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News on Cuba - March 23, 2014 PDF Print E-mail

British MPs Support Cuban Five

London, March 6. (Presna Latina) - Members of Parliament from different political parties in the UK asked today for the release of Cuban antiterrorist fighters who are still imprisoned in the United States and called for stronger international action to that end.

The call was made here by Baroness Angela Smith, president of the All Party Group (groups of legislators from all parties in Parliament on specific topics), devoted to the case of Gerardo Hernández, Ramón Labañino, Antonio Guerrero, Fernando González and René González.

These men, known as the Cuban Five, were arrested in 1998 in the United States while trying to thwart the plans of terrorist organizations in Florida against Cuba.

Fernando Gonzalez and Rene Gonzalez came out of jail after fully meeting their long sentences imposed.

Smith, of the Labour Party, led a meeting with personalities from different countries that will attend the work of an international commission of inquiry into the case of the Cuban Five on Friday in London.

The meeting was also attended by Baroness Gloria Hopper (conservative) and MPs from Scotland and Northern Ireland, along with other parliamentarians from Germany and Belgium.

Deputy President of the European Parliament Miguel Angel Martínez, former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark, former President of Cuban Parliament Ricardo Alarcón, Cuban MP Kenia Serrano, relatives of the Cuban Five and victims of terrorist attacks against Cuba also participated in the meeting held at the headquarters of the House of Commons.

Baroness Smith reported that they lodged an appeal to the local court against the British government's decision not to grant visa to René González to attend the proceedings of the international commission in London.

News on Cuba - March 14, 2014 PDF Print E-mail

Cuban Antiterrorist Thanks in France Solidarity with The Five

Paris, Mar 14 (Prensa Latina) Cuban antiterrorist fighter Rene Gonzalez appreciated the work done by solidarity groups in France to disseminate the truth about the Cubans unjustly condemned in the United States, and demand their release.

"The cause of The Five has been silenced by corporate media, but this silence could not prevent you declare your solidarity with us," Gonzalez said during a meeting held at the Cuban embassy with members from social organizations, friends of the Revolution, journalists, and diplomats. Responding a question from Prensa Latina, he recalled that some of the first letters of support, such as those from Annie Arroyo and Jacqueline Roussie, who send a letter to U.S. President Barack Obama each month demanding the release, were received from France.

Rene, along with Gerardo Hernandez, Ramon Labañino, Antonio Guerrero and Fernando Gonzalez, known as the Cuban Five, were arrested in 1998, and condemned to long setences, for warning their country from terrorist actions by the Mafia in Miami.

After completing their prison sentences, Rene and Fernando Gonzalez returned to their country, but Antonio, sentenced to 27 years in prison plus a period of supervised release, Ramon, sentenced to 30 years in prison, and Gerardo, sentenced to double life imprisonment plus 15 years, are still in jail.

The circunstances of the trial are well-known, we were put in confinement, they went to irrational ends so the trial were held in Miami, and guarantee a jury that declared us guilty and, to cap it all, we know the press was paid to create a hostile atmosphere, he said.

Rene Gonzalez recalled that the third campaign "Five Days for the Cuban Five" will be held in June, in which visits to the Congress, media, meetings with lawyers and intellectuals, demonstrations in front of the White House demanding the release of his three fellow countrymen, are expected.

Organizations such as France Cuba, Cuba Si France, activists for the release of The Five, associations of Cuban residents, political leaders, intellectuals, and diplomats attended the meeting at the embassy.

Spanish Students Demand Release of Cuban Five

Madrid Mar 13 (Prensa Latina) Spanish students demanded the release of the anti-terrorist Cuban fighters unfairly held in US prisons in an event of solidarity with Cuba during which they also demanded the end of the US blockade against the Island.

On behalf of student associations of the Charles III University of Madrid, Paula Madinabeirtia said that Gerardo Hernández, Ramón Labañino, Antonio Guerrero, Fernando González and René González, or The Cuban Five, as they are internationally known, were arrested and given unfair, harsh sentences for monitoring Miami-based terrorist groups operating against Cuba.

Ambassadors Eugenio Martinez (Cuba), Veronica Rojas (Nicaragua) and minister counselor of the Venezuelan Embassy in Spain, Julio Garcia Jarpa attended the event, organized by Karl Marx and The Sorbonne student associations.

Martinez highlighted the importance of spreading this overwhelmingly silenced case and urged for the unity of action in the struggle for the release of Gerardo, Ramon and Antonio, who remain in US prisons.

Fernando and Rene are already in Cuba after fully serving their sentences.

Professor Angeles Diez, from the Complutense University of Madrid, denounced the conduct of international media and their subordination to the interests of big powers in the United States for silencing the truth about the case.

Specialist in International Criminal Law, Enrique Santiago, denounced the systematic irregularities and violations in the guarantees of due process. It was an arbitrary detention in flagrant violation of International Law, he stated.

News on Cuba - March 12, 2014 PDF Print E-mail

Fidel and Raul Pay Tribute to Cuban Heroes and Martyrs

HAVANA, Cuba.- (acn) Two flora tributes, on behalf of Revolution leader Fidel Castro and by President Raul Castro, were placed in homage to the combatants of the Frank Pais 2nd Eastern Guerrilla Front on the 56 anniversary of its creation.

According to Granma newspaper, a military ceremony and guard of honor took place at the mausoleum raised in the Second Front Municipality, in eastern Santiago de Cuba, which pays tribute to those killed in action during the guerrilla fight that led to the triumph of the Revolution in 1959.

Special tribute was also paid to Heroine Vilma Espin as a bunch of flowers was led at the monument that treasures her mortal remains in the place.

First Communist Party Secretary in Santiago, Lazaro Exposito; acting government president Beatriz Jhonson, and the Chief of the Military Region, Colonel Ricardo Rigel, headed the homage that also included a political and cultural ceremony in the locality of Mayari Arriba.

The Second Guerrilla Front, created by Raul Castro at the order of Commander in Chief Fidel Castro, had six rebel columns that controlled an over-12-thousand-square-kilometer area, where some 250 combat took place, along with political, social and economic actions under the leadership of Raul Castro.

Cuban First Vice President Speaks of Visit to Chile

HAVANA, Cuba.- (acn) Cuba’s First Vice President Miguel Diaz- Canel spoke of his recent visit to Chile in the framework of the swearing in ceremony of President Michelle Bachelet, assessing there will be closer ties between the two nations.

In an interview with Prensa Latina, Díaz- Canel said the meeting with Bachelet , who just took office for the second time in that country , was " charming and friendly ", and proved there is an interesting potential for collaboration.

Diaz-Canel considered the possibilities for further bilateral approach are supported by different programs that were signed by Bachelet in Cuba in 2009, during her previous term, “and provide all kind of possibilities to boost ties.”

We start from the historical links between the Chilean and Cuban peoples, the friendship between Allende and Fidel, which is always a reference, and the commitment to work together for the integration, as expressed by the president in Havana during the CELAC Summit, he said.

Moreover, he appreciated the recognition received by Cuba to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), which highlights the work of the Island in the fight to eradicate malnutrition and hunger in the world.

Also, Diaz-Canel met with Alicia Barcenas, executive secretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), and her team, he told PL.

He added that during his visit he spoke with representatives of various organizations committed to solidarity with the Caribbean island and the cause of the release of the Five.

On Wednesday, the Cuban delegation paid tribute in the General Cemetery of Santiago to Salvador Allende and Gladys Marín (who was the general secretary of the Communist Party of Chile) , whom he called "two close friends of Cuba , two unforgettable personalities ."

Díaz-Canel also restated the full backing of Cuba to the Government of Venezuela led by Nicolás Maduro, while noting the U.S. masterminding the so-called "soft coup."

I think the leadership of Venezuela has demonstrated ability to dialogue, debate from an honest and principled position, with patience, and also knew how to unravel the origin of the plans, he said.

We support the Bolivarian cause with the legitimacy of its government and we are convinced that the Venezuelan people and their political leadership are able to defeat the plans of destabilization, he concluded.

Michelle Bachelet Holds Talks with Cuban First Vice-president

HAVANA, Cuba, March 12 (acn) Chilean President Michelle Bachelet received Cuban First Vice-president Miguel Diaz-Canel, who headed the island’s delegation to her official swearing-in Ceremony on Tuesday.

During the meeting, Diaz-Canel conveyed greetings from President Raul Castro and expressed Cuba’s willingness to expand relations with Chile, not only in the political and diplomatic field but also in the economic, commercial and cooperation areas.

According to Granma newspaper, the Chilean President acknowledged the role played by Cuba as president of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States and she also expressed her willingness to strengthen bilateral relations with Cuba.

The meeting was attended by Chile’s foreign minister Haroldo Munoz and by Cuban deputy foreign minister Rogelio Sierra, as well as by Cuban ambassador to Chile Adolfo Curbelo.


Lazo Meets with the President of the Supreme People’s Court of Vietnam

HAVANA, Cuba.- (acn) Esteban Lazo. Member of the Politburo of the Cuban Communist Party (PCC) and President of the National Assembly of the People’s power (Parliament), met on Tuesday with Truong Hoa Binh, President of the Supreme People’s Court of Vietnam.

The Asian leader is on a working visit to the island, as part of the bonds of solidarity between the two countries in judicial matters.

During the meeting, the head of the Cuban Parliament praised the deep fraternal relations of friendship and cooperation uniting the Cuban and Vietnamese peoples, which date back to the struggles of that country against the imperial rule.

Likewise, he praised bilateral relations consolidated in different fields of political and economic life, with prospects to spread to other branches.

Lazo offered the visitor and his accompanying delegation a brief update on the perfecting of the Cuban economic model, and praised the performance and achievements of the Vietnamese in that regard.

Meanwhile, Hoa Binh recognized that diplomatic relations between Cuba and Vietnam have strengthened since their establishment in 1960.

He recalled the valuable support of the PCC and the people in general in the defense and consolidation of the sovereignty of the homeland of Ho Chi Minh, and assured that his countrymen have special feelings towards the historic leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro.

According to the program of activities, the delegation will pay tribute to Ho Chi Minh in the square that bears the name of the hero, located on 26th Avenue in this city.

In the morning, the delegation visited the headquarters of the Supreme People’s Court, where its members spoke with its President, Ruben Remigio Ferro, and other personalities of the legal field.

Nicolas Maduro Highlights Work of Cuban Medical Personal in Venezuela

HAVANA, Cuba.- (acn) Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro stressed on Monday what he described as the “incalculable assistance that Cuba gives Venezuela in caring for the health of the people in a deeply humanitarian and supportive gesture.”

Maduro announced that the Cuban doctors gave 80 percent of all 647 million medical consultations in the country over the past 11 years, as he presided over the graduation of more than 2 thousand 585 new doctors who received their diplomas at the Miraflores presidential palace.

The head of state also said that the launch of the Barrio Adentro medical mission in 2003, as part of the Cuba-Venezuela bilateral accord, boosted a new health system in the country.

He said that some 18 thousand new Venezuelan doctors have graduated, while another 20 thousand youths are currently studying medicine in an effort to have 60 thousand doctors over the next few years.

Maduro said that Venezuela counts on 590 community health centers, which include integral diagnostic centers, comprehensive rehabilitation rooms, high-tech centers and community doctors’ offices.

Cuba Demands End of Israeli Illegal Actions against Palestine

HAVANA, Cuba, March 10 (acn) Cuba demanded at the Arab League in Cairo the end of illegal practices by Israel in Gaza and the West Bank and ratified its support of the setting up of a Palestinian independent state.

Such actions by Israel violate International Humanitarian Law, the resolutions adopted by the UN General Assembly and the Security Council, which demand the Israeli withdrawal from the occupied territories, said Cuban Charge d’ Affaires in Egypt Alexander Pellicer.

The diplomat spoke at a joint ministerial meeting of the Arab League and the UN Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, at the headquarters of the Arab organization.

The growing building of settlements, the systematic violation of human rights and war crimes constitute big concern for Cuba, said Pillicer who stressed that the island demands the immediate end of all those actions and practices in the Palestinian territories occupied by Israel, including East Jerusalem. Cuba also demand the end of the Israeli occupation and the unconditional lifting of the cruel blockade against Gaza.

Cuba Calls at the UN to Commitment to Gender Equality

HAVANA, Cuba.- (acn) Cuba at the United Nations called to the commitment of all States to gender equality and the empowerment of women, in order to overcome centuries of discrimination and open new opportunities for sustainable development.

Only political will can change the current global scenario, marked by inequalities and its particular impact on women and girls, the Cuban experience shows how much progress can be made from the governments’ commitment, said at the forum deputy Surina Acosta cited by the Prensa Latina news agency.

The parliamentarian and member of the National Secretariat of the Federation of Cuban Women represents the island in the 58th Period of Sessions of the Commission on Women Status (CWS), a forum scheduled to run until March 21.

She warned that the CWS has the challenge of continue fighting for gender equality and to place the issue of equity among the priorities of the international community.

The female leader highlighted that nearly half of parliamentary seats in Cuba are occupied by women, who also top 38 percent of ministries and make up 48 percent of the workforce in the civil state sector.

Cuban University to Host World Event on Computing Sciences

HAVANA, Cuba.- (acn) More than 70 foreign scholars have shown interest in participating in the First International Scientific Conference of the University of Informatics Sciences (UCI) , to be held from April 10 through the 14 .

Miriam Nicado, rector of the institution, told reporters that the UCIENCIA event used to be only domestic, but in 2014 will go global, with some of the European speakers generating more expectations, since they will deal with open source software, vital for the technological independence of Cuba.

The invitation is still open, so we hope to continue receiving applications, whereas the UCI is an entity of Level II on the Model International Certificate of Maturity in Software Production, which is a bait to capture the attention worldwide, Nicado pointed out.

The seven workshops the program comprises will include topics of great interest as the social impact of the New Technologies of Information and Communication, applications of Artificial Intelligence and the usefulness of Computer Science in Project Management.

Meanwhile, Beatriz Aragon, director of the Department of International Relations , told ACN that the conference aims to bring together Cuban students with foreign teachers as a way to provide access to postgraduate courses abroad.

We have had the experience of summer and winter schools, to which we attract teachers from different countries who are impressed by the level of Cuban students, and recommended them for internships, provide them with distance tutoring or even ask institutions to cover their expenses, she added.

Aragon said that the UCI is also a productive complex, so this is also an enabling environment for the promotion of its five trademarks, and software for branches of Health, Business – Industry, public Management, Education and Telematics.

News on Cuba - March 10, 2014 PDF Print E-mail

Raul Castro Underscores Strategic Significance of Mariel Special Development Zone

Cuban President Raul Castro described the Special Development Zone at the Harbor of Mariel, west of Havana, as the most important project being built on the island.

Raul made his statement during an evaluation of the investment project as he was briefed on the construction of railways, thoroughfares, water-supply infrastructure, and the area dedicated to logistics, among other works.

The Cuban head of state said that the Mariel project is part of the defense of the country’s economic future because Cuba cannot continue to depend on the export of a handful of products to achieve its development. “Here is the base for the economic takeoff that we need,” he said.

He also praised the big effort at work and called for advancement after congratulating the executives and workers involved in the task.

The evaluation meeting was also attended by first vice-president Miguel Diaz Canel, Revolution Commander Ramiro Valdes, government vice-president Antonio Lusson, and other national and provincial government officials. (AIN)

Raul Castro Stresses Cuba's Pride for Women

Havana, Cuba. - (Prensa Latina) President Raul Castro stressed Cuba's pride for at the closing ceremony of the 9th Congress of the Cuban Women's (FMC).

The statesman also referred to the progressive change of mindset regarding women's inclusion, gender equality and women's empowerment in Cuba since the revolutionary triumph on January 1, 1959.

In the keynote speech at the event, Cuban Vice President Jose Ramon Machado Ventura stressed the Cuban women's high level of participation and integration in the country's activities, and the importance of FMC in the eradication of negative social conducts by working directly with families and communities.

Machado Ventura added that the main task of the organization is to contribute to the defense of the Cuban Revolution from constant foreign attacks.

The leadership of the FMC, in which Teresa Amarelle was ratified as the organization's general secretary, was presented during the ceremony. She confirmed women's commitment to the country's leadership in the construction of socialism.

FMC members support the socio-economic update being implemented by the country to contribute to prosperity and sustainability of the defended model, she also stated.

Participants in the Congress called to continue the work for women's equal rights and opportunities, as well as for the defense of the country's social achievements, and acknowledged the historic leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro, and President Raul Castro for their work dedicated to dignify women.

They expressed their solidarity with all women worldwide who are still demanding gender equality and full inclusion.

During the plenary session, FMC members approved the documents that will govern the work of the organization until 2015.

Prior to the Congress, which concluded on Women's International Day, the FMC members held debates at grass-roots delegations and municipal and provincial levels.

Cuban Heroine Melba Hernandez Passed Away in Havana

HAVANA, Cuba, March 10 (acn)The Cuban Communist Party informed that heroine Melba Hernandez, member of the Party’s Central Committee and deputy to the National Parliament passed away Sunday, March 9, from complications linked to Diabetes Mellitus, a disease she had suffered from during years.

Melba Hernandez was born July 28, 1921, in the town of Cruces, in the former Las Villas province, today’s Villa Clara in the center of the country. Hernandez graduated as a lawyer in 1943 at the University of Havana.

She was among the first women to have joined the revolutionary movement headed by Fidel Castro and she actively fought the Fulgencio Batista dictatorship. She participated in the July 26, 1953 attack on the Moncada garrison, in eastern Santiago de Cuba and witnessed the murder of many of her compatriots.

Melba joined the Rebel Army in the Third Guerrilla Front, under the command of Juan Almeida Bosque and after the victory of the Cuban Revolution she was assigned important responsibilities, such as president of the Cuban Committee in Solidarity with South Vietnam, and later similar committee in solidarity with Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. She was also ambassador to the Socialist Republic of Vietnam and Kampuchea, and director of the Center for Studies on Asia and Oceania.

She received countless decorations and national and international distinctions, including Labor Heroine of the Republic of Cuba. Meeting her will, here body will be cremated and her ashes will be temporarily under the custody of the Ministry of the Armed Forces, and later transferred to the Santa Ifigenia Cemetery in Santiago de Cuba, along the mortal remains of her comrades who assaulted the Mocada Garrison.


News on Cuba - March 9, 2014 PDF Print E-mail

AI Rejects Injustice against The Cuban Five

London, Mar 8 (Prensa Latina) Amnesty International (AI) ratified today its doubts about the impartiality of the trial that gave harsh prison sentences in the United States to five anti-terrorist Cuban fighters and reiterated its call to revise the case to repair injustices committed.

Speaking in London before an international commission investigating the case of The Cuban Five, Angela Wright, a representative of AI, said that these men (Gerardo Hernández, Ramón Labañino, Antonio Guerrero, Fernando González and René González) were tried without enjoying the most basic rights, like due process.

She said serious concerns are included in a report presented by AI in 2010 that remain unsolved, like pressure upon the jury amid a negative environment for Cuba in Miami and the court's lack of impartiality.

She also recalled denunciation made about payments to Miami-based journalists to spread information against Cuba and discredit the defendants.

Wright also recalled that a specialized UN committed ruled that there was not due process in the case of The Cuban Five, as these men are internationally known, and the principles of impactiality and equal treatment, measures and circumstances por the parties involved were violated.

Given the urgency of the case, mainly related to Gerardo Hernandez, unfairly given to two life sentences, Wright said that "we will continue with the appeals," and demanded US authorities to revise the case and "repair the injustices."

Of these five Cuban heroes, Gerardo, Antonio and Ramon remain in prison after Rene and Fernando fully served their sentences and returned to Cuba.

Cuban Hero Denounces US-Based Terrorism against Cuba

London, Mar 7.- Anti-terrorist Cuban fighter René González denounced today US-based groups that perpetrate terrrorist actions against Cuba and called for intensifying the demand for the release of his comrades still imprisoned in the United States.

Gonzalez testified via Skype to an international commission gathered here to investigate the case of the five anti-terrorist Cuban fighters arrested by US authorities in 1998 for monitoring Florida-based terrrorist groups operating against Cuba.

Gonzalez left prison two years ago after fully serving a harsh prison sentence and returned to Cuba in 2013 after giving up his US citizenship. Fernando Gonzalez served his over 15-year prison sentence and returned to Cuba a week ago.

Their comrades Gerardo Hernandez, Antonio Guerrero and Ramon Labanino are still in prison.

They are all internationally known as The Cuban Five.

Gonzalez gave names and details about groups and individuals committed to plan and execute terrorist attacks against Cuba.

He cited the Cuban-American National Foundation, Brothers to the Rescue and the Democracy Movement, as well as notorious terrorists Luis Posada Carriles, Orlando Bosch, Jose Basulto and others.

In response to questions from the commissioners, he explained the violations of due process and irregularities committed against The Cuban Five since the moment of their detention.

In this regard, he refered to the illegal classification of all documents related to the case and the conditions of their imprisonment, aspects that were denounced by a UN body and International Amnesty.

He reiterated that The Cuban Five were not in the United States to harm anyone, but to prevent terrorist actions against human life and properties.

The three commissioners Yogesh Sabharwal (India), Phillipe Texcier (France) and Zac Jaccob (South Africa) lamented Rene Gonzalez' absence in today's hearing due to Britain's refusal to grant him a visa to come to London.

You are a man of courage and great principles and morale, said Judge Jaccob, an ex member of the Constitutional Court of South Africa, in his closing speech at the hearing, which was applauded by more than 300 people present at the London College of Law. (Prensa Latina)

British Government Criticized After Denying Visa to Cuban Anti-terrorist

London, Mar 8 (Prensa Latina) The British journal The Guardian published today a protest letter against the UK government´s decision to deny Cuban anti-terrorist fighter René González an entry visa to the country. The letter is signed by Labor Party deputy Diane Abbot and National Union of Teachers general secretary Christine Blower.

The letter calls on authorities to revise the measure, highlighting that Gonzalez is the main guest of an international investigative committee in session here on the case of the Cuban Five.

The denial of the visa constitutes a political action, says the letter which also demands the measure to be lifted as a sign of transparency and openness.

Gonzalez is one of the five Cuban antiterrorist fighters who were arrested in the United States in 1998 while monitoring terrorist actions by Florida-based anti-Cuba groups and was recently released from prison after serving his sentence.

Fernando González, another member of The Cuban Five, also fully served his sentence and returned to Cuba. Gerardo Hernández, Antonio Guerrero and Ramón Labañino remain in U.S. jails.

The investigative commission, scheduled to conclude today in London, is made up by former Indian justice minister Yogesh Sabharwal, former South Africa´s Constitutional Court judge Zac Jacoob and France´s Court of Cassation judge Phillipe Texier.

Some 300 participants from Germany, Belgium, Denmark, France, Ireland, the U.K., the U.S., Sweden, Vietnam, Canada, Spain, Italy, Norway, Romania, El Salvador, Chile and Cuba are attending the hearing.

US Protection of Terrorist Posada Carriles Denounced

London, Mar 7 (Prensa Latina) The US protection to Florida-based counter-revolutionary groups operating against Cuba was broadly expounded today before an international commission investigating the case of the five anti-terrorist Cuban fighters held in US prisons for over fifteen years now.

The case of notoroius terrorist Luis Posada Carriles, the mastermind of the blowing up of a Cuban airliner in 1976 killing 73 people on board, who now lives without any restriction in Miami, emerged as a clear example in this regard.

This is a man wanted by Venezuelan justice since the 80s, accused for the attack at the plane, who escaped from jail thanks to the Cuban American National Foundation, said ex president of Cuban Parliament, Ricardo Alarcon.

Alarcon appeared today before an international commission investigating in London the case of the anti-terrorist Cuban fighters, known as The Cuban Five, unfairly held in US prisons. Alarcon said that US authorities created great confusion around international terrorist Luis Posada Carriles, despite his worldwide circulation by Interpol.

Washington invented a whole migratory affairs-related tall tale to fail to comply with a UN Security Council Resolution adopted in 2011 in the wake of the 9/11 attacks.

Under that resolution, if any person accused of terrorism who is on the run appears in a country, the authorities have to send him/her back to the place from where he escaped or judge him/her for the crime committed, said Alarcon.

Jurists Demand U.S. Release of Cuban Antiterrorists

London, Mar 9 (Prensa Latina) An international commission of jurists demanded that U.S. President Barack Obama pardon the Cuban antiterrorist fighters unjustly sentenced in the United States and release the three of them who still remain in prison.

Their release should be immediate and unconditional, according to the preliminary conclusions of judges who are investigating here the case of the Cuban antiterrorist fighters arrested in 1998 as they tried to prevent attacks on Cuba by terrorist groups.

According to the testimonies heard here, said the commissioners, none of them committed or tried to commit acts of violence or endangered the United States or its government.

They also stated that The Five, as they are known internationally, did not enjoy the basic human rights of a fair and clear trial by an independent and impartial court.

The Five were under a regime of solitary confinement for 17 months before the trial, and had no sufficient access to the documents related to their cause to prepare their defense, the commissioners noted.

They stressed that the trial was held in Miami, "where a fair trial could not be guaranteed," and emphasized the allegations about the paymentm made by the U.S. government to local reporters to publish prejudicial information against The Five.

The judges suggested that President Obama's pardon of the Five would have a significant impact on the normalization of relations between the United States and Cuba, as well as on peace and global justice.

The investigative commission was comprised of former Indian Justice Minister Yogesh Sabharwal, Zac Yaccob, former judge of the Constitutional Court of South Africa, and the judge of France's Court of Appeals, Phillipe Texier.

Cuban Women Ratify Commitment to Socialist Model

Havana, Mar 8 (Prensa Latina) General Secretary of the Women Federation (FMC), Teresa Amarelle, ratified today Cuban women''s commitment to the country''s leadership in the construction of Socialism.

During the final plenary session of the 9th Congress of the FMC, Amarelle said that the FMC members support the socioeconomic updating process implemented to contribute to the prosperity and sustainability of the model defended by the country.

For this purpose we need to increase the quality of the political and ideological work within the organization, taking into account the members' contributions from their homes and workplaces, including those in new forms of private and cooperative management promoted by Cuba, she said.

More than 60 percent of the labor, productive force in Cuba are women.

Cuba's top female leader said that the work of the Federation is focused on fighting social indisciplines and corruption, as well as on preventive and educational tasks.

Amarelle ratified the organization's solidarity with all women worldwide atill claiming for full gender equality and inclusion in their societies and noted that in Cuba our integration in all activities is a result of longstanding tradition of women struggle from colonial times.

She said this congress has helped identify the organization's problems and potentials in order to assume as new work projections.

The national committee and leadership of the FMC --elected Friday-- will be presented in this final session.

Machado Ventura Participates in Final Session of FMC Congress

HAVANA, Cuba, Mar 8 (acn) Jose Ramon Machado Ventura, second secretary of the Central Committee of the Cuban Communist Party and vice-president of the councils of State and Ministers, participated in the final session of the 9th Congress of the Federation of Cuban Women (FMC).

The forum brought together over 370 delegates and close to 120 guests at Havana’s Convention Center, where they analyzed vital issues for the FMC and society, such as the defense of human and revolutionary values, the confrontation of social indiscipline, women’s participation in the economy and their promotion to posts of responsibility.

Also present at the meeting was Esteban Lazo, member of the Politburo and president of the National Assembly of the People’s Power (Parliament).

Likewise, delegates discussed and approved the Central Report of the forum, so the work of the organization continues in tune with the Guidelines of the Economic and Social Policy of the Party and the Revolution, and with the National Follow-Up Plan of the 4th World Conference on Women’s Rights.

The new Secretariat and the National Committee of the FMC, elected by way of direct and secret vote, were presented.


News on Cuba - March 7, 2014 PDF Print E-mail

Extensive Debate in London on Cuban Antiterrorists' Case

London, Mar 6 (Prensa Latina) Everything is ready in this capital to begin tomorrow two working days of an international commission that will inquiry about the case of the five Cuban antiterrorist fighters unjustly condemned in 2001 in the United States.

The inquiry will demonstrate the influence the U.S. government has exercised on the Miami press during the trial that handed down harsh sentences against those men, who preventing terrorist plans by anti-Cuban right wing groups based in Florida.

Another objective is to ratify the real magnitude of the terrorist aggressions Cuba has suffered by those organizations, and The Five's work to prevent those attacks against the Cuban population.

Rene Gonzalez, one of the five Cuban antiterrorist fighters arrested in 1998 and who completed his prison sentences two years ago, should participate in the first day of sessions at the London Law Society.

However, the United Kingdom authorities denied him a visa to travel to London, a decision that was immediately condemned by the sponsors of the meeting, particularly the Cuba Solidarity Campaign from this European country. Gonzalez could not attend today a reception the House of Commons will offer to mark the works of the international commission.

Fernando Gonzalez, another of the five Cuban antiterrorist fighters unjustly condemned in 2001, was released from prison one week ago, after completing his sentence and returned to Cuba.

Gerardo Hernandez, Ramon Labañino and Antonio Guerrero remain in prison.

Sara Chandler, president of the Human Rights Commission of the European Bar Associations, former Indian Justice Minister Yogesh Sabharwal, and Zac Jacoob, former judge of the South African Constitutional Court, among others, will participate in the first session on Friday.

The forum's program is divided in issues that will discuss the activities of The Five in Miami, to prevent terrorist attacks against Cuba, and partiality of the trial against them, and includes the testimonies of victims of those attacks.

The president of the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples, Kenia Serrano, and the former president of island Parliament, Ricardo Alarcon, are already in London for the works of the commission.

Other figures attending this sessions are former U.S. federal attorney Ramsey Clark, and awarded American novelist Alice Walker, author of The Color Purple. American lawyer Martin Garbus, who defended the Cuban Antiterrorist fighters, will talk about the influence by Washington about the Miami press during the trial against The Five.

The meeting has received more than 6,000 examples of support by renowned figures, such as former Canterbury Archbishop Rowan Williams, former European Parliament president Miguel Angel Martínez (Spain), and Baroness Helena Kennedy (United Kingdom).

Also on the list are famous American actor Danny Glover, Brazilian writer Fernando Morais, British novelist John Le Carre, and Nobel Prizewinners Gunter Grass (Germany), Adolfo Perez Esquivel (Argentina), and Nadine Gordimer (South Africa).

Canadian Author Captures Interest in USA re Antiterrorists' Case

Washington, Mar 5 (Prensa Latina) Canadian writer Stephen Kimber has completed a successful book tour in the United States, arousing interest in the case of the Cuban anti-terrorist fighters unjustly condemned in this country, said the International Committee for the Freedom of the Cuban Five today.

Kimber's tour included stops at six universities, community centers, and churches in northern California, as part of the launch of his book "What Lies Across the Water: The Real Story of the Cuban Five." That volume is the result of extensive research that included the review of more than 20,000 pages of court records about the case of Gerardo Hernandez, Ramon Labañino, Antonio Guerrero, Rene Gonzalez and Fernando Gonzalez.

The men are known as the Cuban Five, and received harsh sentences after a rigged trial in 2001, for monitoring violent groups based in Florida that were planning and executing terrorist actions like those that have claimed more than 3,400 victims in Cuba over the last 53 years.

Three of the men remain in prison. Rene González was the first to be released on October 7, 2001, after completing his prison sentence. He returned to his homeland in May 2013 after resigning his U.S. citizenship, ending an additional punishment of three years of probation in the U.S. after his release from prison.

Fernando González (no relation) returned to Cuba on February 28, 2014, after completing his sentence the previous day at an Arizona prison, in the southwestern United States.

Among the outstanding moments of the tour, the Committee mentioned the discussion by a group of students at San Francisco State University about the importance of achieving justice for the Five, and linking the case to other problems of injustice and inequality in the United States.

Kimber's tour began February 24 and continued through yesterday, with Richmond's Mayor Gayle McLauglin participating in the presentations. The writer will continue his activities from today through Saturday, March 8, in additional U.S. and Canadian cities, as part of the program to commemorate the 100th consecutive month of actions by the Vancouver Committee for the Release of the Five.

Canada Holds 100th Months Support to Cuban Antiterrorists

Ottawa, Mar 5 (Prensa Latina) The Vancouver Committee for the Release of the Cuban antiterrorist fighters unjustly condemned in the United States will hold today 100th consecutive months of solidarity actions with those men, in such Canadian city.

The group's coordinator Tamara Hansen told Prensa Latina that the 100th campaign will be held in front of the U.S. consulate in this city, to demand the immediate and unconditional release of Gerardo Hernandez, Ramon Labañino and Antonio Guerrero.

Since 2005, the members of that Canadian organization supported by the local population carry out the fifth day of each month similar actions in support to the Cuban antiterrorist fighters, who along to his already released compatriots, Rene Gonzalez and Fernando Gonzalez, are international known as The Five.

The Five were arrested on September 12, 1998, while monitoring violent groups based in southern Florida, from where they planned actions like those that have killed more than 3,400 people in Cuba over the last 53 years.

Rene was released from prison on October 7, 2011 after completing his prison sentence and returned to his homeland in May 2013, after resigning his U.S. citizenship, to end a three-year additional punishment under supervised release.

Meanwhile, Fernando returned to the Caribbean country on Feb. 28, after completing the day before his sentence at an Arizona prison, in the south-western United States.

According to Hansen, several activities are holding from today to Saturday, Mar. 8, in Vancouver, Nanaimo, Kamloops, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec, Chicago, San Francisco, and Seattle, to commemorate 100th consecutive months of solidarity initiatives.

He said that as part of the program, there will be a tribute to late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, concerts with Canadian and foreign artists, vigils, and talks with journalist Stephen Kimber, author of the book "What Lies Across the Water: The Real Story of the Cuban Five."

New Mexican Samples in Solidarity with Cuban Five

Mexico, Mar 5 (Prensa Latina) The Mexican Movement of Solidarity with Cuba (MMSC) presented today at the US Embassy a letter to President Barack Obama demanding the release of the Cuban Five imprisoned in the northern country.

This movement carries a letter with the demand to be let the Cuban antiterrorist fighters free, "the Cubans unjustly imprisoned in the U.S. for over 15 years", every 5th day of every month.

Representing the MMSC, Ana and Mario Rodrigo Zárate delivered the letter to U.S. diplomats.

Both activists agreed to state that after the release of Fernando González and René González, after serving their long and unfair sentences, the struggle continues for the freedom of their three companions, Gerardo Hernández, Antonio Guerrero and Ramón Labañino.

Moreover, the Association of Cuban Residents in the Mexican city of Cancun issued a statement in support of those countrymen and also demands "the immediate release of the three other heroes who deserve to go home."

The Cuban Five were arrested and unfairly convicted in the United States for monitoring the actions by terrorist groups operating in the US, with a great impunity.

Cuba Rejects Interference in Venezuela and Ukraine

Havana, Mar 6 (Prensa Latina) Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez condemned today pro-interference policies against Venezuela and Ukraine that encourage violence and prevent citizens in those countries from exercising their rights.

In a press conference, Rodriguez rejected the resolutions approved by the UN Senate and House and the pro-interference attempts by the Organization of American States against Venezuela.

He expressed Cuba's unswerving, full solidarity with Venezuela against attempts to destabilize and topple the government and the interference into its internal affairs, mainly by the United States.

He commented that violence generated in that country by right wing groups has caused several deaths and numerous wounded, and prevented Venezuelan citizens from exercvising their rights, and all this deserves condemnation.

"Venezuela has the right to defend its independence and sovereignty," said Cuba's top diplomat, who added that Cuban workers will continue fulfilling their duty and sharing the fate of the heroic Venezuelan people under any circumstance..

Regarding Ukraine, Rodriguez stressed that the violent toppling of a constitutional government at the price of dozens of dead and wounded through the intervcention of the United States and some NATO allies cannot be accepted.

Cuba rejects the evident hipocrisy and double standard in the NATO discourse, said Rodriguez.

History will demand responsibility from the United States and its allies for the consequences of this increasingly offensive military doctrine that threatens sovereignty and independence of all states without exception, he said.

Rodriguez stated that the attempt to extend NATO to the borders of the Russian Federation constitutes a flagrant violation of international lawe and the UN Charter, and threatens international peace, security and stability.

Geneva Denounces Case of Cuban Antiterrorists Imprisoned in USA

Geneva, Mar 6 (Prensa Latina) Former Cuban Minister of Foreign Affairs Abelardo Moreno today denounced at the Human Rights Council the case of the Cuban antiterrorist fighters who are serving long and unjust sentences in U.S. prisons.

The Five, as they are universally known, were convicted by a federal court in Florida on charges that were never proven, during a long and legal trial full of irregularities and violations of legal and human rights, Moreno stated. Those fighters actually worked to prevent terrorist actions against Cuba, as well as against citizens from other countries, including the United States.

Two of the five, Rene Gonzalez and Fernando Gonzalez, were released from prison after completing their sentence, while Gerardo Hernandez, Ramon Labañino and Antonio Guerrero remain in prison.

In his speech at the high-level segment of the Human Rights Council, the deputy foreign minister recalled that those Cubans were held in solitary confinement for more than 17 months, the access to their lawyers was limited, and the visit of their relatives was prohibited.

He said that during all this time, they have had to suffer in the distance the loss of their loved ones, have been separated from their relatives, and left to see their children grow up, and one of them suffers a serious medical problem on his knees that may affect his ability motion.

"The U.S. President has legal authority to order their immediate release, the former Cuban foreign minister said.

Machado Ventura Reaffirms support of Cuba to Venezuela

HAVANA, Cuba, Mar 6 (acn) José Ramón Machado Ventura, second secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba, reaffirmed in Havana that Cuba supports the Bolivarian Government of Venezuela, in the face of the onslaught of the fascist opposition in that country.

Speaking at the central act of homage to Hugo Chavez, on the first anniversary of the passing of the Bolivarian leader, held at the Universal Hall of the Revolutionary Armed Forces, Machado Ventura denounced the attempt to coup in that nation.

He also expressed the belief that the Venezuelan revolutionary people will defeat the local reactionary forces, supported by the international extreme right that seeks to eliminate the gains of the process that began with the rise to power of Chavez in 1999.

The life and work of the eternal Commander-president was evoked in the emotional ceremony, also attended by members of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of Cuba, Miguel Diaz-Canel, first vice president of the Councils of State and Ministers, and the Commander of the Revolution Ramiro Valdés and the Hero of the Republic René González, one of the five antiterrorist fighters unjustly convicted in the United States.

Edgar Antonio González Martínez, charge d'affaires ad interim of the Embassy of Venezuela in Cuba thanked the solidarity of the Government and people of the island, and reaffirmed the U.S. complicity with the violence aimed at destabilizing the Bolivarian Revolution.

In Geneva, Cuba Rejects Destabilizing Actions Against. Venezuela

Geneva, Mar 6 (Prensa Latina) Cuba denounced today at the Council on Human Rights the destabilizing actions perpetrated in Venezuela that, in addition of violating law and order, are intended to forcibly overthrow the constitutional government.

Speaking at the 25th ordinary session of the Council, Cuban Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Abelardo Moreno recalled that Venezualan authorities were elected by a sovereign vote in that nation, the only one with the ability to decide its own destiny.

"The actions by destabilizing groups incited from abroad and promoted by irresponsible media manipulation and by minority fascist sectors in Venezuela should be condemned and repudiated in the strongest terms by the international community," he said.

During his speech at the high-level segment of the Council, Moreno stated that when that agency was established, there were many doubts concering an entity where cooperation and genuine dialogue should prevail.

Cuba, which had suffered politicization, double standards, and selectivity from the former Commission on Human Rights, always gave it the benefit of the doubt, he stressed.

"Seven years after the establishment of that Council we confirm that the same formula, double standards and ideological manipulation that brought about the discredit of the Commission have unfortunately transferred now to Venezuela in many cases.

Moreno also alluded to the violations of the right to privacy of millions of citizens worldwide due to scandalous global spying, which is another violation of State sovereignty

Kenia Serrano: Commission in London, a unique experience

London, March 7. - The president of the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples, Kenia Serrano, wrote on Facebook that the first session of the International Commission of Inquiry on the case of the Cuban Five, sitting in London, "is a unique experience in the struggle for the freedom of Tony, Ramon and Gerardo".

The also Member of the Cuban Parliament attends in the British capital the deliberations of the International Commission of Inquiry, integrated among others by Yogesh Sabharwal, a former head of Justice of India; Zac Jacoob, former judge of the Constitutional Court of South Africa; and Phillipe Texier, judge of the French Court of Appeals, who will dictate on the case.

The participants – renowned jurists, parliamentarians, intellectuals, artists – come from Germany, Belgium, Denmark, France, Ireland, United Kingdom, United States, Sweden, Vietnam, Canada, Switzerland, Spain, Italy, Norway, Romania, El Salvador, Chile and Cuba.

At the end of the first session of the meeting, Kenia Serrano posted on Facebook: "the testimonies of victims of terrorism, experts, and lawyers have been overwhelming. Tell and tell our truth, we will not tire in the urgent need to pull out the Five from these prisons".

The President of the ICAP commented on the statement made by Ricardo Alarcón, former president of the Cuban Parliament, in the afternoon panel, "on the way in which, in 2008, the charge of conspiracy to commit espionage was dismissed by the Court of Atlanta when Fernando, Ramon and Antonio were re-sentenced ".

This Friday will continue the appearances of well-known personalities from Cuba and other countries, and victims of terrorism against the Caribbean nation, before the commission enquiring on the case of the Cuban terrorist fighters imprisoned in the United States.

International Commission on Cuban Antiterrorists Begins

London, Mar 7 (Prensa Latina) Convincing testimonies by experts and victims of terrorist actions against Cuba marked the beginning today here of the works of an international commission investigating the case of the Cuban antiterrorist fighters unjustly condemned in the United States.

Hearings began with a criticism to the decision by the United Kingdom government of not granting visa to travel to London to Rene Gonzalez, the first of those men who was released from prison, after completing his sentence imposed by U.S. courts.

The almost 300 participants in the meeting listened to a detailed explanation by lawyer Martin Garbus, defender of The Five, about the development of the case since the detention of Rene, Gerardo Hernandez, Antonio Guerrero, Ramon Labañino, and Fernando Gonzalez in 1998.

They also knew the personal matters of the work by notorious terrorists against Cuba, such as Luis Posada Carriles and Orlando Bosh, during an explanation given by Lieutenant Colonel Roberto Hernandez Caballero, a researcher of the Cuban Ministry of Interior.

Two of the most shocking moments of the first session of the commission were starred by Bettina Palenzuela and Margarita Morales.

The first one is the daughter of Adriana Corcho, a diplomatic official who died as a result of a bomb attack in April 1976 against the Cuban embassy in Lisbon.

The second one lost his father, a technical director of the fencing team who died in the sabotage to a Cubana de Aviacion airplane in Barbados in 1976, in which 73 people were killed.

Both agreed that fighting for the release of The Five is to honor the memory of thousands of victims of terrorism in Cuba, and pointed out the need to imprison Posada Carriles, who lives freely in Miami, despite his many crimes.

The investigating commission is comprised of former Indian Justice Minister Yogesh Sabharwal, Zac Yaccob, former member of the Constitutional Court of South Africa, and France's Court of Cassation judge Phillipe Texier.

Participants come from Germany, Belgium, Denmark, France, Ireland, the United Kingdom, the United States, Sweden, Vietnam, Canada, Switzerland, Spain, Italy, Norway, Romania, El Salvador, Chile, and Cuba, organizers said.

British Lawmakers Support Cuban Antiterrorists Jailed in the US

HAVANA, Cuba, March 7 (acn) Lawmakers of different political parties in the United Kingdom demanded the release of three Cuban anti-terrorist fighters who are still held in US prisons and they also called for more international actions.

The initiative was put forth by Baroness Angela Smith, who chairs the All Party Group, which supports the cause of Gerardo Hernandez, Antonio Guerrero, Ramon Labanino; Fernando Gonzalez and Rene Gonzalez, the two latter ones are already free in Cuba.

Known as the Cuban Five, these men were arrested in 1998 in the United States while trying to thwart violent plans against Cuba by Florida-based terrorist organizations.

Smith, a member of the Labor Party, headed a meeting of the All Party Group on Thursday with personalities from different countries, who are attending an international investigation commission on the case of the anti-terrorist fighters.

Also attending the meeting was Baroness Gloria Hopper, member of the Conservative Party, as well as deputies from Scotland and Northern Ireland, Germany and Belgium.

The forum, held at the House of Commons was also attended by the vicepresident of the European Parliament Miguel Angel Martinez and by former US Attorney General Ramsey Clark.

On the Cuban side were former parliament president Ricardo Alarcon, the president of the Cuban Friendship Institute and also deputy Kenia Serrano and relatives of the Cuban Five, as well as victims of terrorist actions committed against Cuba.

In remarks during the meeting, Ricardo Alarcon said that the solution to the case of the three jailed anti-terrorist fighters is out of the courts and he recalled that Rene and Fernando were freed only after they served their complete prison sentences.

Argentinian Youth Undertake International Tour of The Five

Buenos Aires, Mar 7 (Prensa Latina) Two Argentinian youth undertook an international tour including 16 countries to take the message of support to the release of the three Cuban antiterrorist fighters who are still imprisoned in the United States.

Grace Prounesti, recent graduate in labor law with outstanding marks, and Diego Suarez, took flight first to New Zealand, to continue later to Australia, Thailand, Vietnam, India, Nepal, and Pakistan, and meet with the committees of solidarity and friendship with Cuba of those countries.

Also on the list is to visit this year the Republic of Congo, Angola, Morocco, Algeria, Egypt, Greece, Italy, France, the Czech Republic, Switzerland, and Spain.

The idea is to share the claim of the Argentinians who want the release of Gerardo Hernandez, Ramon Labañino and Antonio Guerrero. Fernando Gonzalez and Rene Gonzalez are already in Cuba, Prounesti told Prensa Latina.

Cuba Accepts Political Dialogue with the European Union

HAVANA, Cuba, Mar 6 (acn) Cuba welcomes the proposal of the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy of the European Union (EU), Catherine Ashton, of starting a political dialogue with Havana, said on Thursday Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez.

At a press conference held at the headquarters of the Foreign Ministry in this capital, Rodriguez pointed out that the decision was informed to the EU Ambassador to Cuba, Herman Portocarero, in response to a request made by that block on February 10.

He stated that Cuba will act constructively, in order to resume the political dialogue and cooperation on a reciprocal basis, without conditions, in full respect for the sovereign equality of States, the legal framework and institutional arrangements of the parties.

Also, it will do so in full accordance with the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of States, he underlined.

Cuban Women Hold 9th Congress of their National Federation

HAVANA, Cuba, March 7 (acn) With the participation of 373 delegates the Cuban Women´s Federation (FMC) is holding its 9th Congress at Havana´s Conventions Palace focusing on issues related to the role of women in society.

The forum´s agenda also includes other topics such as equality of rights, the image and presence of women and their organization in the media, as well as the performance of the Federation.

Participants will first gather in working commissions prior to a plenary session scheduled to take place Saturday in which they will debate the central report to the Congress and the conclusions reached at the commissions. The presentation of the National Secretariat and Committee of the Federation will take place also on Saturday, final day of the forum, which marks International Women´s Day.

The Congress was preceded by an assembly process in the bases, in which Federation members exposed and debated their concerns and initiatives to have their organization at the center of the social and economic transformations underway in the country.

Cuba Vaccinates its Children against Polio

HAVANA, Cuba, March 7 (acn) The 53rd National Polio Vaccination Campaign kicked off in Cuba on Friday to keep all children immune against that contagious disease that affects the central nervous system, and which was officially eradicated on the island in 1962.

Some 383 thousand 671 Cuban children from 30 days to two years, 11 months and 29 days of age will be administered the dose, while another 119 thousand 899 kids of nine years will have the vaccine reactivated.

Cuba was the first Latin American nation to have eradicated polio. However, other infectious diseases such as neo-natal tetanus, diphtheria, measles, pox and others, were also eradicated. Meanwhile, other diseases like influenza type B, Hepatitis B and meningococcal meningitis are being reported in low levels of appearance and are no longer a health problem in Cuba.

Thanks to the political will of the Cuban state and the improvement of its immunization program, currently administering 11 vaccines, Cuban children are fully protected against preventable diseases.

Neurologic Congress Focuses on Autism on its Final Session on Friday

HAVANA, Cuba, March 7 (acn) Autism disorders have been at the center of discussions during the final session Friday of the 4th International Neurological Restoration Conference, which has session in Havana this week.

Experts with the International Neurological Restoration Center (CIREN) have been debating the disorders in autistic patients, which affect language and social communication.

Cuban and Brazilian specialists have been working in a project to evaluate the effectiveness of tests in patients suffering from the disorder, first analyzed in 1943, said the director of the Children Neurological Clinic at CIREN.

The project was first tested on Cuban children as it includes neuro-physiological, biochemical and other studies to classify the patients before an intensive and personalized treatment is administered by a multidisciplinary team.

The final session of the Conference, attended by over 300 delegates from 20 nations, also addressed neuropathic pain and the dynamic treatment of chronic pain.

Terry Fox Marathon of Hope will be on March 15

HAVANA, Cuba, Mar 6 (acn) The Terry Fox Marathon of Hope, in its 14th edition, will be held on March 15th throughout Cuba, with the special motivation of promoting the fight against cancer through exercise.

Children, youth and adults, in all Cuba’s municipalities, rural and mountain population centers of the country, will honor the young Canadian victim of the disease.

At 18, Fox suffered the amputation of his right leg, six inches above the knee, and ran 42 kilometers daily during 143 consecutive days using a prosthesis.

Carlos Gattorno, director of Marabana / Maracuba project, told reporters today that the race can be attended by people in accordance with their physical capabilities, in an event that will not have awards. He added that the starting signal will be given at 10 am by Radio Reloj station.

Gattorno also urged Cubans to massively attend the race, as an expression of solidarity that characterizes the people of Cuba.

Terry Fox died at age 22, but his will, effort and sacrifice in the struggle for life serves as example to the new generations.


News on Cuba - March 4, 2014 PDF Print E-mail

Cuban Anti-Terrorists Nominated for Human Rights Award

Washington, Mar 4 (Prensa Latina) The International Committee for the Freedom of the Five has nominated the Cuban anti-terrorists for the Human Rights People''s Choice Award 2014, which acknowledges the work of people or institutions in defense of human rights.(To vote for the nomination)

The organization said that it had nominated Gerardo Hernández, Fernando González, Ramón Labañino, Antonio Guerrero and René González, known internationally as the Cuban Five, because they fought to protect the Cuban people as well as citizens from the U.S. and other countries from terrorist violence.

They risked their lives to protect the lives of thousands. Instead of honoring them, the United States has sentenced them to long and unjust penalties.

In spite of that, the Cuban Five stand tall and face their sentences with dignity. This nomination is yet another way to make U.S citizens aware of the case, the organization added.

The Cuban Five were arrested while they were monitoring anti-Cuban groups based in Miami, whose actions have left more than 400 victims over the last 53 years in Cuba.

Gerardo, Antonio and Ramón remain in jail despite the international campaign for their immediate release.

René González was released on October 7th, 2011 after 13 years in prison, a period of supervised release and the renunciation of his US citizenship, while Fernando returned to the island last February 28th, after serving the final day of his sentence in an Arizona penitentiary in the United States.

The Committee has called on the international community to submit supporting votes for the nomination until March 21st.

The Human Rights People's Choice Award Contest is part of the annual award ceremony organized by the California-based social activists group Global Exchange since 2002.

Medical Students Pay Tribute to Hugo Chavez on Anniversary of his Death

Ciego de Avila, March 4 (acn) Cuban and foreign medical students in the central-eastern province of Ciego de Avila produced a multimedia work to pay homage to Bolivarian leader Hugo Chavez in the first anniversary of his death.

The students, who make up the Hugo Chavez Solidarity Brigade at the Medical Faculty in the Municipality of Moron, collected simple but unforgettable images of the Venezuelan leader to make the multimedia, including photos, songs and also texts that tell about different chapters of his life and work, student Yoander Nordelo told PL news agency.

Nordelo said that the initiative is part of actions by the brigade during the current world campaign recalling Chavez on March 5, which marks the anniversary of his death. He added that the multimedia will be consultation document for new generations of Cubans since it contains passages of Chavez’ family life, his military career, the revolutionary movement in which participated as well as his first steps in politics and his election campaigns.

Cuban Doctors Contribute to National Cancer Program in East Timor

HAVANA, Cuba, March 4 (acn) Cuban doctors in East Timor are drawing up a comprehensive strategy to fight Cancer based on the records on the disease collected by the medical brigade in that country and with the contribution of human resources trained in Cuba.

The announcement came in on Monday at a meeting between East Timor’ s health minister and several Cuban oncology advisors, the coordinator of the Cuban medical brigade, Rolando Montero and the island’s ambassador to that country Luis Julian Laffite, according to an article posted on the website of the Cuban Foreign Ministry.

The meeting focused on the work of the oncologists since they arrived in Timor and their setting up of an oncology facility, which was requested by the Timorese party during a visit to Cuba by the president of that nation.

The Cuban specialists explained the minister about actions to implement a cancer prevention and treatment program bearing in mind the records collected in the country and the setting up of a comprehensive strategy to start working on that field.

The Timorese minister thanked the Cuban advisors for their visit and said that the fight on cancer will be a priority for his country’s Health Ministry this year and he underscored the Cuban assistance to draw up a national strategy to control the disease, which will include primary health care of oncologic patients in their own homes.

Novel Results on Ataxias in World Meeting in Havana

HAVANA, Cuba. Mar 3 (acn) International and Cuban experts in the study of ataxias will present in a world forum results on the etiology, physiopathology, genetics, molecular biology and treatment of these hereditary diseases.

In the 4th International Scientific Conference “Neurological Restoration 2014,” on March 5-7 in this capital, specialists of the Center for the Attention of Hereditary Ataxias of Holguin (CIRAH) will expound the effects of this degenerative ailment of the nervous system which has diverse causes and that in Cuba affects more the population of this eastern region.

Together with researchers of the International Center for Neurological Restoration (CIREN) and as part of the meeting, the 6th International Symposium on Hereditary Ataxias will be held, Doctor Emilio Villa, president of the organizing committee and director of this prestigious institution told ACN.

The scientist explained that the course Scientific and Clinical Aspects of Parkinson Disease and Cerebellum Ataxias will also take place, in which Doctor in Sciences Michele Tagliati, director of the Program of Movement Disorders of the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center of the United States, will participate.

According to specialists, hereditary ataxias are characterized by loss of movement coordination, alteration of balance, language and walk, and difficulty to swallow food, among other symptoms.

Article: Cuban pharmaceuticals expanding in the region

Cuba’s biotechnolgy and pharmaceutical industry is taking positive steps toward a better positioning in the region since the creation of the BioCubaFarma company, authorized to establish joint ventures with high technology firms from abroad and build production facilities in the Mariel Special Development Zone (ZEDM), west of Havana.

It is worth recalling that this success is the result of a vision expressed many years ago by the historic leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro, and the consistent efforts of an underdeveloped country which has been subjected to an ironclad blockade for more than 50 years by the United States. Despite these obstacles, Cuba now possesses a biotechnology industry which compares favorably to those of developed countries.

Cuban biotechnology was described in the prestigious British journal Nature as the best in the Third World, and has developed unique products which have had an important impact internationally.

The industry’s expansion into the production of generic non-patented medicines has made Cuban companies much more competitive, reported BioCubaFarma Vice-President Dr. José Luis Fernández Yero, during an interview with Granma International.

BioCubaFarma was founded November 27, 2012, by way of a decree – no.307 – approved by the Council of Ministers, and is composed of a central management body and 38 production companies, distributors and service providers, located in the West Havana Scientific Pole, in addition to the QUIMEFA state enterprise.

Fernández explained that BioCubaFarma has as its mission the development of an enterprise system capable of producing significant volumes of medications, equipment and advanced technology services - to improve the health of the Cuban people and generate exports of goods and services.

The doctor reported that the industry manufactures a total of 1,099 products, including generics and those based on Cuban biotechnology. Of these, 592 are distributed as part of the basic inventory of 888 essential drugs available throughout the country’s public health system.

He added that more than 100 bio-technology products are under development, in addition to several pieces of medical equipment. The objective is to promote early diagnoses, prevention and timely, non-invasive treatment, as well as the effective control of metabolic illnesses such as high blood pressure and diabetes, and chronic, non-infectious diseases such as cancer, the principal cause of death in 10 of the country’s 16 provinces.

Among the bio-pharmaceuticals produced, Dr. Fernández emphasized, are several which are unique in the world, including Heberprot-P, which promotes the healing of foot ulcers caused by diabetes, thus reducing amputations.


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