Cuban Foreign Minister denounces US tightening of the blockade

Havana, Jan 20 (Prensa Latina) Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez denounced today the fierce tightening of the economic, financial, and commercial blockade imposed by the US, as part of its policy against Cuba.

This tightening causes humanitarian and economic damage, and affects the Cuban people, Cubans residing in the US and other countries, and Americans themselves, Rodriguez tweeted.

This blockade by the US Executive against Cuba includes travel restrictions, economic sanctions, and the extension of the list of Cuban bodies restricted to Americans.

Likewise, the dramatic reduction of the amount of dollars that Cuban-Americans can send to their relatives in Cuba, among other measures.

Several times, Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel and other authorities have denounced that the US government resorts to lies as an excuse to tighten the blockade.

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Cuban cyclist Arlenis Sierra ranks 15th in Down Under race

Stirling, Australia, Jan 18 (Prensa Latina) Cuban cyclist Arlenis Sierra, a member of the Astana Women’s Team club, on Saturday ranked 15TH in stage 3 of the 2020 Santos Tour Down Under, moving up to five places in the general individual classification.

Sierra was the best Latin American and Caribbean athlete in a race dominated by US cyclist Ruth Winder, of the local Trek Segafredo club, when there is one day left of competition.

On a 109.1-km route from Nairne to Stirling, the Cuban cyclist crossed the finish line in the main 24-runner team, all of them with the same time as the winner of 2:51.16 hours, and ranked 13th, while her Italian teammate, Katia Ragusa, is in the 17th position.

Meanwhile, Mexican cyclists Andrea Ramirez and Marcela Prieto were the other most prominent in the area after finishing 20th and 23rd, respectively, nearly 12 seconds behind the winner.

The fourth and final stage of the race will be a 42.5-km route through streets and avenues in the city of Adelaide.

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Venezuela and Cuba strengthen bilateral cooperation

Caracas, Jan 19 (Prensa Latina) Delegations of Venezuela and Cuba will attend on Sunday in this capital a plenary session of the 20th Meeting of the Intergovernmental Commission to strengthen cooperation between the two countries.

From the Yellow House (headquarters of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs), the representatives will assess the challenges of collaboration during 2020, in order to benefit the two countries in economic and social matters.

On Sunday, work tables on oil, finance, tourism, health and education were addressed, in which the Venezuelan system’s behavior and expectations for this coming year were reviewed.

With regard to oil, Venezuela’s Oil Minister Manuel Quevedo informed that the financing scheme is currently available to continue with the work plan and the exchange of oil supply for services will remain.

Venezuela has been providing goods to Cuba since 2000, including assistance and technical advice from public and private entities, as well as oil derivatives, framed in the Comprehensive Cooperation Agreement signed by the parties.

During the development of the technical table, a possible program of statistical advice in hospitals was also assessed.

As part of the 20th Meeting of the Intergovernmental Commission of the Cuba-Venezuela Integral Cooperation Agreement, set up last Thursday, both countries assessed covering advances on their agreements in the tourism and foreign trade sector with the petro cryptocurrency, in order to strengthen the Venezuelan economic system and production.

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Mexico’s President Assures Continuation of Social Programs

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador inaugurated a new road in Oaxaca.

“Here, there is no ambition to steal. The only ambition, if you can call it that, is to serve the people,” AMLO said. 

Jan 19 (teleSUR) Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said Sunday that his administration will continue to guarantee social programs that seek to improve the lives of all Mexicans.

During the inauguration of a new concrete road in the Mixe region in the state of Oaxaca, AMLO assured that programs such as “Sowing Life” and “Internet for All” would be completely developed throughout his term.

The president gave a short speech because the poor state of the roads would delay his trip to Santo Domingo Xagacia, and finally to Mexico City. “Here, there is no ambition to steal. The only ambition, if you can call it that, is to serve the people.”

“There are no longer any presidential planes or helicopters, and I don’t want to miss my commercial flight. But we’re going to keep meeting, we’re going to keep talking,” he added.

We inaugurated the Santos Reyes Yucuna road. According to the INEGI it is the poorest municipality in Mexico.

AMLO again pointed out that the services of the Institute of Health for Welfare shouldn’t be charged to the Mexican people.

“There will be no lack of doctors or medicines and there will be free health care. It’s not going to be easy because there was a lot of corruption in everything, even the money for the medicines was stolen.”

For his part, the Governor of Oaxaca Alejandro Murat Hinojosa insisted on supporting the institute.

“The Insabi,” he added, “is the best way to provide health services in a different way “and it is what the people of Oaxaca want”.

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Havana among FlightNetwork’s preferences

Havana, Jan 19 (Prensa Latina) The Canadian website FlightNetwork chose Havana among the world’s 50 most beautiful cities, ranking 28th on the list.

Named one of the new seven wonders of the world, Havana has so much to offer. The website says that the capital of all Cubans ranked 28th among the beauties not to miss on the planet.

According to FlightNetwork, Havana’s attributes go beyond having an incredible architecture, because it has innumerable attractions.

The website points out that Havana is caught in the warping of the 1950s with its US-made cars and Spanish colonial architecture, so it does not disappoint.

In addition, FlightNetwork considers Cubans are another gift for tourists.

FlightNetwork is a Canadian online travel agency, which started up operation in 1998 in order to compete in the online travel market.

Canada is Cuba’s major tourist-sending market. The Caribbean island receives more than four million foreign holidaymakers every year and has some 70,000 rooms in 300 hotels throughout the country.

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Eastern Cuban region boosts nature tourism

Havana, Jan 19 (Prensa Latina) The eastern Cuban region, particularly Holguin province, strongly develops nature tourism and historical issues, local media reported on Sunday.

An office of the Cuban News Agency (ACN) stressed in this regard that these modalities are increasing, especially among foreign visitors who come to that part of the island.

The press release added that the Cuban travel agency ECOTUR in Holguin, specialized in the realization of ecological tourism, proposes a series of excursions to natural and historical destinations in the aforementioned scenario.

The offers point to that eastern territory as well as the surrounding regions, for Cuban and foreign travelers.

Among the options is Baracoa’s tour in Guantanamo, the oldest city in Cuba founded in 1511 by the Spaniard Diego Velazquez, which stands out for the production of chocolate and mountain ranges, crystalline water rivers and beaches.

Santiago de Cuba constitutes another of the provinces included in these proposals within the options of ECOTUR-Holguin with two routes, where sites of historical value are visited such as the Sanctuary of the Virgin of Charity of ‘El Cobre,’ the Moncada Barracks and the Cemetery Santa Ifigenia.

The second route focuses all the day activities on La Gran Piedra mountain range, a mountain crowned with a rock of over 60,000 tons, surrounded by other interesting sites such as the Birds of Paradise, Botanical Garden and the La Isabelica museum.

The Cuban travel agency ECOTUR boosts ecotourism through activities related to nature, adventures and knowledge and protection of the environment.

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Cuban and Chinese children honor Jose Marti

FotosPL: Yolaidy Martínez

Beijing, Jan 18 (Prensa Latina) Cuban and Chinese children on Saturday joined their respective cultures in an event to honor the 167th birthday Cuban National Hero Jose Marti.

Among music, dance, visual arts and poetry, the children gathered at the Cuban Embassy in Beijing to pay tribute to the most universal of all Cubans, a moment that became a bridge to strengthen friendship between the two socialist countries.

At the beginning of the event, Ambassador Carlos Miguel Pereira recalled one of Marti’s phrases on children, and assured that it has been a maxim during the 61 years of the Cuban Revolution.

‘We live for children in Cuba. Ensuring the new generations for the construction of a better world based on humanistic values and principles, and guaranteeing the enjoyment of a happy childhood and youth,’ he said.

At the cultural event, all Cuban children sang ‘Guantanamera’ with stanzas of Jose Marti’s Simple Verses.

Images of Jose Marti and drawings made by the children were screened during the activity.

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Venezuela and Cuba review cooperation challenges in oil sector

Caracas, Jan 18 (Prensa Latina) Venezuela and Cuba reviewed the challenges of bilateral cooperation in 2020 in the oil and finance sectors, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs stressed on Saturday.

Delegations from the two countries assessed the behavior of the Venezuela’s system and expectations in this year, Venezuelan Minister of Petroleum Manuel Quevedo said.

He also informed that the financing scheme is currently available to continue the work plan, and the exchange of oil for services will be maintained.

Since 2000, Venezuela has provided Cuba with goods, which include assistance and technical advice from public and private companies, as well as oil byproducts, in the framework of the Integral Cooperation Agreement signed by the two nations.

Cuban Deputy Minister for Foreign Trade and Foreign Investment Roberto Lopez noted that the US economic blockade is not imposed on companies but on the people, and thanked the achievements made in the framework of this collaboration. During the technical meeting, the two countries also assessed the possible execution of an advisory program on statistical terms in hospitals.

As part of the 20th Meeting of the Intergovernmental Commission of the Cuba-Venezuela Integral Cooperation Agreement, the two countries strengthened bilateral cooperation in tourism and foreign trade, and assessed covering the advanced payments of their agreements with the crypto-currency petro in order to strengthen the economic system and Venezuela’s production.

Prior to the 14th edition of the International Tourism Fair of Venezuela, scheduled for May in La Guaira state, the delegations identified the two countries’ potentialities.

The Cuba-Venezuela Integral Cooperation Agreement was signed in Caracas on October 30, 2000, by Commander Hugo Chavez (1954-2013) and the leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro (1926-2016), who committed to designing cooperation programs and projects in different sectors.

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Cabrisas’ visit ratifies strengthening of Cuba-France ties

Paris, Jan 18 (Prensa Latina) Cuban Deputy Prime Minister Ricardo Cabrisas had a busy agenda in France this week, when both countries’ commitment to strengthening relations was confirmed.

The high-level meetings between Cuban and French authorities demonstrated the good state of the bilateral relations, marked by France’s condition to be one of Cuba’s top 10 trading partners and fifth tourist market, with 170,000 holidaymakers.

On the third and last day of his visit to Paris, Cabrisas was welcomed at the Hotel de Matignon by Prime Minister Edouard Philippe, a meeting in which they highlighted bilateral ties and interest, especially in trade, investment and cooperation.

During the meeting, Cabrisas conveyed salutations from Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel to the French president.

Philippe and Diaz-Canel met in Paris in October 2018, during the latter’s transit in his tour of European and Asian countries, a meeting that strengthened relations, after the visit of Francois Hollande to Cuba in May 2015 and Raul Castro’s visit to France in early 2016, when agreements were signed, including the Bilateral Economic Agenda.

Cabrisas also met on Friday with Prime Minister Cabinet Director Benoît Ribadeau-Dumas, who expressed his country’s commitment to support Cuba’s mid- and short-term development plans.

On Thursday, Cabrisas met with Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, their third meeting in the past 13 months, after those held at the 3rd Session of the Economic and Commercial Commission in late December 2018 in Havana, and in January 2019 in Paris.

Lemoyne confirmed the French government’s willingness to expand ties and promote actions in favor of business and trade.

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High turnout in elections of governors in Cuba

Havana, Jan 18 (Prensa Latina) The National Electoral Council (CEN) reported on Saturday that there was a high participation of municipal delegates to elect all 15 governors and deputy governors in Cuba.

In its first report on the voting, the CEN noted that all 167 polling stations opened and the turnout was 97.92%.

Only Isla de la Juventud special municipality was not called to the elections, as it is not part of any province.

Each People’s Power Municipal Assembly became in its own right a polling station to elect the governor and deputy governor, who were proposed by President Miguel Diaz-Canel as established by the new Constitution, in force since April 2019.

The ballot boxes were guarded by a primary school child and a member of the Municipal Electoral Council, which will count the votes and report on the results to their respective Provincial Electoral Councils.

At the beginning of the elections, a lawmaker from the National Assembly presented de candidates and biographies that were analyzed during the week by the voters.

The results of the elections will be announced on Saturday afternoon at a press conference by the National Electoral Council, which will previously report to the President of the Republic and the president of the People’s Power National Assembly.

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