Collaborators in Venezuela reject campaigns against Cuba

Cuban residents and collaborators in this Venezuelan city on Sunday approved a statement against the alleged actions by Latin America's extreme right wing to discredit the work of Cuban medical personnel abroad.

At a meeting with representatives of the Cuban Consulate in Valencia, participants rejected the accusations against the Cuban medical missions in some countries of the region, where a discredit campaign against doctors and other collaborators is being carried out as a way to justify the end of contracts with Cuba.

Participants demonstrated the true background of these campaigns and reaffirmed the principles and values that characterize Cubans and their Revolution.

They condemned the United States blockade of Cuba, and recalled two important historic events that were commemorated on December 7: the 123rd anniversary of the fall in combat of independence hero Antonio Maceo and the 30th anniversary of Operation Tribute to bring home the remains of Cuban internationalists killed in Africa.

Present at the rally were members of the Association of Cuban Residents in Venezuela (ACCREVEN) in Lara state, collaborators and Gabriel Guerrero, representative of the Mayor's Office in Iribarren.

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Trump Bans Govt. Funding of Cuban Cultural, Education Exchange Programs

US President Donald Trump has banned his government from funding educational and cultural exchange programs with Cuba, Russia, Syria and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), as published in the Federal Register.

The United States will not provide non-humanitarian or nontrade-related assistance to these countries, nor provide funding for officials or employees of the governments of Cuba, the DPRK, Russia and Syria to participate in educational and cultural exchange programs for the 2020 fiscal year, according to the document released on Monday.

The Memorandum was sent by Trump to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and claimed that the measures came in response to alleged human trafficking practices by these countries.

Trump also instructed the United States Executive Director of each multilateral development bank and before the International Monetary Fund to deny any loan or other use of his funds for the aforementioned countries.

The latter restriction also covers countries such as Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Burundi, China, Gambia, Iran, Mauritania, Saudi Arabia and South Sudan.

The new measure adopted by the Republican president comes after the United States included Cuba in June on a list of countries that according to Washington breach the minimum standards to eliminate human trafficking, despite the island’s zero tolerance of that phenomenon.

In the particular case of Cuba, the US executive pointed to alleged poor working conditions for doctors on state missions abroad, as part of the growing attacks against a solidarity program of great international recognition.

The recent measure also comes after the government of Miami, Florida, passed a resolution also in June asking Congress and the Federal Executive to ban the contracting of Cuban artists, in order to impact cultural exchanges with the island.

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"As is always the case with Cuban cooperators in other parts of the world, in the face of these disasters, everyone will [also] contribute their efforts in the recovery stage."

Cuba’s government confirmed on Wednesday that they have sent a number of doctors and teachers to areas of the Bahamas which have been hit by Hurricane Dorian. The Cuban workers will assist local authorities in emergency relief, though they will also stay afterwards to help rebuild the country’s medical and education services in the affected areas.

Cuba’s ambassador to the Bahamas Ismara Vargas spoke to Prensa Latina on Wednesday, confirming that over 60 Cuban workers have been sent to the Bahamas so far. They have been sent to Abaco and Grand Bahama, the areas of the country that have been hit hardest by Hurricane Dorian.

Vargas commented, "as is always the case with Cuban cooperators in other parts of the world, in the face of these disasters, everyone will [also] contribute their efforts in the recovery stage."

Cuban Medical internationalism is a legacy of the revolution. Huge numbers of doctors are sent abroad to work across the global south, offering medical services to low income and isolated communities around the world.

Those doctors and teachers will face a tough challenge in the Bahamas. Hurricane Dorian has devastated the Caribbean, and is the worst storm the Bahamas has had to face. The death toll is currently at 7, with as many as 13,000 homes in the country now destroyed or severely damaged, according to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

Dorian is expected to reach the U.S. where huge evacuation operations have begun.

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School and Store

The mass media have echoed the odyssey several parents experienced while buying the school uniform. The lines, in some places, tested the reach of human beings’ patience. But, as usual, every boy and girl will commence the school year in complete uniform.

The classrooms will be equipped with every needed basic aids: textbooks, notebooks, and pencils. Each student will be sit in their desk. And the most important thing: every classroom will have a professor. Hence, families have no need to pay for one.

The Ministry of Education has guaranteed the educational coverage and the situation is much better than previous years thanks to a large extent to the pay rise in the public sector, when thousands of professionals quitted their jobs seeking better economic opportunities.

Classroom, textbooks and notebooks, uniforms, teachers…enough to offer a quality education. Such quality will depend heavily on the professors’ effort and skill, the goals’ achievement in every year, the supplement of school with family, and the support of the community agencies.

And of course, the commitment of students and parents.

The school, much have been said, is the cornerstone of every nation-building project.

A country without high-quality school standards is a nation without roots.

Therefore, we cannot see education as a resource waste but rather an investment in the future.

A very significant part of the national budget is allocated to the educational system at all levels (it is not propaganda, as some have stated), but a safe bet for the comprehensive development of the society.

Cuban contemporary education has several challenges. Its problems and potential go beyond teaching staff and public servants of certain ministries: a national debate is much-needed.

This debate has several viewpoints and exceptional implications. There are somehow recent events, for instance, that have had impact on the egalitarian access to education. Many families are boasting their high standard of living at school; namely, clothes, school gear, and shoes.

The equity sought through the school uniform is tottering due to that internal competition of showing off the most lucrative schoolbag, designer sports shoes, tablets, and showy cellphones.

It is alarming the emerging vicious circle: low income parents are making great sacrifices because their children “cannot be less.”

Moreover, boys and girls are embracing naturally the fact that the more they boast, the better.

Recognition of students must be paired with school performance, not accessory items. Study, discipline, enthusiasm before sports and cultural activities must be encouraged.

Professors play a paramount role in this scenario. Although family is the key.

You go to school to learn, strengthen your human values, and exchange with other kids on equal basis.

School and store are not comparable.

Translated by Sergio A. Paneque Díaz/CubaSí Translation Staff

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Cuban president recognizes efforts to prepare for the new school year

Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel recognized Sunday through a message on Twitter the efforts of those who have made it possible for a new school year to begin on the island tomorrow.

'Tomorrow the new school year begins: a day of initiation and celebration! Another goal. Congratulations to those who made it and will make it possible,' he wrote on his account @DiazCanelB.

Almost two million Cuban students will start the 2019-2020 school year tomorrow, a figure slightly higher than the previous year, according to data provided by the Ministry of Education (Mined).

According to Mined, this year enrollment at preschool day care centers also increased thanks to the opening of more facilities in several territories and the constructive restoration of others.

More than 160,000 teachers will head for the classrooms tomorrow, representing a 95 percent coverage rate, with remaining posts filled through the use of alternatives such as hiring by the hour or other initiatives.

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Vietnamese, Cuban parties boost information-education cooperation

A delegation of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) Central Committee’s Commission for Information and Education, led by its deputy head Le Manh Hung, paid a working visit to Cuba from December 3-8.

The visit was made as part of the CPV’s agreement on exchange and cooperation with the Communist Party of Cuba (CPC).

During the trip, the CPV delegation had several meetings with leaders of the CPC Central Committee’s departments for external affairs, information and education, economic affairs, and theoretical affairs.

At the meetings, the two sides exchanged views on Party-building contents in terms of theory, politics and ideology as well as information on achievements attained by Vietnam in its three decades of reform and by Cuba since its socio-economic model update initiated at the CPC’s 6th congress.

The discussions focused on experiences in carrying out missions in the fronts of politics, ideology, culture, and education. They stressed progresses they have achieved and pointed to challenges amid the fast development of information technology, the Internet and social networks.

The two sides expressed their wishes to boost delegation exchanges between the two parties’ agencies to update information and boost theoretical development.

As part of the visit, the CPV delegation paid working visits to University of Havana, Cuban Institute of Friendship with Peoples (ICAP), and Cuban journalists' association (UPEC).

The Vietnamese delegates also called at Vo Thi Thang primary school in Havana and University of Matanzas "Camilo Cienfuegos and laid flowers in tribute to President Ho Chi Minh at his statue and Cuban national hero Jose Marti.

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Cuban President Praises Students' Commitment to Revolution

Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel on Thursday highlighted the commitment by students and professors at the Pedagogical School in central Ciego de Avila province.

The head of State posted on Twitter his emotion during the meeting with students and teachers at the abovementioned campus.

'Beautiful life stories that express passion for Cuba and commitment to the Cuban Revolution,' the Cuban leader wrote.

During a governmental visit to that territory, Diaz-Canel assessed the progress of development programs and learned in Jardines del Rey about the characteristics of the hotel development program approved by the Council of Ministers until 2030 for the northern Cuban keys, which includes Villa Clara, Camagüey and Ciego de Avila.

Diaz-Canel was also interested in the preparations for the peak tourist season in Jardines del Rey.

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Russia, Cuba Address Cooperation in Health, Education and Culture

Russia and Cuba exchanged ideas on Thursday about the open prospects for cooperation between the two countries in health, education and culture, among other areas, in the framework of the 2nd Eurasian Women's Forum.

St. Petersburg's governor, Gueorgui Poltavchenko, stressed that his city, with six percent of the national production of drugs, strengthens collaboration with the Caribbean island in that regard, during a meeting with Cuban Vice President, Beatriz Johnson Urrutia.

During the talks at the Smolni Palace, Parliament headquarters of this city, Poltavchenko said that Russia is looking for the possibility of any kind of exchange with the Caribbean nation in terms of health, from supplies to the creation of joint ventures in Cuba.

He also referred to the opportunities of a fruitful scientific exchange in health, as well as students and specialists from both states.

The governor of St. Petersburg noted that some 15 Cuban students are studying in different universities in this city and considered that number can increase.

The Cuban vice president thanked the Russian participation in the celebration in 2019 of the 500th anniversary of Havana and recalled that Santiago de Cuba, which previously celebrated it, is also, as St. Petersburg, a hero city.

Russian President, Vladimir Putin, is expected to attend the forum on Thursday.

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