Panamanian President Condemns U.S. Sanctions against Cuba

Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela today repeated his country''s condemnation of the sanctions imposed by the United States against Cuba, when commenting Washington''s policy of restrictions against the Caribbean island and Russia.

Varela favored a solution to disputes through dialogue when answering a question from Prensa Latina on the obstacles created by the administration of President Donald Trump to world trade and its sanctions against Cuba and Russia.

More than half a century of the U.S. political, economic and commercial blockade on Cuba and the White House's sanctions against Russia do not help at all to eliminate the trade barriers and borders that Varela defended in his speech.

'The matter is not to exert more pressure, but, on the contrary, to seek consensus and dialogue' in international relations, noted the head of State.

In that regard, he mentioned the recent meeting in Singapore between U.S. President Donald Trump and the maximum leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), Kim Jong-un.

The Panamanian president showed at the Russian Chamber of Commerce the advantages of his country, which had a population of four million, a gross domestic product (GDP) of some 50 billion dollars and a growth of more than 6 percent in 2017.

In response to Prensa Latina, Varela noted that he was faithful to his conviction that dialogue is the way to iron out differences. He highlighted the positive relations between Cuba and Panama, which is a member of the Pacific Alliance, along with other Latin American countries.

We try to take advantage from dialogue, said the president of Panama, a country that, along with the members of the Pacific Alliance, demands internal changes in Venezuela, which considers that stance a clear case of interference in its internal affairs.

Varela recalled that Panama invited Cuba to the Summit of the Americas and welcomed the changes that have been made in the island's economy over the past few years.

In his speech at the Chamber of Commerce, Varela defended his country's stance as an international platform to reach Latin America, specifically for Russia.

We have connections with more than 70 destinations in some 35 countries, 5 percent of the world's port activity and a comfortable and advantageous system to register big companies in our territory, said Varela, who met with President Vladimir Putin on Thursday.

The Panamanian statesman noted the signing of an agreement on security to train police officers at the academy of the Russian Ministry of the Interior.

We have problems with drug trafficking and not precisely with conflicts, because Latin America is a zone of peace, he commented.

Varela will meet with executives of the airline Aeroflot today and he will travel to Sochi tomorrow for the game between Panama and Belgium, as part of the 2018 FIFA World Cup being held in 12 stadiums in 11 Russian cities until July 15.

  • Published in Cuba

Trinidad, Safe Candidate for World Crafts City in Cuba

Recognized for its ancestral practices with ceramics, fraying and embroidery, the third Cuban village is receiving today a visit from representatives of the World Crafts Council (WCC) for its evaluation as the World Crafts City.

The experts' itinerary of the institution associated with UNESCO includes, among other stops, the Santander family's workshop, linked for generations to the work of pottery, as well as the painter Yudit Vidal Faife's gallery, recognized for her work with craftswomen embroiderers.

Silvia Orellana, promoter of the Cuban Cultural Heritage Fund (FCBC), explained to Prensa Latina the tour also includes handicraft plazas such as Manaca Iznaga, a town located in the Valle de los Ingenios( Mill Valley), included next to the city on UNESCO's Cultural Heritage list.

Pena Street, place where local handicrafts are exhibited and sold, and the space of the artist Mery Viciedo also appear on the WCC route, the specialist said.

Viciedo also appears on the WCC route, the specialist remarked.

The proposal and evaluation of the southern city as a Craft City of the World pursues the promotion of local innovation, creative tourism as well as the creation of new opportunities for association and cooperation between craftsmen.

This visit to the third village founded by the Spaniards in Cuba is part of the program of the seventh meeting of the Intergovernmental Council for Crafts, headquartered in Havana since 30 May.

According to press reports, during these days, the WCC Vice President for Latin America and the Caribbean and Director of Crafts of the FCBC, Mercy Correa highlighted the potential of Trinidad in safeguarding these traditions.

'The nomination of the village is due to the work of conservation of the artisan manifestations that involve several generations and are part of everyday life', Correa said.

In this regard, Correa stressed in a press conference the importance of the event, which for the first time Cuba is participating actively as well as assuming the role of hostess.

  • Published in Cuba

European Film Festival in Cuba to Screen 18 Films from 16 Countries

The third European Film Festival in Cuba will show, from June 5 to 17, in this capital, 18 films from 16 countries of the so-called old continent, organizers of the event announced today.

The programmer of the Cinematheque of Cuba, Antonio Mazón, commented in a press conference the presentation of 14 fiction feature films, a documentary and three co-productions made by Latin American filmmakers that would have been impossible without the contribution of European companies.

Most of the works are premieres in Cuba and can be seen at three venues: 23 y 12 cinema, Multicine Infanta and the Center for the interpretation of Cuba-Europe cultural relations, located at the Palacio del Segundo Cabo.

According to Mazón, the films come from member states of the European Union such as Germany, Austria, Belgium, Spain, France, Greece, Hungary, Denmark, Italy, Bulgaria, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, the United Kingdom, the Czech Republic and Sweden.

Among the titles on the program are works recognized in international festivals such as The Emigrants, Different Worlds, Notes on Blindness, Magical Mystery, Rosita, Beautiful Youth and Winter.

  • Published in Culture

Cuba Delivers Remains of Foreigners Deceased in Air Crash

Cuba put the identified remains of 10 of the 11 foreigners who died at the air crash on May 18 at the disposal of relatives or their respective representatives, Cuban authorities said here Wednesday.

Cuban expert Sergio Rabell -director of the Cuban Legal Medicine Institute- said Wednesday that what is going to be done in all the particular cases is already decided.

Five Mexican members of the crew of the Boeing 737-200 that crashed after taking off from the Jose Marti International Airport of Havana, a Mexican female tourist, two Argentinean tourists and two Saharaui residents in Cuba have already a fixed destination, may be a cremation or repatriation of remains.

For instance, in the case of the two Argentinean tourists, the Embassy received the order from the relatives and the relatives decided to cremate the remains.

A similar procedure will be carried out with the Cuban citizens who died in the disaster of the plane rented by Cubana de Aviacion to Mexican airline DAMOJH, in which 113 people were flying.

Now only two people are still alive, reported in extremely critical condition. The majority of the 102 Cubans aboard the Boeing were from the eastern province of Holguín (67), where the mortal remains of several of them had already arrived.

Rabell said Wednesday that until 12:00 local time, 58 of the deceased had been identified, and of the foreigners, only one member of the crew is yet to be identified.

The director of the Institute of Legal Medicine foresees that the entire identification process will take one month, although the results have been quick to come out, based on the experience of the specialists and the organization of the work, which allowed for the rapid examination of the bags with the bodies and the classification of the victims' belongings.

  • Published in Cuba
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