News on Cuba - July 20, 2012 Print

Pastors for Peace Caravan Gets to Mexico and Readies to Bring Aid to Cuba

HAVANA, Cuba, July 20 (ACN)   The Pastors for Peace Caravan to Cuba is already in Mexico after crossing the US border on Thursday. The solidarity action with Cuba takes place for the 23th time challenging the US economic blockade of the island, and as a strong demand for the return to Cuba of the five antiterrorist fighters held in the US since 1998.

During the border crossing, which took place on the Pharr and Hidalgo bridges, in Texas, with  coverage by Mexican TV channels, US authorities seized six equipment included in the 100-ton humanitarian cargo destined to the Cuban people, according to information posted on the Caravan’s website.

The aid, which will be shipped to Havana from the Mexican port of Tampico, includes seven vehicles, medications, medical equipment and incubators, as well as x-ray equipment and other items, the information explains.

Caravan members, who expect to be in Havana on Saturday, July 21, are coming from the United States, Canada, Mexico and some European countries. Once in the Cuban capital, they will hold a group of activities marking the 20th anniversary of the Pastors for Peace Caravans to Cuba.

The humanitarian initiative has sent 23 caravans to Cuba in open defiance of the US economic, commercial and financial blockade of Cuba.


Social Organizations in Nicaragua Demand End of US Blockade of Cuba

HAVANA, Cuba, July 19 (ACN)   Members of Latin American and Caribbean social organizations, gathered in the Nicaraguan capital Managua, demanded the lifting of the over-50-year economic, commercial and financial blockade of Cuba and the return to the island of the five anti-terrorist fighters held in the U.S. since 1998.

The participants, who held several international forums of leftist and youth organizations this week, organized a solidarity-with-Cuba rally which also condemned the coup in Paraguay and expressed support of Venezuela, Prensa Latina reported from Managua.

The best way to bring together all accords reached in the forums is this meeting supportive of Cuba, example of the socialist ideal, said the coordinator of the Nicaraguan Solidarity-with-Cuba Movement, Freddy Franco.

The youth leader called for the consolidation of spaces to boost the unity of the Latin American and Caribbean people and he stressed the role being played by the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of our Americas (ALBA) as a regional integration bloc favoring social transformations in the benefit of the majorities.

Cuban ambassador to Nicaragua Eduardo Martinez said that Managua turned into the capital of leftist movements these days, due to what the Nicaraguan people’s revolution represents and what it has achieved.

The rally was attended by Nobel Peace Laureate Rigoberta Menchu; Belgian psychologist Francois Houtart; the coordinator of an Ecuadorian indigenous organization, Esmeralda Yasig, and the first secretary of the Cuban Young Communist League Liudmila Alamo.


China and Russia to Test Cuban Diabetic Foot Pharmaceutical

HAVANA, Cuba, July 19 (ACN)  China and Russia will start clinical tests on the Cuban pharmaceutical known as Heberprot-P, used to treat diabetic foot ulcers.

The director of the Havana-based Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology Center, Luis Herrera, told Granma newspaper that the decision by China and Russia,  prior to registering and approving of the medication, proves the good acceptance and high effectiveness of the product, which has prevented thousands of lower limb amputations on diabetic patients.

The clinical test will also be carried out in a hundred European hospitals, which makes it possible for Cuban scientists to carry out the phase III tests on the pharmaceutical in the first world and for the first time.

Heberprot-P is being administered in over 200 Cuban healthcare institutions as well as in other countries, such as Algeria, Vietnam, Angola, Argentina, Uruguay, Ecuador, Mexico, the Dominican Republic and Venezuela, said the scientist.

According to Doctor Herrera, over 70 000 patients have been treated with the Cuban pharmaceutical, which has been patented in more than 40 countries, and used under 17 different sanitary permits by countries interested in its administration.


The Ecuadorian Government Thanks Cuba for Help in the Health Sector

SANCTI SPIRITUS, Cuba, July 18 (acn) The government of the Republic of Ecuador expressed its appreciation on Wednesday in this city for the help received from the people of Cuba in the sphere of public health.

The gesture of gratitude was conveyed by Dr. Esneider Gomez, second secretary of the Ecuadorian embassy to Havana, while speaking with authorities of the Public Health Ministry in the province of Sancti Spiritus.

I’m the bearer, he said, of an embrace of President Rafael Correa and of greetings sent by our government and people to Cuba, a nation that has extended its generous hand both in the training of our physicians and in health work there.

Gomez attended the graduation ceremony held at the University of Medical Sciences of Sancti Spiritus, where students from his country are being trained as professionals.

He highlighted that some 400 Ecuadorian professionals of the health sector are graduating in Cuba this year, who will return to their country to practice their professions and put the knowledge acquired to the test.


Cuba Calls to Strengthen the Biological Weapons Convention

HAVANA, Cuba, July 18 (acn) Cuba called on Wednesday in Geneva to the creation of a multilateral, comprehensive and non-discriminatory process leading to an effective strengthening of the Biological Weapons Convention, in pursuit of the achievement of its objectives.

While speaking at the meeting of experts of the State Parties to the Convention, Juan Antonio Quintanilla, Cuban representative to Geneva, reaffirmed his country’s stance with regard to the voluntary codes of conduct and other measures to encourage the responsible behavior of scientists, academies and industries.

Cuba is convinced that the current need noticed by the international community of achieving alternatives for protection is based on the lack of a legal binding and non-discriminatory instrument that strengthens the Convention in a comprehensive way, he pointed out.

According to a note by the Web site, the Cuban representative considered that the codes of conduct for scientists can be beneficial, but that these codes, by themselves, can’t solve the problem of the threat that the use of this type of armament represents.

Finally, the diplomat reiterated his country’s willingness to participate in the international debate on the devising of regulations and precepts for the scientists working in spheres related to the Biological Weapons Convention.


Cuba and East Timor to Boost Relations

HAVANA, Cuba, July 18 (acn) The governments of Cuba and East Timor shared on Wednesday in this capital their willingness to boost relations, during a ceremony to celebrate the 10th anniversary of bilateral bonds.

At the Cuban Foreign Ministry, the island’s Deputy Foreign Minister, Marcos Rodriguez, and the Deputy Minister for Foreign Business of East Timor, Alberto Xavier Pereira, cancelled a postal stamp on the occasion of celebrating a decade of diplomatic ties, the Prensa Latina news agency reported.

The two leaders underlined the current level of these bonds and the potential to increase them.

Rodriguez recalled that, since 2004, over 800 Cuban health workers have helped the population of East Timor, and that Havana has contributed to the training of professionals and the eradication of illiteracy.

For his part, Pereira expressed his gratitude for the solidarity received and highlighted that with Cuba’s cooperation his country expects to declare itself free of illiterates by 2013.

The visitor also ratified East Timor’s support for the causes defended by the Caribbean island, like the lifting of the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by Washington on Cuba for over half a century now and the demand for the freedom of the five Cuban antiterrorists unfairly condemned in the US.


Second Group of Cuban Olympic Athletes to London

HAVANA, Cuba, July 18 (ACN)  The second group of Cuban athletes to contest the 30th Olympic Games will depart Wednesday for London, venue of the world event, to take place July 27 to August 12.

The group, made up of 13 athletes, is headed by Greco-Roman wrestler Mijain Lopez, champ at Beijing 2008.

Also scheduled to depart for London today is cyclist Arnold Alcolea, who will join three of his colleagues, who left on Sunday, along experts in diving, rowing, weight lifting, sports shooting and table tennis.

Meanwhile, several Cuban boxers and one archer arrived in London from Bulgaria and Ireland, and other athletes will be getting to the British capital from European countries, where they are taking training, including nine judo specialists.

Cuba, which will be represented at the Olympic Games by 110 athletes in 14 sports disciplines, looks forwards to improving its Beijing 2008 performance, where it finished on the 28th position with two gold, 11 silver and 11 bronze.


The Cuban Youth, Target of new anti-Cuba Campaign

BAYAMO, Cuba, July 18 (ACN)  Historians in this city of the eastern province of Granma denounced that the Cuban youth is being the target of an ongoing ideological campaign aimed at evoking nostalgia for an allegedly ideal pre-revolutionary Cuba.

The manipulation of history and the fabrication of the campaign on the basis of facts unknown to the youths, were strongly rejected by Cuban history specialists, who celebrated Cuban Historian Day, in Bayamo, to recall the work of outstanding historian Emilio Roig de Leuchsenring.

On the occasion, the Cuban Historian Association (UNHIC) issued a declaration, read by its president Sergio Garces, denouncing the ongoing campaign, which intends to present  the 1950s in Cuba as the ideal time in the island’s history.

This campaign is based on manipulated and fabricated nostalgia on the basis of unknown facts in order to have the Cuban youths dream of something preconceived, the declaration explains.

In the ideological battlefield nothing can be understood as banal or innocent, reads the text which rejects those who distort history for the sake of money.

The historians’ association called on the youth to follow the example and teachings of several generations of Cubans, who gave their lives to build a new, better and really socialist homeland.

Several historians and researchers were granted diplomas and distinctions during the ceremony.


Solidarity Actions in Chile for the Freedom of The Cuban Five

HAVANA, Cuba, July 17 (acn) Numerous actions to demand the release of the five Cuban antiterrorists unfairly condemned in the United States were carried out on Monday by the Chilean Solidarity-with-Cuba Movement.

In the commune of Recoleta, in Santiago de Chile, the solidarity groups gave five medals, in a symbolic way, to Rene Gonzalez, Antonio Guerrero, Fernando Gonzalez, Ramon Labañino and Gerardo Hernandez, in memory of Jose Weibel, leaders of the Chilean Communist Youth, who was arrested and disappeared by the dictatorship in 1976.

The medals were received by representatives of the Cuban embassy to Chile, headed by counselor Jorge Luis Bernaza, the Prensa Latina news agency reported.

Also attending the ceremony were members of the Solidarity-with-Cuba Coordinating Committee, along with the Regional Committee of the Communist Party and representatives of the Unitary Union of Workers (Central Unitaria de Trabajadores) and of the Association of Professors, councilors, and residents in the area.

Parallel to this ceremony, the Jose Marti Solidarity-with-Cuba Cultural Organization and the Center for the Spreading of Culture and the Arts of the municipality of Ovalle, inaugurated a Cuban Film Festival over the weekend, with materials dedicated to the Cuban Five, among them the documentary “Will the real terrorist please stand up?,” directed by American Saul Landau.


Nearly 50 Thousand Cubans Benefitted with New Credit Policy

HAVANA, Cuba, July 20 (ACN)  A new credit policy implemented in Cuba has thus far benefitted over 49 900 citizens, said the president-minister of Central Bank of Cuba (BCC) Ernesto Medina.

In his report to Cuban lawmakers on Thursday, Medina said that the total bulk of credit lines has reached 347 million Cuban pesos, particularly granted to citizens for home repairs and the purchase of construction materials.

Medina said that as credit lines continue to be granted, the institutions involved in the initiative continue to improve their work to expand the access to credits.

The official explained that the measure also benefits the sugar and agriculture sectors, in an effort to encourage their productions.

During the debates of the BCC report, the deputies referred the need to increase the number of automatic teller machines in different territories. They stressed the necessity to give a solution to current debts among state entities, and to emphasize on the benefits of credits that increase active labor capital.