News on Cuba - January 21, 2013 Print

Cuba to Work at the CELAC for Solidarity and Integration

HAVANA, Cuba, (acn) Cuba will boost solidarity in regional relations during its chairmanship of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), said the island’s Deputy Foreign Minister Abelardo Moreno on Friday.

During a meeting with the press at the Foreign Ministry, the official asserted that the Caribbean island has the intention of contributing its experience as member of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas, an instrument that privileges solidarity in its relations.

Created in December, 2011 in Venezuela, the CELAC will hold its first Summit of Heads of State and Government on January 27 and 28 in Chile, the country that will give Cuba the pro tempore chairmanship.

Moreno highlighted that it’s necessary to analyze the cooperation existing between the 33 members of this organization of economic integration and the rest of the countries. He added that Cuba will work so Latin America and the Caribbean can become an area of peace and that the island will continue boosting the bonds existing between the different regional integration mechanisms and the CELAC.

The diplomat announced that communiques against the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the United States on Cuba, and in defense of Argentina’s sovereignty over the Falklands will be approved during the meeting in Santiago de Chile.

Prior to this forum, the CELAC-European Union Summit will be held, in which Latin America and the Caribbean will take part as a bloc for the first time.


Mass for the Health of President Chavez Said at El Cobre Sanctuary

Santiago de Cuba, (acn) A mass for the health and speedy recovery of Commander Hugo Chavez and for the Venezuelan people’s peace, unity, and its present and future, was said at the National Sanctuary of the Virgen de la Caridad del Cobre, the island’s patron saint, at the request of the embassy of that fraternal nation.

Edgardo Ramirez, ambassador of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela to Havana, members of the diplomatic mission, technicians of PDVSA, and military men taking part in the construction of houses for the victims of Hurricane Sandy attended the mass, the Granma newspaper reported on Saturday.

As an offering to the Virgen de la Caridad, a Venezuelan flag was deposited by Juan Bautista Rodriguez, the Sergeant of the Bolivarian National Guard that on April 13, 2002 handed over to the Unit of Paratroopers of Maracay the message in which, from the Naval Base of Turiamo, Chavez unmasked the lies of coup followers about his resignation to the country’s presidency.


Adolfo Perez Esquivel Attends Conference For World Equilibrium

Buenos Aires, (Prensa Latina) Adolfo Perez Esquivel will participate later this month in Havana in the Third International Conference for World Equilibrium, sources from the press office for the Nobel Peace Prize confirmed today.

Perez Esquivel will travel on the 26th to Havana as a member of the Jose Marti Project for World Solidarity, and to participate in one of the main celebrations for the 160th anniversary of the birth of the Cuban National Hero.

Marti's validity in Latin American thought is revealed in the search for recovering values in order to overcome cultural domination, values which always start in the cultural and not the economic sphere, the also holder of Service for Peace and Justice in Argentina said.

Besides participating in the conference, scheduled from January 28 to 30 at the Havana International Conference Center, Perez Esquivel will lecture on Latin American current events at the University of Havana at the invitation of the Federation of University Students.

The Nobel Peace Prize winner participated last year in Cuba's Eighth International Congress on Higher Education and the Meeting of Intellectuals for Peace and Preservation of the Environment, led by the historic leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro Ruz.


Cuba-Finland Friendship Association Celebrates 50th Anniversary

HAVANA, Cuba,  (acn) A commemorative stamp for the 50th anniversary of the Cuba-Finland Friendship Association was canceled on Thursday at the Cuban Institute for Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP), a ceremony attended by 40 members of the brigade with that name.

Paula Pere, president of the Association; Jorge Luis Oliva, Deputy Computing and Communications Ministry; and Elio Gamez, First Vice-president of the ICAP, were in charge of the franking of the postage stamp showing the Cuban and Finnish flags.

In his speech, Gamez highlighted the Association’s demonstrations of solidarity, particularly in projects linked to the education of children with mental handicaps, as well as donations of materials needed during the island’s special economic period.

Pere expressed her satisfaction with the work done in the spreading of Cuban reality. She said that several of the members of the Association are also members of the Finnish Parliament and have carry out several actions, among them actions for the release of the five Cuban antiterrorists incarcerated in US territory.

Kristiina Satola, executive secretary of the Association, told ACN that they’re now organizing cultural exchanges, by way of which the group Sierra Maestra would visit Helsinki and the Finnish Ku Kumina Orchestra (with a Cuban music repertoire) would offer a concert in Havana.


Great Attendance to Havana’s International Book Fair Anticipated

HAVANA, Cuba,  (acn) More than 200 intellectuals of 32 countries have confirmed their attendance to the 22nd edition of Havana’s International Book Fair, scheduled to begin on February 14, announced the organizing committee in this capital on Friday.

Considered to be one of the most important cultural meetings of the year on the island, the Fair, to be held at the San Pedro de la Cabaña Fortress until February 24, will bring together important personalities of literature and social sciences, who will take part in an extensive program that includes presentations of texts, theoretical meetings and exchanges with readers. So far, 134 exhibitors from 25 nations have confirmed their ´participation.

Edel Morales, vice-president of International Relations of the Cuban Book Institute, told the press that Angola, the Fair’s Guest of Honor, will bring the largest delegation, which will include cultural authorities, writers and creators of several artistic expressions.


U.S. Photographers Meet with Cuban Colleagues in Cienfuegos

CIENFUEGOS, Cuba, (acn) Invited by the Cuban Institute for Friendship with the Peoples, some 20 photographers of Rhode Island, the United States, met on Friday with their colleagues in Cienfuegos.

During the meeting, the visitors took an interest in the characteristics of this art in Cuba and in the representation of women in this trade.

Likewise, the said they felt at ease in a country where it is very easy to photograph common people, who are even happy with it.

“I loved to capture images of people in their daily routine, on the street. It’s a shame that we don’t have more time,” pointed out Cindy Wilson, who heads the U.S. brigade.

The U.S. government imposes restrictions to this kind of cultural exchange, and only in a very limited way it gives licenses to groups, like the one that made it possible for us to come to the island.

Wilson explained that she aspires to return to Cuba with a group of professionals at least once a year.

She said she was very impressed with the obtaining of good images, even without having the most modern technologies.  She stressed that these Cuban creators are real artists, capable of showing the island’s soul in each of their works.

“This is my first visit to Cuba and I have realized that we have many things in common with our colleagues. We’re like brothers and sisters,” she added.


Rafael Correa Urges Obama to Put Down Double Standard towards Latin America

HAVANA, Cuba, Jan 21 (ACN) Ecuador’s Rafael Correa urged Barack Obama, who begins his second presidential term on Monday, to put down his double-standard policy towards Latin America.

“I wish Obama luck in his new mandate and the best success in his government, but as former president of the Union of South American nations (UNASUR), I insist that there has been little change in the US foreign policy towards this region,” Correa said as quoted by PL news agency.

The Ecuadorian leader recalled that he first met Obama at the 2009 Trinidad-Tobago Summit of the Americas, and he perceived him a good person, but he added that Obama continues to apply a double-standard policy towards Latin America.

Such policy labels those rulers, who keep a friendly stance towards Washington as good leaders, while describes as evil those who do not summit themselves to the caprices of US presidents, Correa pointed out.

“They describe the most shameful Latin American presidents as examples of democracy despite accusations of their violations of human rights and their linkage to paramilitary bands and drug traffickers.

“We, who give our own lives for human rights, are labeled as dictators, ambitious and bloody rulers,” the Ecuadorian candidate to the presidential elections pointed out.

However, in the Cuban territory of Guantanamo, illegally occupied by Washington against the will of the Cuban people, they are still torturing people and nothing happens, said Correa and noted that the United States continues to commit crime with their drones and selective assassinations.

On top of that, Washington issues reports on the situation of human rights in other countries and keeps with its overpowering stance and its self awarded moral supremacy, Correa stressed and concluded by asking who appointed the United States judge of good and evil. This situation has to change, he said.


Cuba will Host Forum of CELAC Education Ministers

HAVANA, Cuba, Jan 21 (ACN) Havana will host the First Forum of Education Ministers of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC).

The announcement was made by Cuban deputy foreign minister Abelardo Moreno, who explained that the meeting will take place February 7 in the context of the International Congress Pedagogy 2013, to be held at the city’s Conventions Hall.

The forum is one of CELAC meetings scheduled for 2013 under the presidency of Cuba, which will begin chairing the regional bloc during the upcoming 1st Summit of Heads of State and Government to take place January 27 and 28 in Santiago de Chile.

Along with the ministerial forum on Education, Surinam will host a meeting of culture ministers with the community, which was set up December 2011 in Caracas by 33 independent Latin American Caribbean nations.

Other forums on the schedule will deal with issues such as drugs, infrastructure and the need to achieve a new regional architecture, the deputy foreign minister told Prensa Latina news agency.


Europe Can Learn from CELAC, French Scholar Says

Paris, Jan 21 (Prensa Latina) The upcoming summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) will allow the European Union (EU) to understand that there are alternatives to austerity in dealing with economic crisis, French academician Salim Lamrani asserted today.

Interviewed by Prensa Latina, the journalist, writer and teacher at the Sorbonne University in Paris said that at the meeting scheduled for January 27 in Santiago de Chile, two different philosophies and social projects will converge.

"Europe has much to learn from the new Latin America, represented by Brazil, Venezuela, Bolivia, Argentina, Ecuador and others, in terms of struggle against the financial world and of sovereignty recovery," said Lamrani.

These countries managed to reduce their debts and ease the oppression from multilateral credit authorities, without implementing extreme adjustment measures, the opposite of what is happening in the Eurozone nowadays, he recalled.

Lamrani highlighted that while in numerous nations within the CELAC they are working to place human beings as the focus of the social project, everything in the EU has been designed to favor large financial groups, even at the expense of sacrificing thousands of families in Greece, Spain or Portugal.

The Community of Latin American and Caribbean States was founded in Venezuela on December, 2011 and 33 countries of the Americas are participating, except for the United States and Canada.

This organization, said Lamrani, allows the peoples of the region to base their relations on reciprocity, solidarity and integration to resist Washington's hegemonic plans.

"It is a step towards a kind of second independence of the continent, which opens a door to elaboration of common economic and social policies, which are alternatives to neo-liberalism," he said.

After the meeting with the European Union, the members of CELAC will hold their first annual summit, where Chile will hand over the group's pro tempore presidency to Cuba.

"Cuba has always been the symbol of independence, emancipation and dignity on the Latin American continent and it is logical that it should assume the organization's leadership," said Lamrani.

He also said the Cuban Revolution is extremely prestigious, because it not only managed to consolidate a sovereign nation where social justice prevails, but also made solidarity the core of its international policy.

"Cuba does not offer its excess capacity, but shares what little it has with mankind. The richest nations of the world should follow this example," he said.


Cuban Candidates to General Elections come from All Walks of Life

HAVANA, Cuba, Jan 18 (ACN)  The list of candidates contesting upcoming general elections mirrors a wide spectrum of Cuban society, according to the National Candidature Commission (CCN).

The list of candidates to provincial delegates includes 50 percent of women and similar figure of people linked to the production and service sectors, said CCN president Amarilys Perez.

People of color make up 35 percent on the list, wile over 78 percent of candidates are university graduates and 20.3 percent finished senior high school.

The average age of the candidates is 45 years, though all generations are represented, Perez said.

Meanwhile, 78 percent of candidates to Parliament deputies were born after the 1959 Triumph of the Cuban Revolution, said Pedro Andres Aguila, who is also a member of the Candidature Commission and represents the National Small Farmer Association.

The list includes representatives of the state and the non-state sectors, including independent farmers, cooperative members, self-employees, artists and members of non-government organizations, Aguila explained.

Significant enough are the candidacies of over 67 percent new deputies, with the possible re-election of 32.77 percent of current lawmakers, which is in tune with Cuban society.

The average age was lowered to 48 years;  only 27 candidates are over 70 years of age. Women are represented by a 49 percent and 37 percent belong to people of color.

More than 80 percent of the candidates to deputies are university graduates, with only 17 percent having finished senior high, which will favor the future lawmakers’ performance, said Aguila.

The official also stressed the candidacies of citizens link to the production and service sectors, who are represented by over 30 percent, while the figure of entrepreneurs in the production sector tripled, in tune with the update of the Cuban economic model aimed at boosting the development and consolidation of the socialist system.


Cuba Promotes Tourist Product in China

HAVANA, Cuba, Jan 18 (ACN) Cuba presented its tourist products and services to a varied group of officials, artists and journalists, who gathered at the island’s embassy in Beijing to celebrate the advancement of the over-five-decade bilateral diplomatic links.

Consul Javier Jimenez referred to the upcoming end of the Chinese year on February 10 as the appropriate moment for a meeting of friends to celebrate joint work.

Jimenez recalled the history of China-Cuba bilateral relations, established in 1960, when Cuba was the first western country to have recognized the People’s Republic of China and to have granted scholarships to Chinese students in 1961.

In promoting Cuba’s main tourist centers, the diplomat referred to Havana and its rich cultural heritage; Varadero tourist resorts, in western Matanzas province; the eastern territories of Holguin and Santiago de Cuba; the keys off the northern coast of central Cuba, and western Pinar del Rio, the province where the best tobacco leaves of the world are cultivated.

The Cuban embassy announced its participation in the Chinese social network Weibo, which registered 370 million members in 2012. The intention in being at Weibo is to provide Chinese citizens with information on Cuban reality, including tourist issues, said Consul Jimenez as cited by PL news agency.

Counselor Tania Velazquez referred to Chinese citizens who are interested in learning how to travel to Havana, about the visa application and other aspects and about what Cuban pharmaceuticals they may purchase on the island, among other issues.

Weibo is a major Chinese social network with a significant role in following the country’s everyday reality and contributing to the quality of life of the Chinese people.