Bush's Militarism Inspires Anti-war sentiment Among Students and Trade Unionists

Cuban Delegation Visits India

From People's Democracy 

CARRYING the message of peace, friendship and solidarity, a two member delegation from Cuba visited Guwahati recently and interacted with cross section of the people — students, teachers, intellectuals, social and political activists, literary and cultural activists etc. They also visited the state headquarters of the CPI(M) in the city.   The Cuban delegation comprised Pablo Baccallo Infante and Juan Pozo Alvarez, both representing the Cuban Communist Party. Party's Central Committee member Pablo Baccallo, a former university professor is also in charge of the Party's wing on education, culture and science.   The people of Guwahati, and indeed of the entire North-Eastern India, warmly greeted the Cuban leaders and bade hearty welcome and conveyed through them the message of admiration and support, friendship and solidarity, to the heroic people of Cuba. The visiting delegation arrived in the city as part of their goodwill mission to various cities in India in a bid to strengthen the unity between the people of the two countries. They came at the invitation of the All India Peace and Solidarity Council.   A Reception Committee of North-Eastern India was formed to welcome the fraternal delegation with former chief minister Sarat Ch Sinha, noted intelletual Dr Hiren Gohain, CPI(M) state secretary Hemen Das, CPI leader Drupad Bongohain, RSP leader Paresh Boruah in the presidium. Dr M Nara Singh of Manipur was the working president while Purno Boro CPI(M), Munin Mahanta (CPI) and Sailen Medhi were the general secretaries of the Reception Committee.   In the afternoon on December 4, Baccallo and Alvarez attended a friendship meeting at the Faculty House of Guwahati University(GU) on their way to the city from the Borjhar Airport.   GUWAHATI UNIVERSITY MEETING

The Guwahati University meeting was organised jointly by the Guwahati University Teachers' Association, GU Officers' Association, GU Workmen's Union and the Post Graduate Students' Union (PGSU) and the Law College Students' Union of the University. The Cuban delegation was given a rousing welcome at the University campus. The meeting was attended among others, by the vice-chancellor Gajan Talukdar. CPI(M) leaders Hemen Das and Uddhab Barman were also present.   Addressing a huge gathering of teachers, students, workmen etc, Pablo Infante said that for the first time they had visited an Indian university.   Thundering against aggressive designs of the second Bush administration, Baccallo Infante said, the US government has been hostile towards the communist government in Cuba and the national situation in socialist Cuba has really become serious today. But the Cubans will never yield to the mounting hegemonistic pressures of the US government. They would continue to resist the aggressive policies of US imperialism, Baccallo asserted amidst great applause.   In Cuba today, there is no racial, gender-based or religious discrimination. The socialist government has been pursuing a policy of equality. The country has achieved significant growth in the fields of education, health care and in all other fields concerning the welfare of the people, he claimed.   Giving an account of the progress made by his country in the field of education, he said education in Cuba was free from the primary level to the University level. In 1959 there were only three universities in this country. Today, Cuba with a population of 11.1 million, has 64 universities, 7,00,000 university graduates, 25,000 teachers and 67,500 doctors in all. Once the university student finishes his or her study, he or she is sure to enjoy a job guarantee.   The Cuban delegation also addressed a gathering at Srimanta Kalakshetra on December 4 in the evening.   The next day, the two communist leaders also came to the Assam State Committee Office of the CPI(M) at Hedayetpur in the city. They were received and greeted by the Party's state secretary Hemen Das, CCM, Uddhab Barman and other comrades.   Explaining the achievements of socialist construction in Cuba, the delegation said in a brief meeting in the CPI(M) office, the people in his country were holding high the banner of Marxism and Leninism and were proud of being  ruled by the Communist Party under the leadership of president Fiedel Castro.


The two member Cuban delegation was accorded a public reception at the Pragjyoti Cultural Complex, Machkhowa in the heart of the city on December 5. More than a 1000 strong gathering of students, youth, teachers, workers and employees, literary and cultural celebrities, social and political activists inside the newly built auditorium enthusiastically participated in the public reception organised by the Reception Committee of North-Eastern India.   In his welcome address on behalf of the Presidium of the Reception Committee, former professor of Guwahati University Dr Hiren Gohain said, 'Assam and other parts of North-Eastern India are known for the bounty of nature, manifest in the magnificent hill-ranges, the mighty and majestic Brahmaputra river, the dense forests and their rich and diverse wild life, and reserves of oil and natural gas. But so far it cannot be said that this wealth has been of much benefit to the people of this region. Dependency and backwardness have kept the region largely under-developed, and they have had an unsettling impact on ancient traditions of friendship, co-operation and harmony among the different ethnic groups of the region. We are therefore keen to learn from people of Cuba the secret of their remarkable achievements.'   Condemning the blatantly unjust and atrocious acts of illegal military intervention and terror perpetrated by US administration for nearly half a century against Cuba, Dr Gohain, in his speech pinpointed the acts of subversion and terror financed and sponsored by US imperialism. The US administration is aiming at destabilising and overthrowing the progressive government in Cuba, he added.   Expressing solidarity with the heroic people of Cuba, Dr Gohain further said 'it is urgently necessary for all progressive and right thinking people of the world to unite in defense of Cuba and against the danger of American hegemony .... And the people of India, including the people of North-Eastern India, must rally to the cause of greater understanding and co-operation with the people of Cuba.'   The Cuban delegation was also greeted and felicited by the state leaders of the Students' Federation of India, Democratic Youth Federation of India, All India Democratic Women's Association and a host of other organisations.   In their response to the warmth of the reception and intensity of solidarity with the people of Cuba, Comrade Pablo Baccallo and Juan Alvarez were visibly heartened and expressly exultant.   In their exuberant expression of thanks, Pablo Baccallo said in the jam-packed auditorium, socialist Cuba has achieved tremendous success concerning the welfare of the people. He also gave precise informations with concrete statistical data on the achievements and significant growth after the revolution in his country.   Then he went on telling the huge gathering of the apprehensions of the Cuban people and their government. He said that the US administration under Bush was unhappy with the activities of the Cuban government. The US imperialist is doing all the things to malign the Cubans and their government.   The North-East Reception Committee also organised a cultural show as part of the reception, felicitation and expression of solidarity. Cultural celebrities of Assam like the Sarma duo, Dilip and Sudakshina, Khagen Mahanta, along with a number of troupes presented variety of programmes. The folk and mass-cultures of the North-Eastern region enthralled the Cuban delegates and other audience.   Finally, on the morning of December 6, the Cuban delegation left for Patna in their mission for friendship and solidarity. Among others, CPI(M) leader Hemen Das and Purna Boro, CPI leaders Munin Mahanta bade them farewell at the Guwahati Railway station.

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