Fidel and Raul Honor Marti with Floral Tributes
SANTIAGO DE CUBA, Cuba, Feb 24 (acn) Floral tributes sent by historic leader Fidel Castro; Army General Raul Castro, President of the councils of State and Ministers; and the people of Cuba, were placed on Monday in this city, as an homage to Jose Marti.
Students, cadets, students of the Camilo Cienfuegos military schools, workers and combatants of the Revolution gathered by the Mausoleum keeping the mortal remains of the Apostle at the Santa Ifigenia Cemetery, on the occasion of the 119th anniversary of the resumption of the last war in Cuba against Spanish colonialism, organized by the National Hero.
Youngsters of the Camilo Cienfuegos Military School of Las Tunas province and cadets of the Granma Naval Academy took part in the ceremony held since 2002 by the Revolutionary Armed Forces at the Santiago de Cuba cemetery, a National Monument.
The actions of February 24 took place in several areas of the island. The Cry of Baire occurred in the eastern region, where local patriots, like Saturnino Lora and Florencio Salcedo, launched the slogan Independence or Death.
Cuban Working Class Congress Establishes Guidelines, Asserts Raul
HAVANA, Cuba, Feb 24 (acn) We have carried out a wonderful congress that established guidelines for the Cuban labor movement, asserted on Saturday Army General Raul Castro, First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Cuban Communist Party and President of the councils of State and Ministers while summarizing the 20th Congress of the Confederation of Cuban Workers (CTC).
In the final session of the forum, Raul pointed out that matters analyzed concern the role of the CTC and its trade unions very closely, in the ideological, political and economic process of the Revolution, approved at the Sixth Congress of the Cuban Communist Party.
Raul considered that salary does not meet all the needs of workers and their families, generating lack of motivation and apathy towards work, which influences negatively on discipline and encourages the exodus of qualified workers towards better paid activities.
In this regard, he explained that a general increase of wages in the state sector would cause an inflationary spiral in prices, if it’s not properly supported by an increase in the supply of goods and services.
But “we can’t sow in the population false expectations in the short term,” he said in the presence of the 1,200 delegates attending the working class meeting.
However, considering the contributions of medical services in exports, the Cuban President said that there will be a benefit in the health sector for its workers, a measure that will come into effect shortly.
In order to distribute wealth, pointed out Raul, you must create it first, and to do so we have to steadily increase efficiency and productivity.
The Cuban head of state informed that the process of elimination of the monetary and exchange duality is in the initial stage of preparation of conditions, which plans to use a flexible wage system, consistent with the principle of distribution in Socialism.
He recalled that the process of updating the economic and social model is aimed at creating the conditions that will allow for continuous and sustainable increase in the income of state workers, while preserving the social achievements of the Revolution.
Survey: Venezuelan President Should Stay
Caracas, Feb 24 (Prensa Latina) At least 42 percent of Venezuelans consider that President Nicolás Maduro must fulfil his presidential term through 2019, according to the latest survey carried out by Hiterlaces pollster.
Hinterlaces, which monitors the country’s political and social situation, carried its poll among 1,000 Venezuelans countrywide on Feb. 8-14, as reported by journalist Jose Vicente Rangel in the segment Confidenciales of his morning television program broadcast by private Televen national television network.
The survey also found that 29 percent of the people wanted a mid-term recall referendum, as established by the Constitution, while 23 percent consider street protests as a solution.
Meanwhile, 35 percent of people polled consider that the government must keep a firm hand on speculators and hoarders, and 29 percent thinks prudent a closer alliance with the private sector.
Hinterlases found that most people consider important their electoral participation as a tool to decide the country’s fate.
Those who fail to recognize the vote as part of the Venezuelan people’s culture are mistaken. Most people are for stability and hope rather than uncertainty.
Lat Am Art Exhibition in Cuba Honors Chavez
Havana, Feb 23 (Prensa Latina) Artworks from collections of renowned Cuban painter Servando Cabrera, which show the popular art from Latin American countries, are on display for the first time in his house museum, in the Havana neighborhood of El Vedado.
The exhibit, aimed at recovering the historic and human legacy of the painter, is part of worldwide campaign to honor great Venezuelan leader Hugo Rafael Chavez Frias, one year after his death.
More than 30 artworks, studied and kept by Servando, from Mexico, Peru, Guatemala, Brazil, Puerto Rico, Colombia, and Chile, comprise the exhibit, in which traditions and customs from the Latin American peoples are highlighted, as testimonies of their cultural heritage.
The exhibition, which will be open to public until December, reaffirms the need to protect and foster the peoples' memory and roots, one of the ideas that Chavez always defended.
Financial Times: U.S Blockade of Cuba Embarrassing, Anachronistic
London, Feb 24 (Prensa Latina) The U.S. economic blockade against Cuba is shameful, anachronistic and failed, and it is time to change that more than 50 year old policy, said the Financial Times.
In an editorial on the subject, the newspaper specializing in financial issues criticized the aggressive position maintained by Washington against Cuba, adding that "there has never been a better time for a new approach."
The article argues that in the United States, the anti-Cuban bloc that defends the economic, commercial and financial embargo, organized to suffocate the Cuban revolutionary project, has failed in its goals, and is disintegrating.
A survey conducted by the Atlantic Council revealed that the majority of the U. S citizens, including those of Cuban origin, support the normalization of relations, indicates the editorial, adding that from the international point of view, the European Union has already expressed its interest in a new approach in its ties with the Caribbean Island, while Latin American countries have a completely normal relation with Cuba.
The article added that "an opening now to Cuba, will enhance the prestige of the United States in the region."
The Financial Times notes that the Obama administration has eased certain restrictions, particularly those regarding to travel and remittances, however, it is necessary to eliminate barriers in areas such as travel to the island of U.S. citizens, expanding the list of approved exports and encouraging bilateral trade.
According to estimates from Cuban authorities, the U.S. economic blockade has caused monetary losses exceeding one trillion dollars, taking into account the depreciation of the U.S. dollar.
In addition, the Financial Times is in favor of removing Cuba from the list of terrorist sponsoring countries, drafted each year by Washington.
"Havana has a key role in Colombia's peace talks; the constant inclusion of Cuba on the list, which involves difficult financial structures, makes a mockery of that list," it says.
Cuba Proposes Strategies for UN-Promoted Development
Havana.- (Prensa Latina) Cuban specialists highlighted here today the importance of international consensus in the effective implementation of UN-promoted plans for world development from year 2015.
The experts suggestions were aimed at assessing Cuba’s proposals to draft the UN-promoted post-2015 Development Agenda.
According to Norma Goicochea, a Cuban Foreign Ministry official dealing with the issues on the Agenda, the plan ought to have a universal nature and stem from the best items of the UN-Millennium Development Goals of year 2000, but it should go beyond.
Cuba is for going beyond those Goals because they deal with very important aspects, but do not constitute by themselves a comprehensive development plan, she explained.
The Cuban official added that the agenda must be grafted according to the needs of all the planet’s inhabitants and not based on the political interests of any certain group.
Cuba is promoting an Agenda with emphasis on free, quality education and health systems, she stressed.
Participants in the panel agreed that the Agenda must have to be built on the pillars of peace, respect for human rights and the alliance of nations based on integration with fairness.
Book Fair Begins Tour of Cuba
Havana, Feb 24 (Prensa Latina) The great Cuban book and reading fair begins today a tour of the island, after 10 days of sales, launchings, and theoretical debates in this capital.
The International Book Fair again called hundreds of thousands readers eager to learn new titles, or at least make a bucolic getaway beyond the Havana Bay.
The San Carlos de la Cabaña Fortress, main venue of the fair, received dozens of thousands of visitors who as well as loaded with books, enjoyed a free concert.
This edition had Ecuador as a country guest of honor, and a delegation of writers came from that South American nation, among them Abdon Ubidia, president of ALBA Award jury on Narrative Techniques.
Not only Ubidia, but also other writers consulted by Prensa Latina, agreed that the Fair is a suitable space for debate, especially as favor approaches to several narrative techniques.
According to organizers, about two and a half million copies were put on sale, and as always book for children were the most-sought for adults who, apparently, have increasingly less time to read.
The Havana edition of the Fair met 500 intellectuals, editors, translators, and artists from 30 Latin American and European countries.
The 23rd Book Fair concluded in Havana to begin its tour nationwide through March 9.
Cuban Construction Union Leaders and Management Call for Greater Efficiency
HAVANA, Cuba, Feb 21 (acn) Cuban construction union leaders and managers agreed in this city to achieve greater business efficiency, although the first argued it must be done on the basis of better pay and productive capacity.
Agreement in this case and others took place at a meeting at the Ministry of Construction (MICONS by its Spanish acronym) between representatives of the sector to the final session of the 20th Congress of CTC (Spanish acronym for Cuban Workers Federation) and the administrative direction of the body.
The fact that payment systems improvement is essential was argued by Roberto Pupo Verdecia, who belongs to the Engineering Services Company from Holguin province.
Lázaro Martínez Conill , from Pinar del Río province, agreed with Pupo Verdecia but added his colleagues claim for more equipments and personnel to achieve better quality in their work.
In this regard, Ulises Guilarte de Nacimiento, member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba and president of the Organizing Committee of the event, clarified that means of production are acquired by each entity, so the buyer will demand quality and cost term.
The National Union of Construction Workers (SNTC by its Spanish acronym) must demand contracts strict compliance, because the employer is not required to pay deficiencies, Guilarte said.
In turn, Carlos de Dios Oquendo, SNTC general secretary, noted they must keep on working on the field of work organization, discipline and use of working time, technical preparation of works, supplies, yield, quality and training.
Angel Vilaragut Montes de Oca, MICONS First Deputy Minister, explained that in compliance with the Guidelines of the Economic and Social Policy of the Party and the Revolution, it was approved the proposal of improvement, functions, structure and composition of the body.
He added that its implementation will involve the strengthening of state work, because policies must have a financial backing, both for MICONS and Provincial Administration Councils of People's Power entities, although the latter have their corresponding allocations.
Millions of Cubans Participate in Cuban Workers Congress
Havana, Feb 21 (Prensa Latina) Some three million workers have participated in the assemblies of the 20th Congress of the Cuban Workers Federation (CTC), whose final plenary sessions are beginning here today.
The final phase of the Cuban Labor Union, bringing together 17 national workers' unions, is being held at the Havana's Conference Center through Feb. 22.
Intense activity in the CTC structures was developed starting in October 2012, among these the result and renewal of mandates in union organizations, the analysis of the new Labor Code, the basic document of the Congress, and statutes of the organization.
They included almost 66,000 assemblies to debate the basic document resulting from this forum, in which more than 2,851,000 workers participated and 192,500 proposals were submitted.
Around 1,200 delegates participating in this event are set to discuss today the functions of unions, economic efficiency, representation and unions' care for their members, as well as issues related to the support for the defense and unity of the Cuban Revolution.
The event will also deliberate on union work in the new forms of economic management accompanying the updating of the socio-economic model, particularly self-employment, and production and service cooperatives.
The meeting, according to organizers, should strengthen the role of the trade union movement, and changes underway for achieving a prosperous and sustainable socialism.
Cuba and Venezuela Sign 56 Collaboration Accords
HAVANA, Cuba, Feb 21 (acn) The governments of Cuba and Venezuela signed 56 collaboration agreements on Thursday in the areas of health, agriculture, construction, education and culture.
The accords, which were signed following the 14th Bilateral Intergovernmental Commission, in Caracas, will provide Venezuela with pharmaceuticals for the people, said Venezuelan vice-president Rafael Ramirez, who headed the delegation to the Commission.
The two governments also approved a plan to upgrade and give maintenance to over 1 thousand 600 medical equipment in 28 Venezuelan hospitals, along with the training of specialized personnel.
Other accords include technical assistance for urban gardening in what is known as family agriculture; the construction in Cuba of eight container ships for Venezuela; the improvement of education quality; the setting up of sports clubs; and community recreation centers.
The Cuban delegation to the Commission was headed by Foreign Trade and Investment minister Rodrigo Malmierca, who expressed his country’s full support of the Bolivarian Revolution amidst counterrevolutionary actions by the US-back Venezuelan rightist circles against the Bolivarian government.
Mexico, Cuba Hold Inter-Parliamentary Meeting
Mexico, Feb 21 (Prensa Latina) The 14th Mexico-Cuba Inter-Parliamentary Meeting is taking place today in this capital to strengthen ties of friendship and cooperation between the two countries, legislators attending the event said.
According to Mexican Chamber of Deputies president Ricardo Anaya, during the meeting, participants will approve actions of solidarity and friendship with representatives of the Caribbean action, as well as discuss issues linked to investment, trade, immigration, and culture.
The event will result in the normalization of ties between both governments, stated the legislator, after commenting that diplomatic relations between those Latin American nations are only the framework, but not the limit of friendly ties among these peoples, united for culture, tradition, and history.
Anaya said the meeting will also give continuity to information permanently exchanged by the parliaments in economy, productive sectors, environment, and social development.
During the opening ceremony, in which Esteban Lazo, President of the Cuban National Assembly of People's Power, and Mexican Senate president Raul Cervantes will attend, participants will clearly establish the interest of our Congress to contribute that both nations reach full development, he noted.
Lazo arrived in yesterday to the Benito Juarez International Airport in the Federal District, leading his country's delegation to attend the meeting.
In statements to Prensa Latina, the Cuban Parliament president expressed happiness of being in Mexico, a country that has maintained a historic relation with the Caribbean island.
Community Reference Hospital in Haiti Reopens
HAVANA, Cuba - (acn) As part of the cooperation program between Cuba, Venezuela, UNASUR-Argentina and Haiti, the Community Reference Hospital of Ennery, in the Department of Artibonite, Haiti, was reopened.
Present in the ceremony were the ambassadors of Cuba and Venezuela, Ricardo Garcia and Pedro Antonio Canino, respectively; Florance Duperval Guillaume, Haiti’s Minister of Public Health; and Rodolfo Mattarollo, representative of the Office of UNASUR to that nation, the Cuban Foreign Ministry’s Web site reported on Thursday.
The hospital was rebuilt and expanded in 144 days, and it was worth 571,926.00 U.S. dollars donated by UNASUR-Argentina.
During her speech, Minister Duperval praised the work of Cuban voluntary workers, describing it as the most important aid received from abroad, and underlined the role of preventive medicine.
Mattarollo extolled the work carried out by Cuban cooperation and expressed his gratitude for the opportunity of having been part of that project.
Venezuela Condemns Obama's Statements
Caracas, Feb 20 (Prensa Latina) Venezuela condemned U.S. president Barack Obama's declarations saying they represent a new interference in Venezuela's internal affairs and are based on false information without any foundation.
In a statement, President Nicolás Maduro condemned Obama's statements in Mexico and said the fact that Obama keeps attacking a free and sovereign country in Latin America, is an offense to the heroic land of the Aztecs, Villa and Zapata, and the noble Mexican people.
Maduro stressed that what sovereign governments worldwide are really expecting is an explanation of why the White House finances, encourages and defends opposition forces that promote violence in Venezuela.
He added that Deputy Assistant Secretary Alex Lee has no right to condition or threaten the Venezuelan government because of its decision to prosecute those responsible for the recent violent acts.
The Venezuelan government repeats that it will continue to monitor and take all necessary actions to prevent U.S. agents from spreading violence and destabilization, and keep the world informed of President Obama's interventionist policy against our country, he added.
Pacifist Intention Prevails in Fighting Venezuelan Subversion
Caracas.- (Prensa Latina) The Venezuelan government combines its iron will with peace through dialogue, tuning its mechanisms to face subversion still prevailing here in several states.
In addressing the nation yesterday, President Nicolas Maduro called on the people again to reflect and choose dialogue to work on the Coexistence and Peace Plan presented to the nation on February 14.
Violent groups keep control of several places in the capital and in the states of Carabobo, Nueva Esparta, Zulia, Lara, Merida and Tachira.
According to Minister for Interior Relations, Justice and Peace, Miguel Rodriguez, terror and fear abound with the verified presence of Colombian paramilitaries that worsen the conflict, mainly in Tachira.
In this regard, Maduro said he was decided to resolve with firm hand the big problem in Tachira, one of the states involved in smuggling Venezuelan goods through the border with Colombia.
Rodriguez ordered to create a border checkpoint to restore order, sending additional forces, as well as a ban on carrying weapons and other gradual actions in line with the Constitution of the Republic.
Meanwhile, Governor of Merida, Alexis Ramirez, announced today the criminal presence of the Colombian paramilitaries among reactionary sectors that acted against security forces and the people called to violence by the opposition.
As the National Bolivarian Armed Force (Fanb), the National Guard (GHB) and all the peace loving population respond to state interests, the Venezuelan Government strongly repudiated today remarks made by US President Barack Obama on Feb.19 based on false information.
Through an official communiqué, the Government urges Washington to explain why it funds and defends opponents who are promoting violence in Venezuela.
The document ratifies that the National Executive of Venezuela will continue implementing the necessary actions to prevent US agents from destabilizing the country.
Venezuelan Government Denounces Media Manipulation
Caracas, Feb 21 (Prensa Latina) Executive Vice President of Venezuela, Jorge Arreaza, denounced today the manipulation of the media which distort the position of Government regarding exchanges with the opposition.
Through the Twitter social network, Arreaza said that "the distortion of domestic and foreign media is unbelievable.
According to them, the President of the Republic Nicolas Maduro, is the one who is not willing to hold talks."
In that regard, he reminded that Maduro had "opened the dialog on December 18th and invited opposition leaders to launch the Plan for Peace and they did not attend".
"Maduro called opposition governors and majors to the Federal Governing Council (CFG) this week and they did not attend either," he said.
"Maduro also invited leaders of the opposition student movement to hold a meeting with him and they did not give any answer," said Arreaza.
Nicaragua´s President Denounces U.S. Intentions Against Venezuela
Managua, Feb 21 (Prensa Latina) Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega said the United States is trying to concentrate forces to destroy the revolutionary process in Venezuela, and thus cause a collapse of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States.
Ortega, who met on Thursday with those attending the Working Group of the Forum of Sao Paulo, which began in this capital last Wednesday, said that the peoples of the region are integrating and uniting.
"The United States wants to launch its offensive on the key points that are the ideological support for integration and unity of Latin America and the Caribbean," he said.
Ortega warned that as long as the forces of global capitalism exist, there will be no social justice, despite the progress with the rise of other political poles. "We have made progress defying the law of gravity. Gravity in the plain meaning of the word, when we face the force that still surrounds our planet," he denounced.
Book on Writer Stella Calloni Prefaced by Fidel Castro at Havana Fair
HAVANA, Cuba, Feb 20 (acn) A book on the life and work of Argentinean journalist and writer Stella Calloni, with a prolog by Fidel Castro, is a main event Thursday at Havana’s International Book Fair.
The book tells about Calloni’s childhood up to the days when she was involved as a professional in the Nicaraguan Sandinsta Revolution and US invasion in this part of the world.
Calloni’s interviews with the Cuban Revolution leader, with Hugo Chavez, Evo Morales, Muammar Gaddafi, Omar Torrijos and many other personalities are also included in the book, which will be launched by Argentinean authors Julio Ferrer and Hector Bernardo.
Sri Lanka Highlights Its Harmony with Cuba in International Forums
Colombo, Feb 21 (Prensa Latina) Sri Lankan media highlighted today the level of its relations with Cuba and the harmony between the two countries in the international arena, after a visit from environment minister Susil Premajayantha to Cuba.
Newspapers, radio and TV stations, and websites are reporting Premajayantha's meeting with Cuba's deputy minister, Miguel Diaz Canel, where bilateral ties were discussed, with a high level of agreement on regional and international issues.
By coordinating stances at multilateral forums, Cuba reiterated its support for Sri Lanka, reported the website Colombo Page.
Sri Lanka is waging an intense diplomatic campaign as it deals with US attempts to make the UN Human Rights Council recommend an international investigation in Sri Lanka for alleged war crimes at the end of the war against the extremist movement Tamil Eelam Liberation Tigers (May 2009).
Premajayantha is one of the special envoys of President Mahinda Rajapaksa to the 47 countries member of the HRC at this moment, charged with refuting those accusations and presenting the advance of the reconciliation and reconstruction process in the small South Asian nation.
Some of the HRC member states, like China, Russia and Vietnam, have already expressed their opposition to the US motion.
According to sources from the Sri Lankan foreign ministry, nations like Pakistan, Iran, United Emirates and Indonesia have also stated serious reservations over the bill, should it be approved by the United Kingdom and the European Union.
Cuba Denounces Threats against World Peace
HAVANA, Cuba, Feb 20 (acn) Cuba denounced at the United Nations Security Council the danger posed on peace and the development of the world by unilateral policies, interference with other countries’ domestic affairs and the proliferation of doctrines, such as the so-called change of regime.
During a debate on the state of the law and its relationship to peace, Cuba’s first deputy foreign minister Marcelino Medina alerted that it is difficult to conceive the existence of that concept under foreign agendas aimed at supremacy, according to PL news agency.
The current State of Law at the world level is the full observance of the goals and principles stated by the UN Charter and International Law. Beyond any terms, the respect for sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity, the rejection to use or threaten to use force, self determination and no interference with internal affairs, are all the foundations of international law and a pre-requisite for peaceful coexistence, said the diplomat.
A major component of the state of law is the reformation of the United Nations so that the entity becomes an example of transparency, democracy and participation by the international community in solving the pressing problems pending on the planet, the Cuban representative noted.
Cuba to Host Events Dedicated to Special Education
Havana, Feb 21 (Prensa Latina) Cuba will host several international events linked to special education, based on inclusion and recognition of diversity, said organizers.
In a press conference, they announced that the 12th World Meeting on Special Education and Attention to Diversity will be held at the Havana Convention Center on June 11-13.
Also on that date, the Sixth International Congress on Education and Special Pedagogy, the Third Symposium on Elementary Education and the Sixth International Workshop on Educational Inclusion and Attention to Diversity will be held.
Santiago Borges, Director of the Center of Latin American Reference for Special Education, said that experts from Mexico, Venezuela, Chile, Ecuador, Panama and Colombia have confirmed their attendance.
He said that these events will focus on commonality in the concepts of inclusion and accessibility.
Doctors, psychologists and other health professionals with specialties related to teaching people with special needs are invited to attend.
President of the International Association of Special Education, Orlando Terre, said the holding of this meeting in Havana is in recognition of advances in this type of education in Cuba.
He said that unlike many countries worldwide, access to special education is a right in Cuba, where family and the community are also involved.
Cuban Vice-president Meets with Religious Leaders
HAVANA, Cuba, Feb 19 (acn) Cuban Vicepresident Miguel Diaz Canel met on Tuesday with leaders of religious institutions and fraternal associations from around the island.
The president of Cuba' s Yoruba Cultural Association Antonio Castaneda and the president of the Christian Student Organization, Dianet de la Caridad Martinez, laid a wreath at the monument of National Hero Jose Marti at Havana's Revolution Square.
The meeting focused on the role of the fraternal and religious organizations in favor of the strengthening of the humanistic values that characterize Cuban society, an issue addressed by several participants in tune with the experiences and results of their institutions.
Participants at the encounter also exchange views on attempts by the enemies of the revolution to involve religious organizations in ideological and political subversion as they also try to do with other sectors of Cuban society.
The representative of the Christian Student Movement said that the meeting allowed for the exchange of criteria and to learn about their work to preserver their values and achievements. She added that they hold workshops and other activities not only on theological reflection but also on social issues to consider actions to have a positive impact on society.
Meanwhile, the president of the National Supreme Spiritual Council of Cuba, Alfredo Duran Arias, addressed the significance of the legacy of Jose Marti, who always defended the culture of our nations.
Working Sessions will Open Cuban Workers´ Congress
HAVANA, Cuba.- (acn) The delegates to participate at the 20th Congress of the Cuban Workers´ Confederation will open the forum with a series of working sessions.
According to Granma newspaper national union leaders, members of company executive boards and officials in different sectors will hold working meetings as part of the first activities of some 1 200 delegates attending the Congress.
The sessions will be hosted by different facilities in the capital Havana in tune with the different working sectors represented at the forum.
Unions with the sectors of science, public administration, education and sports will gather in working groups since their affiliates are working in all these areas.
The initial sessions are expected to provide unionists with first-hand information on their working plans and budgets, an update on the current implementation of the economic and social guidelines adopted by the Cuban Communist Party, the management of material and financial resources and the state of ongoing investment projects.
The initiative will also be appropriate for an exchange on concerns issued by the workers in the assembly process that took place last year as the unions geared up for their Congress.
U.S. University to Screen Film on Terrorism against Cuba
HAVANA, Cuba, Feb 18 (acn) The University of Seattle, in the northwestern side of the United States, will screen on Friday a documentary by late filmmaker Saul Landau, on violent actions organized from the northern country against Cuba, a Canadian group informed on Tuesday.
The Vancouver Committee for the Release of the Cuban Five imprisoned in U.S. jails pointed out that the film “Will the real terrorist please stand up” will be presented in the Bannon auditorium of the academic center, the Cubadebate Web site reported.
That film was shot in 2010 in Miami, Havana and Washington, and covers more than half a century of operations of aggression sponsored by the White House against Cuba and defensive measures of the Caribbean nation to counteract them.
The film inserts interviews with notorious anti-Cuban terrorists Luis Posada Carriles, Orlando Bosch, Antonio Venciana and Jose Basulto and testimonies by former agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. officials and Cuban leaders on such activities.
It also tackles the case of Gerardo Hernandez, Fernando Gonzalez, Ramon Labañino, Antonio Guerrero and Rene Gonzalez, arrested in 1998 and condemned to severe sentences for monitoring violent groups based in Florida, where they planned events such as those that left over 3,400 victims in Cuba over the last 53 years.
The first four antiterrorists remain in jail while Rene was released from prison in October 2011 after serving his sentence and returned home in May where he relinquished his U.S. citizenship, to complete an additional punishment of three years under supervised release.
According to the Committee, the audiovisual is part of the commemorative program for its 100 consecutive months of actions in support of the fighters of the Caribbean country.
The group’s coordinator, Tamara Hansen, told Prensa Latina news agency that on March 5-8 they also plan to carry out, in Vancouver, Nanaimo, Kamloops and Seattle, concerts, vigils and talks with journalist Stephen Kimber, the author of "What's on the other side of the Sea: The True Story of the Cuban Five. "
Havana International Fair Digs into Cuban History
Havana, (Prensa Latina) Little known passages of the assault to the Moncada Garrison in Cuba and the revolutionary struggle by Cuban patriots in 1957, are picked up in two texts presented here by the 2014 Havana International Fair.
Published under the seal of the Cuban State Council’s Publication Office, the book "El Moncada, La Respuesta Necesaria" (Moncada, The Needed Answer) by Mario Mencia, goes deep on one of the most trascendental historical deeds of the history of Cuba.
An onomastic index, 583 notes at the feet of pages, more than 1,500 personages involved in the event and 297 names of places, countries and continents are picked up by this great book, in six chapters and two annexes.
Other elements enriching the value of the event are a total of 81 photos, 23 of them on the weapons used by the rebels and 31 pages reflecting the sources Mencia used for his investigation.
During the presentation, Eugenio Suarez, director of the Office of Historical Affairs of the Cuban State Council, highlighted the novelties of this great book, with information about the economic cost and the preparations of the plan, which have not been so many times been published, with factors that are not too much known and complete data of the participants.
For its part, a book called "Lucharemos Hasta el Final 1957" by Rolando Davila picks up what happened day after day in the cities during the military regime of Fulgencio Batista, the responsible for the death of 20,000 Cuban citizens.
Among the most transcendental moments, the book mentions the assassinations of university students leader Jose Antonio Echeverria and Frank Pais, chief of action and sabotage in the 26 de Julio Movement, the attack to the Presidential Palace and others.
"This book is a kind of necessary consulting material to know about the contradictions during the clandestine struggle between the rural and the urban zones," said its author.
Cuban Physicians Assist More Than 35 Million Guatemalans
Guatemala, Feb 19 (Prensa Latina) More than 35 million Guatemalans have been assisted by Cuban health staff since 1998, at the beginning of the medical collaboration in Guatemala, until January, official figures state.
About 35,883,459 patients have been consulted since 1998 to 2014, according to the most recent report of the Cuban Medical Brigade in this Central American country.
Some 170,858 people were only assisted last month, while the number of saved lives reached 287,658 since 1998.
The source considers one life saved to who exceed serious health condition, very serious, or critical thanks to cares by the health personnel, regardless of their diagnosis.
Commenting on surgical activity, about 278,224 patients have been submitted to general surgery, gynecology, and orthopedics, 1,753 of which correspond to the previous month.
Thanks to the Operation Miracle program, about 125,467 cases for different eye pathologies have been undergone surgery.
Jose Marti in CELAC
The historical and universal legacy of Cuban National Hero, Jose Marti, remains valid after 161 years from his birth, in a context where his vision of Latin American integration continues living in what he called Nuestra America (Our America).
This mark has a special connotation for 2014 with completion in Havana of the Second Summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), a space for regional integration and unity of the people, coinciding with the birthday of the most universal of Cubans.
Marti was born in Havana on January 28, 1853 and in 42 years of life until his death in combat on May 19, 1895 against Spanish colonialism, his most notable mission was a life marked by the sacrifice for the arrival of a free Cuba.
In addition, the Cuban National Hero understood that the role of the emancipation process of the small Caribbean island was crucial for the strategic balance between North and South in the continental geopolitics, and especially for the realization of the major objective: a united Latin America, independent of U.S. imperialism.
That’s why his thought spreads beyond borders with a perspective in favor of Latin America, which a precursor of the integration processes of the area remains valid, as denoted by the success of regional blocs like CELAC, where Marti's influence has always been present.
For example, in his inaugural speech on December 2, 2011 at the founding summit of the organization in Caracas, the then Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez referred to the notion of Patria Grande (Greater Mother Country), from Marti world view of Nuestra America (Our America), to talk about Latin America and the Caribbean.
Also, on January 28, 2013, when Cuba received the pro tempore presidency of CELAC in Santiago de Chile, President Raul Castro said that appointment was "a recognition of the self-denying struggle of the Cuban people for its independence, paying a special tribute to Jose Marti", since that day was the 160th anniversary of his birth.
Moreover, the Cuban president stated there the will of his country to promote the consolidation of this mechanism for coordination and integration of Nuestra America (Our America), a regional concept created by Marti that transcends the merely geographic aspect.
Additionally, Raul Castro expressed that the Cuban purpose by leading the CELAC was contributing to build a space of regional sovereignty and promote integration, coordination, cooperation and solidarity in the region, all principles consistent with the Apostle’s ideals in favor of Latin America.
MARTI REMEMBERED BY AMERICA
In Cuba, where Marti’s ideals -rescued by the so-called Generation of Centennial under the guidance of Fidel Castro- became the germ of the Revolution triumphant 55 years ago, each January announces a perfect occasion to remember the birth of the National Hero, as well as his work.
In this context, the hero is remembered on the island with various activities such as parades, science events, cultural galas and the warm tribute of thousands of young people who each year, on the night of January 27, stage the traditional March of Torches, to receive and celebrate with joy the birth of the Apostle.
However, the Second Summit of CELAC in Havana gives a significant connotation to the commemorative date with the presence of heads of state and government in order to discuss issues of the common regional bloc that draws together the 33 independent nations of Nuestra America (Our America), and excludes U.S. and Canada.
With respect to this, let Nuestra America (Our America) be understood as that set of countries located from the south of the Rio Grande to Patagonia, with no presence therefore of the "brutal and turbulent North which despises us," as recognized by Marti.
What historically has been the U.S. policy to the subcontinent was warned more than a century ago by the Cuban National Hero, who contrasted to the imperial hegemony of the North the idea of the Latin American unity, as a necessary path for true independence of the region.
Just about the need for unity of Nuestra America (Our America) against the powerful northern nation, Marti wrote in his newspaper Patria: "in hatcheries the tough and greedy fish, when small fish stand it up together, beats water with furious tail, and leaves alone the small ones."
The people of America are freer and more prosperous as they depart from the United States, noted the Marti from his Latin American vision permeated by his pure anti-imperialism.
In this respect, is also remembered the notion expressed in one of his most brilliant essays: "The trees have to get in line, lest the giant with seven-league boots cannot pass!"(USA).
It’s time of reckoning, and the united march, and we shall walk in close ranks, like silver in the roots of the Andes, said the Cuban National Hero.
Indeed, together, 161 years after the birth of the Cuban National Hero, regional leaders discussed at this Summit on common challenges for Latin America and the Caribbean, both socially and economically, as part of the required path of Nuestra America (Our America) to true integration. ( Jorge Hernández Álvarez/PL)
Fidel Castro Meets with Brazilian Theologian Frei Betto
HAVANA, Cuba, Feb 17 (acn) Cuban Revolution leader Fidel Castro and Brazilian intellectual Frei Betto held a prolonged conversation on Sunday about internationa issues, including youth demonstration that have taken place in different parts of the world.
The meeting took place in the ambiance that has characterized the fraternal relaitons between Fidel and Frei Betto for years, Granma newspaper reported on Sunday.
Havana Book Fair Issues Statement of Solidarity with Venezuela
HAVANA, Cuba, Feb 17 (acn)A statement of solidiarity with the people and government of Venezuela, following violent actions unleashed by the opposition in that country, was issued by the organizing committee of the 23rd Havana International Book Fair, minutes before the presentation of the book on a about a conversation between Cuban journalist Rosa Miriam Elizalde and the general secretary of the Union of South American Nations, Ali Rodriguez.
The statement, which was read by the vicepresident of foreign relations at the Cuban Book Institute, Edel Morales, expresses the permanent support of the people and government of Venezuela in their struggle to preserve peace and social justice, Granma newspaper reported on Monday.
”We strongly reject the fascist violence by certain Venezuelan rightist groups, which are linked to the continental and international extreme right circles in their effort to pave the way for a new coup in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela..”the statement reads.
Just two weeks from the Declaration of Latin America and the Caribbean as a Zone of Peace at the recent Summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, the organizing committee of the book fair, presided by Zuleica Romay, rejects all actions against stability and peace in the region, reads the document issued at the fair, which is gathering authors, editors from 42 nations of the world.
Cuba Condemns Coup Attempt in Venezuela
HAVANA, Cuba.- (acn) Cuba strongly condemned on Thursday the coup attempt against the constitutional government of Venezuela and the most recent violent incidents that resulted in three deaths and over 70 injured in Caracas.
In a statement posted on the website of the Cuban Foreign Ministry, Cuban authorities also blasted the attacks against public institutions, the burning of vehicles and other violent actions organized by fascist groups, as it was denounced by Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.
The Cuban government expresses its full support of the Bolivarian Revolution and calls for international solidarity based on the conviction that the Venezuelan people will defend its irreversible achievements, the legacy of President Hugo Chavez and the government that they elected in a free and sovereign way, headed by Maduro, the statement reads.
The document also reads that Cuba also affirmed its unconditional support of the tangible efforts by President Maduro and its government to preserve peace and join all sectors in the country to boost social and economic development.
Nicaragua to Host Latin American Student Congress
HAVANA, Cuba.- (acn) The 27 th Congress of the Continental Organization of Latin American and Caribbean Students (OCLAE) will take place in Nicaragua on August 17-22, a meeting that will be dedicated to the memory of late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, on the occasion of the first anniversary of his death.
At the end of the meeting of the General Secretariat of the OCLAE, that wound up on Friday in the Cuban capital, it was also known that members of that regional platform, in their final declaration, denounced the interference and process of destabilization of the Bolivarian process by the imperialism and the Venezuelan oligarchy and urged the people to continue building the legacy left by Chavez.
The document urges the governments of Latin America to continue increasing strategies and efforts for the integration of nations, and acknowledges the work of organizations such as UNASUR, ALBA, CARICOM and MERCOSUR.
The text also points out that the student movement defends the environment and is contrary to exploitation without control of natural resources, and also against all forms of discrimination, whether political, religious, racial or of sexual identity.
Cuba Forced to Suspend Consular Procedures in the U.S.A.
HAVANA, Cuba.- (acn) Cuba was forced to suspend its consular procedures in Washington, the U.S. capital, according to a communique published by the Cubaminrex Web site. The text points out that Cuba’s Interests Section to Washington makes reference to its communique of December 9, 2013, which informed about a new deadline given by the M & T Bank to stop bank services to the Section and to Cuba’s Permanent Mission at the United Nations. At that moment the date March 1st, 2014, was established as deadline for the closing of accounts and February 14 as the deadline to make deposits.
In spite of the enormous efforts made, due to the current restrictions derived from the U.S. government’s policy of economic, commercial and financial blockade against Cuba, continues the document, it has been impossible for the Interests Section to find a bank based in the United States that assumes the bank accounts of the Cuban diplomatic missions.
For this reason, reads the text, Cuba’s Interests Section is forced to suspend consular services on the date of the publication of this note, until bank services are re-established. As informed in November, only cases of humanitarian nature will be received.
Japanese People Learn of Cuban History and Reality
HAVANA, Cuba.- (acn) Cuban ambassador to Japan Marcos Rodriguez gave a lecture in Tokio about the origin of Cuban nationality and the island´s realities amidst the economic and social transformations underway on the island.
The Cuban diplomat gave his lecture at the Latin America and the Caribbean Association in Japan before academics, intellectuals and entrepreneurs, according to a news release by the association.
Participants were interested in learning about the economic update in Cuba and relations with the United States, among other issues.
The president of the Japanese association, professor Akira Kudo thanked the ambassador for his detailed information, which he said clearly explained about the realities of the Cuban people.
Washington Shuffles Funds for its Anti-Cuba Policy
HAVANA, Cuba.- (acn) The US administration withdrew 17, 5 million dollars from the US Agency for International Development (USAID) amidst political disputes and wrong management of such money destined to fund subversive actions against Cuba.
The funds will be allocated for the offices of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, and Western Hemispheric Affairs Office, with the State Department, as well as for the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), which is considered a CIA smoke screen, PL news agency reported.
The initiative indicates that the US policy aimed at achieving what Washington calls a regime change in Havana will keep intact under the Obama administration.
Secretary of State John Kerry tried to cut the expenses of the US programs against Cuba when he used to head the Senate´s Foreign Relations Committee by stating that those funds were useless and unnecessarily risky.
In late 2006, an audit by the General Accountability Office into the USAID anti-Cuba activities revealed the use of funds to purchase items that were not related to what they term the promotion of democracy, such as cashmere sweaters, Godiva chocolate, Sony playstation sets and other products.
Under the Obama administration, the US State Department has allocated 20 million dollars annually to fund anti-Cuba hostile groups inside and outside the island, with the aim of promoting the so-called agenda for democracy.
Cuba Presents New Biotechnological Products in China
HAVANA, Cuba.- (acn) Chinese specialists expressed their interest in Beijing about new products of the Cuban business group Labiofam, particularly those linked to the use of natural insecticides and pesticides, the control of vectors and of peptides against cancer.
Jose Antonio Fraga, president of Labiofam, explained participants in the meeting, organized at the Cuban embassy to Beijing, the progress made by that company founded in the 1960s, which has increasingly expanded its productions.
Venezuelan Government Defends Sovereignty After U.S. Interference
Caracas, Feb 17 (Prensa Latina) The position of Venezuelan Government after right-wing actions,aimed at fostering destabilization in the country, considers defense of sovereignty a priority to face the United States'' interference.
President of the Republic Nicolas Maduro refuted a statement issued by U.S. Department of State and said that Venezuela will have a firm hand against fascist groups that boost violence.
Maduro declared that he asked Venezuelan Foreign Minister Elias Jaua to declare three officials of U.S. Embassy "persona non grata", after denouncing their participation in plots against the Government.
Venezuelan Government also rejected statements of U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry, claiming that they boost and legitimize the attempts to destabilize the country triggered by violent groups in recent days.
The Foreign Ministry said that the United States lies when questioning the existence of human and democratic rights in the country. Venezuelan institutions, established in a State of Law and Justice, guarantee all citizens the exercise of political rights in a scene marked by broad civil liberties secured by the constitution, it also said.
Canadians Celebrate 100 Months of Support to Cuban Antiterrorists
Ottawa.- (Prensa Latina) The Vancouver Committee for the Release of the Cuban antiterrorist fighters unjustly condemned in the United States will celebrate on March 5 100th consecutive months of solidarity actions in such Canadian city.
The 100th rally will be held that day in front of the U.S consulate in Vancouver, province of British Columbia, to demand the immediate and unconditional release of Gerardo Hernandez, Ramon Labañino, Antonio Guerrero, and Fernando Gonzalez, the group's coordinator Tamara Hansen told Prensa Latina.
Since 2005, the members of that Canadian organization supported by the local population are developing the fifth day of each month similar actions to support the Cuban antiterrorist fighters.
Those men and their compatriot Rene Gonzalez, already released, were arrested on September 12, 1998, while monitoring violent groups based in south Florida, from where actions as those that left more than 3,400 victims in Cuba in the last 53 years were planned.
Rene Gonzalez was released from prison in October 2011, after completing his sentence, and return to his homeland in May 2013, where he resigned his U.S. citizenship, to end a three-year additional punishment under supervised release.
According to Hansen, many activities are expected for March 5-8 in Vancouver, Nanaimo, Kamloops, and in the U.S. city of Seattle, to celebrate the 100th consecutive months of solidarity initiatives with the antiterrorist fighters of the Caribbean country.
Workers' Support to Cuban Updating Process Confirmed
Havana.- (Prensa Latina) The president of the Organizing Committee of the 20th Congress of the Cuban Workers' Union (CTC), Ulises Guilarte, confirmed today here the importance of the coming debates of that meeting for the country-boosted updating process.
Guilarte stated that the Congress, to be held on Feb. 20-22, will be the workers' support to the implementation of the guidelines of the economic and social policy adopted by the Communist Party of Cuba, Granma newspaper states.
We hope the meeting contributes to strengthen the Cuban workers' movement, and promote even more confronting crime, corruption, and illegalities, the daily says.
Granma also highlighted that the Congress will be the summary of more than one year of grass-root meeting, which brought about many statements aimed at improving the organization and were a critical look at the CTC.
According to organizers, prior to the Congress, the island held more than 8,000 executive meetings of union sessions.
Over Five Thousand Patients Treated in Cuba with Stem Cells
Havana, (Prensa Latina) Cuba has treated more than five thousand patients with stem cells, figure that places the country in an important position in the region for the use of regenerative medicine, the Cuban journal Granma published today.
Doctor Porfirio Hernández, deputy director of the Research Institute of Hematology and Immunology, told Granma that this cellular therapy shows a growing national implementation since it is being developed in 13 provinces of the country.
On the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the use of this procedure for the first time in Cuba, the Ministry of Public Health and the Cuban Society of Hematology will carry out a scientific event from the next February 28th.
According to the national press, in the meeting they will deal with subjects regarding the advancements in the treatment with stem cells of the peripheral artery disease, Duchenne muscular dystrophy, chronic lymphoedema, as well as other ailments in the fields of angiology, orthopedics, cardiology, among others.
In previous statemens to the national press, doctor Hernández noted that research on the potential of stem cells began in Cuba in 2003 and in the case of the cell therapy for regeneration of other tissues, its implementation began in 2004, first in the specialty of angiology and later in heart disease.
Ecuadorian Literature at the Center of Cuban Book Fair
Havana.- (Prensa Latina) The books Tan solo morir, Poso Wells, and No es dicha by Ecuadorian writers Alfredo Noriega, Gabriela Aleman, and Juan Secaira will be launched today at the third day of the 23rd International Book Fair in this capital.
The people attending the fair will also have other books to buy including, Cuerpo Adentro, Historias desde el Closet, and Utopica Penumbra.
Those activities will take place at San Carlos Fortress in this capital, main venue of the event, where a lecture and panel will be held about the work of Ecuadorian writer Pablo Palacio, whose name is carried by the stand of that South American nation, the fair’s guest of honor.
The coordination minister of Knowledge and Human Talent of Ecuador, Guillaume Long, will also give a lecture about knowledge production in the People’s revolution.
A colloquium about the work of Cuban historian Rolando Rodriguez, to whom this fair is dedicated, will also allow to know about his main literature motivations.
The book fair will conclude on February 23 in Havana and will start its tour nationwide until March 9.
The Government of the Republic of Cuba strongly condemns the ongoing attempts to perpetrate a coup d’etat against the constitutional government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela as well as the violent incidents that caused several deaths and tens of wounded; attacks on public institutions; the burning of vehicles and destruction which were organized by fascists groups, as was denounced to the world by President Nicolás Maduro Moros.
The Cuban Government expresses its full support to the Bolivarian and Chavista Revolution and calls for the broadest international solidarity, convinced that the Venezuelan people will defend its irreversible achievements, the legacy of Hugo Chávez Frías and the government that it freely and sovereignly elected, headed by President Maduro.
It is worthwhile remembering that the incidents occurred yesterday, while the Venezuelan youth and the entire nation were celebrating the bicentennial of the heroic battle of “La Victoria”, were similar to those occurred on April 11, 2002, which were then magnified by some accomplice governments, oligarchic circles and transnationals as part of the coup that was later on defeated by the people’s mobilization around the triumphant return of Chávez.
Likewise, Cuba reiterates its unconditional support to the indefatigable and evident efforts made by President Maduro and the political and military leadership of the Bolivarian Revolution to preserve peace, incorporate all sectors of the country and promote the economic and social development of that fraternal nation.
Havana, February 13, 2014.
World Figures Back Actions for Cuban Five in Washington
Washington, Feb 7 (Prensa Latina) A large group of figures from around the world have expressed their support for the five-day international event to be held in this capital for the release of the anti-terrorist Cuban fighters unfairly held in US prisons.
Angela Davis, Danny Glover, Noam Chomsky, Ignacio Ramonet, Alice Walker, Gilbert Brownstone, Tom Hayden, Dolores Huerta, Ramsey Clark, Miguel D'Escoto, John Cavanagh, Jane Franklin, Piero Gleijeses, Stephen Kimber and Fernando Morais, among others, have joined their voices to the call for the Third 5-Day Rally for The Cuban Five, to be held on June 4-11.
The International Free The Cuban Five Committee reported that an on-line blog was created (http://5daysforthecuban5.com/) to show photos, footage and an update about the rally.
In a video circulating today on the Internet, the Mayor of Richmond, Califonia, Gayle McLaughlin, invited the people to join the event, considered as a major action of the solidarity movement this year.
The event will reiterate the world demand for the release and return home of Gerardo Hernandez, Ramon Labanino, Antonio Guerrero and Fernando Gonzalez (the latter will complete his prison sentence late this month).
These men and Rene Gonzalez, who was released after serving his sentence and is already in Cuba after giving up his US citizenship,are internationally known as The Cuban Five.
They were arrested in 1998 for monitoring Miami-based terrorist groups operating against Cuba, which have killed and disabled over 5,000 people in more than half a century.
South Africa Affirms Support of Cuba
HAVANA, Cuba, Feb 7 (acn)The South African government ratified its determination to keep supporting all solidarity-with-Cuba actions and will explore new ways for bilateral cooperation with the island.
The statement was made by South African Foreign Relations and Cooperation minister Marius Fransman on Friday. He said that his country and Cuba share aspirations which guarantee the strengthening of bilateral links.
Fransman took part at an international conference in solidarity with Cuba, Western Sahara and Palestine, which was organized by the South African Parliament in Capetown, 460 kilometers from the capital Pretoria.
We want to reiterate our firm support of the legitimate struggle of the Cuban peopole as we will keep consolidating bilateral relations, said the minister.
Meanwhile, Interior minister Grace Naledi Mandisa said that Cuba can prodly look back at the past 55 years of revolutionary history because it has played a key role in world politics. Cuban solidarity with the world has earned the respect of many countries in Africa, Latin America and Asia, the minister noted.
ICAP Vice President Visits Angola
Luanda, Feb 7 (Prensa Latina) The vice president of the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP), Alicia Corredera, begins a visit to Angola today, where she expects to meet with different solidarity organizations.
"This is my second visit to this country. The first one was in 2010, to attend the 3rd African Meeting of Solidarity with Cuba, in which the issue of the struggle against the economic and financial blockade imposed against the island was discussed, among others, Corredera told Prensa Latina.
This time, we will strengthen here work relations with groups and movements such as the Angolan League of Friendship and Solidarity with the Peoples, and the Angola-Cuba Friendship Association.
Also on the list are meeting with the so-called "caimaneros," those graduates in the Caribbean island, and the committee for the release of the Cuban antiterrorist fighters unjustly condemned in the United States.
The ICAP vice president stated that the main interests of the Institute, such as for example the holding in Havana of the 3rd World Meeting of Solidarity with Cuba on October 27-31, will be informed in this African nation.
The visitor's agenda here also includes visiting sites of historic interest, and holding contacts with the Cuban residents here.
China Ready to Work with CELAC
Beijing, Feb 7 (Prensa Latina) China declared today to be ready to work with the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) to establish, before the end of 2014, the common forum approved at the recent summit of the regional body held in Havana.
The spokesman of the Foreign Minister, Hong Lei, said that Beijing will maintain contact with the CELAC on the mechanisms and areas of cooperation, and will work for the formal establishment of the forum and hold the first joint ministerial meeting this year.
In the first contact with the press after a suspension during the holidays on the occasion the New Lunar Year (Tet), Hong referred to the special declaration adopted at the Second Summit of Havana, on 28 and 29 January.
He said that China and CELAC are committed to the establishment of this forum, that will be an important platform for the development of a comprehensive partnership China-Latin America based on equality, mutual benefit and common development.
Hong also recalled the expressions of praise by President Xi Jinping at the adoption of this document in the high-level meeting of that regional organization of Latin America and the Caribbean.
According to the spokeman, the statement adopted in Havana shows the common aspirations of Latin America and China in terms of cooperation.
Composed by 33 nations of that regionof the world, except the United States and Canada, CELAC emerged in 2011 and works with a pro tempore presidency occupied by Chile, Cuba and holds now by Costa Rica.
Canadian Band Demands Compensation After Music Used for Torture in Guantanamo
HAVANA, Cuba, Feb 7 (acn) The Canadian band Skinny Puppy will demand compensation from the U.S. for using their music to torture prisoners at the illegal naval base of Guantanamo, Cuba.
The keyboardist Cevin Key told CTV News they are also planning an additional claim against the U.S. Defense Department for using their materials with the aim of inflicting suffering on the prisoners at the naval base.
A former security guard at the prison in Guantanamo has revealed that prisoners were forced to listen to Skinny Puppy music continuously for 6 to 12 hours. According to psychiatrist Stephen Xenakis, this practice may cause a high level of anxiety that can cause post-traumatic stress disorder.
In 2008, many songs of artists like Bruce Springsteen, Eminem, James Taylor, Marilyn Manson, Metallica, Neil Diamond, Pearl Jam and Red Hot Chili Peppers were used as a way of torture, and this has launched a campaign against this method and for the closing of the prison in Guantanamo that Washington created in 2002.
This year, U.S. President Barack Obama repeated his unfulfilled promise of closing the prison, but the Congress keeps blocking the transfer of detainees to American penitentiary centers.
German Students Visit Educational Center in Pinar del Rio
PINAR DEL RIO, Cuba, Feb 6 (acn) The 36 students and professors traveling in the Thor Heyerdahl sailing ship were received on Thursday with Cuban traditional dances and music at the Federico Engels Vocational Pre-university Institute of Exact Sciences in Pinar del Rio.
The program of activities includes sport games and dance lessons.
Yuliet Morejon, a specialist of the Provincial Office of the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP), explained that the project is made up by students from several schools of Germany, and that they are from 14 to 16 years of age.
She added that the trip is a kind of preparatory course for their entry to universities, since during the semester at sea they receive school subjects and work on the ship.
In October, the sailing ship set sail from the city of Kiel, to complete a crossing that includes different regions of the world, and later it will return to a German port in April.