Barranquilla 2018: The Power of Cuba Grows Difficult

Cuba will try to keep the Center-Caribbean hegemony that holds since Panama 1970 in Barranquilla 2018, the path is very complicated and the drive of countries like the host country Colombia and Mexico.

Almost after four years since Veracruz 2014 is the most recent experience. Many will remember that the struggle in the medals board between Cuba and the host country was neck-to-neck, defined with a spectacular closing by the athletics (23-15-8) that launched Cuba to the top of the medals board retaining the condition of kings in the global board (123-66-65). Mexico (115-106-111), Colombia (70-75-78) and Venezuela (56-79-110) came next. Mexicans fixed a chronogram, including a few sports like squash to their advantage, which doesn’t mean they have had boost in quality in the last years in several sports. Therefore the open struggle with Cubans.

Is no secret the fact that sports have experienced a sudden development after the Olympic Games of Barcelona 1992. Several variables have helped: limitless merchandizing, meteoric ascent of sport shows as the stage of a very profitable industry in the rising, nationalization of sportsmen and talent drain for more profitable horizons…

The point is our athletes are not immune to all that. I recall the fencer Taimí Chappé and the handball player Rolando Urios, two examples that began the drain in the early 90’s of the last century.

Back to the Center-American and the Caribbean Games, also keeping in mind the shortage of resources to sustain a sport infrastructure. Comparable to that of first-world countries, the idea here is to claw to what has been conquered until now, even when the qualitative panorama is not as promising as 25 years ago.

Many nations in the area and others around the world have understood that sports and its growth are fertile grounds for development, while it reflects on social life. It’s exactly for that reason they have poured so much interest and budget into this activity even at unsuspected levels.

Colombia is a good example. In the last decade has experienced breakthroughs in both sport infrastructure and facilities, as results, majorly supported by the knowledge of other countries. Weightlifting, athletics, judo, cycling, are among the sports with greater progress, and keeping in the horizon the Games of Barranquilla August 3-19, 2018, with an estimated attendance 5 854 athletes will struggle in 36 sports representing 37 countries.

We are talking about the condition of Colombians as host country to register in all sports in competition, even those where they are not strong. Just as Mexicans did four years ago. Of course from my perspective right now Mexico is still a contestant to beware more than Venezuela.

Mathematically the more medals are distributed among those Center-Caribbean nations, next to Venezuela, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, and many other solo sportsmen from other countries, fewer will be the medals Cuban will win.

In Veracruz 19 countries won at least one gold medal and maybe after 11 months that same figure or more win a gold medal in Barranquilla.

What we have tried to explain in this column is that every new edition of world or multiple events regardless its reach it will contain a greater degree of complexity for our teams. Barranquilla will be a test of considerable rigor, with the pressure of Colombians and Mexicans as tough rivals. Let’s trust we can keep the first position on the medal board, with athletics, judo, boxing, wrestling, rowing, canoeing, weightlifting, cycling, artistic gymnastics, again as main events.

All doubts will be cleared in less than six months and reality will be known, as part of the current Olympic cycle that will end in the Olympic games of Tokyo 2020.

Amilkal Labañino Valdés / Cubasi Translation Staff

Irish Postal Stamp to Honor Che on 50th Anniversary of Death

Che is above all remembered for his internationalism evidenced by his leading role in the Cuban Revolution.

An Irish postal company has launched a stamp in honor of Ernesto Che Guevara in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of his death.

The Legacy of Ernesto 'Che' Guevara

The stamp is inspired by the iconic 1960 photograph of the revolutionary leader reinterpreted by Irish artist Jim Fitzpatrick and will sell for one euro.

The An Post company launched a 2017 Stamp Program that aims to celebrate various figures such as the Women’s Rugby World Cup, the Ploughing Championships and the late former Prime Minister Jack Lynch, among others, according to Joe magazine.

Che is above all remembered for his internationalism evidenced by his leading role in the Cuban Revolution.

Argentine by birth, Che was born to a middle-class family, studied to become a doctor, but soon became a revolutionary and communist after traveling through Latin America.

Che's personal witness to the plight of the campesinos, workers and poor of the region, especially in Guatemala where he witnessed the coup against the democratically-elected leftist President Jacobo Arbenz, would guide his revolutionary path.

The Argentine eventually met Fidel Castro in Mexico City. The two formed a bond and a partnership that would lead them to fight side-by-side in a guerrilla campaign to oust the U.S.-backed Fulgencio Batista dictatorship in Cuba.

Che was an enthusiastic fighter who earned the rank of commander and played an important role in the victory of the Cuban Revolution, leading a column of fighters in the pivotal battle of Santa Clara.

He served as Minister of Economics and supervised a massive land reform process on the island.

He was executed by the Bolivian military in the village of La Higuera, Bolivia, on Oct. 9, 1967, after leading a guerrilla movement in the South American country.

  • Published in World

Port of Cleveland signs memo of understanding with Cuba's maritime administration

HAVANA - The port authority of Cleveland, Ohio, and Cuba's maritime administration have signed a memo of understanding. 

This is the first event of its kind since the U.S. decided to pull its diplomats from their embassy in Havana after the diplomats suffered symptoms they say are related to some sort of attacks. 

The U.S. also told Cuba this week to pull 15 of its diplomats from their Washington, D.C., embassy.

According to Reuters, part of that group includes Cubans who were dealing with U.S. businesses, which may lead to more setbacks in U.S.-Cuba relations.  

"Our job is not to try and interpret what our government has to say," Darrell McNail, with the Port of Cleveland, said. "We do feel that the trade relationship will develop over time, if not today, maybe tomorrow."

Cuba already has similar agreements with ports in Virginia, Louisiana, Alabama and Texas. 

  • Published in Cuba

Raúl receives ECLAC Executive Secretary

On the afternoon of October 4, Army General Raúl Castro Ruz, President of the Councils of State and Ministers of Cuba, received Alicia Bárcena Ibarra, Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), making a visit to the country.

In a cordial atmosphere, the two officials discussed the regional situation, in particular the impact of Hurricanes Irma and Maria, as well as the earthquakes which affected Mexico.

Bárcena conveyed her gratitude to the President for Cuba’s support in hosting the 56th Meeting of the Presiding Officers of the Regional Conference on Women in Latin America and the Caribbean, currently taking place in Havana.

Participating on the Cuban side during the encounter were Ricardo Cabrisas Ruiz, a Council of Ministers vice president and minister of Economy and Planning, and Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla.

  • Published in Cuba

Tropical Storm Nate Prompts Gulf Coast Hurricane Warnings Ahead of Weekend Landfall; Hurricane Threat For Cancún Tonight

The center of Tropical Storm Nate is churning over the Caribbean Sea north of Honduras.

Nate will make its closest approach to Cancún and Cozumel Friday night, where a hurricane watch and tropical storm warning is in effect.

Preparations should be rushed to completion in Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula.

Nate will then make landfall along the northern Gulf Coast late Saturday night or early Sunday as either a hurricane or a tropical storm.

Hurricane and storm surge warnings and watches have been issued for the U.S. northern Gulf Coast.

Nate will produce a swath of heavy rain from the Gulf Coast to the Appalachians and possibly parts of the Northeast.

Torrential rain will also trigger serious flash flooding and mudslides in much of Central America the next few days.

Tropical Storm Nate has is gaining strength over the warm water of the northwest Caribbean Sea, poised for a strike on Cancún and Cozumel tonight, then on the northern Gulf Coast Saturday night and Sunday, where hurricane warnings have now been posted.

This is a developing weather story, for the latest forecast on Nate, including expected impacts along the U.S. Gulf Coast, check out our latest forecast article here.


  • Published in World

Cuba announces Teams to the Central American and Caribbean Games Judo Qualifiers

The Cuban women's and men's teams that will attend the Barranquilla 2018 Central American and Caribbean Games judo qualifying tournament, to be held next October 28th and 29th in the Dominican Republic, will be led by Kaliema Antomarchi (78 kg) and Alex Garcia (+100).

Rafael Manso, national commissioner of that sport, told ACN that nine other judokas who attended the last World Championship in Hungary will now be present in the DR under the direction of Julio Alderete and Felix Portuondo, head coaches of the men´s and women´s squads, respectively.

The list includes the men Osniel Solis (66), Magdiel Estrada (73), Jorge Martinez (81), Ivan Silva (90) and Andy Granda (100), and women Melissa Hurtado (48), Analidis Dorvigni 57), Maylin del Toro (63) and Eliani Aguilar (+78), he said.

Meanwhile, the newcomers are Harold Torres (55), Roberto Almenares (60), Yarisley Ponciano (44), Yurisleidis Hernandez (52) and Olga Masferrer (70).

Cuba´s purpose is to get tickets in all divisions for the aforementioned championship, with the aim of repeating the dominance achieved in individual and team events in the previous edition of Veracruz 2014.

  • Published in Sports

Cuban Singer in Pop Music Contest in Estonia

Young local singer, Carlos Roberto Larramendi Sánchez, was the first Cuban and Latin American one to attend the International Laagna Laul 2017 Pop Song Contest which was carried out from September 30th through October 2nd in Tailin, Estonia.

Carlos Roberto Larramendi Sánchez, who is a soloist of the Ignacio Piñeiro de La Habana music and show enterprise, contested with professional singers of about twenty nations invited by the Lindakivi cultural center that is located in the capital city of that Baltic nation.

Carlos Roberto who is a graduate from the local San Alejandro Painting academy and a student of singing, guitar and composition of the professors Maureen Iznaga and Alejandro Elías contested with three songs and one of them belongs to a Cuban composer. They are entitled´ Dondé estará? By Polo Montañéz and two international ones entitled ´Y si fuera ella´ by Alejandro Sanz and ´All of me´ by John Legend as it was requested in that competition.

Carlos Roberto, aged 25, was ready to show his talent and the name of his land in Estonia. His experience includes the Great Prize of the first National Contest of the Russian Song that was carried out in Havana in 2016 and the first prize of the Sea Sun Festival International Contest that is held by the Fiestalonia cultural institute in the Lloret de Mar resort in Gerona, Spain.

The Cuban singer was evaluated by a competent international jury and he contested with young soloists from Russia, Latvia, Lithuania, Italy, Germany, Bulgary, Belarus, Poland, Ukraine, Moldavia, Kazakhstan, Armenia, Georgia, Israel as the venue, Estonia, among others.

  • Published in Culture

Tribute for Che's 50-Year Presence in Bolivia

La Paz, Sep 4 (Prensa Latina) Bolivia has officially opened -with songs, revolutionary poems and touching speeches- the international meeting for the 50th anniversary of the presence of Ernesto Che Guevara in this South American country.

In the opening ceremony of the event, the Minister of Culture, Wilma Alanoca, invited all Bolivians and social, cultural and civil society organizations from abroad, to participate in the cultural activities to be held in the municipality of Vallegrande, department of Santa Cruz, from tomorrow through Monday.

Despite the 50 years passed, Che's thought is more alive than ever and touches the full sensitivity of those who live and feel this process of change, said Alanoca referring to the Democratic Cultural Revolution of Bolivia, which began in 2006.

In addition, she highlighted the human values bequeathed by Che, his thoughts, the way of working for the benefit of the fellow men and friend, the anti-imperialist struggle and for the brotherhood and liberation of the peoples, as well as the tirelessly search for social justice.

In this regard, Che's ideology coincides with the economic and social policies promoted by Bolivian President Evo Morales. She recalled that the process of change is a hard struggle to wipe out discrimination, inequality and poverty.

She urged Bolivians to follow the example of the revolutionary leader, a disciplined human being who had a unwavering loyalty, the ability to love the other as himself and to have an incorruptible consciousness. How much did Che sacrifice? How much did Che devote himself to around the world? That's why Che is still living in our minds and hearts, and in our daily actions, Wilma asserted and stressed that Che's thought will remain forever as long as the people hold unity, love and solidarity.

Dulce Chazaro, member of the Ernesto Che Guevara Free Department in Mexico, and Bolivian journalist and historian Carlos Soria agreed with the ideas and teachings of Che after 50 years of his death to build Latin America.

The Cuban historians and writers Froilan Arencibia and Adys Cupull recalled the whole process they followed to reconstruct the facts closely related to Ñancahuazú guerrilla and how important it would be for for the revolutionary process in Bolivia.

  • Published in Culture
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