New US measures against Venezuela are a desperate move

Caracas (Prensa Latina) Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza stated the recent measures imposed by the United States against officials of this nation are proof of an erratic and desperate policy.

The absurd sanctions announced on Monday by the Trump administration confirm the despair and chronic disorientation with respect to Venezuela. Neither unilateral measures nor economic blockade will halt the sovereign will of the Venezuelan people, the head of Venezuelan diplomacy posted on his Twitter account.

The US Department of the Treasury on Monday included two Venezuelan officials on its unilateral list of sanctioned persons.

According to the announcement, the alleged assets that the General Director of the Administrative Service of Identification, Migration, and Immigration of Venezuela (SAIME), Gustavo Adolfo Vizcaino, and the former director of that body, Juan Carlos Dugarte, have under US jurisdiction will be frozen and they will be banned from undertaking business with US citizens or entities.

As part of its policy against Venezuela, the White House has been promoting several measures, including economic sanctions against companies and individuals, as a way to pressure the government of constitutional President Nicolas Maduro, reelected in May 2018 with 68% of the vote. Meanwhile, the United States recognizes opposition legislator Juan Guaido, head of the National Assembly in contempt, as interim president of Venezuela, and endorsed an attempted coup d’état in late April.


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Cuba denounces the impact of the US blockade on its health system

United Nations, Dec 11 (Prensa Latina) Cuba denounced today the negative impact of the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the United States almost 60 years ago on the island’s health programs.

Alternate Permanent Representative of Cuba to the United Nations, Ana Silvia Rodriguez, spoke regarding the issues at the General Assembly meeting under the theme ‘Global Health and Foreign Policy.’

In my country, public health is a right of all people, ratified in Article 72 of the Constitution, and it is the responsibility of the State to guarantee the access, gratuity and quality of care services, as well as their protection and recovery, she stressed.

The ambassador took the opportunity to denounce the slanderous campaign launched by the United States government against Cuban international medical collaboration.

Washington attacks bilateral and intergovernmental health cooperation programs, all legitimately established between Cuba and authorities from dozens of countries, which have been consistent with the United Nations guidelines for South-South cooperation, she stressed.

These programs, she added, also respond to the health requirements that these governments have defined sovereignly.

Rodriguez explained that the Trump administration is attempting to restore the so-called ‘Cuban Medical Professional Parole (CMPP) Program,’ terminated on January 12, 2017.

This mechanism actively seeks to incite Cuban medical personnel to abandon their posts, and includes payment of tickets and legal services, provision of US visas and travel documents to Cuban personnel in third countries, with the purpose of sabotaging the bilateral agreements signed with third nations, she added.

The Cuban representative stressed that, in a world driven by selfish interests, in which capitalism considers health care a commodity and not a right, it is impossible to achieve Goal 3 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

That goal is to ‘Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages’ through universal health coverage.


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Cuban president speaks with victims of the Argentinian dictatorship

Buenos Aires, Dec 11 (Prensa Latina) Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel talked today with survivors of the former Higher School of Mechanics of the Navy (ESMA), known as an underground detention, torture and extermination center of the Argentinian dictatorship (1976-1983).

At the former ESMA, now the Memorial Museum – Space of Memory and for the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights – the Cuban president learned from the very victims about the crimes and torture they were subjected to at the site.

There, the Cuban head of State pointed out that the memorial, offering an enormous testimony of human rights violations by the dictatorship, also represents the contempt of the empire (the United States) for the Latin American peoples.

He underlined that the Cuban Revolution has a legacy to face obstacles, attacks, and threats throughout its history, and it is a legacy of resistance, struggle, and emancipation.

‘In the face of every challenge, we resist; in the face of every challenge, we find the path to victories; and in the face of every challenge, in which we resist and win, we also find an emancipatory response. That is our victory,’ he told the survivors.

That history, when it is also fueled by this memory, enriches that legacy of resistance, victory, and emancipation, he highlighted.


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Cuba reiterates at COP25 its willingness to combat climate change

Madrid, Dec 11 (Prensa Latina) Cuba reiterated on Wednesday its commitment to global efforts to address climate change, but made clear the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities, which should not be forgotten by developing countries in the current context.

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) repeatedly urges countries to pursue more climate goals, but for developing countries the issue can be counterproductive.

According to the Cuban authorities, common responsibilities are neither equitable nor just, because we are not all equally responsible for the contamination, and this means that contributions to the solution have to be differentiated.

Developing countries should not carry the burden of reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that lead to global warming, when developed countries have contributed the largest amounts.

Cuban First Deputy Minister of Science, Technology and Environment, Jose Fidel Santana, speaking on behalf of Cuba in the High-Level Segment of the Climate Change Conference, today in its second day, said that efforts are currently being coordinated to update Cuba’s Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) in 2020, which will be more ambitious in several ways.

He considered the issue of adaptation to be an essential priority in these circumstances, especially for vulnerable countries and in particular for island developing states.


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President of Argentina receives Miguel Diaz-Canel

Buenos Aires, Dec 11 (Prensa Latina) President of Argentina Alberto Fernandez received his Cuban counterpart, Miguel Diaz-Canel, this Wednesday as reported on Twitter by Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez.

According to Rodriguez, the two presidents showed great interest in strengthening ties and commercial exchange between the two countries.

‘The President of Argentina, Alberto Fernandez @alferdez received Pres. @DiazCanelB. They highlighted the common will to strengthen bilateral relations and historic ties of friendship between our peoples and the importance of boosting economic-commercial relations,’ Rodriguez tweeted.

Fernandez was inaugurated as President of Argentina yesterday, and defended his plans to recover the country’s financial sovereignty and implement policies aimed at the poorest sectors of the country.


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Former Bolivian ambassador to Cuba denounces persecution against MAS

Havana, Dec 10 (Prensa Latina) The Bolivian ambassador to Cuba up to the moment of the coup d’état against Evo Morales, Ariana Campero, denounced on Tuesday the persecution against members of the Movement Towards Socialism (MAS) by the de facto government in her country.

While she was attending an event on Human Rights Day at the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples, the former diplomat condemned the repression against the population mobilized against the coup.

MAS has been banned in Bolivia, and its members are victims of unfair and arbitrary detentions like the arrest of the vice president of that political party, Gerardo Garcia, she denounced.

Today, she said, Bolivian ex Consul General in Argentina Ademar Valda was arrested, when he was going to take a flight to Buenos Aires.

Campero called the coup in her country fascist, whose protagonists are accountable for the massacres causing tens of deaths, and other serious violations to Bolivians’ human rights, she said.

They are allocating among themselves not only the control of the State institutions, but also the enterprises and resources that had been retrieved to the nation by the democratic Revolution boosted by President Evo Morales, she pointed out.


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Angolan and Cuban women share experiences

Luanda, Dec 10 (Prensa Latina) The promotion of the rights of Angolan women is a hard struggle, although with gradual progress, said the leader of the largest women’s organization in the country, Luzia Ingles Van-Dunem.

In exchange of experiences with the General Secretary of the Federation of Cuban Women (FMC), Teresa Amarelle Boue, the outstanding fighter characterized the priorities of the Organization of Angolan Women (OMA), belonging to the MPLA party.

Founded in 1962, the WCO currently has more than two million affiliates; that is, we are 51 percent of the total militants of the Popular Movement of Liberation of Angola (MPLA), Van-Dunem appreciated.

Quite often, we ‘lose’ our top officials, she said jokingly: ‘Our companions, she said, are promoted to positions in the National Assembly (parliament), the Executive and other institutions, and that makes us happy because it is for the country’s benefit.’

The current vice president of the MPLA, Luisa Damiao, was a member of the WCO, she exemplified. In addition, 30 percent of the members of the Political Bureau of our party are women and in parliament they occupy 34 percent of the seats won by the organization.

However, Van-Dunem, who is also the vice president for Africa of the International Democratic Federation of Women, said that still Angolans, including girls and young people, are among the most vulnerable social sectors due to poverty, school dropout, illiteracy and domestic violence.

For her part, the visiting FMC leader highlighted the coincidence of visions with the WCO about the need to continue fighting for the empowerment of women, gender equity and social justice.


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Cuban government guarantees universal rights of its citizens

Havana, Dec 10 (Prensa Latina) Cuba celebrates Human Rights Day this Tuesday, in a context of greater access for its citizens to education and health, despite the tightening of the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the United States almost six decades ago.

Cuba is also the target of a defamatory campaign to discredit its achievements, for example in the field of education, an elementary right that people in many places are deprived of.

In the midst of the complex economic situation the country is experiencing, the Cuban government ensured that more than 1.7 million students started the 2019-2020 school year in September.

According to data provided by the Ministry of Education, there are more than 160,000 teachers in the classrooms, and an estimated 250,000 university students.

The Cuban health system is seriously impacted by this hostile US policy, as it is difficult to acquire medicines, reagents, instruments, spare parts for medical equipment and other supplies necessary for the functioning of the sector.

Cuba offers national programmes to people with disabilities, such as Comprehensive Rehabilitation and care for the visually and hearing impaired.

Deafblind citizens also benefit from cochlear implants and there are technical aids for people with temporary and permanent disabilities.

The National Medical Genetics Programme and the Strategy for Alzheimer’s and Dementia Syndromes are also being implemented.

In the specific case of hearing and visual impairment, 20 specialized services were created, of three that existed in 2003.

There is equipment for screening, diagnosis and rehabilitation of hearing impairment in the pediatric network and auditory research is conducted on all newborns before discharge from maternity wards.


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Latin American Film Festival is a poetic tribute to Havana

Havana, Dec 9 (Prensa Latina) This Monday’s screening of the film ‘Habana Selfies’ as part of the 41st International Festival of New Latin American Cinema is a poetic tribute to this capital, in the midst of celebrations to mark its 500 years of existence.

Although the feature film by Arturo Santana is a reflection on failure, it offers a melancholic and sensual approach to the city that combines several genres such as farce, comedy, musical and melodrama, with beautiful photograph.

Santana assured that his characters struggle within a city that is torn between light and shadow. However, he distances himself from the usual discourse in recent years, tending to show depressing and fractured aspects of aesthetics and the inhabitants of Havana.

For years, Santana wanted to make a film based on interconnected stories in Havana, in the style of ‘Paris, I Love You’ (2006) and ‘New York, I Love You’ (2008).

After its Festival screening, tonight at the Yara cinema, ‘Habana Selfies’ will see its commercial premiere in Cuba on December 20.

The 41st Film Festival takes place in this capital until December 15, offering audiences about 300 audiovisual works from 37 countries.


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Cuban president meets with Argentine business sector

By Maylin Vidal, FotosPL: Harold Dìaz 

Buenos Aires, Dec 9 (Prensa Latina) The Cuban president, Miguel Diaz-Canel, thanked on Monday in this capital the Argentine businessmen for their perseverance of doing business with the island despite the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the United States on his country, intensified in the last months.

Visiting Buenos Aires to participate in the inauguration of President-elect Alberto Fernandez, the president held a broad exchange with about 50 entrepreneurs from various sectors such as industry, food, biotechnology and tourism of this southern nation.

At the meeting, which was also attended by the Cuban Foreign Minister, Bruno Rodriguez, and the Minister of Foreign Trade and Foreign Investment, Rodrigo Malmierca, Diaz-Canel advocated increasing trade flow between the two countries, in several areas of common interest.

With the assumption of the new government, we believe that we can work together to relaunch and strengthen bilateral economic relations, said the president and added that currently, Argentina is one of the island’s main trading partners in the region.

As Argentina is one of the largest economies in the region, we have not had the expected dynamism of the business of that country to participate in investments in Cuba, he emphasized.

On the other hand, he insisted on the importance of bilateral and triangular cooperation through the Project Scheme of the Argentine Fund for South-South and Triangular Cooperation (FOAR), taking into account the development plans of his country and the national provisions on cooperation international.

He highlighted the interest of continuing to work with Argentina to boost the actions of the Cuban pro tempore Presidency in ECLAC, in particular in matters of South-South cooperation and the synergy of the integration mechanisms of the region to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

On behalf of the Pyme-Argentina Chamber, its president, Juan Amato, offered cooperation to ensure that Cuban products are present in Argentina while Diego Cifrelli, president of the milling industry, stressed that he has the great dream of being able to work with the island. Our mills are available, he said.

When taking the floor, the general director of the wholesale tour operator Julia Tour, Claudio Palacios, for example, advocated increasing the flights of the Cuban flag airline and the future possibility of Aerolineas Argentinas flying to the island.

Argentina is the fourth largest trading partner of Cuba in Latin America and the Caribbean and the ninth internationally, as well as the second largest issuer of tourists to the island in the region.


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