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Fidel Castro and Natural Disasters, in Havana Book Fair

Havana, Feb 14 (Prensa Latina) The work of President Fidel Castro on disaster prevention and relief planning attracted the public at the 21st International Book Fair in Havana.

"Fidel Castro and Natural Disasters, Prevention and Relief" by Luis Ramos pictures life-saving effort and government policies in dealing with 51 such events in Cuba and other countries.

Climate and environmental failures in a world ailing with food crises, extreme poverty and domestic and international conflicts are huge challenges for humanity, warned Gisela Alonso, president of Cuba's Environment Agency.

At the release in Havana's Casa del ALBA, the specialist highlighted the book's relevance at exposing Fidel's natural powers to build harmony between man and nature.

Detailed description of historic research reminds of devastating aftermath of earthquakes and other meteorological disasters on society, the people, their communities in Cuba and in sister nations.

Alonso said her primary notes were limited to the most powerful hurricanes to hit Cuba, but later she opted for a transborder overhaul to include Cuba's solidarity aid in adverse scenarios in Pakistan, Haiti, Mexico and Japan, documenting our Revolution's humanistic and non profit spirit from its birth in 1959.


Germany to Host Forum of Solidarity with Cuba

Havana, Feb 13 (Prensa Latina) Berlin will be the venue for an European conference of solidarity with Cuba in November, a forum aimed at spreading the reality of the Island and its struggles, an organizer informed.

In an interview with Prensa Latina, Head of the German Network of Solidarity with Cuba, Harri Grunberg, explained that the meeting is part of actions to confront campaigns and manipulations against Cuba.

Grunberg and other German activists of solidarity with Cuba are visiting the International Book Fair currently running at Morro-Cabana Complex, in Havana.

"We have issued invitations to all active European organizations of solidarity with Cuba with the objective to discuss issues including the fight for the release of the five anti-terrorist Cuban fighters unfairly held in US prisons and rejection of the US economic, commercial, financial blockade on Cuba."

According to Grunberg, the conference will also be a brigt opportunity to give participants details about the implementation of the guidelines of the 6th Congress of the Communist Party of Cuba for updating the country´s economic model.

"It is important to speak about that process because in Europe they invent many stories about what is happening here, and it is up to the solidarity movement to confront them," he said.

"We know that it will be very cold in Berlin in November, but that will not deter us from fulfilling our purposes," he commented at the end of a meeting here with relatives of Gerardo Hernandez, Rene Gonzalez, Antonio Guerrero, Ramon Labanino and Fernando Gonzalez, also known as The Cuban Five, who were arrested in 1998 for monitoring Miami-based terrorist groups that operate against their country.

Grunberg told Prensa Latina that efforts for their release constitute a priority for the German Network of Solidarity with Cuba, which groups 43 political and social organizations.

"Other major issues in our agenda are the condemnation of the US blockade and the struggle to end the European common position against Cuba," he said.


African Ministers Ratify Support for the Cuban Revolution

HAVANA, Cuba, Feb 15 (acn) Education Ministers of eight African countries expressed on Tuesday in this capital their solidarity towards the Cuban Revolution.

During a meeting with representatives of the Cuban Institute for Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP) in this capital, I.S.G. Mudenge, Education Minister in Zimbabwe, expressed that the island is an example of sovereignty to the world.

Mudenge highlighted that they will soon inaugurate a university with Cuban professors, and that they will create a higher sports institute and another one in the sphere of health and sciences, which will be opened to professionals of the Caribbean island.

Joaquin Nchama, Minister of Education and Science of Equatorial Guinea, expressed his gratitude towards the island for preserving African traditions already lost in the continent.

Mundenge and Nchama, along with the Education ministers of Southern Sudan, South Africa, Guinea Bissau, Djibouti, East Timor and Zambia, ratified that they will continue accompanying Cuba in its struggle against the US blockade.

They also reaffirmed their commitment to continue the battle for the return home of five Cubans unfairly condemned in the Unites States for fighting terrorism.

Likewise, they expressed their admiration towards Cuba, which selflessly struggled against colonialism and for the independence of African nations, a heroic deed in which thousands of its children lost their lives.

Kenia Serrano, president of the ICAP, thanked delegations for their solidarity and invited the ministers to participate in the 4th African Regional Meeting of Solidarity with Cuba, to be held in September in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.


Cuba Hosts Meeting of ALBA Foreign Ministers

Havana, Feb 15 (Prensa Latina) Foreign ministers and senior representatives from the eight countries of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our Americas (ALBA) are meeting on Wednesday in Havana to discuss issues of integration and the common agenda.

In addition to the member nations: Venezuela, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Ecuador, Dominica, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Antigua and Barbuda, and Cuba, special guests like Saint Lucia and Surinam are attending the Political Council of the ALBA.

In the Occidental Miramar Hotel, Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez welcomed the members of the bloc, founded in 2004.

On February 4, Venezuela hosted the 11th presidential summit of the Alliance, which dealt with economic issues and the areas of work relating to other topics of interest.


Social Liability of Universities to Center Meeting in Cuba

Havana, Feb 15 (Prensa Latina) Social liability of universities will guide debates in the Ninth Congress University 2014 in Cuba, Minister of Higher Education Miguel Diaz-Canel announced.

The call is consistent with issues discussed previously, Diaz-Canel told journalists during a tour of an exhibit about higher education achievements as part of the 8th Congress, in session until Friday, Feb. 17.

He said that the durability and broad mobilization achieved in the forum have been possible because of the consistency and coherence of issues discussed; all issues are inextricably linked.

"In 2010 we discussed the construction of a better world from the university perspective; now we are talking about sustainable development and two years from now we will talk social liability," said the minister.

A better world is not possible without sustainable development or social liability of the university, added Diaz, Canel, who is also head of the organizing committee of the Congress, which has gathered in Havana nearly 3,000 delegates from 55 countries.

Referring to the large presence of visitors, Diaz-Canel said a highly topical issue is under discussion, as human survival is being decided from an academic view.

The call is to carry out debates with honesty, and besides contributing a culture of sustainable development, the campuses must be the first to having sustainable models.


Industrialized Countries Hinder Doha Round, Cuba Denounces

Geneva, Feb 15 (Prensa Latina) Cuba denounced on Wednesday at the General Council of the World Trade Organization (WTO) the responsibility of industrialized countries in the stalled negotiations of the Doha Round.

"We have taken note of WTO General Director Pascal Lamy's report on the current status of the Round and we view with great concern the uncertain future to ensure full compliance with the objectives that led to its launch in 2001, said Cuban Counselor Nancy Madrigal.

Madrigal said that selfishness and inequality inherent to capitalism, particularly when neoliberal concepts prevail in an asymmetric world, are the real causes of the impasse.

"The reality is that the Round has not been completed because several industrialized countries have refused to take the minimum commitments that these negotiations will require. No other reason affects with more determination the current impasse," said Madrigal.

She reiterated the urgent need to stop the proliferation of non-tariff measures by the most developed, in the form of technical barriers to trade.

Among these, she mentioned the sanitary barriers, private standards and unilateral actions that are inconsistent with the WTO principles.


Frei Betto: Pluriuniversity Linked to the Peoples

Havana, Feb 15 (Prensa Latina) The creation of a pluriuniversity in favor of social development projects linked to social movements was proposed on Wednesday in this capital by Brazilian priest and activist Frei Betto during a international congress on education.

The universities should be centers for mobilization, of complicity with social movements, and a lab of dreams of new possible worlds, Betto said in a lecture at the 8th Congress University 2012, to be run until Friday.

For the intellectual, institutions of higher education must recover its role as critical junctures of society and not only as goods centers that provide skilled labor.

Bringing higher education centers to the popular reality, appropriating the culture of the people, and allowing the entry of social movements were three basic rules mentioned by Betto as requirements for effective work of university extension.

Those centers have committed the evil of disarticulating our vision as citizens, peoples and class, stated the academician, one of the almost 3,000 delegates from 55 countries attending the congress.


Medical Applications of Biotechnology in Havana Conference

Havana, Feb 15 (Prensa Latina) Researchers from Latin America, Europe, Africa and Asia will participate from March 5 to 8 in the Havana Biotechnology Congress 2012, which will be focused on medical applications of this discipline.

Latin America will be present with specialists from Argentina, Mexico, Brazil, Venezuela and Cuba, as host. Scientists from Russia, Germany, Luxembourg, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Spain, Belgium, Denmark, France, Italy, Portugal and the Netherlands will represent Europe.

Researchers from Bangladesh, South Africa, Viet Nam, Israel, Kenya, USA and Canada will also attend the conference.

Therapeutic advances in cardiovascular and autoimmune disease, inflammation and neuro-regeneration are among the main topics.

According to the website of the event, one of the novelties are the satellite video conference covering topics such as glycolic vaccine, vaccines for dengue, and HIV and its therapies.

Biotechnology Havana 2012 and its medical applications has a biannual frequency. The previous conferences brought together experts from some 30 countries. Personalities of the scientific world, including Nobel Awards in Medicine and Chemistry have also atended.


British Youngsters Highlight Achievements of Cuban Revolution

Havana, Feb 15 (Prensa Latina) Members of the Revolutionary Communist Group of Britain expressed their admiration on Tuesday for the achievements of the humanistic process started in Cuba by leader Fidel Castro in 1959.

During a visit to a park in Havana, where people from different generations gather to practice sports, these friends of Cuba donated a series of sports equipment to the National Institute of Sports, Physical Education and Recreation and spoke with children, mothers and elderly people.

In remarks to Prensa Latina, Samantha Cordery, on her second visit to Cuba, said to be very excited and moved for the revolutionary achievements the Cuban people defend.

"This process is concrete and we can witness breakthroughs in sciences, the access to public health care, education and sports," said Cordery on behalf of the brigade founded in 1995.

She said Cuba is an example that inspires us in our political and educational work in Britain, where the public knows little or nothing about this tiny nation´s advances in many fields.

"We are currently promoting the solidarity campaign Rock Around the Blockade, as part of which we demand the end of the US economic, commercial, financial blockade imposed on Cuba for over fifty years," said the activist.

In spite of the blockade, Cuba continues its struggle for the wellbeing of the people, which contrasts with the austerity measures taken by the British government, cutting spending in services and public benefits, she said.

Cordery said that those measures have led to more inequality, poverty, exploitation, violence, drug addiction, unemployment, poor work conditions and racial and sexual discrimination in Britain.


Angolan and Cuban Union Organizations Reinforce Cooperation

Luanda, Feb 14 (Prensa Latina) The UNTA-CS and the Workers' Central Union of Cuba (CTC) agreed to exchange information about work and experiences of both organizations, and the exploration of areas in order to cooperate in labor union training.

Salvador Valdes Mesa, General Secretary of the CTC, and Manuel Augusto Viage, head of the National Union of Angolan Workers-Trade Union Confederation (UNTA-CS), expressed the desire to strengthen ties, through these and other actions.

At a press conference, the representative of the host organization said that the African country wants to use the Cuban experience in labor union training.

He told to Prensa Latina that the organization joins the international campaign for the release of the Cuban Five, who serve long prison sentences in the United States, and demands the cessation of the U.S. blockade against the island.

Valdes Mesa described his visit to Angola as very useful, and highlighted the historic ties of exchange, cooperation and solidarity that unite the CTC and the UNTA-CS.

The Cuban delegation, among other activities, paid a courtesy visit to President of the National Assembly, Antonio Paulo Kassoma, and met with members of the Political Bureau of the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA).


South Africans Condemn the US Blockade against Cuba

Johannesburgo, Feb 14 (Prensa Latina) South Africans in solidarity with Cuba called for the cessation of the U.S. blockade against Cuba and the release of five Cubans convicted in the U.S. since 1998.

During the meeting held in Cape Town, the ambassador Angel Villa answered questions regarding these issues to members of grassroot party structures in the area, community residents and members of the Association of Solidarity with Cuba in that country.

According to a note of the embassy, Villa emphasized the persistence of policy of blockade and aggression against Cuba by the U.S. government.

Villa also addressed the situation of Gerardo Hernandez, Fernando Gonzalez, Ramon Labañino and Antonio Guerrero, in prison, and Rene Gonzalez, under supervised release, after serving a penalty for many years, who warned of violent activities of anti-Cuban groups based in the United States.

At the end of the meeting it was presented the documentary "Will the real Terrorist please stand Up?" by Saul Landau, which covers 50 years of terrorism against Cuba.


Posada Carriles Planned to Attack Cuban Book Fair

Havana, Feb 12 (Prensa Latina) New evidence shows that Luis Posada Carriles planned to carry out violent actions during the International Book Fair Cuba 2012, Cuban-Guatemalan writer Percy Alvarado said in Havana on Saturday.

When presenting his book "Luis Posada Carriles: Un Engendro Incondicional de la CIA" (Luis Posada Carriles: An Unconditional Monster of the CIA), the ex agent Frayle of Cuba's State Security said that the monitoring of the enemy's activity showed that in a recent meeting between Posada Carriles, a well-known terrorist, and his accomplices, they planned the operation.

Alvarado noted that thanks to the immediate action of Cuban secret services, the plan and its possible media show were dismantled, as well as provocations planned in Havana and Santiago de Cuba prior to Pope Benedict XVI's visit in March.

Speaking to his audience at the fortress of San Carlos de la Cabaña, the main venue of the Havana Book Fair, Alvarado noted that among those who tried to carry out those violent actions were the Cuban-born terrorists Santiago Alvarez and Reinol Rodriguez. The latter is the chief of the armed group Alpha 66.

He added that those people are planning other actions to create a conflict between the United States and Cuba based on recent statements by Cuban-American Congresswoman Ileana Ross Lehtinen about the operation of the oil platform in deep waters in the Gulf of Mexico, a region shared by Cuba, the United States and Mexico.

That is why; there will always be an anonymous and modest hero like the five Cuban antiterrorist fighters unjustly held in U.S. prisons, whose release will depend on not yielding in the effort to denounce terrorism against Cuba and internalizing that anyone of us can be one of them.

The book on Luis Posada Carriles deals about the life and criminal record of this man on the payroll of the empire, in addition to being a solid denunciation of the plans funded and organized by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) against Cuba.

Little known and unpublished passages about Posada Carriles, the confessed organizer of the sabotage on a Cubana Airline plane in mid-flight in 1976, are combined in the book with other events of world relevance, such as his participation in Operation Condor, designed by the CIA during the period of Latin American dictatorships.


Latin American Student Leaders to Meet in Cuba

HAVANA, Cuba, Feb 15 (acn) The meeting in Havana of leaders of the Latin American and Caribbean student movement, scheduled for February 16th through the 18th, will be a clear sign of unity in the diversity and awareness of the moment the region is living.

Reynier Limonta, president of the Latin American and Caribbean Continental Student Organization (OCLAE), told ACN that participating in the meeting of the General Secretariat of this regional platform representing some 100 million youngsters will be delegates of 23 organizations from 19 countries.

This will be the first large meeting, after the 16th Latin American and Caribbean Student Congress, and –like half a year ago in Montevideo, Uruguay- it will endorse the objectives of unity, belligerency against imperialism and oligarchies, and the struggle for quality and free public education and for a better America and a better world, he said.

From the agenda of these days, Limonta, who heads the OCLAE on behalf of Cuba’s University Student Federation, mentioned the approval of a general strategic plan of struggle of the OCLAE and the analysis of the fulfillment of agreements reached in the previous one, among them the continental campaign convened for March and April to struggle against the privatization of teaching and in defense of education, as heritage and right of all human beings and not as merchandise.

Also defined will be, in addition, the stance of this platform in the Rio+20 group, with consultative status in the UN Economic and Social Council and formal relations of consultation with the United Nations Education, Science and Culture Organization.

Other topics under analysis will be the current stage, the student movement at a world level, the necessary harmonizing and solidarity, and the efforts to build together, in the near future, a coordinating entity of that global struggle, he underlined.

He also highlighted the participation of delegates in a Latin American Round Table for Education, as part of sessions of the 7th International University Congress.

Also scheduled are meetings with Cuban intellectuals and with relatives of Gerardo Hernandez, Fernando Gonzalez, Ramon Labañino, Antonio Guerrero and Rene Gonzalez, the five Cuban heroes unfairly condemned in the United States, and visits to the ongoing 21st edition of Havana’s International Book Fair.

The meeting of the National Secretariat of the OCLAE will close on Saturday night, with an encounter with students of Havana’s Latin American Medical School and the University of Computer Sciences.


Cuban Physicians Visit Hospitals in the Andes of Ecuador

HAVANA, Cuba, Feb 15 (acn) A group of 75 Cuban physicians that will train Ecuadorians as specialists in Family and Community Medicine in the mountains and the Amazonia, visited hospitals in Andean areas to know more about traditional medicine, health authorities informed in Quito on Tuesday.

The institutions San Luis, of Otavalo; Asdrubal de la Torre, of Cotacachi; and the Jambi Huasi Intercultural Medical Center, are included in the program by way of which these professors will familiarize themselves with the traditions of the territories where they will work, the Prensa Latina news agency reported.

Jorge Jimenez, coordinator of the Cuban Medical Mission, highlighted the importance of this visit to go into the relationship between traditional medicine and western medicine in depth, which tries to find alternatives to prevent the suffering of human beings as a consequence of diseases.

This is the first group of the total of 152 Cuban professors that will work in the provinces of Napo (Amazonia) and Chimborazo (mountains), within the framework of the agreement for Scientific Cooperation and Technical Assistance signed between the Health ministries of the two countries, the www.cubaminrex.cu Web site reported.

Ecuadorian Health Minister Karina Vance welcomed the Cuban voluntary workers on behalf of her country’s government and thanked the Cuban authorities and people for the sending of that mission that will allow for the strengthening of primary health care services.

Cuba has offered Ecuador specialized medical assistance on the island and in the Andean country itself, as well as scholarships for students at Havana’s Latin American Medical School.

In October, 2011, the two governments signed an agreement to implement in the Andean nation a program to detect four diseases in newborns and prevent disabilities, carried out by way of the Manuela Espejo Mission.

The medical group of the Caribbean island received in Quito a workshop on the characteristics of that country’s national health system.


India and Cuba Strengthen Bonds in Sports

HAVANA, Cuba, Feb 15 (acn) Cuba and the Republic of India strengthened their bilateral relations on Tuesday, after signing, in this capital, a cooperation agreement in the field of sports.

The agreement was signed by Christian Jimenez, president of the National Sports Institute (INDER), and Ajay Maken, Cabinet Minister for Youth and Sports of the Asian nation.

Installation and sports equipping; the carrying out of regular trainings for athletes and trainers of various disciplines; sports medicine; computers applied to sports; visits of anti-doping control experts to laboratories of this specialty in the two countries; and the participation of sport teams are among some of the aspects included in the cooperation program.

This is the third time the two Caribbean nations sign agreements of this kind, since in 1999 a protocol for sports cooperation was signed, which was renewed in 2007.

Also participating in the meeting were Roberto Leon, first vice-president of the INDER; other executives of this entity; and Cuban revolutionary sport stars.


Cuba and the Caribbean: 40 Years of Solidarity, Cooperation

Havana, Feb 12 (Prensa Latina) expressed her deepest gratitude for Cuba's contribution to eliminate apartheid in Africa in the 1970s.

A special guest at the International Book Fair, the professor of economics highlighted the high price many Cubans had to pay when they gave their life to overthrow that racist regime, hence the debt of gratitude we will always have with this sister nation, Girvan said.

In his speech, as part of the panel "The Caribbean after 50 years of the Cuban Revolution", the Honoris Causa doctor from the University of Havana also talked about the cooperation plans that Cuban is currently implementing in neighboring nations such as Haiti.

Relations between Cuba and other Caribbean countries are very strong and go beyond linguistic differences and political systems. An example of that is that the leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro, was declared an Honorable Member of the Community of Caribbean States (CARICOM) three years ago, he noted.

Girvan recognized the role played by Cuban institutions such as the Havana-based Casa de las Americas to increase the presence and spread Caribbean culture in the 21st edition of the most important literary event organized in Cuba.


ALBA: Genuinely New

The recent 11th Summit of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of the Americas (ALBA) held in Venezuela has left their imprint and highly positive signs.

It is important to reiterate above all, when there are those that want to destroy the entity, that this regional organization has demonstrated efficiency in its economic, social and political performance.  It has also shown a different side of Latin America without ignoring its multiple experiences or forgetting its roots with their own characteristics.

We must point out that this struggle in favor of objectivity is one of the forgotten premises that the forefathers of the revolutionary theory always demanded of its followers:  feet on the ground as a guarantee of exactness, valid reasoning, and effective actions.

It is reflected in its fresh voices and ideas of the new progressive governments currently members of ALBA, while other heads of states that have not joined the regional institution initiated by Venezuela and Cuba in 2004 are not distant from the principles of unity, true popular participation, social justice, and independence.

None of the many actions carried out by ALBA is based on dogmatic or imported interpretations and unforeseen application of models and experiences, or superficial, accelerated evaluations.

Given the complicated economic terrain, for example, the State as representative of the society assumes the activities and strategic branches as a means of protecting itself from the foreign appetite or internal groups.

However, the united support in favor of creative and organized efforts of other internal economic sectors capable of adding to prosperity and national advances —not as a transitory method and simple tactics, but as part of a model in tune with reality and logic of our process— is guaranteed.

Work and the successes of ALBA in the economic, social and political sectors is very clear and objective in perceiving the reality in order to transform  its work with less blows, slips and delays.

In this effort in which we all must learn from and each one of the members of the alliance which has been characterized by the world social movements as highly positive models of true integration, we can highlight the recent Cuban recommendation in Caracas out of its own experience, whatever we can do in favor of ALBA, we must always endorse it for its serious and tireless study in order to guarantee viability and feasibility in each project.

This is one of the essential ways of carrying out this collective group in a more secure and firm path. (By Nestor Núñez ACN)


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