Youth Forum in Russia Condemns US Blockade of Cuba

Moscow, Nov 16 (Prensa Latina) The Russia-Celac Youth Forum (Community of Latin American and Caribbean States) demanded on Friday an end to the economic, commercial and financial blockade of the United States against Cuba, in its final declaration.

The document condemned the application of sanctions against Cuba and Venezuela by Washington and other countries, a subject that was debated at the Sovereignty and Security Committee of the event, whose president, Sonia Carballo, also referred to Nicaragua.

In the presentation of conclusions at the closing session of the conclave, Carballo recalled the discussion on the need to respect the human rights of the caravan of immigrants who are traveling to the US border, which was reflected in the statement.

However, at the aforementioned commission, the US aggressive policy against Nicaragua was also condemned and a Celac meeting was convened to deal with the issue of the caravan of thousands of foreigners, especially from Central America, who have already started arriving at the US border.

The declaration of the Russia-Celac Youth Forum favored a peaceful solution to that march and, on the other hand, considered necessary to give a permanent character to that meeting.

In addition, participants agree to take this discussion scheme (Russia-Celac) to other Latin American nations, and even extending its geography for a youth debate Celac-Africa, Celac-Asia and Celac-Middle East, among other formats.

The Economy and Investment Commission, the Culture and Education Commission, as well as the Energy Integration Commission also worked at the meeting, where possibilities for energy cooperation, the safe development of nuclear energy and the preparation of cadres in this field were addressed.

Hoglis Martinez, counselor of the Venezuelan mbassy for energy affairs and one of the main promoters of the event, said that an initiative planned only a year ago in the corridors of the University of Friendship with the Peoples (formerly Patricio Lumumba) became a reality.

The director of the Forum and a student of the Institute of Studies of Oil and Energy Gubkin, Juan Antonio Sánchez, stressed the importance of being present in the discussions by participants from dozens of countries in the past four days.

In addition to teachers from Russia and Latin America, representatives from Ghana, Sri Lanka, India, Canada, Kazakhstan and Moldova were also present.

The event, which was held at the Higher School of Economics and closed at the Diplomatic Academy of the Russian Foreign Ministry, brought together nearly 200 students from different schools in this capital.

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Cuba to Conclude 2018 with Tourist Record, Minister Says

Havana, Nov 16 (Prensa Latina) Cuba will end 2018 with a tourist record of about 4,750,000 foreign visitors, official reports said on Friday, underscoring the growing spiral of the travel industry in this country.

Granma newspaper issued on Friday that Tourism Minister Manuel Marrero said that this figure will be reached despite the U.S. government’s restrictive measures against this country, by preventing its citizens from traveling freely to Cuba.

Cuba closed the year with the aforementioned figure, another record in the sector, which tends to be recovered, the minister said on Wednesday, by offering extensive information during a meeting with tourism workers.

Marrero spoke about the current situation and perspectives of the sector to the delegates and guests attending the 2nd National Conference of Hotel and Tourism Workers, which ends on Friday.

Despite the growth compared to the previous year, he stated that what was planned, up to five million foreign tourists, could have been fulfilled.

This is not fulfilled due to Washington, since late 2017, put into effect a package of measures restricting trips of U.S. citizens to Cuba. A media campaign questioning the Cuban capacity to recover from damages caused by Hurricane Irma also influenced.

However, until October, Cuba attracted almost more than 700,000 cruise passengers, mainly from the United States and Europe, the minister said.

Despite all this aspects, the Cuban tourism grew, and other economic indicators are positive such as the income per tourists and the index of repeat-visit tourists exceeding 40 percent.

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Venezuela, UN Strengthen Ties in Risk Management System

Caracas, Nov 16 (Prensa Latina) Venezuela is currently expanding cooperation mechanisms in the area of risk management after an exchange with representatives of the United Nations (UN), to strengthen ties in response to emergencies and disasters at the international level.

The Deputy Minister of Risk Management of the South American country, Randy Rodriguez, stated on Twitter that the UN resident coordinator in Venezuela, Peter Grohmann, and the Humanitarian Affairs Officer for Latin America and the Caribbean, Rein Paulsen, took part in the meeting along with his team.

Rodriguez stressed the aim of the meeting was to strengthen inter-institutional relations to increase the participation of Venezuelan professionals in the different courses, workshops and seminars organized by the different agencies of the multilateral body.

‘With this visit, we have consolidated our international ties in terms of adequate attention to the disaster, both inside and outside Venezuelan territory’ , wrote the director of Civil Protection on the online platform.

He also highlighted the work carried out by Venezuelan Humanitarian Task Force troops during the intense rainy season, which registered historic levels of rainfall, where more than 10 states were affected simultaneously.

Rodriguez explained that to date the national territory has passed more than 60 tropical waves.

For his part, Grohmann reported that they are working to support Venezuela’s efforts in cases of emergencies and disasters, both national and foreign, through international ties and protocols.

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Ibero-America Calls for End to US Blockade of Cuba

Antigua, Guatemala, Nov 16 (Prensa Latina) The 26th Ibero-American Summit of Heads of State and Government adopted on Friday a special statement on the need to end the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed on Cuba by the United States.

Cuba’s proposal received majority support from foreign ministers gathered the day before in this colonial city as a prelude to the high-level segment that is taking place on Friday.

The text refers to the extraterritorial application of the so-called Helms-Burton Act, which establihshes the internationalization of the blockade and the refusal to grant credits and financial aid to countries and organizations that favor or promote cooperation and foreign investment in Cuba.

On November 1, the United Nations General Assembly voted again against this cruel policy by successive US administrations with the express purpose of punishing an entire people for almost 60 years for their sovereign decision to follow their own political system without external conditions.

The resolution condemning the blockade was supported by 189 countries, with only two votes against, the United States and Israel, and no abstentions.

The United States presented eight amendments to the bill, which were rejected overwhelmingly.

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Cuba Begins Delegates’ Neighborhood Meetings to Account for Their Duty

Havana, Nov. 15 (Prensa Latina) Municipal delegates of the People’s Power elected in the 12,437 Cuban constituencies in 2017 begin today neighborhood meetings to account for their work to electors and attend to what they have to say, informed the National Assembly of People’s Power (Parliament) in a statement.

According to the legislative body, the process, which was postponed to facilitate popular consultation of the new draft Constitution in Cuba, is being carried out for the first time in the current 17th term of office of the municipal assemblies constituted in December last year.

Parliament also referred to the control of voters over the work of their representatives, and highlighted the work done in preparing newly elected delegates and administrative entities to develop the process in the 69,319 meetings scheduled.

It was also reported on the meeting convened with demonstrative character in the 1,401 town councils, to model their development which will be attended by delegates who make up the council, the mass organizations, as well as the administrative entities of each demarcation, among other participants.

Since taking up their posts, the delegates have maintained the link with the population, mainly through weekly meetings, integrated community work, in addition to other participatory channels, says the National Assembly note.

The process of accounting for is a periodical exercise through which Cubans exchange about the problems of the community and propose ideas to face the present difficulties, as well as social misconduct.

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Cuban Delegation Expands Exchanges with Universities in Sweden

Stockholm, Nov 15 (Prensa Latina) A delegation from the Ministry of Higher Education (MES) of Cuba is visiting Sweden to strengthen relations with several universities in this European nation, diplomatic sources reported on Thursday.

According to the reports, the team is headed by the Director of Sciences and Technology at the Ministry of Higher Education, Ondina León, and is developing an intense program of academic exchanges with the Swedish universities in Stockholm, Uppsala, UMED, Mamo, Linkoping and Lund.

The Cuban delegation also held meetings in this capital with the director of the Swedish Institute, Mikaela Freddriksen; the Deputy Director of the Americas of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Anders Carlsson; the director of the Swedish Research Council, Jonas Lindell; and Victoria Palmgren, a member of the Swedish Council of Higher Education.

During the working meetings, the Cuban representatives were accompanied by Ambassador to Sweden Rosario Navas.

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Brazil Loses Access to Cuban Medicine due to Bolsonaro

Brasilia, Nov 15 (Prensa Latina) The president of the Workers’ Party (PT), Gleisi Hoffmann, denounced that due to the threats by President-elect Jair Bolsonaro, Brazil has lost access to Cuban medicine, recognised by the World Health Organisation.

I feel sad for the Brazilian people who are so well assisted by them (the Cuban doctors). I saw that program being born and I helped to implement it,’ Hoffmann said on her Twitter account.

Hoffmann assured that she understands the reasons: ‘the disrespect, threats and violence with which Bolsonaro treats Cuba leave them unsafe’.

Yesterday, Cuba decided to withdraw its doctors from Brazil’s More Doctors Program in the face of disparaging declarations by Bolsonaro, who ‘questioned the preparation of our doctors and conditioned their permanence in the program to the validation of their medical degrees and through individual contracts’.

For Marilia Guimaraes, president of the Brazilian Chapter (Intellectuala and Artists in Defense of Humanity Network), including other intellectuals and politicians, such a scenario is hard and with much pain she read and re-read about the withdrawal of Cuban health professionals.

I am very sad for the Brazilian people,’ she said.

For her part, Maria do Socorro Gomes, president of the World Council for Peace, expressed through a social network that ‘she supports Cuban doctors, the Cuban people and government, offended by a stupid president and without the slightest concern for the needs of the Brazilian people’.

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Cuba Thanks Austria for Donation to Havana

Vienna, Nov 15 (Prensa Latina) Cuba expressed satisfaction with and gratitude for the donation by the Vienna authorities of 10 waste collecting trucks for Havana, as a concrete contribution to the capital’s 500th anniversary.

Cuban Ambassador to Austria Juan Antonio Fernández Palacios welcomed representatives of the 48th Department of the Mayor’s Office of the initiative, in a meeting in his residence with top executives from the company Transimport, which is in charge of the technical and logistical coordination for the donation.

Fernandez thanked the proposal for cooperation between Havana and Vienna, and specifically for the express will to send these 10 vehicles to Cuba, with which they reissue ‘a similar and invaluable experience between both cities in the years 2000 and 2001’.

He recognized that the collection of solid waste in Havana is one of the most complex issues in the Cuban capital, as nearly half of the trucks required are paralyzed, which makes it difficult to collect the more than 23,000 cubic meters of garbage in the Cuban capital.

The donation of garbage collecting vehicles will be an important contribution to the enormous efforts and actions under way to guarantee that vital sanitation work of the city.

He introduced Juan Carlos Feé, Director of Imports, and Jorge Luis Fontova, Technical Assistance Technician of Transimport, the Cuban central supply and sales entity for heavy equipment and its spare parts.

He stated that due to their experience in importing heavy equipment, the Government of Havana has asked them to assume the necessary tasks to transport the donation.

Fernández Palacios recalled that on November 16, Havana will celebrate its 499th anniversary, and in 2019, it will be the great commemoration for the 500 years of foundation of the Cuban capital.

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Cuba Leads South-South Cooperation in Ibero-America

By Maitte Marrero Canda, Guatemala, Nov 15 (Prensa Latina) A photograph of the first Cuban doctors and health workers who arrived in Sierra Leone in 2014 to combat Ebola illustrates this Thursday one of the multiple dimensions of Latin America’s global leadership in South-South cooperation.

The photo appears in chapter 3 of the book A Decade of South-South Cooperation in Ibero-America and perpetuates the moment when doctors, regardless of convention, carry boxes of medicines and supplies when they arrived in Freetown airport.

Undoubtedly, one of the most emotive moments of Cuba’s solidarity towards this African people could not be missing from the publication recently presented at the 26th Summit of Heads of State and Government held in the colonial city of Antigua Guatemala, 45 kilometers from this capital.

Cuba, along with countries such as Brazil, Mexico and Argentina, are among the leading actors in the horizontal cooperation, whether south-south (SSC) or triangular, considered the last as the most suitable modality for developed countries to join in peer conditions.

The compendium data, considered as the most complete evidence of collective action based on solidarity, place Cuba with 686 projects, 454 as provider, 185 as receptor and 47 in both.

The good practice story in the text summarizes 7,300 program initiatives, experience exchange and the design of solutions adapted to each of the 22 countries that make up Ibero-America.

Social issues, health, industry, productivity, agriculture, governance, environment, transparency, science, technology and innovation highlight the results of a decade of strong and dynamic cooperation reflected in chapters three and four.

The collected information arises from the exhaustive review of the 10 published editions of the SSC report in Ibero-America, a technical and political process, of multilateral construction and always consensual aimed at reporting its evolution within and outside the 22 countries belonging to the community.

Ten detailed cases make up chapter four, an extremely difficult selection to approach the human stories behind the figures.

According to Ibero-American Secretary General Rebeca Grynspan, Ten Decades … ‘is more than a memorial object because we are confident it will be a reference book to understand how the region looks at, understands, drives and is committed to SSC.

This, in the view of Grynspan, is understood as a peace tool and the construction of a coexistence culture and international solidarity.

For Cubans, sharing what they have and not offering what they have left over is part of the humanist ideology behind their project of government and country, despite a severe blockade of almost 60 years by successive U.S. administrations.

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US Hostility against Cuba Challenges World Community

Havana, Nov 15 (Prensa Latina) The general director for the United States at the Cuban Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Carlos Fernandez de Cossio, described as a challenge to the international community the escalation in Washington’s hostility against the island.

The United States is once again challenging the international community, which, on November 1, almost unanimously rejected its outlawed and irreverent conduct in the light of the order among nations’, said the diplomat on Twitter regarding the State Department’s announcement of new punitive measures.

On Wednesday, the United States announced the expansion of the list of Cuban companies restricted for US citizens, to which 26 new subcompanies will be added on Thursday.

Hotels in important tourist destinations in Havana, Varadero and the keys off the central province of Villa Clara, as well as shops and shopping centers are the new targets of the aggressive policy promoted by President Donald Trump since occupied the White House in January 2017, a position that is part of the efforts to dismantle the bilateral rapprochement initiated with his predecessor, Barack Obama. Fernandez de Cossio referred in his tweet to the approval on November 1 at the United Nations General Assembly of a resolution – the twenty-seventh since 1992 – that advocates the lifting the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed on Cuba for almost 60 years.

On that day, 189 of the 193 member States of the multilateral organization backed the text.

The escalation in Washington’s anti-Cuban restrictions also met with criticism in the US, where calls for a good neighbor relationship between the two nations are growing.

The president of the Engage Cuba coalition, James Williams, questioned the expansion of the list of Cuban companies restricted to US citizens and exceeding 200.

The Trump administration publishes the updated list of sanctioned companies in Cuba. He rearranges the deck chairs on a sinking ship, Williams wrote on Twitter.

For his part, Ben Rhodes, who was deputy national security advisor to former President Obama, said on Twitter that these sanctions will not lead to the changes Washington wants in the island’s government.

There is 100 percent certainty that the US blockade is affecting the Cuban people. What a sick and stupid policy’, he added.

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