The United States has not been able to control COVID-19. The Donald Trump administration did not react in time, played down the reality, and as a result tens of thousands of people have died. Yet the government finds time to attack Cuba.
The COVID-19 emergency underscores longstanding truths about capitalism and socialism. Acting on the most immediate demands that it raises draws us directly into a confrontation with core issues.
The Embassy Protection Collective is calling on all peace and social justice organizations and people from all over the United States to join together next Saturday, May 18, for a massive mobilization in Washington, D.C., at the Venezuelan Embassy. San Francisco’s rally and march in solidarity is Saturday, May 18, 12 noon, at Powell and Market Streets.
For five decades, people across the U.S. have been travelling to Cuba on Venceremos Brigades. They’ve defied travel bans to see first hand how the Cuban people are building a society where gross inequality and exploitation are gone, where all health care, childcare and education are free. They’ve met with ordinary Cubans who enthusiastically travel overseas whether it’s to defeat apartheid or the ebola virus. The Venceremos Brigade invites you to learn more about the Brigade, which will be travelling to Cuba this summer.
I recently attended the first Caribbean Peace Conference in Bridgetown, Barbados, Oct. 6-7, 2017. The theme of the Conference was “Resisting Nuclear and Environmental Disaster: Building Peace in the Caribbean.” Attendees included representatives from Cuba, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Martinique, Guadeloupe, Haiti, Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, St. Lucia, Venezuela and Barbados. The purpose of this conference was to consolidate a serious Caribbean Peace Movement equipped with a concrete agenda and guiding philosophy.
At Merritt College, the birthplace of the Black Panther Party, on the 74th birthday of its co-founder, Huey P. Newton, the African American Studies Program fittingly hosted a talk by the recently opened Cuban Embassy’s First Secretary Miguel Fraga, where he spoke on Cuban-U.S. relations. Afterwards, he and I continued to talk about the embargo, U.S. relations with Haiti, Venezuela and Bolivia, funding of Radio Marti, and the dissipation of the radical Latin American bloc of nations opposed to U.S. aggression and hegemony in the region and in the world.
Block Report Radio interviews Dr. Cynthia McKinney about Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump in the U.S. presidential race and the role of the Electoral College and lobbyists, the asymmetrical warfare that the U.S. has been waging against Latin America and the BRICS countries, a brief analysis on the hordes of emigrants on a quest to reach Europe and the E.U.’s response, and a comparison of the way the government works in the U.S. to how it works in Cuba and the way it used to work in Libya.
Miguel Gonalez is a Colombian man who teaches youth how to play the traditional African-Indiginous rhythms of our ancestors from all over Africa and the Americas, opening the door for children intellectually trapped in the system’s schools to develop a knowledge of self, with the first steps being through playing the heartbeat, the drums. His organization, New Urban Drum Culture, is unique in its approach in helping to build self-esteem in at-risk inner-city youth.
2015 was a historic political year for the African continent because one of the continent’s most radical anti-imperialist leaders chaired the African Union, and I am talking about President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe. I talked with Obi Egbuna, the U.S. correspondent for the Zimbabwean national newspaper, The Herald, about what President Mugabe accomplished leading Zimbabwe and the African Union in 2015. Here is what he had to say.
We want to invite every friend of the SF Bay View newspaper to our 40th anniversary party. It’s a free event this Sunday, Feb. 21, 1-5 p.m., at the Main Library, 100 Larkin St., San Francisco. Come one, come all and let’s celebrate 40 years of the most radical Black newspaper in the country. Enjoy a panel of Bay View writers, a fashion show and performances by the legendary Avotcja, Stoney Creation and Sista Iminah reminding us of the beauty and talent in our community.
I talked to the founder of Cultural Links to Academic and Social Success (CLASS), Andrea Lee, about her experience falling in love with traveling, then yearning to take others abroad to learn what life is like in different parts of the world. Andrea is the head of the Dance Department at Laney College and has been taking people all over the world for many years.
The title of this article is a quote on a large billboard in a municipality of Habana. The citizens of the U.S. must end the embargo against Cuba, the longest trade embargo in the history of the world, in spite of an indifferent and uncaring U.S. Congress. We will also take back our constitutional right to travel to Cuba at prices more reasonable than the prices I paid a charter air line service.
Her name was Eslanda Cardozo Goode Robeson, and she was brilliant! But what is perturbing is that evidence of her enormous body of work as a photographer has vanished, as though she did not exist! But exist she very much did indeed! Eslanda Robeson lived and made an impact in the world. She was a writer, storyteller, intellectual, adventurer, scientist, anthropologist, political analyst, artist, anti-colonialist activist and a woman of principle.
Over a 25 year period, 200 women in South LA went missing. Of these missing women, 100 were found dead. All of the women are Black and most were prostitutes. The refusal to let these women’s lives go unacknowledged is due to the work of Black Coalition Fighting Back Against Serial Murders. HBO will broadcast “Tales of the Grim Sleeper” on April 27.
The UC Berkeley Black Student Union has demanded institutional changes to address the conditions of Black students. “Black people have been oppressed at this university since its creation,” declared BSU member Alana Banks. “The fact that we have to come up with demands for support ... is a testament to our condition. Regardless, I believe that we will win; and they believe that we will win too.”
Report after report reminds and warns the Black community that AIDS is not yet under control for the Black population. However, when I saw several new 6-foot-by-4-foot billboard ads in the Castro district of San Francisco this past week with the image of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. under the heading, “AIDS is a civil rights issue,” I first thought, “Well, that’s a stretch.”
Dr. Siri Brown is a professor at Merritt College in Oakland and head of its African American Studies Department. She is an academic who understands her role in the classroom, giving young people a knowledge of self and opening fertile minds to the social realities that are oppressing their people as well. She has been an example for present day and future academics for over a decade on how to teach history in a living way.
Five years ago, after the catastrophic Haiti earthquake, the international community – a self-defined “Core Group” under the leadership of former President Bill Clinton – took over Haiti recovery and reconstruction and announced they would “build Haiti back better.” But this was a euphemism for land grabbing, privatization, occupation and imperial plunder. Black lives don’t matter in the United States, much less in Haiti.
Happy New Year! Happy Birthday to my granddaughter Brianna, niece Wilda and friend Fred T. I am still smiling about America’s new relationship with Cuba and the freed Cuban 5. If you are in New Orleans (NOLA), don’t miss “Prospect 3: Notes for Now,” the biennial there being celebrated throughout the city through Jan. 25.
As we move into the next solar return, there is much to look forward to despite the stasis that seems to infect this nation with the disease of white supremacy or racial domination. OK OK, perhaps the silver lining is a bit too buried to find Osumare’s twinkle beyond any pots of gold you’ve stumbled upon recently. The knowledge that no matter how it looks, the Creator is in charge and the bad guys just look like they are always winning is what sustains us.