- Improved Medicare for all
- Decent affordable housing
- Safe & healthy environment
- Quality universal education
- Good jobs with dignity for all
- Bring them home: Rebuild our crumbling infrastructure
By CLAUDIA FONSECA SOSA
A CubaNews translation. Edited by Walter Lippmann
"I’m sad and happy at the same time," said Liu Yuqin, Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China, upon receiving the Order of Solidarity recently granted to her by the Cuban Council of State. "Sad, because my stay in Cuba is ending, and happy because the relations between Cuba and China are getting deeper with each passing day," she commented during a visit to Granma a few days before returning to her country.
Cuba has been linked to a good part of your diplomatic career; what does this mean to you?
From 1996 to 2000 I was the Political Counselor at the Embassy of China in Havana. Ten years later I returned as the Ambassador, a posting I conclude this year 2012. I also worked at the Latin American Department of the Foreign Ministry in China and from there I was closely linked to subjects related to the island. I can affirm that I owe a lot to Cuba.
From my childhood I learned about the Cuban Revolution. I began admiring Fidel, Raúl and all the leaders of their historical generation. Of course, at that time I could not imagine that years later I would be so closely linked to this country, nor foresee that I would be representing my country here. This is a people I admire for its resistance to adversity and for its happiness. I have sincerely enjoyed my diplomatic mission in Cuba, and I believe in these years I fell in love with the country.
How do you assess the state of the bilateral relations?
The links between Cuba and China keep consolidating not only in the political and economic areas, but also in culture, health and education, among other aspects. We have established a very important and mutually beneficial strategic cooperation.
At present, China remains the second trading partner of Cuba. And, even as the world economic crisis has affected all of us, the trade between both nations is increasing.
We have made great progress in biotechnological cooperation. A number of products are already being jointly produced, such as monoclonal antibodies and interferon, and there are plans to produce other medicines.
The first group of Chinese students who were learning Spanish at Cuban Universities has already graduated. This is very important for us, because the relations between China and the Latin American countries are at a very good point and we have a shortage of Spanish’ speaking staff. There are also many young Chinese students who come to Cuba to study medicine.
There is a favorable climate and great political trust between both nations. For example, in July last year, the Cuban Government received the visit of Vice President Xi Jinping. This meeting was an important step for the present and future relations, evidence of which was the signing of 13 agreements for commercial and economic exchanges.
You had the opportunity to live and work on the island at different moments of the revolutionary process. Could you see any transformations between the Cuba you left 11 years ago and the one you are leaving now?
My first posting here was in the midst of the difficult years of the Special Period. It was clear that the Cuban economy had deteriorated; there were problems with public transport, very few products in the markets. I remember the blackouts.
Ten years later I returned and saw a prettier and more dynamic Havana. There are more cars circulating, particularly more public transport. There are more restaurants of different categories, a greater offer at the agro markets and there is a happier and more hopeful environment.
I really feel glad for all Cuba has achieved. I congratulate you for the successful coordination of the Congress of the Communist Party and hope the coming holding of the Conference is equally successful. Cuba is moving forward in the path of socialism.
What are the main internal challenges China is facing at present?
Improving the standard of living of the population has always been a main task for the Chinese government, and in this sense we have taken important steps particularly in the last 30 years. We will continue developing our economy so that our growth remains stable. We will continue the reforms and opening up. We will endeavor to fulfill the commitments outlined in the 12th Five-year Plan. My country promotes a policy of peaceful development and will continue working for its people through a socialist way with its own characteristics. The most important thing is that each country can decide its own destiny. Cuba and China agree on this.
The progressive movement is at a crossroads. As pressure from finance capital builds for President Obama to gut or restrict his recovery agenda, the progressive majority is trying to organize a fight back. Public expression of the anger and frustration of the people whose hopes for change seem to meet so many obstacles must be organized. Mass action and political action together can bring change.
We have just published a new booklet that analyzes the roots of the current crisis and offers a program of struggle for full employment as the progressive way out of our crisis. It title is “Its Time to Fight for Full Employment.” We need your help now to fund the printing and distribution of this important publication, sponsored by the CCDS Labor Committee. Click here to purchase it via PayPal
It’s especially timely as a tool to build for the town hall meetings for HR 5204, John Conyers full employment bill.
The weight of the economic crisis has been shifted from the bankers to the people through growing unemployment and slashed budgets for human needs and infrastructure. After looting the treasury the neo-liberal politicians cry “deficit” and refuse to fund continued unemployment compensation, COBRA healthcare support, extension of Medicare physicians compensation, and emergency funds to prevent massive layoffs of teachers and firemen by local governments.
Now the “deficit fetishists” are sharpening their knives to slash social security and Medicare while continuing their global war policy.
More than ever the progressive movement needs a socialist left that can help educate about the class basis of political developments and the interconnection of class, race and gender. With this understanding, CCDS participates in the struggles of the progressive majority, works to build unity of progressive forces, and promotes advanced demands like the struggle for full employment.
A full employment and industrial policy that promotes green jobs is essential to ending the economic crisis. A movement for full employment will change the political dynamic in our country from a defense against the far right to an offense against the financial-military-oil oligarchy.
Please chip in $5 or more to help us pay for an initial printing of 1,000 copies of our new booklet. We will send you a copy right away.
And please sign up to sustain CCDS now to help us grow our organization and build the movement for change.
If you want to sustain an independent movement, then CCDS needs your help. We need to raise at least $2,000 per month in sustainers in order to fund our fantastic team of organizers, writers, and others who drive CCDS forward.
Political independence is a direct function of financial independence. That’s why the institutions on the left that have continued to meaningfully pursue a progressive agenda are those that are financially independent.
Left organizations like CCDS need regular, predictable sources of revenue that allow them to plan and grow, freeing them from the impossible choice of either operating on free labor or being in constant fund raising mode. If we want left organizations, we have to consciously build and support them. We need your help.
http://www.cc-ds.org/donation.htmlTo order the booklets in bulk, send queries to firstname.lastname@example.org
We thank you for all you do to support CCDS. None of this would be possible without your help. Thank you for stepping up again to sustain our movement.
Thank you, again.
By Carl Davidson
Following this Convention, CCDS needs to hit the ground running with a clear program of action. We want clear and concise answers to the question often posed, ‘What is CCDS Doing?’ While it’s never been the case than the vast majority of our members have been inactive, it’s also been the case that we haven’t always focused our diverse activities in a way that made the organization more effective, more visible and thus better able to grow.
We need to better organize our activities on two fronts at once, the mass democratic and the socialist. The two are necessarily linked, but not the same.
ON THE MASS DEMOCRATIC FRONT:
--Peace and solidarity. We need to press for ‘Out Now’ as a demand expressing the urgency of ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and any other similar conflicts that might arise. If Obama doesn’t reverse course and is suckered in by the ‘Long War’ advocates, it will destroy him, his presidency and anything decent he wants to accomplish. The fight for peace and the fight for economic justice are linked in a way that has never been more clear. Obama can chart a path to recovery or he keep us in the quagmire of unjust wars. But he can’t do both, and we need to be the clear, insistent and determined voice delivering exactly that message. Educational work within the working class around the Gaza crisis and the Agent Orange crimes also stands out as a priority in solidarity work. Read more of this article »
By David Schweickart
First, the context: ‘Economic Democracy: A Worthy Socialism that Would Really Work’ laid out a model that was to form the basis of my book, ‘Against Capitalism,’ published by Cambridge University Press in 1993.
The article, like the book itself, was a theoretical response to the triumphalism of the TINA crowd (There Is No Alternative) that followed the collapse of Soviet Union and the rejection of socialism by its satellite states in Eastern Europe. ‘A Worthy Socialism’ was intended to demonstrate rigorously that there is an alternative, at least in theory: an economically viable form of socialism that would be more democratic than capitalism and at least as efficient.
‘Against Capitalism’ made the same point, but extended the argument further. Economic Democracy would be not only as efficient as capitalism and more democratic, but also more rational in its growth, more stable, more egalitarian, less prone to high unemployment, more ecologically friendly.