Cuba Denounces Program to Stimulate its Doctors' Brain Drain

Havana, Jan 12 (Prensa Latina) Cuba's President Miguel Diaz-Canel denounced Saturday attempts to impose the Cuban Medical Parole Program, established by the U.S. government of George W. Bush (2001-2009) and repealed by that of Barack Obama (2009-2017).

'They are trying to impose a perverse resource to stimulate brain drain. One more anti-Cuban campaign, which reveals imperial impotence in the face of revolutionary conquests. Its promoters cannot favor a civilized relationship, they are blinded by the arrogance #SomosCuba', wrote the Head of State in his Twitter @DiazCanelB.

Cuban-origin senators Marco Rubio and Bob Menendez introduced a resource in Congress last Thursday to demand the current administration re-establish the brain drain program aimed at health professionals working on medical missions abroad.

Carlos Fernandez de Cossio, US general director of Cuba's foreign ministry, posted on Twitter on Friday that powerless resentment against Cuba has no limits.

Uncapable of hindering recognized human professional development, baseball quality and potential investment. Bob Menendez and Marco Rubio want to restore a brain drain program against Cuban doctors', the diplomat wrote in his Twitter @Carlos FdeCossio.

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Miguel Diaz-Canel praises Jose Ramon Fernandez´s legacy

Cuban president, Miguel Diaz-Canel Bermudez, paid tribute today via social networks to Jose Ramon Fernandez, one of the most notable men of the Revolution.

In his words, the Cuban head of state said Jose Ramon Fernandez was a pure man, one of those soldiers who chose being in jail rather than serving a tyrant, apropos of his passing away yesterday morning.

Diaz-Canel said farewell in his Twitter profile to the Hero of Bay of Pigs, teacher of Teachers, and the minister who revolutionized the Cuban educational system.

In another tweet, the head of state also confirmed that the sovereignty of our people is settled in the approach regarding Venezuela.

Likewise, he stated that backing up the legit right of the sister nation to decide its own future is to defend the dignity of all of us.

Translated by Sergio A. Paneque Diaz / CubaSi Translation Staff

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Cuban President Congratulates the Nation

Havana, Dec. 31 (PL) Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel congratulated the people of the island on the 60th anniversary of the triumph of the Cuban Revolution.

'There are only hours left before the 60th anniversary of the revolutionary victory. Congratulations,' he wrote in Twitter. Besides, he highlighted that on December 10 Yeyé (fighter Haydée Santamaria) was born, the city of Santa Clara was liberated and 'Cuban mambises of the twentieth century' reached the gates of Santiago de Cuba.

In another Sunday message on the social network, the president shared with Internet users who saw Cuban film Inocencia in family, related to the firing on November 27, 1871, of eight innocent students of medicine by the Spanish colonial rulers.

'We watched as a family the film 'Inocencia' (Innocense), by Alejandro Gil, a very painful chapter in our history. Let us never forget that as well as heroes abound, there others badly born in Cuba, who can be worse than the enemy attacking it. Long Live, Cuba, always free!!!', he stressed.

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Díaz-Canel: ALBA-TCP Summit in Havana ratifies Cuban

This Friday's celebration of the XVI ALBA-TCP Summit will be an opportunity to ratify Cuba's will to integrate Latin America in solidarity, said Miguel Díaz-Canel, President of the Councils of State and Ministers on Twitter.

The president said on the social network that Havana will dawn tomorrow hosting the XVI ALBA-TCP Summit on the 14th anniversary of its founding by Commanders Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez. We ratify our will to consolidate Latin American and Caribbean integration.

At the meeting, whose heads of delegations will begin to arrive tonight, high-level representatives of the 10 nations that make up this integration mechanism have announced their participation along with other invited countries and observers.

During the meeting, the member countries of the Alliance will discuss the commitment to Latin American and Caribbean unity and the need to strengthen unity in diversity.

The program released to the press indicates that it will also commemorate the 14th anniversary of the foundation of this platform that has promoted cooperation projects such as Miracle Mission, the Cultural Fund of Alba, the Latin American School of Medicine, the multinational Telesur and SUCRE, currency issued by the Bank of Alba in order to assess trade and financial exchanges between countries in the region.

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ETECSA broadens its services. Full Internet access for mobile phones

People in Cuba will soon be able to access the internet from their mobile phones for the first time after the government announced it would launch a 3G service.

The president of the state telecoms company, Mayra Arevich, announced on television on Tuesday evening that the long-awaited service would begin on Thursday.

The 3G mobile service will open up the net to browsing in many more places across the island. The data packages available from the state-run company range from 600 megabytes for 7 CUC to 4 gigabytes for about 30 CUC.

These prices are broadly in line with what is available in other countries.

ETECSA vice-president Tania Velazquez said the company would be rolling out the service over several days to avoid the network congestion that occurred during mobile Internet testing earlier this year.

Ms Velazquez announced that access to state-run applications and websites like Ecured, a Cuban Wikipedia, would be significantly cheaper than access to the World Wide Web.

President Miguel Diaz-Canel, who succeeded Mr Raul Castro in April, has championed greater connectivity, underscoring the potential for the Internet to boost the economy and enable Cuba to better defend its revolution online.


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SPANISH PM AGREES CLOSER TIES WITH CUBA DURING HISTORIC VISIT

Spanish premier Pedro Sanchez agreed with Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel to deepen bilateral political ties on Thursday, at the start of the first official visit by a Spanish leader to the Caribbean island in three decades.

The two leaders signed an agreement instituting annual high-level political dialogue meetings between Spain and Cuba, touching on an array of topics including human rights.

Relations between Cuba and the European Union have steadily improved since being formally relaunched in 2016 after a two-decade chill, even as they have festered between the island and the United States (US).

This is the first official visit by a Spanish Prime Minister since that of Sanchez’s fellow social democrat Felipe Gonzalez in 1986. Spain is Cuba’s third largest trading partner and maintains strong cultural ties with its former colony.

Sanchez and Diaz-Canel, who succeeded Raul Castro as president in April, also agreed to increase cultural cooperation on Thursday, after holding talks in Havana’s Revolution Palace.

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Sanchez, who is travelling with executives from two dozen companies, will on Friday morning inaugurate a Spanish-Cuban business forum in a hotel that the administration of US President Donald Trump recently added to a list of places banned to US travellers.

Spanish-Cuban annual bilateral commerce is already around $1.3 billion, according to Cuban data. The tourism sector is dominated by alliances between Spanish hotel chains and Cuban companies.

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Cuban President confirms new North Korean ambassador in Havana ceremony

Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel on Wednesday accepted the credentials of incoming North Korean ambassador Ma Chol Su in a ceremony in Havana, local state news outlet Prensa Latina reported.

Ma, who was appointed to the position of ambassador to Cuba by the DPRK’s Presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly last month, replaces Pak Chang Yul.

The new ambassador begins work just weeks after a landmark summit between the two countries earlier in the month – the first of its kind in over 30 years.

That meeting saw the Cuban President and DPRK leader Kim Jong Un reaffirm the two countries’ “special friendship” and agree to expand scientific and economic cooperation.

Ma has extensive experience in working with North Korea’s longtime allies and as a liaison between Pyongyang and other sympathetic nations and individuals.

2017 saw Ma visit Cambodia in his capacity as a Workers’ Party official responsible for international affairs, where he met with Prince Norodom Ranariddh and discussed building ties between their two political parties.

An ambassador to Vietnam from 2006-10, he most recently served as Secretary-General of the DPRK-Japan Friendship Association, overseeing sports exchanges between the two countries and a visit in 2014 by former professional wrestler and current member of Japan’s House of Councillors Antonio Inoki.

His appointment as ambassador sees him take over responsibility for one of North Korea’s most important diplomatic relationships, with the embassy in Havana reportedly critical in conducting arms deals and other illicit transactions between the two, including in the now-notorious Chong Chon Gang incident.

It also comes as Pyongyang seeks to improve ties in the region, with the country’s nominal head of state Kim Yong Nam set to visit the region this week.

North Korean state media on Sunday reported that Kim, who serves as President of the Presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly, would soon pay an official visit to Cuba and to Venezuela, as well as attend the inauguration of Mexican President-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador on Saturday.

Kim was spotted by South Korean press at Beijing Capital Airport on Tuesday, presumed to en route to Latin America.

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Cuban President Regrets Death of Venezuelan Ambassador

President Miguel Diaz-Canel on Tuesday lamented the death of Venezuelan ambassador to Cuba, Ali Rodriguez Araque, and sent his solidarity to the family of the outstanding revolutionary.

'Our heartfelt embrace to the Bolivarian family that suffers the loss of an exemplary revolutionary, Ali Rodriguez Araque, Embajador de #Venezuela en #Cuba. Guerrilla fighter, politician, intellectual and Latin Americanist, already inseparable from #Cuba. Farewell, brother. #SomosCuba, 'the president posted on his Twitter account @DiazCanelB.

Rodriguez Araque was an active guerrilla leader against the ruling right-wing governments in Venezuela in the 60s and 70s of the last century.

After the triumph of the Bolivarian Revolution, he held important posts in the administrations of the then President Hugo Chavez (1954-2013), among them Minister of Energy and Mines-Energy and Petroleum, Foreign Minister and Minister of Economy and Finance.

He also was the president of the Union of South American Nations and led in 2014 Venezuela's diplomatic representation in Cuba until his death on Monday in Havana.

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