- Hosts Remember Cuban Prime Minister Fidel Castro
Remembering Cuban Prime Minister Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz
When the American supported military dictator of Cuba Fulgencio Batista fled Cuba in January 1959 and the revolutionary government led by Fidel Castro marched into Havana they passed three laws. The first lowered the age so that Fidel could be prime minister. He was 33 years old. The second made Che Guevara a citizen of Cuba, he was Argentinian. And the third was the great agrarian reform law. It took land from the large plantations, owned mostly by American corporations, and distributed it to the people who worked it. The Cuban government had a right to do this under international law. They offered compensation.
The Cuban government said they would reimburse the mostly American corporate land owners the amount that they listed as the value of the land for tax purposes. The corporations would not agree. Instead the American owned oil refinery refused to refine oil. This would have shut down the Cuban economy. The Cubans responded by nationalizing the oil refinery. Then they nationalized the telephone company, the nickel mines, the automobile assembly plant and so on. The Cuban state took control of their own economy. This became what is known as the historic Cuban socialist revolution. United States policy from that day till now has been to overthrow this revolution and reinstall capitalism. For 47 years Fidel Castro led the Cuban government in its resistance to American counterrevolutionary activity.
Guest – James Cockcroft, a retired professor and lifelong supporter of the Cuban revolution. A bilingual award-winning author of more than 50 books on Latin America, US hidden history, culture, migration, and human rights, including most recently “Cuba In My Blood. ” He has traveled to Cuba many times, has been active in Cuba solidarity work, and has called Fidel Castro a personal friend. A bilingual poet, three-time Fulbright Scholar, and Honorary Editor of Latin American Perspectives, he serves on the Coordinadora Internacional de Redes en Defensa de la Humanidad, the International Committee for the Freedom of the Cuban Five, and civil society’s Benito Juárez Tribunal (vice-president, 2005) that judged U.S. terrorism against Cuba and International Tribunal of Trade Union Freedom (2009-10) that judged Mexico for its violations of labor and human rights. A Canadian immigrant, he is a member of the UNESCO-sponsored World Council of the José Martí World Solidarity Project, la Table de Concertation de Solidarité Québec-Cuba, la Société Bolivarienne du Québec, la Base de Paix Montréal, le Comité Fabio Di Celmo pour les 5, and the Canada-Cuba Literary Alliance.
Guest – Ike Nahem – A longtime anti-war, socialist, and labor activist Ike Nahem is the coordinator of Cuba Solidarity New York and a founder of the July 26 Coalition. Nahem is an Amtrak Locomotive Engineer and member of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen, a division of the Teamsters Union. He participated in a panel on Latin American politics at the 2011 Left Forum.
Dakota Access Pipeline: Dispatch #8: UPDATE-Army Will Not Grant Easement For DAPL Crossing
At the time of our weekly dispatch from Standing Rock North Dakota, at least two major developments were unfolding: (1) Governor Jack Dalrymple had recently enacted an emergency evacuation order, citing public safety due to the frigid weather and (2) as many as 2,000 veterans are planning to gather there next week to serve as “human shields” for protesters who have for months clashed with the police over the pipeline construction.
The evacuation order was issued to the hundreds of Dakota Access Pipeline protesters camping on U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ land near the Missouri River. It was given as a winter storm left least a half foot of snow throughout the central part of the state. It followed an order by the corps that the land will be closed to the public earlier this week. Law enforcement officials have said they would begin blocking supplies, including food, from entering the main protest camp.
The order means that emergency services will not be made available to people at the camp except on a case-by-case basis. The order will remain until he rescinds it.
Standing Rock Tribal Chairman Dave Archambault II called the order “a menacing action meant to cause fear and is a blatant attempt by the state and local officials to usurp and circumvent federal authority.” The Veterans effort is planned as a nonviolent intervention to defend demonstrators from what the group calls “assault and intimidation at the hands of the militarized police force.”
Water Protectors Legal Collective – NLG
Guest – National Lawyers Guild Attorney Jeff Haas, recently returned from living at the North Dakota encampment with thousands of Native Americans and climate change activists who gathered in solidarity with the Standing Rock Indian tribe in North Dakota to protest the pipeline construction. Jeff Haas was a founding partner of the Peoples Law Office in Chicago. He victoriously represented the family of Fred Hampton, the chairman of the Chicago Black Panther Party and proved that Hampton was assassinated by the FBI and Chicago Police Department. He’s also author of the book The Assassination of Fred Hampton.
Sacred Stone Camp Legal Defense – Lawyers wanting to support the Sacred Stone Camp, contact Attorney Robin Martinez – firstname.lastname@example.org