Canadian-Cuban Friendship Association supports Cuba´s ideals

CCFA-CALGARY in Collaboration with Colectivo Por la Memoria Salvador Allende had the privileged to had 2 special guest from ICAP ( Cuban Institute of Friendship with the people) directly from Cuba, Sandra Ramirez & Yamil Marrero.

Our main objective is to inform and educate people about important topics that's affecting the Cuban people.

Important issues such as the closing of the Canadian Visa office in Havana that's impacting thousands of Cuban families, the Helms Burton laws that has been put in place and threaten peace, solidarity, peaceful coexistence and friendship between nations AND for over half of century the people of Cuba have been suffering under a criminal blockade that we ALL say no more!!!!

We will continue to defend this country that has done nothing but give Solidarity to so many countries in Latin America, Africa and around the world!!!! For those that came to see them speak, Thank You for your unconditional support!!!!!

  • Published in Cuba

FAMILIAR FACE LEADS CUBA PAST QUEBEC

Cuba 3, Quebec 2

The Cuban National Team made it two wins in a row as they defeated the Quebec Capitales 3-2 at Stade Canac on Tuesday night in what turned out to be the only game played in the Can-Am League.

Raul Gonzalez went 2-for-3 for the visiting Cuban squad, with the go-ahead RBI in the sixth inning to go along with his efforts. Cesar Echvarria led the game off with a HR, and Frederich Cruz added a solo HR in the second inning for the Cuban offense.

Meanwhile, Lazaro Blanco pitched well against his former team. The veteran right hander went five innings, allowing just one run on two hits, walking two and striking out six. Rafael Thope got the final four outs to nail down his second save of the tour for Cuba.

Yordan Manduley went 3-for-4 for Quebec in defeat.

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  • Published in Sports

Activists lash out at Canada for ‘aggression towards Cuba and Venezuela’

Canada has been criticized for its role, along with the United States, in what activists call aggression towards Cuba and Venezuela.

The efforts of Canada, the United States and other western nations are designed “to cause as much destruction as they can in Venezuela’’ and to choke Cuba, according Dr Isaac Saney, co-chairman of the Canadian Network on Cuba (CNC).

“We live in extremely dangerous times,’’ said Saney, who was one of three presenters at a panel discussion in Toronto titled, “Cuba in the Time of Trump: AN ISLAND AGAINST THE EMPIRE’’.

The discussion, at A Different Booklist Cultural Centre, and organized by the Canadian-Cuban Friendship Association Toronto and the CNC, came just days after the United States tightened its decades-old embargo against Cuba, banning cruises to Cuba under new restrictions on US travel to the Spanish-speaking nation.

US officials in President Donald Trump’s administration said the measures are to pressure Cuba to reform and stop supporting Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro.

Panelist Yoslaidy Clemente López, a consul at Cuba’s diplomatic mission in Toronto, described the US action as “crazy’’, but said the experience is nothing new for Cubans.

“It’s just a cycle,’’ she said. “Cuba will stand independent and sovereign forever.’’

Saney said the United States wants to “extinguish’’ Cuba because the Caribbean country “represents an example and a vision of a better world’’.

“In this struggle that Cuba is waging is the fact that they are an example of resistance and they insist on their right to self-determination,’’ he charged. “The United States cannot stand any country that stands against the empire.’’

In the case of Venezuela, said Saney, it’s being attacked because Maduro and former President Hugo Chávez represent a “seizing of a very important section of the Americas out of the hands of US imperialism and the creation of a project that was trying to use the resources to the benefit of its people’’.

Venezuela, he said, “has more than just oil. But, there is a whole series of other riches that that they have, such as gold, that not only the US wants but also Canadian mining companies want as well’’.

There also is a “profound racist element’’ to the “undermining’’ of the government of Venezuela, where the people in power are overwhelmingly the poor of African, Indigenous and mixed-race descent, Saney charged.

Panelist Cikiah Thomas, after commending Cuba and it former President Fidel Castro, especially on despatching military troops to Africa in the 1970s in support of Angola’s fight against US-based South African forces, then turned his attention to Venezuela.

Thomas, chair of the Global Afrikan Congress (GAC), said Venezuela is in a “critical situation’’ that he blames on meddling from the US and allies such as Canada.

“Canada likes to pride itself as a country of laws but this is lost on the Canadian government when it comes to Venezuela,’’ Thomas said. “It is time for Canada to come out with her real reasons for the aggression towards the legitimate government and people of Venezuela.’’

The actions against Venezuela are “immoral, unethical and illegal’’, said Thomas, and Canadians should contact their parliamentary representatives and demand an end to the involvement by the Liberal Party government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

The GAC has embarked on what it refers to as an international lobbying campaign to mobilize “progressive forces all the world over to resist the unprovoked attack on Venezuela’’.

The campaign includes letter-writing to the Presidents of South Africa and Nigeria, urging them to “champion the cause of the Venezuelan people’’ by bringing up the Venezuelan situation for debate at fora such as the African Union and the United Nations.

“In our opinion’’, GAC says in its letter, “Mr Trump is directing his puppets to recolonize Venezuela.’’

  • Published in Cuba

Telmary Regrets Canada’s Closing of Consular Services (+ Video)

Cuban rapper Telmary Díaz raises her voice next to other Cuban and Canadian residents who were mobilized this Sunday in the cities of Toronto and Montreal against the decision of Justin Trudeau’s government of terminating the visa procedures at the embassy of this country in Havana.

For whom Cuba is its best source of inspiration and has lived for several years, for working matters, between Canada and this wonderful island, the closing of the Canadian immigration services in Cuba has seemed absurd.

As a journalist asked her why she was there, she said: «I am representing the Cuban people that live here, in Toronto, and right now these measures affect us all, both the Cuban artists and the families who live here that are part of Toronto’s community. It’s unfair that the Canadian consulate is closed. Imagine a grandpa traveling to a third country to look for a visa to visit his relatives. It’s really a harsh measure, but, it’s also outraging, when Cuba is one of the countries that welcomes 1.5 millions of Canadians a year, as well as one of the safest places for them we are certain of that, because we have had the opportunity to share with them. It bothers me that it’s not reciprocal. That’s why we are here and I know that the number of people will increase; there are people who are writing to us and signatures are being gathered. The Canadian and the Cuban people will get united and everybody else who is trying to turn this situation around. Here we are raising the voice representing Cuba».

There are not doubts that Telmary has also become a cultural ambassador for Cuba to the world. For her: «Cubans have an incredible strength. I believe there isn’t anything better in the world than to be Cuban. That’s why I defend my roots. I travel the world trying to show people what it really means to be Cuban», she said a few years ago in Toronto, where she stayed for a musical contract.

For Julio Fonseca, chairman at the Association of Cuban Residents in Toronto Juan Gualberto Gómez, group that organized the manifestation that took place outside the offices of the chancellor of Canada, Chrystia Freeland, is «a sad measure; such position won't help the relationship between both countries and peoples, and it will undoubtedly affect the cultural, economic, political, academic and sport exchanges, just to mention some sectors», as reported Prensa Latina.

On the other hand, the Cuban ambassador in Canada, Josefina Vidal, made public several days ago the official complain of the island to the authorities of that country for the closing of the Canadian immigration services in Cuba.

Back then, Vidal had declared that the alleged reason of the measure was the mysterious illnesses suffered by several Canadian diplomats working in Cuba since 2017 and that were initially attributed to «acoustic attacks».

On the consequences of these closings in the embassy, the diplomat highlighted that Cubans have to travel twice, at a high cost, to a Canadian embassy in another country, Mexico, for example, to obtain a Canadian visa. This measure affects hundreds of people including the Canadians with their children who have a Cuban relative in the family.

As proven, it’s regrettably that Canada imitates the North American pattern in which the current president, Donald Trump, forces Cubans who want a visa to the U.S. to visit their embassy in a third country, for example, Colombia.

Also, the Cuban chancellor, Bruno Rodríguez, carried out this Friday a work visit to Canada to meet his counterpart, Chrystia Freeland.

In the talks, Rodríguez expressed the concern for the termination of the grant of visas to Cuban citizens in Havana, which—he said to Prensa Latina—is already affecting the exchanges in different fields of the bilateral relationship, and it particularly damages the Cuban, Canadian and mixed families.

With information from Prensa Latina

CONCACAF Gold Cup 2019: Group A Preview

The 2019 CONCACAF Gold Cup kicks off with two North American and two Caribbean teams in Group A. Mexico is the clear favorite, but the other three teams should not be overlooked. Will Cuba and Martinique break through to the quarterfinal or will Canada finally deliver on their long-promised resurgence?

SCHEDULE

Saturday, June 15

Canada vs Martinique, 7:30 PM ET

Mexico vs Cuba, 10:00 PM ET

Wednesday, June 19

Cuba vs Martinique, 8:00 PM ET

Mexico vs Canada, 10:30 PM ET

Sunday, June 23

Canada vs Cuba, 6:00 PM ET

Martinique vs Mexico, 8:30 PM ET

Cuba

FIFA Rank/Elo Rating: 174/129

Odds of winning: Dark Horse

Cuba has enjoyed relative success at the Gold Cup, reaching the quarterfinal round three times (2003, 2013, and 2015). After not qualifying in 2017, the Leones del Caribe finished in sixth place in CONCACAF Nations League qualifying with impressive wins over the Dominican Republic and Grenada.

The last two Cuban Gold Cup squads were solely comprised of domestic players, making this year’s team a bit of an outlier; eight of the 23 players are on the rosters of clubs in the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, and Panama. Cuba is led by young attacker Luis Paradela (Universidad SC) who has five goals in six international appearances, while maintaining a similar strike rate at the club level in Guatemala’s Liga Nacional. Sandy Sánchez (Don Bosco-Jarabacoa) will be the likely number one at goalkeeper, having earned 13 caps. Thirty-one-year-old midfielder-defender Yasmany López (Ciego de Ávila) provides a veteran presence on the squad with 29 caps.

Cuba plays Mexico in its first match, which gets the hardest test out of the way early. The defense has struggled to prevent dynamic dribblers from slaloming through their compact final third (particularly against Haiti), but most teams would find it difficult to stop El Tri’s attackers. Manager Raúl Mederos’ side will head into the second match confidently in control of their own destiny or harshly subdued on the heels of a demoralizing loss.

Martinique

FIFA Rank/Elo Rating: Ineligible (Not a member of FIFA)/89

Odds of winning: Dark Horse

Les Matinino earned a spot in the Gold Cup by finishing CONCACAF Nations League qualifying in third place. The country’s best finish in six competition appearances is a 2002 quarterfinal showing. Martinique is not eligible to qualify for the World Cup, as they are not a member of FIFA, so the Gold Cup is essentially their biggest competition.

The bulk of the roster is comprised of players from the two dominant sides in the Martinique Championnat National (top division), Club Franciscain and Golden Lion FC, with an infusion of talent playing abroad. Defenders Jordy Delem (Seattle Sounders), Jean-Sylvain Babin (Sporting Gijón), and Samuel Camille (Tenerife) comprise a very serviceable defensive line. Domestic striker Kévin Parsemain has 34 goals in 51 caps, and will be expected to be the attacking linchpin; he finished as one of co-leading goal scorers at the 2017 Gold Cup with three tallies. There’s also the trio of players based in France – Wesley Jobello (Gazélec Ajaccio), Joris Marveaux (Gazélec Ajaccio), and Kévin Fortuné (Troyes) – who are still integrating into the squad, but could make an impact.

Martinique’s mission is to advance out of the group, which will likely require at least four points. If they’re able to secure a draw against Canada in the tournament’s opening match, it would set the tone for a brutal fight for second place.

Mexico

FIFA Rank/Elo Rating: 18/17

Odds of winning: Favorite

Mexico enters the tournament as the top seed, under the leadership of newly hired manager Gerardo “Tata” Martino. El Tri has won a record seven Gold Cup competitions, most recently triumphing in 2015, and routinely enjoys strong fan support with a decided home field advantage. The program – having once again failed to advance past the Round of 16 at the World Cup – is in a state of flux, caught between relying on the serviceable old guard and integrating young talent. This isn’t the strongest Mexican side, but the expectations have been and will always be winning the Gold Cup.

As one would expect, the roster is comprised of talented players from Liga MX and abroad. Experienced mainstay veterans will carry the side through the group stage; physical striker Raúl Jiménez (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Jonathan dos Santos (LA Galaxy), captain Andrés Guardado (Real Betis), and Héctor Moreno (Real Sociedad) are included in the 23-player roster. However, Mexico was hit with the injury bug and will be without the services of dynamic attacker Hirving “Chucky” Lozano (PSV Eindhoven) and midfielder Marco Fabián (Philadelphia Union). Additionally, Carlos Vela (Los Angeles FC), Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez (West Ham), and Jesus Corona (Porto) are also skipping the tournament for various reasons. Martino is unperturbed,telling ESPN, “The important absences that we have... opened the door to see some young players that we wanted to see.”

Despite worries about the tenacity and fluidity of the attack, Mexico looks primed and ready for the Gold Cup. They defeated Venezuela, 3-1, and Ecuador, 3-2, in pre-tournament friendlies, with Rodolfo Pizarro (Monterrey), Carlos Rodriguez (Monterrey), and Roberto Alvarado (Cruz Azul) looking ready to be serious contributors.

Canada

FIFA Rank/Elo Rating: 78/66

Odds of winning: In the Running

John Herdman’s squad stormed through Nations League qualifying with a 4-0 record, easily reaching the Gold Cup. Canada remains the only nation other than Mexico or the United States to capture the tournament, triumphing in 2000. While this is probably not their year to return to the winner’s circle, don’t be surprised if Les Rouges make a push for the semi-finals and springboard into a strong showing in World Cup qualifying.

Canada can rely on a few different players to score goals and won’t be locked into any specific playing style. Lucas Cavallini (Puebla), Junior Hoilett (Cardiff City), Alphonso Davies (Bayern Munich), and 19-year-old talent Jonathan David (Gent) can keep pace with dynamic CONCACAF attacks, whether through possession or Route 1 counter attacking; if caught on the right day, Beşiktaş striker Cyle Larin can add target man abilities off the bench. The defensive group is less reliable and relatively inexperienced, with MLS defenders Doneil Henry and Mark-Anthony Kaye playing key roles. Goalkeeper is a mild question mark, with Waking the Red noting that number one Milan Borjan (Red Star Belgrade) will likely split time with the rapidly improving Max Crépeau (Vancouver Whitecaps).

This is a team that absolutely should advance, but Canada has a history of failing to meet expectations in a most dismal fashion. They have the benefit of playing Cuba in their third group play match, which could require three points. Avoiding Mexico in what could possibly be a must-win scenario is in every CONCACAF team’s best interest, so look for this side to pull off four-to-six points and advance from the group.

  • Published in Sports

Canada must resume visa processing in Cuba

The Communist Party of Canada denounces the decision of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to cease the issuance of visas to Cubans to visit Canada from its embassy in Havana.

We consider this a hostile act which will seriously curtail people-to-people exchange between Cuba and Canada, and constitutes a major setback to the long-time friendly, economic, social, and diplomatic relations between our two countries. We therefore demand that this decision of the government of Canada be rescinded immediately.


  • Published in Cuba

Cuban Caricaturist Wins Award in Canada

Cuban cartoonist Alfredo Martirena said that ''a good journalist prefers to save his news better than his own life'' so does he with his work, and won the Award to Excellency at the Caricature Contest on Freedom of the Press in Canada.

The winning cartoon work by Martirena at the 19th edition of the Cartoon Contest on Freedom of Press, describes a reporter at a trench while protecting his own laptop computer machine with his own body, in a profesional gesture, preserving his professional work, before preserving his life.

'The cartoon is a tribute to the hundreds of journalists who are killed every year in different parts of the world, acting as reporters, photographers or cameramen, with the healthy purpose of reporting acts of corruption or maltreatment of citizens,' he said.

This event was organized this year by the Canadian Committee for World Press Freedom and the central topic was 'Open Season for Journalists', with 370 entries from 29 countries.

Martirena, a cartoonist for Cuban weekly Melaito, in the Cuban province of Villa Clara, won this contest five years ago and has also won the Eduardo Abela Grand Prize twice, at the International Biennial of Graphic Humorism, Cuba, 2011 and 2017.

In addition to Alfredo Martirena, cartoonists Musa Gumus, Hicabi Demirci and Kaan Saatci from Turkey, Sergii Riabokon from Ukraine, James Silk and Chip Bok from the United States, Dario Castillejos from Mexico, Niels Bo Bojesen from Denmark and Marco De Angelis from Italy, also received the Excellence Award.

  • Published in Culture

Venezuela Rejects 'Illegal' Sanctions by Canada

Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza rejected the "illegal application" of new sanctions against Venezuela. 

The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Venezuela Jorge Arreaza firmly condemned Canada's illegal decision to impose sanctions against 43 individuals of Venezuela and highlighted that those economic measures were contrary to international law.

RELATED: Venezuela Foreign Minister Accuses US of Open Coup Attempt

"The government of Canada has taken off the mask through the application of four rounds of sanctions against Venezuela in less than two years," Arreaza said in a statement Monday. 

Canada decided to expand sanctions against the Venezuelan government on Monday, according to a statement from Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland, targeting an additional 43 people close to President of Venezuela Nicolas Maduro. 

"During the Lima group meeting in Ottawa on February 4, 2019, we called the international community to take action against Maduro regime. Today, Canada is acting by adding [to the sanctions list] another 43 people who are responsible for the deterioration of the situation in Venezuela," said Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland.

Canada already sanctioned 70 other Venezuelans, including the President of Venezuela. 

Recently, the U.N expert Alfred de Zayas compared the situation in Venezuela with Chile’s Salvador Allende. An economic war was waged against Allende for three years. When the economic war was not successful in ousting Allende, a coup d’état by General Augusto Pinochet toppled Allende’s regime unleashing 17 years of one of Latin America's most brutal dictatorships. 

  • Published in World
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