News on Cuba - February 26, 2013 Print

Five Days for the Five in Washington

HAVANA, Cuba, Feb 25 (acn) New actions to spread the truth of the case of the five Cuban anti-terrorist fighters held in the U.S. will take place in Washington D.C. from May 30 to June 5, as part of the Five Days for the Five solidarity campaign.

In statements to PL news agency, the coordinator of the International Committee for the Freedom of the Cuban Five, Graciela Ramirez, said the initiative includes events of political, religious and juridical nature.

The activists will once again knock at the doors of US congress people and stage a march to the White House, Ramirez said and she recalled that last year, they explained various US lawmakers about the case of the five Cubans, an action they will repeat this year.

Every fifth day of each month, President Barack Obama is addressed a letter by a renowned personality demanding the release of Gerardo Hernández, Ramón Labañino, Antonio Guerrero, Fernando González and René González, internationally known as the Cuban Five.

Other actions include telephone calls, email messages, letters and calls on social networks demanding the freedom of the Five.

Ramirez said that artists, scholars, lawyers, religious people and nationals from different countries have already confirmed assistance at the demonstration, which is the second to take place in Washington DC. after a previous one held in April, 2012.


More Nicaraguans to Arrive in Cuba to Study Medicine

HAVANA, Cuba, Feb 22 (acn) Nicaraguan youngsters will arrive in Cuba on Saturday to be trained as physicians, free of charge, at the capital’s Latin American Medical School (ELAM), confirmed on Friday the Ministry of Youth of that Central American country.

The commitment of these 10 Nicaraguans is to maintain academic excellence and to return to their homeland at the end of their training to reciprocate with solidarity spirit the opportunity given to them by the Cuban Revolution by way of the National Program of Scholarships of the Sandinista government

These youngsters come from different Nicaraguan departments and families of scant economic resources, whose parents expressed gratitude towards those who contribute to the future of their children, the Prensa Latina news agency reported.

More than 1,300 Nicaraguans are currently studying at the ELAM, founded by Commander in Chief Fidel Castro in 1999, and over 550 graduated in Cuba as physicians in 2011 and 2012.

Likewise, youngsters from that nation are presently studying on the island at agrarian universities as well as engineering specialties.


Washington Chasing Cuban Scrap Metal

HAVANA, Cuba, Feb 26 (acn) The California-based Tung Tai Group, in the metal recycling business, was forced to pay a 44-thousand-dollar fine for transactions with Cuba, considered a violation of the over-50-year economic, commercial and financial blockade of the island.

According to Granma newspaper, a communiqué issued by the US Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) accused Tung Tai Group of having purchased scrap metal in Cuba, in August 2010.  The US office chases all Cuban commercial and financial transactions. This is not the first time that the office fines a company for doing transactions with Cuba.

Last July, Great Western Maltin Company, based in the state of Washington, was fined 1.35 million dollars for unauthorized commercial operations with Cuba.

In 2012, the OFAC also fined Holland’s ING Bank with 619 million dollars for having carried out financial and commercial transactions with Cuba, in a joint action with its subsidiaries in France, Belgium and Curacao.

In December 2012, The US office also imposed the London-based Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC Holdings) a fine amounting to 375 million dollars for the alleged violation of US unilateral sanctions on several countries, including Cuba.


International Habano Cigar Festival Opens in Havana

HAVANA, Cuba, Feb 26 (acn) The 15th International Habano Cigar Festival kicks off in Havana on Tuesday with the presentation of new cigar shapes of the famous brand Montecristo, an event which as the center of cigar lovers and guests from over 60 countries.

Participants at the festival, which runs till March 2, will test new shapes Vegueros and Partagas, two brands on the commercial portfolio of Habanos S.A. corporation, which markets the Cuban product in more than 150 nations.

Business people, cigar collectors, sommeliers, directives, artists, officials and diplomats will take part at seminars, testing sessions and marriages.  They will also visit cigar factories and plantations, among other usual activities held during the annual event.

The festival will open with a music concert at the Morro Castle fortress, on the entrance of Havana Bay.


Cuban Baseball Team to Face Japanese Professional Baseball Teams

HAVANA, Cuba, Feb 26 (acn) The Cuban baseball team will face tomorrow the Hanshin Tigers, a squad that belongs to the Nippon Professional League in its first-to-last preparatory game to the impending 3rd World Baseball Classic.

Cuban manager, Victor Mesa, announced right-handed Odrisamer Despaigne as his starter pitcher in a game that will be held in the Kyocera Dome in the Japanese city of Kobe, the sports publication Jit reported.

Mesa added that Cuban players are complying with the training program and are also adapting well to the time difference.

The manager downplayed Cuba´s defeats against the Netherlands and Chinese Taipei in two of the four matches recently held in the latter nation, because it is a period of preparation designed primarily to try the players.

After this game in Kobe, Cubans will play on March 1st against the professional team SoftBank Hawks in Fukuoka, which also will host the Group A of the 3rd WBC.

Cuba will debut in the tournament against Brazil on March 3, a day later they will face China, to close the first phase on March 6th versus Japan, winners of the two previous editions (2006 and 2009) and executioner of Cuba in those events.