Cuba, France to Promote Marine Sciences Collaboration

Specialists from the French Research Institute for Development (IRD) and the Cuban Meteorology Institute (INSMET) announced today the development of regional collaboration projects to reduce the effects of climate change on marine ecosystems.

Both institutions, supported by the French embassy in Havana, organized an International Oceanography Course in which meteorologists, biochemists, biologists and ecologists from Brazil, Venezuela and Guyana are also participating.

National and foreign experts of these disciplines are meeting for the first time in the Cuban capital to exchange methods and techniques that can be used not only in physical but also biological oceanography.

Amilkar Calzada, National Coordinator of the event, told Prensa Latina that as a result of the scientific exchange, the proposal of a joint project among Brazil, France and Cuba will be presented to guarantee the training and updating of technologies between those countries.

The idea is to extend it throughout the region to promote the protection of marine species, its presence in some coastal areas and the course of their migrations, he said.

According to Calzada, the meeting's agenda also includes issues related to the main biochemical cycles in marine waters, the ocean-atmosphere interaction and the maritime processes related to tropical cyclones.

The scientific event based at the Meteorology Institute in Havana will conclude on March 9.

  • Published in Cuba

ETECSA Increases Internet Connection

The local telecommunication enterprise of Cuba has worked intensely in a series of programs to increase the access to internet.

With these advances the nation already has 1552 areas for the internet access and there are 595 Wifi with the presence in all the municipalities of the national territories and 755 internet areas with other parts and that is to say the Joven Club center, units of emails and hotels.

Elisa Alfaro Díaz, who is the specialist of communication of ETECSA, pointed out that the efforts have not only centered on the increase of the points of access, as well as the technical and trade actions to increase the speed of internet.

ETECSA Increases Internet Connection

For the current year, the expansion would continue the services, promoting the telephone incorporation and the data by using the fixed and mobile networks, as well as developing the display of the nation´s wide band.

The official highlighted that there were 1000.000 and 586000 related account in use for the use of internet and it is commercialized over $ 27000.000 of temporary cards.

Another of the positive results reached by the local ETECSA enterprise in 2017 was the connection of all the nation's university to the optic fiber, besides, the wide of the band. There were 39 senior students, 27 professional technical schools, 170 High Schools and 8 Nursery centers.

ETECSA Increases Internet Connection

The connection to the nation's most important hospitals throughout its Faculties Medicines and it was extended that service to over 200 Policlinics and 190 drugstores and out of 50 ones in the capital city which allows a much better control and localizing of medicines.

Elisa Alfaro Díaz, confirmed that the Cuban people would be able to have access on internet in the current year through the mobile data and the related terminal should be technically compatible.

The local Nauta Hogar service has had many acceptation even when the rates are a bit high and there are 14634 Cuban homes have that provision and the ETECSA has planned to install 52500 new services.

ETECSA Increases Internet Connection

By Hilia Tamayo Batista

  • Published in Cuba

Cuba Supports Venezuela against Economic Attack and Military Threat

During the 15th Summit of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America-Peoples Trade Agreement (ALBA-TCP), Cuban President Raul Castro reiterated the support for Venezuela given the economic attack and military threat staged by the United States.

In his speech, Raul Castro said that ALBA-TCP has as strategic task the defense of Venezuela against the neoliberal attack, the interference against national sovereignty and the threats that these actions pose against the peace and security in the region.

Raul rejected attempts to undermine the progress in regional integration, as well as the methods of unconventional warfare used by the United States since 1999, the year in which the Bolivarian Revolution came to power, to defeat Venezuela, 'a country with wealth coveted by the imperial powers'.

Raul also criticized the decision of Donald Trump's Government to renew the executive order declaring Venezuela 'unusual and extraordinary threat to national security and the foreign policy of the United States.'

He denounced the intention of Trump's administration to use the Monroe Doctrine, the most notorious instrument of interventionism by U.S. imperialism in Latin America.

'The threats against peace and stability in Venezuela are also threats to Latin America,' said Raul, who condemned the unilateral measures and interference against the Bolivarian process, seeking to destroy peace and dialogue among Venezuelans and trigger destabilization and hardships to the population in this country.

Raul Castro criticized the actions to exclude President of Venezuela Nicolas Maduro from the Summit of the Organization of American States, set for April in Lima, Peru.

He said that the economic attacks and military threats against Venezuela violate the proclamation of Latin America and the Caribbean as a Zone of Peace, signed at the second Summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States held in Havana.

He called for strengthening the process of integration among the countries in the region, and reiterated Cuba's support for the legacy of leader of the Bolivarian Revolution Hugo Chavez.

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Cuba Lung Cancer Vaccine: Researchers develop world's first lung cancer vaccine

Cuba has developed the world's first lung cancer vaccine, which is already making its way into other Latin American countries. And, it's the first Cuban patented drug being allowed to undergo clinical trials at a US cancer research institute. CGTN's Michael Voss has this report from Havana.

Caridad Gomez started smoking when she was 13. Four years ago, she was diagnosed with lung cancer. After undergoing intensive chemotherapy, she is now being treated with the world's first lung cancer vaccine. CimaVax- EGF is a Cuban developed drug aimed at preventing the recurrence of the disease. Gomez is now back at work and once a month, she returns to the hospital for a series of intramuscular injections.

CARDIDAD GOMEZ LUNG CANCER PATIENT "I feel good, I have even gained some weight. I've been using the vaccine for two years and four months now and so far I've felt really good."

Patients still have to complete a course of chemo or radio therapy before moving onto the vaccine. There are other lung cancer fighting drugs which work by attacking the cancer cells. What's different about the vaccine is that it helps the body generate its own immune system in a way that starves the cancer and stops it from growing.

DR YOANNA FLORES ONCOLOGIST "It has revolutionized lung cancer treatment in our country. It's a new therapeutic weapon for treating the disease. Patients are responding well and surviving for longer than those not being treated with it."

Early results were so positive that in 2016, the Roswell Park Cancer Institute in the United States persuaded the U.S. government to allow it to test the vaccine. The first time a Cuban produced drug is undergoing clinical trials in the U.S. The vaccine is just one of an impressive array of cancer drugs developed at Cuba's Center for Molecular Immunology.

MICHAEL VOSS HAVANA, CUBA "This research center has been working on cancer treatments for more than 20 years. It already has drugs to help with pancreatic cancer and brain tumors. Lung cancer is its first vaccine. Now it's working on one for prostate cancer."

 It was Cuba's former leader Fidel Castro who decided to concentrate on developing a world-class biotechnology sector and it's been well-funded ever since. If the clinical trials now underway in the United States are successful, pharmaceuticals could prove an important new income source for the Cuban economy. Michael Voss CGTN Havana.

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ETECSA ensures quality of 3G mobile data service for Cubans (+ Infographies)

The computerization process of Cuban society had a very significant moment in 2017, and in 2018, one of the main challenges, already announced, of the Telecommunications Company of Cuba (ETECSA), is the launch of data service for Cubans to have Internet service on their cell phones.

On a tour with executives and specialists of ETECSA’s Mobile Services Division through base stations in different levels of operation in the east of the Cuban capital, it was known that this is a process that kicked off strongly in 2015 and reached a greater boom in 2016 and 2017.

According to Frank Pavón Carbonell, Central Director of this Division, the company has been developing a very intensive process in the deployment of mobile base stations throughout the country, with major emphasis in the capital, because it gathers almost half of the mobile clients.

“It is important to create the bases and that fast technological deployment ETECSA is carrying out at present will positively influence offering a service with higher quality and efficiency to our clients”.

In the old silence zones in which 2G and 3G technologies already coexist, voice call is improved and data service is allowed, guaranteeing there is no interference or signal loss.

Each base station already comes out with two services to provide greater solutions to voice calls and strengthen data service –assures José Leonardo Rubio, head of the Operations and Maintenance Department of Mobile Network in Havana-, so when it is decided to expand the service to the population, to clients, it becomes a quality service, and it will always be necessary to have a good investment plan so the client’s feeling is good.

“Opening a service solves nothing, if it is bad later. It’s preferable to dedicate a little more time to the implementation of the new sites so everything comes out with the quality you want to offer”.

Regarding the technology that is being used and the flexibility of the process, Rubio points out it has an optimum quality and is at a level comparable with any country in the world.

“It’s a technology already proven in our country and has provided very good results. We will continue to work in this moment, “firstly to launch the service in the two authorized technologies and then we will continue the development plan, in both sites and technologies to achieve that our clients really feel satisfied with the service the Company wants to offer them”, he asserts.

With the installation of 279 base stations across the island in 2017, there were more than 400 at the end of the year. On this matter, Yudith Toledo, Director of the Territorial Division in Eastern Havana, confirms this is a complex process in which the Company has progressed significantly, so everything is ready in due season and the service can come out with the necessary quality.


“And ETECSA’s workers and all those who are committed with the service process are working with a great sense of belonging, with great responsibility, always forward”.

For his part, Frank Pavón, Central Director of the Mobile Service Division, summarized: “ETECSA and the Ministry of Communications (MICOM) of our country are carrying out very intensive actions to open mobile services at their best to all the Cuban people.

"Despite the US blockade, we are working and we will accomplish it”.


altETECSA's team in charge of 3G technology installation. The journalists in each corner.

 Translated by Jorge Mesa Benjamin / Cubasi Translation Staff

Kathy Castor urges Rex Tillerson to restore U.S. diplomats to Cuba

Fresh off a Cuban visit last week, U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor is calling on Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to return consular officials and diplomatic personnel to the U.S. Embassy in Havana as soon as possible.

Tillerson withdrew 60 percent of diplomats from the embassy in Havana last fall after unexplained attacks harmed at least 22 American government workers and family members. Investigators explored the possibility of a “sonic attack” injuring diplomats through sound waves; they discovered no device nor a culprit.

“While I appreciate your overriding concern with the health and safety of our diplomats following the unexplained health incidents, it is time to increase staffing and re-establish an American presence to serve our interests and our citizens,” the Tampa Democrat wrote in the letter to Tillerson sent Wednesday.

The State Department is scheduled to decide the status of the embassy by next week.

Shortly after Tillerson ordered the removal of U.S. diplomats from Cuba, the State Department then opted to suspend all visa processing in Havana, moving that function to Bogota, Columbia.

Castor, representing a district that is home to one of the largest Cuban-American populations in the country, said it’s “unreasonable and unaffordable” for Cubans who want to travel to Tampa or Miami to go to another country to do so.

The U.S. had provided 1,100 visas a month to Cuban immigrants last year before the diplomatic imbroglio; that number has since trickled down to just 350 per month.

In 2013, Castor became the first member of Congress from Florida to call for removing the Cuban economic embargo, a decision that can only happen via a congressional vote. She has consistently championed the liberalization of the relationship between the U.S. and Cuba since the early part of this decade.

But the diplomatic breakthrough started by President Barack Obama in late 2014 came to a screeching halt when Donald Trump was elected in 2016. Among the policy changes his administration rolled back from the Obama White House was travel.

Last summer, Trump announced that Americans would no longer be able to plan their own private trips to Cuba, and those who did had to go through authorized educational tours, subject to strict new rules and audits to ensure that they are not going just as tourists.

Castor calls that plan “overreaching.”

“This is counterproductive and complicates America’s ability to support everyday Cubans and promote the exchange of ideas,” The Tampa Democrat complains.

Castor visited Cuba earlier this month with fellow Democratic Reps. James McGovern from Massachusetts and Susan Davis from California, as well as Senators Patrick Leahy of Vermont, Gary Peters from Michigan and Ron Wyden from Oregon.

The entire delegation, except for Castor, chose to meet with Cuban President Raul Castro during the visit. Castro will step down in April.

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Cuba helps put out fire at U.S. Guantanamo naval base: authority

Units from the Cuban army helped put out a fire which broke out last week on the perimeter of the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay in the southeast of the island, local media reported Wednesday.

The official daily Granma quoted officials as saying that Cuba provided personnel, vehicles and a helicopter that dropped water from the air to extinguish the flames.

The situation, which saw the evacuation of a part of the American personnel, was brought under control on Feb. 22, despite the "logistical and practical complications" due to the "illegal" U.S. occupation of Cuban territory.

"In recent years, a level of communication has been maintained between Cuban and American authorities for emergency situations on the Naval Base," wrote Granma.

This facility was opened in 1903 and constitutes the oldest U.S. military base on foreign soil.

Cuba has repeatedly demanded the return of this territory, considering it an illegal occupation, where Washington has maintained a prison since 2002.

Despite pressure to close it, U.S. President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Jan. 30 to maintain the prison open.

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Around 400 Cuban Athletes to Compete in the 2918 Barranquilla Games

Cuba has 396 athletes that classified in 219 competitions for the 2018 Central American and Caribbean Games in Barranquilla, as reported by Antonio Miranda, director for High Performance at the Cuban Institute of Sports, Physical Education and Recreation.

The expert said the places for Cuban athletes were distributed among 218 men and 179 women that will compete in 24 disciplines in the aforementioned Colombian city from July 19 to August 3.

Miranda explained that the goal is to include approximately 500 athletes, a number that exceeds in more than 20 the places in the previous edition of the 2014 Central American and Caribbean Games in Veracruz .

For that purpose, there are still classification tournaments left in several disciplines, such as taekwondo, boxing, karate, wrestle, racquetball and dive, which will be fought in March.

The last places in swimming, athletics, tennis and triathlon will be disputed in June.

The official announced that the games in Barranquilla will grant tickets in 15 sports for the 2019 Pan-American Games in Lima.

  • Published in Sports
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