The Pride of Our Democracy

They were all waiting anxiously. Students and professors gathered early to welcome the visitors. Some have previously met them in person. Others felt curious to know, via their biographies, the most important aspects of their careers.

Finally, they arrived. The school theater hosts the most significant event of all: the exchange of viewpoints.

There is some shyness at first. But the newcomers break the ice. They are not here as a matter of forms. They are here to remove the perception of a simple photo on a wall. They want to be known not only because of their merits —written in a piece of paper—, but also as common people, no matter the importance of what they do.

Soon the ambiance gets pleasantly informal. They talk now about future goals. Young people want to know everything: their work, the electoral process, the reason why they are not from the municipality, and how many times have they been nominated before.

Answers are given one after another. And questions raises from the other side about future careers, functioning of the school hours, and students’ knowledge on the electoral process, and the number of times they have voted before. It was a crystal-clear chat where there was no “they” or “we”, but “all.”

The words “delegate”, “congressmen”, “political system” are now common to all and assume greater significance. Everything is understood as gestures, smiles, and watchful eyes show. It does not only generate interests, but also a profound conviction of voting as a right and duty.

When the meeting seems to come to an end, a new question raises. “Boys and girls, if you are nominated one day, are you going to accept?”

Some look to each other with surprise. No words to say yet. Doubts are written in some faces. And some says “even though we are 16 years old, we are still too young, and being delegate entails great responsibility.”

Nonetheless, to everyone’s surprise, a young face requested the floor. He has already fulfilled such mission and feels the need to share his experience:

“He is right. It is tough. But it is a school to be better women and men. If you were nominated to represent citizens, then do not hesitate. Take it with courage. You only need three things to reach the goal: will, effort, and human sensibility. And there you have a delegate in Cuba.”

The audience faces show light, a light of a simple and irrefutable truth. The ovation is a sign.

This is not a fictional story. I was there and I am pretty sure there have been other meetings similar to this one. The exchange of our congressmen with citizens is far from what we are used to watch all over the world in electoral campaigns.

This is not about delegates looking for aberrant populism. It is about delegates looking to be closer to citizens without obstacles. No one swaps promises for votes. This is a meeting point to share, talk as equals. There is no discrimination in Cuba. There is only one common cause: to defend the Revolution. This is, no doubt, the true face of what we call with pride Socialist Democracy.

Translated by Sergio A. Paneque Diaz / CubaSi Translation Staff

  • Published in Now

STATEMENT: Anti-Cuban provocation plot foiled on eve of elections

An attempt has been made to orchestrate a new act of anti-Cuban provocation from abroad, through the awarding of a “prize” with the aim of interfering in the internal affairs of Cuba, generating instability, affecting the country’s image and Cuba’s diplomatic relations with other States.

The operation was carried out with financing and support from counter-revolutionary groups based abroad and other international organizations such as the so-called Democratic Initiative of Spain and the Americas (IDEA); Pan American Democracy Foundation; the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation; and using a small, illegal anti-Cuban group as instrument.

As is customary in any reactionary initiative in our region, the involvement of the OAS Secretary General was not lacking.

It should also be remembered that a similar operation was attempted last year in which, as well as the aforementioned groups, the Democracy and Community Center; the Center for the Opening and Development of Latin America (CADAL); and Interamerican Institute for Democracy, run by terrorist and CIA agent Carlos Alberto Montaner, all of which have been actively working against Cuba and whose links with the U.S. National Endowment for Democracy (NED), which receives funding from the U.S. government to carry out subversive programs against Cuba, are well known.

These organizations have extensive credentials as agents of intervention and subversion against progressive governments of Our America, with the aim of destroying them, and toward which they have dedicated significant efforts and resources. Interestingly, they maintain complicit silence regarding the threats of the use of force and recent U.S. incitement of a military coup against the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela; they fail to speak out against coups on the continent, to denounce poverty and hunger, or the racial and religious discrimination present in our region.

Nor can our peoples count on these organizations and their leaders to fight for greater social justice and equality, or to support the families of progressive and trade union leaders and journalists murdered for their political ideals, or to other victims of paramilitarism and organized crime.

This time they attempted to put on a show that would affect the normal development of general elections in Cuba. The actions combined a communications strategy, through the use of international media outlets and social media, with measures aimed at evading our country’s laws, and undermining the legitimacy of the just and legal action of our authorities.

Although they were well aware and warned that they would not be welcome in Cuba for such purposes, Andrés Pastrana Arango and Jorge Fernando Quiroga Ramírez, former presidents of Colombia and Bolivia, respectively, and Chilean Deputy representing the Independent Democratic Union (UDI), Jaime Bellolio Avaria, volunteered to participate in this act of provocation in Cuban territory, which is why, based on our laws and international norms, they were not permitted to enter our country.

Said action is part of the imperialist offensive against the peoples of Latin America and the Caribbean, in which the United States government has declared the relevance and validity of the “Monroe Doctrine,” and has provoked a setback in bilateral relations with Cuba.

The protagonists of this ploy are not at all interested in Cuba or the Cuban people, who they offend on attempting to violate the constitutional order that we have freely chosen. This is why they have had to resort to foreign resources and figures to achieve their goals.

Every time they do so, be it this or any other way, they will receive the firm response of the Cuban people, who remain united and loyal to the principles of the Revolution, as we will show this coming Sunday, March 11, when we vote en masse for the people’s candidates.

Havana, March 8, 2018

“Year 60 of the Revolution”

I am a country woman driving a Yutong Bus

There is nothing impossible for Idania Perea Leon. She does not remember how or when she started driving but she points out she is a “country woman with a helm in her hands.”

She was born and raised in the Abraham Lincoln sugar mill, in Artemisa. She confirmed she has driven everything at her 49 years old. She has been the driver of Kamaz trucks, ambulances, and buses.

We would say her determination has been paramount. She has become the one and only woman driving a Yutong Bus at the Base Business Unit Augusto Cesar Sandino, from the National Bus Company. She also is part of the group of driver that covers the route Havana-Santa Cruz del Sur and Havana-Nuevitas, both having final destination in Camaguey (more than 400 miles one-way route).

“I have spent more than twenty years as professional driver. And this has been one of the requirements to be part of the company.”

Except for the ladies working in the office, the rest of the personnel is made up of men. Have you ever been discriminated?

I started three months ago covering this very same route. They have welcomed me very well. They take care of me and help me a lot. I have not had any issue of that kind.

That man…does he share your viewpoint?

His name is Amaury Suarez, but everyone here names him Pepe. We were born in the same province. We know each other for years! He has accepted me and we help each other.

Don’t you feel small in front of a Yutong Bus?

It is true it is a big bus. But the National Bus Company trains well its drivers. Those who cannot drive with skill are told not to continue the training.

If you have to have any advice to other women who loves to drive like you do, what would you tell them?

If you have experiences and you drive safe, I urge you not to fear. There are things in life harder than driving and we achieve it. It is a wonderful job. And I feel proud of being the first woman to drive a Yutong Bus.

You should always do what you want even though it may look difficult. Everything has to do with your skill and your efforts. It is also important to highlight the support of the company’s director, who has encouraged me to reach this level.”

What is the opinion of passengers?

Their first reaction is like…They froze. Afterwards, they realize I drive safely and they relax. It has happened many times that some of them want to take a picture with me at the end of the trip.

As professional driver, what is your biggest challenge?

As every woman, my home and my marriage. I have no children, but I do have two loving nephews who live with me.

Within a few years, you will likely go down as the first woman who drove such a big bus…

Yes, may be. But I am not thinking about it yet.

Translated by Sergio A. Paneque Diaz // CubaSi Translation Staff

  • Published in Now

Al-Moallem and Marcelino: Syria and Cuba to continue coordinating stances in international circles in support of their just causes

Deputy Prime Minister, Foreign and Expatriates Minister Walid al-Moallem on Wednesday met First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Cuba Marcelino Medina and the accompanying delegation, reviewing the friendly relations and historical cooperation between Syria and Cuba.

The two sides’ viewpoints were identical on the importance of developing and bolstering those relations on all levels, stressing the importance of coordinating the stances of the two friendly countries in the international circles in support of their just causes.

The latest developments in Syria and the region were also touched upon during the meeting.

Al-Moallem briefed the Cuban side on the efforts exerted by Syria in facing the fierce terrorist war waged against it by terrorist organizations backed by regional and international forces, which seek to dominate and control Syria.

He stressed that the Syrian people will continue their war against terrorism and its supporters.

Minister al-Moallem expressed appreciation of Cuba’s supportive stances to Syria, renewing Syria’s support to Cuba in facing the unjust US economic siege against it.

For his part, Medina affirmed Cuba’s continued support to the Syrian government and people in facing the terrorist war, thanking the Syrian government for its stance towards ending the unjust economic siege on Cuba, stressing that Cuba will continue supporting Syria in the international circles.

  • Published in Cuba

Cuban Baseball to Unite Generations on Route to Tokyo 2020

A mixture of youth and experience will make up the pre-selection baseball team on route to the Olympic Games in Tokyo 2020, said the National Baseball Commissioner Yovani Aragon Rodriguez.

He stressed that they will defend the title of the Central American and Caribbean Games in Barranquilla 2018 with some new players that will make up the future Olympic team.

We are currently training and playing at the same time to limit the inactivity of the important figures during the period prior to the Games in Barranquilla, Colombia, something that has happened in previous events, said Aragon.

Regarding the baseball qualifying baseball tournament correspondent to the 32nd Olympiad, the Baseball leader explained that it will not be easy to defeat the high quality international teams.

Aragon Rodriguez, former pitcher for Sancti Spiritus and Cuba National team informed that they are preparing a friendly match before traveling to Colombia next June to prepare the team to the conditions of the host nation.

The U 23 National Baseball Championship will be held and the new Special Series in addition to the traditional bilateral games against the United States, scheduled for next July, said the Commissioner.

  • Published in Sports

Russia Participates in Modernizing Cuba's Textile Industry

Russia will participate in modernizing Cuba's textile industry, said Russia's Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade, Gueorgui Kalamanov.

The Russian official is participating in bilateral talks with the objective of signing agreements with the Caribbean island, according to Cubadebate website.

The Cuban partners, he said, made proposals for the modernization of a series of textile factories and now we need to define the exact amount and if the information of the required supplies are established.

Gueorgui indicated that the major part of the machinery will be of Russian production and these projects are expected to materialize with the support of the Russian Export Center.

Regarding the Russian-Cuban cooperation perspectives in other areas, the Vice Minister of Industry highlighted that both countries are carrying out intense work in several directions.

He highlighted energy cooperation with the modernization of the Maximo Gomez and Habana del Este thermoelectric centers and the Antillana de Acero Steel Plant.

We also expect to continue developing cooperation in cargo and light transportation supplying Kamaz trucks and Lada cars that has prestige in Cuba.

  • Published in Cuba

Cuba, France to Promote Marine Sciences Collaboration

Specialists from the French Research Institute for Development (IRD) and the Cuban Meteorology Institute (INSMET) announced today the development of regional collaboration projects to reduce the effects of climate change on marine ecosystems.

Both institutions, supported by the French embassy in Havana, organized an International Oceanography Course in which meteorologists, biochemists, biologists and ecologists from Brazil, Venezuela and Guyana are also participating.

National and foreign experts of these disciplines are meeting for the first time in the Cuban capital to exchange methods and techniques that can be used not only in physical but also biological oceanography.

Amilkar Calzada, National Coordinator of the event, told Prensa Latina that as a result of the scientific exchange, the proposal of a joint project among Brazil, France and Cuba will be presented to guarantee the training and updating of technologies between those countries.

The idea is to extend it throughout the region to promote the protection of marine species, its presence in some coastal areas and the course of their migrations, he said.

According to Calzada, the meeting's agenda also includes issues related to the main biochemical cycles in marine waters, the ocean-atmosphere interaction and the maritime processes related to tropical cyclones.

The scientific event based at the Meteorology Institute in Havana will conclude on March 9.

  • Published in Cuba

ETECSA Increases Internet Connection

The local telecommunication enterprise of Cuba has worked intensely in a series of programs to increase the access to internet.

With these advances the nation already has 1552 areas for the internet access and there are 595 Wifi with the presence in all the municipalities of the national territories and 755 internet areas with other parts and that is to say the Joven Club center, units of emails and hotels.

Elisa Alfaro Díaz, who is the specialist of communication of ETECSA, pointed out that the efforts have not only centered on the increase of the points of access, as well as the technical and trade actions to increase the speed of internet.

ETECSA Increases Internet Connection

For the current year, the expansion would continue the services, promoting the telephone incorporation and the data by using the fixed and mobile networks, as well as developing the display of the nation´s wide band.

The official highlighted that there were 1000.000 and 586000 related account in use for the use of internet and it is commercialized over $ 27000.000 of temporary cards.

Another of the positive results reached by the local ETECSA enterprise in 2017 was the connection of all the nation's university to the optic fiber, besides, the wide of the band. There were 39 senior students, 27 professional technical schools, 170 High Schools and 8 Nursery centers.

ETECSA Increases Internet Connection

The connection to the nation's most important hospitals throughout its Faculties Medicines and it was extended that service to over 200 Policlinics and 190 drugstores and out of 50 ones in the capital city which allows a much better control and localizing of medicines.

Elisa Alfaro Díaz, confirmed that the Cuban people would be able to have access on internet in the current year through the mobile data and the related terminal should be technically compatible.

The local Nauta Hogar service has had many acceptation even when the rates are a bit high and there are 14634 Cuban homes have that provision and the ETECSA has planned to install 52500 new services.

ETECSA Increases Internet Connection

By Hilia Tamayo Batista

  • Published in Cuba
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