Havana hosts important regional summit


By Helen Yaffe*

On 28-29th January 2014, Havana hosts the Second Summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC in Spanish), with the participation of the heads of states, chancellors and other representatives of all 33 independent nations in the region. The Summit rounds off Cuba’s one-year presidency of CELAC, which focussed on combating regional poverty, hunger and inequality. Cuba is part of CELAC’s three member troika, along with Chile, which held the presidency in 2012 and Costa Rica which takes over in 2014. Over 30 documents are being drawn up for discussion and analysis, including a Plan of Action, and standards and principles which will govern cooperation. The Summit was preceded by two days of discussions by national experts on 25-26 January and a meeting of chancellors on 27 January. The Summit is expected to emit specific statements, for example, demanding that Britain return Las Islas Malvinas (the Falkland Islands) to Argentina and that the US blockade of Cuba be lifted.

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Cuba Prepares for a Different Relationship with the European Union

Cuba Union Europea

BRUSSELS, Belgium – After years of debate, the European Union is in the final stages of eliminating an existing agreement concerning Cuba and establishing a bilateral agreement with the island nation on several issues.

Earlier this month, Holland’s Foreign Minister, Franciscus ‘Frans’ Timmermans, urged the European Union to encourage more dialogue with Cuba while on a state visit to Havana. “We simply need more human contacts,” he said. “We have seen that not meeting each other and not talking about the issues that divide us does not really help. Dialogue could really bring the relationship forward.”

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Celebration of the 55th Anniversary of the Cuban Revolution (+Video & Photos)

Photos: Virgilio Ponce -Martianos-Hermes-Cubainformación.

On 20 January, the 55th anniversary of the Cuban Revolution was celebrated at a cultural and political event in the Venezuelan Embassys Bolivar Hall. The event was attended by diplomats from the Cuban Embassy and the embassies of other countries which are members of ALBA – the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas. Also present were British trade unión leaders and ex - miners, members of solidarity organisations in solidarity with Cuba and Cubans living in Britain.

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A Call for Justice -- Free the Cuban 5: An Interview with Netfa Freeman

Cuban 5

by Gregory Elich

Netfa Freeman is a longtime activist/organizer who has worked on Cuba solidarity issues for several years.  A frequent traveler to Cuba, Netfa talks about his visit last November in support of the Cuban 5.

Gregory Elich: You've recently returned from Cuba, where you attended the Ninth International Colloquium to Free the Cuban 5.  In 1998, five Cubans who were monitoring the activities of U.S.-based anti-Cuba terrorist groups were arrested by the FBI and imprisoned on charges of espionage.  What can you tell us about the current status of the Cuban 5?

Netfa Freeman: Well, all five were arrested in September of 1998.  As far as their current status, I suppose the first thing people should know is that one of them, René González, was released from the Federal Correctional Institution in Marianna, Florida on October 7, 2011, after serving his entire 13-year sentence.  On April 22, 2013 René returned to Cuba for his father's funeral and on May 11, Judge Lenard allowed him to stay there provided that he would renounce his United States citizenship.  Soon to be released from the Fed pen in Safford, Arizona is FernandoGonzalez, in February.  This will also be because Fernando's sentence will have been served.

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René González, Alice Walker and Ramsey Clark to attend International Commission in London

Rene Gonzales

Booking now open for major event in global campaign for the Miami Five 

14 January 2014

*London Commission of Inquiry to hear key witnesses from Cuba and beyond in the case of the Miami Five

*René González, former Miami Five prisoner to attend London event

*International personalities including Pulitzer Prize winning author Alice Walker, actors Martin Sheen and Emma Thompson

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Response to The Guardian article about Cuban cars

Here is the original article which this reponse relates to: Cuba's classic cars are icons of oppression that deserve scrapping

This is an anti-communist diatribe, without a single fact but full of distortions and outrights lies. Not even Amnesty International claims that Cuba’s prisoners are tortured – or in any other way abused. In fact, the only place where there is torture in Cuba is in the US base on illegally occupied Cuban territory at Guantanamo.

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Let's start 2014 with simultaneous Tweets for the Cuban 5!

Twitter Cuban 5


This Sunday January 5th, Send messages to Obama via Twitter: @BarackObama

Main labels:





Follow us on twitter: @thecuban5; @Madresdelos5

Or call the White House to join the worldwide demand for their freedom.

Different ways to reach the White House   

By phone:

202-456-1111  (If nobody answers the phone leave a message)

If calling from outside the United States, dial first the International Area Code

+ 1 (US country code) followed by 202-456-1111

By Fax: 202-456-2461

If fax is sent from outside the United States, dial first the International Area

Code + 1 (US country code) followed by 202-456-2461

To send an e-mail: Esta dirección de correo electrónico está siendo protegida contra los robots de spam. Necesita tener JavaScript habilitado para poder verlo.

To send a letter:

President Barack Obama

The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Ave, NW

Washington, DC 20500

United States

Send an online message to president Obama

Cuba steps towards monetary unification

Cuban pesos

Among the key aims in the process of ‘updating’ the Cuban economy, approved by the 6th Congress of the Cuban Communist Party in 2011, is the reunification of Cuba’s two currencies: the Cuban Peso (CUP) and the Cuban Convertible Peso (CUC). In October 2013 it was announced that steps towards this had begun. The CUP has been Cuban currency since 1961. In 1993 during the economic crisis of the Special Period, the US dollar was legalised and ‘dollar shops’ initially opened to sell non-essential or imported items to tourists, as the tourist industry became a growing source of income. The CUC was introduced in around 1993 to substitute the function of the US dollar. It was pegged to the US dollar but printed and controlled by the Cuban Central Bank. Helen Yaffe reports.

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Labour MPs urge action to end US abuses of Cuba

London Parliament

Wednesday 4th Dec 2013

posted by Roger Bagley in Britain

Call in the commons for release of Miami Five

Labour MPs Natascha Engel and Grahame Morris cast a Commons spotlight on vicious US abuses of Cuba yesterday.

Ms Engel harried Foreign Office ministers over the US blockade of the socialist island, while Mr Morris called for action over the case of the Miami Five Cubans imprisoned by the US.

Foreign Office Minister David Liddington faced a demand from Ms Engel to "use all of his influence to persuade the US to lift the blockade, which is bad for Cubans, bad for trade and bad for British business."

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Emeritus Professor of Sociology Nelson P Valdes Sends a Letter to Obama

Nelson Valdes

December 5, 2013

President Barack Obama
The White House
Washington, DC

Dear President Obama,

As a naturalized citizen of the United States I want to ask you, my President,  to commute the sentences of four persons, often known as the Cuban Five. Their names are: Gerardo Hernández, Ramón Labañino, Antonio Guerrero and Fernando González. [The fifth, René González,was recently released from prison after serving his sentence].

I am particularly interested in their case because I think their imprisonment, the result of a flawed trial, is a roadblock to normal relations between the United States and Cuba. Let me explain.

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Nación y Emigración