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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Cuban 5 freed and reunited in Cuba

On 17 December, Raul Castro welcomed Ramon Labañino, Gerardo Hernandez and Antonio Guerrero back onto Cuban soil after 16 years of incarceration in US prisons. They were reunited with Rene Gonzalez and Fernando Gonzalez who were released in 2013 and 2014 respectively. The return of the Cuban 5 is an historic victory for Cuba. It also represents a defeat for the corrupt US justice system and for the right-wing Cuban exile community whose political leverage is weakening.

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US opens talks with socialist Cuba

On 21 and 22 January, Cuba and the US held direct talks about restoring diplomatic relations for the first time since 1961. The meeting in Havana took place one month after the historic announcements made simultaneously on 17 December 2014 by Presidents Obama and Raul Castro about a thaw in US–Cuban relations. This included a prisoner swap which finally freed the remaining Cuban anti-terrorist agents imprisoned in the US, known as the Cuban 5. This followed 18 months of secret talks facilitated by Canada and the Vatican. The tactical change by the US administration reflects the failure of its Cuba policy, and economic and strategic developments which put competitive pressure on US capitalists who do not benefit from the blockade. Helen Yaffe reports.

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  1. Message from Revolutionary Cuba
  2. Leading Cuban biotech product now available in Europe
  3. Socialist Cuba makes advances in renewable energy
  4. Victory! The Cuban 5 are finally free!
  5. New York Times demands a ‘new start’ for US-Cuba relations
  6. World Bank finds Cuban education best in Latin America and the Caribbean
  7. Another USAID attack on Cuba
  8. Cuba approves new foreign investment law to support development
  9. Bacardi – new advertising, same agenda /FRFI! 239 Jun/Jul 2014
  10. Tweets, terrorists and mercenaries renewed attacks on Cuba /FRFI! 239 Jun/Jul 2014
  11. Cuban double agent reveals CIA machinations in Cuba
  12. Cuba inaugurates new port with international partners /FRFI 238 Apr/May 2014
  13. RATB hosts international rally for the Cuban Five in the heart of London /FRFI 238 Apr/May 2014
  14. Free the Cuban Five! International activists rally in Trafalgar Square, London, 9 March 2014
  15. Havana Summit: building regional solidarity
  16. Pressure to end the US blockade of Cuba grows – even in the US / FRFI 236 Dec 2013/Jan 2014
  17. Cuba steps towards monetary unification / FRFI 236 Dec 2013/Jan 2014
  18. RATB challenges PayPal’s block on its account due to US Blockade
  19. RATB challenges PayPal’s block on its account due to US Blockade
  20. Cuban socialism: training doctors for the world /FRFI 234 Aug/Sep 2013
  21. Hypocritical outcry over Cuban arms to North Korea/FRFI 234 Aug/Sep 2013
  22. US blockade ‘attempted genocide’/FRFI 234 Aug/Sep 2013
  23. FAO congratulates Fidel/ FRFI 233 Jun/Jul 2013
  24. Cuba and the US terror lists/ FRFI 233 Jun/Jul 2013
  25. Cuban elections: triumph of democracy /FRFI 232 Apr/May 2013

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