News on Cuba - February 19, 2014 Print

Cuban Vice-president Meets with Religious Leaders

HAVANA, Cuba, Feb 19 (acn) Cuban Vicepresident Miguel Diaz Canel met on Tuesday with leaders of religious institutions and fraternal associations from around the island.

The president of Cuba' s Yoruba Cultural Association Antonio Castaneda and the president of the Christian Student Organization, Dianet de la Caridad Martinez, laid a wreath at the monument of National Hero Jose Marti at Havana's Revolution Square.

The meeting focused on the role of the fraternal and religious organizations in favor of the strengthening of the humanistic values that characterize Cuban society, an issue addressed by several participants in tune with the experiences and results of their institutions.

Participants at the encounter also exchange views on attempts by the enemies of the revolution to involve religious organizations in ideological and political subversion as they also try to do with other sectors of Cuban society.

The representative of the Christian Student Movement said that the meeting allowed for the exchange of criteria and to learn about their work to preserver their values and achievements. She added that they hold workshops and other activities not only on theological reflection but also on social issues to consider actions to have a positive impact on society.

Meanwhile, the president of the National Supreme Spiritual Council of Cuba, Alfredo Duran Arias, addressed the significance of the legacy of Jose Marti, who always defended the culture of our nations.


Working Sessions will Open Cuban Workers´ Congress

HAVANA, Cuba.- (acn) The delegates to participate at the 20th Congress of the Cuban Workers´ Confederation will open the forum with a series of working sessions.

According to Granma newspaper national union leaders, members of company executive boards and officials in different sectors will hold working meetings as part of the first activities of some 1 200 delegates attending the Congress.

The sessions will be hosted by different facilities in the capital Havana in tune with the different working sectors represented at the forum.

Unions with the sectors of science, public administration, education and sports will gather in working groups since their affiliates are working in all these areas.

The initial sessions are expected to provide unionists with first-hand information on their working plans and budgets, an update on the current implementation of the economic and social guidelines adopted by the Cuban Communist Party, the management of material and financial resources and the state of ongoing investment projects.

The initiative will also be appropriate for an exchange on concerns issued by the workers in the assembly process that took place last year as the unions geared up for their Congress.


U.S. University to Screen Film on Terrorism against Cuba

HAVANA, Cuba, Feb 18 (acn) The University of Seattle, in the northwestern side of the United States, will screen on Friday a documentary by late filmmaker Saul Landau, on violent actions organized from the northern country against Cuba, a Canadian group informed on Tuesday.

The Vancouver Committee for the Release of the Cuban Five imprisoned in U.S. jails pointed out that the film “Will the real terrorist please stand up” will be presented in the Bannon auditorium of the academic center, the Cubadebate Web site reported.

That film was shot in 2010 in Miami, Havana and Washington, and covers more than half a century of operations of aggression sponsored by the White House against Cuba and defensive measures of the Caribbean nation to counteract them.

The film inserts interviews with notorious anti-Cuban terrorists Luis Posada Carriles, Orlando Bosch, Antonio Venciana and Jose Basulto and testimonies by former agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. officials and Cuban leaders on such activities.

It also tackles the case of Gerardo Hernandez, Fernando Gonzalez, Ramon Labañino, Antonio Guerrero and Rene Gonzalez, arrested in 1998 and condemned to severe sentences for monitoring violent groups based in Florida, where they planned events such as those that left over 3,400 victims in Cuba over the last 53 years.

The first four antiterrorists remain in jail while Rene was released from prison in October 2011 after serving his sentence and returned home in May where he relinquished his U.S. citizenship, to complete an additional punishment of three years under supervised release.

According to the Committee, the audiovisual is part of the commemorative program for its 100 consecutive months of actions in support of the fighters of the Caribbean country.

The group’s coordinator, Tamara Hansen, told Prensa Latina news agency that on March 5-8 they also plan to carry out, in Vancouver, Nanaimo, Kamloops and Seattle, concerts, vigils and talks with journalist Stephen Kimber, the author of "What's on the other side of the Sea: The True Story of the Cuban Five. "


Havana International Fair Digs into Cuban History

Havana, (Prensa Latina) Little known passages of the assault to the Moncada Garrison in Cuba and the revolutionary struggle by Cuban patriots in 1957, are picked up in two texts presented here by the 2014 Havana International Fair.

Published under the seal of the Cuban State Council’s Publication Office, the book "El Moncada, La Respuesta Necesaria" (Moncada, The Needed Answer) by Mario Mencia, goes deep on one of the most trascendental historical deeds of the history of Cuba.

An onomastic index, 583 notes at the feet of pages, more than 1,500 personages involved in the event and 297 names of places, countries and continents are picked up by this great book, in six chapters and two annexes.

Other elements enriching the value of the event are a total of 81 photos, 23 of them on the weapons used by the rebels and 31 pages reflecting the sources Mencia used for his investigation.

During the presentation, Eugenio Suarez, director of the Office of Historical Affairs of the Cuban State Council, highlighted the novelties of this great book, with information about the economic cost and the preparations of the plan, which have not been so many times been published, with factors that are not too much known and complete data of the participants.

For its part, a book called "Lucharemos Hasta el Final 1957" by Rolando Davila picks up what happened day after day in the cities during the military regime of Fulgencio Batista, the responsible for the death of 20,000 Cuban citizens.

Among the most transcendental moments, the book mentions the assassinations of university students leader Jose Antonio Echeverria and Frank Pais, chief of action and sabotage in the 26 de Julio Movement, the attack to the Presidential Palace and others.

"This book is a kind of necessary consulting material to know about the contradictions during the clandestine struggle between the rural and the urban zones," said its author.


Cuban Physicians Assist More Than 35 Million Guatemalans

Guatemala, Feb 19 (Prensa Latina) More than 35 million Guatemalans have been assisted by Cuban health staff since 1998, at the beginning of the medical collaboration in Guatemala, until January, official figures state.

About 35,883,459 patients have been consulted since 1998 to 2014, according to the most recent report of the Cuban Medical Brigade in this Central American country.

Some 170,858 people were only assisted last month, while the number of saved lives reached 287,658 since 1998.

The source considers one life saved to who exceed serious health condition, very serious, or critical thanks to cares by the health personnel, regardless of their diagnosis.

Commenting on surgical activity, about 278,224 patients have been submitted to general surgery, gynecology, and orthopedics, 1,753 of which correspond to the previous month.

Thanks to the Operation Miracle program, about 125,467 cases for different eye pathologies have been undergone surgery.


Jose Marti in CELAC

The historical and universal legacy of Cuban National Hero, Jose Marti, remains valid after 161 years from his birth, in a context where his vision of Latin American integration continues living in what he called Nuestra America (Our America).

This mark has a special connotation for 2014 with completion in Havana of the Second Summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), a space for regional integration and unity of the people, coinciding with the birthday of the most universal of Cubans.

Marti was born in Havana on January 28, 1853 and in 42 years of life until his death in combat on May 19, 1895 against Spanish colonialism, his most notable mission was a life marked by the sacrifice for the arrival of a free Cuba.

In addition, the Cuban National Hero understood that the role of the emancipation process of the small Caribbean island was crucial for the strategic balance between North and South in the continental geopolitics, and especially for the realization of the major objective: a united Latin America, independent of U.S. imperialism.

That’s why his thought spreads beyond borders with a perspective in favor of Latin America, which a precursor of the integration processes of the area remains valid, as denoted by the success of regional blocs like CELAC, where Marti's influence has always been present.

For example, in his inaugural speech on December 2, 2011 at the founding summit of the organization in Caracas, the then Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez referred to the notion of Patria Grande (Greater Mother Country), from Marti world view of Nuestra America (Our America), to talk about Latin America and the Caribbean.

Also, on January 28, 2013, when Cuba received the pro tempore presidency of CELAC in Santiago de Chile, President Raul Castro said that appointment was "a recognition of the self-denying struggle of the Cuban people for its independence, paying a special tribute to Jose Marti", since that day was the 160th anniversary of his birth.

Moreover, the Cuban president stated there the will of his country to promote the consolidation of this mechanism for coordination and integration of Nuestra America (Our America), a regional concept created by Marti that transcends the merely geographic aspect.

Additionally, Raul Castro expressed that the Cuban purpose by leading the CELAC was contributing to build a space of regional sovereignty and promote integration, coordination, cooperation and solidarity in the region, all principles consistent with the Apostle’s ideals in favor of Latin America.


MARTI REMEMBERED BY AMERICA

In Cuba, where Marti’s ideals -rescued by the so-called Generation of Centennial under the guidance of Fidel Castro- became the germ of the Revolution triumphant 55 years ago, each January announces a perfect occasion to remember the birth of the National Hero, as well as his work.

In this context, the hero is remembered on the island with various activities such as parades, science events, cultural galas and the warm tribute of thousands of young people who each year, on the night of January 27, stage the traditional March of Torches, to receive and celebrate with joy the birth of the Apostle.

However, the Second Summit of CELAC in Havana gives a significant connotation to the commemorative date with the presence of heads of state and government in order to discuss issues of the common regional bloc that draws together the 33 independent nations of Nuestra America (Our America), and excludes U.S. and Canada.

With respect to this, let Nuestra America (Our America) be understood as that set of countries located from the south of the Rio Grande to Patagonia, with no presence therefore of the "brutal and turbulent North which despises us," as recognized by Marti.

What historically has been the U.S. policy to the subcontinent was warned more than a century ago by the Cuban National Hero, who contrasted to the imperial hegemony of the North the idea of the Latin American unity, as a necessary path for true independence of the region.

Just about the need for unity of Nuestra America (Our America) against the powerful northern nation, Marti wrote in his newspaper Patria: "in hatcheries the tough and greedy fish, when small fish stand it up together, beats water with furious tail, and leaves alone the small ones."

The people of America are freer and more prosperous as they depart from the United States, noted the Marti from his Latin American vision permeated by his pure anti-imperialism.

In this respect, is also remembered the notion expressed in one of his most brilliant essays: "The trees have to get in line, lest the giant with seven-league boots cannot pass!"(USA).

It’s time of reckoning, and the united march, and we shall walk in close ranks, like silver in the roots of the Andes, said the Cuban National Hero.

Indeed, together, 161 years after the birth of the Cuban National Hero, regional leaders discussed at this Summit on common challenges for Latin America and the Caribbean, both socially and economically, as part of the required path of Nuestra America (Our America) to true integration. ( Jorge Hernández Álvarez/PL)