HAVANA, Cuba, Feb (acn) The book entitled “Drawings by Gerardo Hernandez: Humor from my Pen,” which includes drawings and documents related to the case of the five Cuban antiterrorist heroes unfairly condemned in the United States in 2001, was presented on Monday in this capital.
It’s a compilation of caricatures I made while I was in prison, on Fidel (Castro) and various topics, as forms of expression, said Gerardo at the Cuban Institute for Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP) during the ceremony where the book was presented by Manuel Lopez, coordinator of the Committee for the Freedom of The Five in Ukraine, the organization that prepared the printing.
Also included in the book, in addition to the caricatures, was an explanation on the case of the antiterrorists, the Affidavit presented at the court by Gerardo’s lawyer, Martin Garbus, and pictures of friends of international solidarity who visited him imprison, he explained.
The epilogue was written by Gilbert Browstone, a friend of Cuba and president of the Browstone Foundation. The book was edited in the United States and it is being distributed by the Amazon network, Lopez informed.
On December 17, after 16 years of unfair imprisonment in U.S. jails, Ramon, Antonio y Gerardo returned to their homeland and joined their families; Rene and Fernando, the other two members of the group, were released after serving their sentences.
Fidel Castro Sends Message to University Students
HAVANA, Cuba, Jan 27 (acn) Cuban Revolution leader Fidel Castro sent the Cuban university students a message stressing the development of the country´s education over the past 56 years.
Fidel recalled that when he registered at the University of Havana, on September 4, 1945, the entity was the only higher education center that offered access to young people that could afford it, but that has changed since he said “we now have over fifty higher education centers throughout the country.”
In his message, the Commander-in-Chief said that if he had the opportunity to again go to university, he would take on a scientific course and he went to recall his years as a student and the influence he received from the Marxist-Leninist doctrine.
The message was read during a ceremony at the Aula Magna of the University, in which rector Gustavo Cobreiro granted the five Cuban antiterrorist fighters and heroes, Gerardo Hernández, Ramón Labañino, Antonio Guerrero, Fernando González and René González, a plaque marking the 280 anniversary of the University of Havana.
The ceremony was attended by Interior Minister Army Corps General Abelardo Colome, who is a member of the Political Bureau of Cuba´s Communist Party; Rolando Alfonso, department director of the Central Committee of the Party, and Armando Hart, also member of the Central Committee and director of the Office of the Marti Program, among other personalities.
International Pedagogy Congress Kicks off in Cuba
HAVANA, Cuba, Jan 27 (acn) The 14th International Congress Pedagogy 2015 starts today its discussion sessions in the Convention Palace, on a day that will include the involvement of several prominent figures in the national and international educational context.
The list of those in charge with imparting lectures on this day includes the renowned Brazilian theologian Frei Betto, who will make emphasis on the importance of developing critical awareness in young people.
On the Cuban side, Rodolfo Alarcón, Minister of Higher Education, will offer stock of how the integration process is in Cuban universities, while Rolando Forneiro, deputy minister of Education, will explain the working system that is used to train teachers in the island.
Today, the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, the foreign country with more lectures, will be center of attention, as there will be a special intervention of its Minister of Education and will be developed a panel called Hugo Chavez’s Educational Thought, in tribute to the support offered by the commander President to education in the South American nation .
The 1st Meeting of International Representatives on Projects for the Integration of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), one of the most important side activities of the event will start also today.
As part of the importance given to the use of ICT in this year's event, this conference will include a keynote by the Spanish professor Paloma Anton on its use in meeting the goals of Education for All Programme.
Under the slogan " For the unity of educators", Pedagogy 2015 will run until today with the participation of more than four thousand delegates from 30 countries.
Vietnamese Company to Invest in Cuban Mariel Zone
HAVANA, Cuba, Jan 27 (acn) Vietnam´s Thai Binh Investment Trading Corp expects to build plants to produce detergent and disposable diapers at the Special Development Zone located at the Mariel Port, in western Cuba.
Thai Binh representative in Cuba Tran Thien Minh told PL news agency earlier this year about plans for the year and that the new factories will further strengthen bilateral ties between the two countries.
Vietnam is among 30 countries proposing investment projects for the Cuban Special Zone.
“We have been at the Cuban market since 1998,” said Tran Thien and recalled that the Vietnamese company was one of the first entities of that country to establish commercial relations with Caribbean nations.
In the beginning we exported textiles, shoes, perfumes and foods, but later we added construction materials, furniture, stereos and home appliances, said the executive.
Thai Binh sold tiles in Cuba foro ver 12 million dollars in 2014. It is tiles that make the largest sales of that company in Cuba, according to information by that entity.
Spain Supports Solar Energy Project in Cuba
HAVANA, Cuba, Jan 27 (acn) Representatives of Cuba and Spain launched a shipment of supplies to the island in order to support a solar project, sponsored by Spain´s Agency for International Cooperation (AECID).
The project will be implemented in the Guama municipality, in eastern Santiago de Cuba province and it will operate water pumps fueled with solar energy.
The initiative is being carried out by Spain´s SoDePaz and Cuba´s Cubasolar non-government organizations, based on solar panels provided by companies from the Spanish region of Colmenar Viejo, 30 kilometers from the capital Madrid.
The project also includes solar facilities for home lighting in rural areas.
At the shipment site were the mayor of Colmenar Viejo, Miguel Angel Santamarina and Cuban ambassador to Spain Eugenio Martinez, local government officials and entrepreneurs.
Iberia Returns to Cuba
HAVANA, Cuba, Jan 27 (acn) Spain´s Iberia Airlines will resume flights between Madrid and Havana on June 1 after a two-year interruption due to an economic slump and deep restructuring process.
Iberia had interrupted its flights to Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and Uruguay following a reported lack of benefits, but last September it resumed flights to Montevideo and Uruguay after reducing operational costs and purchasing A 330 Airbus planes, which provide less fuel consumption.
The director of Iberia´s Communications Department Juan Cierco told reporters that they expect to be successful in their Business class due to the economic prospects of Cuba.
India Ready for 2015 Cuba Book Fair
HAVANA, Cuba, Jan (acn) India will be the host country in the coming 24 Cuba Book Fair which will be a unique opportunity for Cubans to peek into the rich and ancient Indian culture, C. Rajasekhar, ambassador of that nation to Cuba told ACN
We are very happy to have been able to organize a varied itinerary especially designed for the celebration, which we attended extremely honored to be the first Asian nation Guest of Honour in this great literary event, the diplomat said during an exclusive interview.
Rajasekhar, enthusiastic promoter of cultural exchanges, was one of the main responsible of enabling the dedication of this edition, for which they are still finalizing details of what will be an intense program that will include, in addition to literature, theater, dance, crafts, food, yoga and an expected bazaar.
Besides the titles that we sent to the Cuban Book Institute for translation into Spanish, a lot of books have already arrived that the Embassy has selected, will sell at an affordable price and we believe will be received with great interest, he said.
He announced that 16 of the most important Hindu publishers will be in Fortaleza San Carlos de La Cabaña, traditional venue, where they will take, in English, volumes on science, math, cooking, yoga and religion, among other subjects.
The India Pavilion will be the center of the literary program, everyday texts include presentations and panels, among which highlights the one on climate change with the presence of Rajendra K. Pachauri, head of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Nobel Peace Prize.
We were very honored to receive news and excited, Rajasekharsaid, that New Delhi World Book Fair is on the same days have created some challenges, but India is great and of course Cuba is special.
The XXIV International Book Fair will be dedicated this time to the National Awards Leonardo Acosta, Literature, and Olga Portuondo, History, Social Sciences and Research, and when the international version ends in the capital, will spread across the country until next April.
Cuban Minister of Tourism to Promote Cuba as a Destination in Spain
HAVANA, Cuba, Jan 27 (acn) In order to ensure the Spanish market as one of its major sources, Cuba will participate from January 28 to February 1st in the 35th International Tourism Fair, FITUR 2015, based in Madrid.
The event, considered the most important in Latin America and the second with the largest worldwide reputation, according to specialized media, will host professionals interested in positioning their tourism products and strengthen ties with tour operators and travel agents in the region.
To that end, the Cuban delegation, headed by Manuel Marrero, minister of the branch on the island, will attend the meeting to present new offerings of this Caribbean destination, designed for the Spanish market.
According to the Ministry of Tourism (MINTUR by its Spanish acronym), the Cuban mission will update to its members about upcoming openings of facilities and services, and shall promote new projects that Cuba offers to foreign investment.
At the Cuban stand, visitors can learn about the heritage cities of Santiago de Cuba and Remedios, celebrating their 500th anniversaries of founded, and the Jardines del Rey tourist pole, home of the upcoming International Tourism Fair, FitCuba 2015, which 35 th edition shall be devoted to the nautical product.
Other tourist interest points of the Antillean archipelago that will attract the attention of the audience will be Havana -declared on December 2014 World Wonder City -, Varadero, Trinidad and Santa Maria, Coco and Guillermo Cays.
According to a statement by MINTUR, the Cuban delegation will be also made up by María del Carmen Orellana, Commercial Director, and José Daniel Alonso, director of Business of the branch.
FITUR 2015 shall also be attended by managers of hotel chains like Gran Caribe, Islazul, Cubanacán, Habaguanex, Grupo Gaviota, Iberostar, Grupo Pestana and Melia Hotels; and the agencies Viajes Cubanacan, Havanatur, Cubatur and Gaviotatours, and Cubana Airlines.
UNDP Announces Continuity of Development Plans in Cuba
HAVANA, Cuba, Jan (acn) United Nations Development Program director Jessica Faieta announced on Saturday that the international organization will continue supporting Cuba in various projects in the economic, social and environmental fields.
In a press conference offered in this capital, Faieta said that the cooperation plan began in 2014 and will run until 2018, with the objective of contributing to increase the quality of life of Cubans, the Prensa Latina news agency reported.
The UN undersecretary general pointed out that her organization aims to local development, particularly production, in order to achieve the replacement of imports.
Likewise, it helps in renewable energy, climate change, risk prevention and HIV-AIDS and gives attention to youngsters and to problems of gender approach, added the official.
Faieta described as positive the results obtained in projects developed by the City Historian Office, which includes the restoration of Old Havana’s heritage as well as social and public services.
Cuba also maintains a fair speed in other matters, like sustainable development, disaster prevention and the protection of the ecosystem, added the UNDP executive.
Our programs, she said, are in line with the challenges faced by the Caribbean island, like food security, the care of senior citizens and South-South cooperation.
The UN undersecretary highlighted the role played by Cuba, which contributes its experiences to mitigate complex situations like the Ebola epidemics in Western Africa and previously in the struggle against cholera in Haiti.
She stressed that is also valid to underline the role played by Cuba in Latin America, particularly in the context of talks between the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia-the People’s Army and the government of that country, with the purpose of achieving peace.
Cuba and the US can Work Together despite Big Differences
HAVANA, Cuba, Jan 22 (acn) The delegations of Cuba and the United States agreed that the round of talks for the process of restoration of diplomatic relations, held today at the International Conference Center, is an important step on the road to the decision announced by Presidents Barack Obama and Raúl Castro last December 17.
Josefina Vidal, director general of the US Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, head of the Cuban delegation, told reporters that the dialogue was held in a "respectful, professional and constructive" climate, while the head of the US delegation, Roberta Jacobson, called it "positive and productive".
The Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs said in a brief statement that they had discussed in concrete and real terms the measures to be taken to restore diplomatic relations and the opening of embassies.
Jacobson added that actions have been taken to implement the commitments of the President of the United States relating to this subject, and acknowledged it will be a very long process, because it is not limited to the restoration of diplomatic relations and the opening of embassies in each country, and she said that "today we have taken new steps in this direction."
Both diplomatic agreed that this process must be guided by the principles of international Conventions on Diplomatic and Consular Relations.
Vidal said the Cuban side reiterated the readiness of the Government of Cuba to continue to hold a respectful dialogue, based on sovereign equality and reciprocity, without prejudice to national independence and self-determination of peoples.
She also said it would be difficult to explain how they are going to restore diplomatic relations if the US doesn’t remove Cuba from the list of countries that sponsor terrorism, and voiced her concern for the lack of a bank the Cuban interest section in Washington has had for over a year to conduct its business.
Cuba willing to maintain Respectful and Constructive Dialog with Washington
HAVANA, Cuba, Jan 22 (acn) Cuba reiterated its willingness to keep holding respectful talks with the United States, based on sovereign equality and reciprocity, with no undermining of its national independence and self-determination, said the general director of the United States Office at the Cuban Foreign Ministry Josefina Vidal in statements to reporters during talks on the reestablishment of bilateral diplomatic relations between Washington and Havana.
Vidal, who heads the Cuban delegation to the talks, ratified the Cuban government’s commitment to the improvement of bilateral relations and its will to keep advancing towards their normalization.
She said that bilateral diplomatic relations and the opening of embassies must be based on the principles of international law as established by the UN Charter and the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic and Consular Relations. For Cuba this stands for mutual respect for the political, economic and social systems of the two countries and for the avoidance of any form of interference with the internal affairs or threats to the political, economic and cultural foundations of both states, the official added.
Nobody can expect that Cuba will ever renounce its principles, Vidal stressed and added that these efforts aim at establishing a civilized relationship between two countries with profound differences and different conceptions on many issues, but that can get along in a civilized and peaceful manner, by recognizing and respecting such differences and at the same time, and as neighbors identify areas of common interest to develop cooperation in the benefit of the two nations, the region and the world, the official noted.
Josefina Vidal said that the two parties agreed on the steps forward to formalize the reestablishment of diplomatic relations through the exchange of notes in an upcoming date. However, she said that it would be difficult to explain that such reestablishment of relations has taken place while Cuba continues to unfairly be on the US black list of states sponsors of international terrorism.
Vidal added that they told the US delegation that in order to open embassies the current financial situation facing the Cuban Interest Section in Washington must be resolved. She referred to the impossibility for the US office to find a bank that provides its financial functions due to the US blockade.
This will be a long and complex process that will require work from the two parties, who will have to solve pending problems on the bilateral agenda, she noted and stressed that in order to normalize bilateral relations the lifting of the US blockade is crucial.
We recognize the willingness of the President of the United States to sustain responsible and honest debate at the US Congress to achieve the end of the blockade, said Josefina Vidal.
Cuba and the US Discuss Diplomatic Relations
HAVANA, Cuba, Jan 22 (acn) The round of talks at the highest level in the past decades between Cuba and the United States to restore diplomatic relations will start in less than two hours in Havana city.
Josefina Vidal, director-general of the US department at the Cuban Ministry of Foreign Affairs, leads the Cuban delegation, while Roberta Jacobson, Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs heads the US delegation.
During this meeting the two countries will address the principles and steps to be taken to restore diplomatic relations and the opening of their respective embassies in each country.
They will also tackle their cooperation to fight epidemics, terrorism, drug trafficking and other issues of mutual interest and benefit.
A Cuban diplomatic source told the press that is covering the historic meeting that ¨we cannot expect to solve all problems in just one meeting¨ and added that Cuba and the US are taking steps to reestablish ties that were broken over 50 years ago, but ¨the normalization of relations is a much longer and complex process when we have to discuss issues of interest for both parties¨
The Cuban delegation announced that the opening of embassies and restoration of diplomatic relations must be based on the UN Charter and the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic and Consular Relations
Cuba Issues Statement on Migratory talks with the US
HAVANA, Cuba, Jan 21 (acn) At the end of the 28th round of US-Cuba migratory talks, the Cuban delegation issued a press release that ACN news agency now reproduces:
PRESS RELEASE OF THE CUBAN DELEGATION TO THE ROUND OF MIGRATION TALKS BETWEEN CUBA AND THE UNITED STATES. HAVANA, JANUARY 21, 2015.
On January 21, 2015, a new round of migration talks was held between US and Cuban delegations, which were headed by Edward Alex Lee, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs, and Josefina Vidal Ferreiro, Director-General of the US Division at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, respectively.
During the meeting, which was held amidst a constructive environment, different aspects related to the migration relations were evaluated, including the compliance with the accords in force, the issuance of visas for immigrants and temporary visits, as well as the results of the actions carried out by both parties to combat illegal migration, human smuggling and document fraud. The Cuban delegation expressed its satisfaction over the recent celebration of a technical meeting between the US Coast Guard Service and Cuba’s Border Patrol Guard with the purpose of discussing measures aimed at a more efficient implementation of the Migration Accords and the Search and Rescue Procedures adopted by both countries.
In view of the continued implementation of the “wet foot/dry foot” policy and of the Cuban Adjustment Act, the Cuban delegation reiterated its concern about the validity of these policies, which are contrary to the letter and the spirit of the Migration Accords and continue to be the main encouragement to illegal migration, alien smuggling and the irregular entry into the US territory from third countries of Cuban citizens who have traveled abroad by legal means.
The Cuban representatives ratified their deep concern about the situation faced by the Cuban Interests Section in Washington, particularly its Consular Office, which, as a result of the implementation of the blockade, has been deprived from all banking services for almost one year now, which seriously hampers the provision of the consular services that are offered to Cuban citizens residing in the United States as well as to US citizens who are interested in visiting Cuba.
The Cuban delegation reaffirmed its willingness to continue holding these talks.
Cuba-USA Talks Advance in a Respectful and Constructive Manner
HAVANA, Cuba, Jan 21 (acn) The talks between the delegations of Cuba and the United States on migration issues are taking place in respectful and constructive manner, Gustavo Machin, deputy director of the United States Department at the Foreign Affairs Ministry, declared to the press
He said that the round that began at nine o'clock today at the Conventions Palace in Havana, is attended by all members of delegations, headed by Josefina Vidal Ferreiro, director general of United States Department at the Foreign Ministry, and assistant secretary Bureau for Western Hemisphere Affairs, State Department, Edward Alex Lee.
At this point, he said, we are talking about migration trends between Cuba and the United States, how migration flows between the two countries are behaving, and "we agreed to disagree on some issues," specifically, as we have said, we have serious concerns about the permanence of the Cuban Adjustment Act and the policy of "dry foot-wet foot", the main stimulus for illegal emigration from Cuba.
He said that the persistence of these measures violate the spirit and letter of the migration agreements, whose compliance is being revised, "... we talked fluently, with openness and constructive approach although we have some differences in approaches to certain migratory phenomena ... "and stressed that" ... it has been a profitable tomorrow ... ".
The first of three rounds of talks between delegations of Cuba and the United States to address migration issues and the process of restoration of diplomatic relations, and other bilateral issues is taking place behind closed doors this morning.
The talks began this Wednesday with the twenty-eighth meeting on migration issues, to evaluate the progress of the agreements in this respect and the actions taken by both parties to tackle illegal migration and human trafficking, among other aspects of interest.
The New Yorker Stresses Cuba Medical Cooperation against Ebola
Washington—An article published on the US publication The New Yorker said that Cuba is the country with the first-level response in the world before the international crisis that have appeared over the past years.
Entitled Cuba´s Ebola Diplomacy, the article signed by journalist Jon Lee Anderson stresses the significant contribution by Cuba to the fight against Ebola, even over developed countries like the United States, the U.K. and China.
“All of these countries are following the lead of Cuba,” reads the article and adds that the island “ has long been known for its roving teams of medical doctors and nurses. Indeed, Cuba, an island nation of eleven million people, with eighty-three thousand trained doctors—one of the highest proportions of doctors in the world.”
Anderson also said that when Cuban authorities requested volunteers to fight Ebola in Western Africa, over 15 thousand professionals offered to go, including intensive care doctors and nurses. He recalled that Cuba sent hundreds of doctors to Pakistan in the aftermath of the 2005 quake that hit that nation as well as to Haiti following a devastating earthquake in 2010.
“There are an estimated fifty thousand Cuban doctors working in slums and rural areas in as many as thirty other developing nations around the world,” the journalist noted and also referred to the hundreds of thousands students from Africa, Asia, Latin America and the United States who are taking medical courses at Havana’s Latin American School of Medicine (ELAM)
And as to Cuba’s assistance to Africa now, Anderson says that “ Cuba’s outsize gesture in West Africa has not gone unnoticed, and may pave the way for the start of some Ebola diplomacy between Havana and Washington.”
He also recalled that on October 19th, Secretary of State John Kerry named Cuba as a nation that had made an “impressive” effort in the anti-Ebola campaign and that upon Returning from a fact-finding tour of the Ebola-struck countries, the U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power also pointedly praised the Cuban mission.
“The Ebola diplomacy follows a friendly handshake that Raul Castro and President Obama exchanged at Nelson Mandela’s funeral in South Africa, last December, and has added to anticipation that the Obama Administration may seek to finally lift the remaining restrictions in the United States’ trade embargo against Cuba.”
You can read The New Yorker article at: http://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/cubas-ebola-diplomacy
Cuba-US Religious Leaders Advocate to Normalize Relations
HAVANA, Cuba, Nov 5 (acn) Cuban and US religious leaders expressed their commitment to continue working for the normalization of relations between the two countries, and the return home of three Cuban antiterrorist fighters imprisoned in US jails.
About to wrap up its visit to the island, the delegation headed by the Rev. John McCullough, president and executive director of Church World Service (CWS), announced the release of a joint statement with the Council of Churches of Cuba (CCC).
The joint call urges, too, for the finding of a solution to the case of Alan Gross, a US citizen arrested, tried and sentenced in Cuba to 15 years in prison for subversive activities, on which there is already a proposal by Cuba to have a prisoners swap.
Known is the opposition of McCullough to the illegal, irrational and genocidal blockade of the US government against the Caribbean nation, a position shared by his fellow travelers, Reverend Gradye Parsons, president of the Presbyterian Church in the United States, and Rabbi Schnitzer Elhanam, executive director of the Jewish Mission to Cuba.
They also defend the right of their citizens to travel freely to the island and, in the case of McCullough; he was one of the promoters of the letter sent to President Barack Obama by American religious leaders to remove Cuba from the list of state sponsors of terrorism.
The President of CWS also inaugurated the conference of Solidarity with the Five in Washington DC in the last two years and recently visited the Hero of the Republic of Cuba, Antonio Guerrero in Marianna federal prison in the state of Florida, where he is serving an unjust sentence.
Cuba Launches Portfolio of Medical Products and Services
Havana—The marketing agency of Cuban Medical Services launched its portfolio of products at the 32nd International Trade Fair, underway in Havana.
The portfolio is in tune with the clients’ demands and mirrors the strengths and particularities of the Cuban health system, with competitive programs in comparison to other services being offered at other markets, said doctor Yilian Jimenez, who heads the Cuban Medical Services marketing agency.
The entity, which was set up to foster cooperation relations between Cuba and the world, counts on a 54-hospital network where professionals implement modern and early diagnostic techniques, as well as 150 therapeutic procedures with a 95 percent effectiveness, said the doctor.
According to Jimenez, over 35 agencies from 101 countries, including Canada, Russia, China, Colombia, Japan, Angola and Costa Rica are currently requesting services to solve local health problems.
Cuban Medical Services offer treatment in 16 specialties or medical programs of high demand, including hemodialysis, stem-cell therapy, comprehensive attention of diabetic patients, cardiovascular disease treatment, and other programs on different health conditions.
The portfolio offers alliances with the tourist sector and its companies, including medical services and health services at airports and other terminals, as well as optical, pharmaceutical and natural medicine products.
Also on the portfolio is the hiring of personnel, advice, human capital training, and other programs like services for scientific forums.
The Cuban agency has operations in over 40 countries, while over 50 thousand 700 health professionals from the island are working in 66 nations.
Italy is Willing to Speed up Dialogue Between EU and Cuba
HAVANA, Cuba, Nov 5 (acn) Carlo Calenda, Deputy Minister for Economic Development of Italy, pledged today in this capital his country will help the speeding up of the reaching of a cooperation agreement between Cuba and the European Union, an organization of which his country holds the rotating presidency.
The regional bloc and the Caribbean nation are currently holding talks to normalize relations, a process initiated in June 2008, although more than 10 member countries have signed bilateral agreements with Cuba.
While inaugurating the Italian pavilion at the XXXII International Trade Fair of Havana, Calenda stressed that achieving this understanding is fundamental element to both sides at the political and economic level.
In the presence of senior officials of the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Foreign Investment (MINCEX) of Cuba, the deputy minister said that in mid-2015 he will visit Havana again, accompanied by representatives of large banks and companies in various sectors.
He announced further that shortly Italy will open an office in this city aimed at facilitating the entry of Italian companies in this Caribbean market and identifying new business opportunities.
Italy is a major partner of Cuba in areas such as agribusiness, construction materials and automatic; however there are many more potential that can be exploited by businessmen, Calenda considered.
According to Ileana Nunez, deputy minister of MINCEX, Italy ranks second among nations with the highest number of branches in the Caribbean country, and remains among its top 10 trading partners.
She said that both countries have identified new opportunities to increase trade, which will require updating the current credit and financial mechanisms.
Cuba and Uruguay Strengthen Relations
Havana, Nov 4—The foreign ministers of Cuba and Uruguay, Bruno Rodriguez and Luis Almagro, agreed to further strengthen cooperation relations between their nations.
Upon welcoming the Uruguayan government official at the Foreign Ministry, Rodriguez said bilateral links are marked by important coincidence in international issues. He also thanked Uruguay for its stance against the US blockade of Cuba and he went on to ratify his government willingness to keep boosting joint efforts for regional integration.
Meanwhile, the Uruguayan minister stressed Cuba´s role in the international fight on Ebola epidemic, which is now affecting several western African nations, where over 250 Cuban medical specialists are offering their services.
Minister Almagro also thanked Cuba for its support in fields like health, which he described as an assistance that has filled a gap that Uruguayan society has not yet been able to fill.
Canadian Flight Opens Winter Season for Eastern Cuban Tourism
SANTIAGO DE CUBA, Cuba, Nov 6 (acn) The arrival of a Sunwing flight from Toronto, Ontario, marked the beginning of the winter season for tourism in the eastern Cuban province of Santiago de Cuba.
The vacationers were met at the Antonio Maceo International Airport by the Son Cristal Quintet, a band belonging to the Turarte Agency, which enlightened their welcome with Cuban traditional songs.
This first flight brought 86 travelers, including some that come often to Eastern Cuba looking for higher temperatures, and friendlier people, as they referred. They would stay at the Hotel Brisas Sierra Mar-Los Galleons complex in the mountainous municipality of Guama, and the Club Amigo Carisol in Baconao Park.
Sunwing will keep this flight every Wednesday till April 2015, and from next week another direct flight will arrive from Montreal with the same frequency.
By Manuel E. Yepe
A CubaNews translation. Edited by Walter Lippmann.
The attempt to attribute a political motive to the theft of talent from Cuban sports by describing this international crime as an anti-communist exodus adds cynicism and cruelty to a criminal abuse poor countries have faced from time immemorial.
Why do they claim that Cuban players escape Communism to go play in the Major Leagues in the United States, when the new Cuban sports and immigration policies allow these athletes to play as professionals in any country in the world?
The Cubainformación website, based in Spain and directed by Basque journalist José Manzaneda, recently explained how the singular theft of Cuban baseball talent works.
The ascent to the majors for applicants in the United States is basically through college teams. It starts with the system known as "drafting" which is a register where applicants enroll. This register regulates the contract and wage relationships governing the links of the players to the teams and unions. Four years later, the players can leave the "draft". Some (if they stand out with exceptional skills in the sport) become “free agents” who can negotiate big contracts by themselves.
As a rule, Latin American players (excluding Cubans), are formed in schools that US teams have created have all over Latin America. Being just kids, they sign contracts with the clubs which invest in their training and are tied to the terms of the economic conditions that will govern their future in U.S. professional baseball.
The U.S. Treasury Department prohibits Cuban baseball players from signing with an American club if they maintain residence on the island and/or have links with the Instituto Cubano de Deportes Educación Física y Recreación (INDER) [Cuban Sports Institute].
The Cuban Adjustment Act, enacted by the United States in 1966 to promote the theft of talent in all fields and to feed the propaganda campaign against Cuba, states that any Cuban who reaches U.S. territory by any means, even if as a result human trafficking, automatically gets a work permit and residence. But this law alone is not enough for the theft of great Cuban baseball stars in the terms required by major traffickers.
The mechanism in place for baseball big business to get a Cuban baseball star to play in the Major Leagues usually begins with a trip of the player to another country. This country cannot be the United States or Canada, because in any of these two countries he would have the obligation to integrate into the "drafting" system, which would reduce his economic prospects.
Residing in Haiti, the Dominican Republic or Mexico, as a supposed "free agent," a representative of the baseball player negotiates on his behalf with the "scout" of the interested team. The main corporate media complement this cynical game by publishing news of alleged "escapes" or "getaways" as if the freedom of contract and player movement were restricted by Cuba and not by the United States.
The rules currently in place in Cuba provide that when a foreign team or baseball sports organization is interested in acquiring the services of a Cuban baseball player, it should settle the terms through the Cuban Baseball Federation. This has been done by organizations from other countries which already have Cuban athletes and technicians on their payrolls.
However none of the thirty U.S. Major League baseball teams has used this route; and the very small number of Cuban baseball players in their ranks had to place themselves in the hands of the internationally illegal human traffickers with its cohort of "coyotes" and gangsters.
Cuban baseball, as Cuban sports in general, is based on dignity, honesty and decency. It is is undoubtedly at a disadvantage compared to the squalor which characterizes commercial relations applied to sports. Cuba has tried to circumvent these disadvantages, though not always successfully.
Some of the prohibitions with which Cuba has tried to protect the purity of its sports have proved unsustainable in a globalized world. There, with rules and procedures imposed by large capitalist consortia, and so the island has been forced to replace them with others more consistent with international trends, provided these changes do not violate the principles which characterize the political and social system the Cuban people are building.
Nothing should prevent Cuba and the United States to expand their collaboration in the field of baseball, a big favorite sport among the public in both countries. And there are many things that can be settled without wars, drones, or bombs.