Visiting Portuguese President Meets with President Raúl Castro and Revolution Leader Fidel Castro

Cuban President Raúl Castro met Wednesday afternoon in Havana with his Portuguese counterpart, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, who concluded a two-day state visit to Cuba on Thursday. The two leaders reviewed the state of bilateral ties, which they both described as 'very positive.'

During the cordial exchange, President Raúl Castro and his Portuguese counterpart agreed to expand cooperation ties in such sectors as the economy, trade and investment.

Prior to his meeting with the Cuban head of state, the Portuguese dignitary was received by Revolution leader Fidel Castro, with whom he discussed the friendship ties that unite the peoples of Cuba and Portugal, as well as various topics on the international agenda.

Rebelo de Sousa commented on Cuba's victory at the UN General Assembly's vote on the U.S. blockade. He reaffirmed Portugal's long standing position in favor of Cuba and against Washington's arbitrary policy, particularly its extraterritorial nature.

Fidel Castro thanked the Portuguese leader for the support the European nation has shown Cuba, in term of the U.S. blockade and in the framework of relations between the Caribbean state and the European Union.

  • Published in Now

Raul Castro delivers speech at UN Sustainable Development Summit

Cuban President Raul Castro delivered a speech at the United Nations Summit for the Adoption of the Post-2015 Development Agenda, in New York.

Cuban News Agency now reproduces the full text of the speech by the Cuban President:

Remarks by Raúl Castro Ruz, President of the Councils of State and Ministers of the Republic of Cuba, in his address to the United Nations Summit for the Adoption of the Post-2015 Development Agenda, New York, September 26, 2015

Esteemed heads of State and Government,

Distinguished heads of delegations,

Mister Secretary General of the United Nations,

Mister President,

The current instability prevailing in numerous regions of the world has its roots in the pervasive underdevelopment afflicting two-thirds of the world population.

Fifteen years after the adoption of the Millennium Development Goals progress is insufficient and unevenly distributed. In many cases, unacceptable levels of poverty and social inequality persist and even aggravate including the industrial nations. The gap between the North and the South widens, and wealth polarization keeps growing.

We realize that a long distance must still be covered to achieve a real world association for development.

No less than 2.7 billion people in the world live in poverty. The global infant mortality rate for children under five years of age is still several times higher than that of developed countries. Likewise, maternal death in developing regions is fourteen times higher.

Amid the existing economic and financial crisis, wealthy individuals and transnational companies are growing richer while the number of poor, unemployed and homeless people increase dramatically as a result of the harsh so-called “austerity” policies, and waves of desperate immigrants arrive in Europe escaping misery and conflicts that others have unleashed.

The resources needed for the implementation of the Agenda, lacking measurable commitments and timetables, are inadequate to meet the seventeen objectives of sustainable development.

If we wish to make this a habitable world with peace and harmony among nations, with democracy and social justice, dignity and respect for the human rights of every person, we should adopt as soon as possible concrete commitments in terms of development assistance, and resolve the debt issue, a debt already paid several times over. It would be necessary to build a new international financial architecture, remove monopoly on technology and knowledge, and change the present international economic order.

The industrial nations should accept their historic responsibility and apply the principle of “common but differentiated responsibilities.” The lack of resources cannot be used as a pretext when annual military expenses amount to 1.7 trillion dollars; absent a reduction of such expenses neither development nor a stable and lasting peace will be possible.

Mr. President,

The reestablishment of diplomatic relations between Cuba and the United States of America, the opening of embassies and the policy changes announced by President Barack Obama with regard to our country constitute a major progress, which has elicited the broadest support of the international community.

However, the economic, commercial and financial blockade against Cuba persists bringing damages and hardships on the Cuban people, and standing as the main obstacle to our country’s economic development, while affecting other nations due to its extraterritorial scope, and hurting the interests of American citizens and companies. Such policy is rejected by 188 United Nations member states that demand its removal.

Nevertheless, Cuba fulfilled the Millennium Development Goals and offered its modest cooperation to other developing nations in various areas, something we shall continue to do to the extent of our limited capabilities.

We shall never renounce honor, human solidarity and social justice, for these convictions are deeply rooted in our socialist society.

Thank you.  

  • Published in Now

Raúl receives directors of the WHO and PAHO

Army General Raúl Castro Ruz, President of the Councils of State and Ministers, received Monday, July 14, Dr. Margaret Chan, director general of the World Health Organization (WHO) and Dr. Carissa Etienne, director of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), during their visit to Cuba to attend the inauguration of the new Centre of State Control of Medicines, Medical Equipment and Devices; and National Coordinating Centre of Clinical Trails, headquarters.

During the fraternal meeting, they discussed aspects relating to the WHO 67th World Health Assembly, held May 2014, in Geneva and presided by Cuba; The Millennium Development Goals; the post 2015 development agenda, as well as, global health coverage. They also talked about the collaboration Cuba offers to other countries, human resource training and the global health situation, in particular in the Americas.

Chan and Etienne were accompanied by José Luis di Fabio, representative of the WHO-PAHO in Cuba, José Ramón Machado Ventura, a vice president of the Councils of State and Ministers, Minister Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla and Roberto Morales Ojeda, Minister of Public Health.

  • Published in Cuba

Cuba, Russia in 3-way quest for offshore oil

During Vladimir Putin’s visit to Cuba on Friday (July 11), the Cuban oil company CUPET and the Russian oil giants Rosneft and Zarubezhneft will sign an agreement to work together in the exploration of the 37-M block on the Cuban shelf, a top Kremlin aide told the media Thursday in Moscow.

The block was described as “an area of about 1,500 square kilometers a small distance from the [north-central] coast, with a sea depth ranging from 500 to 1,600 meters.”

Vladimir Putin and Yuri Ushakov

Vladimir Putin and Yuri Ushakov

The agreement was initiated in May during the St. Petersburg (Leningrad) Economic Forum as a memorandum of understanding, said Yuri Ushakov, an adviser to President Putin. On Friday it will become “a letter of intent or a production-sharing agreement,” he said.

According to CUPET, Cuba’s offshore oil reserves represent about 20 billion barrels of crude. The U.S. Geological Survey estimates they range from 4 billion to 9 billion.

CUPET has already signed agreements for oil exploration and production with companies from Spain, Norway, India, Venezuela, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brazil, Canada and China. Of the 59 existing offshore blocks, about 30 have been contracted out, CUPET says.union-electrica logo

Also this weekend, the Russian conglomerate Inter-RAO will sign a memorandum of understanding with Cuba’s Unión Eléctrica to supply four generating units with a capacity of 200 Mw for the Máximo Gómez thermal power plant in Mariel.

The journal Foreign Economic Relations of Russia on Thursday pointed out that “the intensive involvement of international investors and global corporations became possible after the adoption of the new Law on Foreign Investment, adopted on March 29.”

Ushakov is Putin’s deputy chief of staff. A career diplomat, he was Russia’s ambassador to the United States from 1999 to 2008.

  • Published in Cuba

Raúl greets Chinese General Fang Fenghui

May 19, Army General Raúl Castro Ruz, President of the Councils of State and Ministries, received General Fang Fenghui, member of the Central Military Commission and head of general staff of the People's Liberation Army of the People's Republic of China - invited by the Ministry of the Revolutionary Armed Forces - on an official visit to Cuba.

  • Published in Cuba
Subscribe to this RSS feed