Moscow, Havana Discuss Cooperation before Medvedev's trip to Cuba

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov highlighted today the importance of holding the 17th session of the intergovernment joint commission on the eve of the official visit to Cuba of Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev.

'The current plenary session has a special meaning because it takes place on the eve of the visit to Cuba of the Russian head of government,' said Borisov, at the meeting held at the capital hotel President.

In January and June of last year we held meetings of the co-chairs of the mixed commission that allowed not only to determine the main tasks of Russian-Cuban cooperation, but also to take decisions to practical actions, said the deputy head of government.

We were able to organize an effective coordination mechanism to promote crucial cooperation projects and determine the new prospects for the realization of a list of priority programs of bilateral cooperation, the Russian official said.

In a private format, we analyzed with the Vice President of the Council of Ministers of Cuba Ricardo Cabrisas crucial cooperation issues in areas such as finance, energy, industry, transport and agriculture, Borisov said.

The trade exchange speaks of the result of the work done, because in 2018 that parameter grew by 34 percent, while this year we observed a positive trend and at the end of 2019 we sought to reach a level close to 500 million dollars, he stressed.

In addition to seeking a qualitative change in trade, it was agreed to jointly develop a new strategy of economic-commercial cooperation, with the completion of a Roadmap for its realization, said the Russian official.

The strategy includes documents in which common interest issues will appear and the steps for joint development of collaboration projects, said co-president of the Russian side of the Intergovernmental Commission for economic-commercial and scientific-technical cooperation.

Priorities will be taken into account for the preparation of that document until 2030, reflected in the Socio-Economic Development Program of Cuba and whose signature is expected in the near future, said the official.

He highlighted the realization of the first Exhibition of Cuba in Russia, within the framework of the 17th session of the Intergovernmental Commission, which became a platform to promote Cuba's export possibilities and to establish direct contacts between businessmen.

Cuba traditionally participates in the International Economic Forum in St. Petersburg and now we would like to have its presence in the Russian Energy Week in this capital and in the Open Innovation Forum, said the Deputy Prime Minister.

In turn, a Russian delegation will participate in the Fair of Havana Fihav 2019, said the deputy head of Government.

  • Published in Cuba

(US) Blockade to Cuba: The day medicines and food were added to the list

When my book on this subject was published back in 1983, in Havana and other capital cities of the world, I could not believe such an implausible issue would have been something we still see nowadays.

It happened on May 14th 1964, when the US government cancelled the selling of these items to Cuba.

The next day, The New York Times revealed the concern of some sectors within the US on the course of action that government had followed toward the Caribbean nation.

And they did it in a leading article, echoed by the Associated Press (AP), where alarms were raised before the decision adopted by senior officials within the White House of extending the blockade to items such as medicines and food, which were up until then sent to Cuba.

The US policy towards Havana, pointed out the leading article, was demonstrated by the US decision to limit the selling of food and medicines as well as its reprimand to young refugees who attacked Cuban ports and voiced it in triumph in Miami.

The Times stated back then: “Food and medicines had been so far the sole goods that could have been shipped to Cuba without the government’s permission. Specific licenses would be now required to lower shipments.”

This is not the way to win the Cold War against Cuba —stated The Times— or the image the US wants to convey to the world as a humanitarian and magnanimous nation. The US will win no friends in Cuba by making them suffer for lack of medicines.

It was implemented that day one of the greatest violations of the human rights ever, on behalf of democracy and freedom.

It is up to the UNGA to impede the crime does not go unpunished.

Translated by Sergio A. Paneque Díaz/CubaSí Translation Staff

  • Published in Now

Probable cause of mysterious illness among US and Canadian diplomats in Havana found

Dalhousie University and Nova Scotia Health Authority scientists Thursday claimed to have discovered the cause of strange symptoms found in recent years among US and Canadian diplomats in Cuba, according to Radio-Canada's investigative TV program Enquête.

The research, led by Dr. Alon Friedman, from the Department of Neuroscience and Medical Pediatrics of that Canadian university, contends that neurotoxin exposure is believed to have been behind the mysterious cases of lack of balance and vertigo. The sickening chemicals are easy to be found in pesticides used to eradicate mosquitoes.

According to Cubadebate news website, during a meeting held last July in Havana, the Canadian researchers shared their thesis, in a preliminary way, with Cuban authorities and the Committee of Experts that has been studying U.S. allegations for almost two years.

The mysterious symptoms suffered since 2017 caused a diplomatic crisis between Cuba and the United States after Washington that year pulled non-essential embassy staff from the Cuban capital.

In April 2018, Canada withdrew the families of its diplomats stationed in Cuba before also reducing staff.

The findings of the Canadian specialists contradict Washington's theory that their diplomats' brain injuries were due to a “sonic attack.”

The researchers studied 26 individuals, including a control group that never lived in Havana, and discovered a damaged area of the brain responsible for memory and ability to concentrate, among other functions.

“[The results] all support the diagnosis of acquired brain injury in the Canadian diplomats and their families posted in Cuba,” the report said.

In addition, the scientists were able to examine several individuals before and after returning from Havana, and found changes in their brains after their stay on the island.

“There are very specific types of toxins that affect these kinds of nervous systems... and these are insecticides, pesticides, organophosphates – specific neurotoxins,” according to Dr. Friedman.

In 2016, Cuban authorities launched aggressive fumigation campaigns to eradicate mosquitoes carrying the Zika virus.

In addition, Canadian researchers found that embassies also sprayed their offices, as well as inside and outside the residences of their diplomats, up to five times more frequently than usual.

Doctor Mitchell Joseph Valdes-Sosa, director general of Cuba's Neuroscience Center, told Cubadebate that the hypothesis presented by the Canadian team is a serious attempt to explain the symptoms , "although it is premature to reach conclusions,"

Valdes Sosa added that exchanges have already begun between Canadian scientists and the Cuban Committee of Experts to advance more studies in Cuba in the short term.

“Although the work of the Dalhousie University research team has been carried out with scientific consistency, Cuban specialists believe that by using a small and heterogeneous sample, it is difficult to reach definitive conclusions."

"It is not possible to exclude other explanations based on very common pathologies,” Valdes Sosa said.

  • Published in Now

Two Members of Cuba's UN Mission Expelled From US

Cuba's Foreign Minister, Bruno Rodriguez, categorically rejected the unilateral measure by the US State Department

The United States announced Thursday the expulsion of 2 Cuban diplomats before the United Nations, accused of activities that, according to them, undermine US national security.

"We asked 2 members of the Cuban delegation to the UN to leave the United States who had engaged in activities that jeopardize US national security " while the UN General Assembly is just beginning, said State Department's spokesperson Morgan Ortagus.

“ The members of the Cuban delegation to the United Nations should also travel only in Manhattan,”

The Cuban response was swift, Bruno Rodriguez, Cuba's Foreign Minister stated via Twitter that he "Categorically rejects the unjustified expulsion of 2 officials of the Permanent Mission of #Cuba #UN and hardening of restriction of movement to diplomats and families. The imputation that they performed acts incompatible with their diplomatic status is vulgar slander."

  • Published in Cuba

Cuban Workers call Massive Twitter Action for Anti-imperialist Event

The Cuban Workers Federation (CTC) on Thursday convened a global message through Twitter for November 1 with the participants of the Anti-Imperialist Meeting of Solidarity, for Democracy and against Neoliberalism.

The CTC summoned this massive Twitter event as one of the actions that will accompany the start of the international anti-imperialism event that will take place in Havana until November 3.

Representatives of global social movements and friends of Cuba will meet in Havana in defense of peace, justice and democracy, according to Ulises Guilarte, secretary general of the Cuban Workers Federation.

The event includes activities such as an anti-imperialist tribune at a Havana neighborhood and a work group at the Latin American School of Medicine.

Participants will meet in five commissions at the Havana's Convention Center, to analyze issues such as decolonization, democracy, solidarity and anti-imperialism.

A special moment will be the closing plenary session, which will be dedicated to the historical leaders of the Cuban and Bolivarian Revolutions, Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez, respectively, as well as the just causes of the peoples in the world.

  • Published in Cuba

Very Short Chronicles: Adopteeds

When humor and solidarity fit in the same car...

At the busstop of Monumental freeway near the Panamericana Vila a girl holding a sign that in large letters read:#AdoptAPassenger.

In her case it would have been two to be adopted because standing next to her was a lady who seem to be her mother.

It was an intermediate stop therefore all taxis were full when they drove by, but they kept their smiles on their faces.

A white car with private plates stopped before them, the driver stepped down from the car, opened the rear door, and happily said: I will adopt you both!

They entered the car giggling.

"I can still adopt one more" said the driver before setting the car back into motion.

Translated by Amilkal Labañino / CubaSi Translation Staff

  • Published in Now

Oralitura Habana, event to Enrich the Improvisation Universe

This will be an exchange to favor the improvised universe of the world, said improviser Roly Ávalos, member of the organizing committee of the first meeting of poetic improvisation, Oralitura Habana.

Organized from September 25 to 29 in this capital, the event will bring together about thirty artists from Italy, Mexico, Peru, the United States, Puerto Rico, Spain and Chile, willing to share with more than 70 Cuban exponents.

This is, Ávalos said, about exchanging estrogen forms, ways of singing and other instrumentation with international and national guests who, no doubt, are part of the mecca of world improvisation.

Among the foreign participants, stands out Mexican researcher Ana Zarina Palafox, nicknamed by many as the multistrophic for her ability to improvise at the same time in tenths, sonnet or lace.

Likewise, the Puerto Rican promoter Julio César Sanabria, the U.S. poets Leonardo Nin and Willy Ramírez, Spanish teacher Paula Beatriz Gutiérrez, the Canarian improviser Tazirga García and the Italian filmmaker David Riondino will attend.

Cuba's list includes improvisers Rainer Nodal, Yordanys Oliva, Luis Quintana, Leandro Camargo, Yusbiel León, Lisett Páez and Juan Carlos Guridy, among others.

The idea is to take the improvised verse from the rural areas where it is more common and bring it to Havana to be valued and heard here, in the great and opulent capital, said the director of the event Leidys Hernández.

Therefore, it will be five days of celebration and spontaneous rhyme that will cover several cultural centers of the capital such as the Hispanic-American Center of Culture and the Higher Institute of Art.

Participants will arrive at the Central Boris Luis Santa Coloma, located in the western province of Mayabeque, to give visibility to the tradition of improvisaion that remains vigorous there.

One of the special moments will take place at 6 p.m. on Friday 25 in the Cuba Pavilion, where improvisers like Reiber Nodal, Anamarys Gil, Sindy Manuel Torres and the rappers El Ciudadano, Tito Mc and Yeriko will clash

For the closing ceremony, at 4:00 p.m. local time, at the Raquel Revuelta Theater, the concert of the Spanish singer-songwriter Zenet, Cubadisco prize 2019 for the phonogram La Guapería, and improviser Alexis Díaz-Pimienta, honorary president of the event will perform.

Oralitura Habana is dedicated to the 500 years of the Wonder City, the centenary of Benny Moré and the Cuban Point, declared by Unesco Intangible Heritage of Humanity.

  • Published in Culture

Cuban Deputy Foreign Minister Starts Working Visit to Italy

Cuba's Deputy Foreign Minister Rogelio Sierra began a three-day working visit to Italy, the Cuban embassy in Rome announced here.

According to the press release from the diplomatic mission, during his stay in the Italian capital Sierra will be received at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, an opportunity to continue the positive exchanges between the foreign ministries of the two countries.

In this sense, the text recalls that last February the Italian Undersecretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Ricardo Merlo, headed the Fifth Session of Political Consultations between Foreign Ministries, in Havana.

During his stay, the Cuban deputy minister will hold meetings with the Council of Delegates of the Italo-Latin American Institute, representatives of Parliament and representatives of the country's economic, social and political entities.

He will also visit the headquarters of the Community of San Egidio and meet with members of solidarity organizations and Cubans living in Italy, as well as participate in a special presentation of initiatives developed to mark the 500th anniversary of the founding of Havana, the capital of the island.

  • Published in Cuba
Subscribe to this RSS feed