Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Robert Burns

(in spanish)
Mi amore es cual la rosa roja
Que en junio floreció
Mi amor, como una melodía
Tocado con primor

Tú estás tan Linda, amada, como
Enamorado yo.
Y te amaré hasta que se agote
El ancho mar, mi amor

Hasta que el mar se agote y fundanse
Las rocas bajo el sol
Mientras la arena de la vida
Se deslice veloz

Adiós, adios por breve tiempo;
Adios, mi único amor;
Aunque estuviera a diez mil millas
A ti volveré yo

Translation : Ramón Sangenis

Robert Burns

( in old scots)

My luve is like a red, red rose
that’s newly sprung in June;
o my luve is like the melodie
that’s sweetly played in tune

as fair art thou, my bonnie lass
So deep in luve am I;
and I will luve thee still, my dear;
till a’ the seas gang dry

till a’ the seas gang dry, my dear,
and the rocks melt wi’ the sun
I will luve thee still, my dear
while the sands of life shall run

and fare thee weel, my only love
and fare thee weel, awhile!
and I will come again, my love
tho’ it were ten thousand miles

To a mouse - scots and spanish versions

Robert Burns

Pequeña y temerosa bestezuela;
¡cuánto miedo en su pecho diminuto !
No tienes por qué huir tan azorada,
Súbitamente esquiva;
Seria muy malvado si intentase
Perseguirte y matarte

Es en pena que el poder del hombre
Haya quebrado la hermandad del mundo
Y que por eso., pobrecilla raton,
Tengas que huir de me
Tú que naciste como yo en la tierra
Y has de morir también

Es cierto que te entregas al pillaje ……
¿y qué? También tú tienes que vivir
¿qué valor tiene un grano en una espiga?
¡cuán pequeño botín!
A mi me basta con lo que tú dejas,
Si aprendo a aprovechario.

Hoy tu casita está arruinada. Mira :
Su frágil estructura el viento esparce,
Sin dejar nada para rehacerla,
De tantas hojas verdes
Ahora, cuando el viento de diciembre
Se acerca, frio y crudo.

Tú sabes de los campos desolados
En el invierno cruel: acurrucada
Al abrigo del viento, tu soñabas
Vivir en tu nidal;
Mas, ¡ay dolor!, pasó el cruel arado
Y destruyó tu celda.

¡cuán duras penas te costó reunir
Ese montón informe de hojarasca
En que se ha convertido, pobricilla,
La casa que debía
De la invernal llovizna guarecerte
Y del cruel granizo!

Nada debes, ratita, reprocharte;
Hubiera sido en vano prevenirlo
Los planes de las ratas y los hombres
A menudo fracasan;
Y en lugar de la dicha prometida
Quedan dolor y llanto

Y aun asi eres dichosa, comparada
Conmigo; a ti el presente solo afecta;
Mas yo, si miro atrás, solo contemplo
Lúgubres perspectivas;
Y hacia adelante, aunque no puedo verlo,
El mal remo y presiento

TRANSLATION : Ramon Sangenis

Wee, sleekit, cowrin, tim'rous beastie,
O, what a panic's in thy breastie!
Thou need na start awa sae hasty
Wi bickering brattle!
I wad be laith to rin an' chase thee,
Wi' murdering pattle.

I'm truly sorry man's dominion
Has broken Nature's social union,
An' justifies that ill opinion
Which makes thee startle
At me, thy poor, earth born companion
An' fellow mortal!

I doubt na, whyles, but thou may thieve;
What then? poor beastie, thou maun live!
A daimen icker in a thrave
'S a sma' request;
I'll get a blessin wi' the lave,
An' never miss't.

Thy wee-bit housie, too, in ruin!
It's silly wa's the win's are strewin!
An' naething, now, to big a new ane,
O' foggage green!
An' bleak December's win's ensuin,
Baith snell an' keen!

Thou saw the fields laid bare an' waste,
An' weary winter comin fast,
An' cozie here, beneath the blast,
Thou thought to dwell,
Till crash! the cruel coulter past
Out thro' thy cell.

That wee bit heap o' leaves an' stibble,
Has cost thee monie a weary nibble!
Now thou's turned out, for a' thy trouble,
But house or hald,
To thole the winter's sleety dribble,
An' cranreuch cauld.
But Mousie, thou art no thy lane,
In proving foresight may be vain:
The best laid schemes o' mice an' men
Gang aft agley,
An' lea'e us nought but grief an' pain,
For promis'd joy!

Still thou are blest, compared wi' me!
The present only toucheth thee:
But och! I backward cast my e'e,
On prospects drear!
An' forward, tho' I canna see,
I guess an' fear!

To : The First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba and the Peoples of Cuba.
From: The Scottish Socialist Party

The Scottish Socialist Party sends fraternal greetings and congratulations to the people of Cuba, on the 50th anniversary of the Cuban Revolution.

We congratulate the Cuban people for having overcome great hardship in the last 50 years , due to the illegal US blockade. Your sacrifice and commitment to your revolution has been an inspiration to the Scottish Socialist Party and to wider Scottish society. The great progress achieved in so many areas, especially in medicine and education, have been all the more impressive given this great blockade imposed against you.

We condemn the government of the United States of America for its attacks on Cuba over the past 50 years. Typical of its attitude is their outrageous and entirely unjust incarceration of the five Cuban heroes who have been languishing in American jails for 10 years now and the awful treatment of the men's families.

In February of 2009, the Scottish Socialist Party plans to send an official delegation to Cuba to learn more about your country. We continue to encourage community, trade union and political groups in Scotland to start a dialogue with similar groups in Cuba.

The Scottish Socialist Party wishes to join the people of Cuba in marking this, the 50th anniversary of the revolution as an important occasion for the world as well as Cuba.

Viva la Revolución Cubana

The International Committee
The Scottish Socialist Party

diary pt 2

After two planning meetings ,one in October and one in November , we had an idea of the kind of things that we would like to take with us to Cuba. A info pack with stuff about both the SSP and Scotland in general. We split the tasks up between the delegates and came up with a rough idea of what it would include. A history of the SSP, a single sheet calendar, and some Robert Burns poems translated into Spanish.
I imagined that the final item, the burns poems would be readily available in Spanish. Not so . After 6 weeks of searching, i was finally pointed in the direction of the national poetry library, situated in a close (an alleyway for non scots) off the high street (the royal mile for tourists!!!). They were so helpful and found two obscure translations for me :- “to a mouse” and “my love is like a red red rose”. I was really looking for “a man's a man” but these will do!!. if someone has a good command of both Scots and Spanish there may be a wee niche market in burns translations.
Two other things we are to arrange are : a banner to present to the PCC (Communist Party of Cuba)
which one of the groups friends are helping with, and a CD of “Scottish” music. Each of the delegates were asked to pick 2 songs that they associated with scotland – when we get the final results i'll post them up. What would you pick?
On the visa front; we have now received our tourist visas, we sent off the forms and money and waited – i've mentioned cuban bureaucracy before and how slow it can be – the visas were back with me within 5 days so as far as the travelling goes, that's all the paperwork done.

cuba emnbassy in london website here

Tuesday, 30 December 2008

diary Pt.1


On Friday 23rd May, Terasita Trujillo, Official of the Foreign Relations Department of the Central Committee of the Cuban Communist Party, met with members of the SSP executive and international committee, with a view to strengthening relations between the SSP and the Central Committee of the Cuban Communist Party. With that in mind the SSP has been asked to send a delegation to visit Cuba to meet with the government and local community groups.

The Delegation is open to all SSP members and will travel to Cuba at the beginning of February 2009. all delegates will have to be self financing.

The above flyer was given out at the SSP national council in Perth to encourage more members to join the delegation. Up until that point we had one possible and 4 confirmed delegates.

By the Tuesday the number of delegates had risen to 10. I had been researching flights for a number of weeks but now I had to make a decision so opted for a local company Barrhead travel. I sent an email with our requirements as most travel companies can only book up to 6 people at a time. I waited and waited and by the next Sunday I had not had a reply so phoned their customer services Dept. to be told the request was passed on to the Dundee office but they would deal with it. They gave me a price for the group and I asked them to give me until Wednesday to contact everyone and confirm the price was OK. They said they would phone me back on Wednesday.!!

Wednesday came and went and no reply , and Thursday, and Friday. Finally, on Saturday I phoned them and was told that someone would phone back by the end of business that day. No phone call on Saturday , Sunday or Monday. Tuesday came I was so pissed off that I phoned and asked for a quote, which turned out to be £50 per person cheaper than Barrhead. So I booked and was asked to spell everyone's name as they appear on their passport, which I did. The process was fairly easy and apart from the (nearly) £5000 , painless.
I received the confirmation and e-tickets from netflights. Only one mistake Morag's name had a letter missing from her surname. The girl that booked the tickets was very adamant that there could be no changes, what so ever. I had a feeling I was in for a bit of a fight.

I couldn't have been more wrong. One phone call to the customer services desk to explain got a reply of “ the computers are down but we will fix it within 48 hours” . They were wrong. By the time I got home from work there was an email with the changes already documented. So that's the flights sorted (I hope).

Now to the Cuban side. I had emailed Luis Marron, the political councillor of the Cuban embassy in London to let him know that we had changed the dates from November 2008 to February 2009. this was because we had a few conferences in the autumn and wouldn't have much time to organise things properly. I hadn't heard from him for a few weeks , which is not unusual as the Cuban system can be slow and bureaucratic but Luis is usually quite good at replying. However I discovered he was back in Cuba for a month and sorted it out when he came back. So the dates are set and the request for the PCC (Cuban communist party) hotel has been sent for the new dates. The other thing that we need to check out is the visa status of our visit, a tourist visit may be sufficient but the work camps require a special visa for them. Luis is on the case !!!

There is a meeting booked for the 5th October to discuss the trip and for everyone to meet up

Monday, 29 December 2008

hi all, this blog is for the SSP delegation to Cuba in February 2009 to keep everyone informed about our trip and what we are up to. i will post some of the history of the trip over the next few days and of course the exciting stuff will come in February when we actually get there. hopefully we will be able to access the Internet fairly frequently when we are there.

but for now you can access another trip i did in 2006 to whet your appetite