News on Cuba - April 23, 2012 Print

Book on Fidel Castro in Rosario, Argentina

Buenos Aires, Apr 23 (Prensa Latina) The book "Fidel Castro Ruz, Guerrillero del Tiempo" (Fidel Castro Ruz, Guerrilla of Time), by journalist and writer Katiuska Blanco, on Monday will be launched in Rosario, the Argentine city where Ernesto Che Guevara was born.

The launch will take place tonight at the auditorium of the Faculty of Humanity and Art of the Rosario University, in the presence, among others, of the author, Cuban ambassador Jorge Lamadrid, and Patricio Echegaray, Secretary-General of the Communist Party of Argentina (PCA).

"Fidel Castro Ruz, Guerrillero del Tiempo" was already launched in Buenos Aires on Friday during Cuba's Day at the 38th International Book Fair, at an act in which Nobel Peace prizewinner Adolfo Perez Esquivel praised wisdom and coherence of the leader of the Cuban Revolution.

The also president of Peace and Justice Service of Argentina stated that "Fidel Castro is a wise man", this does not mean to have read more books, but understand the deep sense of life and share that knowledge with his people and all humanity.

The book was already launched in Venezuela, Bolivia and Ecuador. As well as in Rosario and Buenos Aires, there will be two launches: one in the headquarter of PCA on April 24, and in the Buenos Aires capital of La Plata on April 25th.


Solidarity with Cuban Five Travels the World

Havana, Apr 21 (Prensa Latina) Over 40 countries in all five continents have hosted solidarity events to demand the release of five Cuban antiterrorist fighters unjustly held in U.S. prisons for monitoring the actions of Miami-based violent groups against their homeland.

From Tuesday to Saturday, activists and organizations in Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe and Oceania will collect signatures, give lectures and mobilize people to demand that the U.S. government send Gerardo Hernandez, Rene Gonzalez, Ramon Labañino, Antonio Guerrero and Fernando Gonzalez home in Cuba.

Although the campaign "Five Days for the Five" has its epicenter in the United States, in other parts of the world, people have expressed support for the Cuban antiterrorists, arrested in 1998. Four of them are still in prison, while Rene is on a three-year supervised release.

According to Graciela Ramirez, coordinator of the International Committee for the Freedom of the Five, actions will take place on Saturday in over 25 countries to demand that the White House release the Cuban antiterrorists, whom many in the world consider a symbol of resistance.

Countries like Germany, Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Spain, the United States, Italy, Mexico, Nicaragua, Peru, the United Kingdom, Russia, Turkey, Sweden and Ukraine will host solidarity events, she said in Havana.

Ramirez added that the first four days of the campaign were successful, as 25 activists in Washington contacted about 40 senators and representatives in Congress to explain to them the details of the cases of the Cuban Five, as they are known internationally.

She noted that signatures were collected to demand that President Barack Obama release the Five, including those by Nobel Peace Prize winners Mairead Maguire (Ireland) and Adolfo Perez Esquivel (Argentina), and U.S. personalities such as filmmaker Oliver Stone, actress Susan Sarandon and philosopher Noam Chomsky.


Danny Glover Ratifies Compromise with the Cause of the Cuban Five

Havana, Apr 23 (Prensa Latina) The famous American actor Danny Glover is one of the most active fighters for the cause of five Cubans imprisoned in the U.S. jails since 1998.

The star of films such as Lethal Weapon and The Color Purple said he decided to join the fight for the Cuban antiterrorists during the World Social Forum in Porto Alegre, Brazil in 2003, just after looking at the faces of the wives and mothers of the Five.

In an exclusive interview with the newspaper Trabajadores, Glover expressed he considers Gerardo Hernandez (one of the fighters) as his spiritual brother, and added he not only wants his freedom but also that of his four companions, Antonio Guerrero, Fernando Gonzalez, Ramon Labanino and Rene Gonzalez.

The leader of the Campaign Actors and Artists of the United States for the freedom of the Cuban Five stated that in political terms there is still no enough pressure on president Barack Obama, no quid pro quo, and perhaps the government does not see the convenience of free these innocent men.

For that reason, he considered, we must continue to spread the theme around the world. The more people we bring to the table the greater the amount that we will have working for the cause of the Cuban Five.

For Glover is necessary for many people understand the senselessness of what has happened in Cuba during the last 50 years and more, and said his relationship with the island is emotional, sincere and practical, so it holds its existence.

He stressed that these men are a paradigm, proactive in the fight against a serious problem: the incessant attacks of the U.S. government against the Cuban Revolution.

The Cuban Five, noted, responded honorably, they risked their lives by conviction, gathered information and protected the people without taking the law into their hands.

Referring to his relationship with Gerardo Hernandez, recalled that the first time he met him in prison, two years ago reinforced his feelings against the injustice committed against these antiterrorists.

Gerardo is truly extraordinary. His love for Adriana is admirable. What they feel to each other is like that love we all dream of, he pointed about the link between the fighter and his wife, who was repeatedly denied a visa to travel to America.

According to Glover, be tenacious and persistent are key elements in the fight.Every opportunity to explain the situation of the Five must be seized, because "for a period of time the mass media have been closed to us".

More than 25 years ago, he recalled, we had access to reports on CBS. Long before the scandal of Fox News, you could have a dialogue about what Cuba is. Now there is a successful intention of minimizing the impact of television to explain what is happening in our world.

The fight takes already a level of urgency, and the more people know about these families the less they will be isolated in Havana. Cuban people can not be the only one who carries this burden, we also have the duty to give a hand, he pointed.


Buenos Aires March in Support of the Cuban Five

Within the framework of the campaign being held in the United States “Obama give me Five” by the “International Committee for the of the Cuban Five”, during which many activities were carried out from April 17, with the aim of letting US citizen learn about the plight of Gerardo Hernández, Ramon, Labañino, Antonio Guerrero, Fernando Gonzalez y René Gonzalez, and lobby President Barack Obama in order that he makes use of his prerrogatives and release the Cuban Five. That proposal was firmly endorsed in Buenos Aires.

The Argentine Committee gathered signatures of recognised personalities on the field of culture, heads of trade unions, atronéis, and from several organizations, as part of the campaign. There were also delivered leaflets in the book fair and a march took place from Italia Square until the US Embassy.

Hundreds of activists of the solidarity with Cuba, belonging to political parties, trade union organizations of human and social rights walked all along Sarmiento Avenue up to the US Headquarters, where from a makeshift stage set up on a truck, a small pageant was carried out.

Among the participants who took the floor: Oscar Verón, a member of  the (Workers of state-run Institutions Association) and responsable of project “Navegando con el Che”, the attorney  of the Argentine League for Men’s Rights, comrade Ana María of the association of Detenees and Missing persons and Alodia, from Villa 6 of Sildañez, also mother of a student of the Latin American School of Medicine (ELAM), by its acronym in Spanish language. The poignant ceremony was lead by Lidia Donnini, by the Argentine Committee for the Release of the Cuban

At the end of the activity, a group approached the entrance of the U.S. embassy, delivering a copy of the letter and signatures obtained, expressing the injustice of the arrest of the five fighters against terrorism, the disproportionate penalties imposed after the travesty of justice during of the trial, and the demand for the immediate release of those who carried out monitoring activities of terrorist organizations, averting new attacks and new victims in Cuba.

It should be noted that terrorist organizations in Miami, such as Alpha 66, Brothers to the Rescue, CORU, among others, have been responsible for bombings, assassinations and forced disappearances of people across America, becoming key partners in the so-called Operation Condor and even participated in the coup d’etat in Honduras that toppled President Zelaya and the assassination attemt of the president of Ecuador Rafael Correa.


Solidarity Brigade from 22 Nations to Visit Cuba

Havana, Apr 23 (Prensa Latina) The Primero de Mayo International Brigade, comprised of activities from 22 nations, will arrive in Cuba Monday to attend May Day celebrations. A bulletin issued by the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP) stated that this time, about 260 brigade members from 22 countries of the five continents will arrive in Havana.

The delegation with more participants is Chile with 40 members, followed by Nigeria with 38, Brazil with 37, Peru with 28 and the United Kingdom with 20 activities.

During their stay here, the brigade members will participate in the central rally to celebrate the International Workers' Day, and carry out voluntary agricultural works.

According to the ICAP, the visitors will also talk with relatives of the five Cuban antiterrorist fighters unjustly held in U.S. prisons over 13 years ago.

Antonio Guerrero, Fernando Gonzalez, Ramon Labañino, Gerardo Hernandez and Rene Gonzalez were arrested on September 12, 1998 in Miami. An irregular process celebrated there condemned them in 2001 to sentences going from 15 years up to the double life imprisonment.

Many personalities and world organizations have defended the Five, as they are known internationally, who only monitored activities by violent groups of Cuban origin in Florida to alert their country from terrorist acts.

On May 2, the activists will attend along with other foreign delegations the traditional Meeting of Solidarity that the Cuban Workers Federation organizes every year at the Havana's Conference Center.


Alarcon Meets with Visiting Beninese Parliamentary Leader

HAVANA, Cuba, Apr 21 (acn) Cuban Parliament President Ricardo Alarcon met on Saturday in this capital with his counterpart of the Republic of Benin, Mathurin Coffi Nago.

During the meeting, the Beninese parliamentary leader said that his visit responds to the interest of reaffirming solidarity with the Caribbean island, and expressed his admiration towards the spirit of resistance and the courage shown by the Cuban people over the last fifty years.

Cuba is a model for developing countries and for the Third World, a demonstration of the fact that a people can do a lot when it has the necessary willpower, asserted the President of the National Assembly of Benin.

Alarcon highlighted the friendly relations the two nations have had since their liberation, which are fueled by common antecedents and roots, he said.

The President of the Cuban Parliament pointed out that this contact will favor greater rapprochement and will contribute to the strengthening of relations between the two parliaments and peoples.

A delegation headed by Yenielys Reguieiferos, secretary of the Commission of International Relations of the Cuban legislative organ, visited hat country of western Africa in November.

Coffi Nago and his accompanying delegation will stay on the island until April 28, and during his stay he will visit centers of historic, scientific, educational, and economic interest.


Workers from over Fifty Countries to March in Cuba on May 1st

HAVANA, Cuba, Apr 21 (acn) More than 135 organizations from 50 countries and about 200 friends of Cuba from other regions of the world who have been invited for the occasion, have confirmed their participation in celebrations for International Workers’ Day in Cuba.

Ermela Garcia, member of the National Secretariat of the Confederation of Cuban Workers, pointed out that Cubans will march on May 1st at various squares along with representatives of other nations, under slogans related to unity, efficiency, the economic battle, and particularly the struggle for the release of the five Cuban heroes unfairly condemned in the United States.

Garcia also highlighted that, for the first time, more than 200,000 men and women incorporated to the self-employment modality will march together with the members of their labor unions throughput the nation, the Juventud Rebelde newspaper reported.

This new sector of workers, the number of which has gradually increased, will take part in the May 1st parade, under the slogan Preserving and Perfecting Socialism, added the labor union leader.


Acclaimed Debut of La Colmenita in Canadian Stages

Havana, Apr 22 (Prensa Latina) La Colmenita (the Beehive), a Cuban children's theater company, on Sunday returned home after a successful Canadian four-city tour, which was described as a great success by its director Carlos Alberto Cremata.

The theater company had never done such a brief tour, including five performances in Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec and Toronto, Cremata told the Prensa Latina news agency.

According to Cremata, the reception in Montreal was impressive, and in Ottawa was the same with a special performance in the Rogers TV, the country's most important television channel, and another one at the Montessori Fine Arts Academy, where repeated cheers to Cuba could be heard.

The children debuted on April 17 in Montreal, then went to Quebec, where they offered a packed-theater double performance at the FACE (Fine Arts Core Education) Academy, which made the public, consisting of students from that institution, dance wild to pieces of Los Van Van orchestra.

During the tour, La Colmenita was presented by renowned figures such as director, composer and jazz musician Vic Voge, and rocker Martin Deschamps.

After being invited by the Cuba Mission in Canada and Havanarte Productions, La Colmenita prepared a program with its classic repertoire, including the "Cinderella... according to The Beatles" and "Abracadabra."

The tour ended with great success in Toronto, with another double presentation at a packed Royal Theater, where also abounded claims to free The Cuban Five.


Japanese Jurist Reaffirms Commitment to Cuban Five

Tokyo, Apr 21 (Prensa Latina) Japanese jurist Osamu Yatabe, the main leader of the group of lawyers who signed an Amicus Curie (Friends of the Court) to demand the release of five Cuban antiterrorist fighters unjustly held in U.S. prisons, ratified his commitment to continuing that effort.

Yatebe reaffirmed his stance during a meeting with Cuban Ambassador to Japan Jose Fernandez de Cossio, as part of activities held in this country in favor of the causes of Rene Gonzalez, Ramon Labañino, Fernando Gonzalez, Antonio Guerrero and Gerardo Hernandez.

The diplomat explained the circumstances of Rene Gonzalez's recent two-week visit to Cuba, and the strict conditions imposed to him by U.S. legal authorities, sources close to the meeting told Prensa Latina on Saturday.

They also talked of the information about the strength of the Habeas Corpus presented in favor of Gerardo Hernandez.

Yatabe reiterated his willingness to support the visit here of a relative or lawyer of the defense team to meet with Japanese attorneys and take actions to brief them on the situation of the Five.

The book "Estados Unidos Grotesco, Obama, Libera a los Cinco" (Grotesque United States, Obama, Free the Five), by Japanese journalist Tsuzaki Itaru, was launched in Tokyo in early April..


Cuba’s Tourism Keeps Growing Trend in 2012

HAVANA, Cuba, Apr 23 (acn) Cuba’s tourism sector showed a 5.3 percent growth at the end of first quarter of 2012 when over 950 000 visitors arrived in the country, confirmed the National Bureau of Statistics and Information (ONE by its Spanish acronym).

According to ONE’s website,  48 214 more visitors arrived than during the same period of 2011 and particularly in March when Cuba achieved a sustained increase compared with January and February, and with the same month in the last three years, with the arrival of more than 300 900 tourists.

According to specialists, a fact that contributed to these indicators was the recent visit to Cuba of Pope Benedict XVI, who is always accompanied by a considerable number of believers wherever he travels.

Experts also emphasized that the strong Authentic Cuba promotional campaign, carried out by the Ministry of Tourism (Mintur) at fairs and tours of Latin American and European, has allowed greater advertising of the Cuban products and events like the recent Varadero Gourmet Festival.

Mintur reported in the first week of April the arrival in Cuba of the millionth foreign tourist, five days ahead of schedule.

Canada remains the largest emitting market of tourists to the island, followed by Argentina, France, Italy, UK, Germany and Russia, and Spain, Mexico and Chile.

This Saturday the week of Campeche in Havana wrapped up, while Cuba gets ready for the coming XXXII Cuba's Tourism Fair FITCUBA 2012, which will be held at Cayo Santa Maria on May 8-11.