In his final comments at the International Solidarity with Cuba Conference in Havana, Gerardo Hernández of the Cuban Five asserted that the freedom of the anti-terrorists would not have been won without the efforts of all present
“Thank you brothers and sisters of the world, you should know that when we say thank you, it is not a formality. Deep within our hearts we know that if we are here, it is due, in large measure, to the efforts of friends like you around the entire world, who did not rest until they saw us here. This is how I begin my words of gratitude,” Gerardo said.
“You are representative of a broader group of brothers and sisters who could not all be here, but convey our gratitude to them, everyone was important to the unity of forces which allowed us to be here today, with our families and people.
The 8th Cuban Day against Homophobia and Transphobia began this Tuesday with a press conference and the inauguration of the photo exhibition Continuing Forward by U.S. artist Byron Motley at the National Center for Sex Education (Cenesex) headquarters, which along with the Cuban Workers’ Federation has organized an extensive program of activities, which will continue through May 23 across the provinces of Havana and Las Tunas.
Mariela Castro Espín, director of Cenesex, highlighted the importance of informing and educating the Cuban population in the need to accept and respect free and responsible sexual orientation and gender identity, rights which when not respected by all, become a problem which generates suffering and exclusion.
In this regard she noted that this year Cenesex has launched a new campaign as part of its ongoing communicative and sex education strategy, which aims to promote, under the banner of “count me in,” homophobia or transphobia free work spaces.
A young communist from Britain, coordinator of the Cuba Vive solidarity brigade, talks to JR about the struggle ‘in the belly of the beast’ and confesses her admiration for the island that gives hope, even in her country.
To overcome the 7,493 kilometres that separate London from Havana, for the third time, young Samantha Cordery had to make sacrifices. She even participated in a 25,000 metre race looking for sponsors who would understand that she was a special competitor, collecting donations because her real "goal" was much further away, in Cuba.
The Cuban medication Itolizumab, a humanized monoclonal antibody for the treatment of severe psoriasis, was awarded a Gold Medal by the World Intellectual Property Organization. Vice President Miguel Díaz-Canel attended the ceremony held at Havana’s José Martí Memorial.
The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) awarded its Gold Medal to the Cuban medication Itolizumab, in a ceremony attended by Vice President of the Councils of State and Ministers Miguel Díaz-Canel, held at Havana’s José Martí Memorial.
The humanized monoclonal antibody was developed in Cuba for the treatment of chronic inflammatory autoimmune diseases such as psoriasis, which affects some 125 million people worldwide, according to María de los Ángeles Sánchez Torres, director of the country’s Industrial Property Office.
The medication is being used in Cuba, as well as China and India, via a joint production company.
Nuno Pires de Carvalho, acting director of Intellectual Property and Competition Policy Division within the WIPO presented the award to Dr. Kalet León Monzón, deputy director for research and development at the Molecular Immunology Center, who accepted the honor in the name of its five principal inventors.
The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is one of the United Nations’ 17 specialized agencies.
HAVANA, Cuba, Apr 29 (acn) In Cuba there are more than two million people over 60 years of age, 19 percent of the total population, and is the first Latin American country with the oldest population, announced an expert in this capital on Tuesday.
Doctor Alberto Fernandez, head of the National Group for the Care of the Elderly, of the Ministry of Public Health (MINSAP) told ACN in an exclusive interview that the rapid population aging is largely due to the low birth rate, the increase of life expectancy and social development.
After 16 unjust years of imprisonment, on 17 December 2014, Ramón Labañino, Gerardo Hernández and Antonio Guerrero, the three remaining members of the Cuban 5, returned to Cuba following their release from US gaols. This is a defeat for the corrupt US justice system and massive victory for Cuba, particularly for anti-terrorist Gerardo Hernandez who was serving two life sentences plus 15 years.
The five Cuban heroes were arrested in 1998 and tried in Miami in 2001, in the midst of a hostile media storm whipped up by journalists in the pay of the US government. Denied a fair trial, they were found guilty of charges ranging from spying to conspiracy to commit murder and endangering the security of the United States. These men had been working to foil the persistent attempts by right-wing counter-revolutionary groups in the United States to commit acts of sabotage and terrorism against Socialist Cuba. These attacks included 78 bombings, 61 hijackings of planes and boats, biological attacks of dengue and swine fever, and 58 attacks from the sea, killing at least 3,478 people in total. The Cuban 5 were guilty of nothing more than peacefully trying to protect their country against terrorism. Their case Illustrates the hypocrisy of the US ‘War on Terror’.
Wednesday 17 December will be recognised for decades to come as a crucial date for Cuban history when, following years of campaigning, the Cuban 5 were finally free. Ramon, Gerardo and Antonio now join Rene Gonzalez and Fernando Hernandez, who served their full sentences and were released in 2011 and 2014 respectively.
Published on April 21 2015, Granma Author: Livia Rodriguez Delis
Some 88.3% of eligible voters cast ballots during the first round of mid-term elections, on April 19, to select delegates to Municipal Assemblies of People’s Power.
This April 19, Cubans participated in another historic event reflective of the times. More than 7.5 million voters, 88.3% of eligible voters, exercised their right to vote to reaffirm their commitment to the future of the Revolution, on a day when the country also celebrated the 54th anniversary of Cuba’s victory over the U.S. backed invasion at Playa Girón, on the Bay of Pigs.
Following an international initiative for a global day of action in solidarity with Venezuela, branches of the Revolutionary Communist Group responded with solidarity actions around the country. 19 April 2015 marks the 205th anniversary of the first declaration of Venezuelan independence from Spain in 1810. The global actions coincided with marches and rallies across Venezuela, declaring their defiance against imperialist intervention, the US decree and the latest round of US sanctions.
In Lewisham, anti-austerity and anti-cuts campaigners from South London RCG held a street stall in solidarity with Venezuela.
U.S. President Barack Obama said Tuesday that he intends to remove Cuba from the list of state sponsors of terrorism list. In a brief statement, the White House said it no longer considers Havana a state sponsor of terrorism. “The Government of Cuba has not provided any support for international terrorism during the preceding 6-month period; and ... the Government of Cuba has provided assurances that it will not support acts of international terrorism in the future,” the statement reads.
White House press secretary Josh Earnest commented that Obama's decision is in line with U.S. “interests and values.” “We will continue to have differences with the Cuban government, but our concerns over a wide range of Cuba’s policies and actions fall outside the criteria that is relevant to whether to rescind Cuba’s designation as a State Sponsor of Terrorism,” he said.
Regional leaders flocked to Panama City this past weekend for the VII Summit of the Americas, which has been widely hailed as a victory for left-leaning and progressive forces in the region, particularly Venezuela and Cuba.
The summit was marked by the historic presence of Cuba whose president Raul Castro addressed his counterparts and held face to face talks with Barack Obama, the first Cuban leader to do so since the socialist nation's US-imposed expulsion from the Organization of American States in 1962.
However, the much anticipated rapprochement between the two nations was largely upstaged by regional leaders' near uniform rejection of President Obama's March 9 Executive Order labeling Venezuela a "national security threat", which has been condemned by all 33 nations of the CELAC (Community of Latin American and Caribbean States) and other regional bodies.
While positively noting the steps taken by Obama to reestablish bilateral ties with Cuba, Castro nonetheless criticized the US president for his aggressive measures against Venezuela.
"Venezuela is not and could never be a threat to the national security of a superpower like the US," declared the Cuban leader, calling on Obama to "repeal the Executive Order" and "lift unilateral sanctions".
"I must reaffirm all of our loyal and resolute support for the sister Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, for the legitimate government and civil-military union headed by President Nicolas Maduro."
Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos announced Thursday that he would extend the suspending of air raids on camps used by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia for an additional month. President Santos originally issued the suspension of bombings of FARC camps on March 10, stating at the time that it was a temporary measure to help de-escalate the more than 50-year conflict in the country and help move the peace negotiations forward.
The FARC implemented a unilateral cease-fire in December 2014, which has been independently verified by human rights defenders. Santos added that the Ministry of Defense had also confirmed that the FARC was abiding by the unilateral cease-fire. “For this reason, I have decided to extend the suspension of bombings for one more month, I will continue to do so into the future,” said Santos.
However the decision to suspend bombings does not preclude the Colombian government from engaging in combat on the ground, which the FARC has warned threatens the peace process.
Caracas has joined Havana in withdrawing its delegation to the Civil Society Forum at the 7th Summit of the Americas this week, after Cuban delegates broke the news that at least 20 counter-revolutionary Cuban “mercenaries” had also been invited to participate in the event.
Among the highly controversial figures set to participate in the forum are the radical anti-Cuban government dissidents, Manuel Cuesta Morúa, Elizardo Sánchez and Rosa María Payá, as well as members of the Cuban exile community. All are known to have financial ties to U.S. funding agencies such as the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and have a history of trying to subvert the Cuban government. Ex-CIA agent, Félix Rodríguez Mendigutía, better known for his role in the assassination of Argentinian revolutionary, Ernesto “Che” Guevara, is also participating in the summit.
The Venezuelan Committee for the Victims of the Barricades have branded a decision to deny them entry into a Summit of the America’s Forum as a “premeditated” attempt to silence them.
The victims of last year’s barricades, which were headed by Venezuelan opposition figures Leopoldo Lopez and Maria Corina Machado, had travelled out to Panama earlier this week to participate in the Civil Society and and Social Actors Forum, as well as in the “People’s Summit” - an accompanying event to the Organisation of American States (OAS) 7th “Summit of the Americas”.
“This is no coincidence, they want to silence our voices so that we can’t tell the stories of our family members who are now dead, thanks to who they are calling political heroes like Leopoldo Lopez,” said Yendry Velasquez, whose soldier husband was killed in the violence.
The exclusion of the committee, which was formed last year in a bid to highlight the stories of the 43 people who were killed and the hundreds who were injured in last year’s violence, is just one of many recent attempts to silence the group. They say that they have been discriminated against by the largely privately owned Venezuelan media and its international counterparts, which have prevented them from telling their stories.
“They want to shut us up, they don’t want us to tell the truth,” said Desirée Cabrera, whose infant daughter almost died in an arson attack during the barricades.
As part of its awareness raising work, the committee has submitted official documentation of their experiences to bodies such as the Spanish and U.S. embassies in Venezuela, as well as to a U.N. mission in Caracas. To date, they have received little in the way of a response.
Experts of the Pan-American and World Health organizations praised the results of the program of eastern Santiago de Cuba province to prevent and eliminate the mother-child transmission of HIV/AIDS and syphilis.
Doctor Maria Dolores Mafran, responsible of the Department for Prevention and Control of Infections by Sexually Transmitted Diseases/HIV-AIDS in the territory, told ACN that the specialists visited health centers as part of actions to validate the vertical elimination of these diseases in Cuba.
Likewise, she pointed out, they showed interest in the structures of these centers, at the level of doctor's offices, in which they verified prenatal care from Primary Health Care, serology for syphilis and HIV in pregnant women's registers, and the experience of the staff in communities.
Exchanges with civil society were significant, underlined Mafran, represented in members of the Federation of Cuban Women, the Committees for the Defense of the Revolution, transsexual and homosexual persons living with HIV, and in the project of youngsters and adolescents promoting health care.
Mafran conveyed the opinion of Adele Benzaken, co-president of the Regional Committee of Experts that visited the country, who, during her visit to Santiago de Cuba expressed that the assessment was yet another opportunity to know more about eh island's public health system, in addition to the hospitality, transparence and dedication to work of specialized staff. The verification exercise was also carried out in the provinces of Havana and Villa Clara, and results will be presented in Geneva, headquarters of the WHO.
The last group of Cuban doctors and nurses that fought Ebola in Sierra Leone arrived this Wednesday in Cuba from that Western Africa country,
The 64 health workers arrived at night at the Juan Gualberto Gomez International Airport in Varadero, after spending six months in a risky mission to save the lives of those people afflicted with the disease.
A 310-300 aircraft, from the Portuguese airline Whyte, landed at 10:12 pm with such precious human cargo, and the joy and satisfaction for the accomplishment was evident on the face of each of them.
The workers of the airport gave them an enthusiastic reception on behalf of all Cubans and they were immediately transported to the hospital where will undergo the process of surveillance and control established for all those arriving from countries affected by Ebola.
On Sunday, March 23, a first group of 150 health staff, 98 of them from Sierra Leone and Liberia 52, returned to the country
Over 250 Cuban doctors and nurses are members of the Henry Reeve contingent, who at the call of the Secretary General of the UN, Ban Ki Moon, and the World Health Organization, traveled in October 2014, to fight the virus also in Guinea Conakry.
In these three countries in West Africa, the most affected by the disease, the Cuban health staff played not only a major role in curing Ebola, but on prevention, as recognized by the authorities of those nations and international organizations.
The US and Cuba have recently met to exchange concerns about the observance of human rights in the respective countries. Following are some differences between the two countries that may be mentioned. Because the concepts of civil and human rights are often confused, we include also some of the former.
Cuba has a one-party system that is focused on building socialism. In the last few years, however, it has fostered a new private sector of agricultural and non-agricultural cooperatives and individual businesses. The US, on the other hand, has a two-party system (with a few other micro-parties that do not make a difference at any higher level of government) that is focused on maintaining capitalism.
Cuba's legislative assembly generally follows the lead of the Communist Party, as is in fact provided in the Constitution. The legislature of the US generally follows the lead of banks and corporations and of the industrial-military-security complex, which is not in the Constitution. Cuba's elections to the assembly are low-cost, while elections in the US are highly dependent on financial contributions, as are legislative initiatives.
The World Health Organization is set to confirm Cuba as the first country in the world to have eliminated the STI transmission from mother to child. Experts from the World Health Organization (WHO) will visit Cuba soon to review if the country can be certified to have eliminated the transmission of HIV and syphilis from mother to child.
In order to receive the certification from the WHO, a country must have a transmission rate in less than 0.5 percent of live births in the case of syphilis and less than 2 percent in the case of HIV. Medical care for pregnant women and access to HIV tests must exceed 95 percent and antiretroviral treatment must be available for 95 percent of seropositive pregnant women. “We believe Cuba meets the indicated requirements and we hope to receive certification,” said Dr. Rosaida Ochoa, director of the Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Unit.
As Palestinians continue to face economic hardships and services and housing shortagtes after the Israeli bombardments last year, dozens of Gazans joined a rally on Saturday morning in solidarity with Venezuela.
teleSUR’s correspondent in Gaza, Noor Harazeen reported from the rally that attendees were calling for the U.S. to keep its hands off Venezuela. The event was organized by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PLFP), and several Palestinian officials attended, including Sami Abu Zuhri from Hamas.
“In light of the terrible threats that the government and people of Venezuela have received from the U.S. government ... all sorts of people have mobilized in support of the Venezuelan people ... The only threat to humanity is the government of the United States and its allies ... And the people of Gaza, are showing their love today in the streets, their support for Venezuela,” Valeria Cortes, one of the organizers, told teleSUR.
Several PLFP leaders gave speeches at the rally, and Luis Fernandez, the Venezuelan representative to the Palestinian Authority, addressed the rally by phone from Ramallah. Palestinians waved Venezuelan flags and pictures of Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro and former president Hugo Chavez.
Speech by Army General Raúl Castro Ruz, First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba and President of the Councils of State and Ministers, at the 9th Extraordinary Alba-TCP Summit, convened in solidarity with the sister nation of Venezuela, held in Caracas, the BolivarianRepublic of Venezuela, March 17, 2015
Esteemed Heads of State and Government of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America; Esteemed Heads of delegations and guests; Compañeras and compañeros:
ALBA brings us together today to reaffirm our firmest support for the Bolivarian people and government in the face of the latest interventionist measures and threats from the U.S. government against Venezuela.
Declaration of the Extraordinary Summit of the Heads of States and Government of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America – People's Commerce Treaty (ALBA – TCP)
We, the heads of state and government, representatives of the member countries of ALBA, gathered on March 17, 2015 in Caracas, Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, declare:
1. Our rejection of the Executive Order issued on March 9, 2015 by the Government of the United States of America, on the basis that this Executive Order is unjustified and unjust, which constitutes a threat of interference that runs counter to the principle of sovereignty and the principle of non-intervention in the internal affairs of states.
In April 2015 Rock Around The Blockade will be sending a delegation of activists to Cuba to support the country that has been blockaded for more than half a century.
Since the revolution in 1959, the Cuban government has committed itself to levelling the social structure of the country. In addition to delivering free, world class education and healthcare to every single Cuban, the government has also invested heavily in the arts to ensure that culture is available to all, and is not a bourgeois pastime. Recently this involved investing $200,000 to a financially struggling ballet school to transform it into the world renowned Ballet Nacional de Cuba.
However, as a result of the US blockade, these state-funded art and leisure institutions have been faced with shortages of much-needed materials including dance and sports equipment.
And despite the promises of the Obama government in recent months the blockade remains in place, to the detriment of the lives of 11 million Cubans.
That’s why, on the 20th April, a group of 16 activists will be travelling to Cuba to deliver material aid in the form of ballet shoes and boxing gloves.
The brigade will also critique and learn from a country that in the depth of a world crisis continues to be committed to delivering free education, healthcare, culture and sport as a constitutional right for every citizen.
The research we undertake will be presented back in Britain at a series of events as we use the lessons learned in a socialist system are relevant to the working class in Britain, which is currently being brutalised at the hands of an ideologically-driven government that is dismantling and privatising the public sector and welfare state at every opportunity. Cuba has shown time and time again since 1959 that there is an alternative.