Cuba's National Assembly Rejects European Parliament's Resolution

Havana, Nov 17 (Prensa Latina) The International Relations Commission of the National Assembly of Cuba strongly has rejected the European Parliament's resolution on human rights in the island.

Through an official declaration, Cuban lawmakers consider the resolution unacceptable, as it distorts reality and is contrary to the principles of respect, equality and reciprocity contained in the Agreement on Political Dialogue and Cooperation (ADPC), signed between Havana, the European Union (EU) and its member states.

Using manipulations and alleged concerns over the current process of constitutional reform, the resolution tries to malign Cuba's image, thus hindering the successful implementation of the ADPC.

The Cuban statement insists the European Parliament document is interventionist and contrary to the principles of International Law.

'It is based on lies fabricated and disseminated by people who are not human rights advocates, who nobody knows nor our people accept, and who actually qualify as salaried agents of a foreign power,' the statement adds.

It upholds that in Cuba, unlike what happens in European societies, all human rights are promoted, protected, exercised and guaranteed.

The resolution also stresses the European Parliament has no right to judge democracy in Cuba, as it is participatory and popular, which has been shown in the recently concluded process of consultation of the draft of new Constitution.

It also states that in Cuba there is no transition and the country is immersed, by popular will, in a process of updating its model of economic and social development, whose objective is to ensure a more independent, sovereign, socialist, democratic nation, prosperous and sustainable.

  • Published in Cuba

World Tweet to Pay Tribute to Cuba's Historic Leader Fidel Castro

The example and endurance of Fidel Castro's ideas (1926-2016) in Cuba were the focus on Friday of messages from social media users on a worldwide tweet in honor of the historic leader of the Cuban Revolution.

The Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP) organized the meeting on its institutional Facebook and Twitter accounts, @alwayswithcuba, to commemorate on November 25 the second anniversary of the physical disappearance of the Cuban leader.

With the hashtags #AlwaysComander, #FidelCastro, #IAmFidel, #SolidarityCuba and #WeAreContunity, Cuban institutions and citizens joined the tribute with remembrances of Fidel's speeches on internationalism, solidarity and the defense of Cuba's sovereignty.

The ICAP stressed in several messages the popular and irrevocable nature of the social process developed in Cuba since January 1, 1959, with the triumph of the Revolution.

'This is the socialist and democratic revolution of the humble, with the humble and for the humble. And for this Revolution of the humble, with the humble and for the humble, we are willing to give our lives', the Cuban organization published on Twitter.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs posted on its @Cubaminrex account that 'the principles and dignity of the Cuban people are non-negotiable. The example of our #Commander-in-Chief guides every doctor, every Cuban and every noble revolutionary.

It also expressed the continuity of the Revolution.

In this regard, the Young Communists League (UJC) hifhlighted that Fidel Castro's ideology is valid in the new generations of Cubans.

Through its user @UJCuba, it also noted that Fidel was the best pupil of National Hero Jose Marti, and the legacy of the leader of the Cuban Revolution invites to reflect permanently on the validity of the Apostle in Fidel's thought.

The Ministry of Public Health recalled the internationalist principle always defended by the Commander in Chief.

In its account @MINSAPCuba it siad, 'In international relations we practice our solidarity with actions, not with beautiful words(...),' a fragment of one of the Cuban leader's speeches.

The Ministry of Culture agreed on @CubaCultura that 'the father of the Cuban Revolution has extended a generous hand to needy peoples and has placed solidarity and integration at the center of Cuba's foreign policy.

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Cuban Company Acosta Danza Announces New Season

Havana, Nov 16 (Prensa Latina) Cuban company Acosta Danza announced a new season of presentations with works by choreographers from several countries and under the title Destinations.

The shows, which describe the trajectory of the group since its foundation, will take place on November 30, December 1 and 2, at the Alicia Alonso Grand Theater of Havana, under the direction of first dancer Carlos Acosta.

The program includes Carmen, Acosta's original creation basesd on the homonymous novel by the French author Prosper Mérimée, which tells the tragic love story between a gypsy and a soldier.

He will also return to Satori, a piece by the artist Raúl Reinoso, which narrates an interior journey towards spiritual enlightenment based on an original score by Pepe Gavilondo. The shows has costumes and decorations by the curatorial designer Angelo Alberto and lights by the Italian artist Fabiana Piccioli.

According to Acosta Danza, the group is governed by the most current notions of this event in the world, not only in terms of movement of the bodies but in everything related to the scene, defining it as a space for renewal, search and experimentation.

The company draws on the talent of artists from several nations in different aspects such as choreography, music, design, visual arts and audiovisual production.

The company's repertoire includes choreographies by Acosta, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Justin Peck, María Rovira, Marianela Boán, Goyo Montero, Saburo Teshigawara, Pontus Lidberg, Christopher Bruce, Jorge Crecis, among others.

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Cuba Wins Latin Grammy with the Music of Septeto Santiaguero

Las Vegas, US, Nov 16 (PL) The Septeto Santiaguero, from Cuba, and the Dominican José Alberto ''el Canario'' today hold the Latin Grammy Award for Best Traditional Tropical Album, category in which the Cuban was also nominated Omara Portuondo.

The ensemble from Cuba and the singer from Cuzco won the award with their album 'A mi qué-Tributo a los clasicos cubanos', in a section in which, apart from Portuondo, with its Omara volume, the Panamanian Rubén Blades also appeared with the group Roberto Delgado & Orquesta and the album Medoro Madera.

The nominees in that category were completed by La Sonora Santanera, from Mexico, with the play La fiesta continua; and the Venezuelan singer María Rivas, with Motivos.

We are very happy and excited, the award coincides with the fact that this time the Septeto Santiaguero could also play at the ceremony, said the director of the group, Fernando Dewar, upon receiving the gramophone at the MGM hotel in the US city of Las Vegas.

Thanks to José Alberto 'el Canario', I think this union between Dominicans and Cubans has been very good, and it is the union that has to exist among all Latinos, added the artist, who also thanked the label Egrem, Santiago de Cuba and Cuba in general.

We will continue making this music, very old, but it should not die, because it is our root and we must defend it, Dewar added.

I want to thank Cuba for allowing a Dominican to continue making good music like the son, thanks to the Septeto Santiaguero, long live Cuban music !, said, on the other hand, the Canary.

The artist also recalled that this is the second Latin Grammy they achieve together, because in 2015 they were imposed in that same category with the album No quiero llanto (Tribute to Los Compadres).

Also, the Cuban singer Aymee Nuviola, based in the United States, was the winner of the gramophone for the Best Tropical Fusion Album with the album Como anillo al dedo.

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Declaration of the Ministry of Public Health of Cuba

The Ministry of Public Health of the Republic of Cuba, committed to the solidarity and humanistic principles that have guided Cuba’s medical cooperation for 55 years, has been participating in the Program More Doctors for Brazil since its inception in August 2013.  This initiative launched by Dilma Rousseff, who was at that moment the president of the Federal Republic of Brazil, pursued the double purpose of guaranteeing medical assistance to the majority of the Brazilian people, following the principle of universal health coverage promoted by the World Health Organization.

The program had planned the inclusion of Brazilian and foreign doctors who would go to work in poor and remote areas of that country.

Cuba’s participation in this program was arranged through the Pan-American Health Organization with one distinctive feature, for it was intended to fill the vacancies left by doctors from Brazil and other foreign nations.

During these five years of work, around 20 000 Cuban cooperation workers have assisted 113 359 000 patients in more than 3 600 municipalities.  They managed to provide health coverage to a universe of up to 60 million Brazilians at the moment when they accounted for 80 per cent of all the doctors who were taking part in the program. More than 700 municipalities were able to count on a doctor for the first time ever.

The work of Cuban doctors in areas of extreme poverty, in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Salvador de Bahia and the 34 Special Indigenous Districts, particularly in Amazonia, was largely recognized by the federal, state and municipal governments of that country and its population, 95 per cent of which expressed their acceptance, according to a survey carried out by the Federal University of Minas Gerais at the request of the Ministry of Health of Brazil.

On September 27, 2016, the Ministry of Public Health, in an official statement issued on a day close to the expiration date of the agreement and amidst the events associated to the legislative and judicial coup d’ etat against president Dilma Rousseff, announced that Cuba “would continue to honor its agreement with the Pan-American Health Organization for the implementation of the Program More Doctors, provided that the guarantees offered by local authorities were maintained”, something that has been so far respected.

Jair Bolsonaro, president elect of Brazil, who has made direct, contemptuous and threatening comments against the presence of our doctors, has declared and reiterated that he will modify the terms and conditions of the Program More Doctors, in full disregard of the Pan-American Health Organization and the agreement reached by this organization with Cuba, since he has questioned the qualification of our doctors and has conditioned their permanence in the program to a process of validation of their titles and established that contracts will only be signed on an individual basis.

The announced modifications impose conditions that are unacceptable and fail to ensure the guarantees that had been previously agreed upon since the beginning of the Program, which were ratified in 2016 with the re-negotiation of the Terms of Cooperation between The Pan-American Health Organization and the Ministry of Health of Brazil and the Cooperation Agreement between the Pan-American Health Organization and the Ministry of Public Health of Cuba.  These unacceptable conditions make it impossible to maintain the presence of Cuban professionals in the Program.

Consequently, in the light of this unfortunate reality, the Ministry of Public Health of Cuba has decided to discontinue its participation in the Program More Doctors and has informed so to the Director of the Pan-American Health Organization and the political leaders of Brazil who founded and defended this initiative.

The decision to bring into question the dignity, professionalism and altruism of Cuban cooperation workers who, with the support of their families, are currently offering their services in 67 countries is unacceptable. During the last 55 years, a total of 600 000 internationalist missions have been accomplished in 164 nations, with the participation of 400 000 health workers who, in quite a few cases, have fulfilled this honorable task more than once. Their feats in the struggle against the Ebola virus in Africa, blindness in Latin America and the Caribbean and cholera in Haiti as well as the participation of 26 brigades of the International Contingent of Doctors Specialized in Disaster Situations and Great Epidemics “Henry Reeve” in Pakistan, Indonesia, Mexico, Ecuador, Peru, Chile and Venezuela, among other countries, are worthy of praise.

In the overwhelming majority of the missions that have been accomplished, all expenses have been covered by the Cuban government.

Likewise, 35 613 health professionals from 138 countries have been trained in Cuba at absolutely no cost as an expression of our solidarity and internationalist vocation.

All Cuban cooperation workers have preserved their posts and their full salary in Cuba, together with all due labor and social benefits, just as the rest of the workers of the National Health System.

The experience of the Program More Doctors for Brazil and Cuba’s participation in it show that it is indeed possible to structure a South-South Cooperation Program under the auspices of the Pan-American Health Organization in order to promote the achievement of its goals in our region.  The United Nations Development Program and the World Health Organization have described it as the main example of good practices in triangular cooperation and the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals.

The peoples from Our America and from all over the world know that they will always be able to count on the solidarity and humanistic vocation of our professionals.

The Brazilian people, who turned the Program More Doctors into a social achievement and, from the very beginning, has trusted Cuban doctors, recognized their virtues and appreciated the respect, sensitivity and professionalism with which they have assisted them, will understand who are to be held responsible for our doctors’ not being able to continue offering their fraternal contribution in that country.

Havana, November 14, 2018.

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Cuban President Concludes Transit Visit to UK

London, Nov 14 (Prensa Latina) Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel on Wednesday ended a transit visit to the United Kingdom, as the culmination of his first tour of Europe and Asia after taking office in April.

Diaz-Canel arrived in London on Monday from Laos, his last stopover in a tour that started in France, with a brief visit, and continued in Russia, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, China and Vietnam.

During his stay in London, Diaz-Canel was welcomed by several local officials and met with representatives of the British Cuba solidarity movement and from the Cuban Embassy here.

He noted his meeting with British Finance Minister Philip Hammond, who is considered the second most important figure in the British Government, with who he reviewed the state of bilateral relations.

On his Twitter account, Diaz-Canel recalled Hammond's visit to Cuba in 2016, when he was the British secretary of State for Foreign Affairs.

'It was the first official visit by a British foreign minister to our country since 1958,' Diaz-Canel underlined on Twitter.

The president of the Councils of State and of Ministers also met with executives from a score of British companies that are members of the Cuba Initiative, an organization that was created in 1995 to boost trade between the two countries.

When inaugurating the forum at a hotel in London, the British co-president of the Cuba Initiative, Lord David Triesman, welcomed the statesman, 'the first Cuban president who visits my country and my hometown,' he noted.

Lord Triesman, who was the British Foreign minister in the 1990s, expressed commitment to relaunch economic and commercial relations with Cuba.

In that line, he announced the holding in Havana, in the late first semester of 2019, of a meeting of the Cuba Initiative, one of three organizations that are affiliated to the Caribbean Council.

After thanking the members of that entrepreneurial committee for attending the meeting, Diaz-Canel pointed out that the creation of that institution marked the beginning of a different relationship between Cuba and the United Kingdom.

In addition, it built a bridge in cooperation and collaboration and a legacy that no one can deny, he stressed.

According to Diaz-Canel, there are grounds today that guarantee the continuity and development of that project, because we know each other and we know the obstacles and adversities to be overcome, he added.

'I think that all grounds and all possibilities exist for us to reach a new stage. A stage in which we will work with more intensity, the Cuban president underlined.

Diaz-Canel took advantage of the meeting with the Cuba Initiative to repeat his Government's will to continue to work for the development of economic, commercial and cooperation ties with its British counterpart.

He noted that Cuba expects a growth that will guarantee the main social gains achieved after the triumph of the Revolution in 1959.

However, he charged that the lengthy blockade imposed by the United States on Cuba is the biggest obstacle to the development of Cuban-British ties, due to the extraterritorial nature of the Washington-imposed sanctions.

On Tuesday, Diaz-Canel met with members of the Solidarity with Cuba Campaign and trade union leaders, whom he expressed gratitude for their friendship and affection during these nearly 60 years of the revolutionary process. He told the representatives of the solidarity movement that his transit in the United Kingdom became a working visit, obviously alluding to the busy agenda that he had in this European country.

At his meeting with Labor Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, Diaz-Canel reviewed the ties between the British social-democratic organization and the Communist Party of Cuba and verified the good state of relations between the two States.

He also met with Baroness Angela Smith of Basildone and with a group of British parliamentarians.

Diaz-Canel also met with Karen Lee, who is the coordinator of the Multi-Party Group for Cuba at the House of Commons.

He shared reflections with British politicians at the Westminster Palace.

During his tight agenda, the Cuban head of State paid tribute on Wednesday to Karl Marx at the Highgate Cemetery, in London, where the remains of the German philosopher, who is considered one of the greatest thinkers in history, are buried.

The president laid a wreath at the tomb of the communist intellectual on behalf of the Cuban people. Later, he described Marx as one of the most influential figures in the history of humankind on his Twitter account.

  • Published in Cuba

Lucho Gatica, Farewell to a Chilean Music Icon

Santiago de Chile, Nov 14 (Prensa Latina) He made bolero his religion and acquired fame the same in Cuba as in Mexico, but still went further, to the United States, to become himself icon: Lucho Gatica, a farewell that marks the mourning in his native Chile.

Luis Enrique Gatica Silva had just turned 90 years old. His death in Mexico, where he lived, shook social networks in tribute to one of the essential figures of the romantic song.

He kept the Lucho Gatica forever and reached the firmament in different ways.

'My father is loved in Cuba, he is loved in Spain, he is loved in Brazil, in Mexico, and in so many countries, but of course this Chilean affection is different and special for him,' said his Mexican daughter Juanita Gatica Cortes.

Chile venerates him today with the decree of official mourning announced by Interior Minister Andres Chadwick, who joined in the praise to one of the greatest ambassadors of Latin American music in the world.

'We have decreed this day of official mourning for the death at 90 years of our great Lucho Gatica. The king of the bolero, filled us with emotion and pride with his music around the world,' Chadwick wrote on Twitter.

A bronze statue was unveiled at the Regional Theater, with the figure of the winner of the Latin Grammy Award for Excellence in 2007 and that of his brother Arturo, in his native Rancagua, central Chile.

His last album, Historia de un amor, dates back to 2013. He made duos with the Italian Laura Pausini, the Portuguese-Canadian Nelly Furtado and the Canadian Michael Bubble, among others.

But much earlier, Lucho Gatica became essential to the romantics of the 1950s and 1960s with hits such as Piel Canela, Contigo in la distancia, Besame mucho, El reloj, No me platiques más, and Chilean classic Yo vendo unos ojos negros.

In January 2008 he was included in the Hollywood Walk of Fame, with number 2354. He had three marriages, the latest with Leslie Deeb. He left seven children and 11 grandchildren.

To consolidate his fame also in the English-speaking market, he came to alternate in the United States, where he settled after his first divorce, none other than with Elvis Presley and Nat King Cole.

The municipality of Rancagua decreed three days of communal mourning for the death of the singer. They called him Master of the bolero, and for his admirers what stood out most was his soft and seductive timbre.

  • Published in Culture

Exhibition of Colombian Cinema in Cuba

Havana, Nov 14 (Prensa Latina) The Colombian Embassy in Cuba invited moviegoerts to enjoy the Colombian Film Festival, scheduled from November 19 to 22 in this capital.

According to the statement, the exhibition will begin with film Mama (2017), by moviemaker Philippe Van Hissenhoven, who addresses a family conflict related to everyday life, forgiveness and the value of life.

In addition, moviegoers will also enjoy The Day of the Goat (2017), a film by the new filmmaker Samir Oliveros Zayed, recognized as the first film shot on the island of Providencia (Colombia), and starring in natural actors who speak Creole

According to the synopsis, the film is a story of two teenage brothers (Rita and Corn) who live a 24-hour adventure after accidentally running over a goat with his father's truck.

The cinematographic proposals Keyla, by filmmaker Viviana Gómez Echeverry, and animated adventure and fantasy Lila's Book, by filmmaker Marcela Rincón González, complete the list of movies to be screened in Havana.

  • Published in Culture
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