Submission to the United Nations Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review, October 5, 2017
By Isaac Saney, Co-Chair & National Spokesperson, Canadian Network On Cuba.
Cuba holds an admirable place in the international community regarding the protection and promotion of the rights of its citizens. In Cuba everyone is guaranteed an education and access to universal and free healthcare. In Cuba no one is “disappeared” or the victim of extra-judicial execution. In Cuba there are no homeless roaming the streets, no one left to fend for themself, eking out an existence in a dog-eat-dog society. Cuba is not a haven for the economic violence that reigns in so many countries. This submission will briefly summarize Cuba’s domestic achievements, as well, as the island’s considerable contribution to the well-being of the world’s nations and peoples.
The official June 16 statement was barely uttered when the majority nationwide opposition to the Trump Cuba policy was once again reignited. Indeed, it was already extremely active and vocal before the Little Havana, Miami venue and date were announced on June 9. By stage-managing the event in Little Havana, Trump was preaching to the choir, one that does not even include the rest of Florida, where the majority of Cuban-Americans oppose the blockade, or at least support the Obama policy of making the blockade somewhat more flexible. Trump’s trademark manner of hand-picking events to spread the word across the country will not work. His Cold War rhetoric will not detract the forces that want to increase trade and travel to Cuba.
I like to think that those Venezuelans who have been reported by Reuters (nonetheless) as coming to the rescue of injured people during the spate of violence in Venezuela are sincere in their intentions. 
However, the fact that they have adopted the donning of white helmets as a symbol of their “altruism” makes it all very suspicious. Are we witnessing the birth of the Venezuelan version of the White Helmets of Syria?
Chemical weapons kill by causing a terrible death mostly to innocent people not involved in the conflict, but just by being nearby. That inevitably includes children. Those who do not die immediately will live scarred for life physically and mentally.
When I observe violence through media outlets anywhere in the world I seem to notice that it often comes from a rightwing ideology (neoliberal, conservative, capitalist, imperialist, etc). Often It also comes from misguided groups without a real or acceptable ideology who practice violence for the sake of violence. By the way, that gives a bad name to anarchism because that's how those groups are labeled. Anarchism as I understand it has an ideology even if you don't agree with it.
It is with great contempt that I question the report of March 14 by Luis Almagro, Secretary General of the Washington-based Organization of American States (OAS), accusing Venezuela of human rights abuses and of holding political prisoners, further demanding that Venezuela hold elections in 30 days.
Latin America may not have the military clout, but it has three major assets needed to challenge the United States: political will, economic resources, and a key strategic position as the U.S. “backyard”.
The main focus of world politics is still on U.S. president Donald Trump and it will continue to be for a while in part due to his outspoken (at times unpredictable) personality, but mostly because he does happen to have his finger on the nuclear, financial and political trigger of the Empire. That finger may well set off what have already been called “Trumpquakes”. 
The U.S. has never mastered the art of coexistence and solidarity. Those are not words used in U.S. foreign policy. But those should be our bottom line words.
Americans in general and particularly American presidents historically have been quite nationalistic, and have projected that idea to what is known as U.S.-centered policies. Even if they did not say the words “America first”, as Trump has clearly spelled them out, all the actions of U.S. presidents have always put U.S. interests first – albeit their own vision of them – at the expense of many other nations. No one can doubt that on the face of the U.S. domination in the world.
This is the first anniversary of the Cuban Revolution when Fidel Castro is not with us physically. He passed away last 25 November at the age of 90. During nine days he has been officially honoured in Cuba with visits from dignitaries and world leaders who have remembered him for his many achievements for Cubans and for humanity. Around the world, including in Canada from coast to coast, millions have celebrated his life. Many still mourn him.
Today, the movement is redefining its focus after a successful end to the long campaign to secure the release of the Cuban Five (Gerardo Hernández, Ramón Labañino, Antonio Guerrero, René González and Fernando González); an overwhelming victory for the island and its supporters.
A year of intense work is how Kenia Serrano Puig, President of the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP) described 2016, while speaking to the national press in Havana in honor of the institution’s 56th anniversary, and the lead up to the anniversary of the triumph of the Revolution, on January 1.