el maestro

el maestro
"Trincheras de ideas valen más que trincheras de piedra." José Martí

Friday, December 6, 2013

Nelson Mandela, 1918-2013: Friend of Cuba

The Canadian Network On Cuba sends the deepest condolences on the death of Nelson Mandela to his family and to the people of South Africa. Mandela made many sacrifices in the fight against apartheid, but when he became South Africa's president he never sacrificed his friendship with those countries that had stood with the South African people during their long and arduous struggle for freedom, especially Cuba. Cuba was the first country outside of Africa that Mandela visited after he was released from 27-years of imprisonment. 

Nelson Mandela's friendship with and admiration for Fidel Castro was forged in Cuba's crucial contribution to the dismantling of the racist South African regime, particularly the 1987-88 battle of  Cuito Cuanavale in Angola. This decisive defeat of the racist South African armed forces played a critical role in bringing apartheid to an end. As South Africa and the world marks the passing of this profound symbol of the struggle for equality and justice, Cuba also says farewell one of its best friends.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Cuba reiterates its willingness to negotiate with the US to find a solution in the case of Mr. Gross

Statement from director of
U.S. relations for Cuban Ministry
of Foreign Affairs

On December 3, press media in the United States reported information about a letter from 66 Democratic, Republican and independent U.S. Senators to President Barack Obama, in relation to U.S. citizen Alan Gross, who is serving a prison term in Cuba.

The Senators urged the President to afford humanitarian priority to the freeing of Mr. Gross and take whatever steps necessary in the “national interest” of the U.S. to expedite his release, expressing their willingness to support him in the accomplishment of this objective.

In reference to this development, the general director for U.S. relations within the Cuban Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Josefina Vidal Ferreiro, released the following statement:

“The Cuban government reiterates its willingness to immediately establish a dialogue with the United States government, to find a solution in the case of Mr. Gross based upon reciprocity, reflecting the humanitarian concerns of Cuba linked to the case of the four Cuban anti-terrorists imprisoned in the United States.

Gerardo Hernández, Ramón Labañino, Antonio Guerrero and Fernando González, who are part of the Five, are serving prolonged, unjust prison terms for crimes they did not commit, which were never proven. This incarceration is taking a severe human toll on them and their families. They have not seen their children grow; they have lost mothers, fathers and siblings; faced health problems and been separated from their families and their homeland for more than 15 years.”

Josefina Vidal also referred to a communiqué released by the U.S. State Department on December 2, which insisted on the immediate and unconditional release of Mr. Gross, arguing that his incarceration is unjustified. She recalled:

“Mr. Alan Gross was detained, prosecuted and sanctioned for violating Cuban law while he implemented a program financed by the U.S. government which had as its objective destabilizing Cuba’s constitutional order through the establishment of illegal, undercover communications systems, with non-commercial technology. These actions constitute serious crimes which are severely punished in most countries, including the United States.

Mr. Gross has received dignified and humane treatment since his arrest.

Cuba understands the humanitarian concerns related to the case of Mr. Gross, but believes that the U.S. government bears responsibility for his situation and that of his family, and must therefore work with the Cuban government in the search for a solution."

Havana, December 3, 2013

Source: Granma