Venezuela and Cuba discuss oil cooperation mechanisms

Caracas, Feb 18 (Prensa Latina) Venezuela and Cuba are arranging on Tuesday the mechanisms of bilateral and international cooperation, acting as a solid bloc against hegemonic governments, Executive Vice President Delcy Rodriguez said.

Through her Twitter account, Rodriguez highlighted the brotherhood ties between the two countries and common interests, based on denouncing the aggressions by the US government.

During a meeting held on Monday with Cuban Council of Ministers Vice President Ricardo Cabrisas, both officials discussed the attacks faced by the US administration of Donald Trump.

About this issue, Rodriguez recalled that the official US spokesmen openly and publicly admit that they try to suffocate the economies of sovereign nations, with maneuvers that flagrantly violate international law.

The economic asphyxiation actions implemented by the Washington government have caused effects on binational projects in sectors as sensitive as health and education, among others.

As part of that alliance, exchange projects were so far signed, with emphasis on health services, supplies of medicines, advice and preparation of human resources in educational, sports, cultural and productive programs.

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New York Cardinal hopes to build bridges with Cuba visit

Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York, center, walks at the beginning of the Mass he officiated with the Archbishop of Havana Juan de la Caridad Garcia Rodriguez in the cathedral of Havana, Cuba, Monday, Feb. 10, 2020. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

Feb 10 (Associated Press) U.S. Cardinal Timothy Dolan said Monday he hopes that his visit to Cuba serves to build bridges between the peoples of the two countries amid tensions between their governments.

Dolan, the Archbishop of New York, was invited to the island by Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel. After visiting Cuba’s central and eastern provinces over the weekend, he celebrated Mass in Havana’s Cathedral on Monday.

“I hope (my visit) emphasizes that we’re neighbors and maybe governments have tensions but people love one another,” he told The Associated Press. “I see the Cuban people love the American people and I know the American people consider the Cuban people to be neighbors. And they hope for bridges instead of walls. And they hope for reconciliation.”

A cat walks inside the Cathedral of Havana during a Mass officiated by Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York, in Havana, Cuba, Monday, Feb. 10, 2020. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

Dolan was accompanied by Juan García, who was made a cardinal at the end of last year following the death of Cardinal Jaime Ortega, who was a key figure in the reestablishment of relations between the United States and Havana.

The United States has enforced a trade embargo against Cuba since the early 1960s. However, U.S. President Barack Obama started a more open relationship with the island in 2014, culminating with his historic visit in 2016.

The Trump administration has reversed this course. Washington announced a new cap on the amount of money that families in the U.S. can send relatives in Cuba, limited travel to the island by U.S. citizens, prohibited the arrival of cruise ships and restricted commercial flights to the island. It has opened the way for lawsuits against foreign firms operating on properties that Cuba seized from Americans after the 1959 revolution.

Dolan’s five-day visit to Cuba ends on Feb. 12. During Monday’s Mass, he spoke in Spanish and sometimes with a translator, sang and took pictures with the Cuban faithful.

“I bring the love and respect of the people of the United States for the Cuban people,” he said.

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Cuban President reiterates support and solidarity with the Chinese government and people in the face of the coronavirus outbreak

Cuban President reiterates support and solidarity with the Chinese government and people in the face of the coronavirus outbreak

Feb 17 (Radio Rebelde) The President of the Republic, Miguel Díaz Canel Bermúdez, paid a visit to the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Havana, in which he reiterated the support and solidarity of Cuba with the brotherly Chinese people, affected by the Covid-19 coronavirus epidemic.

In the exchange with the ambassador, Chen Xi, the Cuban leader praised the effective response of the Chinese government to this difficult situation and expressed his conviction that they will win the battle against the epidemic.

He also referred to our country’s firm will to accompany the Chinese authorities and people with everything within our reach.

China has the necessary experience and sound leadership of the Communist Party to overcome adversity, Diaz-Canel said.

The Chinese diplomat thanked for the concern and constant support of the highest authorities of the government and the Communist Party of Cuba since the beginning of the epidemic and explained that, under the leadership of Xi Jinping, his country is making great efforts to achieve the victory over the coronavirus and to continue the struggle to achieve the objectives and tasks of socio-economic development for this year.

The Cuban President was accompanied by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla, and other directors of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

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US Prevents Medical Supplies From Reaching Cuba

The Cuban government looks for alternatives and efforts to procure the necessary supplies for urgent or prioritized cases
The Cuban government looks for alternatives and efforts to procure the necessary supplies for urgent or prioritized cases | Photo: Telesur

The statistics show that in a time period from 1961 to 2019 the prejudices exceeded US$922 million.

Feb 17 (teleSUR) The U.S. blockade has affected the Cuban Health services by cutting the supplies entering the island natio, the Director of Trade for the MediCuba Company S.A.,  Solainy Fajardo said in a statement on Monday. 

In an interview with local newspaper Juventud Rebelde, the functionary said that Cuba is compelled to buy these medical resources in distant markets located in third countries, which increases the import costs of medicines and other products as reactive, medical instruments, disposable material, equipment, and spare parts.

In addition, U.S providers are restricted from selling these medical appliances to the Import and Export Company of Medical Products of the Ministry of Public Health in Cuba, MediCuba,  the expert said.

El canciller venezolano, Jorge Arreaza, en un comunicado del 5 de febrero, también acusó a Guaidó de vender su patria por su “vergonzosa” complicidad con el mandatario norteamericano, y tachó a Trump de “charlatán soberbio” que pretende dominar su país y el mundo entero por medio del engaño y la fuerza. En enero del año pasado, Guaidó se autoproclamó mandatario interino del país sudamericano en un intento por desbancar del poder al Gobierno legítimo del presidente Nicolás Maduro, pero, transcurrido un año, no ha podido lograr su objetivo. EE.UU. y sus aliados le han reconocido como mandatario de Venezuela, ya que Guaidó sirve a los intereses de Trump y sus amigos. Revelan reunión secreta de EEUU para derrocar a Maduro El líder opositor, en un esfuerzo por conseguir ayuda para derrocar a Maduro y violando la prohibición de abandonar el país que pesaba sobre él, viajó a EE.UU. y a algunos países occidentales que lo reconocen como “presidente encargado”, y el 5 de enero fue recibido en la Casa Blanca por Trump, quien hasta el momento ha mostrado su pleno apoyo a la oposición y ha prometido “aplastar” a Maduro.


The economic, commercial and financial blockade that the U.S. maintains against the Caribbean island endures with new legislation and proclaims emitted by Trump administration. For instance, the sale of leading technology is not authorized for the health sector and the U.S. only grants licenses if the use and purpose of the equipment can be monitored. Besides, those products that Cuba is allowed to get must fulfill the control, and classification requirements established by the U.S. Department of Commerce Export Administration Regulations.

The statistics show that in a time period from 1961 to 2019 the prejudices exceeded US$922 million. Also, form April of 2018 to the same month in 2019, the Public Cuban Health sector had affectations for US$104 million, a figure that exceeds US$6 million in the prior period.  However, the Cuban government looks for alternatives and efforts to procure the necessary supplies for urgent or prioritized cases, as patients with cardiac conditions. 

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Cuba’s Malpaso Dance Co. restages dance work premiered 34 years ago in Pittsburgh

Malpaso Dance Co. — one of Cuba’s most sought-after contemporary dance troupes — will perform at Byham Theater Feb. 22 as the next act on the Pittsburgh Dance Council’s 2019-20 season.

SARA BAUKNECHT – Pittsburgh Post-Gazette — FEB 17, 2020

More than 1,200 miles separate Cuba-based Malpaso Dance Co. and Pittsburgh, but the two have more in common than meets the eye. 

Malpaso — hailed as Cuba’s first independent contemporary dance company — made its Pittsburgh debut in 2015 at the Kelly Strayhorn Theater. It premiered in the U.S. two original works during that trip. 

Then, in 2018, Malpaso premiered in its home city of Havana a work that traces its roots back to Pittsburgh. 

The two will intersect once again next weekend when the Pittsburgh Dance Council presents Malpaso Dance Co. at Byham Theater, Downtown, as part of its 2019-20 season. The one-night engagement on Saturday will be its first time headlining a Dance Council program. 

Malpaso Dance Co.’s path from conception to international touring company has been a swift one. It was founded in 2012 by its executive director Fernando Sáez, artistic director/choreographer Osnel Delgado and associate artistic director/dancer Daileidys Carrazana. The company’s creation was their response to Cuba’s government-backed dance institutions. Their goal was to carve out a space for contemporary dance to allow for fresh choreographic voices and artistic endeavors to thrive.Malpaso Dance Co.When: 8 p.m. Feb. 22Where: Byham Theater, DowntownTickets: Start at $10 at trustarts.org or 412-456-6666Informationmalpasodance.com

Its name Malpaso is Spanish for “misstep” — would breaking out on their own be one? 

“It was a big challenge in the very beginning,” Mr. Sáez says. “How to finance the company? How to recruit the dancers? How to make the work more visible?” 

Those challenges still exist, particularly in a country where about a quarter of its population is living in poverty. Plus, Cuba doesn’t have its own equivalent to nonprofit organizations in the U.S., which are exempt from federal taxes and allow for financial contributions to be tax deductible for donors. 

“If you don’t have that legal framework to incentivize philanthropy, it’s not going to help,” he adds. 

Nevertheless, Malpaso has found its footing at home and abroad. In 2014, it performed for the first time outside of Cuba at the famed Joyce Theater in New York City’s Chelsea neighborhood. It’s been one of The Joyce’s associated companies ever since, a partnership that helps connect Malpaso with prominent choreographers and touring opportunities, including its upcoming visit to Pittsburgh.

It was at The Joyce where Randal Miller, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust’s director of dance programming and special projects, saw Malpaso Dance Co. and learned about one of its Pittsburgh connections. On the program that day was “Tabula Rasa,” a work by Israeli choreographer Ohad Naharin in his Gaga movement style. (Gaga technique encourages dancers to tap into the natural rhythms of their bodies for the joy of it; twisting, bending and undulating are common expressions of it.)

In the program notes, Mr. Miller saw that Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre commissioned and premiered “Tabula Rasa” in 1986. “Looking at the piece through that lens was mind blowing to me,” he says. “It’s so different from anything that I’ve ever seen PBT do.”

The backstory: Former PBT artistic director Patricia Wilde saw Mr. Naharin in 1984 on a Pittsburgh Dance Council program. He was a rising choreographer at the time, and she was impressed enough to commission a ballet from him for PBT. “Tabula Rasa” is still considered one of his most important works and has been performed worldwide by the likes of Nederlands Dans Theater, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago and Singapore Dance Theatre. PBT last staged it in 1997.

Malpaso Dance Co. will present “Tabula Rasa” on its mixed repertory program in Pittsburgh.

“In addition to being the Dance Council’s 50th anniversary, it’s PBT’s 50th anniversary. Tying those anniversaries together is a really special angle when I was curating the season,” Mr. Miller says. 

The lineup on Saturday also will include “Face the Torrent,” a 2017 work by New York City-based choreographer Sonya Tayeh, and “Ocaso,” something from Malpaso’s resident choreographer Mr. Osnel.

“We try to find choreographers we like and respect,” Mr. Sáez says. “At the same time, they have to be challenging enough.”  

Malpaso seeks out or choreographs its own works that highlight the diversity of its 11 dancers, who Mr. Sáez describes as “a kaleidoscope of Cuban culture.” Most have some modern or ballet training, as well as experiences in styles from across Cuba. 

Mr. Sáez hopes audiences come to a Malpaso Dance Co. show without assumptions about what a dance company from Cuba could or should look like.

“This could be a journey of discovering another fragment of Cuba,” he says. 

Sara Bauknecht: sbauknecht@post-gazette.com or on Twitter and Instagram @SaraB_PG.

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Cuban opera performs in United States

Cuban opera performs in United States

Feb 17 (Radio Rebelde) The amazing building of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Arts will host, February 13-15, the Caribbean version of the opera The Clemency of Tito, composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

The award-winning work, which has been warmly received by Cuban specialized critics, will be made accessible to the American audience, which has a long tradition in this genre. Precisely, the artists will have before them the challenge of delivering, in a challenging scenario, a performance that integrates not only diverse artistic manifestations, but also originally European codes that have been seen through the Cuban perspective.

This occasion will mark the return of the El Publico Theater and several musicians from the Lyceum to Washington DC, and comes after the acclaimed Artes de Cuba Festival, held in 2018 at the same Kennedy Center.

The prestigious cultural institution, on the banks of the Potomac River and a few meters from the Watergate complex, is home to the National Symphony Orchestra and the National Opera of Washington. The creative activity carried out there is very extensive, with thousands of performances a year.
The Eisenhower Theater will be hosting the Cuban artists on this occasion.

“For us it is a challenge … We are very happy to be in a place where a good opera is made. We bring a Cuban version (…), which means we are taking certain risks, because we are going to see what the more traditional audience says when they see we have mixed a little bit of Cuban music with the original Mozart music and on the other hand we have included dance,” Ulises Hernandez, the director of the opera, said.

The presentation of talented artists on a renowned stage predicts memorable nights.

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Cuban Foreign Minister: the solidarity distinguishes Cuba

Solidaridad distingue a Cuba como país, afirma canciller
Cuban Foreign Minister: the solidarity distinguishes Cuba

Havana, Feb 17 (Prensa Latina) The Minister of Foreign Relations, Bruno Rodriguez, stated that the solidarity distinguishes his country, regarding the 56 years of international medical cooperation.

’56 years of Cuban medical cooperation, with presence in 164 countries and participation of over 400 thousand health personnel, evidence the principles we defend, Tweeted Rodriguez.

A brigade of 56 medics arrived in Algeria in May 23rd, 1963, in what was the first international medical mission.

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Cuban embassy and Colombian department share experiences

Cuban embassy and Colombian department share experiences

Bogota, Feb 17 (Prensa Latina) The Cuban Embassy in Colombia and executives in northern Magdalena department, shared experiences on areas of social development.

The Cuban delegation is led by Ambassador Jose Luis Ponce, and they were invited to that department by Magdalena governor Carlos Caicedo, diplomatic sources reported on Sunday.

Caicedo and Virna Johnson, mayor of Santa Marta, capital of Magdalena department, explained the Cuban diplomats the social situation of the territory and the prospects for cooperation in social areas, the information states.

We are currently at a productive negotiation with the Cuban Embassy, the Magdalena Governorship and our working team to strengthen alliances on strategic issues that contribute to the unstoppable development of our citizens, the mayor of Santa Marta posted on his Twitter account. We will sign a framework agreement to strengthen sports, education and health in Santa Marta with international cooperation alliances with the Cuban Embassy in Colombia, Johnson said.

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Despite the US blockade, Cuba shows great achievements in child care

Despite the US blockade, Cuba shows great achievements in child care

Feb 14 (Radio Rebelde) Despite the tightening of the U.S. blockade against Cuba, the well-being of children is an inherent purpose of the Cuban social project, and its full fulfillment is implemented through social policies, programs and projects in health, education, social security and other fields.

These services have been widespread at the national level and are now universally accessible and completely free for all children, with specific attention to guaranteeing access for the most vulnerable; ambassador Oscar Leon Gonzalez, Charge d’Affaires a.i. of the Permanent Mission of Cuba to the United Nations, stated on Wednesday during the first regular session of UNICEF’s Executive Board and the adoption of the Country Program for Cuba.

The representative commented this program responds to national needs and priorities, in line with the United Nations Framework for Cooperation for Sustainable Development, is consistent with the National Plan for Economic and Social Development until 2030, and is coherent with the priorities defined in the Convention on the Rights of the Child, a reference point for collaboration between UNICEF and Cuba.

Cuba shows significant achievements in childcare, despite its status as a developing country that has suffered for almost 60 years from the United States government’s economic, commercial and financial blockade. It also ensures the right to education for all children and is among the 35 countries with the lowest infant mortality rate in the world and among the first in the Latin American and Caribbean region.

It was also the first country in the world to eliminate mother-to-child HIV transmission and congenital syphilis, a status granted by the World Health Organization in 2015 and ratified last September.

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The 29th International Book Fair concludes in Havana

FotosPL: Jorge Pérez

Havana, Feb 16 (Prensa Latina) The 29th International Book Fair (IBF) concludes this Sunday in this capital with dance, music and theater shows, in addition to the usual sales of volumes.

In the most significant event of the Cuban publishing movement, the Socialist Republic of Vietnam stood out as a Guest of Honor Country, which took advantage of the event to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations with Cuba.

Some 300 guests from over 40 countries participated in the different activities of the IBF that in its 29th edition paid tribute to the research work of the essayist Ana Cairo, National Prize for Social and Humanistic Sciences, and the legacy of playwright Eugenio Hernandez, deserving of the National Theater Award in 2005.

The countries with the greatest representation were Spain, Mexico, Peru, and for the first time, Guatemala joined as an exhibitor.

Even to the Fortress San Carlos de La Cabaña, the main headquarters of the event in Havana, came Argentina’s Vice President Cristina Fernandez to present her book ‘Sinceramente’ (Sincerely), considered a bestseller for less than a year of publication for the first time outside her country.

Cuba’s President Miguel Diaz-Canel and other governmental authorities attended the presentation of the vice president, the first woman to become president in Argentina and a mother of two children submitted to a persistent media, political and judicial persecution.

As part of the IBF days, there was bestowed the National Prizes for Literature, Design Edition, History, the poetry laureate Nicolas Guillen and the novel, short story and essay Alejo Carpentier, among others.

The 29th edition also celebrated the centenary of the birth of Cuban writer, poet and essayist Eliseo Diego, the 25th anniversary of the Fernando Ortiz Foundation and the 80th birthday of Miguel Barnet, honorary president of the Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba (UNEAC).

In general, the event will end on April 12, in the eastern city of Santiago de Cuba, after having extended it to most of the country’s provinces, with the forecast of offering over 4,000 titles throughout the country and over four million books.

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