Cuban medical authorities say vaccine did not cause a baby's death

Cuban medical authorities assured the triple viral vaccine PRS did not cause the death of a baby nor affected another four babies, and the case is being studied in the island.

Doctor Roberto Alvarez, head of the Mother and Baby Department of the Ministry of Public Health, stated to digital website Cubadebate that 'as investigations have advanced, the event is not associated with the use of this vaccine because it has been applied on another 43 thousand 630 children in the island.

He said the problem has been focused on five children vaccinated in the polyclinic Betancourt Neninger of East Havana municipality, in the Havana province.

Nevertheless, he added that the investigating commission continues the inquiries.

He explained that from the moment they perceived the gravity of the first two babies, a ministerial commission was appointed to investigate the causes of the severe reaction to their immunization with PRS, a vaxccine that should protect them against mumps, rubeola and measles.

As of that moment, measures were taken to reinforce medical attention on the affected children and the increase of their surveillance by doctors and nurses, in the health area where the babies were vaccinated.

An alert was passed to the rest of the provinces to momentaneously retain the use of the lot with which the minors were vaccinated and the ministerial commission to investigate and clear the event.

The director general of the Center for State Control of Pharmaceuticals, Equipment and Medical Devices (Cecmed), Rafael Pérez, said the vaccine injected is imported from India and due to this medicine three serious illnesses have been eliminated in this country.

He stressed that national authorities have the responsibility to verify that the arrival of the vaccines to the country is correct, that it maintains its conditions and is safe to be used.

'And that is what Cecmed does before determining the approval of the lot', stressed the executive.

  • Published in Now

Spanish King Felipe VI to visit Cuba in November

Spain's King Felipe VI will visit Cuba next month as part of the 500th anniversary celebrations of the island nation's capital Havana, the European country's Foreign Minister Josep Borrell said on Wednesday.

"I can confirm it will take place in November" after the Spanish general elections on November 10, Borrell said during a visit to Havana where he met his Cuban counterpart Bruno Rodriguez.

It will be the first official visit by a Spanish king since Juan Carlos participated in an Ibero-American summit in 1999.

Borrell said the visit would "mark a new milestone in the relations between our two people."

Rodriguez said the royal couple would be "received in Havana with warm hospitality from our government and our people."

  • Published in Cuba

US embargo on Cuba affects all sectors, all Cubans -- Ambassador

The US embargo against Cuba, which was officially imposed in February 1962, has affected all sectors on the island nation as well as the country's over 11 million population for almost six decades.

More than 70 per cent of the population has been living under the embargo since they were born, said Cuban Ambassador to Malaysia Ibete Fernández Hernández.

The envoy said the embargo has, among others, affected Cuba's ability to produce its own medicine and limited its access to advanced medicine and suppliers.

"Cuba produces most of the drugs. But there are many still that we need to buy abroad, including the raw material to produce these drugs in Cuba.

"Because of the sanctions, it has been difficult for Cuba to fulfill that need. For example, children suffering from cancer, they sat at the hospital waiting for the cytostatics because we don't produce it in Cuba," she told Bernama International News Service recently.

The blockade also affects its education sector, including for special needs children.

According to ‘Cuba's Report Against the Blockade’ released in July this year, damages caused by the 57-year blockade amounts to US$922.63 billion.

The report also stated that the prohibitions caused, among others, access to the Smart Brailler machines (a learning tool) being denied to those in need as they are manufactured and sold in the US.

The ambassador said the embargo has been painful for Cubans, especially new measures which cause oil shortages.

"Imagine, a country almost paralysed because there was almost nil fuel to turn on lights. It creates problems. We have money to buy fuel but the ships cannot come to our shores. How are we going to survive" she said.

Hernández said the United Nations, for the past 27 years, had adopted an annual resolution calling for an end to the embargo on Cuba.

The last vote in 2018 saw a recorded vote of 189 in favour to two against (Israel, United States), with no abstentions.

The same resolution will be presented for the 28th time at the UN on Nov 6-7 this year.

"We are thankful to Malaysia because they have been supporting Cuba against the blockade. Each and every one of these resolutions has been approved against the blockade, Malaysia has been supporting it," she said.

The US, in 2014 under then-President Barack Obama, modified the application of sanctions which allow for more exchanges.

In 2017, the Trump administration had reversed the decision and introduced new sanctions to Cuba.

  • Published in Cuba

Russian Security Council Secretary Meets With Castro, Diaz-Canel In Cuba's Capital

First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba Raul Castro and the newly-elected President of Cuba Miguel Diaz-Canel discussed Russian-Cuban cooperation with Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev in Havana, the council's spokesman has announced.

"During the meeting, an exchange of views took place on a wide range of issues of Russian-Cuban cooperation, including security, as well as the international agenda. The sides pointed out that the stances of Russia and Cuba on the main regional and international issues are similar or coincide," Yevgeny Anoshin said on Wednesday.

Patrushev congratulated Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel with his election.

Cuba's National Assembly elected Diaz-Canel as the country's president during an extraordinary session last week.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has congratulated Miguel Diaz-Canel on being elected as the Cuban president, expressing hope that mutually beneficial cooperation between the two countries would expand.

  • Published in Cuba

Cuba’s Central Bank is ready to support newly announced measures

President Irma Margarita Martinez said Tuesday that the national banking system is ready to support the measures adopted to boost the economy.

As part of the process to order the import of goods for non-commercial purposes, permanent residents in the country will be able to open foreign currency accounts, Martínez explained on the Round Table TV program.

Cuban Vice President Salvador Valdes had earlier announced in the program the authorization of the purchase of household appliances, automotive parts and accessories and other goods in foreign currency to meet domestic demand, generate employment and boost the economy.

To this end, more than 70 stores will be set up to sell these products through the exclusive use of a debit card specifically designed to operate with convertible currency deposits, which will use the US dollar as its basic currency.

Martinez explained that deposits will be allowed in British sterling pounds, Canadian and U.S. dollars, Danish, Swedish and Norwegian crowns, Japanese yen, Swiss franc and Mexican peso.

Minister of Finance and Prices, Meisi Bolaños, estimated that the newly announced

measures will contribute to the efficiency of the productive process and will benefit the population

She indicated that tariff benefits will be granted for the import of raw materials and inputs for the production of items highly demanded by the population.

“We are working to reduce logistics and distribution expenses by up to 50% in retail stores in order to make the proceeds from these products profitable,” she said.

Martínez explained that products prices will not be fixed, and that they will be established in correspondence with the quality and features of the products.

  • Published in Cuba

Cuban government announces new economic measures to boost domestic trade

The Cuban government announced Tuesday new measures that seek to boost the national economy and retain in the country hard currency that Cuban nationals are currently spending abroad.

Speaking Tuesday evening at the Round Table TV program, Vice-president Salvador Valdes Mesa explained the new measures, approved by the Council of Ministers, and the impact they are expected to have on the population.

Starting in late October, Cubans will be able to purchase household appliances and automotive parts and accessories using convertible currency debit cards pegged to the US dollar. Valdes Mesa noted that the measures seek to create competitive offers, that allow capturing hard currency, at a time when imports without commercial character by the population are increasing.

“The money that is fleeing the country is estimated in significant amounts, and we should try to capture that money as a source of hard currency to replenish our industry, and to restock our domestic market,” Valdes Mesa said.

The vice-president said that the new measures will not imply any prohibition on current imports by Cuban nationals. While the new products are sold in convertible currency, other domestic appliances will be sold at lower prices in the Cuban-peso retail network.

Some 70 retail stores will participate in the sales under this new program, and purchases will only be made through the debit cards.

Valdes Mesa considered that this will imply a new opportunity to encourage e-commerce on the island, and online sales, the creation of virtual stores, and they will not involve payments in cash.

The vice president added that the post-sale services and guarantees for the electronic devices will be improved.

The measures, to be implemented starting at the end of this month, will be gradual and they also include tariff bonuses or exemptions for the import of raw materials and inputs, mainly for raw materials destined for domestic production of certain goods and products of first necessity, and greater demand among the population.

Import services will be provided to natural persons like private entrepreneurs, through import companies designated by the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Investment, and existing “zones with Customs deposit regime,” will be expanded. Also, sales of merchandise through named importing companies will be allowed.

Valdes Mesa said that further details about the new measures will be published in the coming days.

  • Published in Now

Cuba to host symposium on genesis and development of the Revolution

Historians, political scientists and economists from 21 countries will exchange experiences in the III Cuban Revolution, Genesis and Historical Development Symposium, to be held from October 29 to 31.

In the Havana Convention Center, specialists and scholars of revolutions around the world will discuss the process of transformations that the island has been promoting for 60 years and the role of Fidel Castro, architect and historical leader of that emancipation project grouped in 11 work commissions.

The 150 delegates (50 of them foreigners) will study over 80 papers on the subject, and will participate in collateral activities such as an exhibition of original posters about the Cuban Revolution and book presentations.

As a climax, three panels will deal on the figure and universal legacy of Fidel Castro.

The president of the Institute of History of Cuba, Yoel Cordoví, highlighted in a press conference the usefulness of such a symposium that is being held in an international context marked by the right's offensive against progressive causes, particularly in Latin America.

In this scenario, he said, it is crucial to study and disseminate among the Cuban people and the world, a history as rich as that of the island and the revolutionary example of Fidel.

The participants in this meeting, held every two years since 2015, represent countries of different latitudes, such as the United States, Germany, Dominican Republic, Peru or Sweden.

For the first time, students from Hungary, China, the Czech Republic, Thailand, Mongolia and Venezuela will participate.

  • Published in Cuba

Spanish Foreign Minister pays official visit to Cuba

Minister of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation of the Government of Spain, Josep Borrell, begins this Tuesday an official visit to Cuba, in which he will hold meetings with high-ranking Cuban officials.

Borrell is expected to meet with Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla, and carry out other activities.

Recently, during the ministerial week of the UN General Assembly, the two foreign ministers held a meeting in which Borrell expressed opposition to the activation of Title III of the Helms-Burton Act, imposed by the United States.

According to a report by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation of Spain, the two ministers analyzed issues of bilateral, regional and multilateral interest.

From November 1, Borrell will serve as High Representative for Foreign Policy and Security of the European Union, after being approved for that post by the European Parliament, on October 8.

  • Published in Cuba
Subscribe to this RSS feed