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President Chavez Shows Favorable Clinical Evolution

Caracas, Jan 14 (Prensa Latina) Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has shown a favorable general clinical evolution over the past few days, as the respiratory infection is under control, the minister for Communication and Information, Ernesto Villegas, said on Sunday.

Speaking on national radio and television, Villegas pointed out that he was publicizing the communiqué as instructed by Executive President Nicolas Maduro.

Prensa Latina transmits as follows the whole text of the document:


Despite his delicate health after undergoing complex surgery last December 11, the general clinical evolution has been favorable over the past few days.

The president is strictly complying with the medical treatment. The respiratory infection is under control, although the Commander President still needs specific measures to overcome the respiratory insufficiency.

The President is conscious, in communication with his family, with his political team and with the medical team assisting him, following the information of interest.

On the eve of the Divine Shepherd procession, the Bolivarian Government of Venezuela invites all Venezuelan families to join in prayer for the Patron Saint of Barquisimeto to bring peace and happiness to our homeland.

Long Live Chavez!  Caracas, January 13, 2013


Fidel and Raul Castro Meet with Venezuelan Leaders

Havana, Jan 14 (Prensa Latina) Cuban Revolution leader, Fidel Castro, and Head of State Raul Castro met in this capital with Venezuelan Executive Vice President Nicolas Maduro, and other leaders from the South American country, according to a note released today.

During the meetings, they analyzed the results of the Special Meeting of the foreign ministers of Petrocaribe and the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA) integration bloc, a forum held recently in Caracas.

The parties also discussed other aspects of the strategic alliance between the two countries, "exchanges characterized by warmth and brotherhood."

According to the note, the visiting delegation expressed its gratitude for the Declaration of the Cuban government that any attack against Venezuela will be considered as if were to the island, a stance expressed by Vice President Miguel Diaz Canel on Thursday, January 10, during an act of solidarity with President Hugo Chavez, who is recovering from surgery here.

Maduro also thanked the careful attention that the medical team, Fidel Castro and Raul Castro have given to Chavez.

In addition to the Venezuela executive vice president, the president of the National Assembly of that country, Diosdado Cabello, Mining and Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez, and Attorney General of the Republic, Cilia Flores, participated in the meetings.


Cuba Implements New Migration Measures

Havana, Jan 14 (Prensa Latina) The new immigration measures in Cuba come into force today to ease and facilitate travel between Cuba and other nations of the world.

According to recent information from the Directorate of Immigration and Foreign Affairs, immigration and ID offices throughout the country are prepared to implement the changes. As of today, passport requests can be made at the current Identity Card and Population Registry offices, as well as Immigration offices throughout the country, with a total of 195 offices ready to process these applications.

The new regulations, announced on October 16, include the elimination of the application procedure for exit permits to travel abroad and a waiver of the requirement for a letter of invitation from a foreign host.

The law extends the time citizens may be out of the country without losing their status as resident citizens, from 11 to 24 months and makes it possible for those under 18 years of age to leave the country, as long as they have prior authorization from their parents or legal representatives.

In the case of Cubans who have emigrated definitively, they will be able to visit Cuba for up to 90 days, 60 more than previously established. The causes for repatriation were also extended, as in the case of those who left Cuba before the age of 16, and also to take humanitarian reasons into account.

The Cuban government has also decided to normalize the temporary entry of those who left the country illegally after the 1994 immigration accords with the United States, as long as eight years have passed since their departure.

Regarding health and sports professionals who left the country after 1990, they may visit the country after eight years since their departure, unless they left through the Guantanamo Naval Base, due to concerns about defense and national security.


Cuba Reaffirms Commitment to Legal Migration

Havana, Jan 14 (Prensa Latina) Cuban authorities reaffirmed the commitment with the Government in regards to the legal, organized and safe migration after new measures to favor the influx of people came into effect today.

According to Deputy Chief of the Immigration and Nationality Directorate (IND) Colonel Lamberto Fraga, the new measures favour national security counteracting the U.S. hostility with its policy of using the migration issue as a weapon against Cuba.

Washington´s Cuban Adjustment Act and the wet feet-dry feet policy have been denounced by Cuba as actions aiming at promoting illegal emigration, the perpetration of violent actions, brain drain and the obstruction to the international medical cooperation.

Fraga recalled the changes include the possibility of leaving Cuba without a permit or an invitation letter.

The law extends the time citizens may be out of the country without losing their status as resident citizens, from 11 to 24 months and makes it possible for those under 18 years of age to leave the country, as long as they have prior authorization from their parents or legal representatives.

In the case of Cubans who have emigrated definitively, they will be able to visit Cuba for up to 90 days, 60 more than previously established. The causes for repatriation were also extended, as in the case of those who left Cuba before the age of 16, and also to take humanitarian reasons into account.

The Cuban government has also decided to normalize the temporary entry of those who left the country illegally after the 1994 immigration accords with the United States, as long as eight years have passed since their departure.

The new regulations, such as Decree 306, include actions aiming at protecting the human capital trained in Cuba during the last five decades, a situation the Government links to the U.S. brain drain policy.

In that sense, a group of people will be subject to special regulations for leaving the country, and those interested must be authorized by the chiefs or bodies and entities.



Mother of One of Cuban 5 Sponsors Activities in Peru

Lima, Jan 14 (Prensa Latina) Irma Sechwerert, mother of one of the five Cuban antiterrorist fighters unjustly held in the United States fulfills today a program of activities in Peru, on a visit that promotes solidarity with the prisoners.

The mother of Rene Gonzalez is part of a delegation of representatives from several Cuban sectors, who have arrived in Lima to expose some aspects of the Cuban reality.

Today's agenda include interviews with Peruvian parliamentarians and intellectuals.

The group also comprises legislator Alpidio Alonso, vice president of the Association of Economists and Accountants of Cuba, Blanca Rosa Pampin, and Diffusion Assistant Director at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Cuba, Ileana Fonseca.

The visitors held a dialogue yesterday with the Association of Cuban Residents in Peru "Raices Mambisas," whose members expressed Irma Sechwerert their solidarity and commitment with the cause of freedom of the Cuban Five.

Antonio Guerrero, Fernando Gonzalez, Ramon Labañino, Gerardo Hernandez and Rene Gonzalez were detained on September 12, 1998, to alert the country from terrorist actions developed by anti-Cuban extremist groups based in the U.S. city of Miami.

The Five, as they are known internationally, were submitted in the city of Miami to a, irregular and rigged judicial process that sentenced in 2001 to exaggerated prison terms ranging up double life plus 15 years.

Four of the Cuban detainees still remain in prison. Rene Gonzalez completed on his 13 years in prison on October 7, 2011.

That issue and the new Cuban immigration law implemented today, were analyzed by legislator Alonso, Cuba's ambassador in this capital, Juana Martinez, and Cuban Consul, Lily Zamora, in an intense dialogue with Cubans residing in Peru


Cubans Religious Communities Join Together in Worship for Chavez

HAVANA, Cuba.- (ACN) Religious communities in Cuba held ceremonies in Havana asking for the fast health recovery of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.

A ceremony was held by the Yoruba community at the Havana-based Africa Center, in which Babalawo Papo Angarica said that the action was not an expression of sadness but of joy because Chavez is alive and he will live.

Venezuelan ambassador to Cuba Edgardo Ramirez described the ceremony as an act of life, love and joy.”

On Thursday evening, dozens of Cubans and Venezuelans joined together in worship for the health of the Bolivarian leader at Havana’s Miramar Movie Theater.

The head of the Venezuelan delegation said that January 10th marked the 2013-2019 presidential mandate with Chavez clung to Jesus The Savior.”

“Chavez said that as a Christian, he is the President of love, justice and peace,” said the diplomat.


Washington Uses Migration Issues as part of its Hostile Policy on Cuba

HAVANA, Cuba, Jan 10 (ACN) The United States used the migration issue as an instrument of its hostile policy on Cuba to destabilize the country and discredit the revolutionary process, said the director of the Center for International Migration Studies at the University of Havana, Ileana Sorolla.

Since 1966, the US Cuban Adjustment Act favors the entrance in US territory of Cubans who get there illegally, while at the same time hinders legal migration by manipulating the visa-granting policy, the expert said as cited by PL news agency.

However, Sorolla explained, the United States adopted over 200 laws since 2008 aimed at discouraging irregular immigration by taking measures against the employment of undocumented persons and by restricting access to social assistance.

In an article published on Granma newspaper, the expert said that Washington has made the migration issue part of a Cold War scheme. “The United States try to present Cuba as responsible for this problem while hiding the truth about the Cuba Adjustment Act and the wet-feet-dry-feet policy, which are the real obstacles to achieve normal migration flow between the two countries.

Sorolla said that the Cuban Adjustment Act in particular hinders any advancement of achieve a regular, orderly and safe flow of persons, and it is a legal paradox and a political anachronism.

The expert made the analysis just few days before new Cuban migration regulations go into force, which simplify and ease travel proceedings for Cubans.

While announcing the new measures in October 2012, Cuban authorities said that the action are not the result of pressures, but an expression of the sovereign will of the nation in tune with the update of the Cuban economic model and with the current migration scenario.


Cuba and Bolivia Mark 30th Anniversary of Diplomatic Relations

HAVANA, Cuba.- (ACN) Cuba and Bolivia are marking the 30th anniversary of the establishment of bilateral diplomatic relations on Friday with strengthened links of friendship, said Cuban ambassador to La Paz Rolando Gomez.

Bilateral relations are excellent and serve as example for Latin American nations fighting of the second and definitive independence of the continent, said Gomez as cited by PL news agency.

Cuba and Bolivia established diplomatic relations on January 11, 1983, under the Hernan Siles Zuazo government and after such links were broken by influence of the United States.

The Cuban ambassador stressed the support given by President Evo Morales to Cuba at the UN General Assembly and at the Summit of the Organization of American States by condemning the US economic blockade of Cuba.

The diplomat recalled that President Morales also demanded the release of the five Cuban antiterrorist fighters held in the United States, while representatives of the Bolivian government criticized Washington for including Cuba on the list of states sponsors of terrorism.

Cuba backs the demand of Bolivia for a access to the ocean and its request to legalize the consumption of coca leaves in its natural state.

Gomez also referred to the supportive assistance given by Cuba to Bolivia and stressed the work of the medical Cuban brigade in that country, which assisted 58 million patients.

The ambassador also said that the Cuban collaboration also has an impact in the fields of education and culture, and he called for the further strengthening of relations between the governments and peoples of both countries.


The Southern Cross Brigade Celebrated its 30th Anniversary in Cuba

BAYAMO.- Their hearts won by the historic and cultural richness of Granma province, the members of the Southern Cross Brigade, from Australia and New Zealand, celebrated in this city the 30th anniversary of their organization.

The 29 members of the Brigade visited linked to the independence struggles that culminated in the revolutionary triumph of January 1st, 1959, and visit social and cultural institutions, located mainly in the historic area of Bayamo, the provincial capital.

Australian Richard Titelius told the press that he was impressed by the hospitality of the people of Bayamo and for the efforts they dedicate to the construction of a better world, immersed in the construction of the Revolution, adding that the condemnation of the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by Washington on Cuba and the demand of justice for the five Cuban heroes unfairly condemned in the U.S. for fighting terrorism are among the Brigade’s main objectives.

The Southern Cross Brigade, founded in 1983, promotes in the world the knowledge of Cuban reality, and solidarity as an essential factor in the struggle for just causes.


Sign of Accord Enrich Cuba-Costa Rica Relations

HAVANA, Cuba.- Costa Rica’s Minister of Foreign Relations and Cult, Enrique Castillo, acknowledged on Thursday that the signing in this capital of a cooperation outline agreement between his country and Cuba has great potential to enrich bilateral bonds.

The FM declared that this agreement will allow for the search of other ways of cooperation and concrete new pacts, eliminating complexities by way of sufficient, more expedite mechanisms.

As it was known during the ceremony, the new instrument will boost economic, scientific and technical assistance at a bilateral level, by way of the structuring and execution of programs in areas of common interest.

The Costa Rican official recalled that the bonds existing between the two republics are on a new stage, after the re-establishment of diplomatic relations in 2009.

He said that this has made it possible to advance rapidly and to strengthen exchanges with the signing of notes of understanding in the fields of sports, health and the environment.

For his part, Cuba’s ad interim Minister of Foreign Trade and Investment, Antonio Luis Carricarte, pointed out that the agreement represents a landmark in the development of relations and a framework to encourage cooperation between different institutions.

The two officials were in charge of signing the document, in the presence of leaders and members of the two countries’ delegations.


Cuba with Record Figure of Tourists in 2012

HAVANA, Cuba.- Cuba received 2 million 838 thousand 468 foreign tourists in 2012, a figure representing a new record, as well as the consolidation of the Caribbean destination despite the complex world economic situation.

The island’s 4.5 percent tourism growth joins the general Caribbean trend and slightly surpasses the average world estimated figure of between 3 and 4 percent, according to Granma newspaper.

Major sources of tourists for Cuba are Canada with over one million vacationers for the second year in a row; Argentina, Russia, Colombia, Peru, Chile, China, Brazil and other countries.

Sun-and-Beach tourism continues to be the favorite modality for visitors, who have focused on tourist centers in Varadero, Santa Maria Key and Cayo Coco key.

Vacationers have also showed growing interest in tourist programs related to cultural and historic values, and nature. Other modalities like health tourism, events and incentives have also contributed to the diversification of the tourist sector, which expects to increase its contribution to the country’s economy in 2013.

According to the World Tourism Organization, the sector saw important growth in the first eight months of 2012, with a record figure of 705 million international arrivals around the world.


Stem Cell Therapy Benefits over 4,700 Cubans

HAVANA, Cuba, Jan 11 (ACN) Over 4,700 Cubans have benefited from stem cell therapy since clinical studies began in 2005 up to late 2012, said Doctor Porfirio Hernandez, a specialist in the field.

At present stem cell therapy is being administered in several medical specialties in 11 Cuban provinces, which is considered an important achievement by the National Health System, the doctor told ACN news agency.

Doctor Hernandez who is also vice-director of the Hematology and Immunology Institute, said that Cuba has become a leading country in the region in the introduction and expansion of stem cell therapy.

This therapy allows the rapid recovery of patients; it is less invasive and economical, since takes less costly methods with positive results, doctor Hernandez pointed out.

Stem cell therapy in Cuba is applied in specialties such as angelology, orthopedics and traumatology, hematology, cardiology and stomatology among others.



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