CNSC: Allow Cuba to Attend Summit of the Americas

The following is a press release issued by the Caribbean Network for Solidarity with Cuba (CNSC) – Blogmaster

The US must not be allowed to exclude Cuba from the Summit of the Americas!

Speaking in Havana on April 25, Cuba’s foreign minister, Bruno Rodriguez Parrilla, denounced the efforts of the US government to exclude Cuba from participating in the upcoming 9th Summit of the Americas which is scheduled to take place in Los Angeles from 8-10 June 2022.

This summit, which is organised under the auspices of the US dominated Organisation of American States (OAS) and held every 3 years or so, claims to present an opportunity for leaders of the Americas and Caribbean to discuss and address key issues facing the countries of the region at both national and regional levels. Historically, as part of its policy to strangle and isolate Cuba, the US has excluded that country from participating in this event. However, at the 7th summit in Panama in 2015, the US was forced to accept Cuba’s participation when the countries which are members of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA) threatened to boycott the event unless Cuba was invited. Therefore, Cuba participated in the 7th summit and also in the 8th summit in Peru in 2018, while Trump was president of the USA. Therefore, the current efforts by the Biden white house to exclude Cuba represent an even more extreme stand than that taken by Trump.

Foreign Minister Parilla pointed out that in preparation for the event in Los Angeles, action plans are secretly being drawn up on the key issues of health, migration and democracy and human rights which will be the focus of the summit. With regard to the issue of health in the region, he noted that, the US proposed ‘Plan of Action for Public Health and Resilience in the Americas up to 2030’ is a surreptitious, neo-liberal document which lacks the necessary cooperation and funding to enable it to address the structural causes of our region’s precarious public health systems and the tragic consequences of the extremely high number of deaths which result from this. He stated that despite US efforts to sabotage it, Cuba has played an exemplary international role and particularly so in our region, with regard to strengthening the provision of health services for the people. In this regard, he noted Cuba’s medical intervention during natural disasters and epidemics, the provision of tens of thousands of medical study grants for Latin American, Caribbean and American young people on low incomes, the existence of the Latin American School of Medicine (ELAM) in Havana and Operation Milagro which restored sight to millions of people on low incomes. In our region, it well understood that whereas the US sends troops, Cuba sends doctors. It is therefore inconceivable that Cuba’s voice should be excluded from any discussion on public health in the region.

The second important topic to be addressed at the summit is that of migration. Foreign Minister Parilla pointed out that in secret and behind the backs of the participants in the summit, the US has prepared a document entitled, ‘Letter of Understanding on Migration Management and Protection of Migrants’ which seeks to impose on the Latin American and Caribbean states an obligation to repress emigration and to absorb those migrants that the US decides to process beyond its shores. This approach reflects America’s racist, xenophobic and exploitative view of migrants from our region while making no attempt whatever to address the real causes of migration. He further explained that, at the same time, the US is creating maximum difficulties for Cuban travellers and migrants by requiring them to travel to “Guyana to obtain migrant visas” at an exorbitant cost and great inconvenience. The US has also cut off the routes to and from third countries, and followed a policy of imposing obstacles on transit countries and of reducing visas for Cuban citizens. Given this reality, it is unacceptable for the US to attempt to exclude Cuba’s voice from the discussion of emigration from the region.

The final important topic to be addressed at the summit is that of ‘democracy and human rights’. In this regard, the foreign minister noted that Washington’s idea is to have all elections in the region certified by the OAS. Given the US domination of that organisation, this proposal, which represents a flagrant violation of the sovereignty of the countries in the region, is intended to institutionalise the current practice in which the US arbitrarily gives itself the right to decide which elections are ‘free and fair’ and which are not. It therefore creates an institutional mechanism through which Washington will declare as ‘free and fair’ those elections which bring its agents and puppets to power, while condemning and delegitimising those in which the people vote for candidates not favoured by Washington. Cuba has an absolute right to have its voice heard on this issue.

The current efforts of the US government to exclude Cuba from the 9th Summit of the Americas are part and parcel of its tried and tested colonial policy of divide and rule. This destructive activity was on full display in 2020 when then Secretary of State, Michael Pompeo, bypassed CARICOM and invited his chosen group of Caribbean governments to meet him in Jamaica before inviting them to meet Trump in Florida. This ‘divide and rule’ strategy is aimed at weakening everyone in the region and must be resisted. CARICOM must make a clear and principled stand on this issue. It must demand that the US end its segregationist approach to the upcoming summit and facilitate the equal and full participation of all governments in the region who wish to attend, including Cuba. If the US government refuses to accept this demand, CARICOM member states should boycott the summit. Cuba is an important member of the Caribbean family whose contribution to the region is outstanding. CARICOM must stand in unity with Cuba.

Lift the blockade and let Cuba live!

Caribbean Network for Solidarity with Cuba (CNSC)


Say No to New US attacks on Cuba’s Independence

Submitted by Caribbean Network for Solidarity with Cuba (CNSC)

It is now clear, beyond any doubt, that that the government of the USA and its spy
agencies are planning a new attack on Cuba’s independence which is intended to
instigate violence and insecurity in that country on Monday 15 November. US
lawmakers and government officials, including Brian Nichols, the Assistant Secretary
of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs, Senator Marco Rubio, Juan Gonzalez, the
National Security Council Senior Director for the Western Hemisphere and many
others, have been at the forefront of pushing for their supporters to launch
‘demonstrations’ in Cuba on 15 November in open defiance of the Cuban
constitution and Cuban law. As part of its historic effort to destabilise Cuba, the
USAID has so far distributed over $6.6 billion to organisations dedicated to
destroying Cuba’s independence and facilitating US regime change in that country.

A central part of the planned US assault on Cuba on 15 November is a wide ranging
and sophisticated information warfare campaign which employs not only the
traditional print and visual media but also social media platforms such as Facebook
and Twitter. From the slick marketing of the planned provocation as ‘15N’ to the
promotion of systematic talking points, this information warfare campaign is designed
to pollute the public information space with lies and disinformation so as to sow
confusion about events as they unfold in Cuba on that day. One of the key talking
points that has already been identified is consistently describing as ‘peaceful
protesters’ those who have been mobilised by the US and its spy agencies to carry
out acts of violence against individuals and property. Connected to this is describing
all law enforcement activities carried out by the Cuban police on that day as
‘repression against peaceful protesters’. A further talking point is that the planned
provocation on November 15 is part of an effort to gain, ‘democracy and human
rights in Cuba’ or to ‘oppose racism against Cubans of African descent’. The real
aims of the US for the 15 November provocation are very different from these
propaganda talking points.

As a country which was born in genocide against the First Peoples and enslavement
of millions of Africans and which has never deviated from adherence to those
practices, the US government is in no position to define for humanity what
democracy is, to preach about human rights to any country or to present itself as a
fighter against racism. In any event, the relentless US efforts to carry out regime
change in Cuba is an open violation of international law and the right of the Cuban
people to choose their own political and economic system without foreign
interference. In reality, the US government and its spy agencies couldn’t care less
about democracy, human rights or racism in Cuba, or anywhere else for that matter.
Their real aim is to destroy Cuba’s independence and return that country to its
position before the Cuban revolution, when it existed as a US colony run for the
benefit of the US corporations and organised crime. This goal persists regardless of
the administration in Washington. Hence, the current Biden administration has
maintained all the sanctions imposed by his predecessor Trump and, in fact, it is the
Biden administration which is organising the 15 November provocation.

Despite over 60 years of US bullying, harassment and economic suffocation, Cuba
has proved itself time and again to be a reliable and supportive member of the
Caribbean family of nations. Working within its limited resources as a result of the
US blockade, Cuba has trained hundreds of Caribbean professionals, especially
doctors, engineers and sports specialists. It has provided free eye care to thousands
of people across the region and it has sent volunteers throughout the Caribbean to
help with the provision of health care and education, and most recently, in the
struggle against Covid 19. As Caribbean people, we cannot remain silent in the face
of this US persecution of a fellow Caribbean nation and we cannot remain silent in
the face of the new attack on Cuba’s independence that the US is planning for 15
November. Evil triumphs when good people do nothing.

The Caribbean Network for Solidarity with Cuba (CNSC) strongly condemns the
planned efforts of the US and its spy agencies to instigate violence and insecurity in
Cuba on 15 November and demand that the US government end its over 60 year-
long campaign of persecution against that country. We call on individuals, social,
religious and political organisations, trade unions, governments and regional
organisations across the Caribbean to join us in this call and stand in solidarity with
the people of our sister island.

No to the new US attacks on Cuba’s independence on 15 November!
Lift the blockade and let Cuba live!

Viva La Revolucion

Submitted by Grenville Phillips II

For the second time in my lifetime, masses of Cuban people publicly protested against the Government – in Cuba.  The first time in 1994, protestors called for the freedom to leave Cuba.  Castro allowed them.  This time, they are calling for freedom from dictatorship.  The Cuban Government’s response was disturbingly violent.

The demonstrations have been blamed on the US trade embargo.  This is likely true.  I join with the member countries of the United Nations, in supporting the end of the US trade embargo against Cuba.

The question is, whose responsibility is it to end the embargo?  To answer that question, it is important to understand why the US trade embargo was imposed.


During World War 2, Fulgencio Batista was the elected president of Cuba from 1940 to 1944.  He established a constitution that guaranteed the right to private property, which resulted in massive US investment.

In 1952, Batista led a military coup when he realised that he would not likely get re-elected.  He became a US-supported dictator who led a corrupt and unpopular administration.  He also repealed the 1940 Constitution.

Castro revolted against Batista in 1953, supporting the peoples’ will to restore the 1940 Constitution.  The revolt lasted about six years.  In 1959, the popular Castro became the leader of Cuba – which by that time had approximately US$1B of US investments.


Castro replaced the Constitution with the Fundamental Law.  Article 24 of this Law prevented the general confiscation of private property.  Where the state had to take specific properties, it required the property owners to receive prior cash payments in compensation.  US investors were confident enough to invest a further US$63M in Castro-led Cuba in 1959.

In 1960, Castro essentially: confiscated the properties of US citizens, refused to compensate them, and amended the Fundamental Law to make the theft legal – in Cuba.


The US citizens, whose property was confiscated, appealed to their political representatives in the US Congress.  In response, a complete trade embargo was imposed on Cuba in 1961.  The trade embargo, despite being amended several times, remains active to this day.

Relevant questions follow.  Should the trade embargo end without any compensation paid to the confiscated properties’ owners?  Should countries be encouraged, by not attracting consequences, to confiscate the private property of individuals and businesses without compensation?  Is confiscating private property without any compensation fair, morally right, and just?


The US Congress is unlikely to end the trade embargo, unless Cuba compensates the US investors.  Cuba’s ill-advised actions started the US trade embargo.  An opposite action may end it.

Cuba should consider compensating the US property owners.  The amount has already been quantified – a present value of approximately US$9B.  The Cuban economy (Gross Domestic Product) is approximately $100B.  Therefore, Cuba can pay the amount in full, or negotiate easily affordable instalments, but the proverbial ‘ball’ is entirely in Cuba’s court.


Studying history allows an informed presentation of options in many situations, and an analysis of likely consequences.  The Cuban Government’s unnecessarily violent response to the demonstrations, has opened the door to the option of a US military response.

US military intervention was not previously an option in Cuba, because it required the violent repression of mass protests by Cubans in Cuba against their Government.  The mass protests started in Cuba on 11 July 2021.  Following the violent repression, the protestors in Cuba passed the baton to protestors in the US, who have already marched on Washington.  US President Biden has responded by declaring Cuba a failed state.


The Cuban authorities should remember that the Libyan government’s violent response to protestors, opened the door for US President Obama to intervene in Libya.

Cuba should also be aware that it took the US less than one week of planning to liberate Grenada in 1983.  This was six days after there were mass-protests against the Government, and the repressive reaction of the military.  The main persons surprised at the swiftness of the intervention, were those advocating that the mass-murder of Grenadian protestors be treated as an internal matter.


Whenever there is a violent Government response to public demonstrators, the leaders of some countries pledge their support for the oppressors, rather than the oppressed.  While this is concerning, it briefly removes the public-relations mask, so that the public can assess what they would do if they had absolute power.

The US may not let this one-in-a-61-year opportunity go to waste.  If the Cuban government wants to claim the moral high-ground, ir should pay the US investors for confiscating their property immediately – otherwise, they risk bringing a swift end to their revolution.

Grenville Phillips II is a Chartered Structural Engineer. He can be reached at

Cuba is Making Progress Mr. Degia!


How easy it is  for the Nation Newspaper’s columnist of East Asian descent, Mohammed Iqbal Degia, to get up on his journalistic soapbox and assume a posture of being “blacker” than all the Pan-Africanists and Afro-centrists of Barbados  by self righteously railing against what he characterizes as the Republic of Cuba’s inexcusable deficiencies in tackling and eradicating black inequality and anti-black racism.

But the “super black” Mr Degia conveniently doesn’t tell us what he is comparing Cuba’s record in tackling black inequality and anti-black racism with !

As we all know, in 1959 revolutionary Cuba — a society with a large minority black population — inherited a socio-economic system that was severely disfigured by entrenched black inequality and anti black racism from the pre-Revolutionary era. And therefore, if we are to assess  the record of the Cuban revolutionary government in dealing with and transforming that negative heritage, we would have to make comparisons with other white majority/large black minority societies such as the United States of America, Columbia, Brazil, Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Ecuador, the United Kingdom, France and the list goes on. And the reality is that not a single one of these countries have come anywhere close to Revolutionary Cuba in dismantling anti-black racism and black inequality!

The “super black” Mr Degia seems to be demanding that by now Cuba should have eradicated black inequality and all vestiges of anti-black racism. But lets be honest —  which nation on the face of this earth can be credited with having eradicated black inequality and anti-black racism?

Can we make such a claim for our own Barbados — a nation that possesses a 95% black population? Do we possess a society of racial equality in Barbados? Have we rid Barbados of all or even most aspects of anti-black or anti-African sentiments and discrimination? I, for one, think not.

No-one — certainly not me — is claiming that Cuba is some exemplary post-racial paradise, but I truly find it hard to think of any other nation that has made a more solid contribution to the cause of Black dignity and upliftment over the past half century.

Perhaps Mr Degia could tell us–  in measuring a country’s commitment to the cause of black dignity and equality– what weight should we attach to the fact that thousands of Cuban soldiers (most of them being volunteers) sacrificed their lives on the very soil of Africa fighting the forces of white supremacy?

Or what weight do we attach to the fact that for several decades now literally tens of thousands of Cuban doctors, nurses, engineers, and a host of other technicians have served in Haiti and in a plethora of other Black and African countries in an effort to contribute to their development?

In addition,what weight should we attach to the fact that Cuba has opened its schools and universities — free of cost — to hundreds of thousands of of black and African students over the course of the sixty odd years of the Cuban Revolution?

You say — Mr Degia — that Cuba made mistakes in its approach to fighting racism. You imply that it was a mistake for the revolutionary leadership to believe that the establishment of socialist programmes geared towards fostering social equality and delivering education, health, housing and other social services to the people at the bottom of the social ladder would be enough to disrupt and rectify the inherited racist social structure. Well, maybe it was too optimistic to think that a sheer commitment to socialist equality and human development would be enough,but which country has not made mistakes in its approach to fighting racism?

Mr Degia, you write vaguely and glibly of a white Cuban elite that represses black Cubans. But — tellingly — you provide not a scintilla of evidence, other than your nonsensical pointing out that the three Presidents of Revolutionary Cuba thus far have been white. In case you don’t know Mr Degia, two of those Presidents– the Castro brothers– were the historical leaders of the Revolution, and they happened to be white.

Though, truth be told, it is really difficult to think of Fidel Castro as merely a “white” man, for at an ideological level Fidel was such an enemy of the system of white capitalist supremacy that most of us consider him nothing less than a “black brother”. In fact the great Black Power advocate, Stokely Carmichael (Kwame Ture) once described Fidel as the blackest man in the Americas!

Pray tell us Mr Degia, when was the last time you heard news of a police officer in Revolutionary Cuba shooting down an unarmed black man? Or when was the last time you heard of the state intelligence or law enforcement agencies of Revolutionary Cuba setting out on a campaign to subvert and bring down black office-holders? If you are looking for a society that is oppressive of black people, Mr Degia, you are looking in the wrong place— you have to shift your gaze a little further North.

Permit me to conclude — Mr Degia — by sharing with you the following FACTS about the racial make-up of the governmental administration that was elected to office in Cuba less than a week ago:-

(1) The National Assembly

The President of the National Assembly or Parliament of Cuba– Esteban Lazo Hernandez — is a black man, and of the 605 Deputies, some 36% of them are black or of African descent.

(2) The Council of State

The Council of State or Cabinet comprises 31 members, and close to half of its members (45.1 % to be precise) are black or of African descent.

(3) The Leadership of the Council of State

The leadership of the Council of State consists of eight persons — a President, a First Vice President, five other Vice Presidents, and a Secretary. Three of the eight members of this leadership cohort are black, including the First Vice President.

All the facts underlie that Cuba is making progress — very substantial progress — in solving the historic problem of racial inequality that the Revolution inherited! I wish the same could be said for several other countries that are well known to us.

The George Brathwaite Column – Need to End Embargo

George Brathwaite (Ph.D)

Since December 8, 1972, Cuba and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) have had formal relations. The countries are ‘thrust together by geopolitical realities and common regional and global challenges’, and the CARICOM-Cuba relationship has been sustained ‘by mutual respect for the right to self-determination and to the development model of their choosing’. In the name of justice, and given the 45 years of regional solidarity with Cuba, all CARICOM countries must again register their full support for Cuba within the General Assembly of the United Nations (UN).

On Wednesday, November 1st, 2017, at the 72nd session, for the umpteenth consecutive year there will be a resolution for the ‘need to end the economic, commercial and financial blockage imposed’ by the United States of America (USA) against the sovereign nation of Cuba. Adoption of the resolution in the UN to end the outmoded and perilous economic embargo has become an annual ritual. When it first passed in 1992, it received 59 yes votes and three votes against. Last year, there were two abstentions, the USA and Israel and no country voted against the resolution. This gradual shift to a near-unanimous vote by the international community in favour of ending the blockade is a clear sign of the widespread and global disapproval of the USA embargo on Cuba.

Indeed, between the years 2015 and 2016, President Obama made amendments to some of the regulations of the blockade policy, and modified its aggressive posturing and application. The progress made in showed that Cuba and the USA can live together in a civilised way, respecting their differences and cooperating for the benefit of both countries and their people. This was a step in the right direction by President Obama, aimed at adjusting, if not eliminating, an anachronistic policy that remains unjust and almost universally rejected by the international community. Even within the USA, 73% of Americans and 63% of Cubans living in that country support the lifting of the blockade.

The USA introduced and has repeatedly extended the economic blockade of Cuba based on its ‘Trading with the Enemy Act of 1917’ which was created to restrict trade with countries hostile to the USA. The blockade qualifies as an act of genocide under the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide of 1948. Relatedly, some argue that the blockade is an act of economic war, in accordance with the Declaration on the Law of Maritime War adopted by the Naval Conference of London of 1909.

Nonetheless, Cuba and the USA are not at war. Cuba has never organised or carried out military aggression against the USA from its territory; nor have violent acts against the American people been promoted by the Cuban Government. Cuba, like the CARICOM countries, believes in the right of sovereignty and self-determination. Cuba speaks out against misguided forms of hostile USA imperialism being mounted against its nation. Indeed, the evidence is there from the Obama administration that Cuba continues to reaffirm its willingness to hold respectful dialogue and cooperation on issues of mutual interest. Cuba remains a willing actor ready to negotiate pending bilateral issues with the USA.

Most important, Cuba’s relations with the USA can become advanced if based on equality, reciprocity, and respect for Cuba’s sovereignty and independence. There is no doubt that the blockade or economic embargo by the USA against Cuba is fallaciously being continued after being unilaterally imposed 55 years ago. Several international law scholars contend that the USA has ‘breached the acceptable standard of conduct between states and is engaging in an illegal economic blockade’ of the Republic of Cuba. Additionally, the economic blockade is more than a simple embargo because it is extended to imports, and it is more than a modest boycott because the USA attempted to control actions of third party states in their relations with Cuba.

From a humanistic perspective, the economic embargo impedes the economic development of Cuba and, therefore, constitutes a flagrant violation of the human rights of the Cuban people. There is ample proof that death has come to thousands of the Cuban people over the past few decades which could be linked to the USA’s cruel posturing. For example, the economic blockade meant that specific medications and/or equipment and technologies to diagnose the illnesses could not be obtained. A Cuban official noted that: “There is not, and there has not been in the world, such a terrorizing and vile violation of human rights of an entire people than the blockade that the US government has been leading against Cuba.” This damaging action by the USA against Cuba is nothing less than an injustice that threatens to completely rip apart the lives of the Cuban people.

To date, more than 70 per cent of the Cuban population and at least three generations were born and raised under the application of this inhumane policy. The social, economic, and human damage to Cuba by the USA’s prolonged imposition of the economic embargo has been severe. The blockade has caused the Cuban people for almost six decades, accumulated damages that amount to well over $1 trillion dollars. This is considering the depreciation of the dollar against the value of gold in the international market.

Everyone knows that Cuba has demonstrated its commitment to healthcare beyond its shores. Yet, with the economic blockade still in place, Cuba loses more than 4 billion dollars annually from the potential of foreign investments and other revenues. According to estimates made by Cuba’s Ministry of Economy and Planning, the country requires between 2 and 2.5 billion dollars of annual foreign direct investment to achieve its economic development objectives. In other words, the cost of the annual blockade represents for Cuba about double what is necessary for the total development of its economy.

The recent rhetoric by President Donald Trump is menacing, and is set on rolling back recent gains in USA-Cuba relations. The Trump administration announced measures that will impose additional obstacles to the already limited opportunities for trade between Cuba and the USA. With the reinforcement of the blockade, it will become increasingly difficult for Cuba to acquire technologies and technical equipment that only the USA produces, or that have components manufactured by American companies or subsidiaries. Many of these items are required, for example, in the public health sector in Cuba, where, despite the difficulties, universal and free access to the health services of all Cuban citizens is guaranteed.

Additionally, the economic blockade has a marked extra-territorial character, which is reflected, among other examples, in the financial persecution against third country banks. The USA has proposed the imposition of new fines on institutions suggesting that foreign and transnational companies and countries are violating the USA’s rules of engagement with Cuba. This has led many banking institutions to close Cuban accounts and adopt measures that hinder and complicate the normal functioning of the banking system on the island.

Therefore, implementation of punitive and destructive measures will further restrict the right of Cuban citizens to travel to Cuba, and diminish the chances of the Cuban people to achieve sustainable development in the medium term. The USA must unilaterally and unconditionally end the unjust blockade that has plagued the Cuban people for almost 60 years. It is the most unjust, severe and prolonged system of unilateral sanctions that has been applied in human history against any country.

Moreover, Cuba will not compromise on principle, nor should it cease in its claims for the lifting and total elimination of the blockade. On Wednesday, the Cuban government will denounce the resurgence of this policy and will once again present to the UN’s General Assembly the draft resolution entitled: “Need to end the economic, commercial blockade and financial embargo imposed by the Government of the United States against Cuba.”

(Dr George C. Brathwaite is a lecturer in Political Science and political consultant. Email:

Cuba and Caricom Reach Agreement to Expand Trade

The following was extracted from Caribbean Trade Law and Development website.


It has been a while in coming but today the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat announced in a press release that CARICOM and Cuba have finally agreed to expand the level of preferential access to each other’s markets as part of efforts to update the Cuba-CARICOM Trade and Economic Cooperation Agreement.

According to the Press Release, CARICOM and Cuba reached agreement at the end of the Tenth Meeting of the CARICOM-Cuba Joint Commission established pursuant to the trade and economic cooperation agreement. This meeting took place between January 30-31, 2017 at the CARICOM Secretariat in Georgetown, Guyana.

Read FULL text.

What A Wicked Defaming of FIDEL CASTRO!

Submitted by DAVID  COMISSIONG, President ,Clement Payne Movement

David Comissiong, Citizen of Barbados

David Comissiong

Whenever I read Newspaper articles or Letters to the Editor accusing the late great Fidel Castro of being a dictator and of carrying out political executions, Shakespeare’s immortal words come to my mind— “Oh Judgment! Thou art fled to brutish beasts, and men have lost their reason!”

The reality is that Fidel Castro entered electoral politics as a young 26 year old candidate of Cuba’s “Orthodox Party” in that country’s General and Presidential Elections of 1952, only to have the Orthodox Party’s chances of an almost certain victory snatched away by one Fulgencio Batista staging a coup, cancelling the Elections, and installing himself in power.

Batista– a former Army Sergeant– then proceeded to abolish the country’s Constitution; dissolve all political parties; and impose a violent, terroristic, far-right, pro American dictatorship on Cuba. Furthermore, Batista literally unleashed hundreds– if not thousands– of assassins, torturers, and murderers on the resisting Cuban people.

In response to this situation, Fidel Castro and 164 of his young compatriots attempted to take control of one of Batista’s military fortresses– the Moncada Barracks. The attempt failed, and Batista’s “monsters” tortured and ultimately murdered some 55 of these captured, defenseless young men!

Finally,after some six and a half years of Batista’s murderous dictatorship, the masses of the Cuban people turned openly and decidedly against Batista, and threw their support behind Castro’s relatively small band of guerrilla freedom-fighters, thereby causing Batista to flee the country on the31st of December 1958.

However, over the six and a half years of Batista’s terroristic reign his henchmen had murdered close to 20,000 Cubans and tortured additional thousands more. And– not surprisingly– the masses of Cuban people demanded that justice be meted out to the assassins, torturers, and murderers who had not managed to flee Cuba. Indeed, the Cuban people were so incensed that there was a very real danger that they would  take matters into their own hands and simply lynch these murderers in the streets of Cuba!

It is in these circumstances that the new Revolutionary Government decided to take charge of the situation and to establish Revolutionary Judicial Tribunals to put the Batista murderers and torturers on trial for their alleged crimes.

Thus, the persons who were ultimately executed were criminals (murderers and torturers) who had gone through a judicial process of trial and had been found guilty of heinous capital crimes. It is therefore very wrong to try to give the impression that Fidel Castro was guilty of summarily executing his political opponents. This is simply not true!

In fact, when— in April 1961– the United States (US) Government staged an unlawful military invasion of Cuba and were defeated at the Bay of Pigs, Castro took some 1,200 prisoners; kept them free from harm; and delivered them back to the US authorities in exchange for medicines and food!

Those of us who know the true history of Cuba therefore simply don’t recognize the Fidel Castro that the US Government , the Cuban-American Mafia in Miami, and the mainstream US Media are trying to portray!

What we do know for a fact, however, is that the said United States Government made over 600 illegal, criminal attempts to murder Fidel Castro!

Salute To A Great Freedom Fighter: The Indomitable Spirit Of Fidel Castro Will Live Forever in World

by Gerald A Perreira (credit: David Comissiong)

The late Fidel Castro

The late Fidel Castro

Fidel Castro can never die.  Today he departed the physical plane but he will live on forever. His intellectual prowess and wisdom were extraordinary among mortals. His legacy and influence is global and monumental. This humble man, from a smallCaribbean country, can truly be said to have changed the world.  One of his greatest contributions to humanity is the example of his unwavering revolutionary determination and courage, in the face of enormous obstacles placed in his path. He became an inspiration to all who fight for true independence from the Empire and its trail of poverty, racism, death and destruction.

Here in the Caribbean he stood, and will stand forever, as one who refused to believe that our fate is sealed by the absurd concept of ‘geographical and historical determinism’. So many Caribbean misleaders, cowards and satraps of the Empire, have accepted this fate, that our future and destiny is shaped by the fact that we reside in the US’s so-called backyard. However, in the words of the late revolutionary leader of Grenada, Maurice Bishop, “We are in nobody’s backyard”. The same Maurice Bishop, inspired and assisted by Fidel, aptly described him as “incomparable”. Every revolutionary initiative in the Americas and the Caribbean, and for that matter worldwide, since 1959, owes a debt of gratitude to Fidel Castro and the Cuban revolution.

Fidel taught us that our destiny is determined by faith and an enduring belief in our principles and in our ability to empower ourselves and the masses of our people. He showed us true empowerment by virtue of the fact that one man and a nation of just over 11 million people could play such a decisive and significant role in the liberation of people all over the world.

We will never forget Cuba’s military response to the forces of Apartheid at the historic and decisive battle of CuitoCuanavale, when Cuban troops defeated the racist forces of South Africa’s regime, and in so doing, forced the Boers to the negotiating table. While others condemned apartheid with words, it was Fidel who sent troops across the world to do what had to be done. He would later admit that this battle exerted such a strain on Cuba’s military resources that it put Cuba’s own national security at risk. However, as Fidel explained, “We have a commitment to Africa, for African blood flows freely through the veins of every Cuban”. The airlifting of Cuban fighters to Angola was codenamed “Operation Carlota” after an African woman, enslaved in Cuba, who led an insurrection against her Spanish slave-masters.  This is why the great African freedom fighter, Kwame Ture, could have called Fidel Castro “the blackest man in the Americas”, and why Nelson Mandela said,”The Cuban people hold a special place in the hearts of the people of Africa. The Cuban internationalists have made a contribution to African independence, freedom and justice, unparalleled for its principled and selfless character.”

Fidel Castro turned Cuba into a powerhouse of health, education and solidarity. He sent doctors and teachers to every part of the globe to assist countries ravaged by decades of the neo-liberal capitalist project. Cuba is always the first on the ground when it comes to responding to natural disasters in the region and afar, from Haiti to Pakistan.  Despite being a relatively poor nation with few natural resources, Cuba’s literacy rates, infant mortality rates, life expectancy rates and other indicators rival that of any nation on earth, including the wealthiest nations of the world. Surely, this is the true measure of democracy.

Of course, the need for change and adjustments to any political and economic system put in place in 1959 is inevitable. What must be remembered, and something which may not be well understood by this generation, who are too young to have experienced the world as it existed in 1959, is that Cuba’s alignment with the then Soviet Union was inevitable in a world characterized by two superpowers engaged in a ‘Cold War’.

The Cuban conceptualization of a socialism shaped by Soviet Marxism which saw private property and small, privately owned business as synonymous with capitalism was erroneous, and now needs rectification.  Following the Cuban revolution, other nationalist revolutions with socialist objectives, have learnt from this mistake. Carlos Tablada and many other Cuban theoreticians and economists, with full support of the revolution, have themselves addressed these issues and proposed measures to resolve these problematics. All political and social systems must evolve and change or otherwise become stagnant and perish.  However, this in no way deflects from the outstanding achievements of Fidel Castro and Cuba in their historic fight for human advancement and dignity.

The changes and transformations that Cuba is currently pursuing are not about taking Cuba in the direction of capitalist restoration, but rather about finding ways to make the socialist project more viable and sustainable. This has been one of the Cuban revolution’s most enduring legacy; to teach us how to remain steadfast, courageous and relevant in an ever-changing world, ravaged by neo-liberal capitalism and the flawed liberal-democratic notion of what constitutes democracy, that is, where 1% own and control everything, and where the resources and wealth of a nation do not benefit all the people. The Cuban revolution’s ability to survive all these years in the face of the contradictions, double-standards, hypocrisy and the bullyism of global capitalism and the Empire is a testimony to the leadership of Fidel Castro.

After 57 years, despite the arduous struggle involved when a small nation stands up to the might and brutality of Empire, despite the sacrifices that had to be made by the Cuban people, there is an outpouring of grief and sadness on the streets of Cuba today. Cubans, both young and old, have expressed not only their grief at the loss of a man who is seen as the father of this nation, but also their determination to honour the life of their heroic leader by continuing the struggle for Cuba’s right to self-determination and true independence. This is surely the litmus test of any revolution.

Thanks to Fidel Castro and this remarkable revolution, the people of Cuba are highly educated and politically conscientized. The revolution has given them the education and knowledge to advance their struggle and to avoid the pitfalls of what we refer to as conceptual and intellectual incarceration. Cuba’s revolution has truly removed not only the physical and material shackles that enslave us, but most importantly, the shackles on the minds of the people. In this sense, the Cuban people can be said to be truly free, unlike so many of their counterparts throughout the region, where the Empire still calls the shots, and so many people continue to be manipulated by the Empire’s propaganda machinery.

In the Caribbean, we lovingly call him Uncle Fidel. Regardless of the absurd and nonsensical rantings of the 1%, and their servants in academia, the corporate media and neo-colonial regimes, Uncle Fidel will forever live on in the hearts and minds of the millions of oppressed and dispossessed people worldwide. He will eternally remain an inspiration for all those who struggle for our inalienable right to self-determination, justice and human dignity. He will be loved and revered by those who know the truth: that he is a hero and undefeated freedom fighter.

Farewell Commandante – in truth, words are indeed inadequate to express our gratitude to you. Like all great revolutionaries, you had no rest in this life, instead you made the ultimate sacrifice, dedicating your life to benefit humanity. May you now rest in peace and power. We know that the best way to live up to your legacy is to renew our pledge,on this day,to continue the struggle for all that you stood for.

On behalf of Organization for the Victory of the People, Guyana, South America

Cuba Rising

Posted to the Suck Salt blog

Cuba_TourismMainstream media is describing today’s visit by a U.S. cruise ship to Cuba as historic.

This visit, as well as other events, are a clear sign that relations between the U.S. and Cuba continue to warm up. Recall: 2008 Fidel hands over power to Raul, 2009 Obama Lifts Travel Restrictions, 2015 U.S. and Cuba reopen embassies and Removal of Cuba from Terroism List, 2016 Commercial Flights Restored, and the biggest sign of them all was President Obama’s visit to the island earlier this year.

Should the stake-holders of our tourism industry – government, businesses, and of-course, the residents of Barbados – be worried about The Rise of Cuba As A Top Caribbean Travel Destination? Will FDI dollars follow visitors to Cuba as well?

Read full text – Cuba Rising

Cuba is on the Move!

Submitted by Andrew Nehaul

Richard Sealy - Minister of Tourism

Richard Sealy – Minister of Tourism

Since the defrosting of the political relation between the USA and Cuba some months ago, things on the tourism side are heating up. This winter, the hotels and ancillary services have increased their prices by more than 47%. […] Continue reading


Submitted by Andrew Nehaul

A tsunami of concern must have gone through the Caribbean tourism community yesterday with the announcement by President Obama that he was reestablishing diplomatic ties with Cuba and would open up travel by all Americans to that country. After years of closure for American tourists, this Caribbean nation will now welcome Yankees again. With many airports that can take wide body aircraft besides Havanna and Varadero you will shorty see more hotel development in areas like Caya Coco and others with great beaches  and little infrastructure. Tourism to Vinales, Trinidad, Cienfuegos, Caya Largo etc will make these sleepy villages and towns will shortly be milestones on Trip Advisor.

What does this mean for other Caribbean islands? Concern! And a more greater need to market their destinations in the USA. The islands like Barbados that still have not found success with social media and digital marketing will be left behind.

The BTA is still “spinning top in mud”. We need professional people put in place that can direct, train and motivate staff and have the knowledge and experience to know how to get the best buy for the budget buck. Moreover, these factors along with the ability to treat airline execs in an extemporary fashion and to encourage big spenders to our island will be a step towards true success.

The new Director of Tourism is familiar with the US market and in particular knows about the money spent by Will Smith, Samuel Jackson and others who on several occasions brought their friends to Bermuda for 4 days to play golf. I hope the new board gives Billy Griffith the latitude to spread his wings and do what he does best.