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News on Cuba - April 21, 2014 PDF Print E-mail

Cuban President Meets with Chinese Foreign Minister

HAVANA, Cuba, April 21 (acn) Cuban President Raul Castro held talks Sunday afternoon with Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi, who paid a one-day official visit to Cuba as part of a regional tour.

The meeting affirmed the excellent relations between Beijing and Havana, which continue to strengthen towards larger development, as an expression of the friendly links between the Chinese and Cuban peoples and governments, Granma newspaper reported.

Raul Castro and Wang Yi also addressed issues of international interest.

The meeting was attended by the general director for Latin America and the Caribbean at the Chinese Foreign Ministry, Shen Zhiliang and the Chinese ambassador to Havana Zahng Tuo.

Also attending the talks was Cuban foreign minister Bruno Rodriguez.


China Ratifies its Determination to Reinforce Cooperation with Cuba

HAVANA, Cuba, April 21 (acn) Cuba is a reliable partner therefore we ratify our government’s willingness to keep reinforcing bilateral strategic cooperation, Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi in Havana.

During a meeting with Cuban foreign minister Bruno Rodriguez on Sunday Wang Yi said that his presence on the island is in tune with periodical exchange between both foreign ministries and with the objective of preparing the visit to Cuba this year by President Xi Jingping.

Wang Yi also reiterated China’s support of Cuba in multilateral forums, and against the US economic, commercial and financial blockade of the island.

Meanwhile, the Cuban foreign minister stressed the traditional friendly links between the two nations by stressing common views in the international arena, the fruitful bilateral cooperation in many sectors, and permanent exchange of experience in the construction of prosperous socialism.

Rodriguez also referred to the advancement of bilateral relations between China and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States.

Wang Yi paid an official visit to Cuba on Sunday as part of a tour that includes Venezuela, Argentina and Brazil.


Another Dutch Travel Agency Punished by US Blockade

HAVANA, Cuba, April 21 (acn) The US Department of State imposed a 5.9-million-dollar fine on the Dutch CWT B.V. travel agency for having commercial relations with Cuba.

The Us Office of Foreign Assets Control punished the Dutch company for having programmed business trips from and to the island since 2006, when its capital largely went to American owners.

According to the US office, possible violations of the US blockade by the Dutch company took place between August 8, 2006 and November 28, 2013 due to negotiations in which “Cuba or its nationals had interests” and these operations involved trips to Cuba by 44 thousand 430 people.

This is not the first time that Washington punishes a Dutch company for doing transactions with Cuba, which exposes the extra-territorial nature of the US blockade against the island.

In 2012, the US Office fined the ING Bank with 619 million dollars and in 2010 another four banks were forced to jointly pay over 502 million dollars for similar reasons.

The US anti-Cuba measure has cost the people of Cuba over one trillion, 157 billion dollars and it entails a violation of the UN Charter and International Law.

The US blockade has been overwhelmingly condemned by the international community over the past 22 years at the UN General Assembly.


ULAN Strengthens Regional Information Alliance in Havana

Havana, Apr 21 (Prensa Latina) Directors from the Latin American Union of News Agencies (ULAN) are analyzing concrete actions here today in this capital, meant to strengthen their reporting alliance.

As part of the Third General Assembly of the ULAN, taking place at the emblematic Hotel Nacional de Cuba, representatives from a dozen regional agencies are discussing the need for unity in confronting media campaigns hostile to Latin America.

Dealing with such attacks against Latin American nations and the integrationist processes are at the top of the assembly agenda.

The Third General Assembly provides an opportunity to officially present the efforts at unity that are reflected at the UNASUR website, a platform that has received contributions from its members since last year.

A declaration of support for the results from the Second Summit of Latin American and Caribbean States, as well as a statement of support for the Venezuelan people as they confront a campaign against their constitutional order are among the items planned for discussion at the meeting.

After arriving in Havana, representatives from the agencies expressed concern about the U.S. media aggression against Cuba, in the wake of the disclosure of the existence of the so-called Cuban Twitter or Zunzuneo project, designed to subvert the order in the Caribbean nation.

The ULAN was founded in Caracas, Venezuela, in 2011, with the objective of unifying and distributing Latin American voices and identities in a common effort to provide a firsthand view of Latin American and Caribbean reality.

The Third General Assembly includes executives from AVN (Venezuela), TELAM (Argentina), Prensa Latina (Cuba), ABI (Bolivia), Andina (Perú), Notimex (México), ANDES (Ecuador), Agencia Brasil, and the Uruguayan communication secretariat.


Japan and Cuba Explore Possibilities for Cooperation

HAVANA, Cuba, Apr.- (acn) Representatives of Japan and Cuba exchanged opinions in Tokyo about possibilities for mutual cooperation favoring business people of the two countries, informed the Prensa Latina news agency on Thursday.

According to the source, that topic was tackled during a meeting at the Japanese capital between Cuban ambassador Marcos Rodriguez and the president of the Japan External Trade Organization (Jetro), Hiroyuki Ishige.

Meanwhile, the Nikkei Shinbun newspaper published an article on the new Foreign Investment Law approved by the Cuban Parliament on March 29.

With a circulation of three million copies, the newspaper offered details on the development project in the port of Mariel for potential investors and offered data of fiscal incentives like the exemption of taxes over profits during the first eight years.


Cuban Seismologists Share Knowledge in Nicaragua

SANTIAGO DE CUBA, Cuba, Apr 16 (acn) Cuban seismologists share their knowledge in the assessment of the increasing telluric activity in Nicaragua, after a strong event registered on April 10.

Representing Cuba in the fraternal nation, and the National Center for Seismologic Research (CENAIS) based in this eastern city are doctors Bladimir Moreno, its director, and O´leary Gonzalez and Jose Leonardo Alvarez, who also share experiences with experts from other countries.

Grisell Morejon, scientific deputy director of the institution, said that thanks to the high technology they have, the region’s seismic activity is monitored from the central station of the National Seismologic Service and they send information to specialists in Nicaragua.

An increasing wave of telluric movements has been registered since Thursday afternoon, when the first event occurred, with a magnitude of 6.2 on the Richter scale.

Seismologists of other parts of the world have expressed their willingness to travel to Nicaragua to join the team of scientists, according to reports published by international press agencies.

 

 
Gerardo Alfonso Concert in Toronto PDF Print E-mail

By Mara Glebovs, CCFA Toronto

Gerardo AlfonsoGerardo Alfonso evoked a standing ovation for his performance at the March 22 Toronto concert of the III World Solidarity with Cuba Conference Tour. The audience of almost 100 rose to their feet applauding until Gerardo returned to the stage and treated everyone to a few more numbers. The Sanctuary of the College Street United Church provided a spiritual setting for Gerardo’s heartfelt songs of love, humanity, life, and politics. One of the songs, “Yo soy Mambi,” affirmed the Afro-Cuban contribution to Cuban culture and society. In Cuba, the word “Mambi” refers to the patriotic soldiers who defeated Spain through two of Cuba’s wars of Independence from 1868 to 1876 and again from 1895 to 1898.  It is estimated that the participation of Cubans of African descent in the Mambi Army was as high as 92%. Another song was dedicated to a friend who Gerardo had always wanted to be like, but who died very young. His well-known love song to the city of Havana, “Sabanas Blancas” delighted the audience, many of whom sang along (in this newsletter, the words appear in Spanish and in English).

In the role of MC, Julio Fonseca, Asociación de Cubanos Juan Gualberto Gómez, introduced speakers and explained the meaning of many of Gerardo’s songs. Javier Dómokos Ruiz, Consul General of Cuba, thanked everyone for coming out on a “chilly spring evening.” Sandra Ramírez Rodríguez, Director of the ICAP Canada Desk, thanked all Canadians for helping to make the tour possible. She said that 2014 was a very special year for Cuba because in Washington D.C., from June 4 to 11, there would be action to try to win the release of the three Cuban heroes who remain in prison.

The year 2014 is also very important because Havana is expecting up to 4,000 guests at the III World Solidarity with Cuba Conference in October.  Sandra said that more than 90,000 foreigners, who had studied in Cuba and were now working in medicine, engineering, and other professions in other countries, would have the opportunity to go to Cuba to see how Cuba is striving to improve its society. Conference sessions and workshops will include topics such as, “Update of Social and Economic Model of the Cuban Revolution”, “Foreign Policy of Cuban Revolution and Latin-American and Caribbean Integration”, “Socio-political Tourism in Cuba”, and “Social Networks and Alternative Media”. The conference will also include cultural and social events such as, a Cuban Night with Committees for the Defense of the Revolution (CDR), a Tribute to Camilo Cienfuegos with a march from Revolution Square to the Malecón, and a meeting with members of parliament at the House of Friendship.

In the audience were some special guests: Cuban Consuls Teresa Daisy Díaz Albuerne and Francisca Rivero Rodríguez; Consul General of Venezuela Martha Elena Prado de Marquez; Leader of the Communist Party of Canada Miguel Figueroa; author and performer Brian Gordon Sinclair; Professors Keith and Zilpha Ellis; and local jazz musician Wally Booker. The CCFA Toronto and the CNC thank them for attending the concert. Thank you also to Minister Chris Levan for his generosity in allowing us to use the Sanctuary to hold the event. Unfortunately, Chris was ill and could not join us.

Thank you to the CNC, ICAP, the CCFA Toronto, and all of the volunteers, too numerous to name, for making this concert and the cross-Canada tour possible.


 
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.

 

 
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