Cubans Rejoice for 61 years of Revolution

January 1, 2020, the Cuban Revolution turns 61 years old. It hasn’t been smooth sailing. Throughout these years, the Cuban project has had to navigate a rough sea of US imperialism’s attacks, obsessed with ending a revolution that could be taken as an example by other Latin American countries.

A lot has been written about the methods used to try and reach this end, and they are quite well-known, but it’s important to always remind people of them so that nobody forgets and so that people who didn’t know learn the truth.

Ever since the beginning, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) hasn’t skimped on efforts or money to try and make the Cuban people abort their revolutionary process. It armed and funded every counter-revolutionary it could recruit among the Battista dictatorship’s former militarymen, civilian collaborators of the overthrown regime, some people affected by the first revolutionary laws and many others who didn’t know why they opposed a revolution, which was heading towards Communism according to Imperialism’s propaganda.

Thousands of armed insurgents received ammunition and supplies, as well as money, from the US government via the CIA. They committed all kinds of atrocities such as the murder of farmers, teachers, young literacy teachers, while they sabotaged the national economy.

At the same time, they trained and armed a contingent of mercenaries so they could disembark on the Cuban coast, with the plan of taking a bit of land and deploying a puppet government that would ask for US military intervention.

However, those plans failed when they were neutralized and beaten by the revolutionary forces, the Rebel army and a Havana police squad, in less than 72 hours, when they tried to land on Giron Beach, at the Bay of Pigs, in the south of Cuba. Everybody knows how this take-over attempt ends.

Insurgents in the mountains and countryside in every province, gradually declined and some managed to escape to the US, where they were given a hero’s welcome. After these armed actions failed, the CIA’s war against Cuba resorted to terrorism; let’s remember the Cubana aeroplane that exploded mid-flight near Barbados, with 83 people on board, bombs placed at Havana’s hotels, one of which took the life of an Italian tourist, to name a few.

In their naive belief that if they did away with Fidel Castro then the Revolution would end, over 600 attempts were made on the Revolution leader’s life, but they all failed. Some would have devastating results such as blowing up an auditorium full of students at Panama University, when meeting with Fidel.

While all of this (and so much more that I can’t fit into this article) was happening, the US government was imposing an economic, commercial and financial blockade, whose sole mission is to cause shortages, hunger, disease and desperation amongst the Cuban people so as to overthrow the revolutionary government and then intervene and establish a new US-capitalist backed government in the country.

However, this plan also failed and former US president Barack Obama admitted this when he reestablished diplomatic relations with Cuba.

The rapprochement process came to a standstill when Donald Trump’s government came into power, which has tightened the blockade and made it harsher than ever before. Persecution of Cuba’s financial and commercial operations is relentless.

This year, they have even gone so far as persecuting oil tanker ships traveling to Cuba, in an attempt to leave us without fuel and paralyze the country. These are desperate measures, the result of so many failed attempts in the past, but the Cuban Revolution will celebrate 61 years with great rejoicing and celebrations in every corner of the country. We have orchestras and bands to play over the entire country and to get every Cuban up dancing on their feet, thus proving that even though they tried to kill us and our spirits this year, we are very much alive and kicking.

Being like Che, today and tomorrow

On the 52nd anniversary of Ernesto Guevara’s death, we recall the question posed by Fidel: 
“What do we want our children to be?” And the answer: “…Like Che”
“I am” or “I will be” is perhaps the most recurrent personal dilemma, in terms of revolutionary ethics, that Che’s memory provokes.

This challenging question weighs heavy in the hearts of conscious individuals, well aware of the living force of Ernesto Guevara’s impeccable example.

It is clear, first of all, that this is not a question for everyone, since he does not mean the same thing for everyone. A man becomes a symbol only for those who share his dreams, while for others he is simply an historical figure, albeit a renowned one.

Che speaks to us in many ways, as a legend, a leader, soldier, companion, father, a natural man.

Nothing in his life or work needs an explication to defend its value. He did not need it when he was alive, when his posture and acts spoke for themselves, even as a developing young man. Much less later, after his ascension from the world of the living, to that of those who live forever.

From Rosario's boy to Bolivia's guerrilla leader, he constantly took on colossal challenges. He responded to his asthma by climbing mountains. To heal the sick? He swam across a jungle river. To understand the pain of his people? He rode a motorcycle across the feverish continent. To help remedy this pain? He gave himself in battle, embarked on an overloaded yacht, fought, and succeeded, making the Revolution that would begin the continental rebellion, in which he already knew he would die.

 His unreachable, impossible goals were as legendary as the man, but nonetheless, for mortal revolutionaries who understand him, he left an ample legacy of challenges for daily practice, a framework for the human and the virtuous.

Fidel posed the question: “What do we want our children to be?” - those who we are now, and our own. “We want them to be like Che.”

This is the issue today: Asking ourselves if we are or will be like him, is to understand that the question is not to choose today or tomorrow, but to always be frank, bold, industrious, supportive, critical, decisive, and of course, sensitive dreamers committed to the common good, because seeking individual happiness in itself is not genuine. It is only true when, like the world’s eternal guerrilla, it has a collective soul and a vocation for humanity.

The Revolution has never sponsored terrorism

but such acts have taken the lives of 3,478 Cubans

On October 6, the day Cuba has set to commemorate the victims of state terrorism, those who lost their lives in the Barbados crime were honored with a procession to Colón Cemetery in Havana. First Party Secretary Army General Raúl Castro and President Díaz-Canel sent floral wreaths for the occasion

Cuba will always pay tribute to the victims of the October 6, 1976, terrorist attack. We have historical memory and demand justice," Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, President of Cuba’s Councils of State and Ministers, tweeted on the occasion of the 43rd anniversary of the crime in Barbados.

With a pilgrimage to Havana’s Colón Cemetery, on Victims of State Terrorism Day, the 73 people who lost their lives in the bombing of a Cubana Airlines plane were remembered yesterday morning. Alongside relatives of the victims were Luis Antonio Torres Iríbar, first secretary of the Party in the capital, and Reinaldo García Zapata, president of the Provincial Assembly of People’s Power, as well as representatives of the National Institute of Sports, Physical Education, and Recreation (Inder), among others.

On October 6, 1976, Cubana Flight 455 exploded off the coast of Barbados, after bombs were planted aboard by terrorists. Fifty-seven Cubans lost their lives, including young members of the country’s fencing team, returning to Cuba after winning gold medals in the Central American and Caribbean Championship, several of whom had not reached 20 years of age.

Also killed were 11 Guyanese and five citizens of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. Lost were “useful lives dedicated to noble activities, which were cut short by an act of violence,” said Cubana Airlines pilot Eliecer Romero during the commemoration held at the Revolutionary Armed Forces Pantheon. Families of victims continue to demand that the U.S. government be held accountable, said Captain Romero, who at the time of the attack was only nine, but still remembers Fidel's impassioned eulogy, when he said, “And when an energetic and virile people cries, injustice trembles!”

U.S. trained terrorists Luis Posada Carriles
The infamous counter revolutionary terrorists of Cuban origin, Orlando Bosch Ávila and Luis Posada Carriles, the intellectual authors of this abominable act, never paid for their crime. Cuba repeatedly denounced these dangerous murderers, who lived on with impunity, under the protection of the U.S. government, until their deaths, never expressing the slightest remorse for the crimes they committed.

Venezuelans Freddy Lugo and Hernán Ricardo, who planted the bombs aboard the Cuban plane, were sentenced to 20 years in prison. These four international criminals were trained and paid by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

The crime in Barbados was not the first, nor the last, terrorist attack against the Cuban Revolution. Such acts have taken the lives of 3,478 Cubans, and 2,099 were left disabled, victims of imperialist aggression against the Cuban people.

Cuba strongly rejects visa restrictions to health officials

U.S. Director General of the Cuban Ministry of Foreign Affairs Carlos Fernandez de Cossio rejected the U.S. decision to deny visas to a medical delegation from the Caribbean nation that would intervene in a forum of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).
"The U.S. State Department does it again. Practicing its coercive foreign policy measures, the only one it is capable of doing," he subscribed in his Twitter account.
"Illegitimate visa restrictions to attack Cuba. The recognized international medical cooperation shows a morally bankrupt policy of the United States," the diplomat wrote.
Two airlines sued under Helms-Burton Act against Cuba
Fernandez de Cossio added that "the U.S. State Department has a great misunderstanding of the moral values related to solidarity and loyalty. "Enormous mistake in believing that Cuban officials would betray international medical cooperation commitments in exchange for visas to enter the United States. (US) Foreign policy lacks basic decency," he emphasized.
The Cuban government, including President Miguel Diaz-Canel, has denounced the public purposes of Donald Trump's administration to persecute Cuban medical missions abroad for alleged violations of the human rights of the island's doctors.
Cuban medical personnel serve in 67 countries, in addition to contributing to the formation of thousands of doctors from 138 nations.
Abel González Alayón  Cuban News Agency 

Cuba vs blockade

Facts and figures from Cuba’s report on UN General Assembly Resolution 73/8 calling for an immediate end to the U.S. blockade

Granma International shares facts and figures from Cuba’s report, presented by Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla, on Resolution 73/8 of the United Nations General Assembly

The significant negative impact of measures recently adopted by the U.S. to tighten the blockade is not reflected in the following account, since this escalation occurred after the time period analyzed.

- Losses April 2018-March 2019: 4,343,600,000 dollars

- Damages accumulated over six decades of this policy, at current prices:
138,843,400, 000 dollars

- Total quantifiable harm caused by the blockade has reached more than:
922,630,000,000 dollars (depreciated as compared to the price of gold)

- Damages caused by exclusion from to U.S. market: 163,108 659
click to read

- Damages caused by use of intermediaries in purchases and higher prices in distant markets: 173,210,916

Damages due to increased costs for shipping & insurance: 72,160,602

Potential export income lost: 2,343,135,842

Higher financing costs due to national risk rating: 47,290,204

Prohibitions on use of the U.S. dollar: 85,139,436

Other: 12,535,892

Total: 2,896,581,555

Trading with the Enemy:

A U.S. law that only applies to Cuba

Amidst the escalation of U.S. hostile policy toward Cuba, President Trump announced the extension, for one more year, of the law which serves as the basis for the blockade

As expected, amidst the escalation of the U.S. government’s hostile policy toward Cuba, President Donald Trump announced the extension, for one more year, of the law which serves as the basis for the blockade.

The Trading with the Enemy Act, approved by Congress on October 6, 1917, gives the President the authority to restrict U.S. trade with "hostile" countries, and the option of applying economic sanctions in times of war, or any other period of national emergency, and prohibits trade with the enemy, or allies of the enemy, during military conflicts.

Under this law, the oldest of its kind, the Cuban Assets Control regulations were adopted in 1963, after the blockade of Cuba was declared in 1962 by President John F. Kennedy, also based on this statute.

Cuba is today the only country for which this legislation remains in effect. Other countries such as China, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, and Vietnam were also designated as subject to this legislation in the past.

click to read 
One of the absurdities of this irrational law against Cuba is that the White House has never declared a national emergency with respect to our country, and we are not at war, yet, successive U.S. Presidents have extended the law’s application year after year.

This legislation is part of the legal framework that sustains the blockade, which includes several laws and administrative regulations, such as the Foreign Assistance Act (1961); Export Administration Act (1979); the Cuban Democracy Actor Torricelli of 1992; the Helms Law-Burton (1996); as well as Export Administration Regulations (1979)