News on Cuba - August 6, 2012 Print

Spanish Solidarity Brigade Reiterates Commitment to Cuban Five Cause

HAVANA, Cuba, Aug 3 (ACN)  Members of Spain’s Medicuba Solidarity Brigade reiterated in Havana their commitment to increase actions in favor of the cause of the five Cuban anti-terrorist fighters held in the United States since 1998.

The activists held a meeting at the building hosting the Cuban Friendship Institute (ICAP) with relatives of Antonio Guerrero, Gerardo Hernandez, Rene Gonzalez, Ramon Labañino and Fernando Gonzalez, who were monitoring US-based violent groups that have planned and carried out terrorist actions against Cuba.

According to Cuban television, participants at the meeting agreed to further actions for the return of the Cuban five to their country.

Rosa Aurora Freijales, wife of Fernando Gonzalez, said that the five Cubans were in the United States to protect their people from death, since the actions designed and prepared in US territory have resulted in at least 3 000 deaths and over 2 500 mutilated people in Cuba over the past decades.

Freijales said she was not talking history, because the (US) empire continues to be even more aggressive in its intentions to destroy her country and its people; this reveals the importance of increasing solidarity actions in favor of the Cuban Five.

Elizabeth Palmeiro, wife of Ramon Labañino, recalled that the mainstream media distorts reality and supports the double standard of the US administration, which states a struggle on terror, while it punishes those who try to really fight terrorism.

Our mission is informing the people about the truth. Every month, we participate in rallies in Madrid’s Puerta del Sol areas and in front of the US embassy, said the vice president of the Spanish organization Francisco Hernandez.

The goal is raising a wave of solidarity from Europe to the United States, since solidarity is the main way to bring the Cuban five back home, as the relatives pointed out.


Pupo: First Gold Medal for Cuba in London Olympic Games

HAVANA, Cuba, Aug 3 (acn) Cuban Leuris Pupo won the first gold medal for the Cuban delegation in the Olympic Games in the men’s 25 meter rapid fire pistol event held at the Royal Artillery Barracks in London.

After a weak first round against another five shooters, including world record holder Russian Alexei Kilmov (592 points), Pupo showed nerves of still till the final round and set a new Olympic record and tied the world record in finals with 34 points.


Judoka Ortiz Wins Second Gold for Cuba in London

HAVANA, Cuba, Aug 3 (acn) An unanimous decision of the judges gave Cuban judoka Idalys Ortiz the victory over Japanese Mika Sugimoto, and the gold medal in the over 78 kilogram division (women’s) in the London 2012 Olympic Games.

In semi-finals Ortiz, 22 and weighing 209 pounds, defeated by Te-guruma the six-time world champion and Beijing Olympic champion Chinese Wen Tong in the Excel center in the British capital city.

Previously the Cuban judoka had beaten by the same score Russian Elena Ivashchenko, and the athlete from Cape Verde Adysangela Oris by Ippon.

This was Cuba’s second gold medal in these Summer Games, because minutes before Leuris Pupo had won the men’s 25 rapid fire pistol event with world and Olympic records in finals (34 points).

Now Cuba places 14th in the London’s medal standings, and has won the same amount of gold medals that it did in Beijing 2008.


Cuban Literacy Program has Benefitted over 6.5 Million People in 28 Countries

HAVANA, Cuba, Aug 3 (ACN) Some 6.5 million citizens in 28 nations are no longer illiterate persons thanks to the Cuban Literacy Program known as “Yes, I Can.” The figure surpasses all statistics reported by other similar programs implemented thus far around the world.

The statement was made by the head of the Youth, Adult and Literacy Department of the Latin American and Caribbean Pedagogical Institute Jose Ricardo del Real in conversation with PL news agency.

At present more than one million illiterate people are currently taking the course, said Del Real as he referred to the Cuban program, which was first implemented in Venezuela in 2002.

As to the cost of the course the expert said it depends on the conception of how to apply the program for a course that lasts between 7 and 14 weeks, though an average cost could be estimated at less than 5 dollars.

Depending on the application of the program and the teaching means, including a TV set and a DVD player, teaching a person how to read and write would not cost more than five dollars, he said.

Making just a simple calculation, it would take over 7.5 billion dollars to wipe out illiteracy, if we look at statistics saying that some 759 million adults cannot read or write in the world, the expert said.

Our goal was to create a methodology that guaranteed a short-term and high-quality teaching program that could be implemented with minimum human and financial resources and that proved to be economical.

This program allows us to reach the most remote areas with facilitators, who mostly volunteer for the task, thus helping lower costs and reduce the time of the course, said Del Real.

The initiative has proven that by using fewer resources in a short period of time, we can find a solution to efficiently fight illiteracy, said the expert as he also referred to a pilot program under implementation in Australia, and in Ecuador.


L'Humanite Feast in Solidarity with Cuba

Paris.- Cuba's stand at the Feast of L'Humanite newspaper will be a space to support the Revolution and demand the release of the five Cuban antiterrorist fighters unjustly held in U.S. prisons, the organization stated.

The solidarity group, created in 1994, prepares many activities on the occasion of the traditional meeting the daily have been organizing for 80 years.

Among those activities is a Social Forum in which issues such as the U.S. blockade on Cuba for over 50 years that, according to conservative figures, has caused over $ 104 billion USD in damages, will be debated.

Also on the list is the case of Gerardo Hernandez, Antonio Guerrero, Fernando Gonzalez, Ramon Labañino and Rene Gonzalez, unjustly sentenced in the United States for alerting Cuba on terrorist actions planned by the Miami Mafia.

This time, journalist and writer Jean Cornier will launch his book 'Doctor Che Guevara' about the medical work carried out by the Argentinian-Cuban guerrilla fighter.

Craftwork exhibitions, musical group performances and traditional Cuban drinks tasting are also among the program's activities of the organization.

The Feast of L'Humanite will be held from September 14 to 16 at the Parc of La Courneuve, in north of Paris. (PL)


Remains of Cuban Diplomat Missing in Argentina Identified

Buenos Aires, Aug 2 (Prensa Latina) Experts from the Argentinian Forensic Anthropology Team have identified the remains of Crescencio Galañena Hernandez, one of the Cuban diplomats kidnapped and disappeared here in 1976 by the military dictatorship Pagina/12 newspaper reported today.

The forensic examination carried out by the team, whose members did not want to make statements yesterday, stated that the body found in June in a metal barrel filled with cement had 99.9 percent probability of being the Cuban diplomat, the daily stated.

Galañena Hernández, born in 1949, was kidnapped along with Jesus Cejas Arias on August 9, 1976 in the neighborhood of Belgrano, a few blocks from the Cuban embassy. Both were transferred to the illegal Automotores Orletti detention center, one of the Plan Condor venues, where they were tortured and later disappeared.

The barrel where the remains of the diplomat were found on June 11 was accidentally discovered by some children who played at a premise located opposite the airfield in the Buenos Aires neighborhood of San Fernando.

According to the daily, this is not the first time that victims who passed through Orletti have been found in barrels.


Berlin: ICAP Specialist Meets With Solidarity Groups

Berlin, Aug 2 (Prensa Latina) The specialist for Europe of the Cuban Institute of Friendship of Peoples (ICAP), Roberto Rodriguez, met in Berlin with activists from the German movement of solidarity with Cuba.

In the presence of dozens of activists, Rodriguez spoke at the meeting at the consulate of Cuba in Berlin about his experiences in Germany and the development of this international movement.

According to Rodriguez, the ICAP has relations with more then 1 200 organizations of friendship with Cuba in the world.

However, Europe plays an important role and European solidarity groups have a great potential, he said.

He also mentioned the 20th anniversary of the the organization Cuba Si in 2011 and recalled that Germany-Cuba Friendship Association will celebrate its 40th anniversary next year. Given the long history of the German movement, Rodriguez considered that the European conference of solidarity with Cuba should take place in Berlin in November this year.

An example of the support to Cuba in Germany is the participation of local groups in the International Book Fair in Cuba, he said.

According to Rodriguez, the greatest challenge for solidarity today is to face the media campaigns and misinformation about Cuba.


Cindy Sheehan Asks Obama to Free the Cuban 5

Washington, Aug 2 (Prensa Latina) U.S. pacifist Cindy Sheehan sent a letter to President Barack Obama, demanding the release of five Cuban antiterrorist fighters unjustly held in this country almost 14 years ago.

The U.S. social activist joined the international campaign in solidarity with the Cuban Five. They were detained in Florida in 1998 for monitoring and impeding actions from terrorist groups against Cuba.

Sheehan is a renowned pacifist whose son, Casey Sheehan, a U.S. Army soldier, was killed during the Pentagon war against Irak in 2004, recalled the International Committee to Free the Five.

I am writing to you about the case of the Cuban Five. They are five Cuban antiterrorist fighters who came to the United States to supervise the activities of real terrorists, Sheehan wrote in her letter to Obama.

I am appealing to you to "Free the Five" based on the fact that you have said, and shown the world that the USA can "act pre-emptively" to protect our "safety," states the text.

'I would like to believe that you would extend the Cuban people and government the same right to protect its citizens from acts of terrorism,' states the letter.

Your regime has vigorously violated the sovereignty of several countries in the purported quest to "keep America safe." The Cuban government and the Five Heroes did far less, said the also writer.

Sheehan recalled to Obama that the United States has trained and harbored real terrorists such as Orlando Bosch and Luis Posada Carriles, while the injustice system of this country has convicted these five Cubans in a travesty of justice and the penalties were inhumane, she noted.

Social organizations of solidarity with Cuba based in Miami, Florida, described as a categorical success the 2012 Second Conference to demand the release of the Cuban Five.

More than 80 people met in mid July at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Miami, to prove their commitment with the noble causes of Gerardo Hernandez, Ramon Labañino, Antonio Guerrero, Fernando Gonzalez and Rene Gonzalez, universally known as the Cuban Five.

Spokesmen were Max Lesnik, director of Radio Miami station and leader of the Marti Alliance, and Andres Gomez, coordinator of the Antonio Maceo Brigade and director of the AreitoDigital magazine, stated the solidarity groups at a release to which Prensa Latina had access.

At a biased trial held in Miami, the Five were condemned to long sentences in prison that included double life, 15 years and 19 years.

International figures, civil associations and governmental representatives have defended them, recalling that they only controlled the activities of extremist groups trying to anticipate their actions and collecting evidences on possible attacks against Cuba.


Sponsors of Terrorism: A U.S. List with anti-Cuban Tinge

Havana, Aug 1 (Prensa Latina) Cuba's inclusion for the twentieth time consecutive in the list of sponsors of terrorism that makes the United States unilaterally aims to justify the hostile policy of the White House against Havana.

As before, since it inserted in 1982 this country in that list, Washington referred to the alleged support to foreign groups considered as terrorists, but only based on media reports.

This time also said that Cuba has deficiencies with respect to international standards in fighting money laundering and the financing of terrorist groups.

Immediately the State Department report was rejected by the Cuban Foreign Ministry, considering as hoax the attempt to ignore the collaboration of the country with the mechanisms of the United Nations (UN) in the fight against that scourge.

The United States hides the fact that Cuba gives truthful and accurate information periodically to the appropriate UN mechanisms on these issues (money laundering) and others referred to the fight against terrorism, the statement said.

It also ignores that in February this year the government renewed the proposal to agree a bilateral program to fight against terrorism, to which the U.S. government has not responded.

Thus, Washington justifies the policy of blockade it maintains against its neighbor for over 50 years, by establishing through this list that Cuba can not receive financial aid or enjoy of trade benefits or financial treaties.

The statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Cuba also discredited exercise considering that the United States does not have the slightest moral authority in the matter.

It is well known that the Washington government has used state terrorism as a weapon of its policy against Cuba, which has caused 3 478 dead and 2 099 disabled.

It has also sheltered tens of terrorists, some of whom still live freely in that territory, the statement continued, referring to Luis Posada Carriles, a Cuban-born terrorist who lives in Miami.

Posada Carriles is responsible with the midair bombing of a Cuban airliner in 1976 with 73 people aboard, fact which he admitted, and for which Venezuela claims for his extradition to finish judging him, a request which was denied by the U.S. authorities.

Beyond the current justifications for keeping Cuba on the list of sponsors of terrorism is the decision of the White House to continue its hostility against this nation of 11.2 million inhabitants.

Undoubtedly, with its exercise the United States discredits a fight that humanity must carry out for the sake of its own survival.


Moviemaking Has a Significant Role to Play today, says Culture Minister

HAVANA, Cuba, Aug 3 (ACN)  The significance of moviemaking in today’s world was stressed by Cuban Culture minister Rafael Bernal during a working meeting in Havana that focused on the results of the 2nd Encounter of film makers from Africa, Brazil, the Caribbean and their Diasporas (Cinema ABCD), which was held in Santo Domingo in mid July.

Minister Bernal stressed the potential of cinema as a way to prepare the people to face what he called the disastrous ways of living imposed on our nations by the superpowers.

Forums like Cinema ABCD, which organized by the traveling showcase of Caribbean cinema, pave the way on which we must keep advancing, said Bernal as he exchanged views with participants at the working meeting, which was attended by representatives of UNICEF and UNESCO.

Cinema ABCD has become a platform for moviemakers from the Caribbean and Africa as well as for independent US film makers, with a significant impact on the cultural agendas of the countries that make it up.

Our best dream is to take the Caribbean cinema to the neighborhoods and communities; setting up screens on the streets to run regional productions, so that people can watch them and see themselves represented, said Rigoberto Lopez who heads the travelling showcase of Caribbean cinema.


A Message of Solidarity to the Cuban Five from a Volcano Summit

HAVANA, Cuba, Aug 6 (ACN) Solidarity organizations in El Salvador climbed the steep sides of El Chingo Volcano from whose summit they sent a message of solidarity to the five Cuba anti-terrorist fighters held in the US since 1998.

After reaching the Volcano peak, some 1 775 meters over the sea level and shared with neighboring Guatemala, the activists demanded the immediate release of Gerardo Hernandez, Fernando Gonzalez, Antonio Guerrero, Rene Gonzalez and Ramon Labañino, internationally known as the Cuban Five.

The action is one more effort, as part of the ongoing world campaign, to call the attention of public opinion on the cause of the five anti-terrorists, who are considered honorable children of the Cuban Revolution, said Rafael Valdes from the solidarity committee in the western Salvadoran city of Chalchuapa.

Valdes said the initiative also denounced the injustice committee against the five Cuban heroes and the cruel treatment given to some of their relatives, who are not allowed to visit the prisoners.

The activists held their rally of solidarity while standing on the Chingo summit, flanked by its crater and a deep abyss, PL news agency reported.

Valdes said that he was sure that the world campaign will allow the Five to return home, and such a victory will entail a big reason for joy not only to Cubans but also to the Salvadoran people.

Activist Wilfredo Preza said the initiative sent a message of encouragement to the Cuban Five and he stressed that  Cuba is not alone. Preza’s words were followed by the group shouting long live Fidel Castro!, long live Cuba! and long live El Salvador!

The El Chingo Volcano, with no eruptions over the past centuries, covers the Guatemalan municipalities of Atescatepeque and Jerez, in the department of Jutiapa.


Cuba Exposes Subversive Plans by Foreign Organizations

HAVANA, Cuba.- (ACN)  Joint actions of right-wing European organizations   and US government agencies aimed at promoting subversion inside Cuba were strongly denounced by the Cuban television on Friday evening with testimonies of direct actors.

The report also criticized rightist politicians and international media outlets for trying to use a car accident occurred last July 22 as a pretext to attack Cuba.

The work included testimonies by Spanish Angel Carromero and Swedish Jen Aron Modig, two European political leaders involved in the car accident, which resulted in the death of Cuban citizens Harold Cepero and Oswaldo Paya, members of the illegal organization known as “Movimiento Cristiano de Liberacion.”

Carromero, youth leader of Spain’s Partido Popular (People’s Party of former Spanish head of government Jose Maria Aznar) rejected fabricated versions that another vehicle had chased and hit the car on its back to cause the accident, and he asked the international public opinion not to manipulate the events with political aims.

He said he was just driving the car when he suddenly saw a pothole on the road and did what any driver usually does in such an event; he pushed the breaks, but he said he lost control of the vehicle.

Along with Carromero statements and others by Madig, the report referred to the publication in the press and in the social networks of over 900 articles and 120 messages on the event, while rightist politicians intended to hold the Cuban government accountable for the fatal incident.

Following the accident, the White House Press Office announced intentions to support internal subversion in Cuba, while US presidential candidate Mitt Romney tried to cast doubt on the investigation carried out by Cuban authorities.

In his statements, Swedish Jen Aron Modig admitted that he came to Cuba on a three-point agenda: meeting with Oswaldo Paya and giving him money for his activities, setting up a youth organization under Paya and support him in any trip he wanted to take.

Modig, youth leader with Sweden’s Christian Democrats, said he received instructions from his party’s international department before coming to the island.

According to the TV report, the Swedish political organization includes groups such as the Fund for Political Prisoners, which finances internal counterrevolution and  it is also linked to a non-government Czech organization dedicated to anti-Cuba activities.

This and other groups receive financial resources from the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) with the US Agency for International Development (USAID) to promote new subversive actions in Cuba, which are no longer carried out only by the Miami-based anti-Cuba circles, according to the TV report.

The new strategy was designed by organizations such as the International Republican Institute, one of the so-called think tanks advising the US government, whose plans were well known by Modig, since he attended a meeting at the IRI headquarters shortly before making his trip to Cuba.

The IRI plays an active role in designing subversive procedures with the intention of providing internal counterrevolutionaries with technological means through foreign emissaries, and with this aim the organization involves political groups in several countries.

The US State Department and the USAID were allocated a 75-million-dollar budge for subversive programs against Cuba between 2009 and 2012, the TV report explained.


Cuba Enhances Agricultural Cooperation with ALBA Countries

HAVANA, Cuba, Aug 6 (ACN) Cuban experts set up a network of 20 pest-control labs in 16 Venezuelan states as part of ongoing cooperation with nations of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of our America (ALBA).

For years, transnational corporations forced Venezuelan farmers to use huge amounts of chemicals in their plantations, said Jesus Jimenez, Investment vice-director with the Cuban Plant Health Institute (INISAV). Jimenez was one of the first Cuban experts who worked in the South American nation under the cooperation program.

The massive application of chemicals affected agricultural systems and the health of the farmers and their families, said the expert, who noted that Cuban workers are carrying out training and advising initiatives at Venezuelan farms in an effort to pave the way for the introduction of new technology that favors the protection of the soils and the environment.

INISAV vice-director for Development Berta Muiño told the Cuban news agency that several groups of Venezuelan technicians are currently taking training in Havana in all specialties related to vegetable plant health.

Muiño said that other actions included in ALBA programs aimed at providing technical assistance to Ecuador, Bolivia and Nicagaragua.


Cuba Petroleo Releases Most Recent Oil Exploration Results in Gulf of Mexico

HAVANA, Cuba, Aug 6 (ACN) Cuba’s Cubapetroleo oil company issued a press release, published on Granma newspaper on Monday, explaining that exploration activity in a well located in the Cuban exclusive economic zone in the Gulf of Mexico resulted in the identification of an active oil reserve but with no capacity to be considered a commercial finding.

The press release says that drilling activity by the PC Gulf and GAZPROMNEFT Oil companies concluded drilling activity last July 31 at the Marina Catoche 1x oil well, at a 4 666-meter depth by using the Scarabeo-9 rig.

Geological interpretation of the geophysical records of the well revealed the existence of an active oil system, which could expand to other zones in the four blocks under drilling contract by PC Gulf and GAZPROMNEFT, and even beyond their limits. However, the press releases explains that at that point the rocks are very compact and have no capacity to deliver significant amounts of oil and gas, therefore it cannot be described as a commercial finding.

The two companies continue to consider the geological and geophysical information collected during the drilling of the well and over the next months they will carry out a 3D seismic evaluation covering those sectors with the best prospects, already identified in a 2D seismic study undertaken in 2009. The action will allow for a more accurate identification of the potential of the blocks under contract, the press release points out.

The Scarabeo-9 rig will now be transferred to Venezuela’s PDVSA Oil company to kick off the drilling of a well named Cabo de San Antonio 1, also in deep waters of the Cuban Economic Zone in the Gulf of Mexico, the release concluded.