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By Claudio Katz, translation and notes by Richard Fidler
December 6, 2016 — Life on the Left — With Fidel’s death Latin America’s principal revolutionary figure of the last century has left us. Amidst our great sorrow at his passing it is difficult to assess his stature. But while emotion clouds any evaluation, the Comandante’s influence can be appreciated with greater clarity now that he has left.
Introductory note by Mike Taber
November 30, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from John Riddell's website — To honor the contributions of Fidel Castro to the world revolutionary movement, below are three short excerpts by him from 1961, at the time of the U.S.-organized invasion at the Bay of Pigs. The fall of the regime of Fulgencio Batista on January 1, 1959, opened up a period of sustained popular mobilization throughout Cuba. Led by Fidel Castro and a broad team of July 26 Movement cadres, over the next two years Cuban working people carried out one of the most profound revolutionary transformations in modern history.
October 9, 2016 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from John Riddell's blog -- The triumph of the Cuban revolution in 1959 gave rise to widespread solidarity work in the U.S. and Canada, organized through Fair Play for Cuba committees. Two participants in this experience report here on its scope and lessons.
By Marce Cameron
By Marta Harnecker
September 14, 2016 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Over half a century ago, as Latin American households were celebrating the start of a new year, some good news arrived from Cuba: a guerrilla army with a social base among the peasantry triumphed on the Caribbean island, liberating the country from the tyrannical Batista regime. A political process began that not only aimed to overthrow a dictator, but sought to follow a consistently revolutionary line: genuinely transform society for the benefit of the great majority.
By Marce Cameron
September 12, 2016 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Cuba's Socialist Renewal -- On June 28, 37-year-old Karina Marron, the deputy editor of Granma, the Cuban Communist Party (PCC) daily, made some candid remarks at a closed-door meeting of the Cuban Journalists Union (UPEC). The Cuban media reported on the event, but airbrushed out of their coverage Marron’s more incendiary and newsworthy comments. That selectivity was a case of either actual censorship or self-censorship on the part of Cuban journalists and editors.
Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Tortilla Con Sal -- With the participation of 370 delegates from 25 countries, including the United States, Canada and Quebec, the VIII Continental Conference in Solidarity with Cuba took place in the Dominican Republic from July 28-30, 2016.
August 5, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — In recent months an important debate has opened up over the role and character of the press in socialist Cuba. As part of making this debate available to an English speaking audience, Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal is publishing two translated pieces by Fernando Ravsberg and Esteban Morales. We hope to continue to run more articles covering different aspects of what is a critical discussion for the future of Cuba’s socialist revolution.
By Doug Enaa Greene
By Doug Enaa Greene
June 27, 2016 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- "Yes, this is really a very serious situation ... But I can tell you, once again, that there is nothing more beautiful than to be in the middle of a critical situation, where the revolutionary struggle is the most difficult. How many would like to be here in Cuba to participate in defense of the Cuban revolution! I'm lucky enough to be able to do so. This is why I returned to Latin America. If I were interested in living well, surrounded by all the comforts, I would have stayed in Berlin, where I had everything. The Latin American revolution is advancing steadily toward a higher level, and I am fortunate enough to take part of it! ... Patria o muerte! Venceremos!"
Tamara Bunke wrote this in a letter to her parents in 1962 when she was an internationalist volunteer in Cuba during the height of the Missile Crisis as the revolution was mortally threatened by the forces of imperialism.
By Don Fitz
June 5, 2016 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Monthly Review with the author’s permission -- Stories of Cuban medical accomplishments often note that half of the country’s 6,000 doctors had left by 1963. But just as professionals were forsaking their homeland en masse for the comforts of Miami, 3,000 doctors chose to stay. Why did they remain? More important, the number of patients per doctor now doubled, how did they face the daunting task of transforming medicine? In addition to treating patients, their goals included expanding medical care to rural regions; increasing medical education to replace doctors who had left; making care preventive, community-oriented, and focused on tropical diseases; and redesigning a fractured and non-cohesive health system. Exploring changes during this transformative period in Cuban health care requires examining sources available in Cuba, as well as studying oral histories of Cuban physicians who lived during the revolution.
UPDATED: Controversy sparked by Cuban Communist Party leadership's approach to 7th Party Congress, Raul Castro's Congress report
Introductory notes and translations by Marce Cameron
April 17, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Cuba's Socialist Renewal blog — The Seventh Congress of the Cuban Communist Party (PCC) began on April 16. The cluster of translations published below relate to the controversy surrounding the preparations for this congress.
John M. Kirk, Health Care without Borders: Understanding Cuban Medical Internationalism (Gainesville, FL: University Press of Florida, 2015), 376 pages, $79.95, hardback.
April 17, 2016 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Monthly Review with the author's permission -- When the Ebola virus began to spread through western Africa in fall 2014, much of the world panicked. Soon, over 20,000 people were infected, more than 8,000 had died, and worries mounted that the death toll could reach into hundreds of thousands. The United States provided military support; other countries promised money. Cuba was the first nation to respond with what was most needed: it sent 103 nurses and 62 doctors as volunteers to Sierra Leone. With 4,000 medical staff (including 2,400 doctors) already in Africa, Cuba was prepared for the crisis before it began: there had already been nearly two dozen Cuban medical personnel in Sierra Leone. After an initial assessment, Cuba dispatched another 296 to Guinea and Liberia. Since many governments did not know how to respond to Ebola, Cuba trained volunteers from other nations at Havana’s Pedro Kourí Institute of Tropical Medicine. In total, Cuba taught 13,000 Africans, 66,000 Latin Americans, and 620 Caribbeans how to treat Ebola without being infected. It was the first time that many had heard of Cuba’s emergency response teams.
Despite big improvements in diplomatic relations between Cuba and the US in recent times, the US still maintains its more-than-50-year-long economic blockade and its occupation of Guantanamo Bay -- both of which Cuba's revolutionary government insists must end.
After United States President Barack Obama's history March 21 visit to Cuba -- the first sitting president the visit the island in more than 80 years -- Cuban revolutionary leader Fidel Castro penned a column for Granma.cu.
We don’t need the empire to give us anything. Our efforts will be legal and peaceful, because our commitment is to peace and fraternity among all human beings who live on this planet.
March 6, 2016 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The following was a presentation given by Cuban scholar Olga Fernández Ríos at the launch of the Cuban edition of Michael Lebowitz' The Socialist Alternative: Real Human Development at the Havana International Book Fair, February 15, 2015. It has been translated by Sean Seymour-Jones.
Lebowitz will be one of the keynote speakers at Socialism for the 21st century: Moving beyond capitalism, learning from global struggles being held in Sydney on May 13-15.
This timely book was previously published by Colección Debates Sobre Socialismo, Corporación Plataforma Nexos, Escaparate Ediciones, Chile, October 2012.
Its author is a professor emeritus of economy from the Simon Fraser University of Canada. For us Cubans his work is very familiar and today we can recall many of his works: Beyond Capital: The Political Economy of the Working Class that received the Deutscher Prize in 2004 for the best and most innovative recent work of the Marxist tradition in the English-speaking world. This text was published in Cuba in 2008 by Editorial Ciencias Sociales. Likewise, in 2009 Editorial Ciencias Sociales published Socialism Doesn’t Fall From the Sky and in 2015 Ruth Casa Editorial and the Instituto Juan Marinello published The Contradictions of “Real Socialism”: The Conductor and the Conducted. More recently Lebowitz published The Socialist Imperative.
On this occasion, we dealing a study that covers a very topical subject of interest to our country and for the Latin American context: the pertinence and existing possibilities for the development of socialism with a correct understanding of the process of socialist transition.
Is South America’s ‘progressive cycle’ at an end? Neo-developmentalist attempts and socialist projects
Introduced and translated by Richard Fidler, article original published in Spanish in La Llamarada
July 14, 2013 -- Life on the Left, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with permission -- Two recent events — the second-round victory on November 22 of right-wing candidate Mauricio Macri in Argentina’s presidential election, and the December 6 victory of the right-wing Democratic Unity Roundtable, winning two thirds of the seats in Venezuela’s National Assembly elections — have radically altered the political map in South America. In the following interview, Argentine Marxist Claudio Katz discusses what these setbacks for the left mean for the progressive “process of change” that has unfolded on the continent over the last 10-15 years. My translation from the Spanish.
Katz is a professor of economics at the University of Buenos Aires, a researcher with the National Council of Science and Technology, and a member of Economists of the Left.
Democracy Now! July 20, 2015 -- Report from the opening of Cuba's new embassy. Transcript available HERE.
By Robert Craven and Olivia Marple
July 20, 2015 -- COHA, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Amid cheers of “Cuba sí, bloqueo no” (Cuba yes, embargo no), hundreds gathered on Washington, DC’s busy 16th Street to bear witness to the symbolic close to one of the more misguided chapters of US foreign policy. Trumpeting fanfare sounded as Cuban honour guard soldiers raised their country’s flag above what is now Cuba’s embassy in the United States.
Cuba's foreign minister Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla presided over the flag raising and was accompanied by a large US delegation led by assistant secretary of state Roberta Jacobson.
“It’s a new beginning, it’s a new opportunity for the people of Cuba,” said Karla Ramos, one of the spectators, in an interview with COHA, mirroring the sentiments of many others there to celebrate this momentous occasion 54 years in the making.
A Cuban literacy program operating in an Aboriginal community in Wilcannia, NSW.
June 15, 2015 -- Green Left Weekly, post at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Kenia Serrano, president of the Cuban Institute for Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP) and a member of Cuba's National Assembly, attended the recent national consultation of the Australia-Cuba Friendship Society. Green Left Weekly's Denis Rogatyuk spoke with her about recent developments of the Cuban Revolution.
* * *
Cuba has just been removed from the list of state-sponsors of terrorism. How do you think this will affect Cuba’s relations with the United States?
First of all, there is no reason to have Cuba on such a list. We should have never been there. However, the US decided to do this back in 1992. On May 29, the removal was approved.
We consider this a very positive step in eliminating the different obstacles to forging stable bilateral relations with the US.