Cuba decrees national mourning for death of Vietnam president

The Council of State of Cuba decreed Friday a day of national mourning after the death of the president of Vietnam, Tran Dai Quang, state media reported.

During the period of mourning the Cuban flag will be hoisted at half mast in public buildings and military institutions, the statement said.

The decree also states that public shows and festive activities will be suspended during the mourning period.

The president of the National Assembly of People's Power of Cuba, Esteban Lazo, sent his condolences to the people of Vietnam on Friday during a meeting held in Havana with the main representatives of the provincial assemblies of that governing body, in which a minute of silence was dedicated to the memory of the leader of the Asian country.

The First Vice-President, Salvador Valdés recently traveled to Vietnam and during the visit he was received by Tran Dai Quang, who was already ill.

The head of the Cuban Parliament highlighted the friendship that unites his country and Vietnam, and recalled that during the visit of Tran Dai Quang to the island in November 2016, Havana was officially inaugurated as the institutional seat of the National Assembly.

He also stressed that the Vietnamese president was the last head of state who met with the historical leader of the Cuban revolution, Fidel Castro, before his death on Nov. 25, 2016.

Official media recalled Friday that visit of the Vietnamese president, during which the first secretary of the Communist Party, Raul Castro awarded Quang with the Order of José Martí, the highest distinction granted by the State Council of the Caribbean country.

Tran Dai Quang died on Friday morning, at 62 years of age, at the Central Military Hospital in Hanoi, after a long illness, according to official sources of the Asian country.

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Vancouver, Montreal, Ottawa and Kiev hit the streets to demand: Hey Trump! Lift the Blockade on Cuba Now!

For over 56 years, the Cuban people have been enduring an unjust U.S. blockade, which has negatively impacted their daily lives. One example of the cruel effects of the blockade is the damages caused to the Cuban healthcare system. In this sector alone, the monetary damage is estimated at more than $87 million just in one year.

Despite all these challenges and obstacles by the Unitec States, Cuba is world renowned for its universal health care system, which has achieved a lower infant mortality rate than many first world countries, including the United States and Canada!

On December 17, 2014, former U.S. President Barack Obama and former Cuban President Raul Castro made the historic announcement that they would be moving towards normalizing relations. Although positive first steps were made towards lifting the U.S. blockade on Cuba, this progress was stalled under the Obama administration. Now the Trump administration has made efforts to turn back completely the progress made.

Here in Vancouver, after the 2014 announcement Cuba solidarity activists mobilized to protest the U.S. blockade, knowing that a big push of public opinion was needed to keep this momentum going in the right direction. Friends of Cuba Against the U.S. Blockade – Vancouver (FCAB-Van) was formed and started organizing monthly picket actions in front of the U.S. Consulate in downtown Vancouver. Vancouver is now joined by Ottawa and Montreal, Canada and Kiev, Ukraine in united and coordinated monthly actions against this criminal and unjust blockade and demanding that the U.S. return the U.S. occupied territory of Guantanamo to Cuba!

In Vancouver on August 17, 2018, Cuba solidarity activists and their supporters marched in front of the U.S. consulate holding picket signs high and chanting “Hey Trump, Lift the Blockade!” and “Return Guantanamo to Cuba Now!”. Between rounds of picketing, the protesters gathered together to hear from local speakers, as well as to hear a phone message of solidarity from Ottawa Cuba Connections, who also protested that day in front of the U.S. Embassy.

To wrap up the action, protesters gathered together for a photo in front of the U.S. Consulate doors, proudly holding a banner reading “End the Blockade of Cuba!” This photo was shared on Twitter and Facebook around the world to spread the word that supports for Cuba and protest against the blockade is alive and well here in Vancouver!

  • Published in Cuba

Cuban President Met US Senator Robert Corker

Cuba's President Miguel Diaz-Canel received the head of the Foreign Relations Committee of the US Senate, Robert Corker, who is on a working visit with two of his legislative assistants.

At the meeting on Thursday evening the two men talked of bilateral relations and issues of common interest, it was officially reported.

The chargé d'affaires of the US Embassy, Mara Teckach, accompanied the republican legislator from the State of Tennessee.

Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez and the general director of the US Office at the Foreign Ministry Carlos Fernandez also attended the meeting.

This is Senator Corker's second visit to Cuba.

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Cuban Official Jose Ramon Balaguer Begins Working Visit to Japan

The head of the International Relations Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba (PCC), Jose Ramon Balaguer, has started Thursday an intense program of meetings with the main political forces in Japan.

During his two-day visit, Balaguer will meet with the President of the Social Democratic Party of Japan (PSD), Seiji Mataishi, at the headquarters of the lower house of parliament. the Cuban ambassador to the country, Carlos Miguel Pereira, highlighted today.

During the meeting, Mataishi recalled his visit to Cuba in 2010 and ratified the support and solidarity of his party to the Caribbean island and, for his part, Balaguer thanked the historical friendship of the PSD towards Cuba.

Likewise, Yukio Edano, president of the Democratic Constitutional Party, the main opposition party, reiterated the support of this political force for the lifting of the blockade against the island, a unilateral measure of the United States dating from almost 60 years ago.

Balaguer highlighted the advances in relations between Cuba and Japan and the support of Japanese political forces for the development of historic and friendly ties between the two countries, which this year celebrate the 120th anniversary of the Japanese presence on the island.

As part of the pleasant exchange of opinions, they agreed to strengthen the ties between both parties, the diplomat stressed.

Balaguer is on a working visit to Japan, which will last until next Saturday.

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Russia, Cuba Address Cooperation in Health, Education and Culture

Russia and Cuba exchanged ideas on Thursday about the open prospects for cooperation between the two countries in health, education and culture, among other areas, in the framework of the 2nd Eurasian Women's Forum.

St. Petersburg's governor, Gueorgui Poltavchenko, stressed that his city, with six percent of the national production of drugs, strengthens collaboration with the Caribbean island in that regard, during a meeting with Cuban Vice President, Beatriz Johnson Urrutia.

During the talks at the Smolni Palace, Parliament headquarters of this city, Poltavchenko said that Russia is looking for the possibility of any kind of exchange with the Caribbean nation in terms of health, from supplies to the creation of joint ventures in Cuba.

He also referred to the opportunities of a fruitful scientific exchange in health, as well as students and specialists from both states.

The governor of St. Petersburg noted that some 15 Cuban students are studying in different universities in this city and considered that number can increase.

The Cuban vice president thanked the Russian participation in the celebration in 2019 of the 500th anniversary of Havana and recalled that Santiago de Cuba, which previously celebrated it, is also, as St. Petersburg, a hero city.

Russian President, Vladimir Putin, is expected to attend the forum on Thursday.

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Cuba: Debates on Cybernetic Vulnerability and Criminalistics

The reduction of cybernetic vulnerability and the method of forensic control and investigation will be on the table today during the second day of the 10th Symposium on Criminalistics Technique.

Other issues under discussion at the Havana Conference Center will be the new challenges in the crime scene and the forensic approach of the oral trauma by a projectile weapon.

The head of the Criminalistics Department at the Ministry of the Interior, Colonel Antonio Mesa, said during the opening ceremony that human resources is the greatest strength in this specialty in Cuba.

He pointed out that the countries with greatest economic possibilities stand out in the production and development of expert means and technologies, and their purchase is extremely expensive for poor nations, Mesa said.

This is something very complex for Cuba due to the restrictions of the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the United States more than 50 years ago, the colonel said.

The world is currently experiencing a difficult situation, characterized by the complexity of criminal phenomena and increasingly transnational nature, he said. Such a scenario requires the forces that face it to have a better exchange, cohesion and attachment to the scientific-technical development, he emphasized.

The meeting, to which delegates from Peru, Spain, Argentina, Mexico, Russia and the United States are attending, among others, will conclude on Thursday, September 20.

  • Published in Cuba

The Classroom Door, the Frontier

Pass beyond the academic yield and discipline, the other differences, advantages and disadvantages conditioned by economic affordability or some other type, should not trespass the classroom threshold.

In many conversations among Cubans surfaces around these days the topic of the new constitution, particularly, it’s commented the proposals of articles like that of the marriage between people of equal gender, the time in office of the president and the accumulation of wealth.

The latter, contained under article number 22 of the Draft Magna Carta, which highlights that "The State regulates that there aren’t concentrations of the property by natural or no state legal people, in order to preserve the compatible limits with the socialist values of fairness and social justice. The law establishes the regulations that guarantee its effective enforcement."

The opinions on the matter are plentiful, in consultation meetings on the constitution draft, as well as in daily interactions in streets, jobs, homes...

Regardless what is finally passed in that regard after everyone’s opinion is heard, "the socialist values of fairness and social justice" will be preserved.

Therefore, now the academic year has just started, it would be worth that especially the adults, understand educators and the student's family, and let’s behave in a more deliberate and responsible way in this regard.

If that girl’s dad - the girl that now began first grade – he works on a given job, earns a certain amount of money, lives on a lush neighborhood, that should not be reason for that girl to exhibit her possibilities and, what’s worse, that she be admired for them.

It shouldn’t be like that, but it has happened. In her flashy backpack, the girl takes to the first grade classroom - because her parents made it possible - a tablet also spectacular and a cell phone with all sort of apps. She doesn't take a laptop with her because her "luggage" would be too heavy if we take into account the soda cans and snacks she takes for her and the teacher.

It’s clear that today's world is unthinkable without the new technologies, and that these are very useful tools for certain learning. But, actually is it really necessary for that girl to take to her first grade classroom the touch screen?

The answer to that question has it, in the first place, the teacher who could suggest to the mom what is really necessary and that it only becomes an expensive "decoration", with high risk of breaking or go missing.

If the teacher chooses to advise the family or start playing with the girl's tablet during recesses and lunches, will she educate doing that or not.

If the parents choose to pay attention to the Teacher, or simply decide not to pay attention "because I give my daughter whatever I want", will they educate like this or not.

But the truth is that, mainly through persuasion, the weight of reasons, each Cuban should try to keep schools free from such "contaminations". Those where privilege and admiration are won because of the content of the school backpack and not for what the student carries in his mind and soul.

We can’t do like an ostrich and hide our heads in the ground: it’s true that worse things have happened in the reality of the Island like corruption and bribing. However, the equality of opportunities has been preserved.

It doesn’t matter if one girl has a tablet or another one has a patched shoe, both have the same right to study, to be trained as workers or professional, and also to be educated people which are the most important thing. That’s why both share today the same classroom.

Nobody should not encourage neither allow the "you are as worthy as the money you have" occupies desk in front of blackboards. Because if this happens in most schools the girls with their patched shoes could never be the best, no matter how kind and well educated they were. Everything that has been done in Cuba so far it has not been for that.

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Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Belarus O.Kravchenko meets the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Cuba

On September 17, 2018 the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Belarus, Oleg Kravchenko, met with the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cuba, Ana Teresita Gonzalez Fraga.

During the meeting, the parties disscussed current state and prospects for developement of Belarus-Cuba cooperation, including the collaboration in political, trade and economic spheres, as well as within international organizations. The sides also considered the exchange of visits at the high and highest level, cooperation between the Foreign Ministries of the two countries.

18.09.17 kravchenko cuba

  • Published in Cuba
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