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

Raul Castro Welcomes Cuban Hero Fernando González

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


President Raul Castro Calls for Deep Analysis of Economic Update Process

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

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

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

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

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


Canadians Celebrate Release of Anti-Terrorist Fernando Gonzalez

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


American Religious Alliance Asks Obama to Pardon Cuban Antiterrorists

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Former Prime Minister of East Timor Requests Cuban Technical Help

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

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

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

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

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


Cuba Convenes International Conference on Medical Education

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

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

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

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

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

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

 
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