Global Voices Censored

An antidote to Global Voices Online

CUBA: Reflections on the Cuban Revolution Today – Harry Targ

This is a terrific tribute to the Cuban Revolution.

Reflections on the Cuban revolution today
Guest Commentary by Harry Targ
by Harry Targ
Date posted online: Saturday, February 23, 2008

President Bush now travels through the African continent trumpeting the United States as a model for the peoples of the Global South. At the same time Fidel Castro steps down as Cuba’s chief of state, stimulating reflections on the role of the Cuban revolution at home and abroad. Which country has had a more progressive impact on the historical development of the world?

Despite enormous changes and advances since the 1959 Cuban revolution, Cuba remains part of the Global South (what used to be referred to as “Third World” or “developing countries”), a world that has been shaped and distorted in its economics and politics for 400 years by the global capitalist system. Cuba, while in many ways a developed and even industrialized country, remains closer in economic profile and diplomatic standing and possibility to the nations of Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America than the industrial capitalist countries of North America, Europe and Japan

In the words of C. Wright Mills, reflecting on the Cuban revolution at its outset, Cuba remains part of the “hungry bloc,” not in the sense of poverty and scarcity as he meant it — Cuba is part of the developed world in these terms — but in the sense of still struggling to achieve its right and capacity to define its own destiny. In fact, it could be argued that Cuba’s “hunger” for self-determination, its spirit of nationalism, is what drove the revolution in the 19th century, in the 1930s, in 1959 and still drives the revolution today.

The spirit of revolution links Cuba’s past to its present. There have been other continuities in Cuban history as well, particularly since 1959. The most obvious one has been the hatred and aggressive stance of the United States. The United States suspended formal diplomatic relations with the island nation before President Eisenhower left office, launched a full-scale economic blockade of Cuba in the Kennedy period, initiated a long-term program of subversion and sabotage of the islands economy and polity, and extended the blockade to pressure other countries to cut their ties to the island’s economy.

The hostile United States policy since the 1950s has been driven by the needs and hopes of capitalism; cold war fears of “communism;” the “realpolitik” philosophy which says that Cuba is within the U.S. sphere of influence; and the historically claimed right of the U.S. to control Cuba’s destiny enshrined in the Monroe Doctrine of the 1820s.

Despite this hostility, since 1959 there has been a high level of support for the revolution among Cubans because it provided substantial economic advances for the people and satisfied their thirst for self-determination. Consequently, even during the “special period” of the 1990s support, while declining, held because the revolution continued to represent the spirit of nationalism for the vast majority of the Cuban people.

Finally, a continuous element of the Cuban revolution has been change and a pragmatic spirit that addresses needs, possibilities, and dangers as they arise. Cuba has been one vast laboratory experiment in which new policies, priorities and programs have been introduced to meet the exigencies of the moment. Alongside inevitable dogmatisms and bureaucratic resistances has been the willingness of Cubans to throw out the old, the unworkable, the threatened, and replace it with the new as history requires (shifting from fertilizer, pesticides and hybrid seeds to organic agriculture for example). Over its long history, the revolution ended foreign ownership of the Cuban economy. It created an egalitarian society. It provided health care, education, jobs and a rich cultural life for most of its citizens.

At the most fundamental level, the revolution fulfilled all of the economic and social goals Fidel Castro articulated in his 1953 “History Will Absolve Me” speech. For most Cubans alive before 1959, there is no question that the revolution has been an outstanding success. This is true for their sons and daughters if one could compare what would have been their possibilities before 1959 with what they have achieved today. The revolution has worked.

And finally, in the great debate between the U.S. and Cuba as inspirations and models for most of the citizens of the globe, Fidel Castro might say again “History Will Absolve Me.”


February 24, 2008 Posted by | Cuba, Imperialism, US | | Leave a comment

GLOBAL VOICES – Hello, what’s happening in Cuba and Venezuela?

Global Voices Online has not posted anything about Cuba for two weeks and it has been about 10 days since it published a post about Venezuela. Since GVO tends to use only three or four blogs to educate us about Cuba and Venezuela and these blogs are on the far right, I’m relieved when GVO has a drought.

Here at Global Voices Censored, we have plenty on Cuba, Venezuela and more. Go to the tag cloud to the right side of this blog and select a topic of interest. If you would like more in-depth analysis of current issues associated with Cuba, Venezuela, and Haiti, please go to:

February 3, 2008 Posted by | Africa, Cuba, Haiti, Imperialism, Latin America, US, Venezuela | | Leave a comment

LATIN AMERICA: US Policies Doomed to Fail – Book Review

“Left political alternatives,” writes Regalado, “will have to include the struggle for revolution.” And “the use of some type of revolutionary violence will be inevitable, because those holding power in the world will cling to it to the very end.”

U.S. policies doomed to fail in Latin America
By John Catalinotto
Published Jun 12, 2007 11:01 PM

Latin America at the Crossroads—Domination, Crisis, Popular Movements & Political Alternatives, by Roberto Regalado Álvarez, 2007, Ocean Press, 263 pages, available from

The Cuban Marxist economist Roberto Regalado, in the preface to the English edition of his book, takes note of the “challenge to write a book that deals with current-day events.” The December 2005 election of Evo Morales as president of Bolivia had forced him to revise the last two chapters before publication.

It is likely Regalado would now like the chance for another revision. Since he wrote those lines the Ecuadorans have elected leftist Rafael Correa president, Sandinista leader Daniel Ortega won the presidential election in Nicaragua and Hugo Chávez was re-elected by a landslide in revolutionary Venezuela. These new developments, however, only serve to establish Regalado’s main points:
• U.S. imperialism needs to exploit Latin America’s resources and labor even more mercilessly than it did in the period up to the late 1970s. It does this by imposing the policies of “neoliberalism”—essentially, using the state power to aid the banks and transnational corporations to concentrate capital while never using the state to aid poor and oppressed groups or individuals. Washington has tried to do this with minimum intervention, but this has turned out to be impossible; the U.S. is again intervening, subverting and threatening military intervention.
• Washington and the South American oligarchy have allowed the electoral arena to be open to more popular candidates with the plan of gaining a consensus of support for the system. The role of these parties is supposed to be to alternate with the right wing in administering the same neoliberal program. This has led to victories of left-leaning candidates and parties, which are unable to offer significant concessions to the workers and poor within the confines of the existing system.
• These changes, with a big impulse from the 1991 Zapatista uprising in Chiapas, Mexico, are nourishing a debate in the Latin American left. The potential for a struggle for a socialist alternative is gaining credibility, even if such a struggle is not on the order of the day; Colombia is the only country where an armed struggle is under way. This socialist alternative offers the only solution to the crisis of contemporary capitalism.

Regalado is currently the section chief in the Department of International Relations of the Cuban Communist Party. A former diplomat in the U.S. and Nicaragua, he has researched and written on Latin American politics since the 1970s. He also appears to be well acquainted with U.S. politics and even with developments in the U.S. progressive movement.

The book is effective on a few different levels. It summarizes the recent economic development of the worldwide imperialist system and especially in Latin America. It goes over Latin American history and reviews in detail the change in the type of imperialist domination and exploitation from the earlier part of the 20th century to the period since the mid-1970s.

It reviews the political struggles within the Latin American left—the social movements, social-democratic parties and the broad electoral fronts that have led to the elections of “left” candidates or parties in Brazil, Uruguay, Bolivia and Venezuela. The next edition will undoubtedly include Ecuador and Nicaragua.

Regalado also makes a devastating critique of the role of European social democracy and the parties of the Second International, especially those that, like British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s Labour Party, welcomed their new role as administering social cutbacks. In the immediate post-World-War-II period, these parties ran ‘’welfare states” to counter the challenge from the socialist camp, and claimed they would change capitalism. But, Regalado notes:

“It was not social democracy that reformed capitalism, but capitalism that reformed social democracy. This was clear, since by the end of the 1970s, social democracy was participating in dismantling the welfare state and functioning as the spearhead of European imperialism in the South.”

The author discusses the conflicts between socialist Cuba and the U.S., and briefly discusses the Caribbean, but focuses on Latin America. It would be interesting to see what he would write about the U.S. war on Iraq and the impact of the Iraqi resistance on Washington’s ability to intervene in South America, if that were within the scope of the book.

The dilemma the U.S. faces is that the neoliberal scenario continually narrows popular support for the system and its institutions. It wipes out the middle class and impoverishes workers. Thus imperialism is finding it necessary to intervene more directly, as in Haiti and Venezuela, in the Mexican election, etc. While at present the conditions don’t exist for a struggle for socialism, the continued deterioration of living conditions and the threat to humanity from the crisis of capitalism will soon raise this question anew.

“Left political alternatives,” writes Regalado, “will have to include the struggle for revolution.” And “the use of some type of revolutionary violence will be inevitable, because those holding power in the world will cling to it to the very end.”

This conclusion, while not new in classical Marxist literature, bears repetition in this post-Soviet period. To understand how Regalado comes to it, it’s best to read his book.

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February 3, 2008 Posted by | Africa, Bolivia, Colombia, Cuba, Ecuador, EU, Haiti, Imperialism, Latin America, Mexico, Nicaragua, US, Venezuela | , , , , | Leave a comment

CUBA: Fidel Answers Bush on State of Union – “The Antithesis of Ethics”


On the day when hundreds of intellectuals coming from every continent are
meeting in Havana to take part in an International Conference for World
Equilibrium on the date of José Marti’s birth, on that same day, by some
strange quirk, the President of the United States spoke. In his last State
of the Union address to Congress, making use of the teleprompter, Bush tells
us more with his body language than with the words arranged by his advisors.

If to the three speeches that I mentioned in my words to the delegates at
the Meeting of January 29, 2003 we added the one he gave yesterday on the
28th, translated into Spanish by CNN -accompanied by the raising of eyebrows
and odd gestures- recorded and immediately transcribed by qualified staff,
this one is the worst of them all on account of its demagoguery, lies and
total absence of ethics. I am speaking of the words that he probably added,
of the tone he used and which I personally observed; that is the material I
worked with.

“America is leading the fight against global poverty, with strong education
initiatives and humanitarian assistance (…) This program strengthens
democracy, transparency and the rule of law in developing nations, and I ask
the members of this Congress to fully fund this important program.”

“America is leading the fight against global hunger. Today, more than half
the world’s food aid comes from the United States. Tonight, I ask Congress
to support an innovative proposal to provide food assistance by purchasing
crops directly from farmers in the developing world, so we can build up
local agriculture and help break the cycle of famine.”

At the beginning of this paragraph he is referring to the old commitments
taken on by the United States in the past with FAO and other international
agencies, one drop of water in the sea of the agonizing present needs of

“America is leading the fight against disease. With your help, we’re
working to cut in half the number of malaria-related deaths in 15 African
nations. And our Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief is treating 1.4 million
people. We can bring healing (…) to many more (…) And I call on you (…)
to approve an additional $30 billion over the next five years.”

“America is a force for hope in the world because we are a compassionate
people (…)”

“Over the past seven years, we’ve increased funding for veterans by more
than 95 percent (…) And as increase funding we must also reform our
veterans system to meet the needs of a new war (…) so we can improve the
system of care for our wounded warriors.”

“So I ask you to join me in (…) creating new hiring preferences for military
spouses (…)”

“By trusting the people, succeeding generations transformed our fragile
young democracy into the most powerful nation on Earth (…) our liberty will
be secure and the state of our Union will remain strong.”

He states all this calmly, but from the beginning of his speech, where he
avoids all the thorny problems, he goes along brick by brick laying the
foundations of that false liberty and prosperity, without even the slightest
mention of the American soldiers who have died or been wounded in the war.

He had begun the speech by pointing out that “most Americans think their
taxes are high enough (…)”. He threatens Congress: “(…) [you] should know
(…) if any bill raising taxes reaches my desk, I will veto it.”

“Next week I’ll send you a budget that terminates or substantially reduces
151 wasteful or bloated programs, totaling more than $18 billion. The
budget that I will submit will keep America on track for a surplus in 2012.”

Either he made a mistake with the figure, or the collecting of $18 billion
means nothing to a budget that totals 2.8 trillions.

The most important thing is to distinguish between the deficit of the State
budget which totaled 163 billion, and the deficit of the current account of
the balance of payments that totaled 811 billion in 2006, and the public
debt is calculated at 9.1 million millions. His military spending totals
more than 60 percent of the total invested in the world for that reason.
Today, on the 29th, one ounce of gold broke a record at 933 dollars. This
mess results from the unrestricted issuing of dollars in a country whose
population spends more than it saves and in a world where the purchasing
power of United States currency has been extraordinarily reduced.

The formula his government usually employs is to express confidence and
assurance in the economy, lowering the bank interest rates, throwing more
bills into circulation, worsening the problem and postponing the

What does the price of sugar mean today, as it stands now at 12.27 cents a
pound? Scores of poor countries dedicate themselves to its production and
export. I mention this example just to illustrate that Bush deliberately
entangles and mixes everything up.

The President of the United States carries on like this in his Olympian
stroll through the problems of a planet lying at his feet.

“Tonight I ask you to pass legislation to reform Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac,
modernize the Federal Housing Administration, and allow state housing
agencies to issue tax-free bonds to help homeowners refinance their
mortgages (…)”

“We share a common goal: making health care more (…) accessible for all
Americans (…). The best way to achieve that goal is by expanding consumer
choice, not government control (…)”

“(…) we must trust students to learn if given the chance, and empower
parents to demand results from our schools.”

“African-American and Hispanic students posted all-time highs (…) Now we
must work together to increase accountability, add flexibility for states
and districts and reduce the number of high-school dropouts (…)”

“Thanks to the (…) Scholarships you approved, more than 2,600 of the poorest
children in our Nation’s Capital have found new hope at a faith-based or
other non-public school. Sadly, these schools are disappearing at an
alarming rate in many of America’s inner cities (…). And to open the doors
of these schools to more children, I ask you to support a new $300 million
program (…)”

“Today, our economic growth increasingly depends on our ability to sell
American goods and crops and services all over the world. So we’re working
to break down barriers to trade and investment wherever we can. We’re
working for a successful Doha Round of trade talks, and we must complete a
good agreement this year.”

“I thank the Congress for approving the (…) agreement with Peru. And now I
ask you to approve agreements with Colombia and Panama and South Korea.”

“Many products from these nations now enter America duty-free, yet many of
our products face steep tariffs in their markets. These agreements will
level the playing field. They will give us better access to nearly 100
million customers. They will support good jobs for the finest workers in
the world: those whose products say ‘Made in the USA’.”

“These agreements also promote America’s strategic interests.”

“Our security, our prosperity, and our environment all require reducing our
dependence on oil (…) generate coal power (…)
“Let us create a new international clean technology fund, which will help
(…) to slow (…) and eventually reverse the growth of greenhouse gases.

“To keep America competitive into the future, we must trust in the skill of
our scientists and engineers and empower them to pursue the breakthroughs of
tomorrow (…) So I ask Congress for (…) federal support (…) and ensure
America remains the most dynamic nation on Earth (…)”

Always appealing to chauvinism, he continues his flight of fancy to other

“Tonight…America honors (…) the resilience of the people of this region
[the Gulf Coast]. We reaffirm our pledge to help them build stronger and
better than before. And tonight I’m pleased to announce that (…) we will
host (…) the North American Summit of Canada, Mexico and the United States
in the great city of New Orleans (…)”

“The other pressing challenge is immigration. America needs to secure our
borders -and with your help, my administration is taking steps to do so.
We’re increasing worksite enforcement, deploying fences and advanced
technologies to stop illegal crossings (…) and (…) this year, we will have
doubled the number of border patrol agents.” This is one of the sources of
well-paid jobs that Bush has in mind.

He does not wish to remember that Mexico was robbed of more than 50 percent
of its territory in a war of conquest, and he would like nobody to recall
that on the Berlin Wall, during its almost 30 years of existence, less
people died trying to gain access to the “Free World” than Latin Americans
are dying today –no less than 500 each year–trying to cross the border in
search of employment, with no Adjustment Act to grant them privileges and
motivation as it does for Cuban citizens. The numbers of illegal immigrants
arrested and traumatically deported every year totals in the hundreds of

Straightaway, the speech leaps to the Middle East from which he has just
returned after a “Veni, vidi, vici” diplomatic junket.

After mentioning Lebanon, Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan, he states: “And
that is why, for the security of America and the peace of the world, we are
spreading the hope of freedom (…) In Afghanistan, America, our (…) NATO
allies and 15 partner nations are helping the Afghan people defend their
freedom and rebuild their country.”

He makes no mention whatsoever that this was exactly what the USSR tried to
do when it occupied the country with its powerful armed forces that ended up
defeated in the clash with that country’s different customs, religion and
culture, independent of the fact that the Soviets had not gone there to
conquer raw materials for their great capital and that a socialist
organization that never did any harm to the United States attempted to
change the course of the nation in a revolutionary manner.

Right away Bush leaps to Iraq which had nothing to do with the attacks on
September 11, 2001, and which was invaded because that was what Bush,
President of the United States, and his closest collaborators decided to do,
with nobody in the world harboring any doubt that the aim was to occupy the
oilfields; this action cost that people hundreds of thousands of dead and
millions of people uprooted from their homes, or forced into emigration.

“The Iraqi people quickly realized that something dramatic had happened.
Those who had worried that America was preparing to abandon them instead saw
tens of thousands of American forces flowing into their country. They saw
our forces moving into neighborhoods, clearing out the terrorists, and
staying behind to ensure the enemy did not return (…) Our military and
civilians in Iraq are performing with courage and distinction, and they have
the gratitude of our whole nation (…)”

“A year later (…) we’ve captured or killed thousands of extremists in Iraq
(…) Our enemies in Iraq have been hit hard. They are not yet defeated, and
we can still expect tough fighting ahead.”

“Our objective in the coming year is to sustain and build on the gains we
made in 2007, while transitioning to the next phase of our strategy.
American troops are shifting from leading operations, to partnering with
Iraqi forces, and, eventually, to a protective overwatch mission (…)”

“(…) this means more than 20,000 of our troops are coming home.”

“Any further drawdown of U.S. troops will be based on conditions in Iraq and
the recommendations of our commanders.”

“Progress in the provinces must be matched by progress in Baghdad.”

“(…) still have a distance to travel. But after decades of dictatorship and
the pain of sectarian violence, reconciliation is taking place -and the
Iraqi people are taking control of their future.”

“The mission in Iraq has been difficult (…). But it is in the vital interest
of the United States that we succeed.”

“We’re also standing against the forces of extremism in the Holy Land (…)
Palestinians have elected a President who recognizes that confronting terror
is essential to achieving a state where his people can live in dignity and
at peace with Israel.”

Bush says not one word about the millions of Palestinians stripped of their
lands or driven away from them, victims of an apartheid system.

Bush’s formula is well-known: 50 billion dollars in weapons for the Arabs,
from the industrial-military complex, and 60 billion for Israel in ten
years. We are talking of dollars that maintain a real value. Someone pays
for it: the hundreds of millions of workers producing cheap goods with their
hands and being paid a minimum salary, and hundreds of millions more who are

But the speech does not end here: “Iran is funding and training militia
groups in Iraq, supporting Hezbollah terrorists in Lebanon, and backing
Hamas’ efforts to undermine peace in the Holy Land. Teheran is also
developing ballistic missiles of increasing range, and continues to develop
its capability to enrich uranium, which could be used to create a nuclear

“Our message to the leaders of Iran is also clear: Verifiably suspend your
nuclear enrichment, so negotiations can begin.”

“America will confront those who threaten our troops. We will stand by our
allies, and we will defend our vital interests in the (…) Gulf.”

We are not talking about the Gulf of Mexico, but the Persian Gulf, in waters
that are only 12 miles away from Iran.

There is a historical fact here: in the days of the Shah, Iran was the best
armed power in the region. When the Revolution triumphed in that country,
led by the Ayatollah Khomeini, the United States encouraged Iraq and
provided support for the invasion. That was the beginning of a conflict
which cost hundreds of billions and untold numbers of dead and maimed, and
today is being justified as part of the cold war.

Really, we don’t need other media to inform us about the speech made by the
President of the United States; all we need to do is to let Bush speak for
himself. For people who know how to read and write, people who think,
no-one can make a more eloquent criticism of the empire than Bush himself.
I’m responding to him on behalf of the country in question.

I have worked hard.

I hope that I have been impartial.

Fidel Castro Ruz
January 29, 2008.
Time: 7:35 p.m.

January 30, 2008 Posted by | Africa, Cuba, Imperialism, Palestine, US | , , | Leave a comment

CUBA: Fidel’s 2003 Speech on Jose Marti

“The day on which he fell, May 19, 1895, Martí was sacrificing his own life
for the right to life of all the inhabitants of the planet.

In his now famous unfinished letter to his close friend Manuel Mercado,
which Martí interrupted to march off to an unexpected battle, a battle that
no one could keep him from, Martí left recorded for history his innermost
thoughts. And although they are so often repeated and thus so well known, I
will nevertheless repeat them once again: “I am in daily danger of giving my
life for my country and duty, for I understand that duty and have the
courage to carry it out – the duty of preventing the United States from
spreading through the Antilles as Cuba gains its independence, and from
overpowering with that additional strength our lands of America. All I have
done so far, and all I will do, is for this purpose.”
Read the full speech

January 29, 2008 Posted by | Africa, Cuba, Imperialism, Latin America, US | , | Leave a comment

AFRICA/CUBA: Trade Unions Recognize Cuba’s Solidarity with Africa

Trade Unions Recognize Cuba’s Solidarity with Africa

Havana, Jan 15 (acn) The World Trade Union Federation and African workers’
leaders thanked Cuba for its support and solidarity with the peoples of
Africa in the areas of health, education and training of professionals
during the Second Presidential Council of this international organization
that concludes today in Khartoum, Sudan.

Participating in the event are the vice presidents of this world trade union
body as well as the top representatives of its secretariats in all

During his speech, Salvador Valdes Mesa, General Secretary of the Cuban
Workers’ Confederation (CTC), said that CTC members as well as the Cuban
people and Revolution have historic and many other reasons to continue
supporting the African people.

He also thanked African trade unions and governments for their support in
the Cuban struggle against the US economic blockade of the island and in
favor of the release of five Cuban anti-terrorist fighters who remain
unjustly imprisoned in the United States.

Participants in this meeting in Khartoum have discussed topics such as the
drawing up of common actions against neoliberal globalization. They have
also stressed that African peoples should not only have political
discussions but they should also fight for their rights in the fields of
health, education and other basic rights.

January 15, 2008 Posted by | Africa, Cuba | , | Leave a comment

OBAMA: Who Do You Represent and What Are You Not Saying?

A while back, I wrote a post on another blog of mine, Haiti-Cuba-Venezuela Analysis about Senator Obama’s “Cuba Policy.” It’s predictable reactionary fare. I was thinking about writing another post on this blog about who Obama is and what he does or does not represent. Thank goodness, I was saved this task by this week’s issue of The Black Commentator, an intelligent, highly analytical publication. Before you contemplate Obama a second longer, PLEASE read the following two articles. Kudos to the authors!



The Black Commentator is published weekly on Thursdays and always offers an insightful look at our world.

January 10, 2008 Posted by | Africa, Cuba, US | , , | Leave a comment

CUBA: Philip Agee – The Nat’l. Comm. to Free the Cuban Five Pays Tribute

The National Committee to Free the Cuban Five issued the following bulletin regarding the death of Philip Agee, former CIA agent who left “The Company” and exposed the the US’ imperial destruction across the globe. In his later years, he moved to Cuba and ran a travel agency and was a prolific author. Most of all, he was a great friend to Cuba and a defender of the revolution and the cause of the Cuban Five.

At the bottom of the bulletin are links to articles written by and about Agee. If you are not familiar with him, I recommend you check them out.

Jan. 9, 2008

National Committee To Free The Cuban Five Bulletin Philip Agee, a long-time defender of Cuba and the Cuban Five, has died in Havana

“Freedom for the Cuban Five should be the cause of everyone for whom fairness, human rights and justice are important, both in the United States and around the world” – Philip Agee

Philip Agee We in the National Committee to Free the Cuban Five wish to express our profound sorrow at the passing of Philip Agee. He was a true friend of Cuba and will always be remembered for his love of the Cuban Revolution. Philip, as a former employee of the CIA, was in the best position to expose the unceasing war of the U.S. empire, particularly the role of the CIA, against Cuba and peoples struggling for justice everywhere.
When Cuba was under fire for defending itself against the spate of hijackings and violence in 2003, his in-depth article on the U.S. sabotage and destabilization campaigns that Cuba has had to endure was a major contribution, especially at a time when that situation needed clarity.

Philip’s interview in Mission Against Terror stands out and we will continue to cherish his presence in it. He made a powerful impact in showing the importance of the Cuban Five’s mission against terrorism, and he will be present with all of us as we continue to fight for the Five’s freedom.

For those of us fortunate to know him over the many years of his involvement in the progressive movement, we appreciated his great courage and commitment, and his kindness and personal warmth.

We are truly saddened, and extend our deepest condolences to his wife Giselle and all his family and friends.

Philip Agee, ¡Presente!

The National Committee to Free the Cuban Five

Or call: 415-821-6545
Free the Cuban Five Now!
Allow the families’ visits!
Grant entry visas to
Adriana Pérez and Olga Salanueva!

January 9, 2008 Posted by | CIA, Cuba, Imperialism, US | , | Leave a comment

Haiti-Cuba-Venezuela: Nothing Recent on Global Voices Online, But Maybe That’s Best

GVO has had almost no posts on these three countries since the end of last year. So, this gives me a chance to share a substantive article on each country rather than the usual GVO fare: recipes for the holiday, having hope at Christmas time, or right-wing rants about Cuba and Venezuela. Happy New Year all.

HAITI: “Disturbing the Peace in Haiti and New Orleans,” by Brian Concannon


“Fr. Gerard Jean-Juste, a Catholic priest from Haiti, just does not know when to shut up. In the 1970s he saw his people starved and persecuted while Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier lived in opulence, so he organized for change. The Duvalier regime responded as dictatorships do, and kicked him out of the country.

When he reached Miami, Fr. Gerry saw that the safety he found there did not extend to immigrants locked up in detention centers or sent back to face torture or worse in Haiti and countries like it. So he organized there for change. He founded Florida’s Haitian Refugee Center to bring the struggle for justice to the U.S. courts, and coordinated demonstrations to bring the struggle to the streets.

The United States responded as democracies should: It let Fr. Gerry do his work, as long as he did not break the law. He did not win all the battles here that he should have – our laws and our courts are not perfect. But he was at least able to criticize and mobilize without fear of persecution, and sometimes even win.

Bill Quigley, a Catholic law professor from New Orleans, cannot stop helping people organizing for change. He has been a leading advocate for the victims of Katrina since he weathered the storm in a New Orleans hospital where his wife Debbie, a nurse, works, trying to help. The hospital patients did not need a lawyer then, but the families still without homes and the kids still without good schools need one now, so Bill is busy. In 30 years of public interest lawyering, Bill has stood up for a whole spectrum of people fighting for social justice, including peace protestors, death-row inmates and advocates for fair education, healthcare and housing.”

CUBA: “Cuban Survivor of Guernica Massacre Tells the Story”

VENEZUELA: “Venezuela: A Dictionary of Euphemisms of the Liberal Opposition”

Venezuela: A Dictionary of Euphemisms of the Liberal Opposition

January 7, 2008 Posted by | Cuba, Haiti, Imperialism, Latin America, US, Venezuela | , , , , | Leave a comment

Pan-African Roots Establishes a Resourceful Blog for Activists


Pan-African Roots’ new blog, Blog, is a great new resource on the web that will be of invaluable assistance to progressive and revolutionary activists across the globe. Please see the announcement of the new blog by its co-directors, Bob Brown and Banbose Shango. Then, check out the blog yourself!

“We are sending you this email to wish you and your family a Happy New Year, and to introduce you to Blog, a new kid on the web. It is still under construction! Please excuse our rough edges. There is much, much, much more to come. Blog is a revolutionary, Pan-African and International network, an aggregator and distributor of commentary, news, information and features by and about progressive and revolutionary governments, movements, organizations, activities and events in every corner of Africa, the African Diaspora, and the World. It seeks to create strategic alliances and links with other progressive and revolutionary bloggers, websites and webportals worldwide, in order to expand it’s content and reach.
Check us out at If you like what you see, subscribe, link your blog, webpage or website to ours, and make a contribution via our secure, online donation page.
Pan-African Roots, the parent entity of Blog, is a 501c3 tax-exempt project of the Alliance for Global Justice.”
Stay Strong!
Bob Brown and Banbose Shango, co-directors

January 6, 2008 Posted by | Africa, Cuba, Guinea, Imperialism, Latin America, Palestine, Venezuela, Zimbabwe | | Leave a comment