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News on Cuba - September 24, 2013 Print E-mail

Cuban Government Approves Measures to Keep Boosting Economic Update

HAVANA, Cuba, Sep 24 (acn) The Cuban Council of Ministers, headed by President Raul Castro, adopted several measures and policies to keep implementing the economic and social guidelines approved by the Sixth Congress of the Cuban Communist Party.

The first measure aims at updating the national medication supply program for the population with major productive capacity and more stable supply at drugstores and health care centers. This measure establishes the inclusion, in the general lists of medications, of those known as natural and traditional medicines. With this regards, the Council of Ministers indicated the update of a program aimed at further developing natural medicine.

President Raul Castro said that private producers and cooperatives can make an important contribution to the production of medicinal herbs, which are important for the prevention and cure of many diseases.

The meeting also agreed to repair and build a larger number of centers for the elderly and nursing homes between 2013 and 2015 given the growing aging of the Cuban population.

The Council of Ministers also approved a third group of non-agriculture cooperatives made up of 73 entities dedicated to gastronomic services, recreation, construction, transportation and manufacture.

The final results of the 2012 Population and Housing Census were released during the meeting. Such results will be publishes soon, according to the Cuban television.

Another proposal approved was a project to reduce a large number of posts included in the budgeted areas of the Ministry of Construction, in order to achieve higher efficiency.

Cuba and Jamaica Ties Highlighted

Kingston, Sep 23 (Prensa Latina) Cuban Jose Ramon Balaguer, who is member of the Secretariat of the Central Committee of the Cuba’s Communist Party (PCC in Spanish) described as excellent the bilateral relations between his country and Jamaica and called for Latin American and Caribbean unity.

Speaking at the 57th annual conference of the ruling People's National Party held here, Balaguer appreciated the solidarity of the Jamaican government and people.

He stressed the importance of the integration process that is developed in the region and driven by organizations such as the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR).

As part of his activities, Balaguer was received by the Jamaican Prime Minister, Portia Simpson-Miller, and visited the Chest Hospital’s eye clinic in the capital, and the Jose Marti Polytechnic School, in the city of Spanish Town.

In his meeting with Simpson-Miller, Balaguer thanked the Jamaican solidarity with the Cuban people, including support in the fight against the U.S blockade on Cuba that has been kept for more than half a century.

Meanwhile, Simpson-Miller thanked Cuban cooperation in various fields in Jamaica, especially in health care and sports.


CELAC Presents at United Nations Commitment to Persons with Disabilities
HAVANA, Cuba, Sep 24 (acn) The Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, CELAC, presented at the United Nations General Assembly its commitment to include the persons with disabilities in global development programs and strategies.

During a high-level meeting on the subject, Cuban deputy foreign minister Abelardo Moreno presented the position of the Community, a 33-member states bloc currently being chaired by Cuba.

“We are convinced that full social inclusion of persons with disabilities requires the renewed commitment by governments and societies, as a crucial condition to achieve equitable, democratic and multi-cultural societies,” the CELAC document reads.

According to the document, 12 percent of the population of Latin America and the Caribbean area faces some kind of disabilities, which stands for about 66 million people, most of whom are part of the most vulnerable population sectors.

The high-level UN General Assembly meeting aims at committing the international community to promote and implement social inclusion of persons with disabilities in the framework of global development after 2015, the deadline set in 2000 to materialize the UN Millennium Development Goals.

Over one billion people in the world face some kind of disability, according to the United Nations.


ALBA Condemns in Geneva Israeli Aggressions on Palestinean People

Geneva, Sep 23 (Prensa Latina) The Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of our America (ALBA) condemned here today the violations against human rights committed by Israel on Palestine and the negative of Tel Aviv to comply with UN recommendations.

When speaking before the 24th ordinary session of the UN Council of Human Rights, the delegation of Ecuador, in representation of the ALBA member countries, defended the claim of the Palestinian people to build an independent state and reivindicated the need of a peaceful solution to the conflict in the Middle East.

The declaration condemns the settlements in occupied territorios, the crimes against the civil population, as well as the extrajudicial murders.

On his part, Cuban representative Juan Antonio Quintanilla denounced that Israel continues to violate international humanitarian law that could end in its physical elimination.

In his statement before the Council, Quintanilla warned also about the denial of Israel to cooperate with the Universal Periodic Review, which adds to its long and persistent history of non-compliance with its most elementary international duties.

A similar warning was made by the representative of Venezuela, when condemning the total disregard of Tel Aviv to recommendations of the UN Council of Human Rights.

Venezuela claimed the need for Israel to put an end to the occupation of Palestinian territories, as well as those of the Syrian Golan and return to the frontiers of 1967.


Cuba Hosts International Course on Fighting Corruption

Havana, Sep 23 (Prensa Latina) General Comptroller of the Republic of Cuba , Gladys Bejerano, opened today the 8th International Course of Prevention and Control Tools in confronting administrative corruption with the attendance of representatives from nine countries.

Among participants, there are the General Comptroller of Bolivia, Gabriel Herbas, the member of the Accounting Chamber of the Dominican Republic, Alfredo Cruz and representatives of Chile, Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Panama, Venezuela and Cuba.

Bejerano made a comprehensive speech on the Cuban experience in that field, explained the system of control of the State and the Government, as well as the role of the Comptroller as auxiliary organ of the People’s Power National Assembly (parliament).

She highlighted that the Cuban Election Law is one of the strengths of the fight against corruption and a show of democracy in which the population proposes its candidates and decides in the election of delegates.

The most frequent contraventions in administrative control are associated to limitations and non-compliance in the introduction of components of internal control.

We are in a new stage in which economic information, statistics, accounting is a tool of direction, she said.

The General Comptroller introduces a group of actions so that administrations of enterprises learn how to apply self control and promote measures in that direction.

The course will run until September 27 and is organized by the General Comptroller of the Republic and the Latin American and Caribbean Organization of Superior Fiscal Entities (OLACEFS in Spanish)

Cuba Blockade Causes Millions in Losses in Food Industry

Havana, Sep 23 (Prensa Latina) Cuban food industry has annually lost about $45 billion USD for the impossibility of accessing to bank financing, due to the U.S. economic, commercial, and financial blockade imposed by the United States for more than 50 years.

According to data provided by the Cuban food import company, ALIMPORT, the sector has suffered additional losses estimated at more than $20 million USD, for failing to perform transactions in the U.S. currency.

The sector has also lost another $10 million USD, due to the transfers originated on the island involving several banks to reach their destination, while the damages for the cost of freights has exceeded $28 million USD last year.

Let’s take into account that ships carrying cargo between Cuba and the United States should return to the northern port without any merchandise, increasing the costs.

On the other hand, the import and export of fishery products, Caribex, denounced the impossibility of locating Cuban products in the U.S. market, so they have to pay high tariffs and transportation prices to place their goods in more distant destinations.

Cuba presents a report to the UN against the blockade every year since 1992. This document has been historically approved by most of the member countries of this organization.


Cuba Works to Reduce Pollution at Largest Caribbean Wetland

Cienfuegos, Cuba, Sep 23 (Prensa Latina) With the design of an integrated sewage management system at the Antonio Sanchez sugar complex in south-central Cienfuegos, Cuba is working on decreasing pollution at the Cienaga de Zapata (Zapata Swamp), the largest wetland in the Caribbean islands.

Engineer Ernesto Martinez, manager of the industrial plant at the Cienfuegos Sugar Company, told Prensa Latina that the environment is the great beneficiary of a strategy designed for an industry whose plantations frequently border the swampy areas located in the neighboring province of Matanzas to the west.

Located in the central town of Covadonga, the sugar mill is part of a large production complex, consisting of the only distillery in Cuba for refined spirits, along with additional factories that produce rum and "torula," a kind of feed meant to fatten pigs.

In the case of "vinazo," one of the derivatives sourcing from the production of alcohol and "torula," one solution is to send the polluting potential to cane growers via tanker-trucks, in order to be poured on plantations as a fertilizer.

Such technological innovation does not exclude the traditional fertilization-irrigation (by gravity) of sugar-cane plantations with some of those industrial wastes, Martinez said.

The introduction of pig feed, aligned with the economic policy guidelines adopted at the 6th Congress of the Communist Party of Cuba held in 2011, which allow for the expansion of the social purpose of such companies, constitutes an added value to the production at the Antonio Sanchez complex, some 200 kilometers southeast of Havana.


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