Macabre Accusations Against Cuba, Denounce Granma Daily
Havana, Jul 31.- Foreign and U.S. media are putting on a "macabre show," accusing Cuba of having committed a political murder in a traffic accident where two Cuban citizens were killed, the Granma newspaper reported today.
In the article "La verdad y la razon" (The Truth and The Reason), the daily states that over 900 reports and 120,000 messages were published on the internet on July 22 about an unfortunate traffic accident that occurred that day, in which two Cubans died and two young men, one from Spain and another from Sweden, were injured.
"Only the most vociferous from the annexationist Miami Mafia have accused Cuba of having carried out a political murder," the paper says, noting that U.S. Republican candidate Mitt Romney, the Department of State, and the spokesman of the Chilean Presidency were among those requesting "a transparent investigation."
Granma recalled that a press release from the Interior Ministry published on July 27, put such insinuations to rest, with irrefutable testimonies by experts and eyewitnesses, including the two foreign men involved in the tragic accident.
"The immaculate history of a Revolution that triumphed and has been defended for 50 years without a single extrajudicial execution, without a single disappeared, tortured, kidnapped person, without a single terrorist action, has been well-established," the text states. It also reiterates that it is not Cuba, but the United States, which holds a disgraceful record when it comes to political killings and extrajudicial executions.
There is also abundant evidence that the U.S. government is continuing its policy of "regime change" in Cuba, through its economic, political and media blockade and subversion against the island. Granma pointed out that the media-financial monopoly, which has a tradition of defaming Cuba, presented the events by concentrating on extolling the so-called "freedom fighters" without the least respect for ethical guidelines or the loss of human lives in the incident.
"The sun cannot be blocked out by a single finger: despite (foreign media) censorship and manipulation, it is well known that, in our country, the counterrevolution has always been and is mercenary. They are vulgar agents that the U.S. government and its allies pay, supply and train. They betray their country for few cents," the article states.
The most interesting thing in the disproportionate press coverage is that it ignores the real objective of the visit to Cuba of the two European politicians injured in the accident.
Granma explains that Angel Carromero Barrios, driver of the car, was not a Spanish tourist as claimed, but an Assistant Secretary of New Generations, the youth wing of the People’s Party in Spain, close to notorious anti-Cubans such as former President Jose Maria Aznar, and Esperanza Aguirre, president of the Madrid Community.
The other passenger was Jens Aron Modig, leader of the Swedish Democratic and Christian Party, emulating the ultra-conservative U.S. "Tea Party," and president of his Youth League, with links, among other anti-Cuban organizations, to the International Republican Institute and those who harass the Caribbean country from the US rightwing.
Barrios and Modig entered Cuba on July 19 with tourist visas, and secretly, in violation of their immigration status, engaged in purely political activities against the constitutional order, as part of an operation to finance the counterrevolutionary Christian Liberation Movement, presided over by Oswaldo Paya, one of the deceased in the accident.
Between 2009 and 2012 alone, the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) have received public financing valued at $75 million USD for subversive programs against Cuba, Granma notes.
Cuban President Raul Castro recently said that "the United States is unceasing in its effort to create a fifth column on Cuban soil and in the use of new technologies with subversive purposes."
The most reactionary and violent groups in Miami are unceasing in their incitements to "rebellion" against the government that the Cuban people have chosen freely and independently. They dream about destabilizing the country, creating conditions to repeat what occurred in Libya or Syria, in order to trigger a U.S. military intervention, said the paper. (PL)
Swedish Man Brought 4,000 Euros for Illegal Organization in Cuba
Havana, July 30.- Swedish young man Jens Aron Modig, involved in a accident that resulted in the death of two people, revealed today that he had brought 4,000 euros for an illegal organization in violation of Cuban laws.
We don´t make such funding to organizations in other countries," Modig admitted in remarks to reporters at the Department of International Relations and Cooperation of the Interior Ministry.
As he explained that this was his second trip to Cuba, Modig, who is the president of the Social Democratic Youth of the Christian Democratic Party of Sweden, said he made the two trips under instructions of the party´s international department.
He added that objectives of his trip included meeting with Oswaldo Paya, a leader of an illegal organization who died in the accident in Granma province, eastern Cuba, some 800 km from Havana.
He was also supposed to meet with members of Paya´s movement and support and accompany him in any trip he wanted to make.
"I would like to apologize for coming to this country to carry out illegal activities," said Modig, who, questioned by journalists on this regard said that his apologies were sincere.
"In this case my apologies are sincere; all the Cubans I have met have been kind to me and have treated me well. This is my answer," he stressed.
I understood how serious the activities carried out were when I talked with the police officers, said the politician, who had given money and equipment already to counterrevolutionary journalists in 2009, according to his own words.
Referring to the car accident on July 22, he said he did not recalled any other car involved in it.
Raul Castro Heads Pilgrimage of the People of Santiago de Cuba
SANTIAGO DE CUBA, July 30.- Army General Raul Castro, First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Cuban Communist Party and President of the councils of State and Ministers, headed on Monday afternoon the pilgrimage of the people of Santiago de Cuba in memory of the 55 th anniversary of the assassination of Frank Pais and Raul Pujol.
Accompanying Raul, leading the large number of Santiago de Cuba residents, was Jose Ramon Machado Ventura, First Vice-president of the councils of State and Ministers, and other leaders of the Party and the national and provincial governments.
The streets were decked with Cuban and 26 of July flags, while persons from all generations and walks of life threw flower petals to the people passing by the streets of this city in the pilgrimage.
The tribute was paid at the two places linked to the farewell to the underground combatants: at the house on Heredia and Clarin streets where the wake for Frank was held, and the former La Colonia Española Sanatorium, the chapel of which received the lifeless body of Pujol.
The main meeting to mark the Day of the Martyrs of the Homeland took place after the placing of a wreath by the tomb of Frank Pais, on behalf of Fidel and Raul Castro.
At Callejón del Muro (Rampart Lane), where these revolutionary young men died, wreaths were laid this morning, as men and women gathered in their workplaces in tribute to the heroes.
Frank Pais, barely 22 at the time, was the head of action and sabotage for the July 26 Movement, the major political force fighting the Batista regime, responsible here for the death of some 20,000 people.
This homage extends to all martyrs of the Revolution because Rene Ramos Latour, who replaced Pais as leader in this eastern city, was killed a year later, also on July 30. (ACN/PL)
Brazilian Artist Delivers Portrait to Gail Walker. Exhibition “A Universal Embrace”
La Habana.- Helder Becerra, born in the Brazilian state of Pernambuco, delivered on Monday a donation of a portray under his authorship paying homage to the Reverend Lucius Walker, to his daughter Gail, Head of the group of caravanists Pastors for Peace, movement that he himself encouraged.
The portrait recreates the embrace given by Commander in Chief Fidel and the late Lucius Walker, who was founder of the US – Cuba friendship caravans, which the 23rd edition is currently fulfilling its program of solidarity that is going to end on Tuesday in Havana.
Becerra expressed his satisfaction and joy with the delivery of his work of art to the offpring of Lucius Walter, restless fighter against the US economic blockade on Cuba.
The delivery of the work took place in the House of Friendship, during the opening for the first time in Cuba of the portrait exhibition titled “A universal embrance”, that features images of Fidel Castro with well-known figures in history, as an expression of the dimensions of solidarity of the Cuban revolutionary process.
Kenia Serrano, President of the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples, attended the ceremony, in which Lea Maria Rivero, on behalf of the institution, emphasized that the self-taught painter since she was in her teens struggled against social injustice taking Cuba and the Commander in Chief Fidel Castro as an exemplary benchmark of dignity
Pastors for Peace Caravan Returns USA
Havana.- Members of the 23rd Pastors for Peace Friendshipment Caravan will return today to the United States, after a 10-day stay in Cuba in which they shared with the people and visited sites of interest.
The solidarity group arrived in this nation on July 21, after touring 100 U.S. cities in which they collected 100 tons of humanitarian aid in materials destined to sectors such as health and education.
During their stay here, Gail Walker and Luis Barrios, co-directors of the Caravan, told Prensa Latina that the continuity of the solidarity movement with Cuba is a must for people with conscience.
Barrios demonstrated on behalf of the group the will to continue the struggle to break the Washington-imposed economic, trade and financial blockade for over 50 years.
The religious group paid tribute in this country to Reverend Lucius Walker, who died in September 2010. He was the main promoter of the movement that is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year.
They also received the recognition "La utilidad de la virtud" (Virtue utility), the highest decoration granted by the Jose Marti Cultural Society to prominent figures and institutions that promote and defend the foundations of the Cuban nation.
The members of the solidarity group were also informed in workshops about the updating of the economic model developed in the island, and the conditions and prospects of the Cuban society.
Their agenda here also included the meeting with relatives of Gerardo Hernandez, Rene Gonzalez, Ramon Labañino, Antonio Guerrero and Fernando Gonzalez, the five Cuban antiterrorist fighters unjustly held in U.S. prisons, for monitoring terrorist groups based in Miami.
They also visited other Cuban provinces such as Matanzas (west) and Villa Clara (center), in which they toured some sites of interest, and took part in the celebration for the Day of National Rebellion, as July 26 is known in Cuba.
The U.S.-Cuba Friendshipment Caravans began in 1992, as a project against the blockade through which 100 activists visited the country in that initial trip.
Wheelchairs, medicines, first aid kits, and educational and sports articles are some of the products donated to Cuba by the movement, which this time collected 100 tons of humanitarian aid. (PL)
Pastors for Peace Pay Homage to Heroine Celia Sanchez
HAVANA, Cuba.- The activists with the 23rd US-Cuba Pastors for Peace Friendshipment Caravan paid tribute on Sunday to Cuban Heroine Celia Sanchez at a monument raised in her honor at Havana’s Lenin Park.
The activists were briefed on the work of Celia, whom the Cuban people gave all their affection, and her promotion of the project to set up the large recreational park 40 years ago, on the initiative of Fidel Castro.
Park director Annia Masino thanked the visitors for coming to the facility and stressed their struggle against the US economic blockade of Cuba.
Aleida Guevara, daughter of Ernesto Che Guevara, said at the park that like other works made by the Revolution the facility has the imprint of Celia, who promoted the people’s contact with nature.
The visitors toured the huge and green areas of the Lenin Park and enjoyed the performance of local artists during a program organized by the Cuban Friendship Institute.
The Pastors for Peace activists will conclude their stay in Cuba on Tuesday, July 31.
Cuba Calls for Peaceful Use of Outer Space
Geneva, Jul 31 (Prensa Latina) Cuba stated today at the UN Conference on Disarmament that outer space is a common heritage and should only be explored and put to use for peaceful purposes, and in benefit of all humanity.
In his speech at the Conference on Disarmament, Cuban representative Juan Antonio Quintanilla said his country will support the negotiation of a legally binding treaty to totally prohibit the possibility of developing an arm race in outer space.
Quintanilla recalled that all states have the inalienable right to access outer space for research and peaceful uses, based on a 1967 treaty.
"Therefore, it is natural that its security should be our common objective," he said.
The Cuban delegate warned that the increasing growth of activities outside the atmosphere could generate an increased risk of an arms race.
Quintanilla said that international guidelines agreed by the UN Committee on the Peaceful Use of Outer Space (COPUOS) are simply voluntary confidence building measures and do not create legally binding obligations.
"We hold the criteria that thecurrent legal framework on this issue is insufficient to face all security issues," the Cuban representative stated.
According to Quintanilla, there is a need for legally binding agreements and in that sense, he said that a project presented at the Conference by Russia and China in 2008 is a good basis for further discussion and a possible start for negotiations.
Correa Thanks Cuba for Support in Literacy Teaching Program
HAVANA, Cuba.- Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa thanked Cuba for its help in the national literacy teaching program with the Yes I Can method, to free the country from one of the greatest dictatorships: ignorance.
During his weekly report to citizens, this time in Ibarra, in the province of Imbabura, Correa underlined that the literacy teaching plan is making progress and said that it’s expected to eradicate that scourge in 2013, the Prensa Latina news agency reported.
Visibly moved, Correa read some of the letters written by humble citizens who have learned how to read and write, in which they express their gratitude for the Cuban program Yes I Can.
The head of state congratulated all literacy teachers (Ecuadorians and Cubans) and reiterated the support and appreciation of the Ecuadorian government because, he said “you’re making history.” (PL)
Cuban Emergency Health Workers Return from Haiti
HAVANA, Cuba.- The last group of health workers that arrived in Haiti after the earthquake that devastated that nation in January, 2010, returned to Cuba after fulfilling its internationalist mission.
The good performance of the 53 voluntary workers of the Cuban Medical Brigade was acknowledged in a farewell meeting attended by Liliana Garcia, charge d’affaires of the Cuban embassy to Port-au-Prince, and Dr. Alejo Sagol, second head of the Medical Mission.
As part of their mission, the Cuban medical staff also carried out investigations to diagnose and detect cholera, an epidemic that has affected over 500,000 people and caused more than 7,000 deaths in Haiti since the outbreak of October, 2010, according to the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO).
The brigade also worked on the development of an educational program to prevent the disease at active institutions to treat cholera, community reference hospitals, clinics and isolated areas in the country’s ten departments, adds the note.
Cuba’s medical assistance to Haiti began before the occurrence of the earthquake and the epidemic outbreak, and its internationalist mission continues there. (PL)
Solidarity Brigade with Cuba in Russia
Moscow.- The Artplay Design Center in Moscow was the venue of the screening of the documentary ''Estrategia de Solidaridad'' (Strategy of Solidarity), attended by students, journalists and academicians, diplomatic sources stated today.
Directed by writer and investigator Leonid Savin, the film is a testimony of the work carried out by the 'Jose Marti' international brigades of solidarity that visit Cuba every year.
Those brigades join their work of love and friendship to the island's just battles in defense of sovereignty and independence, against the U.S. blockade and for the release of five Cuban antiterrorist fighters unjustly held in that northern country, the film stated.
Antonio Guerrero, Gerardo Hernandez, Fernando Gonzalez, Ramon Labañino and Rene Gonzalez were condemned to long sentences, after a biased trial held in Miami for impeding terrorist actions against Cuba and within the United States.
During the screening of the film, Savin called to continue the work to foster relations of solidarity and friendship between both countries with the creation of an extensive Russian brigade of solidarity.
Cuban mission's counselor Alejandro Simanca thanked the gesture by explaining the development of the world movement of solidarity with Cuba and emphasized some Marti's words, 'only great friends achieve great works.'
Bermoy: First Cuban Medallist in Back-to-Back Olympic Games
HAVANA, Cuba.- Cuba's first medal in London 2012, like four years ago, was again won by Yanet Bermoy, the small judoka from Cienfuegos province. Silver, as in Beijing 2008, but in a different division (52 kg), in which only she yielded to the pressure of the North Korean An Kum Ae.
"I come her to fight for the title," she warned in the days before the competition and with that conviction she went to the mat in the Excel Center, where she eliminated her rivals one after the other: Mongolian Bundmaa Munkhbaatar, second in the world ranking, by ippon, Marie Muller of Luxembourg, by wazari, and also by that verdict Belgian Ilse Heylen, bronze in Athens 2004.
Bermoy duelled for 5 long minutes and had to go to Golden Score (extra time) where the Asian surprised the Cuban with a leg sweep.
Cuban University Graduates New Doctors for the Third World
CIEGO DE AVILA, Cuba.- Some 122 professionals from 17 nations of the world graduated this year at the local medical university in this central Cuban province. The group included medical doctors and medical technology experts mostly from third world nations.
University rector Benerando Sevilla said that over 7 000 professionals, who have retuned to their nations to benefit their people, have graduated from the center, whose current registration includes 917 youths from 52 nations, particularly from Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean.
Paraguayan Ever Amarilla, the best foreign graduate, told PL news agency that he was proud to have studied in Cuba because he learned how to be an integral medical doctor with human and solidarity values.
Amarilla said he aspires to get back to his country and assist poor people with professionalism and the knowledge he received in sister Cuba.
Both foreign and Cuban students are offered the medical courses and all school materials free of charge as well as their food, medical attention and lodging.
The objective of these courses is forming highly-qualified human resources for Third World nations as a contribution to their integral development. (ACN)
Local Constituency Commissions Prepare for Elections
HAVANA, Cuba, July 31 (ACN) All members of over 14 000 district electoral commissions on the island will take a training program, from tomorrow to August 18, on the nomination process as part of their preparation for upcoming general elections.
Some 78 000 constituency members will prepare to organize and lead the nomination of candidates and delegates to municipal assemblies of People’s Power, Juventud Rebelde newspaper reported on Tuesday.
According to the electoral schedule, nomination assemblies will take place in September throughout the island to propose candidates to local governments, who will be picked by their neighbors among those persons they consider as the best qualified and prepared persons to represent them.
Prior to the vote, scheduled for October 21 and 28, the candidates’ biographies and photos will be published in the constituencies so that the people know about their social and working records for the vote. (ACN)
La Colmenita: a Success in the Land of Tango
HAVANA, Cuba.- At the Teatro del Viejo Mercado, in El Abasto, Buenos Aires, a tango loving area par excellence located near the place where great Carlos Gardel lived and sang, Cuba’s La Colmenita Children’s Theater Company gave over 10 performances full of emotions and public.
The children, Good Will Ambassadors of the UNICEF, directed by Carlos Alberto “Tin” Cremata, arrived in Argentina with the works “And yet it moves” and “Cinderella according to Los Beatles,” to take part in the First Musical Theater Children’s Festival, organized by the Argentinean La Colmenita, a social project inspired by the work of the little Cubans and sponsored by TIP Travel Bureau tour operator, the www.cubadebate.cu Web site reported.
The Argentinean children joined their small Cuban brothers and sisters in every performance. They were also part of the music band that, before each closing, regaled the public with a mini concert -live- of Cuban music.
The program also included workshops, exchanges of experiences, living together with Argentinean families, visits to places of cultural and historic interest, and even a soccer game at the internationally known River Plate Club, where the little Cubans were, amazingly, the winners.
Important Argentinean media echoed this visit. (CAN)
Pastors for Peace Caravan Gets to Mexico and Readies to Bring Aid to Cuba
HAVANA, Cuba, July 20 (ACN) The Pastors for Peace Caravan to Cuba is already in Mexico after crossing the US border on Thursday. The solidarity action with Cuba takes place for the 23th time challenging the US economic blockade of the island, and as a strong demand for the return to Cuba of the five antiterrorist fighters held in the US since 1998.
During the border crossing, which took place on the Pharr and Hidalgo bridges, in Texas, with coverage by Mexican TV channels, US authorities seized six equipment included in the 100-ton humanitarian cargo destined to the Cuban people, according to information posted on the Caravan’s website.
The aid, which will be shipped to Havana from the Mexican port of Tampico, includes seven vehicles, medications, medical equipment and incubators, as well as x-ray equipment and other items, the information explains.
Caravan members, who expect to be in Havana on Saturday, July 21, are coming from the United States, Canada, Mexico and some European countries. Once in the Cuban capital, they will hold a group of activities marking the 20th anniversary of the Pastors for Peace Caravans to Cuba.
The humanitarian initiative has sent 23 caravans to Cuba in open defiance of the US economic, commercial and financial blockade of Cuba.
Social Organizations in Nicaragua Demand End of US Blockade of Cuba
HAVANA, Cuba, July 19 (ACN) Members of Latin American and Caribbean social organizations, gathered in the Nicaraguan capital Managua, demanded the lifting of the over-50-year economic, commercial and financial blockade of Cuba and the return to the island of the five anti-terrorist fighters held in the U.S. since 1998.
The participants, who held several international forums of leftist and youth organizations this week, organized a solidarity-with-Cuba rally which also condemned the coup in Paraguay and expressed support of Venezuela, Prensa Latina reported from Managua.
The best way to bring together all accords reached in the forums is this meeting supportive of Cuba, example of the socialist ideal, said the coordinator of the Nicaraguan Solidarity-with-Cuba Movement, Freddy Franco.
The youth leader called for the consolidation of spaces to boost the unity of the Latin American and Caribbean people and he stressed the role being played by the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of our Americas (ALBA) as a regional integration bloc favoring social transformations in the benefit of the majorities.
Cuban ambassador to Nicaragua Eduardo Martinez said that Managua turned into the capital of leftist movements these days, due to what the Nicaraguan people’s revolution represents and what it has achieved.
The rally was attended by Nobel Peace Laureate Rigoberta Menchu; Belgian psychologist Francois Houtart; the coordinator of an Ecuadorian indigenous organization, Esmeralda Yasig, and the first secretary of the Cuban Young Communist League Liudmila Alamo.
China and Russia to Test Cuban Diabetic Foot Pharmaceutical
HAVANA, Cuba, July 19 (ACN) China and Russia will start clinical tests on the Cuban pharmaceutical known as Heberprot-P, used to treat diabetic foot ulcers.
The director of the Havana-based Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology Center, Luis Herrera, told Granma newspaper that the decision by China and Russia, prior to registering and approving of the medication, proves the good acceptance and high effectiveness of the product, which has prevented thousands of lower limb amputations on diabetic patients.
The clinical test will also be carried out in a hundred European hospitals, which makes it possible for Cuban scientists to carry out the phase III tests on the pharmaceutical in the first world and for the first time.
Heberprot-P is being administered in over 200 Cuban healthcare institutions as well as in other countries, such as Algeria, Vietnam, Angola, Argentina, Uruguay, Ecuador, Mexico, the Dominican Republic and Venezuela, said the scientist.
According to Doctor Herrera, over 70 000 patients have been treated with the Cuban pharmaceutical, which has been patented in more than 40 countries, and used under 17 different sanitary permits by countries interested in its administration.
The Ecuadorian Government Thanks Cuba for Help in the Health Sector
SANCTI SPIRITUS, Cuba, July 18 (acn) The government of the Republic of Ecuador expressed its appreciation on Wednesday in this city for the help received from the people of Cuba in the sphere of public health.
The gesture of gratitude was conveyed by Dr. Esneider Gomez, second secretary of the Ecuadorian embassy to Havana, while speaking with authorities of the Public Health Ministry in the province of Sancti Spiritus.
I’m the bearer, he said, of an embrace of President Rafael Correa and of greetings sent by our government and people to Cuba, a nation that has extended its generous hand both in the training of our physicians and in health work there.
Gomez attended the graduation ceremony held at the University of Medical Sciences of Sancti Spiritus, where students from his country are being trained as professionals.
He highlighted that some 400 Ecuadorian professionals of the health sector are graduating in Cuba this year, who will return to their country to practice their professions and put the knowledge acquired to the test.
Cuba Calls to Strengthen the Biological Weapons Convention
HAVANA, Cuba, July 18 (acn) Cuba called on Wednesday in Geneva to the creation of a multilateral, comprehensive and non-discriminatory process leading to an effective strengthening of the Biological Weapons Convention, in pursuit of the achievement of its objectives.
While speaking at the meeting of experts of the State Parties to the Convention, Juan Antonio Quintanilla, Cuban representative to Geneva, reaffirmed his country’s stance with regard to the voluntary codes of conduct and other measures to encourage the responsible behavior of scientists, academies and industries.
Cuba is convinced that the current need noticed by the international community of achieving alternatives for protection is based on the lack of a legal binding and non-discriminatory instrument that strengthens the Convention in a comprehensive way, he pointed out.
According to a note by the www.cubaminrex.cu Web site, the Cuban representative considered that the codes of conduct for scientists can be beneficial, but that these codes, by themselves, can’t solve the problem of the threat that the use of this type of armament represents.
Finally, the diplomat reiterated his country’s willingness to participate in the international debate on the devising of regulations and precepts for the scientists working in spheres related to the Biological Weapons Convention.
Cuba and East Timor to Boost Relations
HAVANA, Cuba, July 18 (acn) The governments of Cuba and East Timor shared on Wednesday in this capital their willingness to boost relations, during a ceremony to celebrate the 10th anniversary of bilateral bonds.
At the Cuban Foreign Ministry, the island’s Deputy Foreign Minister, Marcos Rodriguez, and the Deputy Minister for Foreign Business of East Timor, Alberto Xavier Pereira, cancelled a postal stamp on the occasion of celebrating a decade of diplomatic ties, the Prensa Latina news agency reported.
The two leaders underlined the current level of these bonds and the potential to increase them.
Rodriguez recalled that, since 2004, over 800 Cuban health workers have helped the population of East Timor, and that Havana has contributed to the training of professionals and the eradication of illiteracy.
For his part, Pereira expressed his gratitude for the solidarity received and highlighted that with Cuba’s cooperation his country expects to declare itself free of illiterates by 2013.
The visitor also ratified East Timor’s support for the causes defended by the Caribbean island, like the lifting of the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by Washington on Cuba for over half a century now and the demand for the freedom of the five Cuban antiterrorists unfairly condemned in the US.
Second Group of Cuban Olympic Athletes to London
HAVANA, Cuba, July 18 (ACN) The second group of Cuban athletes to contest the 30th Olympic Games will depart Wednesday for London, venue of the world event, to take place July 27 to August 12.
The group, made up of 13 athletes, is headed by Greco-Roman wrestler Mijain Lopez, champ at Beijing 2008.
Also scheduled to depart for London today is cyclist Arnold Alcolea, who will join three of his colleagues, who left on Sunday, along experts in diving, rowing, weight lifting, sports shooting and table tennis.
Meanwhile, several Cuban boxers and one archer arrived in London from Bulgaria and Ireland, and other athletes will be getting to the British capital from European countries, where they are taking training, including nine judo specialists.
Cuba, which will be represented at the Olympic Games by 110 athletes in 14 sports disciplines, looks forwards to improving its Beijing 2008 performance, where it finished on the 28th position with two gold, 11 silver and 11 bronze.
The Cuban Youth, Target of new anti-Cuba Campaign
BAYAMO, Cuba, July 18 (ACN) Historians in this city of the eastern province of Granma denounced that the Cuban youth is being the target of an ongoing ideological campaign aimed at evoking nostalgia for an allegedly ideal pre-revolutionary Cuba.
The manipulation of history and the fabrication of the campaign on the basis of facts unknown to the youths, were strongly rejected by Cuban history specialists, who celebrated Cuban Historian Day, in Bayamo, to recall the work of outstanding historian Emilio Roig de Leuchsenring.
On the occasion, the Cuban Historian Association (UNHIC) issued a declaration, read by its president Sergio Garces, denouncing the ongoing campaign, which intends to present the 1950s in Cuba as the ideal time in the island’s history.
This campaign is based on manipulated and fabricated nostalgia on the basis of unknown facts in order to have the Cuban youths dream of something preconceived, the declaration explains.
In the ideological battlefield nothing can be understood as banal or innocent, reads the text which rejects those who distort history for the sake of money.
The historians’ association called on the youth to follow the example and teachings of several generations of Cubans, who gave their lives to build a new, better and really socialist homeland.
Several historians and researchers were granted diplomas and distinctions during the ceremony.
Solidarity Actions in Chile for the Freedom of The Cuban Five
HAVANA, Cuba, July 17 (acn) Numerous actions to demand the release of the five Cuban antiterrorists unfairly condemned in the United States were carried out on Monday by the Chilean Solidarity-with-Cuba Movement.
In the commune of Recoleta, in Santiago de Chile, the solidarity groups gave five medals, in a symbolic way, to Rene Gonzalez, Antonio Guerrero, Fernando Gonzalez, Ramon Labañino and Gerardo Hernandez, in memory of Jose Weibel, leaders of the Chilean Communist Youth, who was arrested and disappeared by the dictatorship in 1976.
The medals were received by representatives of the Cuban embassy to Chile, headed by counselor Jorge Luis Bernaza, the Prensa Latina news agency reported.
Also attending the ceremony were members of the Solidarity-with-Cuba Coordinating Committee, along with the Regional Committee of the Communist Party and representatives of the Unitary Union of Workers (Central Unitaria de Trabajadores) and of the Association of Professors, councilors, and residents in the area.
Parallel to this ceremony, the Jose Marti Solidarity-with-Cuba Cultural Organization and the Center for the Spreading of Culture and the Arts of the municipality of Ovalle, inaugurated a Cuban Film Festival over the weekend, with materials dedicated to the Cuban Five, among them the documentary “Will the real terrorist please stand up?,” directed by American Saul Landau.
Nearly 50 Thousand Cubans Benefitted with New Credit Policy
HAVANA, Cuba, July 20 (ACN) A new credit policy implemented in Cuba has thus far benefitted over 49 900 citizens, said the president-minister of Central Bank of Cuba (BCC) Ernesto Medina.
In his report to Cuban lawmakers on Thursday, Medina said that the total bulk of credit lines has reached 347 million Cuban pesos, particularly granted to citizens for home repairs and the purchase of construction materials.
Medina said that as credit lines continue to be granted, the institutions involved in the initiative continue to improve their work to expand the access to credits.
The official explained that the measure also benefits the sugar and agriculture sectors, in an effort to encourage their productions.
During the debates of the BCC report, the deputies referred the need to increase the number of automatic teller machines in different territories. They stressed the necessity to give a solution to current debts among state entities, and to emphasize on the benefits of credits that increase active labor capital.
Graduates from the LatAm Medicine School Meet in Cuba
Havana, Jul 16 (Prensa Latina) About 600 graduates from 25 countries of the Latin American Medical School (ELAM) begin today four days of discussions on the impact of their nursing care in communities and to strengthen ties with Cuba. The II International Meeting of Graduates 2012 will also promote scientific discussion, teaching and research in the project founded in 1999 by the leader of the Cuban Revolution Fidel Castro.
Professionals from different associations with an integrated vision will meet to work and research together in pursue to multinational programs, Juan Carrizo, Rector of ELAM, said to the National Information Agency (AIN).
Carrizo, who is also President of the Organizing Committee of the forum, added that the event includes a science fair sample of pharmaceuticals and medical equipment developed in Cuba, and a representation of international medical laboratories accredited in Cuba.
As part of the meeting, which will last until Thursday, there will be a photographic exhibition of graduates' associations, which are already 15,000 from 100 nations.
Activities of US Solidarity Brigade Continue in Cuba
Havana, 15 (Prensa Latina) The members of the 43rd Venceremos solidarity brigade continued their activities by visiting places of historical-social interest.
The US contingent that arrived in Cuba on July 8 arrived yesterday to the Julio Antonio Mella international camp, in Caimito, in the western province of Artemisa, after staying in central Cienfuegos and Villa Clara provinces.
They are scheduled to attend lectures on Cuban current situation and take part in the ceremony of welcome for the 23th Pastors for Peace Caravan.
These 31 representatives from 11 US states are also scheduled to meet with relatives of The Cuban Five unfairly held in US prisons since 1998.
Antonio Guerrero, Fernando Gonzalez, Ramon Labanino, Rene Gonzalez and Gerardo Hernandez were given harsh sentences for monitoring Florida-based anti-Cuban groups.
In their activities, the members of the Venceremos Brigade are joining hands with their peers from the Juan Rius Rivera (Puerto Rico) and the Jose Marti (Europe) contingents.
Cuban Parliament to Debate New Tax System Bill
Havana, Jul 15 (Prensa Latina) The Tax System Bill is among the issues to be discussed during the 11th Ordinary Session of the Cuban Parliament, convened for July 23.
The legislative bill will be the focus, along with other issues, of debates by lawmakers of the 7th Legislature of the People's Power National Assembly, to be held at Havana's Conference Center.
According to Granma newspaper, the bill has long been the object of study by the permanent commissions on Economic Affairs, and Constitutional and Judicial Affairs.
That analysis is being made in conjunction with Ministry of Finance and Prices, the National Tax Administration Office and other agencies and the state and government institutions, the daily states.
The proposal has been extensively debated by all legislators in their respective territories, and responds to the need to replace the current Law No. 73 on the Tax System, adopted on August 4, 1994, in correspondence with the changes undergone by the tax system, says the newspaper.
Cuban legislators will also debate reports about the course of the implementation process of agreements from the 6th Congress of the Cuban Communist Party, and the Liquidation of the 2011 State Budget.
The lawmakers will also analyze the implementation of the Economy Plan and Budget in the first semester of 2012 and a report from the Public Health Ministry.
The parliamentarians will previously meet in different working commissions to debate issues such as the update of Cuba's economic model, the energy situation, health and education, and the foreign policy, among other issues.
Cuba Celebrates Children´s Day
Havana, Jul 15 (Prensa Latina) Cuban theaters, movies, squares, parks, streets, sports fields, and beaches today are the stage for activities to celebrate Children´s Day, a festivity in the Island on the third Sunday of July.
It includes outdoor and indoor shows, contests, festivals, and dance, as well as reading and new technology and communication activities.
According to the vice president of the Jose Marti Pioneer Organization, Manuel Valera, the country´s 15 provinces will carry out activities for the children.
In a statement to the National News Agency, Valera said this is a special day with lots of reasons for happiness because everything here is made for the wellbeing and defense of the children´s right to life.
Valera recalled that the third Sunday of July festivity was proposed by the children themselves during a meeting with Cuban Revolution leader Fidel Castro, in 1974.
Top Cuban Athletes are Already in the Olympic Village
London, Jul 16 (Prensa Latina) The first 48 Cuban athletes who will take part in the London Games-2012 are already in the Olympic Village, the press reported today.
In addition to the athletes, this initial group, one of the two expected, is fomred by coaches and members of the federations of cycling, diving, archery, shooting, rowing, table tennis and weightlifting.
The first Cuban group is headed Christian Jimenez, president of the National Institute of Sports, Physical Education and Recreation, and Norge Marrero, director of High Performance Director of the same entity.
The Cuban delegation comprises 110 athletes in 14 disciplines, with its main winning card in the Greco-Roman wrestler and champion, Mijain Lopez, winner of the previous edition of Beijing-2008.
Successful Cuban La Colmenita Debut in Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires, July 15 (Prensa Latina) Cuban children theater company La Colmenita captivated the demanding Argentinian audience, who applauded and fully enjoyed every minute the performance of ''Cinderella according to the Beatles'' on Saturday.
Their successful debut corroborated what a few minutes before the performance at the Old Market Theater, Carlos Alberto Cremata, director of the company told Prensa Latina: "The high sensitivity of the Argentinians for the show makes them react like no one would do." I have stressed to my staff the importance of this debut in Argentina, a country that is the master of theater and entertainment in the continent, Cremata said, from whom performances here is like "going to the home of the top dance."
He noted that in the Havana venue, and in its 30 years of existence, La Colmenita had performed for audiences all over the world, but none had reacted with the sensitivity of the Argentinians, he said.
The Cuban children company, proclaimed by UNICEF as Goodwill Ambassador, will perform in the First Children's Musical Theater Festival organized by the Argentinian chapter of The Colmenita, a social non-profit project that conducts the tour operator Travel Bureau TIP.
Besides 'Cinderella according to the Beatles', which recreates the famous music group from Liverpool mixed with the traditional version of Cinderella, we will also play our major work, 'Y sin embargo se mueve' (And yet it moves), the director said.
This is a piece designed for teens and adults, with texts by Russian playwright Alexander Jmelnik and music by Silvio Rodriguez, and reflects the need of the human being to question everything and the right to dream freely.
The program of the First Children's Musical Theater Festival also includes 'Sí, pero ya no' (Yes, but no) and 'Juegos y canciones' (Games and Songs') by the Argentinian Colmenita, and from the classic children's literature 'La Cucarachita Martina' ( Martina Cockroach), played by 'beekeepers'(as they call the children actors and actresses) from Argentina and Cuba.
In addition, the group Vuelo en V -from the northern Argentinian province of Tucuman- will present Derechos torcidos (Crooked Rights), a memorable work by Hugo Midon, who is considered an indisputable leader of musical child comedy in this South American nation.
Cuban University Reports Largest Graduation in History
Santiago de Cuba, Jul 14 (Prensa Latina) By graduating 4,915 professionals on Saturday, the University of Oriente, the second oldest in Cuba, reported the largest number of graduates in its 65 years.
According to data provided to Prensa Latina by the direction of that educational center, 878 students graduated from the regular daytime course, 327 from the courses for workers, 1,250 from distance courses and 2,640 from the universalization of higher education.
The largest number of students graduated from economic and entrepreneurial sciences, social and humanistic sciences, electric engineering and construction.
From the total, 304 students graduated summa cum laude.
In its 65 years, the University of Oriente, in the city of Santiago de Cuba, has graduated more than 54,000 bachelors and engineers, mainly from all five eastern provinces and from other countries, who have benefited from a high teaching level and free education.
Among the new graduates are 32 foreigners from 20 African, Latin American and Caribbean countries, as part of Cuba´s collaboration with other peoples.
Cuban and Peruvian Singers Join Voices for the Five
HAVANA, Cuba, July 16 (ACN) The Legislative Palace in Lima, Peru, will host a concert on Monday by Cuban and Peruvian singers in demand of the return to the island of the five Cuban anti-terrorist fighters held in the U.S. since 1998.
Songwriters and singers Vicente Feliu and Pepe Ordaz will join his voices with Peruvian Piero Bustos and Jean Vismara in the homage concert dedicated to Gerardo Hernandez, Antonio Guerrero, Fernando Gonzalez, Ramon Labañino and Rene Gonzalez, internationally known as the Cuban Five, PL news agency reported.
The five anti-terrorists declared Heroes of the Republic of Cuba, were arrested in 1998 and submitted to a biased trial in the city of Miami which gave them extremely long and unfair sentences after they monitored US-based ultra-right groups that have undertaken terrorist actions against Cuba over the past fifty years.
The concert will join a forum, organized by socialist lawmaker Javier Diez and the Peruvian Committee in Solidarity with the Five to spread the truth of their case and demand their release.
New US maneuver to hinder Gerardo´s process of appeal
HAVANA, Cuba, July 13 (ACN) The Cuban Foreign Affairs Ministry issued a statement on Thursday denouncing new arbitrary actions and violations of the rights of Cuban Gerardo Hernandez, one of the five Cuban anti-terrorist fighters held in the US since 1998. CAN publishes the full statement as posted on the website of the Foreign Ministry:
Statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
One of the five antiterrorist fighters unjustly imprisoned in the United States, Hero of the Republic of Cuba, Gerardo Hernández Nordelo, has been subject of a new arbitrariness by the authorities of that country, aiming at hindering his legal process.
Last Saturday, July 7th, the Cuban officers who had been already authorized by the State Department to carry out a consular visit to Gerardo, were not able to fulfill it, under the supposed argumentthat the memorandum of the Chief of the penitentiary center Victorville, in California, authorizing their entrance to the prison, was not available at the reception desk. This fact powerfully calls the attention when, in addition to the procedures followed by the Cuban Interests Section in Washington with the State Department to get the authorization for this visit, Gerardo himself had reconfirmedwith the prison´s authorities that everything was in order.
Additionally, last July 9th, lawyer Martin Garbus, member of Gerardo´s defense team, who had scheduled a legal visit to review, together with Gerardo, the documentation related to the current collateral process of appeal, was not able to do it with the same pretext that the memorandum of authorization of the chief of prison was not at the reception desk. Garbus could finally visit Gerardo, thanks to the fact that his name was on the visitor´s list; however, and given the conditions imposed to the type of visit he was authorized to, without a legal character, he could not bring in thedocumentation our Hero should read and sign, and neither met with him under the appropiate conditions.
This is not the first time events like this one occur. They have taken place systematically during every key moment of Gerardo´s legal process.
Just to mention a few examples: in 2010, during thepreparations of the collateral appeal, known as Habeas Corpus, the penitentiary authorities denied Gerardo the possibility to be visited by his lawyer Leonard Weinglass in two ocassions, anddeliberately delayed the delivery of his legal mail, which prevented his participation in the reviewing. In 2003, Gerardo was isolated in a punishment cell prior to the presentations of his direct appeal.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs denounces this new maneuver by US authorities, aiming at hindering Gerardo´s process of appeal, depriving him from one of the few rights he has as a prisoner in the United States. Gerardo has been sent to solitary confinement several times without justification; he´s had repeated difficulties with his personal and legal mail; his wife, Adriana, has not been granted visa to visit him and they have not been able to conceive a child. During his long and unjust imprisonment, on charges for crimes he did not commit and have never been proved, his rights have been violated repeatedly.
Cuba will not stop denouncing to the world these violations and will not cease the efforts to achieve the return to the Homeland of Gerardo and his other four brothers unjustly imprisoned and retained in the United States for almost 14 years.
Puerto Rican Solidarity Brigade Arrives in Cuba
ARTEMISA, Cuba, July 12 (acn) The Cuban Institute for Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP) welcomed the 11th Juan Rius Rivera Solidarity Brigade of Puerto Rico at the Julio Antonio Mella International Camp, in the municipality of Caimito, Artemisa province.
The brigadistas arrived on Thursday motivated by their wish to know Cuban reality, hold exchanges with the people and carry their own experiences back home, without the intervention of the mass media, Milagro Rivera, leader of the contingent, told the press.
Esperanza Luzbert, representative of North America at the ICAP, highlighted the presence of youngsters in this group, among them siblings Diego and Maria Varona, nephew and niece of Rafael Varona (Fefel), a Puerto Rican teacher who was the victim of a US bombing while visiting Vietnam in 1967.
Diego told ACN that, at his 17 years of age, he feels attracted to the example of the Cuban people, its music and customs and its strength in the face of barriers imposed by Washington.
The Puerto Ricans will carry out a program of activities until July 30, which includes meetings with other solidarity groups and Cuban internationalist physicians; agricultural work; and visits to educational centers and historic and cultural places, among others.
Likewise, the will appreciate the celebrations on the island for the 26 of July, Day of National Rebelliousness, and will pay tribute to late Cuban singer-songwriter Sara Gonzalez.
Pastors for Peace Successfully Collect Donations for Cuba
Washington, July 12 (Prensa Latina) The 23rd Pastors for Peace Friendship Caravan continued today its US tour, finding a positive response from the people, who contribute humanitarian aid that is scheduled to be taken to Cuba this month.
According to the Pastors for Peace website, in the past few days the activists have visited Chicago (Illinois), Berkeley (California) and Bloomington (Indiana), where they received donations and support to this philanthropic project.
They also updated the public on the negative effects of the US blockade imposed on Cuba for over fifty years, despite the rejection of the international community for twenty consecutive years before the UN General Assembly.
The donations include items for sports, health and education, who are among the US blockade worst hit sectors.
"We have collected some 100 tons of aid, mainly computers, medicines, school materials and medical equipment. The US blockade prevents Cuba from acquiring any of these products in the international market," a member of the caravan, Manolo de los Santos, told Indiana Daily Student newspaper.
The activists are scheduled to visit at least 90 cities before meeting in McAllen, Texas, on July 19 to cross to Mexico and then take the humanitarian cargo to Cuba.
The 23rd Friendship Caravan includes more than 60 activists from Canada, the United States, Germany, Britain and Mexico.
The initiative was created in 1992 by late Reverend Lucius Walker with the objective to break the blockade and take humanitarian assistance and medicine to Cuba in yellow school buses without asking for federal authorization or license
Activists with the Venceremos Brigade Pay Tribute to Che Guevara
SANTA CLARA, Cuba, July 13 (ACN) Members of the Solidarity-with-Cuba Venceremos Brigade laid a wreath at the Ernesto Che Guevara Memorial in this central Cuban city.
The young of activists are interested in learning about Cuban reality and how the people of this island nation is facing the over-50-year US economic, financial and commercial blockade, which has inflicted direct damage calculated at over 975 billion dollars, according to the latest Cuban resolution overwhelmingly backed by the international community.
Malcom Sacks, who lives in New York, told reporters that he was encouraged by the experiences his parents told him about Cuba, where they visited with the first groups of the Venceremos Brigade.
Sacks, who has come with the 43rd group, said he would like to see the blockade lifted for humanitarian reasons and not with the objective followed by some US congress people, who pursue profits with the elimination of the US measure.
Alda Arias, a Colombian residing in the U.S., said that she was eager to know Cuba and after she came she got a very good impression of the local nature and the people. Arias criticized what she described as the cruelty and injustice of the US blockade of the island.
After touring the memorial treasuring the mortal remains of the Argentinean-Cuban guerrilla fighter and his companions killed in action in Bolivia, the activists visited the site where Che Guevara and his troops derailed an armored train of the former Batista dictatorship, back in 1958.
The group is scheduled to visit the provincial office of the Cuban Friendship Institute and meet with members of grassroots organizations in the city of Santa Clara.
LatAm Musicians to Dedicate CD to Cuban 5
Havana, Jul 13 (Prensa Latina) Musicians from Paraguay, Argentina, Chile and Cuba will join their voices and compositions at a CD that will be launched in 2013, in solidarity with the five Cuban antiterrorist fighters unjustly held in the United States since 1998.
In remarks to Prensa Latina, Chilean singer and songwriter Ismael Duran, author of the project, stated that the album includes the participation of renowned artists of the region, such as Vicente Feliu, Andres Ordaz Aguilera (Pepe), Isabel Parra, Leon Gieco and Daniel Viglietti, and bands Manguare (Cuba) and Inti Illimani (Chile).
Singers and composers from Spain, the United States and Canada, as guests, and poems written by Gerardo Hernandez, Ramon Labañino, Fernando Gonzalez, Antonio Guerrero and Rene Gonzalez, will be also included in the CD, the musician noted.
Invited in May to the International Festival Cubadisco 2012, Duran described the work as nice and difficult, while each musician will record the music in the country of origin to later send them to Havana, where the final production will take place, at Havana's Abdala studios.
Although different musical styles, such as hip-hop, will be included, the Latin American traditional music will be prominent in the disc. This gender, according to the trova singer, has achieved to survive the hardships caused by musical market and its commercialization, because "art and cultural roots are still alive thanks to the peoples," he said.
About his work relations with Manguare, a band with which he already recorded the two first tracks of the album, Duran said they dated from his first visit to Cuba some years ago.
I had the opportunity to record a couple of songs with this son band in 2010: "Mi sombrerito cubano" (My Small Cuban Hat) and "Guanabacoa bella" (Beautiful Guanabacoa). The latter awarded as the 2011 Best Latin Song, granted by the John Lennon Foundation in the United States, he noted.
The idea to produce a CD on the occasion of the solidarity with the Cuban antiterrorists emerged on April during the activities carried out in the U.S. city of Washington, as part of the campaign "Five Days for the Cuban Five."
Teacher Training Closes Education Congress in Cuba
Havana, Jul 13 (Prensa Latina) The permanent training for teachers with the sight set on diversity care will close today two congresses on preschool and special education in Cuba, with the attendance of almost 300 delegates from 23 countries.
Participants in these two forums will debate on professional development, access for people with disabilities to be trained as professors, and the strengthening of competitions for visually impaired people's access to study at the university.
They also analyze national variants for the comprehensive care of first childhood, which according to experts, is one of the mainstays for the development of students' personality.
The International Congress of Education and Special Pedagogy and the 10th International Meeting of Primary and Preschool Education were being held in parallel since July 10 at the Havana's Conference Center.
Delegates from Angola, Argentina, Mexico, Costa Rica, Colombia, Brazil, Colombia, Puerto Rico, Russia, Paraguay, Nicaragua, Peru and Venezuela, attend both events.
On July 11-12, participants visited one of almost 30 Havana schools, because the school year already concluded here. Some of them had the opportunity to prove on site the Cuban strategy on that matter.
Cuba and Norway Sign Agreement to Help Haiti
HAVANA, Cuba, July 13 (acn) Cuba and Norway signed on Thursday in this capital a triangular agreement for the implementation of the third program of humanitarian aid for Haiti, a nation devastated by an earthquake in 2010.
The document was signed by Hohn Petter Opdahl, Norwegian ambassador to Cuba, and Marcia Cobas and Ileana Nuñez, the island’s deputy ministers for Public Health and Foreign Trade and Investment, respectively.
The two nations ratified their commitment to increase the quality of health services for the Haitian people, which has also suffered as a result of floods and cholera epidemics, among other evils.
The Cuban officials and Jean Victor Geneus, Haiti’s ambassador to Havana, thanked Norway for its cooperation dedicated to maintain sustainability in order to prevent a devastating epidemic of cholera and of transmissible diseases, as well as strengthening medical assistance services in isolated places.
The agreement will favor the execution of an 800,000 dollar-financing, in order to continue consolidating the work of the Cuban Medical Brigades in these tasks.
Geneus expressed his gratitude towards Cuba for the presence of health professionals in his country, who were also present there in 1998 after the passage of Hurricane George, he stressed.
More Actions in Europe in Favor of the Cuban Five
HAVANA, Cuba, July 11 (acn) A peculiar initiative characterized the Italian capital on Thursday, with posters on the streets calling to solidarity with the five Cuban antiterrorist heroes unfairly condemned in the United States.
Members of the Circle of Rome, of the Italy-Cuba National Friendship Association, suck posters in important arteries of that city and the streets leading to the Rome-Florence highway.
These posters demand justice to be served in the case of Gerardo Hernandez, Fernando Gonzalez, Ramon Labañino, Antonio Guerrero and Rene Gonzalez.
This is yet another action of the growing international campaign “On the Fifth for The Five,” the www.cubaminrex.cu Web site reported.
Meanwhile, in Scotland, a contemporary art exhibition entitled “Beyond the Frame” was inaugurated in the city of Glasgow, which includes paintingsby Tony Guerrero and caricatures by Gerardo Hernandez, along with works by renowned Cuban and British artists.
The pieces, on display at the El Faro Gallery, were donated by their authors. The money collected will be dedicated to the campaign for the release of these heroes.
Another US Company Fined for Trading with Cuba
HAVANA, Cuba, July 11 (acn) The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the US Department of the Treasury (OFAC) imposed a penalty of one million 347,750 dollars to the Great Western Malting Company for infringing the internationally rejected blockade of Cuba.
This new sanction was applied to the US Company for carrying out several operations so a foreign subsidiary sold barley malt -of non-US origin- to the island, between August, 2006 and March, 2009, informed the OFAC on Tuesday.
So far this year, the aforementioned US Department of the Treasury has fined three US and foreign entities, in line with the strict and extraterritorial regulations of the blockade against the Caribbean country.
Washington continues to ignore the demand of the international public opinion, which demands the end of that siege against Cuba, an illegal policy that seriously violates the rights of its people to subsistence and development.
Video Supporting Cuban 5 Released in USA
Washington, Jul 11 (Prensa Latina) The International Committee to Free the Five Cuban anti-terrorist fighters unjustly held in the United States screened a new video on social networking sites in solidarity with them. This is the eighth video of this kind produced by the International Committee placed at the YouTube website, with the objective of reaching varied audiences, said the organization that supports the Cuban people and the cause of the Five who were tried 11 years ago.
The video includes interviews with renowned international artists such as Danny Glover and Peter Coyote speaking about the injustice committed against the Cuban patriots, detained in Miami in September 1998.
Thousands of people in the United States and the world have seen the videos, and important websites such as Facebook and Twitter, where many supporters of the Cuban cause have joined the struggle, have re-posted those videos.
The International Committee stated in a press release that the organization continues to work in a series of community activities in Washington DC, New York and San Francisco, to denounce the 14 years of unjust prison of the Cuban antiterrorists.
Cuban emigrant organizations in Miami called yesterday for a conference to analyze the special appeal currently underway for four of the Cuban five sentenced in 2001 in the United States.
The meeting was suggested by the Marti Alliance, Antonio Maceo Brigade, Jose Marti Association, the Bolivarian Circle of Miami, and the Association of Christian Women in Defense of the Family, among other nongovernmental groups in solidarity with Cuba.
Gerardo Hernandez, Ramon Labañino, Antonio Guerrero, Fernando Gonzalez and Rene Gonzalez, internationally known as the Cuban Five, were detained in 1998 in this country for monitoring anti-Cuban terrorist organizations located in Florida.
Rene was released from prison on October 7, after having completed his prison term. He was forced to remain in U.S. territory for three more years under supervised release.
In a biased trial in the city of Miami in 2001, the Five were condemned to long sentences in prison ranging from 15 years to double life imprisonment plus 15 additional years.
The US Refuses to Disclose Evidence in the Case of The Five
HAVANA, Cuba, July 9 (acn) The US government opposed the request made by Gerardo Hernandez – one of the five Cuban heroes condemned in Miami for fighting terrorism- of going deeper into the case of the journalists bought to distort information regarding their trials.
In the motion presented by his lawyer, Martin Garbos, Gerardo requested an oral hearing and the handing over by the governmental authorities of additional evidence that allows for further investigations on these events, the www.antiterroristas.cu Web site reported.
Likewise, he said that these “journalists” were paid with federal money and acted, before and during the trial against The Five, with the purpose of creating what in 2005 the panel of the Court of Appeals described as “a perfect storm of prejudices and hostility.”
The answer of the District Attorney’s Office, sent to the Florida court on July 6, tries to argue that the facts presented by the Defense are not such facts, and that therefore it’s not necessary to obtain more information to elucidate them, opposing the oral hearing requested by Gerardo.
We could turn to “executive privileges” and to the Classified Information Procedures Act in order not to agree to the request, warns the District Attorney’s Office, which is equivalent to admitting their will to continue concealing and manipulating evidence.
In view of such attitude, the note encourages to reflect on the fears of the US government, which doesn’t allow The Five, and particularly Gerardo –who is serving two life imprisonments plus 15 years- to have at their disposal all the evidence necessary to defend themselves against the unfair and absurd sentences imposed on them.
Conference on the Cuban Five Convened in Miami
HAVANA, Cuba, July 10 (acn) The extraordinary process of appeal of four of the five Cuban antiterrorists unfairly condemned in the United States is the central theme of a conference convened on Tuesday by Cuban emigration organizations in Miami.
The meeting has been scheduled for Sunday, July 15, an initiative of the Marti Alliance, the Antonio Maceo Brigade, the Jose Marti Association, the Bolivarian Circle of Miami, the Association of Christian Women in Defense of the Family, and other non-governmental groups in solidarity with the island, the Prensa Latina news agency reported.
The announcement recalls that the appeals of the Cuban patriots and the rest of the judicial documents required for that action are in the hands of Joan Lenard, judge of the Federal Court of Florida’s Southern District, who condemned and re-sentenced these heroes.
During the meeting, to be held at the Key Biscayne Hall of the Embassy Suites Hotel, participants will also tackle the case of Rene Gonzalez, who finished serving his sentence in October and now has to stay for another three years in the US, under supervised release.
The meeting will be dedicated to lawyer Roberto Gonzalez, Rene’s brother, who died recently and who was a member of The Five’s defense team.
Olga Salanueva Grateful to Mike Farrell for his Letter on The Five
HAVANA, Cuba, July 9 (acn) Olga Salanueva, wife of Rene Gonzalez –one of the Cuban antiterrorists unfairly condemned in the US-, expressed her appreciation for the letter that US filmmaker Mike Farell sent to President Barack Obama asking him to let The Five return to their homeland.
In statements to ACN on Monday, from this capital, Salanueva said that her gesture was an expression of gratitude on behalf of the relatives of Gerardo Hernandez, Fernando Gonzalez, Ramon Labañino, Antonio Guerrero and Rene.
She pointed out that Farrell’s initiative was very good, adding that it was a valuable example of what can be done and of how important personalities can act in favor of this cause.
“Let’s hope we can add many more persons like him, she pointed out. In his letter of July 5, the US actor and director requests Obama to make use of his prerogatives and grant executive clemency to The Five, who, he said, have been wrongly incarcerated for almost 14 years now.
U.S. Congress Analyzes New Legislative Actions vs. Cuba
Washington, Jul 11 (Prensa Latina) Republican congressman David Rivera, well known for his extremist political profile against Cuba, exhorted US senators to enact a new restrictive anti-trade law against the island, claiming it was needed for "reasons of national security."
In May, Rivera proposed a clause in a federal spending bill at the US House of Representatives, to prohibit Florida companies from receiving contracts from the Department of Defense if they continue doing business with Cuba.
However, the version of the program discussed in the Senate does not include the amendment proposed by the Cuban-American congressman, and Rivera told reporters that he is in talks with senators to convince them to add it.
According to the representative from Florida, who also presented a regulation in 2001 against tourism to Cuba, this issue concerning Florida companies should be viewed as "a national security matter."
If Rivera's amendment is accepted by the Congress, foreign and U.S. firms with Treasury Department licenses might be forced to redesign their client list at a time when U.S. industry is experiencing an economic stage called the Great Recession.
It is time for the U.S. government to examine and update its policies towards Cuba, because those maintained by Washington have a 50 year record of failure, said a well known political analyst here recently.
A first step in rebuilding ties will be to eliminate restrictions on agricultural exports to Cuba, a measure that will also provide financial benefits of between $300 and $500 million USD to the United States, the columnist noted.
For 20 consecutive years at the UN, the international community has condemned the interference and extraterritorial nature of the United States blockade against Cuba.
Young Cuban Communists Grant Medal to Venezuela’s United Socialist Party
HAVANA, Cuba, July 11 (ACN) Venezuela’s Sports minister and national coordinator of the Youths at the United Socialist Party (PSUV) Hector Rodriguez received, on behalf of his organization, the Medal for the 50th Anniversary of the Cuban Young Communist League (UJC), in Caracas.
During the ceremony, the member the UJC National Committee Yoan Palmero said that the distinction has been granted to 52 organizations in Latin America and the world.
The awarding of the medal is an expression of respect and solidarity, as well as of unity between the youths with the Young Communist League and the Venezuelan United Socialist Party, Palmero said.
Minister Rodriguez expressed his appreciation for the homage and noted that more than 60 percent of Venezuelans are youths, and that the PSUV is made up of 2 million members.
The Venezuelan government official stressed the current cooperation between the two political organizations and the support offered by the Cuban UJC to the youths with the Venezuelan party.
The ceremony was also attended by the general secretary of Russia’s Young Communist Union Sergey Malinkovich and by the general secretary of Chile’s Youth Social Movement.
Participants at Pedagogy Congress Visit Special Schools
HAVANA, Cuba, July 11 (ACN) Over 200 experts gathered since Monday at an International Congress on Special Education, in Havana, dedicated Wednesday morning to visiting local special schools before resuming debates of their second working session.
The experts from 20 Latin American and Caribbean countries are visiting the Abel Santamaria special school for the visually impaired, the Rene Vilches Rojas elementary school for the hearing impaired and the William Soler special attention center, among other entities in the important education sector.
Upon concluding their tour of the schools, the experts will return to the Convention Center for the second session of their congress, which includes the lecture “Attention to physically impaired persons and the Aging Cuban population,” by the director of the Social Assistance and Senior Citizens Department with the Cuban Health Ministry.
Running parallel to the Congress, the 2nd Elementary Education Forum will debate experiences in this area by Cuban and foreign experts.
India for Stronger Economic Links with Cuba, Says Ambassador
Havana, July 10 (Prensa Latina) Indian Ambassador to Havana, Chinthapally Rajasekhar, said today that his country wants to strengthen its economic links with Cuba, on occasion of the visit by Minister of Trade and Industry, Jyotiraditya Scindia.
"It will be a stay to which we give great importance," the diplomat told journalists referring to Scindia’s visit on July 10-13 leading a delegation of nearly twenty business people.
"There is goodwill, friendly relation between our countries, and during this visit we will explore what we can do together," said Rajasekhar, who announced the possibility of doing business in the fields of energy, tourism, infrastructure, biotechnology and the pharmaceutical industry.
We are looking for win-win links, he said as he also referred to the fields of services, computer sciences and in general wherever there is some interest.
Our trade exchange is only of 40 million USD a year, he said while extolling the links existing between Havana and New Delhi.
He noted that India sells Cuba medicine, light industry and plastic items, and imports from Cuba some medicine and services from coachers. "But that trade can grow," he stressed.
Scindia’s agenda in Cuba includes meetings with officials from the ministries of Foreign Trade and Investment, Foreign Affairs and Basic Industry.
On July 12, he is scheduled to hold a business round with the Chamber of Commerce of Cuba.
"We want to promote cooperation between both chambers and encourage business between India and Cuba," he said.
Cuba: 33rd Edition of Fiesta de Fuego Dedicated to Colombia
Santiago de Cuba, Jul 10 (Prensa Latina) The eastern city of Santiago de Cuba will be the host of the 33rd edition of the Fiesta de Fuego (Feast of Fire) Festival in 2013, this time dedicated to the culture of the Colombian Caribbean coast.
The Colombian delegation will bring an infinite variety of rhythms, colors and groups with the cultural tradition of the Colombian Atlantic coast, said Colombian Culture Vice Minister Maria Claudia Lopez, who stated a committee is organized to define the cultural manifestations representing the South American country in this festival.
Even a part of the Carnival of Barranquilla will be present in this edition.
This part of Colombia not only has common points with the Caribbean, but also related with the people living in the prairies and the Andean culture.
Colombian Ambassador to Havana Gustavo Bell was grateful for the chance for his comrades to see the great spiritual diversity of the Caribbean, saying that his delegation will show the impulse experimented in social sciences, such as history and anthropology, in the last years.
Bell added that during the festival there will a space to pay tribute to Polo Montañez, the Cuban great deceased country musician and singer, who conquered the Colombian audiences with his music.
Cuba Graduates 11,000 National, Foreign Physicians
Havana, Jul 11 (Prensa Latina) Some 11,000 students have concluded their medical studies in Cuba this school year, representing the largest graduation of the medical specialists in the country''s history, Cuban media reported today.
Among the graduates, around 5,315 are Cuban, while 5,694 others come from 59 countries, an example of international solidarity, said Granma newspaper.
The countries with the most graduates, all of whom studied free of charge in Cuba’s Medical Sciences Universities, are Bolivia, with more than 2,400, Nicaragua, 429, Peru, 453, Ecuador, 208, Colombia, 175, and Guatemala, 170.
According to preliminary data, the total number of graduates in medical sciences in the 2011-2012 academic year has now reached 32,171 Cuban and foreign health professionals prepared for careers in Medicine, Psychology, Nursing, and Health Technology.
French Medal of Honor for Cuban Folk Company
CAMAGUEY, Cuba, July 10 (acn) Cuba’s Camagua Folk Company received the Medal of Honor conferred by the City Council of La Richardais, in France.
Mayor Sergio Brindejonc handed over the medal to the dance troupe of Camaguey province, for its presence at the Folklore of the World Festival, which was attended by delegations from Europe, Africa, Asia and the Americas.
The Prize to Exceptionality for Artistic Quality, granted by the City Council of Reims and the French office of the International Organizing Committee for Folk Festivals is also among the acknowledgements received by the group.
Camagua is currently participating in a meeting in Segre, which will run until Thursday.
Directed by master and choreographer Fernando Medrano, the group arrived in Europe on May 22 to carry out a two-month tour, which includes Belgium.
Vietnamese Media Highlight Visit of Raul Castro
Hanoi, Jul 9 (Prensa Latina) The media of Vietnam highlighted the visit here of Cuban President, Raul Castro, and his dialogue with the highest national authorities, as a high point in the continuing development of the historical relations and cooperation between the two countries.
Newspapers, websites, radio and television still distribute on Monday pictures from the official reception at the Presidential Palace, with an honor guard composed of the three armed forces branches for this country.
The news agency VNA commented that the visit will implement the mechanisms agreed to in the Cuban-Vietnamese joint declaration signed in Havana during the visit of General Secretary of Communist Party of Vietnam, Nguyen Phu Trong.
VNA pointed out that since the establishment of diplomatic relations in December 1960, Vietnam and Cuba have maintained and developed their relationship, consistent with the aspirations and revolutionary faith of their parties, States and peoples.
The Saigon Liberation publication reported on the joint projects agreed to in rice and other crops, construction, pharmaceuticals, oil and gas.
Tuo Troi, the Communist Youth publication, stressed that the Vietnamese people are always mindful that Cuba was the leader in the global movement to support Vietnam's struggle for independence, freedom and reunification in the past.
The newspaper People's Army mentioned Truong's visit to Cuba in April, and now Raul Castro's visit to Vietnam, as a "significant historical milestone" in the links between States and Peoples. It referred to President Raul Castro's words the day before, that despite the distance from one side to another of the Earth, Vietnam and Cuba have been in the past and still remain closely related.
The Vietnam News Bridge website notes that Vietnam is an important economic partner of Cuba.
Meanwhile, in its foreign broadcasts, the Voice of Vietnam spoke about Truong's conviction that President Raul Castro's presence will help improve friendly relations and traditional cooperation, "faithful and bright between the two parties."
National Ballet performance pays homage to Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples
The National Ballet of Cuba offered a special gala on Sunday July 8 dedicated to the 50th anniversary of the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP) and the 40th anniversary of the foundation of the European Solidarity Brigade “José Martí”, which membership is made of friends mostly coming from Europe.
The performance held in the Theater Garcia Lorca was attended by Alicia Alonso, director general of the National Ballet of Cuba, Kenia Serrano, president of ICAP, members of the Jose Marti Brigade and a large representation of friends of the Revolution and members of the diplomatic corps accredited to the island
New edition of a book on the Cuban Five
The new edition of the book “The United States vs Five Heroes, written by Doctor of Juridical Sciences Rodolfo Davalos, is a great source to update the debate surrounding the case and to urge the struggle for their return of the Five men to their homeland, said Olga Salanueva, wife of Rene Gonzalez, one of the five Cuban antiterrorist heroes imprisoned in the US.
Salanueva delivered her speech during the presentation of the literary work carried out in the park located on the corner of 23 and F, Vedado, as part of The Night of Books, which began the cultural program of the current summer season in Cuba.
Students and teachers ascent once more the highest peak in Timor Leste for the Cuban Five
Timorese students and Cuban teachers of Maubisse Referral Hospital trekked once again the highest peak in Timor Leste to demand the release of the Five Cuban Heroes.
A total of 41 persons took part in the trek, including a professor of the educational Cuban brigade, two professors of the Cuban Medical Brigade, 35 students of medicine and some of their relatives and friends.
Jamaican Norman Girvan to Receive Casa del Caribe International Award
Santiago de Cuba, Jul 8 (Prensa Latina) Jamaican intellectual Norman Girvan will be awarded today the Casa del Caribe International Prize, which is the main distinction of the organizers of the Fire Festival to outstanding artists and intellectuals in the region.
During the last day of the The Caribbean that Unites Us international symposium, Girvan, who is a renowned researcher and professor emeritus at the University of the West Indies, will be honored for his substantial contribution to critical, emancipating thinking in the Caribbean.
Indeed, a Girvan’s essay volume, The Caribbean, Dependency, Integration and Sovereignty -with a foreword by Cuban researcher Graciela Chailloux- opened here the publishing collection of the Casa del Caribe.
On Sunday, the Ediciones Santiago house will also launch the books Verguenza contra Dinero and El Ser y la Historia, by Joel James; Cronicas del Crepusculo, by poet Jesus Cos Cauce, and Baroko o El Pacto, a play by Roger Meneses.
Cuban President Remembers Ho Chi Minh
Hanoi, Jul 9 (Prensa Latina) We must thank Vietnam for the lessons it has always taught us, the Cuban President, Raul Castro, said here today in a particularly moving day of visits.
He began the day placing a wreath at the monument for martyrs of Vietnam's independence wars, and at the Mausoleum where Ho Chi Minh lies.
Evoking the revered personality President Raul Castro recalled his first visit to Hanoi in 1966 and his meeting with Ho Chi Minh, where he promised that he would return after Saigon's liberation.
He said it took many years but he kept his word in 2005, on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the great victory that led to the reunification of the country.
Then he stressed that Vietnam has fulfilled Ho Chi Minh's words promising the birth of a new Vietnam, 100 times more beautiful, with a socialist society which has overcome great obstacles and continued its progress.
"These special feelings come together in our friendship," he said.
The Cuban president addressed these words to the president of the National Assembly of Vietnam, Nguyen Sing Hung, at the beginning of a meeting. He told his interlocutor that Cuba welcomes and supports the economic, commercial and diplomatic presence of Vietnam in Latin America.
Nguyen for his part expressed special recognition ofr the Cuban people's resistance to the U.S. blockade, reiterating that Vietnam will continue appealing to the United Nations to condemn this criminal policy.
The Vietnamese National Assembly was founded in 1946 while the Vietnamese were still fighting French colonialism. In 1975 it was refounded as an assembly of reunification which plays an active role within Vietnam's society.
Raul Castro Meets with Top Vietnamese Leaders
HAVANA, Cuba, July 8 (acn) Army General Raul Castro, President of the councils of State and Ministers, met on Sunday with the top Vietnamese leaders, during the first day of his visit to the Asian nation.
The common willingness of strengthening friendship between Vietnam and Cuba was evidenced after the official welcoming ceremony at the Presidential Palace in Hanoi, during the talks with Nguyen Phu Trong, General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam.
Trong highlighted the importance of Raul Castro’s visit as a continuity of the one paid by the host to Cuba in April, when the two of them signed a joint declaration, the Prensa Latina (PL)
The Cuban head of state –adds the source- pointed out that friendship between the two countries strengthens day by day, that over the years they have helped each other in the face of difficulties, and that they maintain common stances in most issues.
Upon receiving Raul, the Vietnamese President, Truong Tan Sang, described as a historic landmark the presence in his country of his Cuban counterpart because, he said, it will boost comprehensive bilateral relations even more.
Raul also met with Prime Minister Nguyen Tang Dung, at the end of an intense working program.
According to PL, Raul will meet on Monday with the President of the National Assembly, Nguyen Sing Hung, and will pay tribute to war martyrs and revered Ho Chi Minh.
Raul Castro Satisfied with his Visit to China
HAVANA, Cuba, July 7 (ACN) Cuban President Raul Castro expressed his satisfaction with his three-day official visit to China, which he concluded on Friday after paying tribute to the heroes of that nation. He also met with top government Chinese officials including Vice-president Xi Jinping.
The Cuban President and his delegation met with Prime Minister Wen Jiabao at the Central Government building. During the encounter, the two leaders agreed to the importance of the visit for the further strengthening of relations between the two governments and Communist parties, Granma daily newspaper reported.
Deputy Prime Minister Li Keqiang also welcomed the Cuban leader and said he was “an old friend of the Chinese people”. China highly considers the development of relations with Cuba as we look at them from a strategic perspective…” said the Chinese leader.
Finally, Raul Castro met with Chinese Vice-president Xi Jinping, who said that they had the conviction that the visit will enhance bilateral cooperation and friendship between the two countries.
The Cuban head of state described his agenda in China as intense and productive and he said he was very satisfied with the meetings he held with the top Chinese authorities and with their results.
Fidel and Raul Congratulate Carilda Oliver on Her 90th Birthday
MATANZAS, Cuba, July 8 (acn) Commander in Chief Fidel Castro sent presents to poet Carilda Oliver on the occasion of her 90th birthday on July 7, and President Raul Castro sent her a message of congratulations in which he highlights the scope of her poetry, her ethical stance, and her spirit of loyalty and attributes, which have won her the admiration of the Cuban people.
Carilda was happy with these attentions, and underlined, grateful, that in these circumstances it was impossible to say thank you properly. I will keep that beautifully written message as a treasure, pointed out the author of “Al sur de mi garganta”.
She was very surprised and satisfied for the many congratulations and messages received over the last few days, coming from institutions, friends, intellectuals and admirers from many parts of the island. She gave special importance to the acknowledgements of the Party, the Government, and the office of the Culture Ministry in her beloved Matanzas province.
The ceremony to pay homage to the prolific poet took place at the house on 81 Tirry Street, where Carilda has written almost all of her works.
Cuba Establishes Provincial Electoral Commissions
Havana, Jul 9 (Prensa Latina) Fifteen provincial electoral commissions will be established on Monday as part of preparations for Cuba's general elections which will begin October 21 with the election of municipal delegates.
The inauguration of the Commissions, the highest authorities in the districts, will be held simultaneously in the Cuban provinces, according to Saturday's announcement by Mary Esther Bacallao, member of the National Electoral Commission (CEN).
Following the call to vote and the establishment of the CEN last week, the Caribbean nation headed for its fifth general election cycle since the election law was amended in 1992.
After this step, the 168 electoral authorities of municipalities and districts (in neighborhoods) will be designated, with training provided everywhere.
After all the preparations the first round of voting will be for municipal delegates (town, city councilmen) on October 21, with the possibility of being repeated one week later in case of a tie or when no candidate has obtained more than 50 percent of the votes.
Cuban First Vice-president Stresses Socio-economic Advancement in Eastern Province
HAVANA, Cuba, July 9 (ACN) Cuban First Vice-president Jose Ramon Machado Ventura highlighted the efforts and results of the local people in eastern Guantanamo province to boost significant social, cultural and economic projects.
Machado Ventura, who is also the second secretary of Cuba’s Communist Party, shared views with political leaders in Guantanamo about the improvement of the party’s municipal structures.
These exchanges allow updating and informing the local party leaders and orient working efforts towards the goals drawn up by the National Conference of the Communist Party and to the implementation of the Economic and Social Guidelines adopted by the 6th Congress of the political organization, said Machado.
The Cuban First Vice-president toured places and facilities of social, economic and cultural interest, which have undergone an improvement process promoted since 2006 by the Party’s social development program.
This process includes investment of indoor facilities and the outdoor area of the Mariana Grajales Revolution Square, which will be the main scenario for July 26 National Celebrations. Machado underscored the high quality of refurbishing works and suggested that the local facilities could host scientific and cultural events.
Speaking with the workers, Machado referred to the progressive increase experienced by the production of cocoa and coffee, two major economic sectors in Guatanamo. He also underlined the investment made in a pickles plant, and other actions aimed at boosting the economic development of the eastern province.
The Cuban First Vice-president was accompanied by Ramon Balaguer, member of the Communist Party’s Secretariat, and by Luis Torres, first party secretary in the province.
Panama Highlights Effectiveness of Cuban Literacy Method
Panama, July 9 (Prensa Latina) A graduation ceremony of 553 women from various districts of the province of Chiriqui is highlighting the Cuban literacy method "Yes, I Can," with which 60,000 Panamanians have learned how to read and write.
Teodora Montezuma, 58, a resident of Baru district, read a letter written in her own handwriting, where she offered thanks on behalf of her schoolmates, Alanje, Boquete, Boqueron, David, and Dolega Bugaba for not having to feel embarrassed any longer.
The ceremony highlighted the literacy method that teaches adults to read and write in seven weeks, through two-hour daily classes and audiovisual aids, created in 2001 by the Cuban professor, Leonela Ines Relys and other colleagues.
Given the internationalist character of the Cuban government, the idea behing the project was to fight illiteracy in Latin America and contribute Cuba's experience in the matter.
According to UNESCO, between 2002 and 2011 about 5 million people from 28 countries, including Panama, gained literacy through this method.
In Chiriqui, through the Ministry of Social Development, the Cuban method began in 2007 and has managed to serve 19,783 people. In Panama, more than 60,000 people have completed the program, dropping the illiteracy rate to 5.0 percent.
Over 4 Thousand Medical Doctors Graduate this Year from Cuban Universities
HAVANA, Cuba, July 3 (ACN) More than 4 000 medical doctors will graduate this school year from Havana’s Medical University, with some 1500 of them having concluded studies at the Latin American School of Medicine.
The head of information at the Havana Medical University Cosme More announced that the Karl Marx Theater in Havana will host the graduation ceremony for those who concluded medical studies, as well as nursing, dentistry, psychology and medical technology.
A group of foreign graduates will be given a farewell ceremony on July 24.
Meanwhile, the Latin American School of Medicine will hold the 2nd International Graduates Encounter, July 16-19 with the objective of gathering professionals to exchange experiences on their courses and on their current work.
Venezuela: Over One Million Eye Surgeries in Eight Years
HAVANA, Cuba, July 7 (acn) Operation Miracle, a humanitarian social program created by the governments of Cuba and Venezuela, has made it possible to carry out over one million eye surgeries in the South American nation over the last eight years.
We’re operating some 5,000 patients a week, the same amount of patients benefited annually in Venezuela before the beginning of the program, asserted national coordinator Manuel Pacheco, cited by the Venezuelan News Agency.
Operation Miracle began to be implemented in July, 2004, to take care of patients of scant economic resources who had eye problems.
At first, patients traveled to Havana, where more than 200,000 were operated on in one year, while the Venezuelan government set in motion an investment plan to re-foster these services in different hospitals of the Bolivarian country.
Puerto Rican Delegation Satisfied with Visit to Cuba
HAVANA, Cuba, July 6 (acn) Carlos Alfredo Naguvitch, head of a delegation of 76 Puerto Ricans visiting Cuba, described as a unique experience their stay for 11 days on the land of Jose Marti.
In statements to ACN, he commented that their visit, which ended on Friday, was the result of their interest in holding cultural exchanges with Cubans and because in Cuba lie the mortal remains of patriot Lola Rodriguez de Tio, who composed the Puerto Rican official anthem and was born in the city of San German, where many members of the group are from.
Naguvitch stressed that, as compared to his last visit to the Cuba 10 years ago, there have been important advances, particularly restorations and new projects. We have corroborated that, in spite of the US blockade, Cubans have been brave and intelligent enough to work, survive and develop.
He underlined that during these days, the delegation, composed of doctors, lawyers and professors, visited several provinces and participated in various meetings, like the Caribbean Festival.
African-American Activists Support the Cause of The Cuban Five
HAVANA, Cuba, July 6 (acn) Members of the US African Awareness Association expressed on Thursday in this capital their support for the cause of the five Cuban antiterrorist heroes unfairly condemned in the United States.
At the Jose Antonio Echeverria Technical College, the afro-descendant activists were given details on the situation of Ramon Labañino, Fernando Gonzalez, Antonio Guerrero, Gerardo Hernandez and Rene Gonzalez, and learned more about the need for the US people to know more about this case.
Banboshe Shango, representative of the Solidarity-with-Cuba Network in the United States and member of the group, told ACN that upon their return to their country they will carry out a campaign aimed at breaking the wall of silence with which US authorities try to conceal the injustices committed against The Five.
On behalf of the relatives of the antiterrorists, Aylin Labañino, Ramon’s daughter, updated visitors on the case, and expressed her appreciation for the solidarity demonstrated, in open defiance of their government’s regulations banning trips to Cuba.
Hundreds of Americans Support Campaign against US Blockade of Cuba
HAVANA, Cuba, July 6 (acn) Canadian activist Tamara Hansen confirmed on Thursday in Washington that hundreds of US citizens are supporting an international campaign for the lifting of the economic, commercial and financial blockade that country maintains on Cuba for over half a century now.
Hansen, coordinator of the Vancouver Communities in Solidarity with Cuba, said that more than 60 colleagues have addressed the US public in that capital over the last few days, on the negative impact of that restrictive measure, the Prensa Latina news agency reported.
We were warmly received, she added. We’re impressed by the support for this campaign against the blockade, which she described as cruel and illegal.
According to Hansen, these meetings were held at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Bremerton and at the Traditions Cafe of Olympia, during the tour of US territory of a humanitarian convoy from Canada for Cuba.