All posts by JaimeM

Cuban Governors and Lieutenant Governors, Elections

Governors and Lieutenant Governors for the administration the country deserves
The January 18 election of provincial governors and deputy governors is clearly a step forward for the country’s institutional framework

Yudy Castro Moralesjanuary 20, 2020 09:01:05

Provincial governors and lieutenant governors8 were elected January 18.








Photo: Dunia Álvarez
The election of these authorities, this past Saturday, as stipulated in the new Constitution of the Republic, places the country on the path of more efficient government, a complex path, yes, complex but doable.

This is not a totally new beginning; work has begun, but governors and lieutenant governors will have their hands full after assuming their positions as the highest executive-administrative authorities at the provincial level.

The performance of these officials elected in a direct, secret ballot vote by delegates to Municipal Assemblies of People’s Power will determine just how quickly difficulties in a given province are resolved; how much progress can be made on challenging goals that, rather than intimidate, can motivate; and how structural changes are translated into effective work.

Absolutely nothing in their efforts can be formal; this is not simply a question of new offices with new authorities, but the determination to transform, to perfect, to impact Cubans’ daily life with improved quality of life and well-being. Continue reading

No blockade or pressure will deter Cubans

No blockade or pressure will deter Cubans
President reviews progress being made in energy and transportation sectors, as well as investment projects in industry and commerce

Author: Granma |
january 15, 2020 10:01:57









Photo: Estudio Revolución
At a time when imperialism is attempting by all means to prevent the arrival of fuel and other oil derivatives to Cuba, including liquefied gas, the President of the Republic, Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, on Monday reviewed the Energy Program, particularly oil development and prospects for the year.

He emphasized the importance of renewable energy resources, especially photovoltaic, noting that the installation of panels on suitable roofs should be a first step, according to the Presidency’s website.

Diaz-Canel also participated in a review of the Railroad Recovery and Development Program, at the Palace of the Revolution, led by Prime Minister Manuel Marrero Cruz. Reports indicated that 2019 plans for freight transportation plans were 91% completed, with 852 million tons more than in 2018 transported. Continue reading

Serious escalation in the Middle East

Serious escalation in the Middle East condemned
Several countries, including Cuba, have condemned the U.S. bombing of areas near Baghdad airport and the use of missiles for targeted assassinations, calling for efforts to ease tensions in the region







Author: Elson Concepción Pérez |
january 6, 2020 09:01:27

Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez Parrilla strongly condemned the U.S. bombing Friday in areas near Baghdad airport and the use of missiles for targeted assassinations.

For their part, the heads of Russia and China’s diplomacy, Sergey Lavrov and Wang Yi, respectively, rejected the U.S. attacks in Iraq, and declared their support for efforts to reduce tensions in the region. In a statement published by Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza, Venezuela expressed its firm condemnation, stating, “This is an action that clearly raises tensions in the region, without any basis in international law.”

Tensions in the Middle East continue to increase, as U.S. President Donald Trump warned on Sunday that his country “has just spent two billion dollars on beautiful weapons that it would use against Iran without hesitation,” and the Iraqi Parliament approved a resolution mandating the withdrawal of foreign troops, including those of the United States, after the assassination of the Iranian general, Qasem Soleimani. The binding resolution reiterates the country’s rejection of foreign forces within national territory, waters or airspace, for any reason. Trump, defiant as usual, tweeted, “We are the biggest and the best in the world”.

“Let this serve as a warning that, if Iran attacks any U.S. citizen or asset, we have targeted 52 Iranian sites, some of them very high-profile and very important to Iran and Iranian culture,” Trump asserted on Twitter.

Meanwhile, the Pentagon began moving some 3,500 soldiers to the Middle East. Troops will be transported from Fort Bragg military base in North Carolina to Kuwait, to form a rapid deployment brigade known as an Immediate Response Force.

Iran responded, “Some 35 U.S. targets in the region are within our reach.” According to reports from the website Al Mayadeen, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, secretary general of Hezbollah, warned this yesterday, “When a response to the crime committed by the United States is discussed, no reference is made to the people of that country, its professionals, journalists, businesspeople, or civilians; these are not involved,” continuing, “In the three years since Trump assumed the Presidency of the United States, there have been failures, a deficit, and confusion, and there is nothing to offer the U.S. people at the level of foreign policy as the elections approach.”

He concluded noting that the U.S. government is intent on overthrowing the political system in Iran, an explicit objective revealed by former National Security Advisor John Bolton.

Nasrallah recalled that during his campaign, Trump said more than once that Iraq’s oil was his, that there was no Iraqi state, and the U.S. should control the oil fields, send in military forces, extract the oil and sell it.

Current events give reason to believe that the U.S. President is now taking action to overthrow the Iranian political system and control oil resources in Iraq and Syria.

Cuba condena asesinato en Irak









El Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores de Cuba condena enérgicamente el bombardeo de Estados Unidos contra el aeropuerto de Bagdad en Irak y el uso de misiles para el asesinato selectivo, lo cual constituye una clara violación del Derecho Internacional y de la soberanía de ese país.
El Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores de Cuba alerta que estas acciones agresivas, unilaterales e injustificadas de Estados Unidos representan una grave escalada en la región del Medio Oriente, donde puede estallar un conflicto de grandes proporciones con incalculables pérdidas de vidas humanas y consecuencias para la paz y la estabilidad mundial.
La Habana, 3 de enero de 2020.

Cuban people as winners of the impossible

President Díaz-Canel congratulates the Cuban people as winners of the impossible
The President of the Republic of Cuba, Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, tweeted his New Year’s congratulations to the Cuban people, who he described as winners of the impossible

Author: Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez |
january 2, 2020 11:01:48








Photo: twitter@DiazCanelB Photo: Granma 
The President of the Republic of Cuba, Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, tweeted his best wishes for 2020 to the Cuban people, who he described as winners of the impossible, adding, “This is a good moment to propose another year of positive exceptionality #VamosPorMás #SomosCuba #SomosContinuidad.” (#GoingForMore #WeAreCuba #WeAreContinuity)

On New Year’s Eve, he tweeted, “On the eve of another anniversary of the undefeated and victorious Revolution, I wish our people congratulations!









Photo: twitter@DiazCanelB Photo: Granma
We are have navigated a year full of challenges, tension and aggression. We faced all this together and together we are winning.”

January 1, 1959, was an epiphany

January 1, 1959, was an epiphany
A few personal memories of the Cuban Revolution’s dawning

Author: Pedro de la Hoz |
january 2, 2020 11:01:24











Photo: René Mederos
Roberto Fernández Retamar recalls that it was his mother-in-law who gave him the first news he heard about the triumph of the Revolution: Adelaida de Juan’s mother, who “burst in with a smile on her face to tell me that Batista had left the country.” Roberto was one of the most important lyrical voices of the young generation and Adelaida would soon become one of the country’s most respected art critics and historians.

Juan Formell lived in La Lisa with his father. He bid the year farewell with his family, and was still awake into the dawn hours. He recalled, “As it was getting lighter, the neighbors began to talk, first quietly and then at the top of their lungs, shouting: Batista is gone, long live the July 26th Movement, long live Fidel!” For the musician who was just starting out, an unprecedented chapter in his life was opening, to which he would add, with time, his unique contribution to the development of Cuban popular culture.

The painter and poet Adigio Benítez for years drew incisive cartoons for the newspaper Hoy and then, under pseudonyms to protect his identity, published his work in the clandestine Weekly Letter from Cuban Communists. He was in hiding on January 1, 1959: “For someone who was in constant danger, the new situation was like breathing again. I soon realized that the Revolution had come to stay”.

“On the night of December 31, 1958,” remembers Chucho Valdés, a pianist and composer who would take Cuban jazz to a world-class level, “I went to work at the Deuaville Hotel, a few steps from the Malecón. I performed there from 11pm to 5am, every day, except Mondays. My father Bebo played with his band at the Sevilla Hotel, very close to the Presidential Palace. The old man would finish at three in the morning and move from the Sevilla to the Deauville to wait for me to finish, so that we could go home to sleep. That day you could feel the tension in the air. He called me from the Sevilla to tell me not to move, that he had noticed strange movement around the Palace. Later, in the neighborhood, the dictator’s escape was the news everyone was talking about. Over the following months, all of Cuba lived in celebration. I saw signs of change in the satisfaction apparent in humble people, with whom I lived everyday, and who received the benefits of steps taken by the new government.”

When I collected this testimony ten years ago, Leo Brouwer sent me a note I will now share: “1959. January 1. 5:00am, a phone rings nearby and wakes me. Another and yet another ring. I awake to hear the growing rumor. (…) 5:01am. Emotion and euphoria explode in our hearts. The tyrant Batista is gone! Fidel is coming! That night I finished two of the Three Guitar Notes I composed between January 1 and the 3rd. At the bottom of the handwritten page, I signed and dated: January 1, 1959. Free.”

The days passed and the emotion grew in Adigio until a poem emerged: Victory Day. He published it three years later in the notebook Días como llamas, in an edition under the care of Fayad Jamís, also a poet and painter.

On the morning of Victory Day, Retamar took a bus to his parents’ house: “I had an envelope that I tore open to write on. I scribbled a poem called El otro (The Other) January 1, 1959, to capture the feeling of that moment, as extraordinary as it was.”

Michael Barnet summed up in one word, what was in everyone’s soul, at that time of change: the triumph of January was an epiphany.

Two abducted Cuban doctors

Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel speaks with his counterparts in Kenya and Somalia about two abducted Cuban doctors
“I held conversations with the Presidents of Kenya and Somalia,” Uhuru Kenyatta and Abdullahi Mohamed, respectively, the Cuban leader tweeted yesterday, to address the current state of bilateral relations

Author: Digital news staff |
december 31, 2019 10:12:57







Photo: Internet
Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel spoke with his counterparts in Kenya and Somalia to inquire about efforts underway to ensure the “safe return” to the island of Cuban doctors abducted by terrorists in the border area between the two nations.

“I held conversations with the Presidents of Kenya and Somalia,” Uhuru Kenyatta and Abdullahi Mohamed, respectively, the Cuban leader tweeted yesterday, during which the current state of bilateral relations was addressed.

Also discussed were “efforts to achieve the safe return to the homeland of doctors Assel Herrera and Landy Rodriguez. Our support to their families,” he added.

Cuba recently thanked the Kenyan government for its work to secure the release and safe return of the doctors, who were adducted April 12, as they were traveling in a vehicle to Mandera Hospital, near the border with Somalia.

Ines Maria Chapman, a vice president of Cuba’s Council of Ministers, stated on December 16 that Herrera and Rodriguez “are well”, and that “efforts for their safe return continue.”

During a meeting with the national press, Chapman explained that as part of her participation in the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Summit, which took place December 9-10 in Nairobi, she spoke with Kenyan officials and discussed the prisoners’ situation.

Herrera and Rodriguez worked at the Mandera hospital as members of Cuba’s medical brigade in the country, like thousands of other health professionals around the world.

“Our people can be sure that the leadership of the Party and the Cuban government are devoting permanent attention to this issue, and our priority is that they return safely to the homeland,” Chapman said, while emphasizing that Cuban authorities “are informed of how both doctors are doing, and in regular contact with their families in Cuba.”

Speech by Cuba’s President at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs 60th anniversary

Díaz-Canel: May Cuban foreign policy continue to be a diplomacy of “Homeland or Death!”
Speech by Cuba’s President at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs 60th anniversary commemoration

Author: Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez |
december 27, 2019 16:12:42f0026213









Photo: José Manuel Correa

Speech by Miguel Mario Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, President of the Republic of Cuba, at the commemoration of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs 60th anniversary, held in the Revolutionary Armed Forces Ministry’s Universal Hall, December 23, 2019, Year 61 of the Revolution

(Transcript: Presidency of the Republic)

Compañero José Ramón Machado Ventura, second secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba Central Committee;

Compañero Esteban Lazo Hernández, Political Bureau member and President of the National Assembly of People’s Power and the Council of State;

Compañero Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla, Political Bureau member and Minister of Foreign Affairs;

Admired and beloved founders and officials of long standing;

Compañeras and compañeros:

I am pleased to assume the duty of speaking to you on the day that the 60th anniversary of Cuban revolutionary diplomacy is officially celebrated. Congratulations! (Applause)

We are united with Minrex by close ties and a history full of reasons to be proud of being Cuban, which began well before December 23, 1959.

Revolutionary diplomacy is, without a doubt, a well established fact, which has shone in the ideas and voice of Fidel since the initial days of the victory and his first trips abroad. In Caracas, barely 23 days after the triumph of the Revolution, the young leader was already talking about the need for Latin American integration:

“…How long are we going to be defenseless pieces of a continent whose liberator conceived as something more dignified, greater? How long are Latin Americans going to be living in this petty, ridiculous atmosphere? How long are we going to remain divided? How long are we going to be victims of powerful interests that attack all of our peoples? When are we going to raise the great slogan of union? The slogan of unity within nations is raised; why is the slogan of unity of nations not also raised?

In Washington, only four months after descending from the mountains, his ethics and defense of national sovereignty, his call for a relationship of equals impressed journalists, when he told them that if they were accustomed to seeing representatives of other governments come to ask for money, he was not. And he clarified: I come only to attempt to reach a better understanding with the U.S. people. We need better relations between Cuba and the United States.

Just a few days later, in Buenos Aires, at the meeting of the 21, he proposed a principle that you have emphasized a great deal on this anniversary of Minrex: the diplomacy of the people. He improvised a speech there that no veteran of another governments represented could surpass: “I am a new man here at this type of meeting; we are, moreover, in our homeland, a new government and perhaps that is why we are also bringing fresh ideas and beliefs from the people, since we still feel like the people, we speak here as a people, and as a people living an exceptional moment in its history, as a people full of confidence in our own destiny. I come to speak here, with the confidence of the people and with the frankness of the people.” Continue reading

Manuel Marrero Cruz, designated Prime Minister

A government with the people and for the people
Manuel Marrero Cruz, designated Prime Minister by the National Assembly, on the proposal of President Díaz-Canel, has served as Minister of Tourism, leading the development of this key sector for almost 16 years

Granmadecember 26, 2019 16:12:38










Photo: José Manuel Correa
Presenting his proposal for the new Council of Ministers to the National Assembly of People’s Power Ninth Legislature, meeting in its Fourth Period of Ordinary Sessions, December 21, Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez stated, “Given its relevance and the role it must play in conducting important processes, an exhaustive analysis was carried out, evaluating the necessary renewal of some members and, on the other hand, maintaining stability that will allow for the body to fulfill its responsibilities, in the complex situation we are all aware of.”

He added that those nominated “have ample experience in leadership, successively occupying different, higher-ranking positions, and also possess other qualities which demonstrate that they are in a position to serve on the Council of Ministers.”

Manuel Marrero Cruz, 56 years of age, was appointed as Prime Minister. He served as Minister of Tourism, over almost 16 years, chosen for this responsibility by Comandante en Jefe Fidel Castro Ruz.

He is an architect by profession and began his career as project manager in the construction of tourist facilities in Holguín’s northern resort area, holding different management positions at hotels in eastern provinces and in Varadero.

In 1999, he was promoted to the position of first vice president of the Gaviota Tourism Enterprise Group, becoming its chief executive a year later.

Marrero’s career in this field and as a cadre has been characterized by his modesty, honesty, hard work, political sensibility, and loyalty to the Party and the Revolution.

He led the tourism sector in an outstanding fashion, one of the national economy’s key lines of development, which has required constant interaction with other Central State Administration bodies, the enterprise system, and provincial governments. He has likewise accumulated important experience in negotiations with foreign partners and participation in international events, demonstrating his ability, firm principles, and talent for dialogue.

They cannot forgive us for uniting in solidarity as Latin Americans

 They cannot forgive us for uniting in solidarity as Latin Americans and Caribbeans without imperial tutelage
Speech by Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel, during the commemoration of the 15th anniversary of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America, at the University of Havana, December 14

Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdezdecember 16, 2019 15:12:44   









Photo: Estudios Revolución
Speech by Miguel Mario Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, President of the Republic of Cuba, during the political-cultural event commemorating the 15th anniversary of the Bolivarian Alliance for the peoples of Our America-Peoples Trade Agreement, at the University of Havana’s Grand Stairway, December 14, 2019, Year 61 of the Revolution

(Transcript: Presidency of the Republic)

Good evening.

This event is turned around: Maduro, Ralf and Daniel spoke just a bit and now I am going to have to speak a little more. (Laughter)

Dear Army General Raúl Castro Ruz, first secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba Central Committee;

Dear ALBA-TCP heads of state and government;

Dear heads of delegations and guests:

Students of our universities, the present and future of the Cuban nation. To you and to all young people of Cuba, Latin America and the Caribbean, we address you today!

We have come here, to our glorious Grand Stairway, to celebrate 15 years of ALBA-TCP, because this alliance has its roots in the first meeting of two giants of Our America: the Comandante en jefe of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro Ruz, and the then (young) leader of the Bolivarian Movement 200, Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías.

That meeting, which changed the history of Latin America and the Caribbean and impacted the world, took place December 13-15, 1994.

As is occurring today, we were living complex, uncertain days for the region and the world. And it was here nearby, in the University of Havana’s Aula Magna, where for the first time the analyses and premonitory proposals were heard of what, with time, joint effort, and the advance of progressive governments, would emerge in 2004 as this paradigm of solidary integration that we know as ALBA-TCP.

We also choose the Stairway, the door to our University, one of the oldest in America, because the present and future of Cuba and much of the rest of the world pass through here every day, young people from sister nations, students who share classrooms and dreams with our sons and daughters.

We firmly believe that universities cannot be disconnected from our world or its pressing problems. Here Fidel became a revolutionary, here he spoke to his Latin American contemporaries, with Hugo Chávez, here we study and think about the best possible world that we revolutionaries have set out to set our minds to winning. Continue reading