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News on Cuba - February 17, 2014 PDF Print E-mail

Fidel Castro Meets with Brazilian Theologian Frei Betto

HAVANA, Cuba, Feb 17 (acn) Cuban Revolution leader Fidel Castro and Brazilian intellectual Frei Betto held a prolonged conversation on Sunday about internationa issues, including youth demonstration that have taken place in different parts of the world.

The meeting took place in the ambiance that has characterized the fraternal relaitons between Fidel and Frei Betto for years, Granma newspaper reported on Sunday.

Havana Book Fair Issues Statement of Solidarity with Venezuela

HAVANA, Cuba, Feb 17 (acn)A statement of solidiarity with the people and government of Venezuela, following violent actions unleashed by the opposition in that country, was issued by the organizing committee of the 23rd Havana International Book Fair, minutes before the presentation of the book on a about a conversation between Cuban journalist Rosa Miriam Elizalde and the general secretary of the Union of South American Nations, Ali Rodriguez.

The statement, which was read by the vicepresident of foreign relations at the Cuban Book Institute, Edel Morales, expresses the permanent support of the people and government of Venezuela in their struggle to preserve peace and social justice, Granma newspaper reported on Monday.

”We strongly reject the fascist violence by certain Venezuelan rightist groups, which are linked to the continental and international extreme right circles in their effort to pave the way for a new coup in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela..”the statement reads.

Just two weeks from the Declaration of Latin America and the Caribbean as a Zone of Peace at the recent Summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, the organizing committee of the book fair, presided by Zuleica Romay, rejects all actions against stability and peace in the region, reads the document issued at the fair, which is gathering authors, editors from 42 nations of the world.

Cuba Condemns Coup Attempt in Venezuela

HAVANA, Cuba.- (acn) Cuba strongly condemned on Thursday the coup attempt against the constitutional government of Venezuela and the most recent violent incidents that resulted in three deaths and over 70 injured in Caracas. 

In a statement posted on the website of the Cuban Foreign Ministry, Cuban authorities also blasted the attacks against public institutions, the burning of vehicles and other violent actions organized by fascist groups, as it was denounced by Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.

The Cuban government expresses its full support of the Bolivarian Revolution and calls for international solidarity based on the conviction that the Venezuelan people will defend its irreversible achievements, the legacy of President Hugo Chavez and the government that they elected in a free and sovereign way, headed by Maduro, the statement reads.

The document also reads that Cuba also affirmed its unconditional support of the tangible efforts by President Maduro and its government to preserve peace and join all sectors in the country to boost social and economic development.

Nicaragua to Host Latin American Student Congress

HAVANA, Cuba.- (acn) The 27 th Congress of the Continental Organization of Latin American and Caribbean Students (OCLAE) will take place in Nicaragua on August 17-22, a meeting that will be dedicated to the memory of late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, on the occasion of the first anniversary of his death.

At the end of the meeting of the General Secretariat of the OCLAE, that wound up on Friday in the Cuban capital, it was also known that members of that regional platform, in their final declaration, denounced the interference and process of destabilization of the Bolivarian process by the imperialism and the Venezuelan oligarchy and urged the people to continue building the legacy left by Chavez.

The document urges the governments of Latin America to continue increasing strategies and efforts for the integration of nations, and acknowledges the work of organizations such as UNASUR, ALBA, CARICOM and MERCOSUR.

The text also points out that the student movement defends the environment and is contrary to exploitation without control of natural resources, and also against all forms of discrimination, whether political, religious, racial or of sexual identity.

Cuba Forced to Suspend Consular Procedures in the U.S.A.

HAVANA, Cuba.- (acn) Cuba was forced to suspend its consular procedures in Washington, the U.S. capital, according to a communique published by the Cubaminrex Web site. The text points out that Cuba’s Interests Section to Washington makes reference to its communique of December 9, 2013, which informed about a new deadline given by the M & T Bank to stop bank services to the Section and to Cuba’s Permanent Mission at the United Nations. At that moment the date March 1st, 2014, was established as deadline for the closing of accounts and February 14 as the deadline to make deposits.

In spite of the enormous efforts made, due to the current restrictions derived from the U.S. government’s policy of economic, commercial and financial blockade against Cuba, continues the document, it has been impossible for the Interests Section to find a bank based in the United States that assumes the bank accounts of the Cuban diplomatic missions.

For this reason, reads the text, Cuba’s Interests Section is forced to suspend consular services on the date of the publication of this note, until bank services are re-established. As informed in November, only cases of humanitarian nature will be received.

Japanese People Learn of Cuban History and Reality

HAVANA, Cuba.- (acn) Cuban ambassador to Japan Marcos Rodriguez gave a lecture in Tokio about the origin of Cuban nationality and the island´s realities amidst the economic and social transformations underway on the island.

The Cuban diplomat gave his lecture at the Latin America and the Caribbean Association in Japan before academics, intellectuals and entrepreneurs, according to a news release by the association.

Participants were interested in learning about the economic update in Cuba and relations with the United States, among other issues.

The president of the Japanese association, professor Akira Kudo thanked the ambassador for his detailed information, which he said clearly explained about the realities of the Cuban people.

Washington Shuffles Funds for its Anti-Cuba Policy

HAVANA, Cuba.- (acn) The US administration withdrew 17, 5 million dollars from the US Agency for International Development (USAID) amidst political disputes and wrong management of such money destined to fund subversive actions against Cuba.

The funds will be allocated for the offices of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, and Western Hemispheric Affairs Office, with the State Department, as well as for the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), which is considered a CIA smoke screen, PL news agency reported.

The initiative indicates that the US policy aimed at achieving what Washington calls a regime change in Havana will keep intact under the Obama administration.

Secretary of State John Kerry tried to cut the expenses of the US programs against Cuba when he used to head the Senate´s Foreign Relations Committee by stating that those funds were useless and unnecessarily risky.

In late 2006, an audit by the General Accountability Office into the USAID anti-Cuba activities revealed the use of funds to purchase items that were not related to what they term the promotion of democracy, such as cashmere sweaters, Godiva chocolate, Sony playstation sets and other products.

Under the Obama administration, the US State Department has allocated 20 million dollars annually to fund anti-Cuba hostile groups inside and outside the island, with the aim of promoting the so-called agenda for democracy.

Cuba Presents New Biotechnological Products in China

HAVANA, Cuba.- (acn) Chinese specialists expressed their interest in Beijing about new products of the Cuban business group Labiofam, particularly those linked to the use of natural insecticides and pesticides, the control of vectors and of peptides against cancer.

Jose Antonio Fraga, president of Labiofam, explained participants in the meeting, organized at the Cuban embassy to Beijing, the progress made by that company founded in the 1960s, which has increasingly expanded its productions.

Venezuelan Government Defends Sovereignty After U.S. Interference

Caracas, Feb 17 (Prensa Latina) The position of Venezuelan Government after right-wing actions,aimed at fostering destabilization in the country, considers defense of sovereignty a priority to face the United States'' interference.

President of the Republic Nicolas Maduro refuted a statement issued by U.S. Department of State and said that Venezuela will have a firm hand against fascist groups that boost violence.

Maduro declared that he asked Venezuelan Foreign Minister Elias Jaua to declare three officials of U.S. Embassy "persona non grata", after denouncing their participation in plots against the Government.

Venezuelan Government also rejected statements of U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry, claiming that they boost and legitimize the attempts to destabilize the country triggered by violent groups in recent days.

The Foreign Ministry said that the United States lies when questioning the existence of human and democratic rights in the country. Venezuelan institutions, established in a State of Law and Justice, guarantee all citizens the exercise of political rights in a scene marked by broad civil liberties secured by the constitution, it also said.

Canadians Celebrate 100 Months of Support to Cuban Antiterrorists

Ottawa.- (Prensa Latina) The Vancouver Committee for the Release of the Cuban antiterrorist fighters unjustly condemned in the United States will celebrate on March 5 100th consecutive months of solidarity actions in such Canadian city.

The 100th rally will be held that day in front of the U.S consulate in Vancouver, province of British Columbia, to demand the immediate and unconditional release of Gerardo Hernandez, Ramon Labañino, Antonio Guerrero, and Fernando Gonzalez, the group's coordinator Tamara Hansen told Prensa Latina.

Since 2005, the members of that Canadian organization supported by the local population are developing the fifth day of each month similar actions to support the Cuban antiterrorist fighters.

Those men and their compatriot Rene Gonzalez, already released, were arrested on September 12, 1998, while monitoring violent groups based in south Florida, from where actions as those that left more than 3,400 victims in Cuba in the last 53 years were planned.

Rene Gonzalez was released from prison in October 2011, after completing his sentence, and return to his homeland in May 2013, where he resigned his U.S. citizenship, to end a three-year additional punishment under supervised release.

According to Hansen, many activities are expected for March 5-8 in Vancouver, Nanaimo, Kamloops, and in the U.S. city of Seattle, to celebrate the 100th consecutive months of solidarity initiatives with the antiterrorist fighters of the Caribbean country.

Workers' Support to Cuban Updating Process Confirmed

Havana.- (Prensa Latina) The president of the Organizing Committee of the 20th Congress of the Cuban Workers' Union (CTC), Ulises Guilarte, confirmed today here the importance of the coming debates of that meeting for the country-boosted updating process.

Guilarte stated that the Congress, to be held on Feb. 20-22, will be the workers' support to the implementation of the guidelines of the economic and social policy adopted by the Communist Party of Cuba, Granma newspaper states.

We hope the meeting contributes to strengthen the Cuban workers' movement, and promote even more confronting crime, corruption, and illegalities, the daily says.

Granma also highlighted that the Congress will be the summary of more than one year of grass-root meeting, which brought about many statements aimed at improving the organization and were a critical look at the CTC.

According to organizers, prior to the Congress, the island held more than 8,000 executive meetings of union sessions.

Over Five Thousand Patients Treated in Cuba with Stem Cells

Havana, (Prensa Latina) Cuba has treated more than five thousand patients with stem cells, figure that places the country in an important position in the region for the use of regenerative medicine, the Cuban journal Granma published today.

Doctor Porfirio Hernández, deputy director of the Research Institute of Hematology and Immunology, told Granma that this cellular therapy shows a growing national implementation since it is being developed in 13 provinces of the country.

On the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the use of this procedure for the first time in Cuba, the Ministry of Public Health and the Cuban Society of Hematology will carry out a scientific event from the next February 28th.

According to the national press, in the meeting they will deal with subjects regarding the advancements in the treatment with stem cells of the peripheral artery disease, Duchenne muscular dystrophy, chronic lymphoedema, as well as other ailments in the fields of angiology, orthopedics, cardiology, among others.

In previous statemens to the national press, doctor Hernández noted that research on the potential of stem cells began in Cuba in 2003 and in the case of the cell therapy for regeneration of other tissues, its implementation began in 2004, first in the specialty of angiology and later in heart disease.

Ecuadorian Literature at the Center of Cuban Book Fair

Havana.- (Prensa Latina) The books Tan solo morir, Poso Wells, and No es dicha by Ecuadorian writers Alfredo Noriega, Gabriela Aleman, and Juan Secaira will be launched today at the third day of the 23rd International Book Fair in this capital.

The people attending the fair will also have other books to buy including, Cuerpo Adentro, Historias desde el Closet, and Utopica Penumbra.

Those activities will take place at San Carlos Fortress in this capital, main venue of the event, where a lecture and panel will be held about the work of Ecuadorian writer Pablo Palacio, whose name is carried by the stand of that South American nation, the fair’s guest of honor.

The coordination minister of Knowledge and Human Talent of Ecuador, Guillaume Long, will also give a lecture about knowledge production in the People’s revolution.

A colloquium about the work of Cuban historian Rolando Rodriguez, to whom this fair is dedicated, will also allow to know about his main literature motivations.

The book fair will conclude on February 23 in Havana and will start its tour nationwide until March 9.

Declaration of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Cuba PDF Print E-mail

The Government of the Republic of Cuba strongly condemns the ongoing attempts to perpetrate a coup d’etat against the constitutional government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela as well as the violent incidents that caused several deaths and tens of wounded; attacks on public institutions; the burning of vehicles and destruction which were organized by fascists groups, as was denounced to the world by President Nicolás Maduro Moros.

The Cuban Government expresses its full support to the Bolivarian and Chavista Revolution  and calls for the broadest international solidarity, convinced that the Venezuelan people will defend its irreversible achievements, the legacy of Hugo Chávez Frías and the government that it freely and sovereignly elected, headed by President Maduro.

It is worthwhile remembering that the incidents occurred yesterday, while the Venezuelan youth and the entire nation were celebrating the bicentennial of the heroic battle of “La Victoria”, were similar to those occurred on April 11, 2002, which were then magnified by some accomplice governments, oligarchic circles and transnationals as part of the coup that was later on defeated by the people’s mobilization around the triumphant return of Chávez.

Likewise, Cuba reiterates its unconditional support to the indefatigable and evident efforts made by President Maduro and the political and military leadership of the Bolivarian Revolution to preserve peace, incorporate all sectors of the country and promote the economic and social development of that fraternal nation.

Havana, February 13, 2014.

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

World Figures Back Actions for Cuban Five in Washington

Washington, Feb 7 (Prensa Latina) A large group of figures from around the world have expressed their support for the five-day international event to be held in this capital for the release of the anti-terrorist Cuban fighters unfairly held in US prisons.

Angela Davis, Danny Glover, Noam Chomsky, Ignacio Ramonet, Alice Walker, Gilbert Brownstone, Tom Hayden, Dolores Huerta, Ramsey Clark, Miguel D'Escoto, John Cavanagh, Jane Franklin, Piero Gleijeses, Stephen Kimber and Fernando Morais, among others, have joined their voices to the call for the Third 5-Day Rally for The Cuban Five, to be held on June 4-11.

The International Free The Cuban Five Committee reported that an on-line blog was created ( to show photos, footage and an update about the rally.

In a video circulating today on the Internet, the Mayor of Richmond, Califonia, Gayle McLaughlin, invited the people to join the event, considered as a major action of the solidarity movement this year.

The event will reiterate the world demand for the release and return home of Gerardo Hernandez, Ramon Labanino, Antonio Guerrero and Fernando Gonzalez (the latter will complete his prison sentence late this month).

These men and Rene Gonzalez, who was released after serving his sentence and is already in Cuba after giving up his US citizenship,are internationally known as The Cuban Five.

They were arrested in 1998 for monitoring Miami-based terrorist groups operating against Cuba, which have killed and disabled over 5,000 people in more than half a century.

South Africa Affirms Support of Cuba

HAVANA, Cuba, Feb 7 (acn)The South African government ratified its determination to keep supporting all solidarity-with-Cuba actions and will explore new ways for bilateral cooperation with the island.

The statement was made by South African Foreign Relations and Cooperation minister Marius Fransman on Friday. He said that his country and Cuba share aspirations which guarantee the strengthening of bilateral links.

Fransman took part at an international conference in solidarity with Cuba, Western Sahara and Palestine, which was organized by the South African Parliament in Capetown, 460 kilometers from the capital Pretoria.

We want to reiterate our firm support of the legitimate struggle of the Cuban peopole as we will keep consolidating bilateral relations, said the minister.

Meanwhile, Interior minister Grace Naledi Mandisa said that Cuba can prodly look back at the past 55 years of revolutionary history because it has played a key role in world politics. Cuban solidarity with the world has earned the respect of many countries in Africa, Latin America and Asia, the minister noted.

ICAP Vice President Visits Angola

Luanda, Feb 7 (Prensa Latina) The vice president of the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP), Alicia Corredera, begins a visit to Angola today, where she expects to meet with different solidarity organizations.

"This is my second visit to this country. The first one was in 2010, to attend the 3rd African Meeting of Solidarity with Cuba, in which the issue of the struggle against the economic and financial blockade imposed against the island was discussed, among others, Corredera told Prensa Latina.

This time, we will strengthen here work relations with groups and movements such as the Angolan League of Friendship and Solidarity with the Peoples, and the Angola-Cuba Friendship Association.

Also on the list are meeting with the so-called "caimaneros," those graduates in the Caribbean island, and the committee for the release of the Cuban antiterrorist fighters unjustly condemned in the United States.

The ICAP vice president stated that the main interests of the Institute, such as for example the holding in Havana of the 3rd World Meeting of Solidarity with Cuba on October 27-31, will be informed in this African nation.

The visitor's agenda here also includes visiting sites of historic interest, and holding contacts with the Cuban residents here.

China Ready to Work with CELAC

Beijing, Feb 7 (Prensa Latina) China declared today to be ready to work with the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) to establish, before the end of 2014, the common forum approved at the recent summit of the regional body held in Havana.

The spokesman of the Foreign Minister, Hong Lei, said that Beijing will maintain contact with the CELAC on the mechanisms and areas of cooperation, and will work for the formal establishment of the forum and hold the first joint ministerial meeting this year.

In the first contact with the press after a suspension during the holidays on the occasion the New Lunar Year (Tet), Hong referred to the special declaration adopted at the Second Summit of Havana, on 28 and 29 January.

He said that China and CELAC are committed to the establishment of this forum, that will be an important platform for the development of a comprehensive partnership China-Latin America based on equality, mutual benefit and common development.

Hong also recalled the expressions of praise by President Xi Jinping at the adoption of this document in the high-level meeting of that regional organization of Latin America and the Caribbean.

According to the spokeman, the statement adopted in Havana shows the common aspirations of Latin America and China in terms of cooperation.

Composed by 33 nations of that regionof the world, except the United States and Canada, CELAC emerged in 2011 and works with a pro tempore presidency occupied by Chile, Cuba and holds now by Costa Rica.

Canadian Band Demands Compensation After Music Used for Torture in Guantanamo

HAVANA, Cuba, Feb 7 (acn) The Canadian band Skinny Puppy will demand compensation from the U.S. for using their music to torture prisoners at the illegal naval base of Guantanamo, Cuba.

The keyboardist Cevin Key told CTV News they are also planning an additional claim against the U.S. Defense Department for using their materials with the aim of inflicting suffering on the prisoners at the naval base.

A former security guard at the prison in Guantanamo has revealed that prisoners were forced to listen to Skinny Puppy music continuously for 6 to 12 hours. According to psychiatrist Stephen Xenakis, this practice may cause a high level of anxiety that can cause post-traumatic stress disorder.

In 2008, many songs of artists like Bruce Springsteen, Eminem, James Taylor, Marilyn Manson, Metallica, Neil Diamond, Pearl Jam and Red Hot Chili Peppers were used as a way of torture, and this has launched a campaign against this method and for the closing of the prison in Guantanamo that Washington created in 2002.

This year, U.S. President Barack Obama repeated his unfulfilled promise of closing the prison, but the Congress keeps blocking the transfer of detainees to American penitentiary centers.

German Students Visit Educational Center in Pinar del Rio

PINAR DEL RIO, Cuba, Feb 6 (acn) The 36 students and professors traveling in the Thor Heyerdahl sailing ship were received on Thursday with Cuban traditional dances and music at the Federico Engels Vocational Pre-university Institute of Exact Sciences in Pinar del Rio.

The program of activities includes sport games and dance lessons.

Yuliet Morejon, a specialist of the Provincial Office of the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP), explained that the project is made up by students from several schools of Germany, and that they are from 14 to 16 years of age.

She added that the trip is a kind of preparatory course for their entry to universities, since during the semester at sea they receive school subjects and work on the ship.

In October, the sailing ship set sail from the city of Kiel, to complete a crossing that includes different regions of the world, and later it will return to a German port in April.


News on Cuba - February 5, 2014 PDF Print E-mail

Fidel Castro Prefaces Book on Revolutionary Exploits in Cuba
HAVANA, Cuba.- The leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro, wrote the preface to the second edition of Historia de una Gesta Libertadora (Story of a libertarian gest), 1952-1958, of the revolutionary fighter Georgina Leyva.

"In his book Gina, helped me remember and understand more precisely the thinking that drove me in those intense years I lived, although I am aware that more than a prologue, I'm writing a chapter in the Story of a libertarian gest 1952-1958 ", refers Fidel Castro.

In its lines, the leader of the Cuban Revolution reaffirms his ethical attitude to the enemy, explaining how the prisoners were treated and constant acts to prevent further bloodshed as a result of the fighting against the army of the Batista dictatorship, said today Granma daily.

Described as remarkable for the testimonial value of its stories, the text includes unpublished data allowing clarify certain passages in the recent history of Cuba, PL news agency reported.

Similarly, it reveals the temple of a group of Cuban men and women who decided in his youth and in the most adverse conditions to change the economic, political and social direction of the country.

Protagonist of the story she told, Leyva also exposes the revolutionary evolution of the Rebel Army Commander Julio Camacho Aguilera, leader of a rebel group in the eastern province of Guantanamo and her partner in life.

"This book is a contribution to the historical memory of our Cuba, which gives an account that intends to broadcast details of the events on the stage of revolutionary struggle, involved in the sacrifices of its protagonists and their dedication to the fight for victory", added the editor Neyda Izquierdo, National publishing Award 2013.

The new edition of the Story of a libertarian gest, is devoted to Guantanamo, where many fighters began the insurgent struggle to later be part of the 26 July Revolutionary Movement, the Rebel Army and other underground fronts in Cuba.

Canadians Activist Demonstrate on February 5 for the Release of the Cuban Antiterrorist Fighters

The Vancouver –based Committee for the Freedom of the Cuban Five announced a picket line on February 5 to demand the release of four Cuban antiterrorist fighters still imprisoned in the United States.

This will be the 99th demonstration by that committee in Canada to demand freedom for Fernando Gonzalez, Ramon Labanino, Gerardo Hernandez and Antonio Guerrero, who along Rene Gonzalez were arrested in 1998 in Miami and given unfair prison sentences after they monitored Florida-based terrorist organizations.

An article posted on the webpage of the Vancouver committee announcing the action reads that the prison sentence of Fernando Gonzalez, one of the Cuban 5, will be complete at the end of February. At this time, he should be able to return to Cuba, joining Rene Gonzalez, one of the Cuban 5 who returned to Cuba in April of 2014.

However, Fernando's release from prison and return to Cuba is not guaranteed. After 15 years of cruel and unjust imprisonment, the US government will still have the power to further delay Fernando's return to his loved ones in Cuba by holding him in immigration processing in the US, the article alerts.

On February 5th our united voices calling for freedom for all of the Cuban 5 will echo across Canada, as the day also marks the 3rd consecutive monthly picket action in front of the US Embassy organized by supporters of the Cuban 5 in Ottawa.

Coming together in protest on February 5th is part of the International campaign that will help to make sure that Fernando's return to Cuba, and the release of all of the Cuban 5.

It is also part of building the international campaign in support of Vancouver's 100th consecutive monthly picket action in front of the US Consulate since 2005, one month later on March 5, 2014, the announcement concludes.

U.S. Academician Clamors for Freedom of Cuban Antiterrorists

HAVANA, Cuba, Feb 4 (acn) U.S. professor Piero Gleijeses joined the international clamor for the immediate release of the Cuban antiterrorists incarcerated in his country.

In a letter addressed to President Barack Obama, Gleijeses recalled that Gerardo Hernandez, Antonio Guerrero, Fernando Gonzalez and Ramon Labañino were condemned in an “operetta court” to long prison sentences, informed the International Committee for the Freedom of The Five, the Granma newspaper reported on Tuesday.

The four antiterrorist fighters are still serving severe sanctions, while Rene Gonzalez served his and is already in Cuba.

In his letter, Gleijeses urged Obama to understand that the legal process against these Cubans was politicized and to exert his executive power to put an end to the imprisonment.

Piero Gleijeses is a professor of U.S. Foreign Policy at the Faculty of Advanced International Studies of the Johns Hopkins University and is the author of several books on his country’s interventions in several nations of the world.

Haitian Ambassador Thanks Cuba for its Permanent Cooperation

HAVANA, Cuba, Feb 4 (acn) Haitian ambassador to Cuba Jean Victor Geneus thanked Cubans for their assistance of the Haitian people and recalled the 110th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two sister Caribbean nations.

During the cancellation of a post stamp, the diplomat recalled that the two countries share similar history, culture and solid friendship that dates back to the 19th century, after his country reached independence in 1804.

Despite economic difficulties and shortages, Cuba has maintained its medical professionals in Haiti since 1998, while hundreds of Haitian youths have graduated as medical doctors in Cuba, said the diplomat, who also recalled Cuba's assistance in other sectors, such as agriculture, education an sports.

The recently cancelled stamp depicts the coats of arms of the two nations over the images of the Haiti and Cuba as a symbol of the close geographic and historic links.

Cuba and Belarus Consider New Collaboration Agenda

HAVANA, Cuba, Feb 4 (can)Belarus and Cuba are currently considering new actios to boost the exchange of technology and products related to human and animal health, developed by the Cuba's Labiofam pharmaceutical enterprise.

According to diplomatic sources in the capital Minsk, a delegatio from the Cuban company, headed by its director Jose Antonio Fraga held a working meeting with Belarus' Health minister Vasili Sharko to consider new cooperation opportunities.

During recent talks with Cuban ambassador to Minsk, minister Sharko affirmed his country's willingness to keep advancing bilateral collaboration links with the island in the biotechnological and parmaceutical sectors.

Labiofam recently signed a collaboration accord in Moscow with a Russian company to jointly introduce a cancer drug in the Russian market. The Cuban enterprise is very active in African, Asian and Latin American countries.

Cuban Environment Minister Pays Tribute to Angolan Leader

HAVANA, Cuba, Feb 4 (acn) Cuban minister of Science, Technology and the Environment, Elba Rosa Perez, paid tribute on Tuesday to the first Angolan President Agostinho Neto, at his memorial in the Luanda.

The Cuban official said it was historic day in which she toured the memorial precisely on February 4, which marks the beginning of the Angola’s struggle for national liberation.

In statements to PL news agency, the minister said that Cubans feel great admiration towards Neto and the Angolan people and she said she was moved particularly when she entered the hall where a casket treasures the remains of the Angolan leader.

The memorial offers the new generations of Angolans a message about the ideas and dreams of the founder of the homeland. The impressing 18-hectare facility also treasures historic documents about Neto’s revolutionary life before and after the country got its national independence on November 11, 1975.

The Cuban government official arrived last Saturday in Luanda, where she held official talks with her Angolan counterpart Fatima Jardim and with other local authorities to further strengthen bilateral cooperation relations in the environmental field.

Brazil Prepares Business Mission to Visit Cuba

HAVANA, Cuba, Feb 3 (acn) A business mission of Brazil will visit Cuba at the end of March to make progress in the identification of investment opportunities in sectors prioritized by the two governments, above all in the Special Development Zone of Mariel (ZEDM).

Hipolito Rocha, general director of Apex Brazil (Agency for the Promotion of Exports and Investment) in Havana, confirmed that they are already organizing the engagement book that will keep the representatives of the South American nation busy during their stay on the island.

During the recent inauguration of the first stage of the Cuban mega-port, Dilma Rousseff, president of that country, announced the preparation of a mission to Cuba, with the purpose of defining the great interest shown by several Brazilian enterprises in establishing themselves at the ZEDM.

The delegation will be composed of executives and specialists of the biotechnological, pharmaceutical and food and agriculture industries, among other areas prioritized by the two governments for the development of mutually beneficial business, explained Rocha.

Cuba to Preside over World Health Assembly

HAVANA, Cuba, Feb 3 (acn) Cuba will preside over the 67th World Health Assembly, Dr. Antonio González, head of international agencies of the Cuban Ministry of Public Health announced today in Geneva

This appointment is recognition of the achievements of the Revolution in this sphere and its role in the international arena, González said

Cuba's participation in the World Health Organization (WHO) is widely recognized, as well as collaborating with the rest of the world in this field, the official said in statements published today by Prensa Latina news agency.

This Assembly, to be held on May 19-24 May, is the supreme instance decision of the organization, founded in 1948, the specialist added.

Right now thousands of doctors and other health workers in the Caribbean nation maintain their cooperation in some 60 countries from different continents.

González participated in the Swiss city in the 134 WHO Executive Board session, that gathered 34 countries from all regions of the world, including six from America.

On this occasion they addressed various topics, such as a plan for the elimination of tuberculosis from now to 2025 and another to finish polio eradication, as well as health goals after 2015, he said.

Other issues discussed were the nutrition of infants and young children, hepatitis and the decade of vaccines.

The Executive Council also discussed the reform of WHO, especially in management, planning and governance structures.

Gonzalez recalled the role of WHO, the highest health body belonging to the United Nations that brings together 197 countries, and is responsible for managing policies to prevent and combat major health problems globally.


News on Cuba - January 30, 2014 PDF Print E-mail

Fidel Castro Meets Latin American Presidents

HAVANA, Cuba, Jan 30 (acn) Cuban Revolution leader Fidel Castro met with several Latin American Presidents who attended the 2nd Summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States.

In his home, the Cuban leader shared views with Ecuador’s Rafael Correa, Bolivia’s Evo Morales and Nicaragua’s Daniel Ortega, as well as with Uruguay’s Jose Mujica and Mexico’s Enrique Peña Nieto in different meetings.

A major point during the conversations was the need to lower extreme poverty, hunger, illiteracy and inequality in the nations of this region, which are considered goals that can be reached with the implementation of economic and social development programs.

The visiting leaders expressed their gratefulness for the hospitality, organization of the summit and its results, as well as for Cuba´s permanent support.

The need for peace, the wellbeing of the people and the survival of humanity was at the center of a conversation with Uruguay´s Jose Mujica, who visited Fidel on Thursday afternoon.

Later the Revolution leader also met with Mexico´s Enrique Peña Nieto particularly on international issues, such as the need to reach nuclear disarmament and to consolidate Latin America and the Caribbean as a Zone of Peace.

The historic friendly ties between Cuba and Mexico were also at the center of the conversation between the Mexican President and the Cuban leader.

Raul Castro Meets Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto

HAVANA, Cuba, Jan 30 (acn) Cuban President Raul Castro met with Mexican head of state Enrique Peña Nieto on Thursday afternoon.

The two presidents corroborated the good state of bilateral relations between their countries and they reiterated their will to keep increasing bilateral exchange, particularly in trade and cooperation. They also stressed the strengthening of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States as a regional integration and coordination mechanism.

The meeting was attended by Mexico´s foreign minister Jose Antonio Meade; the undersecretary for Latin America and the Caribbean, Vanesa Rubio, and Mexican ambassador to Havana Juan Jose Bremer.

On the Cuban side was first vice-president Miguel Diaz Canel; foreign minister Bruno Rodriguez and Foreign Trade and Investment minister Rodrigo Malmierca.

The Cuban President also met with Costa Rica´s President Laura Chinchilla, who assumed the temporary chair of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States during the last session of the summit on Thursday.

The two presidents addressed bilateral cooperation between their countries and the prospects of such links.

President Chinchilla was accompanied by Costa Rican foreign minister Jose Enrique Castillo.

Correa Calls Speaking with Fidel Castro a Privilege

Quito, Jan. 30 (Prensa Latina) Speaking with a living legend such as Fidel Castro is always a privilege, said Ecuador's president Rafael Correa today, after meeting yesterday in Havana with the historical leader of the Cuban Revolution.

In a press conference offered this Thursday in Quito, just a few hours after returning from the 2nd Summit for the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), held in the Cuban capital, Correa said that he found Fidel Castro very lucid.

We spoke of the attacks that Cuba has suffered all these years, and he told us how the United States had been trying to annex Cuba ever since the days of U.S. president John Quincy Adams, who held that under the "ripe fruit" principle, Cuba ought to fall readily into U.S. hands, said the Ecuadorian leader.

Correa, who has been leading a Citizens Revolution in Ecuador since 2007, to build 21st century socialism, added that in his meeting with the historical Cuban leader, 87, the two also spoke about history, and about CELAC.

"When you speak with Fidel, you get the sense that you are speaking with a wise man and it makes me think of those elderly Jesuits, retired after a life filled with service," said Correa.

Peña Nieto Reaffirms Mexico-Cuba Friendship to Fidel Castro

Mexico, Jan 30 (Prensa Latina) President Enrique Peña Nieto reaffirmed the friendly relations between his country and Cuba to the historic leader of the Cuban Revolution Fidel Castro, the Mexican president stated today after returning from Havana.

According to the head of this federal State, he expressed to Fildel Castro in the meeting they held last night his interest in achieving unity among the Latin American and Caribbean countries.

In the conversation, both parts tackled past experiences of the Cuba revolutionary leader in Mexico and the first official visit by Peña Nieto to the Caribbean island, the president referred.

To me, it was the first time to be in Havana and the opportunity to meet a character of the history of Latin America and humanity in recent years, said Peña Nieto in the early morning at the presidential hangar.

According to the Mexican president, who traveled to Cuba on Monday to participate in the 2nd Summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) and pay a State visit, the objective of the meeting was reaffirming the historic fraternity between both countries.

About the CELAC summit, he highlighted that the integrationist authority can be an instrument with a lot to offer and Mexico would play its role to continue building a clearer identity.

2nd CELAC Summit Winds Up in Havana

HAVANA, Cuba, Jan 30 (acn) The 2nd Summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) was brought to a close on Wednesday in this capital by Army General Raul Castro, President of the Cuban councils of State and Ministers.

During his speech, Raúl passed on to the heads of state and other personalities attending the important forum the gratitude of the Cuban government and people for their participation these days in wide and profound debates on the issues of greatest concern for countries of the region.

He asserted that the meeting, carried out at Havana’s Pabexpo showground, has reiterated that the prevailing world economic order has to be changed in order to eradicate poverty, and has underlined the significance of the permanent sovereignty of States over their natural resources.

The Cuban head of state pointed out that important agreements around momentous topics were reached in this framework, among which the proclamation of Latin America and the Caribbean as a Peace Zone, and those referred to intra and extra regional cooperation, excelled.

After his speech, Raúl handed over the pro-tempore chairmanship the CELAC to the Costa Rican head of state, Laura Chinchilla, to whom he wished success in this endeavor.

In her speech, the dignitary expressed the pride and responsibility the assumption of that chairmanship entails, a task the Costa Rican government and people will receive with great enthusiasm.

For a year, we should be a catalytic agent of the efforts shared by our peoples she stated, while assuring that the CELAC is a task of all of its members.

Prior to the closing ceremony, the heads of state and government, as well as the delegations attending the meeting, established their stances around important challenges of the 33 nations making up the bloc.

Costa Rica Assumes Pro Tempore Chairmanship of the CELAC

HAVANA, Cuba, Jan 30 (acn) Laura Chinchilla, the first woman that won the top legislature of Costa Rica, assumed on Wednesday the pro tempore chairmanship of the Community of Latin-American and Caribbean States (CEDLAC), handed over to her by Cuban President Raul Castro.

During the final session of the meeting, Chinchilla highlighted that her country has the responsibility of working in favor of the interests of member nations, with actions that can generate cooperation, solidarity, understanding and confidence.

She underlined that the CELAC does not exist to make enemies, but to promote sustainable development, peace, equality and social justice, with the help of other established organizations that have power for decision making, organizing projects and assessing results.

We will strive to be on a par with the presidents that preceded us, she stated, with the greatest willingness of open dialogue.

Chinchilla is in the final stage of her term of office in her country, so she symbolically said good-bye to the forum, and emphasized that her successor will carry on with what has been achieved in CELAC, in line with the objectives of integration devised since its creation.

Also before closing the important meeting, the heads of state and governmental authorities of the 33 member nations approved the final documents of the CELAC, after two intense days of exchanges.

The texts include the Declaration of Havana, among other special documents, and the Plan of Action for 2014, which will be put into practice by Costa Rica starting from Wednesday and until the end of its administration in 2015, when Ecuador will assume the pro tempore chairmanship of the CELAC.

Cuban President Raul Castro highlighted the declaration of the region as a Peace Zone, with absolute respect to the precepts of the UN Charter, among the achievements of the Summit.

He pointed out that Cuba will continue working arduously in the organization and as a member of the quartet that guides the steps of the regional organization.

Declaration of Havana Reaffirms CELAC as a Regional Coordination Mechanism

HAVANA, Cuba, Jan 30 (acn) The Declaration of Havana, adopted on Thursday, by the summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, reaffirmed the role of the bloc as a regional space for dialog and political coordination.

The document stresses the determination to jointly work for the wellbeing of the people of regional countries and expresses the need to advance regional integration.

The 83-paragraph document also includes the main tasks to undertake the bloc and the problems facing the region in all areas.

The declaration reiterates the CELAC member states position that unity and integration must progressively be achieved, with flexibility, respect to diversity and to the right of each state to choose its own political and economic system.

Comprehensive and inclusive development is a priority expressed in the document, in order to guarantee sustainable and productive progress, in harmony with the environment.

The heads of state also expressed in the declaration their determination to jointly work in order to face the challenges posed by the current world situation and to boost economic growth that favor social inclusion and equality.

Emphasis is put on the need to work for food security, literacy, education the development of agriculture and the achievement of universal public health services.

The Latin American and Caribbean nature of Puerto Rico was reiterated in the document as well as the commitment to work so that Latin America and the Caribbean be a territory free of colonialism.

The document rejects unilateral certification of states related to terrorism, drug trafficking, and other categories, including the US blacklisting of Cuba as a state sponsor of terrorism. The text also backs the Argentinean claim over the Malvinas islands.

Also included is the rejection of the over-50-year US economic, commercial and financial blockade of Cuba.

The summit was attended by 29 presidents, president-elect of Chile, Michelle Bachelet and other representatives. During two days, the sessions addressed a large array of issues relevant to the problems facing our region, particularly the fight on hunger, poverty and inequalities.

Venezuela Advocates to Change from Thought to Actions in CELAC

Havana, Jan 29 (Prensa Latina) The President of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro, proposed today to establish a permanent working method and a presidential agenda so that the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) operates with more efficiency and dynamism.

It is time to boost the revitalization and strengthening of the CELAC, he remarked in the plenary of the 2nd Summit of this organization which gathers 33 nations of the region in this capital.

We have accumulated an essential and common heritage, now it is time to change from the idea to the action, stated the president.

He also added that it was time to turn the CELAC into a new model "with political effectiveness " of integration, union and action.

Maduro reiterated his gratitude to the government and people of Cuba for so much solidarity and thanked all the members of the CELAC for the acknowledgements made to the leader of the Venezuelan Revolution, Hugo Chávez, for his contribution to the unity and integration of Latin America.

The 2nd Summit of the CELAC concludes today in Havana, with the presence of almost Heads of State and government of the region.

Bolivian President Calls for Alliance Against U.S. Pressure

Havana, Jan 29 (Prensa Latina) The president of Bolivia, Evo Morales, urged here today the governments of member countries of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) to join in order to put an end to the history of U.S. pressure on the region.

Speaking at the Second Summit of CELAC which ends today in this capital, the president reflected the interference of the United States and other powers as obstacles to the development of Latin America and the Caribbean.

Morales stressed the preference of the mighty for keeping humiliated the countries in the area countries, rather than seen them develop, that is why described the unity as needed.

Latin America and the Caribbean can not be governed by provisions of the empire.

Mujica: We Have Taken a Fantastic Step by Creating CELAC

HAVANA, Cuba, Jan 29 (acn) Jose Mujica, President of the Oriental Republic of Uruguay, said in Havana that the creation of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) is a great step towards integration.

Speaking at the round of Heads of State and Government, corresponding to the II Summit of CELAC, the president said that the entity will allow them to face together the globalization of the economy and the evils associated with this.

He asserted that it is a priority for the people of the region the permanent elevation of the cultural level of its citizens, especially the younger generation.

Mujica recalled that phenomena such as climate change, desertification and drought affect all humanity, so we all need to join forces to mitigate its effects.

The Uruguayan president called on Latin American and Caribbean governments to preserve natural resources, which are used in an unbalanced way in many nations.

He took the opportunity to also encourage them to multiply initiatives in favor of preserving the human species.

In his words he recognized the efforts of Cuba aimed at achieving the integration of all nations within the bloc.


News on Cuba - January 29, 2014 PDF Print E-mail

CELAC Summit begins with tribute to Hugo Chavez

HAVANA, Cuba, Jan 28 (acn) The Second Summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) began today with a tribute of the 33 member nations of the region for the late Commander Hugo Chávez.

Opening the great event, which runs today and tomorrow at the PABEXPO fairgrounds, Cuban President Raul Castro asked those present to a minute of silence in tribute to the memory of whom he described as one of the unforgettable leaders of our America.

Chavez was a fervent promoter of independence, integration, solidarity and unity of Latin America and the Caribbean, and the very creation of this community, Raul said.

Cuba Argues Chances of Eradicating Illiteracy in LatAm

HAVANA, Cuba, Jan 28 (acn) “We have all the opportunities, resources and methodologies to banish illiteracy from Latin America and the Caribbean,” the President of the Councils of State and Ministers of Cuba Army General Raul Castro said today in this capital.

To achieve this goal, we must have the political will to do it and to provide our people the ability to access all levels of education, the Cuban leader said.

He said that nothing that we propose would be possible without an educated and cultured people.

He mentioned about the advantages that encourage the integration mechanisms in the region and their organizations, including MERCOSUR, ALBA, Petrocaribe, UNASUR, CARICOM and others.

Raul gave the opening speech at the first session of the Second Summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States ( CELAC) , in the great hall of the PABEXPO fairgrounds.

Raul Castro Asks to Turn Riches into Development of LatAm

HAVANA, Cuba, Jan 28 (acn) Cuban President Raul Castro said today that all the wealth of Latin America and the Caribbean should become an engine for the elimination of existing inequalities in the region.

Opening in this capital the Second Summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), Raul said it is an imperative and challenge to be able to transform all that physical capital in human capital.

Addressing the Heads of State and Government, as well as heads of delegations attending the great event, he called the bloc's member countries to exercise full sovereignty over natural resources, and consider appropriate policies in relation to foreign investment and transnational corporations in their nations.

He also referred to the significant gaps the educational sphere is facing in the region, but stressed that they have shown progress in access to primary education.

The Second Celac Summit will run for two days, and all LatAm and the Caribbean president will speak in this forum

Raul Meets with Visiting UN Secretary General Ban Ki- moon

HAVANA, Cuba, Jan 28 (acn) Army General Raul Castro, President of the councils of State and Ministers, met with Ban Ki- moon, Secretary General of the United Nations (UN), who is in Cuba to participate in the 2nd Summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC).

During the meeting, held on Monday afternoon, the two parties spoke about different topics on the international agenda. Ban Ki- moon praised Cuba’s performance as pro-tempore chairman of the CELAC; for his part, the Cuban head of state expressed his appreciation for the presence of the Secretary General on the island and reiterated Cuba’s commitment to multilateralism, the UN Charter and International Law.

Accompanying the distinguished visitor were Susana Malcorra, associate secretary general and head of his cabinet; Barbara Pesce-Monteiro, resident coordinator of the UN system in Cuba and Alicia Barcenas, Executive Secretary of the CEPAL. Also present for Cuba were Cuban First Deputy Foreign Minister Marcelino Medina and Cuba’s ambassador to the UN, Rodolfo Reyes.

Cuba’s Efforts to Consolidate Unity, Highlighted

HAVANA, Cuba, Jan 27 (acn) The President of Costa Rica, Laura Chinchilla, highlighted on Monday in this capital the efforts made by Cuba to consolidate the unity of the peoples of Latin America and the Caribbean.

At Havana’s Jose Marti International Airport, Cuban Culture Minister Rafael Bernal welcomed the visitor, who will take part in the 2nd Summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) that will be held on Tuesday and Wednesday at Pabexpo. Chinchilla took advantage of the occasion to send greetings to the Cuban people, highlighted her satisfaction for the possibility of being in the Caribbean nation, and thanked the host government for its cordial welcome.

Cuban Youngsters Honor Marti in Torch March

HAVANA, Cuba, Jan 28 (acn) Army General Raul Castro, President of the councils of State and Ministers and thousands of Cuban youngsters participated on Monday night in a Torch March to pay tribute to Jose Marti, on the occasion of the 161st anniversary of his birth.

Also present to honor the Cuban National Hero were the presidents of Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro; Bolivia, Evo Morales; Uruguay, Jose Mujica, and other dignitaries of Latin America and prime ministers of Caribbean nations.

Participants in the march left from the steps of the University of Havana towards the Fragua Martiana Museum –a National Monument-, where the Apostle suffered a prison sentence, a few hours before the beginning of the 2nd Summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), scheduled for January 28 and 29 in this capital.

Fidel Holds Fraternal Meeting with Dilma Rousseff

HAVANA, Cuba, Jan 27 (acn) The historic leader of the Revolution, Fidel Castro, held on Monday evening a fraternal meeting with the President of the Federative Republic of Brazil Dilma Rousseff, who heads her country’s delegation to the 2nd Summit of the CELAC and carries out an official visit to Cuba.

In a pleasant dialogue, Dilma expressed her particular motivation to attend the inauguration of the first stage of the Special development Zone of Mariel. She referred to its importance for Cuba and said it is a concrete example of the process of integration taking place between peoples in the region. Dilma also expressed her satisfaction for the performance of Cuban physicians in the most isolated places of Brazil.

Other topics of interest on the international agenda were tackled during the fruitful exchange.

The meeting was an expression of the affection and admiration existing between Fidel and Dilma.

Fidel Receives the Prime Minister of Jamaica

HAVANA, Cuba, Jan 28 (acn) On Monday evening, the historic leader of the Revolution, Fidel Castro, received President Portia Simpson Miller, who heads the Jamaican delegation to the 2nd Summit of the CELAC and carries out an official visit to Cuba.

During the friendly meeting, Fidel and Portia Simpson recalled the historic relations existing between Cuba and Jamaica and highlighted the development of cooperation in important spheres like health, education and sports, among others. The meeting was also an expression of the bonds of fraternity existing between the two peoples.

Cuba and Brazil Expand Medical Cooperation

HAVANA, Cuba, Jan 28 (acn) The fourth brigade of Cuban health specialists will soon travel to Brazil to offer its services in that South American nation.

This time, 2,000 volunteer workers in this sphere will join the program More Physicians for Brazil, announced Cuban Public Health Minister Roberto Morales, who gave the contingent its banner during a ceremony held at the Central Unit of Medical Cooperation.

Once they start offering their services there, there will be 7,430 Cuban health workers in Brazil contributing to increase the quality of life of its inhabitants, even in isolated places like in the state of the Amazon.

During the meeting, Brazilian Health Minister Alexander Rocha Santos Padilla expressed that his people appreciates the presence of these physicians since the arrival of the first group in August, 2013, the devotion and excellent service of which is acknowledged by the Brazilian government and people, he asserted.

The CEPAL to Accompany the Region’s Development Agenda

HAVANA, Cuba, Jan 27 (acn) Alicia Barcena, Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (CEPAL), expressed on Monday in this capital the commitment of that center of studies with regional development.

While handing over a document entitled Economic and Social Panorama of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), 2013, during a meeting of foreign ministers of the countries that are members of that initiative of integration, the official recalled that the CEPAL has accompanied CELAC from the start.

The head of the CEPAL also presented to the foreign ministers of the nations making up the CELAC, met at Pabexpo, the study entitled Natural Resources: situation and tendencies for a regional development agenda in Latin America and the Caribbean.
With these two documents, the CEPAL hopes to contribute to the debates that will take place during the CELAC meeting and that they become a permanent annual publication that accompanies every CELAC summit, asserted Barcenas.
Created in 1948, the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean is one of the five UN regional commissions in charge of promoting the economic and social development of the region, and works as a center of studies.

Ban Ki-moon says UN will work with Cuba

HAVANA, Cuba, Jan 27 (acn) Ban Ki-moon, Secretary General of the United Nations (UN) for the first time in Cuba on an official visit, reiterated in this capital the willingness of the international body to work together with Cuba

The distinguished visitor held a cordial exchange Monday with Marino Murillo Jorge, vice president of the Council of Ministers, head of the Commission for Implementation and Development of Guidelines for Economic and Social Policy of the Party and the Revolution.

Ban Ki-moon attended the meeting accompanied by Alicia Barcenas, Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC).

Both personalities will participate in the Second Summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), which will be held on January 28 and, in theHavana’s PABEXPO Fairgrounds.

Ban Ki-moon acknowledged the efforts of the Cuban nation to boost crucial economic and social changes, and inquired about the progress of the important transformations underway.

Murillo, meanwhile, said it is an honor to have an exchange with the Secretary General of United Nations, and asserted that Cuba recognizes and appreciates the international cooperation of the UN, through its development agencies, and praised the actions UN promotes in favor of implementing the resolutions adopted by its Member States.

The Vice President of the Council of Ministers highlighted the particularly extensive exchange and cooperation between the island and ECLAC, which will continue to spread in the future.

Ban Ki -moon Rates Cuban Med School As the Most Advanced in the World

HAVANA, Cuba, Jan (acn ) Ban Ki -moon , Secretary General of the UN told young students of the Latin American School of Medicine ( ELAM) they should feel " very fortunate and grateful " to be able to be part of that institution, "the most advanced in the world ."

Accompanied by Alicia Barcena, Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean ( ECLAC) , the high official visited the renowned campus , where he was received by Dr. Roberto Morales, Minister of Public Health.

Ban Ki -moon thanked Cuba for its “great contributions" in health , and be at the forefront of South- South cooperation , and the first line of medicine worldwide.

He said he has seen the Cuban doctors working in difficult places, and communities plunged into despair by natural disasters.

Too often they are the first to reach the neediest places and the last to leave, he said.

He stated that Cuba can teach the world about the health system, and acknowledged its contribution in opening medical schools in other countries.

He highlighted the achievements of the Caribbean nation, which exhibits a low infant mortality rate, high life expectancy, and universal health coverage.

He also acknowledged the Cuban cooperation in Haiti and African nations, as well as its participation in Operation Miracle, a mission that has helped restore sight to thousands of people.

Ki-moon held a warm and fraternal contact with students, whom he urged to learn all they can, to seize the opportunity given to them by Cuba, and to work with the United Nations to make this a healthier and stronger world.

Ban Ki-moon meets with Fidel Castro

HAVANA, Cuba, Jan 29 (acn) The historic leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro Ruz , received the Secretary General of the United Nations , Ban Ki -moon , who is attending as a guest the Second Summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean , CELAC .

At the meeting yesterday afternoon they addressed various issues that strongly influence regional conflicts that concern and affect different people, Granma newspaper reported.

Fidel and Ban Ki -moon considered as a priority the work for the sustainable development and to contribute to the reduction of the main causes of climate change and its devastating effects.

They agreed on the imperative of fighting with concrete measures for nuclear disarmament and against the dangers to humanity that can lead to a war of incalculable proportions.

During the meeting they argued the need for a world of peace and stressed the responsibility that political leaders have to reduce extreme poverty, hunger, poor health, inequality and promote economic and social development.

The distinguished visitor expressed his satisfaction with his stay in Cuba, praised the changes that are taking place in the Cuban economy and society and, in particular, recognized the results of our country's health system, education and other essential indicators of social development, and their solidarity with other nations, despite the limitations and difficulties.

Ban Ki -moon stressed the fulfillment by the Cuban Government of the Millennium Development Goals and its ongoing collaboration with the United Nations System.

The meeting was characterized by a deep and relaxed dialogue.


Fidel Receives Prime Minister of Saint Lucia

HAVANA, Cuba, Jan 29 (acn) Fidel Castro Ruz, historical leader of the Revolution, received on Tuesday night the Honourable Dr. Kenny Davis Anthony, Prime Minister of St. Lucia, who is attending the second Summit of CELAC.

According to Granma newspaper, the fraternal meeting was an expression of the historical relations between Cuba and Santa Lucia, characterized by an unchanging spirit of cooperation and solidarity between our governments and peoples. Other important issues on the international agenda were also addressed in the dialogue.

Kenny Anthony expressed his eternal gratitude to Cuba for the support in the training of doctors, nurses, engineers and other professionals and the contribution to the social development of the sister Caribbean country.

The exchange took place in a friendly atmosphere and sincere friendship.

Ban Ki-Moon stressed Celac Contribution to Peace

HAVANA, Cuba, January 28 (acn) United Nations secretary general Ban Ki-moon stressed the commitment of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) to contribute to peace and security. “I’m pleased to see the development of Colombia’s peace negotiations.

I salute the efforts of so many contries to help Haiti” said Ban and he recalled that Latin America pioneered the unexistence of nuclear wepons.

Everyday safety of citizens on the streets continue to be a challenge for the region, Ban said and added that he was satisfied to see the important debate underway on the issue of drug trafficking. “You are contributing a very particular perspective,”he noted and went on to say that if CELAC strengthen the United Nations will strengthen too.

“I am dreaming with my eyes wide open day and night. I always dream. Let’s advance with the best feelings towards the construction of a world of peace, development and human rights for all.”

Rafael Correa: Integration is no longer a dream

HAVANA, Cuba, Jan 29 (acn ) The integration is no longer a dream and a desire for our Liberator , is a great need,Rafael Correa, President of Ecuador , said in an interview with the multinational Telesur network.

From the newsroom of the Summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) he said that “our America must shake off all neocolonialism.”

"The most abundant are still those neocolonial attempts and the only way to protect ourselves from that world order is the integration," the leader of the Citizen Revolution said, before hundreds of journalists that were watching the live interview.

Correa stressed the need for Latin American and Caribbean countries to face colonial impositions such as the United States over Puerto Rico , and reiterated that the for fight against colonialism cohesion is inescapable and " the conviction to build the Patria Grande”

He urged for a greater unity between the governments of Latin America and the Caribbean to reject interference and international intervention.

He added that there are genuine integrationist sentiments in the governments of different trends, real conviction for democracy and the problems of the region must be addressed in the bodies of the area as the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR), the Bolivarian Alliance for the peoples Americas or CELAC.

The president said that coinciding with the anniversary 161 of the birth of José Marti, in his country they remembered today the national hero Eloy Alfaro, at 102 years of the death of former president of the Andean nation who was murdered in tragic circumstances

Mexican Peña Nieto Urges LatAm to Unite in Defense of CELAC

HAVANA, Cuba, Jan 29 (acn) Enrique Peña Nieto, President of Mexico, urged to unite in the defense of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) , a space for political dialogue to ensure the development of the entire region in a constructive and mutually respectful climate.

I pray that this space we are feeding may contribute to give everyone in the area a future of greater development and prosperity, the Mexican president said speaking at the first plenary session of the Second Summit of Celac.

Before heads of state and government officials and high level representatives of the 33 member countries of CELAC, Peña Nieto referred to the need to maintain the existing approach, which took decades to build, and considered it as the realization of a dream of many at last achieved.

He called to be ambitious in the future goals of greater commercial integrity that this entity arises , something possible, he said , in response to the potential of the region, currently with a market activity 20 percent higher than the European Union’s

He said the consolidation of CELAC as regional integration mechanism is a desire shared by Summit participants, and said that it is “worth designing actions that advance the common goal of ensuring prosperity for our peoples."

After weighing the dynamic economic growth that the region exhibits, he drew attention; however, on the challenges it faces in terms of hunger, poverty and inequality, which highlights the need to promote agendas of inclusive growth, to reduce levels of inequality.

He also tackled the main results in the first year of his administration, among which he cited the reduction of people living in extreme poverty and the reforms in education, finances, telecommunications and energy.

He considered productivity as a key element to ensure the development and insisted on greater attention to this indicator, in order to turn the region into a more competitive area.

Cuba: Venezuela Museum Opens in tribute to Hugo Chavez

HAVANA, Cuba, Jan 29 (acn) Cuban President Raúl Castro led in this capital a tribute to the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez before the last day of sessions of the Second Summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States ( CELAC).

Nicolas Maduro , President of Venezuela, and other heads of state and government of the region, attended the inauguration of the Venezuela, Free Land Museum , located in the Cabaña Fortress, located to the east of Havana City.

At the event, Maduro said the initiative is a true act of love by the Cuban people and its authorities, to remember a dear friend, a man whose traces are still fresh and whose voice echoes in our America.

Chavez was a great warrior of the light, of the ideas , which reunited the roads lost 200 years ago, and taught us that history is not only a testament to the past but is alive and is a continuous process , he said.

He explained that the purpose of this space is to remember the story of a rebel, a fighter, his path through Venezuela and Latin America, which continues to set the path of solidarity and true unity in diversity.

Commander President Hugo Chavez was one of the biggest drivers of CELAC as a mechanism of coordination and integration, release and development of nations south of the Rio Bravo.

The facility has two rooms, with plenty of artwork on the progress of Venezuela in 15 years of revolution and also the life of this remarkable man, from his childhood in Barinas, until his physical disappearance on March 5, 2013.

The President of Guatemala Calls to Fight Poverty in the Area

HAVANA, Cuba, Jan 28 (acn) Otto Perez, President of Guatemala, called on Tuesday to join efforts among the governments of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) to fight poverty and hunger, the most serious problems faced by countries in the region.

During a brief meeting with some media outlets accredited to the 2nd CELAC Summit, inaugurated on Tuesday at Pabexpo, west of the capital, Perez highlighted his country’s efforts in the struggle against that scourge, and added: “we have what we call a zero hunger pact to prevent the chronic and acute malnutrition of our children under five years of age.”

He specified that unity will make it possible to progress in the struggle against poverty and announced that that during his stay in Cuba he will hold a meeting with the Cuban President, Army General Raul Castro, to tackle matters of common interest.

The head of state recalled that the island cooperates with Guatemala in public health and education.

The search for concrete actions to eradicate the hunger and poverty of the peoples of Latin America and the Caribbean is one of the main topics of debate at the Summit.

The issue of children’s poverty, which affects 70.5 million children and adolescents, is of particular interest in the area, according to the Cuban President during the opening of the forum.

France Stresses Importance of CELAC for Europe

HAVANA, Cuba, Jan 29 (acn) The Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC ) is a very important partner for the European Union and both maintain close and timely dialogue marked by a biennial summit in Paris, a spokesman of the French Foreign Ministry said today.

In statements published by Prensa Latina on the Summit which will end today in Havana, the official, Romain Nadal , said that France is very interested in the work of this new political forum .

The CELAC, which brings together 33 States, is an important aspiration of the unity of the region, which claims its emergence in the stability and democracy, Nadal said.

The spokesman recalled that France had greeted the birth of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States since its inception in 2011.

CELAC and the European Union (EU) held their first summit in Santiago, Chile in January 2013, which was attended by the head of the French government, prime Minister Jean Marc Ayrault .

France has made its relations with Latin America one of the priorities of its foreign policy, Nadal highlighted.

Proclamation of Latin America and Caribbean as a zone of peace

(Original signed by the Heads of State and Governmenent of the Community of Latin American and Caribbeans States)

The Heads of State and Government of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) gathered in Havana, Cuba on January 28 and 29, 2014 at the Second Summit, on behalf of their peoples and faithfully interpreting their hopes and aspirations,

Reaffirming the commitment of member countries with the Purposes and Principles enshrined in the United Nations Charter and International Law, and aware of the fact that prosperity and stability in the region contribute to international peace and security,

Mindful that peace is a supreme asset and a legitimate aspiration of all peoples and that preserving peace is a substantial element of Latin America and Caribbean integration and a principle and common value of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC),

Reaffirming that integration consolidates the vision of a fair International order based on the right to peace and a culture of peace, which excludes the use of force and non-legitimate means of defense, such as weapons of mass destruction and nuclear weapons in particular,

Highlighting the relevance of the Tlatelolco Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean establishing the first nuclear weapon free zone in a densely populated area, this being a contribution to peace and to regional and international security,

Reiterating the urgent need of General and Complete Nuclear Disarmament, as well as the commitment with the Strategic Agenda of the Organization for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean (OPANAL), adopted by the 33 Member States of the Organization in the General Conference held in Buenos Aires in August, 2013.

Recalling the principles of peace, democracy, development and freedom underlying the actions of countries members of SICA,

Recalling the decision of UNASUR Heads of State of consolidating South America as a Zone of Peace and Cooperation,

Recalling the establishment, in 1986, of the Zone of Peace and Cooperation of the South Atlantic,

Recalling also our commitment, agreed in the Declaration of the Summit of Unity of Latin America and the Caribbean, on 23 February 2010, to promote the implementation of our own mechanisms for the for peaceful conflict resolution,

Reiterating our commitment to consolidate Latin America and the Caribbean as a Zone of Peace, in which differences between nations are peacefully settled through dialogue and negotiations or other means, fully consistent with International Law,

Cognizant also of the catastrophic global and long-term humanitarian impact of the use of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction, and the ongoing discussions on this issue, Declare:

  1. Latin America and the Caribbean as a Zone of Peace based on respect for the principles and rules of International Law, including the international instruments to which Member States are a party to, the Principles and Purposes of the United Nations Charter;
  2. Our permanent commitment to solve disputes through peaceful means with the aim of uprooting forever threat or use of force in our region;
  3. The commitment of the States of the region with their strict obligation not to intervene, directly or indirectly, in the internal affairs of any other State and observe the principles of national sovereignty, equal rights and self-determination of peoples;
  4. The commitment of the peoples of Latin American and Caribbean to foster cooperation and friendly relations among themselves and with other nations irrespective of differences in their political, economic, and social systems or development levels; to practice tolerance and live together in peace with one another as good neighbors;
  5. The commitment of the Latin American and Caribbean States to fully respect for the inalienable right of every State to choose its political, economic, social, and culturalsystem, as an essential conditions to ensure peaceful coexistence among nations;
  6. The promotion in the region of a culture of peace based, inter alia, on the principles of the United Nations Declaration on a Culture of Peace;
  7. The commitment of the States in the region to guide themselves by this Declaration in their International behavior;
  8. The commitment of the States of the region to continue promoting nuclear disarmament as a priority objective and to contribute with general and complete disarmament, to foster the strengthening of confidence among nations;

We urge all Member States of the International Community to fully respect this Declaration in their relations with CELAC Member States.

In witness of the undersigned having duly signed this Proclamation in Havana, on the 29th day of the month of January of 2014, in a copy written in the Spanish, English, French and Portuguese languages.

(Cuban News Agency)

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

Cuba Headed CELAC under the Principle of Respect for Diversity

HAVANA, Cuba, Jan 22 (acn) Cuba developed its pro-tempore presidency of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) in 2013 with high commitment and under the principle of respect for diversity, said deputy foreign minister Abelardo Moreno.

In statements to Cuban television, Moreno said that the Cuban agenda always included at least one aspect related to the fight on poverty, hunger and inequalities.

The government official said that there is still a long way to go in this regards, though the Cuban presidency made steps on the right path as the island committed to the full incorporation of Caribbean nations to the regional bloc.

We must consider that these countries have a special situation, they are more vulnerable to world economic crises and factors, such as climate change, so they require a different kind of treatment, he noted.

Among the documents to be debated at the 2nd CELAC Summit, to take place January 28 and 29 in Havana, there are many proposals by Caribbean nations, which the deputy minister described as an unprecedented element revealing the strength gained by the Community.

The consolidation of the bloc’s international presence was another major objective, said Moreno who added that the world acknowledges CELAC as the interlocutor for Latin America.

And despite all differences in thinking, economic and political models, CELAC defends consensus, which consolidates the unity of the Community, said the deputy foreign minister.

Puerto Rican Independence Activists will Follow Celac Summit in Havana

HAVANA, Cuba, Jan 22 (acn) Members of Puerto Rican Independence-oriented organizations will come to Havana in the context of the Second Summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, which will promote the membership of Puerto Rico.

The co-president of the National Hostosiano Independence Movement of Puerto Rico, Wilma Reveron, said that a group from her organization would first travel to Caracas to to take part at a cultural and political forum called by the Venezuelan Foreign Ministry, as a prior action to their travel to Havana.

The independence leader said they expect to have necessary international support to achieve the inclusion of Puerto Rico as member of the Latin American and Caribbean bloc.

Costa Rican Ambassador to Cuba Reaffirms Regional Integration

Havana, Jan 22 (Prensa Latina) Costa Rican Ambassador to Cuba, Hubert Mendez, said the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) strengthens regional integration.

According to television reports, Mendez confirmed that with this political event of great significance, regional countries went from being naturally bonded to integrally united, not only in political, but also in cultural and environmental aspects.

CELAC is the step we are waiting to have an integration system in which all Latin American and Caribbean countries are represented, he noted.

He also stated that the success of the Community is in the respect to diversity and, on this basis, in search of common elements to achieve integration.

The 2nd CELAC Summit, to be held in Havana on Jan. 28-29, will be a moment to show we are building a zone for peace, sustainable development, social justice, and democracy, he said.

After the meeting, Costa Rica will occupy the pro tempore presidency of the bloc, a responsibility currently played by Cuba.

Homage to Jose Marti in Plaza Bolivar in Caracas

Caracas, Jan 21 (Prensa Latina) Plaza Bolivar in Caracas, where Cuban independence hero José Martí (1853-1895) stopped to pay tribute to the Liberator, today rendered homage on occasion of the 133th anniversary of this historic event.

From Port Cabello in Carabobo state, Martí arrived in Caracas, in January 21,1881. On his arrival, he went to the top of La Pastora, to contemplate Caracas and then followed road to the Plaza Bolivar.

By intervening in the political-cultural event the director of the National Library, Edgar Paez, highlighted the importance of this fact, of great connotation for the continent.

Martí in his request to visit Plaza Bolivar, intended to reach the site where Venezuelans honored their liberator and thus join the tribute, he said.

Tributes for the 133th anniversary of the Marti visit began yesterday at the monument to Bolívar and Martí, located in La Pastora, this capital.

Sponsored by the Venezuelan Ministry for Culture and the House of Our America José Martí, among others, the celebrations are also dedicated to the 161 anniversary of his birthday, on January 28.

Cuba Dedicates International Ballet Festival to Shakespeare

Havana, Jan 21 (Prensa Latina) The Cuban National Ballet (BNC) will dedicated the 24th International Ballet Festival to pay tribute to English playwright William Shakespeare, announced today the organizing committee of the event.

The Festival presided by Cuban prima ballerina assoluta Alicia Alonso will celebrate the 450 years of the poet’s birth staging some of his works which have been transferred to ballet language.

"Dance For Shakespeare" will be the topic of this event scheduled to begin on October 28 and conclude on November 7, 2014, in the National, Mella and Kart Marx Theatres, of Havana, as main venues.


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