Cuba news / FRFI 203 Jun / Jul 2008

FRFI 203 June / July 2008

Bank of ALBA founded
ALBA member states have officially established the Bank of ALBA with initial financing of US$1bn. The bank will promote economic integration between ALBA countries and invest in infrastructure and social projects within them.

ALBA (an acronym in Spanish for Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas) is an anti-neoliberal alliance of countries that now includes Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia, Nicaragua and Dominica. The bank aims to free member countries from dependency on the World Bank and the IMF, which has caused havoc in Latin America through the oppressive loan conditions these institutions impose on debtor countries. In contrast the ALBA bank will not impose loan conditions. All member countries have an equal vote on funding decisions, and contribute capital according to their ability to pay. Each member state will host a branch of the bank, with the head office based in the Venezuelan capital, Caracas.

Free the Cuban 5! Support the call for action!
The Cuban 5, political prisoners in US gaols, are awaiting a verdict from a US Court of Appeal on nine key issues of their case. This comes in the Five’s tenth year of unjust imprisonment, after an unfair trial and a previously successful appeal which was later quashed by the US government.

The latest appeal decision could come at any time. If the court decides favourably for the Five on any of the appeal issues, the US government will likely launch a counter appeal. In the US, the National Committee to Free the Cuban Five has issued a call for international ‘Day After’ actions, calling for protests around the world on the days following the court decision.

The Five were arrested in Miami in 1998 on false charges ranging from espionage to conspiracy to commit murder. In reality they did nothing more than gather information about terrorist groups operating against Cuba from the US.

Here in Britain Rock around the Blockade has joined the ‘Day After’ pledge and is organising protests nationwide. If you want to be a part of this contact Rock around the Blockade and join the campaign today.

US diplomat ferries money for anti-Cuban terrorist groups
Over a dozen emails and a video recording released by the Cuban government show that Michael Parmly, US diplomat and outgoing chief of the US special interests section, has carried money into Cuba for Santiago Alvarez, a close associate and benefactor of notorious anti-Cuban terrorist Luis Posada Carriles. Alvarez is currently serving a 30 month sentence for weapons possession. The money he sent was for Martha Beatriz Roque, a well-known Cuban ‘dissident’ who once boasted that she couldn’t care less if the Yankees invaded Cuba. She was receiving $1,500 a month from Fundacion Rescate Juridico, an NGO set up by Alvarez.

The US government will this year award a record $45.7 million to counter-revolutionary groups in the form of Cuba ‘democracy’ grants – more than triple the amount for 2007.
Sam Vincent

SWP poison 
An example of the damage that the SWP try to do was demonstrated at a showing of the film Soy Cuba in London on 4 May. The SWP’s main commentator on Cuba, Professor Mike Gonzalez, was due to talk about the film but did not show up. Two of his acolytes were there in his stead to parrot the line – they said nothing about the film. The customary wares of ‘not a mass revolution’, led by ‘an elite that continues to govern’ were peddled. But what was most striking was their argument that Cuba was a threat to the rising movement in Latin America that must not take Cuba as its model. When did Cuba ever seek to impose a model on other countries? This attack on Cuba is intended to work against the necessary unity of the movements in Latin America precisely at a time when they are uniting and must do so to survive and advance. The US Navy is resurrecting its fourth fleet in the Caribbean with the intention of threatening Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia and Ecuador. The SWP arguments are characteristic of a Trojan Horse for imperialism that dresses up reaction in the language of socialism.
Trevor Rayne

 

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