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ALBA celebrates 10 years

Published on 17 November 2014  by Granma Internacional

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Latin America is today experiencing new times which, after 10 years of work resulting in undeniable achievements, the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America – Peoples’ Trade Agreement (ALBA-TCP) is facing the challenge of consolidating itself, stated the organization’s Executive Secretary Bernardo Ál­varez.

The ALBA-TCP has the unique feature of brining together political forces which involved in a common project based on diversity, noted Ál­varez in statements to Prensa Latina. “In addition it understands that there are other mechanisms of integration in the hemisphere which play an equally important role, such as the Union of Southern Nations and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States,” he commented.

“We aspire to be a political consciousness for the left, for the world, for progress within new Latin American integration, with respect, but doing everything necessary so that the transformation and social agendas are part of debates in Latin American. This is where the challenge lies,” stated Ál­varez, adding that, the challenge also consists of continuing to promote and support integration and, to be an expression of this transformative political vision in the heart of Latin America.

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Argentina Rejects UK Military Exercises in Malvinas Islands

Published on 14 November by TeleSUR English

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According to the Foreign Ministry, 136 projectiles were fired during the drills.

The Argentinian government issued Thursday a statement rejecting military exercises conducted by the United Kingdom (UK) in the Malvinas islands.

The HMS Iron Duke warship conducted a series of maneuvers which included shooting 136 projectiles.

The Argentinian government denounced the exercise as a violation of United Nations General Assembly resolution 31/49 which calls upon both Argentina and the UK to abstain from any actions that would alter the status-quo whilst still in negotiations.

The statement also considers the exercises a provocation against the South American country. 

The Malvinas islands were occupied by the UK in 1833, and since are disputed with Argentina. The issue led to a war between both countries in 1982.

The UK responded later on Friday to Argentina's complaint, claiming the exercises are routine and should not be considered a provocation.

The Cuban government will help Bolivia launch it's first pharmaceutical production complex.

Published by TeleSUR

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The Cuban state-owned pharmaceutical and chemical company Labiofam announced that it will construct a factory in Bolivia that would allow the country to fulfill 100 percent of its demand for basic medicine, which updated it’s list of essential medicines last month. 

The plant is scheduled to be operational by 2020 and will provide pharmaceutical goods that will benefit both countries and in other countries across the Latin America region.

The two countries signed a cooperation agreement last May, which seeks to boost and incentivize local production of medicines across Latin America. 

Currently, Bolivia imports 70 percent of the pharmaceuticals used in the country at an estimated cost of US$56.4 million dollars a year.

Labiofam director general Jose Antonio Fraga told Reuters that the project has the potential to significantly reduce prices and improve access for certain medicines, with positive outcomes for Bolivian healthcare system.

"This is basically for poor people because they can't afford the prices set by the trans-nationals,"Fraga said. "So these industries will be subsidized by the state or their products will be sold at a very small profit margin, just to sustain themselves, not to get rich."

The announcement coincides with a recent decision made by Bolivian President Evo Morales who stated that his government seeks to invest US$350 million in the local pharma industry in order to reduce dependence on international pharmaceutical imports.

Cuba’s maternal-infant program wins praise

Published on 10 November 2014 by Granma Internacional

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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. 

The New York Times Admits US Interference in Cuba

Published on 10 November by Prensa Latina

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For the fifth time in less than a month, The New York Times published a long editorial on Cuba, in which it listed the countless destabilizing efforts by the United States to overthrow the Cuban government.

In an article entitled "In Cuba, Misadventures in Regime Change", the Editorial Committee of the influential New York-based newspaper on Sunday reviewed Washington's countless plans against national stability in Cuba since the approval of the Helms-Burton Act in 1996 to date.

The New York Times notes that these subversive plans only served as the foundation for the US government to spend 264 million dollars over the past 18 years, in an effort to instigate alleged democratic reforms on the island.

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