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News on Cuba - November 22, 2012 Print E-mail

Cuban First VP Machado Ventura Meets with Special Envoy of Syrian President

HAVANA, Cuba, Nov 20 (acn) The First Vice-president of the Cuban councils of State and Ministers, Jose Ramon Machado Ventura, met on Tuesday with the Deputy Foreign Minister of the Syrian Arab Republic, Dr. Fayssal Mekdad, special envoy of President Bashar Al- Assad.

During the meeting, Mekdad conveyed a message from the head of state for Army General Raul Castro, President of the councils of State and Ministers. Machado Ventura reiterated the support of the Cuban government for Syria’s right to its sovereignty and self-determination, without foreign interference. The two authorities also expressed the common willingness of strengthening and deepening bonds between the two countries, and spoke about the current situation in that Arab nation and in the Middle East.

The distinguished visitor was accompanied by Ghassan Haidar, charge d’affaires a.i. of the Syrian Arab Republic, and Maher Abdo Al-Hawa, assistant to the Deputy Minister. Also present, for Cuba, was Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez.


Documentary on The Cuban Five to Participate in Belgian Film Festival

HAVANA, Cuba, Nov 20 (acn) The documentary “Cuban Wives”, a compilation of statements by wives of the five Cuban antiterrorists unfairly condemned in the United States, was selected among 400 works competing in the 4th Latin American Film Festival of Flanders, Belgium.

The documentary, to be screened on November 24 in Brussels, capital of that country, is an Italian-Cuban co-production that won the Malvinas prize at the 27th Film Festival of Trieste, Italy, the Prensa Latina News Agency reported.

From the humane and family points of view, the film is an approach to the case of Gerardo Hernandez, Fernando Gonzalez, Antonio Guerrero, Ramon Labañino and Rene Gonzalez, condemned in the US for collecting information on groups that planned terrorist acts against the island from that northern nation.

In addition to the words of several of the wives, the documentary includes statements by Cuban Parliament President Ricardo Alarcon; Jose Pertierra, defense lawyer of The Five; US activist Gloria La Riva; and Wayne Smith, former head of the US Interests Section to Havana.


International Organizations Acknowledge Cuban Health Achievements

HAVANA, Cuba, Nov 21 (ACN) Cuba’s efforts and achievements in the benefit of the health of the people were acknowledged in Havana by the representative of the World and the Pan-American Health organizations (WHO-PAHO), Doctor Jose Luis Di Fabio.


Cuba has become a regional example given its political will to improve the people’s health, to develop skilled medical personnel and a one-of-its-kind universal and comprehensive healthcare system.

The Pan-American Health Organization has oftentimes used Cuba’s cooperation to contribute to the implementation of strategies proposed by the regional organization, to reach its goals and priorities, Di Fabio noted.

In statements to ACN, the PAHO representative praised the island’s health indicators, which compare to those of First World Nations as he pointed to the lowering infant mortality rate below five in every one thousand live births in 2011, and the increase of the expectancy of life by nearly 80 years.

The official also acknowledged Cuba’s international health cooperation which, for over the past 50 years, has benefitted millions of people in more than one hundred countries of the world. He also underscored the training of medical personnel at the Havana-based Latin American School of Medicine, which has graduated some 15 medical doctors from different nations.

The Pan-American Health Organization was founded December 2, 1902 and is considered the oldest international organization. PAHO works with all countries in The Americas to improve health and the quality of life, while it operates as a regional office of the World Health Organization.


Cuba Begins Anti-Flu Vaccine Campaign

Havana, Nov 20 (Prensa Latina) More than 500,000 million Cubans will be vaccinated nationwide seasonal flu from today to December 15, health autorities stated.

All people with more than 85 years of age, about 150,000, and the people from other ages included in the most vulnerable groups, will receive a single dose of the vaccine during the campaign, Maria Josefa Llanes Cordero, head of the National Program for Control of Acute Respiratory Infections of the Ministry of Public Health (MINSAP), told the press.

She also emphasized that the hardest hit provinces by Hurricane Sandy, mainly Santiago de Cuba, Guantanamo and Holguin, will develop particularized strategies.

Cuba has been carrying out these campaigns on the same date during the last 13 years, considering that from October to March, with a seasonal nature, there is a rise of acute respiratory diseases in the nation, among which influenza is a particular health problem.


The 2012-2013 Cuban Sugar Harvest Begins

HAVANA, Cuba, Nov 20 (acn) The Jesus Rabi sugar mill, of the municipality of Calimete, Matanzas province, began milling on Tuesday, thus inaugurating the 2012-2013 sugar harvest in Cuba, informed in this capital Liobel Hernandez, a specialist with the AZCUBA Sugar Group.

Hernandez also announced that the “Argeo Martinez”, in the eastern province of Guantanamo, will begin operations on Saturday.

A total of 24 factories will do the same in December; 21 in January, and in February the remaining three: México, Brasil, and Primero de Enero, in the provinces of Matanzas, Camaguey and Ciego de Avila, in that order.

The largest production plans are those of the provinces of Villa Clara, Las Tunas and Holguin and the sugar mills Antonio Guiteras, of Las Tunas, and Uruguay, of Sancti Spiritus.


Camagüey Ballet Receives a Donation From Ballet of Magdeburg

CAMAGUEY, Cuba, Nov 20 (acn) Gonzalo Galguera, director, choreographer and dancer of the Ballet of Magdeburg, Germany, donated to the Ballet of Camagüey (BC) the copyrights on four works of his authorship and costumes to interpret them.

Galguera, who was born in Camagüey, was part of BC from 1987 to 1988, and recently arrived in the city to attend the acting day which will start on November 29 and will be extended to December 9, to mark the 45th anniversary of the creation of the first classical dance company founded by the Revolution in Cuba .

The dancer said he is really satisfied while beginning a new phase of ties with BC, to which he was assigned after graduating from mid level ballet at the National School of Arts in Havana.

He noted that the assignment of his copyright, with limited time, becomes effective on performances in Cuba and abroad.

The choreographies, which are inserted in the program of that celebration, are Bolero, Benedictus, Cantus Perpetuos - all in premieres in Cuba - and Peregrinos (Pilgrims) , played by the National Ballet of Cuba and winner, in 1998, of the First Ibero-American Choreography Award.

The artist will participate in the representation of Bolero, based on the homonymous piece by French Maurice Ravel, which he will perform again at the Teatro Principal, after 24 years of absence from the facility built in 1850.

Gonzalo Galguera has lived for more than two decades in Germany and in 2000 he became director of the Magdeburg Ballet, having danced also in that nation in the operas ballets of Berlin and Dassau.

About 20-strong troupe from five Cuban provinces will be presented in the program commemorating the anniversary of BC, an organization that debuted on December 1967.


Cuban Tourism Follows Upward Trend

Havana, Nov 20 (Prensa Latina) Tourism had grown 5.1 percent by the end of October with the arrival of 2.33 million visitors in the past 10 months, as confirmed by the National Statistics and Information Office (ONE).

The ONE adds in its preliminary report about the sector that the figure represents 114,415 more visitors than the same period of 2011.

Only in October this year, 169,504 foreign tourists arrived, or 4.9 percent more than in same month of 2011.

Cuba boasts an adequate tourist infrastructure of over 60,000 rooms in some 300 hotels countrywide, and authorities are encouraging a diversification of offers beyond sun and beaches.


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