News on Cuba - January 16, 2012 Print

Cuba's Molecular Immunology Center Increases Exports

Havana, Jan 16 (Prensa Latina) The Cuban Molecular Immunology Center fulfilled last year's annual export plan, and it currently maintains the progressive administration of a therapeutic vaccine against lung cancer.

Executives from the center, attached to the scientific complex in western Havana, stated that nearly 20 countries have increased their purchases of medicines and other pharmaceuticals, as well as the number of clinical trials abroad.

Another outstanding contribution from the center is the increased administration of the CIMAVAX-EGF vaccine, which has proved to be effective in patients with advanced lung cancer, Granma newspaper reported.

The center has achieved excellent results in different regulatory inspections that certified the use of Good Production and Good Clinic Practices. The institution earned the condition of best teaching unit of the University of Havana.

Founded on December 5, 1994, the Cuban Molecular Immunology Center develops new medicines to treat cancer and other non-transmissible chronic diseases.


Over One Million Cuban Students Receive Artistic Training

Havana, Jan 16 (Prensa Latina) Art teachers train more than one million Cuban students, as part of an initiative inserted in the country's education system, officials said.

Children and youths take part in classes and workshops on different artistic expressions, Arley Abreu, president of the brigade responsible for introducing students to cultural issues, told Juvented Rebelde newspaper.

This allows developing socio-cultural projects in communities and other areas, including prisons, Abreu noted.

More than two million Cuban students are receiving classes on theater, music, painting and other artistic expressions in the 2011-2012 school year.


Salvadorians Grateful for Cuban Contribution

San Salvador, Jan 15 (Prensa Latina) Vice President Salvador Sanchez Ceren thanked Cuba for its contribution to the signing of the peace agreements that ended the war in El Salvador in 1992.

Sanchez Ceren's statements came at an event on Saturday night and attended by over 250,000 people on the 20th anniversary of the agreements, penned on January 16, 1992 at the Chapultepec Castle in Mexico City.

We thank the international community, the friendly governments, the United Nations, which facilitated the Peace Agreement, he stressed.

We thank the Cuban government for its diplomatic work in favor of peace within the Contadora Group, in the United Nations and in the Non-Aligned Movement, Sanchez Ceren added.

The vice president and one of the main leaders of the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN) paid tribute to the Salvadorians who contributed to achieving peace.

In the first place, he mentioned the FMLN historic leader, Schafik Handal, and Commander Melida Anaya Montes, among others.

We pay tribute to all our comrades who gave their life to free our people, and especially, we want to honor all Salvadorian mothers who lost their children, he said.

To all the victims of the armed conflict: civilians and military. To their parents and relatives, we reaffirm our request of forgiveness, the vice president added.

Sanchez Ceren also noted the role played in the negotiations by the then Archbishop of San Salvador, Monsignor Arturo Rivera y Damas, and the government representative, Abelardo Torres..


Appeals in Panama in Case of Terrorist Posada Carriles

Panama, Jan 15 (Prensa Latina) Prosecutors and defense attorneys for terrorists Luis Posada Carriles, Guillermo Novo Sampol, Pedro Remon, Cesar Matamoros and Jose Hurtado will present appeals in light of the confirmation of all prison sentences.

In an interview with Prensa Latina, lawyer Julio Berrios, as a plaintiff, gave details of the lawsuit to be held next week, as the 2nd Court confirms the 5th Criminal Court's sentence to request the extradition of the group to Panama.

The plaintiff told reporters that both sides could present such an appeal. Their purpose is to make the Court review the decision as a second resort.

Posada Carriles and his accomplices were surprised with large amounts of C-4 explosives that would be used to blow up the Main Hall of the University of Panama in 2000, during an event in which the leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro, was invited to speak.

However, during the trial of the group of terrorists under the government of Mireya Moscoso, who illegally pardoned them the last day of her mandate and let them escape, they were not sentenced for possession and intention of using explosives, but for other crimes.

The 5th Criminal Court's sentences would be eight years in prison for Posada Carriles and Jimenez, seven years for Novo Sampol, Remon and Matamoros, and four years for Hurtado.

Posada Carriles was the mastermind of the explosion in midair of a Cubana de Aviacion airplane off the coast of Barbados, killing all 73 people on board.


Euro MP Requests Top EU Official to Press the US so it Closes the Guantanamo Prison

HAVANA, Cuba, Jan 13 (acn) Willy Meyer, Spanish Euro MP for Izquierda Unida (IU), requested a top official of the European Union (EU) on Thursday to press Washington so it closes the high security prison in Guantanamo.

Meyer made the request to Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, and demanded the restitution to the Caribbean island of the territory occupied since 1898 –against the will of the Cuban people the government-, in which the military enclave is located.

The text, published by the Web site, refers to the decade when that penitentiary was created, a prison especially built at the US Naval Base in the bay of the same name, in the southeastern region of the Caribbean country.

In addition, Meyer described that center of illegal detention as blight for humanity and the greatest exponent of international impunity.

In spite of the fact that US President Barack Obama promised at the beginning of this term of office (January, 2009) to close that prison and transfer prisoners to US territory to be tried by courts, there are still 171 people in that prison of torture, he warned.

In the opinion of the Spanish Euro MP, the policy the existence of this center is based on “responds to terror with terror, to crime with more crime; it’s an unacceptable policy that ignores the principles of international legislation and human rights.”


Cuban Dancers Among the World’s Best in 2011

HAVANA, Cuba, Jan 13 (acn) Viengsay Valdes, Osiel Gounod and Grettel Morejon from the Ballet Nacional de Cuba were selected among the best world dancers in 2011 by the Dance Magazine.

The list is put together by the editor-in-chief of the prestigious magazine, Wendy Perron, who highlights the performance of BNC prima ballerina Viengsay Valdes with Ivan Vasiliev, from Bolshoi, at the Youth

America Grand Prix Gala, placing them on the “most inspiring pairings” category and describing them as: “Sheer fireworks in Don Quixote.”

Within the Most Noticeable New Dancers, she placed Osiel Gounody and Grettel Morejon for their performance in Coppelia at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, New York, as part of a BNC U.S. tour in 2011.

Once again, the Cuban ballet school, inspired by Alicia Alonso, has won the recognition of the international media.


La Plata: First Victory of the Rebel Army

By Ángel Rodríguez Álvarez

After a dangerous landing of the Granma yacht, on December 2nd 1956, the defeat at Alegria de Pio on the very first days and the reunification of the combatants in Cinco Palmas, the Rebel Army did all they could to clash with the enemy to demonstrate that they were there to stay.

That opportunity was found on January 17th, 1957 at La Plaza in the eastern Sierra Maestra Mountains and with that the armed rebels would write a page in history with their first victorious combat of the guerrilla group led by Commander in Chief Fidel Castro against the tyranny forces.

The rebel force was made up of 18 members of the Granma yacht, 8 campesinos that joined the troops days prior to the battle and three sent in from the city of Manzanillo by the 26 of July Movement.  They only had 28 weapons.

With this situation 22 combatants advanced on the La Plata Military Garrison, divided in four groups with Fidel, Raul, Juan Almeida and Julito Diaz in the front.  The rest: some, guarded two campesinos detained a little before the combat and others with Chicho Osorio, collaborator of the Batista army who while drunk surrendered exact and detailed information on the garrison and was then executed when the action began.

With two rounds fired by Fidel the attack that lasted 40 minutes began at 2:40am killing two enemy soldiers and wounding five, three of which died later;  the rebels did not suffer any casualties or wounded and occupied 9 rifles with one thousand bullets, a machine gun with 150 shells and other weapons.

At 4:30 in the morning the rebels marched towards Palma Mocha arriving at dawn.  Although the censorship of the media did not report the news, the tyranny armed forces were forced to recognize that Fidel Castro led a group of combatants willing to fight until the end.

The defeat suffered by the Batista armed forces cannot be characterized as one of the greatest from a military point of view, but it was historically significant because it gave the Cuban people security that the island would achieve its true independence.

On this first victory, one who play a leading role in the battle, Ernesto Che Guevara said: “It was a call of attention to the fact that the Rebel Army existed and was willing to fight, and for us, the reaffirmation of our possibility of the final victory”.