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Demo Calls for Release of the ALL the Cuban Five PDF Print E-mail

On Saturday June 1st, sixty protesters rallied across from the U.S. Consulate on University Avenue in Toronto to call for the release of "ALL the Cuban Five Now”.

The demonstration, initiated by the “Friends of the Cuban Five”, brought together more than a dozen organizations, including the CCFA Toronto. The demonstration informed the public about the 15 years of injustice to the five Cubans who were simply attempting to expose and stop the terrorism against Cuba coming out of Miami.

This rally was held in conjunction with the Five Days for the Cuban Five taking place in Washington, DC. In Washington, participants from 22 countries, including Canada, lobbied and rallied for the release of the Cuban Five.

News on Cuba - June 19, 2013 PDF Print E-mail

Raul Holds Talks with African Statesman 

HAVANA, Cuba, Jun 17 (acn) Army General Raul Castro, President of the councils of State and Ministers, met on Monday afternoon with Manuel Pinto da Costa, President of the Democratic Republic of Sao Tome and Principe, who is on an official visit to Cuba.

The two heads of state referred to the relations of friendship and cooperation existing between the two countries and expressed their interest to strengthen bilateral bonds. Likewise, they spoke about topics on the international agenda. 

The distinguished visitor was accompanied by Natalia Pedro da Costa Umbelina Neto, Minister of Foreign Business and Communities. Cuba was also represented at the meeting by Salvador Valdes, Vice-president of the Council of State, and Bruno Rodriguez, Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Cuban Vice-President Begins Official Visit to China 

HAVANA, Cuba,  June 17 (acn) Cuban first vice-president Miguel Diaz-Canel and China’s vice-president Li Yuanchao affirmed in Beijing on Monday the excellent level of bilateral political, economic and social relations between China and Cuba and they reiterated their willingness to further expand those links. 

The top government Cuban official began a visit to China as the first leg of an Asian tour that includes Vietnam and Laos. Diaz-Canel was welcomed at the Grand People’s Palace in the heart of Beijing. 

During his meeting with Li Yuanchao, the Cuban first vice-president said that Cuba has China as reference for the achievements of its objectives, with the particularities of each country. He said these meetings affirm the high level of agreement between the two nations. 

The two leaders addressed the advancement of Chinese cooperation with Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as the role of Cuba as pro-tempore president of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC). 

Diaz-Canel underscored the exchange of experience with China about the construction of socialism in the two countries and the interest of Havana in keeping and prioritizing such exchange. 

Li Yuanchao described China-Cuba relations as an example of links that must continue to exist and prevail among developing nations. He also recalled his visit to the island last December as special envoy of President Xi Jinping, and his meetings with President Raul Castro and other Cuban officials. 

Li also stressed the detailed explanation given by Diaz-Canel about the ongoing update of the Cuban economic model. 

The Cuban first vice-president reiterated his country’s support to the single China policy and its rejection of foreign interference in the domestic affairs of the Asian nation, which are related to Taiwan and Tibet. He also thanked Beijing for its support of the island’s struggle against the US economic blockade. 

Li and Diaz-Canel attended the signing of three accords, consisting of a donation, two credit lines for Cuba, one of them to purchase machinery and agriculture equipment. The documents were penned by Cuban ambassador Alberto Blanco, Chinese deputy trade minister Wang Chao, and the president of the financial entity Eximbank, Li Ruogu. 

The Cuban first vice-president is also scheduled to hold talks with president Xi Jingping and Premier Li Kegiang. 

The Cuban Parliament Convenes Ordinary Period of Sessions 

HAVANA, Cuba, Jun 16 (acn) According to the powers conferred to him, Esteban Lazo, President of the Cuban National Assembly of the People’s Power (Parliament) has convened on June 16 the First Ordinary Period of Sessions of the Eighth Legislature of this body, in accordance with Article 81, paragraph b of the Constitution of the Republic. 

The First Ordinary Period of Sessions will begin on July 6, 9:00 a.m., at Havana’s Convention Center. The call for the Parliament’s Ordinary Period of Sessions recommends the publishing of the announcement in the Official Gazette, for general knowledge. 

World’s First Woman Astronaut Sends Greetings to Fidel and Raul Castro 

HAVANA, Cuba, June 17 (acn) Valentina Tereshkova, the world’s first woman astronaut sent her warmest greetings to the Cuban people, and their leaders as she marked the 50th anniversary of her outer space visit, in Russia. 

Speaking to PL news agency, Tereshkova said she wanted to take the occasion to send her fraternal and warmest greetings to the Cuban people, and Commanders Fidel and Raul. 

“We will always love the Cuban people and we highly value our bilateral friendly relations,” said the Heroine of the Soviet Union. 

Human Rights Council Adopts Cuba-sponsored Resolutions 

HAVANA, Cuba, June 18 (acn) The UN Human Rights Council adopted four Cuba-sponsored resolutions during its 23rd session, held May 27 to June 14 in Geneva. 

The documents, which found large co-sponsoring support, focus on the promotion of cultural rights and diversity; human rights and international solidarity; the negative impact by the foreign debt on the enjoyment of human rights, particularly economic, social and cultural rights; and the promotion of the right to peace, the Cuban Foreign Ministry reported. 

The resolution on the right to peace was presented by Cuba on behalf of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), a significant event, given the fact that this is the first time that the regional integration bloc presents a joint resolution at the United Nations. 

Despite is observer status at the Council, Cuba continues to be a main actor in the works of the UN entity and has been largely acknowledged for its active participation. The Caribbean nation expects to become a full member of the Council in the 2014-2016 period, following the 2013 summer elections that are expected to take place during the 68th session of the UN General Assembly. 

Brazilian Activists Demand Closing of Illegal U.S. Naval Base in Guantanamo 

HAVANA, Cuba, Jun 15 (acn) Participants in the 21st Brazilian Convention of Solidarity with Cuba, held in the city of Foz de Iguazu, demanded on Friday the closing of the illegal naval base the United States maintains in Guantanamo, in the southeast part of the Caribbean island. 

Socorro Gomes, of the Brazilian Center of Solidarity with the Peoples and Struggle for Peace explained the need to consolidate Latin American unity to demand with more strength the handing over of that piece of Cuban territory to its people and the suspension of the hostile policy of the White House towards the island. 

He asserted that, in spite of the criminal blockade imposed by Washington on Cuba for over 50 years now, the small nation shows significant results in the social sphere, the Prensa Latina news agency reported. 

The challenges of the Latin American integration process and the experiences of solidarity movements were among topics debated during the final session of the Convention, held at the House of Councilmen of Foz de Iguazu, a city that has borders with Argentina and Paraguay. 

The over 400 delegates of solidarity groups and Jose Marti associations of Brazil that attended the forum also tackled the results of primary health care in Cuba and international cooperation in this sector. 

The meeting wound up on Friday with the approval of the document called Carta de Foz de Iguazu (Letter of Foz de Iguazu), in which measures and actions to be promoted, in defense of Cuba, are included.

Rene Gonzalez Pays Tribute to Che Guevara 

HAVANA, Cuba, June 18 (acn) Cuban hero Rene Gonzalez paid homage on Monday to Cuban-Argentinean guerrilla fighter Ernesto Che Guevara at the memorial that treasures his mortal remains in the central city of Santa Clara. 

Gonzalez is one of the five Cuban anti-terrorist fighters, who were arrested in 1998 and given unfair and extremely long sentences in the United States after they monitored Florida-based ultra-right organizations that planned terrorist actions against the island. 

He returned to Cuba after having met his 13 year-prison sentence and following the approval by US authorities to modify his supervised freedom conditions in exchange for the renouncing of his US citizenship. 

At the mausoleum, Gonzalez and his family paid honors to Che and his compatriots killed in Bolivia. 

Paying tribute to the Heroic Guerrilla is a compromise with his legacy, said Gonzalez. 

Yudi Rodriguez, member of the Communist Party Central Committee and Jorgelina Pestana, president of the provincial government welcomed the Gonzalez family as they arrived at the Comandante Ernesto Che Guevara Revolution Square, a complex that includes the mausoleum. 

During the ceremony in front of the niche that treasure Che’s remains, Gonzalez said that Guevara will always live as far as there are people like the Cubans who, Che and his four compatriots still held in US jails belong with. 

Gerardo Hernández, Fernando González, Antonio Guerrero and Ramón Labañino are the four anti-terrorists who, along Gonzalez, are internationally known as the Cuban Five. 

The hero recalled that he had the chance to shake Che’s hand when he was still a child, an event that left an imprint as strong as the news about his death in Bolivia. 

Che is the reason for daily renewal, and in this historic stage, he continues to be a crucial example, said Rene meaning that Cubans must resort to Che’s critical thinking and ask themselves if what has been done can still be improved. 

The saddest thing is that my four brothers are still in jail; every single day in prison is a crime committed against them, because there is no reason for people like them to be under such conditions, he pointed out. 

Nicolas Maduro Praises Cuban Medical Assistance 

HAVANA, Cuba, June 18 (acn) Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro stressed in Rome the supportive work and assistance being offered to his people by Cuban doctors and other professionals. 

Maduro, who met with representatives of social organizations in the Italian capital, said that the Cuban people are giving real love to their Venezuelan sisters and brothers. 

The Cuban professionals are supporting ongoing programs in the sectors of health, sports, education and the assistance to citizens in need, said Maduro as he rejected recent campaigns launched by the Venezuelan opposition against Cuba. 

The Venezuelan head of state explained that every Cuban doctor offers free-of-charge medical services with all necessary equipment to anyone who needs such assistance from eight in the morning to five in the afternoon, a fact which is really amazing, he noted. 

After five pm in the afternoon, the Cuban doctors visit the homes of the humblest people needing medical services, such as senior citizens who cannot walk out of their places. “And they cure their patients with the most powerful medication in the world, which is love,” he pointed out. 

Maduro said that Venezuela expects to form 60 thousand physicians by 2018, while 14 thousand medical doctors have already graduated thanks to  the support of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro, President Raul Castro and the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of our Americas. 

Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Thanks Cuba for Cooperation 

HAVANA, Cuba, Jun 17 (acn) Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Konstantin Grishchenko thanked Cuba for its medical cooperation on the occasion of the nuclear accident of Chernobyl, in 1986, y and highlighted historic bilateral bonds. 

Grishchenko issued his statements in this regard during the 1st International ABC Business Conference: Ukraine and Partners, where Prime Minister Mykola Azarov, and all of the country’s deputy ministers and ministers, together with over 2,000 delegates, participated, the Cubaminrex Web site reported. 

European Solidarity Brigade to Arrive Cuba Soon

Havana, Jun 18 (Prensa Latina) More than one hundred members of the Jose Marti European Solidarity Brigade will soon arrive in Cuba, to complete an intensive program to promote awareness of the reality of this country, the ICAP announced.

According to the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP), the 43 contingent of the group, whose agenda will run from July 1 to 19, is composed of members from 13 nations, among them Italy, Spain, Sweden, France, the United Kingdom, and Belgium.

Among the activities are a meeting with relatives of the five anti-terrorist fighters of the island unjustly held in the United States, and members of the International Committee for their release.

The Brigade will also visit centers of historical and cultural interest in the capital and several provinces, and participate in lectures on updating the Cuban economic model, the impact of the U.S. blockade to the island, among other topics.

As part of the program's objectives is to foster a deeper understanding of the reality of this Caribbean country, "distorted by large media," and serve as a bridge of friendship to those interested in having a more objective view of Cuba, the ICAP stated.

Greece to Participate in European Solidarity Brigade with Cuba

Athens, Jun 18 (Prensa Latina) A group of Greek people will be part of the Jose Marti European Solidarity Brigade with Cuba, who will arrive in the island soon. promoters of the initiative in this capital told Prensa Latina.

The Greek delegation will be composed of ten people and their agenda of activities will take place between July 1-19, in coordination with the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP), Vangelis Gonatas stated.

Moreover, the movement of friendship with Cuba set some few days ago the denominated Greek Solidarity Network that brings together 48 websites across the country.Its objective is to coordinate an alternative agenda for information on Cuba and Latin America through Internet.

Gonatas, who is also an editor of the Rebel Press blog, stated that the vision offered by the corporate media about Cuba fit the pattern imposed by Western governments.

Cuba Defends Puerto Rican Self-Determination at UN

United Nations, June 17 (Prensa Latina) Cuba presented today at the United Nations a draft resolution that reaffirms Puerto Rico's inalienable right to self-determination and independence. The text was put to the consideration of all 29 member countries of the UN decolonization committee by Cuban permanent representative to the UN, Rodolfo Reyes.

The Cuban diplomat recalled that the Puerto Ricans' right has been recognized since 1972 in 31 UN resolutions and decisions.

However, he lamented the little progress registered for a final solution to the colonial situation, so that the Puerto Ricans can freely determine their political status and materialize their political, economical, social and cultural dreams.

He said, though, that so many years of colonial dominations have not been enough to snatch from the people their culture, identity and national emotions.

"This shows the Puerto Rican people's unwavering vocation of independence," said Reyes.

Cuba Ratifies Commitment to Fight Terror

Geneva, June 14 (Prensa Latina) Cuba ratified today the commitment to fight terrorism in all its forms and expressions, and proposed to adopt an international convention of general scale to face the scourge.

In her speech during a two-day conference here on the topic, Cuban delegate Lilianne Sanchez reaffirmed her country´s support to multilateral and bilateral cooperation to fight terrorism. Sanchez said that Cuba is a signatory of 14 agreements on the matter and it has implemented internal legislative, administrative and institutional measures to complement prevention, detection and repression of all activities of this nature.

"The Cuban territory has never been used or will never be used to organize, fund or execute terrorist actions against any other country," said Sanchez, who recalled that the Cuban people have been a victim of terrorism organized and funded from US territory, as a result of which 3,478 people have been killed and another 2,099 were maimed for life.

The Cuban delegate strongly criticized the US double standard by sheltering international terrorists like Luis Posada Carriles from justice and giving harsh sentences to anti-terrorist fighters Rene Gonzalez, Ramon Labanino, Antonio Guerrero, Fernando Gonzalez and Gerardo Hernandez, internationally known as The Cuban Five.

Sao Tome and Principe Thanks Cuba for Training of Physicians 

HAVANA, Cuba, Jun 18 (acn) Manuel Pinto da Costa, President of the Democratic Republic of Sao Tome and Principe, thanked Cuba on Tuesday for training youngsters from his country as physicians, with high professional, ethical and human quality. 

While visiting the Latin American Medical School (ELAM) in this capital, where youngsters from 98 countries from all parts of the world are studying, the head of state highlighted Cubans’ contribution in the training of human resources of Sao Tome and Principe in other areas. 

Rafael Gonzalez, rector of the ELAM, gave the visitor details of the work of the institution, founded in 1999 by Commander in Chief Fidel Castro. 

Jorge Lopes Bon Jesus, Minister of Education, Culture and Training of Sao Tome and Principe, expressed his government’s interest in expanding bilateral cooperation, so youngsters from his country study clinical and surgical specialties in Cuba. 

The dignitary arrived in Havana on Saturday on an official visit, which ends on Wednesday. 

Cuba Urges at FAO Global Food System Changes

Rome, Jun 19 (Prensa Latina) Cuba said today that deal with food insecurity requires, besides a strong political will, a systemic and multisectoral approach that involves changes in the global health and education food systems.

Cuba's ambassador to Italy and the International Organizations based in Rome, Milagros Carina Soto, advocated in the FAO Summit for implementing policies of social inclusion that ensure, alike, the access to resources, the improvement of diets, and nutrition.

So far, we can only speak of modest advances, because those who suffer and die from hunger and those suffering the consequences of malnutrition still represent alarming and painful figures for those who aspire a better and more just world, he said.

Soto stated that the Caribbean nation is honored to have been recognized by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) for the results achieved on food safety.

Our indicators are the result of the systemic approach the Cuban government has implemented since the revolutionary triumph in 1959, with policies that guarantee equal opportunity and free and universal access to health and education, she remarked.

These results were achieved despite the outdated and criminal economic, financial and trade blockade the United States has imposed to the island for more than five decades, the diplomat noted.

She also stressed that as a president pro-tempore of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), Cuba makes clear the commitment of this community in the fight against hunger and malnutrition, as well as support the Latin American and the Caribbean without Hunger 2025 Initiative.

Nicaragua to Boost Parliamentary Cooperation with Cuba 

Havana, Cuba, Jun 19 (acn) Deputy Rene Nuñez, president of the National Assembly of Nicaragua, declared on Tuesday in this capital his country’s interest in "knowing Cuba again" from its current changes, and boost cooperation mechanisms between the two countries’ parliaments. 

We have come to encourage daily change, particularly now that this fraternal nation is living a period of changes, and to learn from these positive experiences, expressed the assembly member in statements to the press. 

Invited by the National Assembly of the People’s Power, Nuñez was received by Esteban Lazo, member of the Politburo of the Cuban Communist Party (PCC) and president of the parliamentary body. 

The visitor described the Caribbean country as an example and a point of reference, and underlined the unconditional support it has given his country in the educational and medical spheres. 

He referred to the case of the five Cuban antiterrorist heroes, the victims of harsh sentences in the United States, and referred to his country’s interest in having the Nicaraguan people know more details about injustices committed so it spreads and defends the cause everywhere. 

With regard to cooperation prospects, he revealed the interest of a group of Nicaraguan entrepreneurs to explore the Cuban market and to give fresh impetus to bilateral trade. 

The representative of the Sandinista National Liberation Front ratified Nicaragua’s willingness to consolidate the historic bonds of fraternity existing between the two peoples. 

Lazo, for his part, said that thus visit is a good opportunity to share experiences and boost national and parliamentary bonds even more, and sent greetings to President Daniel Ortega. 

Peruvian Congress Leader Defends Cuba’s Truth and Reality 

HAVANA, Cuba, Jun 18 (acn) Victor Isla Rojas, president of the Peruvian Congress, who visits this capital for the first time, declared himself to be a friend and a champion of the truth and reality of Cuba. 

The parliamentarian spoke with the press on Monday after the cordial meeting held with Esteban Lazo, member of the Politburo of the Cuban Communist Party (PCC) and President of the National Assembly of the People’s Power (Parliament). 

Isla Rojas stated that relations between the two countries as “very solid and respectful,” and asserted that his three-day stay in Havana –which will end on Wednesday- will allow him to see firsthand the country the peoples support and love. 

The distinguished visitor sent greetings to President Raul Castro and his respects to Fidel Castro, leader of the Revolution. 

He acknowledged Cuba’s contribution to Latin American and Caribbean integration, which he described as necessary and as “a lesson” for the region and the rest of the world.  He highlighted health and education as the main cooperation sectors, although –he admitted- it can be expanded as much as possible, for mutual benefit. 

For his part, Lazo highlighted the significance of this visit, as timely contribution to the strengthening of commercial and parliamentary exchanges. 

FM of Gambia Condemns U.S. Blockade of Cuba 

HAVANA, Cuba, Jun 18 (acn) Susan Waffa-Ogoo, Minister of Foreign Relations of Gambia, reiterated his government stance in favor of the lifting of the blockade the United States maintains on Cuba, during a meeting held on Tuesday with Cuba’s ambassador to that African nation, Ines Fors. 

For several years and at different international forums Gambia has condemned the unfair U.S. policy towards the island, explained the African foreign minister. 

She referred to his country’s stance in favor of the Resolution that champions the lifting of the blockade, presented every year in the ordinary period of session of the United Nations General Assembly, the Cubaminrex Web site reported. 

In this regard, she underlined her country’s support for the declarations that on the issue have been adopted within the context of the Summits of Heads of State and Government of the African Union. 

Gambia, one of Africa’s smallest nations, maintains diplomatic relations with Cuba since May 19, 1979. 

Experts Discuss Ernest Hemingway in Havana 

HAVANA, Cuba, June 19 (acn) The 14th Ernest Hemingway International Colloquium opens doors in Havana, in an initiative called by the Museum Finca Vigia, the former residence of the US writer in Cuba. 

The forum, which will run till June 23, pays homage to Hemingway’s first published work Three Stories and Ten Poems 90 years ago. The event also marks the 60th anniversary of his Pulitzer Prize for the novel The Old Man and the Sea. 

More than 20 researchers from different countries will take part at the colloquium to share their visions on the author of For Whom the Bell Tolls. 

Some of the activities at the forum include a key-note lecture on Ernest Hemingway by Cuban writer Enrique Cirules and the presentation of the Project Live Journal of Hemingway, by Finca Vigia director Ada Rosa Alfonso. 

Cuba Develops Lead and Zinc Mining 

HAVANA, Cuba, June 19 (acn) With the aim of exploiting metal reserves in the localities of Santa Lucia and Castellanos, western Pinar del Rio province, a project for a metal processing plant is in the works, which will allow producing some 95 thousand tons of zinc concentrate and 50 thousand tons of lead. 

According to Juventud Rebelde newspaper, the investment is calculated at about 180 million dollars. The project began implementation in October 2012 and it is expected to conclude in the second half of 2015. 

The initiative includes viability studies with complementary geological analyses of the two reserves, plus additional technological tests, mine design, and the engineering of necessary facilities at the plant. 

Mining operations chief in the western territory, Eusebio Hernandez said that the new plant will have capacity to process nearly 4 500 tons of metal ore a day. 

The two metal reserves at the municipality of Matahambre, 220 kilometers from Havana, have enough raw materials for the plant to operate for over 20 years. 

Once the sales of the metal pay back the investment, the plant will contribute significant economic benefit to the country, said the expert. 

The plant will also become an important source of employment in the zone. Only in its construction stage, the project will employ some 1 200 workers, while mining operations will take another 480. 

Plant from Cuban-Chinese Joint Venture Opens in Jilin Province

Beijing, Jun 19 (Prensa Latina) A modern plant from the Cuban-Chinese joint venture ChangHeber opened today in Changchun to produce the Hib vaccine, in which Cuban spokesmen consider an example of the bilateral cooperation in the field of biotechnology.

The ceremony at the headquarters located in the capital of Jilin province was attended by Cuba's First Vice President Miguel Diaz Canel, who began Monday, June 17, an official visit to China that will conclude today. The accompanying delegation comprises Leonardo Andollo, deputy chief of the Permanent Commission for the Implementation and Development, and Deputy Foreign Minister Rogelio Sierra Diaz.

The ChangHeber was opened in 2003, and currently produces more than 180 biotechnological products, including interferon.

The new facility is related to the production of the vaccine against Haemophilus influenzae, a bacterium that produces serious infectious diseases in the first years of life, mainly in brain and lungs.

This joint entity includes Cuban Heberbiotec SA, the Chinese Institute of Biological Products in Changchun, and the Jilin Boyce Technology Company.

Its fundamental objectives were to produce in China, through a total transfer of technology, a homogenous recombinant interferon alpha 2B, of demonstrated superior quality, which would be the first liquid formulation, free of human albumin produced in that Asian country.

This is the second joint venture with technology that produces products with Cuban biotechnological technology in China, the first of which BIOTECH Pharmaceutical Co. LTD (BPL), of the Molecular Immunology Center, with 10 years of existence.

Habanos Cigars Launches New Shape into Domestic Market 

HAVANA, Cuba, June 19 (acn) As part of a far-reaching promotional and production diversification strategy, Habanos Cigar Corporation launched a new cigar shape into the local market.  The launch of the “Rey del Mundo” shape took place on Tuesday at the Habanos Cigar shop at the Habana Libre Hotel in downtown Havana in the presence of participants at the 22nd Workshop on Cigar Marketing and Sales, and representatives of the cigar shop chain. 

The new shape will be available over the next few weeks at cigar shops in Cuba.

News on Cuba - June 10, 2013 PDF Print E-mail

Fidel Meets with Diosdado Cabello

Diosdado CabelloHAVANA, Cuba, Jun 9 (acn) The historic leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro, met on Friday afternoon with Diosdado Cabello, President of the National Assembly of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.

During the lively and fraternal meeting, Fidel and Diosdado recalled, with emotion, the legacy of President Hugo Chavez and spoke about the objectives and challenges of he new stage for the Venezuelan government, headed by President Nicolas Maduro.

They also focused on aspects related to bilateral cooperation and on the situation of food in the world.

After the meeting, the President of the Venezuelan Parliament, together with Fidel, toured several crops capable of producing a lot of protein, for the production of milk and meat.

Raul Meets with Venezuelan Parliament President Diosdado Cabello

HAVANA, Cuba, Jun 9 (acn) Army General Raul Castro, President of the councils of  State and Ministers, met on Saturday afternoon with Diosdado Cabello, President of the National Assembly of the Bolivarian Republic of   Venezuela, who is on an official visit to the island.

The two leaders verfied the excellent state of bilateral relations and held a fruitful exchange on topics on the regional and international agendas. The Army General ratified Cuba’s invariable support for the Bolivarian Revolution, and highlibghted its contribution to Latin American and Caribbean integration.

Raul praised the efforts of the Venezuelan government, under the leadership of President Nicolas Maduro, to guarantee the continuity of the work of late President Hugo Chavez and preserve the irreversible achievements of the people of that fraternal nation.

Cuba Bets to Renewable Energy  to Produce Electricity

HAVANA, Cuba, June 10 (acn) Cuba is progressively developing renewable energy projects in an effort to stop depending on fossil fuels.

The setting up of wind farms, solar energy facilities, biomass and biogas plants as well as a large number of windmills are part of the Cuban renewable energy strategy, presented by experts at the recently concluded 12 World Wind Energy Conference.

These projects also include the building of a 50-megawatt wind farm in eastern Las Tunas province, a solar panel complex in Guantanamo, also in the east of the island, and other facilities to use biogas obtained in hog-raising places.

Last December, the Cuban government passed a decree law establishing a commission in charge of drawing up a renewable energy promotion policy.

Experts from Eight Countries Address Regional Integration

HAVANA, Cuba, June 10 (acn) Experts from eight countries will address prospects of Latin American and Caribbean integration, during an international seminar that will be held in this city capital.

The forum, organized by the Havana University’s Center for Research on International Economy, will focus on regional blocs, such as the Community of Latin Americana and Caribbean States (CELAC). Participants at the event will also address current challenge for current cooperation initiatives in the region.

Speakers include representatives of the Latin American and Caribbean Economic System, the Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences, the Andean Development Corporation, the Latin American Development Bank and the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean.

Institutions and universities from Germany, Belgium, Chile, Ecuador, Jamaica, Mexico and Venezuela, along with Cuban research centers will take part at the three-day event.

The academic forum, which will run till Wednesday, will also focus on the US position towards Latin America and the Caribbean and the most recent proposals for international alliances.

Solar Energy Complex to be Raised in Eastern Cuba

GUANTANAMO, Cuba, June 10 (acn) A 2.5 megawatt solar energy complex, which will be hooked to the National Power System, is being raised in this eastern city.

The facility, which will expand along 5 hectares of land, is considered the most important of its kind in this province, since it will count on 10 thousand 800 solar panels, said Ismael Matos, investor with the local Hydro-energy Entrepreneurial Unit.

Matos said that the project, which is expected to be fully implemented in December, is part of the strategy adopted by the 6th Congress of the Cuban Communist Party to develop renewable energy sources.

The renewable energy programs promoted by Revolution leader Fidel Castro in remote rural areas have benefitted 410 schools, 165 collective TV rooms, 20 social facilities and over 500 homes.

Cancer, Major Cause for Death in Cuba

HAVANA, Cuba, June 8 (acn) Cancer became the first cause of death in Cuba followed by heart and cerebro-vascular conditions, in a country whose expectancy of life is set at 78.2 years for men and 81.3 years for women.

In 2012, Cancer was the cause of 25 percent of all death occurred in Cuba, with 59 percent of the victims being citizens below 75 years age, which  is considered by experts as premature mortality, according to Granman newspaper.

Doctor Idalia Cardero, a specialist with the Epidemiological Department of the Cuban Health Ministry, said that major factors of risk are the smoking habit, inappropriate diet, obesity, lack of physical activity and the harmful consumption of alcohol, which are all preventable.

According to research studies between 2001 and 2010, there is an increasing trend in the smoking habit despite a global reduction of that activity in adult persons. This means that there is a precocious start of the habit in the case of adolescents, However, the study revealed that the global smoking trend in adults went down to 23.7 percent in 2010 against a 32 percent in 2001.

The consumption of alcohol also increases in adolescents and in the female population, although  health authorities discourage the consumption of this products by youths below 21 years of age, bearing in mind that the brains develops up to that period of life, the doctor said.

There is also a growing trend in the adult population undergoing overweight and obesity, with values that vary between 32 percent in 1995 to 47.6 percent in 2011.

The individual consumption of salt by the Cuban population surpasses recommended amounts below 5 grams a day, and in most cases most of that salt is consumed in processed meats and cereals.

China and Cuba to Advance Cooperation in Agriculture

HAVANA, Cuba, June 8 (acn) China and Cuba expressed their interest in keeping advancing bilateral cooperation in agriculture, innovation and scientific exchange, official sources reported on Saturday.

The issue was addressed by Cuban Agriculture minister Gustavo Rodriguez during a meeting in Beijing with his Chinese counterpart Han Changfu, according to PL news agency. 

The Chinese government official  recalled a recent visit to Cuba in which he met with the historic leaders of the Cuban Revolution and he stressed the importance of implementing a cooperation program signed by the two Agriculture ministries during the visit to China by President Raul Castro last year.

The two parties agreed that although some actions have been taken on the basis of the accord, there is mutual interest in the advancement of that program.

Minister Han Changfu also expressed his willingness to further increase scientific and technical exchange and innovation in the industrial and agriculture sectors.

The two agriculture ministers exchanged views on the measures being implemented by the Cuban government in the sector. The Cuban official briefed his host about the transformations that are underway in the area as part of the update of the island’s economic sector.

UNESCO Executive to Visit Cuba

HAVANA, Cuba, June 8 (acn) The head of the Higher Education Office at the UN Education, Science and Culture Organization Paulina Gonzalez-Pose will visit Cuba this month to meet with local authorities and take part at a UNESCO workshop.

The executive will come on the invitation of Cuba’s Higher Education Minister Rodolfo Alarcon, with whom she is scheduled to meet as part of her June 10-14 agenda on the island.

González-Pose is scheduled to attend the 7th National Workshop of UNESCO departments in Cuba and tour several higher education centers.

Cuban Yarelis Barrios Wins Silver Medal in Athletics Diamond League

HAVANA, Cuba, Jun 7 (acn)- Cuban discus thrower Yarelis Barrios won on Thursday the silver medal at the Athletics Diamond League, under way in Rome, Italy, in its fifth stage.

With 64.41 meters, Barrios followed Croatian Sandra Perkovic (68.25). Third place was for Zinaida Sandriuté (62.85), of Lithuania, while Yaimé Pérez, the other Cuban representative in that specialty, finished fifth, with 61.90m.

Also taking part in the tournament, which serves as training for the World Athletics Championship scheduled for Moscow, Russia on August 10-18, are Cubans Omar Cisneros (400m hurdles), Lázaro Borges (high jump) and Ernesto Revé (triple jump).

Experts Highlight Significance of Cuban Revolution

Paris, June 7 (Prensa Latina) The Cuban Revolution was a result of a historical process that marked its time and maintains today a great influence on Latin America and other regions worldwide, agreed experts during a colloquium held in this capital.

The event titled "The Achievements of Socialism: An Approach on Cuba," was organized by the section of the French Communist Party in the 20th district of this capital to discuss the reality of Cuba, which boasts undeniable social gains despite the US blockade, said speakers.

"The Revolution is a genuine, original movement forged in a historical process of many decades," said researchers and professor emeritus of the University Paris VIII, Paul Estrade.

He recalled that national unity of the Cuban people started to be constructed during the war against Spanish colonialism, mainly thanks to the figure of pro-independence hero Jose Marti.

Writer and scholar Salim Lamrani noted how from the very start of the Revolution, on January 1st, 1959, the United States started its aggressions against the Cuban people.

Lamrani, who is also professor of the University Paris Sorbona IV, refered to damages caused by the US blockade and the effects of the Torricelli and Helms-Burton acts that internationalized that economic, commercial and financial aggression.

Cuban Ambasador to France, Orlando Requeijo, explained that his country is absorbed in updating the economic model to continue improving socialism.

Despite all aggressions, we are determined to continue our path to guarantee independence and sovereignty, said the Cuban diplomat.

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

Raul Castro Meets Kenneth Kaunda 

HAVANA, Cuba, June 7 (acn) The President of Cuba’s Councils of State and Ministers, Army General Raul Castro held talks on Thursday with Kenneth David Kaunda, the first president of the Republic of Zambia, who is paying a visit to the island. 

Granma daily newspaper reported that Raul and Kaunda recalled key aspects relevant to the historic relations between Cuba and Africa, and between the island and Zambia in particular. 

Kaunda, one of the founding fathers of African independence, expressed his interest in strengthening bilateral links every passing day, as it corresponds to relations between sister nations. 

Raul Castro, on his part, expressed his gratefulness to Africa’s support of Cuba and he noted that he was convinced that bilateral relations are solid and deep. 

The talks were attended by Zambian ambassador Bobby Mbaunji Smakai and by Jorge Risquet, member of Cuba’s Communist Party Central Committee. 

Cuban President Receives Syrian Presidential Envoy 

HAVANA, Cuba, Jun 7 (acn) Cuban President Raul Castro Ruz met Thursday, in Havana, with Doctor Mohsen Bilal, special envoy of the President of the Arab Republic of Syria, Bashar Al-Assad. 

According to Granma daily newspaper, Mohsen Bilal conveyed greetings from the Syrian head of state to the Cuban President and he addressed the current situation in his country. 

The Cuban President underscored the right of the Syrian people to their self determination and sovereignty without any foreign interference. The meeting was attended by Cuban foreign minister Bruno Rodriguez Parrilla. 

Important Cuba Presence at the Major Left Forum in New York 

HAVANA, Cuba, June 7 (acn) Cuba will be discussed in several panels at the Left Forum, June 7-9, Pace University, New York City. The event is the largest annual conference of its kind that takes place every year in the United States and possibly in the world as it convenes a broad spectrum of left and progressive intellectuals, activists, academics and interested public. 

This year’s conference includes at least seven panels on Cuba, which will hold sessions under several topics, such as Changing Economic System Remains an Environmental Model; Food Sovereignty and Cooperative Economics in the Cuban Revolution; Free the Cuban 5! It's time to bring them home!; A Changing Cuba, a Stagnant America strategy and the Continuing Plight of the Cuban Five; The Twenty-First Century Latin American Left; Venceremos Brigade: Who's gonna break the Travel Ban? Revolution in the Age of the Internet: an International Panel. 

Participants at the panels include Stan Smith, from the Chicago Committee to Free the Cuban Five, Ovidio Roque, First Secretary at the Permanent Cuban Mission to the United Nations,  Arnold August, Canadian political analyst, journalist  and author of the books “Democracy in Cuba and the 1997-98 Elections” and “Cuba and Its Neighbours: Democracy in Motion” 

Also at hand will be Martin Garbus, one of the country’s top trial lawyers, as well as Gloria La Riva, Coordinator of the National Committee to Free the Cuban Five, many other personalities, activists and journalists, including Cuban Rosa Miriam Elizalde, editor of the Cuban on-line publication Cubadebate. 

Left Forum provides a context for the critical dialogue that is essential for a stronger Left and a more just society. For the US and the world, revitalizing an American Left has never been more urgent; Left Forum has a critical role to play in that undertaking, reads the information posted on the Left Forum website. 

Conference participants come together to engage a wide range of critical perspectives on the world, to discuss differences, commonalities, and alternatives to current predicaments, and to share ideas for understanding and transforming the world. The forum will close with a plenary session on June 9. 

Left Forum 2012 involved 4,500 attendees, 1,300 speakers and over 400 panels. Left Forum is the culmination of the creative efforts of hundreds of people who engage the gamut of volunteer activities, from helping generate artistic events and panels, to outreach and involvement of a rainbow of organizations and individuals. 

The conference is sponsored by the Brecht Forum; Center for the Study of Culture, Technology, and Work at the CUNY Graduate Center; Critical Sociology; Logos; Monthly Review; National Lawyers Guild; New Political Science; New Politics; Radical Teacher; Rethinking Marxism/AESA; Rosa Luxemburg Foundation; Science and Society; Situations; Social Text; Socialism and Democracy; Social Register; Souls; Union for Radical Political Economics. 

In late April, representatives of 40 leftist parties and organizations from 20 Latin American and Caribbean countries met in Havana to hold the meeting of the Working Group of the Sao Paulo Forum, which issued a declaration calling for strong support of the nations currently undertaking economic and social transformations aimed at guaranteeing social justice, and making efforts towards regional integration and the unity of the left. 

The leftist representatives also expressed their support of the social, economic and political projects being implemented by Cuba and its efforts to keep building the socialist system. They also condemned the over-50-year US economic, commercial and financial blockade of the island and demanded the release of the Cuban anti-terrorist fighters held in the U.S. since 1998. 

The declaration issued by the Havana meeting also expressed the support by the leftist movements in the region of Venezuela and President Nicolás Maduro in the face of destabilization-oriented actions and campaigns by Venezuelan rightwing circles. And they also backed the Paraguayan people against rightist maneuvers to legitimize the coup staged against democratically elected president Fernando Lugo, through the latest April 21 presidential elections. 

The Forum of Sao Paulo also supported the peace talks underway in Havana between Colombia’s Armed Revolutionary Forces- People’s Army (FARC-EP) and the government headed by President Juan Manuel Santos. 

The Left Forum taking place in New York and the most recent Meeting of the Working Group of the Sao Paulo Forum in Havana are two examples of the increasingly active role being played by the left in this part of the world towards united and concerted efforts aimed at achieving a better world. (By Luis Chirino Radio Habana Cuba)

Venezuelan Parliament President Arrives in Cuba 

HAVANA, Cuba, Jun 7 (acn) The president of the National Assembly of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Diosdado Cabello, arrived Thursday, in Havana, on an official visit. Cabello was welcomed by Cuban deputy foreign minister Rogelio Sierra at Havana’s Jose Marti international airport. 

During his stay on the island, the top Venezuelan parliamentarian will meet with the President of the Cuban Parliament, Esteban Lazo, and will carry out other activities. 

Argentinian Journalists Reflect on Media War against Cuba

Buenos Aires, Jun 7 (Prensa Latina) Cuba has spent more than 50 years supporting disinformation campaigns aimed at a war of attrition, real media counterinsurgency, but has managed to face it and overcome it, Stella Calloni, Argentinian specialist in political science, said here.

The also journalist, writer and commentator participated yesterday night in the workshop "Cuba desde una mirada mediatica" (Cuba from a media look), prior to the Media Day in Argentina today, and in which she shared the panel of discussion with television filmmakers Jimena Riveros and Victor Hugo Morales.

The event was held at the Cuban embassy, in the presence of exponents of several mass media and members of Friends of Cuba Journalists and representatives of other sectors from the Argentinian social, cultural and economic life.

After noting that the U.S. government recently decided to assign another 20 million dollars to the subversive and media war against Cuba, Calloni also said that Washington boosts a distorting offensive against several Latin American governments.

On the other hand, Jimena Riveros presented an advance of the series "Ya tu sabes" (You already know), which will be screened in 16 chapters on the Argentinian public television about the situation in Cuba, in which the protagonists are the people of the island themselves performing their daily tasks .

Victor Hugo Morales, renowned filmmaker and television commentator also participated in the panel. He exhibited a space dedicated to Cuba in his program "Bajada en linea" (Lowering on line), for which he interviewed Cubans from many sectors.

Interviewed by Prensa Latina, Ambassador Jorge Lamadrid said that this is the first time an activity of this kind is organized, to combine audio-visual aids with an analysis of the situation in Cuban, specially media campaigns in which Cuba has been and is the subject.

Placed Bust of Hugo Chavez in Cuban Mountain

Havana, June 6 (PL) A bust of the late President of Venezuela Hugo Chavez was placed by a group of climbers in the Pico Caracas, one of the highest elevations of Cuba. Among them was René González, Cuban antiterrorist, who paid tribute to Chavez at that summit of the Sierra Maestra.

Gonzalez along with Gerardo Hernandez, Ramon Labañino, Antonio Guerrero and Fernando Gonzalez is part of the group The Five, internationally known those who were convicted in the United States for monitoring the activities of violent anti-Cuban groups based in Miami.

Farmers in the area traveled long distances to greet the climbers, in particular René, whose release and that of his colleagues, still imprisoned in the United States, has been a claim in Cuba and many parts of the world.

"Those wishing homeland come with me", reads the front of the 2 meter tall pedestal with the bust of Chavez, local media reported.

The sculpture, modeled with resin and fiberglass, is the work of artist Andres Gonzalez and it was placed next to a bust of Simon Bolivar, by the same sculptor, 1,234 meters above the sea level.

United States: Jurists Underline Irregularities in the Case of The Five 

HAVANA, Cuba, Jun 6 (acn) A panel of well-known jurists, including lawyer Martin Garbus, of the legal team in charge of the case of the five Cuban heroes unfairly condemned in the United States, made on Wednesday in Washington a detailed analysis of irregularities in the legal process of these antiterrorist fighters. 

Debates took place at the Legal Center of the University of Georgetown and included presentations by former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark and lawyers Martin Garbus, Rafael Anglada and Jose Pertierra, who was the panel’s moderator. 

Other speeches were those of Peter Schey, director of the Center on Human and Constitutional Rights of Los Angeles; Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, executive director of the Association for Civil Justice, and Belgian lawyer Jan Fermon (via Skype), specialized in human rights. 

The payment by the U.S. government during the trial in Miami to journalists so they negatively influenced local public opinion and the jury itself with respect to The Five was stated again by Garbus. 

The meeting held at the well-known U.S. university took place within the framework of the campaign “5 Days for the 5” which, organized by the Committee for the Freedom of The Five, wound up on Wednesday in Washington D.C. 

The United Nations Extols Cuban Energy Program 

HAVANA, Cuba, Jun 6 (acn) Claudio Tomasi, resident representative of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in Cuba, praised on Wednesday the program implemented by the island for the sustainable use of Renewable Energy Sources (RES). 

During a meeting with the press at the 12th World Conference on Wind Energy that wound up on June 5 at Havana’s Convention Center, Tomasi asserted that this initiative contributes to mitigate the effects of climate change. 

The UNDP official highlighted that the selection of Cuba as venue of this world forum is an acknowledgement to the country’s work in terms of energy. 

He added that the UNDP is currently working on 20 institutional cooperation projects that will favor the improvement of living conditions of small rural populations and the access to electric service, among other benefits. 

Tomasi said that joint programs include the development of solar energy and forest biomass in those settlements. 

Belorussian Journalists Denounces Injustice against the Cuban Five 

HAVANA, Cuba, June 6 (acn) The legal process held in the United States against the five Cuban anti-terrorist fighters entailed a violation of the basic human rights of those men and the cruelty of US justice, Belorussian journalist Vasily Malashenko denounced in the capital Minsk. 

Malashenko is the author of an interview with Mirta Rodriguez, mother of Antonio Guerrero, who is one of the Cubans held in US jails since 1998 for having monitored South Florida-based terrorist organizations. 

The journalist addressed the case of Gerardo Hernández, Antonio Guerrero, Fernando González, Ramón Labañino and René González, internationally known as the Cuban Five. 

In his interview with Mirta Rodriguez, which was published by Belta agency, the Belorussian journalist explains about the details of the case since the arrest of the Five in 1998 up to their current situation, with emphasis on the life of Guerrero. 

The five anti-terrorist fighters were unfairly punished in a biased process with marked political character, said the journalist as cited by PL news agency. 

Cuban Agriculture Minister Pays Visit to China 

HAVANA, Cuba, June 6 (acn) Cuban Agriculture minister Gustavo Rodriguez Rollero is on a five-day official visit to China, where he will participate at the first Forum of Chinese and Latin American Agriculture Ministers. 

According to PL news agency, the ministerial forum will be inaugurated on Sunday, June 9, at the Great People’s Palace, in the center of  Beijing. 

The Cuban government official is scheduled to meet with the president of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Li Jianyang and with agriculture minister Han Changfu, and with local government officials.

News on Cuba - May 23, 2013 PDF Print E-mail

US Law Professors and Students visit ICAP

By: Iliana García Giraldino  Fotos: Orlando Perera (Siempre con Cuba)

Havana.- A group of US professors and students from Rutgers Law School of the State University of New Jersey, visited on Tuesday, May 21st, the headquarters of the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP). During the visit they had the opportunity to learn about details related to ICAP’s aims of work.

One of the visitors, Professor of the Rutgers School of Law–Newark, Charles I. Auffant, said to Siempre con Cuba (Always with Cuba) that he feels satisfied with the visit to the island, where he has been before in the year 2004 also along with a group of students, in the context of academic exchanges.

Auffant affirms that he’s always surprised by the warmth, fraternity and disposal to share showed on the part of the Cuban people. “I’m convinced that when people get to know each other, get together and work in conjunction, there will be hope for the of whole Mankind”, he stated.

"I think that the Cuban People have the right to choose how they want to be governed and the system they want for their country", he stated. At the time he also declared that his students are really aware of the fact the blockade is unjust and goes in detriment to the Cuban people and does not favours at all to the US people either. “They (the students) want the blockade to be lifted”, he reiterated.

He pledged to bring to Cuba more students each year. “This is the littlest thing that I can do to help the peoples from Cuba and the US”, he expressed and added, “I’d love to do more in the United States”. 

Another of the delegates is Steve G. Hockaday, who was still a law student back in 2004 when he visited Cuba, now he is a lawyer. When he learned about the trip to Cuba, he joined the group.

He treasures the encounters held with the members of the CDR (Committees in Defence of the Revolution) in the capital. Hockaday keeps as his most precious reminiscence the joyful exchanges of fondness and the salsa music when he danced with the Cuban neighbours.

The lawyer, Felipe Chavana, who has Mexican ethnicity, also expressed that he wasn’t that surprised of the Cuban reality he witnessed, because he knew Cuba before hand, he had learned about Cuba’s spirit of united struggle in order to raise its standard of living. He also said he use to be oblivious to the case of the Cuban Five and he’s taking some material back in the US to get further information.

Prior to this visit to ICAP, where they were attended by the specialist Rita Olga Martinez, the group held a meeting with the National Union of Cuban Jurists (Translated by Jorge Smith Juárez /Siempre con Cuba).

News on Cuba - May 9, 2013 PDF Print E-mail

U.S.: Lawyers to Demand Release of Cuban Antiterrorists

Washington, May 8 (Prensa Latina) Lawyers of different countries will take part in panels, lectures and debates from May 30 to June 5 will demand in this capital the return of tour Cuban antiterrorists arrested in the United States since 1998.

In the event to be attended also by well-known intellectuals, writers, artists, tradeunionists and religious leaders, participants will also propose the dialogue between Washington and Havana.

As a communique from the International Committee Freedom for the Cuban Five, there will be a debate between lawyers, summoned by Martin Garbus, member of the legal team defending the Cuban antiterrorists.

At the meeting organizers expect the presence of Ramsey Clark, Attorney General of the United States and Peter Schey, director of the Center for Human and Constitutional Rights of Los Angeles, California, stressed the communique.

Argentinean Beinusz Szmukler, president of the Continental Consultative Council of the American Jurists Association (2003-2010) and Graciela Rosemblum, president of the Argentinean League for the Rights of Man, said the note.

Other jurists expected to attend include Rafael Anglada of Puerto Rico, Fabio Marcelli and Tecla Faranda, of Italy; and the Cuban American lawyer Jose Pertierra, who represents Venezuela in the case of extradition of international terrorist Luis Posada Carriles, advances the text.

The Five, as they are identified in different latitudes, monitored the plans and actions of violent groups and individuals of Cuban origin based in the south of Florida, dedicated to organize, finance and carry out terrorist actions against the Caribbean island.

Since 2005, a panel of experts of the United Nations concluded their detention was illegal and arbitrary and asked they were freed immediately, but the request together with that of ten Nobel laureates, the parliaments of several countries, polititians, artists and millions of friends of this cause have been ignored to this moment by the White House.

Cuban Residents in Russia Send Message to Rene Gonzalez

Moscow, May 8 (Prensa Latina) The Association of Cuban Residents in Russia ratified today in a message sent to Rene Gonzalez, the antiterrorist fighter released from prison in the United States, the will to continue fighting for the freedom of his colleagues.

We rejoice the news that Rene is already in Cuba, and we pledge to continue demanding President Barack Obama the immediate release of the other four brothers, states a note released today in this capital.

We will not cease in our demand to achieve the definitive return to the homeland and reunification with their relatives of Ramon Labañino, Fernando Gonzalez, Gerardo Hernandez, and Antonio Guerrero, the statement said.

In the letter, the Cuban residents in Russia explained that they have joined to the Russian movement of solidarity and every day 5 of each month, in front of the U.S. embassy in Moscow, they demand the immediate release of these antiterrorist fighters.

U.S. Judge Joan Lenard accepted on May 3 to modify the terms of Gonzalez' supervised release, and allow him to stay in Cuba in exchange for the renunciation of U.S. citizenship.

The Five were detained on September 12, 1998 during an FBI operation conducted in the city of Miami, while trying to prevent criminal plans by Cuban-origin individuals and organizations based there.

A panel of UN experts concluded in 2005 that the detention of those antiterrorist fighters was illegal and arbitrary, and called that they were immediately released, but this recommendation and the same order by 10 Nobel laureates have been ignored by U.S. authorities.

Cuba Hosts CELAC Coordination Meeting 

HAVANA, Cuba, May 9 (acn) Cuba is hosting the 5th Meeting of National Coordinators of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC). The meeting is taking place Thursday and Friday. 

The gathering aims at getting the approval of the 2013 Plan of Action and a timeline of events of the regional integration bloc, currently chaired by Cuba. 

The Cuban capital hosted the 1st Meeting of CELAC education ministers on February 7, while the Surinamese city of Paramaribo was the venue in March of the meeting of Culture ministers, and Ecuador organized a forum on the environment and sustainable development in April. 

In statements to PL news agency last April, Cuban foreign minister Bruno Rodriguez announced that the bloc would meet a large integration-oriented agenda. The minister spoke with the Latin American agency at the end of a meeting of the CELAC Troika in Havana. 

The community, which was founded in December 2011, will prioritize an agenda focusing on areas such as energy, finances, transportation, industrialization and the reduction of inequalities in the region. 

Cuba and Guatemala to Deepen Bilateral Relations 

HAVANA, Cuba, May 9 (acn) The foreign ministers of Cuba and Guatemala, Bruno Rodriguez and Luis Fernando Carrera, expressed their interest in Havana to further deepen bilateral relations, which they considered positive. 

After welcoming his Guatemalan counterpart, Rodriguez expressed his satisfaction to see the positive pace of bilateral links and the existence of significant potential to keep joint work. 

The top government Cuban official said he was sure that Carrera’s visit to Cuba will contribute to deepen relations and he thanked Guatemala for its support of the island’s struggle against the US economic, commercial and financial blockade. 

The Guatemalan minister said it was an honor for him to be in Havana as he stressed that the two foreign ministries have maintained close relations with permanent opportunities for Guatemalan foreign ministers to visit to the island. 

Carrera said his country is optimistic towards the future of Central America and the Caribbean, and he considered that the region is experiencing important transformations in all nations. These changes, he said, will strengthen multilateral relations among our countries in Central America and the Caribbean and bilateral links between them as well. 

Nicaraguan Business Delegation to Explore Trade Opportunities in Cuba 

HAVANA, Cuba, May 9 (acn) A delegation from Nicaragua’s Chamber of Industries will pay a visit to Cuba, May 12 to 17, with the aim of exploring business opportunities in several economic sectors. 

Cuban Chamber of Commerce official Leyani Pena announced that the delegation is made up of entrepreneurs from six Nicaraguan companies, who will meet with Cuban business executives to enhance trade relations. 

The visiting business people represent entities from the Nicaraguan industry, particularly in the fields of PVC products, hydraulic connections, furniture and food stuffs. 

Nicaraguan Chamber of Industries consultant Oscar Aleman told reporters that the visit aims at promoting his country’s export products and considering possible bilateral agreements. 

Cuba and Nicaragua are member states of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of our America (ALBA), the Latin American Integration Association and Petro Caribe regional bloc. 

René González Permitted to Remain in Cuba PDF Print E-mail

In a huge development in the case of the Cuban Five, the court has finally granted a motion, first made last June, to allow René González to serve the remaining portion of his three-year parole in Cuba, after which he will of course be able to remain in Cuba, outside the jurisdiction of the court. Until this time, the court has required him to spend that parole at an undisclosed location in Florida, requiring him to remain in virtual seclusion because of the danger to his life from the very terrorists whose plots he and the other members of the Five came to the U.S. to expose.

René has been in Cuba for two weeks to attend a memorial service for his father Cándido, who died recently.

Phil Horowitz, Rene's attorney, said: "Rene and I are happy that he will be able to be permanently reunited with his family. Rene's exemplary conduct shows that these are not individuals that the government has made them out to be.  We are just so happy and will take all the steps pursuant to the court order."

The 7-page court order by Judge Joan Lenard, describes the requirements for his right to remain in Cuba. The principal requirement is that he renounce his citizenship, which he willingly offered to do previously (René held dual U.S.-Cuban citizenship). To renounce a U.S. citizenship, it must be done outside of the United States, as per U.S. federal code, Section 1481 a(5).

We are extremely happy for René, who has, along with his Cuban Five brothers, been unduly punished for being a proud defender of his people, his homeland and the Cuban Revolution.

This development must give all the Cuban Five supporters great inspiration to continue the fight so that Gerardo, Ramón, Antonio and Fernando can return home immediately!

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