Cuba: Backing Syria is firm Cuban decision

Cuban Minister of Foreign Trade and Investment, Rodrigo Malmierca Diaz affirmed his country’s support for Syria in its war against terrorism.

During his meeting with Health Minister Dr. Nizar Yazigi in Havana on Thursday, the Cuban Minister said that “standing by Syria and supporting it is a firm Cuban decision that is based on Cuba’s consistent policy of supporting friends and allies.”

The Cuban minister noted that the signing of a medical cooperation agreement contributes to enhancing the relations between the two countries in this field and allows the establishment of relations with Syria in other fields.

On Wednesday, Syrian and Cuban Health Ministries signed a medical cooperation agreement to strengthen relations in this field.

“It’s our duty to provide all kinds of help to the Syrian people in light of the current ordeal they are going through,” he said.

The Cuban official expressed  his confidence that Syria will triumph over terrorism thanks to the  sacrifices of its army and steadfastness of the Syrian people and their leadership.

In turn,  Yazigi, considered  the agreement as a “starting point for building a strategic partnership for cooperation in health field and the other fields, transferring  biotechnology and  importing medicine in both directions, training and exchanging expertise and researches.

  • Published in Cuba

Embassy of Cuba Takes Part in First Meeting of Cuban-Ethiopians in The Hague

The Embassy of Cuba in the Kingdom of the Netherlands attended the First Meeting of Cuban-Ethiopians held inThe Hague from July 27 to July 29.

In the central remarks of the emotional event, it was underlined the appreciation towards Cuba and Commander in Chief Fidel Castro for the solidarity and love towards the Ethiopian people.

Thsi first meeting allowed Ethiopians who studied in Cuba and currently live in Europe to create the basis to increase collaboration in multiple fields.

  • Published in Cuba

Canada Demands End of U.S. Blockade on Cuba (+Photos)

Havana, Jul 23 (Prensa Latina) Friends of Cuba in Canada gathered in front of the U.S. consulate in Vancouver to demand the end of the economic and financial blockade, which has caused countless damages to the people of the Caribbean country.

Activist Tamara Hansen told Prensa Latina via Facebook that the mobilization took place as it has every month since the initiative was launched on September 17, 2015.

Under the slogan 'Lifting the US blockade Against Cuba Now' and organized by the Friends of Cuba against the U.S. Blockade-Vancouver (FCAB-Van) group, the peaceful demonstration called on the White House to listen to the international outcry.

On November 1, the UN General Assembly passed a resolution against the blockade for the twenty-sixth consecutive time, supported by an overwhelming majority (191 votes in favor and only two against, the United States and Israel).

During the solidarity demonstration, participants carried banners reading: 'Cuba Yes, Blockade No!' and 'Return Guantanamo to Cuba Now!', referring to the territory illegally occupied by a US naval base in that eastern province of the Caribbean island.

The blockade, imposed in 1962 and maintained by both Democratic and Republican governments, is the longest economic siege in human history, experts say.

A statement by the group almost three years ago, when the monthly sit-ins in Vancouver began, stressed that 'despite the normalization of diplomatic relations between Cuba and the United States (...), many of the criminal policies (...) have been in place for more than 50 years'.

FCAB-Van is the successor to the Free the Cuban 5 Committee-Vancouver. It was founded shortly after the celebration of the victory over the return of the island's anti-terrorists unjustly imprisoned in the United States on September 12, 1998.

FCAB-Van publicly warned that'as long as the cruel blockade exists, the group will return each month in front of the U.S. consulate in Vancouver', as they did for the return of the Five to their homeland (Gerardo Hernandez, Ramon Labañino, Antonio Guerrero, Rene Gonzalez and Fernando Gonzalez).

  • Published in Cuba

Senior N. Korean ruling party official departs for Cuba

A senior official of North Korea's ruling Workers' Party departed Tuesday for Cuba, Pyongyang's state media reported without elaborating on the purpose of his trip.

Ri Su-yong, a vice chairman of the ruling party's Central Committee, is leading the North's delegation, the Korean Central News Agency said.

Ri was spotted at an airport in Moscow en route to Cuba. A diplomatic source said that Ri would visit from Thursday to next Monday. Details about his itinerary in Russia were not known.

Ri's trip came after Miguel Diaz-Canel was elected the island nation's new president in April to succeed Raul Castro, who took over the presidency in 2006.

Observers said that Ri's visit appears intended to celebrate the launch of the new Cuban leadership and strengthen party-to-party exchanges.

Shortly after Diaz-Canel's election, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un sent a congratulatory message to the newly elected leader, who later sent a reply voicing his desire to deepen bilateral ties.

  • Published in Cuba

Fernando Gonzalez: ‘To strengthen the links of friendship around the world, that is our role’

CUBAN Five hero Fernando Gonzalez may have spent 15 years in US prisons, but he wears his sacrifice lightly.

Along with the rest of the Five, Gonzalez was working in Florida monitoring Cuban exile groups planning terrorist attacks on his homeland when he was arrested in 1998. Like them, he spent 17 months “in the hole,” solitary confinement, before being convicted in a trial that drew international condemnation and locked up until February 27 2014.

Miami-based terrorists have killed thousands of Cubans since the 1960s in attacks such as that orchestrated by Luis Posada Carriles that brought down Cubana Flight 455 in 1976, killing 73 people.

Infiltrating such groups was clearly a dangerous mission, but Gonzalez says it “wasn’t hard” to decide to go when he was asked.

Born in 1963 and a proud “child of the revolution,” he served with Cuban troops defending the progressive Angolan government from Unita rebels in 1987-89.

He was with troops moving towards the border with Namibia — then occupied by apartheid South Africa, which was intervening on Unita’s side — at the time of the great battle of Cuito Canavale to the east, a victory credited by Nelson Mandela, among others, with the withdrawal of South African troops from Angola and which played its part in securing Namibian independence and even the final defeat of apartheid itself.

“When I returned to Cuba I was 26. I was asked if I was willing to go to the US and work on anti-terrorist activities.

“I knew about the historic terrorism against Cuba, the lives lost in attacks on our people and our embassies. I said: ‘All right, if you think I can do it, I’m willing’.”

He is not bitter about his arrest, though he notes that the FBI were “not sincere” in dealings with the Cuban government when asking to share information on terrorist cells in high-level exchanges that took place in 1998.

“The attitude of Cuba was to share information, though not, of course, its source,” he says. “But the FBI were already aware of the source. They were not transparent. Two months later we were arrested.”

The 17 months in “the hole” were “an effort to break us,” he acknowledges when I ask what kept him going over 15 years in jail.

“But I had a conviction that what we had done was right, that there was nothing wrong in saving lives or defending people — not just Cubans but people all over the world, because tourists were killed in attacks.

“And I didn’t take it personally. I knew the US had nothing against us personally. It could be Fernando Gonzalez behind bars or anybody else. What was happening was an expression of US hostility to Cuba, not to me.

“That perspective helped me cope — that it wasn’t about me and what happened to me was not the most important thing. Our sacrifice was part of the course of history, part of something much bigger.”

Gonzalez is effusive in his thanks to the Cuba Solidarity Campaign and friends in this country who wrote more letters in support of the Five than any other. International solidarity, rather than any serious change in policy by the Barack Obama presidency, was what secured their eventual release, he believes.

“The Obama concessions were simply because Washington concluded that their current policy wasn’t getting them the result they wanted, so they looked at achieving their aim in a different way,” he says.

“In Cuba we were happy to see any improvement. We don’t gain anything from their hostility. We just want to be left alone.

“There was some improved co-operation on law enforcement, fighting drug smuggling, a few changes. But the blockade stayed in place.

“There was more rhetoric about lifting it than any real effort. Now Donald Trump is trying to roll back what advances were made.”

But following the historic meeting between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, could there be hope of a similar easing of tensions with Cuba?

“Well,” he muses. “It’s very positive that Trump and Kim have met. It’s good for peace. It’s good for the Korean peninsula and the region.

“But it’s ironic when combined with increased aggression in Latin America. I hope it teaches the US that, if they are willing to negotiate with another country, why not Cuba where the issues are much less complex?”

But the present reality is almost the opposite. “The left has been losing ground in Latin America, that’s obvious,” he says, noting the congressional coups that removed left-wing presidents in Paraguay and Brazil, the right’s victory in Argentina, the current unrest orchestrated against the Nicaraguan authorities and the repeated bids to overturn the Bolivarian revolution in Venezuela.

“When these countries were moving left, the US didn’t sit and wait. They began to develop a counter-offensive.

“What we’re seeing now is an offensive by the centres of imperialism, most important of which is Washington.

“They always find local actors, sectors of society who for reasons of self-interest are willing to work with the US, but the strategy comes from the centre.

“This didn’t start with Trump. As you say, his rhetoric is more hostile — openly talking of military action against Venezuela, for example. But the reality is the same.”

Gonzalez’s role as president of the Cuban Institute for Friendship and Solidarity sees him work with 2,000-odd organisations in 155 countries that promote solidarity with the socialist country as well as co-ordinate Cuba’s own solidarity to other countries, as expressed in medical missions, emergency responses and the many other acts of humanity that make this Caribbean island loom so large on the world stage. He was also elected to Cuba’s parliament in March.

“To strengthen those links of friendship around the world, that is our role,” he says, “as well as to campaign on political causes — a free Palestine, an independent Puerto Rico.”

This work is so important to him because of the role solidarity played in their release.

“The Cuba Solidarity Campaign played a key role and today” (I met him at the CSC AGM) “showed the organisation and planning that goes into this important work on ending the blockade, putting pressure on the US to end its occupation of Guantanamo.

“It is well organised and strong. You fought hard for us and in part that is why we were released — a victory for you as well as us.

“I include the Morning Star in that for publishing information about our case other papers wouldn’t touch. Reading it in prison showed us we were not alone and, when we passed the paper on, many inmates would come back to us and say: ‘Oh, we didn’t know that about Cuba.’ It played a very positive role.

“I want to thank the trade unions too for showing us such support – Unison, Unite, RMT, the National Union of Teachers and others.”

As George Galloway later tells the Cuba rally following the AGM, it feels odd to be thanked by a man whose sacrifice puts most of us to shame.

The Cuban revolution remains a beacon to socialists and opponents of imperialism everywhere, a living example that another world is possible. Gonzalez and the rest of the Five paid a terrible price for their work to protect their people and their revolution. It’s we who should be thanking them.

Fernando Gonzalez addresses the Solidarity with Cuba and Venezuela: No to Trump fringe meeting at Unison conference on Tuesday. Meet in Auditorium 2, Brighton Centre at 5.15pm.

  • Published in Cuba

ROMANIA-CUBA: DIALOGUE OF FRIENDSHIP AND COOPERATION

On June 14, 2018 the presentation and cooperation meeting between Professor Dr. Anton Caragea, President Director-General of Institute of International Relations and Economic Cooperation and H.E. Roberto César Hamilton MAGAÑA-Ambassador of Cuba has taken place.
The bilateral discussion, has marked the debut of mandate for H.E. Roberto César Hamilton MAGAÑA and H.E. Professor Dr. Anton Caragea, has officially presented the congratulations for the start of mandate of the new ambassador noting the Romanian side hopes for a fruitful cooperation and also has marked the official congratulations for the new Head of State of The Republic of Cuba: H.E. Miguel Díaz-Canel — President of Council of State and Council of Ministers.

The election of the new Cuban leader is a testimony of the desire of Cuba to continue on the path of revolution and to foster new development ways while maintaining the legacy and conquest of the Revolution, underlined Professor Dr. Anton Caragea.

Our desires for bilateral cooperation and consolidated relations expressed in our official message from 2017 addressed to Comrade Raul Castro are still present and representing our vision in the bilateral relations stated the President Director-General of Institute of International Relations and Economic Cooperation.

Prof. Dr. Anton Caragea express his amicable fillings and friendly interest towards the recent evolution`s in Cuba, that are consolidating Cuba`s economic development, open society and are creating a sense of perfect unity between the people of Cuba and the government. Cuba`s revolutionary transition under Commander Raul Castro supervision and President Miguel Díaz-Canel guidance and leadership is witnessed with sympathy and interest in Romania, emphasized Professor Dr. Anton Caragea.

H.E. Ambassador Roberto César Hamilton MAGAÑA expressed his gratitude for the good wishes related to his new mandate and presented the latest achievements in bilateral relations :developing cultural relations and building new bridges of understanding between Romania and Cuba.

The parties had appreciated that between Romanian and Cuba there are large area of common interests , designed to forge a good understanding between the two nations .

The Romania- Cuba relationship must be an example for a better relation between Romania and Latin America .

If in the last decade the bilateral dialogue with this area was faltering, now it is a auspicious moment for reconstructing and rebuilding this framework of dialogue and friendship.

Marking the opportunity Professor Dr. Anton Caragea stress the significance for the new Ambassador: Roberto César Hamilton MAGAÑA, to place accent on the cooperation in the fields of hospitality and tourism promotion, taking full advantage of the Romanian Presidency of the European Council on Tourism and Trade, an unique occasion to foster Cuban tourism potential and international image across the continent.

Europe and Cuba can foster an impressive cultural and touristic cooperation pressed Professor Dr. Anton Caragea.

The dialogue had continued on concrete aspects and analyses of economic, political and cultural bilateral relations and on ways of fostering this dialogue on to the future .

The discussion led the foundations of continuing the dialogue and fostering the relations between Romania and Cuba.

  • Published in Cuba

Solidarity Meeting With Cuba Ends in Argentina

Rosario, Argentina, Jun 17 (Prensa Latina) The 16th Meeting of Solidarity with Cuba in Argentina will conclude here today after several days of profound debates marked by the continuation of the struggle promoted by Fidel Castro and Che Guevara.

The event, which has been full of emotion for being held in Che's native land coinciding with his 90th birthday, will be closed with a panel discussion on the role of the media in these times and the battle of ideas in traditional media as well as in social .

Themes on how to strengthen integration and unite collective forces to defend progressive processes in the region, with Cuba as a guide, marked the days of the meeting which gathered some 150 national delegates and guests from Brazil, Bolivia and Venezuela.

The word unity has been one of the most replicated in these days of debate, which included the participation of Cuban hero Antonio Guerrero, the ambassador of that island Orestes Perez, scholars and speakers such as Atilio Boron, among other personalities.

  • Published in Cuba

Cuban Physicians provide Services to Guatemalan People affected by Volcanic Eruption

A group of Cuban doctors provide their services to more than 900 people from the Guatemalan southeastern department of Escuintla, one of the most affected by the eruption of the Fuego volcano, only a week after its most powerful eruption since 1974.

According to Prensa Latina (PL) news agency, the presence of the Cuban physicians there did not start with the emergency; they are part of the 26 health workers of the Cuban Medical Brigade (BMC by its Spanish acronym) that for years have lived with the inhabitants of the area, so they are well acquainted with their customs and needs.

As soon as they heard the news of the high number of victims of the fatal Sunday June 3, immediately went to offer their services voluntarily and continuing to meet their daily work at the hospital in Escuintla and the surrounding areas.

Dr. Relmar Quintana, coordinator of the Escuintla group, says that overcrowding, poor ventilation and availability of sanitary services, generate the early appearance of respiratory and digestive infections, which first manifestations are already appearing.

We are investigating everyone – Quintana explains - in order to have them under control to act quickly in the face of any emergency.

Yessenia Peralta, a volunteer firefighter, told PL that she has had all the time the support of the BMC to control the growing outbreaks of diarrheal, skin and respiratory diseases.

Yuri Batista, BMC National Coordinator in Guatemala, is together with five other collaborators evaluating the epidemiological situation of the place, and they are permanently accompanied by the Cuban ambassador in Guatemala, Carlos de Cespedes Piedra.

From the first moment of the natural catastrophe, Cuba put at the disposal of Guatemalan authorities the experience accumulated by the BMC during almost 20 years of uninterrupted presence.

Batista emphasizes that in total there are 431 Cuban health workers, 245 doctors and 136 nurses, deployed by 16 of the 22 departments of the country, and that they cover dissimilar specialties.

That figure also includes 39 members of the Henry Reeve Brigade, specialized in disaster situations and created on September 19, 2005 by the historical leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro.

  • Published in Cuba
Subscribe to this RSS feed