause of the wars is Bush. In a conference like yours it would be hypocritical not to say it.
Bush has stated that he does not rule out the use of any weapon. And therefore, not even nuclear ones. In fact, he has used arms of mass destruction to fight non existing arms of mass destruction in Iraq. US author Noam Chomsky has stated that the greatest State terrorism is that practiced by the United States. Before, Martin Luther King had said that his government was the greatest perpetrator of violence in the world. The United States has invaded countries 216 times (including mine, Nicaragua). A long time ago, Mark Twain said his country’s flag should remain the same but with the white stripes painted black and the stars replaced by skulls and cross-bones. Bush has turned even worse, because the president has put himself above the Constitution and above national and international law.
The governments of Europe should demand the United States to submit a report on its secret prisons in Europe and on using European airports to transfer prisoners to countries where torture is a routine, as has been denounced by several US papers. The Washington Post itself has reported that there are secret US prisons in eight foreign countries.
Amnesty International has talked about the US Gulags stating that one of those Gulags is the Guantanamo Base. There all human rights and all international laws are violated; a territory where the United States has no right to be and where even the right to visit is illegal.
In Guantanamo, one of the interrogators told a teenager named Mohamed: "This camp is for those who are going to be here forever. Don’t think that you will ever return to your home. You will be here for the rest of your life. Don’t worry; we will keep you alive so that you can suffer more." The young man responded: "Before, I had hope. Now that I am at Guantanamo I’ve lost all hope." (I took this statement from a US Catholic worker).
In Guantanamo there have been hundreds of suicide attempts (350 during the first year and a half) which authorities insist on calling: "Manipulative actions to hurt oneself."
The United States has a new Gestapo. I’ve been there and many people are aware of it. However, many are either not aware, or are in agreement with it, just as occurred in Germany many years ago. The churches are also responsible because of their silence.
The world should not continue to tolerate this, nor should the secrecy or silence continue. At the beginning of the Nuremberg Tribunals a US prosecutor, Judge Robert Jackson, declared that to avoid that these crimes occur, government leaders had to be held responsible. I say the same should happen with Bush, Condoleezza Rice, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Bremen and others. I think they should be tried in Nuremberg.
The war in Iraq is a prolonged war crime. What’s worse is that many other countries are also threatened. As a Latin American, I raise my voice in defense of Cuba and in defense of Venezuela, both seriously threatened (and Cuba being subjected to the longest economic blockade in history).
We don’t deny that Bin Laden and Al-Qaeda are satanic, but agree that both were created by the United States during its conflict with the Soviet Union in Afghanistan. I am in agreement with Gunter Grass in that "terrorism can only be fought with more economic justice."
There is a psalm that says: "Justice and peace will kiss." It’s because justice and peace go together. There’s no justice without peace and no peace without justice. Our weapon against war is humanism, because as Marti said, "Homeland is Humanity." War is a major threat to this planet and the solar system. And the human race is a species threatened by extinction.
I end by joining German theologian Karl Rahner in saying that the human body is sacred. It is sacred because it was created by God, as all the religions on Earth profess, and God created all of its functions, including its sexuality. And besides, we Christians believe that in the human body the Word was made flesh. We defend peace and justice and defend the human body.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Fidel Castro’s 80th Birthday to be Celebrated in Harlem

The revolutionary life of the man whose death was recently prematurely celebrated in Miami will be the object of celebration in downtown Harlem on Monday. To mark Fidel Castro’s 80th birthday "a cake with 80 candles, and more, to make it known that what is loved never dies" is being prepared, said Father Luis Barrios, one of the event coordinators.
"It's a celebration of the Cuban Revolution and Fidel's birthday," said Vicente ‘Panama’ Alba, one of the organizers of the party to be held at the St. Ambrose Church, on 130 Street between Lenox and Fifth, deep in the heart of Harlem.
The celebration will also be a reply to those in Miami who, shortly after news broke of the temporary transferring of powers in Cuba, went out to Calle 8 to celebrate.
"The Cuban worms [in Miami] and the US government hope for a transition when Fidel dies," said Alba, who added with a smile, "they are way behind, because that process began in 1959."
According to Father Barrios, "the serious matter here is that the United States dares threaten the sovereignty of another country. It is amazing that the United Nations Security Councils permits this."
Father Barrios said that in addition to paying homage to Cuba and Fidel, afternoon festivities will feature a wide variety of topics including current events in Lebanon, Venezuela and Puerto Rico, US immigration, the war against Iraq, and those who are looking forward to the impeachment of George W. Bush.
Previous to singing Happy Birthday to Fidel, a documentary on the Cuban Five —five Cubans that have been unjustly held in US jails since 1998— will be shown.
"Since [the triumph of the Revolution] in 1959, Cuba has not invaded a single nation," how many countries has the US invaded since then?" asks Alba.
As Harlem celebrates, Fidel has asked that celebrations in Cuba for his August 13, 80th birthday be postponed while he recovers from an operation.
"This is a message of love, unity and community, based on everything that Fidel has taught us," says Father Barrios. When asked about the fundamental lesson he has learned from the Comandante he says "to be subversive all the time."
(El Diario/La Prensa, Nueva York)

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Acquitted by history
I have not forgotten when the 23 of January of 1959 the "Operation was celebrated in Havana Truth" in the occasion of the international campaign against the executions; then hundreds of representatives of mass media occurred to appointment in the capital and, in that occasion, a Mexican journalist commented to me:"I remained pasmado with the way to speak of Fidel I castrate. With him, an honest man made his appearance."To Fidel nobody him inculcó its political ideas; it arrived at them like result from his meditations, reflections, observation of the reality, and the analysis of which other many did and thought.During years I have looked for the valuations emitted on Fidel by outstanding international and national personalities of the policy, the art, the education, the medicine, the sport and others.Many of these considerations I have gathered them of diverse interviews that I have made throughout the revolutionary process. Others I have discovered them in memories, speeches and in different journalistic works. With them, more than 400, I have prepared a special edition of a book that will come next to the public light. Several of those opinions appear now in this Special Supplement of Granma.Fidel is one of the figures of this time. Its name is repeated with admiration in all the continents and all the languages.Wanted by its town and respected by its enemies. It is a flag and a symbol of the humanity.The legendary soldier of the Masterful Mountain range has seeded itself in the heart of the humble ones. He has been inserted in history. He is in favor already acquitted of history.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Benicio del Toro calls for respect for Cuban sovereignty
Hollywood actor, Benicio del Toro, winner of an Oscar for best supporting actor in Traffic, by Steven Soderbergh, has called for respect for Cuban sovereignty.
Del Toro, an actor of Puerto Rican nationality, added his voice to the 3,780-plus intellectuals and artists from more than 50 countries who are condemning the aggressive and interventionist tone of the George W. Bush government toward Cuba.
The movie star, a man dedicated to bringing art to the masses, through which he came to identify with Cuba, visited Havana a few years ago with director Soderbergh and the producers of Traffic to premiere that film on the island.
In this way he joins a prestigious gathering of actors and artists who are defending Cuba’s sovereignty in the face of the powerful forces that are threatening it.
Danny Glover, Harry Belafonte, Leticia Spiller, María Rojo, Gael García Bernal, Rodrigo de la Serna and Santiago García can also be found in this sizeable group.
Other signatories are Nobel Prize winners Nadine Gordimer, José Saramago, Wole Soyinka, Darío Fo, Adolfo Pérez Esquivel, Rigoberta Menchú, Desmond Tutu and Zhores Alfiorov.
In addition Brazilian musician Egberto Gismonti, for many the new Heitor Villa Lobos due to his vast experimental work, has spoken out in favor of Cuba’s defense in the face of threats from the United States.
Gismonti, just before leaving Havana where he offered an unforgettable recital with the Camerata Romeu, expressed his sentiments of solidarity on this issue in a letter.
The renowned director of Reed: Insurgent Mexico, currently retired, added his name to the document which calls on the U.S. to respect of Cuba’s sovereignty.
In other news, Catalan writer Rosa Regás, 2001 Planeta Award winner for the “Dorothy’s Song” yesterday alerted the world regarding about a possible U.S. aggression against Cuba.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

The sovereignty of Cuba must be respected

As a result of the communication of Fidel Castro on his state of health and the provisional delegation of his responsibilities, high ranking U.S officials have formulated more and more explicit declarations about the immediate future of Cuba. The Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutiérrez said that “this is the moment for a true transition towards a true democracy” and the spokesman of the White House Tony Snow said that his government is “ready and eager to grant humanitarian and economic assistance and of any other nature to the people of Cuba”, which has been already being stated by President Bush.
The “Commission for a free Cuba”, presided over by the Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, had already pointed out in a report issued on June, “the urgency to work today to guarantee that the strategy of succession of the regime of Castro does not succeed” and President Bush indicated that this document “demonstrates we are working actively towards a change in Cuba, not just waiting for it to happen”. The Department of State has emphasized that the plan includes measures that will remain secret “for reasons of national security” and to assure its “effective accomplishment”.
It is not hard to imagine the character of such measures and the “announced assistance”, considering the militarization of the foreign policy of the present American administration and its performance in Iraq.
Given the increasing threat against the integrity of a nation, the peace and security of Latin America and the world we, the signatories listed below, demand that the government of the United States respect the sovereignty of Cuba. We must prevent a new aggression at all cost.
Signed by:
José Saramago, Portugal • Wole Soyinka, Nigeria; • Adolfo Pérez Esquivel, Argentina • Dario Fo, Italy • Desmond Tutu, South Africa • Rigoberta Menchú, Guatemala • Nadine Gordimer, South Africa • Zhores Alfiorov, Russia • Noam Chomsky, USA • Oscar Niemeyer, Brazil • Harry Belafonte, USA • Mario Benedetti, Uruguay • Ignacio Ramonet, Spain-France • Danny Glover, USA • Samir Amin, Egypt • Alfonso Sastre, Spain • Francois Houtart, Belgium • Eduardo Galeano, Uruguay • Juan Gelman, Argentina • Frei Betto, Brazil • Pablo González Casanova, Mexico • Russell Banks, USA • Bernard Cassen, France • Ernesto Cardenal, Nicaragua • Angela Davis, USA • Ariel Dorfman, Chile • Tom Morello, USA • Walter Salles, Brazil • Manu Chao, France • Blanca Chancosa, Ecuador • Egberto Gismonti, Brazil • Alice Walker, USA • István Mészáros, Hungary • Fredric Jameson, USA • Jorge Enrique Adoum, Ecuador • Fernando Birri, Argentina • Leonardo Boff, Brazil • David Viñas, Argentina • Emilio Carballido, Mexico • José Luiz del Roio, Italy • Hebe de Bonafini, Argentina • Thiago de Mello, Brazil • Boaventura de Sousa, Portugal • Armand Mattelart, Belgium • William Blum, USA • Miguel Bonasso, Argentina • Chico Whitaker, Brazil; María Rojo, Mexico • Idea Vilariño, Uruguay • Belén Gopegui, Spain • Diamela Eltit, Chile • Atilio Borón, Argentina • Luciana Castellina, Italy • Ramsey Clark, USA • Luis Britto García, Venezuela • Stephen Rivers, USA • Miguel D’Escoto, Nicaragua • Stella Calloni, Argentina • Emir Sader, Brazil • Daniel Viglietti, Uruguay • Lucius Walker, USA • Piero Gleijeses, Italy- USA • James D. Cockcroft, USA • Aníbal Quijano, Peru • Theotonio dos Santos, Brazil • Pablo Guayasamín, Ecuador • Leonard Weinglass, USA • Susu Pecoraro, Argentina • Francisco de Oliveira, Brazil • Graciela Duffau, Argentina • Fernando Rendón, Colombia • Luis Sepúlveda, Chile • Fernando Pino Solanas, Argentina • Michael Löwy, Brazil • Pascual Serrano, Spain • Jorge Rufinelli, Uruguay • James Petras, USA; Keith Ellis, Jamaica- Canada • Tristán Bauer, Argentina...

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Proclamation of the Commander-in-Chief Fidel Castro Ruz to the Cuban people.

Because of the enormous effort I have made at visiting the Argentinean Córdoba City, participating at the meeting of MERCOSUR, participating at the closing of the Summit of the people in the historical University of Córdoba and at the visit to Altagracia, the city where Che lived when he was a child, and together with this my immediate attendance to the commemoration of the 53rd Anniversary of the attack to the Moncada and Carlos Manuel de Céspedes Garrisons, on July 26th, in Granma and Holguín, and days and nights after a continuous work without sleeping, brought about a wane of my health, which has resisted a lot of proofs, and my health got stressed and is having problems.

It caused me a high intestinal crisis with a continuous bleeding which obliged me to face a complicated surgery. All the details of this health accident are in radiographies, endoscopes and filmed materials. The surgery obliges me to stay in bed for several weeks, away from my responsibilities and charges.

As our country is been threaten nowadays by the Government of the United States, I have made the following decision:

1) For the time being, I authorize Mr. Raúl Castro Ruz as Second Secretary to take the charge of First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Cuban Communist Party.

2) For the time being, I authorize General of Army Mr. Raúl Castro Ruz, to play the role of Commander in Chief of the heroic Revolutionary Armed Forces.

3) For the time being, I authorize Mr. Raúl Castro Ruz as Vice-president to take the charge of President of the Council of State and Ministers of the Government of the Republic of Cuba.
4) For the time being, I authorize Mr. José Ramón Balaguer Cabrera as Member of the Politic Bureau and Minister of Public Health to take the charge of main impeller of the National and International Program of Public Health.

5) For the time being, I authorize Mr. José Ramón Machado Ventura and Mr. Esteban Lazo Hernández as Members of the Politic Bureau to take the charge of main impeller of the National and International Program of Education.

6) For the time being, I authorize Carlos Lage Dávila as Member of the Politic Bureau and Secretary of the Executive Committee of the Council of Ministers to take the charge of main impeller of the National Program of the Cuban Energetic Revolution and the Program of Collaboration with other countries in this field.

The corresponding funds to these three programs: Health, Education and Energetic, shall continue being managed with priority as I have personally done until now, it will be carried out as usual by Mr. Carlos Lage Dávila, Secretary of the Executive Committee of the Council of Ministers, Mr. Francisco Soberón Valdés, Minister and President of the Central Bank of Cuba, and Felipe Pérez Roque, Foreign Minister, who have been with me in these affairs and shall constitute a commission for fulfilling this objective.

Our glorious Communist Party, held on mass organizations and people, has the mission of assuming the assigned duty in this Proclamation.

The meeting Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement, which will take place between September 11th and September 16th, shall receive the best assistance of the State and the Cuban Nation so that it can be held brilliantly on the date that was set.

The 80th Anniversary of my birthday, which thousands of great personalities gently agreed to celebrate next August 13th, I beg you to postpone it for next December 2nd of this year, on the 50th Anniversary of the Landing of ‘Granma’.

I ask the Central Committee of the Cuban Party and the National Assembly of the Popular Power the firmest support to this Proclamation.

I have no shade of doubt about the fact that our people and our Revolution will stand up until death for defending these and other ideas and measures that will be necessarily taken in order to protect this historical process.

The imperialism will never defeat Cuba.
The Battle of Ideas will go on.
Long life the Homeland!
Long life Revolution!
Long life Socialism!
Until Victory forever!
Fidel Castro Ruz
Council of State and Ministers of the Republic of Cuba, Comander in Chief, President Fidel Castro Ruz.
July 31st, 2006
6:22 p.m.