Juan Miguel Echevarría jumped 8.41 in Madrid

World indoor champion Juan Miguel Echevarria was the last athlete competing at Madrid’s Polideportivo Gallur.

With all the track action having concluded, all that was left was the final round of the men’s long jump. Echevarria had led since his opening-round effort of 8.33m, a mark he almost matched in round two with 8.31m.

Miltiadis Tentoglou (8.07m), Thobias Montler (8.02m) and Yuki Hashioka (8.02m) all crept over eight metres in the successive rounds, but none of them could challenge Echevarria.

The Cuban took to the runway one last time and sailed out to a meeting record of 8.41m, just five centimetres shy of the indoor PB he set when winning the 2018 world indoor title.

  • Published in Sports

Virgin Islands earns important victory in Havana

The team of the Virgin Islands endured a brave demonstration from the Cuban team and earned a hard-fought 80-64 win in Group C action.

Virgin Islands won the first half, 36-32, and entered the fourth quarter with a seven-point lead, 58-51, and seemed in control. However, Cuba tried the last push in the closing minutes of the game.

Two free throws by Cuban Yoel Cubilla closed the gap, 64-60, with 4:15 to play. Cuba couldn’t find an answer to the leadership and the game from Walter Hodge, who finished the game with 22 points, eight rebounds and six assists in just over 39 minutes on the court.

A three-pointer from Stephan Adams and a dunk from Laron Smith finished the Cuban comeback.

Adams contributed 15 points and Jamaal Samuel added 13 points and six rebounds.

For Cuba, Karel Guzmán scored 14 points with six rebounds. Jasiel Rivero scored 13 points, Yoanki Mensia 11 and Cubilla eight points and seven rebounds.

Cuba and the Virgin Islands will meet again next Monday at the UVI Sports Fitness Center in Saint Thomas.

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Amadeo Roldan Theater to open again in Cuba

Majestic shows, a fire, the reopening and corrosion summarize the chronology of the Amadeo Roldan Auditorium Theater in this capital, which will turn 90 soon, Cuban Culture Minister Alpidio Alonso said during a visit to the building.

Pianist Jesus 'Chucho' Valdes's concert on May 17, 2010, marked the closure of the institution, which remained opened for ten years only, after a remodeling process, and is expected to recover its total splendor in the first trimester of 2022.

Alonso pointed out that the previous investment was deficient. This new project is worth more than 20 million pesos and has been executed for several years.

'If we have to shut down another investment, we will', 'the Amadeo is a symbol', a prioritized institution for the development of music and to expand the artistic program, the minister noted.

According to Madelaine Masses, director of the National Center for Concert Music and the theater, based on a research by the investors, several stages of the project were established to recover the building.

Masses told Prensa Latina that the theater will have its two main halls, dressing rooms and offices, as well as its musical archive, which has functioned as such despite the fire on June 30, 1977.

The project is supported by a group of national companies such as Servicios y Ejecucion de Obras, Proyectos y Servicios de Ingenieria Atrios, Tecnoescena, Centro Inversionista de Obras, the Cuban Music Institute and the Ministry of Culture.

  • Published in Culture

Russia and Cuba sign largest contract in recent history and Putin accepts Diaz-Canel’s invitation to visit Cuba

Russian President Vladimir Putin accepted the invitation of his Cuban counterpart Miguel Diaz-Canel to visit our country, Russian Ambassador to Havana Andrei Guskov told Sputnik.

The date for the trip "will be studied in terms of the head of state’s agenda, along with other high-level bilateral contacts," Guskov added.

During his trip to Russia last October, Díaz-Canel invited the Russian President to visit Cuba. Putin stated that he would surely take advantage of the invitation.

Moscow and Havana have a political-economic relationship described by top leaders as strategic, which has expanded in recent years, with strong Russian investments in several vital sectors of the Cuban economy.

Loans that Russia plans to grant Cuba to carry out joint projects could exceed one billion euros, the Russian ambassador in Havana, Andrei Guskov, stated.

During an interview, the diplomat explained that the new Russian line of credit is being granted to make several joint projects possible, including the modernization of Cuba's railway infrastructure.

"An important part of the financing - almost 900 million euros - will be provided through commercial credit from Russian banks," he said.

According to the Russian ambassador, the design work included within the framework of the agreement to modernize Cuba's railway system began last January.

The Cuban government and the Russian railroad company, RZD, signed a contract last October for the restoration and modernization of Cuban infrastructure. This contract, valued at 1.88 billion euros, is the "largest ever signed with Cuba in the history of modern Russia."

"This is a mega infrastructure project that has great importance for Cuba, not only economically but also socially," Guskov stated.

The diplomat insisted that Russia will continue to support "by all means" this project, which foresees the design, repair and modernization of more than a thousand kilometers of railroads on the island with Russian equipment and materials.

He also said that the country is "willing to study possible proposals from [Cuban] partners to continue strengthening the defense capacity of the Republic of Cuba."

The diplomat recalled that technical-military cooperation is "one of the most important areas of interaction between" the two nations. "The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Cuba are largely equipped with Soviet and Russian-made weaponry and equipment, including anti-aircraft and coastal missile and artillery defense systems," he recalled.

Likewise, the two countries are about to launch other projects including "the second phase of the modernization of the José Martí Steel Works, Antillana de Acero, the renovation of ten 100 MW generating units at Cuban thermalelectric plants, the reconstruction of Cuban textile industry facilities, further deliveries of locomotives by the Sinara transport company, and the development of assembly plants of the GAZ Group in Cuba," he detailed.

Moscow and Havana are implementing a plan to modernize the Cuban energy system and thus reduce the country's dependence on imported oil and gas, the Russian ambassador added, recalling the "Development of the fuel and energy sector and strengthening of energy security in the Republic of Cuba" agreement was signed during a meeting of the Russian-Cuban Intergovernmental Commission for Economic-Commercial and Scientific-Technical Cooperation held last September in Moscow.

Currently, Russia is Cuba's second largest trading partner in Europe, and the fifth worldwide.

Regarding relations between the two nations, which are experiencing their best moment in the last 20 years, Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel has highlighted their importance by describing them as strategic. He has especially emphasized Russia's participation in plans for the island’s socio-economic development through 2030.

  • Published in Cuba

Cuba counts on its emigrants to fight U.S. blockade

Cuba recognizes, appreciates, and counts on the contribution of its nationals abroad in the quest of the elimination of the U.S. blockade, Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez said.

The head of the island's diplomacy wrote on Twitter that Cuban emigrants support the defense of the independence, the sovereignty and the development of the nation.

In another tweet, the foreign minister said that one of the priorities of this agency's work is to pay attention to and strengthen ties with Cubans living abroad.

'The celebration in Havana of the 4th Conference on Nation and Emigration, from April 8 to 10, is a sign of this,' he added.

Rodriguez has described the strengthening of the island's ties with its emigrants as a continuous, irreversible, and permanent process.

The meeting was announced last December by President Miguel Diaz-Canel on the occasion of his visit to Argentina for the inauguration of his counterpart Alberto Fernandez.

These meetings were a continuation of the so-called '78 dialogue promoted by Fidel Castro, who said at the time: 'The (Cuban) Community (abroad) must be respected. The Community exists. The Community is a force, and the Community is taken into account.'

The first conference was organized in 1994, the second the following year, in 1995, and the third, in 2004.

  • Published in Cuba

Flying to Cuba on Air France with an exclusively female crew, a gift for Women's Day

This year, Air France will celebrate International Women's Day on 8 March with a select flight to Havana featuring an all-women crew.

"This year we chose the Cuban capital for this flight," Antoinette Zullo, Air France-KLM general manager for Cuba and the Dominican Republic, told national television.

Women can do the same work as men, and this trip is a sign of that, she stressed. Havana is a very important destination for the Air France-KLM alliance because we want to participate in the tourism development of the island, she said.

Zullo said that in 2019 the company transported more than 350,000 passengers to and from the Cuban capital.

To celebrate International Women's Day, Air France has made similar flights in previous years to Tokyo, Beijing, Mumbai, and New York, among other cities.

  • Published in Cuba

Cuba on the Executive Committee of the CID

Cuba confirmed its membership on the Executive Committee of the Ibero-American Sports Council (CID), which has Alba Quesada, director of the Costa Rican Institute of Sport and Recreation, as its new president.

In the presence of the head of the Inder, Osvaldo Vento, Cuba was ratified in Salinas, Ecuador, in the coordination of the number one region, in a day that also welcomed the arrival to the vice-presidency of Fátima Morales, minister of the National Secretariat of Sport in Paraguay.

The session of the Ibero-American Sports Council approved to assign the condition of Honorary President to the Uruguayan Fernando Cáceres, who led the entity until Thursday, and left several commissions constituted, including the one dedicated to the communicational work, proposed by Cuba.

The debates also focused on the work of the Ibero-American Women and Sport Network, around which a representative from each country was requested and the Board of Directors, made up of Argentina, Costa Rica, Venezuela, Colombia and Brazil, was constituted.

In this context, Vento gave continuity to the exchanges with directors from several countries, including Quesada itself and the Ministers of Sport of Colombia and Panama, Ernesto Lucena and Eduardo Cerda, respectively.

The latter confirmed that he will soon respond to the invitation to visit Cuba, as a continuation of the links that were recently expressed with the stay in Havana of the president of the Organizing Committee of the Central American and Caribbean Games of 2022, Henry Pozo Medina.

Vento has also insisted on the cruelty of the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the United States on Cuba, in violation of the values of sport and the Olympic Charter.

  • Published in Sports

Diaz-Canel denounces intensification of the US blockade against Cuba

President Miguel Diaz-Canel denounced today that the intensification of the US blockade against Cuba and its persecution against the arrival of fuel to the country is added to a campaign to discredit the island.

The Cuban president and Prime Minister Manuel Marrero attended the debate of the report presented by the Domestic Trade Minister (MINCIN), Betsy Diaz, as part of the annual evaluation of the work of that organization in 2019.

According to the Cuban presidency's social network Twitter, Diaz-Canel said that Washington's smear campaigns against the island are focused on the tourism, health, public safety and product shortages caused by the U.S. economic, commercial and financial siege.

As lines of work of the MINCIN, he said the agency should prioritize consumer protection, an attitude that should represent the trade and gastronomy worker; financial order, control of commercial circulation, and payment for results.

The Cuban president highlighted the work carried out by this ministry in the organization of trade and gastronomy activities, in its leadership and the relationship with other ministries, the guarantee of the basic basket and social programs.

The meeting was characterized by the effort to face the consequences of the U.S. blockade and a critical approach to the work carried out last year.

The head of the MINCIN referred to the main difficulties affecting trade management, such as insufficient quality and effectiveness in retail sales and their correspondence with inventories, the Granma newspaper reports on its website.

The report states that, despite the country's shortages, which is subject to a fence policy intensified by the United States, supplies are guaranteed for prioritized programs such as the basic family basket.

The report acknowledges dissatisfaction among the population, as well as fissures that encourage illegal activities and inadequate control of resources.

  • Published in Cuba
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