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  1. #1

    Default Celebrating 50 years of Cuban internationalism

    Thursday, January 1, 2009

    By: Carlos Alvarez



    From Africa to Latin America, Cuba spreads working-class solidarity


    The 1959 Cuban revolution marked the single most important event in Cuban history. Washington watched in disbelief as the first Latin American socialist revolution unfolded only 90 miles off the U.S. coast. The revolution freed the island from the clutches of U.S. imperialism, setting in motion a transition to a planned economy in the hands of a revolutionary government. The interests of foreign capital no longer trumped the needs of Cuban workers.


    But the Cubans would not keep the gains of the revolution to themselves; they would share them with the world. Cuba also benefited from international solidarity of other socialist countries, especially from the Soviet Union and China, which stepped in with major economic trade after the United States eliminated Cuba’s sugar sales and imposed a blockade. The USSR provided Cuba’s military equipment, including for its African missions.


    In a genuine example of solidarity and working-class internationalism, Cuba has aligned itself with workers and oppressed peoples across the globe in their struggle against capitalism and foreign domination. Cubans have fought alongside the national liberation and socialist movements of the world, always under the unrelenting attacks of the U.S. government.


    In the very early years of the Revolution, Cuba began the first of its legendary medical missions. The missions were undertaken when Cuba was implementing its far-reaching reforms in land distribution, literacy, and expropriations—all while defending itself against U.S. invasion and terrorist aggression. Algeria was the first recipient of that internationalist solidarity, with a Cuban medical team of 55 in May 1963. Since then, 104,437 Cuban medical workers have served in internationalist missions in 101 countries around the world. Currently, there are 30,421 doctors providing free medical care in 71 countries.


    Cuba has set out to tackle the scourge of illiteracy that runs rampant through much of the formerly colonized and under-developed world. Providing the first example in the western hemisphere, Cuba declared itself the first country in Latin America free of illiteracy in 1961. With the help of Cuba’s special program, Yo Sí Puedo ("Yes I Can,"), Venezuela became fully literate in 2006, and Bolivia in December 2008. Cuban teachers are now helping implement "Yo Sí Puedo" in dozens of countries—Nicaragua expects to be free of illiteracy in 2009, and Angola in 2014.


    African missions and the defeat of apartheid


    Cuba’s missions to Africa were the earliest examples of Cuba’s commitment to the international struggles of workers and oppressed peoples. In 1965, revolutionary Ernesto Che Guevara led a Cuba military mission to assist guerrilla forces in the Congo. In the film "Cuba: An African Odyssey," Congolese fighters spoke years later of their astonishment at seeing Cuban troops travel to such great lengths to support their struggle, and of how that display of selfless solidarity impacted their own consciousness as revolutionaries.


    Cuban troops were sent to Ethiopia in late 1977 to help defend its revolutionary struggle against the U.S.-backed Somali invasion and further U.S. counter-revolutionary attacks. Cuban fighters also supported the Liberation Front of Mozambique, FRELIMO, in its struggle against the anti-communist, U.S.-South African apartheid force Mozambican National Resistance, RENAMO, during the Mozambican civil war.


    But most importantly, Cuba played a decisive role in the dismantling of the South African apartheid system, sending troops to fight with the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) against South African apartheid forces. Starting in 1975, Cuban troops aided the MPLA and were decisive in smashing the South African army at Cuito Cuanavale, Angola. The defeated South African military retreated from Namibia—a blow to the racist regime that would reenergize South African resistance in their fight against apartheid.


    Fidel Castro said the following of the operation in an address to the United Nations in defense of Cuba’s military actions: "Angola is rich of natural resources; Cabinda has large oil reserves. Some imperialists ask why we’re helping the Angolans, what our interest is? They assume that countries only act out of a desire for petrol, copper, diamonds or some other resource. No! We have no material interest. Of course the imperialists don’t understand this. They would only do it for chauvinist, nationalist and selfish reasons. We are fulfilling an elementary internationalist duty in helping the people of Angola."


    Cuban internationalism has reached every corner of the globe. The Cuban government has condemned the U.S. invasions and occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan, and has consistently stood with the people of the Middle East in their struggle against U.S. imperialism and Israel’s occupation of Palestine. It has recently expanded trade relations with Syria, and is expanding cooperation on the basis of solidarity and mutual cooperation with Iran, China and other Asian countries.


    Revolutionary leadership in Latin America


    Washington quickly recognized the implications of the first successful socialist revolution in the continent. Fearful of the example set by Cuba, U.S. officials helped usher in the fascist governments that characterized Latin American politics for much of the 60s and 70s, crushing leftist and progressive forces to stem the threat of revolution.


    Confronting U.S. designs head on, Cuba provided indispensable aid to Latin America in its struggles for self-determination and socialism. From Nicaragua to Guatemala to Venezuela and Bolivia, Cuba has been a base of support for the worker’s struggle.


    During the years that followed the Nicaraguan revolutionary triumph in 1979 with the overthrow of the Somoza dictatorship, Cuba offered assistance in the fields of education, health care, industry, agriculture and military training.


    Direct U.S. intervention, with the destructive Contra war, caused the deaths of tens of thousands of Nicaraguans, and helped engineer the electoral defeat in 1990 of the Sandinistas. But this has not prevented Cuba from reinforcing its ties to progressive forces within Nicaragua and providing material support to this country.


    In recent years, Cuba has played a key role in pushing forward the shift to the left in Latin America, working hand in hand with Venezuela’s own revolutionary government.


    The two countries launched the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (ALBA)—a cooperation agreement with a focus on social gains in response to the U.S.-touted, plunder-oriented Free Trade Area of the Americas. Cuba has provided thousands of doctors and teachers to Venezuela, as well as human resources and revolutionary experience. Venezuela has responded in kind, in particular by providing highly discounted oil that has been vital for Cuba. Bolivia and Nicaragua have since joined ALBA, and other countries also participate.


    Cuba and Venezuela have jointly carried out "Operation Miracle," providing vision-restoring surgeries to nearly half a million people in Latin American and Caribbean countries as of November 2008.


    Washington’s hostility against socialist Cuba has not stopped it from extending its solidarity to the U.S. people in its moments of greatest need. Cuba offered the assistance of more than 1,000 doctors who were ready to go to the U.S. Gulf region following Hurricane Katrina. The U.S. government refused this much-needed assistance for purely political reasons. Dozens of U.S. youth are studying medicine completely free of cost in Cuba at the famed ELAM, the Latin American School of Medicine. The students’ only obligation is to commit to practice medicine in poor communities in the United States.


    If the U.S. ruling class and its political lackeys have failed to appreciate the Cuban revolution, the most oppressed sectors of the U.S. working class certainly have not. In 1960, the Shelburne Hotel in Manhattan contemptuously evicted Castro and his delegation, who were in New York for the 15th session of the United Nations General Assembly. Castro found new accommodations at the Hotel Theresa in Harlem, where the Harlem community welcomed him with warm cheers. The class character of the Cuban revolution could not have been made clearer.


    Just like Cuba has steadfastly stood by the workers of the world, we too must fight alongside Cuba. The people of Cuba have endured nearly five decades under the crippling U.S. economic blockade, and following the devastating 2008 hurricane season, need our support more than ever. On the 50th anniversary of the Cuban revolution, the elementary internationalist duty that motivates Cuban solidarity should inspire U.S. workers to defend Cuba and raise the flag of working-class internationalism.


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  2. #2

    Default Re: Celebrating 50 years of Cuban internationalism

    Ganun pla yun

  3. #3

    Default Re: Celebrating 50 years of Cuban internationalism

    hindi ako aware sa mga ganitong usapan, ngunit mahusay! thanks for sharing!

    ang desenyo ng bandila ng Pilipinas ay ibinatay sa desenyo ng bandila ng Cuba na noon ay nagtamo ng kalayaan mula sa Espanya.

    Cuba


    Philippines
    Last edited by PINOY_RADICAL; 22nd Jan 2009 at 12:19.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Celebrating 50 years of Cuban internationalism

    go for socialism! forward to communism!...Viva Marxist, Leninist, Maoist!

  5. #5

    Default Re: Celebrating 50 years of Cuban internationalism

    there is no such thing as communism. walang nag eexist na ganun.. kahit si karl marx, sinabi nya na hindi sya marxist.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Celebrating 50 years of Cuban internationalism



    sino may alam ng meaning ng flag ng cabinda??? hehehe project lang

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