News on Cuba - June 6, 2012 Print

Obama Asked to Use his Power and Release the Cuban Five

HAVANA, Cuba, June 5 (acn) A change of the US policy towards Cuba begins with President Barack Obama using his constitutional power and returning The Five to their homeland, asserted Graciela Ramirez, coordinator of the International Committee for the Freedom of The Five.

In an exclusive interview with ACN, Ramirez stressed that today there’s a permanent international campaign with that demand, a request of world solidarity, and of leaders, parliamentarians, organizations and important figures of society.

Millions of postcards with the slogan “Obama Give me Five” circulate in all languages –specified the activist- because we don’t want another day of imprisonment for these innocent men, but a positive and immediate response of the US head of state, she underlined.

Ramon Labañino, Gerardo Hernandez, Fernando Gonzalez, Antonio Guerrero and Rene Gonzalez, were condemned to harsh sentences in the US for trying to warn their country about terrorist plans conceived in the state of Florida.

This case is shameful and entails an enormous injustice -said Ramirez- because while The Five are in prison for denouncing criminals, confessed terrorist Luis Posada Carriles carries out, with absolute impunity, exhibitions announced by banks in Miami, where anyone defending the Cuban Revolution is threatened.


Guinean Party Leader Highlights Example of Cuba

HAVANA, Cuba, June 5 (acn) Ismael Conde, general secretary of the Party of the African Popular Revolution of Guinea, highlighted on Tuesday the example of Cuba as a sovereign country and world bastion of revolutionary thinking.

During a meeting with Cuba’s ambassador to Conakry, Maite Rivero, the party leader also highlighted Venezuela as a model to follow by countries from around the world, the Web site reported.

Conde underlined the historic solidarity bonds that have characterized relations between Cuba and Guinea since the times of Ahmed Sekou Toure (1922-1984), political leader and first president of that African nation after its independence in 1958.

Likewise, he conveyed the interest of the political group he represents in receiving an update on the Caribbean island and carrying out joint actions with the Cuban embassy to Guinea.

The occasion was favorable to extend an invitation to Conde to take part in the Regional Meeting of Solidarity with Cuba, to be held in Ethiopia in September.


A Surprise Visit for Gerardo Hernandez, one of the Cuban Five

HAVANA, Cuba, June 5 (acn) Cuban antiterrorist hero Gerardo Hernandez received a visit on June 4, on the occasion of his 47th birthday, at the federal prison of Victorville, California, where he’s serving an unfair and extreme sentence.

In an exclusive telephone conversation on Tuesday with the National News Agency, Alicia Jrapko, coordinator of the International Committee for the Freedom of The Five, said that accompanying her for the visit, “which he didn’t expect,” were his sister, Isabel, South African Father Michael Lapsley -who has visited him before-, and US photographer and activist Bill Hackwell.

She commented that Gerardo –now serving an unfair sentence of two life imprisonments plus 15 years- was very happy when he saw them.

Alicia explained that Gerardo has received hundreds of postcards and added that “he was very grateful for so much solidarity, although he actually didn’t know is he was going to be able to answer all letters received.”

She pointed out that he was in good spirit, happy and with many hopes and wishes of being in Cuba with his wife, Adriana, the rest of his family, and all his friends.

On behalf of Gerardo, she expressed her gratitude towards all those who support his cause and that of his four brothers, and sent a message to Adriana and to his people saying that they are well, strong, and convinced of their reason and of the just nature of their struggle.


The Preservation of Human Race: Main Environmental Challenge

MATANZAS, Cuba, June 5 (acn) The preservation of human race under the principle of sustainability is the main challenge these days, asserted on Tuesday Elba Rosa Perez, Minister of Science, Technology and the Environment (CITMA).

During the national meeting to celebrate World Environment Day, held in this city, the CITMA Minister said that a lot still needs to be done in order to protect natural resources and biodiversity, threatened by climate change and man.

Cuba ratified the environmental policy devised 20 years ago at the Earth Summit in the Guidelines approved by the 6th Congress of the Communist Party, stated Claudio Tomasi, representative to Cuba of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).

The future demands greater efforts, unity, control and regulation in the crucial struggle to save the human race, said Perez, and stressed the need to increase education and culture in the protection of natural resources.


New Cuban Rum Havanista Faces U.S. Measures

Havana, Jun 6 (Prensa Latina) The new Cuban rum named Havanista faces the recent ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court against the spirited Havana Club, said on Wednesday French top managers linked to this trade dispute.

The General Director of the Havana Club International S.A. (HCI), Jerome Cottin-Bizzonne and his marketing manager Yves Schlaudeuhaufen, showed optimism in the legal dispute with Washington concerning the Cuban principal rum, Havana Club.

Havana authorities denounced the decision last May 14 the Supreme Court in Washington DC that it refused Cubaexport the possibility to defend their right to renew the registration of that rum in the United States.

Cottin-Bizzonne meant that to confront such trade discrimination emanating from the embargo against Cuba since the 60's of last century, his company created the brand Havanista, registered in that northern country since 2011.

He explained that it comes to defending the brand and the consumer rights of U.S. people, because in case of complete trade barriers against this country may sell Havanista there.

This rum has the same bottle, same quality and same way to communicate the values and culture of Havana. This does not mean abandoning the defense of Havana Club in high demand by many U.S people, stressed executives.

French managers stressed that their joint venture has the ability to satisfy the U.S. market for Cuban rum in the event of termination of economic barriers mentioned.


Prospects of World Sugar Market Seen at Seminar in Cuba

Havana, June 6 (Prensa Latina) Prospects of the world sugar market is the title of one of the lectures to be given during an international seminar to be held on June 7, attended by representatives from 17 nations, an official source informed.

In remarks to Prensa Latina, Director of Cubazucar, Juan Alberto Kelly, also said that the event is part of activities for the 50th anniversary of that business that belongs to the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Investment.

The forum is sponsored by the ministry, the International Sugar Organization and the sugar group Azcuba.

Kelly said that prestigious figures expected to attend include ISO Director Peter Baron.

"We want to host the seminar not only to mark the anniversary of the foundation of the corporation in 1962, but also to talk about the Cuban sugar industry, its reality, challenges, possibilities and projections.

"We also want to know from specialists and international lectures the changing situation and challenges ahead of the international sugar market," he added.

Other issues include the future role of Cuba in the world sugar economy, the supply/demand of the product by 2020, sugar products and new developments in sugar cane production.

There will be a presentation of the experiences of the Jesus Rabi sugar mill, in western Cuba, because of its high agricultural and industrial efficiency. It boasts an advanced harvest system.

Cubazucar is the state-run business in charge of exporting all sugar available in the country.

It has an essential role in the national economy because sugar remains a high value-added product with a significant role in the balance of trade and payment.


Cuba, Iran Ratify Will to Strengthen Ties

Havana, Jun 5 (Prensa Latina) Cuba and Iran confirmed their interest in promoting bilateral ties during the visit here of a high official of the Chancellery of the Persian country, reported the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the island.

According to a press release, the general director for North America and Central America in the Iranian Foreign Ministry, Reza Zabib, conducted a two day stay as part of a regional tour.

The diplomat reviewed the current status of the ties between his Ministry and the Cuban counterpart and held exchanges with the Deputy Foreign Minister Marcos Rodriguez and other officials, the source said.

During the meetings, it was reaffirmed the desire of both parties to continue strengthening the bonds of cooperation and friendship between the two countries.

Zahib visit followed another one in late May by the vice president of Iran, Ali Saeidlo, who gave an official invitation to Cuban president, Raul Castro, to participate in the XVI Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement, which will take place in Tehran, August 30 and 31.


Brazilian Firm Sues Florida for Anti-Cuba Law

Washington, Jun 5 (Prensa Latina) Odebrecht USA Corporation a subsidiary of the Brazilian engineering and construction conglomerate, sued Miami over a contentious anti-Cuba law, local media reported today.

The complaint refers to a law that bans governments from hiring companies with business ties with Cuba.

The lawsuit considers the law is unenforceable and unconstitutional because it sets foreign policy, which is only incumbent on federal authorities.

Under the regulation to be enforced as of July 1, state and local government agencies are banned from awarding contracts worth at least 1 million dollars to Odebrecht Construction Inc., since a subsidiary of its parent company is upgrading the Cuban Port of Mariel.

According to El Nuevo Herald newspaper, Odebrecht USA underlined that federal laws "do not authorize states to impose their own sanctions against Cuba".

This lawsuit seeks a temporary injunction to forbid the immediate enforcement of the law, said the company’s lawyer, Raoul Cantero.


Forest Area in Cuba Reaches over 27 Percent

Havana, Jun 5 (Prensa Latina) Forest area in Cuba currently reaches 27.3 percent of the national territory, thanks to the reforestation program developed over the past 50 years, local media reported on Tuesday.

Isabel Russo, director of the State Forest Service at the Ministry of Agriculture, highlighted in this capital the boost provided by comprehensive new forest farms to the activity.

In remarks to the National News Agency, Russo stated that the creation of agricultural and forestry systems currently strengthens in order to increase the presence of tree in landscapes, as an alternative to reduce the erosion of soils, preserve biodiversity and support food security.

We worked steadily to achieve that purpose, but planting rates should rise this year by incorporating areas that have not even been included in the wooded heritage, and to determine them, we use aerial photographs, she stated.

According to the National Statistics Office, Cuba only had 13.4 of forest areas in 1959


Cuba Qualifies 94 Athletes to London Olympic Games

HAVANA, Cuba, Jun 6 (acn) Ninety-four Cuban athletes qualified to the 2012 Olympic Games to run from July 27 through August 12 in London.

According to Norge Marrero, director of High Performance at the National Institute of Sports, Physical Education and Recreation (INDER) there are still some athletes with chances of participating in this Summer Games: the 4x400 relays in track and field, a diver, two swimmers and a cyclist.

Marrero said those berths are granted depending on the world ranking of each sport.

Also, he said, the Cuban volleyball team (male) has a chance at the Olympic qualifier tournament in Germany, and two beach volleyball couples (male and female) that will try to make it at the North, Central America and the Caribbean tourney to be held in Mexico.

Track and field is the sport with more sportspeople qualified with 33, followed by wrestling (12), judo (9), boxing (8), rowing (6), kayack (6), cycling (4), sport shooting (4), weightlifting (4), taekwondo (3), diving (2), swimming (1), table tennis (1) and archery (1).

On the training the Cuban delegation has received, Marrero said that “it has been satisfactory, but, as you know, the Olympic Games are the most demanding sports event in the world”


Holguin is the Pioneer in the Use of Stem Cells in Eastern Cuba

HOLGUIN, Cuba, Jun 5 (acn)—The province of Holguin is the pioneer of the eastern part of the island in two advanced and complex medical procedures using stem cells at the Lucia Iñiguez Landin Surgical Clinic.

These procedures, says Dr. Fernando Cruz Tamayo, head of the Onco-Hematology and Hemo-therapy Service, are transplants of bone marrow which began in 2011 and regenerating therapy in 2008, both with positive results.

Cruz Tamayo told ACN News Agency that the development of the first in the hospital was conceived as part of a project of the Public Health Ministry.

He added that it was approved in 2008, and its objective is to treat patients with malignant pathologies in the blood and advanced breast cancer.

This project, said the specialist, allows the Hematologists of the eastern provinces to travel to Holguin with the objective of evaluating and training them to be able to carry out the procedures with success in their territories after using the current conventional protocols for such diseases.

The specialist believes that having a center in that part of the country and the proper conditions to carry out these operations, four so far, is highly beneficial in reducing the geographic distances and discomfort of the patients.

With the regenerating therapy benefiting over 100 people in the provinces that have hematology ailments and other specialties the outcome are stimulating.

Dr. Leonardo Laguna added that the Hematology Group in Holguin introduced the treatment in the municipality of Contramaestre in Santiago de Cuba and treated 24 patients, a number will increase as more professionals are trained in the province.

Holguin has been accredited in training specialists in the field since 2006 including all of the eastern provinces.


Alternative Medicine Congress Opens in Havana

HAVANA, Cuba, June 6 (ACN)—The 4th National Convention of the Cuban Society of Bio-Energy and Natural Medicine (BIONAT 2012) kicks off Tuesday in this capital aimed at expanding the local experience through the exchange among experts in the field.

The convention includes the 5th National Homeopathy Conference, the Floral Therapy Forum and other events on Traditional Asian Medicine, Magnetic Therapy, and other specialties, according to the organizing committee.

Participants will discuss presentations on clinical research and pre and postgraduate training for doctors, dentists, psychologists, nurses and paramedic personnel.

Alternative and natural medicine has been validated by research made by the Cuban National Health system and it is used in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases, as well as in the patients’ rehabilitation stage.

The Cuban Health Ministry is jointly working with the Agriculture sector to increase productions that are used in alternative medicine. This effort is in tune with the guidelines of the Economic and Social Policy of the Communist Party and the Revolution, which emphasizes the development of natural medicine, said Doctor Marta Perez who heads the alternative medicine department at the Health Ministry.


Significant Contribution by Scientists to Cuban Economy

HAVANA, Cuba, June 6 (ACN)—Cuban Scientific Research contributes some of  the most valuable export products of the Caribbean island in the biotechnology sector.

In 2011, the Havana-based Immunological Assays Center (CIE) alone reported exports calculated at 53 million dollars, Mayra Espionosa, an official with the Ministry of Science, Technology and the Environment, told the Cuban news agency.

The scientific center produces reagents, software programs, equipment and lab systems for internal quality control and personnel qualification,  while it is advancing in the field of nanotechnology, Espinosa explained.

One third of all scientists formed in the Third World do not work in their countries of origin, while the number of people devoted to science and technology in the North is estimated at 0.2 percent. Meanwhile, in  South countries such figure is below 0.05 percent, according to  statistics released by international institutions.

New Cuban products were awarded the Gold Medal of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) said the official, who cited the pharmaceutical known as Heberprot-P, used in the treatment of diabetic foot. The Cuban product has been registered in five continents, including highly industrialized countries.

First deputy foreign trade and investment minister Antonio Carricarte said that the export of services, particularly in the sectors of health and tourism contribute  70 percent of Cuba’s income.


UN Population Fund Praises Cuba´s Low Maternal Mortality Rate

HAVANA, Cuba, June 5 (ACN)—Cuba is one of the Latin American and Caribbean nations with the largest political support for its public healthcare program, particularly the reduction of infant and maternal mortality rates, said a UN Population Fund official in Mexico city.

Cuba has become a model for the region, where some countries register a maternal mortality rate of up to 80 percent in every 100 000 live births, UN Population Fund regional Sexual and Reproductive Health advisor Virginia Camacho told PL news agency.

The UN official said that Cuba has appropriately addressed the issue by providing all women with access to institutional health assistance for child delivery, high-quality prenatal control and nutritional tests, among others.

In general terms, Cuba has conquered important achievement though there are still pending challenges, but they are on the right path, Camacho pointed out.

The UN expert recalled that the Cuban health system was designed not only as a bio-medical sector but also as a community actor.

In 2011, Cuba saw 133 063 new births and the death of 42 mothers, which set the maternal mortality rate at 40.6 deaths in every 100 000 live births. The infant mortality rate for that year was of 4.9 deaths in every 1000 births.

She says the lowest maternal and child mortality rates are reported in Haiti, Bolivia, Guatemala, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Guyana and  Surinam.