News on Cuba - November 2, 2012 Print

Cuba Denounces Illegal Activities of U.S. Interest Section

Washington, Nov 2 (Prensa Latina) Cuba stated that the U.S. Interest Section (USINT) in Havana serves as a headquarters for the U.S. federal government's subversion policy against the Caribbean nation.

In its effort to provide a leading role in the impossible task of turning its mercenaries into a credible internal opposition movement, the USINT has channeled the U.S. government's budget funds to feed the internal subversion business, an official statement said.

The USINT has reached the point where it has taken on training tasks, established within its local headquarters where it provides illegal internet centers to train and give courses to people, says a note from the Cuban Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Washington's objective is to have those individuals act against the interests of the Cuban State, in flagrant violation of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, Cuban laws and the agreement itself that gave rise to the establishment of the U.S. Interest Section, the document states.

The United States has among its main objectives the fabrication of an opposition movement to the Cuban legitimate government and strengthening internal destabilization in order to cause "regime change" in Cuba, the ministerial statement says.

In recent years, the USINT has carried out illegal activities that have nothing to do with the functions of a diplomatic mission and consist of training, financing and supplying its mercenaries in Cuba with means and technologies, Granma newspaper reported today.

"Diplomats from that office permanently incite those people, who respond to the U.S. government's interests against Cuba, in exchange for a generous monetary reward, to begin provocative actions (...) and act against the Cuban constitutional order," the document notes.

In Cuba, as in many countries, the consent of the State and the approval of the Ministry of Higher Education is required to provide educational programs or courses.

An authorization and operating license from the Ministry of Informatics and Communications is needed to provide internet services. The USINT has no permission to grant those benefits, which are being carried out without the consent of Cuban authorities, therefore they are illegal, the statement says.

It is unacceptable and cynical that such programs promoted by the USINT are developed by the country with a policy of hostility and blockade, aimed at destroying the Revolution, restricting the free educational, cultural, academic, scientific and sports exchanges between the two countries, the document states.

Those subversive actions, plus the worsening of the economic blockade, show that the current U.S. government has no real will to leave the worst Cold War policies and practices behind, and is not abandoning its attempts to try to make our nation submit to its regime, the statement says.


Ethiopian President Thanks Cuba for Training Professionals

Addis Ababa, Nov. 1 (Prensa Latina) Ethiopia's President, Girma Wolder-Giorgies, thanked the Cuban ambassador here, Juan Manuel Rodriguez, for the support provided by his country to the training of more than 3,000 professionals.

Wolder-Giorgies received the Cuban Ambassador who was presenting his credentials as a new representative in Addis Ababa of the Cuban government.

The Ethiopian president noted that the 3,000 graduates are now part of the skilled health professionals contributing to the development of this State in the African Horn.

Wolder-Giorgies and Juan Manuel Rodriguez exchanged remarks on issues of common interest related to bilateral relations and the prospect of cooperation, among others, said a diplomatic source


Canada: Opening Forum about Che Guevara Devoted to the Cuban Five

Ottawa, Nov 2 (Prensa Latina) Social groups in Canada will open on Friday the fifth International Conference Ernesto Che Guevara with a session devoted to the Cuban Five held for 14 years in the United States for fighting terrorist actions planned in the south of Florida.

Tamara Hansen, coordinator of the group in solidarity with Cuba told Prensa latina that those attending the event will use this space to express solidarity with Gerardo Hernandez, Rene Gonzalez, Antonio Guerrero, Ramon Labañino and Fernando Gonzalez.

Canadians will also join their voices to the international call for the immediate and unconditional release of those men worldwide known as the Cuban Five.

Four of these anti-terrorist fighters face harsh sentences since September 1998 for monitoring actions from violent groups based in Miami, from where they plan actions that had cost more than 3, 400 victims in Cuba.

Meanwhile, Rene Gonzalez was freed from prison on October 7, 2011 after 13 years of imprisonment and is now serving an additional three years under supervised release in the same city.

According to Hansen, the Conference will deal also with the development and the importance of the economic model Cuba applies and the main speaker will be Aleida Guevara, daughter of the mythical Argentinean-Cuban guerrilla.

She added that the discussions on the objectives of the socio-economic changes adopted by the authorities in Havana will be held on November 3 and 4 in Vancouver, and then continue on the 5 in Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops.

The International Conference Che Guevara is held in Vancouver since 2008 on the initiative of the solidarity with Cuba group called Heroic Guerrilla and among the main goals they call to discuss the ideas of the Cuban Evolution, and its dynamism and impact in Latin America and the world.

That meeting will also analyze the validity of Guevara's thoughts, his humanist and independent character.


Almost One Million Cubans to Return to Polls for Runoff

Havana, Nov 2 (Prensa Latina) About 960,000 Cubans are being called to the polls for the municipal elections' runoff, except in Santiago de Cuba and Holguin, the provinces hardest hit by Hurricane Sandy.

These elections, initially scheduled for October 28, were postponed due to the impact of Sandy in that eastern region and heavy rains in the country's central zone, National Electoral Commission (CEN) Secretary Ruben Perez stated.

About 3,210 polling stations will open in Cuba that day, and almost one million citizens are being called to vote, according to Electoral Register.

They will elect some 1,160 delegates to the Municipal Assemblies of the Peoples' Power, one per constituency.

A CEN release stated that elections in Holguin are scheduled for Sunday, November 11, while polls in Santiago de Cuba will be announced later.

The November 4 runoff will be held in those districts where no candidate achieved more than 50 percent of valid votes.

According to the law, the two most voted candidates in each constituency and those who were tied will be presented in the runoff.

During the October 21 first round, more than eight million Cubans elected about 13,127 candidates to delegate positions in 14,537 circumscriptions in the democratic exercise.


Russian Minister Describes Relations with Cuba as Privileged

Moscow, Nov 2 (Prensa Latina) The Russian Minister of Industry and Trade Denis Manturov described today the relations between his country and Cuba as special and privileged, based on long friendship and mutual understanding.

"Our peoples are closely linked in cultural and socioeconomic relations," Manturov told Prensa Latina. The minister chairs the Russian segment of the Intergovernmental Commission for Economic, Commercial and Scientific-Technical Cooperation.

Manturov noted that another important area of bilateral trade policy is the dialogue actively and reliably engaged in by both governments, he added.

The high level of the political ties should be strengthened with mutual beneficial projects in the areas of economics and trade, the minister said after evaluating the state of Russian-Cuban ties in those area.

He also noted the large reserves and mutual opportunities, along with the "rich experience of cooperation in previous years."

In his view, however, during the three years since the ninth meeting in early 2009 and the coming session of the commission, set for Monday, there has been no lack of progress in trade, economic relations and bilateral projects.

"The cooperation moves dynamically, to the extent that we have 17.5 percent growth in trade at the end of the first seven months of 2012 compared with the same period of 2011," said Manturov.

"We expect to promote projects of interest to both parties," assured Manturov, head of the Russian segment at that meeting, referring to the projection for the tenth session of the intergovernmental commission to be held in Havana next week.

The energy, pharmaceutical, biotechnology industries, and auto manufacturing are listed as priority sectors on the bilateral agenda.


Mexican Entrepreneurs Condemn US Blockade of Cuba

HAVANA, Cuba, Nov 2 (acn) Mexican entrepreneurs have expressed their condemnation of the US blockade maintained by the US government against Cuba for 52 years now, by way of a declaration in which they also express their solidarity with the people of the Caribbean island.

In a letter sent to Cuban ambassador to Mexico, Dagoberto Rodriguez, the Mexico-Cuba Bilateral Committee states that for half a century Cubans have faced that unfair policy, which has been the main obstacle for the country’s economic and social development.

This group of Mexican entrepreneurs makes its demand in view of the upcoming presentation at the United Nations General Assembly of the island’s resolution on the need to put an end to that economic, commercial and financial blockade, the Prensa Latina news agency reported on Thursday.

Signed by the president of that Committee, Jaime Torres, the note adds that the measure also affects the people of Mexico for its marked extraterritorial nature, which violates international law and international trade regulations.

This US action, continues the text, far from decreasing has strengthened, as it’s shown by the strengthening of the persecution against entities of third countries establishing or aimed at establishing economic, commercial, financial or technical and scientific relations with the Caribbean island.

According to Cuban authorities, the economic damage caused until December, 2011, to the Cuban people by the implementation of the blockade amounts to one trillion 66 billion dollars.


Raul Castro Receives Venezuelan Vice President

HAVANA, Cuba, Nov 2 (acn) Cuban President Raul Castro received Rafael Ramirez, vice president of the government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, who arrived in the Santiago de Cuba’s Antonio Maceo Airport this Thursday.

Ramirez told the press that he is in Cuba at the request of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez to assess directly in the ground, along with the Cuban authorities, how to provide assistance to mitigate the effects of the damages caused by Hurricane Sandy, reported Granma newspaper.

He said that Venezuela does not come to give what's got in excess, but to share what it has, especially with this country that has been so supportive to us.

Ramirez and Raul toured the historic center of Santiago and some of the neighbourhoods to assess how bad the situation was after Hurricane Sandy pounded this city last week.

The Venezuelan delegation also visited the community made up by 100 petrocasas, which their government donated to Cuba five years ago. These building hardly experienced any damages.

Along Ramirez came brigadier general Juan García, Minister of Land Transportation; general Luis Díaz, head of the Civil Ptrotection Department; Nelson Rodríguez, Housing deputy Minister and Owen Manrique, director of PDVSA.

On the Cuban part, accompanying Raul Castro, were Adel Yzquierdo, Ministry of Economy and Planning, and Ramón Espinosa Martín, Defense deputy Minister.

At the end of the tour, officials from both countries had a working session, where they recioeved detailed information on the current situation in the province from Lazaro Exposito, Santiago’s First Secretary of the Communist Party.

Minister Izquierdo gave the visitors an update on the recovery works, whose priority, he said, is to re-establish basic services to the population and to provide shelter to the victims of the hurricane.

Ramirez outlined some preliminary course of action for Venezuela to help. The other members of the delegation contributed with some ideas as well.


Raul Visits Municipalities of Santiago de Cuba and Guantanamo

HAVANA, Cuba, Oct 31 (acn)   Army General Raul Castro, President of the councils of State and Ministers, told residents in Santiago de Cuba and Guantanamo that the Revolution will meet the needs of these territories, devastated by Hurricane Sandy.

Raul visited the municipalities of Songo-La Maya and Segundo Frente, of Santiago de Cuba, and El Salvador and Guantanamo, the last two of this province with the same name, where he spoke with authorities and residents of these localities, and was given more details about the damages caused by the meteorological phenomenon, as well as about recovery works.

We know the problems you have, you can be confident of the Revolution, he told residents in Songo-La Maya, during his first visit of the day, as reported by the National Television newscast.

I will stay here until Santiago de Cuba has electricity again, he said. That will be on Saturday, he pointed out, although he considered that perhaps it will be several days before that municipality has electricity, due to the complex nature of tasks.

At the Municipal Defense Council of Songo-La Maya, the First Secretary of the Cuban Communist Party received a detailed explanation of damages caused to houses and the electricity supply in that area, and knew about the optimism and confidence experienced there by having the population incorporated to recovery tasks.

His next stop was the Costa Rica People’s Council of the municipality of El Salvador in Guantanamo, where there were moments of recall during his visit to the house where he spent the night on December 31, 1958, one day before the triumph of the Revolution.

After speaking with locals and verifying that damages in that place were not great, Raul pointed out that he was satisfied for sharing those moments and recalling the last day of that liberation war and the first one of peace, enjoyed until today.

Raul also spoke with locals in this municipality, as he also did in the city of Guantanamo, where he walked in central areas and received demonstrations of love.

Luis Torres, president of the Provincial Defense Council, informed the Cuban head of state about recovery actions, as well as of the incorporation of linemen from Guantanamo to tasks in Santiago de Cuba very soon.

The last part of the visit took place in the municipality of Segundo Frente, in Santiago de Cuba, where he also knew more details about the complexity of the housing situation and about other damages caused by the hurricane, as well as about the need to harvest all coffee grains possible, in order to meet the demands of this exportable crop, damaged by Sandy’s rain and winds.


Bolivia to Send 120 Tons of Humanitarian Aid to Cuba

HAVANA, Cuba, Oct 31 (acn) Bolivia will send 120 tons of humanitarian aid to Cuba, the eastern and central regions of which suffered severe damages due to the passage of Hurricane Sandy or due to heavy rains associated to this meteorological phenomenon even after leaving the island.

The government of Bolivia approved a Supreme Decree backing this donation, the Prensa Latina news agency reported.

The first cargo -half of the supplies- is planned to arrive on Saturday, and the rest three or four days later, specified Ruben Saavedra, Defense Minister of that South American nation.

Also, the first consignment with humanitarian aid from Venezuela has already arrived in Santiago de Cuba province, consisting in 14 tons of food, including milk, sugar, rice, pasta, oil, beans and fish.

For its part, Russia will send to Cuba construction materials to repair houses and other buildings destroyed by the hurricane.

Over the last few days, the island has also received solidarity messages and offers of aid from Nicaragua, China, Uganda, Colombia, Panama, Germany and France, among other nations.


West Cuba Farmers Send Tons of Food to Eastern Provinces

ARTEMISA, Cuba, Nov 2 (acn) Farmers from the western Cuban province of Artemisa sent 940 tons of sweet potatoes and 40 of malanga to the eastern provinces that were stricken by Hurricane Sandy last week.

Right after the storm pounded three of the Cuban eastern provinces, state farms in Artemisa started sending, by rail and road, food to the devastated areas, where crops were ravaged.

Adalberto Diaz, business director of the Artemisa Agriculture Group, told ACN news agency that the enterprises extended working shifts to harvest as much crops as possible, and used both state and private transportation to move them to the collection points.

Several enterprises even had to hire outside workers to meet the workload, especially at the train station, where the cargos were loaded.

“We haven’t fully depleted our warehouses; we can meet the demand of the population in the western provinces. What we did was to use the excess of the sweet potato production, thanks to the high yield crops had this year” said Raul Davis, an official in the territory.

Stevedore Octavio Morera said they made a commitment to help the victims of Sandy. “That’s what makes us Cubans (solidarity) and it is a way to pay back for all the help we have received when we have been hit by similar storms” .


Brazil Will Send Humanitarian Aid to Cuba to Mitigate Damages of Sandy

HAVANA, Cuba, Nov 2 (acn) Brazil has joined the solidarity support for the Cuban people, while announcing on Thursday in the capital of that country the sending of humanitarian aid to mitigate damages caused by Hurricane Sandy on the eastern side of the island.

A communique issued by the South American nation’s Foreign Ministry points out that a donation estimated at 100,000 dollars will be channeled through the International Red Cross, in charge of humanitarian emergency cooperation, the Prensa Latina news agency reported.

Prior to this announcement, the Brazilian government had decided to give 25,000 tons of rice to Cuba -through the United Nations World Food Program-, to support the efforts of the Caribbean country to guarantee food security for its people.

This aid will arrive in Cuba at the end of November and will also contribute to mitigate the damages caused by the hurricane, reads the communique.

Cargos of food, construction materials and other goods have arrived in Santiago de Cuba from Venezuela, Russia and other nations to contribute to alleviate the damages caused by the meteorological phenomenon.

Venezuelan Vice-president Rafael Ramirez arrived in this city on Thursday to assess the needs for reconstruction and offer the support of the Bolivarian government headed by Hugo Chavez.


Russian Airplane Arrives in Santiago de Cuba with Tons of Aid

SANTIAGO DE CUBA, Cuba, Nov 1 (acn) A plane with 30 tons of construction materials aimed at helping on the reconstruction of the Sandy-stricken city of Santiago de Cuba arrived this morning.

The plain landed at the Antonio Maceo Airport and its cargo includes glass panels for windows, lumber, steel sheets, nails and other useful items

Maria Luisa Bueno, an official with the Cuban Mistry of Foreign Trade and Investment accompanied by two officials from the Russian embassy in Cuba, greeted the crew on the tarmac.

Bueno thanked the Russians for this aid, on behalf of the Cuban people, especially of those who live in this eastern city.

Yesterday, a plane from Venezuela brought 40 tons of food, to be distributed along other 14 tons that were already on site as part of the aid after the passing of Hurricane sandy.