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Cuba prepares for disaster



By Don Fitz

March 24, 2022 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — The September 2021 Scientific American included a description by the editors of the deplorable state of disaster relief in the US.  They traced the root cause of problems with relief programs as their “focus on restoring private property,” which results in little attention to those “with the least capacity to deal with disasters.”  The book Disaster Preparedness and Climate Change in Cuba: Adaptation and Management (2021) came out the next month. It traced the highly successful source of the island nation’s efforts to the way it put human welfare above property.  This collection of 14 essays by Emily J. Kirk, Isabel Story, and Anna Clayfield is an extraordinary assemblage of articles, each addressing specific issues.  

A view from Cuba: Ukraine to the Limit



By Julio César Guanche

March 5, 2022 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Socialist Project — A friend sent me a video of a family in front of a burning building somewhere in Ukraine. We were both shocked. On my Facebook, I share a video of Russian protesters against the war unleashed by their government. Someone comments: “Putin, the new Hitler.”

Ukraine is far away for Cubans. It is difficult to understand the conflict beyond the calls for peace and the repeated slogans. We know something for certain. The invasion violates international law and the right to self-determination. It can only be condemned unconditionally. That said, much remains to be done. First, understand what is being condemned.

Cuba’s life task: Combatting climate change



January 21, 2022 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Dani Films — Climate change is among the world’s greatest challenges. As a small Caribbean island, Cuba is disproportionately affected by climate change through extreme weather events. Up to 10% of Cuban territory could be submerged by the end of the century, wiping out coastal towns, polluting water supplies, destroying agricultural lands and forcing one million people to relocate. Finding solutions is now essential.

In this documentary, Dr Helen Yaffe goes to Cuba to find out about ‘Tarea Vida’ (Life Task), a long-term state plan to protect the population, environment and the economy from climate change. The Cuban approach combines environmental science, natural solutions and community participation in strategies for adaptation and mitigation. There are lessons here for the world.

Produced by DaniFilms with Dr Helen Yaffe from the University of Glasgow for the COP26 conference in Glasgow.

Directed, Edited and Produced by Daniesky Acosta. Co-directed by Hugo Rivalta. Co-produced by Helen Yaffe. Assistant producer Laura Rivalta.

The road ahead: Cuba after the July 11 protests



By William M. LeoGrande, John M. Kirk and Philip Brenner

November 11, 2021  — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Center for Latin American & Latino Studies — Fifteen months before the island-wide protests that rocked Cuba on July 11, 2021, Rowman and Littlefield published Cuba at the Crossroads, which we edited. The book explored several challenges the country was facing—though at the time of writing COVID-19 was not among them—and anticipated that change would be inevitable. Contrary to a common narrative that Cuba is mired in the twentieth century unable to adapt to new circumstances, Cuba at the Crossroads highlighted changes that had occurred in the six years since we had edited A Contemporary Cuba Reader: The Revolution under Raúl Castro. But most observers did not appreciate how angry many Cubans have become over the slow pace of change and the government’s seeming lack of understanding of the suffering Cubans were experiencing. The unprecedented outpouring of protests on July 11 surprised analysts and even the protest organizers themselves. 

Trotskyism in Cuba (PDF book)



Trotskismos em Cuba – Retrato de um Encontro Nojosa Edições, São Paulo, 2021 (digital book).

Collected texts organized by Flo Menezes of the I Encuentro Académico Internacional León Trotsky: vida y contemporaneidad – un abordaje crítico, from May 2019, in Havana, Cuba. 

Texts by Don Esteban Volkov (Trotsky's grandson) and notable Communist and Trotskyist militants such as: Frank García Hernández, Paul Le Blanc, Éric Toussaint, João Batista Aragão Neto, Roberto Massari, Simón Rodríguez, Bryan Palmer, Alan Woods, Sándor John and others. Now updated to include text from Ernest Tate (1934-2021) (Texts in Portuguese, Spanish and English)

Download here

Using Cuba’s protests as a chance to denounce the left



By Aviva Chomsky

August 23, 2021  — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from NACLA — Covid-19 has brought economic and social crises to much of the world, and nowhere more than the Third World where poor infrastructure, poverty, resource export dependence, inequality, and lack of accountability are endemic. Protests against scarcity, structural violence, police brutality, and corruption erupted everywhere from the United States to Colombia, Haiti, Brazil, Guatemala, Ecuador, Chile, and Argentina, just to mention a few. Those in Latin America rarely merited notice in the U.S. news media—until they happened in Cuba.

A political x-ray for possible dialogue in Cuba



By Jesús Arboleya

August 18, 2021 August 18, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Progreso Weekly — Protests that occurred on July 11 in Cuba have reinforced the idea of the need for a national dialogue in order to articulate a new consensus and expand existing democratic mechanisms. As it is difficult to specify an agenda and identify its possible actors, it is worth trying to discern the political currents existing in the country and their broader interests.

Since the triumph of the Revolution, Cuban political life has been so intense and all-encompassing that very few have been able to avoid placing themselves in one of the great conglomerates in dispute — those who support the socialist system and/or its adversaries. Let us analyze the balance of these forces and their possible disposition to the dialogue that is proposed.

Cuba’s crisis, our response



By Margaret Randall

August 18, 2021 August 18, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from NACLA — The recent protests in Cuba, especially those on July 11, 2021 have provoked consternation in some and hope in others. The protests, which began in the Havana suburb of San Antonio de Los Baños, the eastern city of Palma Soriano, and quickly spread nationwide, are the first examples of visible large scale discontent since the demonstrations that took place in 1994 at the height of the economic crisis brought on by the Soviet Union’s collapse.

Social explosion in Cuba: The ignored signals



By Alina Barbara López Hernández, translated by Observatorio Internacional

July 24, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal translated from La Joven Cuba — It hurts to see the social explosion in Cuba; however, it is not at all surprising. The social sciences may not be exact, but they are not blind. If those in power close their eyes to reality, we women and men of science must not do so. Our credibility and, more importantly, the lives of many people and the future of the country are at stake.

Britain: Cuba Solidarity Campaign statement on the current situation in Cuba



By Cuba Solidarity Campaign

July 22, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Cuba Solidarity Campaign — The Cuba Solidarity Campaign calls on the US government to suspend the blockade of Cuba to allow emergency medical and humanitarian aid into the country in order to ease the economic and health crisis the island is experiencing.

The current emergency is a result of the ongoing US blockade, an additional 243 sanctions imposed by the Trump administration, and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Cuba has shown incredible resilience in the face of six decades of economic warfare by the US government in the form of a blockade intended to strangle the economy and create hunger and hardship in an attempt to destabilise the country.

From Cuba: a description of the protests



By the Editorial Board of Comunistas, translated by Héctor Sierra, revised by Richard Fidler.

July 22, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal translated from Comunistas — Six days after the events and after a thorough analysis, Comunistas reveals its official position on the protests that took place in Cuba last Sunday, 11 July:

Almost simultaneously and with greater or lesser intensity, on Sunday 11 July, Cuba experienced a series of social outbreaks that encompassed at least six of the 14 provinces that make up the country. In the 62 years since the triumph of the revolution led by Comandante Fidel Castro, Cuba had not faced a situation like this.

Cuba today: Homeland, people and sovereignty



By Julio César Guanche

July 21, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from On Cuba News — Cuban president Miguel Díaz-Canel has just called for “the unity of all Cubans, for respect among Cubans, and that we strip ourselves of any feelings of hatred.” Given the concrete circumstances of last Sunday, his statement may be very important.

At the same time, three historic days have already been documented in verified videos that will never be erased from our collective memory. Every effort—civic and patriotic—must be made to process the situation in ways that lead to positive solutions rather than worsen the crisis the nation is undergoing.

A scream: Leonardo Padura on the recent protests in Cuba



By Leonardo Padura, translated by Richard Fidler

July 21, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal translated from La Joven Cuba — It is quite possible that everything that happened in Cuba, starting last Sunday, July 11, was encouraged by a certain number of people opposed to the system, some of them even paid, with the intention of destabilizing the country and creating a situation of chaos and insecurity. It is also true that later, as often happens in these events, opportunistic and regrettable acts of vandalism occurred. But I think that, true or not, these events do not make the scream that we have heard the least bit unreasonable. A cry that is also a product of the desperation of a society that is going through not only a long economic crisis and a specific health crisis, but also a crisis of confidence and a loss of expectations.

Increase in COVID-19 cases raises social tensions in Cuba



By Fernando Ravsberg, translated by Richard Fidler

July 21, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal translated from La Jornada — After the protests on Sunday, calm seems to have returned to Cuba, although it is difficult to know for how long that may be, given the complex situation that the country is experiencing. The economy suffers from the US blockade, reinforced by the measures of Trump and Biden , and by the slowness of the Cuban government in promoting reforms. The pandemic, controlled during 2020, erupted in the last month with terrible virulence, especially in the province of Matanzas. Health spending is bleeding state coffers that were already battered before the pandemic. The huge queues to buy food and the power outages due to the breakdown of several plants were the last straw in the face of anti-Castro calls to go into the streets to protest.

Cuban Communist Party congress: Talking about the party



By Rafael Hernández. Introduction and translation by Walter Lippmann.

May 22, 2021  — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from CubaNews — The Cuban Communist Party’s VIII Congress, held in Havana in April 16-19, 2021, found the island confronting perhaps its greatest challenges since the revolutionary government came to power in 1959. Washington’s multi-faceted blockade has been intensified more than ever before, and the Covid-19 pandemic struck a cruel body blow to the island’s tourism economy, its principal source of foreign hard-currency income.

As the island’s sole political party, the PCC has faced a seemingly endless array of problems. Its historic leadership, lead by Raúl Castro, was stepping aside to make room for a new generation raised in and products of, Cuba’s revolutionary system.

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. 

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