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News on Cuba - July 2, 2013 Print E-mail

Cuba Makes Progresses and Results Notices, Raul Castro Says

Havana, Jul 1 (Prensa Latina) Cuban President Raul Castro said the country is making progresses and results are noticing, during a meeting with the Council of Ministers, in which the analysis of the economic issues was the main point during the sessions, Granma newspaper reported.

 We move at a faster pace than what is imagined those who criticize our supposed slowness and ignore the difficulties we face, the president said during the meeting, held June 28.

Minister of Economy and Planning Adel Yzquierdo, who presented the report on the implementation of the Economy Plan at the end of 2013 first half, said the country considers a growth of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 2.3 percent, two tenths higher than that registered in the same period last year.

Most of activities record increases, of them, trade, transport, communications and manufacturing are noted for their contribution to the GDP, the minister said.

According to Yzquierdo, social services are maintained at similar levels to those of 2012, and the rest of the economy grows by 2.9 percent, which is consistent with the policy of encouraging material production and ensure social services, as of greater efficiency.

For the end of the year, we expect a growth between 2.5 and three percent, below 3.6 percent forecast, in which the international environment in Latin America has also influenced, he added.

The minister stated that exports grow by more than five percent compared with the same period in 2012, while the country save $168 million USD in food imports, to achieve lower prices in purchasing many products.

Another issue discussed at the meeting was the failure in public transportation by bus, mainly caused by the deterioration of the technical condition of the equipment and insufficient management of the Ministry of Transport and the Provincial Offices to ensure timely the supply of parts and pieces.

It was also reported that investments and constructions were nine percent lower than planned, although it grows by 16.6 percent compared with the same period last year.

On the subject, Raul Castro reiterated the urgency of requiring absolute order in constructions. This is not to ban, but to build where conditions exist for it, he said.

On the other hand, Finance and Prices Minister Lina Pedraza stated that the State Budget closed with a slight surplus during the first half of the year.

The report of the State Budget for 2012 was approved by the members of the Council of Ministers to be submitted to the National People's Power Assembly. As a last item of the meeting, a result of the implementation in the last few months of the Guidelines approved by the 6th Congress of the Communist Party of Cuba was presented .

Raul Castro Welcomes North Korean Military Delegation

Havana, July 2 (Prensa Latina) President Raul Castro welcomed in this capital Kim Kyok Sik, Chief of General Staff of the Army of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK).

Both leaders talked about the historic ties between their countries, and expressed the common will to continue the relations, Cuba's nightly TV news program reported yesterday.

DPRK ambassador to Havana Jon Yong Jin, and Minister of the Revolutionary Armed Forces (FAR) of Cuba, Army Corps General Leopoldo Cintra Frias participated in the meeting.

The visiting top official expressed the FAR minister that during his stay on the island he could have seen the country's successes in defense of socialism against the aggressions of the United States.

Kim Kyok Sik is leading his country's delegation, responding an invitation by the FAR.

Alicia Alonso Tribute to Cuban Internationalists Fallen in Africa

Havana, Jul 1 (Prensa Latina) Prima ballerina Alicia Alonso paid tribute in South Africa to Cuban internationalists who died in the liberation fights of many African nations.

Sources of the National Ballet of Cuba (BNC) point out that the founder of that company visited the Freedom Park, in the northern city of Pretoria, where a monument lists the names of about 2.000 Cubans who died in combat there.

The prestigious dancer, along with members of the BNC and diplomatic corps representatives of Cuba in South Africa, placed a wreath at the obelisk and highlighted the ties of friendship between the two nations.

Alonso traveled to Johannesburg to attend the gala in her honor hosted by internationally renowned companies as English National Ballet, Dresden Ballet, Columbia Classical Ballet, South Korea Ballet, Mariinsky Ballet and South African Mzansi Ballet.

In the dancing world, Alicia Alonso is one of the most important figures of recent times and she is the highest figure of ballet in Ibero-America.


Zimbabwe Supports Cuban Struggle for the Cuban Five and against US Blockade

HAVANA, Cuba, June 29 (acn) Zimbabwe will continue to back Cuba’s struggle for the release of the  Cuban anti-terrorist fighters held in the United States since 1998, said the president of that country’s Committee for the Freedom of the Cuban Five, Lovemore Gwati.

An article published Saturday on Africa.com website cites the activist as saying that  Gerardo Hernandez, Ramon Labañino, Fernando Gonzalez, Antonio Guerrero and Rene Gonzalez, internationally known as the Cuban Five, were arrested in September 1998 on spurious charges of conspiracy to commit espionage, murder and acting as agents of a foreign government.

The five Cubans were not given a fair trial, said Lovemore Gwati, who recalled that though the Cuban government  passed on to the FBI documentation that the youths were on a mission to gather information about US-based organizations that planned terrorist attacks on Cuba, the Five were unfairly arrested and imprisoned.

Rene Gonzalez has been the only one of the five Cubans who has returned to the island after having met an over-13-year prison sentence. Upon his release from jail, he was forced on three-year probation on US territory. However, US authorities approved in 2013 his request to modify his parole conditions and stay in Cuba in exchange for the renouncing of his American citizenship.

Speaking at the launch of the Zimbabwean Chapter of the 2nd International Campaign for the Freedom of the Cuban Five on Saturday, the president of Zimbabwe’s Committee said that the two countries would continue to stand together as they were both facing what he described as western intrusion.  Lovemore Gwati also said that Zimbabwe would continue its call for the lifting of the over-50-year US economic blockade imposed on the Caribbean nation.

Cuba Hosts Autism Meeting

Havana, Jul 2 (Prensa Latina) The international meeting "Autism and Inclusion" begins its activities today in Havana, with the development of several seminars to discuss important aspects of this problem.

Communication, in all its forms and alternative systems for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), didactics and inclusive curriculum directed at caring for ASD students, and the assessment, diagnosis and intervention process for those affected are some of the issues under discussion.

The opening session is scheduled for Wednesday, July 3, at the Conference Center in Havana, and the international poster exhibition will open later, according to the schedule for the event.

Experts from 25 countries have confirmed their attendance at the forum, which has a scientific agenda that includes lectures, exchanges of experience, and visits to specialized centers, among other activities.

Parallel to this event is the workshop "Diagnosis for quality educational care" as well as the Family Network Forum for Persons with Autism.

Autism is a disease of unknown cause, difficult to diagnose, and whose treatment is very expensive worldwide.

It manifests itself in the first years of life, and usually affects communication skills and language, social relations, and interpersonal empathy, in addition to encouraging the appearance of repetitive behavior patterns.

Cuba to Host International Workshop on Renewable Energy Sources

Matanzas, Cuba, July 2 (Prensa Latina) Promoting sustainable energy and socioeconomic development based on renewable energy sources and environmental respect will be the objectives of an International Workshop to be held in Varadero, Cuba, in April, 2014.

Juan Veliz, vice president of the organizing committee, told Prensa Latina that the meeting, named Cubasolar, will be attended by a large number of foreign experts from some 10 nations.

"Priority topics of the forum will include food, water supply and renewable energy sources; energy, environment, local development and sustainable solar energy, and energy education, culture and information for sustainability," he said.

Veliz said the delegates will also discuss South-South and South-North-South cooperation for renewable sources and associate technologies, with emphasis on the Latin American area. Discussions about biomass, alternative energy in rural areas, biofuels, bioclimate architecture and wind energy are also included on the agenda of the meeting.


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