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Cuba: The so-called “San Isidro” case

 

 

By Esteban Morales, translated and edited by Walter Lippmann 

April 29, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from CubaNews — I believe that what is happening there is a consequence of not having taken care of four fundamental issues in time:

1- The marginal conditions of some of our neighborhoods in Havana.

2-The lack of attention or delay in recognizing and using the Social Sciences.

3- In spite of Fidel’s early warning, having neglected, for a long time, the racial question.

4-Some deficiencies in our political-ideological work.

On the last three points, I have warned enough.

But as a result of my warnings, I was never called to the Round Table, and when the faces of its protagonists appear, mine is never there. In spite of having been, individually, among those who have attended the Round Table the most.

Cuba: the supreme victim of imperialism and colonialism

 

 

‘To change masters is not to be free.’—José Martí.

By Ian Ellis-Jones

February 12, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — Cuba — perhaps more than most other countries — has been the victim of imperialism and colonisation.  

The greatest impact of imperialism and colonisation is on people, in particular, indigenous people. Cuba is no exception.

Do you remember Cuba’s dedication to Angola?

 

 

By Don Fitz

January 26, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — Cuban blood left its stamp on the conscience of the world after the Angolan Wars of 1975-1988. Corporate politicians are united in their desire for us to ignore this reality.

Fed up with foreign wars, Portuguese officers overthrew Prime Minister Marcello Caetano on April 25, 1974. Many former colonies had the opportunity to define their own future.

Angola had been the richest of Portuguese colonies, with major production in coffee, diamonds, iron ore and oil. Of the former colonies, it had the largest white population, which numbered 320,000 of about 6.4 million. When 90% of its white population fled in 1974, Angola lost most of its skilled labor.

Three groups juggled for power. The Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA), headed by Agostinho Neto was the only progressive alternative. The National Front for the Liberation of Angola (NFLA), led by Holden Roberto, gained support from Zaire’s right-wing Joseph Mobutu, a conspirator in the assassination of Patrice Lumumba. Jonas Savimbi, who ran the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA), worked hand-in-hand with South Africa’s apartheid regime.

Why medical students get more experience in the US than Cuba, and what this has to do with inequality

 

 

By Don Fitz

November 19, 2020 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — During the past 10 years I have written multiple articles documenting how Cuba has better medical practice and education than the US. To be honest, I have known for a long time that there is an area of medical training where medical students in the US get considerably more training than do those who study in Cuba.

This realization came to me when my daughter Rebecca was in her first year of medical school in Havana. When I phoned after she had been there for a few months, she said, “Dad, I am really glad that when I was a girl you gave me a needle and thread to sew up rips in my clothes. In clinic today, we saw someone with his head whacked open by a machete and a medical student was sewing it back together. It was clear that the guy trying to sew the wound did not have experience with a needle and thread and that the guy getting his head patched up could tell. With the sewing I’ve done, I know that I could handle a wound.”

A model for healthcare reform from a surprising place

 

 

By Troy Keith Preston

October 7, 2020 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — The issue of healthcare reform is one that is consistently identified by opinion polls as being among the most important to Americans. The United States continues to be the only fully industrialized nation that lacks a public healthcare system, a feature of modern “democracy” that is taken for granted in most developed countries. Most American proponents of healthcare reform typically cite the models utilized by Canada, Western Europe, or Australia as the most appropriate guides for the implementation of universal healthcare in the United States. However, Don Fitz, a Green Party activist, provides a comprehensive overview of a model for reform that originates from what many would consider to be a surprising place. Cuba is widely regarded by Americans as an impoverished “Third World” nation. Yet, Fitz’s Cuban Health Care: The Ongoing Revolution describes how Cuba’s approach to healthcare during the six decades since the 1959 revolution has produced rather extraordinary results. 

Cuba’s ongoing health care revolution

 

 

By Stan Cox

September 20, 2020 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — Don Fitz’s new book Cuban Health Care: The Ongoing Revolution was going to press at Monthly Review in early Spring, as the pandemic was ramping up, so he had just barely enough time to slip in a postscript teasingly titled, “How Che Guevara Taught Cuba to Confront COVID-19.” The postscript puts an exclamation mark on the medical history of Cuba that Fitz takes us through in the 240 compelling pages that come before. Based on that history, one would have expected Cuba to take early, decisive actions to stem the pandemic, and Fitz says that’s exactly what happened. 

What can we learn from Cuba? Medicare-for-All is a beginning, not the end point

 

 

By Don Fitz

September 7, 2020 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — As a coup de grâce to the Bernie Sanders campaign Joe Biden declared that he would veto Medicare-for-All.  This could drive a dedicated health care advocate to relentlessly pursue Med-4-All as a final goal.  However, it is not the final goal.  It should be the first step in a complete transformation of medicine which includes combining community medicine with natural medicine and health-care-for-the-world.

Contrasting Cuban changes in medicine during the last 60 years with the US non-system of medical care gives a clear picture of why changes must be all-encompassing.  The concept of Medicare-for-All is deeply intertwined with attacks on Cuba’s global medical “missions” and the opposite responses to Covid-19 in the two countries.

How Che Guevara taught Cuba to confront COVID-19

 

 

By Don Fitz

June 11, 2020 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal, an earlier version appeared in Monthly Review — Beginning in December 1951, Ernesto “Che” Guevara took a nine-month break from medical school to travel by motorcycle through Argentina, Chile, Peru, Colombia, and Venezuela. One of his goals was gaining practical experience with leprosy. On the night of his twenty-fourth birthday, Che was at La Colonia de San Pablo in Peru swimming across the river to join the lepers. He walked among six hundred lepers in jungle huts looking after themselves in their own way.

Bayer/Monsanto’s bioimperialism versus Cuba’s biosolidarity

 

 

By Don Fitz

May 14, 2020 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — Genetically engineered crops are a form of food imperialism. This technology allows mega-corporations like Bayer/Monsanto to patent seeds, lure farmers into buying them with visions of high yields and then destroy the ability of small farmers to survive.

Genetic engineering produces an artificial combination of plant traits that often results in foods with less nutritional value while introducing health problems to animals and humans who eat them. It increases costs of food production, pushing millions of farmers throughout the world into poverty and driving them off their land. 

Agricultural corporations get control of enormous quantities of land in Africa, Latin America and Asia, which they use to control the world’s food supply and reap super-profits from the cheap labor of those who work for them, sometimes people who once owned the same land. These crops can be developed in open-field testing, which allows the novel pollen to contaminate wild relatives of the engineered crops.

Cuba: From AIDS, dengue, and ebola to COVID-19

 

 

 

By Don Fitz

April 18, 2020 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — Preparing for a pandemic requires understanding that a change in the relationship between people is primary and the production of things is secondary and flows from social factors.  Investors in profit-based medicine cannot comprehend this concept. Nothing could exemplify it more clearly than Cuba’s response to the corona virus (COVID-19).

The US dawdled for months before reacting.  Cuba’s preparation for COVID-19 began on January 1, 1959.  On that day, over sixty years before the pandemic, Cuba laid the foundations for what would become the discovery of novel drugs, bringing patients to the island, and sending medical aid abroad.

Keith Bolender’s ‘Manufacturing the Enemy: The Media War Against Cuba’: A case study of corporate media disinformation

 

 

By Stansfield Smith

April 11, 2020 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — Some alternative media have exposed the US government and its corporate media fake news reporting on Russian “election interference,” on Venezuela, the war on Syria, China’s Xinjiang and Hong Kong, Nicaragua and Palestine, among others. But one of the longest running media disinformation campaigns has been directed at Cuba. It is well covered in Keith Bolender’s Manufacturing the Enemy: The Media War Against Cuba. This thoroughly documented work is a good antidote to the constant anti-Cuba disinformation we are subjected to, which inevitably influences all of us. According to a well-known quote, itself falsely attributed to Nazi leader Goebbels, "If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it”.

Cuba’s contribution to combating COVID-19

 

 

By Helen Yaffe

March 14, 2020 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Yale University Press Blog — COVID-19 surged in the Chinese city of Wuhan in late December 2019, and by January 2020 it had hit Hubei province like a tidal wave, swirling over China and rippling out overseas. The Chinese state rolled into action to combat the spread and to care for those infected. Among the thirty medicines the Chinese National Health Commission selected to fight the virus was a Cuban anti-viral drug, Interferon Alpha 2b. This drug has been produced in China since 2003, by the enterprise ChangHeber, a Cuban-Chinese joint venture. 

Trotsky’s ideas in Cuba

 

 

Interview with Frank Garcia Hernandez by Rob Lyon

 

June 16, 2019 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Socialist Action —  On May 6 to 8, 2019 the first International Academic Conference examining the life and ideas of the great Ukrainian revolutionary and leader of the Russian revolution Lev Davidovitch Bronstein, now universally known as Leon Trotsky, was held in Havana, Cuba. The Conference was organized by the Juan Marinelo Cultural Center in conjunction with the Cuban Institute of Philosophy, and was hosted by the Casa Benito Juarez in Old Havana.

 

Sponsoring organizations included the Trotsky House and Museum in Mexico City, the Editions Carlos Marx, of Mexico, and the Center for the Study Investigation and Publication of the Thoughts of Leon Trotsky, in Mexico City and Buenos Aires, Argentina.

 

Trotsky in Cuba, 2019

 

 

 

By Paul Le Blanc

 

May 12, 2019 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal  More than one friend has expressed the hope that I would write a report on my experience in attending an international conference on Leon Trotsky held in Havana, May 6-8, 2019 – so I have felt even more compulsion to craft such a report than I would have otherwise. Since I have come down here earlier than the dates of the conference, I find that I have time to begin shaping such an account as I am living through what I describe. My take on all of this is influenced, naturally, by my understanding of the Cuban Revolution – which can be found in “Origins and Trajectory of the Cuban Revolution,” in my collection Revolutionary Studies (Chicago: Haymarket 2017), first published in the journal Against the Current, January/February 2007 (which can be found online https://solidarity-us.org/atc/126/p319). My experience now seems to me consistent with what I wrote then.

 

The Cuban Revolution and the Canadian solidarity movement of the 1960's

 

 

 

January 18, 2019 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — What follows is chapter fifteen from volume one of Ernest Tate’s memoir, Revolutionary Activism in the 1950s and 1960s, published by Resistance Books, London. In this chapter, using archival sources, he describes in detail how a small group of Canadian revolutionary socialists in the Socialist Educational League, S.E.L., later to become the League for Socialist Action, L.S.A., of which he was a leader, organized in 1960 to defend the early Cuban Revolution against a right-wing propaganda offensive inspired by American imperialism, designed to quarantine it from the Canadian people. Their campaign in defense of Cuba, he writes, was one of the most successful of its kind in the English-speaking world.

Cuba's first military doctors

 

 

 

By Don Fitz

 

December 1, 2018 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal – Cuba's deployment of military doctors to Africa in the 1960s was secret, known only at the highest level of government.  Accounts of these hidden efforts were not published until the beginning of the 21stcentury. 

 

The birth of the Cuban polyclinic

 

 

By Don Fitz

 

June 29, 2018 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Monthly Review — During the 1960s, Cuban medicine experienced changes as tumultuous as the civil rights and antiwar protests in the United States.1 While activists, workers, and students in western Europe and the United States confronted existing institutions of capitalism and imperialism, Cuba faced the even greater challenge of building a new society.

 

The tasks of Cuban medicine differed sharply between the first and the second halves of the revolution’s first decade. The years 1959–64 aimed at overcoming the crisis of care delivery, as half of the island’s physicians fled. It was during the second half of the decade (1964–69) that Cuba began redesigning medicine as an integrated system. The resulting reconceptualization of health care, which put the area polyclinic at the center of medical care, created a model for poor countries that has changed medicine ever since.

 

Project Life: Cuba’s action plan prepares for climate change

 

 

“An important biological species is facing the risk of extinction given the rapid 
and progressive elimination of its natural conditions for life: humanity” 
—Fidel Castro Ruz (Earth Summit, Río de Janeiro, June 12, 1992)

 

By Yisell Rodríguez Milán and Danae González Del Toro

 

April 30, 2018 
— Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Climate & Capitalism, an earlier translation first appeared at Granma  — What is to be done about high temperatures, rising sea levels, and increasingly powerful hurricanes? What can we do to be less vulnerable to climate change? Preliminary observations by groups of specialists in the country indicate that sea level has increased on the island an average of 6.77 centimeters since 1966, a process that has accelerated during the last five years. Since the middle of the last century, the average annual temperature has risen 0.9 degrees Celsius, and the coastline is today more fragile than ever. This reality calls for action, and Cuba is acting on the premise of preparing, to avoid lamenting later.

 

Arnold August on Trump's Cuba policy: what will happen in coming months?

 

 

By Arnold August

 

July 7, 2017 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Resumen Latinoamericano — The official June 16 statement was barely uttered when the majority nationwide opposition to the Trump Cuba policy was once again reignited. Indeed, it was already extremely active and vocal before the Little Havana, Miami venue and date were announced on June 9. By stage-managing the event in Little Havana, Trump was preaching to the choir, one that does not even include the rest of Florida, where the majority of Cuban-Americans oppose the blockade, or at least support the Obama policy of making the blockade somewhat more flexible. Trump’s trademark manner of hand-picking events to spread the word across the country will not work. His Cold War rhetoric will not detract the forces that want to increase trade and travel to Cuba.

 

Conceptualising Cuban socialism

 

 

By Helen Yaffe

 

June 19, 2017
Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Helen Yaffe's blog — On 1 June 2017, an extraordinary session of Cuba’s National Assembly of Peoples’ Power approved important documents which define the character, objectives and strategy of Cuban socialism into the post-Castro era. Since 2011, a programme of ‘updating’ the Cuban economic and social system has been underway, and these documents aim to establish the parameters within which those developments will take place. Helen Yaffe reports.

 

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