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News on Cuba - April 17, 2012 Print E-mail

Intense Campaign in Washington for the Five

HAVANA, Cuba, Apr 16 (acn) Friends of Cuba from various cities in the United States, Canada,  Latin America and Europe will meet on the streets of Washington from April 17th through the 21st to spread the truth about The Five.

Graciela Ramirez, coordinator of the International Committee for the Freedom of the Cuban Five, explained that the objective of this campaign is to attract the attention of people about the injustices committed against Gerardo Hernandez, Rene Gonzalez, Ramon Labañino, Fernando Gonzalez and Antonio Guerrero.

Posters announcing the campaign “Obama, give me five” can already be seen on the streets of that city, and the campaign will be accompanied from Argentina, Peru, Sweden, Italy, Spain, and of curse Cuba.

“Many people in the world will take letters and documents to the US embassies. They will also write US President Barack Obama requesting the release of the Five," she pointed out.

Activities will be carried out on April 17 and 18 to lobby the Congress. We have many meetings set up with representatives and senators, asserts the activist, and they will receive the report of the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention of May, 2005, which concluded that the imprisonment of The Five is arbitrary. They will also receive the pronouncements of Amnesty International, which considered the trial unfair.

Parallel to these contacts, the book “What Lies Across the Water: The Real Story of The Cuban Five”, by Canadian journalist and writer Stephen Kimber, will be presented.

The documentary “Will the real terrorist please stand up” will be screened at the Nyumburu Cultural Center at the University of Maryland, College Park, and at the Blackburn Auditorium of the University of Howard. Essence, a documentary about the tour of the US of La Colmenita Children’s Theater Group in October, 2011, will also be shown.

On April 19, materials with information about the case will be distributed at public tables in Washington, and a new committee in solidarity with the cause will be created at Takoma Park.

The traveling exhibition of political caricatures by Gerardo Hernandez, entitled “Humor from my pen,” will be presented on April 20, while the following day a meeting will be held with leaders of various religious denominations.

“It’s a disgrace for all Latin America and the world to know that five innocent men are imprisoned while terrorists like Posada Carriles, Basulto, Frometa, and all others existing in Miami don’t pay for their crimes,”, commented the activist.

A rally in front of the White House has been scheduled for April 21, in which citizens coming from all parts of the country will take part.

The closing event will be held at the Venezuelan Embassy, with the participation, among others, of pacifist Cindy Sheehan, who lost her son in Iraq, where the United States began a war for oil wells and not to capture terrorists, which was Washington’s justification.


More Impacts of the Vietnamese Leader's Visit to Cuba

Hanoi, Apr 17 (Prensa Latina) The head of the Foreign Relations Committee of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV), Hoang Binh Quan, described as very important the visit paid by the party's general secretary, Nguyen Phu Trong, to Cuba, while local media keeps echoing that event. In statements to the press, he stressed the importance that the Vietnamese leader began in Cuba his first tour outside Southeast Asia, demonstrating the special consideration that Vietnam's foreign policy grants to Cuba.

In his opinion, the visit was another show of support for the revolutionary cause and the construction of socialism in Cuba and the struggle for sovereignty and equality of the Latin America progressive forces.

The major Vietnamese media organizations that covered the party leader's visit are still dedicating space to Nguyen Phu Trong's visit, including his meeting with the leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro, and President Raul Castro.

The Voice of Vietnam highlighted on its Spanish-language broadcast, the Vietnamese leader's lecture at the Nico Lopez National Party School about the path to socialism starting from Vietnamese experiences.

Vietnamese websites summarized the main aspects of the Cuba-Vietnam joint statement, which, according to VNA, "reinforces a friendship that, as revolutionary leader Fidel Castro said, it is a symbol of this time."


Correa: Latin America Lives Now in a Consensus without Washington

Quito, Apr 17 (Prensa Latina) Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa affirmed that Latin America is shifting from being dominated by Washington''s consensus to live with consensus without Washington.

He explained that what happened in the Summit of the Americas in Cartagena, Colombia, was clear and predictable, when it was avoided dealing with issues that are of real importance to the peoples of Latin America, including the blockade of Cuba and the Malvinas (Falkland) islands.

In an interview with CNN at the Carondelet Palace, Correa reiterated that Cuba is a nation that has been banned from this continental forum, due to pressures from countries like the United States and Canada.

"A Latin American country, at the whim of another country, excluded from the Summit of the Americas, then it can be called anything else: discussion with the United States, but it should not called Summit of the Americas", said Correa.

He also assured that one of the immediate actions that should be taken regarding human rights at the continental level is that the U.S. must close the military base at Guantanamo Bay, which the U.S. has imposed on Cuba.

In response to U.S. President Barack Obama, when he questioned Cuba's willingness to respect the people's democratic and human rights, Correa said: "Wonderful, then eliminate the Guantanamo base because, what greater violation of human rights in the sovereignty of a country?"

Correa said that he respects President Obama very much and considers him a good person, but he does not agree with some of his attitudes regarding international politics.


Ecuadorians in Solidarity with Cuba

Quito, Apr 16 (Prensa Latina) President of Ecuador Rafael Correa's decision to skip the 6th Summit of the Americas in Cartagena de Indias, Colombia, due to the exclusion of Cuba from the meeting continues getting support from the people.

"We cannot abandon Cuba," Casa de las Americas Prize laureate Raul Perez Torres told Prensa Latina.

In opinion of indigenous young woman Paulina Sisa Lima, President Correa's stand was like saying enough and no longer turned the other cheek, while Sami Pilco described Correa's decision as very honourable.

"It is not possible to accept any discrimination like that against Cuba in the Summit of Cartagena," he said.

"I applaud his decision a thousand times," said Sisa, whose opinion is shared in Latin America, and even in Canada, by hundreds of intellectuals and social organizations that undersigned a letter supporting the Ecuadorian president's attitude.

Yumac Ortiz, the daughter of late Ecuadorian archaeologist Lenin Ortiz, a close friend of Cuba's, said she congratulates Correa because his stand sets an important precedent.

In her opinion, continental solidarity towards the Cuban people has been strengthened, and also Latin America needs to assume more radical, independent, sovereign opinions.

Results of the Cartagena summit, ended without a final declaration due to a lack of consensus, also made headlines in main Ecuadorian newspapers.

El Telegrafo newspaper published a front-page article titled "Summit of the Peoples, More Honorable than the Summit of Leaders," telling about setbacks of the meeting of presidents compared to the mass demonstration staged by social leaders of Latin America in Cartagena.

At least 8,000 people staged the march, held on the sidelines of the Summit of the Americas, carrying banners supporting Cuba, the Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and against the presence of US President Barack Obama.

The source quoted General Secretary of the Central Unitary Workers Union of Colombia, Luis Alberto Plata, as terming the demostration impressive because of its large turnout.

Mario Sosa, from the National Association of Small Farmers of Cuba, said to welcome an alternative where the Island is not excluded, as Latin American nations are aware that his country would have a lot to contribute to the continent in a meeting like this.


Fifty-first Anniversary of Bay of Pigs Victory Celebrated in Cuba

HAVANA, Cuba, Apr 17 (acn) The 51st anniversary of Cuba’s victory over US imperialism at Bay of Pigs and of the proclamation of the socialist nature of the Revolution was celebrated on Monday in this capital with a political-cultural function.

That heroic deed fought by the people was recalled by Moises Velazquez, Colonel of the reserve, who was with the general staff of the Cuban troops on that occasion.

Yamil Quintana, member of the municipal bureau of the Young Communists’ League, expressed the support of the new generations for the socialist process and said that they will continue multiplying solidarity, by promoting international respect and the preservation of man’s basic rights.

In his final words Pablo Gomez, member of the Provincial Bureau of the Communist Party in Havana, pointed out that the society should be perfected, following the guidelines approved by the 6th Congress of the Cuban Communist Party, a guide to change the Cuban economic model.

Also present in the ceremony was Brigadier General Delsa Esther Puebla; Edgardo Antonio Ramirez, Venezuela’s ambassador to Cuba; and members of the militia battalion that participated in that exploit.


Influential U.S. Senator Says Washington’s Cuba Policy Is ‘Out of Step’

HAVANA, Cuba, Apr 17 (acn) Jeff Bingaman, a U.S. senator from New Mexico and member of the Democratic Party who serves as Chairman of Committee Outreach for the Senate Democratic Caucus, acknowledged on Monday that Washington’s policy towards Cuba is ‘out of step’.

“We are out of step with our policy with Cuba. It is past time to establish diplomatic relations with Cuba and end the embargo,” Bingaman said.

According to press reports, the Senator noted that the U.S. policy towards Cuba “has been heavily dictated by Cuban Americans while ignoring the example set by other Latin American countries, who openly trade with the communist country.”

Bingaman was reacting to what he regarded as Washington’s isolation during the Sixth Summit of the Americas held over the weekend in Colombia, where all participating countries —except for the U.S. and Canada— agreed on the need to include Cuba in this regional mechanism.

“I believe we are the ones who are out of step in this respect and we should change our policy,” he pointed out.

However, the Democratic leader recognized that, in the face of the upcoming presidential elections of November 6, it is very unlikely that Obama or his Republican opponent “take a stance that could offend the Cuban-American community in Florida and New Jersey.”


Italian Giovanni Ardizzone Brigade Visits Cuba for the Second Time

LAS TUNAS, Cuba, Apr 17 (acn) The 18th Giovanni Ardizzone Voluntary Work Brigade of the Italy-Cuba Friendship Association made its friendliness towards the Cuban people public, after concluding a tour of the southern part of eastern Las Tunas province.

In the city of Amancio, the brigadistas spoke with workers of various sectors and saw local artistic development for themselves when they visited the Sergio Reyno culture center, as reported by the Web site of the provincial 26 weekly. They also toured the Dario Guevara special education school in that municipality and underlined the quality of that type of education on the island, as well as the high professionalism and devotion of the center’s workers.

In the town of Colombia they spoke with artisans and writers, and met with members of the Leningrad Cooperative of Agricultural and Livestock Production.

A few days before, the Italians had visited Committees for the Defense of the Revolution in the city of Las Tunas and spoken with students of La Sengneurie music school of Quebec, Canada, who were giving concerts with their Cuban colleagues of the El Cucalambe Vocational Art School.

This is the second solidarity-with-Cuba group from Lombardy that visits Las Tunas, in order to give continuity to the tasks of support for El Cucalambe, now being renovated.


Book on Che Guevara Presented in South Africa

HAVANA, Cuba, Apr 17 (acn) The book “The Che Guevara Reader: Writings about Politics and Revolution,” by the African Perspectives publishing house of South Africa, was presented on Monday at the University of Mafikeng, in that country’s North West province.

A result of coordination between the Ocean Press publishing house and the Che Guevara Studies Center, based in this capital, the volume is the first work of its kind published in South Africa.

Rose Francis, director of African Perspectives, said that the objective of the text is to spread the ideas of the Heroic Guerrilla by way of his own words, in order to contribute to a better understanding of his thinking.

On Thursday, Aleida Guevara, Che’s daughter, will attend in the city of Amiens, France, the premiere of the symphony Death and Rebirth, by Argentinean composer Julio Cesar Pardo, dedicated to the Heroic Guerrilla, the www.cubaminrex.cu Web site reported.

The interpretation of the piece is part of a program organized by the Cuba Si France organization on the occasion of the 45th anniversary of Che Guevara’s death in the guerrilla (October, 1967) at La Higuera, Bolivia, which also includes meetings between the Cuban physician and French political personalities, press conferences and talks at universities.

In Paris, she will be received by the French Senate.


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