News on Cuba - August 9, 2012 Print

Iguazu Falls: Cuban 5 Should Be Released

Buenos Aires, Aug 7 (Prensa Latina) The claim of the release of five Cuban antiterrorist fighters unjustly held in the United States since 1998 reached until the Argentinian Iguazu Falls, considered today one of the new natural wonders of the world.

Members of the committee for the release of the Cuban Five and students of the Latin American School of Medicine (ELAM) in Cuba, from the Deldorado missionary town, raised their voice this time in the Garganta del Diablo (Devil's Throat), largest waterfall in the world by the volume of water.

Among Cuban flags and posters requesting the release of the Five, as Gerardo Hernandez, Rene Gonzalez, Ramón Labañino, Antonio Guerrero y Fernando Gonzalez are universally known, participants in the activity explained details of the biased trial they were submitted to.

On board of the train that leads the tourists to the Garganta, they distributed leaflets with slogans "Freedom to the Five." The document also explains the feat in defense of humanity for which Gerardo, Rene, Antonio, Fernando and Ramon have been unjustly sentenced.

The Five were detained in September 1998, when monitoring the activities of Miami-based terrorist groups that were planning acts against the Cuban and U.S. peoples.


Wife of One of Cuban 5 to Visit Bolivia

La Paz, Aug 8 (Prensa Latina) Adriana Perez, wife of Gerardo Hernandez, will visit Bolivia by late August, to reveal the situation of his spouse, one of the five Cubans antiterrorist fighters unjustly held in the United States since 1998.

According to Leila Perez, president of the Movement of Solidarity with Cuba in Bolivia, Adriana Perez will visit this country from August 21 to 26, after staying three days in Peru.

"Adriana's visit here is a great news for us, because she will make known in our country the situation of the Five, as they are universally known, and listen to the voice of one of the victims," the organization's president told Prensa Latina.

For the president of the Movement of Solidarity with Cuba, "Adriana is also a victim, because her family has been doubly victimized because she has been repeatedly denied a visa to visit her husband."

Leila Perez described as "transcendental to hear from Adriana about the situation of Gerardo, the most difficult one of his fellow prisoners, and strengthen efforts to achieve their release.

Adriana's agenda here includes meetings with the members of the Solidarity Movement, of the Plurinational Legislative Assembly and state leaders.

Gerardo Hernandez was sentenced in 2001 by a Florida court to double life sentences plus 15 years in prison. He is still in prison as his other three colleagues, despite strong international pressure so the U.S. government frees them.

Rene Gonzalez has already completed his prison term, but must remain in that northern country for three years on probation.

The Five were detained in September 1998 while monitoring plans by terrorist organizations financed by the United States and settled in southern Florida to report them to Cuban authorities.


Cuba Insists in the Total Elimination of Nuclear Arsenals

HAVANA, Cuba, Aug 8 (ACN) Cuba reiterated its position on the elimination of all nuclear arsenals, at an international conference against nuclear weapons, held in the Japanese city of Hiroshima to mark the 67 anniversary of the nuclear bombardment of that city and Nagasaki in August 1945.

Speaking at the conference, Cuban ambassador Jose Fernandez de Cossio expressed Cuba’s policy against the building, use or threat of using of nuclear weapons and insisted in the need to set up free nuclear zones like the one established in Latin America and the Caribbean under the Tlatelolco Treaty, which includes Cuba.

The diplomat referred to the declaration issued by the Non-Aligned Movement at the 16 th Ministerial Meeting held in Bali, Indonesia, and   to the proposal for a plan of action to fully eliminate nuclear arsenals, according to the webpage of the Cuban Foreign Ministry.

Referring to the Non-Proliferation Treaty, Fernandez de Cossio said that the initiative has not yet met its goal because nuclear superpowers continue to keep and even improve their nuclear weapons as they do not accept a timetable, which allows the progressive and verifiable advance towards total nuclear disarmament.

The failure to achieve the joint will of nuclear powers in this regard will not make it possible to reach the end of this nightmare that threats humanity, said the Cuban diplomat.

Fernandez de Cossio also denounced that  Cuba’s legitimate right to peacefully use nuclear energy in its medicine and agriculture programs is hindered by the aggressive US economic policy maintained by different US administrations over the past 50 years.


India and CELAC for Stronger Relations

New Delhi, Aug 7 (Prensa Latina) India and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States agreed today to systematize their relations through yearly meetings and exchange of top level meetings in order to increase bilateral trade and investment. The decision was a result of a meeting of Foreign ministers here, attended by S.M. Krishna (India); Alfredo Moreno (Chile); Nicolas Maduro (Venezuela) and Rogelio Sierra (Deputy Foreign Minister of Cuba).

In this first meeting, aiming at strategic partnership as a long-term target, India and CELAC explored the possibility of collaboration in different sectors and outlines more general principles expected to govern their links.

In a joint communiqué, the parties agreed to meet every year by alternating the venue between India and the country presiding CELAC.

They also agreed to hold political consultations in order to reach consensus and have a common stand in international bodies.

In a press conference, Krishna said that India and Latin America and the Caribbean face common challenges and have similar aspirations; therefore, debates at the summit focused on the way to strengthen interaction at all levels.

"I am very happy with results of the first meeting with the representatives of CELAC," he said.

Tomorrow, the visiting representatives of CELAC will attend a seminar on the current situation in Latin America and the Caribbean, sponsored by the Indian Council of World Affairs.

Tomorrow night, the visiting delegation of CELAC is scheduled to travel to Beijing to accomplish a similar two-day mission.


World Youth Rights Defended in Cuba

Havana, Aug 8 (Prensa Latina) Cuban student organizations defended the world youth´s right to be protected and take part in government decision-making.

On occasion of World Youth Day on Aug. 12, the member of the National Committe of the Young Communist League of Cuba (UJC), Osnay Miguel Colina, said Aug. 12 will be a day of struggle against inequality, unemployment and to secure the future of new generations.

In a press conference, Colina recalled that 10 million youngsters worldwide live with AIDS, 80 million fail to get enough income to live on and 100 millions cannot go to school.

However, the Cuban youth represents 20 percent of the country´s population and is greatly involved in State decision-making, with over 50 percent of expenses allocated to free health care and education.

President of the University Student Federation, Carlos Rangel Irola, said the occasion will be taken to denounce lack of access to free, quality education in other countries worldwide.

Activities will include a panel about the situation of young people in Latin America, as well as concerts, marathons and sport and recreational fairs.

In 1999, the UN General Assembly approved the declaration of August 12 as World Youth Day under the slogan "Let´s Change Our World."


US Blacklisting of Cuba is Irresponsible and Dishonest, said US Scholar

HAVANA, Cuba, Aug 8 (ACN)   The co-director of the Cuban Americans for Engagement (CAFE) organization, professor Maria Isabel Alfonso described as irresponsible and dishonest the presentation to the American people of Cuba as a state sponsor of terrorism.

In statements to PL news agency, Alfonso who is a Modern Languages professor at the New York-based Saint Joseph’s College criticized the recent blacklisting of the island by the US Department of State and said it was an action distorting of the reality of the Caribbean nation.

US President Barack Obama inherited this situation from previous administrations, since 1982, said the founder of the organization promoting the normalization of US-Cuba commercial and diplomatic relations.

Alfonso said that if Obama is reelected US President he should take serious the proposal recently made by Cuban President Raul Castro and agree to a far-reaching dialog on all issues concerning relations between Havana and Washington.

“Cuba is not considered a terrorist country or a threat in the official documents of any country’s foreign ministry, and the United States must adopt a minimum level of responsibility about its blacklist and put aside its  pacifying politicking towards the Cuban American right-wing circles, which only brings the discredit of Washington before the world, said the professor.


Sri Lanka People´s Front Joins International Campaign for the Five

HAVANA, Cuba, Aug 7 (ACN)   The People’s Liberation Front of Sri Lanka (JVP) joined the world campaign demanding the release of the five Cuban antiterrorist fighters held in the U.S. since 1998 after issuing a declaration condemning the inhumane treatment give to those prisoners by US authorities.

The Central Committee of the Front published its declaration on its monthly magazine Red Power, in reference to Gerardo Hernandez, Fernando Gonzalez, Ramon Labañino and Antonio Guerrero, internationally known as the Cuban Five.

The organization particularly criticized the recent denial by US authorities of a consular visit to Gerardo Hernandez as the most recent violation of his rights, PL news agency reported.

The JVP publication also published a statement by the Cuban Foreign Ministry denouncing reiterated violations of the rights of the five heroes.


Holguin Province Reports one of the Lowest Infant Mortality Rates

HOLGUIN, Cuba, Aug 7 (ACN)  With 3.2 deaths in every 1000 live births in July, eastern Holguin province continued to lower its infant mortality rate, considered one of lowest such indicators in the country.

Addressing the issue, the advisor of the mother-child health program in Holguin, Roberto Carracedo told the Cuban news agency that the territory saw 15 deaths less than in the first half of 2011, while five municipalities in the province reported no deaths.

From January to July , over 6 000 children were born in Holguin, most of them at the Vladimir Ilich Lenin maternity hospital, Carracedo said and went on to stress that the results thus far achieved revealed the effort by doctors and nurses, as well as other medical specialists, with the support of the health system and the people.

The official said that this advancement is an expression of the work of the revolution, which prioritizes the protection of mothers and their children.

Doctor Alina Arencibia, who is leading the mother-child program in the territory, underscored the significance of pre-natal genetic studies, which allow providing more accurate medical attention in case of congenital child malformations.

The doctor also stressed the individual care for each pregnant mother exposed to risks such cardiovascular conditions, high blood pressure and diabetes.

The strength of the mother-child program is based on a network of care facilities known as mother’s homes and hospitals in urban and rural zones, which guarantee appropriate care and treatment of pregnant women.


Cuba celebrates Benin’s Independence Day

Representatives of the government of Benin in Cuba and the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP), held Wednesday at the Museum of La Ruta del Esclavo ¨the Slave Route¨ in Matanzas, the Independence Day of the African nation.

Haude Laitan Gregoire, Beninese Embassador in Cuba, thanked the gesture of solidarity to celebrate the ascension of his people to freedom 52 years ago, and offer direct contact with exponents of their culture.

On August 1960, Benin achieved independence from France, and since 1974 has close bilateral relations with Cuba, where around 400 beninese professionals have been trained.


Venezuelan Physicians Highlight Value of Studying in Cuba

SANTA CLARA, Cuba, Aug 8 (acn) The Venezuelan physicians of the eight graduation who studied on the Caribbean island highlighted on Wednesday the demonstrations of solidarity their training in Cuba as health professionals represent.

Venezuelan ambassador to Havana, Edgardo Ramirez, told the press the special value represented by the fact that these new professionals are willing to practice social medicine in Venezuela, in line with the policy of the Bolivarian Revolution in the interests of the people.

The diplomat thanked Cuban authorities and institutions for the help received in the training of the new physicians, and spoke about what that gesture represents between the two countries.

On behalf of the 27 physicians, graduate Karla Cardona read a document in which they express their commitment to work in those places of their country where their services are most needed.

After the ceremony held at the Ernesto Guevara Complex of Monuments, the young graduates toured the museum and the memorial that keeps the mortal remains of the Heroic Guerilla and of his companions who fell in combat in Bolivia.


Cuba Thanked for Literacy Campaign in Bolivia

Havana, Aug 8 (Prensa Latina) Bolivian Ambassador Palmiro Soria thanked Cuba for teaching 800,000 Bolivians to read and write and the training of thousands of doctors in Latin America.

The diplomat marked along with students and teachers of the elementary school "Plurinational State of Bolivia", in Centro Habana municipality, the 187th anniversary of the signing of independence of his country on August 6, 1825.

In the ceremony, Soria highlighted that there are no children without school in Cuba, thanks to the Revolution.

He also thanked Cuba for the literacy campaign in is country during which 800,000 Bolivians learned how to read and write through the Cuban method "Yo Si Puedo."

He noted that some 5,000 Bolivian youngsters will complete their medical studies in Cuba in the next two years, trained in the sense of friendship and human sensitivity.

Soria appreciated the effort made by residents of Centro Habana and the staff of his embassy in the reconstruction of the school, which was hit by hurricanes in 2008.

"By the reconstruction of this school, we want to make an icon of solidarity, as all the officials of the Bolivian Embassy have worked here, as well as other ambassadors of member countries of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America along with locals," he said.


Cubans in Brazil Reject Slanderous U.S. Accusation

Brasilia, Aug 9 (Prensa Latina) The National Association of Cubans Resident in Brazil, José Martí (ANCREB-JM) strongly rejected today the recent slanderous accusation from the United States, branding Cuba as a terrorist sponsoring nation.

"Our association joins in our government's forcefull rejection of such a sensitive and slanderous accusation," said the group, demanding that the U.S. government stop lying and put an end to this shameful exercise, offensive to the Cuban people and a discredit the cause of the international fight against terrorism.

On July 31, the State Department issued a unilateral and arbitrary list that includes Cuba among the nations sponsoring terrorism, arguing that the Cuban banking system does not take sufficient measures to address money laundering and financial transactions linked to that crime.

As far as the ANCREB-JM is concerned, this falsehood is a means to justify the criminal blockade imposed over half a century by the USA against Cuba, as well as to continue with further measures to prosecute financial transactions in order to strangle the Cuban economy.

The association also denounced the unfair imprisonment for almost 14 years in U.S. territory of the Cuban Five, Gerardo Hernandez, Antonio Guerrero, Fernando Gonzalez, Ramon Labanino and Rene Gonzalez.


Cuba Heads Toward Legislative Elections

Havana, Aug 9 (Prensa Latina) The general elections, which have their first phase in October, are marked today by the preparations for the coming nomination of candidates for the 168 seats in the People''s Power Municipal Assemblies (local governments) in Cuba.

The process will ensue from September 3 to 29. The country is already working to ensure quality in the more than 78,000 members of election commissions at all levels throughout the country, according to a report in the Granma newspaper.

Constituency and municipal groups (neighborhoods) are defining the locations for the nomination meetings. According to the number of voters, people may elect from two to eight candidates.

Thus, on October 21, one of the candidates will be the delegate for a two-year term, with the possibility of facing an additional election a week later in case of a tie or when no candidate has obtained more than 50 percent of the votes.

As part of the electoral preparations, where the election of delegates to the Provincial Assemblies and members of the Parliament will take place on a date yet to be made public, the country will hold seminars, lele-conferences, and meetings


China and CELAC Look at Development of bilateral Relations

HAVANA, Cuba, Aug 9 (ACN) China expects to see important results from a recent meeting with the troika of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), said foreign minister Yang Jiechi in Beijing.

Minister Jiechi, who favors long-term bilateral cooperation relations with CELAC,  said that China considers the regional block as very important.

The Chinese foreign minister met in Beijing with his counterparts from Chile, Alfredo Moreno; Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro, and with Cuban deputy foreign minister Rogelio Sierra, who represent the troika of the organization currently grouping 33 nations.

According to PL news agency, Chile’s foreign minister said that China has been a historic friend and a permanent ally of Latin American and Caribbean states in their efforts for development.

He said that China’s economic and commercial performance has had an impact on the world by preventing millions of people from undergoing the effects of the current crisis affecting most industrialized nations.

Meanwhile, Venezuela’s Nicolas Maduro said that this first contact with emerging powers is a historic step towards the integration and development of Latin America. The CELAC Troika previously visited India.


Special Envoy of Bhutan Recognizes Cuba’s Educational Contribution

Havana, Aug 9 (Prensa Latina) The special envoy of Prime Minister and Foreign Policy Advisor of Bhutan, Lyonpo Dago Tshering, recognized CubaÂ?s contribution in educational development and welfare of the Asian country, diplomatic sources here noted.

As part of an official visit to Havana, Tshering spoke on Wednesday with Acting Foreign Minister, Marcelino Medina, according to the website of the institution

During the talks the officials reviewed the status of bilateral relations, while reaffirming the common will to develop and strengthen them.

Medina thanked the position and support maintained by Bhutan to the struggle of the Cuban people against U.S. hostility against Cuba for more than 50 years.


Cuban Students to Massively Participate in Population Census

HAVANA, Cuba, Aug 9 (ACN) Some 59 thousand students from different education levels and about 10 thousand professors will support the upcoming population and housing census, in different field activities.

Census director Juan Carlos Alfonso told Granma newspaper that a series of seminars will take place September 4-11 to train different actors in the enumeration and supervision activities, who will visit the homes, properly identified with specific uniforms, during the national census, scheduled to take place September 15-24.

Preparations are in full swing according to schedule as the over 1500 census offices will open next week, Alfonso Fraga announced.

The reference time point for the census will be September 14 at midnight sharp, the official said and noted all those born or deceased after that specific hour will not be taken into account.

All the information to be collected will be exclusively based on interviews with the people, said the official.

Cuba has carried out 17 censuses since 1794, three of which took place after the triumph of the Cuban Revolution, in 1970, 1981 and 2002.


Byelorussian Pharmaceutical Company and Cuba Explore Cooperation

HAVANA, Cuba, Aug 8 (acn) Victor Zaleski, head of the Byelorussian drug company Belmedpreparaty, and Natacha Diaz, Cuba’s charge d’affaires in that country, explored on Wednesday in Minsk possibilities of cooperation in the production of medicaments between the two nations.

Also tackled during the meeting held in that European capital were topics derived from the visit to the island, in May, of a delegation of that company, headed by Tatiana Trujashova, deputy director general for research and development.

The spectrum of possibilities for bilateral cooperation was expanded during the stay on the Caribbean island of Health Minister Vasili Zarco, as part of a delegation headed by Alexander Lukashenko, President of the Republic of Belarus, the Prensa Latina news agency reported.

Zaleski informed that his company will be represented in a delegation of his country’s Health Ministry that will visit Cuba from August 13th through the 15th, which has the objective of defining possibilities of cooperation.

He also pointed out that he has the purpose of analyzing mutual supply of medicaments and technology transfer to his country in the production of Cuban monoclonal antibodies, said the director.

He added that Belmedpreparaty has signed a contract for the distribution of products from Cimab S.A in Belarus, two of which have already been registered. In addition, he explained, he’s suggesting the supply of some 70 medicaments and 60 active substances of its production to the Cuban companies Medicuba and Farmacuba.


First Solar Photovoltaic Energy Park in Cuba in 2012

Havana, Aug 9 (Prensa Latina) In a bid to distance itself from its traditional course attached to fossil fuels, Cuba will build its first solar photovoltaic energy park this year, the press stated today.

The plant will produce about 1,500 megawatts, with another 10 to be added in 2013, CUBAENERGIA expert Mario Alberto Arrastia said in an article published today by Juventud Rebelde newspaper.

The country expects to install about 100 megawatts in hydro-energy in the coming years, although the potential is greater, Arrastia said. Meanwhile, the country will start building a 50-megawatt eolian park in the eastern province of Las Tunas in 2013, to join the three already existent with a capacity of 11,8 megawatts.

Technical analysis recommend that Cuba can install up to 600 megawatts, of about 2,000 estimated as a potential, with the energy network provided by the country, said Arrebatia, who is also a member of the Cubasolar group.