Canadians Nusbaum and Plantinga reach semifinals defeating Cuba

Canadians Aaron Nusbaum and Mike Plantinga upset top seeded Karell Peña and Dasiel Quesada of Cuba with a 2-0 (21-15, 21-15) victory to reach the men’s semifinals of the first stage of the 2018 NORCECA Beach Volleyball Circuit in Aguascalientes, Mexico.

Mike Plantinga’s high blocks and Aaron Nusbaum’s effective defense took the Cuban pair by surprise, limiting their performance to a lower standard than usual.

Another surprise was Josué Gaxiola/José Angel Cardenas of Mexico advancing into semifinals with a steady performance while beating Canada-B of Fiodar Kazhamiaka/ Sergey Grabovsky 2-0 (21-15, 21-18) in quarterfinals. Gaxiola has earned one silver and two bronze NORCECA medals and Cardenas is a NORCECA newcomer; together they finished fifth last year at the FIVB U-21 World Championship.

United States-A of William Reid Priddy and Troy Field had to use all their energy to beat resilient Rubén Mora/Dany López of Nicaragua coming from behind 2-1 (25-27, 21-15, 15-11). Mora and López had a spectacular performance while Priddy and Field seemed to enjoy the challenge.

Eric Zaun and Edwin Ratledge of United States-B won their quarterfinal match with no problems  to young Dominicans Jamel Alessandre/Victor Castillo by 2-0 (21-15, 21-15).

Plantinga/Nusbaum (CAN) will meet Gaxiola/Cardenas (MEX) in semfinals. The other semifinal features Priddy/Field against fellow countrymen Zaun/Ratledge.

Men’s semifinal matches are scheduled for 10:30 am (local time) and the gold medal match at 5:30 pm.

Men Results Saturday:

Pool-Play: Pool A: Karell Peña/ Dasiel Quesada (CUB) d Jamel Alessandre/Victor Castillo (DOM) 2-0 (21-13, 21-11); Pool B: Eric Zaun/Edwin Ratledge (USA-B) d Aaron Nusbaum/ Mike Plantinga (CAN-A) 2-1 (21-91, 15-21, 18-16); Pool C: Fiodar Kazhamiaka/ Sergey Grabovsky (CAN-B) d Luis García/Erick Garrido (GUA) 2-0 (21-19, 21-18); William Reid Priddy/Troy Field (USA-A) d Germán Osuna/Leonel Garza (MEX-B) 2-0 (21-15, 21-11); Pool D: Josue Gaxiola/José Angel Cardenas (MEX-A) d Rubén Mora/Dany López (NCA) 2-0 (21-15, 21-14); Yasutaka Sanay/Franky Hernández (MEX-C) d Jesse Parham/Casey Santamaria (CAY) 2-0 (21-9, 21-13); Loser’s Play-Off: Germán Osuna/Leonel Garza (MEX-B) d Yasutaka Sanay/Franky Hernández (MEX-C) 2-0 (18-21, 21-19, 16-14);  Luis García/Erick Garrido (GUA) d Jesse Parham/Casey Santamaria (CAY)  2-0 (21-7, 21-10); QF1: Aaron Nusbaum/ Mike Plantinga (CAN-A) d Karell Peña/ Dasiel Quesada (CUB) 2-0 (21-15, 21-15); QF2: Josue Gaxiola/José Angel Cardenas (MEX-A) d Fiodar Kazhamiaka/ Sergey Grabovsky (CAN-B) 2-0 (21-15, 21-18); QF3: William Reid Priddy/Troy Field (USA-A) d Rubén Mora/Dany López (NCA) 2-1 (25-27, 21-15, 15-11); QF4: Eric Zaun/Edwin Ratledge (USA-B) d  Jamel Alessandre/Victor Castillo (DOM) 2-0 (21-15, 21-15).

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Nicaraguan Women´s Soccer Team beat Cuba in Second Game of the Friendly Match

Nicaragua women's soccer squad beat 2-1 Cuba in the second and last friendly match these two sides held at Havana´s Pedro Marrero stadium.

The visitors opened the score at the 25th minute when Cuban goalkeeper Katherine Montesinos couldn´t keep a header and right winger Yensi Aguirre took the rebound and sent the ball home from close range.

At 45´, left winger Sheyla Flores starred a magnificent play when dribbling past two local defenders to then beat Montesinos through a tremendous shot, thus setting the score 2-0.

In the second half, the Cuban coach Reiniel Bonora made some substitutions as he had lined up several not-regular players and his team noted the improvement and at 75´, Nicaragua´s defender scored an own goal, but the visiting side didn´t collapse, as in the first match, and managed to maintain the score 2-1.

Last Tuesday, Cuba won 4-2 the first of these two matches after starring a tremendous comeback in the second half as they were losing 1-2 at half time.

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Cuba says won't accept US threats or pressures

Cuba on Saturday slammed U.S. policy towards Latin America, calling it a return to a past of "domination and impositions," adding that Havana won't accept threats or pressure from Washington to modify its political system.

"Cuba won't accept threats or pressures from the United States. It doesn't want confrontation, but will not negotiate or cede one millimeter in its socialist principles," Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez said in remarks at the ongoing eighth Summit of the Americas.

Rodriguez, who was leading the island country's delegation to the meeting, highlighted that the thawing ties between Washington and Havana were maintained since 2015 until Donald Trump assumed the U.S. presidency and decided to roll back the detente.

"The U.S. economic blockade and the financial persecution continue, but at the same time Washington is further isolated when it comes to their policy towards Cuba," he said.

According to the foreign minister, Cuba is currently in the presidential election process that will last until April 19, 2019 when Cubans decide a new president to succeed incumbent Raul Castro, younger brother and fellow revolutionary of Communist Cuba's founder Fidel Castro.

In addition, Rodriguez said that the younger generations in Cuba are closely linked to the ruling Communist Party, and that they will "firmly" commemorate the Fidel-led revolutionary troops' victory in defending the island against a U.S.-masterminded aggression in the early 1960s.

He was referring to the failed Playa Giron -- literally Bay of Pigs -- invasion of Cuba in April 1961 by U.S.-sponsored mercenaries comprised of mostly Cubans traveling in exile to the United States after Fidel Castro overthrew the U.S.-backed dictator Fulgencio Batista.

"Cubans, especially the younger generations, closely linked to the (Communist) Party, founded by (Jose) Marti and Fidel (Castro), together with Raul (Castro), will commemorate firm, secure and optimistic victory against the mercenary aggression in Playa Giron," Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez warned of Washington's aspiration to re-establish its "imperialist domination" in Latin America, imposing Cold War era policies and a return to the "Monroe Doctrine," a 19th century strategy to control the region for political and economic purposes.

"Now the objective is to restore imperialist domination, destroy national sovereignties with unconventional interventions, overthrow popular governments, reverse social achievement and restore continental neo-liberalism in a continental scale," he said.

The Cuban diplomat said Washington has returned to the "use of force" and the "imposition of unilateral coercive measures" in its policy towards the region.

"We will only advance through integration and unity within the diversity that led to the creation of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC). Recent events show that the Organization of American States (OAS) and especially its secretary general are mere instruments of the United States," he said.

The official also expressed the island country's solidarity with Venezuela, saying the exclusion of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro from the summit was a "historic setback" imposed by the United States.

The diplomat also condemned Saturday's missile strikes on Syrian government facilities by the United States, Britain and France.

Suspended for decades by the OAS, Cuba only returned to the Summit of the Americas in 2015 when the seventh version of the gathering was held in Panama.

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Philippine Authorities Highlight Cuba's Educational System

Philippine Education Minister Leonor Briones was paid a courtesy visit by Cuban Ambassador Ibete Fernandez, with whom she assessed the possibility of starting relations of collaboration in the educational field.

The Cuban diplomat told Prensa Latina that the minister repeated the intention to implement the best and more applicable practices of Cuba's educational system and, above all, to learn from the process to build values among students.

Briones recalled that last year, the general director of Education of the Philippines visited Cuba, and she thanked the ambassador for the welcome he was given.

The official expressed her admiration for the historic leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro, and underlined that although his physical departure was a great loss for humankind, his legacy remains.

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Cuban Domadores against Colombian Heroicos in WSB

The Cuba Domadores appear as favorite over the Colombia Heroicos in the final match for group A of the 8th World Series of Boxing (WSB) to take place next Friday.

With 12 points, four wins and one loss, the WSB current runner-up only need achieving any kind of victory over the South American squad, which will be local, to end as leader of this Poole A as thus, they would surpass the Uzbek Tigers, who amount 13 units, but already finished their performance of the qualifying stage.

The Caribbean side will use its aces Lazaro Alvarez (60 kg), Roniel Iglesias (69), Julio Cesar La Cruz (81) and Jose Angel Larduet (+91).
The four of them are world medalists, are unbeaten in two outings in the current season and have higher rank than their opponents: Duvan Zuleta (0-2), Jhan Carlos Ubarnes (0-1), Diego Motoa (0-1) and Cristian Salcedo (1-1).

The Central American silver medalist Ceiber Avila (52), undefeated in two bouts this season, is the major hope of victory of the local side as he will face inexperienced Arnolys Bignotte (0-1), only Cuban with lower pedigree than his rival.

The Colombia Heroicos amount seven points and no matter the result of this match they will rank third in Group A, while the Venezuela Caciques already finished on bottom of the standings with four units.

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Five Million Cell Phone Lines Active in Cuba

Cuba’s Telecommunications Company ETECSA announced on Thursday that the number of active cell phone lines has reached five million thus confirming the incrase of that service over the past few years.

According to statistics released by the company, some 43 thousand cell phone lines were active in December 2003, a figured that increased to 223 thousand by April 2008.

The numbers grew to reach one million lines in June 2010, two million in March 2014 and three million in April 2015, while in December 2016, the figured reached four million active lines.

The Telecom company has noticeably expanded its services including internet rooms and wifi hotspots throughout the island, as well as still limited home-based adsl connections.

Along with the state services, private workers have spread cell phone repair and sale businesses in many areas, what has helped Cubans enjoy the use of smart phones for their communication in different modalities.



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Cuban slugger Despaigne homers for second consecutive day in Japan

HAVANA, Cuba, Apr 12 (acn) Cuban Alfredo blasted his second homerun in the recently started 2018 season of the Japanese Professional Baseball League (NPB).

The Cuban slugger homered for the second consecutive day, this time to support the 8-5 win of his team, the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks, over the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters, in a game in which he batted 1 for 4, with one run scored and two RBIs.

The Cuban lefty reliever Livan Moinelo also participated in the game and managed to strikeout the only opponent he faced.

Despaigne and Moinelo didn´t start well the season, but in their two last outings they both began to show their real quality.

Their team, the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks, appear fourth in the NPB Pacific League with four wins and five losses, four games behind the leader, the Saitama Seibu Lions.

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Cuba's call for open and frank dialogue highlighted in Peru

Cuba once again called for an open and respectful dialogue amidst attempts to silence the voice of its true civil society, represented at events at the VIII Summit of the Americas, taking place in Lima, capital city of Peru.

Both young people and social actors from the Caribbean nation participating in the youth forums of the Americas and civil society were subjected to arbitrary exclusions and irregularities "not foreseen" by the organizers of these hemispheric meetings, who at all times only replied: "We will take notes".

Coalition 15, For an Inclusive and Respectful World, which leads the largest of the West Indies, also denounced the lack of transparency of the forum organizers in choosing the spokesperson for Thursday's dialogue with government representatives.

After making proposals and putting it to the vote, the responsibility of the spokeswoman fell on the young Mirthia Julia Brossard Oris, who is part of this group along with 67 other Cubans.

Coalition members also expressed their disagreement with the distribution and organization of the work of the 28 civil society forum groups.

From the Sheraton Hotel, located in Lima, the Cubans also expressed their disagreement with the way in which the document to be presented to the Heads of State at the high-level segment of the Summit will be prepared next Saturday.

Ronald Hidalgo Rivero also presented a point of order in the plenary of the youth forum, in which he asked the organizers and authorities present to review the accreditation mechanism, which included three Cubans who do not represent the legitimate interests of Cubans.

Another side event: the III Meeting of the Open Parliament Network of ParlAmericas began Tuesday at the Peruvian Congress, where the positions and work of legislative institutions in the countries of the hemisphere to confront corruption were respectfully shared.

The five deputies who make up the delegation of the largest of the Antilles, presented Cuba's experiences on the subject, which has totally different nuances in the Caribbean country, as there is no political corruption, as confirmed by the prosecutor Edward Roberts Campbell.

As an alternative space to that of the Americas, discussions also continued at the People's Summit, today with broad support for former Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, imprisoned after a manipulated judicial process for alleged involvement in a corruption case.

At the same time, the voice of trade union, youth and feminist leaders and social, progressive and leftist movements in the region in favor of Cuba and Venezuela excluded from the meeting of the heads of state and government of the hemisphere was felt.

  • Published in Cuba
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