Cuba is not alone

The audacity of the people of Cuba to defend a system of Government in humanism and social justice promotes increasingly admiration worldwide for his people and the resistance against the aggression of the United States.

Proof of this is the arrival on the island, 50 years of social activists from around the world to demonstrate its recognition to the Cubans in the preservation of the revolutionary project chosen 1st of January 1959, even with the economic pressures and policies of its neighbor to the North.

In July, members of the Jose Marti European brigade of solidarity with Cuba was called to promote and increase activism in favor of the island and Latin America International, as the siege of Washington has increased in modern times.

The young Italian journalist Niccola Matellini, one of the 90 members of the Organization, considered in statements to Prensa Latina that the realization of brigades like the José Martí help convey information about visited sites, in this case Cuba.

However, he insisted on the need for increasing activism and the dissemination of the work to strengthen support for the resistance of the Cuban people in the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the United States for almost 60 years.

Edna Martínez, Colombian resident in Germany, said that with the invisibilization of truth, right aims to establish the idea that any attempt to change towards a less unequal society is doomed to failure.

Therefore, he said that show the experiences of Cuba, the revolution and socialism is a great way to expand the horizon of what is happening on the planet.

As usual, the activists from Germany, Czech Republic, Spain, France, Russia, Switzerland, Greece, Italy, Portugal, United Kingdom, Sweden and Belgium joined the social dynamics, marched through economic, social, and historical sites, They labored in agriculture and shared with the people in neighborhoods and communities.

Similar program had at the beginning of August the 25th Brigade Latin American and Caribbean solidarity with Cuba, whose members joined the celebrations of the people by the anniversary 92 of the birth of the Commander in Chief, Fidel Castro, architect of the struggles by the defence of the sovereignty and independence of the country.

To receive them in the Julio Antonio Mella international camp, located in the town of Caimito, in the Western Province of ARTEMIS, the Vice President of the Cuban Institute of friendship with the peoples (ICAP), Jose Prieto Cintado, highlighted the support of those social fighters to fight the American siege of Cubans.

The leader of the ICAP argued that also support the claim of Cuba for the return of the territory illegally occupied the northern country with the naval base in the Eastern Province of Guantanamo.

Cintado highlighted the efforts of the brigades to disseminate the truth about the greater of the Antilles in their countries, where large transnational of the communication, in the service of the right, are trying to tarnish the project humanistic meaning the Cuban revolution.

Irina Bisceglia, Argentinean 31 years of age, the Cuban Government project is a conquest at the level of evolution of society, and worthy example of how a life can be achieved with the participation of a State which represents human rights and other important issues for the citizens.

Therefore, in his opinion, reaching Cuba is an opportunity to secure convictions and ideals, and return to their country now facing a complex political and economic crisis.

Chilean activist Leyla Cárdenas said here that the island represents the certainty that it is possible a world fair, equitable, sustainable and focused on the well-being of men, away from the selfishness that ponders the capitalism.

Cardenas, who belongs in Chile to the collective in solidarity with Cuba-Venezuela-Salvador Allende, highlighted the example that mean the social achievements of the largest of the Antilles, in the midst of an economic war.

Similarly, confirmed that it grows in Chile the admiration for the island for his unwavering struggle in achieving development and in defense of the majorities, so highlighted, many of his countrymen believe, dream and love Cuba, even not knowing it.

Meanwhile, the Dominican Pablo Castillo praised the courage, dignity and ethics of Cubans in Imaging and defense of a fairer society, and stated that those values are the standard that will enable them to reach their goal of the development of a prosperous country equitable and sustainable.

"Cubans, constantly besieged by American imperialism, reflect the courage and perseverance of the Commander in Chief Fidel Castro and the heroes who fought for the independence of the nation," he said.

  • Published in Cuba

Cuban-Vietnamese plant to cover 90 percent of detergent demand

Cuba approved the creation of a joint venture with Vietnam, Suchel TBV S.A., to produce detergents in the Mariel Special Development Zone (ZEDM), which will enable it to replace more than 90 percent of the country's imports of this assortment.

An article published this Tuesday on the ZEDM website states that the alliance was established between the Cuban Mercantile Society Industrias Nexus S.A. and the Vietnamese Thai Binh Detergent Joint - Stock Company, to build a factory that will also produce other related products as well.

The plant, which is expected to be built in a period of 24 months, will have an annual production capacity of 50,000 tons of detergents for domestic and industrial use.

The communiqué adds that, with an initial investment estimated at 17.6 million dollars, the industry will have modern technologies and automatic control systems, according to world standards.

In addition, the note stresses, the processes will be environmentally friendly, requiring low energy consumption and generate a minimum of industrial waste.

In 2016, the Vietnamese company Thai Binh Global Trading Corp. was authorized as a user of the ZEDM for the production of disposable diapers and sanitary pads, while the first concessionaire of the Zone, ViMariel S.A., is also a company from this Asian country that will develop an industrial park.

The Thai Binh company has been present in Cuba for 20 years and stands out for being one of the first to export Vietnamese products to Latin America, including clothing, footwear, consumer goods, food and construction materials.

Belonging to the Light Industry Business Group since 1992, the company Industrias Nexus S.A. currently participates as a partner in two other associations in the ZEDM, a strategic area of the national economy.

Located 45 kilometers from Havana, the Zone had 36 approved businesses, including its first concessionaire.

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Social Centers as a Proposal for Everyone

The year 1960 brought to Cuba favorable social changes and after the triumph of the Cuban Revolution on January 1st of 1959, the most important and urgent for Fidel Castro was to come to fruition his ideas shown on his book entitled’ La Historia me absolvera.’

With this aim, the U.S. enterprises were nationalized which used to belong to Fulgencio Batista’s dictatorship and not only their names changed but also their owners. The Cuban people became the only one in having the right to decide the nation’s destiny without any more interventions.

The social centers appeared as centers that were then part of different local institutions to guarantee a place for entertainment and recreation.

After that and with the approval of the economic and social guidelines of the Cuban Revolution and its party, the Social centers for Workers were built for the fair attention of all those institutions.

Social Centers as a Proposal for Everyone

Quality, Comfortable and Variety

Over 200 people have daily access to a Social Center in Havana city and that city has nine:

Marcelo Salado, José Ramón Rodríguez, Féliz Elmulza, Julio Antonio Mella, Gerardo Abreu Fontán, José Luis Tassende, Otto Parellada, Armando Mestre and Aracelio Iglesia. All of them located in Playa municipality.

Intended for the capital city’s union entertainment, the Social Centers of Havana city are the result of the local government’s endeavor, along with the provincial enterprise and the working staff that was working in one of them to offer the best service and excellent offers.

Social Centers as a Proposal for Everyone

“The services we offer are a beach, swimming pool and access to restaurants, coffee shops, bars, sports facilities and game rooms. “ Elsa Guerra Valiente, who is the assistant director of the specialized service of the Social Centers for Workers of Havana city, explained.

“In our facilities, the vacationers have a programmed snack which includes a sandwich, a local malta soda drink and the lunch accompanied with a bottled beers, an option of jam for children and a bottle of rum for four people. All of that through a value which never surpass the $ 200.00 Peso (local currency).” He added.

The access to the services that are offered in those recreational centers is carried out through an invitation got by the worker and it gives the right to take up to three more people.

“This is done this way to avoid the crowds before each of the areas as that causes the visitor’s unease; therefore, we try not to surpass our reception limit. We prefer quality and not quantity.” Mirielis González Cruz, who is the director of the Marcelo Salado Social Center, said.

Social Centers as a Proposal for Everyone

In addition to those economic options and their comfort, the local Social centers of Havana city are highly demanded due to their comfort, the good treatment to their workers and because of it is a chance for the entertainment of the family, above all.

“In this local summer time, the attendance of people has been bigger than the one registered in the past years. However, the fact about seeing more families visiting the facility is what has featured this from other simmer periods.” Yamilet Hierrezuelo Hernández pointed out.

The director assistant of the specialized services of that same facility, Yan Rolando Reyes Pouso, referred that a feedback mechanism is designed to get know the users’ opinions on that facility.

“We daily carry out a survey for the associated people to get to know what can we improve from the related services because we do not feel satisfied about what we are doing well. Our job should respond to the people’s needs who visit us.”

Social Centers as a Proposal for Everyone

Beyond its Usual Functions

Even though the aforementioned facilities exist to encourage the workers in the summer time, there are some of them which also extend their activities into other population sector.

“The local Social Sociales Obreros of Havana city and the Provincial Committee of the Communist Youth Party (UJC) set up a strategy for the young people who could have access those facilities.” Elsa Guerra Valiente, who is the assistant director of that enterprise, said.

“Wednesday is the chosen day for that family group who get the same services that the rest of the regular clients.” She added.

According to Maidelis García Miranda, who is an official of the ideological department of the provincial committee of the UJC, a great part of that youth universe is benefitted as it is represented by the Senior High School, University Federation, members of the Marti Youth Movement and the José Martí Art Instructors, as well as the young cadets and officials of the local Revolutionary Armed Forces (FAR) and Ministry of Interior (MININT).

In addition, the Social Centers have some facilities and rooms where the related protection and services are being offered for associated and members of the workers of that sector and they are ready to carry out weddings, 15-year old parties, birthdays and recreational activities for enterprises.

  • Published in Cuba

Neurologists Debunk US Report on Cuban 'Sonic Attack' Theory

According to several neurologists, the U.S. report misinterpreted test results and overlooked common disorders and psychological explanations.   

Neurologists have challenged claims by the United States that its diplomatic core in Havana, Cuba suffered brain injuries after being allegedly targeted by Cuban officials with a sonic attack.

RELATED: Cuban Offical: US Embassy Staff Cut Politically Motivated

This March, a medical report by the University of Pennsylvania commissioned by the U.S. government claimed that staff at the U.S. embassy in Havana had suffered concussion-like injuries after hearing strange noises.

However, on Tuesday, specialists in neurology, neuropsychiatry, and neuropsychology from the U.S., the United Kingdom, and Germany contested the results, and questioned the validity of the study, citing several flaws.

In four letters to the Journal of the American Medical Association, several specialists argued the University of Pennsylvania team misinterpreted test results and overlooked common disorders or psychological explanations that could have explained their symptoms.   

Robert Shura, a U.S. certified clinical neuropsychologist who works at the Salisbury veterans medical center in North Carolina, explained how the study misinterpreted the cognitive tests performed on the U.S. diplomats.

According to Shura, a score in the bottom 5 percent typically means there is a problem, but the study established that those who scored in the bottom 40 percent were “impaired.” This assessment, Shura and two other colleagues contend, is “inappropriate.”

RELATED: Joint Cuban, US Probe Finds No Evidence for Sonic Attacks

A common disorder that was unaccounted for is inner ear damage. Doctor Gerard Gioanoli of the Ear and Balance Institute in Louisiana said “given that almost all of the patients complained of hearing loss and balance problems, I am extremely suspicious of an inner ear insult in this group of patients… I do wish they would be more thoroughly evaluated.”

University of Edinburgh neurologist Jon Stone and neuropsychiatrist Alan Carson argued that Smith’s team too easily dismissed functional neurological disorders that can be triggered by sudden noises which, combined with anxiety, can lead to persistent neurological problems.

“Functional neurological disorders are common genuine disorders that can affect anyone, including hard-working diplomatic staff,” they said.

In September 2017 the U.S. government decided to drastically reduce its staff in the Caribbean island after 24 diplomats reported concussion-like symptoms, including headaches, dizziness, difficulties in sleeping, and lack of balance.

The U.S. accused the Cuban government of orchestrating a sonic attack. A claim Cuban authorities vehemently denied.

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New Iberostar hotel coming to Cuba in 2018

Iberostar Hotels & Resorts will open its first Cuban luxury hotel in Old Havana in the fourth quarter of 2018.

The hotel group refurbished the original hotel and will rebrand it as the Iberostar Grand Packard with 321 guestrooms and suites. The property is on Paseo del Prado near the boardwalk, the Bay of Havana and the Castle of the Three Kings of Morro. The original hotel is known for hosting celebrities and political figures, including Pablo Neruda and Marlon Brando.

The Grand Packard is one of eight hotels in Iberostar's pipeline for Cuba. The group currently has 20 hotels operating in the country.

"Cuba has always been one of our priority destinations and one of the favorites of our clients internationally," Aurelio Vazquez, chief operating officer of the Iberostar Group, said in a statement.

Iberostar opened two hotels in Cuba in 2017: the 827-room Iberostar Bella Vista Varadero and the Iberostar Riviera. The hotel group took over management of the 352-room Hotel Riviera in January 2017. The company renovated the hotel, now named the Iberostar Riviera, which originally opened in 1957 on the Malecón seafront. The property is the group's second hotel in Havana and 12th in Cuba.

Iberostar also extended its presence in Europe with the addition of a new hotel in Barcelona, Spain in January 2018. The group converted the Hotel Colon, which was originally built in 1942, into the 119-room Iberostar Paseo de Garcia.

The hotel group's first Barcelona property is in the center of Plaza de Catalunya near El Prat International Airport, shopping and tourist attractions. The hotel was the first of 15 Iberostar hotels slated to open in 2018. It also joined Iberostar’s new line of urban hotels to strengthen its presence in top tourist cities.

  • Published in Cuba

Revolution, the dawn of dignity

When I was six or seven years old, I had a beautiful but naïve idea. I liked to think that every morning as I got up to go to school, children everywhere around the world were doing the same thing. Back then, I never imagined that what was for me a normal, daily routine was only a utopia for millions of children, an unreachable dream. While I felt only the pleasant weight of books in my backpack, they endured hunger, misery, and desperation.

It didn’t take long for me to understand why my reality was so different from theirs. The reason was that I had been born in the Cuba of Fidel, of the Revolution, where society’s supreme principle was a commitment to the full dignity of humanity, as Martí taught us, where we had the rights we needed to fully develop as human beings, on both the individual and social planes, rights which were enjoyed by only the most comfortable minorities around the world.

This certainty with which we were born makes us unquestionably privileged, above all, because the Cuban people have never been passive or silent, sitting back and watching, but have rather played a decisive role in shaping our destiny. That is why when the Centenary Generation proposed an alternative, the people tipped the balance toward justice, and assumed as their own the arguments that Fidel, with his visionary thinking, threw into the face of the tyrants during his historic self-defense statement, following the Moncada assault. This statement became the programmatic platform of the struggle, in which the most absolute of truths were defined: the rights denied the people must be respected and taken to their maximum expression. This was the revolutionaries’ most brilliant maxim, which became after the triumph of the Revolution, and continues to be, the most basic reason for the existence of this project.

A HUMANIST REVOLUTION

The clearly humanist character of the Cuban Revolution was apparent from the very beginning. The implementation of the Moncada program showed that those who had led the last stage of our struggles for independence would be true to every idea raised before the victory.

The radical laws put into effect during the first years of the 1960s opened the way for more ambitious goals, focused on equal opportunity and access to services for all, unprecedented in the history of Cuba. If anyone had any doubt, the massive mobilization that eliminated illiteracy showed that no obstacle would be too great to ensure that all Cubans would enjoy the rising sun of dignity.

The profound social transformations associated with the revolutionary process produced a state of law that evolved alongside the consolidation of socialism. The social ownership of the means of production allowed the equitable distribution of wealth and, therefore, the people’s increasingly greater role in the construction of its own wellbeing. Fidel, and all those with him who led the Revolution’s advance, were always convinced that the people were the only force capable of putting an end to what had been accomplished, and the only force capable of successfully defending it.

But once again, history has spoken, because human beings are never more free that when we enjoy all the rights that support this condition, and the humble - for whom and through whose efforts the project emerged - stayed the Revolution’s course, and became the pillar that has today made it indestructible. Fidel many times spoke of this reciprocity, which has shown that no sacrifice in the name of social equality is in vain.

“The Revolution undertakes a task that ennobles, dignifies, human beings, and their best values. It is precisely the Revolution - the Revolution that seeks a just society, a better way of life, a more enlightened society - that holds patriotic values, and human values, highest. The right of human beings to acquire culture, go to school, to work, to live. The right of human beings to true happiness.”

The extraordinary achievements of this island country in terms of human rights go far beyond having signed international treaties, or being a proud member of the Council that works through the General Assembly promoting respect for the Universal Declaration of Human Rights approved in 1948.

Cuba has sought to make a reality of the elemental principles that dignify our species, although it would have been easier, at times, to renounce the struggle than to continue the battle. But it goes without saying that this people is not accustomed to taking the easy way out.

TODAY’S MONCADA

Facing their Moncada today are younger generations who have never taken up arms, did not go up into the mountains, or risk their lives in the underground. Today’s battle is unquestionably for the future, one that requires a vision which is renovated but maintains the essence of our social system, adapting to new times with the only weapon needed: a solid historical, moral, and ideological legacy.

May no one lose their sense of direction, no matter the 59 years that separate us from that January 1. What was done at that time and what we are constructing now have the same goal: making the Revolution sustainable, to safeguard of the most beautiful chapters in the history of humanism written around the world.

In times of “soft coups,” of frustrated neoliberalism, and of inciting violence, being Cuban also means feeling safe under the protection of social stability, with dialogue as the basis for change, respect for peace as the foundation of establishing consensus, especially in terms of the collective construction of the society of our dreams.

After discussing the proposed new Constitution, and observing the extensive analysis conducted by our deputies in the National Assembly, I cannot help but feel that we are steadily moving toward a new era and a higher stage of social order, and that to do so, we must have a much more advanced Constitution to make this leap.

Even before the Cuban people have their word on the constitutional reform document, I have no doubt that human rights, which constitute a basic principle of the Cuban Revolution, will remain intact. And moreover, any change proposed in this area will be in the interest of expanding the range of rights to make our society increasing more inclusive.

On the basis of decisions we have made, Cuba is and will continue to be proof that the full dignity of human beings is not a utopian dream, but rather an achievable goal, although not a gift. It is won with sacrifice and effort, intransigence and unlimited dedication. There is enough evidence to support the assertion, evident since the generation of our founding fathers, and through that of those who would not let the dreams of Martí die in the year of his centenary, along with those born after the triumph of the Revolution.

This feeling of being protected, sheltered by democracy and infinite respect for the human condition, must always accompany us, to never allow our people to be touched by the confusion and discouragement that sadly infects so much of Our America, and prevents the people from seeing clearly where justice lies.

Personally, I want the image I had as a child to stay with me. I want to continue dreaming of the possibility that all the world’s children can go to school, with the only weight on their shoulders being the books that will make them more cultured, and therefore more free. But as we continue the battle to make this dream a reality, in my homeland, where this is the absolute truth, I never want to see it destroyed.

Our collective bet is on the present and the future of this project we have nurtured, but in our own way, without the damaging influence of those who are only interested in undermining the foundations of Cuban socialism, which we have constructed on the basis of our perspective and experiences. We are ready for loftier goals, because in every one of us what holds sway is Fidel’s maxim, “the Revolution is the instrument of education, of culture, of sports, of human values, of spiritual values.”

  • Published in Cuba

Cuba debuted with crushing victory over Guatemala

The team of Tomás Fernández claimed an overwhelming 3-0 victory over Guatemala (25-19, 25-9, 25-15) and with the result the Cubans got their first five points in Pool A of the IV U23 Pan American Cup which is held for the fourth time in Peru at the Manuel Bonilla Coliseum in Miraflores.

Commanded by their captain Diaris Perez, the Cuban team took the victory demonstrating strength in the categories of the blocking (12-2) and services (13-3) with Guatemala battling in the attack (33-21). Both squads registered 17 unforced errors.

The individual score was led by Pérez who reached the maximum of 12 points, followed by Ailama Cese with 11 points and Jessica Aguilera with 10. In the opposite team Martha Guillermo got the maximum of 8 points.

The next game in Cuba is scheduled for this Wednesday 15 at 3:00 p.m. against Chile. On the other hand, Guatemala will match forces before the host team at 7:00 p.m.

The captain of Cuba, Diaris Pérez: "I think that in the first set we were playing to the rhythm of the rival team, but for the following sets we could retake our level, the team has come very cohesive and I think we will have a good competition, I trust we will achieve our goal, to stay with the gold medal".

The captain of Guatemala, Astrid González: "This is the first participation for our national team in a U23 Pan American Cup and I am very happy for the work my team has done, we knew it would not be an easy game, but we played very close, following the indications of our coach and that we are happy to have been able to play a game in which each one gave the maximum before a tough rival.”

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Role of the Communist Party in the New Cuban Constitution Draft

The draft of the new Constitution ratifies the leading role of Cuba's Communist Party as a fundamental pillar of unity and of the political, economic and social order.

In its article 5, the document submitted from August 13 to November 15 to a popular consultation establishes that 'The Communist Party of Cuba, unique, based on Marti's ideas, loyalist and Marxist-Leninist, organized vanguard of the Cuban nation, based on its democratic character and permanent link with the people, is the highest leading force of society and the State'.

The vast majority of the inhabitants of Cuba assume and support this concept, which is also the subject of analysis and debate during these days, in which in work and study centers, as well as in the community, opinions and proposals are freely expressed regarding the project of the new Constitution.

For some, the leading role should be limited to the political, while others - with good intentions or not - appeal to a multiparty system that the island experienced before the revolution of January 1, 1959.

People have the right to ask what they think of the Constitution, that's what the consultation is for, but those of us who live in this era of politicization, corruption, individualism and unfulfilled promises for the people who suffered, it's difficult for us to talk about the return to such a scenario,' Manuel Rodriguez, a 77-year-old retiree, told Prensa Latina.

For her part, student Gabriela Gonzalez warned that any analysis of Cuba's political, economic and social order must take into account the siege that the country has been experiencing since the revolutionary victory , with the U.S. blockade as the most well-known and repudiated component.

The development of the country, the well-being of its inhabitants and the quietness of its citizens are not part of the multiparty system, so only those who want to deceive and seduce us with songs of mermaids to divide and destroy can see this, it said.

According to the vice-president of the National Assembly of People's Power, Ana Maria Mari Machado, the Communist Party of Cuba is the guarantor of the construction of the socialist system to which the Caribbean nation aspires.

According to statements to Radio Reloj station, the member of the parliamentary commission in charge of drafting the new Constitution said that 'more than one party disunites and breaks the integrity of all'.

Our party is not electoral, but represents the vanguard of the people and is not above them, it is a symbol of their unity, and it gathers the best of the masses,' Mari Machado stated.

Regarding the theme and the celebration on Monday of the 92nd anniversary ofthe birth of the historic leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro (1926-2016), many people remember the validity of his words when he said: 'The party is today the soul of the revolution'.

The Communist Party is also a continuation of the Cuban Revolutionary Party founded by Jose Marti in 1892 to achieve independence for the island and create a republic with all and for the good of all.

  • Published in Cuba
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