Cuba Reaffirms Commitment to South-South Cooperation in Geneva

Cuba has ratified at UN in Geneva its commitment to South-South cooperation as an expression of solidarity among the peoples and countries of the region, diplomatic sources remarked today.

On occasion of the United Nations Day for South-South Cooperation, Havana ambassador Pedro Luis Pedroso stated that the island recognizes its positive effects, which allow from common perspectives to exchange successful experiences of own solutions to shared problems.

They also help to strengthen the economic, social and cultural ties between the countries in the South, he said.

According to the diplomat, that cooperation 'should continue to be guided by the principles of respect for national sovereignty, national involvement and independence, equality, non-conditionality, the non-interference in internal affairs and mutual benefit.'

Pedroso recalled that the Cuban government has ratified the will to maintain it despite the difficulties the country is facing as a developing nation, with limited natural resources and strong financial strains, and affected by the impact of the U.S.-imposed economic, commercial and financial blockade.

In recent decades, the Caribbean nation has cooperated with 186 Latin American, African and Asian countries, he said.

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Cuba debates constitutional reform: Although it is not the heart of the matter

Marriage between people of the same sex and not only between man and woman, still promotes debates, together with other defining issues in the constitutional draft all Cubans are debating today.

In the last few days, at least via journalistic reports mainly from the TV, the topic of the marriage between people -without specifying man and woman- seems to be generating less criteria than at the beginning of the debates of the draft Constitution in which all Cubans are participating.

Nevertheless, in late August, PhD Mariela Castro, director of the National Center for Sex Education (Cenesex) stated her opinion on the social media about that article 68 of the draft Constitution, which defines marriage as the unity agreement between two people without clarifying their sex.

“Cuba has been criticized for falling to progress enough in its legislative agenda to protect the rights of LGBT people. The political will to move forward in these topics is expressed in the new constitutional draft. “Now, those who oppose our country vision try to mix up and feed prejudices and ignorance to sabotage this transcendental process. The draft constitution far exceeds the current document.

“Marriage is a right that cannot be denied to LGBT people, not only because it is discriminatory but also for its negative political consequences and contrary to the emancipating spirit of the Revolution. Obviously, our people need more information and arguments. We should be more active in the media. Let us not be wrong again, because ingenuities are paid with high prices”.

Thus warned on Facebook the also deputy to the National Assembly of People’s Power (Cuban Parliament). And her message quickly went viral generating criteria for and against.

Among those endorsers of what Mariela said, Michel Mesa Pulido commented: “I know this a very strong issue for a purely macho society but let us give all the people the opportunity to unite with those they deem appropriate, the important thing is to be happy and to contribute to make this society greater, it does not matter whether marriage is equal or unequal, the human being is the important thing”.

For his part, Rafael Suárez Suárez recalled that “everything changes; earlier it was considered improper for a woman to work, to be a leader, for a man to collaborate in the household chores, for a woman to earn more money than a man, for a white man to marry a black woman. What should really exist is the right to choose, that they all can get married or not, because there may have gays who do not want to do it, but by choice, not by impediment, that law does not harm your rights at all, you marry whomever you wish, let others live their life with the same freedom as you live yours”.

The Cenesex director widened what this cybernaut said: “It was also deemed improper for women, dark skinned people, elderly people or with disabilities, sick people, countryside people or poor people to have the same rights. Marriage and family concepts were created according to dominant interests without respecting human realities much more varied than those imposed. As humanity progresses in the achievement of its rights, these concepts evolve and are more inclusive and fairer. No matter whether you like it or not, understand it or not, we are born with rights and states have the responsibility to protect them. That’s the main role of the constitution and its reform”.

Everybody does not favor this type of unities, among them, José Luis Mosqueda, who clearly and concisely states his criterion: “…with all the respect that this staff deserves, I do not agree with the fact that two men or two women can marry, that was always deemed improper and I still deem it the same. Greetings”.

I find interesting the message posted on FB by Rogelio Collado, who considers that “one should not count on these prejudices when deciding on people’s rights. I do not get tired repeating that if we had waited to eradicate racism and chauvinism so the rights of black people and women were respected in Cuba, there would still exist schools for blacks and women wouldn’t be strongly represented in all spheres of the national life. The constitutional process is very good, but I still believe that the topics relating to the human rights of any social group should not depend on the opinion of the majority, all the more so when it is about the rights of a so-called ‘minority’. A lot has been done as regards sex education and respect for diversity in the last few years and that’s commendable, but we should not be over-confident, prejudices are deeply rooted in our society”.

Further ahead, the same forum member José Luis Mosqueda added new arguments: “We are not talking about the same topic, the rights of people, women, men, either black or white, to live together and to share those rights as it has been done in Cuba since the triumph of the Revolution is one thing, and another is that men marry men and women marry women, that is not natural, no matter who states it”.

After thanking all the posted criteria, for and against, Mariela Castro pointed out as a summary: “In order to continue doing revolution and to achieve a fairer society, we should move forward in these topics. It is not fair that heterosexual couples can opt for marriage and that at the same time other couples are denied this right. Marriage has different ends; the weighing of its reproductive aim was imposed in the Middle Ages. Read on the evolution of family and marriage as social institutions”.

On Monday, August 13, there kicked off in Cuba the popular consultation of the new draft Constitution, which includes transcendental newnesses, among them, in the bodies of higher leadership, such as the comeback of the figures of President of the Republic and Prime Minister, as well as the Council of State and the National Assembly of People’s under the same direction.

This process of massive consultation will come to an end on November 15, and all criteria will be sent to the National Assembly for the drafting of the Magna Carta that will be subject to an approving referendum.

Translated by Jorge Mesa Benjamin / Cubasi Translation Staff

Cuban President Visits Western Province of Pinar del Rio

Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel today began a government visit to the western province of Pinar del Rio, where he checks economic and social programs.

Accompanied by local authorities, the Cuban President began the journey through a visit to the canning factory La Conchita, a facility in which fruits are processed for the national market and export.

Diaz-Canel also spoke with the population and with leaders of Pinar del Rio.

The Cuban President, who took office on April 19, has made several visits to provinces of the island during his first months of administration, including the western one of Matanzas, the central ones of Villa Clara and Cienfuegos, and the eastern provinces of Santiago de Cuba and Holguin.

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Juan Almeida, the man who never surrendered

Juan Almeida Bosque not only won the love and remembrance of the Cuban people due to his social-politic works. And it is that the Commandant of the Revolution left a print equally notable and value in the culture and the music of Cuba, with a dozen of published books and more than three hundred compositions which remain alive in the popular appraisal.

Since he was a child the fighter grew up under the examples of ethics and moral of his humble family, in Los Pinos his native neighborhood of Havana, he was developing a humanist conscience, which, definitively, was consolidated when beginning to participate in the fight initiated in answer to the coup d’état on March 10th of 1952.

In these circumstances, the young Juan Almeida met Fidel, to whom he followed later in the assault to the Moncada barracks on July 26th of 1953. Equally, he was one of the condemned to prison, with a penalty of 10 years; until that, after several years of imprisonment in the Model Prison, and thanks to the popular pressing, in 1955 he was amnestied together with his fellows.

Once free, after the amnesty of May 15th of 1955, Almeida continued his conspiratorial activities until he went to the exile in Mexico, to participate in the trainings and preparative of the expedition of the Granma yacht, which left Mexico on November 25th of 1956, and touched the Cuban coasts on December 2nd with 82 expeditionary whipped by tiredness and fatigue.

Alegría de Pío became a fatal reception of fire for the expeditionary fighters. In the middle of that encounter that seemed terrible, one of the most memorable passages of the Cuban history was produced.

The triumph of January of 1959 opened new responsibilities for the Commandant Juan Almeida Bosque, which he would accomplish with equal discipline and dedication, since chief of the Motorized Direction of the M-26-7 until chief of the Aerial Force of the Rebel Army and chief of the Army, in substitution of the Commandant Camilo Cienfuegos, after his physical disappearance.

Other tasks involved his efforts: the fight against bandits, First Vice minister and chief of the Direction of Services of the Major General State of the Revolutionary Armed Forces, as vocal of the Revolutionary Tribunal presided by the commandant Augusto Martínez Sánchez who was in charge of judging in summary judgment, to the participants in the invasion of Cochinos Bay on April 17th of 1961; as a member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba and of the Political Bureau in October of 1965; as well as a deputy to the National Assembly of the Popular Power since the first legislature and Vice-president of the State Council of Cuba.

His legacy goes beyond the revolutionary fight because he dabbled in the art as writer and as a musical composer. Also he composed more than three hundred songs, from which several record productions have been made; two of his more popular songs are “La Lupe” and “Dame un traguito”.

His example remains in the Cuban revolutionaries and his print; in the social and humanistic labor that fomented all his life; as well as in his family and his people that, for sure, will never forget the man who in the middle of the most terrible adversity recovered himself and gave courage to men who at that exact moment, almost without knowing it, they would became in the future of the Revolution.

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Cuban Artists and Writers at Congress

This week concludes the forming process for the organizing commission of the working groups in the Cuban provinces as part of the preparations for the IX Congress of the Writers and Artists Association of Cuba (UNEAC).

The related call for that national event was coincidentally presented in June on the occasion of 57th anniversary of the words said by the commander in chief, Fidel Castro to the intellectuals. This ratified the beliefs that continue marking the work carried out by the creators, artists and professionals of the local cultural sector.

“As part of the Congress’s organizing process which will be carried out in June of the next year, it will be created two working staffs to channel the related debate and the analysis of the main themes that mark the work carried out by artists and intellectuals which mean an important occasion in the preparation of the main event of the Cuban intellectuals. “The first vice president of the UNEAC, Luis Morlote Rivas, pointed out.

Cuban Artists and writers are at the Congress and the heritage, community, public spaces, the mass media, the social networks, the tourism, market, the artistic teaching, as well as the help for the creative young people and the organization’s internal life in terms of its statutes, rules and elections are among the themes proposed for the analysis about the culture’s links with the society.

“This should and have to be a Congress for all the creators and we have to work in order the UNEAC could achieve to be much more inserted into the society. This is the highest challenge we have at present.” He said.

The national working commissions in the aforementioned working organization will be represented by the UNEAC provincial Committees and the Artists Associations.

The creation of the organizing commissions throughout the nation’s provinces began in Guantanamo territory and it will conclude next Friday in the Isla de la Juventud Special municipality.

The IX Congress of the local Unión de Escritores y Artistas de Cuba Association of Writers and Artist of Cuba promotes the strengthening of the dialogue among creators, the cultural institutions and the society.

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First Cuban on Mount Olympus Sent Message against Blockade

A Cuban climbed to the top of Mount Olympus where he displayed a flag of his country as well as a message of condemnation and rejection of the U.S. blockade against Cuba.

Jose Oriol Marrero Martinez, Counselor of the Embassy of Cuba in Greece, thus becomes the first Cuban to reach the top of the mythical mountain, second in height in the Balkans, reports a note of that diplomatic mission.

Today he said that he dedicated that feat to his country and to the anniversary of the 150th anniversary of the War of Independence and the 60th anniversary of the triumph of the Cuban Revolution.

Sources from the Cuban embassy highlighted the extraordinary effort made by Marrero due to the difficulties of the path, considered by specialists long and fraught with dangers, to the point that, according to statistics, less than 50 percent of those who undertake it manage to reach the cusp.

Olympus is the highest mountain in Greece and second in the Balkans, with an altitude of 2,922 meters.

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A Film on the Five Cuban Heroes to be released in 2019

Spanish Penélope Cruz and Mexican Gael García Bernal will join Venezuelan Édgar Ramírez and Brazilian Wagner Moura in the film entitled 'Wasp Network' by the French Olivier Assayas.

The film of which its plot was based on the book entitled 'The last soldiers of the Cold War' by Brazilean writer Fernando Morais will be focused on the history of the Cuban Cinco Heroes (Five Heroes) infiltrated in the United States during the 90's and it was already in Cuban soil in 2014.

The cast of the film will include Venezuelan Édgar Ramírez ('La Quietud') and Chilean Pedro Pascal ('Wonder Woman 2') which was previously announced last month when the project was presented in the society at the Cannes Festival.

The one entitled 'RT Features' by Rodrigo Teixeira and the 'CG Cinema' by Charles Gillibert which are behind this project. It is currently in process of distribution of which its filming is planned to the beginning of 2019.

Radio Rebelde News Desk

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US Blockade on Cuba Is Unfair, WHO Says

The blockade imposed by the United States government on Cuba is unfair, Cristian Morales, representative in Havana of the World Health Organization/Pan American Health Organization (WHO/PAHO), said today.

Therefore, we join the majority position of the countries at the time of the historic vote at the UN General Assembly, Morales told Prensa Latina in this capital.

That policy damages the development and health of the Cuban people, and forces national authorities to make double and triple efforts to keep the equipment running and guarantee medicines that are needed, he said.

Two thirds of those medicines consumed are produced in Cuba, but sometimes that amount needs raw materials coming from abroad, sometimes becomes a hindrance to this blockade, the UN official said.

There are some medications that are not produced on the island and need to be imported, but instead of being brought from Latin America, or the United States itself, they have to be purchased from China or Europe, he stated.

Also, those companies that sell them, have to make sure they do not have any U.S. component, because they can be subject to sanctions, he said.

In this way, the country is affected, including its health system, because it has to pay more for the same, the PAHO/WHO representative concluded.

The Cuban government will denounce on October 31 the worsening of the blockade at the UN General Assembly.

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