Fernando Gonzalez from the Cuban Five meets the brigadistas

Fernando Gonzalez from the Cuban Five meets the brigadistas

During our visit to ICAP we were joined by Fernando Gonzalez, one of the Cuban Five. Rock around the Blockade campaigned for the freedom of the Five throughout their imprisonment, so when Fernando entered the room he was greeted with spontaneous applause; an emotional standing ovation in recognition of the Five’s principled stand throughout a long, harsh, unjust incarceration. Fernando, who is now Vice President at ICAP, said:

‘It’s good to see you, it’s good to have a group of very young people here. There are few things that you miss when you get out of prison; you leave that experience behind and you basically don’t miss anything. If I miss one thing it is receiving your newspaper (Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism!), every issue. It’s true! It was very interesting reading every time. Let me tell you something – it is a newspaper that is circulated around the whole prison; many people were interested in what the newspaper had to say because it is a view that is not common in the United States. So much for the freedom of press! Views like the ones expressed in your newspaper you never find in what you call the mainstream media.

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I am here to learn from the Revolution

2 May 2015 by Juventud Rebelde written by Enrique Milanes Leon 

Translation by Rock Around the Blockade. Edited by Walter Lippmann

A young communist from Britain, coordinator of the Cuba Vive solidarity brigade, talks to JR about the struggle ‘in the belly of the beast’ and confesses her admiration for the island that gives hope, even in her country.

Samantha explains about the newspaper "Fight Racism, Fight Imperialism". Photo: Calixto N. Llanes

To overcome the 7,493 kilometres that separate London from Havana, for the third time,  young Samantha Cordery had to make sacrifices. She even participated in a 25,000 metre race looking for sponsors who would understand that she was a special competitor, collecting donations because her real "goal" was much further away, in Cuba.

Samantha is the coordinator of the Cuba Vive brigade and the Rock around the Blockade campaign, and joined the Revolutionary Communist Group in Britain a decade ago. "We are nearly 20 young people and this, our 13th solidarity brigade. Among us are students and unemployed people" – their history reminds us that not all the foreigners who walk our streets are mere tourists; some are more: friends.

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Co-operatives to boost productivity

Over the past year the number of approved non-agricultural co-operatives in Cuba has grown to 498. With the aim of increasing productivity and efficiency, these workers’ associations are an important aspect of the Economic and Social Policy Guidelines of the Party and Revolution approved in April 2011.

Whilst agricultural co-operatives have existed throughout the Cuban revolution, the first non-agricultural co-operatives (CNAs) were created by temporary law decree in December 2012. They fall into two main categories, ‘self-effort’ co-operatives established by the initiative of three or more people, and ‘conversions’, where the state is shutting down an enterprise and gives its workers the option to form a co-operative. CNAs can also be formed by the association of two or more co-operatives, whereby, for example, one co-operative organises transportation or adds value to another’s goods and services. With a new General Law of Co-operatives anticipated in 2016, the CNAs will complement the agricultural co-operatives which currently organise 66% of agricultural workers.

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Cuba and the US - Breaking bread with the beast

Obama and Raul Castro shook hands at opening of the Americas summit in Panama

Following the historic announcement on 17 December 2014 that Cuba and the US would ‘normalise’ relations, representatives of both countries have met three times.

Prior to these talks in January, US President Obama announced a number of significant measures in relation to Cuba. By contrast, the talks have produced nothing concrete. Cuba has made it clear that the restoration of diplomatic relations must be preceded by several measures, notably the removal of Cuba from the US ‘State Sponsors of Terrorism’ list. The US has publicly stated that the objective of its policy toward Cuba remains regime change. James Bell reports.

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The Summit of the Americas: Latin America resists!

Raul Castro and Barack Obama

Between the 10 and 11 April, the much anticipated seventh Summit of the Americas saw US President Obama meet with Cuban President of the Council of State, Raul Castro in Panama City. This was the first such meeting since Cuba’s exclusion from the Organisation of American States (OAS) in 1962. Following the summit the US has conceded to remove Cuba from its heinous list of states sponsors of terrorism, a massive victory for Cuba and tribute to it’s principled stand of negotiation on sovereign terms. However, far from repairing US relations with Latin America, the Obama administration's attack on Venezuela has left it increasingly isolated.

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More Articles ...

  1. Cuban 5 freed and reunited in Cuba
  2. US opens talks with socialist Cuba
  3. Message from Revolutionary Cuba
  4. Leading Cuban biotech product now available in Europe
  5. Socialist Cuba makes advances in renewable energy
  6. Victory! The Cuban 5 are finally free!
  7. New York Times demands a ‘new start’ for US-Cuba relations
  8. World Bank finds Cuban education best in Latin America and the Caribbean
  9. Another USAID attack on Cuba
  10. Cuba approves new foreign investment law to support development
  11. Bacardi – new advertising, same agenda /FRFI! 239 Jun/Jul 2014
  12. Tweets, terrorists and mercenaries renewed attacks on Cuba /FRFI! 239 Jun/Jul 2014
  13. Cuban double agent reveals CIA machinations in Cuba
  14. Cuba inaugurates new port with international partners /FRFI 238 Apr/May 2014
  15. RATB hosts international rally for the Cuban Five in the heart of London /FRFI 238 Apr/May 2014
  16. Free the Cuban Five! International activists rally in Trafalgar Square, London, 9 March 2014
  17. Havana Summit: building regional solidarity
  18. Pressure to end the US blockade of Cuba grows – even in the US / FRFI 236 Dec 2013/Jan 2014
  19. Cuba steps towards monetary unification / FRFI 236 Dec 2013/Jan 2014
  20. RATB challenges PayPal’s block on its account due to US Blockade
  21. RATB challenges PayPal’s block on its account due to US Blockade
  22. Cuban socialism: training doctors for the world /FRFI 234 Aug/Sep 2013
  23. Hypocritical outcry over Cuban arms to North Korea/FRFI 234 Aug/Sep 2013
  24. US blockade ‘attempted genocide’/FRFI 234 Aug/Sep 2013
  25. FAO congratulates Fidel/ FRFI 233 Jun/Jul 2013

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