News on Cuba - August 16, 2012 Print

Image of Real Face of Simon Bolivar Unveiled in Havana

HAVANA, Cuba, Aug 16 (ACN)  An image of the real face of Simon Bolivar was unveiled for the first time in Cuba during a ceremony held Wednesday at the Jose Marti Memorial.

Venezuelan ambassador to Havana Edgardo Ramirez presented the image of the facial reconstruction of the Liberator, as Bolivar is known.

The image was achieved through modern technologies and the application of scientific methods, which provided the information necessary to get the most faithful result. The image was first published last July 24.

The ceremony, which stressed the significant role played by Bolivar in the independence of Latin American nations, took place amidst an international campaign in support of the Bolivarian Revolution led by President Hugo Chavez.


Assange Thanks Ecuador for Granting Political Asylum

Quito, Aug 16 (Prensa Latina) Wikileaks founder Julian Assange thanked the Ecuadoran government on Thursday for granting him political asylum.

"Thanks to Ecuador and you," wrote Assange in his Twitter account @JulianAssange, after learning about the decision by Ecuadoran authories.

Ecuadoran Foreign Minister Ricardo Patiño on Thursday announced his government's decision to grant political asylum to the Australian citizen, who has been in the Ecuadoran Embassy in London since June 19, 2012.

In a press conference, Patiño validated his country's right to adopt that decision.

The foreign minister reiterated his government’s rejection of the United Kingdom's threat to attack the Ecuadoran Embassy in London.

In a response to the Ecuadoran government's decision, the United Kingdom on Thursday announced its refusal to grant a safe-conduct passage for Assange to leave the Ecudoran Embassy in London.

Patiño said that the Ecuadoran government hopes that the United Kingdom will offer guarantees of such a passage as soon as possible.

The Ecuadoran minister also stressed that he hopes that the excellent friendship that join Ecuador and the United Kingdom will remain unaltered.


Integration on the Spotlight of Solidarity Forum in Argentina

HAVANA, Cuba, Aug 16 (ACN)  The opening of a new stage in the struggle for Latin American and Caribbean unity and integration will be the focus of the 12th Argentinean Meeting in Solidarity with Cuba.

The forum will be held August 18 and 19 at the General Paz Municipal Sports Center in the Argentinean city of Cordoba, said Alcira Vaca, member of the event’s organizing committee, as cited by PL news agency.

Given the historic moment we are living in Latin America, marked by the necessity for unity to face imperial actions, we proposed a deeper consideration of these issues, said Vaca, who is a member of the Argentinean Solidarity-with Cuba Movement, in Cordoba.

The activist recalled that along with the current five commissions set up in previous forums, a new commission will discuss the issue titled “Cuba and the anti-imperialist struggle; integration and the defense of peace.”

The commission will also call the 3rd International Conference for a World Balance, to be held next year, in Havana.

The 12th Argentinean Meeting of Solidarity will be attended by 250 delegates, said the activist, who also announced that major topics for discussion also include the struggle against the US economic blockade of Cuba and the demand for the release of the five anti-terrorist fighters held in the United States.

Other subjects on the agenda are the response by solidarity movements to the current media campaign against Cuba, and the role being played by the island in favor of an effective regional integration.

Participants will consider the results of the Cuban literacy program “Yes, I Can,” the free eye surgery program known as Miracle Operation, as well as the granting of scholarships by the Havana-based Latin American School of Medicine.


Forum of Medical Scholarship Holders in Cuba to be held in Peru

HAVANA, Cuba, Aug 15 (acn) The 3rd National Meeting of Medical Scholarship Holders in Cuba will open its doors on Thursday and will end on Friday in the Peruvian city of Chiclayo.

The meeting will highlight the education on humanism and solidarity received by the students on the Caribbean island, from where this year over 400 scholarship holders graduated –the largest graduation on that Andean nation, according to the meeting’s Web site.

The forum will be the introduction to the 13th National Meeting in Solidarity with Cuba, which will begin on August 17th and will run until the 19th, centered on the release of Antonio Guerrero, Fernando Gonzalez, Gerardo Hernandez, Ramon Labañino and Rene Gonzalez, the five Cuban antiterrorist heroes unfairly condemned and held in the US.

Adriana Perez, Gerardo’s wife, is already in Peru as guest of honor of the meeting, as well as Ileana Alonso, whose father was one of the victims of the terrorist attach perpetrated in Barbados in 1976 against a Cubana airliner, one of the continent’s most horrific crimes.


Cuba to Monitor Solar Influence on Human Diseases

HAVANA, Cuba, Aug 16 (ACN) A modern station to monitor solar electromagnetic waves influencing on general biological processes, known as Schumann Resonance, is currently being set up at Havana’s Geophysics and Astronomy Institute (IGA).

IGA specialist Pablo Sierra told Granma newspaper that the station will collect useful information to study the effects of some solar phenomena on human health, and it will also contribute to predict big quakes and global climate change.

The project is part of a cooperation program between Cuba’s IGA and the Geophysics Institute of Mexico’s Autonomous University, which aims at undertaking studies of neurological conditions that could be linked to a flow of high-energy particles coming from the sun during its very active stages. This factor leads to the so-called geomagnetic storms.

According to engineer Sierra, the IGA implemented a project during the past decade, in cooperation with the Public Health Ministry, to consider morbidity levels of acute myocardial infarction and its links to such phenomena.

The results of that study revealed that the proportion of heart attacks was higher a day after the peak of the geomagnetic phenomenon in the cases of persons over 65 years of age. The heart attack morbidity curve stabilized 72 hours after the peak took place, the expert noted.

Scientists have not yet found a definitive answer to the influence of that factor on the increase of such cardiovascular diseases under active solar activity. This fact reveals the need to further research studies, said the specialist.


Belarusian Deputy Health Minister Visiting Cuba

HAVANA, Cuba, Aug 15 (ACN) Belarus’ deputy health minister Genady Godovalnikov is on a working visit to Cuba aimed at considering the experience of both countries in their struggle on cancer, according to diplomatic sources.

Godovalnikov has expressed his interest that Havana provides his country with active substances used in the production of cytostatics, according to the Cuban Foreign Ministry’s webpage.

The Belarusian visitor will tour different medical facilities in the Cuban capital, such as the Oncology and Radiology Institute, and the Centers of Molecular Immunology and Genetic Engineering, to consider the transfer of technologies to his country.

Belarus expects to introduce Cuban pharmaceuticals, such as the pentavalent vaccine and other pharmaceuticals, in its healthcare program.

Meanwhile, a series of pharmaceuticals produced by 12 Belarusian companies in the sector could be commercialized on the island.


Ernest Pepin to Present a Novel in Havana

HAVANA, Cuba, Aug 15 (acn) Ernest Pepin, renowned poet and playwright of Guadeloupe, will present in this capital his novel Requiem for Maria Soledad -in his opinion one of the most important he has written.

The text, printed in Cuba by the Arte y Literatura Publishing House, will be presented to the public during the traditional Sabado del Libro, a promotional literary activity held every Saturday, which will take place on this occasion at the City Museum in Old Havana.

In a press conference on Wednesday, Pepin explained that the novel is a tribute to Haiti, where the story takes place, for what it represents as a symbol for the peoples of the Caribbean and the rest of Latin America: the first country in the area to achieve its independence.

Requiem for Maria Soledad represents “the soul of a nation lost in the shadows of kidnapping, torture and assassination; it’s also a chronicle of its tenacious struggle to survive in spite of everything, a willpower of challenge,” point out the editors.


Australians Hold Forum on the Life and Work of Fidel Castro

HAVANA, Cuba, Aug 14 (ACN) Fidel Castro’s  ideas, work and contribution to humanity will be at the center of debates during a conference being organized by the Latin American Social Forum of Sydney,  to be held August 18 and 19, at the Federation of Professors of New South Wales, Australia.

The call to the conference says that through scientific analyses, Fidel “deepens his predictions on the future of Third World Countries.”

The forum, titled “Commander Fidel Castro in the 21st Century and his contribution to Humanity,” will address issues such as the struggle for the freedom of the five Cuban anti-terrorist fighters held in the U.S., internationalism,  Cuba’s medical and education assistance to other nations, the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of our America regional integration bloc, and the environment.

Forum’s press official Victor Hugo Munoz said that the conference will offer an opportunity for the active participation of all solidarity groups and organizations, which  have supported Cuba through the years.

Participants will also include the Hispanic community in Australia, the media, human rights organizations, academics and diplomats.

The event, which is being sponsored also by the Australia-Cuba Friendship Society, will be attended by the Cuban embassy in Sydney and the Cuban Friendship Institute, said Rigoberto Zarra, member of this institution.


The Truth about Cuba Spread in Italy

LAS TUNAS, Cuba, Aug 14 (acn) One of the main objectives of the Italy-Cuba Friendship Association is to refute the defamatory campaigns carried out against the Caribbean  island, said on Tuesday in this city Sergio Nessi, its coordinator in the region of Lombardy.

The activist, presented with the Friendship Medal granted by the Council of State, explained that the denunciation of the US blockade against Cuba and solidarity with the five Cuban antiterrorists unfairly condemned in that northern country, are among prioritized themes in their actions to spread the truth about the Caribbean island.

Cuban reality is often distorted by the mass media, however, the work of groups like the Association promote understanding among the peoples by way of culture, sports and cooperation projects, pointed out Nessi.

In 1997, the province of Las Tunas was twinned with the region of Lombardy, which allowed for the support of the Italian people to children’s hospitals, primary and arts schools, theaters, recreation parks, and centers for the attention of pregnant women.


Wife of Cuban Antiterrorist to Pay Tribute to Che Guevara in Bolivia

HAVANA, Cuba, Aug 14 (acn) Adriana Perez, wife of antiterrorist Gerardo Hernandez, will pay tribute to Argentinean-Cuban guerilla Ernesto Guevara during her visit to Bolivia, scheduled for next week.

Adriana will visit La Higuera, the place where Che Guevara was assassinated in 1967 after leading a guerilla for one year with the objective of changing the situation existing at the time in Bolivia, the Prensa Latina news agency reported.

According to Leila Perez, president of the Solidarity-with-Cuba Movement in the Andean nation, Adriana will arrive in La Paz on August 21, in a visit that will run until the 26th, after a three-day stay in Peru.

For the president of the Solidarity-with-Cuba Movement, "Adriana is also a victim, because her family has been doubly victimized, and she has been repeatedly denied entry visas to visit her husband."   She added that it’s essential "to achieve that many people join the cause of The Five."

Gerardo Hernandez’ wife will hold meetings with members of the Solidarity Movement and of the Pluri-national Legislative Assembly, as well as with State leaders, added Leila.


Mother of Cuban Anti-terrorist Grateful to World Solidarity

HAVANA, Cuba, Aug 14 (ACN)  Irma Sehwerert Milejan, mother of Rene Gonzalez, one of the five Cuban anti-terrorist fighters held in the U.S., appreciated in central Cienfuegos city the expressions of affection and solidarity she received on her son’s birthday.

During a tour of the city, Sehwerert said she was very grateful to the support given by solidarity committees in different nations of the world, which sent her their messages on her son’s birthday, August 13.

At the place of Maria Orquidea Artilles, a Cienfuegos citizen who turned her living-room into a site promoting the truth of the Cuban Five case, Rene’s mother said she was very impressed with the initiative, which calls the attention of Cuban and foreign visitors to the city.

Projects like this one allow the world to understand the truth of our children, said Irma, who was accompanied by Mirta Rodriguez, mother of Antonio Guerrero.

Rodriguez noted that this kind of initiatives encourages more and more people to join the struggle against the unjust holding in US territory of their sons and their compatriots Fernando Gonzalez, Ramon Labanino and Gerardo Hernandez, known as the Cuban Five.

She announced that she expects to meet again with Guerrero at the Florida-based Marianna prison, during a visit this week accompanied by her grandchildren Tony and Gabriel, and her daughter Maria Eugenia.

Maria Orquidea’s Place at 3905, on San Fernando Street in Cienfuegos, and best known now as the Cuban Five House,   is considered as a new center in the struggle for the return home of the five Cuban heroes.


Cuba with over 5 Thousand Kidney Transplants since the 1970s

HAVANA, Cuba, Aug 15 (ACN)  Some 5,100 kidney transplants have  been carried out in Cuba since the 1970s up to date, with survival levels compared to those reached in developed nations, said an expert in Havana.

Doctor Alexander Marmol, official with the National Transplant Office at the Public Health Ministry, said that nearly 400 of all transplants were carried out from living donors, particularly relatives.

Marmol, a nephrology expert, said that Cuba counts on  large donation levels thanks to the successful human organ collection program, which also places the country among those with the lowest organ-rejection rates.

The expert said that 94 percent of kidney transplants in Cuba are carried out from dead donors and he stressed the Cuban people’s attitude in this sensitive action of offering the organs of their deceased relatives to extend the lives of other sick persons.

At present, 2,700 Cubans are under hemodialysis treatment; this figure grows by 10 percent annually because the two first causes for chronic kidney disease are high blood pressure and Diabetes Mellitus, two increasing conditions on the island due to the people’s style of life.

A research study revealed that the dialysis treatment for each patient translates into a cost of 20 thousand dollars annually for the country. The service is offered in 47 hospitals throughout the island, including mountainous areas.

According to international statistics kidney transplant is three times cheaper than dialysis treatment the expert explained.


New Cuban Film Focuses on Women´s Relations and Dreams

HAVANA, Cuba, Aug 14 (ACN) “Venecia” (Venice) is the title of a new film being shot in Havana these days, which proposes a reflection on the feminine transition from adolescence to adulthood, seasoned with its relevant web of interpersonal relations.

The film, by director Enrique Kiki Alvarez, does not take much distance from Cuban classics like those widely spread and welcomed by the fans of Cuban cinema, such as Guantanamera, for instance.

Based on a screenplay by Claudia Muñiz, moviemaker Alvarez brings us the story of three women, who work in a state-owned beauty parlor. On payday, they go shopping for a dress but unexpected circumstances force them share the night together as they dream of opening their own private business, which they call “Venecia.”

This has been the second movie project by professionals from different countries who met and studied at the International Film and TV School, located in the town of San Antonio de los Baños.