The Korean Missile Crisis Vs. The Cuban Missile Crisis

A submarine missile is paraded across Kim Il Sung Square during a military parade in Pyongyang, North Korea, in April to celebrate the 105th birth anniversary of Kim Il Sung, the country's founder and grandfather of current ruler Kim Jong Un. (Wong Maye-E / AP)

By Paul Street for Truth DIg – One of the more irritating claims made by members of the John F. Kennedy cult holds that JFK heroically saved humanity from annihilation during the Cuban missile crisis of October 1962. In one sense, the claim is true. During the crisis, the president overrode many people in his inner National Security Council “ExComm” circle who favored responding to the Soviet Union’s placement of missiles in Cuba in ways that might well have ignited World War III. But Kennedy sparked the crisis in the first place, and his macho posturing during the hair-raising, 13-day showdown might have sparked global nuclear catastrophe if not for Soviet sanity. The faceoff never would have occurred without young President Kennedy’s aggressive arms escalation, his disregard (inherited from President Eisenhower) for Soviet disarmament offers, and his wish to strangle the great socialist revolution and national independence movement led by Fidel Castro and Che Guevara in Cuba. Kennedy’s determination to look strong was a critical part of why the nearly disastrous missile crisis happened. This was JFK’s key political imperative in the wake of his Bay of Pigs humiliation the previous year, when a poorly planned U.S.-led invasion meant to overthrow the Cuban revolution failed ignominiously.

Statement Of Cuba In Reaction To Trump’s New Cuba Policy

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By Staff of Cuba Min Rex – On June 16, 2017, US President Donald Trump delivered a speech full of hostile anti-Cuban rhetoric reminiscent of the times of open confrontation with our country in a Miami theater. He announced his government’s Cuba policy, which rolls back the progress achieved over the last two years since December 17, 2014, when Presidents Raúl Castro and Barack Obama announced the decision to re-establish diplomatic relations and engage in a process towards the normalization of bilateral relations. In what constitutes a setback in the relations between both countries, President Trump, gave a speech and signed a policy directive titled “National Security Presidential Memorandum”, which provides the elimination of private educational “people-to-people” exchanges and greater control over all travelers to Cuba, as well as the prohibition of business, trade and financial transactions between US companies and certain Cuban companies linked to the Armed Revolutionary Forces and the intelligence and security services, under the alleged objective of depriving us from income.

Reflections On A Visit To Cuba’s Urban Cooperatives

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By Christina Clamp for Grassroots Economic Organizing – Cuba has been of interest to me for many years. I lived in Guatemala and Costa Rica from September, 1974 to December, 1975. During that time, Guatemala was experiencing a low level civil war. As Americans, we were not threatened by what was happening in the countryside. Still we were aware of the violence that was occurring at the time. Costa Rica in contrast was “bucolic” by comparison. My undergraduate senior research paper was on the overthrow of the Ubico dictatorship in Guatemala. Through that research, I learned much about the recent political reality. People in the course of oral history interviews about the past, would at times share stories of the death squads roaming the country in search of dissidents and the armed guerrillas. Cuba represented a place that had successfully freed itself from corrupt old style dictators (caudillos) and a place with a clear commitment to universal healthcare and education. I did not expect that we were visiting a “workers’ paradise.” But I had expected that there would be a broad based commitment to basic needs. What we found on this trip was a work in progress.

The Latin American Left Today Global Center For Resistance

Anti-imperialism grafitti in Latin America

By Staff for Telesur. From Brazil to Venezuela there have been radical shifts in the geopolitical landscape of the region. However, Latin America remains a global center for creativity and resistance. Torn between right and left – and dealing with the significant pressures of imperialism and a colonial legacy – popular forces have been fighting for their social rights and progress, making significant strides and remaining vital despite setbacks. Amid this complicated scenario, teleSUR takes a look at the Latin American left of today – from the Indigenous councils to the national assemblies, the urban centers to the rural villages – which continues to stand strong and fight for an integrated, united and socialist future.

Single Payer Congressional Progressive Caucus And The Cuban Revolution

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By Staff of Single Payer Action – And the only Senate member of the Progressive Caucus — Bernie Sanders — is dragging his feet on introducing a companion single payer bill in the Senate. Recalcitrant Democrats say they are too busy defending Obamneycare to get behind single payer. Typical is Progressive Caucus member Don Beyer who said that while he has voiced support for single payer in the past, his immediate priority is “protecting the health care achievements of President Obama.” There is a history here, of course. Back in 2009, a young single payer activist, Nick Skala, ran into the same kind of stonewall from the Progressive Caucus, when he presented the case for single payer.

Cuban Medical Internationalism

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By Stephen Bartlett for Other Worlds. Many people will never hear about how at the end of 2016 on December 19, 38 medical professionals from Cuba’s Henry Reeve Brigade returned home after more than two tireless months of treating Haitians. They were sent to lend support to Cuba’s permanent medical teams in Haiti in the wake of Hurricane Matthew. Following the death of 90-year-old revolutionary Fidel Castro on November 25, 2016 corporate media has been fixated on depicting Fidel as the mastermind of a two-dimensional “dictatorial regime.” For those with a three-dimensional perspective, however, Fidel Castro’s death provides an opportunity to celebrate victories from the 56 years of the Cuban Revolution for which many people around the world are profoundly grateful and even owe their lives.

Cuba-Trained Doctors Head To Standing Rock

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By Telesur. A delegation of doctors trained at the Latin American School of Medicine in Cuba announced they will head to Standing Rock to “serve in solidarity.” In a late Thursday Facebook post, a group of U.S.-based medical professionals trained at Cuba’s famous Latin American School of Medicine, or ELAM, announced they will head to Standing Rock “to humbly serve in solidarity with the Sacred Water Protectors on the front lines of the current human rights and ecological crisis occurring right now in North Dakota.” Dr. Revery P. Barnes, a graduate of ELAM, said in a post on Facebook, “We answer the call to serve in alignment with the mission and core principles of our alma mater and dedication to our commitment to serve underserved communities in our HOME country.” The delegation will work in collaboration with the Standing Rock Medic and Healer Council.

Close But No Cigar: How America Failed To Kill Fidel Castro

Fidel Castro holds up a newspaper headlining the discovery of a plot to kill him, during a visit to New York in April 1959. Photograph: Bettmann/Corbis

By Duncan Campbell for The Guardian – From the famous exploding cigars to poison pills hidden in a cold-cream jar, the CIA and Cuban exile groups spent nearly 50 years devising ways to kill Fidel Castro. None of the plots, of course, succeeded but one of his loyal security men calculated that a total of 634 attempts, some ludicrous, some deadly serious, had been made on the life of El Comandante. On one occasion, aware that Castro was a keen scuba-diver, the CIA devised a cunning plan.

Unity, The Best Tribute

Ricardo López Hevia

By Staff of Granma – It was with deep sorrow and regret that the Cuban people learned of the passing of Comandante en Jefe Fidel Castro Ruz. Granma shares some reactions to the news. His death was met with tributes and moments of reflection by the Cuban people, who neither want, nor are ready, to say farewell, choosing instead to salute the global leader with a “Hasta siempre, Fidel.” The fact that a man like Fidel is no longer with us is a difficult reality to bear, stated Artemisa resident and Revolutionary combatant Plácido Núñez, speaking to Granma.

History Will be the Judge: Fidel Castro, 1926-2016

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By Tariq Ali for Counterpunch. On 26 July 1953 an angry young lawyer, Fidel Castro, led a small band of armed men in an attempt to seize the Moncada barracks in Santiago de Cuba, in Oriente province. Most of the guerrillas were killed. Castro was tried and defended himself with a masterly speech replete with classical references and quotations from Balzac and Rousseau, that ended with the words: ‘Condemn me. It does not matter. History will absolve me.’ It won him both notoriety and popularity. In declarationshavana1958 the guerrilla armies began to move from the mountains to the plains: a column led by Fidel began to take towns in Oriente, while Che Guevara’s irregulars stormed and took the central Cuban city of Santa Clara. The day after, Batista and his Mafia chums fled the island as the Rebel Army, now greeted as liberators, marched across the island into Havana. The popularity of the Revolution was there for all to see.

History Will Absolve Me

Above, Raúl Castro (far left), Fidel Castro (centre) and other Moncada rebels released from prison, May 1955.

By Fidel Castro for Editorial de Ciencias Sociales re-published on Marxists.org. As the trial went on, the roles were reversed: those who came to accuse found themselves accused, and the accused became the accusers! It was not the revolutionaries who were judged there; judged once and forever was a man named Batista – monstruum horrendum! – and it matters little that these valiant and worthy young men have been condemned, if tomorrow the people will condemn the Dictator and his henchmen! Our men were consigned to the Isle of Pines Prison, in whose circular galleries Castells’ ghost still lingers and where the cries of countless victims still echo; there our young men have been sent to expiate their love of liberty, in bitter confinement, banished from society, torn from their homes and exiled from their country…I come to the close of my defense plea but I will not end it as lawyers usually do, asking that the accused be freed. I cannot ask freedom for myself while my comrades are already suffering in the ignominious prison of the Isle of Pines. Send me there to join them…I know that imprisonment will be harder for me than it has ever been for anyone, filled with cowardly threats and hideous cruelty. But I do not fear prison, as I do not fear the fury of the miserable tyrant who took the lives of 70 of my comrades. Condemn me. It does not matter. History will absolve me.

Cuba’s Sustainable Agro-Ecological Model Could Save The World

A Cuban flag hangs near pineapples and onions at a state market in Havana. | Photo: Reuters

By Staff of Tele Sur – On World Food Day, teleSUR spoke to Professor Raj Patel, an award-winning writer and defender of food security and sustainable models of agriculture. In Cuba, where the external conditions—the U.S. blockade and the collapse of the USSR—along with internal socialist planning, have compelled Cuban farmers to adopt an independent model of agriculture to feed the population, without importing expensive chemicals, the model that has developed is a world leader in sustainability.

IRS Goes After Pastors For Peace For Sending Aid To Cuba

In this file handout photo from IFCO/Pastors for Peace, a delegation from Pastors for Peace pose for a picture with Cuba's Fidel Castro, second from left, in Havana. Delegation members are, from left, Rev. Lucius Walker, Ellen Bernstein, and Rev. Tom Smith. Walker, the founder of the New York-based church group that opposes the U.S. embargo of Cuba. AP

By Nora Gámez Torres for In Cuba Today – For years, the U.S.-based Pastors for Peace defied the embargo on Cuba with “caravans” of humanitarian aid hauled across the U.S.-Mexico border that were then shipped to the island. In Havana, its founder, the Rev. Lucius Walker, was received like a hero. Although the organization never applied for a license from the Office of Foreign Assets Control to bring aid to Cuba, it did not face reprisals, although U.S. authorities occasionally tried to withhold the shipments on the Mexican border.

Tell IRS Stop Threatening Pastors For Peace

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By Staff of IFCO News – After 7 years of harassment and intimidation at the hands of the Internal Revenue Service, the Interreligious Foundation for Community Organization (IFCO) has been informed it will be stripped of its tax exempt status for its humanitarian work in Cuba — unless we act now!

Tribute To Fidel Castro On His 90th Birthday

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By Dan Kovalik for Counter Punch – On Saturday, August 13, the world will celebrate the 90th birthday of Cuban revolutionary leader Fidel Castro Ruz, the only individual ever to be acknowledged by the UN as a “World Hero of Solidarity.” It is very hard to think of a more important world leader than Fidel. The contribution he has made to the world socialist movement, to the Third World liberation struggle and to social justice has been monumental – especially when one considers that he has been the leader of a tiny country with roughly the same population as New York City.