News on Cuba - July 3, 2012 Print

Raul Castro Congratulates Algerian President on Anniversary

Havana, Jul 3 (Prensa Latina) Cuban President Raul Castro sent congratulations to his Algerian counterpart, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, on the 50th anniversary of his country's independence, reported the Cuban Ministry of Foreign Affairs. According to a statement released by the Ministry, Raul Castro sent a message to Bouteflika in which he also confirmed "his commitment to continue strengthening and expanding the fraternal relations that bind our countries."

In addition, Cuba's President sent congratulations to Algeria's head of government, Ahmed Ouyahia, while Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez did the same with his counterpart Mourad Medelci.

Tomorrow Algeria will celebrate its independence, won in 1962 after years of struggle against French colonialism.


Canadian Aid to Cuba Crosses Into U.S.Territory

Washington, Jul 3 (Prensa Latina) Humanitarian aid coming from Canada to Cuba crossed today through US territory, after been arbitrarily blocked for three days by Washington's authorities.

The activists overcame intimidation by U.S. Customs regarding the payment of a deposit to allow the passage of the lot, which will arrive in Cuba as part of the XXIII Caravan of Pastors for Peace.

Customs officials stopped the truck last Sunday at the White Rock-Blaine border crossing near the north-eastern US coast, and after more than four hours, denied access unless their demands were met.

Members of the caravan camped across the border in protest until they received unconditional permission on Monday to pass with the convoy which included wheelchairs, sports and educational equipment donated by various cities and communities in the province of British Columbia, Canada.

Janine Solanki, organizer of the initiative, told the Canadian daily newspaper, The Province, that the group also rejected the economic, finance and commercial blockade the United States has carried out against Cuba for more than half a century, with damages of more than $975 billion USD.

The international community has condemned and demanded the immediate lifting of those coercive measures for 20 consecutive years before the UN General Assembly.

Pastors for Peace is an initiative created in 1992 by the late American Reverend Lucius Walker, to take humanitarian assistance and medicines to Cuba in yellow buses, without asking for permission or a license from US federal authorities.


Cuban Parliament to Hold Session on July 23

HAVANA, Cuba, July 3 (ACN) Cuban Lawmakers will hold the first parliamentary session of 2012 on July 23, at Havana’s Convention Palace.

The President of the National Assembly of People’s Power (Cuban Parliament) Ricardo Alarcon convened the ninth session of the Seventh Legislature of the top Cuban legislative body for July 3 at Havana’s Convention Palace, reads the note published on Granma daily newspaper on Tuesday.


European Solidarity Brigade Begins Activities in Cuba

ARTEMISA, Cuba, July 2 (acn) The Jose Marti Solidarity Brigade, composed of over 100 activists  from 17 European nations, began its activities on Monday at the Julio Antonio Mella  International Camp, located in the municipality of Caimito, Artemisa province.

The group, which visits the island as part of the 41st edition of friendship trips coming from  Europe, placed a wreath by the bust of the Cuban students’ leader whom the camp has been named  after.

The brigadistas, who will carry out their program of activities until July 20, agreed that  their main motivation is to get information about the current affairs of the Caribbean nation,  from a perspective different to the one spread by the foreign mainstream media.

Spanish activist Margarita Deya said that her greatest expectations are to be able to share experiences with Cubans and know more about the economic changes currently made in the country.

For her part, British Rebecca Jeffries, who visits Cuba for the first time, declared that Europe, involved in a structural crisis, should acknowledge the island’s social achievements.

According to the official program, the Brigade will meet with relatives of the five Cuban heroes arbitrarily condemned in the United States for fighting terrorism, an occasion in which they will get updated information on the case.

The contingent will also receive lectures, hold exchanges with leaders of youth organizations and visit places of historic, social and cultural interest in the provinces of Havana, Artemisa, Mayabeque and Pinar del Rio.


Ricardo Alarcon Pays Tribute to Cubans Killed in Action in Angola

HAVANA, Cuba, July 2 (ACN)  Cuban Parliament president Ricardo Alarcon highlighted in Luanda the internationalist integrity of Raul Diaz Arguelles, a Cuban freedom fighter killed in action, in 1975, in the African nation, Granma newspaper reported.

Diaz Arguelles considered Angola like his own homeland as he spoke of this nation with affection and passion, said Alarcon in front of a tomb covered with flowers, which treasured the mortal remains of the Cuban internationalist at the “Alto las Cruces” cemetery in the capital Luanda before they were transferred to Cuba.

During the ceremony paying tribute to the Cubans who fell during Angola’s liberation war, the Cuban Parliament president said that he learned through Arguelles about the difficult situation that faced the African nation when just at the doors of independence, racist and neo-colonialist forces charged against the Angolan people in an effort to deny them their victory.

Alarcon said that although the mortal remains of the Cuban hero, who was killed in action at the age of 39, at the Ebo Battle, were taken to Cuba, he will always be in Angola because friendship between Angolans and Cubans will always prevail.

As an example of such close friendship, three of the five Cuban anti-terrorist fighters held in the United States (Gerardo Hernandez, Fernando Gonzalez and Rene Gonzalez) fought shoulder to shoulder with the Angolan people against the racist troops that invaded that nation.

The ceremony was attended by the acting speaker of Angola’s Parliament, Joao Manuel Goncalves Lourenco; other legislators and government officials, as well as Cuban workers, officials with the Cuban embassy in Luanda and representatives of solidarity organizations.  Worldnews/lcg/07-02-12/lcg


Cuba Reaffirms its Denunciation against Israel at UNHRC

HAVANA, Cuba, July 3 (ACN)  Cuba once again condemned Israel for its violations of the Palestinian people’s human rights, during a general debate on the issue held by the UN Human Rights Council.

Cuban delegate Yusnier Romero stated forth the Cuban position in favor of a statement given by Egypt’s representative at the debate, on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement.

Cuba stresses the need for a fair, peaceful and long-lasting solution, and expresses its full support of the UN recognition of the Palestinian State, with the borders drawn up before 1967 and with Eastern Jerusalem as its capital city, said the Cuban delegate.

The diplomat denounced the disrespectful attitude of Israel, which continues to ignore the decisions adopted by the Human Rights Council, and he described as shameful Israel’s permanent refusal to cooperate with UN international missions.

Romero criticized the constant use of armed force against a helpless civil population, including children, women and senior citizens, and he blasted the inhumane living conditions to which they all are submitted to.

Given this fact, the decisions taken by the UN Human Rights Council on this issue must maintain validity and be implemented with urgency, said the Cuban diplomat.


Cuba and Angola Sign Cooperation Protocol

HAVANA, Cuba, July 2 (acn) A cooperation protocol between the Angolan and Cuban parliaments,  which strengthens bilateral relations, was signed on Monday in Luanda, capital of that African  nation.

Ricardo Alarcon, president of the National Assembly of the People’s Power (Cuban Parliament)  and Joao Manuel Gonsalves Louren, his counterpart in exercise of the Angolan legislative  organ, signed the agreement, the Prensa Latina news agency reported.

The protocol, which includes 10 articles, defines the principles and instruments of  cooperation between the two peoples and governments.

In statements to the press, Alarcon pointed out that the cooperation agreement favors  exchanges of experiences and knowledge in this field.

He asserted that the legislative organs of the two countries are working to strengthen and  develop mutual assistance even more.

The agreement also includes the harmonizing of shared positions in parliamentary diplomacy and  the revitalization of bonds between friendship groups. Alarcon is carrying out a five-day official visit to Angola, at the invitation of the National  Assembly of that African State.


Cuban Pharmaceuticals Currently Fight 27 Diseases

HAVANA, Cuba, July 3 (ACN)  The Havana-based Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology Center (CIGB) has already contributed pharmaceuticals to diagnose, prevent and treat nearly 30 different diseases, said Clinical Research director Verena Muzio during a ceremony marking the 26th anniversary of the Cuban scientific institution.

Some of the diseases treated with the Cuban medications include chronic hepatitis, respiratory or laryngeal papillomatosis, a potentially fatal throat infection; condylomas or genital warts and other virus-related diseases, said the specialist with the center, which was inaugurated July 1, 1986 by Cuban Revolution leader Fidel Castro.

Outstanding on the list is a product known as Heberprot-P, which is being successfully used to fight diabetic foot ulcers. This pharmaceutical has thus far benefitted some 70 thousand patients from different countries after having prevented the amputation of their lower limbs.

The CIGB official stressed the positive results of the National Immunization Program against acute Hepatitis B with the administration of the first vaccine to have been certified by the World Health Organization in this medical area, known as Heberbiovac.

Over 12 million Heberbiovac doses have been administered since 1992 in Cuba, while more than four million Cubans have been protected against acute Hepatitis B, the directive explained and added that the vaccine is currently being administered in 40 nations of the world.

At present, the CIGB is developing another 12 products, currently under different clinical evaluation stages. Some of these products would be used to fight cancer, infectious diseases and other conditions.