Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Raul Castro Meets with Joseph Kabila 
    HAVANA, Cuba, Sept 26 (acn) On Monday afternoon, Cuban President Raul Castro received Joseph Kabila Kabange, President of the Democratic Republic of Congo, who is on an official visit to Cuba.

      During the meeting, the two heads of state referred to the state of bilateral relations and reiterated their willingness to strengthen them in various fields. Likewise, they spoke about topics on the international agenda.

      Also present in the talks were Esteban Lazo, Vice-president of the Council of State, and interim Foreign Minister Marcelino Medina.    

    The President of the Democratic Republic of Congo said that he appreciated the support provided by Cuba during the second half of the last century to African national liberation movements. The president laid a wreath on the bust of his father Laurent-Désiré Kabila –also President of Congo (1997 to 2001)–, at the African Heroes Park. He also paid tribute to the Congolese leader Patricio Lumumba and to all those who shed their blood during the African liberation wars and to Cuban national hero Jose Marti. 

    The president of the Cuba-Africa Association, Victor Dreke highlighted the friendship and brotherhood uniting the peoples of Congo and Cuba and mentioned the participation of Argentinean-born guerrilla fighter Ernesto Che Guevara in the national liberation war of the African country.

    North Korean Official  Expresses Support of Cuban Five 
      Havana, Cuba, Sept 27 (acn) The president of the Committee for Cultural Relations with Foreign Countries of North Korea, Kim Jong Suk, explained today from Pyongyang that her country supports the release of the five Cuban antiterrorist fighters, known as the Cuban Five, imprisoned in the U.S.

      The official identified with the cause of the Cuban Five, who have been in prison since 1998, while signing a collaboration agreement with the Cuban Friendship Institute, ICAP. In 2001, the Cuban Five were sentenced to terms from 15 years in prison to two life terms plus 15 years, for monitoring terrorist groups acting against Cuba under Washington’s consent. 

      As part of ICAP's work program, Serrano met with the vice president of the Presidium of the People’s Supreme Assembly, Yang Hyong Sop, who noted that the visit of the Cuban delegation coincides with preparations for the celebration of the centenary –in April 2010- of Kim Il Sung, historical leader of this country. 

      US Blockade Against Cuba Rejected at UN General Assembly

      HAVANA, Cuba, Sept 26 (ACN) Representatives from several countries criticized on Monday the nearly 50-year-old economic, commercial and financial blockade maintained by the United States against Cuba at the 66th session of the United Nations General Assembly. 

      The Vice President of Uruguay, Danilo Astori, questioned the Cuban blockade and in his address to the Assembly he said that his government considers that all the conditions required for the UN to recognize Palestine as its 194th full member have been met.

      Lesotho’s Prime Minister Pakalitha Bethuel Mosisili, advocated the lifting of the US blockade against Cuba, arguing that a solution to the long-standing dispute between the US and Cuba should be found.
      For 19 consecutive years the UN’s main decision-making body, has witnessed how an overwhelming majority of its member states rejects Washington’s blockade against Cuba.

      Cuban Foreign Minister Meets with His Syrian Counterpart in New York

      HAVANA, Cuba, Sept 27 (acn) The Cuban Foreign Minister, Bruno Rodriguez, recently held a meeting with his Syrian counterpart, Walid Moallen, in New York. Both officials coincided in their interest of strengthening bilateral bonds.

      Rodriguez told Walid Moallen all agreements signed between both countries during the historical visit of President Bashar al-Assad to Cuba last year have been fulfilled, the Official News Agency of Syrian and the national newspapers in Arab language Tishreen, Al Baas and Al-Thawra reported.

      A press release on the Cuban Foreign Ministry’s website says Rodriguez took advantage of the meeting to reaffirm Cuba’s full support of Syriaagainst any type of foreign intervention on its internal affairs. 

      Workers United Demands Release of The Five

         HAVANA, Cuba, Sept 14 (acn) Cristina Vazquez, leader of the Workers United’s Western States Regional Joint Board in California, expressed the need for more action in favor of the release of the five Cuban antiterrorists incarcerated in the US to be promoted.

         The union leader explained, in statements to Prensa Latina that her organization, SEIU,
        formed in March 2009 after 150,000 workers in the U.S. and Canada decided to leave UNITE HERE to create a union that put workers first, will be the voice of the Cuban people. Workers United represents workers in the laundry, food service, hospitality, gaming, apparel, textile, manufacturing and distribution industries. The union leader, born in Ecuador and living since 1971 in the US, has devoted her life to the defense of immigrants and workers and the reunification of families.

         It’s we, the friends of Cuba, she said, who have the duty and the commitment to spread that the Cuban Five never tried to harm the US national security and their only objective was to protect their country from the plans of Florida-based criminal groups. According to the union member, a momentous meeting was held in Los Angeles on August 13, which was attended by members of that city’s progressive community. 

        The actions carried out in US territory in favor of The Five include the sending of postcards to US President Barack Obama demanding their release. 

        Regional Solidarity-with-Cuba Forum 

          HAVANA, Cuba, Sept 26 (acn) The 6th Regional Meeting of Solidarity with Cuba to take place in Mexico in October is expected to be attended by approximately 1,000 delegates from 18 nations, announced its coordinator Roberto Hamilton. 

          Hamilton, from the Cuban Friendship Institute (ICAP), assured via Internet that the forum will be a big political and cultural event. The opening of the meeting is scheduled for October 6 in
          honor of the victims of the sabotage of a Cubana de Aviacion commercial flight off  the Barbados coasts in 1976, killing all 73 people aboard. 

          The second day of the encounter coincides with the end of Rene Gonzalez’s (one of the Cuban Five) term after 13 years in prison. On that day, the solidarity with Cuba movement will claim that Rene Gonzalez be allowed to return home in opposition to the additional sentence imposed on him of remaining in US territory under supervision for other three years. 

          Hamilton added that October 8 sessions will be dedicated to Ernesto Che Guevara and on the following day, the documents of the meeting will be announced. The event will wrap up with a march and a concert. 

          New Cuban School for Autistic Children

          GUANTANAMO, Cuba, Sept 26 sep (AIN) A center dedicated to autistic children in Guantanamo. Roberto Soler, provincial deputy director for special education, said that this school will be the fourth of its kind on the island (Havana, Santiago de Cuba and Cienfuegos).

          The center will have the technical equipment and the staff of professors, speech therapists, psycho-pedagogues and physical and emotional rehabilitation specialists required and will welcome the nine autistic children of the Guantanamo province, six of which currently receive attention in Havana. The director, Idania Padilla, underlined that the priority of the professionals involved is to increase the emotional and volitive well-being of the children affected.

          Operation Peter Pan: A Monstrous Story Never Forgotten
            A moving documentary by Estela Bravo, “Operation Peter Pan,” was aired on Cuban television  showing the sinister actions carried out against Cuba. Produced in 2010 by Ernesto Brazo, Argentinian, was launched during the 32nd edition of the International Festival of New Latin American Cinema and received a Star of Havana Award at the Havana Film Festival in New York. 

            Operation Peter Pan…full of photographs and unedited scenes, reflects the tragic event that took place during the early years of the Revolution, 1960 to 1962, when more than 14 000 Cuban children were send to the United States by their parents after rumors that the Cuban government "would take away the rights of the parents over their children."

            Images of many of the small children are shown in the documentary with music composed by Lucia Huergo, edition and the photography were vital elements in the sensible moments of the facts. 

            The separation from their parents marked the lives of these children, interviewed as adults by Estela Bravo, telling us about their bitterness, nostalgias and love for their cultural roots.

            The massive departure of Cuban children was organized by the US State Department to destabilize the Cuban government.  The testimonies of several of these children, today adults, are based on the experiences they lived. 

            The first group of Peter Pan children visited Cuba in 2009 and filmmaker Estela Bravo, was able to obtain their emotional statements: “We have come to close a chapter of our lives, reconciliation and find peace for ourselves, with our history and our country”.  

            In the introduction of the book "Operation Peter Pan, a case of psychological war against Cuba" edited in 2000 by Editorial Politica Publishing House, the president of the Cuban Parliament Ricardo Alarcon said: “Operation Peter Pan was one of the monstrous chapters in the endless campaign of lies, slanders and misdeed against Cuba. One of the most immoral and inhuman in history."  
            Chavez: Cuba-Venezuela Achievements for Diabetes

             Caracas, Sep 27 (Prensa Latina) More than 31,000 Venezuelans have benefited from a health program that, supported by Cuba, has allowed since 2008 to prevent and assist patients with diabetic foot, President Hugo Chavez stated on Tuesday.
            During a telephone conversation with the state TV channel Venezolana de Television, Chavez stated that about 14,000 amputations were prevented thanks to the application of Cuban medicine Heberprot-P, generally applied in people suffering from diabetes mellitus.

            All this is for free, and as a result of that, some 15,500 patients have been assisted this year, the president said on the occasion of a book about the subject.

            Chavez illustrated the achievements of the program implemented in 15 states with testimonies including in the text.

            According to the medical literature, about 60 percent of those patients suffer from amputations, a figure reduced to less than one percent thanks to Heberprot-P and the work of Venezuelan and Cuban physicians. Now few people are taken to the operating room, said the project's national coordinator, Dr. Loida Gaffaro de Valera, we are saving families and society from trauma.

            Heberprot-P was developed by the Cuban Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology Center and it is based on recombinant human growth factor and it is injected.

            Cuba at the 66th session of the UN General Assembly

            Speech delivered by H.E. Mr. Bruno Rodriguez Parrilla, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cuba, at the 66th session of the United Nations General Assembly, New York, September 26, 2011.
            Mr. President:

            Allow me to congratulate you on your election.

            We welcome the government of South Sudan for becoming the 193rd member of the United Nations.

            I join the appeal by all African leaders to give an urgent response to the famine in the Horn of Africa

            Mr. President:

            While we are deliberating here in this hall, "another preventive" war is taking place in Libya using as a pretext "the protection of civilians". The United Statesand NATO, supposedly to avoid a massacre, launched a military attack against a sovereign State without there being any threat to international peace and security, and unleashed a "change of regime" operation.

            NATO imposed on the Security Council a dubious resolution authorizing "member States... acting nationally or through regional organizations or arrangements... to take all necessary measures to protect civilians and civilian populated areas under the threat of attack."

            Afterwards, NATO violated this same resolution in order to supply weapons, fund one of the parties to the conflict and deploy operatives and diplomatic personnel on the ground.

            Now everybody has a better understanding of the concept of "responsibility to protect" and what it can be used for. In this war, waged with the most advanced and lethal military technologies, the means of communication have been used as combat weapons by the financial and media emporiums which are profiteering from the war and the reconstruction operations as if they were anti-crisis instruments.

            As early as February 21, Commander in Chief Fidel Castro Ruz had warned that NATO was irremissibly preparing a war against Libya. Since then, Cuba engaged indefatigably not in the defense of a government, but of a principle: the assassination of thousands of innocent people with the dubious objective of protecting other civilians is something unacceptable. History has eloquently shown that peace can not be imposed either by war or by force. It is only up to the Libyan people to decide upon its destiny, without any foreign intervention, in the exercise of its right to self-determination and independence, its sovereignty over its natural resources and its territorial integrity.

            The military intervention in Libya and the growing threat against Syria have been the opportunistic and defensive responses given by the United States and Europe to the collapse of their system of domination and plunder in Northern Africa and the Middle East, the emergence of genuinely popular movements in Tunisia, Egypt and other countries, in order to secure huge reserves of oil and water and confiscate financial assets in times of global economic and social crisis.

            It is the task of this General Assembly to exercise its powers to prevent a military aggression against Syria. The public opinion should receive objective information and speak up against war. Mr. President: According to the Foreign Affairs magazine, the White House has rushed to describe what happened in that Northern African country as a model. It is said that the new US strategy is more efficient and less costly... that the Bush administration strategy considered occupation as an option ... that the Obama administration strategy is that of national liberation...that the military intervention strategy in Libya could also be applied in other cases." With full cynicism, reference is made to a military aggression without casualties or the use of infantry troops, the costs of which would be mainly borne by Europe. The destabilization of a country through subversion, covert operations and economic sanctions is described as the "development of a national movement".

            This new "change of regime" operations model shows that the current US and NATO military doctrines are ever more aggressive than the previous ones, and that the so called "Euro-Atlantic periphery" comprises the entire planet. No one should doubt that Latin America and the Caribbean are included in that conception. The re-deployment of the Fourth Fleet, the installation of military bases and the sending of troops and military means to intervene anywhere in the region; the coup d'etat against Venezuela in 2002, followed by an oil coup; the sedition in Santa Cruz, Bolivia; the military coup in Honduras and the attempted coup in Ecuador fit perfectly well in the "new strategy".

            Can the US and NATO give guarantees today that the use of force and this concept of "regime change" are not applicable in the case of the Latin American and Caribbean countries that do not yield to their interests? Can the European Union say something about it? What would the United Nations do in the event of such circumstances?

            Mr. President:

            The weakness of the global economy, particularly the economies of the United States and of the European Union, continues to show that the crisis that began in the year 2008 has not been yet overcome. In developed countries, the terrible burden of its consequences is borne by the workers, the unemployed, the immigrants and the poor, who are brutally repressed whenever they peacefully defend their rights.

            We, the countries of the South, which are incessantly despoiled, are suffering the distortions of a world order that excludes our legitimate interests. We are suffering the terrible impact of protectionism and the steady increase in the prices of foodstuffs and hydrocarbons. The peoples of many developing countries are victims of worn out neoliberal economic models and their sequels of plunder and exclusion. The social and political consequences are being felt in all continents.

            Mr. President:

            In the face of a global economic crisis and the exhaustion of the natural resources of the planet, what would be the response of the extreme right wing forces that are in power or may reach power as a result of the punishment and hopelessness of voters?

            In the face of a growing and universal threat of a war, a new distribution of the world and climate change, i,could we, the countries of the South, act together as an indispensable condition to save ourselves?

            In the face of so many and serious threats, the Latin America and Caribbean region, the one that Bolivar and Marti fought for, is integrating and determined to finish what they left unfinished. It would be impossible either to divide us or to turn us against each other. ALBA is a small but morally powerful group of peoples and the new Community of Latin American and Caribbean States is already a fact.

            The entire force of the Andes will very soon be expressed in a Summit that will be an epoch making event in Caracas, the epicenter of the independence of the Americas, where a Bolivarian people has conquered power and the stature of a continental leader, President Hugo Chavez Frias, is growing bigger.

            More than ever before we have to defend the United Nations, but the biggest challenge would be to turn it into an organization that serves the legitimate interests of all States, instead of catering for the arbitrariness and abuses of a handful of rich and powerful countries. We must see to it that International Law as well as the Purposes and Principles of the UN Charter prevail in the face of the brute force that attempts to wipe them out. It is necessary to reestablish the leading role of this Assembly and relaunch the Security Council.

            Mr. President:

            The General Assembly has the inescapable moral, political and legal obligation to ensure the recognition of an independent Palestinian State, with the boundaries established before 1967 and with East Jerusalem as its capital, as a full member of the United Nations Organization.

            If there's recognition of the inalienable right of the Palestinian people to independence, sovereignty and self-determination; if there is recognition of the need to reestablish the exercise of the human rights of Palestinians; if the blockade of Gaza, the economic coercion and segregation symbolized by the infamous wall are recognized as crimes; if the subjugation of a nation to conditions jeopardizing its existence is described as genocide; if all member States are supposed to adopt all legal measures within their reach to protect Palestinian civilians, then the General Assembly should take action now.

            Cuba, a country with a small Jewish community, condemns the historical injustice of anti-Semitism, the crime against humanity which was the Holocaust, and recognizes the right of the State of Israel to exist. Our people only harbour fraternal feelings towards the Israeli people, who are also a victim of this conflict.

            Cuba likewise proclaims that the United States has the moral, political and legal obligation to stop vetoing the Security Council resolutions destined to protect the Palestinian civilians.

            The European Union should oppose this veto and abstain from supporting the empire's brutal pressure on the members of this Assembly and the Council itself. It should also be true and fair for Europe to denounce that those crimes would not be happening if not because of the military supplies, the financial support and the impunity ensured by the US to the Israeli government.

            Mr. President:

            On September 11, 2011, we Cubans shared the pain of the American people who were victims of those atrocious terrorist actions and offered our selfless solidarity, encouragement and cooperation. As usual, Cuba made some crystal clear statements against terrorism and against war.

            Ten years after, the world is even more insecure because instead of turning international consensus against terrorism into a system of international cooperation to cope with it, the United States has invaded and occupied Iraq and Afghanistan, taking a toll on the lives of thousands of persons and causing pain to tens of millions.

            Deception, torture, extrajudicial executions or assassinations, the disappearance of persons, arbitrary detentions and the CIA secret renditions and prisons in Europe and other regions were impossible to hide.

            The US Government offends the memory of the victims of September 11 when it maintains the prolonged and inhumane imprisonment of the Five Cuban antiterrorists, who were unjustly sentenced to serve extreme sanctions at spurious trials for seeking information about the terrorist activities of the groups that have operated with absolute impunity from the US territory against Cuba, thus causing the death of or physical disabilities to 5 577 fellow Cuban citizens.

            Once again, with all due respect, I urge President Obama to make use of his prerogatives to set them free as an act of justice or as a humanitarian gesture which will be highly appreciated by their children, wives, mothers, fathers and all of our people.

            Mr. President:

            The Cuban government reiterates its willingness and interest to move towards the normalization of relations with the United States. Today I reiterate the proposal of beginning a dialogue aimed at solving bilateral problems, including humanitarian issues, as well as the offer of negotiating several cooperation agreements to combat drug-trafficking, terrorism, human smuggling, prevent natural disasters and protect the environment, even in the event of oil spills as the one occurred at the British Petroleum platform in the Gulf of Mexico.

            However, we know that the electoral race has already begun in this country while the economic situation is getting worse. The economic, commercial and financial blockade against Cuba has been tightened and the damages it has caused have totaled 975 billion dollars according to the present gold price. The attempts to subvert the constitutional order that Cubans have freely elected have intensified.

            There are increasing pressures on the part of the extreme right and the Cuban American mafia to revert the minimal steps taken by the US government that, to some extent, favor the links between the Cuban emigres and their home country and the exchanges between both peoples. In Cuba, President Raul Castro has reiterated that we will continue to change, in a sovereign way, everything that needs to be changed so that our economy is more efficient and our socialism is better, in order to conquer "all the justice" and be able to fully preserve our independence.

            As Marti said, "before ceasing in our endeavor to have a free and prosperous homeland, the South Seas will merge with the Northern Seas and a serpent will hatch out of an eagle's egg."
            Thank you, very much.

            Friday, September 23, 2011

            Artists Collective

            Y-art Sale
            Rain or Shine!
            Sept 24th &  25th from 10:00 am  to 3:00pm     
            At: 18 Foxwood Crescent, Mineville

            Terry Fox in Cuba