Venezuelans Celebrate Return of Chavez
HAVANA, Cuba, Feb 18 (ACN) The Venezuelan people are celebrating the return home of President Hugo Chavez, who received medical treatment in Cuba for over two months in Havana, where he was submitted to cancer surgery.
Telesur TV chain reported that after the news of Chavez’s return was published, his followers flocked to the centrally located Bolivar square to voice their satisfaction for having their leader back at home.
Parliament president Diosdado Cabello called on Venezuelans to fly the national flag in salutation of the return of the head of state, while messages flooded the social network Twitter.
Chavez arrived in Caracas in early hours on Monday and he wrote on his Twitter account “we have returned to the Venezuelan homeland. Thanks God! Thanks to my beloved people! Here we will continue with the treatment.” He also thanked Fidel Castro, Raul Castro and Cuba.
Vice-president Nicolas Maduro confirmed the news and said that President Chavez is at the military hospital, where he will continue to take his medical treatment.
Maduro recalled the hard days of intense struggle during the recovery process in Cuba since last December.
He also thanked the Venezuelan people for their support and affection expressed to Chavez and he went on to say that Venezuela as a whole has been a united family while accompanying the President in the good and the bad times, living the uncertain moments, clinging to Christ, to life, as the commander always says.
Maduro called on the people to keep calm and organize so that the recovery process keeps going in calm and to keep working for the Bolivarian Revolution so that the president feels the effort and impetus of the people, since his return is permanent motivation.
Fidel Castro Expresses Satisfaction after Chavez Returned to Venezuela
HAVANA, Cuba, Feb 18 (ACN) Cuban Revolution leader Fidel Castro expressed his satisfaction for the returned on Monday by President Hugo Chavez to Venezuela.
In a letter addressed to the Bolivarian leader, Fidel Castro recalled that it was necessary to wait a long time of anguish for Chavez’s return, but his amazing physical strength and the commitment of the medical team made it possible.
Fidel also stressed the permanent support given by Chavez’s relatives, his cabinet members, the armed forces and the honest people of the world, and particularly the Venezuelan people with their daily enthusiastic gestures of support.
“You learned a lot from life during these days of suffering and sacrifices. We will not have the privilege of learning from you everyday now, so we will keep in contact through the communication methods that we have used for years,” Fidel said.
“We will continue to live and fight for justice among the human beings disregarding the years, months, days or hours, as we will be humbly aware that we were called to live the most critical time in the history of humanity…,” stressed Fidel Castro.
He added that everything was carried out with discretion to prevent fascist groups from planning their cynical actions against the revolutionary and Bolivarian process.
Fidel recalled that after the fall of the socialist camp and the disintegration of the Soviet Union, the imperialism used its blockade to plunge the Cuban Revolution in a bloodbath; however, Venezuela, being a relatively small country in a divided Latin America, was able to prevent it.
The Cuban Revolution leader concluded by referring to the assistance given by Venezuela to Central, South American and Caribbean countries and for this reason —he said- all honest people of the world have closely followed the news about the health progress of President Hugo Chavez.
Antonio Guerrero Dedicates Book to His Four Companions
HAVANA, Cuba, Feb 16 (acn) Antonio Guerrero, one of the five Cuban antiterrorist heroes condemned in the United States dedicated on Friday his book Enigma y Otras Conversaciones, to his four companions in struggle.
In a telephone call to Victor Casaus, director of the Pablo de la Torriente Brau Cultural Center, and other creators attending the presentation of the volume at the International Book Fair, he highlighted that the work also belongs to Gerardo Hernandez, Fernando Gonzalez, Ramon Labañino and Rene Gonzalez, unfairly punished for their antiterrorist activities.
He also expressed his appreciation for the immense solidarity received from friends from around the world who demand their freedom and accompany the noble nature of the Cuban Revolution, many of them addressees or senders of the messages included in the text.
Enigmas y Otras Conversaciones was presented by Casaus, who read some of the most significant fragments in the presence of Abel Prieto, advisor to the President of the councils of State and Ministers, Raul Castro, and Culture Ministers Rafael Bernal, among other participants.
Mirta Rodriguez, mother of Guerrero, and Adriana Perez, wife of Gerardo Hernandez, also participated in the presentation, along with several troubadours who dedicated their songs to The Five.
Executive of the ECLAC Thinks Highly of Her Visit to Cuba
HAVANA, Cuba, Feb 16 (acn) Alicia Barcena, Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), described on Friday as significant and profound her visit to Cuba and the seminar for the 50th anniversary of the island’s First Plan of the Economy.
While closing that meeting in the Cuban capital, Barcena said that the ECLAC didn’t attend the meeting just to be heard, but also to accompany the process of changes tanking place on the Caribbean island and learn from it.
We believe that our region is living a historic moment, looking at the future. That is why we need to nurture from the principles of equality, universality and gratuitous nature encouraged in Cuba a long time ago, she stated.
The seminar for the 50th anniversary of the island’s First Plan of the Economy took place at Havana’s Hotel Nacional for two days, and coincided with the 50th anniversary of the Latin American Institute of Economic and Social Planning (ILPES).
Attending the meeting were executives of the ILPES, representatives of the United Nations agencies, Cuban ministers and deputy ministers and other officials of organizations, professors and academicians of research centers.
Canadian Foreign Minister Meets with Cuban VP Marino Murillo
HAVANA, Cuba, Feb 16 (acn) The Vice President of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Cuba, Marino Murillo Jorge, met on Friday afternoon with John Russell Baird, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Canada, who is on a working visit to Cuba.
Granma newspaper reported that during the meeting, both parties discussed the favorable development and prospects of bilateral relations in trade, investment and tourism.
The distinguished visitor was accompanied by the Canadian Ambassador to Havana Matthew Levin, while on the Cuban side was present Elio Rodríguez Perdomo, Director of Europe and Canada Department at the Cuban Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MINREX).
Cuban Tourist Center with Record Number of Visitors
HAVANA, Cuba, Feb 18 (ACN) The Jardines del Rey keys, a tourist center on the northern coast of the Cuban central province of Ciego de Avila, reported a record day-occupancy of local hotels by over 6,500 visitors, a figure never reached in the month of February during high season.
Tourism Ministry communications and marketing official, Luis Baez Pena, said that more than 7,000 foreign tourists were guests at the center’s hotels, which stands for a steady growth of 139%, one of the largest figures reached in the country during the winter season.
Following the improvement of hotel infrastructure and the expansion of the extra-hotel offer for the current high tourist season, the figure of national and foreign vacationers increased at the Jardines del Rey center. The trend is expected to set a 5% historic record this year.
The Jardines del Rey tourist center counts on 4,600 hotel rooms, which expect to accommodate over 220,000 tourists, particularly from Canada, the U.K., and Argentina.
Venezuelan Government Releases Photos and Communique on Hugo Chavez
HAVANA, Cuba, Feb 15 (ACN) Venezuelan Television published the first photos of President Hugo Chavez after he was submitted to cancer surgery in Havana in December.
Venezuelan Science, Technology and Innovation minister Jorge Arreaza showed four pictures of Chavez with his elder daughters, Rosa Virginia and Maria Gabriela.
In the pictures, Chavez appears smiling and calm. The photos were released after Communication and Information minister Ernesto Villegas read on TV and radio the most recent government communiqué on the health progress of Hugo Chavez.
The communiqué explained that after a two-month complex post-surgery, the patient keeps conscious and with integral intellectual functions, while in direct contact with his cabinet leading major tasks relevant to his post.
The respiratory infection that Chavez suffered from was controlled though certain level of insufficiency still prevails. Given this situation, the Venezuelan president is breathing through a tracheal cannula, which makes it temporarily difficult for him to speak, reads the communiqué.
The medical team is administering energy treatment to fight the base disease, which is not exempt of complications. The patient is cooperating with the treatment and his rehabilitation in close coordination with the medical team.
The government of Venezuela thanks the people for their affection, maturity, serenity and strength in accompanying Commander Chavez in his battle, and invites them to keep praying for his health.
The Bolivarian government also expressed gratitude to Commander Fidel Castro, President Raul Castro, the medical team and the Cuban people for their affection and care given to President Chavez, the communiqué explains.
Major Cuban Literary Fair Underway in Havana
HAVANA, Cuba, Feb 15 (ACN) The 22nd Cuba 2013 International Book Fair is underway untill February 24 at its usual venue, the San Carlos de la Cabana Fortress, in Havana.
Angola is the guest country of the fair, which is also dedicated to National Literature laureate Daniel Chavarria and Social Sciences and History prize winner Pedro Pablo Rodriguez, as well as to the 160th anniversary of the birthday of Cuban National Hero Jose Marti.
Major events on Friday’s agenda includes roundtables, meetings with writers and the presentation of books such as the Battle of Cabinda, by Cuban Army Corps General Ramon Espinosa Martin, and Enigma and other Conversations by Antonio Guerrero, one of the five Cuban anti-terrorist fighters held in the United States.
Children’s literature will be deployed in a pavilion that also exhibits paintings that got prizes at the National Contest in the field.
The fair also has other venues in the Cuban capital where some of the books on the offer includes those related to the life and work of Jose Marti. Colloquiums on Angola’s Independence leader Agostinho Neto are also part of the agenda.
The 22nd International Book Fair will also be hosted by other Cuban provinces once it concludes its Havana program on February 24.
Cuban Five Salute Baseball Classic Team
HAVANA, Cuba, Feb 14 (ACN) A message of salutations by the five Cuban anti-terrorist fighters held in the US was read at the ceremony held at Havana’s Jose Marti Memorial, where the Cuban team that will contest the 3rd Baseball Classic was handed over the National Flag that will accompany the collective during the world championship.
The letter, signed by Antonio Guerrero, also conveyed greetings from Fernando González, Gerardo Hernández, Ramón Labañino and René González, all knonw as the Cuban Five.
In the message, Guerrero referred the trust laid on the Cuban athletes who, he stressed, will do their best to take the name of their country at the highest level.
Cuban government vice-president Miguel Diaz-Canel handed over the National Flag to team captain Yulieski Gourriel, who was escorted by his colleagues Ismel Jimenez and Freddy Asiel Alvarez.
Team members Afredo Despaigne and Andy Ibanez laid a wreath at the monument of National Hero Jose Marti on the occasion of the 160th anniversary of his birthday.
Vice-president Díaz-Canel said Cuba looks forwards to the revitalization of Baseball, which is the island’s national sports, as well to its comprehensive improvement.
This includes a better preparation of coaches and trainers, the application of scientific results and the implementation of new ways to identify talents and the rescue of the competitive program at national and international competitions.
The Cuban baseball team will travel on Thursday to Asia in order to star a series of preparatory games with the professional leagues of China Taipei and Japon, and with the national team from The Netherlands.
Cuba will join the World Baseball Classic on March 3 against Brazil, and later against China and Japan.
The ceremony was attended by Olga Lidia Tapia, member of Cuba’s Communist Party Secretariat; Christian Jimenez, president of the National Sports Institute, and other government officials.
Cuban University Honours Executive Secretary of the ECLAC
HAVANA, Cuba, Feb 14 (acn) Alicia Barcena, Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), received on Wednesday the Plaque “280th Anniversary of the University of Havana,” at that educational center’s Main Lecture Hall.
In her speech, the Mexican academician expressed the pleasant surprise receiving the plaque represented for her, conferred by a center where figures of the stature of Julio Antonio Mella, Antonio Guiteras and Commander in Chief Fidel Castro were shaped.
Barcena, opposed to the blockade imposed by the United States on Cuba, showed her enthusiasm for the recent taking on of the pro tempore chairmanship of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States by Cuba.
After receiving the commemorative plaque, Barcena offered the keynote lecture “Structural Change for Equality,” an assessment of her years of work at the ECLAC, where she has been the first woman to occupy the post of executive secretary, since July, 2008.
Attending the ceremony were Doctor Gustavo Cobreiro, rector of the University of Havana, researchers, students and professors of that institution, in addition to members of the diplomatic corps.
African Union Wants to Strengthen Cooperative Relations with Cuba
Addis Abeba, Feb 14 (Prensa Latina) Vice President of the Commission of the African Union (AU), Erastus Mwencha said in this capital that the agency wants to strengthen cooperative relations with Cuba, reported Thursday a diplomatic source.
Upon receiving at the pan-African body's headquarters the Cuban Ambassador in Ethiopia, Juan Manuel Rodriguez, Mwencha stressed the historic relations of cooperation and solidarity of the country with the people of Africa in different areas and praised the prestige reached by Havana on the continent.
Mwencha highlighted the importance that the AU gives to the celebration of the upcoming 21st summit in Addis Ababa in May, where they expect a large participation of world leaders to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Organization of African Unity (OAU).
The OAU was founded on May 25, 1963 under the leadership of important African personalities like Kwame Nkrumah (Ghana) and Gamal Abdel Nasser (Egypt).
This regional organization aimed to promote unity and solidarity among African States, and in 2002 it gave path to the African Union, now comprising 54 countries of the continent
Cuba and Mozambique Strengthen Science, Technology Links
Maputo, Feb 14 (Prensa Latina) representatives from Cuba and Mozambique reviewed cooperation relations between the ministries of Science and Technology of both states, agreeing to work on strengthening them even more.
During a meeting with Cuban ambassador Rafael A. Jimeno Lopez , Mozambique’s Minister of Science and Technology Louis Augusto Mutomene Palembre promised to visit Cuba this year to learn the accomplishments of the country in Scientific-technical matters.
According to diplomatic sources, Cuba and Mozambique signed in 2006 an agreement related to contracting advisors in the Science and Technology sector.
Hired specialists joined areas such as agriculture, information technology and biotechnology.
Cuba currently cooperates with Mozambique in sectors such as health, education, sports, culture and construction, among others
Lifting of Sculpture Donated by Cuba Progresses in Canberra
Canberra, Feb 14 (Prensa Latina) Outstanding Cuban artist Nelson Dominguez progresses today in the construction of a sculpture donated by Cuba at the central Latin American Plaza, to mark the centenary of the Australian capital city.
Dominguez highlighted the collaboration by a group of artists and local operators, with the latest technology, during an interview with ambassador Pedro Monzon, granted to fine arts and media specialist Genevieve Jacobs.
The heavy steel parts assembled and rise until almost four meters high, will complete the work to be unveiled on March 2.
The author stated that the sculpture is symbolically based on the ideas of Cuba's national hero, Jose Marti that "Homeland is humanity", and seeks to represent all cultures, religions, and ethnicities as single twinned species in a peaceful environment.
Ambassador Monzon, as well as Dominguez, referred to the fact that the sculpture artistically expresses the development of bilateral relations between Cuba and Australia, progressing significantly in areas such as health, education, and science.
ALBA, a Real Alternative to the System's Crisis
Havana, Feb 14 (Prensa Latina) The Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA) is a real alternative to the crisis of the world capitalist system, according to Professor Luciano Vasapollo, of the University of Sapienza in Rome.
The academic, who also heads the delegation from the Network of Italian Communists and the Our America Association, is paying an official visit to Cuba.
Vasapollo's working agenda includes his participation in an international workshop on social networks and media.
The expert, who has maintained relations with Cuba for over three decades, told Prensa Latina that on this occasion, he visited Pinar del Rio, where he met with authorities from the Communist Party of Cuba (PCC), culture and other sectors.
We took advantage of the visit to renew cooperation agreements between Sapienza and the University of Pinar del Rio, and to learn about the implementation of the economic and social guidelines and the changes being made in that province.
He noted that the University of Sapienza is interested in boosting relations with the University of Pinar del Rio and other similar institutions in Cuba.
Vasapollo, who also represents his organization before the ALBA, pointed out that he is working closely with Bolivia and Ecuador, and has just launched his latest book in Pinar del Rio, entitled "Vivir Bien o Muerte" (Living Well or Death), written in conjunction with Cuban Professor Jose Luis Cabrera.
In that regard, he noted that the idea contained in his books, based on Bolivia's experience, could also be very useful in many parts of the world, due to its vision about the world economic crisis.
He added that it was very interesting for him to participate in the workshop on social networks at Havana's Convention Center, because it debated how the Internet could be used to counter the media war and ideological terrorism by the right wing against the ALBA, Cuba and Venezuela.
According to Vasapollo, a functional left wing does not exist at present in either Italy or Europe, where it is represented by the struggle of social movements and some grassroots and class trade unions.
About the crisis in Europe and the world, he described it as systemic, because today, the capital does not have a new phase of accumulation to appreciate the reproductive cycle completely: it needs financial speculation, so he considered that his solution is political.
The expert noted that Marxism has not ended, but it is still in force as an instrument and a tool to interpret, learn about and transform today's complex world.
Vasapollo is also in Havana to present two of his works at the International Book Fair, which will open on Thursday in this capital, and in the ALBA House.
The prominent Italian economist will stay in Cuba until February 22. During his visit, he will give lectures and will meet with the president of the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP), Kenia Serrano.
He will also meet officials from the ministries of Culture, Foreign Affairs and Higher Education, as well as from the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba and the Cuban Workers' Union (CTC), and the relatives of the five Cuban antiterrorist fighters unjustly held in U.S. prisons for 14 years.
Enthusiasm and Optimism in Cuban Baseball
Havana.- (Prensa Latina) The Cuban baseball team will start its training tour in the next hours, with the beginning of a series of matches in Asia, especially Chinese Taipei and Japan as a preamble of its participation in the 3rd World Baseball Classic starting on March 3.
After they received the national flag Thursday morning in an official ceremony at the Jose Marti Memorial in Havana, the 28 members of the team are getting ready to depart for Paris Thursday evening, to go from there to Chinese Taipei.
Five matches on February 18, 19, 21, 22 and 24 against pro clubs and the Dutch national team in Chinese Taipei will start the Cuban players' training tour.
After that, the Cuban team will visit Japan, and will meet two Japanese teams on February 27 and March 1st.
Jorge Fuentes, technical advisor of the Cuban team, said righthander Ismel Jimenez is chosen to start the first match against Brazil on March 3, but there is no great idea about who the next starting pitchers will be for the next matches.
Young players such as Odrisamer Despaigne (pitcher), Yasmani Tomas (infielder and outfielder), Andy Ibañez (infielder) and Raul Gonzalez (infielder) said they have a lot of wishes to contribute to classify for the next stage in this super-strong tournament.
Manager Victor Mesa once again stated that Cuba, without any doubts, will classify, and will not let its fans down. "Trust us, we are going all the way!!" Mesa finally said to reporters.
Cuba to Work at the CELAC for Solidarity and Integration
HAVANA, Cuba, (acn) Cuba will boost solidarity in regional relations during its chairmanship of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), said the island’s Deputy Foreign Minister Abelardo Moreno on Friday.
During a meeting with the press at the Foreign Ministry, the official asserted that the Caribbean island has the intention of contributing its experience as member of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas, an instrument that privileges solidarity in its relations.
Created in December, 2011 in Venezuela, the CELAC will hold its first Summit of Heads of State and Government on January 27 and 28 in Chile, the country that will give Cuba the pro tempore chairmanship.
Moreno highlighted that it’s necessary to analyze the cooperation existing between the 33 members of this organization of economic integration and the rest of the countries. He added that Cuba will work so Latin America and the Caribbean can become an area of peace and that the island will continue boosting the bonds existing between the different regional integration mechanisms and the CELAC.
The diplomat announced that communiques against the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the United States on Cuba, and in defense of Argentina’s sovereignty over the Falklands will be approved during the meeting in Santiago de Chile.
Prior to this forum, the CELAC-European Union Summit will be held, in which Latin America and the Caribbean will take part as a bloc for the first time.
Mass for the Health of President Chavez Said at El Cobre Sanctuary
Santiago de Cuba, (acn) A mass for the health and speedy recovery of Commander Hugo Chavez and for the Venezuelan people’s peace, unity, and its present and future, was said at the National Sanctuary of the Virgen de la Caridad del Cobre, the island’s patron saint, at the request of the embassy of that fraternal nation.
Edgardo Ramirez, ambassador of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela to Havana, members of the diplomatic mission, technicians of PDVSA, and military men taking part in the construction of houses for the victims of Hurricane Sandy attended the mass, the Granma newspaper reported on Saturday.
As an offering to the Virgen de la Caridad, a Venezuelan flag was deposited by Juan Bautista Rodriguez, the Sergeant of the Bolivarian National Guard that on April 13, 2002 handed over to the Unit of Paratroopers of Maracay the message in which, from the Naval Base of Turiamo, Chavez unmasked the lies of coup followers about his resignation to the country’s presidency.
Adolfo Perez Esquivel Attends Conference For World Equilibrium
Buenos Aires, (Prensa Latina) Adolfo Perez Esquivel will participate later this month in Havana in the Third International Conference for World Equilibrium, sources from the press office for the Nobel Peace Prize confirmed today.
Perez Esquivel will travel on the 26th to Havana as a member of the Jose Marti Project for World Solidarity, and to participate in one of the main celebrations for the 160th anniversary of the birth of the Cuban National Hero.
Marti's validity in Latin American thought is revealed in the search for recovering values in order to overcome cultural domination, values which always start in the cultural and not the economic sphere, the also holder of Service for Peace and Justice in Argentina said.
Besides participating in the conference, scheduled from January 28 to 30 at the Havana International Conference Center, Perez Esquivel will lecture on Latin American current events at the University of Havana at the invitation of the Federation of University Students.
The Nobel Peace Prize winner participated last year in Cuba's Eighth International Congress on Higher Education and the Meeting of Intellectuals for Peace and Preservation of the Environment, led by the historic leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro Ruz.
Cuba-Finland Friendship Association Celebrates 50th Anniversary
HAVANA, Cuba, (acn) A commemorative stamp for the 50th anniversary of the Cuba-Finland Friendship Association was canceled on Thursday at the Cuban Institute for Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP), a ceremony attended by 40 members of the brigade with that name.
Paula Pere, president of the Association; Jorge Luis Oliva, Deputy Computing and Communications Ministry; and Elio Gamez, First Vice-president of the ICAP, were in charge of the franking of the postage stamp showing the Cuban and Finnish flags.
In his speech, Gamez highlighted the Association’s demonstrations of solidarity, particularly in projects linked to the education of children with mental handicaps, as well as donations of materials needed during the island’s special economic period.
Pere expressed her satisfaction with the work done in the spreading of Cuban reality. She said that several of the members of the Association are also members of the Finnish Parliament and have carry out several actions, among them actions for the release of the five Cuban antiterrorists incarcerated in US territory.
Kristiina Satola, executive secretary of the Association, told ACN that they’re now organizing cultural exchanges, by way of which the group Sierra Maestra would visit Helsinki and the Finnish Ku Kumina Orchestra (with a Cuban music repertoire) would offer a concert in Havana.
Great Attendance to Havana’s International Book Fair Anticipated
HAVANA, Cuba, (acn) More than 200 intellectuals of 32 countries have confirmed their attendance to the 22nd edition of Havana’s International Book Fair, scheduled to begin on February 14, announced the organizing committee in this capital on Friday.
Considered to be one of the most important cultural meetings of the year on the island, the Fair, to be held at the San Pedro de la Cabaña Fortress until February 24, will bring together important personalities of literature and social sciences, who will take part in an extensive program that includes presentations of texts, theoretical meetings and exchanges with readers. So far, 134 exhibitors from 25 nations have confirmed their ´participation.
Edel Morales, vice-president of International Relations of the Cuban Book Institute, told the press that Angola, the Fair’s Guest of Honor, will bring the largest delegation, which will include cultural authorities, writers and creators of several artistic expressions.
U.S. Photographers Meet with Cuban Colleagues in Cienfuegos
CIENFUEGOS, Cuba, (acn) Invited by the Cuban Institute for Friendship with the Peoples, some 20 photographers of Rhode Island, the United States, met on Friday with their colleagues in Cienfuegos.
During the meeting, the visitors took an interest in the characteristics of this art in Cuba and in the representation of women in this trade.
Likewise, the said they felt at ease in a country where it is very easy to photograph common people, who are even happy with it.
“I loved to capture images of people in their daily routine, on the street. It’s a shame that we don’t have more time,” pointed out Cindy Wilson, who heads the U.S. brigade.
The U.S. government imposes restrictions to this kind of cultural exchange, and only in a very limited way it gives licenses to groups, like the one that made it possible for us to come to the island.
Wilson explained that she aspires to return to Cuba with a group of professionals at least once a year.
She said she was very impressed with the obtaining of good images, even without having the most modern technologies. She stressed that these Cuban creators are real artists, capable of showing the island’s soul in each of their works.
“This is my first visit to Cuba and I have realized that we have many things in common with our colleagues. We’re like brothers and sisters,” she added.
Rafael Correa Urges Obama to Put Down Double Standard towards Latin America
HAVANA, Cuba, Jan 21 (ACN) Ecuador’s Rafael Correa urged Barack Obama, who begins his second presidential term on Monday, to put down his double-standard policy towards Latin America.
“I wish Obama luck in his new mandate and the best success in his government, but as former president of the Union of South American nations (UNASUR), I insist that there has been little change in the US foreign policy towards this region,” Correa said as quoted by PL news agency.
The Ecuadorian leader recalled that he first met Obama at the 2009 Trinidad-Tobago Summit of the Americas, and he perceived him a good person, but he added that Obama continues to apply a double-standard policy towards Latin America.
Such policy labels those rulers, who keep a friendly stance towards Washington as good leaders, while describes as evil those who do not summit themselves to the caprices of US presidents, Correa pointed out.
“They describe the most shameful Latin American presidents as examples of democracy despite accusations of their violations of human rights and their linkage to paramilitary bands and drug traffickers.
“We, who give our own lives for human rights, are labeled as dictators, ambitious and bloody rulers,” the Ecuadorian candidate to the presidential elections pointed out.
However, in the Cuban territory of Guantanamo, illegally occupied by Washington against the will of the Cuban people, they are still torturing people and nothing happens, said Correa and noted that the United States continues to commit crime with their drones and selective assassinations.
On top of that, Washington issues reports on the situation of human rights in other countries and keeps with its overpowering stance and its self awarded moral supremacy, Correa stressed and concluded by asking who appointed the United States judge of good and evil. This situation has to change, he said.
Cuba will Host Forum of CELAC Education Ministers
HAVANA, Cuba, Jan 21 (ACN) Havana will host the First Forum of Education Ministers of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC).
The announcement was made by Cuban deputy foreign minister Abelardo Moreno, who explained that the meeting will take place February 7 in the context of the International Congress Pedagogy 2013, to be held at the city’s Conventions Hall.
The forum is one of CELAC meetings scheduled for 2013 under the presidency of Cuba, which will begin chairing the regional bloc during the upcoming 1st Summit of Heads of State and Government to take place January 27 and 28 in Santiago de Chile.
Along with the ministerial forum on Education, Surinam will host a meeting of culture ministers with the community, which was set up December 2011 in Caracas by 33 independent Latin American Caribbean nations.
Other forums on the schedule will deal with issues such as drugs, infrastructure and the need to achieve a new regional architecture, the deputy foreign minister told Prensa Latina news agency.
Europe Can Learn from CELAC, French Scholar Says
Paris, Jan 21 (Prensa Latina) The upcoming summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) will allow the European Union (EU) to understand that there are alternatives to austerity in dealing with economic crisis, French academician Salim Lamrani asserted today.
Interviewed by Prensa Latina, the journalist, writer and teacher at the Sorbonne University in Paris said that at the meeting scheduled for January 27 in Santiago de Chile, two different philosophies and social projects will converge.
"Europe has much to learn from the new Latin America, represented by Brazil, Venezuela, Bolivia, Argentina, Ecuador and others, in terms of struggle against the financial world and of sovereignty recovery," said Lamrani.
These countries managed to reduce their debts and ease the oppression from multilateral credit authorities, without implementing extreme adjustment measures, the opposite of what is happening in the Eurozone nowadays, he recalled.
Lamrani highlighted that while in numerous nations within the CELAC they are working to place human beings as the focus of the social project, everything in the EU has been designed to favor large financial groups, even at the expense of sacrificing thousands of families in Greece, Spain or Portugal.
The Community of Latin American and Caribbean States was founded in Venezuela on December, 2011 and 33 countries of the Americas are participating, except for the United States and Canada.
This organization, said Lamrani, allows the peoples of the region to base their relations on reciprocity, solidarity and integration to resist Washington's hegemonic plans.
"It is a step towards a kind of second independence of the continent, which opens a door to elaboration of common economic and social policies, which are alternatives to neo-liberalism," he said.
After the meeting with the European Union, the members of CELAC will hold their first annual summit, where Chile will hand over the group's pro tempore presidency to Cuba.
"Cuba has always been the symbol of independence, emancipation and dignity on the Latin American continent and it is logical that it should assume the organization's leadership," said Lamrani.
He also said the Cuban Revolution is extremely prestigious, because it not only managed to consolidate a sovereign nation where social justice prevails, but also made solidarity the core of its international policy.
"Cuba does not offer its excess capacity, but shares what little it has with mankind. The richest nations of the world should follow this example," he said.
Cuban Candidates to General Elections come from All Walks of Life
HAVANA, Cuba, Jan 18 (ACN) The list of candidates contesting upcoming general elections mirrors a wide spectrum of Cuban society, according to the National Candidature Commission (CCN).
The list of candidates to provincial delegates includes 50 percent of women and similar figure of people linked to the production and service sectors, said CCN president Amarilys Perez.
People of color make up 35 percent on the list, wile over 78 percent of candidates are university graduates and 20.3 percent finished senior high school.
The average age of the candidates is 45 years, though all generations are represented, Perez said.
Meanwhile, 78 percent of candidates to Parliament deputies were born after the 1959 Triumph of the Cuban Revolution, said Pedro Andres Aguila, who is also a member of the Candidature Commission and represents the National Small Farmer Association.
The list includes representatives of the state and the non-state sectors, including independent farmers, cooperative members, self-employees, artists and members of non-government organizations, Aguila explained.
Significant enough are the candidacies of over 67 percent new deputies, with the possible re-election of 32.77 percent of current lawmakers, which is in tune with Cuban society.
The average age was lowered to 48 years; only 27 candidates are over 70 years of age. Women are represented by a 49 percent and 37 percent belong to people of color.
More than 80 percent of the candidates to deputies are university graduates, with only 17 percent having finished senior high, which will favor the future lawmakers’ performance, said Aguila.
The official also stressed the candidacies of citizens link to the production and service sectors, who are represented by over 30 percent, while the figure of entrepreneurs in the production sector tripled, in tune with the update of the Cuban economic model aimed at boosting the development and consolidation of the socialist system.
Cuba Promotes Tourist Product in China
HAVANA, Cuba, Jan 18 (ACN) Cuba presented its tourist products and services to a varied group of officials, artists and journalists, who gathered at the island’s embassy in Beijing to celebrate the advancement of the over-five-decade bilateral diplomatic links.
Consul Javier Jimenez referred to the upcoming end of the Chinese year on February 10 as the appropriate moment for a meeting of friends to celebrate joint work.
Jimenez recalled the history of China-Cuba bilateral relations, established in 1960, when Cuba was the first western country to have recognized the People’s Republic of China and to have granted scholarships to Chinese students in 1961.
In promoting Cuba’s main tourist centers, the diplomat referred to Havana and its rich cultural heritage; Varadero tourist resorts, in western Matanzas province; the eastern territories of Holguin and Santiago de Cuba; the keys off the northern coast of central Cuba, and western Pinar del Rio, the province where the best tobacco leaves of the world are cultivated.
The Cuban embassy announced its participation in the Chinese social network Weibo, which registered 370 million members in 2012. The intention in being at Weibo is to provide Chinese citizens with information on Cuban reality, including tourist issues, said Consul Jimenez as cited by PL news agency.
Counselor Tania Velazquez referred to Chinese citizens who are interested in learning how to travel to Havana, about the visa application and other aspects and about what Cuban pharmaceuticals they may purchase on the island, among other issues.
Weibo is a major Chinese social network with a significant role in following the country’s everyday reality and contributing to the quality of life of the Chinese people.
US Scholar James Cockcroft Urges Obama to Free the Five
HAVANA, Cuba, Jan 17 (ACN) US award-winning author and three-time Fulbright Scholar and professor a the State University of New York James Cockcroft sent US President Barack Obama a letter urging him to free the five Cuban antiterrorist fighters held in the U.S. since 1998.
As you know, the UN Human Rights Commission's Working Group on Arbitrary Detentions and Amnesty International, along with all major human rights organizations, have long since drawn attention to the injustices carried out by the US Government in its 15-year persecution and incarceration of these five men and have called for immediate remedial action, reads Cockcroft’s letter to the US President, which RHC has access to.
The US scholar tells Obama that if a swap of the Five for US citizen Alan Gross, currently meeting a prison sentence in Cuba for actions against the state security, were in the works, he should go ahead with it, since it would not only make the families of the Five and Gross grateful but it would also favor relations between Cuba and the United States.
“Almost all US and foreign Latin Americanist scholars, including myself, agree on this point and can only wonder why you do not take action when the situation is such an obvious and easy win-win one!”
Biennal of Graphi-K Closes in Santiago with Canadian Solidarity
Santiago de Cuba.- (Prensa Latina)The first Biennal of Graphi-K, with Cuban and Canadians artist ended in this city with the exhibitions of more than a 12 showings of this type of art.
In the Arte Universal, the Oriente galleries, those of the Academy José Joaquín Tejada and in the attelier Cultural Luis Díaz, the public was able to see the samples of the engraveing artists of both countries.
One collective exhibition with the works of more than 60 Canadians and 15 Cubans will be shown also in Havana.
In the cultural event, homage was render to Maestro José Julián Aguilera Vicente and Raúl Marcelino Alfaro Torres,who is resident in Canada.
For 2014 will take place the second edition of Graphi-K,an event that brought together Cubans and Canadians in solidarity after the damages suffer in Santiago in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy in several arts institutions of this city.
Peace Council Leader Praises Cuba Forum for World Balance
HAVANA, Cuba, Jan 17 (ACN) The president of the World Peace Council Maria do Socorro said that the 3rd International Conference on World Balance will favor unity among revolutionary and progressive forces in Latin American and the Caribbean region.
The forum will be held January 28 and 30 in Havana to deepen the knowledge about the life and work of Cuban National Hero Jose Marti, who was fully committed to the defense of justice and freedom, Socorro told PL news agency in the capital Brasilia.
The ideas of Marti and his fight for the Independence of Latin American nations are of reference for all revolutionaries and people, who are currently struggling for peace and regional integration, said the official.
Referring to regional integration in the continent, Maria do Socorro stressed the process led in Venezuela by Hugo Chavez, “who is a leader admired by the people of the region.”
The official also stressed the fact that Cuba will soon take the chair of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), a regional organization that excludes the United States.
The CELAC is a victory for the ideas of Apostle Jose Marti, since its gets Latin American republics together against the expansion of the United States on the continent, said Socorro.
The president of the World Peace Council also condemned the judicial process carried out in Miami against the five Cuban antiterrorist fighters held in the United States.
The extreme sentences given to Gerardo Hernández, Ramón Labañino, Antonio Guerrero, René González and Fernando González prove Wahsington’s complete disregard for justice, Maria del Socorro concluded.
Presence of Former President Lula for Conference in Cuba Confirmed
HAVANA, Cuba, Jan 17 – Former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula Da Silva will travel to Cuba at the end of January to take part in the 3rd International Conference for World Balance.
Lula will arrive in Havana on January 28 and will attend that meeting, highlighted a spokesperson of the institute named after the former head of state, although his agenda of activities on the island was not mentioned.
The 3rd Conference will coincide with the 160th anniversary of the birth of Cuba’s National Hero Jose Marti, which will be a good opportunity to highlight the validity of Marti’s thinking.
The book "Los ultimos soldados de la guerra fria" (The last soldiers of the Cold War), by Brazilian Fernando Morais, which is a denunciation against the biased trial against and the harsh sentences imposed on the five Cuban antiterrorists unfairly incarcerated in the United States, will be launched within the framework of the meeting.
Ramon Labañino, Antonio Guerrero, Rene Gonzalez, Gerardo Hernandez and Fernando Gonzalez have been unfairly imprisoned in the United States for almost 14 years now for monitoring the activities of terrorist groups preparing violent actions against Cuba from Miami.
Attending the meeting in this capital will be representatives of over 40 countries among them a large number of personalities, like Lula; intellectual and religious person Frei Betto; Nobel Peace Prize winner Adolfo Perez Esquivel: the president of the World Peace Council, Maria do Socorro; and former Dominican President Leonel Fernandez.
Homage to Marti Tours Cuba
Havana, Jan 17 (Prensa Latina) A group of young people touring Cuba in honor of the 160th anniversary of the birthday of national hero Jose Marti, are continuing their tour through the center of the island, where they will visit historic sites.
About 160 young people carrying oil lanterns started their tour of the island on January 1, setting off from the mausoleum in the Santa Ifigenia Cemetery in Santiago de Cuba where the remains of independence hero lie.
The symbolic march reached the city of Santa Clara after spending the night at the headquarters of the municipal government of Placetas, where a wake was held in 1958 over the remains of Captain Roberto Rodriguez, known as "El Vaquerito." Rodriguez was a leader in the heroic Ciro Redondo Eighth Column, commanded by Ernesto Che Guevara during the revolutionary war.
The youth group will be received today in front of Vidal Park in Villa Clara province.
They will spend the night at the Caturla Hall of the Provincial Library, where a wake was heldo ver the remains of Che Guevara and his fellow combatants in Bolivia.
Tomorrow they will tour Cienfuegos province on their way to central Cuban territory.
The group of young people should arrive in Havana on January 28, Jose Marti's birthday, to participate in the traditional March of the Torches to honor the Cuban national hero, starting on the famous broad steps leading up to the University of Havana.
Electric Underground Network is a Major Investment in Varadero
MATANZAS, Cuba.- The electric underground network in the resort of Varadero is the main investment of the Electric Company in the province of Matanzas, in 2013, and one of the most important of the Cuban Ministry of Energy and Mines.
Frank Falcon, general manager of the entity in the territory, told reporters that works are already underway, and its completion is scheduled for 2016. They include about 20 kilometers of underground cable and three new substations in the Hicacos Peninsula.
Currently a group of the Construction Company collects the materials needed to start the first stage in March, said Falcon, and added that more than 40 percent of the electric network will go down to the sea.
Falcon also said those actions involved a multidisciplinary team composed by specialists of roadways and traffic, the Cuban Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment and experienced builders with previous experience in this kind of work.
All cables are protected by pipes and they have taken all the needed security measures this work requires, Falcon said.
Frei Betto Highlights Validity of Jose Marti´s Ideas
Brasilia, Jan 16 (Prensa Latina) Renowned Brazilian intellectual and religious figure Frei Betto highlighted today the validity of Jose marti ideas, reflected in the Latin American pro-integration proposals and in the struggle against discrimination.
Those brilliant Jose Marti´s words "Homeland is Humankind" mean that Homeland is not economic development, or the growth in Gross Domestic Product, or the increase in exports, but rather the quality of life of the population, the people´s happiness and respect for the human rights, he said in an interview with Prensa Latina.
Carlos Alberto Libanio Christo, known as Frei Betto, won the UNESCO-sponsored Jose Marti Award, but shows modesty in saying that this award was not given to his person, but to the grass roots movements and churches in Latin America with which he worked in the past 50 years.
"I am a tiny grain of sand in a huge and vast beach of the larger Latin American and Caribbean homeland," he said, paraphrasing Jose Marti.
Betto, scheduled to attend the Third International Conference for the Balance of the World, to be held in Havana on Jan. 28-30, announced the soon launch of the Cuban edition of his book "A Mosca Azul" (The Blue Fly), with reflections about power, the start, the medium and the end.
He also announced a publication of his biography by Cuban journalist and researcher Alicia Elizundia.
Cuban Parliament President Meets Brazilian Legislators
HAVANA, Cuba, Jan 17 (ACN) Cuban Parliament president Ricardo Alarcon thanked visiting Brazilian lawmakers for their support of the Cuban people’s struggle to bring home the five Cuban anti-terrorist fighters held in the United States since 1998.
Alarcon met on Wednesday with a delegation from the Brazilian Parliament, headed by senate first vice-president Aniball Diniz, according to Granma newspaper.
The distinguished visitors expressed their willingness to further deepen the friendly relations linking the two parliaments and peoples. They also favored the expansion of commercial and cooperation relations between Brasilia and Havana.
Attending the meeting were the president of the International affairs Commission of the Cuban Parliament Ramon Pez Ferro and the secretary of that parliamentary body Yenielys Regueiferos, as well as the president of Brazil-Cuba Friendship Parliamentary Group Jose Luis Fernandez, and Brazilan ambassador to Havana Jose E. Martins.
Cuba Trains Authorities for General Elections
Havana, Jan 16 (Prensa Latina) The members of polling stations and other authorities in charge of the February 3 general elections in Cuba are prioritizing their training for the polls, the National Electoral Commission (CEN) reported.
According to Caridad Alvarez, spokesperson for that entity, the upcoming elections are different from those which occurred in late 2012. This time, voters will elect 14,537 councilors or delegates to the municipal assemblies of People's Power, requiring specific training.
We have two ballots instead of one, for casting free, equal and secret votes to choose separately 612 members of Parliament and 1,269 delegates to the provincial assemblies, Alvarez said on a morning television morning show.
Alvarez said that a dynamic test (mock election) will be held on Sunday, Jan. 27, to check conditions ahead of voting, with an electoral roll of about 8,500,000 citizens, who are automatically eligible to register to vote once they reach the age of 16.
On the 27th, more than 29,000 polling stations will open. The objective is to verify authorities' training and mastery of the necessary documentation for the general elections, she said.
The exercise will check the availability of two polls, the media, and voters' lists, Alvarez said.
Regarding the coming vote, Granma newspaper reported today that about 612 candidates for the Parliament and 1,269 for the provincial assemblies of People's Power will continue their tours of workplaces, schools and other facilities of the country, to talk with voters.
ALBA Shops to Open in Venezuela in 2013
Caracas, Jan 16 (Prensa Latina) Venezuelan authorities announced the opening of 10 shops with products from member countries of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA in Spanish) during 2013, informed today official sources.
Minister of Trade, Edmée Betancourt, indicated the outlets will be located in the Capital District, in the states of Vargas and Nueva Esparta.
Those establishments will sell handicrafts, textiles, linen, books and recordings from the ALBA member countries, added the government oficial.
At the inauguration of one of those shops in the capital, Betancourt said they would expend products from Cuba, like guayaberas, as well as textiles and handicrafts from Nicaragua, Bolivia and Caribbean islands, at reasonable prices.
She recalled that the objective of this initiative is satisfying the needs of the population, as they represent economies for customers of up to 60 per cent compared to private markets.
Cuba Announces Team to Third World Baseball Classic
HAVANA, Cuba, Jan 16 (acn) Cuba’s manager Victor Mesa released in a press conference in Havana the names of the 28 baseball players that will participate in Third World Classic to start next March.
Mesa praised the quality of the team and said it was “the ideal and most comprehensive squad we can have, with sluggers and contact batters, good defensive skills and a great pitching staff”
At the conference held at the Havana’s Lationoamericano Stadium, Mesa said this was the right moment to bring in young players to the national team and urged experts and funs to trust the new generations that will pinch hit for some more mature players that are not included in the team.
“We cannot fear change” said Mesa and pointed out that all players in the team are in peak physical condition and none is suffering from injuries.
This preliminary roster can be modified from now till February 20, the dateline for changes in the official team that will debut against Brazil on March 3, as part of group A of the Third World Baseball Classic, in the Japanese city of Fukuoka.
The team is as follows:
Catchers: Yulexis La Rosa, Frank Camilo Morejón and Eriel Sánchez.
Infielders: José Dariel Abreu, Luis Felipe Rivera, José Miguel Fernández, Andy Ibáñez, Yulieski Gourriel and Bárbaro Arruebarruena.
Outfielders: Frederich Cepeda, Alfredo Despaigne, Rusney Castillo, Alexei Bell, Guillermo Heredia and Yadiel Hernández.
Pitchers: Freddy Asiel Alvarez, Ismel Jiménez, Raciel Iglesias, Odrisamer Despaigne, Norberto González, Darien Núñez, Wilber Pérez, Yulieski González, Vladimir García, Alexander Rodríguez, Danny Betancourt, Vichyoandri Odelín and Yander Guevara.
Manager: Víctor Mesa Technical Chief: Jorge Fuentes
Expectation Grows about Next Habano Cigar Festival
Havana, Jan 16 (Prensa Latina) The famous Cuban Premium cigars will be the kings of the 15th edition of the Habano Festival next February, when the event opens doors for this event, considered the most acclaimed by smokers of the whole world.
Despite the campaigns against human consumption of tobacco and the world financial and economic crisis, this hand-made product keeps giving pleasure to millions of people in the world who come to this forum that entertains at least a thousand participants of about 70 countries.
In the smoking salons, elegance prevails, deluxe accessories, and the chats, encounters and tasting sessions combine in a successful way with the different phases of this meeting, as the reunions with drinks, the Habanosommelier Competition and the closing gala where beautiful humidors and other accessories of the tobacco world are auctioned.
Some advanced events include the presentation of a new design for the brand Vegueros, original from the Cuban westernmost province, Pinar del Rio, also the most famous in the island´s tobacco crop.
The director of the twisted tobacco company in that part of the country, Orlando Acosta, said that they work eagerly to exhibit those versions of Vegueros.
For 2013, he said, they will enlarge the range of cigars, and they will show brands with international fame and recognition, such as Trinidad, Montecristo, Vegas Robaina, Hoyo de Monterrey, and Romeo and Julieta.
However, the brand Cohiba continues as the fundamental attractiveness, the first one arisen after 1959 when the Cuban Revolution triumphed and which has many followers in the world.
In Pinar del Rio, they want to manufacture five million cigars, most of which of the Vegueros brand, and 300,000 pieces for the local market, Acosta explained.
The Habano Festival will lapse from February 26 to March 2 in the living rooms of the Havana Convention Center.
At the closing of the meeting the prizes of the year are delivered to brands standing out in the trade, production and communications linked to these tobacco products.
Another of their outstanding attractiveness leads to the visits to the plantations in Pinar del Rio and the dialogue between participants and peasants dedicated to the cultivation of the tobacco leaf.
For many travellers, the fundamental relief is to smoke cigars in their original homeland and to share with other products of world fame as coffee and rum.
The cigars owe their celebrity to the perfect floor combination, climate and experience of the producers.
Solidarity with Cuban 5 at Peruvian Parliament
Lima, Jan 16 (Prensa Latina) Warm expressions of solidarity and affection will be offered today in the Peruvian capital to Irma Sehwerert, mother of one of the five Cuban antiterrorist fighters unjustly held captive in the United States.
Sehwerert will continue her contacts with Peruvian organizations and personalities, to publicize the case of her son, Rene Gonzalez, still captive in the United States despite having completed his 13 years in prison on October 7, 2011. The continued imprisonment of his four fellow Cubans, Gerardo Hernandez, Ramon Labañino, Fernando Gonzalez and Antonio Guerrero is also on the agenda.
Irma Sehwerert comprises a group of representatives from several Cuban sectors who have arrived in Peru to share many aspects of Cuban reality today.
She was received yesterday at the Congress by legislator Sergio Tejada, of the ruling bloc Gana Peru, who presented information on the case of the Five and the need to intensify the international pressure campaign so that U.S. President Barack Obama grants them a pardon.
The Cuban Five were detained on September 12, 1998, after alerting their country regarding terrorist actions developed by anti-Cuban extremist groups based in the U.S. city of Miami.
They were convicted in the city of Miami after an irregular and rigged trial and sentenced in 2001 to prison terms of up to two life sentences plus 15 years in prison.
Cuban VP Esteban Lazo Meets with Visiting Chinese Delegation
HAVANA, Cuba, Jan 16 (acn) Esteban Lazo, member of the Politburo and Vice-president of the Council of State, received Li Zhaozhuo, Vice-president of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), who is on an official visit to the island at the invitation of the National Assembly of the People’s Power (Parliament).
During the meeting, held in a fraternal atmosphere on Tuesday afternoon at the offices of the Central Committee of the Cuban Communist Party, the two leaders tackled issues of international topicality and reviewed the state of the excellent relations of friendship and cooperation existing between Cuba and China.
Present at the meeting were Zhang Tuo, ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to Cuba; Ramon Pez Ferro, President of the International Relations Commission of the National Assembly of the People’s Power; other members of the visiting delegation; and officials of the Central Committee of the Cuban Communist Party.
Li Zhaozhuo and his accompanying delegation also held a fraternal meeting with Ricardo Alarcon de Quesada, member of the Politburo and President of the National Assembly of the People’s Power.
Recovery Works in Holguin Continue
HOLGUIN, Cuba, Jan 16 (acn) Major General Ramon Pardo, Chief of Staff of the National Civil Defense Council, verified on Tuesday the development of the recovery program in eastern Holguin province, severely damaged by Hurricane Sandy on October 25, 2012.
During a tour of the municipalities of Rafael Freyre, Banes, Antilla and Baguano, among those seriously hit by the natural phenomenon, Pardo was given details on how organizations and the population are carrying out restoration works.
In Rafael Freyre, he visited the Armando Mestre Community, of 49 facilities converted into houses, which were premises previously used for offices and to provide accommodation for construction forces of tourism works in that territory.
The local authorities of Banes, Antilla and Baguano explained the Chief of Staff that in each of the Popular Councils of these territories recovery works of houses, over 64,000 of which were damaged by the passage of Sandy in the province, continue being prioritized.
In that territory, over 14,000 houses out of these 64,000 have been already been restored, mainly those with partial roof damages, while advances are being made in other sectors hit by the hurricane, like crops.
Cuban Homage to Puerto Rican Historian Ricardo Alegría
Santiago de Cuba, Jan 15 (Prensa Latina) Contributions of Ricardo Alegría to the entrenchment of the Puerto Rican identity were highlighted here by Master degree Belkis Rodriguez Santiago, professor at the University of that country, during the 6th Colloquium Joel James In Memoriam.
The researcher noted the contributions of the archaeologist and historian, who died in 2011, in the rescue of significant assets of Puerto Rican roots, mainly in the restoration of old San Juan.
Rodriguez called him as a Puerto Rican paladin, while describing through a biographical sketch the avatars of his life and listing the efforts of the creator of the Institute of Culture of Puerto Rico.
She extolled his struggles for social equality since his days as a university student.
He also supported the promotion of musicians and other artists of his country, while backing up several publications and cultural institutions.
UNESCO’s Assistant Director General to Visit Cuba
HAVANA, Cuba, Jan 16 (acn) Pilar Alvarez- Laso, UNESCO’s Assistant Director General for Social and Human Sciences will visit Cuba shortly at the invitation of Doctor Armando Hart, Director of the Marti Program Office, the www.cubaminrex.cu Web site announced on Tuesday.
The main objective of her visit will be to take part in the 3rd International Conference on World Balance and in the Symposium “For a Culture of Nature,” to be held at Havana’s Convention Center on January 27-29.
The meeting, organized on the occasion of the 160 anniversary of the birth of Jose Marti, will be attended by over 500 academicians from 42 countries of Latin America and the Caribbean, North America, Asia and Europe.
During the Conference, the UNESCO International Jose Marti Prize, in its 6th edition, will be given to Brazilian theologian Frei Betto (Carlos Alberto Libanio Christo), for his intellectual work and social practice in favor of the noblest causes in Latin America and the world.
Caricatures by One of Cuban Five to Be Exhibited in Canada
Ottawa, Jan 15 (Prensa Latina) The exhibit of caricatures Humor from my Pen, by Gerardo Hernández, one of the five anti-terrorist Cuban fighters unfairly held in US prisons since 1998, will be opened for the first time as of January 24th in Québec.
They are images that speak for themselves, according to a communiqué received today in Prensa Latina.
The exhibit, also to be taken to schools and universities, is part of actions in Canada for the release of Hernandez, Ramon Labanino, Antonio Guerrero, Fernando Gonzalez and Rene Gonzalez, internationally known as The Cuban Five.
Organizers of the initiative include the Confederation of Canadian Unions, the Quebec-Cuba Solidarity Coordination table and the Fabio Di Celmo Solidarity Committee, aimed at raising awareness about the case of these men, who were detained in Miami for monitoring violent anti-Cuban groups.
After a biased trial plagued with irregularities, the Cuban Five were given harsh sentences ranging from 15 years to two life plus 15 years.
René González, who served his sentence, was punished with an additional three years of supervised release in US territory
Eusebio Leal to Speak on national Hero at International Conference
HAVANA, Cuba , Jan 14 (acn) Havana City Historian Eusebio Leal will make an intervention on Martí, his view of time and the world in which he lived, and the big news which represented the creation of a party to lead the war, during the Third International Conference for World Equilibrium.
The Historian of Havana and Professor Emeritus said to ACN, that the meeting, to run from January 28 to 30, will be on the relationship between geography and development from the perspective of Martí´s thinking, and the gaze of the Apostle on Cuba in the nineteenth century.
It shall also, he added, dwell on the meaning it had the foundation of the first political organization, the Cuban Revolutionary Party, to organize the armed struggle, what we would call today a war of national liberation.
Leal shall also talked about the significance it had the foundation for the first time of a political organization, the Cuban Revolutionary Party, to rule the armed struggle, what we would call today, he said, a war of national liberation .
He will also state the reasons that led to the emergence of this important organization, from the conclusions José Martí arrived at on the failure of the Ten Years' War, which began in 1868, and his analysis of the causes and factors that led to it, Leal said.
Leal will also try the early death of the Apostle, a fact that deprived Cubans of his leadership, because as someone once said, "chance plays a role in history, but you have always to leave a space to random to get back on track later. "
Martí, through his long vision, could anticipate that fact and realized that, in that terrible dilemma of life, "his thought would still be useful and even if he were more or less muffled for some time, he would reborn later with greater force ."
The 3rd International Conference for World Equilibrium will be held in the Palace of Conventions in Havana.
This event, a universal tribute to Cuba's national hero by the 160th anniversary of his birth, will be attended by more than 600 delegates from over 40 countries, among which are important Cuban and foreign personalities.
Cholera Outbreak in Havana Practically Extinguished
Havana, Jan 15 (Prensa Latina) The Cuban Public Health Ministry stated today that the cholera outbreak in the capital is practically extinguished.
This was made possible, first, through the permanent vigilance and responsiveness of the Cuban health system, says a note released today in Granma newspaper.
The text states that as of Sunday, January 13, the medical monitoring system detected a rise in diarrheal diseases in the municipality of Cerro and later in other areas of the capital.
A group of patients had symptoms and signs that gave rise to the suspicion of cholera, leading to the activation of measures envisaged in the anti-cholera plan, with all necessary means and resources dedicated to its implementation.
Microbiological analysis conducted by the Pedro Kouri Tropical Medicine Institute (IPK) determined that the causative agent was enterotoxigenic bacteria Vibrio Cholerae O1 serotype Ogawa Tor, according to the document which confirmed around 51 cases to date.
According to epidemiological assessments, the cholera originated with a food vendor; an asymptomatic carrier of the disease which was acquired during outbreaks previously reported in other regions of the country.
The note from the Public Health Ministry reiterates the need for increased attention to hygiene, especially related to handwashing, ingestion of chlorinated water, cleaning and cooking of food, all essential for good health
Cuban Praise to the Virgen de la Caridad del Cobre
HAVANA, Cuba, Jan 14 (acn) Once again, the Misa Cubana a la Virgen de la Caridad del Cobre (Cuban Mass to the Virgin of la Caridad del Cobre), a piece by renowned composer Jose Maria Vitier, dedicated to Cuba’s patron saint, was enthusiastically applauded and received standing ovations by those who had the privilege of witnessing such singular praise.
The concert, held on Sunday at the capital’s Teatro Nacional, directed by Vitier himself, was the close of his tour of several of the island’s eastern provinces, on the occasion of the 400th anniversary of the appearance of the Virgin’s image.
Accompanying the Cuban maestro for his presentation was the Exaudi Choir, Havana’s Soloists Chamber Orchestra, and special guests like singers Augusto Enriquez and Amaury Perez.
A special moment was also the premiere of Al pie de tus altars (At the foot of your altars), a theme not included in the Mass that, with lyrics by Vitier, was sung by Liuba Maria Hevia.
The public present at the Covarrubias Hall enjoyed the interpretations of sopranos Maria Felicia Perez and Barbara Llanes -the latter in her performance of Ave Maria por Cuba (Hail Mary for Cuba), who, accompanied on the piano by Vitier, dazzled participants in the concert.
The Misa Cubana a la Virgen de la Caridad del Cobre was premiered at Old Havana’s Cathedral in 1996, and its first recording won the Grand Prize of Cubadisco -Cuba’s International Record Fair and Contest-, two years later.
FARC-EP Call on Colombian Govt for Speed and Commitment
HAVANA, Cuba, Jan 14 (acn) The peace delegation of the Colombian Revolutionary Army Forces-People’s Army (FARC-EP) called on the Colombian government to expedite the analysis of the agreements signed at the negotiating table and to have greater commitment towards facing social problems.
When resuming the talks in Havana with representatives of the Santos Administration, Ivan Marquez, head of the FARC-EP negotiating team urged the other side to stop the war rhetoric and come out with feasible solutions.
The government must show its willingness to move forward, putting clear proposals on the table that show Colombians that the government will not extent indefinitely the implementation of solutions to a major problem like the division of land into large estates and the violent dispossession of land, he said.
Marquez introduced as well a document named “Ten proposals for a policy of rural and comprehensive agrarian development with a territorial approach” made as a result of the citizen forums held in Colombia which will be revealed in this new cycle of talks.
These proposals include the eradication of large estates, the nationalization of the land, the acknowledgement of collective land for the different communities and also the stimulus to rural economy and the revision of all kinds of free trade regulations among other issues
Migration Law Changes Come into Force Today in Cuba
HAVANA, Cuba, Jan 14 (acn) The changes on the Cuban migration law announced last October come into force today, in order to ease migration in a legal, orderly and safe way, while strengthening the relations between Cuba and its émigrés.
The updating of the law takes place under the premise that they are measures approved for a sovereign decision of the Cuban government and don’t answer to any pressure, Granma newspaper reported.
The new regulations, announced on October 16, include the elimination of the application procedure for exit permits to travel abroad and a waiver of the requirement for a letter of invitation from a foreign host.
Cubans now will only need a valid passport and a visa for the country they wish to travel to.
The law extends the time citizens may be out of the country without losing their status as residents, from 11 to 24 months and makes it possible for those under 18 years of age to leave the country, as long as they have prior authorization from their parents or legal representatives.
In the case of Cubans who have emigrated definitively, they will be able to visit Cuba for up to 90 days, 60 more than previously established. The causes for repatriation were also extended, as in the case of those who left Cuba before the age of 16, and also to take humanitarian reasons into account.
The Cuban government has also decided to normalize the temporary entry of those who left the country illegally after the 1994 immigration accords with the United States, as long as eight years have passed since their departure.
Regarding health and sports professionals who left the country after 1990, they may visit the country after eight years since their departure, unless they left through the Guantanamo Naval Base, due to concerns about defense and national security.
Cuba to Present New Texts in Braille at International Book Fair
HAVANA, Cuba, Jan 14 (acn) The cultural recreational center of the National Association of the Blind works on the production of new texts in Braille for the Cuba 2013 International Book Fair scheduled for February.
Anecdotas del Che, by Orlando Borrego; Adios Muchachos, by National Literature Prize winner Daniel Chavarria, one of the authors to which the Fair will be dedicated; Cuentos de Eva Luna, by Isabel Allende; and Relatos de la Abuela Celima, by Celima Bernal, are among these works.
There will also be titles by blind authors, like Danaisa Rojas, with her poetry book Vigas de Invierno; Yesenia Smith, with an educational manual on computing for the blind; and Jose Miguel Ramos, with Dos Mitades de un Todo.
Cuban Tourism Minister Attends Opening of Emblematic Hotel
HAVANA, Cuba, Jan 14 (acn) Manuel Marrero Cruz, Cuban Minister of Tourism, attended the reopening of the Ordoño Hotel, a facilty that underwent a complex restoration process, in the coastal town of Gibara in the eastern province of Holguin.
Marrero confirmed that from the returning to operations of this hotel, Gibara has a real chance of becoming a municipality that can make tourism its main economic activity.
The Ordoño will be operated by the Encanto Hotels chain, which throughout the country gives way to the most authentic cultural identity.