Iran and Venezuela Celebrate Megasis Supermarket Opening

Inauguration of Iranian supermarket 'Megasis' in Caracas. July 29, 2020.
Inauguration of Iranian supermarket ‘Megasis’ in Caracas. July 29, 2020. | Photo: teleSUR

The two nations intend to strengthen their partnership with the inauguration of the first Iranian supermarket in Venezuela.

August 3 (teleSUR) The Bolivarian Government of Venezuela and the Islamic Republic of Iran celebrated the inauguration of an Iranian supermarket, the first of its kind, which opened this Wednesday. 

“Megasis,” which will be located in Terrazas del Ávila, Caracas, is the result of a sustained effort and strategic alliances which seek to strengthen the trade engine between the two friendly nations.

The Supermarket will make available a wide range of quality products which the Iranian industry exports to several countries in the world, as well as more than 1,000 Venezuelan products, from 20 national companies.

The Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Hojjatollah Soltani, celebrated the cooperation of Venezuelan and Iranian investors. “In this supermarket we see an alliance between the private non-governmental sector of Iran and Venezuela. Despite the sanctions, despite the threats, we are two sister nations. Iran has capabilities in areas such as science, technology, automotive, agriculture, medicine and food, with many capabilities to export. “

Ambassador Soltani added that Iran is showing the world that unilateral sanctions applied by the United States are being rejected by the international community. Iran, just like all other countries, has the full right to trade freely, move freely and engage in mutually beneficial partnerships.

Despite the U.S. blockades imposed on both Iran and Venezuela, the two countries’ leaders have sought cooperation as reflected with the five Iranian ships that recently arrived in Venezuela transporting fuel.

Deputy Minister Daniel Gomez, representing Venezuela’s Ministry of National Commerce, thanked the people of Iran for their commitment, “it is a country that has a similar condition, they have been blocked and sanctioned by an empire, they have believed and invested in us, stimulating economic activity and we have to be reciprocal with them.”

“If a country blocked by the United States trades freely with another sanctioned country, in the end, that blockade will be imaginary,” said Gómez.

In accordance with Caracas’ COVID-19 health measures, Megasis is equipped with a biosecurity system that detects temperature as guests and workers walk through a tunnel, followed by a disinfection station.

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Cuba to attend ECLAC’s Committee meeting

Havana, Aug 4 (Prensa Latina) Cuba will attend, as president pro tempore of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), the 35th session of the Committee of this regional bloc, according to reports.

The meeting will be held virtually on Tuesday, August 4, 2020, between 11:00 and 13:00 local time, Granma newspaper stated.

The main objective of this Committee is to elect, among the member states of the bloc, the next Latin American or Caribbean country that will hold the presidency pro tempore of the Commission in its 38th period of session.

Cuba has held the presidency pro tempore of ECLAC since May 2018, when the Commission’s 37th session was held.

During these two years, the nation has represented the Latin America and the Caribbean countries in different international forums and meetings, has chaired the main meetings of the Commission and has promoted concrete actions in pursuit of sustainable development in the region.

In this meeting, Rodrigo Malmierca, Cuban Minister of Foreign Trade and Foreign Investment, will present his country’s main results and experience as president pro tempore of ECLAC.

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Cuba and Slovakia call for strengthening cooperation

Bratislava, Aug 3 (Prensa Latina) Cuba’s and Slovakia’s representatives highlighted on Monday the good state of bilateral relations and called for the strengthening of collaboration and exchange between the two countries.

During a meeting in Bratislava, Cuba’s ambassador Yamila Pita and Slovakia’s Minister of Finance Eduard Heger discussed issues of common interest and expressed the will of both sides to consolidate ties between the two nations.

Pita stressed the importance of cooperation and solidarity between States in difficult contexts such as the current Covid-19 crisis.

Meanwhile, Heger referred to the actions of the two countries to contain the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus and acknowledged the progress in the fight against the pandemic.

Both representatives pointed out the need to increase joint work in various areas, including economy and trade.

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New joint venture joins Cuba with United Kingdom

Photo: @BioCubaFarma/Twitter.

August 3 (OnCuba News) The Group of Cuban Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical Industries (BioCubaFarma) announced on Monday the constitution of the joint venture BioFarma Innovations, together with the United Kingdom company SG Innovations Limited, Cuban state media reported.

The new joint venture will be “focused on accelerating development and accessibility in Europe and the British Commonwealth of innovative and leading medicines worldwide,” according to a note published on the website of the Cuban business group.

BioFarma Innovations will enable the evaluation of the products of the portfolio of Cuban biopharmaceutical companies in Europe and the British Commonwealth.

In addition, it will make for investment in the development and launch of new drugs in that market, including the different clinical trials developed for the treatment of COVID-19, which have shown “encouraging results” on the island, the note indicates.

The president of the entity, based in the United Kingdom and Ireland, will be British politician, banker and former union leader Lord David Triesman, who has more than 40 years of experience working with the National Health Service, was Under-Secretary of the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills and of the Kensington, Chelsea and Westminster Area Health Authority.

Lord David Triesman maintains strong ties to Cuba. He currently holds the position of non-executive director of the United Kingdom-based Cuban bank Havana International Bank (Havin Bank), and is co-chair of the “Cuba Initiative,” a government mechanism created in 1995 to promote economic, commercial and cooperative relations between the two nations.

Quoted by the source, Triesman expressed enthusiasm for the contribution that this new company can make, certainly transformative now and for years to come, he said.

For his part, the president of BioCubaFarma, Eduardo Martínez, explained that “with our mission of prioritizing public health, we are offering a dynamic and open approach to collaboration with global pharmaceutical companies and public health organizations throughout Europe and the British Commonwealth, which ranges from licenses to joint development agreements and research.

“We have consolidated a broad portfolio of products and we want to guarantee access to new drugs to help meet unmet demands worldwide,” he said.

BioFarma Innovations has joined the international presence that BioCubaFarma has through joint ventures in China, Spain, Thailand and Singapore, the note specifies.

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Cuban artists pay tribute to Juan Formell’s musical legacy

Cuban artists pay tribute to Juan Formell's musical legacy

Havana, Aug 2 (Prensa Latina) Cuban artists paid tribute on Saturday to one of the most respected creators of popular dance music in the Americas, the Cuban bassist and composer Juan Formell, on his 78th birth anniversary.

The creator’s legacy of the popular Los Van Van orchestra transcends music as he coined many phrases – turning them into the colloquial language of the Cuban people – which even described behaviors, such as ‘Titimania.’

This is still the name given to the preference of some older men to start a relationship with much younger girls.

The popular basis of his sayings never came into contradiction with the musical exquisiteness, marked by a peculiar sound that embodies the traditional and the modern music.

Formell founded Los Van Van in 1969, a legendary band that has been recognized, inside and outside Cuba, as ‘the train of Cuban music.’

In honor of the director, in 2019, the Ministry of Culture and the Cuban Institute of Music, along with other entities of Cuba’s culture system, sponsored the 1st Timba Festival … forever Formell, which in 2020 had to postpone the 2nd edition due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

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Nobel Prize campaign for Cuban doctors grows and expands in Greece

Nobel Prize campaign for Cuban doctors grows and expands in Greece

Athens, Aug 2 (Prensa Latina) More than 47,000 members make up the Greek group for the Nobel Peace Prize for Cuban doctors, with 70 organizations between unions, associations, portals and websites and the interaction of some 400,000 followers.

Velisarios Kossivakis, administrator of the Greek Team Nobel Prize to Cuban Doctors 2021 reported in a letter addressed to all the promoters of the initiative, to which Prensa Latina had access, the characteristics of the organizations and citizens of his country who stand in solidarity with what he describes as a noble cause.

Among those who joined this project, which was launched on March 28th, he highlighted those with a long history of supporting Cuba, such as the Cuban-Greek Friendship and Solidarity Associations of Athens, Thessaloniki and Kalamata, as well as the Jose Marti Cultural Association.

Kossivakis stressed that members from more than 75 countries residing in Greece take part in this conglomerate of organizations.

Regarding the interest aroused by the movement in favor of Cuban doctors, he reported that there is a large youth participation represented by 1,350 students.

The team administrator indicated that 1,100 members are actors and artists in general, 95 are film directors and producers, 186 musicians and singers, 89 writers and poets, 115 university teachers, 780 doctors, 910 scientists and professors, and 779 independent workers.

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‘Cuba will defend Eusebio Leal’s legacy,’ says President Diaz-Canel

'Cuba will defend Eusebio Leal's legacy,' says President Diaz-Canel

Havana, Aug 2 (Prensa Latina) Cuba’s President Miguel Diaz-Canel assured on Sunday that the country will continue working on the rescue of heritage and collective memory, and will defend the legacy of the historian of Havana, Eusebio Leal.

On Twitter, the Cuba’s head of State also attached a link to Juventud Rebelde newspaper that published opinions of personalities of culture and politics about Leal, who died on Friday at the age of 77, from a painful disease.

The newspaper’s article compilation includes criteria, among others, from the prima ballerina assoluta, Alicia Alonso; the writer, ethnologist, researcher and poet, Miguel Barnet; the writer and politician Abel Prieto, and the intellectual and politician Armando Hart, all of them express feelings of admiration, respect and gratitude.

The death of Leal, who not only followed Marti’s and Fidel’s ideas, but also was a devoted Christian as Prieto described him, caused consternation across Cuba and especially in Havana, where he worked tireless and passionate, and thus many people deemed Leal was doing a titanic work.

On Saturday, Cuba’s president decreed an official mourning, while social networks were filled with messages of affection and thanks to the historian of Havana, and white sheets were hung on rooftop balconies to pay tribute to him.

In the historic center of Havana, known as Old Havana, the inhabitants placed posters with the inscription ‘Siempre Leal’ (Leal Forever), while in Havana and the eastern province of Santiago de Cuba, two books of condolences were opened.

In accordance with Leal’s family, the population will be able to offer a posthumous tribute to the respected Cuban scholar at the Capitol of Havana once the Covid-19 pandemic has been controlled.

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Belgians Supports Cuba Against the Blockade, Activist Says

Belgian Committee against the Blockade to Cuba’s coordinator Wim Leysens.
Belgian Committee against the Blockade to Cuba’s coordinator Wim Leysens. | Photo: Twitter/ @PLprensalatina

The Belgian Committee against the Blockade to Cuba launched the initiative in April, to call out international attention on the island’s situation facing the pandemic during blockade hardening.

August 1 (teleSUR) Belgian Committee against the Blockade to Cuba’s coordinator Wim Leysens said Friday that the ‘Oxygen for Cuba’ Campaign approaches Belgium’s people to Cuba’s experiences due to U.S. sanctions.

The ‘Oxygen for Cuba’ campaign motivates Belgian citizens to repudiate the U.S. blockade against the island after testimonies from victims of that policy are heard,” Leysens said

The Belgian Committee against the Blockade to Cuba launched the initiative in April, to call out international attention to the island’s situation facing the pandemic during the blockade’s hardening.

Cuban artists, journalists, and other prominent personalities offered their testimonies about the U.S. blockade impact on their lives as well as the island’s social and economic development.

Over a hundred solidarity messages have been uploaded to the website, using the link https://noalbloqueo.be/. 

As Leysens insisted, the campaign would persist until the next voting round against the blockade in the U.N. General Assembly.

On Thursday, Cuban Deputy Foreign Minister Anayansi Rodriguez postponed to May 2021 Cuba’s regular intervention to condemn the blockade in the U.N., considering the current health situation due to the pandemic.  

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Cuba deserves admiration and respect, not sanctions and smears

London, Aug 1 (Prensa Latina) Former London Mayor Ken Livingstone on Saturday denounced the United States’ onslaught against Cuba’s medical assistance to other countries affected by Covid-19, and assured that the Caribbean island deserves admiration instead of sanctions.

‘Not content with presiding over a disastrous response to the coronavirus crisis in the US itself, Republicans also want to deny medical assistance to some of the poorest and most vulnerable people across the world,’ the Labor politician wrote in an article in the Morning Star.

After saying that instead of sanctions Cuba deserves admiration and respect for that attitude, Livingstone particularly denounced the draft bill introduced by US Senators Ted Cruz, Rick Scoot and Marco Rubio to sanction the governments that request Cuba’s medical cooperation to fight Covid-19.

According to the former London mayor (2000-2008), this maneuver is one of the most astonishing expressions of reactionary politics by the Donald Trump administration, which he accuses of tightening the unilateral blockade imposed by Washington on Cuba for nearly 60 years.

‘These reactionary demands from the Republican senators to hit the Cuban medical brigades with sanctions are made within a context where only last year the Trump administration announced the most severe economic sanctions against Cuba since the illegal US blockade was first introduced in 1962,’ he added.

Livingston recalled, in that regard, the activation of Title III of the Helms-Burton Act, which allows US individuals and companies to file lawsuits against enterprises investing in properties that were nationalized in Cuba after the triumph of the Revolution in 1959.

‘Other aggressive announcements from the Trump administration have included the implementation of major new travel restrictions on visits to Cuba by US citizens, including a ban on educational and cultural trips known as ‘people-to-people’ travel,’ he added.

Even before these new acts of aggression by the Trump administration, the blockade already represented the longest system of economic sanctions imposed on another country in history, Livingstone noted.

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UNESCO director mourns Eusebio Leal’s death

Paris, Aug 1 (Prensa Latina) The general director of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Audrey Azoulay, on Saturday expressed her sorrow over the death on Friday of Havana Historian Eusebio Leal, and conveyed her condolences to Cuba.

I’m shocked by the death of Eusebio Leal, whom I have the honor of meeting in Havana in December 2019, she wrote on Twitter.

Azoulay described Leal as a great historian who rekindled Old Havana in its entire value and beauty, and whose Historic Heart was declared Humankind’s Heritage by the UNESCO in 1982.

Latin American ambassadors at the multilateral organization also expressed sorrow over Eusebio Leal’s death.

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