News on Cuba - July 11, 2012 Print

Video Supporting Cuban 5 Released in USA

Washington, Jul 11 (Prensa Latina) The International Committee to Free the Five Cuban anti-terrorist fighters unjustly held in the United States screened a new video on social networking sites in solidarity with them. This is the eighth video of this kind produced by the International Committee placed at the YouTube website, with the objective of reaching varied audiences, said the organization that supports the Cuban people and the cause of the Five who were tried 11 years ago.

The video includes interviews with renowned international artists such as Danny Glover and Peter Coyote speaking about the injustice committed against the Cuban patriots, detained in Miami in September 1998.

Thousands of people in the United States and the world have seen the videos, and important websites such as Facebook and Twitter, where many supporters of the Cuban cause have joined the struggle, have re-posted those videos.

The International Committee stated in a press release that the organization continues to work in a series of community activities in Washington DC, New York and San Francisco, to denounce the 14 years of unjust prison of the Cuban antiterrorists.

Cuban emigrant organizations in Miami called yesterday for a conference to analyze the special appeal currently underway for four of the Cuban five sentenced in 2001 in the United States.

The meeting was suggested by the Marti Alliance, Antonio Maceo Brigade, Jose Marti Association, the Bolivarian Circle of Miami, and the Association of Christian Women in Defense of the Family, among other nongovernmental groups in solidarity with Cuba.

Gerardo Hernandez, Ramon Labañino, Antonio Guerrero, Fernando Gonzalez and Rene Gonzalez, internationally known as the Cuban Five, were detained in 1998 in this country for monitoring anti-Cuban terrorist organizations located in Florida.

Rene was released from prison on October 7, after having completed his prison term. He was forced to remain in U.S. territory for three more years under supervised release.

In a biased trial in the city of Miami in 2001, the Five were condemned to long sentences in prison ranging from 15 years to double life imprisonment plus 15 additional years.


The US Refuses to Disclose Evidence in the Case of The Five

HAVANA, Cuba, July 9 (acn) The US government opposed the request made by Gerardo Hernandez – one of the five Cuban heroes condemned in Miami for fighting terrorism- of going deeper into the case of the journalists bought to distort information regarding their trials.

In the motion presented by his lawyer, Martin Garbos, Gerardo requested an oral hearing and the handing over by the governmental authorities of additional evidence that allows for further investigations on these events, the Web site reported.

Likewise, he said that these “journalists” were paid with federal money and acted, before and during the trial against The Five, with the purpose of creating what in 2005 the panel of the Court of Appeals described as “a perfect storm of prejudices and hostility.”

The answer of the District Attorney’s Office, sent to the Florida court on July 6, tries to argue that the facts presented by the Defense are not such facts, and that therefore it’s not necessary to obtain more information to elucidate them, opposing the oral hearing requested by Gerardo.

We could turn to “executive privileges” and to the Classified Information Procedures Act in order not to agree to the request, warns the District Attorney’s Office, which is equivalent to admitting their will to continue concealing and manipulating evidence.

In view of such attitude, the note encourages to reflect on the fears of the US government, which doesn’t allow The Five, and particularly Gerardo –who is serving two life imprisonments plus 15 years- to have at their disposal all the evidence necessary to defend themselves against the unfair and absurd sentences imposed on them.


Conference on the Cuban Five Convened in Miami

HAVANA, Cuba, July 10 (acn) The extraordinary process of appeal of four of the five Cuban antiterrorists unfairly condemned in the United States is the central theme of a conference convened on Tuesday by Cuban emigration organizations in Miami.

The meeting has been scheduled for Sunday, July 15, an initiative of the Marti Alliance, the Antonio Maceo Brigade, the Jose Marti Association, the Bolivarian Circle of Miami, the Association of Christian Women in Defense of the Family, and other non-governmental groups in solidarity with the island, the Prensa Latina news agency reported.

The announcement recalls that the appeals of the Cuban patriots and the rest of the judicial documents required for that action are in the hands of Joan Lenard, judge of the Federal Court of Florida’s Southern District, who condemned and re-sentenced these heroes.

During the meeting, to be held at the Key Biscayne Hall of the Embassy Suites Hotel, participants will also tackle the case of Rene Gonzalez, who finished serving his sentence in October and now has to stay for another three years in the US, under supervised release.

The meeting will be dedicated to lawyer Roberto Gonzalez, Rene’s brother, who died recently and who was a member of The Five’s defense team.


Olga Salanueva Grateful to Mike Farrell for his Letter on The Five

HAVANA, Cuba, July 9 (acn) Olga Salanueva, wife of Rene Gonzalez –one of the Cuban antiterrorists unfairly condemned in the US-, expressed her appreciation for the letter that US filmmaker Mike Farell sent to President Barack Obama asking him to let The Five return to their homeland.

In statements to ACN on Monday, from this capital, Salanueva said that her gesture was an expression of gratitude on behalf of the relatives of Gerardo Hernandez, Fernando Gonzalez, Ramon Labañino, Antonio Guerrero and Rene.

She pointed out that Farrell’s initiative was very good, adding that it was a valuable example of what can be done and of how important personalities can act in favor of this cause.

“Let’s hope we can add many more persons like him, she pointed out. In his letter of July 5, the US actor and director requests Obama to make use of his prerogatives and grant executive clemency to The Five, who, he said, have been wrongly incarcerated for almost 14 years now.


U.S. Congress Analyzes New Legislative Actions vs. Cuba

Washington, Jul 11 (Prensa Latina) Republican congressman David Rivera, well known for his extremist political profile against Cuba, exhorted US senators to enact a new restrictive anti-trade law against the island, claiming it was needed for "reasons of national security."

In May, Rivera proposed a clause in a federal spending bill at the US House of Representatives, to prohibit Florida companies from receiving contracts from the Department of Defense if they continue doing business with Cuba.

However, the version of the program discussed in the Senate does not include the amendment proposed by the Cuban-American congressman, and Rivera told reporters that he is in talks with senators to convince them to add it.

According to the representative from Florida, who also presented a regulation in 2001 against tourism to Cuba, this issue concerning Florida companies should be viewed as "a national security matter."

If Rivera's amendment is accepted by the Congress, foreign and U.S. firms with Treasury Department licenses might be forced to redesign their client list at a time when U.S. industry is experiencing an economic stage called the Great Recession.

It is time for the U.S. government to examine and update its policies towards Cuba, because those maintained by Washington have a 50 year record of failure, said a well known political analyst here recently.

A first step in rebuilding ties will be to eliminate restrictions on agricultural exports to Cuba, a measure that will also provide financial benefits of between $300 and $500 million USD to the United States, the columnist noted.

For 20 consecutive years at the UN, the international community has condemned the interference and extraterritorial nature of the United States blockade against Cuba.


Young Cuban Communists Grant Medal to Venezuela’s United Socialist Party

HAVANA, Cuba, July 11 (ACN)  Venezuela’s Sports minister and national coordinator of the Youths at the United Socialist Party (PSUV) Hector Rodriguez received, on behalf of his organization, the Medal for the 50th Anniversary of the Cuban Young Communist League (UJC), in Caracas.

During the ceremony, the member the UJC National Committee Yoan Palmero said that the distinction has been granted to 52 organizations in Latin America and the world.

The awarding of the medal is an expression of respect and solidarity, as well as of unity between the youths with the Young Communist League and the Venezuelan United Socialist Party, Palmero said.

Minister Rodriguez expressed his appreciation for the homage and noted that more than 60 percent of Venezuelans are youths, and that the PSUV is made up of 2 million members.

The Venezuelan government official stressed the current cooperation between the two political organizations and the support offered by the Cuban UJC to the youths with the Venezuelan party.

The ceremony was also attended by the general secretary of Russia’s Young Communist Union Sergey Malinkovich and by the general secretary of Chile’s Youth Social Movement.


Participants at Pedagogy Congress Visit Special Schools

HAVANA, Cuba, July 11 (ACN) Over 200 experts gathered since Monday at an International Congress on Special Education, in Havana, dedicated Wednesday morning to visiting local special schools before resuming debates of their second working session.

The experts from 20 Latin American and Caribbean countries are visiting the Abel Santamaria special school for the visually impaired, the Rene Vilches Rojas elementary school for the hearing impaired and the William Soler special attention center, among other entities in the important education sector.

Upon concluding their tour of the schools, the experts will return to the Convention Center for the second session of their congress, which includes the lecture “Attention to physically impaired persons and the Aging Cuban population,” by the director of the Social Assistance and Senior Citizens Department with the Cuban Health Ministry.

Running parallel to the Congress, the 2nd Elementary Education Forum  will debate experiences in this area by Cuban and foreign experts.


India for Stronger Economic Links with Cuba, Says Ambassador

Havana, July 10 (Prensa Latina) Indian Ambassador to Havana, Chinthapally Rajasekhar, said today that his country wants to strengthen its economic links with Cuba, on occasion of the visit by Minister of Trade and Industry, Jyotiraditya Scindia.

"It will be a stay to which we give great importance," the diplomat told journalists referring to Scindia’s visit on July 10-13 leading a delegation of nearly twenty business people.

"There is goodwill, friendly relation between our countries, and during this visit we will explore what we can do together," said Rajasekhar, who announced the possibility of doing business in the fields of energy, tourism, infrastructure, biotechnology and the pharmaceutical industry.

We are looking for win-win links, he said as he also referred to the fields of services, computer sciences and in general wherever there is some interest.

Our trade exchange is only of 40 million USD a year, he said while extolling the links existing between Havana and New Delhi.

He noted that India sells Cuba medicine, light industry and plastic items, and imports from Cuba some medicine and services from coachers. "But that trade can grow," he stressed.

Scindia’s agenda in Cuba includes meetings with officials from the ministries of Foreign Trade and Investment, Foreign Affairs and Basic Industry.

On July 12, he is scheduled to hold a business round with the Chamber of Commerce of Cuba.

"We want to promote cooperation between both chambers and encourage business between India and Cuba," he said.


Cuba: 33rd Edition of Fiesta de Fuego Dedicated to Colombia

Santiago de Cuba, Jul 10 (Prensa Latina) The eastern city of Santiago de Cuba will be the host of the 33rd edition of the Fiesta de Fuego (Feast of Fire) Festival in 2013, this time dedicated to the culture of the Colombian Caribbean coast.

The Colombian delegation will bring an infinite variety of rhythms, colors and groups with the cultural tradition of the Colombian Atlantic coast, said Colombian Culture Vice Minister Maria Claudia Lopez, who stated a committee is organized to define the cultural manifestations representing the South American country in this festival.

Even a part of the Carnival of Barranquilla will be present in this edition.

This part of Colombia not only has common points with the Caribbean, but also related with the people living in the prairies and the Andean culture.

Colombian Ambassador to Havana Gustavo Bell was grateful for the chance for his comrades to see the great spiritual diversity of the Caribbean, saying that his delegation will show the impulse experimented in social sciences, such as history and anthropology, in the last years.

Bell added that during the festival there will a space to pay tribute to Polo Montañez, the Cuban great deceased country musician and singer, who conquered the Colombian audiences with his music.


Cuba Graduates 11,000 National, Foreign Physicians

Havana, Jul 11 (Prensa Latina) Some 11,000 students have concluded their medical studies in Cuba this school year, representing the largest graduation of the medical specialists in the country''s history, Cuban media reported today.

Among the graduates, around 5,315 are Cuban, while 5,694 others come from 59 countries, an example of international solidarity, said Granma newspaper.

The countries with the most graduates, all of whom studied free of charge in Cuba’s Medical Sciences Universities, are Bolivia, with more than 2,400, Nicaragua, 429, Peru, 453, Ecuador, 208, Colombia, 175, and Guatemala, 170.

According to preliminary data, the total number of graduates in medical sciences in the 2011-2012 academic year has now reached 32,171 Cuban and foreign health professionals prepared for careers in Medicine, Psychology, Nursing, and Health Technology.


French Medal of Honor for Cuban Folk Company

CAMAGUEY, Cuba, July 10 (acn) Cuba’s Camagua Folk Company received the Medal of Honor conferred by the City Council of La Richardais, in France.

Mayor Sergio Brindejonc handed over the medal to the dance troupe of Camaguey province, for its presence at the Folklore of the World Festival, which was attended by delegations from Europe, Africa, Asia and the Americas.

The Prize to Exceptionality for Artistic Quality, granted by the City Council of Reims and the French office of the International Organizing Committee for Folk Festivals is also among the acknowledgements received by the group.

Camagua is currently participating in a meeting in Segre, which will run until Thursday.

Directed by master and choreographer Fernando Medrano, the group arrived in Europe on May 22 to carry out a two-month tour, which includes Belgium.