No. 37October 17, 2019
One of the biggest preoccupations of Canadians is how to make Canada a force for peace in the world and establish friendly relations with all peoples instead of meddling in their internal affairs. Getting Canada out of the U.S. war machine, NATO and other aggressive blocs such as the Lima Group, and setting a new direction for Canada’s foreign policy is an important topic for discussion during the election. It is the Canadian people, and no one else, who must be empowered to decide the aim and direction of Canada’s foreign policy. Join the discussion!
Thursday, October 17 — 6:30-9:00 pm
USW Hall, 25 Cecil St.
Co-sponsored by the Animal Protection Party of Canada
and Marxist-Leninist Party of Canada.
For more information: 647-232-5293
Need to Review Canada’s Foreign Policy and Trade Agreements
Liz White – National Leader, Animal Protection Party of Canada and candidate in University–Rosedale
Promotion of Unacceptable Foreign Policy Doctrines by Canada’s Post Secondary Institutions – The Case of the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy
Steve Rutchinski – Marxist-Leninist Party candidate in University–Rosedale
Canada’s Role in NATO Must Be Ended and NATO Dismantled
Tamara Lorincz – Canadian Voice of Women for Peace
Saturday, October 19 — 1:00-3:30 pm
at one ten park: a working space
110 Park St. West
Organized by the Marxist-Leninist Party of Canada
For more information: 519-981-8792, firstname.lastname@example.org
Canada Must Stop its Disruptive Activities in Latin America and the Caribbean –
The Case of Canada and the Lima Group
Margaret Villamizar – MLPC candidate in the riding of Windsor West
Overcoming NATO, Militarism and Military Spending in Canada:
For a Peaceful, Green Transition
Tamara Lorincz – Canadian Voice of Women for Peace
Montreal, monthly picket, July 17, 2019
To date, Cuba has suffered damages of U.S.$138,843,400,000 at current prices, as a result of the economic, commercial, financial blockade imposed by the United States for almost 60 years. This has led to quantifiable harm of more than U.S.$922,630,000,000, taking into account the depreciation of the dollar in relation to gold on the international market. This information was provided by Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla on September 29 when he presented a report on the impact of this inhuman policy. Since April 2018, through March 2019, this hostile U.S. policy has caused Cuba losses of U.S.$4,343,600,000, he said.
Throughout its history, the blockade has served to harm Cuban families, depriving them of the most elementary resources, disrupting their health, well-being, and peace. A 1960 memorandum from U.S. diplomat Lester Mallory says the aim of the all-sided blockade is to provoke “disappointment and discouragement through economic dissatisfaction and hardship … with the objective of causing hunger, despair, and overthrow of the government.” The Foreign Minister called it the most unjust, severe, and prolonged unilateral system of sanctions that has been ever been levied on any country, to which we can add, the most futile.
During a press conference, the Cuban Foreign Minister denounced actions taken in recent weeks by the Trump administration to deny Cuba access to fuel.
“The government of the United States is taking specific, unconventional measures that imply a qualitative change, with greater aggressiveness and even greater extraterritoriality, to prevent the arrival of fuel to our country,” said Rodríguez.
These measures include direct threats, persecution of fuel transportation companies, and pressure on governments of countries where ships are registered, as well as sanctions on shipping and insurance companies. Rodríguez said that these moves constitute an escalation of hostility seeking to dissuade and intimidate the country’s international associates, creating additional difficulties for the Cuban population.
The coercive U.S. measures seek the “economic strangulation of our people,” he said. The Minister denounced the expulsion from the United States of two Cuban diplomats working at United Nations headquarters in New York, just as the 74th General Assembly was beginning, describing the move as unjustified and illegitimate, based on slander. He added that these measures “aim to provoke a diplomatic escalation that will lead to the closure of both countries’ embassies, further tightening of the blockade, and greater tension between the two countries.” He called on the international community, diplomatic missions of other nations in the United States, and the people of that country to repudiate those decisions.
The Marxist-Leninist Party of Canada calls on Canadians to oppose the all-sided U.S. blockade of Cuba and also demand that Canada not appease the U.S. crimes against that country in any way. Canada must reopen all Canadian consular services to be carried out within Cuba itself, not force Cuban residents seeking visas to travel to third countries. Canada must make sure there is no extraterritorial extension of the blockade through reprisals against Canadian companies or travellers to Cuba who provide goods, resources or capital to or from Cuba.
Join the pickets held on the 17th of every month in front of the U.S embassy in Ottawa and consulates, or other pertinent venues, in other cities.
Cuba’s Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla presented the country’s report to the General Assembly outlining the full impact of the U.S. blockade over this last year. The report is accompanied by a resolution entitled “The need to end the economic, commercial, and financial blockade imposed by the United States of America against Cuba,” presented for the 28th time to the United Nations General Assembly, where the international community has repeatedly expressed its support for the island and condemnation of the hostile U.S. policy.
• The economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the government of the United States of America on Cuba for nearly six decades is the most unjust, severe, and prolonged system of unilateral sanctions ever levied on any country.
• In this past year, tightening the blockade has continued to be the central pivot of U.S. government policy toward Cuba, with increasingly notable effects in its extraterritorial application.
• The U.S. State Department has on three occasions expanded the “Restricted List of Cuban Entities and Sub-Entities,” subject to additional sanctions. This measure has caused considerable damage to the country’s economy by intimidating the international business community.
• April 17, 2019, the U.S. State Department announced its decision to activate Title III of the Helms-Burton Act to permit the filing of claims in U.S. courts against enterprises and individuals, both Cuban and of other nationalities, doing business with properties nationalized in the 1960s. This decision ended the practice of suspending this option for a six month period, assumed since 1996 by earlier U.S. administrations and President Trump himself in the first two years in office.
• Since the implementation of this decision, Cuba’s economic activities have been severely affected, especially Cuban relations with international partners and investors. No citizen or sector of the economy escapes the negative effects of this unilateral policy which hinders development, to which every country is entitled, constructed in a sovereign manner.
• Added to the foregoing are provisions of the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the Treasury Department and the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) of the Commerce Department to eliminate, as of June 5, 2019, general licenses for “people to people” group educational travel, and prohibiting temporary stays in Cuba by non-commercial aircraft, passenger and recreational boats, including cruise ships. This measure, beyond severely limiting travel by U.S. citizens to our country, directly impacts the emerging Cuban private sector.
• All of these actions were taken for the deliberate and declared objective of causing economic harm and depriving Cuba of financial resources.
The behavior of the current United States government is an insult to the international community which has for 27 consecutive years condemned the blockade of Cuba within the framework of the United Nations. It ignores successive resolutions by the United Nations General Assembly and declarations by heads of state or government of the European Union, Latin America and the Caribbean, the African Union, the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), the Group of 77 and China and the Non-Aligned Movement, among other organizations, which have demanded an end to the blockade of Cuba.
• The policy of blockade against Cuba continues to represent an impediment to the development of the Cuban economy’s potential; to the implementation of the National Economic and Social Development Plan; and attaining Agenda 2030 and its objectives for Sustainable Development.
• The blockade is a massive, flagrant, and systematic violation of the human rights of all Cuban men and women. Because of its declared goal and the political, legal, and administrative framework upon which it is sustained, these sanctions qualify as an act of genocide according to the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide of 1948 and as an act of economic warfare according to the Naval Conference of London of 1909. Moreover, it is in violation of the United Nations Charter and international law.
• The United States must, without any conditions whatsoever, put an end to the unjust blockade which for nearly 60 years has caused the Cuban people suffering.
• Cuba shall not renounce its principles nor cease in its demands for the complete elimination of the blockade. Therefore, on November 6-7, 2019, the government of Cuba will once again present to the United Nations General Assembly the draft resolution entitled “Necessity of ending the economic, commercial, and financial blockade imposed by the government of the United States of America against Cuba”.
• Cuba reiterates its permanent gratitude to the international community for demanding the end to this illegal, genocidal, and extraterritorial policy.
• Within the particularly difficult current situation, Cuba and its people hope to once again count on the valuable contribution of your countries to lifting the U.S. blockade.
(Granma, September 20, 2019)
Demonstration in Ottawa, May 25, 2019, demands restoration of consular services at Canadian Embassy in Havana.
The visa office located at the Embassy of Canada in Havana, Cuba was closed by the Government of Canada on May 8, following unproven health concerns of embassy staff. Since then, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) says it has been working diligently to ensure that the processing of applications from Cuba continues smoothly and that applicants have access to the services they need to come to Canada.
It reports that as of August 1, the following services originally offered at IRCC’s Havana visa office are once again available at the same location in the Canadian Embassy:
– biometrics collection (fingerprints and a photo)
– passport drop-off and visa pick-up
On October 1, the Ministerial Enquiries Division of the Ministry of IRCC replied to an inquiry sent by the Canadian Network on Cuba (CNC) regarding the processing of visa applications for citizens of Cuba. It wrote:
“The Department is reinstating some of the services originally offered at the visa office to minimize the impact of the closure on applicants and facilitate their travel to Canada. These will make the application process quicker, easier and less costly for applicants.
“Canada recognizes the importance of minimizing the impact of the service reduction on Cuban residents so that they can continue to come to Canada. We will continue to explore other mitigation measures and alternative service channels to improve visa and immigration services offered to Cuban residents.
“Only IRCC officials have the authority to make decisions and oversee the processing of applications, and conduct permanent residence interviews. IRCC no longer has diplomatic staff working at the Embassy to deliver these functions. All permanent and temporary resident applications will be processed outside Cuba. Permanent residence applicants are still required to travel outside of Cuba to take their medical exam and if required, attend interviews, as these services are not available in Cuba.
“Applicants can choose to take their medical exam in any country where there is a panel physician authorized by the Government of Canada. Trinidad and Tobago and Guyana are the 2 closest countries with panel physicians that do not have visa requirements for Cuban nationals to visit. However, applicants can travel to any country that is most convenient for them. Applicants residing in Cuba who require an interview will be given the choice to have their interview at an IRCC office in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, or Mexico City, Mexico.
“All visa and permanent resident applications are being transferred to IRCC’s visa office in Mexico City to be processed. After applying, applicants will be hearing directly from that office on the next steps required for their application.”
Isaac Saney, Co-Chair of the CNC in a September 22, letter addressed to all party leaders in the federal election, pointed out that despite the restoration of some services, “the continued reduction in embassy staffing has resulted – and continues to result – in unreasonable delays and significant financial obstacles for those Cubans seeking to travel to Canada, and will, amongst other things, cause significant damage to people-to-people contacts, business, cultural, academic, scientific and sporting relations.”
After receiving the response from IRCC, Dr. Saney sent a subsequent letter to Justin Trudeau in his capacity as Prime Minister of Canada and leader of the Liberal Party of Canada. The letter says:
“Mr. Charbonneau’s response is evasive and unsatisfactory. He states that the Ministry is taking steps to make ‘the application process quicker, easier and less costly for applicants,’ and that ‘Canada recognizes the importance of minimizing the impact of the service reduction on Cuban residents so that they can continue to come to Canada.'” Saney notes however that the description contained in the reply “cannot be reconciled with the commitment to make ‘the application process quicker, easier and less costly for applicants’ and ‘the importance of minimizing the impact of the service reduction on Cuban residents so that they can continue to come to Canada.’ Indeed, they are mutually exclusive.
“Our central concerns remain. The reduction in services have introduced unacceptable and unreasonable delays and established significant financial obstacles for those Cubans seeking to travel to Canada. These have already caused damage to people-to-people contacts, business, cultural, academic, scientific and sporting relations.
“Therefore, we ask that if your government and party are committed to ‘minimizing the impact of the service reduction on Cuban residents so that they can continue to come to Canada,’ in particular, and fostering the further development of Canada-Cuba relations, in general:
“Will you and your party fully support the reopening of the IRCC Office, and all visa services offered to Cubans in Havana, Cuba, so that visa processing may proceed in a reasonable manner?
“Additionally, Mr. Charbonneau also stated at the end of his response that regarding ‘concerns about diplomatic relations with Cuba and the policies of the government of the United States, I must advise you that this does not fall under the mandate of IRCC. You may wish to send a copy of your letter to Global Affairs Canada.’
“While, we would welcome an answer from Global Affairs Canada to these issues, we also recognize that as Prime Minister and leader of the Liberal Party of Canada our queries about ‘diplomatic relations with Cuba and the policies of the government of the United States’ fall under your ambit and spheres of responsibilities.
“We look forward to your reply and thank you in advance for your consideration of the issues raised and questions posed by the Canadian Network On Cuba.”
Forty internationally renowned Cuba scholars, policy-makers and policy analysts will gather at Dalhousie University in Halifax this fall to take the measure of “The Cuban Revolution at 60.”
The three-day symposium will be highlighted by addresses by two of the key players in the historic 2014 re-opening of relations between Cuba and the United States. Josefina Vidal, now Cuba’s ambassador to Canada and then Cuba’s chief negotiator with the Americans, and Jeffrey DeLaurentis, the first U.S. ambassador to Cuba following the renewal of relations, will each offer personal reflections on what happened then, and what isn’t happening now.
All sessions will be open to the public, and free.
Attendees will also learn the results of the very latest research into a controversial and mysterious ailment reported by some U.S. and Canadian diplomats in Cuba. Dr. Alon Friedman, a ground-breaking neuroscientist at the Dalhousie University Brain Repair Centre who recently led a multidisciplinary study into the so-called “Havana Syndrome” for Global Affairs Canada, will present his findings at the conference.
Leading Cuba specialists from Cuba, the UK, Latin America, Europe, the United States and Canada will also participate in a series of panels to assess the successes and challenges of the Cuban economy, Cuba-U.S. relations and Cuba’s international relations. Other panels will focus on climate change and ecological challenges facing the island, as well as social change, including issues of race, gender (in)equity, health and LGBTQ rights.
“This year not only marks the 60th anniversary of the Cuban Revolution,” notes John Kirk, an internationally renowned Cuba scholar and one of the organizers of the event, “but it is also a time of historic transformation on the island: leadership change, constitutional reform, and a complex process of economic developments. We believe this is a good opportunity to discuss the progress Cuba has made over the past 60 years and perhaps more importantly, to analyze current developments.”
Support for “The Cuban Revolution at 60” is generously provided by the Ford Foundation, the Christopher Reynolds Foundation, WOLA, Dalhousie University, Saint Mary’s University, the Office of the Mayor (Halifax), the Canadian Network on Cuba and NSCuba, among others.
For full program click here.
Conference Website: www.cuba60.ca
(Photo: B. Hackwell)
– Nuria Barbosa León –
Canvases for peace
To discuss the needed articulation of movements, organizations and groups focused on the struggle against imperialism, the Cuban Social Movement Coalition has called an Anti-imperialist Solidarity Conference for Democracy and Against Neo-Liberalism, November 1-3, in Havana’s International Conference Centre.
Ulises Guilarte de Nacimiento, member of the Communist Party of Cuba’s Political Bureau and Secretary General of the Federation of Cuban Workers, described the event as a broad, massive mobilization of the regional and world left to support our Revolution.
“Cuba is again a meeting place for those who defend peace, solidarity among peoples, justice, and democracy based on the true power of the progressive masses,” the Cuban leader stated, emphasizing that the event will propitiate debate and interaction around a program of concrete action to condemn the brutal economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed unilaterally by the U.S. government.
He said it will be an opportunity to build and reinforce unity among these forces, to continue the struggle for systematic change in the face of a capitalist offensive to impose neocolonialism, racism, and other forms of discrimination.
To be considered is the media war launched by imperialism, along with our own creative communicational strategies to provide accurate information.
Five work groups will meet during the event to gather opinions and initiatives to oppose belligerent U.S. foreign policies, that have led to armed conflicts in all parts of the planet. An open tribunal will be held in a Havana neighborhood, and one group will meet at the Latin American School of Medicine to learn about Cuba’s solidarity in the academic training of youth from around the world.
Some 1,000 delegates are expected, from all continents, along with representatives from the Cuban Social Movement Coalition, which includes the Committees for the Defense of the Revolution, the Federation of Cuban Workers, the National Association of Small Farmers, the Federation of Cuban Women, the Cuban Peace Movement, and the Martin Luther King Center, among others.
(Granma, September 26, 2019)
– Madeleine Sautié –
Rally in Caracas, Venezuela on September 21, 2019, to cap off the #NoMoreTrump campaign which gathered signatures worldwide in solidarity with Venezuela.
“Heroic, Bolivarian, revolutionary Venezuela calls upon our sister peoples of the continent and the world,” said Ernesto Villegas, minister of People’s Power for Culture of that country, during an event held at the Venezuelan embassy in Havana, by the Cuban chapter of the Network of Intellectuals, Artists and Social Movements in Defense of Humanity (REDH) to support a letter from Venezuelans to UN General Secretary António Guterres and the peoples of the world, which has been co-signed by millions. The campaign is being promoted with the hashtag #noMoretrump.
With the presence of Adam Chávez, Venezuelan Ambassador to Cuba; Omar González, President of the Cuban chapter of REDH; Alpidio Alonso, Minister of Culture; Abel Prieto, Director of the Martí Program Office; and Pedro Calzadilla, General Coordinator of the REDH – who presented the document – the Cuban chapter of the Network joined the international effort to denounce the U.S. blockade and brutal campaign against the homeland of Bolivar, adding its members’ signatures and voices.
“Throughout the country’s history, no Venezuelan government has sent its armed forces to attack anyone, except to free our brothers from the first colonialist invasion,” reads the document that makes explicit with solid arguments that Venezuela is not a threat to anyone, and has never intended to dominate or exploit any people.
The letter demands “an end to this brutal aggression against the homeland,” and that “existing mechanisms for the protection of the Venezuelan people be activated, to ensure that the full right of all its inhabitants to human development and life is guaranteed,” a position with which Cuban intellectuals concur.
Omar González reaffirmed, in the name of the Cuban chapter of REDH, their solidarity with Venezuela, for which Adam Chávez expressed gratitude, recalling the role of Fidel and Chávez in establishing the organization.
“Venezuela is today the front line against the fascist wave,” said Abel Prieto, who added that the Network has the urgent task of articulating the efforts for change of all honorable people around the world — who are the majority.
Alpidio Alonso stated that this call is the opportunity we have today to serve. “Every day we must ask ourselves what else we can do to serve Venezuela,” he said and recalled that what happens in that country is also our problem, since the fascist counteroffensive involves us all. “We are called upon to act. It is imperative that everyone knows the truth, so that good and love prevail,” he insisted.
In his heartfelt comments, Villegas conveyed greetings from President Nicolás Maduro to the signatories, while saluting President Miguel Díaz-Canel and the Communist Party of Cuba. Aware that intellectuals and artists are the vanguard of the people’s sensibility, he said, “There is nothing strange about them being the first to the line of combat, when they are summoned.”
“Only an insensitive person could be indifferent to what the planet is experiencing. The Venezuelan cause, like that of revolutionary Cuba, is the cause of humanity,” he concluded.
(Granma, September 20, 2019. Photo: Venezuela Analysis)
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