News on Cuba - January 23, 2012 Print

Cuba: Media Attack Has Political Intention

Havana, Jan 23 (Prensa Latina) The attack on Cuba by the governments of the United States, Chile and Spain over the death of a prisoner has a marked political intention that goes away from the concern about Cubans, affirmed on Monday an editorial in Granma newspaper.

This new attack has nothing to do with a legitimate concern about the lives of Cubans, the text underlined.

After explaining that the accusations are supported by financial empires such as the Spanish Prisa Group and CNN in Spanish, Granma newspaper noted that the Cuban government is being accused irrationally without an investigation that proves the reality of facts.

Neither the authorities nor the machine at the service of the media aggression confirmed the information, highlighted the editorial when referring to the death of prisoner Wilman Villar last Thursday.

Cuban doctors’ humanist vocation is known worldwide since we do not spare efforts or our limited resources to save lives and improve the health of our people and of other peoples in the world, the note recalled.

Villar, who died last Thursday as a result of a multiple organ failure, had been serving a four-year sentence since 2011 for disorderly conduct, assault and contempt of authority.

However, the Chilean spokesman says nothing about the repression against students in that South American country, or about the implementation of an antiterrorist law against the representatives of the Mapuche community on strike.

It is incredible the hypocrisy of spokespersons from the United States, a country that holds a poor human rights record, the communiqué pointed out, referring to the mistakes committed in that country in death sentences.

In the United States, 90 prisoners have been executed since January 2010, while 3,200 are awaiingt their execution in the death row, Granma newspaper confirmed.


Spanish Organizations Expose Government Funding of anti-Cuba Campaign

Madrid, Jan 21 (Prensa Latina) Spanish organizations of solidarity with Latin America and private personalities denounced today the use of public funds to libel Cuba’s Revolution.

Numerous groups announced the launching of the campaign Cuba Is Not Alone, aimed at neutralizing the ruthless media war of lies, with the evident goal of distorting the island countryâ?Ös reality.

The solidarity movement condemned Comunidad de Madrid President Esperanza Aguirre from the conservative Partido Popular (PP) for using public funds to pay for the activities of anti-Cuba groups in public places in this capital.

Meeting at the Club de Amigos de la Unesco de Madrid, the leaders of this campaign accused Aguirre of leading a policy of lies, in keeping with the interests of US-based Cuban-American terrorists. They declared that Aguirre's actions were unworthy of a holder of public office, especially with the economic crisis ailing Spain, with five million jobless, the highest in the EU.

This is shameful conduct, when both the regional executive and the national government, also led by the PP, drastically cut social benefits and workers' benefits in order to satisfy the voracity of markets, they stressed.

While capitalism tries to secure the huge profits for exploiters and speculators against their own peoples, the government of Cuba guarantees decent living standards for its people, stressed the promoters of the Cuba Is Not Alone solidarity campaign.

And they do it, they explain, while resisting the US-led permanent inhumane aggressions and the US blockade, which the United Nations condemns every year.

Angeles Diez, doctor in political sciences and sociologist from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid, explained at the campaign launch that its true goal is preventing Cubaâ?Ös isolation, which is the fundamental objective of the media anti-Cuban stance.

If they attack Cuba, they attack us and everyone who thinks that capitalism does not have a future because it fails to guarantee minimum living conditions for their peoples, stressed the academic.

Let's not forget that the Island remains an enemy of the empire because any system that prioritizes human rights and the needs of their people above particular interests becomes an adversary of capitalism.

If we allow Cuba’s isolation we would be favoring an armed intervention, declared Diez.

Francisco Calderon, from the organization Solidaridad para el Desarrollo y la Paz (Solidarity for Development and Peace), called on the audience to remember that Madrid is second only to Miami as home to the largest communities of enemies of the Cuban Revolution and that the Comunidad Autonoma de Madrid uses development cooperation funds to help sustain the anti-Cuba organizations.


Cuba Condemns Manipulation in Dead Inmate Case

Havana, Jan 20 (Prensa Latina) Cuba condemned on Saturday the manipulations in the case of inmate Wilman Villar Mendoza, who died on Thursday as a result of multi organ failure caused by a generalized sepsis.

¿We have enough evidence and testimonies that prove that he was neither a dissident nor was he on hunger strike, ¿ said the Cuban government in a communiqué.

Different newspapers, chiefly those in Miami, promote a huge defamatory campaign in a conspiracy with local counter-revolutionaries to present Villar Mendoza as an alleged dissident who died after staging a hunger strike in prison, said the note.

Cuba laments the death of any human being, added the document, before saying that Cuba will be able to dismantle that new aggression with the truth and the strength that characterizes its people.

Villar Mendoza was a resident of Contramaestre municipality in Santiago de Cuba province and was serving sentence due to crimes of violence and resisting arrest.

He was sentenced after a public scandal in which he attacked and injured his wife in the face, after which his mother-in-law requested the authorities to intervene.

When the police arrived at the scene, he resisted arrest and attacked them, added the note.

After that crime, for which he was tried without being detained, he started to link up with counter-revolutionary elements in Santiago de Cuba, who made him believe that his presumed membership of those groups would allow him to evade justice.

The inmate died at 18:45 local time on Friday in the intensive care room at Juan Bruno Zayas hospital, to where he was sent on January 13 from Aguadores prison.

His close relatives were informed and followed all the procedures used in his medical assistance, and recognized the efforts of the team of experts who attended him, said the report.


Statements by Spanish Government about Cuba Described as Unacceptable

Havana, Jan 21 (Prensa Latina) Cuba described as unacceptable the statements of the Spanish government that does not have the slightest moral authority to judge the Caribbean nation.

Various media have echoed the statements made by the Vice President of the Spanish government of the People's Party, Soraya Sáenz, and the statements of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Spain, regarding the death of the Cuban prisoner Wilman Villar Mendoza.

The prisoner had been convicted of beating and injuring his wife in public and then assaulting police officers who answered to the complaint of the wifeâ?Ös mother.

For its part, the High Representative of the European Union for the Common Foreign and Security Policy, Catherine Ashton, said that this case raises questions about the Cuban judicial and penal system.

Consulted by Prensa Latina, a Cuban Foreign Ministry official said "it is unusual for the government of Spain, with half of its young people unemployed and a high rate of murders and violence against women, to spend money on a campaign to present a brutal attack by a man on his wife as a case of political dissent. "

He also registered Cuba's "strong rejection to these unacceptable statements, made without even trying to find out what really happened".

"Neither the Spanish government nor the European Union have the slightest moral authority to judge Cuba," he said.


Cuba: Solidarity Brigade Members Initiate Activities

Havana, Jan 23 (Prensa Latina) Young people from Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Uruguay began a comprehensive program of activities as part of the XIX South American Brigade of Volunteer Work and Solidarity with Cuba.

The group, comprised of over 240 members, aims to contribute to a better understanding of Cuban reality and to carry out voluntary works as a contribution to agricultural development and to the productive sphere of the country, according to the call of this edition.

Florencia Antusso, member brigade from Argentina, told Prensa Latina that the main incentive to participate in the trip is to learn about the Cuban reality and contribute to spread it in her country where the media often distort it.

The group's activities, which this time are devoted to 40th anniversary of the founding of the International Camp Julio Antonio Mella, usual accommodation of groups interested in approaching to the Cuban context, will last until February 5.


Geneva: Cuba Denounces U.S. Radio-Electronic Aggression

Geneva, Jan 23 (Prensa Latina) Cuba on Monday denounced the increase in U.S. radio and television aggression at the World Radiocommunication Conference.

The head of regulations and rules at the Cuban Ministry of Informatics and Communications, Wilfredo Lopez, condemned Washington's violation of international law, especially on regulations of the constitution, agreement and rules of radio-communications.

During his speech at the plenary session of the Conference, Lopez noted that the United States continues to broadcast television programs to Cubans from a plane owned by the U.S. government.

It is unacceptable that the U.S. government ignores and violates the regulations and commitments reached by the international community, Lopez underlined.

The conference, which will last until February 17, is held every five years to facilitate equitable access and rational use of radio-electric frequencies, as well as the effective functioning of all radio-communication services.


UN Demands USA to Close Guantanamo Bay Detention Center

United Nations, Jan 23 (Prensa Latina) The United Nations criticized on Monday the United States for keeping open the illegal detention center in Guantanamo Bay and not trying those responsible for violating human rights in that facility.

High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay expressed a terrible disappointment for the failure to keep the promise made by the U.S. government of closing that prison.

Pillay recalled that three years go, U.S. President Barack Obama ordered the closure of that detention center, created in the Guantanamo Naval Base, located on Cuban soil occupied by the United States.

In a communiqué issued in Geneva and made public at the UN headquarters in New York, the official warned that the facility continues to function and keeps people detained arbitrarily and for indefinite time, actions that clearly violate international law.

To make things worse, last December, the National Defense Authorization Act, which codifies indefinite detention without charges or trial, was signed, highlighted Pillay.

The official also demanded that all the alleged violations of human rights that occurred in the Guantanamo detention center be investigated, including the cases of torture.

Pillay urged the U.S. Congress to close the said detention center.


Cuba Exposes US Breach of WTO Regulations

Geneva, Jan 21 (Prensa Latina) Cuba denounced at the WTO Dispute and Settlement Body that The United States violates its obligations to fulfill its verdicts.

Ambassador Rodolfo Reyes said that among Washington´s violations is the continuity of Section 211 of the Omnibus Law of Budgetary Assignments of 1998, which violates the rights of holders of Cuban trademarks.

That is only one of the measures making up the unjust, illegal and genocidal US anti-Cuba blockade, the subject of general international repudiation.

Reyes recalled that the derogation of S-211 is a WTO Dispute and Settlement Body binding verdict.

The blockade is hindering foreign investments in Cuba, the commercialization of Cuban products with global demand and facilitates illegal sales of rum by the Bacardi Company, which uses Cuba´s Havana Club brand name.

In his address, the diplomat exposed Washington´s double standard in daring to judge other WTO members despite its multiple regular violations.

Many countries, among them Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, China, Ecuador, Mexico, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela were among Cuba´s supporters at the forum.


UNESCO General Subdirector to Visit Cuba

Havana, Jan 24 (Prensa Latina) Qian Tang, United Nations for Education, Science and Culture Organization's General Subdirector for the Education Sector, will take part in the 2012 International University Congress to be celebrated from February 13 to 17, as confirmed by the Cuban authorities Monday.

An official note by the Cuban Foreign Affairs Ministry said that Qian Tang will give a master conference during the event's sessions on February 16.

Qian Tang will also meet Cuban Ministers of Education, Ena Elsa Velazquez, and Higher Education Miguel Diaz-Canel.

He will also visit schools associated to Unesco, and the University of Havana.

Qian Tang (China) is a Unesco official since 1993. This will be his first visit to Cuba.


Paraguayan President Met with Cuban Ambassador to Asuncion

HAVANA, Cuba, Jan 24 (acn) President Fernando Lugo met on Monday in the seat of the Paraguayan government in Asuncion with the Cuban ambassador to that South American nation, Bernardo Guanche.

Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Guanche said that he spoke with Lugo about relations between Cuba and Paraguay and about “ways to continue strengthening these bilateral ties.”

According to Prensa Latina news agency, although he did not give details, the Cuban diplomat announced that important Paraguayan authorities are likely to visit Havana in the coming days.

Guanche added that this kind of meeting takes place every year with the purpose of “fostering cooperation relations” between the two countries.


Cuba, Belarus Assess Bilateral Cooperation

Minsk, Jan 22 (Prensa Latina) The Minister of Communications and Information of Belarus, Nikolai Panteley, analyzed in this capital the progress of bilateral cooperation with the Cuban Ambassador Alfredo Nieves, diplomatic sources said Sunday.

The officials also discussed the relations between both countries and the purpose of strengthening them, and addressed other issues such as the international situation and multilateral collaboration.

Cooperation between Cuba and Belarus in the development of information technologies and communications was also discussed during the meeting.

The first deputy minister of Belarus, Ivan Rak, director of the Office of Regulation of the Ministry, Sergey Novikov, and Director of International Relations, Aleksandr Mokriagin, also participated in the meeting.


Sexual Education in Cuba for Half Century, Says Expert

Havana, Jan 23 (Prensa Latina) Sexual education in Cuba started 50 years ago, when the first projects for gender equality were draw up, said Mariela Castro Espin, director of the National Sexual Education Center (Cenesex).

During the opening ceremony of the 6th Congress of Sexual Education, Guiding, and Therapy, Castro Espin said that since the early stages of the socialist transition in Cuba, a national education program was created and state organizations, health institutions, and the civil society took part in it.

However, it began through a long process under a bio regulation conception focused on women and their reproductive function, up to gradually made to include an integral vision, based on the rights of everyone.

It is in 1996 that the National Sexual Education Center is created at school with a gender approach: For a responsible and happy sexual education; and it has currently spread nationwide.

In the first work session of the forum, which is being held at Havana's Conference Center until January 26, were extolled the Cuban Federation of Women (FMC), and the Ministry of Health for their initiatives and support to the development of the sexual education program and gender policies, respectively.


Cuban Marks 50 Years of Experience of Sex Education Program

Havana, Cuba, Jan 23 (acn) The General Secretary of the Federation of Cuban Woman Yolanda Ferrer highlighted on Monday in Havana the importance of the sex education program created 50 years ago.

During the inauguration of the 6th Congress of Sex Education, Orientation and Therapy, the FMC representative highly praised the initiatives of the founding president of the women´s institution, Vilma Espin who pushed forward the work in 1962 creating spaces of reflection and debate among.

Ferrer recalled that the Heroine of the Revolution with her advanced conceptions faced the design, development and application of a multi disciplinary sex education program assisted by Cuban and foreign professionals with the support of the Party and Government.

Institutional actions and the participation of political, social and grass roots organizations were articulated in a plan that constitutes one of the most important achievements of what is today the National Sex Education Center, she said.

Ferrer highlighted the main objective of the Revolution which is the formation of new generations on the ideas of equality, justice, respect for all, without distinction of color, sex, social origin or age, religious believes or sexual orientation and gender identity.

Mariela Castro, President of the Forum´s Organizing Committee which will run until Thursday with representatives from 18 countries stressed that sex education in Cuba is based on emancipation paradigms and places the country in a commitment of social transformation that respects human values, solidarity, equality and equity.

CENESEX gave a special recognition to the FMC and the Public Health Ministry for the development of a sex education program on the island.

Presiding the opening of the congress were the Ministers of Education and Health Miguel Diaz-Canel and Roberto Morales Ojeda, respectively.


Over 140 Cuban Cooperatives Selling Products Directly to Hotels

HAVANA, Cuba, Jan 23 (acn) Over 140 Credit and Services Cooperatives (CSS) that gathers private farmers have already started selling their agriculture products directly to hotels, after the Law decree enabling them to do it came into force at the end of 2011.

Officials at the Ministry of Tourism expressed their satisfaction on this new system which lifted the red tape regarding the commercialization of agriculture products, allowing them to receive fresher vegetables, fruits and meats at a shorter notice, according to Adolfo Alvarado, a member of the Bureau of the National Association of Small Farmers (ANAP).

Alvarado told ACN news agency  that this program started well in 2012, especially in the provinces of Matanzas, Ciego de Avila and Villa Clara provinces, while in Holguín, one with the highest potentials, the process is still in slow motion.

He explained that along with the direct sales to the tourism sector, they have supplied the amounts they are bound by contract to the state companies that commercialize their products for the population and the excess go to canning factories operating in cooperatives to take advantage of the products when the crops are above forecasts.

Alvarado summed up a meeting of head of cooperatives located in the eastern part of Cuba, where exchanged experiences in order to continue developing the fruit tree plantations throughout the country.

Specialists of the Institute for Research in Tropical Fruit lectured on grafting, pruning and plant nursery management, knowledge which will then put into practice in all grassroots farming organizations.

To harness the fruit development program in Cuba, they took as a reference the Antonio Maceo CCS, located in the municipality of Bejucal, Mayabeque province, whose experience was taken in 2009 to 28 similar entities, and then to 100.