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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
By Staff of Tele Sur – Leader of the Cuban Revolution Fidel Castro Ruz made a rare public appearance during the closure of the seventh Congress of the Communist Party Tuesday morning, where President Raul Castro Ruz was also in attendance. “This may be one of the last times that I speak in this room,” said Fidel Castro. “I appreciate the invitation and the honor to speak in front of you,” he said. “The Cuban people will be victorious.”
By Miguel Altieri for The Conversation – President Obama’s trip to Cuba this week accelerated the warming of U.S.-Cuban relations. Many people in both countries believe that normalizing relations will spur investment that can help Cuba develop its economy and improve life for its citizens. But in agriculture, U.S. investment could cause harm instead. For the past 35 years I have studied agroecology in most countries in Central and South America.