Cuba, US Collaborate in Study of Soil Erosion

Researchers from Cuba and the United States have conducted a sampling campaign in the central region of the island as part of a joint study on soil erosion, one of the leading entities reported today.

The joint project of the Center for Environmental Studies of the central province of Cienfuegos (CEAC) and the U.S. universities of Vermont and Oberlin is included in the scientific exchange agreements approved this year by these institutions.

According to a CEAC press release, nearly 30 sites in Cuba's central geography were sampled, where water and river sediments were collected and evaluated in laboratories.

In the water samples, different physical-chemical parameters were measured, such as pH, dissolved oxygen, conductivity and temperature, characterizing the waters of the monitored rivers.

For the study of the collected sediment, new methods are used to help clarify the background erosive processes, as well as soil losses during the period of intensive agriculture (1959-1991), and later with the development of organic sowing and soil conservation.

Cuban researcher Rita Yvelice Sibello said the campaign served as training for participants from both countries and has created the conditions for the application of erosion study methods in tropical and Caribbean environments.

The results of this study will support the importance of the development of conservation agriculture for the protection of soils from erosion, which will be part of the Life Task -the Cuban State's Plan to combat climate change-, Sibello added.

For their part, U.S. specialists agreed that Cuba can be a catalyst for raising public awareness of the significance of soil conservation.

The CEAC, attached to the Citma, is dedicated to the study and solution of environmental processes and is recognized by the International Atomic Energy Agency as a Regional Reference Center in the application of nuclear techniques for the solution of specific problems of integrated coastal management.

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  • Published in Cuba

Venezuela and Cuba Consolidate Cooperation in Tourism

Venezuelan Minister of Tourism, Stella Lugo, and her Cuban peer, Manuel Marrero, had a meeting to evaluate cooperation between both nations in that sector, as part of the work tour that Lugo is carrying out in Cuba.

The meeting included the updated presentation of the sector's progress in the Caribbean nation, where the Cuban representative exposed the potentialities and challenges of this activity, says a press release published by the foreign ministry of Venezuela.

During the meeting held at the headquarters of the Cuban ministry, Marrero gave a detailed explanation on the peculiarities of international and local tourism, the impact of the U.S. blockade on the nation as well as the business opportunities offered by this territory.

For her part, Lugo, who makes her first visit abroad, thanked her peer for the advice given to Venezuela by the island for some years now regarding this sector. The Venezuelan high official also recognized the advances of the island in this activity despite the U.S. unilateral blockade, which has generated damages for over 26 billion dollars, according to data offered by the Cuban Minister in his presentation

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Cuba Denounces Negative Effects of US Blockade on Nephrology

Nephrology has not escaped the negative effects of the economic and financial blockade imposed on Cuba by the United States, the president of the Cuban Scientific Society of Nephrology, Jorge Perez, denounced today.

The technology for hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis is very expensive in the world, and it is not the same to be 90 miles from a very developed and powerful country that is blockading us as to be forced to import everything from Europe and Asia, Perez told Prensa Latina.

However, thanks to our State's political will, we have acquired the best equipment in prestigious world markets, but that undoubtedly implies increased costs, he commented.

Regarding scholarships, our experts have won them, but as funds from most international societies are in the United States, access has been denied to finance a Cuban nephrologist and opportunities have been missed, he added.

However, Perez, who is also the president of the Cuban Congress on Nephrology in 2018, underlined that due to that reason, most nephrologists who have received training abroad have gone to Europe, mainly to France.

Therefore, since the 1960s, Cuban nephrology followed the example of French nephrology to develop dialyses and transplants in Cuba.

At present, more than 1,400 patients live thanks to successful kidney transplants in Cuba, where there are more than 433 nephrologists, 57.3 percent of whom are women.

We are approaching international standards, but we need to improve the early detection program and provide timely and efficient treatment by interacting with risk groups and on the factors that lead to kidney damage, Perez pointed out.

  • Published in Cuba

Cuban scientist rejects microwaves as source of mysterious acoustic attacks on diplomats

A Cuban government investigator looking into reports of mysterious acoustic attacks on US and Canadian diplomats on Cuba on Monday dismissed a US government theory that microwave weapons emitting concentrated beams of radiation may have been used in the incidents.

"If you look at the alleged events, there have been reports that there are several people in a room with thick walls and thick windows and only one person was targeted. This is a kind of weapon that doesn't exist," said Dr. Mitchell Valdes-Sosa, a well-known neurologist who is part of the Cuban special task force investigating the alleged attacks. "It's science fiction, not science," he said.

"First, it was sonic weapons, now microwave. What's next, kryptonite?" the investigator said in an interview with CNN at his research center in Havana, referring to an earlier theory that sonic weapons emitting high-powered ultrasound waves could have caused the injuries.

Valdes-Sosa said researchers and investigators are working on a paper to rebut the microwave weapons theory.

Previously, the island government not only denied involvement in the attacks but cast doubt on whether they actually occurred. In June, Cuba's Foreign Ministry said "political motivations" drove the United States to withdraw its embassy personnel.

Though a March report based on the examinations of 21 diplomats who served in Cuba didn't link the attacks to microwaves, the study's lead author, Douglas Smith, director of the University of Pennsylvania's Center for Brain Injury and Repair, told The New York Times that US diplomats in Cuba and China likely suffered brain injuries and that microwaves are considered the culprit.

Valdes-Sosa said for a microwave weapon to work it would have to been used at a close distance, and none of the diplomats reported seeing the alleged perpetrators. He said that Cuban authorities had investigated the report that one diplomat who suffered an apparent attack had seen a van speed off and that the vehicle belonged to a church.

While the US has not directly blamed the Cuban government for carrying out the attacks, US officials said Cuba is responsible for safeguarding the diplomats well-being and that Cuban officials would likely know if a third government were responsible.

But Valdes-Sosa said after more than a year of US, Canadian and Cuban investigations there was still no hard proof that any attacks actually took place.

"For an attack to have occurred you have to have a real victim. First the thing we are not sure is if all these people evacuated from Cuba are really ill or have suffered do something that happened to them," Valdes-Sosa said. "Second, you have to have a perpetrator. Who would be interested? You have to have the opportunity."

  • Published in Specials

Cuba gold and ticket to the U21 World Championship

Cuba won the gold and the only ticket available to the FIVB 2019 World Championship by beating the Dominican Republic 3-0 (25-16, 25-15, 25-20) in The Norceca Sub-21 Men's Volleyball Tournament.

In the most coherent match of the tournament, stable level as efficiency in the receipt and serve, the host improved the bronze that Cuba obtained in the last event in Gatineau 2016, where the United States and Canada led in that order, while for the Dominicans it was their second metal in the history of the category, since they also achieved silver in 1998.

The hosts surpassed their combative adversaries in attack (38-28) and service (9-3), were inferior in blocking (5-8), but committed only 12 errors to 23 by the visitors.

The opposite José Carlos Romero was the leading scorer with 16 and was followed by Julio Cárdenas with 12 points, while for the Dominicans Bayron Valdez with 15 again was the workhorse of his team.

Jesús Ángel Cruz, local coach, said that "there were no gaps, some bad times normal in this age, but we never left the control of the match, since we started we took it by the hand and maintained the intensity, which was not the case against in the initial set of the duel in the group A, as also with Canada in the semifinal, but tonight was the opposite because we knew that we played the classification to the World Championship".

"The current generation of the national team is very good and we hope this group added to it because it also has talent and as this becomes a reality with those who continue to ascend we can aspire to insert ourselves on the world level, to the people, to those who follow us who have confidence of the youth that there is in the Cuban School of Volleyball, that has had difficult moments, but it has never disappeared,” he said.

For his part the young Romero said that "the coach told us that for having beaten the Dominicans in the group we could not trust because they came with encouragement and desire to continue triumphing, to make everything strong, the game of us and so it went, and we feel happy because it is the result of so much training and sacrifices."

José Dante Mañón, Dominican coach expressed excited that "it is a silver that tastes gold, in history we had never defeated the United States in a Norceca, despite the size of my boys with theirs and Cuba, they have to double effort, and other details come together and go out, Bayron, the best attacker of the tournament, and today looked exhausted like the Americans against Canada.

"This was a tournament with many games and very short, only rest those who advance directly to the semifinals, and today fatigue has been the main factor against the performance of my team," he added.

Bayron, the captain of the “quisqueyanos”, explained that "it was a tournament of excellent level, we could not win the title but today we did what we could, we are a little tired, but that is not an excuse, although I wanted to win, I do not settle with nothing, however I cannot deny that I'm happy with this medal and I have to be proud of it ".

  • Published in Sports

Cuban Deputy FM Meet Medical Brigade in Nauru

Cuban Deputy Foreign Minister Rogelio Sierra met today with the medical brigade of the Caribbean country that is working in Nauru, on occasion of his participation in the 49th Pacific Islands Forum.

Sierra described as enjoyable the meeting with the 15 collaborators, who arrived in the small island state last week.

The medical brigade is made up of doctors from different specialties, including oncology, nephrology, psychiatry, endocrinology and internal medicine.

The 49th forum, the main event in the Pacific region bringing together 14 small island states, was opened today, as well as observers and dialogue partners, a condition the Caribbean nation has held since 2013.

Within the framework of the event, Sierra has met with leaders and high officials, such as the President of the Federated States of Micronesia Peter Christian, Prime Minister of Solomon Islands Rick Houenipwela, Minister of State of Palau Faustina Rehuher Marugg, and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Marshall Islands John Silk.

According to Cuba's vision, his ties with the Pacific islands are motivated by feelings of solidarity and brotherhood.

Cuban doctors are currently working in Kiribati, Vanuatu and Nauru, and dozens of young people of the region are studying in the Caribbean nation.

Regarding the regional event in Nauru, the Cuban government recalled that climate change and sustainable development are common challenges with small island states.

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Cuba Describes U.S. Blockade as Main Obstacle for Its Development

Havana, Sep 2 (Prensa Latina) The economic, commercial and financial blockade of the United States constitutes the main obstacle for the development of Cuba, as it affects plans aimed at the country''s progress, denounced the island's government.

In its most recent report on the impact of the current fence for almost six decades, Havana warned that it slows down the implementation of the Cuban Economic and Social Development Plan and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the latter adopted in 2015 by the 193 member states of the UN.

According to the Cuban Foreign Affairs Ministry, the blockade not only hits the links with the United States, but its extraterritorial nature also attacks economic, commercial and financial exchanges with the rest of the world.

On October 31, the United Nations General Assembly will vote for the twenty-seventh consecutive occasion since 1992 a draft resolution demanding the lifting of sanctions imposed on the island, an initiative similar to the ones that have always been categorically supported by 191 countries in the last three years.

According to the report of the Cuban Foreign Ministry facing the new vote, the blockade accumulates damages that reach 933.6 billion dollars, taking into account the depreciation of the dollar against the value of gold in the international market.

The arrival of Repulican President Donald Trump at the White House in January of 2017, meant an additional hit to the efforts of the Caribbean country in pursuit of its socio-economic development.

'Many foreign counterparts have interpreted that they can not make deals or continue operating with the companies included in the list,' the report stressed.

  • Published in Cuba

Cuba's President Congratulates Vietnam for Independence Day

Hanoi, Sep 2 (Prensa Latina) On the occasion of the 73rd anniversary of Vietnam's independence, Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel sent his congratulatory message to Tran Dai Quang on behalf of the government and the people of the island.

I encourage the occasion to confirm our decision to continue strengthening the historic bonds of friendship, brotherhood and cooperation between both countries, stressed the Cuban leader.

A similar letter was sent by the Caribbean nation's Foreign Minister, Bruno Rodriguez, to his Vietnamese counterpart and Deputy Prime Minister, Pham Binh Minh.

I cordially congratulate you for the 73rd anniversary of the Declaration of Independence of Vietnam, and I reaffirm the willingness to continue strengthening friendship and solidarity among our peoples, he wrote.

Leaders from many other countries also sent congratulatory messages to the Communist Party, the State, the Government and the Vietnamese people on the occasion of the date.

Vietnam celebrates its National Day on September 2 because on that date in 1945 its first president, Ho Chi Minh, read in the Ba Dinh Square in the capital the Declaration of Independence against defeated French colonialism.

But the selfless Southeast Asian nation had yet to fight for another 30 years and offer the lives of millions of its children to defeat the U.S. troops invasion and achieve the reunification of the country.

  • Published in Cuba
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