Venezuela & ALBA News 1.5.2024: President Maduro’s annual Venezuela review with Ramonet; Cuba leaders’ speeches on Revolution 65th Anniversary

New Year 2024 annual review interview with Venezuela President Maduro by Ignacio Ramonet themes: Venezuela Records Continuous Economic Growth Trend since 2021; economic growth for 2023 was 4.5%. Present relations with Guyana, especially after it invited a British warship. ““In the case of the conflict in Palestine, it is a genocide against a people. A genocide that is more than seventy-five years old is now open, brutal.” On the US blockade, Maduro said “the sanctions are in force” and that what has been granted to the country “are licenses” treating Venezuela as “an American colony.” “The BRICS are the future of humanity, the BRICS are already a definitive economic power.” More on the role of Alex Saab and Colombia assassination attempt against him.

President Díaz-Canel speech on the 65th Anniversary of the Revolution (1-1-2024) This is the Revolution, genuine and profound, of the Agrarian Reform and the Urban Reform, which empowered the people by nationalizing and placing at the service of popular interests the land, industries, banks, communications, large constructions and investments, transportation, foreign and domestic trade. The one that eliminated unemployment, guaranteeing women and men the human right to work… during these six decades, 600,000 Cuban health professionals have collaborated in 165 countries. More than 70,000 foreign students have graduated in Cuba and more than 3,000 are currently studying in our island. This is the Revolution that won democratic freedoms for all workers by placing in their hands the ownership of the fundamental means of production, which is manifested in the growing popular participation in the economic management and decision-making on issues of economic and social development of the country.

General Raúl Castro speech on the 65th Anniversary of  the Revolution We are gathered in the same place where Fidel proclaimed on January 1, 1959, the triumph of the only Revolution that has ever existed in Cuba, initiated on October 10, 1868 by Carlos Manuel de Céspedes, the Father of the Homeland, whose name this square bears…The road we have traveled has not been easy, we have had to face the permanent and perverse aggressiveness of the enemy, which has even resorted to military invasion, terrorism and a ruthless and cruel blockade, condemned by the overwhelming majority of the nations of the world, in its failed attempt to destroy our Revolution and erase its inspiring example for other peoples, that it is possible to build a just and humane society, with equal opportunities for all. “Unity means sharing the struggle, the risks, the sacrifices, the objectives, ideas, concepts and strategies, arrived at through debates and analysis.” Today I can affirm with satisfaction that the Cuban Revolution, after 65 years of existence, far from weakening, is getting stronger. Let us get out of these difficulties, as we have always done, by fighting!

Tribute to Ana Belen Montes in Puerto Rico, and Fidel Castro’s praise The Human Rights Committee of Puerto Rico paid tribute to its compatriot Ana Belén Montes during events for its 30 years of foundation. Ana Belen had said in trial, “I consider that our government’s policy towards Cuba is cruel and unjust, deeply unfriendly. I considered myself morally obligated to help the Island defend itself from our efforts to impose our values and our political system on it. We have shown intolerance and contempt towards Cuba. We have never respected Cuba’s right to define its own destiny, its own ideals of equality and justice. I did what I considered most appropriate to counteract a great injustice.” Ana Belén Montes was released from prison at the beginning of 2023, after serving 22 years of confinement, although under a conditional release regime for five years.

Fidel Castro said of her, “A noble and good North American person who is against an injustice, against a blockade of more than 40 years, against all the terrorist acts that were committed against Cuba, and is capable of reacting in this way, is an exceptional person (…) She is a person who, given that attitude and not out of a simple matter of gratitude, but out of a sense of justice, deserves respect and admiration.”

Bolivia’s Constitutional Court says Evo Morales cannot seek Re-election Bolivia’s Constitutional Court has disqualified former president Evo Morales from running for re-election in 2025. The court reversed a ruling it had made in 2017 which effectively found that being able to run for re-election is a “human right.” The new ruling cannot be appealed.

FBI Investigates Destination of Funds Approved for Guaidó The FBI is investigating the destination of multi-million funds approved by the White House as humanitarian aid for the “government” of the self-proclaimed Venezuelan president, Juan Guaidó. The FBI visited the headquarters of the EVTV Miami channel, run by media entrepreneur Carlos Méndez, to question him about the diversion of funds to his media outlet. The FBI suspects that much of the humanitarian aid supposedly directed to Venezuela ended up in the possession of Méndez and his channel, which Guaidó tried to replace teleSUR with.

Please Donate:

This Christmas Remember the Children of Gaza Let’s help them have at least food, clean water and medical care.
– Global Health Partners: Donate to Support Medical and Health Programs in Cuba and Nicaragua
– The Hatuey Project: Campaign To Provide Medicines For Cuban Children With Leukemia And Lymphoma
– Latin American School of Medicine Scholarships deadline is February 15

Events and Delegations

Upcoming Labor and other Trips/Delegations to Nicaragua, Cuba, Venezuela
– January 21: Reports from European Tribunal against the US Blockade of Cuba,  and Cuba Conference of the Cuban Diaspora
– January 21: Nicaragua Webinar on Climate Change, featuring Valdrack Jaentschke, leader of the Nicaragua delegation to COP28 (mark your calendar)
January 27, 2024: Latin America conference in London 18th annual conference in solidarity with Latin American progressive movements.

If you have events to publicize or find helpful articles for readers on the ALBA countries, please send them to [email protected],  or you can post them on Facebook here: Venezuela; Nicaragua; Bolivia; Latin America in general (here or here) Or send them to  [email protected]