Cuban capital celebrates its 500 with Havana Spengler cocktail

The Wonder City continues today celebrations on its 500th birthday with a new cocktail, Habana Spengler, honoring the city full of history and tradition, recognized as Capital of the World Cocktail Bar in 2017.

The winning drink was the result of the mastery of the young bartender Sergio Serrano and, as the name implies, pays tribute to the capital city and the Historian of the City, Eusebio Leal Spengler, soul of its streets, buildings and avenues.

One cannot talk about Havana without Eusebio, nor can you think of the great intellectual without taking into account his immense work in the preservation and conservation of its historical heritage.

Inspired by that concept, Serrano made a cocktail with passion fruit liqueur essences in reference to the passion aroused by the city in which they were born, in their womb and those adopted children who inhabit it.

The tribute contest took place Friday, in one of the rooms of the National Hotel of Cuba, National Monument and host of the contest that grouped other eight bartenders of the Gran Caribe hotel chain.

Of them, the second and third awards went to Maykel Díaz and Arianna Zaldívar, authors of Mi Habana and 500 sunsets, respectively, completed the podium.

According to Zaldívar, his preparation was inspired by the Havana sunset because it is the best time of day, just when the day is coming to an end and the afternoon prepares to receive the night.

I think it is a magical and enchanting moment to fall in love, and I have had the privilege of enjoying the splendid view of the gardens of the National Hotel where you can see the sea and the 'fall' of the sun, commented the creator.

For the preparation, Zaldívar used Havana Club Seleccion de Maestros as a base of Cuban rum and added Malibú coconut rum, Disaronno liquor, grapefruit juice and a cinnamon syrup with honey.

The event, which had members of the Association of Bartenders of Cuba as jurors, is the fourth of its kind held this year to encourage the creativity of the bartenders and celebrate the half millennium of the capital of all Cubans.

  • Published in Culture

US Expands Sanctions to 5 Sub-Entities Owned by Cuban Military - Pompeo

The US has added five sub-entities owned by the Cuban military to its list of entities with which direct financial transactions are forbidden, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement on Friday, as Cuba commemorates Havana's 500th anniversary. It was specified later that the ''sub-entities'' refer to five hotels.

"Today, I am announcing an update to the Cuba Restricted List to add five sub-entities owned by the Cuban military to the list of entities with which direct financial transactions are generally prohibited", the statement said on Friday.

The State Department explained the United States generally prohibits direct financial transactions with entities and sub-entities because they would "disproportionately benefit the Cuban military, intelligence, and security services or personnel at the expense of the Cuban people or private enterprise in Cuba".

Earlier in October, the Trump administration suspended commercial flights from the US to Cuba, except for Havana.

Since 2016, the United States has adopted a rough policy on Havana, restricting travel, boosting the economic embargo and imposing sanctions on Raul Castro, Cuba's Communist Party leader, over ''the ongoing repression of the Cuban people and its support for the corrupt former Maduro regime in Venezuela''.

  • Published in Cuba

Nelson Mandela Statue Unveiled in Cuba Capital, Havana

Nelson Mandela continues to break boundaries and push the bars of limitations, even in death. He is not only a South African or African hero, but one recognized and revered worldwide. He is classified by many as a global politician and diplomatic icon; critics cannot agree more!

Although from South Africa, people all over the world want to associate with his legacy and adopt him as their own.

Yesterday, a statue of the former South African president was unveiled in the Cuban capital, Havana.

The Cuban people greatly adore Nelson Mandela. During his lifetime, the African icon was a great supporter of former Cuban president, Fidel Castro. He was also in support of Castro’s Cuban revolution and didn’t hide his support.

Mandela was quoted as saying the Cuban revolution is an “inspiration to all freedom-loving people.”

The statue was unveiled in Cuba’s capital city, Havana.

Speaking at the unveiling ceremony, leader of the Cuban institution of friendship with peoples, Fernandez Gonzales, said:

“For us, it is a very special moment. We had been waiting a long time for the bust here.

“It will be a place where heads of state, African delegations, will be paid tribute to. These leaders fought for the unity of the African continent, for its independence.”

As president of Cuba, the late Fidel Castro gave the African National Congress, South Africa’s liberation movement turned ruling party, military support in the 1960s.

In the 1970s and 1980s, Cuba sent hundreds of thousands of soldiers to fight in Angola, which weakened the government of South Africa and helped Mandela’s anti-apartheid cause.

After his release from prison in 1990, Mandela travelled to Cuba in July 1991, saying the writings of Che Guevara served as an inspiration to him throughout his 27-year imprisonment.

  • Published in Cuba

Diaz-Canel condemns harassment against Cuban doctors in Bolivia

The president of Cuba, Miguel Diaz-Canel, denounced late on Friday the harassment and mistreatment against Cuban doctors working in Bolivia, who will return to the island in the face of violent instigation against them.

In the name of no political ideology, hate cannot harm those who devote themselves to giving life and health to the humble, the Cuban president wrote in his Twitter account.

Diaz-Canel shared in another tweet the statement issued this Friday by the Cuban Foreign Ministry in which it calls to halt 'the exacerbation of irresponsible anti-Cuban expressions and hate.'

The document holds allegations against four Cuban doctors are false: Amparo Garcia, Idalberto Delgado, Ramón Alvarez and Alexander Torres, members of the Medical Brigade in El Alto, were illegally detained.

They were arrested on accusations of encouraging violent actions in Bolivia by the coup authorities.

Under these circumstances, the statement stresses, Cuba will immediately withdraw the members of the medical mission from Bolivia.

It also demands the release of these unfairly detained Health workers.

  • Published in Now

Wonderful Havana celebrates 500 years

In the midst of a heightened traveler interest from all over the world in Cuba, its capital of Havana reaches its 500th anniversary this November 16, demonstrating its unquestionable appeal.

Refurbished restaurants, social facilities, schools and other establishments reopen their doors to celebrate the date, while music and dance accompany the significant date celebrated by Cubans and foreigners alike.

Large numbers of tourists from all over the world join the revelry.

Declared among the Seven Wonder Cities of the World, Havana in known not only for its beauty, but for the traditions of its people.

The well-preserved urban landscape, thanks to the Office of the City Historian (Eusebio Leal) and the serious efforts of the Ministry of Tourism (MINTUR) and other bodies, welcomes people from all over the world.

Founded definitively in 1519 in the shade of a leafy Ceiba tree, Havana quickly became a very cosmopolitan city, full of travelers from all other the world.

Havana residents represent this mix of people, with Spanish, African, Chinese, Haitian, German, French, and Jewish roots.

The Villa of San Cristobal de La Habana was founded on November 16, 1519, on the shores of Puerto Carenas, after an initial settlement was founded on the south coast of the country in 1515.

This first city in the western insular area is described by historians as hugely significant, due to its monuments and unique patrimonial values, where five centuries of history come together.

Its bay became the meeting point of the entire Spanish fleet on their voyages to the metropolis carrying riches from all over the Western Hemisphere, guarded by warships, given the constant threat of pirates.

Given its particular appeal, the city was invaded in 1555 by pirates and in 1792 by the English.

Havana's historic richness was recognized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) when it was declared a World Heritage Site in 1982.

The capital of the Republic of Cuba stretches over an area of 732 square kilometers and has 15 municipalities of which nine are totally urban.

Old Havana is formed by 4.5 square kilometers, 2.2 kilometers of which attract more than 90 percent of all travelers who arrive in the country.

Today the city is rejuvenated, despite the difficulties presented by its magnitude, and ready to celebrate its 500 years.

  • Published in Cuba

Cuba will support the opening of sports medical institution in Mali

This year a sports medicine institute will open in the Republic of Mali with the collaboration of Cuba, Jit weekly reported.

Mali's Minister of Sports, Orouna Modibo Tdure, said they have Cuban collaborators in his nation and Malian students in Havana, and 'we will soon open a sports medicine institute in our country with the help of doctors from the island.'

Tdure met with the president of the National Sports Institute, Osvaldo Vento, at the Havana International Convention Center during the closing day of the 8th Conference of Physical Activity and Sports, AFIDE 2019.

'We are very satisfied with this new joint work because we want to consolidate and open ourselves to new disciplines such as boxing and we will look for experiences for anti-doping.'

For his part, Vento thanked the presence of the minister at the conference and said they could count on Cuba's support, 'Mali is a sister country, we really appreciate and respect its work.'

Cuba has 11 sports specialists in Mali.

  • Published in Sports

Chief of medical mission in Bolivia released by police

The Chief of the Cuban Medical Brigade in Bolivia, Dr. Yoandra Muro Valle, and the other Cuban aid workers detained by the Bolivian police have been released and have returned to the mission headquarters, the Minister of Public Health of Cuba, Dr. José Ángel Portal Miranda reported Friday evening.

Cuba denounced Friday to the international community her arrest.

Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez condemned the unjustified detention on Twitter, and he said that a vehicle outside her house had a license plate 28-CD-17 belonging to the US Embassy, and accused that diplomatic mission of participating in the police operation to arrest Doctor Yoandra Muro.

In a tweet, Cuban president Miguel Diaz-Canel demanded an end to the worsening of irresponsible anti-Cuban and hateful expressions, lies, defamations, and incitements to violence against Cuban aid workers, who have made their solidarity contribution to the health of this brotherly Bolivian people.

“Cuba denounces the harassment and mistreatment of our doctors in Bolivia.  In the name of no political ideology, hatred can harm those who have devoted themselves to giving life and health to the humble,” Diaz-Canel wrote.

Earlier on Friday, Cuba announced it would be withdrawing all of its aid personnel from Bolivia.

  • Published in Cuba

Cuba demands release of health workers in Bolivia

The Cuban government on Friday demanded the release of four health workers unjustly detained in Bolivia, and announced the immediate withdrawal of members of its medical mission in the Andean country.

A statement from the Foreign Ministry stressed that the accusations against the four collaborators are completely false, after they were arrested for encouraging violent acts in Bolivia by the authorities who took power after the coup against President Evo Morales.

The statement also calls for an end to the instigations to violence against medical personnel who offer their services in that nation under government agreements.

In these circumstances, it emphasizes, Cuba will immediately withdraw the members of its medical mission.

Prensa Latina offers below the full text of the statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Cuba:

STATEMENT:

In recent hours different authorities acting in the Plurinational State of Bolivia have presented the idea that Cuban collaborators are encouraging the protests that are taking place in Bolivia, joined by a similar approach on social networks, through accounts of doubtful origin and false profiles that incite violence against health personnel.

In that context, on November 13, four members of the Medical Brigade in El Alto were arrested by the police as they travelled to their place of residence with money withdrawn from a bank to pay for basic services and the rent of the 107 members of the Medical Brigade in that region.

The arrest came under the slanderous presumption that the money was dedicated to financing protests. The representatives of the police and the Public Ministry visited the headquarters of the Medical Brigade in El Alto and La Paz and confirmed, from documents, payrolls and bank details, that the amount of money coincided with that withdrawn regularly every month.

The four collaborators arrested are:

Amparo Lourdes Garcia Buchaca, Bachelor of Electromedicine. In Cuba he worked at the Provincial Center of Electromedicine in the province of Cienfuegos before starting the mission in Bolivia in March of this year.

Idalberto Delgado Baro, Bachelor of Economics from the Special Municipality of the Isle of Youth, who worked at the Municipal Electromedicine Center of the Isle of Youth when he joined the mission in Bolivia last March.

Ramon Emilio Alvarez Cepero, Specialist in Intensive Care and Endocrinology who worked in Cuba at the General Gustavo Aldereguia Hospital in the province of Cienfuegos until he began his mission in Bolivia in July 2017.

Alexander Torres Enriquez, specialist in Comprehensive General Medicine who worked in Cuba at the Carlos Verdugo Polyclinic in the province of Matanzas when he left to complete the mission on February 3, 2019.

Permanent contact with these Cuban cooperators has been maintained, through the Cuban Embassy in La Paz and the Medical Brigade Headquarters.

The four Cuban collaborators have a recognized career in accordance with their occupational profile and, like the remaining personnel of the mission in Bolivia, they have strictly and rigorously adhered to the humanitarian and cooperative work that motivated them to travel to that country under intergovernmental agreements.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs rejects the false accusations that these compañeros encourage or fund protests, which are based on deliberate lies without any grounds whatsoever.

In the circumstances described, the immediate return to the Homeland of the Cuban collaborators has been decided.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs demands that the detained cooperators be released immediately and that the Bolivian authorities guarantee the physical safety of each of the Cuban collaborators in accordance with the responsibilities acquired by the Bolivian State regarding their security and protection corresponding with signed intergovernmental agreements.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs calls on the Bolivian authorities to stop the exacerbation of irresponsible anti-Cuban and hateful expressions, defamations and instigations to violence against Cuban collaborators, who have provided their solidarity contribution to the health of that Bolivian sister people.

The millions of Bolivians who have received the altruistic care of the hundreds of Cuban doctors know perfectly well that lies cannot conceal the meritorious contribution and noble purpose of our health professionals.

  • Published in Cuba
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