Cubans Visit Detroit to Share Information on the African Presence and the Cuban Revolution

Detroit has been a center of interest and support of the Cuban Revolution for many decades where the majority African American population has engaged in various projects to enhance interactions between both geo-political regions.

A four-day visit by Gisela Arandia Covarrubias and Tomas Fernandez Robaina represented a continuation of a process of cultural exchange. Both individuals are writers and publishers committed to the exposure of the African historical and contemporary presence in Cuba.

Arandia is a researcher associated with the Cuban Union of Artists and Writers. She has traveled extensively in Africa to participate in conferences in Mali and the Republic of South Africa.

Her work has resulted in an appointment as the leader of the Ejecutivo, ARAC (Articulacion Regional Afrodescendiente de America Latina y el Caribe, Capitulo Cubano), known as a civil rights organization inside the socialist country. She was instrumental in the organizing of the Cuba y los pueblos afrodescendientes en America, a significant conference held in 2011.

Visiting the city as well was Fernandez Robaina, who has worked since the early 1960s at la Biblioteca Nacional (Cuban National Library) in Havana. He also teaches courses at the University of Havana. Fernandez has published widely on issues involving people of African descent since 1968.

In 1994, Fernandez published “The Blacks in Cuba, 1902-1958: Notes on the History of the Struggle against Racial Discrimination.” The author has traveled many times to the United States and Africa gathering information on the similarities between African people in various parts of the globe.

Both Arandia and Fernandez participated in the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) Legacy Conference held during early April in Chicago. SNCC, a pioneering and vanguard organization in the Civil Rights and Black Power movements of the 1960s, had emphasized the interconnectedness of liberation efforts in the U.S. and Cuba.

During the late 1960s, SNCC leaders such as Stokely Carmichael (later known as Kwame Ture) and Gwen Patton, traveled to Cuba bringing messages of solidarity seeking support for the African American political movement which had become internationalized by 1967. Veteran SNCC organizers have continued this legacy through annual conferences and other work aimed at achieving total freedom….

Abayomi Azikiwe along with Cuban guests and friends during the African Presence and the Cuban Revolution Public Forum, April 13, 2019


Mumia Abu-Jamal and the Plight of Political Prisoners

Pam Africa Visits Detroit to Headline Public Meeting on Mumia Abu-Jamal and the Unjustly Convicted. MOVE leader joins Rev. Edward Pinkney of Benton Harbor in program hosted at the Cass Commons

An historic conference entitled “Freedom for the Unjustly Incarcerated” was held on April 20 in the Midtown District of Detroit when MOVE organizer Pam Africa and the Rev. Edward Pinkney of Benton Harbor spoke extensively on the plight of political prisoners and the criminal industrial complex in the United States.

The event took place at the Cass Commons located in the First Unitarian Universalist Church which serves as a center for popular education and activism in the city.

Pam Africa arrived in Detroit from Philadelphia during the early morning hours of April 19 along with Razakhan Wali of Judicial Research, Inc., an organization which provides assistance to incarcerated people throughout the country. During the course of the day both veteran organizers met with local activists working on issues involving the status of juvenile lifers in Michigan, environmental justice, police brutality, housing foreclosures, gentrification and the overall struggle against institutional racism and economic exploitation….


Fanmi Lavalas condemns violence against community residents

By Fighting Words Staff

The following is a press release from Fanmi Lavalas dated April 15, 2019, and translated to English by the Haiti Action Committee. This statement condemns the violent repression against the Haitian people. Fighting Words is publishing this statement in solidarity and support of the Haitian people.

Fanmi Lavalas Political Organization strongly condemns the many assassinations and massacres that are taking place against community residents of Lasalin, Waf Jeremi, Tokyo and other areas with the support of government representatives that began last November and are continuing today. These actions that must revolt the conscience of everyone in the country are taking place day and night; despite the unending cries for help by community residents, the government has remained silent and has done nothing to provide assistance.

Human rights organizations, civil society, the moral conscience of everyone in general must be awakened to come together with these community residents to put an immediate end to this intolerable situation which should not be occurring in a civilized country. Every person is a human being, and every human being has the right to live in security under the protection of the law, as the constitution of the country requires.

Fanmi Lavalas once again vigorously condemns this situation. We ask everyone who is engaged in the movement to create a new model of government to be in active solidarity with the people who are being robbed, raped, killed, and burned because we are all human beings and we are brothers and sisters. Today it is them; if we remain silent, tomorrow it may be worse for the residents of other neighborhoods and other parts of the country.

Alone we are weak,
Together we are strong
All together we are Lavalas.

Executive Committee of Fanmi Lavalas
Dr. Maryse Narcisse
Mr. Joël Vorbe
Dr. Jean Myrto Julien
Agr. Anthony Dessources

Demonstration in Haiti

Photo: Haiti Action Committee

The U.S. continues its economic war against Venezuela

By Katya Derevo

In the latest round of sanctions against Venezuela, on April 5, the United States identified and targeted 34 shipping vessels owned by Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PDVSA) and marked them as “blocked property” in an attempt to prevent the vessels from reaching Cuba.

The sanctions are not just a punishment on the Venezuelan oil industry; they also serve as a punishment on Cuba for standing in solidarity with the administration of President Nicolás Maduro.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement that the “[t]reasury is taking action against vessels and entities transporting oil, providing a lifeline to keep the illegitimate Maduro regime afloat.”

Back in January, when Juan Guaidó declared himself the interim president of Venezuela, socialist Cuba was one of approximately 50 countries that declared its support for President Maduro, who was democratically elected by the people last year.

These sanctions are being declared an act of “economic piracy” by Cuban diplomat Bruno Rodríguez, but U.S. officials are claiming that they are stopping payment from Maduro to Cuban security officials who are allegedly helping him to maintain control of the Venezuelan government. This is only the beginning.

The sanctions against the oil shipments on their way to Cuba are just the most recent of many sanctions implemented since the failed coup attempt by Juan Guaidó. Some have targeted governors and other high-ranking military officials while others have targeted the banking, mining and oil sectors in Venezuela….

Raul Castro and Nicolás Maduro.

As the United States continues its economic war against Venezuela, Cuban leader Raúl Castro has pledged to stand with the democratically-elected administration of President Nicolás Maduro. | Photo: (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)

Commentary: China proves socialism best way to eradicate poverty

BEIJING, April 19 (Xinhua) — In the countdown to China’s deadline to eradicate absolute poverty by 2020, the socialist system is playing a crucial role.

“Socialism means development. Development must serve the common prosperity for everyone,” President Xi Jinping called for greater efforts to win the battle against poverty on time during a recent inspection tour to southwest China’s Chongqing Municipality.

China’s socialist system has made it possible to pool resources for its aims and stick to its targets from start to finish, especially when it comes to tasks concerning people’s livelihoods.

Thanks to consistent hard work, more than 700 million Chinese people have been lifted out of poverty in the past four decades, with poverty rate in rural areas lowered from 97.5 percent in 1978 to 1.7 percent in 2018.

The Communist Party of China (CPC) in 2017 pledged to eliminate poverty in all poor counties and regions by 2020, waging a final war on poverty to realize its goal.

Under the leadership of the CPC, poverty alleviation has become a strategic task for the country. Governments at every level have taken steps to ensure the task is completed on time.

Party members have been dispatched to impoverished villages across the country to assist poverty reduction work, including government officials, ex-servicemen and college graduates, all working to fully implement the central government policy.

China has made it crucial to adopt customized measures based on local conditions to ensure resources are used in the right place at the right time.

With only two years until the deadline, the country is at a critical juncture in finishing off the final, and most difficult tasks, in its poverty reduction campaign. The socialist system will continue to show its strength in the final battle.

Xi attends opening ceremony of Belt and Road forum

Chinese President Xi Jinping

“US Sanctions on Venezuela Have Caused the Death of More Than 40 Thousand” – Study

The US sanctions against Venezuela, applied with more strength since August 2017, are the cause of the “death of tens of thousands of people and are worsening the humanitarian crisis” in the South American country, reveals a report by the Center for Economic and Political Research ( CEPR).

The study, made by economists Mark Weisbrot and Jeffrey Sachs, estimates that actions taken by the Donald Trump administration caused the death of around 40,000 people between 2017 and 2018.

“Sanctions have reduced the availability of food and medicine, and diseases and mortality have increased,” the document said.

RELATED CONTENT: US Aggression Against Venezuela and How do You “Eat” That

Among other measures, the sanctions contributed to a sharp decrease in oil production, which caused great damage to the civilian population of the South American country, whose income depends mainly on the export of crude oil.

The most recent and cruel sanctions applied since August 2017 included a ban on doing business with the new debt issued by Caracas or shares of the state oil company Petróleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA), as well as some existing bonds belonging to the government’s public sector of the Latin American country.

More deaths

The report points out that the new measures, which have been increased since last January, after the self-proclamation of Juan Guaidó as “president in charge” of Venezuela, and as a measure of pressure looking to oust the constitutional president, Nicolás Maduro, “will be almost surely cause tens of thousands of more avoidable deaths.”

RELATED CONTENT: Pasqualina Curcio: “Imperialism Does Not Understand the Resistance of the Venezuelan People” (Interview)

The study makes estimates based on “approximately 80,000 people with HIV who have not received antiretroviral treatment since 2017, 16,000 people who need dialysis, 16,000 people with cancer and 4 million people with diabetes and hypertension.”

Since January, the post says, oil production has declined due to sanctions, “this will greatly accelerate the humanitarian crisis.”

In the last three months, the US has issued sanctions against Caracas, among others, they froze some 7,000 million dollars in assets to the state oil company Petróleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA); in addition, they gave control to Guaidó of the assets of the Venezuelan Government in the banks in US territory and sanctioned the Economic and Social Development Bank (Bandes) of Venezuela, and its subsidiaries in Uruguay and Bolivia.

Sachs believes that the measures taken by the US are part of “an unsuccessful, ruthless, illegal and failed policy that causes serious damage to the Venezuelan people.”

For his part, Weisbrot believes that “this is illegal under US and international law, and the treaties that the US has signed,” which is why he invites Congress to stop such sanctions.


“Stand For Peace,” Milwaukee, WI January 26, 2019