Friday, April 29, 2011

Space (A Note for Robert Fisk)

Robert Fisk loves words. His articles, and books are clear and truthful. I just found out that one of his pet peeves is the wrong use of words. Here is his piece on Space, a linguistic crime, he calls it.

I am a physicist and resent that not a single time he puts the blame where it belongs; Albert Einstein. His professor Herman Minkowski coined the term spacetime. 

He prefers, room, or any such. One use he approves of, is in the Comic, Dan Dare, as it appears in Eagle, science fiction; that is.

Here is my 5 cent:

With Information Theory, a la Claude Shannon, we have entered a new Era. I feel that Information gives a deeper meaning to the SpaceTime of Einstein-Minkowski.

If Robert Fisk happens to come around here; all I can tell him is that I am working on it.

Google Search

Eduardo Caralimpio Díaz Cantoral


Found here.

I won't translate the whole thing, but it basically says that ex-mayor Eduardo Cantoral should give back the money he stole.

If ever I go to Teopisca Chiapas, in Mexico; I should make it plain that I am not THAT Eduardo Cantoral.

I Caught up my Bro Looking for my Father on Google

My Daughter Took me out to Lunch

It feels nice to have somebody that loves you.

Thanks Leza!

I Watched the Wedding at Al Jazeera: Does it Count?

Wilen in Playboy?

By seeing how this two items in my blog are doing this month. I can see that Wilen in Playboy would be a superhit.

Bernanke Afraid of Ron Paul

" I’d say that the Fed’s policy is to do nothing about unemployment because Ron Paul is now the chairman of the House subcommittee on monetary policy."

Paul Krugman

From Poet to Poet: Marcos to Sicilia

“Brother and compañero: Greetings to you from the men, women, children, elderly, and ancient indigenous from the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN). The compañeras and compañeros with the Zapatista support bases have commissioned me to tell you the following: During these especially painful moments for our country, we feel summoned by the clamor that is synthesizing in your brave words, provoked by the pain from the vile murder of Juan Francisco Sicilia Ortega, Luis Antonio Romero Jaime, Julio César Romero Jaime and Gabriel Alejo Escalera, along with your call for a National March for Justice and against Impunity beginning May 5 in Cuernavaca, Morelos and arriving May 8 at the Zócalo in Mexico City.

“But, according to our modest capabilities, and in the framework of the national day which bring us together, the indigenous Zapatistas will march in silence in the city of San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas on May 7 to exercise our constitutional rights. After ending the march in silence, we will speak our words in Spanish and in our native languages, and after that we will return to our communities, villages and homes. In our silent march we will bring banners and signs with messages saying 'Stop Calderón’s war,' 'No more blood,' and 'We have had it up to here.'

“We ask that you convey these words to the family members of the 49 boys and girls who died and the 70 others who were injured in the tragedy at the ABC daycare center in Hermosillo, Sonora, to the dignified Madres de Ciudad Juárez, to the Baron and Reyes Salazar families from Chihuahua, to the family members and friends of the victims in this arrogant war, to the human rights defenders of citizens and immigrants, to all of those who come together for the National March for Justice and against Impunity. We are responding to your call to name innocent victims, and today we are naming the boys and girls who died at the ABC daycare center in Hermosillo, Sonora, who are still waiting for justice,”

EZLN

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Pencils, and Erasers, and Page Numbers, Oh Mine!

I just talked with a very good friend of mine. She complained that the Kindle didn't have footnotes and she didn't know which page number she was in. I just told her that there must be an app for that.

What I really think though, is that she is going through one of those phases too common nowadays. What was relevant is not anymore. She could just write the phrase she wants and a very simple script will give her all the information she wants.

Scholars though, will have to internalize the  tsunami like change we are going through.

I love cursive.
 

Syrian Darkness: Robert Fisk

In Damascus, the posters – in their tens of thousands around the streets – read: "Anxious or calm, you must obey the law." But pictures of President Bashar al-Assad and his father Hafez have been taken down, by the security police no less, in case they inflame Syrians.


There are thieves with steel-tipped rubber coshes on the Damascus airport road at night, and in the terminal the cops ask arriving passengers to declare iPods and laptops. In the village of Hala outside Deraa, Muslim inhabitants told their Christian neighbours to join the demonstrations against the regime – or leave.

Out of the darkness of Syria come such tales.

And they are true. Syrians arriving in Lebanon are bringing the most specific details of what is going on inside their country, of Fifth Brigade soldiers fighting the armed units of Maher Assad's Fourth Brigade outside Deraa, of random killings around Damascus by the ever-growing armed bands of Shabiha ("the mafia") from the Alawite mountains, of massive stocking up of food. One woman has just left her mother in the capital with 10 kilos of pasta, 10 kilos of rice, five kilos of sugar, box after box of drinking water.

In Deraa – surrounded, without electricity or water or supplies – the price of bread has risen 500 per cent and men are smuggling food into the city over the fields at night.

But it is the killings which terrify the people. Are they committed by the Shabiha from the port city of Lattakia – created by the Assad family in the 70s to control smuggling and protection rackets – or by the secret police to sow a fear that might break the uprising against Assad? Or by the murderers who thrive amid anarchy and lawlessness? Three men carrying sacks of vegetables outside Damascus at night were confronted by armed men last week. They refused to stop. So they were executed.

The Syrian government is appealing to the minorities – to the Christians and the Kurds – to stay loyal to the authorities; minorities have always been safe in Syria, and many have stayed away from protests against the regime. But in the village of Hala, Christian shops are shut as their owners contemplate what are clearly sectarian demands to join in the uprising against Assad. In an attempt to rid Syria of "foreign" influence, the ministry of education has ordered a number of schools to end all English teaching – even banning the names of schools in French and English from school uniforms. Even the kindergarten where the President's two young children are educated has been subject to the prohibitions.

There are bright lights, of course, not least among the brave men and women who are using the internet and Facebook to keep open the flow of information from Syria. The Independent can reveal that a system of committees has been set up across the cities of Syria, usually comprising only 10 or 12 friends who have known and trusted each other for years. Each of them enlists 10 of their own friends – and they persuade 10 more each – to furnish information and pictures. Many were put in touch with each other via the cyber kings of Beirut – many of them also Syrian – and thus "circles of trust" have spread at the cost of the secret police snooping that has been part of Syrian life for four decades.

Thus there now exist – in Damascus alone – "The Co-ordination of Douma", "The Co-ordination of al-Maydan" (in the centre of the city), "The Co-ordination of Daraya", "The Co-ordination of Harasta" and others. Some of them are trying to penetrate the mukhabarat secret police, to get the brutal cops to work for them on the grounds that – come the end of the Assad regime, if that end ever comes – they will be spared the trials and revenge punishments to come. One Beirut blogger says that several of the cops have already declared themselves for the uprising – but are unwilling to trust them in case it is a trap to discover the identity of those behind the committees.

Yet Syrians in Lebanon say that the Syrian security police – often appointed through graft rather than any technical or detective abilities – simply do not understand the technology that is being used against them. One Syrian security official sent three Facebook posts. The first said: "God, Syria and Bashar al-Assad or nothing." The second read: "It's the time to declare war for Allah." The third announced: "The legacy of God on earth is an Islamic Republic."

"The fool was obviously supporting Bashar – but then wanted to frighten people by suggesting Islamists would take over a post-Assad Syria," one of the Syrian bloggers in Beirut says. "But he didn't realise that we could tell at once that they all came from the same Facebook page!" The same man in Beirut found himself under interrogation by Syrian state security police several weeks ago. "He was a senior officer – but he didn't even know what Google was." Many of the Syrians sending information out of their country are anxious that exaggerations and rumours will damage the credibility of their reports. For this reason, they are trying to avoid dispatches which cannot be verified; that two Iranian snipers, for example, have arrived to help the security police; that one man was actually interrogated by two Iranians – a friend suspects that the cops were from the north and spoke in the Kurdish language, which the detainee misidentified as Iranian.

More serious – and true – is the report that Khaled Sid Mohand, an Algerian journalist working for France Culture and Le Monde, was arrested in Damascus on 9 April and has disappeared into a security prison. A released detainee says that he saw Mohand in Security Section 255 in Baghdad Street in the capital some days later. But this story may not be correct. Diplomats have been unable to see the missing journalist.

There are also reports that two young European women working for a Western embassy were arrested and gagged when they left a party at 3am several days ago, and only released several hours later after interrogation. "It means that there is no longer any immunity for foreigners," a Syrian citizen said yesterday. "We heard that a North American had also been taken from his home and questioned by armed men."

Especially intriguing – because there are many apparent witnesses of this episode – is a report that Syrian Fourth Brigade troops in Deraa dumped dozens of weapons in the main square of the city in front of the Omari mosque, telling civilians that they could take them to defend themselves. Suspecting that they were supposed to carry them in demonstrations and then be shot as "terrorists", the people took the weapons to the nearest military base and gave them back to the soldiers.

The rumours of army defections continue, however, including splits in the Fifth Brigade at Deraa, whose commander's name can now be confirmed as General Mohamed Saleh al-Rifai. According to Syrians arriving in Lebanon, the highways are used by hundreds of packed military trucks although the streets of most cities – including Damascus – are virtually empty at night. Shops are closing early, gunfire is often heard, checkpoints at night are often manned by armed men in civilian clothes. Darkness indeed.


The Independent

Global Warming Through and Through

Israel's Tragedy

The Nazis sent the Jewish people to Palestine, now the unwelcome guests have to play nice or the Palestinians will throw them out. No amount of software or nuclear savvy trumps decency towards your neighbors. Same thing in the Mexican US border.

Respect your neighbor; a principle as old as the Torah.

The Pharaohs are coming back, NYT.

NEW Communique from the Clandestine Indigenous Revolutionary Committee – General Command of the EZLN | Radio Zapatista

NEW Communique from the Clandestine Indigenous Revolutionary Committee – General Command of the EZLN | Radio Zapatista

Letter to Javier Sicilia from Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos : LA IMC

Letter to Javier Sicilia from Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos : LA IMC

Horny

53 visits to Playboy. I guess I have another hit.

Book by Juan Gonzalez

Thomas Tamm

Wikipedia

Man of Integrity.

He was today at DN!

Saree Makdisi

Wikipedia

Is he with the CIA?

He is all over the place downplaying Hamas and Fatah's unity agreement. The enemy of my enemy is my friend?

Is he with Mossad?

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Spy or Soldier?

CIA in the hands of the military explains why those expensive satellite phones suddenly appeared in Syria. It is cheaper that way. A bunch of kids paint the walls, Assad's thugs take them to jail, and the country explodes. Given that some of the Syrian activists operate from the US, makes me wonder if even WikiLeaks is working for the Empire.

Just saying.

Four Operating Systems in ONE Board




BeagleBoard

Ben's Mind

Honoring Those Who Said No

By JAMEEL JAFFER and LARRY SIEMS
Published: April 27, 2011

IN January 2004, Spec. Joseph M. Darby, a 24-year-old Army reservist in Iraq, discovered a set of photographs showing other members of his company torturing prisoners at the Abu Ghraib prison. The discovery anguished him, and he struggled over how to respond. “I had the choice between what I knew was morally right, and my loyalty to other soldiers,” he recalled later. “I couldn’t have it both ways.”

So he copied the photographs onto a CD, sealed it in an envelope, and delivered the envelope and an anonymous letter to the Army’s Criminal Investigation Command. Three months later — seven years ago today — the photographs were published. Specialist Darby soon found himself the target of death threats, but he had no regrets. Testifying at a pretrial hearing for a fellow soldier, he said that the abuse “violated everything I personally believed in and all I’d been taught about the rules of war.”

He was not alone. Throughout the military, and throughout the government, brave men and women reported abuse, challenged interrogation directives that permitted abuse, and refused to participate in an interrogation and detention program that they believed to be unwise, unlawful and immoral. The Bush administration’s most senior officials expressly approved the torture of prisoners, but there was dissent in every agency, and at every level.

There are many things the Obama administration could do to repair some of the damage done by the last administration, but among the simplest and most urgent is this: It could recognize and honor the public servants who rejected torture.

In the thousands of pages that have been made public about the detention and interrogation program, we hear the voices of the prisoners who were tortured and the voices of those who inflicted their suffering. But we also hear the voices of the many Americans who said no.

Some of these voices belong to people whose names have been redacted from the public record. In Afghanistan, soldiers and contractors recoiled at interrogation techniques they witnessed. After seeing a prisoner beaten by a mysterious special forces team, one interpreter filed an official complaint. “I was very upset that such a thing could happen,” she wrote. “I take my responsibilities as an interrogator and as a human being very seriously.”

Similarly, after Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld told interrogators that they could hold Guantánamo prisoners in “stress positions,” barrage them with strobe lights and loud music, and hold them in freezing-cold cells, F.B.I. agents at the naval base refused to participate in the interrogations and complained to F.B.I. headquarters.

But some of the names we know. When Alberto J. Mora, the Navy’s general counsel, learned of the interrogation directive that Mr. Rumsfeld issued at Guantánamo, he campaigned to have it revoked, arguing that it was “unlawful and unworthy of the military services.” Guantánamo prosecutors resigned rather than present cases founded on coerced evidence. One, Lt. Col. Stuart Couch of the Marines, said the abuse violated basic religious precepts of human dignity. Another, Lt. Col. Darrel J. Vandeveld of the Army, filed an affidavit in support of the child prisoner he had been assigned to prosecute.

There were dissenters even within the C.I.A. Early in 2003, the agency’s inspector general, John L. Helgerson, began an investigation after agents in the field expressed concern that the agency’s secret-site interrogations “might involve violations of human rights.” Mr. Helgerson, a 30-year agency veteran, was himself a kind of dissenter: in 2004 he sent the agency a meticulously researched report documenting some of the abuses that had taken place in C.I.A.-run prisons, questioning the wisdom and legality of the policies that had led to those abuses, and characterizing some of the agency’s activities as inhumane. Without his investigation and report, the torture program might still be operating today.

Thus far, though, our official history has honored only those who approved torture, not those who rejected it. In December 2004, as the leadership of the C.I.A. was debating whether to destroy videotapes of prisoners being waterboarded in the agency’s secret prisons, President Bush bestowed the nation’s highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, on George J. Tenet, the former C.I.A. director who had signed off on the torture sessions. In 2006, the Army major general who oversaw the torture of prisoners at Guantánamo was given the Distinguished Service Medal. One of the lawyers responsible for the Bush administration’s “torture memos” received awards from the Justice Department, the Defense Department and the National Security Agency.

President Obama has disavowed torture, but he has been unenthusiastic about examining the last administration’s interrogation policies. He has said the country should look to the future rather than the past. But averting our eyes from recent history means not only that we fail in our legal and moral duty to provide redress to victims of torture, but also that we betray the public servants who risked so much to reverse what they knew was a disastrous and shameful course.

Those who stayed true to our values and stood up against cruelty are worthy of a wide range of civilian and military commendations, up to and including the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Honoring them is a way of encouraging the best in our public servants, now and in the future. It is also a way of honoring the best in ourselves.


Jameel Jaffer is a deputy legal director at the American Civil Liberties Union. Larry Siems is the director of the Freedom to Write program at the PEN American Center.

NYT

Rapture on May 21?

I am not a Christian, but this is getting weirder, and weirder.

I am due in Mexico next Monday, May 5 is just around the corner, Cinco de Mayo. That day Mexico defeated France and became a country, sort of. Javier Sicilia, a Christian Mexican poet is calling for a three day march from Cuernavaca, where his son was killed by drug dealers, to Mexico City, to ask the Christian President Felipe de Jesus Calderon Hinojosa to stop this madness, this war on a noun, War on Drugs.

This war is paid with American tax dollars, and it has failed miserably.

I cannot help feeling that this is big. After Tunisia, Egypt, ..., is Mexico going to apocalyptic times?

Rapture?

Birthers have to find another entertainment now that Obama came clean. Maybe Americans can turn on their TVs for the Cinco de Mayo celebrations from Cuernavaca.

The end of the World as we know it.

Cinco de Mayo March in Mexico

"As a step in the direction of a national accord, Sicilia and friends are
organizing a silent march beginning in Cuernavaca on May 5. They will
trudge up the steep hill leading out of the City of Eternal Spring,
descend into the Valley of Mexico and wind up in the center of Mexico City
on May 8."

Yahoo

Tuscaloosa

DREAM Act?

"“As long as I do well in school and stay out of trouble, I will be out of trouble with ICE,” Ms. Zanella said she was told. She has to report to ICE every month."

NYT

The US is not in Charge: Bernanke

This is my take to Mr. Bernanke's answers as to why inflation is up.

The dog ate my homework! 

He claims the price of gas in the US is up because emerging markets are consuming more, and because of the conflicts in the Middle East.

From Krugman's blog:

"So Bernanke did get asked why, given low inflation and high unemployment, the Fed isn’t doing more. And his answer was disheartening.''

NYT

Pens, Keys, or Touch Sensitive Screens?

I was at the Naperville Apple store; I used their iPad 2 and iPhone 4, here in Illinois.

Amazing!

Will the kids learn to use pencils from now on?

Maybe not.

I love cursives.

NYT

Rula Jebreal

Wikipedia

I was looking for a good picture of this beautiful writer, who happens to be Silvio Berlusconi's enemy, and ZAP, I was attacked. Look at the picture below where I caught the attack.

Watch her today in DN!

In Mexico we have a similar evil man, his name is Emilio Azcarraga Jean. He just put his step-mother Paula Cusi in jail.

This is wrong.

UPDATE: She was freed, Spanish [link], English [link].

''Mr. Azcarraga Milmo left Ms. Cuci a few years before his death, and took up with Adriana Abascal, a former Miss Mexico, but the two never divorced. Since then, Ms. Cusi has spent most of her time in Paris.''


Ms. Cusi leaving jail after her step son let her go.

These are nice people, eh?

Berlusconi is Evil

Perception Shift

I watch Al Jazeera English without apprehension now. Before I worried that somebody will monitor me for that.

This is healthier.

World War?

Putin vs. Obama.

Ominous

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

I Can't Wait for Fisk's Book on the Syrian Uprising

Robert Fisk [link] has been writing almost daily about the country next door (Syria) to his adopted country of Lebanon.

I admire this British citizen of the world.

Wikipedia

Daniel E. Lieberman

I am reading "The Evolution of  the Human Head", by the Professor of Human Evolutionary Biology, of Harvard University [link].

New York Magazine on Paul Krugman

''If you were looking at the American economy during the eighties and nineties, you could enjoy a certain measure of serenity. Economists celebrated the Great Moderation—recessions were muted, fluctuations less pronounced—and economic science seemed sophisticated enough to permit policy-makers to predict and avoid catastrophe. “If you were domestic, the image you had was Alan Greenspan heroically fighting off all problems,” Krugman says. But if your focus was international, you saw crisis everywhere: Mexico, Asia, Russia, Brazil, Japan. And then there was Argentina, where the state stepped back just when it was needed most. If Domingo Cavallo, one of the elect, could preside over this collapse, then perhaps there but for the grace of God went Alan Greenspan. What Krugman took from Argentina—and what he thinks even liberals in Washington missed—was “a certain level of understanding,” he says, “that important people have no idea what they’re doing.”''

NYM

Monday, April 25, 2011

Scared by Jimmy Thinking

Today my wife told me she couldn't get to my blog. I tried myself and was informed also that my site was compromised by some Jimmy Schementi site. He is a programmer in New York, who has Ruby stuff. I contacted him, but so far he hasn't answered.

I just deleted his blog, and problem solved.

I've had him there for some time. He must've done something recently.

I hope he gets back to me and explains.

Who Needs Math?

Scientific American has a new article on System Biology. You know what? This is mathematics. All those Pre-Med students will have to learn math.

Great!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Neurobomb

Reading ''The Neuro Revolution'' by Zack Lynch, I was reminded of an idea I had many years ago. Information Theory could be used for ill or good. It seemed to me that the former was easier, just like we saw the making of the nuclear bomb first, and the nuclear plant second.

The US Government must have, and must have already used neuroscience for evil. Just saying; if somebody from the US Government is reading this, all I can say in my defense is that Laws of Nature are there for all to see.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Chicharito Makes us Proud!

''Howard made a string of great saves, but was beaten in the 84th minute when Mexico striker Javier Hernandez went high to head the winner at the far post.''

NYT

Lewis Binford, Innovative Archaeologist, Dies at 79 - NYTimes.com


Taken from Google Books
Lewis Binford, Innovative Archaeologist, Dies at 79 - NYTimes.com

Wikipedia

Revolution?

If you have read this blog before, you may know that I am proud of my ancestors, the Castros from Huitzuco, not the ones from Havana, I may be related to the latter, but I am definitely related to the former.

Mardonio, Rosendo, Fidel, and Abraham Castro, were my granma's brothers.

The only one I met was Abraham, Mayor of Iguala, where now I teach.

We the descendants are not poor, but nothing close to the Gaddafis of Lybia!

What happened to revolution?

It seems very corrupt in the Middle East. I am still hopeful that the revolution in Havana turns out well, but you know? I am not sure. The Castros of Cuba seem to be getting ready to bring back the US mafia through their ''tourist'' industry. From Batista to Fidel. What a farce!

Crucified Immigrant

This is how modern Central Americans are treated nowadays.

Shame on us.

Taken from La Jornada

Move the Drones from Pakistan to Lybia

Go where they want you, Obama!

Eduardo Cantoral

''What is this insanity that Cameron and Sarkozy – and Obama – have got themselves involved in?''

Robert Fisk

Interesting times!

4 to Infinity

Friday, April 22, 2011

Sejnowski

Behavior and Our Brain - Mysteries of the Brain - Terry Sejnowski>

The Neuro Revolution

Zack Lynch has a book [link], after reading the first chapter I found out that Terry Sejnowski, and Gazzaniga, both associated at some point to the University of California, at Santa Barbara, play roles in this revolution.

I hope society doesn't get this revolution so hyped up that people will be disappointed. The promises are big, and the financial support seems adequate.

NYT uses Wikipedia!

Read the article below, the author sends you to Vygotsky's zone of proximal development in Wikipedia: Amazing.

The times, they are changing...

John Mighton

Canadian mathematician with a new Mathematics Education program:

Wikipedia


NYT

Carlos Slim Gives to Chihuahua

The Clinton Giustra Sustainable Growth Initiative and Fundación Slim Sign Agreement to Provide Funds and Monitoring & Evaluation


"A Ganar" Uses Soccer to Impact Youth Employment and Youth Engagement


New York, NY — The Clinton Giustra Sustainable Growth Initiative (CGSGI) and Fundación Carlos Slim announced today the signing of an agreement with Partners of the Americas to provide funding and project support for the implementation of the A Ganar project, in the State of Chihuahua, Mexico. A Ganar — which means "to win" and "to earn" in Spanish — utilizes soccer and other team sports to help youth in Latin America, ages 16-24, re-enter the formal education system, and learn entrepreneurial skills necessary to enter the workforce in the future. Through the application of a four-phase integrated job-training program in which youth transform lessons and intellectual skills, developed through sport, into marketable job skills, A Ganar has already trained over 5,000 youth in nine Latin American and Caribbean countries. Of the youth that have participated, more than 70% have graduated from the program and the majority of the graduates have obtained formal employment, returned to school, or started their own business within a year.


The program in Chihuahua is expected to enroll 900 youth. CGSGI and Fundación Carlos Slim will provide funds and monitoring, as well as evaluation support to the program. Based on the success of the project in Chihuahua, the parties will consider expansion into other communities in Mexico.


"We are delighted to participate in a project that uses sports to encourage young people to seek better opportunities," said President Clinton. Carlos Slim added "We are pleased to participate in this program in Chihuahua which has been so successful in other communities throughout Latin America in facilitating jobs for young people."


The A Ganar Program run by Partners of the Americas has expanded into numerous countries with support of major donors including the Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF), the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Nike Foundation. Partners of the Americas uses local operators to implement the program model. The operator in Chihuahua will be Fundación Comunitaria de la Frontera Norte, which in turn will engage various community-based organizations to reach and train youth.


###


About The Clinton Giustra Sustainable Growth Initiative


Established in June 2007 by President Bill Clinton and philanthropist Frank Giustra, the Clinton Giustra Sustainable Growth Initiative (CGSGI) is an innovative partnership among the William J. Clinton Foundation, the private sector, governments, local communities, and other NGOs that seeks to narrow the wealth gap in the developing world by empowering the poor through effective, results-oriented economic and social development projects. CGSGI focuses on alleviating poverty through market-driven development that creates jobs and increases incomes, and by strengthening factors that enable economic growth such as health and education. CGSGI creates value by forging cross-sectoral partnerships, designing innovative programs and bringing them to scale, aligning stakeholders, and mainstreaming best practices. The Initiative is committed to assuring transparent and efficient use of resources, and integrating rigorous monitoring and evaluation into its projects.


About Fundación Carlos Slim


Fundación Carlos Slim has the mission to establish a range of non-lucrative projects in education, health, justice and personal and community development by contributing human and financial resources to equip society with the necessary tools to succeed professionally and socially. The Foundation was incorporated in 1986 as Asociación Carso A.C., changed its name in February 2006 to Fundación Carso, A.C. and in May 24, to Fundación Carlos Slim.


About Partners of the Americas


Founded in 1964, Partners of the Americas links U.S. states with Latin American and Caribbean countries in partnerships that use the energy and skills of citizen volunteers, their institutions and communities to address shared concerns of social, economic and cultural development. Its work covers areas as diverse as emergency preparedness, agriculture, cultural exchange, youth protection, youth development and local government strengthening. Partners is a private, nonprofit, non-partisan organization with international offices in Washington, D.C.


About Fundación Comunitaria de la Frontera Norte


Fundación Comunitaria de la Frontera Norte (FCFNAC) is a nonprofit, grant-making foundation; dedicated to alleviating the most critical community needs and improving the quality of life in the Chihuahua border region; through combined efforts and philanthropic resources.


Clinton Foundation

Thursday, April 21, 2011

SLO records store makes national news

SLO records store makes national news

Communist Party of Cuba 6th Congress

The opening of the 6th Congress of the

Communist Party of Cuba this afternoon marks a date

of extraordinary significance in our history, the 50th

anniversary of the proclamation of the socialist

nature of our Revolution by its Commander in Chief,

Fidel Castro Ruz, on April 16, 1961, as we paid our

last respects to those killed the day before during

the bombings of the air bases. This action, which

was the prelude to the Playa Girón (Bay of Pigs)

mercenary invasion organized and funded by the

United States government, was part of its plans to

destroy the Revolution and restore its domination

over Cuba in league with the Organization of

American States (OAS).




On that occasion, Fidel said to the people already

armed and inflamed with passion: “This is what

they cannot forgive us…that we have made a Socialist

Revolution right under the nose of the


United States…” “Comrades, workers and farmers, this

is the Socialist and democratic Revolution of the

people, by the people and for the people. And for

this Revolution of the people, by the people and for

the people, we are willing to give our lives.”




The response to this appeal would not take long; in

the fight against the aggressor a few hours later,

the combatants of the Ejército Rebelde, police

agents and militiamen shed their blood, for the

first time, in defense of socialism and attained

victory in less than 72 hours under the personal

leadership of comrade Fidel.




The Military Parade that we watched this morning,

dedicated to the young generations, and particularly

the vigorous popular march that followed, are

eloquent proof of the fortitude of the Revolution to

follow the example of the heroic fighters of Playa

Girón.




Next May 1st, on the occasion of the

International Workers Day, we will do likewise

throughout the country to show the unity of Cubans

in defense of their independence and national

sovereignty, which as proven by history, can only be

conquered through Socialism.




This Congress, the supreme body of the Party, as set

forth in article 20 of its Statutes, brings together

today one thousand delegates representing nearly 800

thousand party members affiliated to over 61

thousand party cells. But, this Congress really

started on November 9 last year, with the release of

the Draft Guidelines of the Economic and Social

Policy of the Party and the Revolution, a subject

that, as previously indicated, will be at the center

of the debates of this meeting that is regarded with

great expectations by our people.




As of that moment, numerous seminars were organized

to clarify and to delve into the content of the

Guidelines in order to adequately train the cadres

and officials who would lead the discussions of the

material by the party members, mass organizations

and the people in general.




The discussions extended for three months, from

December 1, 2010 to February 28 of this year, with

the participation of 8, 913,838 people in more than

163 thousand meetings held by the different

organizations in which over three million people

offered their contributions. I want to make clear

that, although it has not been accurately determined

yet, the total figure of participants includes tens

of thousands of members of the Party and the Young

Communist League who attended the meetings in their

respective cells but also those convened in their

work or study centers in addition to those of their

communities. This is also the case of non-party

members who took part in the meetings organized at

their work centers and later at their communities.




Even the National Assembly of People’s Power

dedicated nearly two work sessions in its latest

Ordinary Meeting held this past December to analyze

with the deputies the Draft Guidelines. 




This process has exposed the capacity of the Party

to conduct a serious and transparent dialogue with

the people on any issue, regardless of how sensitive

it might be, especially as we try to create a

national consensus on the features that should

characterize the country’s Social and Economic

Model.




At the same time, the data collected from the

results of the discussions become a formidable

working tool for the government and Party leadership

at all levels, like a popular referendum given the

depth, scope and pace of the changes we must

introduce.




In a truly extensive democratic exercise, the people

freely stated their views, clarified their doubts,

proposed amendments, expressed their

dissatisfactions and discrepancies, and suggested

that we work toward the solution of other problems

not included in the document.




Once again the unity and confidence of most Cubans

in the Party and the Revolution were put to the

test; a unity that far from denying the difference

of opinions is strengthened and consolidated by

them. Every opinion, without exception, was

incorporated to the analysis, which helped to

enhance the Draft submitted to the consideration of

the delegates to this Congress.




It would be fair to say that, in substance, the

Congress was already held in that excellent debate

with the people. Now, it is left to us as delegates

to engage in the final discussion of the Draft and

the election of the higher organs of party

leadership.




The Economic Policy Commission of the 6th

Party Congress first entrusted with the elaboration

of the Draft Guidelines and then with the

organization of the discussions has focused on the

following five issues: 




1.

 Reformulation of the guidelines bearing in

mind the opinions gathered.




2.

 Organization, orientation and control of

their implementation.




3.

 The thorough training of the cadres and

other participants for the implementation of some of

the measures already enforced.




4.

 Systematic oversight of the agencies and

institutions in charge of enforcing the decisions

stemming from the guidelines and evaluation of their

results.




5.

 Leading the process of information to the

people.




In compliance with the aforesaid, the Draft

Guidelines were reformulated and then submitted to

analysis by both the Political Bureau and the

Executive Committee of the Council of Ministers, on

March 19 and 20, respectively, with the

participation of the Secretariat of the Party’s

Central Committee and the top leaders of the Central

Trade Union (CTC), the Young Communist League (UJC)

and the other mass organizations,  approved at that

level –also as a draft—and then delivered to you for

its examination during three days in every

provincial delegation to the Congress and for its

discussion at the five commissions of this party

meeting for its subsequent approval.




Next, I will offer some data to illustrate our

people on the results of the discussions of the

Draft Guidelines, even though detailed information

will be published later.




The original document contained 291 guidelines; 16

of them were moved to others; 94 preserved their

phrasing; 181 had their content modified; and, 36

new guidelines were incorporated for a grand total

of 311 guidelines in the current draft.




A simple arithmetic operation with these numbers

avows the quality of the consultation process as a

result of which approximately two thirds of the

guidelines –68% to be exact—was reformulated.




The principle that guided this process was that the

validity of a proposal would not depend on the

number of opinions expressed about it. This is shown

by the fact that several guidelines were either

modified or removed based on the opinion of only one

person or a small number of them.




It is also worth explaining that some opinions were

not included at this stage either because the issue

deserved a more exhaustive analysis for which the

necessary conditions did not exist or because they

openly contradicted the essence of socialism, as for

example 45 proposals advocating the concentration of

property.




I mean that, although the prevailing tendency was a

general understanding of and support for the content

of the Guidelines, there was no unanimity; and that

is precisely what was needed for we really wanted

this to be a democratic and serious consultation

with the people.




For this reason, I can assure you that the

Guidelines are an expression of our people’s will,

contained in the policy of the Party, the Government

and the State, to update the Economic and Social

Model in order to secure the continuity and

irreversibility of Socialism as well as the economic

development of the country and the improvement of

the living standard of our people combined with the

indispensible formation of ethical and political

values.




As expected, most of the proposals made during the

discussion of the Draft Guidelines were focused on

Chapter VI, “Social Policy” and Chapter II

“Macroeconomic Policies”; both accounted for 50.9%

of the total, followed, in descending order, by

Chapter XI, “Construction, Housing and Water

Resources Policy”; Chapter X, “Transportation

Policy”; and, Chapter I, “Economic Management

Model.”  In fact, 75% of the opinions expressed

focused on these five chapters out of a total of

twelve.




On the other hand, 67% of the proposals referred to

33 guidelines, that is, 11% of the total. In fact,

the highest number of proposals pertained to

guidelines number 162, dealing with the removal of

the ration book; 61 and 62, on the pricing policy;

262, on passengers’ transportation; 133, on

education; 54, related to the establishment of a

single currency; and, 143, on the quality of

healthcare services.




Undoubtedly, the ration book and its removal spurred

most of the contributions of the participants in the

debates, and it is only natural. Two generations of

Cubans have spent their lives under this rationing

system that, despite its harmful egalitarian

quality, has for four decades ensured every citizen

access to basic food at highly subsidized derisory

prices.




This distribution mechanism introduced in times of

shortages during the 1960s, in the interest of

providing equal protection to our people from those

involved in speculation and hoarding with a

lucrative spirit, has become in the course of the

years an intolerable burden to the economy and

discouraged work, in addition to eliciting various

types of transgressions.




Since the ration book is designed to provide equal

coverage to 11 million Cubans, there are more than a

few examples of absurdities such as allocating a

quota of coffee to the newborn. The same happened

with cigarettes until September 2010 as they were

supplied to smokers and non-smokers alike thus

fostering the expansion of that unsafe habit in the

population.




Regarding this sensitive issue, the span of opinions

is very broad, from those who suggest dismissing it

right away to others who categorically oppose its

removal and propose to ration everything, the

industrial goods included. Others are of the view

that in order to successfully prevent hoarding and

ensure everybody’s access to basic foods, it would

be necessary, in a first stage, to keep the products

rationed even if no longer subsidized. Quite a few

have recommended depriving of the ration book those

who neither study nor work or advised that the

people with higher incomes relinquish that system

voluntarily.




Certainly, the use of the ration book to distribute

the basic foods, which was justified under concrete

historic circumstances, has remained with us for too

long even when it contradicts the substance of the

distribution principle that should characterize

Socialism, that is, “From each in accordance with

his ability and to each in accordance with his labor
,”

and this situation should be resolved.




In this connection, it seems appropriate to recall

what comrade Fidel indicated in his Central Report

to the First Party Congress on December 17, 1975:

“There is no doubt that in the organization of our

economy we have erred on the side of idealism and

sometimes even ignored the reality of the objective

economic laws we should comply with.”




The problem we are facing has nothing to do with

concepts, but rather with how to do it, when to do

it, and at what pace. The removal of the ration book

is not an end in itself, and it should not be

perceived as an isolated decision but rather as one

of the first indispensible measures aimed at the

eradication of the deep distortions affecting the

operation of the economy and society as a whole.




No member of the leadership of this country in their

right mind would think of removing that system by

decree, all at once, before creating the proper

conditions to do so, which means undertaking other

transformations of the Economic Model with a view to

increasing labor efficiency and productivity in

order to guarantee stable levels of production and

supplies of basic goods and services accessible to

all citizens but no longer subsidized.




Of course, this issue is closely related to pricing

and to the establishment of a single currency, as

well as to wages and to the “reversed pyramid”

phenomenon which as spelled out at the Parliament

last December 18, is expressed in the mismatch

between salaries and the ranking or importance of

the work performed. These problems came up often in

the contributions made by the citizens.




In Cuba, under socialism, there will never be space

for “shock therapies” that go against the neediest,

who have traditionally been the staunchest

supporters of the Revolution; as opposed to the

packages of measures frequently applied on orders of

the International Monetary Fund and other

international economic organizations to the

detriment of the Third World peoples and, lately

enforced in the highly developed nations where

students’ and workers’ demonstrations are violently

suppressed.




The Revolution will not leave any Cuban helpless.

The social welfare system is being reorganized to

ensure a rational and deferential support to those

who really need it. Instead of massively subsidizing

products as we do now, we shall gradually provide

for those people lacking other support.




This principle is absolutely valid for the

restructuring of the work force, –an ongoing

process-- streamlining the bloated payrolls in the

public sector on the basis of a strict assessment of

the workers’ demonstrated capacity. This process

will continue slowly but uninterruptedly, its pace

determined by our capacity to create the necessary

conditions for its full implementation.   




Other elements will have an impact on this process,

including the expansion and easing of labor in the

non-public sector. This modality of employment that

over 200 thousand Cubans have adopted from October

last year until today --twice as many as before--

make up an alternative endorsed by the current

legislation, therefore, it should enlist the

support, assistance and protection of the officials

at all levels while demanding strict adherence to

the ensuing obligations, including tax payment.




The growth of the non-public sector of the economy,

far from an alleged privatization of the social

property as some theoreticians would have us

believe, is to become an active element facilitating

the construction of socialism in Cuba since it will

allow the State to focus on rising the efficiency of

the basic means of production, which are the

property of the entire people, while relieving

itself from those management of activities that are

not strategic for the country.




This, on the other hand, will make it easier for the

State to continue ensuring healthcare and education

services free of charge and on equal footing to all

of the people and their adequate protection through

the Social Welfare System; the promotion of physical

education and sports; the defense of the national

identity; and, the preservation of the cultural

heritage, and the artistic, scientific and historic

wealth of the nation.




Then, the Socialist State will have more

possibilities to make a reality of the idea

expressed by Martí that can be found heading our

Constitution: “I want the first Law of our

Republic to be the Cubans’ cult of the full dignity

of man.”
 




It is the responsibility of the State to defend

national independence and sovereignty, values in

which the Cubans take pride, and to continue

securing the public order and safety that make Cuba

one of the safest and most peaceful nations of the

world, without drug-trafficking or organized crime;

without beggars or child labor; without the mounted

police charging against workers, students and other

segments of the population; without extrajudicial

executions, clandestine jails or tortures, despite

the groundless smear campaigns constantly

orchestrated against us overlooking the fact that

such realities are, foremost, basic human rights

that most people on Earth can’t even aspire to.





Now, in order to guarantee all of these conquests of

Socialism, without renouncing their quality and

scope, the social programs should be characterized

by greater rationality so that better and

sustainable results can be obtained in the future

with lower spending and keeping the balance with the

general economic situation of the country.




As you can see in the Guidelines, these ideas do not

contradict the significance we attach to the

separate roles to be played in the economy by the

state institutions, on the one hand, and the

enterprises, on the other, an issue that for decades

has been fraught with confusion and improvisations

and that we are forced to resolve on a mid-term

basis in the context of the strengthening and

improvement of institutionalization.




A full understanding of these concepts will permit a

solid advance while avoiding backward steps in the

gradual decentralization of powers from the Central

to the local governments, and from the ministries

and other national agencies in favor of the

increasing autonomy of the socialist State-funded

companies.




The excessively centralized model characterizing our

economy at the moment shall move in an orderly

fashion, with discipline and the participation of

all workers, toward a decentralized system where

planning will prevail, as a socialist feature of

management, albeit without ignoring the current

market trends. This will contribute to the

flexibility and constant updating of the plan.





The lesson taught by practical experience is that an

excessive centralization inhibits the development of

initiatives in the society and in the entire

production line, where the cadres got used to having

everything decided “at the top” and thus ceased

feeling responsible for the outcome of the entities

they headed.




Our entrepreneurs, with some exceptions, settled

themselves comfortably safe and quiet “to wait” and

developed an allergy to the risks involved in making

decisions, that is, in being right or wrong. This

mentality characterized by inertia should definitely

be removed to be able to cut the knots that grip the

development of the productive forces. This is a

pursuit of strategic significance, thus it is no

accident that it has been reflected one way or

another in the 24 guidelines contained in Chapter I,

“Economic Management Model.”




As far as this issue is concerned, we cannot indulge

in improvisations or act hastily. In order to

decentralize and change that mentality, it is

indispensible to elaborate a framework of

regulations clearly defining the powers of and

functions at every level, from the national to the

local, invariably accompanied by the corresponding

accounting, financial and management oversight.




Progress is already being made in that direction.

The studies began almost two years ago for improving

the operation as well as the structure and makeup of

the government at the different levels. These

resulted in the enforcement of the Council of

Ministers Regulation, the reorganization of the work

system with the State and Government cadres, the

introduction of a planning procedure for the most

important activities, the establishment of the

organizational bases to provide the Government with

an accurate and timely information system supported

by its own info-communications infrastructure, and

the creation of the provinces of Artemisa and

Mayabeque, on experimental basis and under a new

structural and functional concept.  




To begin decentralizing powers, it will be necessary

for the cadres of the State and the companies to

redeem the obvious role of contracts in the economy,

as expressed in guideline number 10. This will also

help bring back order and discipline to making and

obtaining payments, a subject in which a good part

of our economy has been getting poor grades.




As a no less important byproduct, the appropriate

use of contracts as  regulatory instruments of

relations among the various economic actors will

become an effective antidote against the extended

habit of “reunionism,” that is, calling an excessive

number of meetings and other collective functions,

often presided by senior officials and uselessly

attended by many others, only to enforce what the

parties involved recognized as rights and

obligations in the contract signed, and whose

fulfillment they have failed to demand from those

required to do so.




In this respect, it is worth emphasizing that 19

opinions, registered in 9 provinces, claimed for a

reduction in the number of meetings and their

duration to the minimum indispensible. This issue I

intend to take up again when dealing with the

functioning of the Party.




We are convinced that the mission ahead of us in

connection with this and other issues related to the

updating of the Economic Model is full of

complexities and interrelations that, one way or

another, touch on every aspect of the society as a

whole. Therefore, we are aware that it is not

something that can be solved overnight, not even in

one year, and that it will take at least five years

to implement it comprehensively and harmoniously.

And, when this is achieved, it will be necessary to

never stop and to continue working for its

improvement in order to successfully face the new

challenges brought up by development.




Metaphorically speaking, it might be said that every

now and then, as the scenario changes, the country

should make its own well-tailored suit.




We are not under the illusion that the Guidelines

and the measures conducive to the implementation of

the Economic Model will by themselves provide a

universal remedy to all our evils.  It will be

required to simultaneously build a greater political

awareness and common sense, and to be more

intransigent with the lack of discipline and the

violations committed by all, but primarily by the

leading cadres.




This became all too evident a few months back in the

flaws observed during the implementation of some

specific measures --neither complex nor of great

magnitude-- due to bureaucratic obstacles and the

lack of preparation of the local governments for the

expansion of self-employment.




It is worthwhile reiterating that our cadres must

get used to working with the guiding documents

issued by the institutions empowered to do so and

abandon the irresponsible habit of putting them on

ice. Life teaches that it is not enough to issue a

good regulation, whether a law or simply a

resolution. It is necessary to also train those in

charge of its implementation, to monitor them and to

check their practical knowledge of the issue. Let’s

not forget that the worst law is that which is not

enforced or respected.




The system of Party schools at the provincial and

national level, along with the unavoidable

reorientation of their syllabus, will play a

protagonist role in the preparation and continuous

recycling in these subjects of Party and government

cadres as well as the company executives with the

aid of the educational institutions specialized in

this area of knowledge and the valuable input of the

members of the National Association of Economists

and Accountants, as it was the case with the

discussion of the Guidelines.    




At the same time, and with the purpose of

effectively arranging in order of importance the

introduction of the required changes, the Political

Bureau agreed to bring to the Congress the proposal

of establishing of a Standing Government Commission

for Implementation and Development, subordinated to

the President of the Council of State and Ministers

which, without affecting in any way the powers

invested in the corresponding Central Government

Organs, will be responsible for monitoring, checking

and coordinating the actions of everyone involved in

this activity, and for proposing the insertion of

new guidelines, something that will be indispensible

in the future. 




In this token, we feel it is advisable to remember

the orientation included by comrade Fidel in his

Central Report to the First Party Congress, nearly

36 years ago, about the Economy Management System

that we intended to introduce back then and failed

due to our lack of systematization, control and

discipline. He said “…that the Party leaders but

foremost the State leaders turn its implementation

into a personal undertaking and a matter of honor as

they grow more aware of its crucial importance and

the need to make every effort to apply it

consistently, always under the leadership of the

National Commission created to that end…,”
and

he concluded: “…to widely disseminate information

on the system, its principles and mechanisms through

a kind of literature within reach of the masses so

that the workers can master the issue. The success

of the system will largely depend on the workers

knowledge of the issue.”
 




I will not tire of repeating that in this Revolution

everything has been said. The best example of this

we have in Fidel’s ideas that Granma, the Official

Party organ, has been running in the past few years.





Whatever we approve in this Congress cannot suffer

the same fate as the previous agreements, most of

them forgotten and unfulfilled. Whatever it is that

we agree upon in this or future meetings must guide

the behavior and action of Party members and leaders

alike and its materialization must be ensured

through the corresponding legal instruments produced

by the National Assembly of People’s Power, the

State Council or the Government, in accordance with

their legislative powers and the Constitution.




It’s only fair to say very clearly, in order to

avoid misinterpretations, that the agreements

reached by congresses and other leading Party organs

do not become law in themselves. They are

orientations of a political and moral nature, and it

is incumbent on the Government, which is the body in

charge of management, to regulate their

implementation.




This is why the Standing Commission for

Implementation and Development will include a

Judicial Subgroup made up by highly qualified

specialists who will coordinate with the

corresponding organs --with full respect for

institutionalization— the legal amendments required

to accompany the updating of the Economic and Social

Model, simplifying and harmonizing the content of

hundreds of ministerial resolutions, legislative

decrees and legislations, and subsequently

proposing, in due course, the introduction of the

relevant adjustments to the Constitution of the

Republic.




Without waiting to have everything worked out,

progress has been made in the legal regulations

associated with the purchase and sale of housing and

cars, the modification of Legislative Decree No. 259

expanding the limits of fallow land to be awarded in

usufruct to those agricultural producers with

outstanding results and the granting of credits to

self-employed workers and to the population at

large.




Likewise, we consider it advisable to propose to

this Congress that the first point of the agenda of

every plenary meeting of the next Central Committee,

to be held no less than twice a year, is a report on

the status of the implementation of the agreements

adopted in this Congress on the updating of the

Economic Model, and that the second point is an

analysis on the fulfillment of the economic plan, be

it from the first semester or from the running year.




We also recommend the National Assembly of People’s

Power to proceed in the same way during its ordinary

sessions with the purpose of strengthening its

protagonist role as the supreme organ of the State

power.




Starting from the deep conviction that nothing that

we do is perfect and that even if it seems so today

it will not be tomorrow under new circumstances, the

higher organs of the Party and the State and

Government Powers should keep a systematic and close

oversight on this process and be ready to timely

introduce any adjustments called for to correct

negative effects.




Comrades,




It’s a question of being alert, with our feet and

ears to the ground, and when a practical problem

arise, whatever the area or the place, the cadres at

the different levels must act swiftly and

deliberately avoiding the old approach of leaving

its solution to time, since we have learned from

experience that the problems grow more complicated

as time goes by.  




In the same token, we should cultivate and preserve

a fluid relationship with the masses, devoid of

formality, that would allow for an efficient

feed-back of their concerns and dissatisfactions so

that the masses can indicate the pace of the changes

to be introduced.




The attention paid to a recent misunderstanding on

the reorganization of some basic services shows that

when the Party and the Government, each in its own

role, with different methods and styles, act

promptly and harmoniously on the concerns of the

people providing clear and simple explanations, the

people support the measure and their confidence in

their leaders grows.




The Cuban media in its various formats should play a

decisive role in the pursuit of this goal with

clarifications and objective, continuous and

critical reports on the progress of the updating of

the Economic Model so that with profound and shrewd

articles and reports written in terms accessible to

all they can help building in our country a culture

about these topics.




In this area of work it is also necessary to

definitely banish the habit of describing the

national reality in pretentious high-flown language

or with excessive formality. Instead, written

materials and television and radio programs should

be produced that catch the attention of the audience

with their content and style while encouraging

public debate. But this demands from our journalists

to increase their knowledge and become better

professionals even if most of the time, despite the

agreements adopted by the Party on the information

policy, they cannot access the information timely

nor contact the cadres and experts involved with the

issues in question. The combination of these

elements explains the rather common dissemination of

boring, improvised or superficial reports.




Our media has an important contribution to make to

the promotion of the national culture and the

revival of the civic values of our society.




Another crucial issue very closely related to the

updating of the Economic and Social Model of the

country and that should help in its materialization

is the celebration of a National Party Conference.

This will reach conclusions on the modification of

the Party working methods and style with a view to

ensure, for today and for the future, the consistent

application of article 5 of the Constitution of the

Republic setting forth that the Party is the

organized vanguard of the Cuban nation and the top

leading force of the society and the State.




Initially, we had planned to call that Conference

for December 2011; however, given the complications

inherent to the last month of the year and the

advisability of having a prudent reserve of time to

adjust details, we are planning to hold that meeting

at the end of January 2012.




Last December 18, I explained to the Parliament that

due to the inefficiency of the Government Organs in

the discharge of their functions, the Party had

spent years involved in undertakings that were not

its responsibility, and compromised and limited its

role.  




We are convinced that the only thing that can make

the Revolution and Socialism fail in Cuba, risking

the future of our nation, is our inability to

overcome the mistakes we have been making for more

than five decades and the new ones we could make.




The first thing we should do to correct a mistake is

to consciously admit it in its full dimension but

the fact is that, although from the early years of

the Revolution Fidel made a clear distinction

between the roles of the Party and the State, we

were inconsistent in the follow-up of his

instructions and simply improvised under the

pressure of emergencies.  




There can be no better example than what the leader

of the Revolution said as early as March 26, 1962,

by radio and television, explaining to the people

the methods and functioning of the Organizaciones

Revolucionarias Integradas (ORI), which preceded the

Party. He said: “…the Party leads, it leads

through the entire Party and it leads through the

public administration. An official must have

authority. A minister must have authority; a manager

must have authority and discuss as much as necessary

with the Advising Technical Council (today, the

Board of Directors), discuss with the working

masses, discuss with the Party cell, but it is the

manager who makes the decision, because it is his

responsibility…”
  This orientation dates back 49

years.




There are very well defined concepts that, in

substance, remain completely valid regardless of the

time that has passed since Lenin formulated them,

almost 100 years ago, and they should be taken up

again, bearing in mind the characteristics and

experiences of our country.




In 1973, during the preparations of the First Party

Congress, it was defined that the Party must lead

and supervise with its own ways and means, which are

different from the ways, means and resources

available to the State for exercising its authority.

The Party’s guidelines, resolutions and provisions

are not legally binding for all citizens; it is the

Party members who should abide by them as their

conscience dictates since there is no apparatus to

force or coerce them into complying. This is a major

difference about the role and methods of the Party

and the State.  




The fortitude of the Party basically lies in its

moral authority, its influence on the masses and the

trust of the people. The action of the Party is

based, above all, on the honesty of its motives and

the justice of its political line.




The fortitude of the State lies in its material

authority, which consists of the strength of the

institutions responsible for demanding from everyone

to comply with the legal regulations it enacts.




The damage caused by the confusion of these two

concepts is manifested, firstly, in the

deterioration of the Party’s political work and,

secondly, in the decline of the authority of the

State and the Government as the officials cease

feeling responsible for their decisions.




Comrades,




The idea is to forever relieve the Party of

activities completely alien to its nature as a

political organization; in short, to get rid of

managing activities and to have each one do what

they are meant to do.




These misconceptions are closely linked to the flaws

of the Party’s policy with the cadres, which will

also be analyzed by the abovementioned National

Conference. More than a few bitter lessons are the

legacy of the mistakes made in this area due to the

lack of rigorous criteria and vision which opened

the way to the hasty promotion of inexperienced and

immature cadres, pretending otherwise through

simulation and opportunism, attitudes fostered by

the wrong idea that an unspoken premise to occupy a

leading position was to be a member of the Party or

the Young Communist League. 




We must decidedly abandon such practice and leave it

only for responsibilities in the political

organizations. Membership in a political

organization should not be a precondition for

holding a leading position with the State or the

Government. What the cadres need are adequate

training and the willingness to recognize as their

own the Party policy and program.   




The true leaders do simply not crop up in schools or

from favoritism; they are forged at the grassroots

level, working in the profession they studied in

contact with the workers and rising gradually to

leadership by setting an example in terms of

sacrifices and results.




In this regard, I think that the Party leadership,

at all levels, should be self-critical and adopt the

necessary measures to prevent the reemergence of

such tendencies. This is also applicable to the lack

of systematic work and political will to secure the

promotion of women, black people and people of mixed

race, and youths to decision-making positions on the

basis of their merits and personal qualifications.




It’s really embarrassing that we have not solved

this problem in more than half a century. This shall

weight heavily on our consciences for many years

because we have simply been inconsistent with the

countless orientations given by Fidel from the early

days of the revolutionary victory and throughout the

years, and also because the solution to this

disproportion was contained in the agreements

adopted by the transcendental First Party Congress

and the four congresses that followed. Still, we

have failed to ensure its realization.




The solution of such issues that define the future

will never again be left to spontaneity but rather

to foresight and to the unwavering political

intention of preserving and perfecting socialism in

Cuba.




Although we kept on trying to promote young people

to senior positions, life proved that we did not

always make the best choice. Today, we are faced

with the consequences of not having a reserve of

well-trained replacements with sufficient experience

and maturity to undertake the new and complex

leadership responsibilities in the Party, the State

and the Government, a problem we should solve

gradually, in the course of five years, avoiding

hasty actions and improvisations but starting as

soon as the Congress is over.




This will advance further with the strengthening of

the democratic spirit and collective work of the

leading Party, State and Government organs as we

guarantee the systematic rejuvenation of all of the

Party and management positions, from the grassroots

to the comrades with the highest responsibilities,

including the current President of the Council of

State and Ministers and the First Secretary of the

Central Committee elected in this Congress.




In this regard, we have reached the conclusion that

it is advisable to recommend limiting the time of

service in high political and State positions to a

maximum of two five-year terms. This is possible and

necessary under the present circumstances, quite

different from those prevailing in the first decades

of the Revolution that was not yet consolidated when

it had already become the target of continuous

threats and aggressions.      




The systematic strengthening of our institutions

will be both a premise and an indispensible

guarantee to prevent this cadre renovation policy

from ever jeopardizing the continuation of Socialism

in Cuba.




The first step we are taking in this direction is

the substantial reduction of the list of leading

positions that required approval from the municipal,

provincial and national levels of the Party while

empowering senior leaders in the ministries and

companies to appoint, replace and apply disciplinary

measures to a large part of their subordinated

cadres with the assistance of the corresponding

Cadres Commissions, where the Party is represented

and has a voice but which are presided by the

manager who makes the final decision. The view of

the Party organization is appreciated but the single

determining element is the manager, and we should

preserve and enhance their authority in harmony with

the Party.




As to the internal functioning of the Party, which

will also be examined at the National Conference, we

think it is worthwhile reflecting on the

self-defeating effects of old habits completely

alien to the Party’s vanguard role in our society.

These include the superficiality and excessive

formality characterizing the political-ideological

work; the use of obsolete methods and terminology

that ignore the instruction level of the Party

members; holding excessively long meetings and often

during working hours --which should be sacred,

especially for the communists--  sometimes with

inflexible agendas dictated by the higher level in

disregard of the context where the Party members

develop their activities; the frequent calls to

formal commemorations where still more formal

speeches are made; and, the organization of

voluntary works on holydays without a real content

or adequate coordination that cause spending and

have an upsetting and discouraging effect on our

comrades.




These criteria also apply to emulation, a movement

that lost through the years its capacity to mobilize

the workers’ collectives and became an alternative

mechanism for distribution of moral and material

incentives not always justified with concrete

results, and in more than a few occasions gave rise

to fraudulent information.




Additionally, the Conference will analyze the

Party’s relations with the Young Communist League

and the mass organizations to break with routine and

schematic approaches and to allow each of them to

recover their raison d’être under the present

conditions.




To sum up, comrades, the National Conference will

focus on enhancing the role of the Party as the main

advocate of the interests of the Cuban people.




The realization of this objective definitely

requires a change of mentality, avoiding formality

and fanfare both in ideas and in action; that is, to

do away with the resistance to change based on empty

dogma and slogans and reach for the core of things

as the children of La Colmenita Theater

Company brilliantly show in the playwright

“Abracadabra.”  




It’s the only way in which the Communist Party of

Cuba can become, for all times, the worthy heir to

the authority and unlimited confidence of the people

in their Revolution and their only Commander in

Chief, comrade Fidel Castro Ruz, whose moral

contribution and undisputable leadership do not

depend on any position  and that as a soldier of

ideas has not ceased to fight and help with his

enlightening Reflections and other actions

the revolutionary cause and the defense of Humanity

from menacing dangers.




With respect to the international situation, we

shall use a few minutes to assess the predicament of

the world at this point in time.




There is no end in sight to the global economic

crisis affecting every nation because it is a

systemic crisis. The powerful have directed their

remedies to protecting the institutions and

procedures that originated it and to depositing the

terrible burden of its consequences on the workers

of their own countries, and particularly of the

underdeveloped countries. Meanwhile, the climbing

prices of foods and oil are pushing hundreds of

millions of people into destitute poverty.






The effects of climate change are already

devastating and the lack of political will of the

industrial nations prevents the adoption of urgent

and indispensible action to avoid the catastrophe.




We live in a convulsive world where natural

disasters follow one another like the earthquakes in

Haiti, Chile and Japan while the United States wages

wars of conquest in Iraq and Afghanistan that have

taken the lives of more than one million civilians.




Popular movements in Arab nations are uprising

against corrupted and oppressive governments allied

with the United States and the European Union. The

unfortunate conflict in Libya, a nation subjected to

a brutal military intervention by NATO, has given

that organization a new pretext to go beyond its

originally defensive limits and expand worldwide the

threats and war actions undertaken to safeguard its

geostrategic interests and access to petroleum.

Likewise, imperialism and the domestic reactionary

forces connive to destabilize other countries while

Israel oppresses and massacres the Palestinian

people with complete impunity.




The United States and NATO include in their

doctrines the aggressive interventionism against the

Third World countries aimed at plundering their

resources. They also impose to the United Nations a

double standard and use the media consortia in an

increasingly coordinated way to conceal or distort

the events, as it befits the world power centers, in

a hypocritical mockery intended to deceive the

public opinion.




Despite its complex economic situation, our country

maintains its cooperation with 101 Third World

nations. In Haiti, after 12 years of intensive work

saving lives, the Cuban healthcare personnel have

been working with admirable generosity, since

January 2010, alongside collaborators from other

countries facing the situation created by the

earthquake and the cholera epidemic that ensued.




To the Bolivarian Revolution, and to comrade Hugo

Chávez Frías, we express our resolute solidarity and

commitment, conscious of the significance of the

process undertaken by the fraternal Venezuelan

people for Our America, in the Bicentennial of its

Independence.




We also share the hopes of the transformation

movements in various Latin American countries,

headed by prestigious leaders who represent the

interests of the oppressed majorities.




We shall continue helping the integrationist

processes of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples

of Our America (ALBA), the South Union (UNASUR) and

the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States

(CLACS) currently involved in arrangements for the

celebration of its foundational summit on July this

year, in Caracas. The establishment of this entity

was the most extraordinary institutional event in

our hemisphere during the past century, since for

the first time all of the countries south of the Rio

Bravo were meeting on our own.




We are encouraged by this increasingly united and

independent Latin America and the Caribbean, whose

solidarity we appreciate.




We shall continue advocating International Law and

supporting the principle of sovereign equality among

the States as well as the right of the peoples to

self-determination. We reject the use of force and

aggression, the wars of conquest, the plundering of

the natural resources and the exploitation of man.  




We condemn every form of terrorism, particularly

State terrorism. We shall defend peace and

development for all peoples and fight for the future

of humanity.




The US Administration has not changed its

traditional policy aimed at discrediting and ousting

the Revolution. On the contrary, it has continued to

fund projects designed to directly promote

subversion, foster destabilization and interfere in

our domestic affairs. The current administration has

taken some positive but extremely limited actions.




The US economic, commercial and financial blockade

against Cuba remains in force and intensifies under

the current administration, particularly with

respect to financial transactions. It ignores the

almost unanimous condemnation of the blockade by the

international community that for 19 consecutive

years has advocated its removal.              




Although apparently, as evidenced in the recent

visit to the Palacio de La Moneda in Santiago de

Chile, the United States leaders do not like to

remember history when dealing with the present and

the future, it is worthwhile indicating that the

Cuba blockade is not something of the past.

Therefore, it is our obligation to recall the

content of a secret memorandum, declassified in

1991, where Deputy Undersecretary of State for Inter

American Affairs Lester D. Mallory wrote on April 6,

1960: “Most Cubans support Castro…There is no

effective political opposition (…) The only possible

way to make the government lose domestic support is

by provoking disappointment and discouragement

through economic dissatisfaction and hardships (…)

Every possible means should be immediately used to

weaken the economic life (…) denying Cuba funds and

supplies to reduce nominal and real salaries with

the objective of provoking hunger, desperation and

the overthrow of the government.”




Mark the date of the memorandum: April 6, 1960,

almost an exact year to the day of the Playa Girón

invasion.




This memorandum was not an initiative of that

official. It was part of the policy aimed at

overthrowing the Revolution, like the “Covert Action

Program against the Castro Regime,” approved by

President Eisenhower on March 17, 1960, using all

the available means, from the creation of a unified

opposition, psychological warfare and covert

intelligence operations to the training in third

countries of paramilitary forces with the capacity

to invade the Island.




The United States fostered terrorism in the cities,

and that same year, before the Playa Girón attack,

promoted the establishment of counterrevolutionary

armed-gangs, supplied by air and sea, that robbed

and murdered peasants, workers and young teachers,

until they were finally annihilated in 1965.




In Cuba, we will never forget the 3,478 dead and

2,099 incapacitated by the policy of State

terrorism.




Half a century of hardships and suffering have gone

by in which our people have put up a resistance and

defended their Revolution, unwilling to surrender or

to besmirch the memory of the fallen in the past 150

years, from the onset of our struggles for

independence.




The US government has not ceased to give sanctuary

and to protect notorious terrorists while extending

the suffering and unfair incarceration of the heroic

Cuban Five antiterrorist fighters.




Its Cuba policy lacks credibility and moral basis.

In order to justify it, baseless pretexts are used,

which grow obsolete and then change depending on

Washington’s interests.




The US government should not have doubts that the

Cuban Revolution will be stronger after this

Congress. If they want to cling on to their policy

of hostility, blockade and subversion we are

prepared to continue to face it.




We reiterate our willingness to engage in a dialogue

and to take on the challenge of having normal

relations with the United States as well as to

coexist in a civilized manner, our differences

notwithstanding, on the basis of mutual respect and

non-interference in the internal affairs.






At the same time, we will permanently give a

priority to defense, following Fidel’s instructions

as expressed in his Central Report to the First

Congress, when he said: “While imperialism

exists, the Party, the State and the people will pay

utmost attention to defense. The revolutionary guard

will never be careless. History teaches with too

much eloquence that those who forget this principle

do not survive the mistake.”
 




In the present scenario and predictable future, the

strategic conception of “the Popular War” remains

absolutely valid, thus it is constantly enriched and

improved. Its commanding and leadership system has

been reinforced and its capacity to react to various

exceptional situations has increased.




The defensive capacity of the country has reached a

higher dimension, both quantitatively and

qualitatively. Using our own available resources, we

have improved the technical condition and

maintenance as well as the preservation of the

armament and carried on the production effort and

especially the modernization of the military

technology taking into account its prohibitive world

market prices. In this area, it is fair to recognize

the contribution of scores of military and civilian

institutions, proof of the enormous scientific,

technological and productive potential created by

the Revolution.




The degree of preparation of the national territory

as the theater of military operations has been

significantly boosted; the fundamental armament is

protected, the same as a substantial part of the

troops, the commanding organs and the people.




A communication infrastructure has been established

to ensure the steady functioning of the commanding

posts at all levels. All of the material reserves

have been raised with better distribution and

protection.




The Revolutionary Armed Forces, or put another way,

the people in uniform shall continue to constantly

improve and preserve the authority and prestige

earned with their discipline and order in the

defense of the people and of Socialism.

We shall now deal with another no less significant

issue of our times.




The Party must be convinced that beyond material

needs and cultural interests our people hold a

diversity of concepts and ideas about their own

spiritual necessities.  




Our National Hero José Martí, a man who synthesized

that convergence of spirituality and revolutionary

sentiments, wrote many pages about this subject.




Fidel addressed this topic quite early, in 1954,

when still in jail he evoked Renato Guitart, one of

the martyrs of the Moncada: “Physical life is

ephemeral; it inexorably passes; the same as many

and many generations of men have passed, as our own

lives will shortly pass. This truth should teach

every human being that the immortal values of the

spirit stand above them. What is the meaning of life

without the spirit? What is life then? How can death

take those that understand this and still generously

sacrifice their lives to good and justice!”






These values have always been present in his ideas,

and so he insisted on them in 1971, at a meeting

with catholic priests in Santiago de Chile: “I

tell you that there are ten thousand times more

coincidences of Christianity with Communism than

there might be with Capitalism.”        




And, he returned to this idea as he addressed the

members of the Christian churches in Jamaica in

1977. He said: “We must work together so that

when the political idea succeeds the religious idea

is not separate and does not appear as the enemy of

changes. There are no contradictions between the

purposes of religion and the purposes of

socialism.” 




The unity of the revolutionary doctrine and ideas

with regards to faith and its followers is rooted in

the basis of the nation, which in asserting its

secular nature promoted as an unwavering principle

the unity of the spirituality with the Homeland

bequeathed by Father Felix Varela and the teachings

of Luz y Caballero, who categorically said: “I

would chose to see the fall of not only the

institutions created by man –kings and emperors—but

even the stars from the firmament rather than see

falling from the human breast the sentiment of

justice; that sun of the moral world.”
 




In 1991, the 4th Party Congress agreed to

modify the interpretation of the statutes that

limited the admission to our organization of

revolutionaries with religious beliefs.




The justice of this decision has been confirmed by

the role of leaders and representatives of various

religious institutions in the different facets of

the national life, including the struggle for the

return to our Homeland of the child Elián, in which

the Cuba Council of Churches played a particularly

outstanding role.




However, it is necessary to continue eradicating any

prejudice that prevents bringing all Cubans

together, like brothers and sisters, in virtue and

in the defense of our Revolution, be them believers

or not, members of Christian churches; including the

Catholic Church, the Russian and Greek Orthodox

Churches, the evangelicals and protestant churches;

the same as the Cuban religions originated in

Africa, the Spiritualist, Jewish, Islamic and

Buddhist communities, and fraternal associations,

among others. The Revolution has had gestures of

appreciation and concord with each of them.




The unforgettable Cintio Vitier, that great poet and

writer, who was a deputy to our National Assembly,

used the force of his pen and of his Christian and

deeply revolutionary ethic, so profoundly rooted in

Martí’s, to leave us warnings for the present and

the future that we should always remember.  




Cintio wrote: “What is in danger, we know it, is

the nation itself. The nation is by now inseparable

from the Revolution that has been a part of it since

October 10, 1868, and it has no other alternative: 

it is either independent or it is no more.






“If the Revolution were defeated, we would fall in

the historic vacuum that the enemy wants for us and

prepares for us, and that even the most basic people

perceive as an abyss.






“It is possible to arrive at defeat, we know,

through the intervention of the blockade, of

internal decay, and the temptations imposed by the

new hegemonic situation in the world.”




After stating that “We are at the most

challenging time of our history,”
he admonished:

“Forced to fight the irrationality of the world

to which it fatally belongs; always threatened by

the sequels of dark age-old blights; implacably

harassed by the most powerful nation on Earth; and

also a victim of imported or indigenous blunders

that history shows have never gone unpunished, our

small island constricts and dilates, systole and

diastole, as a glimmering of hope to itself and to

others.”




Now, we should address the recently concluded

process of releasing counterrevolutionary prisoners,

those that in challenging and distressing times for

our Homeland have conspired against it at the

service of a foreign power.




By sovereign decision of our Government, they were

released before fully serving their sentences. We

could have done it directly and take credit for a

decision that we made conscious of the fortitude of

the Revolution. However, we did it in the framework

of a dialogue based on mutual respect, loyalty and

transparency with the senior leadership of the

Catholic Church, which contributed with its

humanitarian labors to the completion of this action

in harmony; in any case, the laurels correspond to

that religious institution.




The representatives of the Catholic Church expressed

their viewpoints, not always coincidental with ours,

but certainly constructive. This is at least our

perception after lengthy talks with Cardinal Jaime

Ortega and the Chairman of the Episcopalian

Conference Monsignor Dionisio García.




With this action, we have favored the consolidation

of the most precious legacy of our history and the

revolutionary process: the unity of our nation.




In the same token, we should mention the

contribution of the former minister of Foreign

Affairs and Cooperation of Spain, Miguel Angel

Moratinos, who facilitated the humanitarian efforts

of the Church so that those who wished to travel

abroad or accepted the idea could do so with their

families. Others decided to remain in Cuba.




We have patiently endured the implacable smear

campaigns on human rights, coordinated from the

United States and some countries of the European

Union that demand from us no less than unconditional

surrender and the immediate dismantling of our

socialist regime while encouraging, orienting and

assisting the domestic mercenaries to break the law.




In this regard, it is necessary to make clear that

we will never deny our people the right to defend

their Revolution. The defense of the independence,

of the conquests of Socialism and of our streets and

plazas will still be the first duty of every Cuban

patriot.




Days and years of intensive work and great

responsibilities lie before us to preserve and

develop, on solid and sustainable basis, the

independent and socialist future of our Homeland.




So far, the Central Report to the 6th

Party Congress




Thank you, very much.


Granma

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