What Cuba Reaffirms

When the adversity gets worse, at a bad moment, when all our effort is not enough, and we must find another way; when a hopeful project is cut short, given the countless difficulties caused by the blockade, that anyone with any common sense can see, we ask ourselves: What would Fidel do? As if, in him, all answers can be found


Granma | August 13, 2020

Photo: Archivo de Granma

The world is living hard times; Cuba, for its part, is, too. After a year of arduous battles, with our neighbor to the North holding our neck, attempting to force us to surrender and accept the imperialist yoke, in mid-March the pandemic reached our shores.

Horrendous images from all parts of the world of a desperate battle with death; a British cruise ship in trouble, with infected passengers aboard, which Cuba allowed to dock, to facilitate their safe return home; rich countries with health systems overwhelmed by the rapidly spreading disease; Cuban medical brigades preparing to save lives around the world, and the empire maliciously attempting to discredit what can only be described as glorious: a small island nation challenging Goliath, protecting its own, while making whatever it has available to all, without a single soul turning away from the task.

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Thank you, Fidel, For Being, Above All, Human


Granma | August 13, 2020


Fidel visited one hospital room after another during the hemorrhagic dengue epidemic.
Fidel visited one hospital room after another during the hemorrhagic dengue epidemic. Photo: Granma Archives

Over the years, many have wondered about the source of the leader of the Cuban Revolution’s inexhaustible energy. How was this exceptional man able to function without rest, with his thoughts perennially directed toward the wellbeing of his people, toward the possibility of a better world with a place for everyone, with rights and opportunities for all?

The answer to this question does not lie in his physical stature or athletic passion, not even in his ability to train his thinking and devour every chapter of the homeland’s history. There was something much more powerful, something that led him to devote himself entirely to humanity, that gave him a vocation he could not renounce, of doing everything he could to transform and create, as the most sacred duty of a man. What made Fidel a natural leader, with exemplary humility and disinterest, the architect of this enduring work, was the greatest gift Martí left him and his generation: human sensibility.Read More »


‘Fidel Lives in Those Saved by Cuban Doctors’ Ambassador Says

Members of the Henry Reeve Brigade pose with a photo of Fidel Castro, Havana, Cuba, 2020.


Cuba has nine doctors for every 1,000 inhabitants, which is the highest figure for this indicator worldwide.

Cuba’s Ambassador to Canada Josefina Vidal took part in a virtual conference on the legacy of Fidel Castro, the leader of the Cuban revolution, which was held on the occasion of the 94th anniversary of his birth.

“Fidel Castro is still alive in each of the lives that our doctors save. He is alive in any corner of the world where people say ‘Thank you Cuba’,” Vidal said.

When the world is going through the COVID-19 pandemic, the diplomat focused her conference on one pillar of Fidel’s revolutionary thought and work: the human right to free health care.

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Journal of People report

The on-going pandemic has worsened food situation in the United States. The fact is repeatedly told by the mainstream media. A report by Market Watch is one such report.

The report – “‘I can’t believe this is America.’ Confronted with unprecedented need, New York food pantries try to fill in the gaps” – published on August 6, 2020 begins by describing a scene:

“The line for meals on a cloudy Thursday curves around the block.

“Standing 6 feet apart, most wearing masks, guests wait for chicken stew, a green salad, fresh fruit, a sandwich, orange juice, and some iced coffee.”

The report by Azure Gilman narrates a citizen:Read More »


Chile’s Mapuche Conflict

Yanis Iqbal

On 1 August, 2020, a group of civilians, in complicity with the Chilean national police force or the carabineros and right-wing hoodlums, violently attacked Mapuche community members who were on a hunger strike in front of the Municipality of Victoria, in Araucania. The attack was strategic, organized and preplanned with the occupied town halls of Ercilla and Traiguén also being attacked, Mapuche women and children being beaten and vehicles being set on fire.

Mapuche is an indigenous community in Chile which accounts for 10% of the total Chilean population and 80% of the indigenous population. The Mapuche protestors had occupied government buildings for several days to show support for their leader Celestino Córdova, who is on a hunger strike in prison, and other Mapuche individuals who are political prisoners. All the incarcerated Mapuche individuals number 27 in total and according to Amnesty International, “The situation of the 27 detained Mapuche people on hunger strike is extremely concerning.” Celestino Cordova’s health is in a critical condition after reaching 100 days of hunger strike and he has said that “It will be a pride to give my life for my Mapuche people”.Read More »


Poverty and Ethnicty Linked to Higher Mortality Rates in Covid-19, French Studies Show

Morning Star | August 14, 2020

COVID-19 has exposed huge disparities in the French healthcare system, according to two new studies on how poverty and racism have impacted on those who test positive for the virus.

A study by the national statistics agency published last month showed that mortality rates were disproportionately higher for people born in Africa or Asia than for those born in France.

A second study by French economists exposed higher infection rates in the country’s poorer cities compared with the richer ones.

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‘No One Would Even Know if I had Died in My Room’: Coronavirus Leaves International Students in Dire Straits

       Alan Morris, Catherine Hastings, Emma Mitchell, Gaby Ramia, Shaun Wilson

The Conversation | August 13, 2020

Many international students in private rental housing in Sydney and Melbourne were struggling before COVID-19 hit. Our surveys of these students before and during the pandemic show it has made their already precarious situations much worse.

Of those with paid work when the pandemic began, six in ten lost their jobs. Many were struggling to pay rent and tuition fees.

Our new report is based on two surveys* of several thousand students. To track financial distress, we developed eight indicators from Australian Bureau of Statistics measures for the first survey in late 2019. We used these again for the second survey in mid-2020. The responses are shown below.Read More »


Lebanon Explosion is an Ecosocialist Issue

John Molyneux

Green Left | August 10, 2020

Aftermath of the Beirut port explosion. Photo: Flickr Creative Commons

In saying that the terrible explosion in Beirut is an ecosocialist issue, I am not counterposing this claim to the fact that this is also an issue of corruption, of government incompetence, of health and safety and many other things. I am making the point that, like COVID-19 and climate change, it is a symptom of the utterly distorted, toxic and disastrous relationship between human society and nature, our environment, which capitalism has brought about.

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Climate Change and COVID-19: Reinforcing Indigenous Food Systems

Carol Zavaleta-Cortijo, James D Ford, Ingrid Arotoma-Rojas, Shuaib Lwasa, Guillermo Lancha-Rucoba, Patricia J García, Jaime J Miranda, Didacus B Namanya, Mark New, Carlee J Wright, Lea Berrang-Ford, the Indigenous Health Adaptation to Climate Change Research Team , Sherilee L Harper

The Lancet | August 07, 2020

Open Access | Published:August 07, 2020 | DOI:
Indigenous populations are at especially high risk from COVID-19 because of factors such discrimination, social exclusion, land dispossession, and a high prevalence of forms of malnutrition.

Climate change is compounding many of these causes of health inequities, undermining coping mechanisms that are traditionally used to manage extreme events such as pandemics, and disrupting food systems and local diets.

Addressing underlying structural inequities and strengthening Indigenous knowledge systems offer opportunities for building resilience to compound socioecological shocks, including climate effects and pandemics.

Climate change is affecting Indigenous food systems, making Indigenous populations vulnerable to food and nutritional insecurity.

The nature and extent of the effects of COVID-19 on Indigenous food systems are still largely unknown, but the direct results include mortality from severe illness, reduced access to food, changes in local diet, and economic losses resulting from lockdowns. These outcomes present impediments to the recovery of populations already facing substantial nutritional challenges. The effects of previous pandemics on Indigenous food systems affected children in particular, when adults became ill and household food access was reduced.

Inadequate health service provision for Indigenous populations, including scant access to culturally safe services,

adds another layer of complexity in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. Effects of climate change undermine Indigenous food security, in turn compromising the resilience of Indigenous populations to pandemics. At the same time, disruptions to food and nutrition security and the resulting health implications for Indigenous populations during pandemics exacerbate their vulnerability to climate change. In this context, understanding, reinforcing, and protecting Indigenous food systems in the context of a changing climate must be a cornerstone of post-pandemic recovery.

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Writing at a Time of Plague: Boccaccio, Dante, Petrarca, Chaucer

Jenny Ferrell

People’s World | August 14, 2020

Writing at a time of plague: Boccaccio, Dante, Petrarca, Chaucer
The plague of Florence in 1348, as described in Boccaccio’s Decameron. Etching by L. Sabatelli after himself (Creative Commons)

The Black Plague was the most devastating pandemic ever recorded, resulting in the deaths of between 75-125 million people. It peaked in Europe between 1347 and 1351, having come on Italian merchant ships from Asia via the Silk Road. In fact, the idea of quarantine originates in plague-stricken 14th-century Italy, when ships arriving in Venice from infected ports were required to wait offshore for 40 days before docking. The word quarantine derives from the Italian quaranta giorni, 40 days.Read More »