Published 10 September 2014 by Prensa Latina
The economic blockade that the United States has imposed on Cuba is a true financial war and brutally hinders the country''s socio-economic development, official sources charged.
When presenting a report on the issue on 9 September, Cuban Deputy Foreign Minister Abelardo Moreno said that the economic damage caused by that US policy until March 2014 amount, at current prices, to 116.88 billion dollars.
That accounts to 1.112534 trillion dollars if the damage is calculated according to gold prices, said the official when presenting the report, which will be submitted to the approval of the United Nations General Assembly in October.
There has not been more terrifying and vile damage, as not a single sector of social life has escaped from the blockade, Moreno said at the Solidarity with Panama Special School, where children with physical-motor or multiple disabilities study.
Published on 4 September 2014 by www.cadenagramonte.cu
The World Bank has just published a revealing report on the problems of education in Latin America and the Caribbean. Entitled “Excellent Professors: How to improve learning in Latin America and the Caribbean,” the study analyzes the public educational systems of countries in the region and the main challenges they face.
According to the World Bank, “no Latin American school system, with the possible exception of Cuba,” has world parameters, the Cubadebate Web site reported on Thursday.
The World Bank emphasizes “the average low quality of professors of Latin America and the Caribbean,” which constitutes the main obstacle for the development of education in the region. Academic contents are inadequate and practices, inefficient.
Indeed, only Cuba, where education has been the main priority since 1959, has an efficient educational system and high level professors. In this regard, Cuba can stand alongside with more developed nations. The Caribbean island is also the nation of the world that devotes the highest part of its national budget to education: 13%.
In spite of the limited resources of a Third World country and the blockade imposed by the United States on the island for over half a century now, Cuba shows that quality education is within reach of all nations
Published on 26 August 2014 by Granma Internacional
Celebrating its 54th anniversary, the FMC has four million members
To gauge the impact the Federation of Cuban Women (FMC) has had on society, we must go back in time to August 23, 1960, when the coming together of a variety of women’s organizations gave our grandmothers a voice and a vote - autonomy and the opportunity to get out of the kitchen.
The level of empowerment reached by Cuban women is undeniable, thanks to the FMC’s work. But far from satisfied with what has been accomplished thus far, the organization is seeking to adjust to the times, as the country’s economic and social situation continues to evolve.
The FMC’s 9th Congress, held this past March, made evident the important role women play in the country’s development, while also showing that discussion of current challenges is much needed, in order to find solutions.
Some data is illustrative: More than 16,000 women are working land granted them in usufruct, while women make up 20% of all agricultural workers, and 66% of the total workforce. The FMC’s community centers for women and families serve more than 60,000 persons a year, and 36% of the FMC’s local leaders are young.
Over the course of these 54 years, the FMC has grown along with the revolutionary process, without leaving behind its essence as an organization. Teresa Amarelle Boué, national secretary general, identified the Federation’s fundamental objectives as defense of the Revolution, and the struggle for equality.
Currently, 90% of Cuban women over 14 years of age, more than four million – are members of the FMC, which at this time is intent upon perfecting its work given the generational transformation occurring at the grassroots level. This is a challenge which implies the use of new, attractive strategies to reach today’s young women.
In addition to its community work, the Federation is the national organization which, in a dialogue with the government and others, promotes policies to benefit women. Alliances have been established with the ministries of Education, Health, Justice, Labor and other entities charged with ensuring progress for women.
Such efforts have led to increased attention to preventative healthcare measures for women; to laws protecting women’s rights and physical safety; to equal opportunity in employment, in urban and rural areas; to motherhood and child rearing; and to all areas which concern women in general.
This is today’s Federation – an organization of better prepared women who know their place in society, and what they must do to preserve it.
Published on 5 September 2014 by ACN www.periodico26.cu
Thousands of messages are at the doors of the White House on Friday demanding the release of the three anti-terrorist Cubans held in US prisons since 1998.
Supporters of the cause of Gerardo Hernández, Ramón Labañino, Antonio Guerrero, René González and Fernando González, internationally known as the Cuban Five, are sending their requests to President Barack Obama as an international solidarity action that takes place on the 5th day each month.
The initiative, which was promoted by the International Committee for the Freedom of the Five, reiterates the world claim for justice and urges the White House to return Hernandez, Labanino an Guerrero back to Cuba.
The three Cubans still imprisoned along with René González and Fernando González, already in Cuba after serving their prison sentences, monitored Florida-based violent organizations that planned terrorist actions against the Cuban people. They were submitted to a biased Miami trial which gave them extremely long an unfair sentences in 2001.
The campaign has been joined by renown personalities, such as Professor Felix Kury, from the University of San Francisco, California, who wrote Obama a letter urging him to use his signature and power to release the three Cuban anti-terrorist fighters.
The current international campaign for the release of Hernández, Labañino and Guerrero will run till October 6 with actions in over 40 nations of the world.
Published on 15 August 2014 by www.cubacontemporanea.com
Cuba's Labiofam company (biopharmaceutical and chemical products) will present new therapeutic products against cancer during the Labiofam 2014 International Congress, which will be held in Havana from 22 to 25 September.
The press director of the institution, José Antonio Fraga Castro reports that during the event at the Palacio de Convenciones in Havana they will discuss about natural products on human health, the comprehensive programs of prevention and control of transmitters vectors of diseases, therapy and prophylaxis in animals, bio-pesticides and bio-fertilizers for agriculture and cosmetics,.
Published on 19 August 2014 by Radio Rebelde
A Chinese credit line will allow the setting up of a multi-purpose port terminal in eastern Santiago de Cuba, the second major city in Cuba at 850 kilometers from the capital Havana.
The credit line was one of the accords signed during the recent visit here by China’s president Xi Jinping, according to Radio China International.
The investment cost amounts to over 100 million dollars said Port director general Leonardo Naranjo speaking to Cuban television.
The project includes s 200-meter pier with three cranes and two warehouses, as well as the purchase of off-loading equipment.
The Santiago de Cuba harbor project will be the island’s second deep-water harbor after Mariel, some 45 kilometers west of Havana, which harbors the first Special Development Zone in Cuba.
Published on 1 August 2014 by Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! 240
Cuba’s new direct Foreign Investment Law was implemented on 30 June 2014. Unanimously approved in March by the National Assembly of People’s Power, the law is in accordance with the Economic and Social Policy Guidelines for the Party and the Revolution. These guidelines were established by the 6th Congress of the Communist Party of Cuba in 2010 and discussed and modified across 163,000 consultations with almost nine million Cubans, before being ratified by the National Assembly of People’s Power in 2011. This extraordinary process of participative democracy governs the principles by which the Foreign Investment Law will operate. As the introduction of the guidelines affirms, ‘only socialism is capable of overcoming the difficulties and preserving the conquests of the Revolution, and that in the updating of the economic model, planning will be supreme, not the market’.
As we have discussed previously (see FRFI 221), the new law is part of a series of economic updates begun in 2008 designed to urgently increase domestic production, productivity and efficiency. This is necessary to increase national income, eliminate a balance of payments deficit, substitute imports with domestic production and develop the productive forces to work towards the long-term aims of ‘food and energy self-sufficiency, an efficient use of human potential, a higher level of competitiveness in traditional production areas, and the development of new forms of the production of goods and services of higher added value.’
Published on 6 August 2014 by Granma Internacional
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) secretly sent young Latin Americans to Cuba in an attempt to incite opposition and destroy the Revolution, according to an investigation conducted by the U.S. press agency Associated Press, the same agency which exposed the ZunZuneo project, based on the use of new mobile phone technology to promote destabilization in Cuba.
The report signed by journalists Desmond Butler, Jack Gillum, Alberto Arce and Andrea Rodríguez, stated that beginning in October 2009, a project directed by USAID sent young Venezuelans, Costa Ricans and Peruvians to Cuba with the goal of inciting a rebellion on the island.
AP revealed, “The travelers worked undercover, often posing as tourists, and traveled around the island scouting for people they could turn into political activists.”
The project employed covert methods commonly used by U.S. intelligence services, such as secret lines of communication, fronts and lies; encryption of information; security measures; promoting exchanges with overseas agents; seeking intelligence information on Cuban society; psychological preparation of emissaries in the case of possible detection by Cuban State Security; use of codes in communications, among others. Nonetheless the journalists assert that the project was plagued with “incompetence and risks.”
Published on 25 July by www.counterpunch.org W.T. Whitney Jr
In Cuba recently press conferences and new reports celebrated the ten-year anniversary of Operation Miracle, known also as “Mision Miracle,” which occurred on July 8. This internationalized project aimed at restoring vision on a massive scale took shape within the context of ALBA, the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America.
Cuba and Venezuela launched ALBA in late 2004. Latin American and Caribbean nations belonging to ALBA engage in mutually beneficial trade-offs of educational and medical services, scientific projects, even commodities. They are referred to as solidarity exchanges. ALBA exemplifies Cuba and Venezuela’s central role in promoting regional integration.
Under Operation Miracle, Cubans and Venezuelans benefit from surgical eye care, as do tens of thousands of foreign nationals who’ve traveled to Cuba for treatment. Cuban ophthalmologists serving in Venezuela took the lead in establishing 26 eye care centers throughout that national territory. Staff consisting of eye surgeons, nurses, technicians, and other physicians have served Venezuelans and also vision- impaired people from 17 Latin American countries plus Italy, Portugal, and Puerto Rico. More recently organizers established centers in 14 Latin American and Caribbean nations. Ten years after its start the project operates in 31 countries, some in Africa and Asia.