President Diaz-Canel receives Panamanian foreign minister

Havana, Jan 30 (Prensa Latina) Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel on Monday received Panamanian Minister of Foreign Affairs Janaina Tewaney, government sources reported.

The confirmation of the meeting as part of an official visit to Havana was made by the Presidency of the Republic on Twitter.

During the day, the visiting foreign minister also meet with her Cuban counterpart, Bruno Rodríguez, during which they discussed common challenges and the historic ties between nations.

Rodríguez highlighted the intense agenda of the Panamanian delegation since its arrival last Saturday, which included a meeting with the Cuban president and participation in the closing ceremony of the 5th International Meeting for the World’s Balance.

For her part, Tewaney stressed her country’s interest in strengthening trade, as well as unity in the Latin American region, starting from the presidency of the G-77 plus China, held by Cuba.

The Panamanian minister paid tribute to National Hero José Martí, before his statue in the 13 de Marzo park, in Old Havana.

She also met with Minister of Foreign Trade and Foreign Investment Rodrigo Malmierca, with whom she agreed upon the existing potential to continue the development of bilateral economic relations.


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Cuba Welcomes International Mobilizations Against US Blockade

Citizens demanding the end of the blockade against Cuba, United States, January 2023. | Photo: Twitter/ @Puentesdeamor1

“With renewed energy and solidarity, friends and Cubans living abroad resume the caravans to denounce the shortages caused by the blockade,” chancellor Rodriguez stated. 

Jan 30 (teleSUR) On Sunday, Cuba’s Foreign Affairs Minister Bruno Rodriguez welcomed the resumption of international demonstrations demanding the end of the U.S. blockade against his country.

“With renewed energy and solidarity, friends and Cubans living abroad resume the caravans to denounce the shortages and suffering caused by the blockade on Cuban families,” Rodriguez said.

On Saturday, supporters of the Cuban Revolution held demonstrations in the U.S., Brazil, Canada, and Nigeria to celebrate the 170th anniversary of the birth of Cuban national hero Jose Marti and call for an end to the U.S. hostile policies towards Cuba.

“The demonstrations in the U.S. seek above all to raise funds to support Cuban children’s hospitals and reiterate the request to President Joe Biden to remove Cuba from the list of States sponsors of terrorism,” said Carlos Lazo, an organizer of the “Bridges of Love.”

The International Magazine

The #Chinese government officially donated 700 million yuan (about $100 million) to #Cuba. This money will assist initiatives with a social impact that are connected to Cuba’s main economic sectors.

Between August 2021 and February 2022, Cuba registered almost US$ 4 billion in losses due to the U.S. blockade. “Cuba’s gross domestic product could have grown 4.5 percent in those months if the blockade had not been in force,” Rodriguez said.

He considered that the Biden administration’s decision to resume American flights to the Island and authorize remittances are “a step in the right direction, but of a very limited nature”.

“These actions do not counteract the most harmful effects of the blockade,” the Cuban chancellor said, adding that these initiatives do not regularize bilateral trade or stop the persecution of foreign companies trading with Cuba.

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Díaz-Canel pleads for regional integration to balance the world

Havana, Jan 28 (Prensa Latina) Achieving a just and equitable society requires international integration and resilient dialogue, Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel pointed out during the 5th Conference for the Balance of the World that concludes today in this capital.

After the special intervention entitled The return of balance, by vice president of the Plurinational State of Bolivia, David Choquehuanca, the Cuban president highlighted the importance of remembering and endorsing the values bequeathed by the original peoples, because from them comes “our identity that became wealthier afterwards.”

He pointed out the impact of the cultural colonization by the empire on the territories of Latin America, which caused a fracture in “our senses and emotions”, even fostering the belief that history is an obsolete subject and “that is what opens the doors to domination” and the denial of our roots.

Before a representation of the thousand delegates gathered at the event dedicated to the 170th anniversary of the National Hero of the island, José Martí, the dignitary recalled his approach to the native cultures of Bolivia.

He added that this allowed him to appreciate “all the wisdom of these peoples, the way they measured time or channeled the waters… that way of being and acting and above all its spirituality.”

That experience became an opportunity to get to know the essence of the region, at the same time that he based his opinion on the existence of this fundamental battle to preserve identity, since they have “much to show and we have a lot to defend together with them to continue strengthening our values.” .

In the same way, he highlighted the relevance of this space for dialogue to ensure that the peoples are increasingly represented in a genuine way.

We have to seek that each time all this is a popular debate, with the presence of social movements and the whole of society, because with this we will be achieving the long-awaited and true Latin American and Caribbean integration and the true unity that we need in these times, he stressed.

On the previous day, the president attended the conclave and spoke at the Congress of the New International Economic Order, a space that also highlighted some guidelines to balance the global order from cooperation for sustainable development.


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Analyst suffered 20 years in US prison for helping Cuba, still condemns ‘suffocating’ blockade

Ana Belén Montes

Former DIA analyst Ana Belén Montes was imprisoned for 20 years for sharing intelligence with Cuba that helped it prevent US attacks and sabotage. Upon being released, she condemned the “suffocating embargo” that makes Cubans “suffer.”

By Ben Norton Published 2023-01-10 – GEOPOLITICAL ECONOMY

A former intelligence analyst who was imprisoned by the United States government for 20 years for sharing information with Cuba that helped it prevent US attacks against it was freed this January.

Upon leaving prison, she condemned the six-decade-long US blockade of Cuba and called for more attention to the hardships endured by the Puerto Rican people.

“Who in the last 60 years has asked the Cuban people if they want the United States to impose a suffocating embargo on them that makes them suffer?” she asked.

Ana Belén Montes had been an official at the US Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA). She worked her way up the ranks of the organization, becoming its top Cuba analyst, before she was arrested in 2001.

In 2002, Montes was sentenced to 25 years in prison.

She was convicted of secretly giving sensitive intelligence to Cuba, helping its revolutionary government prevent US terror attacks and disrupt US sabotage operations.

At her trial, Montes declared, “I obeyed my conscience rather than the law… giving the island [Cuba] classified information to help it defend itself.”

“I believe our government’s policy towards Cuba is cruel and unfair, profoundly unneighborly, and I felt morally obligated to help the island defend itself from our efforts to impose our values and our political system on it,” she said.

The US Department of Defense, where Montes worked, had a history of planning terror attacks on Cuba. In Operation Northwood in 1962, top US military officials discussed launching false-flag attacks on civilian targets in both Cuba and Florida and falsely blaming them on communists, to try to justify a US military invasion of the island.

Montes is a national hero in Cuba, and many around the world considered her to be a prisoner of conscience.

On January 6, 2023, US authorities allowed Montes to leave prison, having served 20 or her 25 year-sentence. But she is not yet completely free; the US government is going to monitor Montes for the remaining five years, and all of her internet access will be closely followed.

Soon after her release, Montes published a statement stating, “I encourage those who want to focus on me to, instead, focus on important issues, such as the serious problems that the Puerto Rican people face, or the United States economic embargo against Cuba.”

“Who in the last 60 years has asked the Cuban people if they want the United States to impose a suffocating embargo on them that makes them suffer?” she added.

The international community overwhelmingly opposes the illegal US blockade against Cuba, and every year for decades more than 95% of member states at the United Nations have voted to condemn it.

The US State Department admitted in an internal cable in 1960 that its goal in imposing sanctions and eventually an embargo on Cuba was “to weaken the economic life of Cuba” and make “the greatest inroads in denying money and supplies to Cuba, to decrease monetary and real wages, to bring about hunger, desperation and overthrow of government.”

US State Department Cuba blockade memo hunger desperation

Montes is Puerto Rican, and upon being released she moved back to her homeland. There, she delivered these remarks (emphasis added):

I am happier than ever to touch Boricuan soil again. After two quite exhausting decades, and with the need to go back to earning a living, I would like to dedicate myself to a quiet and private existence. Therefore, I will not participate in any media activities.

I encourage those who want to focus on me to, instead, focus on important issues, such as the serious problems that the Puerto Rican people face, or the United States economic embargo against Cuba.

Who in the last 60 years has asked the Cuban people if they want the United States to impose a suffocating embargo on them that makes them suffer?

What also deserves attention is the urgent need for global cooperation that stops and reverses the destruction of our environment.

I as a person am irrelevant. I am not important, while there exist grave problems in our world homeland that demand attention and a demonstration of brotherly love.

Her lawyer, Linda Backiel, said that this would be Montes’ only public statement and that she would not grant interviews, asking for her privacy to be respected.

Addressing the court at her trial in October 2002, Montes delivered a passionate speech (emphasis added):

An Italian proverb perhaps best describes the fundamental truth I believe in: “All the world is one country.”

In such a “world-country,” the principle of loving one’s neighbor as much as oneself seems, to me, to be the essential guide to harmonious relations between all of our “nation-neighborhoods.”

This principle urges tolerance and understanding for the different ways of others. It asks that we treat other nations the way we wish to be treated – with respect and compassion. It is a principle that, tragically, I believe we have never applied to Cuba.

Your honor, I engaged in the activity that brought me before you because I obeyed my conscience rather than the law.

I believe our government’s policy towards Cuba is cruel and unfair, profoundly unneighborly, and I felt morally obligated to help the island defend itself from our efforts to impose our values and our political system on it.

We have displayed intolerance and contempt towards Cuba for most of the last four decades. We have never respected Cuba’s right to make its own journey towards its own ideals of equality and justice.

I do not understand why we must continue to dictate how the Cubans should select their leaders, who their leaders cannot be, and what laws are appropriate in their land.

Why can’t we let Cuba pursue its own internal journey, as the United States has been doing for over two centuries?

My way of responding to our Cuba policy may have been morally wrong. Perhaps Cuba’s right to exist free of political and economic coercion did not justify giving the island classified information to help it defend itself. I can only say that I did what I thought right to counter a grave injustice.

My greatest desire is to see amicable relations emerge between the United States and Cuba. I hope my case in some way will encourage our government to abandon its hostility towards Cuba and to work with Havana in a spirit of tolerance, mutual respect, and understanding.

Today we see more clearly than ever that intolerance and hatred – by individuals or governments – spread only pain and suffering.

I hope for a U.S. policy that is based instead on neighborly love, a policy that recognizes that Cuba, like any nation, wants to be treated with dignity and not with contempt. Such a policy would bring our government back in harmony with the compassion and generosity of the American people.

It would allow Cubans and Americans to learn from and share with each other. It would enable Cuba to drop its defensive measures and experiment more easily with changes. And it would permit the two neighbors to work together and with other nations to promote tolerance and cooperation in our one “world-country,” in our only “world-homeland.”

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Panama’s foreign minister to pay an official visit to Cuba

Havana, Jan 27 (Prensa Latina) Panamanian Foreign Minister Janaina Tewaney Mencomo will pay an official visit to Cuba on January 28, the Cuban Ministry of Foreign Affairs reported on Friday.

The source informed that the distinguished visitor would meet with Cuban authorities and will participate in other events of interest.

Cuba and Panama restored diplomatic relations in 1974.

Since 1992, Panama has historically supported the resolution presented by Cuba at the United Nations General Assembly condemning the United States blockade.

Cooperation currently extends not only the economic and commercial sectors but also the fields of health care, education, and science.


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Laos unprecedentedly attends international conference in Cuba

Vientiane, Jan 27 (Prensa Latina) The Lao News Agency (KPL) on Friday highlighted on the homepage of its website the participation of this country, for the first time, in the International Conference for the World’s Balance.

Lao Ambassador to Cuba Vanhtha Senmeuang headed the representation of this Southeast Asian nation at the meeting, which the source itself described as an important and valid event for a positive exchange of ideas.

The 5th International Conference for the World’s Balance is in its final session on Friday, on the eve of the celebration of the 170th birthday of Cuban National Hero Jose Marti, whose ethical values have been a constant reference in the forums of the meeting.

More than 1,000 delegates from nearly 90 nations participated in the working sessions, at which the coincidence of criteria regarding the full validity of Marti’s thinking in forging a world of equity, solidarity, and inclusion was noted.

The conference forums, the Colloquium of Historians, and the International Meeting of the Marti Chairs also addressed the most pressing current issues, from the national realities to the phenomena affecting humanity as a whole.

According to the program, a congress on the new international economic order, organized by Progressive International and attended by David Adler, General Coordinator of that platform, and Guillaume Long, Ecuador’s foreign minister during the government of Rafael Correa, among other prominent figures, is taking place on Friday.


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Delaware delegation to seek trade relations with Cuba

Havana, Jan 26 (Prensa Latina) There is much to be done for better trade relations between Cuba and the United States if we lift restrictions in force, Michael T. Scuse, Delaware Agriculture Commissioner, pointed out.

We are not responsible for what happened 60 years ago, but we are responsible for what happens from now on and there are some issues that can be solved, added Jeffrey W. Bullock, Delaware Secretary of State, while referring to the origins of the economic blockade imposed by the United States on Cuba.

Both U.S. officials lead a high-level Delaware delegation which arrived in Cuba earlier this week so as to strengthen trade relations in agriculture and seek solutions to obstacles limiting bilateral trade.

During a Thursday´s press conference at the Grand Aston Hotel, Mr. Scuse stated the economic blockade is a decision imposed over 60 years ago and it is time for policies to change. Hopefully we can help those changes.

First step could be to lift current restrictions and return to regulations in place during President Barack Obama’s term.

“There are openings to increase trade in agriculture and beyond, to surge collaboration between ministries and universities, we will go back home to share results of this visit and assess all the areas where we can link up,” Scuse said.

Bullock, on the other hand, stressed his travel to Cuba made it possible to identify major drawback to trade and “find ideas to improve relations for the benefit of both peoples”.

Political and financial issues are not insignificant challenges, but they can be solved and we have the willingness to contribute to this as we return to our country, Bullock said.

As part of the official agenda, the US delegation met with Cuban vice ministers and officials as well as with the ALIMPORT Food Marketing Company.

Bullock said he was impressed by how sincere and direct the Cuban officials were during the meetings, with a practical, step-by-step approach to solving concrete problems.

“I have visited over 30 countries, I have met with officials from many of those places, but I can honestly say that I have never received such a welcoming, open and honest way as here in Cuba,” Scuse added.


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Cuba is an example of solidarity, a Chilean political leader states

Santiago, Chile, Jan 27 (Prensa Latina) Chilean political leader Lucy Muñoz on Friday highlighted the generosity of the Cuban Revolution that, despite the United States blockade, has assisted many peoples during Covid-19 pandemic and in other difficult situations.

At difficult times of the pandemic, medical brigades from Cuba saved lives in several countries, the joint president of the Social Green Regionalist Federation (FRVS) in Maule told Prensa Latina.

Muñoz, who is also a member of the Movement of Solidarity with Cuba in that central region, recalled the training received by hundreds of Chileans in the Latin American School of Medicine (ELAM) in Havana.

More remote in time is the medical aid provided by Cuba to the victims of the May 1960 earthquake in the region of Valdivia and the shipment of sugar sent to Chile in 1973 when the Government of Salvador Allende was blockaded.

The political activist underscored that she had the good fortune of meeting Commander-in-Chief Fidel Castro when he visited Chile in 1971.

The Maule solidarity committee, named after the historic leader of the Cuban Revolution, organized an event in support of the Caribbean island and against the US blockade at which union, student and political organizations, members of the FRVS and the teachers’ college, as well as human rights organizations, participated.


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Lebanon’s Islamic Action Front reaffirms solidarity with Cuba

Beirut, Jan 26 (Prensa Latina) On Thursday, Lebanon’s Islamic Action Front Secretary General Othman Al Juayd reaffirmed his solidarity with Cuba in its struggle against the economic, financial, and commercial blockade imposed by the United States.

In a meeting with Jorge León, Head of the Cuban diplomatic mission in Beirut, Al Juayd reiterated their support to the Caribbean nation in its fight against the hegemonic imperialist policies, detrimental to the freedom, independence, and sovereignty of the peoples.

León also reiterated the Front’s commitment of resistance, as the only way to confront the Israeli enemy and neutralize the imperialist strategy of dividing to conquer.

In this sense, he considered as vital, to support the union of the peoples and their anti-imperialist governments in order to achieve freedom, progress and happiness of their states.

Upon welcoming Otham, the Cuban diplomat thanked the solidarity and firmness of the Islamic Action Front towards the resistance of the Caribbean people for more than 60 years of sanctions and pressures by the US administrations.

Directors of the Sharif Tutu Front, Walid Alama, and Fouad Sharaf also attended the activity at the headquarters of the Cuban embassy in Beirut.


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Cuban president describes meeting with Nicolas Maduro as beneficial

Havana, Jan 26 (Prensa Latina) Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel on Thursday described as as very beneficial his meeting with his Venezuelan counterpart, Nicolas Maduro, during a stopover while returning home from the 7th Summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (Celac) in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

The Cuban head of State said that the meeting, which took place at the international airport of Maiquetia, in Caracas, made it possible to confirm the level of relations and to strengthen those ties.

It is always comforting to return to the Homeland of Bolivar and Chavez. With brother President Nicolas Maduro, I held a brief but very beneficial working meeting for our bilateral relations and the strengthening of the solidarity and cooperation ties that unite us, Diaz-Canel wrote on Twitter.

Also on Twitter, Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez noted that at the fraternal meeting both leaders ratified the will to continue strengthening the ties of brotherhood, solidarity and cooperation between the two peoples and governments.

Diaz-Canel made a stopover in Caracas after participating in the 7th Celac Summit in Argentina, whose final declaration ratified the region’s will to advance in integration.

According to information from the Presidency of the Republic, Diaz-Canel arrived in Havana on Wednesday night and was welcomed by Vice President Salvador Valdes, Prime Minister Manuel Marrero and the Organization Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba, Roberto Morales.


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