Friday, September 30, 2011

Cuba Passes Law on Sale and Purchase of Motor Vehicles

By Alex Silva / RHC

Law Decree 292 will come into force on October 1, 2011, along with several ministerial resolutions that alleviate and eliminate procedures on the transfer of motor vehicle ownership.

The new regulations were published in Cuba’s Official Gazette and establish the sale and purchase of motor vehicles by Cuban citizens.

According to Granma newspaper, the sale and purchase procedures will be performed before a public notary without prior authorization.

These documents establish a tax on the Transfer of Assets and Inheritance for buyers and beneficiaries of donations, and the tax on personal incomes for sellers. In both cases, taxes are estimated at four percent of the vehicle’s worth.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Low-budegt Film Festival Returns to Gibara

The Cuban coastal town of Gibara, in Holguin, will be the venue once again for the 9th Humberto Solas International Film Festival to be held from April 17th through the 22nd, 2012.

Next year's event will be dedicated to the people of Gibara, where the the festival took place for the first time in 2003, and it will include film screenings in several communities of this city, which has made the event theirs.

Its new director, young filmmaker Lester Hamlet, expects to turn the also called La Villa Blanca de los Cangrejos (White Villa of Crabs), National Monument, a huge set where filmmakers from various countries shoot their productions.

The agenda of the meeting also includes spaces dedicated to children and adolescents, and to evoke Solas (1941-2008), creator and driving force, National Film Award and director of films like Lucia, El siglo de las luces, miel para Oshun and Barrio Cuba.

The International Low-budegt Film Festival is the ideal opportunity for promoting high aesthetic quality of movies that not need meny resources for their production, making good use of digital technology.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Cuba Announces National Team for Baseball World Cup

The team is made up of three catchers, six infielders, five outfielders and 10 pitchers.

Cuba Team:

-Catchers: Ariel Pestano, Frank Camilo Morejon, Yosvani Alarcon.

-Infielders: Jose Dariel Abreu, Hector Olivera, Yulieski Gourriel, Erisbel Arruebarruena, Michel Enriquez, Rudy Reyes.

-Outfielders: Frederich Cepeda, Alfredo Despaigne, Rusney Castillo, Alexei Bell, Giorvis Duvergel.

-Pitchers: Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez, Freddy Asiel Alvarez, Yadier Pedroso, Norberto Gonzalez, Yulieski Gonzalez, Vicyohandri Odelín, Dalier Hinojosa, Alberto Soto, Miguel Lahera and Jonder Martinez.

-Manager: Alfonso Urquiola.

-Assistants: Jose Hernandez, Jose Medina, Javier Galves, Ronny Aguiar, Victor Mesa, Enrique Rojas, Hanoi Choong.

-Medical Corps: Andres Cañarte, Jose Barrizonte, Pablo Gutierrez.

Head of Delegation: Higinio Velez. / PL

Monday, September 19, 2011

Blessed Poison

As the saying goes " there is nothing more itching than the sting of a scorpion." But more than itching, the scorpion's sting causes severe pain due to its neurotoxic action.

This small animal, which only attacks if threatened or kill the prey that will become its food, has been used in many ways by man. Their bites were used as a military tactic in the war in the desert. In many Asian countries it is considered an exotic dish due to its excellent source of protein.

The use of the scorpion's toxins to cure various ailments dating back to earlier centuries, even when the chemical or radiation therapy had not been institutionalized.

In Cuba, the potential of scorpion venom Rhopalurus junceus, endemic to the east of the island, has been confirmed. And perhaps by the fact that Cubans are inclined towards taking anything someone says has a positive effect on health, its use emerges as an alternative with scientific basis to treat cancer. Blue scorpion venom strengthens the immune system in patients suffering from this disease, thus contributing to reducing not only the tumor processes, but also the pain and inflammation.

Our country recently registered Vidatox, a drug developed by LABIOFAM using the technique of homeopathic pharmacy with this scorpion venom, which has benefited thousands of patients suffering from cancer.

This business group has launched a marketing and promotional offensive that has helped to place and export this product to countries such as Albania, in Europe, providing the service to Italy where there is high demand.

Cuba currently has scientific institutions such as the Pedro Kouri Tropical Medicine institute, the Oncology and Radiobiology, Ministries of Science, Technology and Environment and Public Health, working on the development of innovative products, not only for our benefit but for the world, since cancer is the second leading cause of death, preceded by cardiovascular diseases.

If Cubans were a community of religious people, we might adore the scorpion for providing this "poison" that help to relieve, to a large extent, the discomforts of a painful disease like cancer.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Cuba‘s Report vs Blockade 2011

The economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the United States government against Cuba has been maintained and further tightened despite the growing and categorical demand by the international community — in particular the United Nations General Assembly— for its elimination.

While the current US gover ment has taken some positive steps, they are insufficient and extremely imited in scope. Furthermore, they are not intended to alter the complex structure of laws, regulations and provisions that make up the blockade policy against Cuba...

Read full text of the report at:

Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Virgin of Charity: Cuba’s Patron Saint

By Damián Donéstevez

Every September 8th Cubans pay tribute to La Virgen de la Caridad or the Virgen of Charity of El Cobre, the most cherished religious image in Cuba.

Located in the town of El Cobre, few kilometers away from the eastern city of Santiago de Cuba, the Virgin’s sanctuary is visited by thousands of people from all over the world to pay promises and carry small copper rocks from a nearby mine, which, according to devout believers, give people good luck.

The legend goes that at the end of the 16th century three fishermen –Juan Esclavo, Juan Indio and Juan Pescador (John, the slave, John, the Indian and John, the fisherman) found the image of the virgin in the middle of a storm in the immense Bay of Nipe in what is today known as the eastern province of Holguín.

At the time of the finding, the piece of wood holding the image, which had a rare beauty and a copper-colored skin, read: “I AM THE VIRGIN OF CHARITY”. It is said that it appeared in the large bay to save the fishermen, symbolizing the birth of a people and a nation, made up of Spanish, African and Indian ancestors.

On September 24th, 1915, high ranking officers and members of the former Ejército Libertador or “Mambí” Army, who had fought on the island’s second independence war against Spain, asked Pope Benedict XV to proclaim the Virgin of Charity of “El Cobre” as Cuba’s Patron Saint.

In a mass held the same day, the “mambises”, or former independence fighters, packed the old Sanctuary in the small town of El Cobre to request the canonical declaration from the Catholic Church. They also offered the Virgin a Cuban flag and promised to support the building of a new Sanctuary.

The canonical proclamation was approved by Papal decree on May 10th, 1916, less than a year after the Cuban patriots had requested it and the new Sanctuary opened on September 8th, 1927.

Years later, Pope Pious XI authorized the canonical coronation of the sacred image, but it was not until the morning of December 20, 1936 that the coronation was held by Santiago de Cuba’s Bishop Monsignor Valentín Zubizarreta.

Much later, the Virgin of Charity of “El Cobre” –Cuba’s Patron Saint- was personally crowned by Pope John Paul II in a public mass at Santiago de Cuba’s Antonio Maceo Square during his historical visit to Cuba in 1998.

The Sanctuary of the Virgin of Charity of “El Cobre” is a neoclassical style construction built in 1927 on the summit of a hill on the island’s oldest copper mine which began to be exploited in the late 16th century.

The current sanctuary, where mass is given every morning, has a silver altar and other highly valuable ornamental objects. Under the virgin, you can find the so called Chapel of Miracles, a small room where believers pay promises and deposit different offerings, including gold and precious stone jewels, clutches and other objects.

The Chapel of Miracles treasures the gold medal awarded to US writer Ernest Hemingway when he was proclaimed Nobel Literature Prize laureate in 1954, donating it to the people of Cuba and offering it to the Virgin.

The Virgin of Charity is also known as “Virgen Mambisa” or “Mambí” Virgin due to the devotion of fighters for the island’s independence wars against Spain, who were better known as “mambises”.

The Virgin is also worshipped by Afro-Cuban religious believers. In the Yoruba religion, the Virgin of Charity of “El Cobre” is known as “Ochún,” the deity of love and money and the owner of running water. Her festivities are linked to those of her sister “Yemayá”, the Goddess of the Ocean, or the Virgin of Regla in the Catholic Pantheon, to whom believers pay tribute on September 7th.

The Virgin of Charity of “El Cobre” is part of the Cuban people’s spirit and culture.

Taken from Radio Havana Cuba

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Natural Areas Protected in Holguin

The Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment has declared 16 natural areas protected in the eastern province of Holguin, for their high values in terms of flora and fauna.

Pico Cristal national park in the municipalities of Sagua de Tanamo and Frank País, and La Mensura-piloto, located in Mayari-Cueto, stand out among the protected areas.

Also included is the “Cerro Galano” Nature Reserve, on the border of the municipality of Rafael Freyre and Báguano as well as the Caletones Ecological Reserve in Gibara.

Other important areas are “Los refugios de fauna” of the Mayari River Delta, the Cananova and Tanamo Bays in Frank País, and “Las balsas” in Gibara.

The province also has areas with managed floral reserves in Punta Lucrecia; Cabo de Mulas, in Banes; Dos Rios, in Holguín; Ceja de Melones, in Rafael Freyre, Cerro Miraflores, in Moa and the El Ramon Peninsula, in the municipality of Antilla.

Naranjo Bay and and the Cerros Carsicos of Maniabón in Rafael Freyre are preserved as natural landscape, while work is in progress on the proposed protected landscape in the area adjacent to the natural bridge over the Bitírí river in Cueto, recently declared a National Monument.

These areas are home to significant biodiversity resources, including the Polymita, the most beautiful land snails on earth, birds like the nightingale and the Colilargo hawk, the Almiquí and also many endemic plants.