Cuba

  • Published on 8 November 2015 by Telesur English

    hondurascuban-doctors

    Cuban doctors have served over 29 million Hondurans and saved at least 250,800 Honduran lives over the past 17 years, according to local media.

    Since arriving in the Central American country in 1998, Cuban doctors have focused on serving rural areas with little or no access to healthcare, the Cuban Medical Brigade leader Orlando Alvarez told Honduras’ La Prensa.

    The Cuban Medical Brigade was initially sent to Honduras in 1998 by former Cuban President Fidel Castro to help respond to the devastation of Hurricane Mitch. The tropical storm impacted all of Central America but hit Honduras the hardest, killing at least 7,000 Hondurans and leaving at least 1.5 million more homeless.

    Honduras and Cuba later agreed to lengthen the stay of Cuban health professionals in the country to provide healthcare to underserved regions.

  • Published on 11 August 2015 by Granma

    hepB

    A Cuban medication to treat chronic hepatitis B, HeberNasvac, created by scientists at the Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology Center (CIGB), is currently undergoing clinical trials in collaboration with the French company Abivax.

    The product has been undergoing safety and efficacy tests for several years, stated a CIGB specialist.

    According to Iris Lugo Carro, the clinical trials being carried out by Cuban scientists and Abivax - involving 230 patients from eight Asian countries, and the participation of 50 clinical centers - are being realized under regulation ABX 203.

    To date, the study has been approved by the regulatory authorities of Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, the Philippines and Thailand.

    The trials were designed by high-level sector experts contracted by Abivax, in collaboration with Cuban scientists.

    Satisfactory progress is being made in the investigation being carried out in this region of the world, where Hepatitis B prevalence is highest.

    The chronic liver disease, caused by the hepatitis B (HBV) virus, is one of  the principal causes of liver cancer, cirrhosis of the liver and other illnesses such as ascites, esophageal varices, splenomegaly, all with high mortality rates.

    HBV causes almost one million deaths every year, according to statistics from the World Health Organization (WHO).

  • Published on 31 August 2015 by Granma

    Dominica

    A 16-strong Cuban medical brigade including doctors, nurses and epidemiologists, together with three construction engineers and two electrical engineers, left for the Commonwealth of Dominica this Monday, where they will join the efforts to assist the victims of Tropical Storm Erika.

    Shortly after 7.00 a.m., the Aero Caribbean ATR 72 aircraft took off from the Jose Martí International Airport in Havana, carrying 1.2 tons of medicines, supplies and disposable materials for assistive care, together with the personnel.

    Dr. Norberto Ramos, leading the brigade, stated that the team who will attend to the population in disaster areas following the onslaught of the tropical storm had been put together in just 12 hours.

    He noted that among those leaving for Dominica are specialists who traveled to West Africa earlier this year to combat Ebola, as well as the earthquakes in Chile and Nepal.

  • Published on 16 December 2015 by Granma

    norberto

    Dr. Norberto de Jesús Ramos González believes that one reaches the height of humanism when offering medical care to victims of catastrophic events, caused by natural disasters or epidemics.

    A dentist by profession, he first served as head of the Cuban medical brigade in Equatorial Guinea, Africa; and later in the Caribbean islands of Haiti and Dominica, in addition to previous short periods of work in several other countries.

    Although Cuba has been offering solidarity support to Equatorial Guinea for 40 years, in 2000 the revolutionary government decided to send more collaborators to establish the Comprehensive Health Program, an initiative previously undertaken in Central America, which included medical assistance in remote areas and human resource training.

    “Our main challenge in Africa was malaria and the 146 members of our brigade fell ill with the disease in the first or second year of the mission. The Cuban authorities were very concerned about the situation, which is why we received a visit from the Minister of Health and other deputy ministers. Luckily no deaths occurred,” commented Ramos González to Granma International.

    Describe the process of creating an internationalist brigade?

  • Published on 23 August by Jamaica Observer

    Cuba Jamaica

    A senior Cuban biochemist attached to Cuba's largest biotechnology institute has reached out to Jamaica in an effort to save the struggling country millions of dollars and simultaneously improve health care for its people.

    Leading Cuban biochemist, Dr Manuel Raices Perez-Castaneda, Business Development Executive at Cuba's Center for Generic Engineering and Biotechnology, said that Jamaica was so near, yet appeared to be far away from engaging Cuba in ways that it can improve health care to hundreds of thousands of Jamaicans who suffer from various ailments.

    "For a long time we have had cooperation in health care with Jamaica, and even now we have a permanent medical brigade in your country," Perez-Castaneda told the Jamaica Observer in an exclusive interview at his organisation's offices here.

    "But cooperation could be better between us. The first thing is for Jamaica, it will be a win-win situation, and personally, I get the feeling that this message is not clear.

    "When you are talking about introducing knowledgeable therapists who are not in Jamaica, could be sent there, one of the things people think about is how expensive it could be in an economic scenario -- introducing new therapists that can be costly, and it's not clear of the impact that will be derived. We have an answer for that.

    "When you look at health as an expense, you start making a mistake, and I am not talking about Jamaica alone. This is the first mistake a country can make, because in health you do not spend, you invest," Dr Perez-Castaneda said.

  • Published on 1 March 2016 by Granma

    boxing granma

    Just like thousands of other Cuban sports collaborators, who promote healthy physical recreation in communities across Venezuela, there is a select group of trainers and specialists confirming Cuba’s dream of high performance sports outside of the market system.

    Conceived as part of the Homeland Plan, established by former President Hugo Chávez, the Marshall Antonio Jo­sé de Su­cre Bolivarian Educational Center for Talented Athletes was created in this Andean city, which, in just three years, has trained dozens of young champions.

    The center, with 40 top Cuban coaches on staff, is distinguished by the fact that the goal here is not only to produce gold-medal athletes who perform at the level of their talent, but also well-rounded men and women with strong human values, despite being obliged to mature early given the rigors of training.

    “Of course, athletic results are the priority, and we have exceeded expectations with tens of medals won, in the school’s short existence,” explains Juan Álvarez Hernández, Cuban advisor to the school’s director.

  • Published on 28 September 2016 by Granma.

    f0014097

    “The members of the Federation of University Students (FEU) are not asleep, nor passive, and much less remain with their arms crossed in the face of the interventionist and hostile plans of the U.S. government,” warned Jennifer Bello Martínez, FEU national president, speaking on September 27, in the province of Ciego de Ávila.

    During a press conference, Bello Martínez, a member of the Council of State, denounced subversive plans financed by the U.S. on behalf of the organization's over 130,000 members. She also condemned the scholarship program offered by the World Learning organization, which targets Cuban youth.

  • cuba medics kenya min

    By Cassandra Howarth | FRFI

    Since the Cuban Revolution of 1959, the status and quality of life of Cuban women has improved dramatically with women now constituting almost 60% of all professionals and more than half of scientists. Women are also becoming increasingly represented in government, and in the national parliament 53.2% of members are women. The ministers for Education, Finance and Pricing, Domestic Trade, the Food Industry, Labour and Social Security, Science, Technology and the Environment, and the Minister and President of the Central Bank of Cuba are also all women, as well as the heads of the National Environmental Agency, and eight out of 15 provinces in Cuba are led by women.

  • Published on 4 September 2015 by Cuban News Agency

    salaries

    The average monthly salary in Cuba reported a significant 24-percent increase in 2014 with respect to the previous years, particularly for sugar workers, according to an article published on Juventud Rebelde newspaper.

    While the general monthly average salary grew to 584 pesos (some 24,3 US dollars at current exchange), compared to 471 pesos (some 19,6 dollars) in 2013, the sugar sector reported an average 963 pesos (some 40.1 dollars) a month.

    This salary raise was particularly due to the increase in the health sector, which employs over 400 thousand workers, as well as in some sports areas and in the foreign investment sector, meaning workers employed by companies operating with foreign capital, as part of a policy to gradually raise the salaries of state workers, the article explains and cites the National Statistics Office data on its Employment and Salary chapter.

  • carriles justice resized

    By Will Harney | FRFI

    The self-confessed terrorist bomber and CIA agent Luis Posada Carriles died a free man on 23 May in Miami, Florida where he had been sheltered by the US government since 2005. He was a counter-revolutionary responsible for the deaths of innocent people throughout Latin America.

    The right-wing Cuban exile community mourn Posada as a hero: radio station La Poderosa observed a minute’s silence; the Havana Times blog gave tribute to the ‘Hero’ (later amended to ‘Warrior’); while the Miami Herald’s coverage on the day painted him as the James Bond of Latin America. US media headlines were forgiving and almost universally described Posada only as a ‘militant Cuban exile’ (eg Washington Post, 23 May 2018). Echoing this hypocrisy for a British audience, the BBC presented Posada as a ‘Cuba anti-Com­munist activist’ above his smiling portrait.  In the imperialist countries, it was as if a likeable firebrand had passed away, and not a prolific mass murderer.

  • Published on 12 May 2016 by Granma.

    flag

    What has occurred in Brazil is part of the reactionary counter-offensive mounted by imperialism and the oligarchy against revolutionary and progressive governments in Latin America and the Caribbean.

    The revolutionary government of the Republic of Cuba has repeatedly denounced the parliamentary-judicial coup d’état, disguised with legality, which has been developing in Brazil for months. A majority of Brazilian Senators continue the process of impeachment of the legitimately elected President of Brazil, Dilma Rousseff, and with this "provisionally" remove her from office for a period of 180 days, during which the Senate must decide, via a two thirds majority vote of its members, to definitively dismiss her.

  • Publishe on June 16 2017 on Granma

    Defending the accomplishments of revolutionary sports

    Cuba holds an unchallenged first place on the Central American and Caribbean medal chart. Likewise in Latin America; second on the entire American continent; and among the top ten on the globe!

    june 16, 2017 14:06:45

    Mijaín López won three of Cuba's Olympic gold medals. Photo: Ricardo López Hevia

    The facts are readily available. Cuba is number 106 on the planet in terms of geographic area, number 18 in the Americas.

    Ranking its population presents no problems: Cuba's 11 million inhabitants place the country 82nd worldwide; 12th in the Americas; and fifth in Central America and the Caribbean.

    Cuba is likewise far down on lists of the richest nations. On the contrary we feature prominently on that of blockaded countries, subjected to continual attempts to create hunger and deprivation. In this category, we are always on the podium.

    A SINGULAR CONTRAST IN SPORTS

    Yet Cuba holds an unchallenged first place on the Central American and Caribbean medal chart. Likewise in Latin America; second on the entire American continent; and among the top ten on the globe!

    Since we have become so accustomed to this reality, the magnitude of what the Revolution has accomplished in sports escapes us at times.

    And Cuba has helped to extend sports throughout the world. Beyond its inspiring example, the country has sent a wealth of training experience abroad, and founded a school to train coaches, free of charge, to help others.

    The success of athletes from economically advantaged countries should come as no surprise, nor those from nations with particularly helpful characteristics like the physical traits of the population, that is different ethnic groups, isolated areas like plains, coasts, and mountains with densely populated areas. It is to be expected that they are gaining on Cuba in the medal count, and winning.

    What is important is competing with honor, never accepting poor results produced by deficient training, apathy, or lack of fighting spirit. The dignity of Cuban sports was evident during this last Olympic cycle.

    In the Vercruz 2014 Games, Cuban athletes overcame the home team, but lost second place.

    In the Toronto 2015 Pan Americans and the Río de Janeiro 2016 Olympic Games, our performances did not meet expectations.

  • Published on 17 March 2016 by teleSUR.

    cuban elections

    In the context of developing Cuba-U.S. relations, on March 2, 2016 in Geneva, the Deputy secretary of State of the U.S. State Department, Antony J. Blinken, issued the National Statement at the Human Rights Council of the United Nations. In this statement he indicated that Obama during his visit to Cuba in March “will emphasize that the Cuban people are best served by an environment where people are free to choose their political parties and their leaders...”

    Let us concentrate for the moment on the theme of “choosing their leaders.”

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    Dr Helen Yaffe, author of Che Guevara: The Economics of Revolution, speaks to the BBC on the arrival of Obama in Cuba.

  •  

    As media once again focuses on Cuba's economic developments in the wake of the restoration of diplomatic ties between Cuba and the US, we republish this 2014 article from Steve Ludlum. Published on 24 November 2014 by Morning Star

    cuba-workers

    Much of the recent media commentary on Cuba’s economic reforms highlights the growing private sector, implying a transition to capitalism.

    This ignores Cuba’s dominant state sector, its planning system and the role of private enterprise in socialist transition. For socialists, the defining innovation of capitalism is not private property but systematic exploitation of “free” wage labour.

    The reforms give management more autonomy and diversify the world of work. So what about the workers and their unions? What is in the 2014 Labour Code and other recent legislation, and what about salaries and job security?

  • Published on 12 October 2016 by Granma.

    french bank fined

    Despite the establishment of a historic dialogue with Havana on December 17, 2014, and regardless of the official visit of President Barack Obama to the island in March 2016, Washington continues to apply economic sanctions against the Cuban population, sparking the incomprehension of the international community. Established in 1960, during the Cold War, the sanctions (an economic, commercial and financial blockade of the country) persist more than half a century later, cause major difficulties for the Cuban economy and inflict unnecessary suffering on the most vulnerable sectors of the population. Their high cost and extraterritorial reach prompt unanimous rejection by the international community.

    However, the resolution of this asymmetrical conflict depends on the executive branch of the U.S. government, which has the necessary prerogatives to dismantle much of the framework of the sanctions imposed on the island.

  • Published on 8 April by Granma

    fidel

    Cuban leader Fidel Castro attended an event honoring revolutionary heroine Vilma Espín, on April 7.

    He visited the Vilma Espín educational center located in the Havana municipality of Playa, where, along with preschool and elementary students and teachers, he participated in a tribute to the founder of the Federation of Cuban Women (FMC), held on the 86th anniversary of Vilma’s birth.

    “I am sure that on a day like today, Vilma would be very happy,” the historic leader of the Cuban Revolution said.

    “She would be seeing why she sacrificed her life, why those who die struggling for the Revolution leave energy along the way, leave strength, and struggle for this,” he added

    Fidel, who will celebrate his 90th birthday in August, could be seen in the television broadcast spiritedly greeting the children and teachers, and discussing issues related to education, health and nutrition.

    “Those of us who are here consider being in this school today a privilege, since this type of school is getting close to a kind of dream. I was trying to remember if I had known of a place where a school like this one existed. Such a place doesn’t appear,” Fidel said.

    Boris Fuentes, the Cuban television journalist covering the event, reported that Fidel emphasized the school’s experience and its utility for rural areas.

    Currently attending the Vilma Espín School are preschool and elementary children, while a middle school program is to be initiated next September.

    The educational center was inaugurated April 9, 2013, with two classroom buildings, a library, as well as computer lab, and is staffed by a total of 43 individuals including teachers, assistants and service workers.

    Link to video in Spanish can be found here

  • Published on 26 November 2016 by teleSUR

    rip fidel

    The leader of the movement that won Cuban independence and champion of the Global South has died in Havana.

    Fidel Castro, former president and leader of the Cuban revolution, died Friday night at age 90, Cuban state television confirmed.

    Raul Castro, Cuba's President and Fidel Castro's brother, announced that Fidel would be cremated on Saturday. "The commander in chief of the Cuban revolution died 10:29pm tonight," said Castro.

    Born in 1926 to a prominent landowner in Holguín Province, Cuba, Fidel went on to lead Cuba’s revolutionary independence movement, defeating the U.S.-backed Batista dictatorship in 1959.

    Soon after his movement took power, Fidel adopted an explicitly socialist model of development and forged strong ties with the Soviet Union, earning the wrath of the United States.

  • Published on 28 March 2016 by teleSUR.

    fidel speaks

    Cuba's Fidel Castro has responded to U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to his country last week in an opinion piece for the website Cuba Debate.

    In the article, published Monday, the iconic revolutionary figure explained that "Cuba doesn't need the empire to give us anything," adding that "nobody should be under the illusion that the people of this noble and selfless country will surrender their rights and spiritual wealth that they have won with the development of education, science and culture,” under the Cuban Revolution.

    He added that Cuba can "produce the food and material wealth we need through effort and intelligence of our people."

  • Published 6 June 2017 by Granma

    Fidel’s contribution to environmental protection recognized

    Comandante en Jefe Fidel Castro’s strong defense of the environment and his contribution to tackling the global challenge of climate change were recognized June 5, during the national act to mark World Environment DayComandante en Jefe Fidel Castro’s strong defense of the environment and his contribution to tackling the global challenge of climate change were recognized June 5, during the national act for World Environment Day. 

    “It is impossible to celebrate World Environment Day in Cuba without recalling the legacy of Fidel,” stated Elba Rosa Pérez Montoya, a Party Central Committee member and minister of Science, Technology and Environment (Citma), who spoke about the historic leader of the Cuban Revolution’s comprehensive approach to environmental issues, as seen in more than 50 of his public speeches, including his remarks to the Communist Party of Cuba’s 7th Congress. 
    The minister recalled how, facing an adverse international context and subjected to a cruel blockade by the U.S. government, Cuba has not only made the struggle to save the environment the focus of government policy, but has also worked with other nations in the region on this issue; above all by training human resources to tackle the effects of climate change. 
    In this regard, Pérez Montoya emphasized comprehensive efforts undertaken in the province of Sancti Spíritus to combat the drought currently affecting the country, reduce water consumption and pollution, and preserve ecosystems. 
    Comandantes de la Revolución, Ramiro Valdés Menéndez, a member of the Party Political Bureau and a vice president of the Councils of State and Ministers; and Guillermo García Frías, president of the Central State Enterprise Management Organization (OSDE) for the Protection of Flora and Fauna, presided the event in Sancti Spíritus, the third to take place in the province since 2000. 
    Meanwhile, United Nations resident coordinator and Development Programme representative, Myrta Kaulard, highlighted Cuba’s willingness to undertake actions toward protecting the island’s biodiversity and terrestrial ecosystems, preserving the oceans, guaranteeing drinking water for the population, and promoting renewable energy. 
    Also participating in the act were José Ramón Monteagudo Ruiz, first Party secretary in Sancti Spíritus; Inés María Chapman Waugh, president of the National Institute of Hydraulic Resources, and Teresita Romero Rodriguez, president of the Provincial Assembly of People’s Power.
    Presented during the event were National Environment Awards which went to the Villa Clara based Architecture and Engineering Enterprise; DIMARQ Design and Engineering Enterprise from Ciego de Ávila; as well as to Dr. Luis Joaquín Catasús Guerra and Comandante de la Revolución Ramiro Valdés Menéndez; while the provinces of Cienfuegos, Villa Clara, Sancti Spíritus and Ciego de Ávila, were recognized for their outstanding achievements in the field.

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