OSPAAAL Pays Tribute to Cuban Women, Other Countries of World

Havana, Aug 17 (Prensa Latina) The Organization of Solidarity with the People of Africa, Asia and Latin America (OSPAAAL) today paid tribute to Cuban and world heroines on the occasion of the 58th anniversary of the Federation of Cuban Women (FMC) on August 23.

In a meeting attended by members of the 21-country diplomatic corps accredited on the island, the second secretary of the FMC, Arelys Santana, received from the organization a poster with the figure of the historical leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro.

After thanking the gift, Santana highlighted the empowerment achieved by Cuban women during the almost 60 years of the revolutionary process.

On behalf of the federated women, she highlighted that the Cuban women’s broad participation in the development of society and in the current process of popular consultation for the preparation of the new Constitution of the Republic is an example of these achievements. Likewise, she stressed the OSPAAAL’s presence in Cuban women’s future and said that it is also a reference in the dissemination and support to the struggles of the peoples of Africa, Asia and Latin America who seek a society with full rights.

As part of the activity, the Ambassador of South Africa in Cuba, Thaninga Pandit Shope-Linney, received a tribute on behalf of the four women who make up the executive of the body.

Another group of women from Cuba and other countries were also honored, such as Brigadier General Delsa Esther Puebla, Cuban Ambassador Marielena Ruiz and Venezuelan diplomat Lauribel Rojas.

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Cuba’s Creation of a New Constitution

By Waldo Mendiluza* Havana (PL) From August 13 to November 15, the Cuban inhabitants will have the chance to express their opinions and issue criteria on the draft of a new Constitution, a text that, if approved in a referendum, would replace the current constitution in force since 1976.

Work and study centers, and neighborhoods will host meetings to make proposals for the document prepared by a commission of 33 deputies to the National Assembly of People’s Power, a body that approved the project on July 22 and called a popular consultation.

More than one million copies were printed for the meetings, with the aim of guaranteeing that the citizens go to the consultation having an in-depth knowledge of the new Constitution, a total reform of the current one.

Several legislators insisted on the importance of the people’s prominent role when it comes to achieving a Magna Carta that consolidates Cuba’s socialist course and puts the country on a par with the present times.

All the views will be collected and considered, hence the need for people to come to the consultation prepared to have an opinion without any limit, warned Yumil Rodriguez, one of the members of the commission in charge of writing the text.

According to Eduardo Torres-Cuevas, another of the Parliament’s members, it is an unprecedented process of popular participation, from which different points of view will emerge, ‘something very good and necessary, because it will enrich the Magna Carta.’

For the deputy, an issue to be taken into account is that the Constitution represents a document of ‘minimum legislation and not a regulation,’ so that some opinions exposed by the population could be reflected later in the complementary rules and not necessarily in the law of laws.

The Center for Socio-political Studies and Opinion will guarantee the processing of this information for the National Assembly to finally elaborate the Magna Carta, which will be submitted to a referendum.

DRAFT’S CONTENT

The project to be discussed has a preamble and 224 articles (87 more than the current Constitution), divided into 11 titles, 24 chapters and 16 sections.

In chapter I, it is ratified that Cuba is a socialist State of Law, democratic, independent and sovereign, as well as the leading role in the society of the Communist Party, ‘a one-party system based on Marti, Fidel, Marx and Lenin’s philosophy.’ Likewise, it reflects changes in the structure of the State, including the creation of the offices of President, Vice President and Prime Minister of the Republic, and grants constitutional rank to several foreign policy principles defended for decades by the Cuban Revolution.

In that regard, it advocates for world peace, Latin American and Caribbean integration and protection of the environment; it defends human rights; it condemns terrorism, interference in internal affairs of States and aggression, and it calls for disarmament, including the elimination of nuclear and mass destruction weapons.

Similarly, it recognizes the role of the market and new forms of property in Cuba, including private one.

Regarding rights, it broadens access to them, since in addition to maintaining free health and education, it enhances the rights to defense, due process, popular participation and non-discrimination, in the latter case incorporating ‘by gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, ethnic origin and disability.’

Another innovation is the institution of marriage, which in the project is defined as the ‘voluntarily union arranged between two persons with legal capacity for it,’ while the current Constitution limits it to ‘a man and a woman.’

CUBAN CITIZENS LIVING ABROAD

Cuba’s government invited Cuban citizens living abroad to participate in the discussion on the new draft Constitution.

The invitation made on August 3 represents an unprecedented fact in the history of the Revolution, because for the first time all Cubans, regardless of their geographical location, may be part of discussions on such an important initiative as it is to build the country’s Constitution.

This is a significant decision, based on the growing number of Cubans living abroad and the magnitude of the reform that is being proposed, told the press the director of Consular Affairs and Cuban Residents Abroad (DACCRE) of the Foreign Ministry, Ernesto Soberon.

According to the official, those who live outside the Caribbean island have the opportunity to contribute to the development of a socialist and democratic society, guided by premises such as humanism and solidarity, aspects reflected in the proposed new Constitution.

This step means an unequivocal demonstration of our government’s will to continue advancing in a process that began in 1978 to strengthen ties with residents abroad, he stressed.

In Soberon’s opinion, participating in discussions on the document gives these people the chance to help create the Constitution ‘wanted by Cubans for the present and the future, guided by the premise of unity around the Revolution.’

The invitation is in tune with the updating of the migration policy implemented in recent years, which has ‘increased the number of Cubans living abroad that travel to their country of origin,’ he said.

It is also known that of this large number (about 1,400,000 Cubans live in some 120 countries) only a minority advocates the destruction of the Revolution and the return of capitalism that prevailed before 1959, he said.

For residents abroad, the chance to comment and issue proposals on the text will begin in the first week of September, once created the technical conditions for their participation.

Soberon explained that the contribution of criteria by residents abroad will be carried out through a section enabled on the website Nation and Emigration of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (http://www.nacionyemigracion.cu/).

Through this portal they will have access to the new draft Constitution and to a form that will allow them to issue the proposals for changes or comments, he explained.

SOME OPINIONS

In statements to Prensa Latina News Agency, Cubans from different sectors expressed expectations of a popular discussion process on a Magna Carta, something unprecedented in Cuba and perhaps in the world.

I think it is very important, first, the access to the new draft Constitution, and second, the consultation, because it is up to the people to give their opinion and propose, in order to have a law of laws that resembles the prosperous socialism to which they aspire, said Manuel Gonzalez, a 75-year-old retired man.

For her part, the housewife Regla Mesa considered that having the text means appropriating the intellectual tools for debate and discussion around the construction of a more just and equitable country.

‘I will be in the debate at work and also in the consultation in my neighborhood, because I want to be part of this historic moment,’ said Blas Perdomo, a resident of the Havana municipality of Playa.

* Head of Prensa Latina News Agency’s National Editorial Department.

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Women’s Rights in Cuba are Highly Protected

By Deisy Francis Mexidor, Havana, Aug 17 (Prensa Latina) The feminine sector is one of the most benefited by the Revolution and the rights conquered until today are protected in our Constitution, affirmed the general secretary of the Federation of Cuban Women (FMC), Teresa Amarelle.

‘We should never forget that on January 1, 1959, when Commander in Chief Fidel Castro addressed the people of Cuba, he said that one of the tasks to deal with and perhaps would be one of the most difficult was the emancipation of women,’ Amarelle recalled in an interview with Prensa Latina in this capital.

That is why, she stressed, all those rights for which we fight and conquer over these years, appear within the framework of our constitutional reform.

She pointed out that, therefore, for women ‘it is a commitment, it is a duty, it is a debt to our own legacy to reaffirm that Constitution of the Republic.’

But in particular, ‘to contribute with our modest opinions, with our points of view to a project that is very much in tune with the reality of the people of Cuba and that reflects that trajectory in the participation of our women in the revolutionary process,’ highlighted the female leader.

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Private Property, Investment Crown Debates on New Cuban Constitution

August 16 (Radio Reloj) Havana, Cuba.- One of the main modifications introduced by the project of the new Cuban Constitution is the recognition of private property and foreign investment, expressed here today commercial specialist of Hotel Copacabana, Ariel Valdes.

The young man said the possibility that persons residing inside and out of the island are allowed to invest, should be considered.

In his opinion, the country urgently needs this to be able to credit funds to the economy that help its growth and development.

It is vital to open to different forms of investment, above all in the tourism sector, he added.

Valdes also said that control over the wealth and how to measure has been another issue debated to prevent the concentration of property, but considers that to be able to distribute it, first you have to create it.

The creation of wealth must not be feared, that is the way we prevent it from holding back economic and political decisions or solutions, he explained and stressed that a modern approach is needed.

In general, -he said- the text is the first step to put in order many aspects of present society that need to be regulated and updated.

The phase of popular debate of the document started this week and will end on November 15.

Resulting opinions will be evaluated by Parliament, in a phase of analysis from which will result the final draft that will be submitted to a people’s referendum.

The constitutional text ratifies the socialist nature of Cuba and proposes changes in the structure of the State by including the creation of the posts of President and Prime Minister of the Republic.

It also gives constitutional rank to several principles in foreign policy, defended for decades by the Cuban Revolution; it advocates for world peace, Latin American and Caribbean integration and the protection of the environment.

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Venezuela Requests Extradition of Maduro Assassination Suspects

The court has issued extradition requests to Colombia, Peru and the United States in connection with the drone attack on Maduro.

The court has issued extradition requests to Colombia, Peru and the United States in connection with the drone attack on Maduro. | Photo: AVN

The court has issued extradition requests to the governments of Colombia, Peru and the United States in connection with the drone attack in Caracas on August 4.

August 16 (teleSUR) Venezuela’s Supreme Court has formally requested the extradition of eight Venezuelan nationals living abroad who have been implicated in the failed assassination of President Nicolas Maduro.

The court has issued extradition requests to the governments of Colombia, Peru and the United States in connection with the drone attack that took place in Caracas on August 4.

The requests relate to Rayder Alexander Russo Marquez; Yilber Alberto Escalona Torrealba; Osman Alexis Delgado Tabosky; Carlos Luis Aular Monastery; Virginia Antonieta da Silva-Pio; Elvis Rivas Barrios; Josser Eduardo Lopez Valero and the opposition deputy and ex-president of the National Assembly (AN) Julio Borges.

View image on Twitter

The accused face charges of treason; the attempted murder of President Maduro; the attempted murder of several officials from the Bolivarian National Armed Forces; launching an explosive device at a public meeting; terrorism; financing terrorism, and association.

On August 4, during the  Bolivarian National Armed Forces 81st anniversary celebrations, two drones packed with C4 exploded while Maduro was delivering a speech, injuring seven military personnel.

Venezuela was quick to blame the Colombian government of former President Juan Manuel Santos for the attempted assassination, along with opposition allies in Venezuela and the United States.

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Actions to Combat Climate Change Implemented in Cuba

Ciego de Avila, Cuba, Aug 16 (Prensa Latina) A group of actions to mitigate the effects of climate change in coastal areas is carried out in this central Cuban province, in order to meet the objectives of the state program Tarea Vida.

The delegate of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment (CITMA) in Ciego de Avila, Rafael Perez, stated that after locating the most vulnerable settlements to floods, they work in the construction of houses in safe places away from the coast.

Among the towns most likely to disappear in the territory due to sea level rise are Punta Alegre, Maximo Gomez, Manati and Jucaro, which were severely affected by the devastating Hurricane Irma in September of last year.

He said that another priority is the dumping of sand on the beaches of Coco and Guillermo Cays, where about 10 kilometers of riverbanks have been benefited, to expand and improve the bathing areas and preserve the ecosystem.

They also speed up mangrove planting in the northern and southern coasts of the province, the elimination of invasive exotic species and the collection of solid waste in beach areas.

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U.S. Reduces to One Year the Stay of its Diplomats in Cuba

Washington, Aug 16 (Prensa Latina) The U.S. government has reduced to one year the time its diplomats can stay in Cuba, where the U.S. embassy currently has very few staff under the argument of alleged health incidents whose causes are unknown.

The website Politico, which released the information on the basis of access to a State Department news obtained August 10, said the time frame is unusually short and applies to countries devastated by war or very dangerous for other reasons.

Such a change in the duration of missions, which was usually 24 months, imposes periods of time similar to those followed by officials in Iraq, Afghanistan and Southern Sudan, despite the fact that many sectors in the United States recognize the island as a very safe place.

The measure, according to Politico, is related to the health incidents reported by U.S. diplomats in Havana, which were described as attacks by the Donald Trump administration even though it is not known what caused the symptoms.

This step joins other unilateral actions taken by the U.S. government since September 2017, such as substantially reducing the presence of officials in Havana, stopping the delivery of visas and expelling 17 Cuban diplomats from Washington.

Along with these measures, the State Department maintains its warning of trips to Cuba at level three, out of a maximum of four, all of which is seen by the Caribbean nation and U.S. sectors as an attempt to politicize the issue in order to reverse the process of bilateral rapprochement. As Politico warned, reducing the stay of U.S. officials in Havana to one year is also a new coup for companies and other groups that, ‘despite Trump’s reluctance, still hope to see relations between the United States and Cuba improve’.

In a statement sent to the media, the State Department reiterated that they still do not have definitive answers about the source or cause of the health incidents, which it has again labeled as attacks, despite the fact that an investigation is underway.

The news comes after 10 scientists from the United States, the United Kingdom and Germany sent four letters to the Journal of the American Medical Association this week to challenge a study that found that diplomats in Cuba suffered mysterious brain injuries.

According to experts, the authors of a report published in February in the same media did not include mass hysteria as one of the possible causes of the symptoms reported by officials.

The letters are the most recent scientific questioning of the University of Pennsylvania study, used to some extent to justify the decisions of the Trump administration.

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Visit to Cuba of North Korean VP is to Increase Bilateral Relations

Havana, Aug 16 (Prensa Latina) The vice-president of the State Committee of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), Choe Ryong Hae, is carrying out an intense agenda in Cuba, where on Wednesday he held talks with the authorities to strengthen bilateral relations.

The North Korean leader is on a working visit to the island and was received yesterday by the first vice president, Salvador Valdes, with whom he reviewed the ties between both countries.

Choe also met with the host foreign minister, Bruno Rodriguez, during which they discussed international issues as well as bilateral matters.

According to the Cuban Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the meeting took place in a fraternal context, where the visitor and Rodriguez agreed to highlight the bonds of brotherhood and fraternity that unite peoples, parties and governments’.

Cuba and the DPRK have maintained relations since 1960 and currently have agreements for cooperation in various sectors, including education and agriculture.

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Nicaragua: ‘Interventionist’ OAS Commission ‘Not Welcome’

The OAS Labor Commission is supported by the United States, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru.

The OAS Labor Commission is supported by the United States, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru. | Photo: Reuters

A government press release denounced the “interventionist commission” and said the delegation was “not welcome” in Nicaragua.

August 15 (teleSUR) The presence of a Labor Commission from the Organization of American States (OAS) in Nicaragua is “unacceptable,” President Daniel Ortega’s administration said in a statement Wednesday.

A press release from the capital denounced the “interventionist commission” which was created four months ago by the OAS Permanent Council and promoted by the United States, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, and Peru.

“The government of reconciliation declares that the members of that commission that conforms and directs the United States in the desire to continue intervening in the internal affairs of Nicaragua from the OAS are not welcome to our country, therefore they will not be received in our homeland,” said Foreign Minister Denis Moncada.

The letter added that these statements are issued in accordance with Nicaragua’s sovereign security policies, codes of national dignity, and respect for state decisions.

According to OAS Secretary General Luis Almagro, the special commission was sent in to analyze the country’s internal crisis and not to interfere. However, the Labor Commission has stated it plans to defend democracy, justice and human rights within Nicaragua.

In an official statement published late last month, the government of President Daniel Ortega said the commission was neither needed nor wanted and was in fact “energetically rejected” as a political maneuver which does not have Nicaraguan consent.

Nicaragua has experienced a wave of violence that has killed more than 100 people and damaged parts of the country’s economy.

The crisis began in mid-April when protesters took to the streets against a proposed social security reform that sought to overcome the system’s financial crisis by increasing contributions by both employees and employers to avoid raising the retirement age.

The violence has eased after the implementation of various security measures were introduced last week and the country is looking for new avenues to ensure greater national stability for the future.

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Cuba’s New Constitution Will Be Enriched by Diversity of Views

Havana, Aug 15 (Prensa Latina) The diversity of views represents a pillar to enrich the Cuban new draft Constitution, said today in this capital Martha Prieto, Doctor of Legal Sciences.

In a meeting with the press at the headquarters of the Union of Journalists of Cuba (UPEC), the Vice President of the Cuban Society of Constitutional Law highlighted the exercise of popular sovereignty put in place for the Cuban people to comment on the text.

From August 13 to November 15, millions of people are called to participate in neighborhoods and work and study centers in a consultation on the new draft constitution, approved on July 22 by the National Assembly of People’s Power.

The also professor of the University of Havana described as beautiful the document that currently generates different opinions and proposals, based on the rights it contains.

For the jurist, the important thing is that once the Constitution is approved in a popular referendum, which would replace the law of laws in force since 1976, ‘the postulate is met.’

Regarding what a Constitution means, she commented on its superior hierarchy and that it ‘fixes the minimums and maximums’, as it is the basis for the construction of the State and the people´s actions.

During the day, the doctor in Communication Sciences and first Vice President of the UPEC, Rosa Miriam Elizalde, presented a paper on the press and how to reflect it in the Cuban constitutions and in the draft of a new Magna Carta.

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