NA leader lauds ambassador’s efforts to tighten Vietnam-Cuba links

National Assembly (NA) Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan received outgoing Cuban Ambassador Herminio Lopez Diaz on August 21, appreciating the diplomat’s contributions to Vietnam-Cuba special traditional relations during his term.

She expressed her delight at the growth of bilateral relations over the past years, noting that political ties have continually been enhanced through the maintenance of delegation exchanges at all levels between the countries’ Parties, States, parliaments, ministries, sectors and localities.

Congratulating Cuba on its political, economic and diplomatic achievements, which have helped create prerequisites for next development stages, she voiced her belief that the Cuban people will obtain even greater achievements in updating their economic model.

At the meeting, Ambassador Herminio Lopez Diaz shared the outcomes of his working term in Vietnam, as well as his sentiment towards the country and people of Vietnam.

Noting the close parliamentary cooperation, he added aside from the thriving political-diplomatic relations, the countries’ cooperation in other spheres, including health care, have also been being promoted.

[Vietnam, Cuba agree to beef up legislative ties]

It’s now a good time for the two countries to increase economic and trade partnerships, he said, adding that the Cuban Embassy and the embassies of other Latin American nations want to establish a centre of Latin American culture in Vietnam.

Chairwoman Ngan and the ambassador agreed that the Vietnam-Cuba solidarity and friendship are a precious asset that the two Parties and nations need to treasure and hand down to future generations.

Herminio Lopez Diaz promised on whichever positions he will hold after returning to Cuba, he will always support and help nurture the time-honoured solidarity and friendship between the two countries

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Cuba to revive mining sector with new lead and zinc mine

A new lead and zinc mine in northwestern Cuba is on track to start production in October as part of the Caribbean island's attempt to revitalize its mining sector, said a representative from Emincar, the government-backed mining company overseeing the project.

While nickel exports are already one of Cuba's main foreign currency earners, the cash-strapped country has untapped potential in other mineral deposits, according to the US Geological Survey.

The $278 million Castellanos mine will produce 100,000 tons of zinc concentrate and 50,000 tons of lead concentrate annually, said executives at Emincar, the joint venture between Swiss-based commodities giant Trafigura and Cuban state firm Geominera.

"We are reviving the small and medium-size mining sector in Cuba from this investment," said Justo Hernández Pérez, Emincar's deputy general manager, during a visit from foreign journalists to the mine in the province of Pinar del Rio.

Many mines, including a gold mine at the site of the new Castellanos mine, were abandoned in the 1990s and 2000s in the wake of the fall of Cuba's then key ally - the former Soviet Union, and the collapse of the economy.

"We are now exploiting the deposit below oxide cap," said Emincar general manager Jose Vila, noting that it could prove profitable once more for gold mines there.

The Castellanos mine holds reserves for 11 years of exploitation, while the nearby Santa Lucia deposit has enough for another 10 years, Vila said. Emincar will go on to exploit that deposit, tweaking its factory accordingly, once the Castellanos mine is exhausted.

In its annual investment portfolio released late last year, Cuba published dozens of opportunities for foreign investors to explore, exploit and commercialize precious metals, base metals and other minerals of interest.

Cuba hopes foreign investment will boost its economy, which managed to climb out of a recession in the first half of 2017. The island is under severe strain due to lower exports and a drop in cheap oil shipments from ally Venezuela.

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Cuban Institutions and IAEA Review Bilateral Cooperation

Dazhu Yang, Deputy Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), will visit the Agency of Nuclear Energy and Advanced Technologies (AENTA), as part of his official visit to Cuba.

Yang will meet with AENTA president, Daniel Lopez, to exchange on the state of technical cooperation. Directors of the National Nuclear Safety Center, as well as from the Ministries of Public Health, Food Industry and Agriculture, will also participate.

During his stay on the island, to be run until Friday, March 24th, the head of the IAEA Technical Cooperation Department will visit institutions, which carry out projects with the international entity.

Yang took office on July 1st, 2015 and prior to his current appointment at the Agency, he was a Director of the Africa Division (February 2012-June 2015) and Asia-Pacific Division (February 2009-January 2012).

Prior to joining the IAEA, he held several posts in China, among them that of Director General for International Cooperation, the Atomic Energy Authority of his country and was a Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Chinese Permanent Mission at the IAEA.

Although Cuba has been a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency since its establishment in 1957, it begins to receive benefits for technical cooperation from that entity as of 1977.

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Association of Caribbean States Seeks Common Paths

Havana, Mar 2 (Prensa Latina) The Association of Caribbean States (ACS) is seeking common paths for the region, so it will focus on fighting climate change and on the need for interconnection at its upcoming ministerial and cooperation meetings.

According to the agenda, on March 8, representatives from about 60 countries that cooperate with the Caribbean region will participate in the 1st Conference on Cooperation of that mechanism in Havana.

On March 9 and 10, the 22nd Meeting of the Council of Ministers of the Association will take place in the Cuban capital.

On March 11, the 5th Caricom-Cuba Ministerial Meeting will be held to review the achievements in integral relations between Cuba and the sister nations associated to the Caribbean Community.

The ACS was founded in July 1994 with the main objective of being a consultation and cooperation body for the insular countries and territories or the nations with shores in the Caribbean Sea.

This regional mechanism is being revitalized and it was boosted at the 7th Summit in June 2016, when agreements were reached on common issues by the 25 member countries and the associated States.

The head of the Norman Girvan Chair of Caribbean Studies at the University of Havana, Antonio Romero, noted that since its foundation, the group has defined four areas of priorities, in terms of the search for consensus and cooperation, trade, tourism, transportation and the reduction of disasters.

He pointed out that at the same time, there is a dynamic and dialectic interrelation among those four working areas of the ACS, because tourism is a key element in the economic infrastructure of many of those countries and it is highly vulnerable to climate change, and some development strategies in that sector are not environmentally friendly.

At the same time, maritime and air transportation is still a big problem in the region, as it is essential to foster trade among the Caribbean countries, it is one of the big historic limitations, he added.

The expert said that in general terms, there is a low level of trade among Caribbean countries, even though there are considerable dynamics of bilateral trade, and that situation is caused, among other factors, by the region's weak transportation.

Big states like Mexico, Venezuela and Colombia coexist in the Caribbean with microstates like Dominica, Antigua and Barbuda, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, so differences are clear in terms of international insertion.

Romero added that different modalities of trade and commercial partners exist in the region as well, there are differences from the perspective of development models as a result of ideological diversity.

The 7th Summit also approved the ACS Action Plan for the next three years (2016-2018) with the objective of boosting sustainable development in the region.

In the first of its seven key items, the document expresses the ACS member countries' commitment to establish and consolidate the so-called Caribbean Sustainable Tourism Zone.

In order to achieve that goal, the signatories agreed to boost concertedly the potentialities of that economic sector, which is vital for most countries in the region, which they defined as a tourist multidestination par excellence.

In addition, they agreed to build capacities in transportation to enhance the development of trade and economic investment through initiatives like the program to 'Unite the Caribbean by Air and Sea'.

Another issue directly addresses the problem of climate change and the mitigation of its effects by dealing with the reduction of the risk of disasters in countries that are threatened by that phenomenon.

The plan aims to channel cooperation in terms of culture and education with the funding of projects to favor academic exchanges among universities and other regional institutions.

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Pakistan, Cuban NA ink MoU to boost cooperation

The Senate of Pakistan and the National Assembly of the People's Power of Cuba have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for strengthening cooperation on parliamentary affairs.

Senate Chairman Mian Raza Rabbani said that the MoU would further boost the parliamentary cooperation to augment the existing close and friendly relations between the parliaments, governments and people of the two countries, as the parliaments embody the will and aspirations of the people.

The MoU has been signed between the Senate Secretariat and Cuban National Assembly Secretariat General in Havana. Senate Secretary Amjed Pervez Malik and his counterpart Miriam Brito Sarroca signed the MoU in the presence of Senate Chairman Mian Raza Rabbani and president of National Assembly of People's Power of Cuba as well as parliamentarians from both the countries.

Raza Rabbani said that both the countries had inked this cooperation realising the fact that strengthening parliamentary interactions in bilateral and multilateral areas help enhance mutual trust and understanding, expand consensus and promote cooperation.

Desirous of further strengthening of their friendly relations and cooperation, the secretariats of Senate of Pakistan and Cuban National Assembly have agreed to promote exchange of parliamentary delegations, maintain friendship groups within both the parliaments and promote close interaction between the two sides through enhanced exchanges to generate a consensus-based approach on various regional and international issues. Both the secretariats have agreed to benefit from each other's experiences, knowledge and expertise by arranging study visits.

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Cuba, USA Strengthen Oil Spill Cooperation

Cuba and the United States signed a cooperation agreement on the preparation and response to pollution caused by spills of hydrocarbons and other potentially dangerous noxious substances.

This bilateral and legally binding instrument, covering the Gulf of Mexico and the Florida strait, will facilitate the coordination for a rapid and effective response to minimize the damages that oil spill may cause to marine and coastal ecosystems, as well as to health and public welfare.

Jeffrey DeLaurentis, Chargé d'affaires a.i. of the United States Embassy in Havana, stated the document is another step forward in the common effort to protect the marine environment in the Strait and Gulf.

Establishing a mutual framework that includes diplomatic, legal and technical elements to be ready and respond to oil spills in the marine environment is particularly important for neighbors within 90 miles, he said.

In his opinion, this agreement strengthens the relation and 'helps ensure that coastal lines, marine environments and communities that depend on maritime trade, are better protected for future generations'.

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Japan PM sent messages to Fidel and Raul

Japan PM, Shinzo Abe, sent reasoned messages to Cuban Revolution leaders Fidel Castro and Raul Castro with the leader of the Japanese political party Komeito, Natsuo Yamaguchi, who is paying official visit to Cuba.

The messages were delivered to Cuba´s First Vice-president Miguel Diaz Canel, who welcomed Yamaguchi on Tuesday in Havana. Mr. Yamaguchi was invited by the Communist Party of Cuba (PCC).

During the meeting, Yamaguchi and Diaz Canel confirmed the bilateral interest in deepening the relations that link both people, as well as the purpose of developing the political, economic, and cooperation relation between both countries.

Cuban vice-president paid official visit to Japan last June to strengthen bilateral economic cooperation on the days where Japanese companies are returning to the Caribbean island.

Abe, according to some Japanese media, is scheduled to travel to Cuba by the end of September. This would be the first visit of a Japanese head of state to Cuba ever.

The leader of the Komeiko party, which is member of the governing coalition led by Abe, was welcomed by Cuba’s FM Bruno Rodriguez and vice-president Ricardo Cabrisas.

Translated By Sergio Alejandro / Cubasi Translation Staff

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