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Raul Castro Meets Kenneth Kaunda

HAVANA, Cuba, June 7 (acn) The President of Cuba’s Councils of State and Ministers, Army General Raul Castro held talks on Thursday with Kenneth David Kaunda, the first president of the Republic of Zambia, who is paying a visit to the island.

Granma daily newspaper reported that Raul and Kaunda recalled key aspects relevant to the historic relations between Cuba and Africa, and between the island and Zambia in particular.

Kaunda, one of the founding fathers of African independence, expressed his interest in strengthening bilateral links every passing day, as it corresponds to relations between sister nations.

Raul Castro, on his part, expressed his gratefulness to Africa’s support of Cuba and he noted that he was convinced that bilateral relations are solid and deep.

The talks were attended by Zambian ambassador Bobby Mbaunji Smakai and by Jorge Risquet, member of Cuba’s Communist Party Central Committee.


Cuban President Receives Syrian Presidential Envoy

HAVANA, Cuba, Jun 7 (acn) Cuban President Raul Castro Ruz met Thursday, in Havana, with Doctor Mohsen Bilal, special envoy of the President of the Arab Republic of Syria, Bashar Al-Assad.

According to Granma daily newspaper, Mohsen Bilal conveyed greetings from the Syrian head of state to the Cuban President and he addressed the current situation in his country.

The Cuban President underscored the right of the Syrian people to their self determination and sovereignty without any foreign interference. The meeting was attended by Cuban foreign minister Bruno Rodriguez Parrilla.


Important Cuba Presence at the Major Left Forum in New York

HAVANA, Cuba, June 7 (acn) Cuba will be discussed in several panels at the Left Forum, June 7-9, Pace University, New York City. The event is the largest annual conference of its kind that takes place every year in the United States and possibly in the world as it convenes a broad spectrum of left and progressive intellectuals, activists, academics and interested public.

This year’s conference includes at least seven panels on Cuba, which will hold sessions under several topics, such as Changing Economic System Remains an Environmental Model; Food Sovereignty and Cooperative Economics in the Cuban Revolution; Free the Cuban 5! It's time to bring them home!; A Changing Cuba, a Stagnant America strategy and the Continuing Plight of the Cuban Five; The Twenty-First Century Latin American Left; Venceremos Brigade: Who's gonna break the Travel Ban? Revolution in the Age of the Internet: an International Panel.

Participants at the panels include Stan Smith, from the Chicago Committee to Free the Cuban Five, Ovidio Roque, First Secretary at the Permanent Cuban Mission to the United Nations,  Arnold August, Canadian political analyst, journalist  and author of the books “Democracy in Cuba and the 1997-98 Elections” and “Cuba and Its Neighbours: Democracy in Motion”.

Also at hand will be Martin Garbus, one of the country’s top trial lawyers, as well as Gloria La Riva, Coordinator of the National Committee to Free the Cuban Five, many other personalities, activists and journalists, including Cuban Rosa Miriam Elizalde, editor of the Cuban on-line publication Cubadebate.

Left Forum provides a context for the critical dialogue that is essential for a stronger Left and a more just society. For the US and the world, revitalizing an American Left has never been more urgent; Left Forum has a critical role to play in that undertaking, reads the information posted on the Left Forum website.

Conference participants come together to engage a wide range of critical perspectives on the world, to discuss differences, commonalities, and alternatives to current predicaments, and to share ideas for understanding and transforming the world. The forum will close with a plenary session on June 9.

Left Forum 2012 involved 4,500 attendees, 1,300 speakers and over 400 panels. Left Forum is the culmination of the creative efforts of hundreds of people who engage the gamut of volunteer activities, from helping generate artistic events and panels, to outreach and involvement of a rainbow of organizations and individuals.

The conference is sponsored by the Brecht Forum; Center for the Study of Culture, Technology, and Work at the CUNY Graduate Center; Critical Sociology; Logos; Monthly Review; National Lawyers Guild; New Political Science; New Politics; Radical Teacher; Rethinking Marxism/AESA; Rosa Luxemburg Foundation; Science and Society; Situations; Social Text; Socialism and Democracy; Social Register; Souls; Union for Radical Political Economics.

In late April, representatives of 40 leftist parties and organizations from 20 Latin American and Caribbean countries met in Havana to hold the meeting of the Working Group of the Sao Paulo Forum, which issued a declaration calling for strong support of the nations currently undertaking economic and social transformations aimed at guaranteeing social justice, and making efforts towards regional integration and the unity of the left.
The leftist representatives also expressed their support of the social, economic and political projects being implemented by Cuba and its efforts to keep building the socialist system. They also condemned the over-50-year US economic, commercial and financial blockade of the island and demanded the release of the Cuban anti-terrorist fighters held in the U.S. since 1998.

The declaration issued by the Havana meeting also expressed the support by the leftist movements in the region of Venezuela and President Nicolás Maduro in the face of destabilization-oriented actions and campaigns by Venezuelan rightwing circles. And they also backed the Paraguayan people against rightist maneuvers to legitimize the coup staged against democratically elected president Fernando Lugo, through the latest April 21 presidential elections.

The Forum of Sao Paulo also supported the peace talks underway in Havana between Colombia’s Armed Revolutionary Forces- People’s Army (FARC-EP) and the government headed by President Juan Manuel Santos.

The Left Forum taking place in New York and the most recent Meeting of the Working Group of the Sao Paulo Forum in Havana are two examples of the increasingly active role being played by the left in this part of the world towards united and concerted efforts aimed at achieving a better world. (By Luis Chirino Radio Habana Cuba)


Venezuelan Parliament President Arrives in Cuba

HAVANA, Cuba, Jun 7 (acn) The president of the National Assembly of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Diosdado Cabello, arrived Thursday, in Havana, on an official visit. Cabello was welcomed by Cuban deputy foreign minister Rogelio Sierra at Havana’s Jose Marti international airport.

During his stay on the island, the top Venezuelan parliamentarian will meet with the President of the Cuban Parliament, Esteban Lazo, and will carry out other activities.

Argentinian Journalists Reflect on Media War against Cuba

Buenos Aires, Jun 7 (Prensa Latina) Cuba has spent more than 50 years supporting disinformation campaigns aimed at a war of attrition, real media counterinsurgency, but has managed to face it and overcome it, Stella Calloni, Argentinian specialist in political science, said here.
The also journalist, writer and commentator participated yesterday night in the workshop "Cuba desde una mirada mediatica" (Cuba from a media look), prior to the Media Day in Argentina today, and in which she shared the panel of discussion with television filmmakers Jimena Riveros and Victor Hugo Morales.

The event was held at the Cuban embassy, in the presence of exponents of several mass media and members of Friends of Cuba Journalists and representatives of other sectors from the Argentinian social, cultural and economic life.

After noting that the U.S. government recently decided to assign another 20 million dollars to the subversive and media war against Cuba, Calloni also said that Washington boosts a distorting offensive against several Latin American governments.

On the other hand, Jimena Riveros presented an advance of the series "Ya tu sabes" (You already know), which will be screened in 16 chapters on the Argentinian public television about the situation in Cuba, in which the protagonists are the people of the island themselves performing their daily tasks .
Victor Hugo Morales, renowned filmmaker and television commentator also participa
ted in the panel. He exhibited a space dedicated to Cuba in his program "Bajada en linea" (Lowering on line), for which he interviewed Cubans from many sectors.

Interviewed by Prensa Latina, Ambassador Jorge Lamadrid said that this is the first time an activity of this kind is organized, to combine audio-visual aids with an analysis of the situation in Cuban, specially media campaigns in which Cuba has been and is the subject.


Placed Bust of Hugo Chavez in Cuban Mountain

Havana, June 6 (PL) A bust of the late President of Venezuela Hugo Chavez was placed by a group of climbers in the Pico Caracas, one of the highest elevations of Cuba. Among them was René González, Cuban antiterrorist, who paid tribute to Chavez at that summit of the Sierra Maestra.
Gonzalez along with Gerardo Hernandez, Ramon Labañino, Antonio Guerrero and Fernando Gonzalez is part of the group The Five, internationally known those who were convicted in the United States for monitoring the activities of violent anti-Cuban groups based in Miami.

Farmers in the area traveled long distances to greet the climbers, in particular René, whose release and that of his colleagues, still imprisoned in the United States, has been a claim in Cuba and many parts of the world.

"Those wishing homeland come with me", reads the front of the 2 meter tall pedestal with the bust of Chavez, local media reported.
The sculpture, modeled with resin and fiberglass, is the work of artist Andres Gonzalez and it was placed next to a bust of Simon Bolivar, by the same sculptor, 1,234 meters above the sea level.


United States: Jurists Underline Irregularities in the Case of The Five

HAVANA, Cuba, Jun 6 (acn) A panel of well-known jurists, including lawyer Martin Garbus, of the legal team in charge of the case of the five Cuban heroes unfairly condemned in the United States, made on Wednesday in Washington a detailed analysis of irregularities in the legal process of these antiterrorist fighters.

Debates took place at the Legal Center of the University of Georgetown and included presentations by former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark and lawyers Martin Garbus, Rafael Anglada and Jose Pertierra, who was the panel’s moderator.

Other speeches were those of Peter Schey, director of the Center on Human and Constitutional Rights of Los Angeles; Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, executive director of the Association for Civil Justice, and Belgian lawyer Jan Fermon (via Skype), specialized in human rights.

The payment by the U.S. government during the trial in Miami to journalists so they negatively influenced local public opinion and the jury itself with respect to The Five was stated again by Garbus.

The meeting held at the well-known U.S. university took place within the framework of the campaign “5 Days for the 5” which, organized by the Committee for the Freedom of The Five, wound up on Wednesday in Washington D.C.


The United Nations Extols Cuban Energy Program

HAVANA, Cuba, Jun 6 (acn) Claudio Tomasi, resident representative of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in Cuba, praised on Wednesday the program implemented by the island for the sustainable use of Renewable Energy Sources (RES).

During a meeting with the press at the 12th World Conference on Wind Energy that wound up on June 5 at Havana’s Convention Center, Tomasi asserted that this initiative contributes to mitigate the effects of climate change.

The UNDP official highlighted that the selection of Cuba as venue of this world forum is an acknowledgement to the country’s work in terms of energy.

He added that the UNDP is currently working on 20 institutional cooperation projects that will favor the improvement of living conditions of small rural populations and the access to electric service, among other benefits.

Tomasi said that joint programs include the development of solar energy and forest biomass in those settlements.


Belorussian Journalists Denounces Injustice against the Cuban Five

HAVANA, Cuba, June 6 (acn) The legal process held in the United States against the five Cuban anti-terrorist fighters entailed a violation of the basic human rights of those men and the cruelty of US justice, Belorussian journalist Vasily Malashenko denounced in the capital Minsk.

Malashenko is the author of an interview with Mirta Rodriguez, mother of Antonio Guerrero, who is one of the Cubans held in US jails since 1998 for having monitored South Florida-based terrorist organizations.

The journalist addressed the case of Gerardo Hernández, Antonio Guerrero, Fernando González, Ramón Labañino and René González, internationally known as the Cuban Five.

In his interview with Mirta Rodriguez, which was published by Belta agency, the Belorussian journalist explains about the details of the case since the arrest of the Five in 1998 up to their current situation, with emphasis on the life of Guerrero.

The five anti-terrorist fighters were unfairly punished in a biased process with marked political character, said the journalist as cited by PL news agency.


Cuban Agriculture Minister Pays Visit to China

HAVANA, Cuba, June 6 (acn) Cuban Agriculture minister Gustavo Rodriguez Rollero is on a five-day official visit to China, where he will participate at the first Forum of Chinese and Latin American Agriculture Ministers.

According to PL news agency, the ministerial forum will be inaugurated on Sunday, June 9, at the Great People’s Palace, in the center of  Beijing.
The Cuban government official is scheduled to meet with the president of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Li Jianyang and with agriculture minister Han Changfu, and with local government officials.

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