Pope Francis warns against overcrowded prisons

Pope Francis warned this Saturday against overcrowded prisons, and advised that ensuring decent living conditions in prisons must be essential to prevent these places from turning into rage sites, rather than recovery places.

In an audience with members of the Penitentiary Police, the Penitentiary Administration and Juvenile Justice and the Community of Italy, the pontiff described the overcrowding in prisons as a serious problem, which 'increasingly triggers in every human being a sense of weakness if not of exhaustion.'

Francis also ruled against the penalty of life imprisonment for considering that 'it is not the solution to problems but a problem to solve' because 'if hope is locked in a jail, there is no future for society.

'Never deprive the right to start over', expressed the Pope, who reminded those present that with their work and service they are witnessing such right to hope and to start over.

  • Published in World

Cuba's President Describes Parliamentary Session as Historic

The president of Cuba, Miguel Diaz-Canel, described on Monday as historic the third ordinary session of the 9th Legislature of the National Assembly, during which new laws are expected to be passed.

In this assembly we must approve three laws, which will give coherence with what we have been saying with respect to broadening the legislative exercise to support the new Constitution, Diaz-Canel affirmed in the Convention Palace of Havana, where the commissions of the Parliament are meeting.

According to the President, the session takes on greater prominence because it is the first to be held after the approval of the new constitution, backed by the majority of Cubans in a popular referendum.

In particularizing on the bills, Diaz-Canel said the Electoral project will have great significance for the country, while the Fisheries includes new economic players who have emerged in the process of updating the Cuban model as the private sector.

He considered necessary the law on National Symbols 'in the current moments in which we face a fierce battle of ideas from all the colonizing platforms that want to impose us destroying our identity.' The bills will be submitted to next Saturday's plenary for analysis and subsequent approval.

From this Monday until Wednesday, the 10 commissions of the National Assembly of People's Power (Parliament) are in session.

  • Published in Cuba

Latin America honors 100th anniversary of birth of Oswaldo Guayasamin

Hondored as one of the greatest painters of the 20th century, the memory of Ecuador’s Oswaldo Guayasamin was celebrated Saturday on the 100th anniversary of his birth.

Across the region and in his home country of Ecuador, events were held to celebrate the centennial of his birth.  The artist's final years were spent bringing the struggles of Latin American history to life with his colorful and powerful paintings.  Guayasamin once described his work as "a painting of denunciation, of great strength, of content.”

"From town to town, from city to city, we witnessed the most immense misery: peoples of black clay, black earth, with children muddied with black mud, men and women with faces of skin burned by the cold, where the tears were frozen for centuries, until not knowing if they were salt or stone," said Guayasamin in a phrase that stands out on the website of the foundation dedicated to the painter.

Born to Indigenous parents in 1919, Guayasamin was sympathetic to the trials faced by the Indigenous communities, and those displaced and abused by “imperialists” throughout the centuries.

As the world wars and regional conflicts filled the headlines of newspapers, Guayasamin took to his art, creating the series “The Age of Wrath,” which, he said, “shows all the tragedy of the twentieth century, the wars kill-men, the torture and pain that produced the dictators, the anguish of mothers who lost their children.  As well as a denunciation of the violence of man against man.”

Guayasamin collaborated with one of Mexico’s greatest painters, Jose Clemente Orozco, in the 40s and completed several murals both in Ecuador and abroad.

Some of his best known works are "The Workers," "The Dead Children," "Mother and Child," "Quito Green Fog," "White Coffin," "The Hands of Protest," "Mutilated," "Tears of Blood," "The Guitarist," “Cabeza de Napalm," “Playa Giron" and “Meditacion I."

  • Published in Culture

Cuban Residents in Argentina Reject New US Measures

The Union of Cuban Residents in Argentina (URCA) rejected the new measures of the US Government that seeks to suffocate Cuba by putting in force Title III of the Helms-Burton Act, written since 1996.

In an evening arranged by the Cuban embassy in Buenos Aires, community members of that Caribbean nation and supportive Argentine friends shared a night marked by Cuban identity in which they reaffirmed their loyalty to the Revolution led by Fidel Castro.

The event was attended by the anti-terrorist hero and fighter Ramon Labañino, Vice President of the Association of Economists and Accountants (ANEC), who once again thanked all the Argentines who, with their solidarity, made it possible for him and his four colleagues to return to their country. Along with Rene Gonzalez, Gerardo Herandez, Antonio Guerrero and Fernando Gonzalez, Labañino suffered 16 years of unjust imprisonment in the United States for defending his country from terrorist acts planned by the right rancid seated in Florida.

It is always good to return to this country, the land of a man who wanted to give everything including his own life so that the peoples were free of the US empire, said the hero in reference to Ernesto Che Guevara.

During the evening, URCA President, Adonis Torres, read a statement from that organization in which they categorically reject the upsurge of US economic, commercial and financial blockade against Cuba.He restated that Cubans 'will continue to decide the fate of a free and sovereign nation.'

Among tangos, rumba and son, Cuban and Argentine friends enjoyed an emotional evening, a time also to review everything done in favor of solidarity and defense of the island in recent months.

The musical part was carried out by the soloist Yaisel Burgal, the tango dancers Juan Manuel Alemani and Miriam Cuaglarini; the Colombuco group, led by Liliana Hidalgo and Sabastian Vazquez and the Sentido de pertenencia group, directed by Yordanka Navarro.

  • Published in Cuba
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