International Meeting of Dance Academies to be Held in Cuba

Havana, Mar 18 (Prensa Latina) The 3rd International Meeting of Exchange between Dance Academies opened Monday in Havana, with the participation of artists from Mexico, Colombia, Nicaragua and Cuba.

Workshops, master classes and conferences by specialists such as Fidel Pajares, Lidia Chacon, Maria del Carmen Mena and the National Dance Prize 2013, Rosario Cardenas, will be held during the event, scheduled until the 21st.

The event´s main attraction is the choreographic contest, in which more than 90 students from the country, coming from the five middle schools, as well as foreign guests, participate, highlighted the local media.

During these days the participants will exchange with members of prestigious Cuban companies such as Acosta Danza, Lizt Alfonso and the Spanish Ballet.

Director of the National School of Dance, Lidice Garrido, pointed out the meeting aim is to exchange with specialists through artistic teaching and to foster and motivate creation from the diverse languages of dance.

National School of Dance and the Covarrubias hall in the National Theater, where the competitions will be held, are among the sites of the event.


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Honduran Organizations Reject Meddling in Venezuela Internal Affairs

Tegucipalga, March 18 (Prensa Latina) On Monday, the Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (Copinh) rejected any type of participation in Venezuela”s internal affairs, including a military intervention.

In an act of solidarity, Copinh expressed his fraternity to the Venezuelan people and government ‘who resist day by day the onslaughts of an economic blockade and defend the daily life of the Bolivarian revolution.

The Council warned about the onslaught of the ultra-reactionary forces in Our America, with the deepening of the neoliberal model of domination for the plundering of natural commons and the exploitation of peoples.

It called on world organizations and peoples to show solidarity with the Venezuelan people, victims of a blatant aggression on the part of the U.S. government.

A foreign military action in Venezuela would mean the violation of the sovereignty of all Latin American and Caribbean people, and would unleash an inexorable stage of destruction and death on the continent.

It recalled the 2009 coup d’état in Honduras against the legitimate government of Manuel Zelaya, in which the U.S. administration played a key role.

Doors must be closed against foreign military intervention and against the economic and commercial blockade, urged the Copinh.

It stressed that the difficult situation of the Venezuelan people must be solved by the Venezuelan people with the deepening of the political project of inclusion and popular participation.

In evoking the leader of the Bolivarian Revolution, Hugo Chavez, he called for the deepening of the ideology of ‘Commune or Nothing’ and the union of popular forces for the construction, from the base, of communal and anti-patriarchal socialism.

It demanded respect for the Venezuelan people sovereignty and the cessation of repressive measures by the U.S. government and other puppets in the region such as the government of Honduras.

Juan Orlando Hernandez administration recognized the self-proclaimed Juan Guaido and even received credentials from his supposed designated ambassador.


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Subsidiaries Praise Cuban Project ‘Psicoballet’ in Other Nations

Havana, March 18 (Prensa Latina) The Cuban psychoballet therapeutic project strengthens its presence in Latin America, the Caribbean and European nations, stressed Monday the creator of this treatment method for people with special needs, Georgina Fariñas.

The special dancing therapy, which interrelates science and art already has subsidiaries in most states of Mexico, Puerto Rico, Peru, Brazil, Colombia, Martinique, Ecuador, Bolivia and Argentina, Fariñas told Prensa Latina.

We have also materialized the project in European countries, such as Italy, France, Croatia and Czech Republic, for the interest of the specialists of those territories to improve the quality of life of these people, she added.

All friends of other lands who want to develop our experience, we are in the best disposition to support the formation of the human resources, she indicated.

According to the Cuban expert, the historical leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro was enchanted by the idea of a
Psychoballet. He had asked her for collaboration to make culture and health in the country.

Responding to your request, we are dedicated to providing courses to specialists from other Cuban provinces, where it is already a reality, she reported.

Fariñas meant that the 46-year-old therapeutic method is an honorary member of the International Dance Council of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.

In this achievement, the unconditional support of Prima Ballerina Assoluta Alicia Alonso, director of the National Ballet of Cuba, and the former director of the Psychiatric Hospital of Havana, Eduardo Bernabe Ordaz (1921-2006), among other personalities, participated.


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Havana Film Festival to Show Film on Star Cuban Ballet Dancer

Film on Carlos Acosta, the renowned Cuban ballet dancer, will be shown at Havana Film Festival in New York.
Film on Carlos Acosta, the renowned Cuban ballet dancer, will be shown at Havana Film Festival in New York. | Photo: Reuters

“Yuli” a film on the celebrated Ballet dancer from Cuba, Carlos Acosta will be showed in Havana Film Festival in New York.

March 18 (TeleSUR) “Yuli”, a film inspired by the life of Carlos Acosta, the famous Cuban ballet dancer will be showed in the Havana Films Festival in New York on April 16. The film will mark the closure of the festival in the United States.


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Organized by the International Performing Arts Foundation and the American Friends of the Ludwig Foundation of Cuba, the closing ceremony will see the participation of Catalan filmmaker and director of Yuli, Icar Bollain.

“Yuli”, named after Acosta’s nickname given by his father is based on the dancer’s autobiography “No Way Home” which shows his rise as a ballet dancer and eventually performing as the first Black Romeo at the Royal Ballet.

Acosta was born in 1973. To “discipline” him, Acosta’s father enrolled him at the Cuban National Ballet School, a state-funded school.  He received his training for free at the school which is recognized as one of the best ballet school in the world.

The film which boasts of impressive dance, music, and cinematography is considered as a tribute to Havana.

Edilson Manuel Olbera Nuñez plays the child Acosta and Mario Sergio Elias from Acosta Danza company portrays the young Carlos. Acosta played the older version himself.

The film festival will take place from April 5 to April 16. The platform will allow directors, actors, and producers the opportunity to exchange ideas, enrich, and expand the vision of Latin American culture. It is being organized with the collaboration of the International Festival of New Latin American Cinema in Havana and will showcase works of filmmakers from Latin America, the Caribbean, and the United States.

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Venezuela Denounces Unlawful Seizure of Diplomatic Premises in the US

The Venezuelan consular building in New York is one of the premises forcibly occupied.
The Venezuelan consular building in New York is one of the premises forcibly occupied. | Photo: Wikimedia Commons

The forcible occupation of diplomatic premises is a clear violation of the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.

March 18 (TeleSUR) The Venezuelan Foreign Affairs Minister Jorge Arreaza denounced Monday that the country’s diplomatic premises in the United States have been forcibly seized by Washington-backed agents. 

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“In a clear violation of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, our diplomatic buildings have been seized”, said Arreaza in an official statement, adding that according to the 1961 Convention “Venezuela’s diplomatic assets in the U.S. can only be used by the official personnel that represent the democratic and constitutional government of President Nicolas Maduro.”

Representatives of the Venezuelan lawmaker and self-proclaimed “interim president”, Juan Guaido, took control of two buildings belonging to Venezuela’s defense ministry in Washington and one consular building in New York Monday, said Guaido’s envoy Carlos Vecchio, with the connivance of the U.S. government. 

This latest attack on Venezuela’s sovereignty comes as a blatant disregard of international law. According to Art. 22 of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, “the premises of the mission shall be inviolable.” The article continues by assuring that the receiving State may not enter them, except with the consent of the head of the mission and is under a special duty to protect the diplomatic mission against any intrusion or damage. 

Even in a rupture in diplomatic relations and supported by art. 45, the receiving nation must continue respecting foreign properties, as the Venezuelan government has done with the U.S. Embassy in Caracas. 

Arreaza has asked  Trump’s administration to  “take the necessary measures to immediately reverse this forcible occupation” yet continued, “that if the U.S. government continues to disregard international obligations, Venezuela’s government reserves its right to take legal actions and reciprocal actions in its territory.” 

Despite an ongoing series of interventionist remarks made by U.S. Senators and high ranking officials, the Venezuelan government informed March 13 that it hopes to normalize diplomatic relations with the North American country, hoping the UN will serve as a mediator.

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Cuban-Venezuelan Program Returns Eyesight to 700,000 Bolivians

Over 700,000 Bolivians have accessed to free optometry consultations, exams, surgeries and medications.
Over 700,000 Bolivians have accessed to free optometry consultations, exams, surgeries and medications. | Photo: Ministerio de Salud de Bolivia

The program offers 100 percent free optometry consultations, exams, surgeries and medications to low-income people.

March 18 (TeleSUR) Operation Miracle, the free Cuban-Venezuelan eyecare program has brought back sight to more than 700,000 Bolivians in the last 12 years.

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“What it means for a person to have their sight again, in recent years 707,737 Bolivians recovered it and all these patients did not pay a peso, it was all free,” the Bolivian Minister of Health, Gabriela Montaño, said Friday on a official statement.

The program was launched in 2004 by late revolutionary leaders, Fidel Castro, and Hugo Chavez. During its first year, only Venezuelan patients were treated but in 2005 it was extended to other Caribbean, Central and South American countries. Initially, patients had to travel to Cuba to for treatment, but in 2006 the program set up ophthalmology centers in several nations, including Bolivia.

The program offers 100 percent free optometry consultations, exams, surgeries and medications to low-income people, which in Bolivia are treated in five specialized ophthalmology centers. These establishments are located in the municipalities of El Alto, Guayaramerín, Yacuiba, Cochabamba, and Santa Cruz.

In the last 12 years, as the Bolivian Ministry of Health stated, Operation Miracle performed 505,663 pterygium surgeries (growth of tissue in the eye due to high exposure to wind and sun) and 86,396 cataract surgeries (the natural process of aging of the lens), the first cause of reversible blindness.

“Thanks to President Evo Morales and Cuban doctors, we see now with no problem and we can carry out all our daily activities,” a 63-year-old couple, Rogelio Velazquez and Angelica Rosse told Prensa Latina Friday.

According to the Cuban Ophthalmology Institute, by 2017 there were 65 ophthalmology centers, equipped with 93 operating theaters, in 18 countries across Latin America, the Caribbean, and Africa, providing treatment to people in 34 nations.

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President Maduro to Carry out Deep Government Restructuring

Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro speaks during his visit to the Hydroelectric Generation System on the Caroni River, near Ciudad Guayana, Bolivar State, Venezuela March 16, 2019. Picture taken March 16, 2019. | Photo: Reuters via Miraflores Palace

The Venezuelan leader will begin a restructuring of the ministerial cabinet to optimize the government’s management.

March 17 (TeleSUR) Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro will carry out a restructuring of the executive cabinet to protect the operation of the national government in the face of threats of external interference, Vice President Delcy Rodríguez reported Sunday.

In this regard, the head of state asked all cabinet members to place their positions at his disposal.

 Venezuela Launches Drills to Protect Public Services

“President @NicolasMaduro has asked the entire executive Cabinet to put their roles up for review in a deep restructuring of the methods and functions of the Bolivarian government, to protect the fatherland of Bolivar and Chavez from any threat,” Rodriguez wrote on Twitter, referring to independence leader Simon Bolivar and former President Hugo Chavez.​​​​​​​

Last Friday, the Venezuelan leader had announced his intention to produce changes in the executive body to optimize the government’s management and protect the country against new threats, after the cyber attack that affected the strategic services of the South American nation on March 7.

By swearing in the new government period 2019-2025 on January 10, President Nicolás Maduro assumed the commitment to deepen the efficiency of State benefits with the aim of guaranteeing stability and social peace.

“It is a moral, spiritual struggle of an entire country for honesty, for efficiency, for good services,” he said during his swearing in the seat of the Supreme Court of Justice (TSJ).

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Russia Calls US Intervention in Venezuela ‘Unacceptable’

The Russian Deputy Foreign Minister discusses U.S. actions against Venezuela.
The Russian Deputy Foreign Minister discusses U.S. actions against Venezuela. | Photo: Reuters

Russian officials will meet with the U.S. special envoy to convey the unacceptability of the U.S. actions against both Venezuela and Russia. 

March 17 (TeleSUR) The Deputy Foreign Minister of Russia Sergei Ryabkov announced a meeting with the United States special envoy to Venezuela Eliot Abrams, in which he will tell him face-to-face that a military intervention in the South American country is unacceptable.


US, Canada, EU Join Forces to Intimidate Russia with Sanctions

The central approach to the meeting, which will take place March 19 in Rome, Italy hopes to convey the messages that “a military intervention by the United States, as well as other forms of pressure on the legitimate government of Caracas, are unacceptable,” said the vice minister as reported by Sputnik.

Pressure by U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration on Russian companies with economic ties to Venezuela will also be discussed.

The U.S. has said previously that the assets of Evrofinance Mosnarbank, a Russia-Venezuela states-owned financial organization would be frozen and U.S. citizens would be prohibited from doing business with the joint venture.

The U.S. State Department said in a statement that Evrofinance was violating a Trump decree because it is a “foreign financial institution that materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to or in support of (PdVSA).” 

The deputy foreign minister also reiterated that the government of Russian President Vladimir Putin will continue to cooperate with Caracas in the energy industry, and military expertise, regardless of pressure from the United States.


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Cuba’s Importance in Ethiopia’s History Highlighted

Addis Ababa, Mar 16 (Prensa Latina) What we are today we owe it to the courage and solidarity of the Cuban Revolution and leader Fidel Castro at a crucial time in our history, said Abebe Ayalew, a representative of the Cuba-Ethiopia Friendship Association.

The statement was made to Prensa Latina, at the conclusion of an event to commemorate the 41st anniversary of the Triumph of Ogaden (Victory of Operation Baragua), held on Friday at the memorial in downtown Addis Ababa to honor those who fell in that battle.

We grew up as human beings and professionals when we were educated there on the Island and if our country can now take new paths to development, it is also because during all these years, Cuba has been alongside the Ethiopian people without expecting anything in return, he added.

Cuban Ambassador to Ethiopia Vilma Thomas and Ayalew were the speakers at the event and highlighted the strong friendship between the two countries and the willingness to always honor the legacy of the heroes and martyrs of that deed.

We are united by the blood shed in Ogaden, Ayalew said in perfect Spanish after he, members of the Association and veterans of the operation, among other guests, laid a wreath to the heroes.


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More Than 20 Countries Attend Fiagrop 2019 in Cuba

Havana, Mar 18 (Prensa Latina) With attendance of delegations from 22 countries, the 22nd International Agribusiness and Food Fair, FIAGROP 2019, has opened on Monday at Rancho Boyeros fairground in Havana.

In addition to the exhibition and marketing of large and small cattle specimens, including poultry, technology, equipment, machinery and tools of the production process of the aforementioned sector will be on display. As the sector is in need of recovery in Cuba attracting foreign investment will be one of the objectives of the fair.

In line with the country’s policy to promote it, the portfolio of opportunities for this year will be presented, with more than 100 projects in the agricultural food sector.

Spain, Canada, Brazil, Argentina, Poland, South Korea, Great Britain, Italy, Vietnam, Germany, United Kingdom, Slovakia, Puerto Rico, Panama, Mexico, Costa Rica, Colombia, Nicaragua and Antiguas and Barbudas are among the nations attending the event.

Ignacio Caraballo, director of Promotion and Events of the fair, told the press that Fiagrop 2019 will have the participation of leading producers, from all territories, not only state-owned companies but also agricultural cooperatives, for which this is a challenge to ensure animal feed sustainably.

The event includes a scientific-technical program of keynote speeches and workshops, as well as clinics, business rounds, the grand final of the National Rodeo and Coleus Championship, as well as the International Meeting with cowboys from Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama, Nicaragua and Cuba.

More than 2,150 specimens of dairy cattle, buffalo, horses, sheep, goats, pigs, rabbits and birds will be displayed until Sunday, March 24, at Rancho Boyeros fairground, its traditional headquarters, by 85 exhibitors belonging to companies and cooperatives of all country.


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