How I teach – One song, so many lessons

By Heather Martin

A Cuban anthem opens up a world of new ideas and concepts

Take one song, three verses, 12 lines (not counting repetitions and chorus). Not only are you teaching Spanish vocabulary, grammar, syntax and pronunciation but you are also exploring history and geography, literary genre and the poetic function, social and political awareness, citizenship and morality, creative writing and translation. I give you Guantanamera.

The three most famous verses of Guantanamera, the definitive patriotic song of Cuba, are surprisingly distinct in tone. The first is autobiographical, setting the scene and introducing the protagonist; from here, a lesson on narrative technique and another on world geography could ensue.

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Cuba sends humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza and offers to receive wounded during Israeli aggression

fidel palestina

EGIPTO, September 10, 2014. The Cuban Embassy in Cairo delivered, to the Embassy of Palestine and the Egyptian Red Crescent, a load of six tons of medicines and disposable material for Gaza, as a sign of solidarity and support to the brother people of Palestine.

The donation of the people and the Government of the largest of the Antilles, reaffirms the historic support of the Cuban Revolution to the noble cause of the Palestinian people, who continued to be the victims of the hostile policy of the State of Israel, as demonstrated by the recent aggression against the Gaza Strip, which caused considerable material damage and more than 2000 dead, most of them civilians.

For its part the Palestinian authorities expressed the gratitude of its people and Government, for the noble gesture of Cuba, as well as its historical and invariable position beside to the just cause of the Palestinian people. The medical aid that is sent will relieve the terrible situation that lives Gaza, due to the shortage of drugs and other medical supplies required for the operation of hospitals.

The Palestinian side also thanked the disposition of Cuba to receive injured Palestinians, during the brutal aggression of Israel, to be cared in hospitals and institutions of Cuba.

Source: Minrex

Solidarity Campaign in UK Denounces Visa Refusal to Cuban Anti-terrorist

Rene Gonzalez

The Cuban solidarity campaign has called for emergency protests

The United Kingdom’s Cuba Solidarity Campaign called for demonstrations after British authorities denied a visa to Cuban antiterrorist Rene Gonzalez. Gonzalez, together with his spouse Olga Salanueva, was invited to join supporters in London from September 8 to 10.

The U.K.  government rejected three legal injunctions to revoke this decision, despite Gonzalez having received an invitation from 29 British legislators to attend a meeting in parliament, and another from the Trade Union Congress in Liverpool.

Gonzalez’s European tour is part of a global campaign to support the Cuban Five and to oppose terrorism. The tour will run from September 4 to October 6.

Last March, Rene Gonzalez was likewise denied entry by the British government in order to attend a Commission of Inquiry to investigate the case of the Cuban Five, as the group is known. The session took place in the British capital.

September 12 will mark the sixteenth anniversary of his arrest. He and his colleagues Fernando Gonzalez, Gerardo Hernandez, Ramon Labañino and Antonio Guerrero were arrested in 1998. The last three are still behind bars.

Source: Telesur

Who Governs Cuba? - Exploring the Social Composition of the Cuban Leadership

Parlamento cubano

by W. T. Whitney Jr.

Not least among achievements of Cuba's socialist revolution is expanded political participation, even exercise of power, among formerly disadvantaged groups.   Rafael Hernández, editor of the Cuban journal Temas, details this story.  He studied participation and entry into leadership positions in terms of age, gender, race, and profession.  He mentions one consequence of inclusion that may be problematic.

Hernández advances Cuban Communist Party (PCC) membership as a measure of political participation.  The combined membership of the PCC and Union of Young Communists (UJC) numbered 1,175,148 in 2012 -- 22.1 percent of Cuba's labor force that year.  Of PCC members, 35 percent are of African descent, a figure equal to Hernández's estimate of the proportion of African-descended people among all Cubans.  Afro-Cubans make up 42 percent of UJC members.  Women make up 39 percent of party members and 52 percent of UJC members.  The median age of PCC members is 50.

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The Threat of Good Example

Socialist Cuba Exports Health Care, Gains Important Recognition

Mision Milagro

by W.T. WHITNEY, Jr.

In Cuba recently press conferences and new reports celebrated the ten-year anniversary of Operation Miracle, known also as “Mision Miracle,” which occurred on July 8. This internationalized project aimed at restoring vision on a massive scale took shape within the context of ALBA, the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America.

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Margaret Chan impressed by Cuba’s healthcare achievements

Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO), Margaret Chan, expressed her great satisfaction with Cuba’s many achievements in the sphere of health, after inaugurating - together with President Raúl Castro - the new Centre of State Control of Medicines, Medical Equipment and Devices (Cecmed); and the National Coordinating Centre of Clinical Trails (Cencec), headquarters.

inaugura

inaugura2

Chan emphasized the importance of combining, under one roof, areas of work essential to scientific development. “Cuba is the only country I have seen which has a healthcare system closely linked to closed-loop research and development. This is the right direction to be moving in, because human health can not improve without innovation,” she highlighted.

She praised Cuban scientists, describing them as dedicated people who have achieved astonishing results within a difficult context given the economic, financial and commercial blockade (imposed by the United States for over 50 years) which Cuba suffers from.

"I keep a special place in my heart for Cuba and recognize the efforts of the Cuban government to establish health as an essential pillar of development,” stated Chan.

Source: Granma

U.S. Stupidity and Cowardice in Continuing to Designate Cuba as a “State Sponsor of Terrorism”

State Sponsors of Terrorism

On April 30, 2014, the U.S. Department of State issued its annual report on terrorism in the world: Country Reports on Terrorism 2013. A prior post reviewed the report as a whole.

We now examine this report’s designation of Cuba as a “State Sponsor of Terrorism” [“SST”], i.e., as a country that has “repeatedly provided support for acts of international terrorism.” This post’s analysis is also informed by the U.S.’s similar designations of Cuba in the annual reports on terrorism for 1996 through 2012. Earlier posts analyzed and criticized the reports about Cuba for 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012.

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Letter to Obama – Free the Cuban Five

obama free the cuban five

Dear President Obama,

In writing this letter, this group of Cubans resident in the United Kingdom (Cubanos en UK) add our voices to the millions inside and outside Cuba who ask for the release of the remaining Cuban three citizens of the group known as the Cuban Five: Antonio Guerrero Rodríguez, Gerardo Hernández Nordelo y Ramón Labañino Salazar, political prisoners in your country for more than 15 years. These three anti-terrorist Fighters not only protected the lives of Cubans, but also of US citizens who may have been the target of these terrorist actions.

In the last few days a number of activities have taken place in your country, supported by actions in various other countries, to demand the freedom of these Cuban compatriots. There is an abundance of evidence pointing to legal and media manoeuvres involved in securing the injust sentences for the Cuban Five.

In 2009, Libyan Mohmed al-Megrahi, who was serving a life sentence in Scotland accused of the horrific bombing of the Boeing 747 in the air above Lockerbie, was released and returned to his country on compassionate grounds. That bombing killed 270 people, 189 of them US citizens. Mr President you stated that ‘all of us here in the United States were surprised, disappointed and angry about the release’. Mr President it can’t be difficult for you to understand that the people of Cuba feel the same about the abominable terrorist bombing of the Cuban airlines flight in 1976 which cost the lives of all 73 passengers and crew, including the Cuban national fencing team.

The intellectual author of this terrorist act, Luis Posada Carriles, who has confessed his role, enjoys total freedom and protection in your country. The Cuban Five never committed any violent crime or act of terrorism. They are innocent and we demand their immediate freedom. Mr President, we hope you will use the powers granted to your office and earn your Nobel Peace Prize by ending the injustice in this case.

Your sincerely

Daniesky Acosta
On behalf of Cubanos en UK

June 9, 2014

Cuban double agent reveals CIA machinations in Cuba

Enemigo by Raúl Capote, Editorial Jose Marti, 2011 (in Spanish)

Review by Raidel López

In Enemigo (Enemy), Cuban writer and university professor of history, Raúl Capote, reveals his life as a double agent; agent Pablo for the CIA, and agent Daniel for Cuban intelligence. This is not a work of fiction or a classic spy novel. It is the real experience narrated by the protagonist about plans by the CIA and its allies to destroy the Cuban Revolution. His story reveals one of the many facets of the US war against Cuba. For over half a century plans of espionage, sabotage, terrorist attacks, assassination, subversion, military, economic and political aggression, have been made and executed from the US. Most of these plans have failed, thanks to the work and sacrifice of men like Capote.

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