• Leaders speak in favor of reforming the organization
NEW YORK, September 23.— Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva stated that without a political will, obsolete measures such as the U.S. blockade of Cuba will continue to exist. The dignitary was the first speaker at the 64th Session of the UN General Assembly, which took place today.
For his part, Uruguayan President Tabaré Vázquez, stated that as Americans, "we feel the ethical duty and political responsibility of likewise reiterating in this international forum that we will persevere in our efforts toward American integration without exclusions, exceptions, or blockades like the one affecting Cuba."
Likewise, Bolivian leader Evo Morales stated that in order to change the world, "we will first have to change the UN and end the blockade of Cuba."
Meanwhile, during yesterday’s session, U.S. President Barack Obama called for a "new era of commitment" to the world and promised to work alongside other nations while defending his own country’s interests.
"The time has come for the world to move in a new direction. We must embrace a new era of engagement based on mutual interest and mutual respect," said Obama during his speech before the Assembly.
Meanwhile, French President Nicolas Sarkozy proposed reaching an agreement on a provisional reform of the Security Council before the end of the year. "The crisis is forcing us to demonstrate imagination and boldness," he said, stating that, "in politics, the economy and environmental policy, the need for global government is imperative," EFE reports.
Libyan leader Muammer Gaddafi also called for a reform of the UN, by transforming the General Assembly into its central apparatus and transferring the prerogatives of the Security Council to that authority.
He also commented that, according to the UN Charter, all countries are equal, irrespective of their size, but the vast majority of them are not represented on the Council.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and Libyan diplomat Ali Treki, General Assembly president for the next period, both called for a reinforcement of multilateralism.
For the former, this is the time to act with a spirit of renewed multilateralism, to create "a United Nations of genuine collective action".
Among the most important issues facing the international organization, Ban mentioned nuclear disarmament and the battle against poverty and climate change.
Meanwhile, Treki alerted delegates to current challenges related to peace and international security. He identified the challenges of conflicts among states, civil wars, weapons of mass destruction, terrorism, organized crime, the deterioration of the environment, extreme poverty and the spread of infectious diseases.
The Libyan diplomat called on members to work for the revitalization of the General Assembly and "a more representative and reformed Security Council." He also reaffirmed a commitment to the environment and a non-selective approach to the issue of human rights.
• Leaders speak in favor of reforming the organization
¡Más de un millón de cubanos
cantaron con Juanes a la Paz!
En la Plaza de la Revolución este domingo. Fusión de pueblo y artistas, de sueños y esperanzas. El cierre del fabuloso espectáculo fue con Los Van Van. Conmovedoras palabras de despedida de los participantes y estremecedor abrazo de Juanes, Olga Tañón y Miguel Bosé en el escenario. Muchos lloraron por la emoción de haber logrado este noble propósito. Agradecidos los cubanos aclamaron al elenco manifestándole cariño y admiración. Fue un regalo para Cuba y un hermoso tributo a la solidaridad
Participantes en el concierto Paz sin Fronteras: Juanes, Miguel Bosé, Víctor Manuel y Luis Eduardo Aute, Juan Fernando Velasco, Jovanotti, Olga Tañón, Danny Rivera, Silvio Rodríguez, Amaury Pérez, el grupo Orishas, Carlos Varela y X Alfonso, Cucu Diamante y Yerba Buena y la orquesta Los Van Van. los artistas de España, Colombia, Italia, Ecuador y Puerto Rico, coincidieron en destacar al pueblo como el gran protagonista de la jornada.
Video de Juanes Video de Danny Rivera
De los intérpretes en el espectáculoJuanes: a pesar de las diferencias todos somos hermanos, el amor es más fuerte que el odio y nada hay más importante que la paz. Aquí vemos lo importante que es el amor y la paz, este es el mensaje no más.Todos estamos conectados. Lo importante es el amor, lo importante es la paz. No creo lo que mis ojos ven, este concierto es el sueño más grande de paz y amor.
Van Van cierra a ritmo cubano, bailar sin parar, ¡la candela!
Carlos Valera canta Colgando del cielo
Luis Eduardo Aute: habrá un antes y un después de este histórico concierto
Silvio Rodríguez canta El Escaramujo y Ojalá
Orichas : ¡que se sienta Cuba en todo el mundo!
Cucú Diamante y Yerba Buena: Cuba, que viva Cuba
Jovanotti: en el concierto se habla el mismo idioma, el de la paz
Miguel Bosé: la paz, el derecho más grande que tiene el ser humano
Víctor Manuel: feliz de estar nuevamente en Cuba
Amaury Pérez cantó Yo tengo un amor difícil y Hacerte venir
Juan Fernando Velasco: agradecido por la oportunidad de enviar al mundo un mensaje de paz
Danny Rivera: hay que luchar por la justicia
X Alfonso canta con un coro de niños
Olga Tañón: Cuba y Puerto Rico son de un pájaro las dos alas
Olga Tañón inició el desfile y dejó caliente la pista
Víctor Manuel, Amaury, Miguel Bosé, Carlos Varela, Jovanotti, Cucú Diamantes y Yerbabuena
Juanes: la alegría que siento es indescriptible, muy fuerte, estoy muy emocionado, queremos muchísimo a los cubanos y deseamos que esta relación sea más intensa
Olga Tañón: nunca me arrepentiré de haber venido, este es el viaje más importante de mi vida
Víctor Manuel: ha sido la tarde de domingo más completa
Amaury Pérez: me siento orgulloso de ser cubano y haber tomado parte en el concierto
Danny Rivera: parecía que el mundo estaba cambiando
Antes del concierto:
Olga Tañón: será el concierto del siglo
Miguel Bosé: canto a los mejores sueños de los seres humanos
Yotuel Romero: vi en los ojos de Juanes la pureza y la paz
Jovanotti: será una experiencia única, inolvidable
Danny Rivera: es como si toda América pueda tocarse con las canciones
|CHE Film - with Australia Cuba Friendship Society||6:00 PM|
|Please join the Australia Cuba Friendship Society for the opening of the Benicio Del Toro film on the life of Che Guevara at the cinema Paradiso in Northbridge on Thursday 1st October -- The evening will commence at 6:00pm with greetings from the Branch President of the Society followed by the latest hits from Guatemalan singer/songwriter Carlos Castellanos --- The film starts at 6:30pm with drinks and nibbles to follow for those who wish to stay on after the film. Tickets are available now by ringing Vinnie on 0419 812 872 or Elizabeth 0421 113 443 - Bookings and tickets available now! please dont miss out as numbers are limited -- Prices: $15 ($20 solidarity) All proceeds to go to Las Tunas Children's hospital in Cuba -- Please collect your raffle door ticket at the door and try your luck for a surprise Cuban prize.|
|Vinnie Molina ACFS president 0419812872|
Join ACFS at the opening night in Perth on October 1, 6.30pm, Paradiso.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org for details
Che Film in two parts
Film directed by Steven Soderburgh
Review by Richard Titelius
According to the notes accompanying the release of the movie there were 7 years of research and filming undertaken to make this movie of the life of Che in two parts which comes in at just over four hours.
Upon seeing the movie one will be struck by the efforts taken to present a historically accurate, passionate and compelling rendition of the life of arguably the world’s most iconic revolutionary.
The movie received its world premier at the Cannes Film Festival in May 2008, for which Benicio Del Toro received the award for Best Actor for the colourful, engaging and serious portrayal of the Argentine physician who went on to lead the Cuban revolution with Fidel Castro in the 1950’s.
The movie has gone on to receive mixed reviews around the world where the First World bourgeois media feels compelled to acknowledge the icons enduring legacy in front of the rest of the world, while also pandering to those who support its capitalist interests which Che fearlessly denounced on their own soil and in front of their own institutions.
The movie played to mild protests from Cuban expatriates at its opening in Miami and on the other side of the Florida Straits a few days later in November 2008, the movie played to a strong ovation, according to the official Cuban media Granma.
The movie has been released in Australia and is unlikely to receive much interest from the Cinema multiplexes around Australia and will spend much of its release in art house cinemas where its thoughtful and difficult though universal themes of justice, freedom and liberty will receive a more receptive audience.
The movie starts with the auspicious meeting of Fidel Castro (Mexican actor Demian Bichir) and Ernesto “Che” Guevara in the home of a Cuban friend in Mexico City in July 1955.
The movie follows in tone and sentiment with 2004’s “The Motorcycle Diaries” which traced the journey of the young Che Guevara with his friend Alberto Granado from Argentina, through Chile and Peru and eventually to Venezuela. It was on this trip that the young Che saw the harsh conditions and exploitation under which many people lived in the Latin continent and awoke in him the fierce desire to change the material conditions under which these people lived.
Soderburgh’s Che then passes from Mexico City to the southern shores of Cuba via the good ship Granma and on to the mountains of Sierra Maestra where the revolutionaries scored their first significant victories.
Part I alternates in grainy black and white film to the occasion in 1964 when Che visited the United States and gave an interview to the US media and delivered a passionate and fiery speech to the UN General Assembly on the resolve of the Cuban people.
The movie has its strong portrayals of battle with the armed forces of the government of Fulgencio Batista though these battles do not glorify war or violence in any way but show that a people who want justice, liberty and a better life must be prepared to fight those who will use violence including torture and other deprivations to resist the struggle of the people for a better life.
The movie contrasts with the texture of the usual Hollywood movies about the wars fought in the interests of capital where the protagonists of the conflicts and its soldiers have little interest in bringing freedom, justice and a better life to the lands where the wars are fought. In this sense Che the movie is the antithesis of most war movies (the wars of imperialism) where the protagonists of these movies are usually seen engaged in destruction and messing around with the women and messing up themselves. In this war Che makes it clear that any revolutionary can leave at certain times if they are not ready or able to continue and are given explicit instructions about the rules of engagement with the masses and the consequences for transgression which can include death. The revolutionaries also take care of the wounded of their enemy as well as their own.
The first part of the movie was shot in Cuba itself and the smaller part actors are peppered with the accents of indigenous Cuban actors and the vegetation and buildings in the towns and countryside are also reminiscent of a recent visit to Cuba-as are the old yet immaculately kept US cars from the late 1940’s and 1950’s which adorn the set in the urban settings. Part II is shot in Bolivia and Spain.
Part I of the movie concludes as the army buoyed by their victory in Santa Clara head on to the final victory in Havana.
If the tone of this Part I is predominantly upbeat as one knows the outcome of the Cuban Revolution, the tone of the second part is grim and forbidding though still engaging as is the enigma that surrounds much of this period of Che’s when he withdrew from his posts in Cuba and went to Bolivia.
He went there ostensibly to start the liberation of South America where the oppression and contradictions were at their greatest.
The colour and setting are more austere in Bolivia in line with the tone or theme of this part of Che’s life.
Though Fidel Castro had advised his comrade and friend against going to Bolivia as the timing was not right and to wait for things to calm down, it was Che who said to Fidel in Mexico at the start of their adventures together that if the Cuban campaign was successful that he did not want to be stopped from taking the revolution to Argentina and Bolivia.
However, almost as soon as he got there he found that he did not have the support of the Bolivian Communist Party, partly because they did not trust a foreigner, notwithstanding that Simon Bolivar who helped liberate Bolivia from the Spanish in the 19th Century was also a foreigner from Venezuela.
The film follows the errors and disappointments of the Bolivian campaign, as Che and his Bolivian, Cuban and other Latin revolutionaries find their mission becoming increasingly compromised and unable to build a better world where children no longer have to work in mines and the average miner will live longer than 30 years.
The complicity of the USA in the fate of Che which feared another Revolution in Bolivia similar to Cuba, is well featured in the movie and includes a special appearance of Matt Damon as a negotiator.
The end of the movie is tense, dramatic and unpredictable though not the typical Hollywood fare notwithstanding that this is a Hollywood movie.
Though Che the revolutionary and freedom fighter died an ignoble end without seeing his dream of a revolution coming to Bolivia, ironically 40 years later, it would be a native from Bolivia, Evo Morales and the Movement Towards Socialism (MAS) who would herald in a better world for the majority of Bolivians and they would remember Che at this time.
19th September 2009
CUBA, one of the world's few surviving communist nations, is quietly expanding relations in the Pacific region, and Canberra and Washington are said to be watching developments with concern.
Cuba has been flooding some poorer parts of the region with doctors and humanitarian workers since the tsunami tragedy in Indonesia on Boxing Day, 2004. Swathes of the Pacific, from Kiribati to East Timor, are becoming dependent on Cuban medical aid, and the Cubans appear to be winning hearts and minds. Following the Java earthquake in May, teams of doctors were quickly flown to affected areas.
[Transcript of telephone interview given by Miami based Attorney Richard Klugh, who legally represents the Cuban Five in the appeals process, to Bernie Dwyer for Radio Havana Cuba on 1st September.
[Three of the Cuban Five, Ramon Labañino, Antonio Guerrero and Fernando Gonzalez are in the Federal Detention Center in Miami waiting to attend a district court hearing on their re-sentencing as recommended by the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta .
[They are being held in solitary isolation in the same Special Housing Unit that they spent 17 months awaiting trial in 2001. The re-sentencing hearing is due to be heard on 13th October 2009.]
Bernie Dwyer (RHC): Three of the Cuban Five, Ramon, Antonio and Fernando are now in the Federal Detention Center in Miami . Can you give us the background to their move from their separate prisons and the reason they are in Miami now?
Attorney Richard Klugh (RK): Ramon, Antonio and Fernando were transported to Miami within the last two weeks from their various institutions in Kentucky , Colorado and Indiana , in order to attend and be re-sentenced at a hearing by the district court judge as ordered by the court of appeals.
BD: Do they have any contact with each other?
RK: As of right now they are all separated from each other and separated from all of the other inmates. They are in the isolation units ordinarily used for special housing and it's unclear whether all of them will be allowed to leave the special housing units or isolation unit prior to re-sentencing or not. It’s our hope that it will happen.
BD: Are they permitted to have contact with their attorneys?
RK: Yes. The attorneys are visiting and are able to talk to them. The re-sentencing hearing is about a month and a half away so they need to be talking to them. That’s exactly where it stands right now. It’s a relatively short period of time before the re-sentencing occurs.
BD: Are they allowed to have family visits and phone calls?
RK: They will be allowed to have them. There is always a delay when there is a transfer such as this but they are not precluded from having family visits.
BD: Can they receive letters from supporters and friends?
RK: Absolutely and of course everybody is very encouraged to do that, to write to them in the names in which they are listed in the Bureau of Prisons directory at the address of the Federal Detention Center in Miami .
BD: Can you give a background as to why three of the Five, Antonio, Fernando and Ramon are being allowed to go back to court for re-sentencing and not Gerardo Hernandez and Rene Gonzalez?
RK: Gerardo, because of the disputed conviction with regard to the Brothers to the Rescue matter was not eligible for a re-sentencing hearing because he has already received a life sentence as to that accusation and we were unsuccessful in the direct appeal in reversing that conviction.
He was deemed to be ineligible for re-sentencing. With regard to Rene, his sentence was based on offences as to which he really didn’t have much of a right to appeal. They were not sentences with which the District Count had any real legal limitations on what could be imposed.
And so the arguments that applied to the counts and convictions that Ramon, Antonio and Fernando had did not apply to René. That first fifteen years of the sentence is not subject to review under the federal sentencing guidelines because there is no guideline for the offence of conspiring to or acting as an unregistered foreign agent.
BD: How would you actually term this court appearance that is coming up?
RK: It’s an opportunity to have a re-consideration of the prior sentencing decisions and to basically start at a lower level of sentencing for each of them and hopefully that will result ultimately in a substantial lowering of sentences.
They would have a right to appeal from this re-sentencing decision if there are legal errors made in regard to the imposition of these sentences.
BD: Is there any chance that the judge could re-sentence them to longer terms in prison?
RK: There’s always theoretically a possibility of such a change however I think that it is well known that each of the Five has been exemplary in their conduct while incarcerated. I think they are highly regarded by other personnel within the federal prison system for their good conduct, their good works with other prisoners, etc. There really is nothing that would indicate any reason to punish them any more than they what they have already been punished for.
BD: If we look at somebody like Rene who is serving 15 years. Is there any mechanism that he can get time off for good behaviour?
RK: There is a limited provision for a reduction of sentence under the federal system so it is our hope that within the next two years at least that Rene might be able to be released.
There is sometimes a need for litigation to force them to allow the prisoner to be released in the latter stages of incarceration. I don’t know whether we will be in that position of having to litigate that with Rene or not but definitely we are prepared to insist that he be given every opportunity for early release.
BD: Do you know already who the judge is going to be at the re-sentencing hearing?
RK: it will be the same district judge that imposed the original sentences and essentially the same personnel. Some of the government attorneys are no longer with the government but essentially it will be the same personnel.
BD: Does that put prosecution and Judge in a position that if they re-sentence it appears that they made a mistake in the first sentencing?
RK: The court of appeals has already held that some of the provisions that were applied in the original sentencing were too harsh and that is the reason why we are having the re-sentencing. So those principles that were established by the court of appeals will form the basis for the re-sentencing process. And certainly it is our hope that as a result of that these sentences will be substantially lowered.
BD: The opinion that some of the original sentencing provisions were too harsh came from the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta ?
BD: Do you feel that with the change of administration that you could expect any thing different at all in the approach taken by the court to the case of the Five. They were sentenced during the Bush administration. Do you think it will make any difference under the Obama administration?
RK: I don’t believe it necessarily would. So much time has passed. So many changes have occurred since the original sentencing. Everything that people have learned about what is and what is not something that merits a significant punishment I would think would help us in this process.
But I don’t know at the political level, the individual decisions in this case will have that effect. What I have found is that it does not have that effect ordinarily.
For us the most important part of the case that remains deals with Gerardo and trying to do something that will give him an opportunity to be released.
BD: Can you talk at this stage about how the re-sentencing case will be presented in court?
RK: Each of the three will be represented by their principal attorney. Joaquin Mendez represents Fernando. Leonard Weinglass represents Antonio and Bill Norris represents Ramon. They are each preparing individual arguments and explanations for why substantially lower sentences should be given.
It’s very important to remember that Antonio and Ramon had life sentences and the hope is that the sentences will become significantly reduced to a sentence that is more in keeping with an offense in which there was no actual commission of espionage.
[This interview with Attorney Richard Klugh was broadcast by Radio Havana Cuba on the 1st September 2009]
RAMÓN Labañino, Antonio Guerrero and Fernando González are now being held in Miami’s Federal Detention Center to attend a resentencing hearing scheduled for October 13, the CubaDebate website reports.
Before Joan Lenard, the same judge who condemned the five Cuban antiterrorists to long and unjust sentences in 2001, a jury will have to consider the instructions from an appeals court — the 11th Circuit in Atlanta — which said the “sentences were incorrectly imposed” and thus annulled them.
According to the website antiterroristas.cu, since Fernando, Ramón and Tony arrived at the Federal Detention Center in Miami they have been kept in solitary confinement, in the same unit where they were held for the first 17 months following their arrest in September 1998.
Meanwhile, the legal team defending the Five is continuing the battle in the courts. According to statements by the lawyers during a recent visit to Havana, they hope that the life sentences will be eliminated and the new sentences will be “reasonable.”
However, what they are most concerned about is Gerardo’s situation. No resentencing was ordered for him — nor for René — and Gerardo is now serving two life sentences for the unproven charge of “conspiracy to commit murder.” Within the injustice and illegality of this case, the treatment given Gerardo has been even worse, defense layers agree.As stated many times by Ricardo Alarcón de Quesada, president of the National Assembly of People’s Power, the Five have remained in prison longer than other people who have been sentenced for actual espionage, and the resentencing should lead to their immediate release, because they have already been unjustly imprisoned for more than 10 years.