Mozart-Havana Festival in October

Havana's Mozarteum Lyceum is set to hold the Mozart-Havana Festival from October 16th through 24th in Old Havana's concert halls and in its headquarters, the San Pelipe Neri Concert Hall.

  • Published in Culture

Deputy Foreign Ministers of Cuba and the Czech Republic Meet in Havana

Cuba's Deputy Foreign Minister Ana Teresita González met in Havana with his visiting counterpart from the Czech Republic, Martin Tlapa.

Tlapa is on a two-day visit here, heading a delegation made up of 24 business executives from the European country.

According to the Cuban foreign ministry, the deputy foreign ministers of Cuba and the Czech Republic agreed on the good prospects for strengthened trade and economic ties, based on mutual respect and non-interference in the internal affairs.

In statements to Radio Praga before boarding the plane that would take him and his delegation to Havana, Deputy Foreign Minister Martin Tlapa said that the time has now come for the Czech Republic to resume its contacts with Cuba, given that the Caribbean state has engaged in constructive dialogues with the United States and the European Union.

  • Published in Cuba

Nine U.S. Governors Request End of the Blockade

Nine North American governors sent a letter to Congress leaders in Washington to request decisive steps to open the trade with Cuba and put an end to the blockade

“It’s time the Congress acts to remove the sanctions that prevent trips and the normal trade between our nation and Cuba", reads the letter dated last October 9.

The governors highlight the development of the Cuban agricultural purchases starting from a legislation change in year 2000, but indicate that a “sustainable business relationship” cannot be limited to a single sector or involve only transactions in one way.

"Although agricultural companies can legally export to Cuba under the current legislation, the financial restrictions set by the blockade limit the capacity of North American companies to get inserted in the Cuban market".

Competitors like Canada, Brazil, and the European Union are not subject to those limitations, are occupying spaces of the North American potential, refers the document.

To put an end to the blockade will create works and new opportunities in the North American agricultural sector and will open a market of 11 million inhabitants only 90 miles away, it adds.

In addition, in the letter the exchange potentialities between the two peoples are highlighted since the end of the restrictions for tourist trips of North American citizens, a constitutional right that is limited at present to 12 categories like cultural, scientific, journalistic reasons and people-to-people contacts.

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The politicians showed their support to the executive measures taken by President Barack Obama, but encouraged the members of the Chamber of Representatives and the Senate to act and put an end to the blockade.

The letter was signed by governors Terry McAuliffe (Virginia), Jay Inslee (Washington), Thomas Wolf (Pennsylvania), Steve Bullock (Montana), Mark Dayton (Minnesota), Butch Otter (Idaho), Robert Bentley (Alabama), Jerry Brown (California) and Peter Shumlin (Vermont).

Since the announcements of last December 17 that opened a new chapter in the Cuba-United States relationships, several North American state delegations have arrived to the country to explore business opportunities and have criticized the restrictions that still remain.

  • Published in Now

Cuba and its Experience in Disaster Awareness

The UN General Assembly created International Day for Disaster Reduction in 1989 and it was accompanied by a declaration the following decade (1990-1999) aimed at promoting it worldwide.

Every second Wednesday of October served to educate the population on the issue that includes preventive actions, mitigation and preparation.

It was in 2009 when the UN General Assembly established October 13th as the date to begin a joint effort aimed at advancing in achieving for communities and countries to cooperate in the reduction of disasters.

The world body reports that natural disasters that currently affect the different geographic regions are occurring more frequently and intense due to human activity and the occasional damages to the environment.

However, the effects of the potential catastrophe inflicted by flooding, tornadoes, flooding, tropical hurricanes, intense droughts and earthquakes are mostly unavoidable.

Before its force, in most cases devastating, it's best to carry out prevention measures to reduce the loss of human lives and economic materials.

Despite its scarce and difficult economic situation, Cuba has shown its successful experience in the field which has led to international recognition. Such the case of the International Congress on Disasters held in Havana.

The event calls out for officials, specialists, researchers and professionals in the world with the objective of creating an exchange of knowledge update the tools to face such events and create through these conventions international cooperation in the field.

Issues like medical cooperation, health disasters and the reorganization of the services in emergency situations in addition to mental health, gender equality in dangerous moments and family in in facing hurricanes are among the most important in the scientific debates.

Representatives of the United Nations in the Caribbean have highlighted the Cuban experience in the risk management and role of the Civil Defense, work which can be taken to other countries to help strengthen their own strategies according to the envoys of the world body.

In the early years of the Revolution, the Civil Defense System in the country dedicated its efforts in preparing the population for a possible military aggression. Later, the damages of Hurricane Florain 1963 demanded a priority from the State in case of any future natural disasters.

The continued development of the work led to the creation of the People´s Army of the Actions in Case of Disasters in 1986 which has been a unique experience for Cuba and among the main activities carried out by the Civil Defense each year.

In the beginning the actions were concentrated in one day prior to the start of the hurricane season. Later it was extended to a weekend with broader objectives including exercises with the participation of the community and specialized forces.

The objective is to get the participation of people, entities and state institutions aimed at minimizing the negative impacts and protection of the population and natural and economic resources before any exceptional situation.

Another of the advances is related to the study on the danger, vulnerability and risk of particular phenomenon which favor the development of measures to avoid any negative affects to the population and assure efficiency in the use of available resources.

Improving the capacities and collective education on the reduction of disasters is thanks to the Cuban government´s political will, conscience of the urgent need to pay close attention in countering the destructive power of these types of contingencies.

  • Published in Cuba

First U.S. Private Aero-club Flights Visit Cuba

The first fourteen flights of U.S. private aero-clubs flew into Matanzas province as part of a collaboration program between aviation associations from the two countries following the reestablishment of U.S.-Cuba diplomatic relations.

A group of 28 passengers were welcomed at Varadero's Juan Gualberto Gomez International Airport with cultural and catering offers, according to a local TV report cited by Cubadebate website.

The flights take place after months of intense maintenance works at the air terminal and the training of personnel, adds the report. The visitors said that this is one more opportunity that Cuba has to show its attractions to the world and another way to attract tourists.

The president of the Aviation Club of Cuba, Ernesto Adlum, told reporters that his organization plans to organize these events in the form of caravans or rally along with Florida-based private Aero-clubs, to visit tourist centers and airports on the island.

This initiative is expected to expand in October and November as a way to strengthen bonds between the two countries, which re-established diplomatic relations on July 20th.

U.S. and Cuban government officials met September 28th and 29th in Havana to address the future normalization of commercial air services between the two countries. Following the approval by President Barack Obama in January of measures easing the U.S. policy on Cuba, charter flights from the U.S. cities of New York, Tampa and Houston increased in number, along with others already coming from Miami.

  • Published in Cuba

U.S. NGO Representative Highlights Cuban Women's Achievements

Marjorie Margolis, founder and president of the U.S. non-governmental organization (NGO) Women's Campaign International (WCI), highlighted on Friday in this capital the achievements of Cuban women and their integration into the economic, political and social life of the country.

Cuban women are fabulous, and in their country they have a voice and are in the round table, Margolis said in a press conference held at the Hotel Nacional.

"We've been to 40 countries to work with leaders and teach women to read and write and to become empowered, but Cuba is different, here there is an exchange, we don't need to educate, they have the foundation," she stressed.

"I'm very impressed by the equality that exists, they share their ideas, thoughts and lives, families are very close," said the former U.S. Democrat congressman.

The WCI President said she was very happy with this visit, in which she held exchanges with workers of the Editorial de la Mujer, with members of the Federation of Cuban Women, and with local government leaders in Matanzas province.

Also, Marjorie Margolis commented about her meeting with Zenaida Romeo, professor and director of the Camerata, whom she described as a "superb music group composed of women."

The former congresswoman, who will be on the Caribbean island until Sunday, mentioned that more exchanges between Cuban and U.S. women are expected, since both "have much in common," she pointed out.

  • Published in Cuba
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