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Forum on the Five Considers New Supportive Strategies

HOLGUIN, Cuba, Nov 29 (ACN) Participants at the 8th International Colloquium for the Freedom of the Cuban Five and against Terrorism called for the intensification of actions in support of the cause of the five anti-terrorist fighters held in the United States.

During plenary sessions at the forum, underway in eastern Holguin city, delegates explained about ongoing supportive actions by friends of Cuba in different parts of the world.

Zoe Palyet, member of the France-Cuba Solidarity Association put as an example the actions by Kakine Roussie, an 80-year-old retired person, who sends Barack Obama a letter every month demanding the release of the Cuban Five.

Rosa Bernal, sister of visual artist Paco Bernal, handed over a collection of illustrated books inspired in stories about the five heroes.

Amaury Torno, Cuban Friendship Institute delegate in Holguin, thanked the supportive gestures of friends of Cuba towards the five anti-terrorist Cubans.

The delegates also expressed their support of Palestine and demanded the end of the injustice being committed against the Palestinian people.


Cuba Defends Palestinian Cause Like No-one Else, Activist Says

Holguin, Cuba, Nov 29 (Prensa Latina) Cuba is one of the countries that best defends the Palestinian cause at all international forums and has taught its 11 million inhabitants to love the Arab people, Lebanese social activist Wafina Ibrahim stated today.

In an interview with Prensa Latina, Ibrahim said that many Arabs are surprised to find support from the Caribbean island for Palestine, and wonder how a nation so distant geographically from the Middle East can defend and deeply feel that cause.

Ibrahim, who is attending the 8th International Colloquium currently underway in this eastern city for the Release of the five Cuban anti-terrorist fighters convicted in the United States, replied that the answer lies in these kind of forums.

During the sessions of the event promoting the return to Cuba of the Cuban Five, as Ramon Labañino, Antonio Guerrero, Rene Gonzalez, Gerardo Hernandez and Fernando Gonzalez are known internationally, the Arab nation that was recently attacked by Israel and saw more than 100 of its civilians killed, has received many expressions of support.

This included a rally held yesterday, in which more than 380 participants at the forum defended the Palestinian right to self-determination and peace.

The also coordinating committee of the Lebanese committee for the Release of the Five stated that the Caribbean nation is taught to love just causes, or causes similar to that of Cuba, which is the right of all peoples to life and sovereignty. Cuba's support for Palestine is not something sporadic, but a matter of principle, conscience, and decision."

When asked about her identification with the Palestinian struggle, despite being Lebanese, the activist responded that the people of her country bear much of the brunt of the conflict, being Arabs as well and hosting in their territory most of the Palestinian people in the Diaspora who cannot return home.

According to Ibrahim, who just arrived from the Middle East, her people are proud that the Palestinian nation was capable of facing and resisting the brutal and bloody aggression committed by the Zionist regime against Palestine's women, children and elderly.

Today the U.N. General Assembly will consider a request to include the Palestinian National Authority as a state observer at the international entity.


Participants at Colloquium for Cuban 5 to Assist Hurricane Recovery

Holguin, Cuba, Nov 30 (Prensa Latina) Participants at the 8th International Colloquium for the Release of Cuban Five held prisoner in the United States will contribute to the recovery of this territory, one of the hardest hit by Hurricane Sandy.

Representatives from almost 50 countries will travel to different eastern municipalities of this province to carry out voluntary work in areas such as agriculture and construction, as a way to compensate for the damages caused by the storm on October 25.

Graciela Ramirez, coordinator of the International Committee to Free the Five, as the imprisoned Cuban antiterrorism fighters are known worldwide, told Prensa Latina they are thanking Holguin its hospitality for hosting the colloquium over eight consecutive years.

When damages caused by Hurricane Sandy in this province and other eastern Cuba regions were revealed, participants feared it would not be possible to hold the forum in Holguin, but local authorities told them the meeting would continue anyway, Ramirez said.

The approval of a final statement is expected on the third day of the event to push for the release of Ramon Labañino, Antonio Guerrero, Rene Gonzalez, Gerardo Hernandez, and Fernando Gonzalez.

The document will include the main action points for next year in order to achieve the return to Cuba of the Cuban Five, who were arrested 14 years ago for monitoring Miami-based terrorist groups.

Yesterday, the delegates talked about the experiences gained, presented new proposals, and defined the challenges for the future of the fight.

Other collateral activities were the presentation of a work about the life of U.S. writer Ernest Hemingway, by Canadian actor Brian Gordon, as well as an exhibition on Puerto Rican political prisoners.


Washington Maintains Media Blockade on Cuba and Puerto Rico

HAVANA, Cuba, Nov 30 (ACN) Cuba and Puerto Rico are the targets of a strong media blockade maintained by the United States, said the general secretary of the Latin American Journalists Association (FELAP), Nelson del Castillo as he addressed participants at the 8th International Colloquium for the Freedom of the Cuban Five, underway in eastern Holguin city.

The US medial blockade is expressed through a deliberate silence wall raised by the mainstream media against the case of the five Cuban antiterrorist fighters held in the U.S. and that of Puerto Rican Oscar Lopez Rivera, who has been over thirty years in prison for his independence ideals.

All of have been submitted to mistreatment, including the prolong stay in punishment cells, said the FELAP executive, as cited by Granma newspaper.

The FELAP considers the struggle for the release of the Cuban Five as a duty and an ethical responsibility of its members in the face of the silence maintained against the true antiterrorist fighters.

The executive recalled actions such as several resolutions approved by his organization condemning the injustice against the Five.

Nelson del Castillo gave the opening remarks of a photo exhibit on the Five and the Puerto Rican prisoners in the U.S., at the Cuban Journalists Association center in Holguin.

The exhibit portrayed the fight of the Puerto Rican people in defense of national identity and the values of solidarity.


Puerto Rican, Canadian and US Activists Address Cuban Five Case

HOLGUIN, Cuba, Nov 30 (ACN) Activists from Puerto Rico, Canada and the United States, who are attending the 8th International Colloquium for the Release of the five Cuban antiterrorist fighters held in the US, considered new actions in favor of the cause of the five heroes.

This is a crucial year for the battle to achieve the release of René Gonzalez, Ramón Labañino, Fernando Gonzalez, Gerardo Hernandez and Antonio Guerrero, said Nancy B. Kohn, member of Pastors for Peace organization and of the International Committee for the Freedom of the Five, at the forum, underway in the eastern Cuban city of Holguin.

Kohn recalled that just a few months ago, they did lobbying at the US Congress getting the reply that any issue would only  be addressed after presidential elections took place, and since that already happened with Obama having been reelected, this is the right moment to keep on with the pressure, she  pointed out.

The delegates from the three countries agreed to make special efforts on December 5th with regard to actions usually taken every month, which include the forwarding of messages to the US president demanding the release of the Cuban Five.


Obama Can Intercede on Behalf of The Five, Says US Activist

HOLGUIN, Cuba, Nov 28 (acn) President Barack Obama has the real possibility of interceding on behalf of the five Cuban antiterrorist heroes unfairly condemned in the United States, asserted on Wednesday US social activist Dolores Huerta.

In a press conference, the winner of the 2012 Freedom Medal handed over to her by the US head of state, pointed out that Obama now has his hands free to carry out many more actions in favor of these antiterrorists, something he couldn’t do during his first term of office.

We know that we have a Congress dominated by Republicans, which will not help Obama very much, but for this action of releasing The Five the President doesn’t need approval, clarified Huerta.

An activist in numerous struggles in support of Spanish Americans, immigrants and women in the US, Huerta stated that what happened with Ramon Labañino, Rene Gonzalez, Gerardo Hernandez, Fernando Gonzalez and Antonio Guerrero is a great injustice.

The international movement helps a lot, she said, but we have to do much more work in the United States, because it’s there where more pressure of solidarity groups is needed so this decision we all expect can be adopted.

The pacifist leader is in Cuba, where she’s taking part in the 8th International Colloquium for the Freedom of the Five Heroes and against terrorism.


Experiences in Struggle for Cuban Five Discussed in Cuba

Holguín, Cuba, Nov 29 (Prensa Latina) Delegates to the Eighth International Colloquium for the Release of The Cuban Five anti-terrorist fighters unfairly held in US prisons, discussed today the experiences accumulated this year in different countries to step up joint work.

During the meeting, delegates agreed on carrying out numerous actions to achieve the immediate release of Gerardo Hernandez, Ramon Labanino, Fernando Gonzalez, Antonio Guerrero and Rene Gonzalez, who were detained in 1998 for monitoring terrorist anti-Cuban groups based in Miami.

Journalist and professor of the University of Havana, Raul Garces, put forward an initiative from the Faculty of Communication to create a channel in YouTube with more than 200 videos about the case of The Cuban Five.


Raul Castro Receives UNESCO General Director

HAVANA, Cuba, Nov 30 (ACN) Cuban President Raul Castro met on Thursday with the general director of the United Nations Education, Science and Culture Organization (UNESCO), Irina Bokova, who is paying an official visit to Cuba.

Raul Castro and Irina Bokova addressed bilateral relations between UNESCO and Cuba and they reiterated their common willingness to keep enhancing such links. They also exchanged views on issues related to the role of the international organization.

Bokova was accompanied by the director of the UNESCO regional Culture office for Latin America and the Caribbean. On the Cuban side were the vice-president of the Cuban Council of Ministers Miguel Diaz-Canel and foreign minister Bruno Rodriguez.


The UNESCO Interested in Deepening Cooperation with Cuba

HAVANA, Cuba, Nov 28 (acn) Irina Bokova, director general of the United Nations Education, Science and Culture Organization (UNESCO), expressed on Wednesday in this capital her interest in deepening relations of cooperation with Cuba.

During her conversation in Havana with Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez, the official highlighted the historic bonds of cooperation existing between UNESCO and the island, and recalled the creation n Havana of the first office of that organization in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Bokova ratified her solidarity with Cuba in moments in which the country is immersed in its efforts to restore the damages caused by Hurricane Sandy during its passage through the eastern part of its territory on October 25.

The UNESCO director general began a three-day official visit to Cuba on Tuesday, and she is carrying out an intense working agenda, which has included visits to the University of the Arts, the Literacy Museum, and the International Cinema and Television School of San Antonio de Los Baños, among other activities.

During this, her first official visit to the island as top representative of the UNESCO, Bokova will tour the Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, and the historic area of Old Havana.


Fidel and Raul Castro Pay Tribute to Cuban Heroes

SANTIAGO, Cuba, Nov 30 (ACN) Cuban Revolution leader Fidel Castro and President Raul Castro sent wreaths in homage to the heroes and martyrs that staged an armed uprising in Santiago de Cuba, on November 30, 1956.

Other wreaths on behalf of the people and relatives of those who fell in the revolutionary action were also laid at a commemorative plaque bearing the names of Pepito Tey, Tony Aloma and Otto Parellada.

In a symbolic action recalling the armed uprising, a group of elementary and high school took hold of a former Police station in Santiago.

Heriberto Olmo, who took part at the 1956 action, recalled that the combatants wore the bracelet of the July 26 Movement and the green olive uniform for the first time.

Berta Elena Sanchez, a journalism student, said that the Cuban youths are now writing new chapters of Cuba’s history with their work to recover the eastern province from the damage inflicted by hurricane Sandy.


The President of Haiti Concludes Visit to Cuba

HAVANA, Cuba, Nov 29 (acn) – The President of Haiti, Michel Martelly, ended his official three-day visit to Cuba on Thursday, during which he formalized agreements in several spheres of bilateral cooperation.

Cuban Deputy Foreign Minister Rogelio Sierra saw the head of state and his accompanying delegation off at Havana’s Jose Marti International Airport.


Cuba Announces Election of Provincial Delegates and Parliament Deputies

HAVANA, Cuba, Nov 28 (ACN) The election of delegates to the Provincial Assemblies of People’s Power and deputies to the National Parliament will take place February 3, 2013.

The decision was announced following an agreement on November 27 by the Cuban Council of State in tune with the Cuban Constitution and the Electoral law.

The delegates to the provincial governments and to the National Assembly will be elected for a five-year term.

The decision of the Council of State stipulates that municipal assemblies hold an extraordinary session on December 16 to nominate the candidates to be elected delegates to the provincial assemblies and deputies to the National Parliament.


Cuba Appoints Minister of Industries

HAVANA, Cuba, Nov 30 (ACN) The Cuban Council of State, at the proposal of its president, agreed to appoint Salvador Pardo Cruz minister of Industries. Pardo Cruz was the minister of the metal and heavy equipment sector.

The setting up of the Ministry of Industries was recently agreed to through Decree Law 299 of 2012. The new entity will lead the country’s industrial policy, which implies the dissolution of the ministries of the metal and the light industries.

The decision is in tune with the economic and social guidelines adopted by the 6th Communist Party Congress, particularly aimed at the separation of state and entrepreneurial functions, achieving a better distribution of the roles and functions of the state central administration entities.

The Ministry of Industries will attend to high-level entrepreneurial management structures of the Light, Metal and Chemical industries.


Cuba Sets up Ministry of Energy and Mines

HAVANA, Cuba, Nov 29 (ACN) The Cuban Council of State approved the dissolution of the Basic Industry Ministry and the setting up of the Ministry of Energy and Mines.

The decision, issued through decree Law 301 of 2012, is in tune with the economic and social guidelines adopted by the 6th Communist Party Congress in relation to the separation of state and entrepreneurial functions, the setting up of a more efficient government structure and achieving better distribution of tasks to be undertaken by the state central administration entities.

The Energy and Mines Ministry will take on the state functions related to the sectors of energy, geology and mining, which were part of the portfolio of the former Basic Industry Ministry. Other activities previously carried out by the dissolved entity will be transferred to the Ministry of Industries and other national entities.

The new ministry will attend to Cubapetroleo  enterprise and the Electric Union as  well as the Cubaniquel (Nickel) and Geominero-salinero (Salt-mining) entrepreneurial groups.

The Council of State appointed, on the proposal of its President, Alfredo Lopez Valdes minister of the new entity. Valdes was the minister of the Basic Industry.


Cuba: UN Security Council Must Undergo Deep Change

HAVANA, Cuba, Nov 27 (ACN) Cuba demanded a deep change of the UN Security Council, which makes it more transparent, inclusion-favoring and accessible, so that it takes into account the criteria of all UN member states.

Cuban permanent representative at the UN Oscar Leon proposed options related to the elimination of the veto at the world organization. He referred to the need to do away with excessive secrecy, the lack of transparency and the exclusion of most countries from the decision-taking process.

Leon addressed participants at a debate on the working methods of the Security Council, in charge of international peace and security. He insisted in a comprehensive, urgent and deep reform of the UN body.

The changes made over the past few years are modest, limited and formal, since they do not guarantee real participation of all UN member states in the works and agreements of the Security Council.

Major decisions are taken by permanent members and at times not all of them participate in such processes, while the rest of the countries have few chances to have an influence, much less those states which are not part of the Security Council, said the Cuban representative.

Leon described the right to veto as an anachronistic and antidemocratic privilege of permanent member states, which  must be eliminated.


Alicia Alonso Granted Honoris Causa Doctorate

HAVANA, Cuba, Nov 29 (ACN) Prima Ballerina Assoluta Alicia Alonso was granted the Honoris Causa Doctorate in International Relations by Cuban foreign minister Bruno Rodriguez.

The director of the Raul Roa Garcia Higher Institute of Foreign Relations Isabel Allende read the resolution issued by the scientific council, which acknowledged Alsonso’s work as a ballerina, choreographer, professor and director of the National Ballet of Cuba.

Alicia represents the highest expression of Cuban culture, whose  aesthetic values add the principles of patriotism and the defense of Cuban identity, the resolution stresses.

The document also reads that Alonso has collected outstanding merits in the promotion and defense of Cuban culture in the field of international relations and she has made a significant contribution to the promotion of the work of the Cuban Revolution abroad.

During the ceremony, held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, National Literature laureate Pablo Armando Fernandez dedicated Alicia a poem inspired in her outstanding work.

In her words of appreciation, Alicia said that one of the greatest virtues of dance is its capacity to communicate not only ideas, but also feelings, moods and other subtle human expressions.

She said she received the title in the name of dance, which she described as the artistic expression that gave her the privilege of communicating with others, overcoming language barriers, political circumstances and other obstacles.

The ceremony was attended by the Cuban government vice-president Miguel Diaz-Canel; UNESCO’s general director Irina Bokova; Council of State secretary Homero Acosta; Culture minister Rafael Bernal and the diplomatic corps accredited in Havana.


China Delivers Fourth Vessel for Cuban Merchant Fleet

Beijing, Nov 30 (Prensa Latina) China delivered today at the port of Shanghai the fourth vessel of a project of 10 bulk cargo vessels to Cuba, which must be completed by mid 2013.

This shipbuilding program in China is part of efforts by the Caribbean country to regain its merchant marine, with the first of the ships ready in August 2011. It is expected that the last ship will sail to Cuba around the middle of next year.

Sources from the Cuban consulate in Shanghai told Prensa Latina that the vessel, capable of carrying a 35,000 ton bulk cargo, bears the name of Mariana, in honor of the mother of Cuban independence hero Antonio Maceo.

The ceremony was attended by the Chinese managers of shipyards in Shanghai, the China National Machinery Import and Export Corporation (CMC), and the Ministry of Commerce, among others.

Ariel Lorenzo, Cuba's general consul in Shanghai, reiterated his government's priority on this collaborative project, which will help to revive the merchant marine of his country, and stressed that it is an example of the close relations of friendship and cooperation between Cuba and China.


Rector of Latin American Medical School Dies in Havana

HAVANA, Cuba, Nov 26 (acn) Juan Carrizo, rector of Havana’s Latin American Medical School, died in this capital at age 64 from pulmonary embolism.

The head of an institution from where physicians of over 90 countries have graduated, Carrizo was Permanent Professor, first degree specialist of Histo-embryology and Doctor of Medical Sciences.

During his long professional career, he contributed to train generations of national and foreign physicians and received the Cuban Education Award and the Jose Tey Medal.

The funeral will take place on Tuesday morning at the capital’s Colon Cemetery.


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