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Cindy Sheehan Promotes Solidarity with Cuban Five in Sweden

HAVANA, Cuba, March 14 (acn) Anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan, from the U.S., gave a lecture in Stockholm about the case of the five Cuban anti-terrorist fighters unfairly imprisoned in her country, in an effort to raise solidarity.

Sheehan expressed her respect for the five Cubans and their families and noted that she felt attached to them right from the moment she learned about their case in an International Peace Meeting that took place in Caracas, Venezuela, in 2006, reported several media outlets.

She talked about the excessive and unfair sentences imposed on Ramon Labañino, Fernando Gonzalez, Antonio Guerrero, Gerardo Hernandez and Rene Gonzalez, and insisted particularly on the fact that the latter is in danger as he was forced to stay in the U.S. on probation for three years after having served his 15-year term in prison.

The activist took the opportunity to call organizations of solidarity and friendship from her country and the rest of the world to support the “5 Days for the Cuban 5” campaign, and all related activities that will take place from April 17 to 21 in Washington.

The actions scheduled include an event with the participation of U.S. and international personalities; showing of documentaries in universities and other public spaces; media outreach; meetings with religious groups, and placing thousands of “Obama Give me Five” posters at key points in the city and publish ads in several media outlets.

Sheehan is in Sweden, after visiting Ireland, with the purpose of promoting actions in solidarity with the Cuban Five and meet with Nobel Prize winners John Hume and Mairead Maguire.

Her itinerary in Europe includes as well, meeting with groups in support of Cuba, church leaders, artistic and political personalities, and parliament members.


Cuba Advocates Equal Access to Water Resources

HAVANA, Cuba, Mar 14 (acn) Cuba said during the Sixth World Water Forum —currently underway in Marseille, France— that access to water should not and can not be subjected to the laws of the market and speculation.

Maria Chapman, president of the Cuban Institute of Water Resources, said that it is necessary to guarantee equal and sufficient access to water to those who still lack this essential human right.

The Cuban representative noted that the success of the meeting in Marseille depends on whether they are able to identify actions and solutions to the water deficiencies that affect millions of people around the world.

According to Prensa Latina news agency, the Cuban delegate added that the results of this meeting should contribute to strengthening the world’s commitment to sustainable development during the Rio+20 Earth Summit.

As of Wednesday, the city of Marseille also hosts an alternative forum that brings together hundreds of non governmental organizations from the Americas, Europe, and Africa.


Moscow’s University Opens Jose Marti Department

HAVANA, Cuba, March 14 (acn) The Lomonosov Moscow State University inaugurated today the Jose Marti Department at the Journalism Faculty, which lays a bridge of solid bonds between the peoples of Cuba and Russia.

Honorary President of the faculty, Yasen Zasortski, said in the opening ceremony, attended by nearly 100 students, said the faculty has always been in touch with Cuban journalists.

Elena Vaktanova, dean of the faculty, said the Jose Marti department is expected to raise the students’ interest in the Cuban culture and their love for the Caribbean island, PL reported.

Last November, the Mijail Lomonosov Department was opened at the Faculty of Chemistry of the University of Havana.

Cuban ambassador to Russia, Juan Valdes Figueroa, said the department aims at becoming a center of reference for studies about the life and work of the Cuban National Hero carried out in Russia.

During the ceremony, that featured an exhibition of more than a dozen portraits of Jose Marti made by painters from different countries, Valdes Figueroa donated a series of Cuban books to the faculty, including The Strategic Victory by Fidel Castro.


Cuban Medical Brigade among Candidates to 2012 Prince of Asturias Prize

HAVANA, Cuba, March 13 (acn) The Cuban Medical Brigade working in Haiti was nominated to the 2012 Prince of Asturias Prize on International Cooperation for its intense and selfless humanitarian work in that country.

Granma newspaper says the nomination was announced Monday by the Cuban Academy of Language, which is among special guests by the Foundation sponsoring the annual award offered by Spain.

The Cuban Academy based its proposal, unanimously approved by the members of the institution and its president Roberto Fernandez Retamar, on the fact that the brigade has been leading an intense work in Haiti since 1998, following heavy hurricanes, a devastating earthquake and a cholera epidemic that hitted the neighbouring country.

The Prince of Asturias Prize was established on 24 September, 1980 by the Prince of Asturias, heir to the throne of Spain, to contribute to encouraging and promoting scientific, cultural and humanistic values that form part of mankind's universal heritage.

The awards are presented in Oviedo, the capital of the Principality of Asturias, at a ceremony presided by Felipe, Prince of Asturias. A sculpture, expressly created for the prize by Spanish sculptor Joan Miró, is presented yearly to the recipients of the prize.


Before the Risk of Nuclear Confrontation, Disarmament and Good Sense

By  Néstor Núñez

The need to destroy all nuclear weapons in the world and defend the people’s right to the peaceful use of the atom in favor of economic and social development were reiterated by Cuba in the recent Board of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) held in Vienna, Austria.

This demand, also made weeks ago by the Caribbean island at the UN Conference for the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons cannot be more just and timely.

First, because among the warmongers of the west especially those that move within the US power circles, there are feasible possibilities of unleashing a conflict of destructive dimensions.  If not, why then attempt to establish an anti missile system in Europe to prevent a nuclear response of the opponents in face of the first hit of USA made arsenals.

The insistent belief has not stopped and has pushed powerful nations like Russia whose borders are surrounded by the missiles to rearm and improve its strategic defense installations going back to the Cold War and once again instigated by those that attempt world hegemony at all costs.

Aggressive world power that in addition attempts to cynically violate the rights of others to use nuclear power for peaceful means in favor of its economy, resolve its energy problems and advance in all the fields of science and know how.

Few countries interested in using nuclear energy cannot produce it or will run the risk in becoming the enemy of the imperial interests.

Arrogant sectors that on the other hand use the so called “double moral” support and allow nations like Israel and racist South Africa at the time to have nuclear arsenals deployed in support of the conquest operations of its protectors.

In this sense, Cuba reiterated in Vienna that it will not be the force or irrational policy that will solve the western nuclear tensions.   Only respect to sovereignty inequality, in addition to the no use of threats or force will guarantee an end to differences.

The use of nuclear energy for the good of humanity and the planet does not constitute a sin before the eyes of those that believe to be the only nation in the world in using the destructive nuclear power that destroyed two defenseless cities, Hiroshima and Nagasaki under the pretext of finally imposing itself upon the Japanese empire literally beaten in the closing stages of the Second World War.


Why Won’t the US Reveal its Satellite´s Images?

By Ana Ivis Galán García

After a biased judicial process, appeals and resentencing, the legal battle for the release of Gerardo Hernandez, Fernando Gonzalez, Ramon Labañino, Antonio Guerrero and Rene Gonzalez is now focused on the request of the Habeas Corpus or collateral appeals.

Arbitrarily tried and sentenced to excessive prison terms for having fought against terrorism, stop actions against the Cuban people by extreme right wing Cuban Americans based in Miami and save lives on the island, these five men are now waiting the decision of Judge Joan Lenard.

Gerardo´s appeal is the most complicated case.  It includes accusations of conspiracy to commit murder after the downing of two aircrafts belonging to Brothers to the Rescue which violated Cuban airspace on February 24th, 1996, accusation which was proven false.

In statements to ACN News Agency, Miguel Alvarez, expert on the judicial process of the Cuban Five, revealed other details contained in the request for Gerardo´s Habeas Corpus.

His appeals included the denial of the US government to release satellite images that prove where the two aircrafts were downed; fact that the prosecution admitted not having a way to prove Gerardo´s alleged participation in the incident.

We must recall the statements made by Ricardo Alarcon President of the Cuban National Assembly (Parliament) on the issue.

The events of February 24th occurred in Cuban waters so Judge Lenard had nothing to do with the incident and lacked jurisdiction.

For the US or a court to take the case, the incident should have taken place in international or US waters.

The last report of the International Civil Aviation, detected a problem when they carried out an investigation on the incident: the Cuban radars read one thing and the US another, said Alarcon.

He added that before the dispute on where the aircrafts fell, the International Civil Aviation requested the US government to turn in its satellite images, which by the way films everything that occurs on the planet, especially in this part of the world.

US Colonel George E. Buchner which was introduced as an expert by the prosecution itself offered a simple and logical response to the problem:  study the satellite images.  But for a very strange reason they were not released.

During the presentation of the book entitled: “The Last Soldiers of the Cold War”, that tells the anti terrorist actions of the Five, its author, Brazilian Fernando Morais explained that during his investigations he found another detail; the attorneys of the Cuban Five did not inquire deep enough.

Bjorn Johansen, US citizen of Norwegian origin and pilot of the Majesty of the Seas passenger vessel who was a witness against Gerardo Hernandez said that he located the exact site where the two aircrafts feel, beginning from a visual observation of the place where the ship was found and not by the electronic registry.

Johansen’s statements, who also admitted having talked for hours with FBI agents was used to impose two life sentences plus 15 years against Gerardo Hernandez Nordelo.

One key question was not asked: Who were the owners of the Majesty of the Seas?

In Morais’ book, he pointed out that a simple investigation of the archives and newspapers would have offered important information.

Johansen was an official of the Royal Caribbean Cruises Company, whose owner was the former president of the Cuban American National Foundation, Francisco “Pepe” Hernandez, among the 40 firms that contributed 25,000 dollars to create the organization.

In addition, Johansen named US Peter G. Whelpton as second man in command in February of 1996 and was presented as member of the CANF and Director of Blue Ribbon Foundation for the reconstruction of Cuba both opposed to the Cuban government.

The refusal of US authorities to hand over the data of its radar registry on the exact location where the two aircrafts were downed is in addition to the fact that that Gerardo’s attorney presented a motion requesting the satellite archive,  the prosecution once again denied the release of the images and later the judge supported the decision.

For the last 15 years, the defense sustains the demand and the US government’s response remains the same: they will NOT turn them over.

It is suspicious that the satellite images, that should have set up as alleged proof to back the US government’s accusation has been continuousy denied by Washington.  Is there a reason why?


A Soldier of Independence Was Born Along With the Daily Patria

By  Lucilo Tejera Díaz

When Jose Marti founded the daily Patria in New York on March 14th, 1892, he was taking the last steps in the creation of the Cuban Revolutionary Party, in charge of moving forward, with unity, organization and thrust, the necessary war aimed at the independence of Cuba and Puerto Rico.

“The daily was born, with the will and resources of the Cuban and Puerto Rican people in New York to contribute to the organization of the free men of Cuba and Puerto Rico”, Marti wrote in the editorial of the presentation.

The initial print that circled hand in hand and throughout distant places to Cuba and other Latin American nations promoted the bases of the Cuban Revolutionary Party which was officially founded on April 10th of 1892, the day of the 23rd anniversary of the proclamation of Guaimaro which led to the first Constitution of the Republic in Arms.

It was time for war and that is how the Cuban National Hero presented the idea in one of his articles: “The daily is born, time for danger, to protect freedom, to contribute for its forces to unite and prevent for the enemy to overcome our disorder”.

In another part Marti affirmed: “The enemy will only hear its own voice of attack.  That is Patria in the press.  It is a soldier”.

In its main print he explained who wrote in the newspaper: “…the glorious teachers of yesterday and the strong youth of today, the workshop, business executives and historians, those who foresee the dangers of the republic and that who produces the weapons that we have conquered.”

The Cuban National Hero knew that in order to maintain “Patria” he needed financing and with the modest earnings of its sales gave way to the classified section which included tobacco manufacturing; also artists, professors, doctors, engineers, lawyers, notary, business executives, dentists, colleges and restaurants belonging to Cubans and Puerto Ricans in the US.

Patria was Marti’s dream and he had never stopped thinking of the publication and guided his collaborators on issues and how to manage it at a certain time.

The daily’s last number was issued on December 31st, 1898.  In honor to “Day of the Press” commemorated each March 14th, Cuba pays homage to Patria, the daily of the Revolution aimed at maintaining Marti’s ideas.




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