Category Archives: Socialism

Regarding Joaquín Pérez Becerra

Regarding Joaquín Pérez Becerra

By Iván Maiza – TeleSurespañol

Translation: Machetera

The capacity of the Latin American left to go straight ahead without looking to either side, without long term plans, without observing the world in which it lives, never ceases to amaze me.  Without taking into account whose life is at stake in matters that are not strategic, nor even tactical, what matters is always the sacrifice, proving that one is not betraying the highest revolutionary values, “never bowing one’s head” like that person in the story by Osvaldo Soriano,  “A sus plantas rendido un León” [A defeated lion at their feet].* Continue reading

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Enrique Ubieta Gómez on Prague, revisionist history, and the Cuban Five

Czech resistance hero Julius Fučík

In Prague: first impressionsespañol

Enrique Ubieta Gómez

Translation: Machetera

I’ve been invited to participate in the Fifth Regional Meeting of Cubans Residing in Europe, to be held this weekend in Prague.  Without a doubt it will be quite a rich experience, because with the advent of transnational corporate “freedom,” this capital, one of Europe’s most beautiful, has transformed itself  into a city that is deaf, mute and blind.   The Czechs no longer believe, hope, or care.  Its politicians are the most corrupt in Europe.  With the exception of the fiercely stigmatized communist paper, the ordinary press in the new country belongs to foreign consortia.  But the “free” citizens don’t want to think.  An editor here was sued for re-issuing Julius Fučík’s “Notes from the Gallows.”  History has been re-written, to the extreme of changing the date of the victory over Nazi fascism in order to attribute the honor to U.S. troops.  The current Chancellor, son of someone whose property was nationalized by socialism, had to learn his “native” tongue in order to re-insert himself and re-appropriate half of the country.  First, he made an investment: he was one of Havel’s principal financial backers.  I promise to write more, later.

Heroes and complete history.  Reflection on the Cuban Five, from Prague español

Just a few hours ago an act of solidarity with the five anti-terrorist Cubans being held as political prisoners in the United States took place, attended by Rosa Aurora, the wife of Fernando, one of those heroes.

I’m familiar with the discussions that sometimes arise between historians and academics on the greater or lesser social visibility of certain heroes (sometimes even on the qualification itself) and of people and events in history.  The counter-revolution doesn’t care for the revolutionary pantheon.  I suppose that this includes Mella, Villena, Jesús Menéndez and José Antonio Echevarría, among others diminished or made invisible in the pseudo-republic.  In the frankly rightwing newspapers such as Spain’s El País or Miami’s El Nuevo Herald, they’ve tried to present Che Guevara as a murderer and Fulgencio Batista as a democrat who made mistakes.  Miami’s circumspect historians (no matter where they live, whether in México or Barcelona, there’s a Miami mentality that marks and defines a person) sometimes call for “a complete history” in which Julio Lobo and Orestes Ferrara – two millionaires with dubious ethics – return as heroes in the social pages of a press made for the purpose of reproducing their values precisely. Continue reading

Raj Patel on the battle for the world food system

Jill Hickson did this interview with Raj Patel where he talks about everything from food sovereignty to patriarchy, to sustainable agriculture in Cuba and the empowerment that Cubans have as citizens, to the roots of slow food, but he doesn’t stop there.  He talks about the way forward.  24 minutes that fly by in an instant.

Raúl Castro’s address to Cuba’s Young Communist League

I’ve always loved the stories about the Cuban mambises, who, outgunned and outnumbered by their nineteenth century Spanish oppressors, resorted to a clever kind of weaponless warfare; that of wearing their enemy down by giving them false directions when lost, or harassing them during the night so they could not rest.  While the Obamas and Estefans share Bloody Marys with the terrorist faithful on April 15th in Miami Beach, they might spare a thought for the historic futility of their efforts.  Cuba’s youth will always outlast them.

“Young Cuban revolutionaries understand perfectly well that to preserve the Revolution and socialism, and to continue being dignified and free, they have many more years of struggle and sacrifices ahead of them…Cuba does not fear lies nor does it kneel to pressure, conditions or impositions, from whichever direction. It defends itself with the truth, which always, sooner rather than later, ends up being known.”

Cuban President Raúl Castro’s keynote address to the Young Communist League, Havana, April 4, 2010 español

Edited by Machetera

Compañeras, compañeros, delegates and guests,

It has been a good Congress, which actually began last October with the open meetings attended by hundreds of thousands of young people and continued with the evaluation meetings conducted by organizations from the rank and file as well as the municipal and provincial committees where the agreements were shaped that would be adopted in these final sessions.

If there is one thing we’ve had plenty of during the little over five years that have passed since Fidel made the closing speech at the Eighth Young Communist League (YCL) Congress, on December 5, 2004, it’s been work and challenges.

This Congress has been held in the midst of one of the most vicious and concerted media campaigns launched against the Cuban Revolution in its fifty years of existence, an issue to which I will necessarily refer later on. Continue reading

The Battle of Copenhagen

An alternate English translation of President Hugo Chávez’s speech about the climate summit in Copenhagen, by the wonderfully talented translator & Tlaxcala member, David Brookbank.

“The Battle of Copenhagen” Español

Copenhagen was the scene of a historic battle in the context of the 15th United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.  Better said: In the beautiful and snow-covered capital of Denmark, a battle began which did not end on December 18, 2009.  I want to reiterate: Copenhagen was only the beginning of the decisive battle for the salvation of the planet.  A battle on the field of ideas and of praxis.

The Brazilian Leonardo Boff, the great liberation theologian and one of the most authoritative voices on the subject of ecology, in an essential article entitled, What is at stake in Copenhagen, penned these insightful and courageous words:  “What can we hope for from Copenhagen?  Perhaps just this simple confession: We cannot continue the way we are going.  And this simple proposition:  We are going to change course.” Continue reading

Defending the Cuban Revolution

Dialogue, Debate, Confrontation.  Toward a Delimitation of BoundariesEspañol

By Enrique Ubieta Gómez for La Isla Deconocida

Translation: Machetera

I believe in ideas, in revolutionary reason.  I support the Cuban Revolution from a reasoned perspective, from an argumentative perspective.  I am convinced that it is possible to discuss and analyze every success and every failure of these 50 years, and that on balance, the revolutionary process will always come out favorably. I don’t shirk from debate.

But I’ve also understood that the war against socialism, against the Revolution, is not a “scientific” or “academic” crusade for truth; that its adversaries are not theoreticians obsessed with proving that they are right (although some of them teach or are academic professionals), rather, they are individuals who for a variety of motives – personal history, ideological, or simply economic – desire its destruction.  I’ve proven that there is a network of transnational interests that play hard: they lie or mislead and they are betting that their (verisimilitude) version will come out the winner in the media “show;” that which takes over the mind of the spectators.  A network that chooses the exact words that should be used and repeats them in order to describe every subject and object, every event (regime rather than government, embargo rather than blockade, Castro rather than Fidel or Raúl, as the people refer to them).  That people manufacture them, plant them, and that the media can close the doors and windows on any argument that reveals the trap.  That dialogue is for the deaf, because the objective is not who’s right, but who will maintain or take power. Continue reading

Evo Morales rocks Leganés

Evo Morales Closes an Old Wound – The Bolivian President’s Speech at Leganés, Spain

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Introduction by Manuel Talens – English translation by Machetera

In chapter XVII of the Historia General de las Indias (1554) [General History of the Indies], the cleric Francisco López de Gómara described how when Christopher Columbus returned from the continent that years later would be named America, he went from Palos to Barcelona, where the Catholic Kings could be found. “Although the road was long and filled with obstacles, he was very honored and well-known, because they came to see him for having discovered another world and having brought great wealth from there as well as new kinds and colors of differently dressed men.” Just six of those men, strangers to old Europe, had survived the voyage. “The six Indians were baptized, since the others didn’t make it to the court; and the king, the queen and the prince, don Juan, their son, were the godparents, personally authorizing Christ’s sanctified baptism for those first Christians from the Indies and the New World.

These events took place in March, 1493, exactly 516 years and five months ago, the same period of time it took for a descendant of those unhappy human beings to repeat the same voyage, this time to undo the damage, and this time not as a voiceless captive, but as an articulate president of a republic that at last, has broken the last bonds of colonialism. Evo Morales, an indigenous Bolivian Aymaran, has returned the blow to the stepmother homeland, in the name of all his brothers who suffered and continue to suffer the latest consequences of that enterprise. That is, he has returned it without rancor, with arms extended, yet speaking the truth loudly and clearly before five thousand Latin Americans from practically all the republics and a good handful of Spanish enthusiasts as well. The place chosen for the speech was clearly symbolic: Leganés is not the court of aristocrats giving cover to the rancid monarchy which still rules in Spain, but a crowded working class city of 200,000, situated within Madrid’s industrial belt. Last Sunday, September 13th, the municipality of Leganés made its modern bullring– La Cubierta – available to the Aymaran leader, so that he might speak as he wished. And speak he did; in a tone that was always respectful, but firm. Continue reading