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Fidel on Obama: The empire's hypocritical politics

By Fidel Castro Ruz

May 25, 2008 -- It would be dishonest of me to remain silent after hearing the speech Barack Obama delivered on the afternoon of May 23, 2008, at the Cuban American National Foundation, created by Ronald Reagan. I listened to his speech, as I did [John] McCain's and Bush's. I feel no resentment towards Obama, for he is not responsible for the crimes perpetrated against Cuba and humanity. Were I to defend him, I would do his adversaries an enormous favour. I have therefore no reservations about criticising him and about expressing my points of view on his words frankly.

Prospects for socialist revolution in Venezuela and Latin America -- Celia Hart

 

Cuban revolutionary Celia Hart addresses the ``A World in Revolt'' conference, Toronto, Canada, May 22-25, 2008. She discusses the reformist and revolutionary trends in Latin American politics, the right-wing ``autonomy'' moves in Bolivia and Venezuela, and the challenges that face the revolutions in Bolivia and Venezuela. She concludes by discussing the significance of Trotsky's theory of permanent revolution for Latin America.

 

 

The conference was sponsored by Socialist Action-Canada, Socialist Action-United States and the Socialist Unity League (LUS) of Mexico.

 

 

Myths answered: How the workers and peasants made the Cuban revolution

Review by Graham Matthews

Cuba: How the Workers & Peasants Made the Revolution

By Chris Slee

Resistance Books, 2008

55 pages, $6 (pb)

Available from <http://www.resistancebooks.com>

May 10, 2008 -- There is a myth perpetrated by some on the left, that there never really was a revolution in Cuba. The Cuban “revolution”, they claim, was just the result of the collapse of the brutal, US-backed Batista regime, followed by the filling of the political vacuum by the few hundred guerrillas that made up the July 26 Movement (J26M). These fighters simply marched down from the mountains to take power in Havana, installing the Castro brothers as virtual dictators.

Cuban VP: `Sustainable development requires a revolution in our values'

May 18, 2008

Address by José Ramón Machado Ventura, First Vice-President of Cuba’s Council of State, at a session on ``Sustainable Development: the Environment, Climate Change and Energy'', during the 5th EU/LAC (European Union/Latin America and Caribbean) summit meeting in Lima, Peru, May 16-17.

Your Excellency:

At the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development held in Rio de Janeiro 16 years ago, Fidel Castro issued a prophetic warning, stating that ``an important biological species is at risk of disappearing as a result of the rapid and progressive destruction of its natural living conditions: humanity''.

Time has proven him right.

Let us not mince our words: we won’t attain sustainable development, the negative impacts of climate change will not be halted or reversed, and the environment will not be preserved for future generations, if the irrational patterns of production, distribution and consumption imposed upon us by capitalism prevail. The globalisation of neoliberal policies has drastically exacerbated the crisis.

Global food crisis: Capitalism, agribusiness and the food sovereignty alternative

By Ian Angus

[Second of two articles. Click here for part one.]

“Nowhere in the world, in no act of genocide, in no war, are so many people killed per minute, per hour and per day as those who are killed by hunger and poverty on our planet.” —Fidel Castro, 1998

May 11, 2008 -- When food riots broke out in Haiti last month, the first country to respond was Venezuela. Within days, planes were on their way from Caracas, carrying 364 tons of badly needed food.

The people of Haiti are “suffering from the attacks of the empire’s global capitalism,” Venezuela's President Hugo Chàvez said. “This calls for genuine and profound solidarity from all of us. It is the least we can do for Haiti.”

Venezuela’s action is in the finest tradition of human solidarity. When people are hungry, we should do our best to feed them. Venezuela’s example should be applauded and emulated.

But aid, however necessary, is only a stopgap. To truly address the problem of world hunger, we must understand and then change the system that causes it.

No shortage of food

The starting point for our analysis must be this: there is no shortage of food in the world today.

Videos: Cuba's green revolution

A clip from the BBC's Around the World in 80 Gardens (2008) introduces the urban organic food gardening revolution in Havana, Cuba. Click HERE for a three-part talk by Cuban permaculturist Roberto Perez that delves deeper into Cuba's green revolution, and an interview with the makers of The Power of Community: How Cuba Survived Peak Oil, the film in which Perez featured.

So there’s nothing to stop us from emulating the Cuban farming revolution.

Cuba: The challenge of fossil fuels and climate change

Roberto Perez, Cuban biologist and permaculturalist, Antonio Núñez Jimenez Foundation for Nature and Humanity, a Cuban NGO. Feature talk at the Climate Change Social Change Conference, Sydney, April 12, 2008. The conference was organised by Green Left Weekly.

 

Conference on the Work of Karl Marx and the Challenges of the 21st Century, Havana May 5-8, 2008

International Conference on the Work of Karl Marx and the Challenges of the 21st Century
Havana, Cuba, May 5th to 8th. Venue: Palacio de Convenciones

This conference celebrates the 50th anniversary of the triumph of the Cuban Revolution
which occurred on January 1, 1959.

These are times of special importance for the destiny of humanity, given the increase
in imperialist aggression and its confrontation with the resistance of peoples from
all corners of the globe, who are engaged in important struggles that involve transformative
socialist praxis. The Institute of Philosophy, through its "Permanent Workshop
for the Work of Karl Marx and the Challenges of the 21st Century" extends an
invitation to its fourth Conference. Its purpose is to provide a space for debates
the elaboration of proposals among social and political activists, scientists
and all those interested in the construction of the new world which is both necessary
and possible.

Video and audio: Cuban permaculturist -- `Climate change means we must change'

Cuban permaculturist Roberto Perez spoke at the Climate Change | Social Change conference, April 11-13, Sydney. Click here for more videos and text.


Cuba: Prelude to succession

By Nelson P. Valdés

The transfer of political power away from Fidel Castro was planned years ago. Preparation for it went into effect when he fell ill, and by the end of July 2006 Fidel provisionally delegated power to his brother Raúl. What had been provisional became permanent on February 18, 2008. But this was no longer a personal delegation of power; rather, the decision would depend on what elected officials at the National Assembly decided.

Over the years, there has been much speculation, and many imaginary scenarios have been concocted, regarding the end of the charismatic leader's rule. But what these various alternative scripts did not consider was the possibility of several preludes to succession.

Capitalism is no solution to problems facing humanity: Tribute to Cde Fidel Castro

By Blade Nzimande

February 20, 2008 -- Tributes are not meant only for the departed, but are also befitting to living revolutionary legends who have served the cause of humanity with distinction, like Cde Fidel Castro Ruz, First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba! Cde Fidel, as he is affectionately known in Cuba and throughout the progressive and socialist world, was until earlier this week, the President of the Socialist Republic of Cuba and Commander of the Armed Forces of the Cuban Revolution.

Revolutionary appreciation & respect to Comrade Fidel Castro

Below are salutes to Cuban President Fidel Castro following his announcement on February 18 that he will not stand for the position again. The first is from Australia's Democratic Socialist Perspective, followed by a message from the Socialist Party of Malaysia.

***

International conferences and gatherings

AUSTRALIA: Climate Change | Social Change -- A conference to strengthen radical social action to stop climate change. April 11-13, 2008. Sydney Girls' High School, Cleveland Street, near ANZAC Parade, Surry Hills, Sydney, Australia.

CUBA: International Conference on the Work of Karl Marx and the Challenges of the 21st Century. Havana, Cuba, May 5-8. Palacio de Convenciones.

CANADA: A World in Revolt -- May 22-25, 2008 at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, 252 Bloor Street West (St. George Subway Station), Toronto.

***

Book review: Cuban Communist makes case for international revolution

By John Riddell

Latin America at the Crossroads. By Roberto Regalado. Translation by Peter Gellert. Ocean Press (www.oceanbooks.com.au), 2007, US$17.95; America latina entre siglos. Ocean Press, 2007, US$17.95.

This compact book by Roberto Regalado, a veteran member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba, strongly reaffirms the need for revolution in Latin America and beyond.

Regalado, a section chief in the Cuban CP's Department of International Relations, is anything but dogmatic. He is attentive to recent new trends in Latin American economics and politics, and respectful toward the diverse currents of socialist opinion. He stresses the importance of the new features of Latin American social struggles: the role of peasants, the landless, indigenous peoples, women, environmentalists and others.

But his careful and unpretentious analysis leads toward a striking conclusion: only a revolutionary seizure of political power by the masses can open the road to social progress south of the Rio Bravo and even within the imperialist countries.

Advent of neoliberalism

In just 232 pages Regalado provides a handbook of Marxist politics, outlining Marxism's basic anti-capitalist premise and examining closely the evolution of revolutionary and reformist schools of thought through the 20th century.

Armando Hart on the 90th anniversary of the October Revolution

November 7, 2007, was the 90th anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution. Here Armando Hart Dávalos, one of the historic leaders of the Cuban Revolution, assesses the 1917 Russian Revolution in the light of historic experience. In a commentary of obvious timelessness for Cuba’s own revolutionary people and leadership, he argues that the pressures of the imperialist blockade were not the decisive causes of the fall of the Russian Revolution, but rather errors made within the country by its own leadership and institutions. Essential reading for Cubans, and for everyone who

Cuba seeks revolutionary renewal

By John Riddell and Phil Courneyeur

Cuba: Three premises to save the revolution when Fidel dies

By Heinz Dieterich

1. Fidel sets the task: November 17, 2005

On November 17, 2005, at the University of Havana, Fidel warns about the danger of the Cuban Revolution ending up like the Soviet Revolution. To avoid this, he sets a task: “What are the ideas or levels of awareness that would make it impossible for a revolutionary process to be reversed?”

This is an invitation to world debate, a call for the solidarity of reasoning. But world solidarity does not understand it so. It is shocked when the commandant who for almost fifty years has affirmed that the revolution is invincible, that “Socialism is immortal and the party eternal”, suddenly publicly declares the opposite. It is an epistemological earthquake: the commandant of certainty, of conviction in the final victory, reintroduces dialectics into the Cuban official discourse without warning, preambles or roundabouts. He is applying dialectics to stagnation, as Bertolt Brecht would say.

Heinz Dieterich and the ‘salvation’ of the Cuban Revolution

By Jesús Arboleya Cervera

The debate on the future of the Cuban Revolution when Fidel Castro is no longer there is very popular today. The topic is of legitimate concern for the left, both because of the historical importance of the revolution and its Third World influence, and also because it is part of the confrontation with the right, since the strategy of the United States has been to use the topic to provide hope to a counter-revolution that has been declared defeated for as long as the Cuban leader remains alive.

I believe it is in this context that we would have to place the recent statements of Foreign Affairs Minister Felipe Pérez Roque during the latest sessions of the National Assembly of People’s Power [Cuba’s parliament]. In indicating what he considers are the strengths and weaknesses of the revolution to face the event, Pérez Roque is acting on the Cuban reality and joining a valid political effort to reinforce the political and ideological consensus which supports the revolution.

The viability of Marxism

By Maria Luisa Fernández

Maria Luisa Fernández is the Cuban consul-general in Australia. This is the text of her opening address to the Marxism 2000 Conference in Sydney.

Dear friends: It is really an honour to have the opportunity of being here with all of you in this event. The study and understanding of Marxism are not easy. Many things have to be taken into account when those concepts are to be applied to any specific country, such as: history, culture, idiosyncrasies, economic development.

Cuba has a long history of wars of independence, of colonial and neo-colonial status, a school of revolutionary anti-imperialist thoughts whose leader was José Martí in the 19th century. Bearing in mind that we are far from being a perfect society, the Cuban revolution tried its best when applying Marxist concepts.

The Cuban Revolution in the epoch of neoliberal globalisation

Resolution adopted by the nineteenth Congress of the Australian Democratic Socialist Party, January 2001

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