Published on 9 December by Cuban News Agency
More than 35,000 self-employed workers have joined unions in the province of Holguín in response to the Guidelines for Economic and Social Policy of the Party and the Revolution, implemented in Cuba since 2010.
Annia González, member of the provincial secretariat of the Cuban Workers Federation (CTC by its Spanish acronym) in the northeastern territory, told ACN that for the coming 2015, the organization intends to integrate the 3 000 self-employed who are not yet affiliated to unions.
She explained that the sectors of Commerce, Industry and Transport constitute together the ones with largest concentration of non-state workers, and also have the non-integrated workers to CTC.
The creation of a wholesale market, taxes corresponding to the characteristics of each locality and the right to enjoy a month of vacation annually without paying tribute are some of the statements most frequently made by these workers.
Alexander Tamayo, self-employed affiliate for two years, highlighted the advantages of maintaining a union link because they are more organized and have an way through which to raise their rights, opinions and concerns.
Despite Mexico dominating the 2014 Central American and Caribbean Games (CACG) medal table for almost the whole competition, Cuba managed to emerge as the final winner of the event
Cuba ended with 123 golds, 66 silvers and 65 bronze medals, while Mexico, the host nation, finished in second place with 115, 106 and 111 medal respectively. It was the 10th time Cuba has won the games. It didn't participate in the 2010 tournament in Puerto Rico because of restrictions imposed by the U.S. embargo.
Medals in boxing and athletics finally helped Cuba top the table, with the Caribbean island winning 33 gold medals during the weekend. Colombia and Venezuela finished third and fourth, while another 21 other nations won at least one medal.
A total of 32 countries participated in the games that were held from November 14-30 in the port city of Veracruz, in the Gulf of Mexico. This year’s Veracruz 2014 CACG saw 56 new records set and had a historical female participation rate.
Published on 1 December 2014 by Cuban News Agency
The 2014-2015 Sugar Cane Harvest kicked off in Cuba with expectations to increase the sugar output between 15 and 20 percent over the last campaign´s total production.
The 2013-2014 campaign reported the largest growth over the past ten years, a four percent according to official statistics, but below the expected 1.8 million tons of sugar.
The current sugar cane harvest will count on 50 sugar plants, two more than in the previous campaign.
According to Celso Garcia, president of the AZCUBA Entrepreneurial Group, which replaced the former Sugar Ministry, they expect to exploit industrial capacities in more than 70 percent to obtain not less than 43 tons of sugar cane per hectare and produce over 1.2 million hectoliters of alcohol, out of which 476 thousand will be exported.
The current harvest is also to produce more than 225 thousand tons of animal feed and 125 Gigawatts-hour of power to the national electric system, based on the processing of sugar cane waste.
The harvest is scheduled to wind up in May after a 100-day period of operations by all sugar plants.
The AZCUBA Group expects to revert the long-term slump of the industry, which produced 8 million tons of sugar in 1990, with projections for 2.4 million tons in 2015.
The ongoing economic transformations on the island prioritize the sustained growth of sugar production and the improvement of relations between the industry and sugar cane growers, along with diversification.
The Cuban sugar sector was considered the locomotive of the country´s economy in the past but its production went down to only 1.1 million tons of sugar in 2010, the worst harvest over the past 105 years.
Published on 28 November 2014 by Radio Havana Cuba
The U.S. administration has granted a no-bid 1.4 million contract to Canyon Communications Company to produce TV and radio broadcasts specifically designed for Cuba.
The information was released in an article entitled "Canyon Communications snags big Cuba contract" by journalist Tracey Eaton on his blog "Along the Malecon," which specifies that the Office of Cuba Broadcasting said it awarded the contract without a competitive bid because Canyon Communications, founded by Jeff Kline, was uniquely qualified for the job.
"Kline is a longtime government contractor who has worked for the Health and Human Services Department, the Labor Department and other agencies. Lately, he's been doing projects for the Broadcasting Board of Governors, or BBG, which oversees the Office of Cuba Broadcasting, including Radio & TV Martí in Miami," Eaton explained.
The journalist recalled that last October, he heard "about a radio programming contest that Kline ran in Cuba without telling participants that it was funded by the U.S. government. The contest was aborted and no one was awarded any prizes after Cuban authorities arrested development worker Alan Gross in December 2009."
Earlier, in May 2014, Eaton wrote that "Kline had traveled to Cuba to test cell phones and other wireless devices for a State Department contractor, which you can read at Eaton´s website under the title "The Other Alan Gross."
And in the article "The incredible disappearing $450,000 contract," the journalist wrote about Kline's contract to produce so-called self-help videos in Cuba.
"Kline's company, Canyon Communications, signed the $1,450,063 BBG contract on September 30, 2014. His company has won a total of $1,799,503 in BBG contracts since 2013. That makes him the BBG's 56th winning-est vendor since 1999", Eaton explained in his article.
Published on 30 November 2014 by TeleSUR English
The Cuban Five’s Fernando Gonzalez Llort, met with Nicaragua’s president, Daniel Ortega, as the culmination of a week-long visit Saturday. TeleSUR English interviewed him earlier in the week in Esteli.
The Cuban Five were imprisoned in the U.S. in 1998 and sentenced in 2001, accused of espionage. The Five say they were monitoring Miami-based terrorist groups plotting to attack Cuba.
Many countries registered their calls for the release of the three members of the Five still in jail, at this year’s U.N. General Assembly, where 188 out of 193 countries again voted overwhelmingly for an end to the US blockade of Cuba.
In recent weeks, U.S. newspaper, The New York Times published a series of editorials calling for the exchange of the remaining three Cuban Five in U.S. prisons, for United States citizens imprisoned in Cuba.
There has been new evidence, since the trial, which further exonerates the Five. A 2010 Amnesty International report on the new evidence was enlightening:
“The new evidence that has emerged since the trial —of journalists being paid to plant prejudicial stories against the accused during the trial— also raises concern about equality of arms in that the government, unknown to the defendants, were stacking the case in the media —and also as we have seen very possibly in the court-room itself— in the prosecution’s favour.”
Published on 10 November 2014 by Granma Internacional
Argentine Dr. Augusto Sola, president of the Iberoamerican Neonatology Society emphasized the advances Cuba has made in this field, fundamentally with its genetic and prenatal programs, on November 7, during the closing session of the professional organization’s gathering in the Cuban city of Cienfuegos, 250 kilometers southeast of Havana.
Noted were progress in programs serving women of fertile age, the early detection of potentially difficult pregnancies and births, as well as the establishment of genetic centers – all of which has contributed to improving prenatal care and a reduction in painful births, Sola commented.
Dr Sola emphasized the importance of care for babies born weighing less than 1,500 grams, since worldwide a fourth of all neonatal deaths are attributed to low birth weight.
Specialists from Argentina, Colombia, Spain, Mexico and Cuba, participated in the event held at Dr. Gustavo Aldereguía Hospital.
Published on 8 November 2014 by TeleSUR English
The Cuban Government has announced that is seeks to generate 24 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030.
Cuba's National Electric Development program aims to significantly increase the island's electricity production capacity. Cuba seeks to generate 24 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030.
Achieving the target would allow the country to acquire nearly $780 million annual savings on imports from fossil fuels, which currently makes up 96% of Cuba's electricity source.
According to Energy Monitor Worldwide, if Cuba's power production grows 3 per cent annually, the per-Kilowatt cost will decrease from 21 cents at present to 18 cents by 2030.
The Caribbean nation’s current renewable energy output accounts for only 4.3 percent of its total electricity production but the government aims to boost investment by USD$3.5 billion over the next 15 years in order to develop the sector, the Communist Party daily Granma reported Friday.
During this week's 32nd Havana International Fair, the government presented 246 potential foreign investment projects to strengthen and modernize the island's renewable energy capacity, which would need foreign financing valued at around $9 billion.
Cuba's renewable power projects include the installation of solar and wind farms as well as small hydropower stations. In addition, the government aims to create bioelectric plants, which base their production on the incineration of marabou wood and sugar cane.
The Cuban President Raul Castro has shifted its focus away from offshore oil which government officials believe will increase the country's long-term energy independence.
and we republish below his initial blog post and a series of questions and answers about his new blog from a range of his followers:
'This post constitutes my presentation to the world of the blogosphere. To write it I’ve counted on the politeness of people who have preceded me on this field. Not all of them share the same views, but they all wish for a better Cuba and share an intellectual honesty which I respect. They are also together on the support for the Five. In this regard they represent millions of people both in Cuba and around the world.
I’ve wanted this questionnaire to answer to some of the questions from those millions of people. It is my aspiration that with the development of the blog some other answers are found, even for so many that don’t know about the case or that knowing it, for diverse reasons, are not today with the cause of the Five.
I sincerely believe in truth as a value. I believe that accessing it benefits everybody, even those who refuse to hear it. I trust that truth will find its way through this blog.
A scandalous video with false images of Cuba was presented by the NGO UN Watch during the so-called VI Summit for Human Rights and Democracy held in the International Conference Centre of Geneva, Switzerland.
The video is part of the ongoing campaign of UN Watch, an NGO known as "The Trojan Horse" of the CIA in Geneva, aimed at achieving that countries such as Cuba, China, Saudi Arabia and Russia, stop being members of the United Nations Human Rights Council.
During its presentation at the Summit, the UN Watch NGO, through its director Hillel Neuer, showed false images of Cuba where riot police officers appear beating some supposed Cuban young persons who are seated on the street shirtless.
Next they publish some images of about twenty of the so-called Ladies in White, women paid by the United States who were marching peacefully down a street of Havana and mix them with another group of women who have nothing to do with the Ladies in White.
Not a single police officer or a single image of repression presented by UN Watch corresponds to Cuba. Every person having lived of visited the Island knows very well that those images do not correspond to the Caribbean country. Cuban police officers wear neither those uniforms, helmets, nor those riot shields...