Cuba Says: Doctors, not Bombs

Fidel Castro Ruz

 | October 05, 2020

José Martí provided Cuba the guiding principle, “Homeland is humanity.”
 Photo: Juvenal Balán

In a letter sent to the Norwegian Nobel Committee, the World Peace Council formally registered the candidacy of Cuba’s Henry Reeve International Contingent of Doctors Specialized in Disaster Situations and Serious Epidemics for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Emphasizing the great challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic has meant for humanity, and the essential role international solidarity plays in aiding those who suffer most during such emergencies, the letter draws attention to the work of the island’s health professionals, stating: “We see as the most sincere example of such international solidarity the work that the Cuban medical contingent “Henry Reeve” has been performing since much before the coronavirus outbreak was announced.”Read More »


No Way to be Halfway Revolutionary

We face a road ahead full of difficult challenges, and formidable unity will be required to overcome fallacies, efforts to erase our memory and aggression, in order to continue building a better country than the one we have now, standing tall and looking forward, with our heads held high

Karima Oliva Bello

Granma | October 07, 2020

Painful fissures and division have always existed, between the majority defending the Revolution and a minority aligned with U.S. imperialism. The LCB series has given us a beautiful lesson in history and class struggle, with tears. Photo: Cubavision

Broadcast on Cuban television, September 27, was the final episode of the second season of the series LCB: La otra Guerra (The Other War) and many social media posts celebrated the fact that the program had returned, with such care, to these moments in our history, when anonymous heroes of the revolutionary people defended the sovereignty we had conquered, facing the aggression of groups armed by the United States, eager to restore a past of domination and moved by gang loyalties and a desire for personal prominence.

Today, in light of these events, I would like to share my concern about other more contemporary happenings.Read More »


Capitalism – not ‘Humanity’ – is Killing the World’s Wildlife

Anna Pigott

Climate and Capitalism | October 01, 2020

The latest Living Planet report from the WWF makes for grim reading: a 60% decline in wild animal populations since 1970, collapsing ecosystems, and a distinct possibility that the human species will not be far behind. The report repeatedly stresses that humanity’s consumption is to blame for this mass extinction, and journalists have been quick to amplify the message. The Guardian headline reads “Humanity has wiped out 60% of animal populations,” while the BBC runs with “Mass wildlife loss caused by human consumption.” No wonder: in the 148-page report, the word “humanity” appears 14 times, and “consumption” an impressive 54 times.

There is one word, however, that fails to make a single appearance: capitalism. It might seem, when 83% of the world’s freshwater ecosystems are collapsing (another horrifying statistic from the report), that this is no time to quibble over semantics. And yet, as the ecologist Robin Wall Kimmerer has written, “finding the words is another step in learning to see.”Read More »


Venezuelan Gov’t Wins Appeal on Gold Reserves Held in the UK

Ricardo Vaz

People’s Dispatch | October 06, 2020

The Bank of England has refused to repatriate Venezuelan gold since 2018. Photo: Caters News Agency

The Venezuelan government secured a legal victory on Monday in its battle to regain access to gold stored in the Bank of England (BoE).

On Monday, the English Court of Appeal ruled in favor of the Venezuelan Central Bank (BCV) concerning the control over 31 tons of gold stored in London, overturning a previous High Court ruling after a BCV appeal. The BoE has refused to repatriate the Venezuelan gold deposits since late 2018.

In July, Judge Nigel Teare ruled against a Venezuelan legal recourse to regain access to the reserves. Teare claimed that the UK Foreign Office had “unequivocally” recognized Juan Guaido as “interim president,” and thus under the “one voice” doctrine the judiciary was bound to the government’s position.Read More »


Sanctions Kill!


People’s Dispatch | October 06, 2020

Sanctions are used as a tool by the United States, the European Union and the United Nations to apply political and economic pressure to countries they allege are doing wrong. Beyond the question of who should face sanctions and who decides this, the question of the impact of these unilateral coercive measures is also necessary to consider. From Iran, Cuba, Venezuela, Syria, to China, Haiti, Yemen, and Zimbabwe these measures are felt most seriously by the peoples of these nations. They suffer from food and medicine shortages, deterioration of social and economic conditions, and more. Sanctions are collective punishment on peoples who dare to defy US hegemony. The people continue to rise up against these illegal measures and demand full freedom and autonomy!Read More »


Historic General Strike in South Africa Sees Workers Raise Issues of Corruption, Job Loss

Pavan Kulkarni

People’s Dispatch | October 08, 2020

Credit : Twitter

Demonstrations and pickets were held in numerous cities and towns across South Africa on Wednesday, October 7, as part of a historic general strike. Across the country, workers marched to government offices, provincial legislatures, municipalities and police stations to submit memorandums.

Corruption, job losses, failure to provide safe transportation during the pandemic and the government’s refusal to honor the wage agreement it had signed with public servants are among the specific issues workers raised.

The strike action was called by the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU), a traditional ally of the ruling African National Congress (ANC). With a membership of 1.8 million, it is the largest trade union confederation in the country.Read More »


Race for Covid-19 Vaccine Slows as Regulators, Top Warp Speed Official Tap the Brakes

Helen Branswell and Matthew Herper

STAT | October 06, 2020

Moncef Slaoui

Moncef Slaoui, a former GlaxoSmithKline executive, is the scientific head of Operation Warp Speed.

The race for a Covid-19 vaccine slowed on Tuesday, as both U.S. regulators and the head of the Trump administration’s Operation Warp Speed initiative tapped ever so softly on the brakes.

The Food and Drug Administration released strengthened rules for authorizing any Covid-19 vaccine on an emergency basis. And Moncef Slaoui, co-chair of Operation Warp Speed, revealed that the government’s vaccine fast-tracking effort has urged manufacturers not to apply for emergency use authorization until they have significant amounts of vaccines to deploy.Read More »


COVID-19 Vaccines: How to Ensure Africa has Access

John N. Nkengasong, Nicaise Ndembi, Akhona Tshangela & Tajudeen Raji

Nature | October 06, 2020

A female nurse wearing a gloves and a surgical mask tends to a patient at health care centre in Nairobi, Kenya

A volunteer nurse assesses a visitor to a health centre in Nairobi that trains the public on infection prevention. Credit: Tony Karumba/AFP/Getty

Last month, a grand experiment was launched. Its aim? To speed up the development of COVID‑19 vaccines and make sure they are distributed equitably among higher- and lower-income countries.

This welcome endeavour is called the COVID-19 Vaccine Global Access (COVAX) initiative. It is co-led by the World Health Organization (WHO), the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. As of 1 October, 167 countries have signed up, covering nearly two-thirds of the global population. More have expressed interest, according to Gavi.Read More »


A Four-year Timeline of Trump’s Impact on Science

Nature | October 02, 2020

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks at a coronavirus press conference with Dr Birx and Dr Fauci in the background.
Trump has repeatedly undercut messages from public-health officials such as those on the White House coronavirus task force, including its coordinator Deborah Birx and Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.Credit: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

Since he took office in January 2017, US President Donald Trump has not made science a priority; he has proposed massive cuts to many science agencies and took 19 months to nominate a science adviser. But his policies and actions have had strong impacts — many of them harmful — on researchers and issues related to science. Here’s a timeline of those events ahead of the US presidential election on 3 November. (A related story explores how Trump has damaged science.)Read More »


Life on Venus? Scientists Hunt for the Truth

Jonathan O’Callaghan

Nature | October 02, 2020

A contrast-enhanced version of Venus
Venus’s atmosphere is highly acidic and contains very little water.Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

The surprise discovery of gas that could be a sign of life on Venus has reignited scientific interest in Earth’s closest neighbour. Researchers and space agencies worldwide are now racing to turn their instruments — both on Earth and in space — towards the planet to confirm the presence of the gas, called phosphine, and to investigate whether it could really be coming from a biological source.

“Now that we’ve found phosphine, we need to understand whether it’s true that it’s an indicator of life,” says Leonardo Testi, an astronomer at the European Southern Observatory in Garching, Germany.Read More »