Tuesday, December 13, 2011


Cuba Denounces USA for Preventing Actions Against Israel
Cuba denounced the US and other western nations on November 30 at the United Nations for preventing the Security Council's condemnation of Israel because of Israel's illegal actions and crimes against the Palestinian people.

There is enough proof, argued the Cuban delegation, for the Council to adopt not only political but also binding decisions to stop Israeli crimes and to sanction those responsible. it "reveals the hypocrisy and double standard of some developed countries" and their self-proclaim human rights paradigms that this is not so. The document criticized the passivity and lack of action of the Council in the face of Israeli actions and wondered why crimes against the Palestinian people were not sanctioned.

The issue of Palestine,first included in the agenda of the Assembly 64 years ago, but Israeli crimes against the Palestinian people continue and the occupation of Palestinian territory has not been reverted. Cuba supports the cause of the Palestinian people to defend their rights and Palestine´s entry as a full member of the UN. Cuban Foreign Minister, Bruno Rodriguez had stated already last September the inescapable moral, political and legal obligation to guarantee the recognition of the new Palestine State,the Cuban delegation reiterated the point again during this meeting. 
Palestinian Ambassador Thanks Cuba for its Expressions of Solidarity
The Palestinian ambassador to Havana, Akram Samhan, in his visit to Ciego de Avila and during a meeting between students from both countries at the University of Medical Sciences because of the celebration of the International Day in Solidarity with Palestine, highlighted  the solidarity shown by the Cuban people and its government for his nation and its struggle for the right to be free and independent.

Samhan explained that, every day, fraternity and support towards Arab peoples struggle to achieve peace in the region, and for the right of refugees to return to  their countries, increases. Cuba has always offered help to Palestine, he said, an example of this are the more than 600 Palestinian youngsters who have graduated from Cuban  universities. At present, he added, some 160 Palestinians are studying at Cuban universities. It will be their responsibility to contribute to the construction of their new nation, he said. It is important to note, he explained, that more than 85 percent of the nations of the world favor the Palestinian cause even though discrimination against Palestinians continues.  

Washington: Int´l Conference of Experts Advocating for Cuba

Analysts, professors and politicians from different countries met in Washington to analyze what they consider Cuba´s arbitrary inclusion in the list of nations "sponsors of terrorism."  The main sponsors of the seminar are the Latin America Working Group and The Center for International Policy (CIP). The event took place at the National Press Club's Zinger Room in Washington D.C

Since 1982, the U.S. government arbitrarily inserted Cuba in the controversial list of nations "sponsors of terrorism." This was at the request of the then Secretary of State Alexander Haig and was ratified by a resolution from President Ronald Reagan.

The current event, mainly academic in nature as it was sponsored by two U.S. think tanks that have clear positions regarding the improvement and normalization of U.S.-Cuba relations, included among the lecturers Wayne Smith, former U.S. diplomat in Cuba and CIP analyst, Robert Muse, of Muse and Associates Company, and Havana University professor Carlos Alzugaray. Also expected are 
Sarah Stephens, of the Center for Democracy in the Americas, and Arturo Lopez, linked to the Josef Korbel International Studies School, University of Denver. What is very significant is that Cuban delegates were included, such participation was prohibited for the past nine years. In the previous seminar which took place in February 2010, Muse referred to the dangerous legal consequences emerging from the Washington resolution in view of the lack of evidence for keeping Cuba in the mentioned category.

CELAC, Common Space for Agreement...

Caracas, Nov 29 (Prensa Latina) Cuban ambassador to Venezuela Rogelio Polanco stated on Tuesday that the birth of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) will be a common space for agreement, based on complementarity and regional integration.
Interviewed by Toda Venezuela program, the Cuban diplomat stated that the coming event, which will be attended by 33 regional nations on December 2-3, show those peoples' willingness to join a common space where they could debate the genuine thing of each country.

In that sense, Polanco stated that Latin America is experiencing new times and a clear example of that is the strengthening of relations between Venezuela and Colombia, after a meeting carried out on Monday between those countries. They signed many accords to contribute to integration and the economic and social development of both states.

Polanco insisted on the importance of regional unity to face those global challenges, of a social and economic nature, to face food, economic and environment crises that engulf the developed countries and of which developing nations are not exempt.

The Cuban ambassador said there will be some attempts to weaken that unity process and there will be many challenges, "but the most important thing is we have that approach. The language of wars and confrontation cannot be imposed, because we are a peace zone, free of nuclear weapons."

The fact that the birth of CELAC is in this capital has a great importance, this being where the idea of independence of the American peoples emerged through Simon Bolivar, stated Polanco.

Cuban Medical Collaboration in El Salvador Lauded

San Salvador, Nov 29 (Prensa Latina) Salvadorian Health Minister Maria Isabel Rodriguez described Cuba''s medical collaboration, included in one of the most important social programs of the government, as excellent.

Rodriguez told Prensa Latina that a group of Cuban experts are advising local authorities on the implementation of the Comprehensive Health Reform as part of an agreement that involves the Pan-American Health Organization and whose first stage concluded on December 1.

Questioned about the collaboration from Cuban health experts, Rodriguez immediately responded that it was excellent. The work of the Cuban medical team was praised by President Mauricio Funes on July 20, when attending the inauguration of a Health Community Team (ECOS), the foundation of the Reform, in the northern city of Arcatao.

Rodriguez noted that she had met with the three Cuban advisors working in the development of the Health Reform, and recalled that the program also benefits residents of neighbouring Guatemala and Honduras.
Cuba: Forum on Alternative Media and Social Networks 

A forum convened by the Cuban Foreign Ministry to discuss the role of alternative media and social networks took place in the Convention Center in Havana. It began with a speech from the Deputy Foreign Minister Ana Teresita Gonzales who emphasized the importance of the issue in current policy settings and international communications. Delegates from 12 countries participated including representatives from Bolivia, Ecuador, Nicaragua and El Salvador. Organizers hoped the forum be a space to share experiences and strengthen America's efforts in entering the global communication scenario. 

Prima ballerina Alicia Alonso described as successful the three-month tour through Spain by the Cuban National Ballet, company she founded and heads. After her arrival from Spain Alonso offered a press conference at the Jose Marti National Airport where she shared about the warm welcome the company received from the Spanish audiences and of the coverage  they received from mass media.

She praised the performances of the members of the company in sold-out theatres, and the energy and discipline of the new dancers, despite the rigours of the tour that took them to 29 Spanish cities.

They all felt gratified by the shows of love and respect in every theatre, and the experts appraisals of the academic training of the dancers, who played several roles in each performance, she added. The doble characterization by each dancer is unusual in these times in the ballet world.

She proudly showed the World Theater Ambassador title she was presented with at the Calderon Theater in the city of Valladolid; and spoke of the Spanish street named after her.
 “It was very beautiful to see the new company members dance and the requests we received for teachers.” Cuban dancing style is something that draws attention abroad, she added.

Four members of the National ballet have been selected among the top 100 ballet dancers in the world: Viengsay Valdés, Alejandro Virelles, Dani Hernández and Osiel Gounod. But she expressed her disappointment when stars as Anette Delgado and Sadaisi Arencibia were not selected, showing a clear preference for male leading dancers something she dubbed "unfair."
 in Santiago de Cuba

Groups from Colombia, Venezuela, the USA and Finland participated, along with some of the best from the Caribbean island, in the  International Choral Festival in Santiago de Cuba. 
Choral concerts were scheduled for the Dolores Hall, the Esteban Salas Conservatory,  the old Chapel of Saint Basil the Great, and the Cespedes ParkOnce again, the Santiago Choral Society (Orfeon de Santiago), the legendary group founded  51 years ago by Maestro Electo Silva, was the host of this fiesta of vocal music that run until December 4.

Cuba: Strengthening Fight against Cancer
 Cuba has strengthened the fight against cancer through the development of a broad and successful biotechnological branch aimed at achieving therapeutic vaccines and diverse treatments to counteract the disease which is the second cause of death in Cuba. Annually 18000 people die of cancer in Cuba and every year there are 28000 new cases. 

Cuban scientists have widen the national production of anti-neoplastic and complementary drugs and created new biotechnological products. Local researchers confirm that Cuba has potential to avoid more than 10,000 new cases per year mainly using prevention programs, which already play a significant role. There is a higher incidence rate of this disease due to alcoholism, smoking, and bad feeding habits.

Last week Cuba and China signed joint agreements in the field of biotechnology for the development of vaccines and other biomedical products, and these agreements include bilateral prevention, early diagnosis, and cancer control actions.

Cuba is also moving forward cooperation programs with Brazil to produce cheaper medicines for world markets -if compared with prices imposed by the international pharmaceutical industry, and without decreasing the products' quality.

Havana: Int’l Conference on Biotechnology 

The International Conference Biotecnologia Habana 2011 took place at the Center of Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering (CIGB) in the Havana. Cuba has the most advanced biotechnological industry of all developing countries, “with almost 150 registered patents,” said the president of the event’s organizing committee, Carlos Borroto, during the opening
session of the meeting that was attended by Jose Ramon Fernandez, vice president of the Council of Ministers, and Jose Miyar Barrueco, minister of Science, Technology and the Environment.

Richard J. Roberts, a British Nobel Prize winner in Medicine, and Marc Van Montagu from Belgium and one of the pioneers in the field of molecular biology in plants, were the Presidents of Honor of the event.

Around 600 specialists involved or interested in the application of biotechnology in the agricultural sector attended the event. The president of the organizing committee for the event, Carlos Borroto argued that “improving food production and distribution is an urgent need for the world and particularly for Cuba” and “this improvement necessarily has to go hand in hand with sustainable development and in harmony with the environment.” 

Van Montagu pointed out that one of the greatest challenges of humanity is to preserve biodiversity and the ecosystem while trying to feed a world population of more than seven billion people. “In order to succeed in this endeavor, it is essential to redesign the traditional systems of production, to implement biotechnological techniques with responsibility, and to count on the political will of the governments of the world,” he explained.

Van Montagu criticized the stance some non governmental organizations have taken rejecting or regarding as dangerous the advances in the biotechnology sector. In this sense, Van Montagu explained science gives new opportunities to explore and find solutions to global problems.

During the Commercial Fair eleven Cuban and foreign companies participated.  Cuba's progress in the growing of genetically-modified maize hybrid was presented at the International Conference of Biotechnology. The crop, the result of an alteration on the plant’s genes and the combination with other corn varieties, is able to resist pests and Cuban weather conditions better than any other variety according to experts from the Havana-based Genetics Engineering and Biotechnology Center hosting the event.

20th International Chemistry Conference in Santiago de Cuba

The 20th International Chemistry Conference took place in Santiago de Cuba on December 6-9 with the participation of more than one hundred representatives from eleven countries.

Renowned personalities such as Doctor Santiago Vicente Luis Lafuente, from the Universitat Jaume I of Castellon, Spain, and Professor Luis Echegoyen, from the University of Texas, participated discussing topics such as Sustainable Chemistry and Nanochemistry.

The event’s program included lectures by doctors Luis Alberto Montero and Roberto Cao, both from the University of Havana, and by Rosa Catalina Bermudez, of the Center of Industrial Biotechnology Studies at Santiago de Cuba’s Universidad de Oriente.

The triennial meeting was first held in 1964, born as a space to exchange knowledge and experiences on the development of chemistry research in Cuba mainly in the mining and sugar industry sectors. On this occasion, representatives from Germany, Angola, Spain, Mexico, Brazil, Panama, Ecuador, Venezuela, the United States and the Dominican Republic were in attendance.

 The Money the US Uses for Terrorist Actions against Cuba, by Assad Shoman

Havana, (Prensa Latina) While the US government is applying measures to reduce expenses in transport, technology and publicity by 20 percent, other US entities authorize funds to promote and finance actions against our country.

  After criticizing the lack of work of the US Congress to fight the economic problems in this northern country, President Barack Obama signed an executive order on November 9 granting US government institutions a time limit of 45 days to prepare a saving plan.

However, while several sectors make cuts, the evidence on how many initiatives to favour subversion against the Cuban people and leaders are financed is every time greater, in a place like the US, in which demonstrations are daily multiplying against the economic system and unemployment.

A recent example occurred in October, when the United States Agency for International Development prepared a festive activity to celebrate in advance the award of the 2011 Peace Nobel Prize to counter-revolutionaries of Cuban-origin Oswaldo Paya and Oscar Elias Biscet, which they took for granted was going to happen. It didn´t.

For this objective, a total of 250,000 dollars were approved for several activities developed by the US Interest Office in Havana, such as the printing of 100,000 T-shirts with the faces of Paya and Biscet on a background with the national flags of Cuba and the US and a phrase saying "The Time Has Come for Cuba."

The complementary gifts included balloons, small flags, watches, key rings, suits for the celebration, allegorical bracelets, and of course, payments to selected journalists to cover the event, which never really took place, since they never won the prize.

The budget also included suits to wear at the prize ceremony for the two fellows, who have for years dedicated themselves to promote plans of destabilization against Cuba, encouraged by functionaries of the Washington administration.

The real Nobel Prize winners were Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf (President of Liberia), Liberian Leywah Gbowee, responsible for non-governmental organization Women Peace and Security Network Africa and Yemeni activist Tawakkel Karmen.

The organized and financed actions from the US national territory against Cuba have been denounced for years by the Cuban authorities and silenced by the great communications media of the US.

However, on occasions US institutions have themselves admitted that they have financed projects for what they call the "fostering of democracy."

As part of this assistance, only for the 2011 fiscal year, the US administration approved 62 million dollars destined to political, social and communication media interference in Cuba. That represented 34 percent over the 2010 statistics.

Although the US has 14 million unemployed people, and 46 million people living below the poverty line and constant protests because of the failed economic system, the so-called "assistance to Havana" is constantly growing.

In what does that "assistance" consist? USAID money is dedicated to reinforce the work of the US Interest Section Office in Havana and the Cuban Affairs Office, in charge of managing the US policy towards Cuba from the US Department of State.

Almost half of the 62 million dollars annually is distributed between Radio Marti and Television Marti, which broadcast towards the Caribbean island in violation of the regulations established by the International Telecommunications Union.

For the year 2012, the US government proposed to use another 20 million dollars to widen projects to "foster freedom in Cuba", mainly through USAID.

Those funds are mainly managed by US companies and organizations, fundamentally based in Florida, and contribute to anti-Cuban groups with money and equipment that need only fulfil the requirement of being opposed to the Cuban government.

In the month of June, USAID published three tenders for plans linked with the freedom of expression and information, and for support to the Cuban civil society, in sums totalling 21 million dollars.

The agency said it would destine 6 million dollars to projects to facilitate free access of Cuban citizens to information, using traditional media and new technologies.

Another six million dollars would go to programs to foster freedom of expression and association in young people between 12 and 24 years of age.

The remaining 9 million dollars would be used to make members of local communities, neighbourhoods and other groups conscious of their rights and civic responsibilities, develop leadership abilities and prepare them to participate fully in democratic development.

But while the capital dedicated to actions against Cuba is increasing, according to 2010 data published by the US Census Office, in percentual terms, the poverty rate in the US is the highest since 1993, with 15.1 percent.

According to the statistical data of the National Poverty Center of the University of Michigan, it will take 6 or 7 years for the poverty rate to go back to the level it had in 2000, when a percentage of 11.7 was reported.

The statistic data revealed that the average home annual income decreased by 2.3 percent, reaching 49,445 dollars, and the number of US inhabitants without medical insurance is over 50 million.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Cuba Seventh Colloquium to Free the Cuban Five: Monument and March

HOLGUIN, Cuba (acn) As part of the activities of the Seventh Colloquium to Free the Cuban Five a monument was unveiled on Friday November 18th honoring victims of state terrorism in the town of Boca de Sama, Holguin. Boca de Sama was attacked by mercenaries 40 years ago. The Colloquium was attended by more than 300 delegates from 47 countries.

The artist Luis Silva, member of the National Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba (UNEAC) in Holguin, created the monument to condemn atrocities and barbarities brought about to the Cuban people by state terrorism. In Boca de Sama, and as a result of the events of 1940, Lidio Rivaflecha Galano and Ramon Siam Portelles, combatants, were killed in an attack perpetrated by a group of mercenaries and organized by the Miami-based Alpha 66 terrorist group. The attack also caused serious injuries to Carlos Escalante, Jesus Igarza, and to sisters Nancy and Angela Pavon.

 The program included a women’s walk for Fernando Gonzalez, Gerardo  Hernandez, Antonio Guerrero, Ramon Labañino, and Rene Gonzalez ––the Cuban Five––, and the screening of materials produced by different Committees of Solidarity with Cuba worldwide. The mentioned Cubans were unjustly imprisoned in the U.S since 1998 and sentenced to harsh terms while trying to prevent terrorist actions against Cuba by Miami-based right wing groups such as the Cuban American National Foundation (CANF), and Alpha 66.

Cuba: US Activist Mary-Alice Waters Describes Unfair Treatment of Workers in the US
HOLGUIN, Cuba (acn) During the Colloquium to Free the Cuban Five, Mary-Alice Waters, president of Pathfinder Press and member of the Socialist Workers Party (SWP), spoke of the unfair treatment workers received in the United States. Waters noted that american workers have become the main victims of the crisis. “The situation in the United States is growing worse, the living standards are crashing, the working conditions deteriorate and workers without papers are being deported by the thousands”, she said. “The number of foreclosures is impressive, millions of families are left to fend for themselves, the government doesn’t take any actions against the banks but it does against workers.”

People throughout the United States are protesting, and rejection towards the government increases because government is responsible for these calamities: “Millions of families are suffering the injustices against their kin in jails, just as the families of the five Cuban Heroes, sentenced in the US for fighting terrorism, due to the violations of their rights during their
trials and later in jails.” 

Waters explained that The Militant, her party’s newspaper, now published in English and Spanish, is sold all over the United States and in other countries like the UK, New Zealand, Australia and Canada. “For us is mandatory to speak about the Cuban Five in our newspaper, due to the silence about them in the mass media, and we need to spread their truth though different means” 

Solidarity with Cuban Five Grows in Spain

Holguin, Cuba (PL) There is a strong movement of solidarity with Cuba in Catalonia, Spain, and this movement is particularly concerned about the release of the five Cuban antiterrorist fighters unjustly imprisoned in the United States since 1998, stated Salvador Torres, president of Barcelona Friendship with Cuba House.

Torres is one of the 300 delegates participating in the 7th International Colloquium for the Release of the Cuban Five and against Terrorism closing Saturday November 19th. Torres spoke about the work of his organization in informing people about the truth on the Cuban Five.
In Spain the detention of the Cuban Five was presented as the arrest of Cuban spies: "We started gathering information, the real facts, and when we knew the injustice committed by the U.S. government against them, we decided to tell the truth all over our territory."

Since then, group members have traveled from town to town in Catalonia giving lectures and editing materials about the Five to increase solidarity with their cause. Their agenda emerged from the 19 Friendship Houses they have in Catalonia's main cities, promoting activities for the Five throughout the year. We have a Fair of Solidarity and while we prepare mojitos and explain how to travel to Cuba, we hand out posters and pictures of Antonio, Ramon, Gerardo, Fernando and Rene.

Their movement sent a DVD with information about the case of the Five to the 800 town halls of Catalonia and they also disclosed the truth through social networks and local media they have access to in fighting the silence of major TV channels, newspapers and radio stations.

They have organized caravans for the Five and an initiative called "Five recipes for the Five" where they describe the ingredients and explain how to cook a Cuban meal, like an ajiaco and tell the story of one of the Cuban Five.

For Torres the Colloquium helps them get new ideas and come up with new plans to involve more people in the international campaign for the Five: "I am convinced that political prisoners are released only when there is a strong presence of people in the streets, and if solidarity is the key to free the Five, then we will drum on the bars to make a symphony until we see them free."

Cindy Sheehan Seals Commitment with Mothers of Cuban Five

Holguin, Cuba (PL) Cindy Sheehan, US pacifist who lost her son in the US war against Irak, sealed a commitment for the release of The Cuban Five with the mothers of Antonio Guerrero and Fernando Gonzalez.

During a political-cultural event at the end of the march for the release of the Five, in which thousands of women participated, Sheehan gave the Cuban mothers the chaín that her son Casey had given her. "This chain says: To Mum, with Love. I want you to have this, my most precious possession. I would like you to keep it until your sons return home, and have it back later," said Sheehan to Mirtha Rodriguez (mother of Antonio) and Magali Llort (mother of Fernando).

Sheehan expressed loving the relatives of The Cuban Five with all her heart and reaffirmed the support of thousands of US people to the Cuban Revolution and to their struggle for the release of the Five, unfairly in prison in the US for informing the US of anti-Cuban actions planned by Miami-based terrorist groups.

Sheehan led the March on Saturday November 19th, together with relatives of The Five and victims of the mid-air explosion of a Cuban airliner in 1976 -which resulted in the death of all 73 people on board.

The US is the biggest terrorist organization in the world, said Cindy. Her son was soldier in the US military, and she believed he was a victim of the US war -which she no longer calls the war on terror but the war of terror against the world, she explained. In her opinion, the actions of the US government are by definition terrorist actions -when you bomb, occupy and torture populations for things like regime change or ideological reasons, is basically terrorism.

The anti-war and peace causes are in her view intimately connected to the Cuban Five and to everyone unjustly imprisoned, to those in the Guantanamo prison (operating in Cuba under the US) who we know are innocent. Regarding the case of the Cuban Five she said she heard for the first time about them in 2006 while in Venezuela attending the World Social Forum. Later she met relatives of the Five and learned more and began working with groups dedicated to tell US citizens the truth about the Cuban Five.

"I´m here to know more about the case and more about what I can do to help, because there is a movement in US that is dedicated and passionate with the cause, but it is very small. I am also here to network with people all over the world who demand the release of the Cuban Five and to learn how I can help without causing any harm with my actions." 

One of her goals is to help build a movement in the US to pressure the government to release the Five. The main activities of the committees of solidarity with the Five in the US are concentrated in big cities like New YorkChicago and San Francisco, where she has seen a great job done, particularly in the harbour area.

Her recent activities included visiting five universities in Chicago, through the International Committee of Solidarity with the Five; there she shared information about the case with students interested. I talked about the hypocrisy of having the Cuban Five unjustly imprisoned, while a coward terrorist like (Luis) Posada Carriles is protected by the US government.

Independent journalist are important to fight media silence and negative propaganda in the US against Cuba, she pointed. Cindy has a weekly radio show where she interviews people related to the cause, like Gloria La Riva, coordinator of the National US Committee for the release of the Five, and a blog connected to her radio show.

Holguin, Cuba (PL) "I have no doubt that one day soon the Cuban Five will return home, they will be finally exonerated and free," said Geoffrey Bottoms, a British Catholic priest.

Bottoms was one of the 11 delegates to the VII International Colloquium for the Release of the Cuban Five and against Terrorism held in Holguin. He has been cooperating since 2002 to help release The Cuban Five. Nearly 10 years ago he read an article about the injustice committed against these anti-terrorist Cuban fighters imprisoned in U.S., and he decided to write letters to them. "They wrote back to me and we exchanged quite a few letters. I asked them if they would like me to visit them and they all said yes, so they sent me forms." 

As a result of that process, Bottoms visited Gerardo, Ramón and Fernando, but was not allowed to visit Rene or Antonio. He recalls that he met Gerardo first and saw him five times and that later he met and saw Ramón three times, and that in 2008 he finally met Fernando. The first time he tried to see Ramon the authorities of his prison did not allow him because of the U.S war against Iraq at the time and they considered the priest a threat to national security.

Bottoms is now in charge of spreading the cause of The Cuban Five within the Cuban Solidarity Campaign, an organization with five thousand members committed to this. They have different programs informing the British people about their case and harsh sentences but their main activity is an annual candle vigil outside the U.S. Embassy in London demanding their release. This year the vigil will be on December 1st and Magali Llort and Mirtha Rodriguez (mothers of Fernando and Antonio respectively) will participate in it.

Next year, he said, we are working on an art exhibition to be called "Beyond the Frame" that will include works by Cuban artists and works by Antonio and Gerardo. We hope to promote the cause of Cuba and The Cuban Five involving as many people as possible. We will convey our message through art. Breaking the silence imposed by major newspapers and TV channels in England is crucial and whenever there is a chance to post articles on The Guardian, The Observer and The Morning Star we do it, he said.They work with young people too through the National Union of Students.

The 30 local groups existing around England have public meetings, salsa nights, use local radio and TV to inform about the case and hold rallies in the streets to campaign nationwide. In London, specifically, the organization works very closely with members of Parliament sympathetic to Cuba and The Cuban Five; having legislators involved helps them reach top levels of government.

We benefit from coming together and sharing experiences and activities and strengthening our links, he said. The forum increases hope for family members of the Five who get to see and learn about the activists, the case and plan ways to advance the campaign and make it more effective. "I always believe that truth and justice will prevail. The Cuban Five represent the heroic history of Cuba, the principles and ideals upon which the Revolution was founded; that another world and the new man of which Che Guevara spoke are possible. They are an example to our struggle for a better world."

Casa del Habano Partagas: Their Meetings are gaining Worldwide Prestige
 HAVANA , Cuba (acn) Businessmen, suppliers and guests from all over the World, participate in the 21st Meeting of Clients and Friends of the Casa del Habano Partagas, and event that is increasingly gaining prestige. Attended by nearly 350 people from ItalySpainBrazilCanada, the United StatesMexicoSwitzerlandPanamaFrance, and Greece, who are attracted by the international reputation of Cuban cigars, the event includes visits to Club Havana, the Equestrian Center at the Lenin Park, and the Alcona Farm.

Imanol Elguezabal, from Spain, is taking part in this meeting every year as a way to recall the moments he has shared with famous producer Alejandro Robaina, in whose plantations in Pinar del Rio he learned about tobacco harvesting. Alejandro Robaina, the son of well-known producer Carlos Robaina, see the event gaining quality year after year and becoming a permanent tribute to his father, a regular participant since the beginnings in 1998. A similar event will take place in Italy in February next year; businessmen, suppliers, and guests from all over the world, including Cuba, will attend.

Francesco Minetti, president of Cigar Clubs in Italy, said that this will be the biggest event in the continent with Cuban representatives from Partagas, artists, chefs, and cultural promoters exhibiting Partagas cigars and highlighting Cuba as tourist destination of choice.

Vince Piva, a Canadian journalist participating in these meetings for the fourth time, feels very much at home in Cuba and with its people and described the environment familiar and peaceful.

Oscar Gonzales, president of Caracol S.A., notes that one of the factors contributing to the prestige of these meetings is the extraordinary effort made by the staff and its president Abel Exposito. This 21st Meeting of Clients and Friends of the Casa del Habano Partagas is dedicated to the 492nd anniversary of the foundation of Havana, the 166th anniversary of the Partagas Cigars Royal Factory, and the 18th anniversary of the Casa del Habano Partagas.

Int’l Meeting on Agroecology Begins in Cuba

HAVANACuba (acn) Representatives from Latin American and Caribbean countries are attending the Third International Meeting on Agroecology and Sustainable Agriculture that began on Monday in Havana to discuss the best ways to obtain agricultural products and to protect the environment.

Experts from ArgentinaBrazilColombiaEcuadorCosta RicaMexicoNicaraguaPeruGuatemalaEl SalvadorDominican RepublicPanama and Uruguay, are exchanging their experiences with local producers.

Deborah La O Calaña, an official from the National Association of Small Farmers (ANAP), told reporters that participants in the meeting will visit farms and cooperatives in the provinces of de Pinar del Rio, Artemisa, La Habana, Mayabeque, MatanzasCienfuegos, Villa Clara and Sancti Spíritus. The program includes a key lecture on food sovereignty and security by Adolfo Rodriguez Nodal, head of the National Group of urban and sub-urban agriculture in Cuba.

Some of the topics discussed by participants include sustainable management in Cuba; financial, economic and technological experiences in productive systems; and the protection of natural resources.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

UN General Assembly condemn the US's Blockade of Cuba

For the 20th year in a row, the UN General Assembly has voted to condemn the United States’ 50-year-old economic embargo on Cuba. How did the votes turn out this year?
YES (against embargo) – 186
NO (in favor of embargo) – 2

Last year there were 187 votes in favor of ending  U.S. sanctions on Cuba, two against (Israel and the U.S.) and three abstentions (Palau, Marshall Islands, and Micronesia).  Again, we are reminded of the fact that the rest of the world is against us for our policy towards Cuba.

Statements from 2011 UN General Assembly Vote on Cuban Embargo

“Since 1996, the Government of Australia has consistently supported General Assembly resolutions calling for an end to the trade embargo against Cuba. Australia has no trade or economic legislation or measures which restricts or discourages trade or investment to or from Cuba.”


“The Brazilian Government has consistently opposed the economic, commercial and financial embargo imposed against Cuba. Accordingly, Brazil has also continued to foster and pursue a growing economic relationship with Cuba.”

“The maintenance of the economic, commercial and financial embargo against Cuba is inconsistent with the dynamic regional policy that has recently been marked by the return of Cuba to dialogue and cooperation forums of the Americas.”


“This [embargo] is not only a serious violation of the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations and of relevant United Nations resolutions, but also a source of immense economic and financial losses for Cuba. It is an impediment to efforts by the Cuban people to eradicate poverty, to promote their economic and social development and to attain the Millennium Development Goals, it impairs the Cuban people’s right to survival and development, and it adversely affects normal economic, commercial and financial relations between Cuba and other countries.”

“China hopes that the United States, in accordance with the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations and relevant United Nations resolutions, will put an end as soon as possible to its blockade against Cuba and it also hopes that relations between the two countries will continue to improve, thus promoting stability and development in the entire Latin American and Caribbean region.”


“The Government of Colombia will continue the political support it has always given Cuba, and reaffirms that in conformity with its obligations under the Charter of the United Nations and international law.”

Costa Rica

“The Government of Costa Rica wishes to reiterate that it has not enacted or applied laws intended to enforce the economic embargo against Cuba, and that it is complying with United Nations General Assembly resolution 65/6.”

El Salvador

"Reiterating its support for the Latin American and Caribbean consensus and the solidarity of the majority of United Nations Member States in their endorsement of General Assembly resolution 65/6, the Republic of El Salvador calls for the elimination of these measures against the Republic of Cuba and reports, in accordance with the above-mentioned resolution, that it has never promulgated or applied laws or measures the extraterritorial effects of which would affect the sovereignty of the Republic of Cuba and its citizens."

European Union

“…the European Union and its member States have been clearly expressing their opposition to the extraterritorial extension of the United States embargo, such as that contained in the Cuban Democracy Act of 1992 and the Helms-Burton Act of 1996.”

Holy See

“The Holy See has never drawn up or applied economic, commercial or financial laws or measures against Cuba.”


“Honduras, in fulfilment of its obligations under the Charter of the United Nations and international law, has refrained from promulgating laws and regulatory provisions that might affect its trade relations with Cuba.”


“Japan shares the concern, arising from the Cuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity Act of 1996 (known as the Helms-Burton Act) and the Cuban Democracy Act of 1992, that, if application of such legislation causes undue hardship in relation to the economic activities of the enterprises or nationals of a third party, the legislation is likely to run counter to international law regarding the extraterritorial application of domestic laws.”


“Mexico emphasizes that [the embargo] has serious humanitarian consequences that are contrary to international law and, moreover, signify the abandonment of diplomacy and dialogue as the appropriate ways of settling disputes between States.”

“The Government of Mexico has also consistently opposed Cuba’s economic and political-diplomatic isolation. It has therefore firmly supported Cuba’s inclusion in all regional integration machinery in order to promote economic and commercial exchange, cooperation and development.”

Russian Federation

“The blockade against Cuba, which has endured for almost half a century, has manifestly demonstrated its inability to influence the Cuban people in their sovereign choice of a model of development. The sole consequences of the sanctions that have been imposed are the worsening living conditions of the Cuban people, the erection of artificial barriers to the growth of the country’s economy and encroachments upon the rights and interests of third countries.” 

“We are convinced that [lifting the embargo],unlike the discriminatory practice of economic “strangulation”, will help ensure the success of the progressive social and economic reforms currently being implemented by the Cuban authorities.”

World Food Programme 

“The United States embargo continues to severely limit trade and has a direct impact on the capacity and efficiency of Cuba’s logistics infrastructure, […] food processing and agricultural production. The efficiency of the food-based social safety nets of the Cuban Government’s, which are instrumental to household food security, is thereby negatively affected. This year, the effect is even more crippling because of the combined factors of rising food prices and persistent drought in Cuba.”

World Health Organization

“In the health sector, the consequences of the embargo have a negative multiplier effect on the cost of basic everyday health products, on the difficulties in acquiring health products, on the availability of basic services and, therefore, on the overall living conditions of the population.”

“The embargo also stunts public health development in Cuba by preventing the country’s access to loans and donations from international financial institutions, such as the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank, as well as by limiting its access to philanthropic contributions and donations from civil society in the United States.”

“The embargo affects the individual health care of all people, regardless of age or gender, through its impact on Cuba’s unified health system institutions, research facilities, epidemiological surveillance institutions and disease control agencies.”