India, Cuba Identified New Sectors for Cooperation

New Delhi, Dec 11 (Prensa Latina) India and Cuba identified new sectors for bilateral cooperation during the recent Havana International Fair (FIHAV 2018), one of the most representative business events in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Among the branches the two sides agreed there’s room for improving economic cooperation are agriculture, renewable energy, health, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals and sports, according to Indian diplomatic sources.

The biotechnological and pharmaceutical sectors are important pillars of the Cuban economy in which both countries currently cooperate. The fundamental products that are commercialized are active ingredients, raw materials and equipment.

Relations between the two countries gained new momentum with the visit of President Ram Nath Kovind in June of this year to Cuba, the Financial Express reports on its website.

In conversations with his Cuban counterpart, President Miguel Diaz-Canel, both leaders talked about strengthening economic ties, and at the end of the talks, two memoranda of understanding on cooperation in the field of biotechnology, traditional medicines and homeopathy were signed.

Some 45 Indian companies participated in FIHAV 2018, and in line with government initiatives and the deepening of South-South Cooperation, a Letter of Intent was signed between the Cuban Logistics Group for Agriculture and the Indian company Escorts for the exchange of technical data in relation to the supply project, post-sales, and specialized technical services.

Madhu Sethi, India’s ambassador to Cuba, told the newspaper that FIHAV in Cuba is an appropriate destination for Indian companies to meet with international delegates in all sectors, not only on this Caribbean island but throughout the entire Caribbean region and Latin America.

Furthermore, given that Cuba is one of the founding members of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) within the framework of this cooperation, India offered a loan of 75 million dollars for a 100 MW solar energy project in Cuba.

The International Fair of Havana, which was held in its 36th edition with the participation of more than 70 countries, is considered one of the most important multisector trade fairs in Central America and the Caribbean.

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Diaz-Canel Describes US Speech on Human Rights as Hypocritical

Havana, Dec 11 (Prensa Latina) President Miguel Diaz-Canel described the U.S. speech against Cuba on human rights as hypocritical and dishonest.

‘The United States has no moral to speak of Human Rights, that speech is hypocritical, dishonest, double standard,’ the president posted on his Twitter account, in a context of growing hostility from the U.S. government, whose Secretary of State Michael Pompeo took advantage on Monday of the Human Rights Day to attack Cuba.

There is no more cruel, prolonged and massive violation of human rights than the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed on Cuba for almost six decades, a policy that is called genocide, as of the objective to achieve a change of regime appealing to hunger and calamities as instruments to execute it, Diaz-Canel stated.

The president also posted on Twitter the different views that mark both countries on human rights matter.

‘While other countries export weapons and wars, Cuba shares knowledge and services. Our doctors and teachers have provided solidarity in remote regions. Our motto is solidarity,’ Diaz-Canel said.

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Cuba to Hold 12th Annual Meeting on UNESCO Chairs

Havana, Dec 11 (Prensa Latina) Fostering collaborative relations with other countries and expanding synergies of regional programs were the key projections of the 12th Annual Meeting of Cuban UNESCO Chairs, held on Tuesday in Havana.

At the UNESCO meeting, created to advance and improve research, training and development programs in higher education, a report was submitted on its work on Cuba.

The forum, held at the University of Havana, also fostered future projects to encourage collaboration and the development of these chairs in Cuba.

Present at the event was the director of UNESCO’s Regional Office for Culture in Latin America and the Caribbean, Katherine Müller, who pointed out that a strategy has been achieved in recent years to share experiences and improve knowledge management in several fields.

For his part, the president of the Cuban National Commission for UNESCO, Oscar Leon, recalled some of the activities held during this year with this organization of 193 member countries.

These included Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel’s visit to the UNESCO headquarters in Paris and the Jaime Torres Bodet Prize granted to the Havana-based Casa de las Americas.

Leon recognized the Chairs work in Cuba, in particular with actions aimed at the rectors of national universities and the relevance of the exchange of fruitful criteria with other regional institutions.

The first UNESCO Chair in Cuba was founded in 1993, during then UNESCO Director General Federico Mayor Zaragoza’s visit to Havana. It was named University Management and Teaching and was located at the University of Havana.

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the creation of this scientific cooperation instrument in Cuba.

The participants highlighted the important work done in Cuba all these years, which was described as innovative and with quality.

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US Has No Moral Authority to Judge Cuba on Human Rights

Havana, Dec 11 (Prensa Latina) The US Government has no authority to point at Cuba on human rights issues, the island’s Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez stressed, reacting to a statement by Secretary of State Michael Pompeo on alleged violations.

‘Pompeo lies and libels,’underlines Rodriguez in a tweet the Foreign Ministry reproduced in social media.

The Cuban FM demanded from the US Government and its Secretary of State to lift the economic, trade and financial blockade Washington has maintained over almost 60 years.

He also wrote about Washington’s poor performance on human rights for its condition as ‘global repressor’ and for its cruel treatment of migrants, minorities and poor people.

Director General of the US Office of the Cuban Foreign Ministry, Carlos Fernandez de Cossio, also lambasted Pompeo’s writing on Cuba.

With usual lack of decency the US Government shows when dealing with human rights, Pompeo issued a letter he said he had sent to Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez, but it had not been received at the time he made it public.

He further said the US Government is dishonest when it expresses concern over human rights in Cuba or elsewhere.

‘Its historical trajectory, its constant and flagrant abuses against its own population and that of many countries, and its alliance with dictatorial regimes guilty of vicious crimes disqualify the moral authority of US leaders,’ emphasized Fernandez de Cossio.

To him, the letter and its public handling are actions of propaganda.

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Cuba Commemorates Achievements on Human Rights Day

Havana, Dec. 10 (PL) Cuba is celebrating this Monday Human Rights Day with progress and achievements recognized worldwide in health, education, culture, citizen participation and adherence to international governing instruments.

Seventy years ago, the UN General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a historic document for hundreds of millions of people, which is far from fulfilled due to poverty and discrimination.

January 1, 1959 represented a radical change on Cuba, resulting in results such as an infant mortality rate of 4.0 per 1,000 births, the lowest ever achieved in 2017, a life expectancy of more than 78 years, and schooling and literacy rates close to 100 percent.

Cuba also shows significant numbers in popular participation, among them the presence in the polls of more than 85 percent of those registered in the general elections held last March and students and workers’ protagonism in the recent consultation on a new draft Constitution.

According to published data, nearly nine million Cubans attended 133,000 meetings in neighborhoods and work and study centers, where 783,000 proposals were made to improve a text which represents a total reform of the Constitution in force since 1976 and must be approved in a referendum. Cuba underwent the Universal Periodic Review of Human Rights (UPR) in Geneva for the third time in May (2009 and 2013), recognizing its achievements, including the signing and ratification of 44 out of 61 international human rights instruments.

Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez explained in that forum the transformations the triumph of the Revolution represented for the Cubans, leaving behind a scenario such as the one currently suffered by millions of human beings on earth.

Since the United States military occupation that curtailed our independence, with governments imposed by it, 45 percent of children did not go to school, 85 percent of people lacked running water, farmers lived in misery without owning the land they worked, immigrants were brutally exploited’ , he noted.

He also recalled that ‘there were no rights for workers and farmers in Cuba, extrajudicial executions, forced disappearances and acts of torture were frequent. Racial discrimination was cruel, there was a high level of poverty and girls and women were even more excluded. The Cubans’ dignity was sullied and the national culture attacked’.

Rodriguez ratified the Cuba’s commitment to human rights and its willingness , during the UPR, to talk about this issue.

Cuba will continue progressing, with a steady and sure step, based on the political will and commitment of the Cuban Government and people to build an increasingly free, democratic, participative, just and supportive society.

NUMBERS AND RESULTS

In health matters, the Cuban government guarantees its inhabitants universal, free and quality attention, an achievement it has shared in the last 55 years with more than a hundred countries, where its doctors have provided solidarity aid.

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) declared Cuba in 2017 as one of the 15 states in the world to apply the basic policies that guarantee the good mental development of children, while it was recognized on June 30, 2015 as the first to eliminate mother-to-child transmission of HIV/AIDS and syphilis.

On the other hand, Cuba eliminated 14 infectious diseases and made nine others not a problem, with rates of less than 0.1 per 100,000 inhabitants.

In terms of education, more than 1,750,000 students began the 2018-2019 school year on September 3, in a nation of 11 million people where there is universal and free coverage at all levels of education, regardless on gender, skin color, religion, political views and family economic situation.

According to the Education for All Global Monitoring Report 2015, drafted by UNESCO, Cuba is the only country in Latin America and the Caribbean to achieve all the global objectives 2000-2015, placing it as a state of high educational development, in 28th place worldwide in the Education for All Development Index.

Regarding culture, there is a broad network of institutions in the 15 provinces consisting of cultural houses, bookstores, museums and libraries, and full access to arts education is guaranteed at the elementary, middle and higher levels.

The issue of human rights is, paradoxically, one of the spearheads of the crusade led by the United States against the Cuban Revolution, despite the fact the northern nation has a dubious history in this area, which would require only an analysis that it is only part of 18 out of the 61 international instruments in force.

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Nearly 6,000 Cuban Doctors Have Arrived Home from Brazil

Havana, Dec 9 (Prensa Latina) After the arrivals of 409 Cuban medical professionals from Brazil on Sunday, nearly 6,000 doctors have already returned home after assisting people in poor and remote communities.

At Havana’s Jose Marti International Airport, Construction Minister Rene Mesa and the member of the Secretariat of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba, Victor Gaute, welcomed the physicians.

On behalf of the group, Dr. Rosbel Almaguer noted the Cuban physicians’ commitment to noble causes and their willingness to accomplish any tasks of the Revolution.

On November 22, the return home of the medical collaborators started amid the hostility unleashed by Brazilian President-elect Jair Bolsonaro against the Cuban government and physicians.

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Venezuela Denounces New U.S. Conspiracy Plans

Caracas, Dec 10 (Prensa Latina) Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro denounced new aggression plans gestated from the United States as part of the campaign currently being deployed by right-wing sectors against his government.

This project is organized by the White House, in an attempt to disrupt the democratic life of the nation and promote a coup d’état against the constitutional, democratic and free government of the country, the president emphasized this Sunday in statements to the press.

‘Whoever contravenes the Constitution will meet us face to face. Venezuelans want peace, improvement, tranquility, prosperity, happiness’, Maduro said.

The president recalled, thus, the failed assassination attempt perpetrated against the high political-military command of the nation last August, during the celebration of the Bolivarian National Guard’s 81 years in the central Bolivar Avenue, in Caracas.

The action, aimed at detonating two drones near the podium, was unknown to Washington and other Latin American governments despite evidence presented by the Caracas Executive.

The terrorists involved would receive 50 million dollars and stay on U.S. territory, the head of state also recalled, while announcing that the details of the new destabilizing actions will soon be disclosed in a press conference.

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Successful Concert by Cuba’s Buena Fe Makes Headlines in Bolivia

La Paz, Dec 9 (Prensa Latina) The successful performance in La Paz by the Cuban duet Buena Fe, made up of Israel Rojas and Yoel Martinez, who are currently on their first tour of Bolivian cities, made headlines on local media on Sunday.

On Saturday night, the musicians sang for almost two hours many songs composed during their career of more than 16 years, as well as others composed by Cuban singer-songwriter Silvio Rodriguez and the Argentinean musician Fito Paez, in front of an emotional audience, members of the Cuban medical brigade and Cuban residents in Bolivia, Cambio newspaper reported.

Abya Yala Television and state-owned TV Bolivia channels posted on social media some moments of the concert, attended by about 500 people at the headquarters of the State Vice Presidency because, due to operational reasons, it could not be held in the auditorium of Casa Grande del Pueblo as planned.

Buena Fe’s concert concluded at about 22:00 hours, local time, with expressions of brotherhood between Bolivia and Cuba.

Culture and Tourism Minister Wilma Alanoca, Minister of the Presidency Alfredo Rada; the president of the House of Deputies, Gabriela Montaño; the ambassadors from Cuba and Argentina, and several cultural personalities, attended the concert.

Buena Fe previously performed in the cities of Santa Cruz and Cochabamba.

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Cuban Doctor Is Satisfied with Mission Accomplished

Havana, Dec 9 (Prensa Latina) Cuban Doctor Yaima Borges on Sunday stated that she is returning from Brazil with the satisfaction of her mission accomplished, after providing medical care to very poor people in that country.

As part of the More Doctors Program, I spent three years in the northeastern Brazilian state of Paraiba, where I worked in Triunfo municipality, the collaborator, one of nearly 20,000 Cubans who worked over the past five years in vulnerable communities, told Prensa Latina.

According to Borges, the joy of returning to Cuba was accompanied by a feeling of sadness for knowing that poor people could be left without health care.

The Cuban doctors worked in remote places in Brazil, where other doctors do not want to go, that explains the gratitude and sadness expressed by patients when we left, she said.

Given the hostility from President-elect Jair Bolsonaro, the Cuban Ministry of Public Health announced on November 14 the decision to withdraw from the More Doctors Program.

Since November 22, most of 8,300 medical professionals who were in Brazil at the time of the decision have returned to Cuba, and new flights are expected in the next few hours and days.

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An eternal presence

Fidel Sierra Maestra

Dec 5 (Cubadebate) The passage of our Comadante en Jefe into immortality –marked by the moment Army General Raúl Castro Ruz placed a cedar chest holding his ashes into the heart of a monumental boulder here, December 4, 2016 – was commemorated by 350,000 residents of the city who reaffirmed his eternal presence.

Thus, as the first rays of the sun appeared, he received the first tribute of the day from the Cuban people, when, in the name of all the grateful, a floral wreath was placed at the site in Santa Ifigenia Cemetery by members of the Party Central Committee, and the provincial leaders of the Party and government,

Lázaro Expósito Canto and Beatriz Johnson Urrutia, respectively.

Recalling, as well, the innumerable battles directed by the historic leader of the Revolution – the Moncada, La Plata, Uvero, and many more – different sectors of the population converged on Mayor General Antonio Maceo Plaza at dawn, and departed along Patria Avenue to Santa Infigenia.

The 2.7 kilometer stretch, the same route taken by the funeral procession that unforgettable morning, was adorned with Cuban flags, those of the July 26th Movement, and other expressions of deep affection for Fidel.

At the end of the march, the spontaneous tribute continued with visitors from Santiago de Cuba, neighboring provinces, and around the world, to set a record for a single day at the cemetery, and surpass 1.5 million visits over the last two years – more evidence that the Comandante en Jefe lives on in the hearts of Cubans and peoples around the world.

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