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to impose the Cuban Medical Parole Program, established by the U.S. government of George W. Bush (2001-2009) and repealed by that of Barack Obama (2009-2017).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.

  • Published in Cuba

Cuba Is Organizing a The Beatles Week

Havana, Jan 11 (Prensa Latina) The Cinematheque of Cuba is organizing a The Beatles Week as of January 16 with a varied program in homage to the legendary English band.

According to a statement from that entity, the inauguration will be on January 16 at Cine 23 y 12, in downtown Havana, where the institution has its headquarters, and will be extended to the Charlie Chaplin hall until the 20th.

The Week will make available to the public records, images and books related to the life and career of the successful group formed in the city of Liverpool and recognized as the most praised by critics in the history of rock music.

Its influence on popular culture remains remarkable despite its disintegration and the passage of time.

In Cuba, its musical memory is still valid and is noticeable in several cultural sites such as the Yellow Submarine night club, which has an avant-garde design fused with pop art concepts.

Also, there is a bronze sculpture in tribute to Lennon, founder of the band and its most iconic member.

The work is located in a park with that name, located on 17th and 6th streets in the capital city and is the result of the work of Cuban artist Jose Villa Soberon.

Every December 8, in remembrance of his death, concerts and cultural activities are held in his memory.

One of the most recent tributes was the one made in 2017 at the 50th anniversary of the album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, one of the best and most sold in history.

  • Published in Culture

Cuba to Publish Electoral List for Referendum

The list of voters who will participate the February 24 referendum on Cuba's new Constitution will be released as of January 16, local radio reported on Monday.

It is important that each person verifies registration and data, and if necessary, proceed to correct, modify or update them with the corresponding constituency authorities.

The list of voters is the public document that includes identification and residence data of the citizens eligible to active vote, registered in the Electoral Registration.

Legally protected by Decree Law 248/2007, the Electoral Registration is public and permanent, and all citizens with legal capacity to vote are registered on it, Radio Rebelde station recalls.

Correos de Cuba company put the Constitution of the Republic at the Cuban inhabitants' disposal.

The Parliament recalled during a press release that the Constitution that will replace the one in force since 1976 was approved on December 22 in the Assembly, during the second ordinary period of the 9th Legislature.

The 16-page tabloid is already available in all provinces, and its price is one Cuban peso, the document said.

Cubans have already accessed the document through media and the Internet, for a referendum in which more than eight million citizens are convened.

The new Constitution is the result of a broad popular consultation, held from August 13 to November 15, with the participation of almost nine million people in 133,000 meetings held in neighborhoods and workplaces and schools.

  • Published in Cuba

More than 150 Fencers to the Cuba Cup in Havana

Over 150 epee fencers from 30 countries will animate the World Cup of this capital from today thru Sunday, confirmed the methodology expert of the National Fencing Commission, Zuleidis Ortiz, to Cuban newspaper Granma.

Ortiz said that 14 of the 16 world ranking leaders will contest the event in the 10 fencing tracks at the Havana Sports City, venue for the event, with highlights for the Italian Mara Navarria, number one in the universal ranking list.

The event will count on the participation of 155 fencers from 30 nations, demonstrating the prestige of Cuba as a venue for fencing competitions, a discipline in which Cuba led in the Central American and Caribbean Games of Barranquilla 2018.

The Cuban team, very motivated to score points in the event for the world ranking, headed by Ceily Mendoza, individual gold and by teams from the last Central American and Caribbean event, followed by Gretel Carbonell, Giselle Franco, Yania Gavilán, Diamelys González and Yamilka Rodríguez, guided by the coach Nelson Loyola.

The World Cup will begin its actions this Friday, at 8:30 local time with the qualifiers, which will continue in the afternoon.

On Saturday from 9:00, local time, 32 contestants will cross their respective steels, then reduced to 16 before the quarterfinals and the finals, the latter programmed for 16:00 hours local time.

The competition by teams will start Sunday at 9:00 local time.

  • Published in Sports

Ana Fidelia: Fidel Castro cried for me

We arrived at her house around 9:30 in the morning. Ana Fidelia was taking a shower, after her daily run, because, in her opinion, it makes her feel well and prevents diseases. In a room full of medals, trophies and photos with the Commander in Chief, there began the interview, which lasted a bit over an hour and made me hear a fully different voice that could not hide her emotion, since Fidel’s name was mentioned. There were tears on Fidel’s face the day he decorated her, and there were tears on Ana Fidelia’s too, when she referred to Fidel.

-When did a young woman from Palma Soriano manage to become a sports heroine?

After the triumph of the Revolution, under the doctrine of our Commander that sport is a right of the people, there began the possibilities to practice sports, for both health and high performance. I am a result of that well- thought-out, staggered and inverted-pyramid  system of our Revolution, like so many thousands of athletes who were attracted through talent selection of Physical Education. It was just in that subject that I started to stand out and the professor took me to the sports area of my hometown, Palma Soriano, Santiago de Cuba, and they saw that I was a talented girl. There they started to follow me up and I went through the different schools existing here in Cuba: EIDE (Sports Initiation Schools), ESPA (Higher School for Athletic Improvement), until reaching the national team.

It’s necessary to highlight that coming from a sporting family helped me too. My sister was a member of the national basketball team, my brother practiced sports too and my father was a professional boxer in the 1960s. I did not have the chance to see him; his friends told me that he stood out in his specialty, but could not reach a bit further because discipline is fundamental for whatever thing in life.

-And how disciplined were you? When did you understand you had a future in sports?

When I started in sports in my home town, my first trainer, Juan Heredia Salazar, used to go to see my mother every day and told her the conditions that I had and that I had to practice, but when you are a child, you only want to play, since you are still unaware of what you want in the future. So, I used to go to the training two days and missed it three, and my trainer used to look for me and talk to my mother. He told her that I was a talent and that I could participate in the pioneer games, which were held in Hungary in 1975. Participating in that competition and winning the bronze medal was what made me start to become aware of what sports could mean to me, and I focused there until reaching where I reached.

-In 1993, life set you a test that, in my opinion, you overcame by far, and in that trance of your accident, Fidel addressed the doctors and told them to do everything possible to save you and that you meant a lot to both Cuba and him. What does Fidel Castro mean to you?

In my professional and personal life, I have gone through ups and downs, life isn’t all roses, and everything you intend to do entails discipline, commitment and perseverance. The people of Cuba and many people in the world know about that fatal accident I had in 1993 with 2nd and 3rd degree burns in 38 percent of my body, and I was always accompanied, since the first hours of my accident by that person who has been unconditional to the human being: our Commander in Chief. He arrived earlier than my mother at “Hermanos Ameijeiras” Hospital, where I was hospitalized. Fidel encouraged me to fight for my life, I am aware that all the Cuban people too accompanied me, followed the news through the media and there were people who showed up at the ward to hear from me, and that was something very positive, which made it possible that I did not die and reappeared like the Phoenix.

Fidel and I are united by many things. Because of my great achievements in sports I was always lucky enough to coincide with him several times: at a decoration, a welcome to a head of state or accompanying him to the inaugurations of presidents; for example, when Fernando Alfonso Collor de Mello took office in Brazil. And at that crucial moment of my life he played a key role in my recovery, not physically, but psychologically, to fight for my life. Fidel was the medicine that I needed to save myself, he was the doctor who I needed to heal my wounds. According to some of my friends, he said at meeting: she won’t die, she and I made a pact with death and she won’t die. His help kept me alive to continue contributing achievements to my country. They were tough moments, hard moments, and that made me stronger than I was before and say: I will continue.

In a moment of so many visits that he made to me and I was awake, I told him: Commander, I will continue running, and now, to tell you the truth, I did not know if I was going to run the same way I had done before the accident. But I knew I had strength in my legs to continue representing Cuba, and I did.

I underwent countless reconstructive and aesthetic surgeries at “Ameijeiras” Hospital with great Cuban doctors who saved my life and returned me back to society again. Running again after the accident has been the greatest achievement of my sporting career, having defeated death. That can only happen in a country like ours, where everything is in favor of and for the sake of society, perhaps, in another country I could have lived, but I could have also had to show my credit card to be assisted or to pay out thousands of dollars.

I went every other day to the (operating) room to be cured under anesthesia, and so the doctors performed skin transplants. In the first stage, I remained in the hospital a year and a few months and later I went home on Fridays and returned on Mondays. I had a companion and that undoubtedly costs some thousands and therefore I should always say thank you so much to both Fidel and this people.

-Which was your first participation in an international event?

When I overcame my seriousness in the hospital and could manage on my own, I started to think about running again. I had a very strong rehab program with doctors from the Ameijeiras and the Institute of Sport Medicine and exercised in the morning and in the afternoon, but also when they were not there, I supported myself on my friends who went to visit me so they helped me do the exercises and massaged me, because the scars of the burnt grow during a year and you should always keep exercising so the damaged parts of your body begin to gain elasticity.

Before the accident I had in mind to take part in the Central American and Caribbean Games in Ponce and then I asked the Athletics Technical Commission to participate. They created all conditions for my training, which was from 7:00 to 10:00 at night, because I could not take the sunbeams. Leandro Civil Jarvés designed a preparation program for me five months before the Central American and Caribbean Games, in which I participated with many limitations, I could not move my arms, my armpits, or my neck and in spite of that, I won the silver medal with 2.05, which meant the gold medal to me, the medal of dignity, of courage, because my race only involved my legs, I couldn’t do the required movement for it.

After achieving that result in those circumstances and without the adequate preparation I convinced myself that after the surgery, I would begin my training to see what would happen. And so I did, I underwent surgical operations, which loosed my neck, my armpits, my arms and my hands, because I could hardly close them to grab the weights. When I realized that I could do all those things I told my trainer: let’s work, I will not disappoint you and we will compete.

All the tests showed that I really could, I should say that there were many people who believed that I could not accomplish it, so I said that if I could not achieve the required time, I wouldn’t participate, because of the prestige I have worldwide. But I was improving in every competition, so much so that I made a mark, which gave me the endorsement to compete in Gothenburg 1995. I also competed in Montecarlo vs my eternal rival María de Lourdes Mutola, she ran 1.57.49 and I (1.57.59), and that made me confident to strive for a medal in the world championship, which final was held on August 13 and I clinched the gold medal. Life gave me the pleasure to thank and congratulate our beloved Commander the day of his birthday with a gold medal for my country, for him and for me. I feel really proud for having given him that present in acknowledgement to all the support I received from him in the toughest moment of my life. One knows people in those circumstances and Fidel was unconditional to me in the moment I needed him. During the period when I was reported as critical every day, he used to go to the hospital, sometimes he went and when he passed through my room I was asleep, because it was the day when they cured me and I was under the effects of anesthesia, even if someone called me I could not reply. He went there many times, when I was already in an open room, and talked to my family, to me and his visit was something very special for me and my family.

-How many Russian female runners were needed to defeat Ana Fidelia?

Imagine that a country can take around three or four runners and there were three Russians who developed a team race in the 1996 Olympic Games and I had to settle for the silver medal, but I can tell you that when they ran individually I was invincible.

-From the point of view of the best athlete of Cuba for several consecutive years, what did Fidel Castro mean for Cuban sports?

Fidel means a lot for Cuban sports, since he was young, Fidel loved sports and practiced different games at the university. He played basketball, over there I have a photo of him winning the 800 meters, he also run 1500. In the few hours that he had to rest at midnight, he used to go to the Sports City (Ciudad Deportiva) to play basketball in a sort of guerrilla warfare with players from the national team and the game was never over until he picked the victory, he disliked to lose in anything.

Fidel has meant a lot for all the results of the Cuban sporting movement, he has been the main promoter of all the achievements of our sporting movement. He is not physically today, but he is still present, because his example is alive, his legacy is alive in our country, his deed is intact.

-Of the moments of satisfaction experienced with the Commander, which is the one you remember the most?

I remember them all, they are all very beautiful and have a great meaning, but the one that marked me the most and the one that makes me cry whenever it comes to my mind, and I cry because it moves me to remember that he is a person of flesh and blood, with feelings towards any human being, although he/she does not belong to his family, happened in 1993, after I returned from the Central American and Caribbean Games at the Universal Hall of FAR (Revolutionary Armed Forces), which brought together all the delegation that participated in Ponce Games and he decorated me with the Order of Sporting Merit. It seems that when he saw me, he was very sad because of the conditions in which I competed, he gave me a hug and when I went to my seat I turned around and saw tears running down his face and that’s the moment I keep with more affection, to see that he cried for me.

-Does your name have any relationship with Fidel or is it chance?

No, it’s no coincidence: my mother named me Fidelia because of Fidel. I come from a purely revolutionary family, we have a humble origin and my grandmother, my mother and my aunt were always closely linked to the causes of our Revolution.

Translated by Jorge Mesa Benjamin / CubaSi Translation Staff

Cuban National Zoo will receive new animals

Cuba National Zoo will receive about 90 animals that will complete the types of species on display in the Eurasian Prairie, which is scheduled for completion this year.

This delivery will materialize through an exchange with the Association of Zoos, Breeders and Aquariums of Mexico, according to information published today in Granma newspaper.

Armando Barrios, institutional communicator of the entity, reported that the group includes specimens of red deer and sika, fallow and white fallow deer, Barbary and dwarf goats and white Bengal tigers.

He indicated that due to their characteristics, these species will constitute an additional attraction for the visitors of the pleasant installation, located in the outskirts of Havana.

The Cuban side will acquire various accessories used in the work of the zoos, such as rifles, darts and pneumatic injection sticks to sedate the animals.

The exchange contemplates the National Zoo sending grant zebras, flamingos, spotted hyenas and leopards to the Mexican Association. (ACN)

  • Published in Cuba

Bobby Carcassés will open International Jazz Festival Plaza 2019

Master Bobby Carcassés, National Music Award 2012, will officially open the 34th International Jazz Festival Plaza 2019, which will be held next January 14-20, with the concerts by Afrojazz and Timba Funk next Wednesday in the Avellaneda Hall of the National Theatre of Cuba.

Carcassés informed the press at the Hotel Nacional de Cuba that he will share the stage with important exponents of the genre such as Roger Glenn, Yosvany Terry and Dick Griffin (Cuba-United States), and that Puerto Ricans Marc Quiñones and Bobby Allende will also attend the stage along with 8 y Más, as well as Tony Succar and his Unity Project.

At the conference, the director of the National Center for Popular Music and president of Jazz Plaza, Victor Rodriguez Garcia, reported that this edition shows a significant increase in the participation of foreign musicians of the highest level, such as Arturo O'Farril (United States), Joss Stone (United Kingdom) and Patricia Kraus (Spain).

Rodríguez García pointed out that as a novelty in this 34th edition of the festival, the renowned Cuban plastic artist Alberto Lescay was asked to create the poster for the presentation of the event, an initiative that will be carried out in future editions by other prestigious exponents of visual art in the country.

He explained that this time the event will be closely related to other genres of Cuban popular music, with the presentation of jazz players in hand to hand with groups such as Septeto Santiaguero, Los Muñequitos de Matanzas and others.

It was also informed that the event will include among its venues Mella and America theaters, the Avellaneda and Covarrubias halls of the National Theater and the Tito Junco hall of the Bertolt Brecht Cultural Center, the Pergola and the Central Stage of the Cuba Pavilion, Coppelia Gardens and the Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba.

The festival will be extended for the third time to Santiago de Cuba, where it will also have a comprehensive program of concerts in important locations such as the Iris Jazz Club, Plaza de Marte, Hotel Meliá Santiago, Fundación Caguayo and Plaza Dolores.

Tributes will be paid to Bobby Carcassés, Cuban showman and main manager of Jazz Plaza in the 80s, to the centenaries Benny Moré and El Niño Rivera, to the emblematic orchestras Aragón and Van Van, to the Cuban Music Institute and to the four record companies of the country, radio program La esquina del jazz and others. (ACN)

  • Published in Culture

Edmundo García in Havana: «What’s Bad is to be Afraid of Fear»

After living almost twenty years in Miami, where he defended Cuba and its Revolution, Cuban journalist Edmundo García decided that Havana should be the core of his life and work.

«I returned to reside here as a cornerstone of my life and work in Cuba, but my goal is to transmit the issues of immigration, which the great majority is in Miami, from anywhere, from Cuba, from Spain... that doesn’t mean that I will go into exile from Miami. I will keep travelling to Miami when they invite me to participate in any debate», he said in conversation with CubaSí which we transcribe here below:

MHL: Let’s speak of the news. The New Herald has just given you a full column. I don't recall they mention you before...

Edmundo García: The New Herald mentioned me and Diario de Cuba, Cibercuba and a group of similar media follow suit, they all wanted to mention me. I posted in my Facebook that: who understands the media of Miami, because when I was there the only one who dared to invite me over, with all the wrongs and grief of sharing a TV studio with María Elvira, because she always assumed the position against my opinions, I must acknowledge that she was the only one who dared. The other ones didn't dare to debate neither to invite me. And now they want to publish my laundry receipts. They are willing to do everything or anything with me. There is even a newspaper of Miami offering money for an exclusive interview, but come to think of it, I give you the exclusive interview for free. Do you here in CubaSí pay?

MHL: No, we don't pay...

Edmundo García: I don't get it. What it does prove is that they listened to me; it’s that although they didn't invite me, they were indeed aware of my existence, of my opinions, because they have referred to them and, therefore, they listened to me...

MHL: Could it be considered the publication of a photo where you appear next to the Five Heroes as an act of intimidation?

Edmundo García: On my side?

MHL: On their side...

Edmundo García: I don't know that... Well, later I published one with Raúl Castro. Look I am not afraid of fear. What’s bad is to be afraid of fear. I am a transparent man and, supposedly, they should understand that I move among the standards of journalism and the life of a free man. I don't know why all the fuss. Although, in the end of the bottle, as Lezama Lima would say, it does create some intimidation.

MHL: You are a very peculiar émigré. You were first an economic émigré who was later politicized. You are the opposite of the old émigrés of Miami who are political émigrés. You were politicized in Miami taking Cuba’s side.

Edmundo García: Firstly, it’s good to clarify that I was always an economic émigré. I never had any problem with my ideas around the Revolution, around the history of Cuba, and I ended up in Miami for personal reasons. Now, there is no doubt that Miami gets into you. Even people who don’t have it in them the public attitude because they are not journalists, because they don't have media, I believe they are awakening. I get many messages telling me that, what it meant for them to hear and see the attitude that somehow I kept, unwavering, without hesitations. Miami is a Ñico López. Here there is a school for the Communist Party named Ñico López. Because when you hear the extreme right of Miami refers to Cuba... we must remember that they began hating Fidel and Raúl... and ended up hating the people of Cuba. If you have a shred of patriotism, ideologies aside, you don't have to be communist neither socialist, you can be more capitalist than Wall Street itself, but if you have a shred of patriotism, you will reject the extreme right of Miami. They hate the Cuban people. Let’s not forget the attitude of the Cuban–American congressmen, their celebration and boasting, when the measures against the Cuban families were passed when George W. Bush was in office that limited the travel of Cubans to once every three years and limited migrant remittances and so on; let’s not forget the celebrations those sectors had.

I remember he was very confused Lincoln Díaz-Balart, because I was working for Univision—everybody knows what’s channel 23—, and at a press conference he asked me if I wasn’t going to ask any questions. It seems that I had caught Lincoln’s eye, a bit of my irreverence already showed. And I told him: Look, congressman, when I hear you speak I feel a strong desire to return to Cuba and become a militiaman. That left him very confused.

MHL: And speaking of measures: the fabricated story about the acoustic attacks and the closing of embassies, consulates, employees... How does the ordinary Cuban of Miami see all that?

Edmundo García: Look, I believe is common knowledge that all that is a hoax. What’s the gain for Cuba in doing that? Do they want to raise enmity with the United States? It has never been in Cuba’s will to have enmity. Cuba is indeed a sovereign country. It’s mutual respect. Cuba doesn't have a budget for that or Task force whatsoever to undermine the North American politics. That topic is really to please... This is Trump’s commitment with Brigade 2506, with Marco Rubio, and the followers of people like Ninoska Lucrecia Pérez Castellón, Armando Pérez Roura, those oral clowns of Miami. The scientific community has disproved that. Cuba has always been very respectful. In Cuba there was always a concept of integrity, and still is, respect to the Vienna Agreements regarding diplomatic relationships. In Cuba there has always been a strict ethics in the treatment to diplomatic offices, and this comes since Fidel Castro until the President Díaz-Canel. The rumor that there is a sector of far left in the Cuban services is really an attempt to fool people...

MHL: And do people let themselves be fooled?

Edmundo García: I think that people know that it’s not true. Who benefits from what you do? When you do something, somebody obtains a benefit...

MHL: There must be a motive...

Edmundo García: And which is the motive? I think that is horseplay. I am sure that within the very FBI know that that is horseplay. My personal opinion, I can’t prove it—if I had how to prove it, I were Superman—, but in my personal opinion, this is a CIA operation. Let’s not forget who was the former CIA director, the person who now works as Secretary of State. Let’s not forget his relationship with senator Marco Rubio and let’s not forget the triangle with Donald Trump’s presidency. You can’t be deceived. You can be anti-Castro all you want, you can be also anticommunist, and now if you wish you can leave this part out, but from there to be an asshole, there’s a long stretch.

MHL: Did you participate, being there, in the summoning made to Cubans to participate on the debate of the Constitution Draft?

Edmundo García: I was aware of the debate on the Constitution Draft. I was aware through internet of the participation of Cubans. I think is very interesting and useful that Cubans participate. And I connect that with the topic of repatriation again. I believe that Cuban emigration should have greater presence inside Cuba. More sense of normalization, better communication. The repatriation doesn't force you to return to live in Cuba. You can live where you wish, however, you start having certain rights, including the right to vote. And also, it’s to settle the belonging to the roots, to strengthen the trunk to the roots.

MHL: While you have been here, did you see the debates on television...

Edmundo García: I don't know any process in the world, in the so-called democracies, and in the championships of «democracy», I don't know any referendum as the one Cuba is making in the topic of the Constitution. Summoned by Cuban authorities beginning with the first secretary of the Communist Party, the Army General Raúl Castro, to the common citizen. If anyone knows, I would like, if there has been a similar process since the Greece of the democracy until today please tell me, because in my illiteracy I don't know it.

MHL: And The Afternoon...

Edmundo García: The Afternoon Moves (La tarde se mueve) is the project I want to continue developing. Me, as presenter, my expertise is Cuban emigration. And that can be broadcasted from Cuba, from Miami, from Madrid. What I want is for my headquarters to be in Havana, but I can also spend time in Miami. Go to Miami and shoot programs, and participate in debates. I am a free electron; I am not bound to a specific geographical location. Ah, that Cuba is the natural scenario to address the emigration, of course is the best, because what I want is to magnetize the emigration with its origin. And we’ll see how we can guide again The Afternoon Moves, but my main topic is emigration. And, of course, that city that I won't say that it’s an illegitimate province, because I believe there are a lot of good people in Miami, most people are good, but with the attention in particular to that city, because I know it and because it really has a specific weight in the politics of the United States towards Cuba.

Subscribe to this RSS feed