Ten ideas for Cuban youth

Photo: Ariel Cecilio Lemus Alvarez

Key ideas – not to be forgotten – from the Federation of University Students Ninth Congress, held in Havana this past weekend

July 12, 2018

– Youth will guarantee the continuity of Cuba’s revolutionary process and the construction of the prosperous, sustainable socialism the country wants. This is not an empty slogan, but rather the greatest commitment this generation assumes.
– If youth are to be the protagonists of changes underway in the country, every one of the FEU’s 5,300 branches must take on a project of social, community, economic, or environmental impact.
– The organization of students, building unity and consensus, must begin in classrooms, to consolidate essential ideas and conscious action to produce concrete results.
– Priorities include continuing to encourage research, promoting its use in projects of social impact, allowing new generations to perfect our socialism.
– Measures are needed to provide for more autonomy and perfect practices in training periods and job placement of university graduates.
– Institutions and enterprises must promote graduates’ participation in innovation and development, under the guidance of experienced professionals.
– Nothing, no one, can destroy the solid political foundation developed in Cuba during our 150 years of struggle to win and protect the nation’s independence.
– Previous generations of university students left as their legacy the importance of unity.
– This was a historic Congress, the first to be held without the physical presence of Fidel, at a time when a new stage of the Cuban Revolution is unfolding, as a new generation is assuming the leadership of the country.
– Evident during the Congress were the talent and commitment of university students to this Revolution that began October 10, 1868, and has always been able to count on the active, conscious involvement youth.

(Granma)

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Venezuela Highlights Legacy of Fidel and Chavez in Sao Paulo Forum

By Wiliam Urquijo Pascual

Caracas, Jul 14 (PL) Venezuela will highlight the historical and political legacy of revolutionary leaders Fiderl Castro (1926-2016) and Hugo Chávez (1954-2013) at the annual meeting of the Sao Paulo Forum, assured today socialist leader Adan Chavez.

In an exclusive interview for Prensa Latina, the vicepresident of International Affairs of the Venezuelan Socialist Party (PSUV) asserted that the concertation mechanism, to meet here from July 15 thru 17, will be a great tribute to the ideas and action of the top exponent of the Cuban revolution.

Revolutionaries of Latin America and the world will always recognize the historic stature and trascendency of Fidel Castro and its impact on emancipating movements foro ver 50 years, saiod Chavez, who travels leading the Venezuelan delegation to the great event of the regional leftwing forces.

He underlined that the Forum of Sao Paulo ‘is a product of tjhe brilliant and strategic mind of Fidel’, who in direct contact with former Brazilian president and founder of the Workers’ Pary of Brazil, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, ‘gave life to that space of theoretical debate for action, in face of the thrust of the world to the right after the collapse of the Soviet Union’.

In that sense, the PSUV vicepresident said that concertation mechanism continues as a field of discussion to summon for unity, sharing experiences and promoting unity, experiences and promoting struggle to construct socialism,, freedom, sovereignty and integration of the peoples.

He also asserted that the Venezuelan delegation will ratify in Havana the call to continental unity, according to the legacy of the leader of the Bolivarian Revolution, Hugo Chavez, who included among the historical objectives of the so-called Plan of the Homeland to consolidate a world ‘multicentered and pluripolar’, referring to the efforts of the United States government and its allies.

In Latin America, there is a focus to face those imperialist aggressions, formed by Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia and Nicaragua, saying the latter faces ‘a terrible attack’ promoted by oligarchic and extreme-right sectors like those against Venezuela in April to July, 2017.

The head of the Venezuelan delegation to the event of the Latin American and Caribbean left said that the 24th edition of the Sao Paulo Forum will debate strategies and actions aimed to counter the attacks of the region’s rightwing forces.

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Cuba’s President Expresses Condolences to Japan’s People, Government

Tokyo, Jul 14 (Prensa Latina) Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel today expressed his deep regret over the deaths and damages that the worst meteorological disaster in the last 30 years left in Japan, said the Cuban embassy in the Japanese country.

The Cuban head of State ‘extended his heartfelt condolences to the government and people of #Japan for the unfortunate loss of human life and property damage caused by torrential rains in several regions of the country,’ says the diplomatic headquarters in its Facebook account.

Official data indicate that 201 people died, more than 30 are still missing, 160 houses were totally destroyed, while some 700 suffered structural damage and more than 25,000 were flooded in 31 of the 47 prefectures of the Asian country.

Thousands of troops from the Self-Defense Forces, police and firefighters continue to be deployed for the rescue and search of the disappeared.

At the same time, thousands of volunteers arrived on Saturday to the affected areas to support the recovery efforts.

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Two Gold Medals for Cuban Group in South Africa Choir Games

By Ilsa Rodriguez Santana

Pretoria, South Africa, Jul 14 (Prensa Latina) Cuban women’s group Ensemble Vocal Luna today won its second gold medal at the Olympics of Choir Games in South Africa, this time in the category of female chamber choirs.

The victory of Vocal Luna in the two categories competing in the 10th edition of these games, which is held for the first time in the African continent, places the 14-singer group led by Wilma Verrier among the best in the world.

In statements to Prensa Latina, the director expressed the joy, pride and satisfaction for the recognition received, which they did not expect, she said.

We considered that our prize had been to arrive at the Choir Games, to present ourselves on a stage of this high level, to share with the best groups worldwide, but we never thought that we could win against choirs of 40, 50 and 60 members, she assured.

He also said that they arrived two days before the first competition, after a trip of more than 20 hours. This has been a personal challenge, a record for Vocal Luna, we exceeded our vocal limits, she said.

The result of the contest held yesterday at the University of South Africa in this capital was released this morning.

Last night, Ensemble Vocal Luna won its first gold medal in the contemporary music category, one day after its debut.

In both presentations, the Cuban group conquered the public, and undoubtedly the jury, with its exquisite coupling of voices, freshness, choreography and impeccable interpretation of the numbers executed, many of them by Cuban authors.

The 10th edition of these Choral Olympics, organized by the German company Interkultur, will be officially closed tonight.

Cuba participates for the first time in this global competition.

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Saint Vincent PM Highlights Importance of Forum of Sao Paulo

Havana, Jul 13 (Prensa Latina) Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves stated here Friday that the 24th edition of the Forum of Sao Paulo constitutes a good stage to defend the sovereignty of Latin American and Caribbean nations.

After he paid homage to Cuban National Hero Jose Marti, Ralph Gonsalves told the Cuban and foreign press that the event to be held in Havana from July 15 to 17 will defend self-determination of the peoples of Latin America and the Caribbean from the intervention attempts by the international right-wing.

Gonsalves said the event to be held at Havana’s Convention Center will hold the principles of solidarity among the countries of the region, and will ratify the position against any kind of interventionist policies.

Gonsalves stated it is vital that the internal decisions of governments should be respected, since the United Nations Organization, the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States and the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America were born on that basis.

This Friday, Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel and Gonsalves held official talks after a protocol reception at the Palace of the Revolution.

Framed in the good relations between both countries, the San Vicente prime minister has made several visits to Cuba.

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Correcting The Record: What Is Really Happening In Nicaragua?

President Daniel Ortega addressed the assembled crowds of thousands of supporters on Friday and said: "We are here with open doors."

President Daniel Ortega addressed the assembled crowds of thousands of supporters on Friday and said: “We are here with open doors.”

 

There is a great deal of false and inaccurate information about Nicaragua in the media. Even on the left some have simply repeated the dubious claims of CNN and Nicaragua’s oligarchic media to support removal of President Ortega.

This article seeks to correct the record, describe what is happening in Nicaragua and why. As we write this, the coup seems to be failing, people have rallied for peace (as this massive march for peace held Saturday July 7 showed) and the truth is coming out. It is important to understand what is occurring because Nicaragua is an example of the types of violent coups the US and wealthy use to put in place business dominated, neoliberal governments. If people understand these tactics, they will become less effective.

Mixing up the Class Interests

In part, US pundits are getting their information from media outlets, such as Jaime Chamorro-Cardinal’s La Prensa, and the same oligarchical family’s Confidencial, that are the most active elements of the coup media. Repeating and amplifying their narrative delegitimizes the Sandinista government and presents unconditional surrender by Daniel Ortega as the only acceptable option. These pundits provide cover for nefarious internal and external interests who have set their sights on controlling Central America’s poorest and yet resource-rich country.

The coup attempt brought the class divisions in Nicaragua into the open. Piero Coen, the richest man in Nicaragua, owner of all national Western Union operations and an agrochemical company, personally arrived on the first day of protests at the Polytechnical University in Managua, to encourage students to keep protesting, promising his continued support.

The traditional landed oligarchy of Nicaragua, politically led by the Chamorro family, publishes constant ultimatums to the government through its media outlets and finances the roadblocks that have paralyzed the country for the last eight weeks.

The Catholic Church, long allied with the oligarchs, has put its full weight behind creating and sustaining anti-government actions, including  its universities, high schools, churches, bank accounts, vehicles, tweets, Sunday sermons, and a one-sided effort to mediate the National Dialogue. Bishops have made death threats against the President and his family, and a priest has been filmed supervising the torture of Sandinistas. Pope Francis has called for peace dialogue, and even called Cardinal Leonaldo Brenes and Bishop Rolando Alvarez to a private meeting in the Vatican, setting off rumors that the Nicaraguan monseñores were being scolded for their obvious involvement in the conflict they are officially mediating.  The church remains one of the few pillars keeping the coup alive.

A common claim is Ortega has cozied up to the traditional oligarchy, but the opposite is true. This is the first government since Nicaraguan independence that does not include the oligarchy. Since the 1830s through the 1990s, all Nicaraguan governments– even during the Sandinista Revolution– included people from the elite “last names,” of Chamorro, Cardenal, Belli, Pellas, Lacayo, Montealegre, Gurdián. The government since 2007 does not, which is why these families are supporting the coup.

Ortega detractors claim his three-part dialogue including labor unions, capitalists and the State is an alliance with big business. In fact, that process has yielded the highest growth rate in Central America and annual minimum wage increases 5-7% above inflation, improving workers’ living conditions and lifting people out of poverty. The anti-poverty Borgen project reports reports poverty fell by 30 percent between 2005 and 2014.

The Ortega economy is the opposite of neoliberalism, it is based on public investment and strengthening the safety net for the poor. The government invests in infrastructure, transit, maintains water and electricity within the public sector, and moved privatized services. e.g., health care and primary education into the public sector. This has ensured a stable economic structure that favors the real economy over the speculative economy.

What liberal and even leftists commentators overlook is that unlike the Lula government in Brazil, which reduced poverty through cash payouts to poor families, Nicaragua has redistributed productive capital in order to develop a self-sufficient popular economy. The FSLN model is better understood as an emphasis on the popular economy over the State or capitalist spheres.  While the private sector employs about 15% of Nicaraguan workers, the informal sector employs over 60%. The informal sector has benefitted from $400 million in public investments, much of it coming from the ALBA alliance funds to finance micro loans for small and medium-sized agricultural enterprises. Policies to facilitate credit, equipment, training, animals, seeds and subsidized fuel further support these enterprises. The small and medium producers of Nicaragua have led the country to produce 80-90% of its food and end its dependence on IMF loans. Continue reading

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Puerto Rican Musician Gilberto Santa Rosa Arrives In Cuba

Havana, Jul 13 (Prensa Latina) Puerto Rican singer Gilberto Santa Rosa arrived in Cuba today to give two concerts, on his 40th tour and his fourth-decade musical career.

The first presentation of the Puerto Rican is scheduled for tomorrow at the Josone Varadero Jazz & Salsa Festival, which began this Thursday at the famous Cuban resort.

Santa Rosa heads the line-up of the event along with other prestigious foreign and local musicians, including Salvadoran singer-songwriter Alvaro Torres, U.S. jazz musician Nicholas Payton and the Cubans Gente de Zona, pianist Alejandro Falcon and the legendary rumba group Los Muñequitos de Matanzas.

Two days later, El Caballero de la Salsa, also known as the singer, will perform in this city, in a unique concert scheduled for 21:00 local time on the Havana Malecon.

The successful performer of hits like Vivir sin ella y Que alguien me diga and winner of several Latin Grammy awards has many followers on the island, and has worked alongside local artists Descemer Bueno, El Micha and Candido Fabre.

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Venezuela Ratifies Civic-Military Union Facing Interventionist Plans

Caracas, Jul 13 (Prensa Latina) Venezuela ratifies the civic-military union against the hostile plans by the Colombian oligarchy, incited by the United States, which intends to intervene in the South American country across borders, President Nicolas Maduro said.

‘Our strategic concept of defense, our historical military doctrine, our plans for the defense of sovereignty, peace, and territorial integrity can only be carried forward with our people, together with our people, for our people,’ the president said.

Maduro made these statements during the inauguration ceremony of the National Bolivarian Navy and Military Aviation, held yesterday in this capital.

He emphasized that US imperialism is preparing provocations on the Colombian-Venezuelan border, to provoke an armed confrontation.

Facing those threats, Maduro asked the Bolivarian National Armed Forces (FANB) to guarantee territorial peace, and warned about a plan of the neighboring country to infiltrate paramilitaries that generate irregular events.

The president reiterated that the Venezuelan military entities are the shield and defense of the national dignity, and they are under the custody and legacy of the doctrine of Liberator Simon Bolívar.

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Cuban Journalists Debate New Communication Policy at 10th Congress

Havana, July 13 (Prensa Latina) The Union of Cuban Journalists (UPEC) began its Tenth Congress here today, during which it will discuss contributions to the implementation of the Communication Policy and the press model needed for the country.

Presenting the main theme of the conference, ‘How can the Cuban press and journalism contribute to the implementation of the Communication Policy’, UPEC National Committee member Raul Garces pointed out several of the challenges in this process, among them those of management, innovation and credibility in the media.

Garces, also dean of the Faculty of Communication at the University of Havana, reminded those present that a group of objectives and principles ‘does not magically solve problems which are sometimes historically accumulated and with a cultural sediment’.

However, he affirmed that ‘in the case of Cuba, in the midst of all the past and present threats, it is the opportunity to give socialism a modern, participative, innovative and irrevocably democratic face’.

‘It is up to us to understand the role of the creative industries in the contemporary world, to manage them and take advantage of them boldly,’ said Garces, who stressed that the new policy provides for the sale of products and services, international cooperation, advertising and sponsorship, among others, as sources of financing (in those places where it is approved).

According to the scholar, it is a good step to build alliances and give muscle to the system of public media to transcend the production of content and stop at the added value that each journalistic organization could generate, but without dazzling or obscuring the economy.

‘Running a media organization in today’s Cuba requires a culture, a very personal approach and a great deal of political sensitivity, not minimizing threats, but also not letting opportunities pass through as easy, inertia or professional cowardice,’ he added.

However, he insisted that the best idea and the best policy can crash into practice if the conditions are not created to make them viable.

‘This congress,’ he stated, ‘calls us to analyze together how to successfully implement the recently approved Communication Policy’.

‘The future of the Cuban Revolution is certainly at stake in the fields of economy and politics, but also, and with significant force, in the symbolic field,’ he stressed.

The national meeting of the UPEC, organised under the slogan ‘The truth needs us’, will conclude tomorrow with debates on the press model needed for socialism on the island.

During the congress delegates will also work in five committees: Functioning of the UPEC, Ethics and communication, Media aggression against Cuba, Innovation and new technologies and Content management.

In addition, the delegates will elect the president of the association and approve the work plan for the next five years.

Founded on July 15, 1963, UPEC has 3,920 members throughout the country. More than 52 per cent of the total are women.

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Cuba Calls on US to Fulfill Obligations as UN Host Country

Image result for Cuba to the United Nations, Indira Guardia

United Nations, Jul 13 (Prensa Latina) Cuba’s representation before the UN is calling for the host country of the headquarters of the multilateral organization, the United States, to fully comply with the obligations that stem from this condition.

The second secretary of the permanent mission of Cuba to the United Nations, Indira Guardia, expressed the island’s concern about the continued failure on the part of the United States, as a host country, of the norms of international law in relation to its obligations as headquarters.

In that context, she once again called on the northern nation to honor the commitments made under international treaties and to facilitate the work of diplomatic agents accredited to the UN.

In addition, the diplomat stressed that there is no justification for the host country to continue without taking concrete steps towards the elimination of measures that hinder the work of staff of several missions.

Such is the case of the restriction to free mobility, she set as an example.

Guardia reiterated Cuba’s commitment to work with all members of the Committee on Relations with the Host Country of the United Nations with the aim of enforcing the relevant provisions of the Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations, of the Vienna Convention of 1961 on Diplomatic Relations.

All this with transparency, without discrimination and in full respect for the sovereignty of States and the Organization, she said.

The Committee on Relations with the Host Country of the United Nations ensures that the latter responds in a timely manner to all issues that arise in the relations among the multilateral organization, the Member States, and the host country.

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