News on Cuba - April 24, 2012 Print

Occupy Wall Street Joins Cause of Cuban Five in Washington

HAVANA, Cuba, Apr 20 (acn) Members of the Occupy Wall Street movement will join this Friday in Washington the campaign for the release of the five Cuban antiterrorists unjustly serving sentences in the United States.

Alicia Jrapko, US Coordinator of the International Committee for the Freedom of the Cuban Five, told ACN news agency, via phone call, that among other activities they are carrying out in the US capital, several activists of the Occupy movement will join them on a march in front of the White House.

“We will be accompanied by Danny Glover, Saúl Landau, Salim Lamrani and Wayne Smith, among other personalities, and we hope many others join us today” Jrapko said.

She announced that on Saturday many people who have shown their solidarity towards the case of the Cuban Five will drive from New York in a four-hour rally to express their support to the campaign.

Renowned activist Cindy Sheehan will attend the closing day; Jrapko said and added that all these activities will boost the work they are doing to secure the freedom of the Cuban patriots.

She said there are three teams of activists that arrived from different countries are handing out flyers at the metro entrances and other strategic places throughout the city.

“I think this is the first time that the campaign for the Cuban Five is so massively spread” she concluded

 

Exhibit of Cuban Contemporary Art in London Features Pieces by Cuban Antiterrorists

HAVANA, Cuba, Apr 19 (acn) A large exhibition of Cuban contemporary art entitled ‘Mas alla del marco’ (Beyond the Frame), which includes pieces by two of the five Cuban antiterrorists unjustly held in the U.S. since 1998, will be hosted by London’s Gallery 27 as of Monday, April 23, until Saturday, April 28.

The art exhibition, the largest collection of Cuban artists ever shown in the United Kingdom, will show the work of 26 renowned Cuban artists and of 20 other international ones who have donated work to draw attention to the case of Guerrero, Hernandez, Fernando Gonzalez, Ramon Labañino, and Rene Gonzalez —internationally known as the Cuban Five—, who were arrested in the U.S. and given harsh and unjust sentences for monitoring anti-Cuba right-wing groups in South Florida that were planning and carrying out terrorist actions against Cuba.

“The art itself is very surprising,” said Dodie Weppler, an expert on Cuban art who is coordinating the exhibition, which is sponsored by the Cuba Solidarity Campaign in the UK. “There’s no socialist realism, it’s all things you might not expect. Culture has always been a vital element in Cuba’s radical tradition, but the Revolution made possible a cultural experiment on a scale never before seen in the Americas,” she added.

The list of artists whose works will be exhibited include Alexis Leyva (“Kcho”), Manuel Mendive, Eduardo Roca Salazar (“Choco”), Jose Fuster, and Juan Roberto Diago.

Other artists, mainly UK-based, who have donated their work in support of the show include John Keane, Mona Hatoum, Alasdair Gray, Derek Boshier, John Byrne, David Harding, the kennardphillipps collective, and The Guardian cartoonist Steve Bell.

“We called the exhibition ‘Beyond the Frame’ because it ruptured the traditional role of the frame as a boundary and acknowledged the Five have been ‘framed’ by the U.S. government,” Weppler pointed out.

“I didn’t know a great deal about the Five before,” said Keane, official war artist of the 1991 Gulf war. “But I believe in using art to help the course of justice. If art can provide some sort of conscience, it’s preferable to merely being a currency for the super-rich,” he noted.

For his part, Boshier, a British artist now based in Los Angeles, said that he had made his first artwork connected to the island, entitled ‘Situation in Cuba’, back in 1961: “It was a reaction to the Bay of Pigs (the failed U.S.-backed mercenary invasion).” His contribution to the current exhibition is a 2011 reconstruction of that work.

After London, the exhibition will move to Glasgow, where it will be on display at The Lighthouse, Scotland’s Centre for Design and Architecture, on May 7-13.

 

May 1st International Brigade to Arrive in Cuba

HAVANA, Cuba, Apr 19 (acn) The 7th May 1st International Brigade will arrive in Cuba on April  22 to take part in the parade to celebrate International Workers’ Day at the Jose Marti Revolution Square in this capital.

Armando Guerra, of the Cuban Institute for Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP), told ACN that  over 250 brigadistas from the five continents will participate, particularly from Latin American countries.

From April 23 to May 6, the group will carry out, among other activities, agricultural work in  areas of the Julio Antonio Mella International Camp CIJAM); will enjoy the screening of  documentaries; and will receive keynote lectures on Cuban reality. They group will also receive updated information on the case of the five Cubans unfairly imprisoned in the United States, during a meeting with relatives of these heroes and members of the International Committee for the Freedom of the Cuban Five.

Guerra also announced that the brigade will travel to the provinces of Pinar del Rio and Villa Clara, where it will visit places of historic, tourist, cultural and social interest.

The official program also includes the participation of the group in the International Solidarity Meeting scheduled for Havana’s Convention Center, along with foreign delegations invited by the Cuban Workers Confederation to the May 1st celebrations.

A tribute to late singer-songwriter Sara Gonzalez, a founder of the New Song Movement, will take place at the CIJAM on May 2 to remember the artist, who spoke with the members of the 6th May 1st International Brigade in 2011.

 

Lawyer of Luxemburg Condemns US Blockade of Cuba

HAVANA, Cuba, Apr 18 (acn) In a open setter to his government, Gaston Vogel, a well-known lawyer of the Supreme Court of Luxemburg, expressed his condemnation of the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed on Cuba by the United States for over a century now.

The letter demands more links of the authorities of the Grand Duchy and the international community in the denunciation of the blockade, the effects of which not only cause damages and shortages to the Cuban people but also hinder commercial relations between the Caribbean island and the rest of the world, the www.cubaminrex.cu Web site reported on Wednesday.

This crime against Cuba has to be denounced at all forums possible, reads the document spread by the press of Luxemburg.

Likewise, Vogel stressed his admiration towards the Cuban people, which has faced, for decades, the US government’s attempts to defeat the Revolution, and towards Commander in Chief Fidel Castro, which he describes as “political genius.”

Since my early youth, Cubans and their historic leader have been “an inexhaustible source of inspiration” for me, points out the jurist, who, after his recent visit to the island, described it as “the country where life acquires fresh vigor in every corner.”

 

The Cuba-Venezuela Health Agreement: Over 50,000 Patients Treated

HAVANA, Cuba, Apr 19 (acn) More than 50,000 Venezuelans have received medical treatment in Cuba, said Mary Cedeño and Joel Perez, members of the social movement of patients benefited from the Comprehensive Health Agreement existing between the two countries.

The www.cubaminrex.cu Web site refers that during an interview granted to Venezolana de Television, Cedeño and Perez explained that 20 percent of this figure belongs to people who don’t support the revolutionary process led by Hugo Chavez, President of that South American nation.

Cedeño, mother of a young girl treated on the island, asserted that, since November, 2010, there have been 409 flights to Cuban territory carrying patients to receive free medical treatment. A total of 28,060 from the almost 51,000 citizens treated, she added, have been direct patients, and 22,851 were persons accompanying them, who were also treated in many cases for various ailments.

For his part, Joel Perez, said that four years ago he traveled to the Caribbean island to receive treatment for drug addiction. In Cuba I received a wonderful treatment, which included psychology therapy, physical and occupational education, and general medicine, he commented.

 

Cuba: A Model of Protection against Natural Disasters, Says Expert

HAVANA, Cuba, Apr 19 (acn) Cuba’s Early Warning System (SAT) against tropical cyclones is paradigmatic, considered on Thursday in this capital Patricia Leon Woolfson, international specialist in climate change.

Cubans’ SAT is a model in the reduction of risks of natural or technological disasters, for being it an official policy and with a high degree of local organization, in communities, cities and neighborhoods, asserted Leon, of Ecuadorian nationality, in statements to ACN.

This scientific personality was one of the guests invited to the Regional Workshop of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) on the risk management of extreme meteorological phenomena and catastrophes, which wound up on Thursday at the Melia Habana Hotel.

Leon, Director for the Caribbean and Colombia of the global program of support for governments to generate public policies compatible with climate, suggested that Cuban experiences on this matter can be applied to the specific conditions of other nations.

In this regard, America Santos, Deputy Minister for Science, Technology and the Environment, pointed out that Cuba’s methodology is known internationally, due to the reduction of deaths due to natural disasters, which includes measures to evacuate the populations exposed to risks and take them to shelters.

According to the United Nations, the risk of dying as a consequence of a hurricane in Cuba is 15 times smaller than in the United States.

 

Belarusian President Praises Cooperation and Friendship Relations with Cuba

HAVANA, Cuba, Apr 18 (acn) Belarusian president Alexander Lukashenko highlighted the importance of the 20th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Cuba and Belarus in a congratulation message sent to the Cuban people and government.

“Cooperation between Cuba and Belarus has a solid basis of respect and friendship traditions, as well as coincidence of opinions and stance on topics such as national pride, independence, social justice and equity,” the message reads.

According to Prensa Latina news agency, the note points out that, along the past two decades, Cuba and Belarus have achieved a high level of cooperation and mutual trust thanks to their joint efforts.

In his message, the Belarusian leader expresses his confidence that the strategic association between the two nations will continue to develop very dynamically.

Media outlets in Belarus report that Cuban president Raul Castro answered Lukashenko’s message with another note in which he reiterates Cuba’s willingness to strengthen and further develop friendship relations between both countries.

Similar messages were exchanged between the Cuban Foreign Minister, Bruno Rodriguez Parrilla, and his Belarusian counterpart, Serguei Martinov.

 

Cuba Backs Argentinean Government on YPF Oil Company Expropriation

HAVANA, Cuba, Apr 20 (acn) Cuba reiterated on Thursday its solidarity with the Argentinean government’s decision to expropriate a 51% controlling stake in the YPF oil company, a subsidiary of the Spanish group Repsol.

“Cuba reiterates its solidarity with the Republic of Argentina and that this nation has a permanent sovereign right over all its natural resources, including hydrocarbons,” reads a statement from the Cuban Foreign Ministry issued on Thursday evening.

The statement recalls that “YPF, originally an Argentinean state company, was one of the many companies privatized and sold for less than their value by former president Carlos Saul Menem during his mandate from 1989 to 1999 as part of a series of neoliberal measures that, at the instance of and in collusion with the United States, were imposed in Latin America during that period.”

The note adds that Argentina’s decision is backed by International Law and resolutions approved by the General Assembly of the United Nations.

 

Second Stage of National Anti-polio Vaccination Campaign Underway in Cuba

HAVANA, Cuba, Apr 20 (acn) The second phase of the 51st National Anti-polio Vaccination Campaign to immunize more than half a million children against this disease began on Friday in the 169 municipalities of the country.

According to a press release from the Cuban Health Ministry, until next Friday, 390,845 children under three years old will receive the second dose of the vaccine —the first was administered in March— while 34,217 nine-year-old children will receive a re-activation dose.

The note recalls that this vaccine should not be administered to children allergic to any of its components; those suffering from immunodeficiency disorders, or those with high fever, vomits or diarrhea.

Poliomyelitis is a highly contagious viral and infectious disease that affects the central nervous system causing permanent paralysis and even death, mainly in children between five and ten years old.

Cuba began massive annual campaigns in 1962, and up to the present day the Cuban doctors have applied more than 80 million doses of this vaccine; therefore, the Cuban population under 62 years old is protected against this disease.

On April 9, 1995, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and the International Commission for the Certification of Poliomyelitis Eradication granted Cuba a certificate attesting the eradication of the disease in the Caribbean nation.

 

Cuban and German Foreign Ministries Increase Bilateral Contacts

HAVANA, Cuba, Apr 20 (acn) Cuban Deputy Foreign Minister Dagoberto Rodriguez concluded a working visit to Germany as part of bilateral efforts to strengthen links between the Foreign Ministries of both nations.

On Wednesday, Rodriguez met with the State Secretary of the Federal Foreign Office of Germany, Emily Haber, and with Clemens von Goetze, general director for Asia, Latin America, the Caribbean and the Middle East at the aforementioned ministry.

According to a note published by the website of the Cuban Foreign Ministry (www.cubaminrex.cu), during the talks, both sides agreed on the need to continue strengthening official contacts, which  they described as very important, and spoke about the state of relations between Cuba and the European Union.

Rodriguez’ visit to Berlin is part of a working tour around several European nations, which also included Belgium, where he met with local authorities.