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UN General Assembly Overwhelmingly Support Cuba against US Blockade

118 with CubaHAVANA, Cuba, Oct 29 (acn) The Cuban Resolution on the need to lift the over-50-year US commercial, economic and financial blockade of the island was overwhelmingly approved by the UN General Assembly with 188 votes in favor.

The United States and Israel remained isolated as they continue to support the US's hotile Cuban policy, which has inflicted damage on the island estimated at over one trillion 157 billion dollars, according to recent information, plus a huge impact on the people.

Palau, which in 2012 had voted against the Cuban resolution abstained this year, along the Marshal Islands and Micronesia.

Since the resolution was first submitted to the UN vote in 1992, Cuba has received strong support from the international community. Over 180 UN states have backed the document over the past nine years.

The illegal siege posed by Washington in 1962 was further reinforced with extraterritorial laws and it constitute a flagrant violation of the Cuban people's human rights, and of those of citizens of third countries and even of the people of the United States.


US Blockade has Inflicted Incalculable Damage to Cuba, Foreign Minister said at the UN

HAVANA, Cuba, Oct 29 (RHC)Cuban foreign minister Bruno Rodriguez said at the UN General Assembly on Tuesday that the damage inflicted by the US economic, commercial and financial blockade of Cuba are incalculable.

The criminal policy causes suffering and constitute a massive, flagrant and systematic violation of human rights; 76 percent of Cubans have lived under the devastating effects of the blockade since they are born, said the foreign minister as he addressed the 68 plenary session of the United Nations General Assembly.

Rodriguez recalled that the damage inflicted by the over-50-year blockade on Cuba are estimated at over one trillion 157 billion dollars.

The blockade qualifies as an act of genocide, according to article 2 of the 1948 Geneva Convention on the Prevention and the Sanction of Genocide, and as an act of economic war, according to to the Declaration on the Right of Maritime War adopted in 1909, he said.

The top diplomat stressed that the blockade was designed to submit the Cuban people to hunger and economic shortage to cause the fall of the Cuban government, as it was established in a US government memorandum dated April 6, 1960.

Minister Rodriguez said that under the Obama administration, the blockade was reinforced with the persecution of Cuban financial transactions around the world, with no respect for the laws of third countries.

Cuba cannot export or import products or services to or from the United States or use the US dollar in its transactions, including payment to international entities, said the minister and pointed out that the blockade is a hostile and unilateral act that must be ended, a discredited policy lacking ethical and legal ground as it has been proven by over 180 votes by UN member nations and statements by many heads of state and government, who participated in the debate.


Cuba Rejects US Groundless Justification of its Economic Blockade

HAVANA, Cuba, Oct 30 (acn) Cuba rejected at the UN General Assembly on Tuesday the groundless justifications put forth by the United States regarding its over-50-year economic, commercial and financial blockade of the island, which was once again overwhelmingly condemned by the International Community.

Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez replied to statements made by US representative Ronald Godard who referred to the alleged US interest in supporting the Cuban people in meeting their aspirations.

Rodriguez said that Godard lied by saying that the United States promotes human rights in Cuba, because the blockade is a massive and flagrant violation of human rights and an act of genocide.

The Cuban foreign minister said that the US administration has no moral authority to address the human rights issue, given its military aggressions, which have killed millions of civilians, plus its secret jails, drone attacks, arbitrary detentions and torture of prisoners.

Minister Rodriguez said that the US representative was lying when he said that his country provides Cuba with medical items and equipment and he challenged the US official to give examples at the assembly.

The top Cuban diplomat denounced that the elements presented bby the US representative at the assembly are only related to the resources destined by Washington for its destabilization, subversion and change-of-regime policy.

Rodriguez urged Washington to put down its double standard policy and to lift the blockade against Cuba, a criminal and hostile measure that was condemned by 188 UN member states on Tuesday.


Support to Cuba Shows US Isolation, Colombian Communist Leader Says

Bogotá, Oct 30 (Prensa Latina) Secretary General of the Colombian Communist Party Jaime Caycedo affirmed Washington is getting more and more isolated regarding the blockade to Cuba and taking into account the support showed by the international community to lift the sanction.

Yesterday, the UN General Assembly approved with 188 votes out of 193 countries members, a draft resolution demanding the end of the economic, financial, and commercial blockade against the island, which was imposed by the US more than fifty years ago.

This confirms the fact the world is willing to demand the end of the blockade to Cuba and it is further evidence of the US' isolation from the global community, he told Prensa Latina.

For the 22nd time in a row, country member of the UN plenary supported categorically the lifting of the blockade, only rejected once again by the United States and Israel. This year Micronesia, Marshall Islands and Palau abstained from the vote.


CELAC, CARICOM and MERCOSUR Denounce US Blockade against Cuba

United Nations, Oct 30 (Prensa Latina) The US blockade on Cuba totally differs from the principles of the UN Magna Carta and the international rights, denounced the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) at the UN General Assembly Tuesday.

Other organizations such as the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), the South Common Market (MERCOSUR) and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, also raised their voices against the US government’s blockade to Cuba.

On behalf of CELAC, Chile called its member countries to adjust their national and international actions according to the rights, obligations and principles of the UN Magna Carta, such as sovereignty, non-intervention and non-interference in the domestic affairs of the nations, the free trade and free right of navigation.

The US blockade to Cuba enacted more than 50 years ago has caused severe economic losses to the people of Cuba, being felt in the most sensible sectors, said Chile in representation of CELAC.

The member countries of the MERCOSUR also denounced the US blockade to Cuba violates the principles of the UN Magna Carta.

Venezuela, in representation of MERCOSUR and its associated members, said the blockade also violates the equality principles among the nations.

"The measures constitute a transgression to the right to peace, development and security, it is against the regulations of the multilateral trade system, and the nature of the World Trade Organization itself," said Venezuela at the UN General Assembly.

For their part, Delano Bart, permament representative of Saint Kitts & Nevis in the UN, and also repressenting CARICOM and its 14 member countries, reminded the economic losses suffered by the Cuban population and government because of the US blockade, for 53 years now.

Bart considered the social, economic and humanitarian cost of the US blockade to Cuba is becoming much more harmful, and highlighted the generosity and support given by Cuba to other countries when they have really needed it.

The CARICOM delegate said this institution is based on principles such as the adhesion to the UN Magna Carta, multilateralism, sovereignty of the states and free trade, so this regional entity maintains its solidarity with Cuba and asks the US government to stop the blockade.

The representative of the Organization for Islamic Cooperation at the UN, Roble Olhaye, also ambassador of Djibouti to the UN expressed the opinion of member states demanding the lifting of the United States blockade on Cuba.

A total of 188 countries voted in favor of lifting the blockade against Cuba in 2012, while there were two votes against, and three abstentions.


Cuba again Expresses Will to Serious Dialogue with U.S.

United Nations, Oct 29 (Prensa Latina) Cuba reiterated today before the UN General Assembly its will to go forward toward normalization of links with the United States, in a serious dialogue between equals and respect for its independence.

Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez expressed before the UN session its stand, expression of its will of peace and respectful coexistence of the Cuban government. The dangers threatening the human existence are severe and imminent, so it is indispensable a deep change in the way of dealing and solving the problems and conflicts of the world, he said.

Rodríguez detailed it is necessary to go through dialogue and cooperation, instead of selfishness and the philosophy of looting, to the use of force and coercitive economic sanctions who, silently, also hurt and kill.

It is true that between both governments there are big differences -he said- but the only productive way is to find a civilized way to treat each other as neighbors, under the respect to sovereignty and self-determination.

So, we would have to make dialogue, negotiation and even cooperation in whatever area is possible and convenient, to benefit both peoples and hemispheric relations, the minister said minutes before voting in the General Assembly to ratify for 22 consecutive years world rejection in that forum on U.S. blockade.

Cuban minister Rodríguez said the bilateral approach can be achieved and is useful, as the recent resumption of migration talks and postal service, as well as contacts to respond to oil spills, marine and air search and rescue operations, together with air security.

He stressed that president Barack Obama has the power to end the siege on Cuba.

For the diplomat it is important to listen to the United States public opinion and Cuban emigrants, whose majority supports normalization of relations and are opposed to the blockade and the prohibition to travel to the island.

Why not accept we are a nation and an independent State, equally sovereign. Wouldn’t it be better to pragmatically renounce to ideological obstinacy, inherited from the previous two generations of US politicians, he sentenced.

Rodriguez denounced before the Assembly the worsening of unilateral sanctions and the human damage caused by the blockade, which he described as genocide.


 

 
News on Cuba - October 22, 2013 PDF Print E-mail

You and We Are the Five, Cuban Antiterrorist Fighter Says

Ramon LabaninoAthens, Oct 20 (Prensa Latina) The 8th Regional Meeting of Cuban Residents in Europe ended emotional and unexpectedly here today with the words of the antiterrorist fighter Ramon Labañino addressed to the participants from his captivity in the prison in Kentucky, United States.

The voice, heard by telephone, of one of the Five, as they are known in the campaign for their release, sounded amplified at an assembly hall that was in silence and shocked at the unexpected communication, brought to fruition by his daughter Aili, attending the meeting.

"You are also the Five, as we are," said Ramon to his listeners, and expressed gratitude to everyone for the work the international movement of solidarity is carrying out for his release, and the need to stand together to continue fighting for Cuba.

Of the five Cuban antiterrorist fighters condemned in the United States since 1998 to prevent terrorist actions organized on American soil against their homeland, only Rene Gonzalez has been capable of returning to Cuba, after 13 years in prison.

Ramon Labañino, Fernando Gonzalez, Gerardo Hernandez, and Antonio Guerrero are still serving harsh sentences in prison.

Participants in the meeting unveiled a bust to Jose Marti and laid a wreath. The monument was made by Cuban artist Felix Madrigal Echemendia, and will be located at an Athenian square where other Latin American heroes' sculptures are placed.


Cubans Celebrate National Anthem's 145th Anniversary

Havana, Oct 20 (Prensa Latina) Cubans remember today the 145th anniversary of the National Anthem, an event marking the National Culture Day. That October 20, 1869, hardly 10 days after Carlos Manuel de Cespedes rose up in arms against the Spanish colony, the anthem was sung for the first time in the city of Bayamo.

According to the popular legend, Pedro Figueredo wrote the anthem sitting on his horse, and some moments later, all the people chanted "La Bayamesa," title of the song. A shorter but forceful version of that anthem of combat, has lasted until today.


Former Vietnamese Scholarship Holders Thank Cuba

Hanoi, Oct 21 (Prensa Latina) Vietnamese graduates of study programs in Cuba are forever grateful for the education they were granted, as expressed during a celebration for the 50th anniversary of the graduation of the second group to travel from Vietnam to Cuba.

Of the 35 people who studied in Cuba and returned to Vietnam, only 19 remain alive, gray-haired but with fresh memories of a unforgettable stay that the spoke about at length.

Vietnam's Union of Friendship Organizations held the meeting, organized by Nguyen Duy Cuong (Jose for Cubans), vice president of the Cuban branch and a former scholarship student himself.

Former diplomat Nguyen Anh, who led the group in Cuba, spoke in detail about what the students did when returned to Vietnam and the contribution they were able to make to Vietnam's social and economic development.

Until their retirement, 17 of the former students worked as members of the Central Committee of the Party, as vice ministers, National Assembly deputy, department directors, president of a provincial court and rector of a university.

Others led the VNA news agency, were involved in associations for attorneys and architects, Vietnam's Sugar Corporation and its Research Institute, cattle ranching and construction services, and were decorated by the State.

Rather than speaking about professional experiences, those who took part in the group and some who graduated later spoke about vital experiences like serving as militia guards at Havana seafront and donating blood. They referred with great respect to Commander in Chief Fidel Castro, to the maternal attention provided by Melba Hernandez on behalf of the Solidarity Committee with Vietnam, along with many Cuban mothers, and to their dedicated professors.

Nguyen Dinh Binh, who would be later a member of Vietnam's Central Committee and Foreign Vice Minister, said that as a student he became an interpreter at Vietnam's embassy to Havana, and he accompanied Fidel when he paid his historic visit to Vietnam in 1973.

At the ceremony, led by Vu Xuan Hong, president of the Friendship Organization, the Cuban embassy counselor, Carlos Collazo, highlighted that the seed planted 50 years ago had been the fruitful source of a greater exchange and a strengthening of relations between both countries.


Global Solidarity Energizes Cuban Antiterrorists' Relatives

Athens, Oct 20 (Prensa Latina) Aili Labañino, daughter of one of the Cuban antiterrorist fighters unjustly condemned in the United States and invited to the 8th Regional Meeting of Cuban Residents in Europe, held here, talked with Prensa Latina after the event ended.

Her participation in this event was not only used to recognize and encourage the Cuban emigres to continue their struggle for the Five, as they are known worldwide, but to bring the voice of her father, Ramon Labañino, who addressed the participants over the telephone from his prison in Kentucky, United States.

How Ramon did to an excited audience, Aili also thanked the international movement of solidarity for the work as "it has filled us an energy that as relatives and individuals we need."

Labañino's eldest daughter said that to have that hope, transmitted by "many people in the world and many Cubans outside Cuba, as foreigners doing for Cuba," which as her dad expressed, "make us think that there is not long to go as the beginning so the four antiterrorist fighters will be released."

As a relative of one of the Five, Aili explained that along with her everyday life, such as any other Cuban, she is " responsibility for representing them wherever we go, and of course the responsibility for being best Cubans, better people and try to be like them from the human and revolutionary viewpoint."

Aili's father, along with Gerardo Hernandez, Fernando Gonzalez, Antonio Guerrero, and Rene Gonzalez (The Five), were arrested in 1998, when monitoring to alert their country from terrorist actions planned by anti-Cuban groups in south Florida.

After remaining in jail until October 2011 and completed a half of three years of supervised release imposed on American soil, Rene is now free in Cuba.


Cuba Hosts for the First Time Latin American Pharmacology Congress

HAVANA, Cuba, Oct 21(acn) Cuba will host for the first time the Latin American Congress of Pharmacology and Therapeutics Latinfarma 2013, which opens this Monday in the capital with experts from the region and visitors from other countries.

Doctor René Delgado, president of the organizing committee said that in this twentieth edition of the event, underway at the Havana’s Conventions’ Center until Friday, aims to contribute to the development of this specialty in Latin America.

Delgado, president of the Cuban Society of Pharmacology (SCF) and the American Association of the industry, announced that the meeting will discuss issues related to pharmacology, therapeutics and related sciences, with emphasis on the development of new drugs, optimizing the existing ones and their rational use.

Professionals of the biomedical and pharmaceutical industry of various nations will know Cuba advances in science and medicine in Latinfarma 2013, to be held parallel to the V Ibero-American Congress of Pharmacology.

The event will include simultaneously symposia on the Teaching of Pharmacology, Update on Cancer Therapeutics, Psychiatry, Brain Damage and Neuroprotection , Immunopharmacology and Biotechnology, according to the organizing committee.

More than 300 conferences are included in the scientific program as well as debates, presentations and a similar number of workshops, as well as a trade show, all aimed at professionals who do research and teach these subjects


US Blockade Prevents Cuba from Accessing Competitive Markets

HAVANA, Cuba, Oct 18 (acn).—Cuba is forced to seek the import products it needs at markets much further than normal and at high prices because of the US blockade of the Island, which leads to excessive expenditures that could be used to meet other needs of Cuban people.

A high-level official at the Cuban Ministry of Foreign Trade told reporters that the United States persecutes Cuban export opportunities and tries by all means to curtail normal trade ties of the Island with other markets, Radio Havana Cuba reported

Funds that Cuba has to pay in excess because of the US blockade conspires against the satisfaction of needs of the Cuban people that go unresolved by the effects of Washington’s hostile policy.

Cuban Foreign trade has reported losses of nearly four billion dollars as a result of hostile actions by the United States aimed at curtailing normal economic ties between Cuba and its suppliers.

Even a Cuban national that holds an account in dollars in a non-US bank is threatened by US. Financial persecution, the Cuban official said and added that one best example of the US blockade of Cuba is the West German pharmaceutical group Bayer, a company with which Cuba did business before the Cuban Revolution began.

Bayer has moved its headquarters to the United States and automatically has had to stop its so far smooth business relationship with Cuba because under the provisions of the US blockade of the Island it can no longer do it. Thus, Cuba has been forced by the US blockade to stop doing business with Bayer, just because the German drug giant has moved to the United States.

Contracts that had been in effect with the pharmaceutical company have been canceled on US orders; so, Cuba is now forced to seek other providers to replace Bayer's drugs, which will no longer be available to Cuban patients, because of the US. Blockade.


Cuban Jardines del Rey Tourist Pole Reach 3 Million Visitors

CIEGO DE AVILA, Cuba, Oct 16 (acn) More than three million vacationers from all latitudes enjoyed Jardines del Rey tourist destination since its inception 20 years ago.

The resort, north of Ciego de Avila province, formed by Coco and Guillermo Keys, reaches its twentieth anniversary on November 12th with the reaffirmation of its positioning in the international market and a sustained growth in the number of visitors.

Sources of the delegation of the Ministry of Tourism in the territory pointed out that Canada, the UK and Argentina are among the main tourist emitting countries to this destination, in addition to other European and Latin American Southern Cone nations.

Luis Baez, senior specialist of the sector in the province, said to mark the anniversary they are renewing their hotels of more than 5 500 rooms, especially the Colonial Cayo Coco hotel, the first that was inaugurated there.

The project also includes works in the modernization of the Iberostar Daiquiri Hotel, and essential changes in Villa Cojimar, to raise its category from three to four stars.

Baez explained they are also undertaking actions to improve the quality standard, such as repairing walkways, increasing non-hotel services with new excursions, a shopping center and a nightclub associated with cultural options and the improvement of food offers in traditional Cuban cuisine.

Jardines del Rey will launch the winter season with initiatives that place it as an event destination, for example the execution of the 4th International Fishing Tournament, until October 19, and a meeting with tour operators.

This enclave opened to international tourism in 1993 with the inauguration, by the Commander in Chief Fidel Castro, of the today Colonial Cayo Coco hotel, and its master plan includes the operation of up to 32 000 rooms, at long term.


Cuban Council of Ministers Meeting Focuses on Economic Issues

HAVANA, Cuba, Oct 22 (acn) Army General Raul Castro Ruz, President of the Councils of State and Ministers, led Saturday the Cabinet meeting that focused on issues vital to the country's economy.

As Granma newspaper reported today among the measures approved was the improvement of the Ministry of Agriculture, both in its business area as in the budgeted one.

Leonardo Andollo, deputy chief of the Permanent Commission for Implementation and Development of the Guidelines, this process lasted over two years and began with a thorough diagnosis that revealed the complexity of the problems affecting production and economic results of the sector.

Both the diagnosis and subsequent studies involved directors and officers of the Agriculture Ministry, agricultural, forestry and tobacco labor unions, as well as representatives of various agencies of the Central Government.

The Council of Ministers also discussed the issue of monetary and exchange rate unification, aspect that Granma published an official note with more details.


Official Note on the Process of Monetary Unification in Cuba

HAVANA, Cuba, Oct 22 (acn) Granma newspaper today published an official note on the monetary unification and exchange process that will take place in Cuba, which we reproduce in full below.

The Guideline No. 55 of the Economic and Social Policy of the Party and the Revolution, approved by the Sixth Congress of the PCC states: "We will move toward monetary unification, taking into account labor productivity and effectiveness of distributive and redistributive mechanisms. Due to its complexity, this process will require careful preparation and execution, both in the objective and subjective aspects".

In compliance with this Guideline, the Council of Ministers agreed to enforce the implementation of a schedule of measures that will lead to monetary and exchange rate unification.

As reported , monetary and exchange rate unification is not a measure that resolves on its own all the current economic problems, but its implementation is essential to ensure the restoration of the value of the Cuban peso and its functions as money, as a unit of account, means of payment and store of value .

This, coupled with the implementation of other policies aimed at updating the economic model, will facilitate the management of the economic environment and consequently the correct measurement of its results.

Cuba will start the process of monetary unification for legal persons and natural persons.

The main changes in this first stage will occur in the field of legal persons, in order to create the conditions for increased efficiency, better measurement of economic events and encouraging the sectors that produce goods and services for export and import substitution.

Cuba will start by a period of preparation of conditions that allow the development of proposed legal rules, the design of the changes in the computer systems responsible for the accounting records and adjustments in accounting standards. It will be an essential step for training also people who should undertake the execution of the various transformations.

Cuban President Raul Castro Ruz in his closing speech at the first regular session of the Eighth Legislature of the National Assembly of People's Power , last July , spoke about the process of implementation of the Guidelines as follows: " I wish to reiterate on this front of strategic significance we have continue moving forward and we can already observe the first encouraging results , although it is true that there is a long and complicated way to update our economic and social model , ensuring the majority of the population support this process , which excludes the use of shock therapies and leaving millions of people homelessness as the adjustment policies implemented in recent years in several countries in the rich Europe have done" .

As has been the practice followed during the years of the Cuban Revolution, no action taken in the monetary field is to harm those who legitimately earn their income in CUC and CUP.

In this sense , the process of monetary unification that respects the principles of trust earned by people who have kept their savings in banks Cuban in CUC, CUP and other international currencies, remains intact and continue to apply the current policy of subsidies at retail prices and people where needed, while the country's economic conditions require it. The CUC and the CUP are Cuban currencies issued by the Central Bank of Cuba and maintain its full support .

From now on they will continue extending the possibility of accepting in stores that sell in CUC, payments made in CUP using debit cards.

Experimentally at selected locations people may make cash payments in CUP for the equivalent calculated at the CADECAs exchange rate of 25 CUP by 1 CUC.

According to the progress of the implementation of the schedule, they will be giving details on the measures that apply at all times, while the entities specialists should be involved in its implementation, along the population.


Cuba Backs up Caribbean Claim at UN on Compensation for Slavery

HAVANA, Cuba, Oct 21 (acn) Cuba endorsed today at the General Assembly of the United Nations Organization (UN) the claim of the countries of the Caribbean Community (Caricom) to their former metropolis for compensation for damage of the trans-Atlantic slave trade.

Rodolfo Reyes, Cuban permanent representative to the UN, called the demand fair, which includes recognition by the powers that benefited from slavery such as France, Holland and the United Kingdom, of the atrocities resulting from this scourge, Prensa Latina news agency reported.

The ambassador recalled that the industrialized countries and their consumer societies are responsible for the accelerated environmental destruction, and have been the main beneficiaries of the conquest and colonization, slavery and the extermination of the peoples of the South.

They have also profited from the unjust economic order imposed on humanity (...). That rich and wasteful world has technical and financial resources to repay its debt to humanity, Reyes said in the Assembly that today tracks the theme of the celebration of the bicentenary of the abolition of slave trade.

Reyes added that his country claims the special and differential treatment required by the underdeveloped nations, especially in Africa, in their international economic relations.

Cuba rejects shameful selfishness and opulence (of a few) that serve as guidelines to ongoing globalization, he said.

Reyes announced the support and sponsorship of the island to the draft resolution presented annually by Caricom members and the African Group on the subject, as well as other related initiatives in the UN.

It's the least that the international community can do to repair the crimes against humanity committed in the trans-Atlantic African slave trade, Reyes said and added that Cubans are proud of their African roots.

 

 
News on Cuba - October 14, 2013 PDF Print E-mail

Cuban and Spanish Artists Launch Concert for the Five in Madrid

HAVANA, Cuba, Oct 14 (acn)In gesture of solidarity, as recognized by Cuban ambassador to Spain, Eugenio Marinez, a music concert was launched with the participation of Spanish and Cuban singers until late hours Monday in the capital Madrid.

The concert took place at the Galileo Galilei Center, where the artists joined their voices in demand of the release of  Gerardo Hernández, Antonio Guerrero, Fernando González and Ramón Labañino ,  four Cuban anti-terrorists imprisoned in the US since 1998. The imprisonment, which occurred in the US city of Miami, also included Rene Gonzalez,  who served a 13-year prison sentence  and achieved the modification of his probation term in exchange for the renouncement of his US citizenship and returned to the island.

In his remarks at the concert, the ambassador said that he was deeply honored to have attended his first public activity in Spain being that action for the five. The concert, he said deserved the appreciation of Cuba and the Cuban Five, as the Cuban anti-terrorist fighters are internationally known. 

There is no more important compromise with justice than fighting for the freedom of the five Cuban heros said the Cuban ambassador.


Nicaragua's Daniel Ortega Meets President of Cuban Friendship Institute

HAVANA, Cuba, Oct 9 (acn)Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega highlighted the example and historic leadership of the Cuban Revolution as he met on Wednesday with the president of the Cuban Friendship Insitute Kenia Serrano, who is visiting that sister Central American nation.

During his dialog with Serrano, who is also deputy to the Cuban Parliament, Ortega expressed his confidence that sooner than later the four Cuban anti-terrorist fighters still held in US prisons, will be released.

Kenia Serrano updated the Nicaraguan president on the case of Rene Gonzalez, Gerardo Hernandez, Ramon Labanino, Fernando Gonzalez and Antonio Guerrero, internationally known as the Cuban Five, who were arrested in 1998 after they monitored Florida-based terrorist organizations.

Although Rene Gonzalez managed to return to Cuba after serving a three-year sentence, justice will not be fully made till all of them return home, said Serrano.

The Nicaraguan head of state was particularly interested in the situation of each of the Five, and he praised the unconditional support given by Cuba to the Nicaraguan people, which he described as a sample of the example given by the Cuban Revolution to Latin America.


US Analyst James Cockroft says Cuban Five Imprisonment is Shameful to US Justice

HAVANA, Cuba, Oct 14 (acn)US historian and analyst James Cockroft said that it is shameful for the US legal system the fact that four of five Cuban antiterrorist fighters are still being held in prisons of that country,  15 years after their arrest in 1998, in Miami.

In statements to PL news agency, Cockroft demanded the unconditional release of Gerardo Hernandez, Ramon Labanino, Antonio Guerrero and Fernando Gonzalez because he said “15 years in prison is enough.”

The Cuban anti-terrorist will not be release through any legal process because they are political prisoners, therefore only US public opinion and international solidarity will achieve their return home, said the analyst.

Cockroft, who is also said that US President Barack Obama can make use of his constitutional powers and based on humanitarian reasons he can free the Cubans on no conditions at all.

The analyst, who has written 48 works on Latin American and US issues, explained that there is a huge movement of solidarity with the Cuban anti-terrorists around the world, which is spreading the truth of the case.

For Cockroft, who resides in Montreal Canada, the ineternational movement must stressed the fact that the Cuban heroes must receive the support of all social movements of the world because they symbolize the struggles waged by the people on the planet and they represent the values of culture, justice, peace and solidarity.

 

Cuba and Ecuador Boost Medical Cooperation

HAVANA, Cuba, Oct 14 (acn)Ecuador and Cuba will sign new cooperation agreements to strengthen the integral health attention system being promoted by the Ecuadorian government, said the chief fo the Cuban medical contingent in Quito Jorge Jimenez.

The Cuban doctor told PL news agency that the Ecuadorian Health Ministry is interested in hiring the services of 15 Cuban epidemiologists and 69 physical therapists, while that country's Social Security Ministry asked for the support of another 43 specialists in the field of primary health attention, electro-medicine and pharmaceutical service advisors.

The upcoming arrival in Ecuador of one thousand Cuban medical specialists following a request by Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa is another project to be implemented. The doctors will help put in practice the Family Doctor system in the South American nation. In the meantime, dozens of Ecuadorian students are taking medical courses on the island to later help their communities.

Doctor Jimenez recalled that Cuban medical collaboration with Ecuador began in 2006 with the implementation of the Operation Miracle free-eye-surgery program in the cities fo Latacunga, Ballenita and Machala, where 41 Cuban doctors have administered over 140 thousand operations on cataracts and other eye conditions.

Bilateral collaboration between Havana and Quito also includes the training in Cuban hospitals of Ecuadorian doctors in different medical specialties.

 

International Community Supports Lifting of US Blockade against Cuba

Havana, Oct 14 (Prensa Latina) The next vote at the United Nations of a project demanding the US to lift the blockade that has kept for more than half a century against Cuba, is preceded by numerous expressions of support of the international community.

Presidential summits, United Nations Commission on Human Rights and the UN General Assembly have been one of the places where the world's public opinion has condemned the blockade to the island.

The 21st Summit of the African Union, held last May in Addis Abeba demanded the lifting of the commercial, financial and economic blockade against Cuba.

Organizations like Europe-Third World Centre, the International Association of Democratic Lawyers and the American Association of Jurists also issued a joint declaration condemning the blockade.

Earlier this year, during the presentation of Cuba in the universal periodic review mechanism of the Human Rights Council, 22 delegations criticized the blockade and considered it an obstacle to the realization of human rights in the Caribbean nation.

The Fifth Summit of Heads of State and/or Government of the Association of Caribbean States, held in Haiti, demanded to end the isolation of one of its member states.

Meanwhile the First Summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC ) meeting in Chile earlier this year, issued a special statement condemning the policy of siege to the island.

On paragraph 6 of the Declaration of Santiago , issued by the first summit CELAC - EU rejects the unilateral coercive measures, that go against international rights and the extraterritorial provisions of Washington against states, entities and individuals related to Havana.

That project became a resolution last year, with 188 countries in favor. Only The United States, Israel and Palau declared themselves against it, while Micronesia and Marshall Islands abstained.

The Group of 77 and China, the Non-Aligned Movement, the CELAC, the Caribbean Community, the Organization of the Islamic Conference, the African Group and MERCOSUR, along with other 17 delegations declared themselves to be in favor of the resolution presented by Cuba.


Russian Veterans Demand Solidarity with Cuban Five

Moscow, Oct 12 (Prensa Latina) The Moscow branch of the Russian Veterans Association of the October Crisis of 1962 today urged U.S. veterans to demand the release of four Cuban antiterrorist fighters unjustly convicted in that country.

In a message addressed to William Zain, chief commander of the organization of Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States, the Russian internationalists demanded the release of Ramón Labañino, Fernando Gonzalez, Antonio Guerrero and Gerardo Hernandez.

The text indicates that these antiterrorists were arrested 15 years ago for monitoring the groups planning violent actions against their country, organized in the United States.

The document explains that Rene Gonzalez is already in Cuba after 13 years in prison, another period of supervised release and having renounced to U.S. citizenship, requirement of the judge in charge of the case. The message notes that the Five, as they are known worldwide, warned of various sabotage plans and attacks, benefiting even the United States, whose leaders call themselves authorities in the fight against terrorism.

Paradoxically, adds the text delivered to Prensa Latina, a Miami court convicted these true heroes to absurd sentences of imprisonment from 15 years to double life imprisonment plus 15 years.

Muscovites veterans warn that the case is complicated because the U.S. leaders put pressure on the media to silence everything related to this case as well as other issues related to Cuba such as the economic, commercial and financial blockade.

By contrast, emphasizes the text, in the United States enjoy full freedom and get government protection well/known criminals such as Luis Posada Carriles, major responsible for blowing a Cuban airliner with 73 passengers on board in October 6, 1976.

Muscovites fighters mobilized to Cuba in 1962 when a U.S. military invasion seemed imminent, emphasized that their claim has the support of colleagues from other regions of the Federation.

They are members of veterans organizations in the province of Moscow, Risia, Arkhangelsk, Bryansk, Vladimir, Volgograd, Voronezh, Ekaterinburg, Irkutsk, Kazan, Kaliningrad, Mordova; Nizhegorod, Penza, Rostov, Ryazan, Samara, Saratov, St. Petersburg, Smolensk, Khakassia and Yaroslavl.

In the document signed by Major General Mikhail Makaruk, head of the Moscow branch, and secretary, Guiorgui Petrov, it is noted that a copy was also sent to the U.S. ambassador to Russia, Michael McFaul.


Great Festival of Indian Culture to Be Held in Havana

Havana, Oct 13 (Prensa Latina) An Indian Cultural Festival will be held in Cuba from October 24 to November 4, the first large-scale-festival in a Latin American country.

According to Indian ambassador here, C. Rajasekhar, the festival will strengthen ties between both countries, which have been cordial for years.

The festival will coincide with the visit of a government delegation to the Asian country, led by Indian Vice President Hamid Ansari and several members of the cabinet and parliament, said the diplomat.

"We want to show the Cuban public the colorful splendor of various manifestations such as visual arts, film, dance and cuisine," said Rajasekhar.

The show Nrityarupa, a mosaic of Indian dance, will open the inaugural gala at the Teatro Mella in Havana on October 29, the same venue will host the function the next day and then, on October 31 will be exhibit at the Teatro Milanes, of the western Pinar del Rio province.

Besides folk and classical dances, literature will also have a special place because Indian poets, playwrights and novelists will travel to Havana to hold exchanges, conferences, workshops and reading sessions.

Meanwhile, Alba Cultural House in this capital will host from October 28 to November 5 a joint exhibition of painters Narendar Reddy, Sanjiv Nath and Cubans Zaida del Rio and Ernesto García Peña.

The prolific Indian film will also focus the attention of the event: the capital Charles Chaplin cinema will screen several successful films such as Ek tha tiger, partially filmed in Havana, and Parineeta, among other titles.

Gastronomy and the practice of yoga, two of the great benefits of this ancient culture, will also convene in Cuba prestigious chefs and yogis of India to show what they do best: some, yummy dishes and the others, meditation sessions.

 

 
News on Cuba - October 8, 2013 PDF Print E-mail

Cuba Presents Report Condemning US Blockade

US BlockadeHAVANA, Cuba, Oct 7 (acn) Cuba's Report on Resolution of condemnation of the U.S. blockade imposed on the island, was presented today in this capital.

Abelardo Moreno, deputy foreign minister, released a document entitled "Necessity of ending the economic, commercial and financial embargo imposed by the United States of America against Cuba" that will be under discussion at the United Nations on October 29th.

The report was presented at the William Soler Pediatric Cardiology Center, where the national and foreign press learnt of the economic damage that the illegal policy continues to cause Cuban people, which has now reached a staggering one trillion 157 billion 327 million dollars, taking into account the depreciation of the dollar against gold.

Business transactions, academic exchanges, the long list of drugs denied to Cuba, the failure to grant visas for sporting events, and the damage to foreign trade are some of the restrictions that are hurting Cuba according to the report presented by Moreno.

This resolution has been presented by Cuba to the General Assembly of the United Nations for the last 21 years, and has received the overwhelming support of the vast majority of the member countries each time.


Bolivia Holds Activities to Honor Che Guevara

La Paz , Oct 7 (Prensa Latina) Tributes to the Argentine-Cuban guerrilla Ernesto Che Guevara begin today in the eastern department of Santa Cruz, and will run until Wednesday, October 9, on the occasion of the 46th anniversary of his death in La Higuera.

A film series began yesterday in memory of Guevara, who led a guerrilla group in the eastern region of the country from 1966 to 1967, seeking an end to the oligarchic governments that ruled Bolivia.

The film "El coraje del pueblo" (The Courage of the People), by filmmaker laureate George Sanjines, opened the series, which also includes another film by the same director, "Insurgentes" (Insurgents), while "Nicaragua, patria libre o morir" (Nicaragua, Homeland Free or Die), will be shown tomorrow.

The film "Fidel, la historia no contada" (Fidel, The Untold Story) will be also screened tomorrow, and "Che, un hombre Nuevo" (Che, A New Man) will be shown on Oct. 9, marking 46 years since the murder of Guevara.

Tomorrow's activities on occasion of Guevara's death will include a tour of places linked to the guerrilla team he led in the area of Vallegrande, including the sites where several members of his column were buried.

Latin American ambassadors, and Che's younger brother, Juan Martin Guevara de la Serna, who is on his second visit to the country this year, will participate in the marches.

The central activity in memory of Che's death will be held in a small mausoleum built next the Vallegrande airstrip, where his remains were hidden for 30 years before being unearthed and taken to the Cuban city of Santa Clara.

Another event will be held in La Higuera on Wednesday, October 9, to whose school the guerrilla fighter was taken after being imprisoned in Quebrada del Yuro, and where he was killed that day in 1967.

Che was born in the Argentinean city of Rosario on June 14, 1928. After completing his medical studies he joined the Granma Yacht expedition departing Mexico that, led by Fidel Castro, was planned to free Cuba from the Fulgencio Batista dictatorship.

Guevara arrived in Cuba as the physician of the emerging guerrilla force, but his additional merits soon became clear and he was promoted to commander and column chief. When the war ended on January 1, 1959, he was in the central city of Santa Clara, where he had led invading troops.


Cuban Parliament Vice-president at Geneva Interparliamentary Forum

HAVANA, Cuba, Oct 7 (acn) The vice-president of the Cuban Parliament Ana Mari Machado is heading the island's delegation to the Inter-parliamentary Union Assembly, underway in Geneva, which will focus on crucial issues such as nuclear disarmament.

The forum, running until Wednesday, is being attended by 1,200 participants, including 600 legislators frm 129 countries of the world.

This is a significant moment for the Interparliamentary Union to pave the way for an increasing peaceful world, said the president of that organization, Abdelwahad Radi.

A document submitted by Cuba to the forum alerts on the threat posed on humanity by the possible use of the nuclear weapons that exist in the world today.

The struggle for the prohibition and total elimination of nuclear weapons must constitute a priority for the Inter-parliamentary Union, because it is the only way to prevent the disappearance of human species, the Cuban document explains.

Some 19,000 atomic bombs exist on the planet, with 2,000 of them ready to be used.

The Parliamentary Union was set up in 1889 and it is made up of 163 countries.


Cuba Cooperates in Health in 70 Angolan Municipalities

HAVANA, Cuba, Oct 4 (acn) Cuban voluntary health workers presently offer their services in 70 municipalities of Angola, informed Angolan Health Minister José Van-Dunem within the framework of the International Fair of Luanda (FIL), the Prensa Latina news agency reported from the Angolan capital.

Van-Dunem pointed out that her Ministry placed Cuban teams in those 70 territories, composed of one physician, one specialist in statistics, and one in infirmary in mother-child care.

He explained that these teams support local measures to solve priority public health problems, by way of vaccination campaigns, comprehensive attention of mothers and children, deliveries without risk, prevention and the treatment of endemic and non-transmissible diseases.

Last year, the governmental representative acknowledged the quality of Cuba’s medical staff, the cooperation of which is a fundamental element, very much appreciated by his country’s authorities.


Vice President of the Cuban Parliament Attends IPU Assembly

Geneva, Oct 7 (Prensa Latina) Cuban Parliament’s Vice President Ana Maria Mari Machado, leads his country’s delegation to the 129 Assembly of the Inter Parlamentarian Union (IPU), started here today and which have among its main issues the nuclear disarmament.

The event will run until Wednesday and it attended by around 1,200 participants, including 600 lawmakers from 129 countries.

"It is truly a time for IPU to help build the foundations of a more peaceful world ever," said the president of the organization, Abdelwahad Radi.

A document submitted by Cuba to the meeting warns the existence of nuclear weapons and the threat of its use is one of the greatest dangers facing humanity.

The struggle for its elimination and the permanent ban must be one of the IPUÂ’s priorities, because that is the only way to avoid the disappearance of the human species, says the text.

Currently there are about 19,000 nuclear weapons, 2,000 of them ready to be used immediately, and just a fraction is used to trigger a nuclear winter.

The document also warns that the considerable resources devoted to modernize these stocks could be used to address the most pressing problems of mankind, such as hunger, poverty and insecurity.

The Cuban delegation to this event is also integrated by Yolanda Ferrer, president of the International Relations Committee of the National Assembly of People’s Power (Parliament) and Yoerky Sanchez, Deputy president of the Commission of Care to Children, Youth and Equal Rights of Women.

The event will also inspect other issues such as the prohibition of chemical weapons and their destruction, sustainable development, natural disasters and the protection of children’s rights, mainly migrants and those in conflict zones.

Created in 1889, the IPU is formed by 163 countries, with new movements in the organization, which incorporated Bhutan and Somalia, while Egypt was suspended after the dissolution of its Parliament.

 
News on Cuba - October 7, 2013 PDF Print E-mail

The Washington Post Publishes Article on the Cuban Five
 
HAVANA, Cuba, Oct 7 (acn) In an unusual action by US mainstream media, The Washington Post published on Friday a large article on the case of the five Cuban anti-terrorists arrested in the US in 1998 and given unfair prison sentences in 2001 by a Miami court.
 
Under the title “The Cuban Five were Fighting Terrorism. Why did we put them in Jail?” Canadian writer Stephen Kimber addresses countless contradictions of US justice in the legal process against Gerardo Hernandez, Ramon Labañino, Rene Gonzalez, Antonio Guerrero and Fernando Gonzalez, internationally known as the Cuban Five.
 
“Consider for a moment what would happen if American intelligence agents on the ground in a foreign country uncovered a major terrorist plot, with enough time to prevent it. And then consider how Americans would react if authorities in that country, rather than cooperate with us, arrested and imprisoned the U.S. agents for operating on their soil,” Kimber notes.
 
“Those agents would be American heroes. The U.S. government would move heaven and Earth to get them back.”
 
“This sort of scenario has occurred, except that, in the real-life version, which unfolded 15 years ago last month, the Americans play the role of the foreign government, and Cuba — yes, Fidel Castro’s Cuba — plays the role of the aggrieved United States,” the article reads.
 
Kimber contrasts the behavior of US authorities in the Cuban Five case to that assumed in dealing with terrorists of Cuban origin, who have openly admitted their participation in violent attempts against Cuba. He recalls the case of terrorist Rodolfo Fromenta who, In 1994,  was nabbed in an FBI sting trying to buy a Stinger missile, a grenade launcher and anti-tank rockets that he said he planned to use to attack Cuba.
 
“Those actions clearly violated U.S. neutrality laws, but America’s justice system mostly looked the other way,” said the Canadian writer who also mentions Luis Posada Carriles, mastermind of the bombing of Cubana airliner in mid air, off the coasts of Barbados in 1976,  along other terrorist actions, including attempts to kill Revolution leader Fidel Castro.
 
“Now you begin to understand why the Cuban Five — as they have become known — are national heroes in their homeland, why pictures of their younger selves loom on highway billboards all over the island, why every Cuban schoolchild knows them by their first names: Gerardo, René, Ramon, Fernando and Antonio.”
 
The Post is the oldest newspaper in Washington D.C. with nearly 500 thousand copies Monday through Saturday and over 800 thousand on Sunday. Along the New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, The Post is considered one of the most influential publications in the United States.


President Raul Castro Sends Vietnam Message of Condolences for Death of General Vo Nguyen Giap

HAVANA, Cuba, Oct 7 (acn) Cuban President Raul Castro extended his deepest sympathies to the Vietnamese people and their leaders for the passing away of General Vo Nguyen Giap.
 
His example of revolutionary fighter will always prevail among us, as an expression of the historic friendship relations that unite us, said the Cuban president.

The Cuban people will always recall with admiration and respect the figure of the legendary fighter for the liberation of Vietnam, who died at 102 years of age.

Our Revolutionary Armed Forces will always preserve his invaluable contribution to Cuba’s military doctrine, said Raul who concluded his message by expressing: “Eternal Glory to General Giap.”


Cubans Pay Tribute to Victims of 1976 Terrorist Bombing of a Cubana Airliner
 
HAVANA, Cuba, Oct 7 (acn) Cubans paid homage on Sunday, October 6, to the victims of the 1976 bombing of a Cubana Airlines jet off the coasts of Barbados that killed all 73 people on board, including the Cuban Juvenile fencing team that returned victorious from a regional championship held that year in Caracas, Venezuela.
 
The ceremony took place at Havana’s Colon cemetery and included the laying of wreaths sent by Cuban Revolution leader Fidel Castro and by President Raul Castro, Granma newspaper reported.
 
On behalf of the relatives, friends, colleagues and the people of Cuba, Wilfredo Perez, who was the son of the pilot of the plane, demanded the extradition of confessed terrorist Luis Posada Carriles, who masterminded the terrorist action and is currently free in the US city of Miami. Perez also demanded the release of the anti-terrorist Cubans who are serving unfair prison sentences in US jails after they prevented terrorist actions against the Cuban people.
 
The ceremony was headed by Parliament president Esteban Lazo and by the First Secretary of Cuba’s Communist Party in Havana and Cuban Vice-president Mercedes Lopez.
 
Present at the tribute-paying action was Cuban Hero Rene Gonzalez, who along Gerardo Hernandez, Ramon Labañino, Fernando Gonzalez, Antonio Guerrero, was arrested in 1998.  The ceremony  was also attended by relatives of the five Cuban anti-terrorists, members of the diplomatic corps accredited in Cuba and workers with the Cuban Civil Aeronautics Institute.


Cuban Sportspeople Remember Barbados Crime Victims

Havana, Oct 6 (Prensa Latina) Cuban sports, as every year since 1976, mourned the victims of the heinous crime that occurred on this date, when a Cubana airplane exploded in flight, causing the death of 73 passengers and crew.

Aboard the plane travelled 17 young fencing athletes who had just made their mark, winning all the gold medals at the Central American and Caribbean games of the discipline.

This date is commemorated each year to honor floretists Virgen Felizola and Ines Luaces, Milagros Pelaez and Nancy Uranga, members of the national Cuban team.

Among the men there were sablists Ricardo Cabrera, Alberto Drake and Juan Duany, as well as floretists Leonardo Mackenzie and Jesus Mendez.

Also there were Jose Arencibia, Candido Muñoz, Enrique Figueredo, Julio Herrera, Nelson Fernandez, Carlos Leyva, Jose Fernandez and Ramon Infante.

In all, there were 24 casualties of that sports delegation which included two technicians Luis Morales and Jesús Gil, three trainers Ignacio Martinez, Santiago Hayes and Orlando Lopez and two officials of the Cuban Sports Institute, Demetrio Gonzalez and Manuel Permuy.

The crime whose perpetrators are still unpunished, dealt a severe blow on that sports discipline in Cuba that lost a complete generation of valuable athletes.

Cuban sports felt above all their absence in a season full of victories when it became the undisputed leader in Latin America after the Panamerican Games in Mexico, 1975, with a harvest of 134 medals (56 gold, 45 silver and 33 bronze).

Three years later, however, the fencing athletes of this island could win the regional competition in San Juan 1979, Puerto Rico.

Almost four decades after 1976 and present generations of Cuban athletes evoke their martyrs and claim for justice.


Cuban Ambassador to Iran Welcomes Friendship Association President

Tehran, Oct 7 (Prensa Latina) Cuba''s ambassador to Iran, Vladimir Gonzalez, received Hadi Khansari, president of the Iran-Cuba Friendship Association, in a first working meeting with the group, diplomatic sources said today.

Khansari welcomed the diplomat, who just took office, and expressed his willingness to continue working for solidarity with Cuba.

The ambassador thanked the association and its president for the solidarity actions with the country in recent years, among them, the International Campaign to Free the Cuban anti-terrorist fighters.

Gerardo Hernandez, Antonio Guerrero, Fernando Gonzalez, and Ramon Labañino are still serving harsh prison sentences after a rigged trial held in Miami, for informing their country about terrorist activities that were being plotted against Cuba in the United States. Rene Gonzalez, the fifth member of the group, completed his prison sentence and returned to Cuba after renouncing his U.S. citizenship.

The Cuban ambassador also confirmed to Khansari an interest in continued united work with the association, to develop new projects in the areas of solidarity and culture.

The Cuban ambassador gave Khansari an official invitation from the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples to attend the 3rd World Meeting of Solidarity with Cuba, scheduled for Oct. 31, 2014 in Havana.

 
News on Cuba - October 3, 2013 PDF Print E-mail

CELAC at the Center of Talks between Cuban Foreign Minister and UN Secretary General 
 
HAVANA, Cuba, Oct 2 (acn) UN Secretary General Ban ki-moon and Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez addressed in New York the role of Cuba as temporary president of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, CELAC. 
 
During the talks, which took place in the context of the 68 Session of the UN General Assembly, Ban and Rodriguez also addressed issues of regional interest.
 
The Millennium Development Goals, the development agenda to be implemented by the international community after 2015 and the impact by climate change on the Caribbean were also at the center of the talks.
 
Ban took the opportunity to acknowledge Cuba’s supportive role as host to the Colombian peace talks. 


US Blockade of Cuba Has Serious Impact on Pediatric Attention
 
HAVANA, Cuba, Oct 2 (acn) Serious limitations imposed by the US Blockade of Cuba on the Island’s public health system are evident in the Pediatric Cardiocenter William Soler, in Havana, one of the most reputed hemispheric institutions dealing with the treatment of heart complaints in children and adolescents.
 
Due to US interference, doctor Herminia Palenzuela, Head of the Quality Programme of the Institution reports, the Cardiocenter is unable to acquire Nitric gas, manufactured in the United States.
 
This gas is indispensable for the treatment of crisis in pulmonary hypertension resulting from cardiotoraccic surgery, a very serious problem that may lead to the death of the patient, she said.
 
There exist alternative ways of dealing with pulmonary hypertension, said the Cuban medical specialist, but the most effective is nitric acid.
 
Its direct application to the lung immediately leads to the increase in its breathing capacity, thus releasing pressure and guaranteeing the swift improvement of the patient’s condition. Lamentably, the US blockade prevents Cuba’s access to that product.
 
Another limitation imposed on Cuba’s capacity to treat its children with cardiovascular complaints is the nation’s inability to purchase US-manufactured nitrous oxide, a most efficient product that guarantees an immediate improvement in the small patient’s capacity to breath.
 
This product cannot be shipped by air and must be transported by ship adopting special measures. But US manufacturers refuse to sell it to Cuba because of the Washington-imposed blockade.
 
Another product banned to Cuba is the anesthetic Servofluorane, the best such product for children’s cardiovascular surgery.
 
But it may not be purchased by Cuba. The real losers are children who must be operated on and are deprived of the best anesthesia, because it is of American manufacture and the US Government, in fact, conspires against the right of those children to lead healthy lives, just because they are Cubans.


Cuba Supports at UNESCO Peaceful Solution for Syria
 
HAVANA, Cuba, Oct 1 (acn) Cuba affirmed its position at the United Nations Education, Science and Culture Organization (UNESCO)about the need to prevent a foreign aggression on Syria in order to keep peace, which is the most urgent priority for the International Community. 
 
Cuban representative at the UNESCO executive council, Juan Antonio Fernandez said expressed his country’s firm support of initiatives aimed at finding a peaceful solution for Syria, based on full respect of that country’s sovereignty and independence. 
 
According to PL news agency, the Cuban diplomat also denounced the scandalous espionage by the United States which has been met with a tsunami of criticism at the world level. In this regards, Fernandez expressed his country’s support of the initiative proposed by Brazil, which invited the executive council and UNESCO to address the situation related to privacy and Internet ethics.


Over 300 Thousand Angolans Benefited with Cuban Literacy Method 
 
HAVANA, Cuba, Oct 2 (acn) More than 300 thousand adult Angolans have learned to read and write through an educational method developed by Cuba, named Yes, I can, which has been succesfully applied in at least 30 nations in the world.
 
In Angola, the programme was introduced in 2009, and has proven its effectiveness in the sharp reduction of adult illiteracy in at least eight provinces in that African nation.
 
Learning to read and write has been largely instrumental in the resounding success achieved by Angola in the eradication of hunger, poverty and disease.
 
The development of the Cuban educational programme by that African nation’s Government was enthusiastically supported by several Angolan institutions, including the Angolan Women’s Federation and church groups. The massive introduction of education has proven to be a major weapon in the successful Angolan struggle against poverty, hunger and disease.
 
Over six million illiterates in the world have benefited from the Cuban educational programme “Yes I can”, enthusiastically endorsed by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, UNESCO, which assigned it its prestigious  “King Sejong Literacy Promotion Award in 2006.


Cuban First Vice-president Acknowledges Religious Community Support of the Revolution
 
HAVANA, Cuba, Oct 3 (acn) Cuban First Vice-president Miguel Diaz-Canel acknowledged the spiritualist community in Cuba for its commitment and Support of the people, the Revolution and the cause of the five Cuban anti-terrorists, who were arrested in 1998 in the United States. 
 
During a meeting with representatives of the religious community, Diaz-Canel said that amidst the ongoing process of economic transformations in Cuba it is crucial to focus on the spirituality, sentiments, emotions and ideas of the people.
 
“If we are able to strengthen our economy and we assume the results of this process with culture, knowledge, decency, without vanity and selfishness, and in a supportive manner, then we will be defending our society, our ideals; we all agreed to these issues,” said Diaz-Canel who affirmed the government and Communist Party’s trust in Cuban spiritualists as he underscored their struggle for unity.
 
The Cuban first-vice president called on the religious community to keep defending its identity, based on historic roots, and without allowing the import of foreign formulas in order to guarantee its own autonomy.
 
He alerted that the Barack Obama administration has allocated millions of dollars to finance over 113 subversive programs against several sectors of Cuban society, including the religious community, in an effort to break the unity of Cubans and their Revolution.
 
The spiritualist community currently counts on over 550 societies in Cuba who freely carry out their activities with the support of local authorities. Members of the community expressed their gratefulness for the meeting and explained about their work in the benefit of human beings and society. They also supported the call issued by Cuban President Raul Castro to keep educating the Cuban people.
 
The meeting was also attended by the head of the Cuban Communist Party Religious Affairs Office, Caridad Diego and other party officials. 


At UN, 40 Plus Countries Demand End of Blockade Against Cuba

United Nations, Oct 2 (Prensa Latina) Speaking at the UN General Assembly, leaders from more than 40 countries and all five continents urged an end to the U.S. blockade of Cuba, describing it as genocidal, illegal, and a Cold War relic.

During the seven days of the 68th session of the General Assembly, the call to end the economic, commercial, and financial blockade imposed more than 50 years ago was expressed from the United Nations podium by presidents, prime ministers, and foreign ministers alike.

Just like last year, the issue of Washington's blockade against the island was among the topics most mentioned by the leaders during the plenary session for the 193 U.N. member countries.

Yesterday, during the last day of discussion, Nicaragua, Saint Lucia, Granada, Suriname, Barbados, Syria, and Guinea joined the demand previously expressed here by representatives from Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, Asia, Oceania, and Europe.

For Bolivian President Evo Morales, the blockade against Cuba is the "worst genocide," while Mauricio Funes, president of El Salvador, Ghana's John Mahama, and Trinidad and Tobago's Kamla Persad-Bissessar, called it a relic of the past.

In turn, the Prime Minister of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Ralph Gonsalves, described the White House siege as a kind of "myopic revenge," which has caused millions in losses and severe social harm, for its impact in sectors such as health and education.

For his part, Gambian President Hadji Yahya Jammeh called Washington's measures inhumane, unjust, and flagrant, and warned that they lack any sort of justification.

During the general discussion, participants considered the U.S. blockade on Cuba to be a strong obstacle to the country's development, as well as a violation of international law.


Cuba Implements New Legal Regulations
 
HAVANA, Cuba, Oct 3 (acn) Cuban officials with the Supreme Court, the Attorney General’s Office and the Interior Ministry addressed new regulations relevant to the Cuban Penal Code and the authority of the courts of justice. 
 
During the prime-time TV Show “The Round Table Discussion,” the  officials explained that the initiative strengthen state policy in tune with the economic and social transformations underway in the country.
 
The vice-president of the People’s Supreme Court, Oscar Manuel Silvera, said that a new decree law reinforces the authority of municipal courts of justice to deal with crimes that imply up to 8-year prison terms, formerly up to 3 years imprisonment.
 
The regulations aimed at taking justice closer to the sites where crimes take place and to the individuals involved, which favors legal decisions, said Silvera who added that the measures pursue the preservation of security and the improvement of the quality of the judicial service, while the right to justice is more effective.
 
The changes in the Penal Code include the imposition of administrative fines, as long as the crime committed reveals low risk levels, while the sanction to be imposed for such crime does not exceed three years of imprisonment or a fine of up to one thousand-installment pay. This would always require the approval of the prosecution.
 
Colonel Felix Yanes, second chief of the General Criminal Investigations and Operations Department with the Interior Ministry, said that the new regulations favor case-to-case work with those subjected to up to three-year sanctions. Such work is in tune with the humanitarian principles promoted by the Cuban Revolution. 
 

Dominican Unions Demand Freedom for The Cuban Five

Santiago de Cuba, Oct 2 (Prensa Latina)Union members from the Dominican Republic participating in a binational seminar on health and safety in the workplace demanded the return of four Cubans who have been imprisoned in the United States for over 15 years.

Juan Andrés Balbi, general secretary of the National Union of Heavy Equipment Operators, said the committees of solidarity with the Cuban Five are active and are expressing their demands through demonstrations in the streets and outside the U.S. embassy.

Balbi said that the U.S. justice system had meted out disrespectful and inconsiderate treatment to Gerardo Hernandez, Antonio Guerrero, Ramón Labañino, Fernando Gonzalez and Rene Gonzalez, the latter back in Cuba after serving his sentence.

Balbi also joined the applause of those attending the forum, who condemned the political aberration resulting from the arrest in Miami of these Cubans who were trying to prevent violent actions against their country.


More Cuban Doctors Arrive in Brazil to Support Public Health

Brasilia, Oct 2 (Prensa Latina) A new group of 250 Cuban health professionals arrived in this capital today to provide services through the Brazilian public health system, as part of the "More Doctors" program.

They are part of the second contingent of Cuban doctors who will work in the rural areas of this country with low Human Development Index figures, as well as on the outskirts of the metropolitan regions.

"We came here to support and offer our knowledge to the Brazilian people," Dr. Roxana Garcia, 42, said at the Brasilia's International Airport. The experts were received by a group of citizens showing support for their work and thanking them for their solidarity with Brazil's needy.

Another 532 physicians from 11 countries will also join in this second phase of this health program. They were responding to a call made by Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, to ensure healthcare for all citizens of this nation. Presented by the president in July, the "More Doctors" program will feature services provided by 4,000 Cuban doctors, in response to an agreement signed between the Ministry of Health of Brazil and the Pan American Health Organization. 


Ovation for Documentary About Fidel Castro in South Africa

Pretoria, Oct 2 (Prensa Latina) A standing ovation was the response to a 95-minute documentary titled Fidel, The Untold Story, which marked tonight the opening of the 9th Festival of Latin America and the Caribbean Cinema in South Africa, with a large public.

The historical narrative passages filled with images and exclusive interviews, made by director Estela Bravo, summarizes with good sense the trajectory of the leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro.

Ambassador and diplomats, including the head of the delegation of Venezuela, Mairin Moreno, and Carlos Sersale di Cerisano, of Argentina, filled the Lier theater of the University of Pretoria.

Others in the audience included high-ranking South African officials such as Faith Mazibuko, Minister of Community Safety of Gauteng province, who will lead a delegation traveling to Havana on Saturday.

The documentary Fidel, The Untold Story, was presented by the Cuban ambassador to South Africa, Carlos Fernandez de Cossio, who welcomed the interest shown by many people in attending the screening.


Activists Announce Caravan Against Terrorism in Miami

Washington, Oct 1 (Prensa Latina) Cuban emigre organizations that are part of the coalition Alianza Martiana announced that a caravan against terrorism will drive through the main streets of the city of Miami on Saturday.

Participants will demand the release of four of the Cuban Five who remain in U.S. prisons: Gerardo Hernandez, Ramon Labañino, Antonio Guerrero and Fernando Gonzalez, according to a press release from the National Committee to Free the Cuban Five.

Caravan participants also will demand the prosecution of real terrorist organizations of right-wing extremist Cuban-Americans who are freely walking the streets of Miami.

The caravan is one of a number of activities taking place from September 5 to October 6 in solidarity with the cause of the Cuban Five, the 15th year since their wrongful arrest and imprisonment.


9th Meeting of Marti Project to be Held in Portugal

Panama City, Oct 2 (Prensa Latina) The 9th World Council Meeting of the José Martí International Solidarity Project will be held in 2014 in Portugal, according to Héctor Hernández Pardo, its executive coordinator, in opening remarks at the 8th Meeting in Panama today.

Participating in the meeting are members of the World Council from Cuba, Brazil, Mexico, Panama, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic and Portugal.

Professor Miguel Angel Candanedo, secretary general of the University of Panama, said that tomorrow workshops and presentations would take place in two faculties at that university and two others, and at the Ciudad del Saber (City of Knowledge), benefiting from the presence of well-known international academics such as Brazilian Frei Betto.

Guillermo Castro, a local academic, said that the Marti Project has an enormous value, because "Marti is more present now than ever, his vision transcends history as a process of human improvement through the practice of the utility of virtue."

Mexican Mario Alberto Najera said that José Martí studies departments have existed since the 1990s, and have multiplied now with the objective of opening a space for reflection, and they are becoming a forum for studying the most advanced ideas.

Zayda Castro, executive director of a Marti Studies Department in Venezuela, said that the delegation from her country wanted others to know what Venezuela is doing about Marti's ideas and its intimate links with that territory.

"Cuba's national hero is resurging again in Venezuela following the revolutionary process led by Commander Hugo Chavez and his political ideas can no longer be hidden from the people," she said.


IAEA Highlights Cuba’s Role in Peaceful Use of Nuclear Energy

Havana, Oct 1 (Prensa Latina) The Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Yukiya Amano, highlighted Cuba''s role in a keynote speech delivered here, emphasizing its wide range of peaceful applications of nuclear science and technology, with an emphasis on human health.

During yesterday's speech entitled "IAEA's work: Atoms for Peace," delivered at the University of Havana's main lecture hall, Amano said that Cuba has been an active member of the organization since it was founded in Vienna in 1957, and is a major contributor to technical cooperation programs, with its experts in many fields sharing their knowledge and experience with other countries.

Amano talked about his positive impression in regard to the variety of available services and the dedication of Cuban staff, after visiting several medical and research centers in Havana.

He added that thanks to IAEA collaboration with Cuba, the National Institute of Cardiology and Cardiovascular Surgery was able to improve its imaging facilities in order to provide patients better diagnoses and treatment.

The agency works closely with the National Institute of Oncology and Radiobiology in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer, as well as research activities. It is also involved in the production of essential radiopharmaceutical products and the creation of a center for environmental studies in the central province of Cienfuegos, to monitor marine and coastal pollution.


Cuban Cultural Institutions Lose Millions due to U.S. Blockade

Havana, Oct 1 (Prensa Latina) Cuban cultural institutions lost $ 12.7 million last year due to the U.S. economic, commercial and financial blockade against Cuba.

A report published by the Ministry of Culture says that the blockade prevents Cuban artists from engaging in normal exchange with U.S. artistic circles.

In 2012 the U.S. company Paypal restricted the bank account of a Spanish platform for funding Cuban cultural projects, claiming that it failed to comply with Cuba-related regulations of the Office of Foreign Assets Control, the Ministry of Culture report said.

That same year, the Cuban Music Institute sponsored performances in the United States of 365 musicians and technicians, who did not receive travel allowances to cover their expenses and were forbidden to market their presentations, due to the blockade's provisions.

The Cuban film industry was also prevented from direct access to the use of technology developed by the U.S. company Dolby.

Meanwhile, given the control exerted by U.S. capital, the Cuban audiovisual production company RTV Comercial cannot promote its products in the U.S. market or others in the region.

The Cuban government annually presents to the UN a report against the blockade imposed for more than 50 years with the aim of harming the Cuban economy.

Traditionally, this document has been approved by the vast majority of UN members, and last year 188 nations voted to lift the blockade, which was opposed by only three countries, with two abstaining.

Havana is now preparing a report on these and other incidents to submit shortly to the UN General Assembly.

 

 
News on Cuba - September 30, 2013 PDF Print E-mail

Ecuador’s Rafael Correa Announces Plan to Improve Healthcare System 
 
HAVANA, Cuba, Sep 30 (acn) Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa announced a strategy to improve his country’s healthcare system with the hiring of one thousand Cuban doctors, given the lack of physicians in the South American nation.
 
We need family doctors, so we will hire Cuban physicians, said Correa in his radio and TV weekend sow, aired from the province of Guayas, PL news agency reported from the capital Quito.
 
The strategy, to be implemented till 2017, includes the construction of one thousand 582 healthcare centers outfitted with all necessary resources, plus 163 general hospital and 24 specialized medical institutions. All those facilities will require some 18 thousand 675 health professionals, half of whom must be doctors. 
 
Correa said that Ecuadorian youths are currently taking medical courses in Cuba, though they will take some years to graduate, so in the meanwhile the Cuban doctors will be hired. He said that the best example for the Ecuadorian health project to follow is Cuba, which has one of the most comprehensive health systems of the world. 
 


Reverend Jesse Jackson Calls for Actions against US Blockade of Cuba
 
HAVANA, Cuba, Sep 30 (acn) US Reverend Jesse Jackson called for actions against the economic, financial and commercial blockade which the governments of his country have maintained against Cuba for over 50 years now, and he also stressed the need to strengthen relations between the US and the Cuban people.
 
During a religious ceremony at the Havana-based Ebenezer Baptist Church, Reverend Jackson said that the blockade affects the life of the Cuban people and hinders relations between the two nations. 
 
The US Reverend said that the Church must fight against the blockade, PL news agency reported on Sunday.

The sanctions posed by Washington against Cuba affect the use of the Internet on the island, telephone calls and transportation, among other consequences for the Cuban and the US people, he said.
 
During the religious ceremony, organized by the Cuban Council of Churches, participants recalled previous visits by the outstanding civil rights activist to Cuba in 1984 and 1988. Reverend Jackson recalled his meetings with Cuban Revolution leader Fidel Castro. 
 
Meanwhile, Cuban Reverend Raul Suarez, director of the Martin Luther King Jr Memorial Center, stressed the contribution by Jackson to relations between the US and the Cuban people. He said that the US activist has favored a new stage for relations between the churches and the state, which he described as a “blessing for our country, our people and the Cuban Revolution.” 

 

IAEA General Director Beings Official Visit to Cuba

HAVANA, Cuba, Sep 30 (acn) The general director of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Yukiya Amano is on an official visit to Cuba till October 1, which is in tune with the excellent relations between the island and the world energy organization.
 
Cuba is a founding member of the IAEA with a currently active participation particularly in technical cooperation projects in the field of health, agriculture and the environment, PL news reported on Sunday.
 
The IAEA has acknowledged, in several occasions, the highly skillful Cuban specialists and the contributions by Havana to boost cooperation projects linked to the peaceful use of nuclear energy. 
 
As a member of the IAEA, Cuba is currently promoting urgent negotiations to reach an International Convention on Nuclear Disarmament. In this regard, the island supports the setting up of concrete timetable for the total elimination and prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. 
 
Cuba opposes all nuclear tests, both of real explosive nature or computer-based experiments and other sophisticated technologies. 
 
Cuba honors the Tlatelolco Treaty, on the prohibition of nuclear weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as the Non-Proliferation Treaty. 
 
The Cuban government maintains a Safeguarding Accord with the IAEA, along with an additional protocol on the subject.
 


CDR: A Key Factor for the Safeguard of the Cuban Revolution

CDRHAVANA, Cuba, Sep 27 (acn) Safeguarding the Revolutionary project continues to be the utmost mission of the Committees for the Defense of the Revolution (CDR), stressed the delegates to the 8th Congress of the largest Cuban grassroots organization, underway at Havana's Conventions Center in the presence of President Raul Castro.

The forum is being attended by 460 CDR members from all Cuban provinces, who are working on actions to improve the performance of the organization and support proposals aim at making the structure and functions of the CDRs more efficient and effective.

Delegates stressed the need to get the youths more involved in addressing the necessities prevailing in their areas of residence and communities and involve them in fighting illegalities. They also called for joint work in support of the implementation of the social and economic guidelines adopted by the Communist party.

The Congress of the over-eight-million-member organization will conclude on Saturday after adopting the main report and working guidelines for the upcoming years.

 

South Nations Demand at UN End of US Blockade of Cuba

Leaders of Latin American, African and Asian countries demanded at the United Nations General Assembly the lifting of the over-50-year US economic, commercial and financial blockade of Cuba.

During the session prime ministers and heads of state described the US blockade as policy of genocide, illegal, failed, a relic of the Cold War period, anachronistic and obstacle to development, among other terms.

Representing Latin America, the leaders of Bolivia, Antigua and Barbuda, Uruguay, El Salvador, Guyana, Trinidad-tobago demanded the end of the US siege which has inflicted huge damage on all Cuban economic and social sectors, particularly health and education.

Meanwhile, the representatives of South Africa, Namibia, Ghana, Chad, Mozambique and Gabon, and for Asia, the leaders of Sri Lanka and East Timor also called for the end of the US blocakde at the plenary session attended by 193 states, the overwhelming majority of which have repeatedly voted a Cuban resolution since 1992 demanding the lifting of the Usś anti-Cuba measure.

In his remarks at the forum, Bolivian President Evo Morales criticized the US administration for ignoring the claim by the international community against the US blockade of the island.

 

Cuba Improves Salaries of Athletes and Trainers

HAVANA, Cuba, Sep 27 (acn) Cuba will noticeably increase the salaries and bonuses to athletes, trainers and other sports specialists, as a policy pproved by the Council of Ministers.

According to Granma newspaper, the new policy will get in force in January 2014, though in the case of Baseball it will start with the opening of the National Series in November 2013.

The new measure aims at improving the performance of Cuban sports, generating income sources, increasing the quality and rigor in competitions, gradually increasing salaries and guaranteeing that each one receives a salary according to his or her work.

High-performance athletes, who devote all their time to practicing a sports modality, will get their salaries according to their results, the newspaper explains and adds that in the case of athletes who get contracts abroad, they will be guaranteed their participation in major competitions on the island.

The new policy maintains monthly payments to athletes in hard currency or Cuban convertible pesos as it has been done so far. This payment is received by athletes, trainers either active or retired in return for the medals they have won, while other payments in the Cuban national currency, the Peso, will also be included.

This way the pay will be based on the socialist principle establishing that “from each one according to his or her capabilities, to each one according to his or her work,” which will be expressed at the moment of obtaining competition results, as approved by the 6th Congress of the Cuban Communist Party.

The newspaper also explains that when an athlete is no longer active, her or she will receive an additional pay as acknowledgement, which will be considered for the calculation of his social security fund.

Along with this Cuba will implement a annual system of contracts in the country accredited by the National Federation of each sports, thus replacing a system of leaves thus far in force.

The policy approved by the Cuban Council of Ministers establishes six sports categories according to the performance of athletes, which constitute the basis to set the basic monthly payments in national currency for high-performance athletes.

 
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