Helms-Burton Law Threatens Peace, Cuban President Warns

Cuba's President Miguel Diaz-Canel has warned the Helms-Burton Act threatens peace, solidarity, peaceful coexistence and friendship.

'It's a law enacted to neo-colonize and enslave,' he further wrote in Twitter about Washington's barring the Peace Boat from docking in Cuban ports, as a result of restrictions recently enforced on US private vessels and planes.

Due to such punitive measures that are hurting the Cuban people, the NGO Peace Boat, with headquarters in Japan, won't be able to touch Cuban land as it was scheduled next June 13 because the vessel is US property.


The cruise ship was reportedly carrying donations given by the Cuban community living in Japan and by Japanese individuals and organizations for the victims of the killer tornado that violently hit municipalities of Havana on January 27.

The peace-promoting NGO has visited Cuba 19 times as part of its itinerary around the world, carrying a message of peace, love and against nuclear weapons.

The Peace Boat came to the island twice last year, and its members participated at a forum dedicated to Cuban historical leader Fidel Castro and paid homage to the thousands of victims the two US atomic attacks caused in the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

  • Published in Cuba

Cubans lead Softbank to victory in Japanese baseball

Excellent performances by Cubans Alfredo Despaigne and Livan Moinelo were essentials in the 9-6 win of the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks over the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters, in the Pacific League of the Japanese Professional Baseball League (NPB).

According to the NPB website, Despaigne batted 2 for 5, with two runs batted in and same amount of runs scored, thus increasing his batting average to .224 and now amounts ten RBIs.

Meanwhile, Moinelo pitched one scoreless inning, with three strikeouts and one walk, and he did not allow hits or runs and kept immaculate his ERA (0.00).

The lefty reliever has seen action in 11 games always as closer and now has 10 innings pitched in which he amounts 12 strikeouts, with four walks and has only allowed four hits.

After this match, the Hawks leads the standings of the Pacific League with balance of 15 wins, 10 losses and two draws, 0.5 games ahead of the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles (13-10-1) and 1.5 games over the Saitama Seibu Lions (12-11-1).

  • Published in Sports

Could That Street Art Be Banksy? Tokyo Officials Probe

Tokyo: Tokyo is trying to verify if a drawing of a rat holding an umbrella that has been sprayed near a station is the work of the famous and mysterious street artist Banksy.

"We noticed there is a drawing of a rat painted with spray" on the door near a monorail station in central Tokyo, government official Koji Sugiyama told AFP.

"We think there's a possibility it has been done by Banksy."

A rat holding an umbrella is one of Banksy's most famous artworks.

The government removed the door and placed it in storage Wednesday night to prevent any damage, Sugiyama said.

It is unclear when it was painted but local residents contacted the government about the work at the end of last year.

The government hopes to find out if it is truly a work by Banksy, but "we still don't know if there's an expert in Japan", the official admitted, adding that the government will discuss ways to verify the painting.

Banksy, a British street artist whose identity is known to only a handful of friends, caused a sensation in October when one of his paintings began shredding itself, just after selling for $1.4 million (1.2 million euros).

Experts say "Girl with Balloon", which is now called "Love is in the Bin", is probably worth even more because the stunt created such a massive media stir.

  • Published in Culture

Japan and Russia Prepare Foreign Ministers' Meeting on Peace Treaty

Tokyo, Dec 23 (Prensa Latina) Japan and Russia are putting the finishing touches so that their foreign ministers meet next month to negotiate a peace treaty, local media reported.

According to the website of NHK, Taro Kono and Sergei Lavrov must meet in Moscow on January 14 to talk about a territorial dispute over four islands controlled by Russia and claimed by Japan.

Early this month, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed on negotiating a peace treaty before Abe's visit to Russia early next year.

According to NHK, Abe expects to make progress on the talks with Putin to prepare the draft peace treaty, based on a joint declaratin signed more than 50 years ago.

  • Published in World

Cubans in Japan Condemn US Policy against Cuba

The 3rd National Meeting of Cuban Residents in Japan concluded on Saturday in Tokyo with a denunciation of the US government''s policy against Cuba.

The final declaration of the meeting condemned Washington's economic, commercial and financial blockade against Havana, as well as the United States' refusal to listen to the claim of the vast majority of Cuban residents abroad in favor of the normalization of relations between the two countries.

Cuban Ambassador to Japan Carlos Miguel Pereira Hernandez reiterated the Cuban government's will to strengthen relations with the Cuban community abroad and, this way, to include them more and more in the construction of the country.

During the meeting, the Association of Cuban Residents in Japan recognized the new immigration measures and the historic inclusion of the Cuban community abroad in the popular consultation on the Draft Constitution.

The final declaration of the third meeting also included the recognition of and support for Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel, who 'following Raul's steps, he is promoting the update of the economic model and other changes in Cuba that will allow achieving a more democratic, prosperous and sustainable society.'

The Cuban residents in Japan thanked this Asian nation for its support for Cuba, not only in the demand for the end to the US blockade, but also in the collaboration for the economic development of the country.

  • Published in Cuba

Concert on 120th Anniversary of Japanese Migration to Cuba

Japanese musicians and the Cuban group Havana Ensemble will share the stage in Havana to celebrate the 120th anniversary of the first Japanese migration to Cuba, organizers announced.

The concert, scheduled for December 17 and 18, will also include performances by the The Taiko Club of the Reitaku Mizunami School in Japan.

At the Jose Marti Theater, the cultural event will be part of the visit by a Japanese delegation headed by the president of the Japan-Cuba Parliamentary Friendship League, Keiji Furuya.

Directed by Cuban saxophonist Cesar López, Habana Ensemble has a series of new elements, in both in the music and aesthetics, which differentiate it significantly from other Cuban groups.

The celebrations on the 120th anniversary of Japanese migration to Cuba will also include an exhibition of dolls, friendly games, panels, academic exchange, conferences, presentation of calendars, public speaking contest and the publication of a commemorative book.

Japanese immigrants began arriving in Cuba in 1898, mainly from the regions of Okinawa, Kagoshima, Kumamoto, Fukuoka, Hiroshima, Nagano, Niigata, Fukushima and Miyagi.

  • Published in Culture

Cuban Athletes Will Train in Japan for 2020 Olympic Games

Cuba will have volleyball and baseball training camps in Japan with a view to the 2020 Olympic Games, Japanese sports authorities and a delegation from the National Institute of Sports, Physical Education and Recreation (INDER) agreed here Saturday after fruitful negotiations.

According to the Embassy of Cuba in Japan, the Sendai Ikuei Gakuen School and the local governments of Sendai and Tagajyo, will welcome the athletes of these disciplines.

The Cuban delegation, headed by the President of the Cuban Olympic Committee and first Vice President of INDER, Roberto Leon Richards, signed other similar agreements with several Japanese localities, among them the city of Hiroshima.

The mayor of that city, Kazumi Matsui, expressed his satisfaction for hosting the Cuban athletes, and commented on the great sympathy and admiration that prevails among the inhabitants of the city towards the Cuban people, as well as the pleasant memory of the historic visit of Commander in Chief Fidel Castro in 2003.

For his part, Leon Richards, thanked the support of the authorities of Hiroshima for the preparation of Cuban athletes. He also held a meeting with the minister in charge of the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020, Yoshitaka Sakurada, who also serves as vice president of the Japan-Cuba Parliamentary Friendship Group.

Sakurada spoke of the importance of cooperating with Cuba, considered a world sporting power, to achieve success of the upcoming games.

  • Published in Sports
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