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

AI Rejects Injustice against The Cuban Five

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cuban Hero Denounces US-Based Terrorism against Cuba

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

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

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

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

They are all internationally known as The Cuban Five.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

British Government Criticized After Denying Visa to Cuban Anti-terrorist

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

US Protection of Terrorist Posada Carriles Denounced

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jurists Demand U.S. Release of Cuban Antiterrorists

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cuban Women Ratify Commitment to Socialist Model

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Machado Ventura Participates in Final Session of FMC Congress

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

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

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

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

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


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

Extensive Debate in London on Cuban Antiterrorists' Case

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Canadian Author Captures Interest in USA re Antiterrorists' Case

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Canada Holds 100th Months Support to Cuban Antiterrorists

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

New Mexican Samples in Solidarity with Cuban Five

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cuba Rejects Interference in Venezuela and Ukraine

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Geneva Denounces Case of Cuban Antiterrorists Imprisoned in USA

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

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

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

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

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

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

Machado Ventura Reaffirms support of Cuba to Venezuela

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

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

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

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

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

In Geneva, Cuba Rejects Destabilizing Actions Against. Venezuela

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kenia Serrano: Commission in London, a unique experience

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

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

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

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

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

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

International Commission on Cuban Antiterrorists Begins

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

British Lawmakers Support Cuban Antiterrorists Jailed in the US

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Argentinian Youth Undertake International Tour of The Five

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

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

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

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

Cuba Accepts Political Dialogue with the European Union

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

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

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

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

Cuban Women Hold 9th Congress of their National Federation

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

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

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

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

Cuba Vaccinates its Children against Polio

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

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

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

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

Neurologic Congress Focuses on Autism on its Final Session on Friday

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

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

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

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

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

Terry Fox Marathon of Hope will be on March 15

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Cuban Anti-Terrorists Nominated for Human Rights Award

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cuban Doctors Contribute to National Cancer Program in East Timor

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

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

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

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

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

Novel Results on Ataxias in World Meeting in Havana

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

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

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

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

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

Article: Cuban pharmaceuticals expanding in the region

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


News on Cuba - March 3, 2014 PDF Print E-mail

Raul Castro Welcomes Cuban Hero Fernando González

HAVANA, Cuba, Feb 28 (acn) Army General Raul Castro, President of the Councils of State and Ministers, welcomed antiterrorism fighter Fernando Gonzalez, who arrived in this capital after serving a long and wrongful conviction in U.S. prisons.

In the meeting, held at the Jose Marti International Airport, Gonzalez’s family and members of the Cuban government also participated.

The Cuban antiterrorist left his prison yesterday for the Safford Federal Correctional Center in Arizona, where he was made available to the immigration services to begin the process of deportation to Cuba, where he arrived about noon on Friday.

This is the second Cuban Five that meets the sentences after René González, who he also met at the airport according to images broadcast in Cuban television.

Fernando, René, Gerardo Hernández , Antonio Guerrero and Ramon Labañino were arrested in 1998 in Miami where they infiltrated in groups that planned and executed terrorist actions against Cuba .

The last three are still in U.S. prisons, despite a worldwide campaign demanding their release.

Anti-terrorist Fernando Gonzalez Thanks Support of Cuban Youth during Concert in Havana

HAVANA, Cuba, March 3 (acn) Fernando Gonzalez, one of the five Cuban antiterrorist fighters imprisoned in 1998 in the United States, and who was the second of them to return home on Friday, thanked the Cuban youths for their permanent support of their cause, during a music concert launched Saturday evening at the stairs of the University of Havana.

The concert was dedicated to Fernando Gonzalez, who was there with his relatives, to Rene Gonzalez, who returned to the island in 2013 and is also on the picture with his family, as well as Antonio Guerrero, Ramon Labanino and Gerardo Hernandez, the three who are still serving unfair sentences in US prisons.

The Cuban Five, as they are known around the world, were arrested and given extremely long sentences in 2001 by a biased Miami-court, after they monitored Florida-based violent organizations that planned terrorist actions against Cuba.

Addressing the packed audience on the historic stairs of the university, just before the opening of the concert, Gonzalez said he trust the perseverance and support of the Cuban people till the other three anti-terrorists return home.

President Raul Castro Calls for Deep Analysis of Economic Update Process

HAVANA, Cuba, March 3 (acn) Cuban President Raul Castro insisted in the need to critically and constructively analyze the ongoing process aimed at updating the country’s economic model, which must involve the active participation of all officials and leaders from the base to the top government levels.

Raul said that the process will continue to advance without any haste. He said “what we are doing is not perfect, sometimes we lack experience in some issues and we make mistakes; so each topic must constantly be critically followed.” He also said that “we have been used to receiving indications from the higher levels and this must change.”

The Cuban president made his statements during a meeting of the Council of Meetings on Saturday, which adopted steps to improve geologic research and the development of the land registry in the country, the experimental setting up of a new group of cooperatives. The meeting also considered actions to counter the consequences of mistakes in the investment process, the results of the 8th National Internal Control Verification and current plans related to the 2014-2015 higher education school year.

The head of the permanent commission for the implementation of the economic and social guidelines, Marino Murillo presented a proposal to set up new cooperatives. He recalled that the first 126 of those entities were experimentally approved in 2013, these were joined by another 71 in July that year and by another 73 in October, meaning that some 224 cooperatives have already been set up.

Murillo said that a new group of 228 cooperatives will operate in the sectors of gastronomy and services, construction, transport, industry and food processing as well as in the energy sector.

Canadians Celebrate Release of Anti-Terrorist Fernando Gonzalez

Ottawa, Mar 3 (Prensa Latina) Canadian activists are celebrating Fernando González's return to Cuba after serving a 15 year sentence in the United States, and his commitment to continue working to ensure that the other Cuban anti-terrorists are also released.

His return to Cuba has brought joy and inspiration for people around the world fighting for justice and freedom for the five Cuban anti-terrorists, the Free the Cuban Five Committee in Vancouver told Prensa Latina.

Fernando returned to Cuba last Friday, February 28th, after serving the last day of his sentence in an Arizona penitentiary in the United States.

Fernando and his fellow Cubans Gerardo Hernández, Ramón Labañino, Antonio Guerrero and René González, known worldwide as the Cuban Five, were sentenced to harsh penalties for monitoring anti-Cuban groups based in Miami, whose actions have left more than 3,400 victims over the last 53 years in Cuba.

René González was released on October 7th, 2011 after 13 years in prison, and an additional period of supervised release. He was obliged to renounce his US citizenship in order to return to Cuba.

Meanwhile, the other three Cuban anti-terrorists remain in jail despite an international campaign for their immediate release.

In this sense, the Committee called for unity and additional efforts to see that the men are released and reunited with their families.

The organization said that next March 5, they will celebrate 100 consecutive months of activities to support the Five's cause in Vancouver.

Since 2005, members of the Canadian organization, supported by the local population, have demonstrated outside the US consulate in Ottawa on the fifth day of every month.

Committee Coordinator Tamara Hansen told Prensa Latina that a number of activities are scheduled to take place place from Wednesday to Saturday in Nanaimo, Kamloops, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec, Chicago, San Francisco and Seattle in order to mark 100 consecutive months of solidarity initiatives.

The program includes a tribute to the late President Hugo Chavez, several concerts by Canadian and foreign artists, along with vigils and talks with journalist Stephen Kimber, author of the book "What Lies Across the Water: The Real Story of The Cuban Five".

American Religious Alliance Asks Obama to Pardon Cuban Antiterrorists

Washington, Mar 3 (Prensa Latina) American Carol Blythe, president of the Alliance of Baptists, today asked President Barack Obama to pardon the Cuban antiterrorist fighters unjustly imprisoned here for more than 15 years, for preventing violent terrorist actions from being carried out against Cuba.

Blythe sent a letter to the U.S. president and called for the release of Gerardo Hernandez, Antonio Guerrero and Ramon Labañino, who are serving severe sentences, saying that their release will help to normalize ties between Washington and Havana.

They and their compatriots Rene Gonzalez and Fernando Gonzalez, who have completed their harsh prison sentences, are known as The Cuban Five. The men were arrested on September 12, 1998, for keeping watch on the plans of violent terrorist groups based in southern Florida.

These kinds of terrorist actions have caused more than 3,400 casualties in Cuba over the last 53 years.

"We are writing to you today to ask that these men be pardoned for the time they have already served in prison, an action that will be a first step towards the restoration of relations with Cuba as a close neighbor to the United States," Blythe said after describing as the charges against the men as dubious.

She recalled that during a recent trip to the Caribbean nation, members of the Alliance of Baptists talked with the mothers of The Five and were informed of the constant visa denials by Washington that have restricted visits for some to once a year, while totally blocking others.

Finally, Blythe said that the call for the release of the Cuban anti-terrorist fighters is supported by global organizations such as the UN Commission on Human Rights and figures such as former U.S. President James Carter, South African archbishop Desmond Tutu, and many Nobel prizewinners.

Rene was released from prison on October 7, 2011 after completing his prison sentence, and returned to his homeland in May after resigning his U.S. citizenship, in exchange for ending an additional punishment of three years spent under supervised release. Likewise, Fernando returned to Cuba on February 28, after completing his prison sentence the previous day.

Former Prime Minister of East Timor Requests Cuban Technical Help

HAVANA, Cuba, Feb 28 (acn) Mari Alkatiri, former Prime Minister of the Democratic Republic of East Timor, requested from Cuba on Friday in this capital professional and technical assistance in the construction of a special zone for the development of that Asian nation.

In his visit to the island, the general secretary of the Revolutionary Front for the Independence of East Timor (Fretilin) spoke with Cuban representatives of various economic sectors on a project being implemented in Oecusse, an enclave located in the province of Western Timorl, in Indonesia.

“We want Cuba to participate with its professionals and technicians in the development of a zone that will contribute to improve the economic and social situation of the people of East Timor,” pointed out Alkatiri.

He added that special measures will be implemented in Oecusse, aimed at encouraging the participation of foreign capital in the construction of an attractive urban area to retain suppliers of services and high tech enterprises, while neighboring areas will receive complete attention on the basis of a policy of community and rural development.

Prioritized sectors for investment in the enclave are agribusiness, renewable energy, and the development of infrastructure to guarantee services of telecommunications, health, education and roads, among others, said Alkatari.

Cuba Convenes International Conference on Medical Education

HAVANA, Cuba, Feb 28 (acn) The Cuban Ministry of Public Health (MINSAP) convenes the 2nd International Conference on Medical Education for the 21st Century, which will be held from September 30 to October 3.

Under the slogan “Medical Universities and the Health of the Population” the meeting, to take place at Havana’s Convention Center, has the objective of analyzing everything related to Medical Education, both in Cuba and in the rest of the world, announced the organizing committee.

The role of medical universities in the health of the population, current and future tendencies of education in that field, training models for health professionals and equity in these training processes are among topics to be discussed by participants in the Conference.

Likewise, themes like the quality of universities, evaluation and accreditation systems in medical education, ethical values, postgraduate courses and university science in that specialty are also included on the meeting’s agenda.

International personalities will participate in the forum, which includes an exhibition related to specialized literature on medical sciences and health, teaching aids and other materials to support teaching.

Delegates will have the opportunity to exchange experiences in keynote lectures, symposia and panels at the meeting, which also includes strategic principles for Medical Education in the 21st century among its topics.

News on Cuba - February 24, 2014 PDF Print E-mail

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.


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

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.


News on Cuba - February 19, 2014 PDF Print E-mail

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.


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)


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