Cuba Meets with Foreign Olympic Committees

Headed by the President of the Cuban Olympic Committee, Roberto León Richard, a Caribbean delegation sustained here meetings with representatives of several countries during the 23rd General Assembly of the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC).

The Cuban Institute of Sports says today that, during the event held in the Japanese capital, Cuba talked with the Olympic Committees of Honduras, Panama, Belize, Puerto Rico, Costa Rica, Uruguay and Spain, among others of the 206 participants.

Also, it refers that the Assembly approved by consensus to delay for next year, the new president of the ANOC, as part of the renewal of the present directive of the organism.

Equally, the participants to the Assembly recognize Argentina for the organization and results obtained at the Olympic Games of Youth Buenos Aires-2018 held in October.

On occasion of the celebration of the next summer Olympics of Tokyo-2020, the president of the International Olympic Committee, Thomas Bach, described as exemplary the preps of Japan for the great advance showed in installations and sports facilities a year and a half before its celebration.

Precisely, the 23rd General Assembly of the ANOC will conclude tomorrow with a tour by the scenarios which will hold the great competitions in 2020.

  • Published in Cuba


Statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Cuba

During the past few months, the US State Department has been concocting a new pretext to affect bilateral diplomatic relations, associated to the granting of the diplomatic and official visas required by the staff of the respective embassies in Washington and Havana to perform their duties.  The maneuver consists in claiming that Cuba is hindering the granting of visas for designated officials at the US embassy in Cuba, which allegedly hinders the work of that diplomatic mission.

In doing so, the State Department deliberately conceals the fact that it was the US government the one that, unilaterally, decided to downsize its staff in Havana in September, 2017, including particularly the staff in charge of consular services, with the consequent encumbrance for Cuban and US citizens who depend on those services. The US government was the one which decided to arbitrarily and unjustly expel 15 Cuban diplomatic officials from the Cuban embassy in Washington in October of that same year.

Since that date, the work of both diplomatic missions has been affected by these unilateral decisions.  Likewise, the granting of the visas required by the staff of the respective embassies has been subject to whimsical approvals and delays by the State Department.

Data speak for themselves.  Since the end of September, 2017, the US government has only granted 26 visas and denied 6 for the staff required by Cuba at its embassy in Washington.  During that same period, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Cuba has granted 105 visas for the temporary and permanent diplomatic and administrative staff of the US embassy in Havana, and has only denied one in reciprocity for the actions taken by the State Department.  This is a clearly unbalanced behavior which is not in accord with the standards of reciprocity that are considered an essential practice in diplomatic relations.

To accuse Cuba of creating an unsustainable situation for the work of the US embassy is a flagrant distortion of the truth.  The Cuban government is not responsible for the instability and irregularity generated unilaterally by the US government that affects the work of the diplomatic missions of both countries in the respective capitals.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is still willing to meet the requirements of both parties for the functioning of the respective embassies on the basis of reciprocity.

Havana, November 28, 2018.


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Cuba is Fidel and Fidel is Cuba

He was capable of stirring feelings in crowds and his popular summoning of forging a nation he was supported by majorities that is poor, humble, deprived.

Like that unintentionally and without thinking it, he became great. He understood workers, and stood next to peasants, he listened to intellectuals, dignified women, he filled the dreams of children with books, pencils and schools.  

The fight began in the cities and in the Sierra Maestra mountains crowned the victory that later took him to lead the destiny of a nation through the paths of right to schooling, to own lands, to factories. After that Cubans were the true owners of their Homeland, without distinctions, putting aside social classes, skin color, or the place where one was born. No more Yankees on the road, neither traitors, neither those serving the empire.

From his position as statesman looked after his people and it was this people that gave him the greatest of joys. He opened the school doors to teachers, classrooms to students, he raised awareness of scientists, the knowledge of doctors, he elevated the honor of women to unheard of heights, fields and sectors they never treaded before.

Cuba is Fidel and Fidel is Cuba, and to millions of men and women, of children and old men, he is the greatest of Cubans.  

He continued the path of the most illustrious and committed patriots, he learned from Jose Martí, and in that struggle for the definitive independence he brought along the most valuable men of his time.

I always wondered how he managed to join wills and crowds, fill squares, unite Cubans in the first call. Certainly, Fidel was not a god, he was as wonderful as real, also authentic as inexplicable. But undoubtedly, he was a giant of humility and moral, of courage and dignity that he knew - as no other - to assume that the all the glory in the world fits in a kernel of corn, like Martí said and being his most faithful pupil.  

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Photo Exhibition in Turkey Remembers Fidel

The mayor of the Turkish district of Kadikoy, in Istanbul, and Cuban ambassador to Turkey inaugurated on Sunday a photo exhibition about Fidel Castro, on the second anniversary of his death.

The municipal councilor, Aykurt Nuhoglu, referred to Fidel as the leader of the Revolution and its people', stressing the importance of passing his legacy on to the future generations, and drew a parallel with the founder of the modern Republic of Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk.

He praised Cuba's advances in the fields of education, culture and art, thanks to the revolutionary process led by Fidel, and also cited the important social advances that women experienced in gaining responsibilities and rights on the island.

Nuhoglu criticized the long economic blockade that the United States applied against Cuba, which still maintains all its harshness, and regretted that the current administration in Washington decided to abandon the process of normalization of bilateral relations between the two countries.

Cuban diplomat Luis Alberto Amoros thanked the mayor for celebrating this act of tribute to the historic leader of the Revolution and explained to those present the importance of Fidel's legacy at a time when a process of constitutional reform is taking place on the island.

Liliam Mendoza, parliamentarian and representative of the Young Communist League, and Marta Carvajal, journalist and director of Mundo Latino, members of the delegation that will participate in the Cuba Week organized by the solidarity movement in Turkey, were also present at the presentation of the photographic exhibition.

  • Published in World

Photo Exhibition on Cuba-Japan History Opens in Havana

Havana, Nov 25 (Prensa Latina) The photo exhibition ''Japanese Scenery 120 Years Ago'', which deals about Japanese immigration in Cuba, opened at the House-Museum of Asia in Old Havana on Friday.

Izacura Naomi, curator of the exhibition, told Prensa Latina that the exhibition aims to call on Japanese residents in Isla de la Juventud (Isle of Youth) special municipality to recall the beginning of Japanese settlements on that island.

The exhibition displays handicraft images from Yokohama, in which 20th-century western and Japanese traditional techniques are combined.

These albumen-printed photos were recreated vividly with pigments brought from Japan and they were placed in luxurious albums made of mother-of-pearl and gold lacquer.

This cultural event, consisting of 42 pieces from the Japanese Chamber Industry Institute, will be open until December 23.

The first Japanese immigrants arrived in Cuba on September 9, 1898, with plans to establish a community, which came to have more than 1,000 immigrants. Visits by Japanese citizens have been reported since the 17th century.

  • Published in Culture

Cuba Describes Spanish President's Visit as Positive

Cuban authorities on Friday described Spanish Presient Pedro Sanchez's two-day official visit to Havana as positive.

His stay shows the current development of bilateral relations, and shows the two countries' willingness to encourage political dialogue and strengthen institutional ties, the director of Europe and Canada at the Cuban Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Alba Soto, told reporters.

The diplomat highlighted Sanchez's busy agenda in Havana, where he met with his Cuban counterpart, Miguel Diaz-Canel, and witnssed the signing of memorandums of understanding on bilateral consultations and cooperation in the cultural field. Cuba, she added, thanked Sanchez for his country's support for the fight against the US blockade and the constructive role that Madrid has played in advancing Cuba's ties with the European Union (EU).

During his visit to Havana, Sanchez also headed a delegation of business people who attended a forum in which the creation of a joint fund worth 415 million euros was announced to support investments by Spanish firms in Cuba.

Sanchez is the first president of the Spanish Government who visits Cuba in more than three decades, since Felipe Gonzalez did so in 1986.

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President of Spain Assesses Fund for Investments in Cuba

Cuba and Spain created a joint fund of 415 million euros to support investments here by Spanish companies, the president of the Spanish Government, Pedro Sanchez, said on Friday.

This is part of the reordering of Cuba's foreign debt, Sanchez stressed at a bilateral business forum, also chaired by Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel, at the modern Hotel Iberostar Grand Packard.

The fund, Sanchez noted, allows financing to be channeled to strategic investments for Cuba's economic development and at the same time, to support Spanish business. The challenge, he said, is to speed up the operation of this mechanism.

Spain, he added, is currently among Cuba's top three suppliers, with nearly 900 million euros in annual exports.

It is also Cuba's main European partner, with a market share of nearly 40 percent, in a difficult international environment in the shadow of global protectionism, Sanchez pointed out.

Despite adversities in the international arena, in 2018, Spanish exports to Cuba grew by 5 percent, 'a figure that we must put in context to assess it with justice,' the Spanish president underlined.

Another strength is the high participation of Spanish small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs) in these business, since it establishes 'a doubly beneficial field of action' and a model of sustainable development, the head of the Spanish Government assessed.

In addition, Spain occupies one of the top positions as an investor in Cuba, with a stock of 370 million euros, recalled Sanchez, who praised, in particular, the results in the sphere of tourism.

He stressed that the Spanish Government has a clear understanding of the financial problems being faced by the Cuban State; hence, the recent decision by the Spanish public company of export credit insurance to open coverage to Cuba in the short term.

In addition, the Spanish Development Financing Company allocated 40 million euros to projects in Cuba and works hard to mobilize more resources.

'The objective, therefore, is solid to support more and better projects to implement productive investments in Cuba,' he said.

According to Sanchez, his presence in Havana is a message of security: 'The obstacles we face along the way are not going to interrupt or slow down the increase in commerce and investment between our two countries,' he said.

'It would be unforgivable that we did not take advantage of all the opportunities of this meeting to advance in Cuba's modernization and opening and to strengthen economic and commercial ties,' he noted.

The bilateral forum, attended by executives from more than 300 firms, developed several sectoral panels and included the signing of two agreements for financial support for investments.

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Cuba to Celebrate 100th Birthday of US Musician Leonard Bernstein

Cuba will celebrate the 100th birthday of the US composer, musician and orchestra conductor Leonard Bernstein with a selection of his most renowned musical works at Havana's Marti Theater, organizers said here.

The shows are scheduled for December 1 and 2, as part of a joint work by Cuba's National Lyric Theater, the Duchesne Cuzan Philarmonic Orchestra, the Cuban Institute of Radio and Television's Choir and the Laura Alonso Ballet.

The tribute to Leonard Bernstein, entitled 'Bernstein Gala' will have the participation of outstanding singers such as the sopranos Dayri Llanes, Angeline Diaz and Daili Roche, and the Swedish mezzosoprano singer Charlotta Huldt, as a guest, under the musical direction of Cesar Eduardo Ramos.

The program consists of a selection of the comic operetta 'Candide' and the musical show West Side Story, a classic in the highly acclaimed artist's repertoire.

Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990) was a versatile US musician whose 100th birthday has been celebrated in the world since August 2017, with a program consisting of 2,000 shows in all continents, including concerts and exhibitions at important cultural centers.

  • Published in Culture
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