News on Cuba - May 7, 2012 Print

The Five: Inspiration and Guide to Cubans, says Alarcon

HAVANA, Cuba, May 2 (acn) Once again, Cuban Parliament President Ricardo Alarcon demanded justice from the United States in the case of the five Cuban heroes condemned in that northern country for fighting terrorism.

While addressing participants in the 10th International Meeting in Solidarity with Cuba, under way at Havana’s Convention Center, Alarcon pointed out that Rene Gonzalez, Fernando Gonzalez, Antonio Guerrero, Ramon Labañino and Gerardo Hernandez are an inspiration and a guide to Cuban workers and the people, adding that the struggle for their freedom is today a priority.

Alarcon, also a member of the Politburo of the Cuban Communist Party, underlined that the cause of The Five is of strategic importance for all, beyond the borders of the island, particularly for the peoples of Latin America and the Caribbean, also the victims of the terrorism orchestrated from the north.

This cause, he said, is important for all peoples of the world now facing the serious danger posed by the violence and irrationality of the arrogant and foolish policy of the big centers of power.

Alicia Jrapko, coordinator of the International Committee for the Freedom of the Five, described as essential the support of all delegates from their respective countries, so Rene, Ramon, Gerardo, Antonio and Fernando can return to their homeland.


Cuban and Mexican Legislators against US Blockade and for The Five

HAVANA, Cuba, May 4 (acn) Mexican and Cuban parliamentarians demanded on Friday from Havana that the US government lifts the blockade against the island, and the return home of the five Cuban antiterrorist fighters it has held captive since 1998.

A Joint Declaration, signed at the end of the 13th Cuba-Mexico Inter-parliamentary Meeting, points out that the continuity of the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed on Cuba for over half a century, which has caused so much suffering to its people, is an act of irrationality and a crime.

With respect to the case of Gerardo Hernandez, Fernando Gonzalez, Antonio Guerrero, Ramon Labañino and Rene Gonzalez, the legislators expressed their support for the request so these men, condemned to long sentences for crimes they didn’t commit, can definitively return free to their homeland.

Ricardo Alarcon and Jose Gonzalez, presidents of the National Assembly of the People’s Power and of the Mexican Senate, in that order, as well as of the delegations of their respective countries, signed the document during the closing of two days of exchanges and fruitful debates in Havana.

Read by deputies Carlos Flores, co-president of the Mexican representatives, and Cuban Tubal Paez, the Joint Declaration highlights the contribution made by these periodical meetings, parliamentary diplomacy, and the legislators of the two nations to the re-composition and strengthening of bilateral bonds.


Uruguayan FM Receives Wife of Rene Gonzalez, one of the Cuban Five

HAVANA, Cuba, May 4 (acn) The Uruguayan Minister of Foreign Affairs, Luis Almagro, received Olga Salanueva, wife of Cuban antiterrorist fighter Rene Gonzalez, who is in US territory under “supervised release”, after serving the unfair sentence imposed on him in 2001.

Salanueva, on a visit to Uruguay at the invitation of the Frente Amplio Party and the Uruguayan Workers Confederation, grouped in the PIT-CNT, told the Uruguayan FM about the current situation of her husband and of the other four Cuban heroes serving long sentences for defending their country from violent actions organized in south Florida against Cuba.

“The President of the United States, Barack Obama, has the possibility to do justice by freeing the five Cuban antiterrorists, but for this to happen we need international support for the cause of The Five,” said Olga.

For his part, Minister Almagro pointed out that attention should be paid to the situation for humanitarian reasons and that by way of international organizations things could be done to solve the irregularities denounced. He commented that Cuba arouses sensitivity in the international arena, which makes it possible to find solutions to what Olga stated.

The wife of the Cuban hero made a similar denunciation in the presence of members of Frente Amplio, who warmly welcomed her at the Liber Seregni center.


Long-lived Cubans Thank Fidel Castro for their Longevity

HAVANA, Cuba, May 4 (acn) A group of long-lived Cubans thanked in Havana the Cuban Revolution and historical leader Fidel Castro for making possible the island’s achievements in health and the comprehensive assistance to senior citizens.

At the Eighth Meeting of Centenarians, which is part of the 10th International Seminar on Active and Satisfactory Longevity, participants agreed in acknowledging the social system established in Cuba in 1959, which has guaranteed a happy and healthy aging.

Graciela Concepcion, a 102-year-old pianist woman from Puerto Padre, Las Tunas, said she looked up to the leader of the Cuban Revolution and that she had actually dedicated a song to Fidel.

Blanca Rosa Leon Contreras, born in 1909 in Villa Clara, said the Cuban social system had given a lot to the whole people and particularly to the senior citizens and pointed out that Fidel Castro had contributed a great deal for Cubans to have a decent old age.

Feeling lucky for having passed a century of age with such vitality, Marino Rodriguez, 102, from Guantanamo, thanked the Revolution for its achievements in health, social security, education and other fields and stressed how much he has benefited from those attainments.

Dr. Rodrigo Alvarez Cambras, director of the Frank Pais International Orthopedics and Scientific Complex gave a talk at the event about the importance of doing physical exercises regularly and start at early ages, as the best therapy to fight anxiety and stress.    “Life is movement and movement is life,” he remarked.

The event included a swimming exhibition by longevous adults at the pool of the National Hotel where the Seminar is taking place.

Dr. Eugenio Selman-Housein, president of the Medical Association of the Caribbean and of the 120 Years Club, is in charge of the organizing committee of the forum that brought together more than 200 specialists from several countries.


Cuba Begins Clinical Trial of Vaccine against Pneumococcus

HAVANA, Cuba, May 2 (acn) Cuba will begin this year the first clinical trials of the vaccine against pneumococus developed by national institutions, nnounced on Wednesday in this capital Doctor of Sciences Concepcion Campa, director of Havana’s Finlay Institute.

In a press conference on Cuban vaccines, their results and achievements, during the first day of sessions of the 6th International Seminar of the Caribbean Medical Association (AMECA), the specialist said that the immunogen is made by the Center of Bio-molecular Chemistry and the Finlay.

Doctor Campa, in an exclusive interview with ACN,  explained that pneumonia is one of the causes of death not only in children but also in old people, and that this combined vaccine -of seven valences-, after being tested in humans, will be at the disposal of children and adults in order to control the disease.

Eugenio Selman-Housein Abdo, president of the AMECA and of the organizing committee, informed that the scientific program includes debates on genetic factors, culture, health, nutrition, the environment, motivations and physical activity, and other aspects that are essential to achieve satisfactory longevity.


Cuban People Benefited with Clinical Tests against Cancer

MATANZAS, Cuba, May 7 (acn) Over 700 Cubans have been benefited with clinical tests with the CIMAvax EGF which is a vaccine that increases the quality of life of patients with lung cancer across the island.

Dr. Mayra Ramos, Head of the Clinical Tests Department of the Molecular Immunology Center, explained that lung cancer is a chronic illness, like high blood pressure or diabetes whose evolution can take years.

“The vaccine reduces epidemic growth in the patient, said Ramos, without lowering it to zero in order for the vital functions that are required continue its process, but the tumor that demands a larger amount will not grow or at least will stabilize”.

The individual’s cure cannot be affirmed because the tumor is reduced but the experience of the investigation shows that the cancer does not spread out during a long period so the person stabilizes and can live much longer.

In the province of Matanzas 78 people do not depend on oxygen therapy any longer and walk the streets with the positive results of the clinical test.  Before hand, said Leticia Cabrera, a person with lung cancer could not survive more than three months, today, they have at least five.

Clinical tests are organized investigations that internationally expands the possibilities of  improving the health of those involved, processes that are carried out with the patient’s approval and whose results allows the medication to be recognized as an elemental product.

Security, relevance and quality of life are the pillars that sustain the work of the Havana based Molecular Immunology Center with the objective of looking for new products to diagnose and treat diseases linked with the immune system.

Cancer is the second cause of death in Cuba and to combat the ailment, the CIMAvax EGF is used in patients in an advanced stage and allows them to receive assistance close to their homes for major comfort and quality of life.


Cuban Endocrinology Achievements in International Forum

HAVANA,Cuba, May 7 (acn)Cuba will exhibit its achievements at the XVIII Pan American Endocrinology Congress (COPAEN 2012) to kick off on Tuesday in Havana with the participation of over one thousand academics and specialists from some 20 countries.

Neonatal research, assistance to patients with endocrinology ailments and metabolic disorders; early diagnosis; thyroid; immunology and endocrinology; and reproductive health and infertility; are among the issues will be discussed at the event.

“To increase the quality of patient assistance with endocrine ailments”, is the slogan of the forum that will run until Friday at Havana’s International Convention Center, in conjunction with the VIII Cuban Endocrinology Congress, reported Dr. Francisco Carvajal, President of the event’s organizing committee.

Carvajal who also heads the Pediatric Endocrinology Department of the National Endocrinology Institute pointed out that they also analyze issues related to sexuality disorders, neurological endocrinology tumors, gender identity and trans sexuality.

They also include obesity, bioethics, genetic, pregnancy, and menopause, endocrinology ailments in children and teenagers and nutrition.

Carvajal mentioned that among the participants are Sócrates Mañón, Presidnet of the Pan American Endocrinology Federation and Felipe Casanova, from Spain and President of the International Society of the specialty, among others.

There will be a commercial fair as part of the forums associated with the participation of companies, firms and producers of materials, technologies and medicine, lead by Novo Nordisk, Merek Sevres, Catalysis, and Sanofi-Aventis among others.

From May 2nd to date, 23 pre Congress courses were held in hospitals located in Havana, Pinar del Rio, Holguin, Santiago de Cuba, Villa Clara and Ciego de Avila, said Dr. Carvajal.


International Tourism Fair to Begin in Cuba

HAVANA, Cuba, May 7 (acn) The XXXII International Tourism Fair (FITCUBA 2012) will start this Tuesday in a new venue, Cayo Santa Maria, off the northern coast of Central Cuba.

Cayo Santa Maria is considered the youngest of all Cuban destinations. It will host this event attended by tourism officials, tour operators, specialized press and representatives of airlines, hotel chains and others, according to information realsed by theCuban Ministry of Tourism (MINTUR)

Through Friday 11, specialists and promoters will exchange their experiences and tackle other issues as family tourism with is showing a great potential in Cuba and the Caribbean region.

Cuban Tourism Minister Manuel Marrero will deliver a keynote speech in the opening day, as well as Daniel Pablo Aguilera, Argentinean secretary of Tourism and Carlos Vogeler, Regional Director for the Americas at UNWTO World Tourism Organization.

Argentina is the guest of honor of FITCUBA 2012, and Cuba has become the most promoted tourist destination in that South American country, according to some 1 600 specialists, according to MINTUR.

The keys off the northern coast of central Villa Clara province: Santa María, Las Brujas and Ensenachos are connected to the main island through a road over the sea that extents over 30 miles.


The Quality of Cuban Theatre: A credit to Latin American Stage Art

BAYAMO, Cuba, May 3 (acn) The quality of Cuban theatre is a credit to stage art in Latin America and the Caribbean, asserted on Thursday Dominican actress and playwright Maria Isabel Bosch in this city, the capital of eastern Granma province.

A participant in the activities of the 9th Season of Latin American and Caribbean Theater, Mayo Teatral 2012, she highlighted the training of Cuban artists and the rigor of their work on stage, which has managed to go beyond national borders.

Bosch, also the director of the group Tibai Teatro acknowledged the capacity of resistance, wishes to develop and skills to reinvent of Cuban creators, who continue their work in spite of lack of resources and who are capable of finding alternatives to continue offering good art, she stated.

She expressed her satisfaction with the warm welcome given on Wednesday by the public in the coastal city of Manzanillo to the piece “Las viajeras”, and revealed her intention of coming to the island every time she can.

“Tibai Teatro” offered on Thursday evening, at the 10 de Octubre coliseum of Bayamo, the piece “Contando a mi abuelo. Juan Bosch, tres relatos”, a family tribute to a man that was an important patriot and politician in his country, in addition to a notable man of letters.

Mayo Teatral 2012, aimed at showing the diversity of stage work in Latin America and The Caribbean, will hold its main activities from May 4th through the 13th in Havana, and will bring together companies from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Mexico, the Dominican Republic and Cuba.


Cuban-Americans in Miami Condemn Arson against Charter Line in Coral Gables

HAVANA, Cuba, May 2 (acn) Groups of Cuban-American residents in Miami strongly condemned a deliberate fire that last Friday gutted the offices of Airlines Brokers, a charter line in Coral Gables specializing in flights to Cuba.

“We regard this criminal action as a terrorist attack, not only against this company, but also against the right of all American citizens to travel to Cuba and, particularly, to share time with and to help their families,” reads a statement signed by groups such as the Alianza Martiana, the Antonio Maceo Brigade, the Jose Marti Association, the Bolivarian Circle of Miami, and the Association of Christian Women in Defense of the Family, among others.

“Terrorist actions like this one violate democracy,” adds the text, which urges the U.S. government to lift all Cuba travel bans and calls on local and federal authorities to conduct a swift and thorough investigation that can lead to bringing a prosecution against the culprits.

“As long as terrorists walk the streets of Miami as free men, actions like this one will continue to be perpetrated by them or by others who think and act like them,” the statement warns.

After pointing out that neither congresspersons nor any other elected public servants of the state of Florida have condemned the attack, the document adds that it must be done as soon as possible because the situation is “truly disgraceful.”

“I thought we had moved past the era of terrorist acts,” said Airline Brokers owner Vivian Mannerud referring to the 1970s and 1980s, when Miami was the scene of politically motivated arson attacks and car-bombings targeting perceived Cuba government sympathizers and people doing business with the Caribbean nation.

Mannerud, who has been active in several humanitarian campaigns in Cuba and Haiti, played a major role in helping the Miami archdiocese organize the trip by more than 300 pilgrims to Cuba to take part in Pope Benedict XVI’s three-day visit last month.

Airline Brokers is one of a number of charter companies that fly to Cuba from airports in Miami, as well as a growing number of other U.S. cities, including Tampa, New York and Los Angeles, under special Treasury Department licenses.

Mannerud said her company has seven flights a week from Miami and Fort Lauderdale. Despite losing all the office computers, she said she planned to continue taking bookings, adding that the company’s Cuba flight schedule would not be affected.


Florida Governor Sings New Law Stiffening Economic Blockade of Cuba

HAVANA, Cuba, May 2 (acn) Florida Governor Rick Scott signed a bill on Tuesday that prohibits state and local governments from contracting with companies that have business ties to Cuba and Syria.

The piece of legislation, sponsored by Republic Senator Rene Garcia of Hialeah and Representative Michael Bileca of Miami, is seen as a “gesture” towards the coveted Cuban-American right-wing voters in Florida.

“The governments of Cuba and Syria are two of the only four countries that the United States designates as state sponsors of terrorism and the money of Florida taxpayers should not in any way contribute to support them,” Scott said upon signing the bill.

The controversial law has received strong criticism from the Florida Chamber of Commerce and from Florida’s top two trading partners, Brazil and Canada, who have warned the measure could discourage investment from foreign firms.

The piece of legislation goes into effect on July 1 and it affects future state and local government contracts worth at least $1 million.