All posts by JaimeM

CONSTITUTIONAL REFORM, marriage as a “union between two people

The importance of families
The definition in the draft Constitution of marriage as a “union between two people” has been one of the most debated issues during the popular consultation process. Dr. Ana María Álvarez-Tabío Albo spoke to Granma regarding the arguments that support this decision

Author: Yudy Castro Morales |
october 9, 2018 12:10:42 











Photo: Juvenal Balán
Is it advisable to speak about “the family” or rather “families”? Would it be valid to simply recognize “the family,” whatever its composition, or should we assume the plural as a blanket term to cover all the multiple family constructions that exist today?
Such questions fuelled a dialogue with Dr. Ana María Álvarez-Tabío Albo, professor at the University of Havana’s Law School, who prefers to talk about the family in the singular, “regardless of the way one chooses to organize it.” As such, she considers “the use of the plural (families) in the draft Constitution unnecessary.”
Dr. Álvarez-Tabío questions giving priority to “the institution of marriage by expressly mentioning it as a protected institution, among so many other ways in which a family can be organized.”
Specifically on marriage, Article 68 of the draft Constitution incorporates a remarkable change: the requirement that the two individuals who decide to enter matrimony must be of a different sex is eliminated; and maintained is the already achieved principle of equality between spouses in their rights to the personal and economic effects that derive from the legal/conjugal relationship.
Undoubtedly, according to professor Álvarez-Tabío, this has been “one of the most debated issues; however, without diminishing its importance, it must be awarded the attention it rightly deserves, without overlooking other topics, as more important, that affect us all as citizens.”
She adds that views on this change have been polarized into two main groups: “One which is ‘scandalized’ at the prospect of marriage between people of the same sex; and another that understands that equality has no distinctions based on personal reasons or circumstances of any kind.”

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Cuba stands firm before the masters of war, Author: Eduardo Galeano

Cuba stands firm before the masters of war
Granma reproduces excerpts from a 2001 speech by Eduardo Galeano, emphasizing the dignity of a peaceful people who have mourned the loss of 3,478 of their sons and daughters, whose lives were cut short by terrorism

Author: Eduardo Galeano |
october 5, 2018 10:10:25  








The explosions of the ship La Coubre (pictured) and Cubana Airlines Flight 455 over Barbados are two of the most tragic events suffered by our people, repeatedly victimized by terrorism. Photo: José Agraz
* Excerpts from a speech by Eduardo Galeano, delivered in December of 2001, upon receiving an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Havana:
“Thirty years ago, thinking about the attitude of the United States government, I asked myself what prohibits its citizens from traveling freely to Cuba: If this island is what they say, hell, why doesn’t the United States organize excursions here so that their citizens can see it themselves and wise up?
“I continue to ask, today.
“Ten years ago, I formulated another question about the vilification of Cuba: How am I going to confuse the country with hell, if I’ve never confused it with heaven?
“I continue to ask, today.
“Neither hell, nor heaven: The Revolution, a product of this world, is dirty with human clay, and precisely because of this, not despite this, it continues to be contagious.
“These times in which we are living are not, let’s say, very honorable. It would appear that we are competing in the World Cup of Doormats. One has the impression, and I hope it is a mistaken impression, that governments are competing to see who can best crawl on the floor, and who can allow themselves to be stepped on with the greatest enthusiasm. This competition is longstanding, but since the terrorist attacks of September 11, unanimity almost exists in subordination to the world’s masters.
I say almost. And today, I say that I am proud to receive this distinction in the country that has most clearly dotted the “i” – saying no to the impunity of the powerful, the country that has most firmly and lucidly refused to accept the sort of safe passage afforded the masters of war, who, in the name of the struggle against terrorism, can practice at will all the terrorism that may occur to them, bombing whoever they like, killing whenever they like, and how many they like. In a world in which being servile is a virtue, in a world in which everyone is for sale, for rent, hearing the voice of dignity is rare. Cuba is, once again, the source of this voice.
This Revolution, harassed, blockaded, slandered, has done less than what it wanted, but has done much more than it could. And is immersed precisely in this.
The Revolution continues to commit the dangerous lunacy of believing that human beings are not condemned to humiliation.

Raúl welcomes President Díaz-Canel home from New York

Raúl welcomes Díaz-Canel home from New York
Shortly after noon on Sunday, the First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba Central Committee, Army General Raúl Castro Ruz, received the President of the Councils of State and Ministers, Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, and the official delegation that accompanied him on his trip to New York, at Havana’s José Martí International Airport

Author: National news staff | |
october 1, 2018 10:10:35







Photo: Estudio Revolución
Shortly after noon this September 30, the First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba Central Committee, Army General Raúl Castro Ruz, received the President of the Councils of State and Ministers, Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, and the official delegation that accompanied him on his trip to New York, at Havana’s José Martí International Airport.

Accompanied by José Ramón Machado Ventura, Second Secretary of the Central Committee, Raúl welcomed Díaz-Canel with a big hug. The Cuban President had a highly successful visit to the United States, which included his participation in the general debate of the 73rd Session of the UN General Assembly, as well as several bilateral meetings with dignitaries and personalities from the business, agriculture and culture sectors.


Sunday, September 23: The Cuban President was accompanied by Army General Raúl Castro and the PCC Second Secretary, José Ramón Machado Ventura, to José Martí International Airport. He arrived in New York at noon.

Monday 24: Díaz-Canel participated in the Nelson Mandela Peace Summit. In the evening, he visited Google’s New York office and held several bilateral meetings with different personalities.

Tuesday 25: He met with his counterparts from several countries, including Bolivian President Evo Morales, and showed his support for the sister nation of Vietnam by signing the book of condolences following the death of President Tran Dai Quang.

Wednesday 26: The Cuban leader delivered two important speeches: one at the UN General Assembly High-level Plenary Meeting to commemorate and promote the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons; and another in the general debate of this 73rd Session of the General Assembly. He held bilateral meetings with presidents and representatives of multilateral organizations, and in the evening he participated in a solidarity event in the Riverside Church.

Thursday 27: Díaz-Canel met with representatives of the U.S. agricultural sector, and the Chambers of Commerce. He was welcomed at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, and held a meeting with leaders of the National Council of Churches of the United States.

Friday 28: The Cuban President spoke with U.S. travel industry executives. He was received at the Dakota apartment building by U.S. cultural personalities, and in the evening spoke to Cuban émigrés at Cuba’s Mission to the UN.

Almost at the end of his extensive work agenda, Díaz-Canel toured the beautiful city of New York. He paid tribute to the victims of 9/11 at the Ground Zero memorial; as well as to Cuban National Hero José Martí, at his statue in this city; and visited the Natural History Museum and Columbia University.

“The blockade of Cuba must end.” Paul Laverty

“The blockade of Cuba must end.”
Paul Laverty, author of the screenplay for the prizewinning film on the life of dancer Carlos Acosta, describes the U.S. blockade as a disgrace

Author: Michel Hernández |
october 2, 2018 12:10:09








Photo: From the film Yuli
The British scriptwriter Paul Laverty, who won the screenplay award at the San Sebastian Film Festival, in Spain, for the film Yuli, inspired in the life of Cuban dancer and choreographer Carlos Acosta, described the blockade as “a disgrace that must end.”
Upon accepting the prize, Laverty, who has written scripts for outstanding directors like Ken Loach, stated, “Some 58 years ago, the U.S. imposed a blockade on Cuba, a blockade that is illegal, that is condemned every year in the United Nations, and is only supported by two votes, those of the U.S. and Israel. Two experts in applying collective punishment on civil populations. Two bullies, shameless hypocrites. We must do away with this disgrace; the blockade of Cuba must end.”
Laverty joins the long list of artists and intellectuals who have spoken out against the blockade, such as filmmakers and actors Oliver Stone, Benicio del Toro, and Robert de Niro, as well as musicians like Manu Chao, Tom Morello, Chris Martin, and Chris Cornell, among many others.
According to official figures, since its inception the blockade has caused losses valued at more than $933,678,000,000, and in the cultural sphere the hostile policy has hampered interaction between artists in the two countries, and created obstacles to the acquisition of musical instruments, instructional software, and studio equipment, among other damages.
Laverty’s comments were featured in the press covering the festival, where Yuli was acclaimed, with members of the cast on hand, led by Carlos Acosta himself and actress Laura de la Uz. Also playing important roles in the film were professor and choreographer Santiago Alfonso, Andrea Doimeadiós, and producer Claudia Calviño.
Acosta (La Habana, 1973), one of the greatest dancers in the history of Cuban ballet, commented that the film, described as “dazzling” at the festival, based on his autobiography No Way Home, can serve as an example of perseverance for Cubans.
“It is the triumph of a humble Cuban family and can serve as a mirror for all Cubans who on a daily basis confront adversities,” he said.

Díaz-Canel meets with U.S. congress members

Díaz-Canel meets with U.S. congress members
The President noted that the recent setback in relations, and in particular the blockade, harm the interests of both peoples and pose further obstacles to the economic development to which Cuba is entitled

Author: Leticia Martínez Hernández |
Author: René Tamayo |
Author: Alina Perera Robbio |
september 24, 2018 17:09:27









Photo: Estudios Revolución

NEW YORK.— The President of the Councils of State and Ministers, Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, held a meeting with members of the U.S. Congress this Monday afternoon at the Cuban Mission to the United Nations.

In the presence of Democrat and Republican senators and representatives, the Cuban President reiterated Cuba’s will to promote the progress of bilateral relations with the United States, and to take advantage of the potential of cooperation between the two countries on the basis of equality and mutual respect.

He noted that the recent setback in relations, and in particular the blockade, harm the interests of both peoples and pose further obstacles to the economic development to which Cuba is entitled.

He also thanked those present for their efforts to facilitate a climate of rapprochement; and invited them to continue working in favor of that process.

Díaz-Canel referred to the current political priorities in Cuba, especially the constitutional reform process that is being carried out with the broad participation of the population, and with a view to updating the country politically and legally.









Photo: Estudios Revolución

At the end of the meeting, the Congress members commented to Cuban reporters their interest in strengthening the commercial ties between the two countries, especially in the field of agriculture.

They expressed opposition to the travel restrictions that the U.S. government applies against the island, noting that Cuba is a very safe country.
They were also emphatic in criticizing the economic, commercial and financial blockade.

Challenges facing the Latin American left


The right wing offensive in Latin America and the Caribbean demands that the left develop a “counter plan” in accordance with Martí’s ideas

Author: Yisell Rodríguez Milán |
september 13, 2018 10:09:0








Calls for Lula’s freedom are being heard across Latin America.

Forces on the left are mobilizing in Latin America and the Caribbean to confront the right wing offensive which, encouraged and financed by the United States, is underway in the region, with the use of strategies meant to foment political destabilization and discredit progressive governments in power and former elected leaders.
Political leaders, intellectuals, and representatives of social movements are evaluating the unfavorable correlation of forces developing over the last few years, and charting action plans, taking the victory of progressive candidate

Andrés Manuel López Obrador, in Mexico, as a positive sign.
“The storm arrived and shut the window opened at the end of the 90s… The question now posed, for the Brazilian left especially, is how to open the window again,” recently wrote Valter Pomar, a member of Brazil’s Workers’ Party and a professor of International Affairs at the Federal University, in his essay on how to move forward.

In his opinion, the left needs strong candidates to challenge the right in elections, but this is not enough since the strategic “utility” of legislators and government leaders rises and falls in accordance with political perspectives and the level of organization outside of the institutional environment, implying the need for a change in methods on the left, and a recovery of spaces lost alongside the working class.

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Fake Sonic Attacks a pretext for a cold war

How is a pretext for a cold war manufactured?
A pretext is all that is needed to start a conflict, something with which the United States has experience, from the Spanish-American War, to Vietnam, Iraq… but its latest efforts to vilify Cuba are unique

Author: Yisell Rodríguez Milán |
september 6, 2018 10:09:08







Photo: Ismael Francisco

A pretext is all that is needed to start a conflict, something with which the United States has experience, from the Spanish-American War, to Vietnam, Iraq… but its latest efforts to vilify Cuba are unique.
Last year, the U.S. asserted that its diplomatic personnel in Cuba had been affected by “sonic attacks,” an accusation that has been developed in the media in an attempt to justify launching a Cold War.
A timeline of events illustrates the current administration’s efforts to undermine the reestablishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
On the 17th the State Department and the U.S. embassy in Havana report, for the first time, to Cuba’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and diplomatic in Washington, the occurrence of alleged acoustic attacks between November 2016 and February 2017.
April and May
On April 25, two new alleged sonic attacks are reported.
On May 23, the State Department orders two Cuban diplomats in Washington to leave the country.
June and August
Three meetings between U.S. experts and their Cuban counterparts take place on the Island. The U.S. acknowledges that it has no evidence to support its allegations.

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Theory of microwaves, It is impossible to prove something that did not occur

It is impossible to prove something that did not occur, and the U.S. knows it
In exclusive statements to Granma, Carlos Fernández de Cossío, director for the United States at the Cuban Foreign Ministry, insists that the latest theory about microwaves cannot explain the variety and diversity of symptoms that the State Department claims its diplomats in Havana suffered, and with time will lose credibility

Author: Bertha Mojena Milián |
september 4, 2018 11:09:40







Photo: Archive
The media agenda to keep public opinion focused on controversial arguments repeated time and time again regarding supposed “incidents” suffered by U.S. diplomats in Havana, seems to be fully implemented every time the string of lies is resuscitated.
Now one of the old theories about the possible impact of microwaves has reemerged and an article in The New York Times has been published referring to new, unnamed witnesses and facts, including the alleged presence of vehicles circling the diplomat’s residences, which could have possibly emitted waves and caused brain damage.

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New Cuban Constitution, for a society in which no one loses

New Cuban Constitution, for a society in which no one loses
A frequent topic of discussion in constitutional reform debates underway across the country is the issue of limiting the concentration of wealth
Author: Iroel Sánchez |
august 29, 2018 15:08:22

People of all ages are participating in the constitutional reform debate across the country.









Photo: Endrys Correa Vaillant
Cuba is expanding rights, transforming its state structure to better respond to citizens concerns, and adapting legislation to match changes which have taken place over the last decade in the country’s economy to function within the difficult international situation. Since August 13, Fidel is being honored with a popular debate in which the entire people is acting as a constituent body, discussing a proposal that has already been the subject of extended debate in the National Assembly.
The analysis conducted by the National Assembly of People’s Power of the constitutional proposal now being considered by citizens included as one of its most intense moments the issue of whether or not the Constitution should explicitly declare that limiting the concentration of wealth is the responsibility of the state – defined as socialist and true to Martí’s precept, “The first law of our republic: the devotion of Cubans to the full dignity of man.”
First of all, it must be recalled that consensus emerged on this limitation during the broad debates held among millions of Cubans on the Guidelines for economic and social development, approved by the Sixth and Seventh Congresses of the Communist Party of Cuba, and the Conceptualization of the Economic and Social Model, in the initial version of which the idea was not present. Its inclusion was the product of a demand from the grassroots level and several delegates proposed it.

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