Cuban FM Stresses Importance of Ties with Latin America

Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez highlighted the importance for Havana of its relations with Latin American and Caribbean nations, with which it shares the common goal of defending peace and geographical coexistence.

In Twitter, he wrote Cuba has defended the proclaim of Latin America and the Caribbean as a zone of peace, calling the region an area of insertion and common destiny.

He further said the island consolidated its 'multifaceted relations with all Latin America and the Caribbean'.

In another twit the Minister pointed out Europe represented in 2018 a third of the island's trade turnover with the world. It was an important source of tourists and the most important in term of cooperation.

Rodriguez further wrote that 'our relations have the potential to keep expanding in 2019'.

Previously, the Cuban FM highlighted the strengthening of bonds in 2018 with nations in Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Oceania, based on respect and cooperation.

Rodriguez mentioned Cuba sent more doctors to countries in Northern Africa and the Middle East, and said that one of Havana's goal in 2019 is geared to expand links with these two regions.

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Caribbean Shares a Common Vision of Rejection to Blockade

United Nations, Sep 30 (Prensa Latina) The Caribbean region shares the same position of rejection against the blockade imposed by the United States on Cuba and proved this in the high level debate of the UN General Assembly.

The Foreign Minister of Dominica, Francine Baron, recalled how for many years the largest UN body has debated resolutions to end the economic and financial blockade against the island.

Despite its limitations, he said, Cuba has helped so many around the world, particularly in the areas of health and education and, sometimes, in the most difficult circumstances.

Meanwhile, the Grenadian Foreign Minister, Peter David, also expressed support for General Assembly resolution 70/5, which calls for the end of that unjust economic siege.

For his part, the Trinidad and Tobago Foreign Affairs Minister, Denis Moses, considered that in the Latin American and Caribbean region, the blockade is still the last vestige of the Cold War.

Suriname and Belize, which have coasts to the Caribbean Sea and a close link with the islands of that area, also demanded the cessation of this hostile policy that limits the development of the Cuban people.

The Surinamese Foreign Minister, Yldiz Pollack-Beigle, said his country disapproves the continuation of the economic, financial and commercial blockade against Cuba and its people.

According to the Foreign Minister of Belize, Wilfred Elrington, the blockade is a policy that does not make sense and constitutes a violation of international law: it sought to pressure Havana's Government, but it has had the opposite effect.

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French President to visit Caribbean Islands in September

The president of France, Emmanuel Macron, will visit in September the French possessions of St. Bartholomeu and St. Martin in the Caribbean, in order to verify progress made in reconstruction after hurricane Irma.

The Government spokesperson, Benjamin Griveaux, announced here the trip scheduled for the end of September, after the first Council of Miniosters held when work was resumed at the cabinet after summer vacations.

In the meeting, the Minister of Overseas, Annick Girardin,

presented a report on the reconstruction of both islands, harshly battered by the intense hurricane a year ago.

A total of 11 persons lost their lives in St. Martin and 95 percent of infrastructure of the islands was destroyed.

On the other hand, at the end of the Council of Ministers, the official spokesperson ratified the intention of Macron to continue forward with planned reforms in the nation.

According to Griveaux, the objective of the president is to keep the rhythm and direction of the transformations, in spite of the social discontent which could become worse after the laws previously approved, such as the new Labour Code.

Among the planned reforms in the next months stand out that of the constitution, pensions, unemployment insurance, health, among others, very polemic issues that point to generate tension in the country.

The boost to these changes takes place when the president is still harassed by the ghost of the case of Alexandre Benalla, collaborator of the president who attended the May Day demonstration dressed as a policeman and violently battered several people there.

The head of State faced at the end of July parliamentary probes and numerous criticisms on the part of politicians, personalities and the media, while at the National Assembly and the Senate was warned the issue would be retaken in September.

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Lat Am, Caribbean Economic Challenges on Debate in Cuba

Havana, Aug 5 (Prensa Latina) The main challenges being faced by Latin American and Caribbean economies will be the focus of the debates at an event that will bring together professionals of economic and social sciences, academic, decision makers and civil society in this capital.

The persistence of the global crisis and the continuity of its effects in the region will be analyzed at the event 'The Economy of Latin America and the Caribbean Facing the New International Environment. Main Challenges', scheduled from September 11 to 13 at Havana's Conference Center.

The National Association of Economists and Accountant of Cuba (ANEC) and the Latin America and Caribbean Economic Association are organizing the event.

The real possibility that the region promotes a gradual change in the productive and commercial structure, integration, the new economic and commercial policy of the United States and its possible effects will also be analyzed.

The 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, cooperatives and their role in the current situation are also among the issues to be debated.

The Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (CELAC) recently updated its projections for the growth of productive activity and services for the countries of the region in 2018 and kept its estimate of average expansion at 2.2 percent, after growing 1.2 percent in 2017.

Among the factors supporting statistics in 2017 are the moderate growth of the world economy, certain dynamism of international trade and investment, even though they do not exceed the trend prior to the 2008 economic crisis, says the call to the event, posted on the ANEC's website.

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Cuba, ECLAC Discuss Preparations for Sustainable Development Forum

United Nations, Jul 18 (Prensa Latina) Cuban Minister of Foreign Trade and Foreign Investment, Rodrigo Malmierca, presided today a working meeting of the member States of the Latin American and Caribbean Forum for Sustainable Development.

The permanent mission of Cuba to the UN hosted the meeting, which was also attended by the Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America of the United Nations (ECLAC), Alicia Barcena, and ambassadors of the area.

By welcoming the participants, the Cuban Minister reiterated the interest of his country to continue promoting the work of ECLAC and its subsidiary entities, as well as to support the work of that Commission in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Meanwhile, Barcenas presented the results of the organization's session period and reviewed the new preparations for the ECLAC forum that examines the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.

Cuba currently holds the pro-tempore presidency of ECLAC in the period 2018-2020, from which it boosts regional cooperation and sustainable development in Latin America and the Caribbean.

During the 36th session of ECLAC, held in Mexico from May 23 to 27, 2016, the member states approved a resolution through which the Forum of the Countries of Latin America and the Caribbean on Sustainable Development was created as a regional mechanism for monitoring and reviewing the implementation of these goals.

Subsequently, the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations endorsed the creation of the forum.

The Third Meeting of the Forum of the Countries of Latin America and the Caribbean on Sustainable Development will be held at the ECLAC headquarters in Santiago de Chile, from April 22 to 26, 2019.

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Ralph Gonsalves Asks for Defense for Latin Countries

Havana, Jul 15 (Prensa Latina) The Prime Minister of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Ralph Gonsalves, called today in this capital to defend the governments of Nicaragua and Venezuela, and to support the people of Brazil.

'We have to support these sister nations with their successes and failures, that is the meaning of our struggle,' said Gonsalves, speaking on the opening day of the 24th Annual Meeting of the Sao Paulo Forum that takes place at the Convention Center until Tuesday.

'One day is Venezuela, anotherday, it is Brazil and then Nicaragua, we always remember the coup against the government of Manuel Zelaya in Honduras in June 2009,' Gonsalves explained.

'Now Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva is in prison but the people support him because people continue to see him as their leader,' he said.

The Prime Minister of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines lamented the impact of the economic, financial and commercial blockade that Cuba suffers, as this policy of the United States affects in other latitudes.

He denounced how external agents conspire against governments and systematically practice interference in the internal affairs of countries.

To date Cuba has hosted two editions of the meeting, the one in 1993 and the one in 2001.

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More Than 430 Delegates Attend the 24 th Sao Paulo Forum in Cuba

Havana, Jul 15 (Prensa Latina) More than 430 delegates from Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, Asia and Europe are participating in the 24th Meeting of the Sao Paulo Forum, a three-day meeting inaugurated today in this capital with the Left's unity as its central theme.

The inauguration of the meeting was held in the Convention Palace, presided over by the second secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba, Jose Ramon Machado Ventura, and gathered more than a hundred left-wing and progressive parties and organizations from Latin America and the Caribbean.

The opening ceremony was also led by the executive secretary of the Sao Paulo Forum, Monica Valente, with the participation of personalities such as the Prime Minister of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Ralph Gonsalves, and the Puerto Rican independence fighter Oscar Lopez Rivera.

On its first day, the annual forum - which returns to Havana after the 1993 and 2001 editions - includes a debate to establish a position against colonialism and in favor of anti-imperialist solidarity and peace.

It will also host the meeting of the regional secretariats, the 3rd Seminar between the Left Party and the Sao Paulo Forum, and a meeting of the Network of Intellectuals in Defense of Humanity.

This regional left-wing initiative was created in 1990 by the historic leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro (1926-2016), and the former president and founder of the Brazilian Workers' Party, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

According to the participants, the new edition of the Sao Paulo Forum should promote the momentum of the revolutionary and progressive forces of Latin America, in response to the onslaught of the right and the hostility of the United States towards governments and peoples who oppose its hegemony and interference.

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Sao Paulo Forum: Space for Criticism and Construction of Perspectives

Port-au-Prince, Jul 14 (Prensa Latina) The Sao Paulo Forum, to be in session this Sunday in Havana, will be a space for criticism and the construction of new perspectives, said Haitian economist and political activist Camille Chalmers.

The teacher is also a delegate to the 24th Annual Meeting of political agreement of the regional left-wing forces, which aims to discuss and set guidelines on the struggles that unite us, he said.

'We are going to have a really important presence of all the left-wing forces, a wide range of options and trends, and innovation this year is that there will be a meeting with social movements,' Chalmers told Prensa Latina.

Camille, who is a great friend of Cuba and a follower of progressive social projects, remarked that the exchange with these movements will allow a rapprochement between concrete social struggles and policies, which can lead to 'the creation of a front to resist the pressure and the permanent threat of imperialism.'

He warned that an enormous violence against democracy, peoples and workers has been unleashed at present, with the intention of dismantling the conquests of the left in recent years.

'It is very important to create a front that can oppose this and that can overcome and relaunch the process of progressive accumulation in Latin America,' he said.

The Sao Paulo Forum, created by the leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro, and former Brazilian president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, groups 112 left-wing political parties from Latin America and the Caribbean.

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