News on Cuba - October 29, 2012 Print

Raul Castro Visits Devastated Areas in Eastern Cuba

HAVANA, Cuba, Oct 29 (acn) Cuban president Raul Castro visited on Sunday Santiago de Cuba to asses the damages in that eastern Cuban city, stricken by Hurricane Sandy last Thursday.

Raul arrived in Santiago leading a group of top officials, including First Vice-President Jose Ramon Machado Ventura, VP Adel Yzquierdo, and several ministers, reported the National Television Newsreel.

The delegation was briefed by First Secretary of the Communist Party in that province, Lazaro Exposito, on the main damages; especially in four municipalities where over 130,000 houses were partially or completely destroyed.

Exposito said the electric grid, agriculture, communications infrastructure, the school and health systems, and production centers were severely affected. Transportation and commerce scratched to a halt in the first hours after the passing of the storm, but have gradually started to provide services again.

Raul urged the local authorities in the eastern provinces of Holguin, Santiago de Cuba and Guantanamo to use efficiently the resources the central government allocated in that area to help solving the people’s problems as soon as possible.

On his way to Santiago, Raul stopped in central Ciego de Avila province where he received information on the conditions resulting from the heavy rains associated to Hurricane Sandy. There, the president of the Council of Defense, Felix Duarte, reported no damages in the agriculture and on the other hand situation was favorable for the reservoirs that had received millions of cubic meters of water.

Raul asked the leaders of the central provinces to send larger supplies of agriculture products to Eastern Cuba, especially to the provinces battered by the hurricane.

 

Cuba: Victims of Hurricane Sandy Start Receiving Construction Materials

GUANTANAMO, Cuba, Oct 29 (acn) Members of the over 7600 families in the easternmost province of Guantanamo, whose houses had their rooftops damaged to certain extent by Hurricane Sandy, are receiving now asbestos cement sheet to repair them.

“We knew the Revolution would never forget about us; we always had encouragement and support” said, visible moved, Maricel Veitía, a young neighbour of the Costa Rica People’s Council in the municipality of El Salvador.

Over 17,600 asbestos cement sheets were already delivered, out of the 45,000 the Cuban government allocated in Guantanamo, a province that along Holguin and Santiago de Cuba were severely pounded by Hurricane Sandy with sustained winds of over 110 miles per hour and stronger gusts.

The president of the Costa Rica People’s Council Lorna Mirás said over 600 houses had their roofs partially damages while 56 had lost them completely.

“The Revolution is already coming with its “reconstruction hurricane” and soon our shire will be prettier” she said.

In all Guanatanmo towns, people are receiving these sheets. Estimates place the number of partially destroyed roofs at over 6000 while a fourth more are totally gone, like the one in Maricel’s house where she lives with her 82 year old grandmother, her mother and a sister.

Truck driver Ariel Abreu said they have their trucks ready with their drivers to move as many sheets as possible. “I am now in Costa Rica with 1200 sheets, and later I will drive to Las Tunas to fetch metallic carpentry”

In Guanatanamo the population and the local authorities are working together to heal the scars let by Sandy in its wake.

 

International Artists Performance for Hurricane Sandy Victims

Holguín, Cuba, 27 oct (Prensa Latina) Artists from Colombia, Chile and Cuba, attending the XVIII Fiesta de la Cultura Iberoamericana,went to perform in Báguano municipality in Holguin,which is one of the most hard hit by Hurricane Sandy in this eastern province.

In an act of soldarity and altruism memebers of the Brigada Artística Internacional de Solidaridad (BAIS)worked in an improvise set for the town people of that area, still without electric power and lacking basic services.

Cuban children and adults saw the colombian dancing company Tequendama, the artistic work of chilean photographer Marcia Cifuentes, the music band Zenda and the Puppet Theater from Holguín.

 

International Ballet Festival of Havana Kicks Off in Cuba

HAVANA, Cuba , Oct 29 (acn) The XXIII International Ballet Festival of Havana kicked off this Sunday in the Avellaneda hall at the National Theater of Cuba, with a parade of all generations of dancers led by prima ballerina Alicia Alonso.

After this traditional ceremony, Alicia Alonso was acclaimed by the audience, when she appeared on stage at the newly revamped theater hall.

Miguel Diaz-Canel, Vice President of the Cuban Council of Ministers, attended the inauguration and praised the event that has charmed people of several generations, he said.

This festival, he said, is thanks to Alicia Alonso, Fernando Alonso and many others who have made possible the existence of a Cuban School of Ballet and a company recognized throughout the world, a troupe that legitimizes us from its birth to the present day.

Every two years the festival becomes a meeting of solidarity, peace and love in a special way and this year marks the 64 anniversary of the birth of this dance group, whose artistic work that has contributed to the development of Cuban and universal culture.

Today, it takes place after a hurricane devastated part of Cuba, but is made with affection and human solidarity and through the ballet comes a message of peace and optimism, with the conviction that a better world is possible, he added.

“Let’s have then the miracle of dance and let’s all dance to the beat of beauty,” he concluded.

The inaugural function included the choreography “En la noche “ by Jerome Robbins, with music by Chopin and a live piano performance by Leonardo's Milanes and starring Viengsay Valdes, Sadaise Arencibia, Yanela Piñera, Yaniel Gomez, Victor Estevez and Arian Molina.

The closing ballet was La fille mal gardée, choreography by Alicia Alonso on the original by Jean Dauberval and performances by Anette Delgado and Dani Hernandez.

Cuba´s Minister of Culture Rafael Bernal attended the event, as well as other personalities of art and politics.

The Festival will run through November 7, and it is attended by dancers, choreographers and personalities from Argentina, USA, Canada, Chile, France, Mexico, Norway, Puerto Rico, Great Britain, Netherlands, Romania, Spain, Italy and the host country.

 

Ecuadorian Deputy Minister Calls in France End Blockade vs. Cuba

Paris, Oct 29 (Prensa Latina) The U.S. blockade against Cuba must end immediately because it constitutes a dangerous violation of human rights, Ecuadorian Deputy Foreign Minister Marco Albuja said here.

In remarks to Prensa Latina, Albuja claimed Washington to comply with the resolutions adopted by the U.N. General Assembly that has opposed to that economic, commercial and financial siege in 20 consecutive occasions.

It's not fair that one country can impose its will on an overwhelming majority of nations that claim to lift the blockade, the Ecuadorian deputy minister said during a visit to France.

In 2011, some 186 countries voted in favor of the cessation of that unjust policy that, up to December 2011, has caused losses to Cuba of more than $1.066 trillion dollars, considering the depreciation of the U.S. dollar against the value of gold in the international market.

The Cuban people are suffering the unjust punishment the United States has imposed upon it, he said.

On November 13, the U.N. General Assembly will vote on the island's report about the negative consequences of the blockade.

Not only the United Nations, but also in other international forums, Ecuador is quite beside the Cuban people, the deputy foreign minister said.

Albuja chaired the Ecuadorian delegation to the second session of political consultations with France, in which he discussed bilateral and multilateral issues.

His visit was part of a tour that also included Russia and Belarus. The objective is to strengthen ties, deepen political dialogue, and discuss new cooperation agreements.

 

El Salvador in Solidarity with Cuba and the Cuban Five

San Salvador, Oct 29 (Prensa Latina) The 4th Congress of Solidarity with Cuba put new wind in the sails of the movement in El Salvador to support the people of that nation and call for the cessation of U.S. aggression against Cuba.

Raul Martinez, president of the Salvadoran Coordinating Committee of Solidarity with Cuba, said that willingness was expressed in agreements reached by hundreds of participants at the meeting.

The event was held on Sunday at the University of El Salvador, and was attended by Vice President of the Republic Salvador Sanchez Ceren, other personalities, legislators, and political leaders of the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN).

In the final statement, participants expressed their decision to increase campaigns for the release of the five Cuban antiterrorist fighters imprisoned in the U.S. for more than 14 years. They approved creation of a combative front to continue demanding that the U.S. government immediately end the more than 50 year criminal and immoral blockade of the Caribbean nation.

Another agreement is to incorporate people's organizations and religious bodies in activities to demand the release of the five antiterrorist fighters and end the U.S. blockade and aggressions against Cuba.

In the same sense, delegates decided to promote greater participation in such actions by artists, intellectuals, writers, and other representatives of Salvadoran culture.

In addition, the departmental committees of the Coordinating Committee established Internet blogs tto help distribute information in support of Cuba and reject lies campaigns against the Revolution in that country.

Maria Eugenia Guerrero, sister of Cuban antiterrorist fighter Antonio Guerrero, and the representative of the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP), Yamil Martinez, participated as guests at the Congress.

Maria Eugenia read a message of greeting from her brother, on behalf of the five antiterrorist fighters, Gerardo Hernandez, Ramon Labañino, Fernando Gonzalez, Rene Gonzalez and Guerrero.

The Five, as they are known internationally, were detained on September 12, 1998, in the U.S. city of Miami. A biased trial held there in 2001 condemned the men to prison terms ranging from 15 years to two life sentences plus 15 years.

 

Cuba Reduced Infant Mortality Rate to 4.5 this Year

HAVANA, Cuba, Oct 26 (ACN) Cuba reported a reduction of its infant mortality rate to 4.5 deaths in every live births so far this year.

Health authorities told Cuba television that the achievement was thanks to the efforts and work of health specialists throughout the country, who were also able to lower the maternal mortality indicator, according to PL news agency.

Cuba’s achievements in the area compare to infant mortality rates in highly developed nations, said the health authorities.

The island reported a 4.9 percent infant mortality rate last year, an indicator that kept the island in a leading position in the Americas among the countries that reported indicators below five percent.

 

Puerto Rican Candidate to the Senate in Solidarity with Cuba

San Juan, 27 oct (Prensa Latina): Puerto Rican social activist José Parilitici, who is runing for the Senate on the Movimiento Unión Soberanista (MUS) ticket, express his solidarity with Cuba, Haití and Jamaica after Hurricane Sandy hit those countries with high winds and heavy rains.

He said that he is ready to offer help to those borther peoples in those countries where the meteorological event cause heavy material damages and lost of lives.

Paralitici,played a leading role in the struggle for the US Navy to leave Vieques Island, and now is running for the puerto rican Senate in the 6 of novemeber elections.

As a historian and journalist he has always been linked to caribbean affairs as a member of the now disbanded

Partido Socialista Puertorriqueño (PSP) and as a reporter for the left wing weekly, Claridad.

 

FIHAV, Major Promoter of Cuban Foreign Trade

Havana, Oct 29 (Prensa Latina) Over the years, the Havana International Fair (FIHAV) has gained importance in promoting trade relations between Cuba and the rest of the world, an sector''s source said.

The 13th edition of that trade fair, starting November 4 through 10, will be a further demonstration of the consolidation of this event, Rodrigo Malmierca, Minister of Foreign Trade and Foreign Investment, told exclusively to Prensa Latina.

As in previous occasions, FIHAV 2012 will be distinguished by the presence of numerous government delegations and Chambers of Commerce.

Also with the visit of representatives from other organizations promoting trade and foreign investment, the also chairman of the organizing committee said.

Some of the delegations will be led by ministers and other senior officials, confirming the recognition of the authorities from other countries to the importance of this event.

According to Malmierca, the most important thing is the extensive participation of companies from over 60 countries and the intensive program of activities to be held during the fair.

This includes business meetings, business forums, and other interesting proposals for participants, the minister stated.