News on Cuba - July 16, 2013 Print

Raul Castro Congratulates Association of Cuban Journalists

Congress Association of Cuban Journalists (UPEC) Havana, Jul 15 (Prensa Latina) President Raul Castro congratulated the Association of Cuban Journalists (UPEC) on occasion of the 50th anniversary of its foundation, and its 9th Congress, held in this capital.

The congratulations of the Cuban statesman was conveyed by First Vice President Miguel Diaz-Canel, who stressed that the thought of national hero, Jose Marti, the historic leader of the Revolution, Fidel Castro, and the head of State, was present during the working sessions.

Diaz-Canel also gave the UPEC on Sunday night a diploma of recognition signed by Raul Castro.

I want to congratulate the new UPEC leadership, and tell them you can count on the leadership of the nation, as we know that the media is contributing to the development of a prosperous and sustainable socialism, Diaz-Canel said.

This 9th Congress was necessary and appropriate, it was characterized by an intelligent debate and committed, and is important for its contribution to the present and future, the first vice president pointed out.

I do not think that our journalists are the most criticized, we require of them to build socialism, and there is no lack of credibility, he said.

The population is informed by the press, the newspapers are sold out at the stands, people write to the media, given criteria, participate, and that means we have confidence, said Diaz-Canel.

Cuban President informed that the press should be capable of reflecting the reality on the diversity in which we live, without excessive secrecy, with knowledge and debate, the first vice president recalled.


Medal “50th Anniversary of the UPEC” Bestowed upon Fidel and Raul

HAVANA, Cuba, Jul 14 (acn) The historic leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro, and Army General Raul Castro, President of the councils of State and Ministers, were awarded the Commemorative Medal “50th Anniversary of the Association of Cuban Journalists.”

The award was handed over on Sunday to Miguel Diaz-Canel, member of the Politburo of the Central Committee of the Cuban Communist Party and First Vice-president of the councils of State and Ministers, at the 9th Congress of the organization, where the significance of Fidel and Raul, symbols of the strength and resistance of the people in the defense of the Revolution, was highlighted.

UPEC founders, leaders and professionals with important contributions to the development and work of that institution received a similar award at Havana’s Convention Center, while the Prize to Dignity was handed over to Tubal Paez, outgoing president of the organization, for his notable work in the leadership of professionals in this sector.

During the closing ceremony, Molto read a message of the Federation of Latin American Journalists (FELAP), on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the UPEC.

The closing speech was in charge of Miguel Diaz-Canel, as a summary of two days of debates on fundamental issues of today’s journalism.


US Lawyer Says the American People Must be Informed of the Cuban Five Case

HAVANA, Cuba, July 12 (acn) The case of the Cuban Five must be better known by lawyers and by the American people, given its humane, political and legal values, said Law Professor at the Washington University and Virginia’s Lee University Erick Luna.

In statements to the Cuban News Agency, the lawyer said that the legal process to which the five Cuban anti-terrorist fighters were submitted was plagued with irregularities and that he is currently putting it as an example in his lessons to explain his students about the different illegal actions committed.

Hiding evidence, instructing the jury incorrectly, classifying information which the defense should have had access to, are some of the arbitrary actions from which his students can learn in their class, said the professor.

Luna said that most of the future lawyers must first be explained the basics of the case, because many of them have no information on it.

In September 1998, Gerardo Hernández, Antonio Guerrero, Fernando González, Ramón Labañino and René González were arrested in the United States and later given extremely long and unfair sentences on charges that were not proven. The Cuban Five as they are internationally known were collecting information on Florida-based ultra-right organizations that planned terrorist actions against Cuba, which could also endanger the lives of US citizens and other nationals.

Rene Gonzalez has been the only one of them who, after having me his unfair prison sentence was allowed to returned and stay in Cuba in exchange for the renouncing of his American citizenship.


Venceremos Brigade to Arrive in Cuba on July 21

HAVANA, Cuba, July 12 (acn) The 44th group of the US Venceremos solidarity brigade will arrive in Cuba on July 21 to attend the central ceremony for the 60th anniversary of the attacks on the Moncada and Carlos Manuel de Cespedes garrisons.

The group, made up of 34 youths, will arrive in the eastern province of Holguin, where they are scheduled to visit the home where Fidel and Raul Castro grew up, currently turned into a Museum in the town of Biran.

The activists will also meet with Cubans that survived terrorist actions in the locality of Boca de Sama and with members of the Committees for the Defense of the Revolution grassroots organizations, as well as with Young Communist League members, according to the Cuban Friendship Institute (ICAP).

They will also be briefed about the Cuban education and healthcare system and will join Cubans in voluntary work activities in Holguin, Granma and Santiago de Cuba provinces. The activists will visit other places of historic interest and will meet other activists visiting the island with the Puerto Rican Juan Rius Rivera brigade and the Pastors for Peace caravan.


Relatives of Cuban Five Express Sympathies for Death of Activist Bernie Dwyer

Havana.- (acn) The relatives of the five Cubans anti-terrorist fighters who were given unfair prison sentences in the United States expressed their deepest sorrow for the passing away on July 10 of activist and internationalist Bernie Dwyer, and expressed their condolences to her family.

Bernie Dwyer, also journalist based in Cuba fought in the defense of the Cuban Revolution and all just causes around the world till the last days of her life, Radio Havana Cuba reported.

In their message, the spouses, mothers and other relatives of Gerardo Hernandez, Ramon Labanino, Rene Gonzalez, Antonio Guerrero and Fernando Gonzalez, said that they learned about the passing away of unforgettable friend Bernie, who after a strong fight against her disease never stopped her struggle for the causes of the peoples and particularly for the cause of Cuba and the Cuban Five.

“Bernie, ‘The Irish’ as we used to tell her with affection, accompanied us since the very first day of the Cuban Five case, when the injustice committed against them in Miami was denounced. Her invaluable contribution to break the wall of silence raised against the case led her to express herself through her journalist work about it in an excellent manner, as she put her condition of being an English speaking native in favor of the five of the Cuban Five to break that wall of silence,” the message reads.

She traveled across the United States and Canada to show her documentary Mission against Terror, with which she spread the truth of Cuba and the Five to other people and she even attended an oral hearing of the case in Atlanta City’s Appeals Court.

The relatives of the Cuban Five conveyed their deepest condolences to the children, grand children and other relatives of Bernie on behalf of the five anti-terrorist fighters, and they stressed that Bernie will always be among us.

Bernadette Dwyer, known to all as Bernie, died Wednesday in her native Ireland. Bernie worked in the English-language Department of Radio Havana Cuba for ten years. Before her retirement from Radio Havana several years ago and during the final years of her life, she was a tireless fighter for the freedom of the Cuban Five.

Bernie Dwyer was co-producer of "Mission against Terror,” which examines the history of U.S.-based terrorist violence against Cuba and the struggle for the Cuban Five. Known for her excellent radio and film interviews, Bernie also directed "One Man's Story" on former CIA agent Philip Agee.

Bernie first traveled to Cuba as a brigadista with the Nordic Brigade in 1988 and returned to Cuba in 1998 with a Pastors for Peace Caravan. She began her work as a journalist and announcer at Radio Havana Cuba in the year 2000. (RHC)


Cuban First Vice-president Meets with Religious Leaders

HAVANA, Cuba, July 16 (acn) Miguel Diaz-Canel, member of the Political Bureau of Cuba’s Communist Party and first vice-president of the Councils of State and Ministers met on Monday with representatives of the Cuban Ecumenical Council at the building hosting the Cuban Council of Churches.

According to Granma newspaper, Diaz-Canel and the religious leaders welcomed the meeting, which focused on issue of common interest, such as the defense of social values and the importance of the family role with this regards.

The Cuban first vice-president insisted in the idea of identifying prosperity not only with economic development. Material improvement does not automatically lead to the creation of values, he said.

Council of Churches president Joel Ortega said that prosperous and sustainable socialism must also be participatory. He recalled the struggle of the Council for the return to Cuba of Elian Gonzalez and now for the release of the Cuban anti-terrorist fighters held in US jails.

In a fraternal ambiance, participants put forward their concerns related to the youths, the media, the institutional order and theological education.

As to the role of the family in creating values and influencing behaviors, participants proposed to jointly share research studies on the issue, which have already been carried out by different centers, so that the out comes of those studies reach Cuban religious congregations.

Diaz-Canel addressed aspects related to the update of the Cuban economic model and he noted that the most complex stage will now come with the elimination of the double currency circulation, the salary and price reform and the changes relevant to the socialist state companies.

He stressed two issues that suggest joint work by state and religious institutions, such as permanent dialog to advance subjects of common interest and the preservation of unity, which is the paradigm of the Cuban nation.

The first vice-president also met with members of the Cuban Pastoral Platform for the reunification of the Cuban Five and their families and for the strengthening of the unity of Cuban families. The platform will address US President Barack Obama a letter demanding the release of the anti-terrorist Cubans. The dialog concluded with an ecumenical prayer.


Pastors for Peace Caravan Reaches Mexico in Route to Cuba

HAVANA, Cuba, July 16 (acn) The 24th US-Cuba Pastors for Peace Friendship Caravan to Cuba arrived in Mexico on its way to the Caribbean nation with a humanitarian cargo, particularly tools and items to contribute to reconstruction efforts underway in eastern Cuba, a territory hard hit by hurricane Sandy in October 2012.

“We traveled throughout the United States and Canada, from Seattle to New York; from California to Southern United States, and we are heading for Cuba loaded with much love for our Cuban brothers and sisters,” said the Caravan’s coordination team member Manolo de los Santos in statements to Prensa Latina news agency.

We are also bringing medications, which have been prohibited for Cuba by the US administration’s blockade of the Caribbean nation, as well as tools to help the reconstruction of Santiago de Cuba, an eastern province severely affected by hurricane Sandy last year,” he said.

The Caravan also brings messages from the American people against the US blockade imposed by Washington, as well as voices for the freedom of the Cuban Five, as the anti-terrorist fighters held in US jails are internationally known, said de los Santos.

The action takes to blocs, one made up of 62 people, who will travel to Cuba, and another part made up of hundreds of thousands of persons who, all throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico, joined the demand for the lifting of the US blockade of Cuba.

Manolo de los Santos announced a protest action in front of the US embassy in Mexico, which will send a message about the unity of the people in this continent against Washington’s hostile policy against Cuba and humanity.

“We are many, united in a single voice for Cuba and there we will join our friends from the Francisco Villa People’s Front, the Mexico-Cuba Solidarity Movement, the Ecclesial Observatory and other social organizations, the community and ecumenical groups,” said de los Santos.

In a message to the Cuban people, de los Santos said “we will arrive there on the 17th (July), but we from now we want to express our gratefulness because you (the Cuban people) constitute an example in our struggle, a daily inspiration to keep up with our fight; you prove that another world is possible an you are indicating the path to take,” he concluded.


Canadian Contigent Crosses the US Border with Aid for Cuba

HAVANA, Cuba, Jul 15 (acn) A contingent from British Columbia, Canada, came to the United States with a batch of humanitarian goods destined for Cuba as part of the 24th Pastors for Peace Caravan.

The activists will tour the state of Washington for gathering more aid and updating the public on the negative impact of economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the U.S. to the Caribbean island for over half a century, Prensa Latina news agency reported.

Tamara Hansen, coordinator of Vancouver Communities in Solidarity with Cuba, said the convoy successfully crossed, on Sunday, the boundary point of White Rock-Blaine, in the U.S. northwest.

The shipment includes school and sanitation supplies donated in the cities of Waterloo, Toronto, Hamilton and Kingston, she told.

Hansen added that, before crossing the border, the group carried out some activities last weekend to highlight the importance of this solidarity initiative and show support for the Cuban Five Heroes imprisoned in the U.S. since 1998.

The current edition of the Interreligious Foundation for the Pastors for Peace Community Organization gathers nearly 100 activists from that country, Canada and Mexico, who intend touring at least 40 cities of their respective nations before July 18th.

In addition to articles for the educational and health sectors, this year the caravan also collects construction tools and supplies to help in the reconstruction of Santiago de Cuba province, severely affected by Hurricane Sandy last October.

Instead of using the traditional yellow buses, the caravan participants will move the aids on their own luggage and will fly from the U.S. to Mexico City and from there to Santiago de Cuba, where they remain from July 19 to 29.


Return of Cuban Antiterrorists Demanded in Miami

HAVANA, Cuba, Jul 15 (acn) Organizations of Cuba’s emigration in Miami that are part of the Marti Alliance demanded the return of Gerardo Hernandez, Ramon Labañino, Antonio Guerrero and Fernando Gonzalez, Cuban antiterrorists unfairly condemned in the United States.

Participants in the meeting, convened by the Antonio Maceo Brigade, the Marti Alliance, the José Marti Association, the ATC, the Bolivarian Circle of Miami and the Association of Christian Women in Defense of Family, received an update on the case, particularly on the process of appeal of these four fighters and on the activities of the political movement in favor of their return to their homeland, the Prensa Latina news agency reported on Monday.

Rene Gonzalez, the fifth man of the group, is back in Cuba after serving his sentence. Ramon, Fernando, Antonio and Gerardo are waiting for Judge Joan Lenard to respond to their extraordinary appeals, or habeas corpus, the last legal option they have.

The element common to the four appeals is the U.S. government’s conspiracy with some of the media and journalists of the city of Miami, to which it paid and directed to spark off a campaign of hatred against the accused.


Brazil and Cuba Foster Cooperation in the Tourist Sector

HAVANA, Cuba, July 16 (acn) Cuba’s Tourism minister Manuel Marrero and his Brazilian counterpart Gastao Diaz Vieira are scheduled to sign a memorandum of understanding in Brasilia to Foster bilateral cooperation in that economic sector.

The document will express the parties’ willingness to jointly work and look for ways to boost collaboration.

This is the second time, the two minister hold a working meeting after a first one that took place in the Cuban tourist center of Varadero last May, during the visit here by the Brazilian official. On that occasion Diaz Vieira headed his country’s delegation to the Cuban International Tourism Fair FitCuba 2013.

The Cuban minister will also meet with the president of the Brazlian Tourism Institute Flavio Dino, who is in charge of the implementation of the National Tourism Policy in terms of promotion, marketing and support to the commercialization of tourist destinations and products at the international market.