Raúl Castro Attends Inauguration of the Cuban Parliament

Havana, Apr 18 (Prensa Latina) Cuban President Raul Castro is heading the inauguration session of the 9th Legislature of the National Assembly of the People's Power (Parliament) at Havana's Convention Center.

This day, the 605 lawmakers elected last March 11 by more than seven million Cubans are being sworn in for a period of five years, as established by the Cuban Constitution.

After the Assembly's inauguration, the legislators will choose by secret and direct vote to the Speaker of Parliament and the 31 members of the Council of State, including the President, the First Vice President and five Vice Presidents. The inauguration of the Ninth Legislature of the National Assembly takes place in the context of the 57th anniversary of the Cuban victory in Bay Pigs over a US-backed and led mercenary force.

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President Raul Castro Welcomes Cuban Delegation

Cuban President Raul Castro welcomed on Monday in Havana the Cuban delegation that headed Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez to the 8th Summit of the Americas recently held in Lima, Peru.

On board were also representatives of the Cuban Civil Society, youth, deputies and business executives that participated in the Summit’s parallel forums.

Accompanying Raul Castro were members of the Political Bureau, Jose Ramon Machado Ventura Second Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party; Miguel Diaz-Canel Bermudez, First Vice President; and Esteban Lazo, President of the National Assembly of the People’s Power.

The Cuban President also welcomed a group of intellectuals, artists, athletes, among others that participated in the alternative Summit of the Peoples held last Tuesday to Saturday in Lima, Peru.

President Raul Castro Welcomes Cuban Delegation to the 8th Summit of the Americas

President Raul Castro Welcomes Cuban Delegation to the 8th Summit of the Americas

By Jorge Leganoa Alonso

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Cuban Communist Party leaders hold plenary session

The Central Committee of the Cuban Communist party held on Wednesday its Fourth Plenary session, chaired by its First Secretary, Cuban president Raul Castro.

Granma newspaper reports that José Ramón Machado Ventura, Second Secretary of the Central Committee, reported on the work carried out by the Political Bureau, in particular regarding the control of compliance with the agreements approved in the VII Party Congress.

Through its different commissions, he said, the policies and other issues related to the implementation of the Guidelines for the Economic and Social Policy of the Party and the Revolution, as well as the main economic and social aspects of the country, were analyzed.

Later, the Minister of Economy and Planning, Ricardo Cabrisas Ruiz, presented the report on the behavior of the economy in 2017 and the proposal of the Economy Plan and the preliminary draft of the State Budget for next year.

For his part, the head of the Permanent Commission for Implementation and Development, Marino Murillo Jorge, explained to the members of the Central Committee the development and current sitaution of the implementation of the Guidelines.

The last two topics will be presented this Thursday to the deputies to the National Assembly of People's Power in the X Ordinary Period of Sessions of the current Legislature.

Before concluding the meeting, Raul Castro pointed out that in March of next year there will be a Plenary Session of the Central Committee in order to deepen the experiences obtained during the implementation process of the Guidelines, as well as in the strategic projection for the future.

He also insisted on the need to give a greater boost to the solution of the housing situation in the country, for which work is being done on the preparation of a more comprehensive program, which includes the different construction technologies and enhances the local production of materials, linked with the necessary national productions, in the interest of finding more integral and agile solutions to this problem.

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Raul Castro Pays Tribute to Leader of Cuban Revolution (+Photos)

President Raul Castro has paid tribute to the leader of the Revolution, Fidel Castro, on the first anniversary of his death during a ceremony held at Santa Ifigenia cemetery, located in this eastern province.

In that historical necropolis, the president also honored with white roses National Hero of Cuba, Jose Marti, Carlos Manuel de Cespedes, Father of the Homeland, and Mariana Grajales, mother of the General of the Liberation Army Antonio Maceo, and considered the mother of all Cubans in the Caribbean nation.

First Vice President Miguel Diaz-Canel, the second secretary of the Central Committee of the Cuban Communist Party (PCC), Jose Ramon Machado Ventura, among other top leaders of the Revolution, accompanied Raul Castro during the ceremony.

As part of the tribute to Fidel Castro -who died on November 25, 2016- a popular march is carried out to the cemetery where a granite monolith holds the ashes of the outstanding revolutionary.

Several artists paid tribute yesterday here to Fidel Castro at the Heredia Theater in this city.

PCC second secretary Jose Ramon Machado Ventura and First Vice President Miguel Diaz-Canel, among other leaders, attended the political-cultural evening.




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Raul Castro Chairs Parliament Plenary Session

Cuba President Raul Castro presides over today the Ninth Ordinary Session of the Eighth Legislature of the Parliament, which is focused on the analysis of the full progress of the country by reviewing the summary of the main issues so far discussed.

Since last Monday Cuba parliamentarians gathered in working commissions to discuss on issues such as the computerization of the society, the potentialities of the tourist industry, and examined some experiences of cooperativism in Cuba, among others.

According to reports, they assessed that the food industry is undergoing a gradual recovery, which prioritizes the dairy and meat industries, given the financial, material and human impossibility of making progress in all areas.

The parliamentarians also discussed the housing situation in the country, a pressing issue for which the government proposes to strengthen the strategy for its expansion.

They also analyzed the behavior of the tourist sector in the first half of the year and its profile for 2018, as well as assessed the experiences of non-agricultural cooperatives.

Lawmakers also reiterated their solidarity with the Venezuelan revolutionary process, people and government, at a time when internal and external sectors are trying to destroy it.

The new policy of computerization of the society, was the focus yesterday of discussion by the legislators, who learned the plans of the sector by Cuban Communications Minister, Maimir Mesa.

Mesa said this project is called to become a weapon for the defense of the Revolution, according to its general principles.

It will also ensure the nation’s cyber-security in the face of threats, risks and attacks of all kinds, and ensure sustainability and technological sovereignty.

Another of its pillars is to promote the citizens’ access to the use of new Information and Telecommunication technologies, as well as to develop and modernize all spheres of the society, according to priorities.

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Cuban Economy Will Grow 2% in 2017, Predicts the President

Havana, Dec 28 (Prensa Latina) The Cuban economy is closing 2016 with a 0.9% decline of its Gross Domestic Product; however, despite ongoing challenges it will grow 2% in 2017, President Raul Castro predicted.

In closing the last session of the Cuban Parliament, the Head of State said, though, that to be able to reach that goal the country would need to ensure exports and timely charge for them; increase domestic production to replace imports; reduce non-essential expenses and rationally and efficiently use available resources.

Raul Castro stressed the need to boost foreign investments on the island, while saying he was not pleased with the slow pace things are being done on this key field.

He spoke of frequent excessive delays in their negotiations.

The Cuban president called to do away with a prevailing obsolete mentality, full of prejudices, against foreign capital, and get rid of false fears about it.

He reiterated that 'we are not going towards capitalism, but we should not put hurdles to what we can do in the framework of the existing laws'.

Amidst unfavorable scenarios, Cuba has continued to fulfill commitments in paying its renegotiated foreign debt, he pointed out.

Nevertheless -he added-, it has been impossible for the island to cover its temporary inability to meet current payments. Negotiations have been done, though, to resolve this issue, the President said.

On this, Raul Castro thanked trade partners for their trust and he gave assurance that this issue will be solved in a bid to clean the basis of the Cuban economy and avoid a repetition of this problem in the future.

The Cuban President also complained about the negative effects of the ongoing US economic, trade and financial blockade. He reminded that the island is still unable to make international transactions in US dollars, thus it is forbidden from doing potential business.

Acting on late Fidel Castro's will, the National Assembly passed a law banning the use of his name for naming streets and public institutions or making monuments on his memory.

Raul Castro stressed that Fidel's legacy is imperishable, full of optimism and trust on victory.

The best monument to his ideas and work -the president added- is to put into practice each day Fidel's brilliant concept of what Revolution is all about.

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Cuban President Raúl Castro Meets with Foreign Ministers of Brazil and Uruguay

Cuban President Raúl Castro held talks in Havana with Brazilian Foreign Minister Mauro Vieira, who is paying an official visit to our country.

During the talks, President Raúl Castro and Minister Vieira reviewed what they both described as “excellent” relations between Brasilia and Havana and expressed their governments' willingness to further expand and strengthen bilateral ties. They also discussed several regional and international issues of common interest.

Also on Wednesday, President Raúl met with Foreign Minister of Uruguay Rodolfo Nin, who is here in Havana on an official visit. President Raúl Castro and Minister Nin termed as favorable the state of bilateral links and expressed both their governments' determination to work towards implementing a bi-national program to boost ties.

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