Thursday, April 16, 2009

Cuba News Update: Moral Authority Highlighted at Civil Forum in Port of Spain; Fidel and African Memory

Cuba’s moral authority highlighted at civil forum in Port of Spain

Enrique Torres

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad and Tobago, April 15. — Luis Andrade, secretary general of the Association of Caribbean States (ACS), affirmed today that the United States has been marginalized in its policy toward Cuba, a country that has responded to its isolation with its greatest strength: moral authority

In an interview with PL after concluding his speech during the 5th Americas Summit’s civil society forum, the diplomat pointed out that Cuba’ exclusion from the inter-American system has declined, is obsolete, and is being questioned from all angles – ethical, moral, political, and even commercial.

According to Andrade, the blockade is anachronistic; it is genocidal because it allows people to die by making difficult their access to food, medicine, and sophisticated medical equipment.

Andrade said he felt proud to preside over the ACS, an organization of which Cuba has been a member since its foundation in 1994, the same year that the first Americas Summit took place in Miami.

In the opinion of the ACS secretary general, in the whole history of humanity a small country has never been subjected to such heavy and varied aggression by one of the world powers.

Speaking on Wednesday in the forum on Challenges and opportunities in the current economic environment, Andrade used Cuba as an example of what a country can do to turn back an economic collapse, like the one suffered by the island when a large part of its foreign trade disappeared after the disintegration of the Soviet Union (PL).

Translated by Granma International

Fidel’s imprint in the present and future memory of the African people

The Ubuntu Prize, awarded by South Africa last year to the leader of the Cuban Revolution, presented in Havana

Pedro de la Hoz

TWO firm hands hold a crystal sphere with a silhouette of the African continent. The trophy was especially designed for the Commander in Chief Fidel Castro. The Ubuntu prize was awarded to the leader of the Cuban Revolution on September 23, 2008 by the South Africa National Cultural Heritage Council, and was made public last night in Havana.

On behalf of Fidel, Culture Minister Abel Prieto received the highly prized symbol brought to the island by Sonwabile Mancotywa, executive director of the South African organization.

Fidel shares this much prized distinction with two other great political figures, former South African President Nelson Mandela and Kenneth Kaunda, former president of Zambia. At the award ceremony in the Museum of Decorative Arts, Mancotywa affirmed that the decision to give the prize to the Commander in Chief was warmly welcomed in his country.

In the presence of Vice President Esteban Lazo, he said that Fidel was chosen for his internationalist, humanist, and solidarity work, which embodies the purest foundations of Ubuntu’s philosophy, which can be summed up in the concept of zulú umuntu, nigumuntu, nagamuntu (a person is a person because of others). Fidel, he emphasized, has left an indelible mark in the present and future of the African people. His nation also recently awarded Fidel the Oliver Tambo Order.

Thanking him for this gesture in the name of the historic leader of the Revolution, Abel Prieto noted how the frivolous and consumerist North has scorned the wisdom of the traditional cultures of the peoples of the South, who are contributing ethical values in order to change the world.

Translated by Granma International

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