Friday, December 28, 2012

Registration now open for marlin fishing tournament

Cuba called on fans of sport fishing to the 63 International Marlin Fishing Tournament, to take place at at the Havana marina named after US Nobel Literature laureate Ernest Hemingway.. The event will be held from 20 to 25 May, 2013 and entries are now open. Reservations must be done at least 30 days before the start date, and also can be rented boats on the island or come on their own with up to a four-member crew. So far already confirmed their participation France, winner of the Cup in the previous tournament, Canada, Venezuela and Italy. This competition takes place since 1950 and the 62nd competition, Frenchman Gerard Aprile and his crew achieved the first place for the fourth time in the Marlin X, followed by Ukrainians led by Oleksandr Tupysky in his first appearance this year. The other French representation, led by Jean Yves, took third place in the marlin fishing. The competition keeps Tag and Release condition and digital photo in JPG format to contribute to the preservation of the species, rules that will check the jury of specialists of the Cuban Federation of sport fishing. Event organizers are considering the inclusion of circle hooks to minimize damage to the Marlins and Dorado, targets of competition. Those arriving by yacht will not have to bring visas because they can acquire them to enter the Navy, says the organizing committee. For more information those interested can consult digital site.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Member of Napoleon's Imperial Guard lived in Cuba

A member of Napoleón Bonaparte's Imperial Guard, Second Lieutenant Arnaldo Pellet Gallibert, lived and died in Matanzas, western Cuba. Investigator Adrián Álvarez narrates that the local paper Aurora del Yumuri, published in the 17th century, reported that Pellet Gallibert, born in Carcasona, France, was buried in the San Juan de Dios Cemetery, 100 kilometers east of Havana, on April 22, 1871, at the age of 78. The source did not disclose the motives for Gallibert's arrival and residence in Cuba nor what he lived on, but the obituary says his friends described him as "an honorable and brave militaryman and exemplary father." Gallibert was second lieutenant in the elite troops of Bonaparte (born in Ajaccio on August 15, 1769, and died in St. Helen, May 5, 1821), as a military genius in the history of humankind. Pellet Gallibert participated in important campaigns like those in Russia and Leipzig (Germany), added the specialist. With information from Radio Havana Cuba

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Creating Happiness

By Liudmila Peña Some people do not believe in auras or good energies. Sometimes, I also doubt about it. It's difficult to believe in what you can’t see; but anyone who sees his smile and lookof eternal youth on his face, as if he had no problems, is convinced that happiness exists: just let’s tell his own life story. He was born in a small town of Granma province, in 1963, where people still tell stories about the devastating hurricane Flora in that eastern region of Cuba. "My disability has always been a mystery. Doctors recently discovered that my mother had visceral cooling, because when she was eight months pregnant, she was exposed to many hours of floods caused by hurricane Flora, in October and I was born on November 26. The congenital fibrous dysplasia I've been suffering from came from that." The home of Abel González Marrero, in the community of Alcides Pino, is a large workshop where solutions are invented for wheelchairs, tricycles and cars, with which he has "manufactured" friendships that last a lifetime. And though his innovations amaze those who do not know him, because of his physical limitations, this "repairman of dreams" has a very simple explanation: "If you sit in a wheelchair and do nothing, your day seems to last 48 hours. However, for me time passes quickly, because I always have a friend round or I am doing something useful. The doctors do not understand why I do not need any medicine to sleep. This job is the best medicine for diseases." An inventor by nature, his love of screws and bolts comes from childhood, when he used to repair the broken toys of kids from his neighborhood. "Since I had my disability I could not play the same games or do the same things those boys did. So, I used to repair their toys and that made me feel good. " Now that game has become a profession. No children or toys are around him, but engines or transportation for people with disabilities like him: "The powered chairs that come from donations solve one problem, but they only work well for the first few months. When the battery fails, the disabled person cannot use it anymore. The purpose of my workshop is to take the electronic hardware out of these means and manufacture a mechanical one. I also turn these powered chairs into tricycles, so they can use batteries from other types of transport and their repairs turn out more functional." And is this your famous tricycle? I ask and he laughs. "This is my great achievement and right now we are going to use it. When its battery is failing I lose sleep, as these are 'my legs'. I was told it was you who manufactured an easel for painter Marcos Pavón, the renowned disabled artist who painted with his mouth ... "I made an electromechanical easel that lasted over 25 years. His parents were growing old and he depended on them for painting. When he had to make a move, he had to wait for someone to come. With the easel, he could raise or lower the painting with a foot. " A graduate in Quality Control at the 26 de Julio Polytechnic, he has manufactured several mechanism to improve the quality of life of people with disabilities, like an elevator so they can attend the "Calixto Garcia" stadium in the province of Holguin, among others. "The elevator is designed without breaking the architecture of the stadium, which allows the disabled to access and enjoy baseball games like other people." As the classical Meñique, he never think "this is too much" when new ideas comes to him. Now, he is planning to build a kind of mechanical shifter and a telescopic gearbox. "My son carries me and takes me wherever I need to go. But to rely on him less, I want to put a beam with electrical equipment in the ceiling above the bed, so that my wife can put a belt on me and the mechanism can take me to the bathroom, which is in line with the bedroom. All without fear of falling, because it would have a protective harness.” "But the telescopic gearbox is the important dream for me now. It will allow me to multiply the speed and strength of the tricycle. My doctors told me this will be a perfect exercise to me, because it's like going paddling. Necessity is the mother of invention. I build solutions, but I want those who need them, to use them well. " Basketball player and wheelchair marathon runner, this man joined, as a drummer, the “Corazón del Caribe” (Heart of the Caribbean) music band, consisting of disabled musicians throughout Latin America. And though his life has been a contribution to human beings, he does not hide his desire that people value ACLIFIM members better: "Sometimes people look at us a little sorry, from the same ignorance. What we need are opportunities to show all the things we can do, because the disabled person is a man with a heart, with a disability which has a special status. There are still barriers to break, creating more workshops where we can develop activities like anyone else, as we have skills and conditions ".

Friday, December 7, 2012

Mayan spiritual leaders officiate ancestral ceremony in Cuba

An ancient ceremony of harmonization between peoples, men and nature was held on Thursday by Guatemalan Maya spiritual leaders in Bacuranao beach, east of Havana. This is the most sacred gift to the world, in a place where they combine the energies of the river and the land with the sea, in a very special day, said one of the spirtual leaders, Rosalina Tuyuc Velasquez, who also explained that in the ancient Mayan calendar this ceremony is called Nahual Kan that is the serpent force, provider of energy-water, creation, breathing and justice, like blood in the veins of humans and this case the sacred land. Tuyuc said the upcoming December 21 Mayans await the end of the current era, after which they must receive "a new sun" to bring "new attitudes, transformations" and "harmonization" between cultures, humans and nature. On the floor they accommodated fruits, seeds, flowers and other natural products, built a fire and with one of the oldest native languages they invoked harmonizing humanity and its environment. According to the Mayan calendar, an era consists of 13 cycles and ends every 5.125 years, so that in 2012 ended the current era that began in 3118 BC.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Reserch warns on extinction of coffee later this century

Getting up in the morning and have a hot cup of coffe at breakfast can become a luxury by the end of this century due to the effect that climate change could have on the cultivation of the most common variety of bush producer of coffee, Arabica coffee. A recent study conducted by British and Ethiopians researchers, the 70% of world coffee production could be eradicated by 2080. Researchers focused on how climate change could transform soil in which the plant is grown, so they became unproductive, as this shrub is very vulnerable to changes in temperature and other hazards such as pests and diseases. The study predicts that the reduction of land suitable for the cultivation of arabica coffee could be 38% in 2080. The worst predictions rise up to 90 and even up to 100%. The conclusions are devastating: "there is a high risk of extinction." Obviously the economy of many producing countries, such as Ethiopia, Colombia and Brazil could be greatly affected if the prediction is correct. Most of the coffee we consume is of the arabica variety, prized for its genetic diversity and grow well between 18 and 21 ° C temperature. Temperature rises slightly over this interval and the plant will ripen too quickly (which affects the taste) or grow too slowly. The worst thing is that scientists believe that their predictions are even optimistic, as they have not considered deforestation dangers faced by growing areas, what is happening in the high forests of Ethiopia and southern Sudan. And I conclude stating that I'll be happy if the prediction fails because I really love coffe... With information from Cuaderno de Ciencias

Monday, October 29, 2012

The nightmare of hurricanes

Hurricanes have become my worst nightmare, since in 2008 I saw, for the first time in my life, the destruction that these natural phenomena can cause, after the passage of Hurricane Ike through the province of Holguín. Economic losses, thousands of homes destroyed, power lines totally destroyed, flooding, families living in pain because they lost everything.
I hoped not relive that ordeal, until the morning of Thursday 25 October, when Sandy began lashing the island as a Category 2 hurricane. Then I felt a lot of fear and pain at the thought that when we had managed to recover from the ravages of Ike, history repeated itself.
The fury of wind and rainfall from Sandy let painful images of Holguin flooded, houses floating in water, homes destroyed, power lines on the ground, thousands of hectares of crops almost lost, the sugar cane we worked so hard planting, lying down, filled with water and the sugar mills whistled fulfilment in the last harvest, without the protective covers of our irons are still active, thanks to the ingenuity of this noble people working hard to produce sugar. Sandy left us destruction and billions economic losses, but the will of our people is unwavering. We will turn our pain into effort and will work hard to recover, we will build, plant, produce. That's the way Cubans are.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Article “Fidel Castro is Dying"

Granma and Trabajadores newspapers published, on Monday, an article written by Cuban Revolution leader Fidel Castro rejecting ill rumors recently launched about his health. In his article, the Cuban Revolution leader says that as soon as his message addressed to the first graduates from the Victoria de Giron Medical Science Institute was published, the imperialist propaganda and news agencies began to unleash their lies, even adding the most unexpected and stupid arguments. Spain’s ABC newspaper said that some Venezuelan doctor revealed that Castro had suffered from a massive stroke and that he was about to undergo a neuro-vegetative condition, Fidel explains in his article. Though many people in the world are misled by the media, most of which are in the hands of the privileged and the rich, the people increasingly disbelieve this press, says Fidel Castro and he goes to recall that in 1961, everybody believed some news agencies saying that the Bay of Pigs mercenaries were about to reach Havana, when in fact some of them were actually trying to return to the US warships that had escorted them. Fidel Castro also recalls in his article that just few days before the 50th anniversary of the Missile Crisis, the news agencies pointed to three guilty ones: Kennedy, who had just taken the Imperial power, Nikita Khrushchev and Castro, and he notes that Cuba had nothing to do with the nuclear weapon, or with the unnecessary massacre in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which was perpetrated by US President Harry S. Truman, an action that established the tyranny of nuclear weapons. Cuba was defending its right to independence and social justice, Fidel points out. “We accepted the Soviet assistance in terms of weapons, oil, food and other resources to defend ourselves from Yankee plans of invading our homeland, submitted to a dirty and bloody war imposed by that capitalist country since the first months, which cost thousands of lives and mutilated Cubans.” Fidel says that when Khrushchev proposed Cuba to install mid-range missiles similar to those the U.S. had deployed in Turkey, as a necessary gesture of solidarity, Cuba did not hesitate in accepting the risk. “Our behavior was ethically irreproachable. We will never apologize for what we did. The fact is that half a century after that we are still here holding our head high.” Fidel said that he likes to write and he does, that he likes to study and he does, and that there are tasks to meet in the area of knowledge; for instance, sciences had never advanced at such an amazing speed, he says. Finally, Fidel Castro explains that he stopped publishing his Reflection articles because he did not want to use the pages of the press, which are dedicated to other duties required by the country. And he concludes by stating: birds of ill omen! I do not even recall what a headache feels like. As a proof of how much you lie, here I give you the photos that go with this article.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Cuba updates migration policy

As part of the work undertaken to update the current migration policy adjusting it to prevailing conditions in the present and the foreseeable future, the Cuban government has decided to forgo the required Travel Permit as well as the Letter of Invitation. Therefore, as from January 14th, 2013, it will only be necessary to submit the ordinary passport, duly updated, and the visa issued by the country of destination, in those cases when it is required. The ordinary passport will be issued to the Cuban citizens who meet the requirements of the Migration Law, as modified in compliance with these provisions. Such Law will come into effect ninety days after its publication in the Official Gazette of the Republic of Cuba. Those already in possession of an ordinary passport, issued before this decision is valid, should request from the corresponding authorities of the Ministry of the Interior its updating absolutely free of charge. Likewise, those with a valid Travel Permit will be able to depart without any additional procedure. It has also been decided that Cuban residents travelling overseas on private affairs will be permitted to remain there for a period of twenty-four months, counting from the date of departure. For a longer stay, they will be required to obtain the corresponding evidence of extension of stay from a Cuban consulate.
The updating of the migration policy takes into account the right of the revolutionary state to defend itself from the aggressive and subversive plans of the US government and its allies. For this reason, those measures aimed at preserving the human capital created by the Revolution from the theft of talents practiced by the powerful nations shall remain in force. In due course, other measures related to the migratory issue will be adopted that will certainly help in the consolidation of the efforts being made by the Revolution towards the full normalization of Cuba's relations with its emigrants. Today, the Official Gazette of the Republic of Cuba is publishing the Law Decree of the State Council modifying the current Migration Law as well as other supplementary regulations. Additional information on the procedures required by the law and other specificities concerning the country's migration policy are available to the people at the Dirección de Inmigración y Extranjería and its voice message through phone number 2063218; Portal del Ciudadano Cubano:; and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Cuba:

Monday, October 15, 2012

The Top Ten Censorship of U.S. Media

The increasing encroachment upon freedom and the transformation of the U.S. into a police state, the "legal" decrees in conflict with the Constitution of the Homeland Security Department, the new laws that criminalize the Occupy protests, encouraging new business of "incitement and betrayal" sponsored by the FBI that reports earnings of $ 100,000 per each prefabricated case per 15,000 internal spies" authorized ", the slavery that exists today in U.S. factory-prisons with wage of 23 cents per hour of work , the untenable situation of life in the oceans, the war crimes of NATO in Libya, Fukushima radioactive dusts still killing people in U.S. territory, an investigation of Zuyrich revealing that 147 U.S. and European transnational corporations have the control of world economy, the 16 billion printed dollars that the Federal Reserve granted to the biggest banks responsable of the crisis and a called on the UN to turn entrepreneurs workers into cooperatives, are the top 10 news less disseminated by Censored 2013. The Top 25 censored news by the U.S. corporate media during the last academic year 2011/2012, investigated for nearly four decades by teachers and students of sociology at Sonoma State University in California, were just released in the book Censored 2013, published in New York by the Seven Stores publishing house. The book will be launched in December in Santa Rosa, California. 1. USA: Police State Since the Patriot Act 2001, the U.S. has increasingly domestic political surveillance and militarization at the expense of civil liberties. The adoption in 2012 of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) allows the military to indefinitely imprison, without trial, any U.S. citizen that the government label of "terrorist" or "accessory to terrorism." President Barack Obama issued the decree National Resources Defense Preparedness Executive Order, authorizing the broader military and federal control of the national economy and its resources under "conditions of emergency and non-emergency." Since 2010, the campaign of the Homeland Security Department "If you see something, say something" urges the public to report any suspicious activity to local authorities, but what Homeland Security identifies as " suspect "are often critical of the government or non-violent protests, which are rights guaranteed by the Constitution. 2. Oceans in Danger The sea is not infinite and inexhaustible. The total rise of ocean temperatures led to the largest movement of marine species in two to three million years. A research carried out February 2012 on 14 protected and 18 unprotected ecosystems in the Mediterranean showed that their resources are rapidly depleting. A three-year scientific study found that marine reserves that meet the population of fish have five to ten times more marine life than the unprotected areas. 3. Fukushima kills even in U.S. The consequences of the Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011 are greater than those recognized, to the extent that scientists estimate 14,000 deaths in the U.S. due to the fallout from Japan, according to a December 2011 report of the International Journal of Medical Services. The radiation detector array of the Environmental Protection Agency (RadNet) has maintenance failure and often poorly calibrated equipment. 4. The FBI is responsible for most terrorist plot in the U.S. The Federal Bureau of Investigation implemented an unusual method to prevent future terrorist attacks by developing a network of nearly 15,000 spies to infiltrate various communities in the search for terrorist plots. But those “Topos” are really helping and encouraging people to commit crimes to denounced them and collect cash rewards of up to $ 100,000 per case. 5. Federal Reserve printed 16 trillion dollars to save big banks An audit of the First Federal Reserve reveals that it provided an emergency and secret assistance for 16 billion dollars to the largest U.S. and European banks at the height of the global financial crisis, between 2007 and 2010. Of these 16 million billion, Morgan Stanley received 107.3 billion, 99.5 billion Citigroup and Bank of America 91.4 billion, according to data obtained by invoking the Freedom of Information Act, months of litigation in courts and a law passed by Congress. 6. 147 corporations control the economy of the Western world A study carried out by the University of Zurich revealed that a small group of 147 large transnational corporations, mainly financial and mining, in practice control the global economy. The study was the first to analyze 43,060 transnational corporations and the web of ownership between them, identifying 147 companies that form a "super entity" that controls 40 percent of the total wealth of the global economy. The small group, interconnected through corporate boards, is a global power network vulnerable to breakdowns and prone to "systemic risk" ... but manages the world. 7. 2012: International Year of Cooperatives United Nations declared 2012 as the International Year of Cooperatives, which remain active in the world to nearly a billion people as members or group owners. According to the UN, the cooperative model is the fastest growing company in the world in 2025 and ensures that worker-owners cooperatives provide an equitable distribution of wealth and an authentic connection to the workplace, key components of a sustainable economy . (Venezuela rejected this model because once successfully work, workers-owners of cooperatives often sell them -under pressure or tempting offers- to corporations the same branch. 8. NATO war crimes in Libya The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) justified its intervention in Libya by invoking "humanitarian principles", but its catastrophic actions for humans are now known, such as destruction by bombing in July 2011 of the main facility of drinking water in the country, which supplied about 70 percent of the national population. And, in a failed attempt to appear impartial and objective, the BBC revealed, almost a year after this information was released by independent media, that British Special Forces played a key role in monitoring and lead to victory the so called "fighters of freedom "in Libya. 9. TODAY: Slavery in U.S. Prisons U.S. has at least 5 percent of the world population, but its prisons hold more than 25 percent of all people imprisoned on the planet. Many of these prisoners work for 23 cents per hour, or similar fees in private prisons contracted by the Bureau of Prisons UNICOR, a corporation quasi-public, nonprofit, ranked the 38th among large U.S. government contractors. Just thousands of prisoners in solitary confinement are beyond these rates of work-imprisoned, often confined by disciplinary punishments for offenses of low importance. 10. HR 347 Act criminalizes Occupy protests President Obama signed March 2012 HR 347 an act that considers "criminal offense" participating in demonstrations in areas defined as "restricted", such as vicinityof certain parks and federal buildings. Lawmakers violated the rights of the First Amendment to criminalize the Occupy protests, which are emerging as a global threat to the superclass of 1% that controls the U.S. economy and the world, while facilitated the secret service to use more or misuses laws to arrest legal protesters under the false pretext of criminal activity.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

From lunch to strike

Someday we might know about the delicious lunch menu provided by the current head of the U.S. Interests Section of the United States in Havana to Martha Beatriz Roque Cabello and another companion of the new group of mercenaries who were kindly invited by the U.S. diplomat, but what we will never know are the instructions they received there. An annexationist old woman and a young mercenary obedient attended to the call made by John Patrick Caufield and five days later came to us the news of the alleged hunger strike of Martha Beatriz through a report released by El Nuevo Herald, in Miami, and several cibermercenarios employees at the Interests Section in Havana, who tried to internationalize, manipulate and distort the news. The anxiety of SINA to put down things in Cuba, the terrorist enthusiasm of the Cuban Democratic Directorate of Florida, causing disturbances in churches, street riots and selective bombs, found fertile ground in the financial appetite of this mercenary old woman attached to the U.S. Interests Section, which in her sporadic appearances as a consultant, distributor or photographer of the "Ladies in White", did not hide her concern over the loss of media visibility and prominence, knowing that the USIS -as Wikileaks revelations- had discarded her generation, and argued for younger faces, apparently cheaper. Every day, the organizer of events, marches and media shows, encouraged by the contributions of U.S. government officials, is receiving litlle and little money for counterrevolution. The instructions, bids and plans discussed on September 5, came to light in a few hours. But besides trying to reconcile Martha Beatriz with her young opponent... what else SINA was proposed that encounter? Was Martha Beatriz in real strike? Let her die was part of the plan? Was it agreed the U.S. government and the Miami terrorists, or is it pure coincidence? What were the first and second secretaries of the USIS doing in the house of the "striker": inspecting, encouraging, supervising, financing, supplying ...? Will AI know that a U.S. diplomat hosted a preparatory lunch for strike? What led the diplomats and what they send to other allied countries? Do food odors escaping through the windows of the house of Martha Beatriz ... will be for visitors or to the strikers? These days it came to my mind these words of Martha Beatriz regarding her competitor "Coco Fariñas": "if he is going to die, then he die." Like her, think also who ordered lunch to strike. The high level of agreement between American diplomats and allies, mercenaries, foreign press, subversive radio, anti-Cuban Congress, treasurers and the Miami's mafia, is revealing of the farce, after several macabre experiments of sacrifices of employees. The Caufleld strategy was applauded and congratulated by notorious senators and fascist representatives as Marco Rubio, Mario Diaz Balart and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen. The stormy times of election campaign in the United States and anti-Cuban activities planned, lend themselves to all kinds of actions. Some details remain to be defined. Who will pay Martha Beatriz for the show: USIS directly, the "Cuban Democratic Directorate" or the National Foundation. Cuban, their congressmen or USAID? How much would thry pay in total? How much does it cost an hour at "strike"? The media origin of "strike" without hunger was "the end of repression" against funded counterrevolutionary provocations stimulated and sponsored by the USIS, the mafia and cibermercenarios, from the call made by Ileana Ros to President Obama to repeat in Cuba the "Libyan formula". The other pretext for strike was the demand for the release of a common inmate, sanctioned in an offense of illegal economic activity, but the mercenaries tried to manipulate and also lead to a hunger strike leaded from Havana and Miami. On September 18, while Martha Beatriz reproached the inmate's decision to abandon the strike and said to his wife "feel stabbed in the heart because she had a deal" with the inmate and he "broke this", it came from Miami a message of Ileana Ross: "I commend the peaceful pro-democracy activists in Cuba who have won a moral victory against their ruthless oppressor ..." augured further strikes, and it inmediatly organized in Havana a press conference to spread the "unexpected "outcome. A new diplomatic team have settled into the USIS, and there are subversive plot far from diminishing incentives, with actions such as the aforementioned, carried out by mercenaries based in the island and their allies. Cuba has repeatedly denounced the distorted and interventionist role of the host, and the responsibility of the U.S. government on the possible consequences of irresponsible and provocative actions as the most recent. Martha Beatriz has still been paid for her shows. Her current task is to organize the birthday of Jorge Mas Canosa, icon of terrorism and the mafia.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Truth and reason

Since last July 22, more than 900 news items have been published and 12,000 messages posted on internet news websites concerning the regrettable road traffic accident which took place in the afternoon of that day, in which two Cuban citizens died and a Spaniard and a Swede were injured. Only the most vociferous members of the pro-annexation Miami mafia accused Cuba of having planned a political murder. The Republican candidate in the United States, the U.S. State Department and, curiously, the spokesperson for the Chilean Presidency, were among the fistful of defamers calling for "a transparent investigation." The Ministry of the Interior informative note, published on July 27, refuted the infamous insinuation, with incontestable statements from police experts and witnesses of the accident, including the two foreigners involved in the tragic incident. The impeccable history of a Revolution which triumphed and has been defended for half a century without a single extra-judicial execution, without any disappeared, tortured or kidnapped persons, or a single act of terrorism, is well known. It is not Cuba, but the United States which holds a shameful record in terms of political killings and extra-judicial executions, including those by drone aircraft; kidnappings; torture in concentration camps such as the illegal Guantánamo Naval Base; and the arbitrary and racist implementation of the death penalty in prisons; plus crimes against innocent civilians in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and other nations. Everyone is aware of the participation of certain NATO European allies in these acts, in particular the kidnapping of citizens of other states, CIA secret flights, secret prisons in Europe and the intervention of NATO personnel in acts of torture. For their part, the corporate media monopolies which traditionally defame Cuba focused on extolling the alleged "freedom fighters," with no respect for ethical limits or the death of human beings, regrettable in any circumstances. The truth will prevail: despite censure and manipulation, it is well known that in Cuba, members of the counterrevolution have always been mercenaries. They are common agents paid, supplied and instructed by the government of the United States and its allies, betraying their country for money. Some of them, without the least notion of decorum, created a macabre spectacle for the foreign press by halting the funeral cortege of one of the victims of the accident. The rapid and energetic response of the people obliged the Revolutionary National Police to remove them. However, they were not charged and returned to their homes a few hours later. But the most interesting aspect of the excessive international press coverage of the accident is that few have investigated what the two injured foreign politicians were doing in Cuba. The driver of the vehicle was Ángel Carromero Barrios, not exactly one of the many Spanish tourists who enjoy the warm hospitality of our country. He is deputy general secretary of Nuevas Generaciones, the youth wing of Spain’s Partido Popular (PP) and close to notorious anti-Cubans ex-President José María Aznar and Esperanza Aguirre, president of the Madrid Community. The other passenger was Jens Aron Modig, leader of the Swedish Christian Democrat Party, which emulates the ultra-conservative U.S. Tea Party, and president of its Youth League, which has links with the International Republican Institute (IRI) among other anti-Cuban organizations, including right-wing Nordic groups. They entered Cuba on July 19 with tourist visas and, violating this status, surreptitiously involved themselves in political activities against the constitutional order. They were not acting on their own initiative, but as part of an operation organized by Anikka Rigo, head of the Foreign Relations Section of the Swedish Christian Democrat Party, to bring financing to the miniscule counterrevolutionary Christian Liberation Movement headed by Oswaldo Payá, one of the two Cubans who died in the accident, and to offer advice on the constitution of an associated youth organization. With this objective in mind, PP Deputy Pablo Casado Blanco, president of Nuevas Generaciones, member of the PP Regional Executive Committee and a former adviser to Aznar, had instructed Carromero to contact Spaniard Cayetana Muriel Aguado, resident in Sweden and also a member of the Swedish Christian Democrat Party, from whom he received instructions, the money to be handed over and a cellular phone programmed with the necessary numbers. Subsequently, Carromero contacted Modig through Facebook and they met in a Madrid restaurant. Modig had already visited Cuba in 2009 for similar reasons, under instructions from Víctor Olmedo Capdepon, a Swedish Christian Democrat Party leader and editor in chief of the counterrevolutionary La Primavera de Cuba (Cuba’s Spring), financed by the Swedish Christian Democrat International Center. Having handed over the money and assessed the creation of a youth group, they were driving to Santiago de Cuba on a similar mission when the accident occurred. The two foreign citizens received consular aid. Spaniard Ángel Carromero Barrios has been charged with homicide while driving a vehicle on the public highway. Swede Jens Aron Modig has been allowed to return to his country, in spite of his illegal activities and violation of his visa status. The operation described is one among many organized from Miami, fundamentally, and from Madrid and Stockholm. In March of this year, a few days prior to the visit of Pope Benedict XVI, eight Mexican youth entered Cuba as tourists with the objective of inciting street protests and church occupations, the distribution of flyers and promoting disorder during the Pope’s activities. Four of them were detained and acknowledged that they had been paid, trained and instructed in this operation by Orlando Gutiérrez Boronat of the Directorio Democrático Cubano in Miami, and that the operational chief in Mexico was René Bolio Hollarán, former Senator of the Mexican Partido de Acción Nacional (PAN), with close links to Florida mafia leaders. Prior to this, a Facebook website "For a Popular Uprising in Cuba," had been opened, with 13 projects for promoting "civil disobedience." One of the plans of the openly counterrevolutionary Raíces de Esperanza organization is to send more than 10,000 cellular phones to promote actions against the Cuban political system. This year the WoS website access service for events in the Middle East, incited "popular uprisings" in Cuba of a similar nature. Other programs are directed at creating possible "opposition" leaders, by providing them with access to Internet and social networks, computers and other technical aids for manifest political ends, in contrast with the extension of the blockade to telecommunications systems. For overtly subversive objectives, the U.S. Interests Section in Havana facilitates thousands of hours of illicit International connections and gives hundreds of hours’ worth of courses in conspiracy, openly violating Cuban legislation and that of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. There is a large body of evidence that the U.S. government is continuing its policy of regime change in Cuba, through the economic, political, and media blockade and incitement to subversion. From 2009 to 2012, the Department of State and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) have received a public budget of $75 million for subversive programs against Cuba. Other U.S. and European agencies and institutions channel funds for the same purpose: the National Democratic Institute (NDI), the International Republican Institute (IRI), the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), the Cuban-American National Foundation (CANF), Española con Cuba, the Prisa group, the Spanish Federation of Cuban Associations, the European Democratic Institute (EDI), People in Need, the Center for the Opening and Development of Latin America (CADAL) and the Pan American Development Foundation (PADF), among many others, without counting the millions of dollars in secret funds which intelligence services like the CIA use for anti-Cuba subversion. With every reason, closing the 9th Ordinary Session of the National Assembly of People's Power on July 23, President of the Councils of State and Ministers Raúl Castro Ruz stated, "The United States is not giving up its efforts to form a fifth column on our native soil and in utilizing new technologies for subversive ends." The most reactionary and violent groups in Miami are not giving up their attempts to incite the people to rebellion against the government which they freely and independently elected. They are dreaming of destabilizing the country, creating the conditions for a repeat of what happened in Libya and is happening in Syria, thus providing a pretext for U.S. military intervention. In his report to the 6th Party Congress, Raúl warned, "…we will never deny our people the right to defend their Revolution. The defense of our independence, of the conquests of Socialism and of our streets and plazas will still be the first duty of every Cuban patriot." As José Martí affirmed, "Reason is our shield."

Monday, June 18, 2012

A daiquirí with no Cuban taste

For those living in other latitudes who would like to make themselves a daiquiri, it’s getting harder every day to acquire a key ingredient: authentic Havana Club rum, given the obstinate effort being made by the U.S. government to usurp this prestigious Cuban trademark. Cuba continues to defend its rights. Mónica Rodríguez, Cuba’s representative to United Nations bodies in Geneva, addressed the World Trade Organization to denounce the U.S. Supreme Court decision to deny Cubaexport the right to defend its ownership of the Havana Club trademark. This refusal allows for the definitive theft of this name, legally recognized in the United States for more than 30 years as the Cuban company’s exclusive property. In the meantime, following its usual duplicitous policy, the United States is attempting to introduce a debate within the WTO about protecting distributors from counterfeited merchandise. Is this just shameless or a simple oversight? If it is the latter, we must remind U.S. authorities that in 2002, the WTO Dispute Settlement Body ruled that Section 211 of the U.S. 1998 Omnibus Appropriations bill violated the Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) and regulations established in the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property. Section 211 prevents Cuban owners from enjoying recognition of their rights to trademarks and commercial names within U.S. territory. The U.S. has done nothing to remedy the situation. There is no way to justify this behavior. It is no more than the latest episode in the country’s long-standing policy toward Cuba, of economic, commercial, financial blockade, although none the less disgraceful. Despite serious U.S. violations of international agreements, Cuba has always respected obligations established by international bodies with respect to intellectual property. If the U.S. government continues to avoid complying with these norms, it will bear full responsibility for the theft of the Havana Club trademark from its legitimate owner and any negative consequences in the mutual protection of industrial property rights which may be forthcoming, Mónica Rodríguez warned. As a result of Section 211, the Bacardi company, in an open act of commercial pirating, uses the Havana Club trademark to sell its "Cuban" rum, not produced on the island. Despite this misrepresentation in the United States, Havana Club has been a great success. It is the second best-selling rum in the world, outside of the U.S. market, and third, if sales in the U.S. are included. According to the president of Cuba Ron, Juan González, in the last 18 years, 36 million cases of Havana Club have been sold, four million in 2011 alone. Cuba is not the only party affected by this arbitrary U.S. policy. In addition to damaging the interests of Cuba’s associates, and violating international agreements, the U.S. is limiting its own citizens. The daiquiri was, for example, Hemingway’s favorite drink and is famous worldwide. According to experts, the distinctive quality of the drink is lost if genuine Cuban rum is not used. Bacardi doesn’t work. Thus, U.S. citizens are not only prohibited from traveling to Cuba, but from getting an authentic taste of the country, as well. BY DALIA GONZALEZ DELGADO

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Life in Cuban Mountains

This could be the description on a picture of a traditional country house: from the window we can see the surrounding hills, on one side, there is a room with an unmade bed and a pair of muddy shoes lying under it, a hat hanging on the wall, and in one of its corners, a phone on a small table. Very few narrators would think to locate a phone to describe a Cuban countryside or mountain. The word Phone is symbol of technological progress, something so far -some could think- from life in the mountain. However, a telephone, a television or computer, are no longer a rarity in this region. The rural or urban, in this case, the mountains or the plains, remain dichotomous relationships, however, distances are shorter when both places try to offer the same opportunities. An example of this is the Plan Turquino Manatí, a special project created 25 years ago intended to boost agricultural development, forestry, economic and social results to improve the quality of life of the highlanders. This is not about the farmer losing his identity, and instead of waking up after listening to the rooster, to do it with the "alarm clock" service that the ETECSA Phone Company once offered. To make the access equal, not only to technology but also to health, education is the objective of this program, implemented in 10 provinces of the island. The idea emerged on June 2, 1987, during an expanded meeting of the Council of Ministers, with the participation of the First Secretaries of the Provincial Committees of the PCC and the Presidents of the Provincial Assemblies of People's Power. In Holguin, the Turquino Plan extends from the boundary with the province of Santiago de Cuba, just at the joint of the embankment of Biran and the river Jimbambay in Cueto, to the river Jiguaní, bordering the province of Guantanamo, and covers five municipalities: Cueto, Frank Pais, Mayari, Sagua and Moa. In this area of abundant rainfall, there is 75% of the water reserve of the province and three protected areas: the Alejandro de Humboldt Park, the Sierra Cristal Park and Pinares de Mayari, one of the greatest reserves of iron and nickel in the world, together with Moa. There are clinics, sport centers, TV rooms, and units of trade and food that provide services to the mountain dwellers. Agriculture is one of the main sources of livelihood for the highlanders. Most locals spend the day doing farm work, or raising animals, therefore, good results in this area are an incentive for the community. The mountainous landscape is not the same, neither are mountain dwellers. Geography continues to define their way of life, but not in the same way as it did before. Not forgetting the exceptions, now they have many other opportunities that change their way of seeing the world and seeing themselves. Written by Aracelis Aviles Suarez

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Kennedy assassination: Someone knew in advance

Attempts to implicate Cuba in the Kennedy assassination continue, but in fact it was the consummation of a coup d’état plotted by CIA military chiefs and other U.S. ultra-conservatives. The assassination not only affected the United States, but to a surprising extent Cuba and the rest of the world. Close to 50 years after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, the dramatic event is still present in the contemporary world, and the CIA is attempting to postpone for another 25 years the declassification of certain documents concerning the crime committed November 22, 1963. Part of this strategy of concealment is the book Castro’s Secrets, by Brian Latell, CIA officer for Latin America from 1990-94. After participating in CIA operations against Cuba since the 1960s, he is trying to mask the most scandalous conspiracy of the 20th century. President Fidel Castro was possibly the first statesman to denounce the assassination as a conspiracy, speaking on Cuban television the following day. "We can state that there are elements within the United States who are defending ultra-reactionary politics in all fields, as much in terms of international politics as in national politics. And these are the elements which stand to benefit from the events that took place yesterday in the United States." The Cuban leader read one of the first agency cables: "Dallas, November 22 (UPI).—Police agents today arrested Lee H. Oswald, identified as president of the Fair Play for Cuba Committee, as the main suspect in the assassination of President Kennedy." Four days later, on November 27, Fidel analyzed the Oswald as lone gunman theory and his alleged pro-Castro sympathies, which nobody was questioning at that point. He quoted Hubert Hammerer, Olympic shooting champion, who stated that it was highly unlikely that anyone firing with a repeater carbine fitted with a telescopic sight could hit a target three times in the space of five seconds, when firing at a moving target at a distance of 180 meters, traveling at 15mph." On the basis of his own experiences in the Sierra Maestra, with weapons fitted with a telescopic sight like the one Oswald was said to have used, Fidel added, "Once you fire at the target it is lost – due to the effect of the shot – and you have to find it again quickly (…) with this kind of weapon it is really very difficult to fire three consecutive shots. But, above all, difficult to hit the target like that. Almost impossible." (1) The Cuban President analyzed how the most reactionary circles were pushing Kennedy toward war by with heavy campaigns, bills and resolutions in Congress pushing the government, because of what they themselves described in 1961 as the Bay of Pigs debacle, to the point of taking the world to the verge of a nuclear war in the October Missile Crisis. Fidel, then Cuban Prime Minister, also spoke about Kennedy’s stand on civil rights, such as ending segregation and racial discrimination, and the policy of peaceful coexistence he was promoting with Khrushchev. These actions had unleashed unforeseen forces against President Kennedy and made Fidel think that his assassination was the work of certain elements in disagreement with the U.S. leader’s politics, particularly in relation to Cuba, which they considered not sufficiently aggressive, given that Kennedy was resisting direct military intervention. Fidel observed that it was obvious, "If Oswald was the real killer, clearly those behind the assassination were carefully preparing their alibis. They sent this individual off to Mexico to ask for a visa to Cuba. Just imagine… that the President of the United States was assassinated by this individual after just returning from the Soviet Union via Cuba. It was the ideal alibi (…) to plant the suspicion in the heads of the U.S. public that it was a communist or an agent of Cuba and the Soviet Union, as they would say." (2) In 1978 it was demonstrated that Fidel was correct. The U.S. Congress Select Committee investigating the assassination concluded, "The committee considered the possibility that an imposter visited the Soviet Embassy or Cuban consulate during one or more of the contacts in which Oswald was identified by the CIA in October of 1963." (3) The Committee report came to the conclusion that it had nothing to do with Oswald, while Oswald was small and slight, "The subject of the photograph was described as approximately 35 years old, 6 feet tall, with an athletic build, a balding top, and receding hairline." (4) Suspicions were aroused in part when the FBI showed Oswald’s mother the alleged photo of her son. She said that it wasn’t a photo of Lee, but of Jack Ruby, the man who killed him. In fact there was no resemblance, the Committee report added, the man in the photo was neither Oswald nor Ruby. The FBI agreed. In a memo to the Secret Service it recorded, "These special (FBI) agents are of the opinion that the individual of reference in the photo is not Lee Harvey Oswald." Fidel had every reason to be alarmed by the insinuations and accusations, a typical CIA strategy. Even now, Latell is trying to banish suspicions about those really responsible for the crime, attempting to revive CIA lies implicating Cuba. He denies that there was any conspiracy on the part of those defending ultra-reactionary politics. The lone gunman theory is not only wielded in the case of Oswald in 1963, but also in relation to Sirhan H. Sirhan, the alleged killer of Robert Kennedy in 1968, at the very moment when the latter was elected to run against Richard Nixon, already a suspect in the Kennedy assassination. The truth has been slowly disclosed since then. The most recent details came to light in 2005, through the book by journalist David Talbot, Brothers: The Hidden History of the Kennedy Years, with its sensational revelation that Robert was probably assassinated after he stated that, if he were elected President, which he was close to achieving, he would reopen the case. Latell takes refuge in the discredited lone gunman theory of the Warren Commission, set up by Lyndon Johnson to investigate the assassination, when he succeeded Kennedy as President. One of the most recent and convincing refutations of this theory is a note sent by Oswald to Howard Hunt, also suspected of taking part in the assassination and the famous organizer of the Watergate break-in. Sent November 8, 1963, 14 days before the Kennedy assassination, it reads, "Dear Mr. Hunt: I would like information concerning my position. I am asking only for information. I am suggesting that we discuss the matter fully before any steps are taken by me or anyone else. Thank you. Lee Harvey Oswald". (5) Researcher Paul Kangas explains that Oswald’s note was obtained by writer and journalist Jack Anderson in New Orleans, where the "lone gunman" was living with Clay Shaw and Cubans Félix Rodríguez, Bernard Barker and Frank Sturgis, also investigated by the House Select Committee and New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison. Anderson affirms on video that Hunt and Shaw asked Oswald to meet with them to plan the position he would take up in Dallas for the attack. When he received no answer from Hunt, Oswald told James Hosty, his FBI agent, that Hunt and a bunch of Cubans from the Miami CIA office were plotting to kill Kennedy in Dallas, on November 22, 1963. According to Kangas, Hosty sent a telex to FBI Director Hoover informing him about the assassination attempt and he passed it on to all Special Agents in Charge. Judge Garrison states that Waggoner Carr, Attorney General of Texas, presented evidence in a secret session of the Warren Commission on January 22, 1964, revealing that Oswald was FBI secret informant No. 179 and had received a salary of $200 a month from the Bureau starting 1962. The evidence was given to Carr by Allan Sweat, head of the criminal division of the Dallas sheriff’s office and published by the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Houston Post, and The Nation, but the Warren Commission did not call Sweat or the journalists who wrote the articles. Garrison admits that if Oswald was an FBI informant in Dallas and New Orleans, one could believe that his work consisted of penetrating organizations like Fair Play for Cuba and Guy Bannister’s group involved in the conspiracy to kill the President. "The question which tormented me and maybe tormented Oswald was: if the Dallas police, the sheriff’s office, the Secret Service, the FBI and the CIA were potentially implicated in the conspiracy, who were the authorities behind it all?" (6) When Robert Blakey, chief counsel of the House Select Committee, discovered to his rage in 1990 that the recently deceased George Joannides (a CIA officer assigned by the agency to inform him about the Kennedy assassination) had concealed from him that he (Joannides) had worked closely with Oswald and the Directorio Revolucionario Estudiantil terrorist group in New Orleans, he called it an obstruction of justice. Now, he no longer believes anything the CIA told the Committee. It is no surprise that the Warren Commission evaded discovering the truth; it was no coincidence that that it was headed by Congressman Ed Ford, one of Nixon’s men, Nixon also being a suspect. Allen Dulles, the omnipotent CIA director, manipulated the members appointed by Lyndon Johnson, who succeeded to the presidency after Kennedy’s death, thanks to the effective coup d’état which was the assassination of the Kennedy brothers. (1) Revolución newspaper, November 28, 1963. (2) Ibidem. (3) The Final Report of the U.S. House Select Committee on Assassinations, Bantam Books, New York. 1979, P.320 (4) Ibidem. (5) Granma, April 13, 2012, P. 9. (6) Jim Garrison. JFK: Tras la pista de los asesinos, Ediciones B. Barcelona, 1988, Pp. 296-301. Taken from Granma International and Written by Gabriel Molina Franchossi

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Venus to pass across the sun on June

A rare cosmic phenomenon will be visible to every continent on June 5, the day on which Venus will pass across the Sun, revealing its shape over nearly seven hours. According to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), transists of the second planet of the solar system are very rare, and happen two at a time, 2004-2012, so that something similar will happen again only in 2117. However, experts advise steps to the observation, which should not be done directly, but using a sunscreen, or sunglasses, although the ideal would be enjoying the event with appropriate telescopes. On June 8, 2004 there was a show like this. Modern solar telescope captured a beautiful view of the Venus atmosphere backlit by the bright orange of the sun. But experts say that the transit of Venus this time should be even better, cameras and solar telescopes are of higher resolution and technology. In fact, the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO), of NASA will be ready for it. Taken from Prensa Latina

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Cristal "Preferred Beer of Cuba"

Cristal Beer has been the favorite of consumers from this Caribbean island for over 75 years because of its taste, frothy and light texture, qualities that make it very palatable. The crisp, clean taste of the cristal has historically dominated the Cuban market. It is easy to see why. It's the perfect beer for a hot summer day. But when the sun sets on Cuba and Latin music fills the air, it shows a different heat. It's definitely time to find a bottle of cold Cristal. This beer is produced in the province of Holguin and it is not only light, but sweet, with a minimum bitter taste with some pinches of salt and sour point. Its alcohol content is ten degrees. This combination of flavors determines the body of this beer, as well as its appearance, aroma and quality. It is obtained from the finest quality malt and the clear waters of Cuba. In 2007, the Crystal received the Gold Medal at the International Monde-Selection for its excellence and flavor that is 80 years old. Made in the Holguin Brewery Bucanero SA, Cristal beer is part of a long and proud Cuban tradition that values quality, integrity, people and innovation. With a 4.9% alc. / Vol, this beer has a clear golden color that complements its refreshing taste. It is commonly known as "The favorite of Cuba" and is available in 350ml bottles, 355ml cans and in stainless steel barrels. Now you know why Cristal is the preferred of the largest Caribbean island. Cristal is Cuba. With information of

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Holguin advances in stem cell transplantation

Specialists at the Lucia Iñiguez Landin hospital surgical clinic of the province of Holguin performed successfully the fourth hematopoietic stem cell transplant in eastern Cuba. According to Dr. Fernando Cruz Tamayo, head of Oncohematology and Hemotherapy Service in this medical institution, this is the first surgical procedure of this type performed on a man among the four conducted in the eastern region. He added that the 38 year old patient, resident in Banes, about 90 kilometers north of the provincial capital, is improving after surgery. This complex transplant on Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma was tolerated optimally by the patient, both in the previous steps as in the extraction of more than one thousand milliliters of blood from the bone marrow, in just 30 minutes. Now the patient is undergoing the postoperative stage in a strict isolation regime to ensure his recovery, said Cruz Tamayo. He noted that this operation, like the previous three, is also of the autologous type, consisting of the transfusion of his own stem cells. The specialist noted that prior to this final moment, the patient was ready to receive cells after high doses of chemotherapy aimed at destroying the tumor that causes damage to the bone marrow, which provides the red and white cells and platelets. For this reason, he said, it is necessary to neutralize this effect, achieved by a transfusion of stem cells to restore hematopoiesis or formation of red blood cells, leukocytes and platelets. The patient was operated by hematologists Leonardo Laguna, Jaime Martinez and Luis Niebla, along with specialists Yaritza Labañino and Yaité González from the province of Guantanamo, as part of their specialized training. The Guantanamo doctors have been participating in the three transplants performed this year and will be ready to face the hematology patient care in that province from June. Such operations are only performed in Havana, Villa Clara and in Holguin, said Cruz Tamayo. Cuba has achievements that are real contributions to international scientific literature in this area, as it is the experienced improvement in individuals with chronic lymphedema of the lower limbs, and the favorable result in a child suffering from idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, in whom the treatment based on stem cell graft avoided the need for a lung transplant. Stem cells are those capable of experiencing unlimited divisions and give rise to different cell types that exist in the body. They are able to regenerate tissue damaged by disease, trauma or aging, and may be obtained from the bone marrow, peripheral blood, cornea, brain, lung, endometrial, and other organs and tissues. With information from AIN

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Cuba’s Hemingway Int’l Nautical Club to Host Coastal Fishing Tournament

A coastal fishing tournament for amateurs will take place on Saturday at Havana’s Malecon seafront, organized by the Hemingway International Nautical Club as part of several activities to celebrate the 20th anniversary of its foundation on May 21. Jose Miguel Diaz Escrich, Commodore of the Club, told ACN that registration for the competition will begin early on Saturday in the areas near the National Hotel and that they expect the participation of 300 fishermen, members of the Cuban Federation of Sports Fishing. Activities for the Club’s 20th anniversary have included a regatta, a rowing competition, the creation of the first Jose Marti and the Sea club, and a ceremony in which awards were presented to outstanding former and active Cuban canoeists and kayak experts. Currently, the Havana-based Hemingway International Nautical Club has more than 2,500 members from 60 countries, including the United States, Canada, Italy, Spain, Germany, France and the United Kingdom.

Cuba May Be the Most Feminist Country in Latin America

Cuba may just be the most feminist country in Latin America. It ranks No. 3 in the world when it comes to the political participation of women in Parliament, according to a United Nations survey on women in politics. And it’s the only nation in Latin America to rank in the top 20 in the World Economic Forum Global Gender Gap Report 2011. The Female Factor Examining the role and impact of women in society In sheer numbers and percentages, Cuban women’s advance is notable. Cuba has a high number of female professional and technical workers (60 percent of the total work force in those areas) and in Parliament (43 percent), as well as high levels of primary, secondary and tertiary education enrollment, according to the Gender Gap report. In contrast, Brazil, the region’s economic behemoth, ranks 82nd overall in the world, according to the report, though it moved up three places last year with improvements in women’s wages, estimated earned income and the election of a female head of state, President Dilma Rouseff. What explains Cuba’s record? Sarah Stephens, the director of the Center for Democracy in the Americas, a Washington-based advocacy and research organization that focuses on Cuba and U.S.-Cuba relations and opposes the U.S. embargo, is working on a report on the status of women in Cuba. “Cuban women tell us that they feel lucky to have come of age since 1959,” she says. “Before 1959, women comprised only 5 percent of university graduates and only 12 percent of the work force, often holding menial jobs.” Today, she says, women make up 41 percent of the Communist Party, half of the island’s work force, the majority of students in high schools and universities, 60 percent of university faculties and the majority of provosts and department heads (but not presidents). And women hold top portfolios in ministries and in key provincial positions. “Fidel Castro called for women’s rights as a ‘revolution within a revolution’ and this commitment became tangible through changes in legislation and policy,” Ms. Stephens says. But, that said, “women within the system argue strongly for what remains to be done, and they criticize the gaps between rhetoric and practice,” Ms. Stephens says. “Women speak to us about a ‘gender paradox’ in Cuba — a nation legally committed to equality but harnessed to a historic structure of patriarchy.” Going forward, in the more market-oriented economic restructuring that will lay off thousands of state workers, women fear they will lose their jobs and will not find non-state employment in jobs traditionally held by men, Ms. Stephens says. “Women also worry that the aging of Cuba’s population will increase family burdens, and hence women’s burdens,” she says. “As the reforms to the economic model take place, and Cuba stops, for example, lunch programs at work, more food will need to be prepared at home, and that will land on women.” Politically, there’s a glass ceiling, Ms. Stephens says. “It’s evident by looking at Cuba’s most senior leadership around President Raúl Castro.” My Page Two column shows how women’s advances across Latin America are surpassing the United States and matching Europe. / Taken from en/

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Canadian Friends in Holguin

On May 1st, a Canadian brigade made up by 45 members, including students, workers and retired people, arrived in Holguin to participate in the May Day celebrations along with our people. In these days, these friends in solidarity with our country have been developing several activities such as visit to schools, exchange of ideas with citizens and workers and the participation in productive works for the construction of housing for people affected by hurricane Ike in the province. They also participated in las Romerias de Mayo Festival that concluded Tuesday. This is a cultural event that take place every year in Holguin, gathering local and foreign artists, mostly young people representing different cultural manifestations, faithful exponents of the culture of their people. That's why this event has turned into the festival of Young Art. The brigade of solidarity attended an International Meeting of Solidarity with Cuba and learned details of the case of the five Cuban antiterrorists unjustly held in the United States since 1998. On May 9, they will travel to Santiago de Cuba to visit historic places such as the former Moncada Garrison, the Jose Marti mausoleum, and the Vilma Espin memorial, among others. Their 15-day stay in Cuba will also serve to understand well the daily life of Cubans and mainly of the people of this eastern city.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Guarapo de caña, as sweet as Cubans themselves

Perhaps because of their daily routine, some traditional drinks go unnoticed when speaking on Cuban cuisine. However, for their originality and roots in our culture, they occupy an important place in the history of food in Cuba. One of the main characteristics of Cuban drinks is their high sweet taste and that should be serve cold, with ice cubes. I would like to reffer to the well-known Cuban Guarapo de Caña (sugar cane juice), which is nothing more than the sugar cane strained juice. This ecological drink, besides having a pleasant taste and excellent nutritional characteristics to be rich in sugars, protein and calories, it is also one of the "traditional labels" of Cuban people during the summer months or dry season. Drinking a glass jar of chilled fresh sugar cane juice on hot days is a ruthless act of pleasure. The fascinating thing about the juice of sugar cane is, if not drunk just seconds after being obtained, it gets dark, and gloomy. So drinking this juice can not be a solo act, opening a sealed bottle, but the crowd of more than a traveler in search of the oasis.
It is common to see in the streets of Cuba the guaraperas (a mechanism to obtain cane sugar juice). It is a small electric press of fluted roller with a channel that collects the juice. It history dates back when black men were taken from Africa and forced to work as slaves (but this is another story). This juice, also known in Panama and Venezuela, is part of Cuban popular culture and due to its own characteristics, it has failed to be bottled so we should drink it very fresh, freshly squeezed.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Flower of Holguin, Beauty Flower

Almost 20 years ago, it was discovered in the highlands of Pinares de Mayari, a site located about 100 kilometers from the province of Holguin in eastern Cuba, and protected by a special microclimate. It is beautiful and attractive. So small that anyone would shudder at their delicate petals and its elongated leaves. It is called Jazmin del Pinar or Manzanillo. Its flower is red, a color representing the protection of nature and green leaves ecosystem conservation, international symbols of environment. It was about two decades ago when it was proposed, including five species, that the Jazmín del Pinar was choosen as the Flower of Holguin, for being delicate and esave a historic legend that dates back to the time of the mambises. The flower of Holguin had to be unique to this province and should have had participation and legend in the historical and cultural life of the territory. Finally, it was needed to find among its features aesthetic values such as beauty. It was first discovered and collected in 1909 in Pinares de Mayari by JF Shafir, along the road of Piedra Gorda to Minas Woodfred, in Pinares de Mayari, at an altitude of about 400 or 500 feet above the Sea. But this flower saves more history. According to a survey made to farmers in Pinares de Mayari, the milky latex of this plant was used by the mambises to cause stomach upset to the Spanish soldiers. This delicate flower has been chosen on many occasions to pay tribute to martyrs and heroes of the nation for its significance among the symbols of Holguin. It was also chosen to be in the arms of the province which makes its brightness special. This plant is exhibited in the Botanical Garden of Holguin and Havana. And there are some samples in the Botanical Garden of Montreal, Canada. Although it loves the sun and rain and flowers all year round is not yet common in our gardens or view them rule over the green areas of schools and parks. It belongs to the Pascua and Cardona families, so who cultivate this plant should treated with respect and care.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Pope's vist to Cuba: The rain also blessed our island

“I thank God for allowing me to visit this beautiful Isle which left so deep a mark on the heart of my beloved predecessor, Blessed John Paul II, when he came to these lands as a herald of truth and hope.” Said His Holiness Benedicto XVI in his recent visit to this caribbean island.

Pope's visit to Cuba was a religious and social event that marked the lives of Cubans. Both in the Holy Mass in the eastern city of Santiago, as in the capital, the Pope found a crowd that welcomed him with respect and affection.

And just like in old legends, rain conspired again to bring good omens to Benedict XVI’s visit to Cuba, during the Mass in Santiago, there were believers and nonbelievers holding hands as a sign of peace under an unexpected rain that started to fall with the Lord's Prayer.

The same happened while the act of farewell to the Supreme Pontiff in Havana, where the people knowing that this was holy water, remained on both sides of the entrances to the Jose Marti International Airport of Havana, firm in their desire not to lose the opportunity to give a farewell to one who blessed this prodigal land, a land of people with determined convictions.

And Cubans, some without professing Catholic faith, we pray for a happy return of Benedict XVI to the Vatican.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Religions are Part of this People and Culture

Archimandrita Atenágoras (Orthodox Church from the Patriarchate of Constantinople)

I think that the visit of the pope Benedict XVI to Cuba is very important. The Catholics people are feeling the happiness we also felt when the patriarch visited Cuba and they are also being targeted now by the calumnies and disinformation broadcast overseas like equally happened to us in the past.

I do think that it is an important event for Cuba and for all of us given that he is a very important religious leader in the world and he realizes the way we really are and that constitutes the reason he is coming.

Aristides La Madrid (Vice-president of the Cuban Abakuá association)

It is possible to talk today on the good links between the churches and the local society in general.

Reverend Marcial Miguel Hernández (President of the Council of Churches of Cuba)

It will be a pleasure to contribute in anything that could be necessary.

Anything in which we could help, it would be a pleasure given the fact that here does not exist the fratricide among religious groups. Benedict 16th will watch the harmony that exists here.

David Prinstein (Vice President of the Hebrew community of Cuba)

There are years of experience on the work carried out by local religious organizations, thus enabling to receive with great expectations a pope in Cuba once again.

Enrique Alemán (President of the espirita Quisicuaba Society)

Lots of respect for Benedict 16th, his visit constitutes a moment for the mutual religious benefit and exchange. Therefore, it is a space to recognize that all type of faith is valuable if it is taken into account the community dimension of Jesus.

Gabriel Coderch (General Coordinator of the Reflection and Solidarity Group Oscar Arnulfo Romero)
I am a catholic representative. Therefore, the pope has a clear importance for me given my type of faith. His visit reaffirmed the will of the Cuban government in relation to guarantee the religious freedom as well as giving the space that all the Christian organizations have to develop our work.

María Amelia Yi (Church of Friends)

For us, as the ecumenical people, this is an opportunity of exchange, a party and a celebration.

Antonio Castañéda (President of the Yoruba Cultural Association)

It is an important event as it constitutes the defense of our nation.

The common enemy has tried to destabilize us even through money. However, it cannot be forgotten the fact that inside the religious people´s heart the main component is love.

I do think that it is really favorable the visit to Cuba of Benedict 16th. There were many positions previously manipulated and aimed at making to clash the Catholic Church with Cuba. Therefore, the arrival of the pope demonstrates once again the he is also fighting for mankind. I see his visit as an act of respect to our sovereignty.

Imán Yahya Pedro Lazo (President of the Islamic league of Cuba)

The first thing we have to do is precisely to be able to love our fellow man. Besides, Allah is for us what the word god means for others in English language. In short, god, the divine power, has established norms and commands so that the human being behaves according to them.

Being together, it is necessary to carry out actions in favor of the peace and progress of the peoples.

In Cuba all the religions are together and there is respect towards them all. Therefore, the visit from Benedict 16th is an opportunity to work for the common benefit of everyone as it is a magnificent and good chance for all the Cuban people.

(By Ana Teresa Badía)

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Chavez greets Venezuelans on social network, after surgery in Cuba

Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez is currently recovering in Cuba after a surgical operation that withdrew a lesion from his pelvic region.

“Good evening my dear compatriots! Here I go, taking flight like a condor, I send you all my supreme love! We will live and we will overcome!, wrote Venezuela´s Hugo Chavez on his tweeter account @chavezcandaga.

And six minutes later he said that he was watching the Contragolpe TV Show on Venezuelan television: “I am watching you my dear Vanessa and Gabriela! What a good show!, Chavez said as he referred to the journalists participating in the show.

Vice-president Elias Jaua said on Wednesday that he had talked on the phone with Chavez, who sent greetings with a firm, energetic and victorious voice for his compatriots in Venezuela.

“Let all the people and all comrades know that we had this conversation and that I am in full recovery process,” he told Jaua.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Scientists warn on danger of high concentration of space debris

US scientists recently warned in that country on the consequences that space debris may cause to the smooth operation of the satellites or the International Space Station, and called to take seriously this fact.

According to the NYT, some scientists and researchers are concerned because of the inertia shown by the more developed countries and are convinced that the problem of "sky trash" will soon have serious consequences.

It would cause a series of collisions between "space debris", which will eventually make unusable Earth orbit, due to the amount of waste.

In short, what we really need is a truly "celestial brush." A system to reduce the presence of debris orbiting the earth. There are already many labs working to find a solution, although there is no specific project in process of realization.

It is such the amount of waste in the space that every year something falls on our planet. We have an example on the NASA satellite that rushed into the earth surface last year, while this year it was a Russian spacecraft defective.

(With information from Reuters)

Monday, January 30, 2012

Raul Castro: Cuba will never renounce having a single Party

While closing the First National Conference of the Cuban Communist Party (PCC) held this weekend at Havana's Convention Center, the Cuban president Raul Castro said that Cuba will never renounce having a single Party, since doing so will lead to the defeat of the Revolution and would sacrifice the unity of the people.

Raul criticized those who built their hopes up thinking that this Conference would mark the beginning of the political and social dismantling of the Revolution and wanted the restoration of the multiparty model.

He reiterated that it’s necessary to promote, more and more, greater democracy in Cuban society, starting by setting an example from within Party ranks, which presupposes, he added, the encouragement of an atmosphere of maximum confidence an sincere exchange of opinions, both in the heart of the organization and in its bonds with workers and the population, including the mass media.

The only thing that could lead to the defeat of the Revolution and socialism in Cuba would be our inability to overcome mistakes committed for over 50 years, since January 1st, 1959, new mistakes and future mistakes, he pointed out.

The Cuban president called to strengthen unity around the Party and the Revolution and also the permanent bond that exists with the masses, and to preserve the Cuban nation and economic and social achievements, on the basis of the fact that the homeland, the Revolution and socialism are indissolubly combined.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Int'l Low-budget Film Festival comes closer

Cuban filmmaker Lester Hamlet said in Holguin that the continuity of the International Low-Budget Film Festival honors the town of Gibara and Humberto Solas, creator and promoter of the event.

At a press conference on Wednesday, the president of this important cultural event stressed that the festival is based on very solid foundations, designed by the genius of Solas, which ratify it as a place to find ways of artistic achievement.

According to the Organizing Committee, more than 400 films from different countries have been registered for the competition sessions of this event to take place from April 17 to 22 in this charming coastal town.

Among other activities planned for the festival, it also announced simultaneous film screenings throughout the island, under the auspices of Martin Luther King Center.

Friday, January 20, 2012

The disaster of Costa Concordia

There are several speculations from the tragedy of this vessel. Most people are inclined to belive that it was neglect in the operation of this ship carrying more than 4,000 passengers, which ran aground on the coast of Italy.

All indicate that the captain, who has been arrested and who the same company itself considers responsible for the tragedy, had a negligent behavior in accident management.

Passengers have said that they felt a massive jolt when the ship hit the rocks, but they were simply told that there had been a “black out “ and that the situation would return to normal as soon as possible.

Although there are doubts about the accuracy of the charts that guided the ship, it shows that the Costa Concordia continued to sail whilst taking on water from the gash in the hull, but it then turned and drifted towards the shore coming to its final resting place in shallow water.

Monday, January 16, 2012

US could use dolphins as weapons against Iran

Over the past few months, The United States, the European Union and Israel increased pressures on Tehran in an effort to thwart Iranian plans to produce nuclear energy.

President Barack Obama recently approved a law stipulating fines against companies that do business with Iran´s Central Bank, while the European Union threatened the Persian country with an oil embargo. But Tehran said that if such measures are implemented it would block the Strait of Hormuz, the transfer route for one third of the world oil trade.

Iran could plant mines along the Strait of Horumz as a way to block it, and in that case the US Navy could use dolphins, which is a solution not yet widely published, said Michael Connel, a researcher with the Center for Naval Analysis.

Meanwhile, retired admiral Tim Keating, former commander of the Bahrein-based 5th Fleet also referred to the possible use of dolphins in the event of a blockade of the Strait of Homuz. Those animals have impressing capacity to detect underwater objects, said the former admiral, cited by The Atlantic Wire daily.

The US Navy is currently training 80 dolphins at the San Diego Bay, in California, to locate and eventually destroy explosive artifacts with the assistance of a tracking device.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Gibara: from a villa to a tourist destination

Gibara is the spitting image of a seaside town drawn up by artists. It seems to arise from the bottom of the Atlantic spreading the smell of sea shells around every corner, while the reflection of the white foam emerging from the waves covers and lights up the streets.

Its discoverer, Christopher Columbus, landed his ships in Rio de Mares —as he called Gibara Bay- and showed a land whose inhabitants have never been tired of weaving stories of ancient and recent times.

According to fishermen, this coastal town is destined to charm strangers and remain in the memory of those who still yearn to breathe its ocean air. Hence the idea that recently emerged to turn Gibara, also known as the the White Village of Crabs, into a tourist destination.

"Gibara can become an important tourist destination, because of its attractive environment, coasts, beaches and caves. Despite some more recent modifications, there still remains the colonial architecture which is a great attraction for visitors," said Wilfre Rodriguez Garcia, a specialist at the Gibara Historian’s Office.

Lorenzo Peña Leyva, director of the Tourism in Gibara, explained that works will be carried out gradually, including local development projects with state investment from the Ministry of Tourism and the collaboration with non-state entities, such as guests houses, restaurants and other facilities including food service supply.

The people of Gibara are proude of many of its city’s attractions such as "El Faro de Gibara", which includes the Buenavista Hostal, the El Faro restaurant, with capacity for 100 visitors, and the El Coral bar.

"The Ordoño" rises

A merchant never wanted to leave his beloved forever. So in 1926, he ordered the construction of a windowed balcony in the hotel bearing his name. The legend says that if you look into the eyes of the soul, you can still see the figure of Felipe Ordoño contemplating the tomb of his beloved, which lies very near the sea. Now there is another reality that captivates the traveler passing through.

The remodeling of the tallest building of the Villa Blanca in the intersection of J. Peralta and Donato Marmol streets, in the historic heart of the city remains vigilant to the people of Gibara.

In the two-story building, construction brigades are currently working on the restoration and renovation to turn the Ordoño into a four star hotel.

"The facility, belonging to the Encanto hotels resort of Cubanacán Group SA, will have 27 rooms, 15 rooms with full beds and 12 double rooms, lobby bar-cafeteria, restaurant and other services highly personal, always in terms of customers," said architect Yosvier Rodriguez Lucas.

The works are slated for completion in March, when delegates and guests to the International No Budget Film festival arrive to Gibara.

"Ordoño constructed this building with different purposes and according to the characteristics of the time. The first floor served as warehouses with high ceilings framed structure and the second was the residence of the family and guests with a sort of balcony and sitting area. Given this distribution and the need to build 27 rooms and adapt them to the particularities of a hotel, it was necessary to remodel the interior, building an intermediate level. Now the building has three levels," said Rodríguez, who also is an investor of the work.

Another larger work carried out here was the building of a plant to treat liquid waste, because Gibara does not have a sewage system. "This problem represented a serious obstacle to the opening of the facility, as we faced the dilemma of damaging the environment, so we built in the basement a treatment plant, which will allow end products to be used as fertilizers."

Jorge Luis Diaz, delegate of the Ministry of Tourism in the province, said that the rebuilding of the Ordoño hotel, valued at approximately $ 2,430,000 Cuban pesos, including 1,666,000 in US dollars, will be completed on time, to become a great attraction that will help boost tourism in the city of Gibara.

Routes for walking

The Cave of the Bakers in Gibara, invite us to walk the paths of dreams and legends. "This archaeological path has delighted thousands of local and foreign visitors. The trail has two routes, one above ground and one below ground, on which we explain details of the geographic area," said José Corella Varona, an enthusiast for nature and eco-tourism.

This is not just any cave. In winter, it becomes the headquarters for the International Film Festival in a Cave that takes place in Chile. "It is wonderful to see a film in this cave," says Joselin.

The president of the Municipal Assembly of People's Power in Gibara, José Ernesto Mayo Zaldivar, said that they have implemented an action plan that includes the elimination of offices located in the main streets of the city and to create facilities that provide services to the population. We have been bring back and opening new shops, an art gallery and other places of great attraction to the visitor, and self-employed businesses that are related to tourism."

The villa will receive tourists from around the world as in the 1930s to 1950s, when the region was a favorite of Asian people. To this end, managers with experience in tourism marketing have developed several ideas for this new destination. In this regard, Lorenzo Peña highlighted three aspects designed to achieve this purpose: to bring tourists staying in hotels in Guardalavaca, Pesquero and Esmeralda, through excursions. The second, to promote attractive offers for the incorporation of the domestic market. The third is based on the realization of direct contracts with tour operators, that would bring tourists via all inclusive packages.”

The key lies in "the developing hotels here, with not great investments by restoring existing buildings with heritage value, to construct coveted accommodation facilities," said Lorenzo.

According to the director of the Tourism in Gibara, a new ocean route is providing service to Gibara from Guardalavaca with a catamaran that will bring vacationers on Tuesday and Thursday. The executive also announced that they will shortly launch an option for those who want to spend a day in Gibara. "

Gibara, a city that once was walled to prevent the attacks of pirates and smugglers, is now opening to the world. Those who come to this magical land will never forget the exciting image of its ships in anchorage and the abundance of healthy air and gentle people ...".

By Dianet Doimeadios and Lourdes Pichs
Photo: Juan Pablo Carreras