The U.S. blockade against Cuba is contrary to a culture of peace, Cuban representative at the UN says

Ana Silvia Rodriguez Abascal, the Cuban representative to the United Nations

Sept 13 (Radio Rebelde) Ana Silvia Rodriguez Abascal, the Cuban representative to the United Nations, said Friday that the economic, financial and commercial blockade that the United States is imposing on Cuba is contrary to a culture of peace.

Rodriguez Abascal, Alternative Permanent Representative, Charge d’Affaires of Cuba to the UN, referred to this issue during the High Level Forum on Culture of Peace held at the world organization.

The official emphasized that peace is more than the absence of war, since it cannot exist without economic and social development, justice and equity for all.

The diplomat argued that in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, unilateral coercive measures continue being implemented, and in the case of Cuba, it has had to face the unprecedented tightening of the unjust blockade imposed by the United States for almost six decades, which is completely contrary to the culture of peace.

She warned, according to the CubaMinrex website, that the current pandemic has very clearly shown the unjust international order, the inequality within and between countries, the advance of unilateralism and the lack of solidarity of the powers towards the developing nations.

The Cuban representative expressed Cuba’s commitment to peace, since the Caribbean nation is a signatory and defender of the Declaration and Program on a Culture of Peace, and of the Declaration of Latin America and the Caribbean as a Zone of Peace, adopted in 2014 in Havana, within the framework of the 2nd Summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States.

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Cuba with improved capacity to detect Covid-19 cases

Cuba with improved capacity to detect Covid-19 cases

Havana, Sep 19 (Prensa Latina) The increase in capacities to process PCR tests in real time allowed yesterday to detect 51 new cases of Covid-19 in Cuba, and add 5,555 people diagnosed with the disease, the Ministry of Public Health specified today.

The national director of Epidemiology of that portfolio, Francisco Duran, specified in a press conference that in recent weeks the situation in Havana and Ciego de Ávila, has shown the country reached a new peak in the number of infected people, with higher figures than in August and so far in September, a scenario that forced the opening of new molecular biology laboratories.

After showing graphs of the epidemiological complexity throughout the national territory, Durán reiterated that by the end of the month they expect to exceed the numbers of August, to date the period with the most cases in the country (1,423).

The doctor explained that the day before laboratories dedicated to analyze samples had processed 7,554 PCR tests for an accumulated of 531,928 from all over the country.

He also reported there were two deaths, which make a total of 113 since last March 11, when the first cases were detected, despite applying the appropriate action protocols and medications, despite the effort made by professionals in the intensive care units.

Duran explained that of the 51 confirmed cases today, 48 ​​are Cuban and three are foreigners (17 women and 34 men), of which 37 were asymptomatic at the time of diagnosis, and 45 were contacts of previously diagnosed patients.

Two thousand and one patients are admitted for clinical-epidemiological surveillance, 1,250 appear as suspects and 95 are under surveillance, while 656 are active patients, of which 638 have a stable clinical evolution, while five are reported critical and 13 are seriously ill, Duran explained.

Since the first case was announced on March 11, the government and health authorities have been working on a plan to stop the spread of this disease. Of the total diagnosed, 4,284 patients have recovered and received their medical discharge.

Cuba has very rigorous measures in place and a strict surveillance of the epidemiological situation to control the outbreaks in recent weeks, which have raised the incidence rate per 100,000 inhabitants throughout the country to 6.9.

Duran insisted on the complexity of Covid-19 due to its rapid transmission and high risk for all people, hence the repeated call for responsible behavior in compliance with isolation, protection and epidemiological surveillance measures through the inquiries carried out by health personnel.

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Cuba expresses support for Belarus at the Human Rights Council

Geneva, Sep 18 (Prensa Latina) Cuba ratified on Friday its support for the people and government of Belarus and its legitimate President Alexander Lukashenko in a session of the UN Human Rights Council convened to attack that country.

‘We energetically reject foreign interference against the sovereignty and self-determination of that sister nation,’ assured Cuban diplomat Lisandra Astiasaran during an urgent debate on the human rights situation in Belarus, where the West is committed to destabilization.

According to Astiasaran, Cuba repudiates the imposition of this type of selective initiatives, directed against sovereign governments and with clear political motivations.

‘We are facing an obvious attempt to use the Human Rights Council to legitimize a coup in a sovereign nation, and to advance the interventionist agenda of the United States and some of its allies,’ she denounced.

In this regard, she warned that on Friday’s debate and the resolution that accompanied it represent new signs of politicization and double standards that prevail in handling the issue of human rights.

Such a stance will only ensure that the Council’s credibility continues, she noted.

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France promotes solidarity and cooperation projects with Cuba

Paris, Sep 18 (Prensa Latina) The Cuba Cooperation France Association (CubaCoop) presented on Friday its solidarity and collaboration projects in favor of the island and its socio-economic development facing the US hostility and its severe blockade.

In its weekly publication ‘La lettre electronique,’ the association founded in 1995 states that despite the hard times the world is experiencing due to Covid-19, its activities to support Cuba in different areas do not cease.

Among those initiatives are the preparations of the Armor Committee of CubaCoop, in the north-western region of Bretagne, to send two containers this month with medical supplies to hospitals in Havana, capital of Cuba, after two of them were sent to central Cienfuegos province in March.

According to the Association, through Internet and telephone, the will of its Cuban members allows in the complex scenario that projects related to water, renewable energies and environmental sanitation in Havana, Cienfuegos and Santiago de Cuba, are materialized for the benefit of thousands of inhabitants.

The sending of equipment and materials valued at 30.000 Euros for the Free Strokes Creative Zone artistic program, in Cienfuegos, stands out in culture, it says.

Another initiative has to do with helping children with disabilities and the elderly, as part of the Casa Victor Hugo project.

CubaCoop president Victor Fernandez recently expressed Prensa Latina the association’s commitment to support the island amid the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the United States and its tightening by the current administration.

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Venezuela Rejects False Human Rights Report Promoted by Lima Group

Minister of Foreign Affairs Jorge Arreaza (L) and Attorney General Tarek William Saab (R), Caracas, Venezuela, Sept. 19, 2020.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Jorge Arreaza (L) and Attorney General Tarek William Saab (R), Caracas, Venezuela, Sept. 19, 2020. | Photo: Twitter/ @Mision_Verdad

“The report is aggressive, false, and harmful to Venezuela’s sovereignty,” Minister of Foreign Affairs Jorge Arreaza assured.

Sept 19 (teleSUR) Venezuela’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Jorge Arreaza and Venezuela’s Attorney General Tarek Wiliam Saab Saturday rejected the recent Human Rights report presented by a commission paid by the Lima Group.

The report issued by the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council’s Independent Fact-Finding Mission to Venezuela, “is aggressive, false, and harmful to Venezuelan sovereignty,” Arreaza condemned.

Lima Group paid Five million dollars for its preparation. “This shows how the Lima Group’s countries money is being wasted,” he assured.

At this time there are two resolutions done. The one elaborated by the United Nations (UN) High Commissioner for Human Rights Michele Bachelet, and the one that arises after Lima Group’s sponsorship.

Despite the efforts of the Office of the High Commissioner and the Venezuelan government, this parallel commission, which is not ratified by the Latin American country, shows the UN institutional contradictions.

“From day one we told that the Human Rights Council and Venezuela were already working on a resolution,” Arreaza added. “The report presented by the “Fact-finding Mission” accuses Leopoldo Lopez of human rights violations while he was held in Ramo Verde prison. The evidence shows otherwise: he was even allowed to hold family celebrations.”

The Fact-finding Mission’s report focuses on alleged extrajudicial executions, forced disappearances, arbitrary detentions, torture “and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment committed since 2014”.

“Making such a report, which is a monument to war propaganda, is an irresponsible fraud,” Arreaza denounced.

This report is a re-edition of the work done by the Organization of American States (OAS) Secretary-General Luis Almagro and coincides with the intimidating tour of U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who is seeking to win supporters in Florida.

“One of those involved in the false report is  Francisco Cox, who was a defender of Augusto Pinochet’s dictatorship in Chile. Notice the double standard of this character,” Arreaza recalled.“The Human Rights Report now becomes an instrument to deny the legitimacy of Venezuela’s elections and their political solution.” 

Venezuela’s Attorney General Tarek Wiliam Saab added that “the ‘experts’ did not come to investigate absolutely nothing. The report was done online, copying and pasting press releases and notes from political actors.” 

“This report Is totally politically biased, mediocre in legal terms, and with serious errors,” Williams explained. 

Regarding the human rights violations by national security agencies, Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro has always been in favor of investigating and sanctioning officials who commit such crimes. 

During the current Attorney General’s mandate, over 800 officials and 123 civilians have been charged with the crimes of murder, torture, cruel treatment, inhumane and degrading treatment, unlawful deprivation of liberty, home invasion, and other crimes.

 

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US-Cuba Joint Documentary on Silvio Rodriguez Premiers Sunday

Cuban singer-songwriter Silvio Rodriguez presenting during a concert for the victims of the hurricane that passed through the Regla municipality of Havana, Cuba. February 22, 2019.
Cuban singer-songwriter Silvio Rodriguez presenting during a concert for the victims of the hurricane that passed through the Regla municipality of Havana, Cuba. February 22, 2019. | Photo: EFE/Yander Zamora

“Silvio Rodriguez: My First Calling” is a 25-minute US-Cuba joint production directed by Catherine Murphy that premiers on the Hot House Global platform this Sunday at 8 PM EST. 

Sept 18 (teleSUR) Featuring a rare and intimate interview with the globally recognized Cuban trovador, Murphy’s film centers on Rodriguez’s experiences as a 14 year old boy participating in Cuba’s Literacy Campaign in 1961, which practically wiped out illiteracy on the Caribbean island within a single year.

Co-produced by The Literacy Project, Caminos Productions of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Center and La Rueda Films, the documentary not only features music from Silvio Rodriguez and Cuban pianist and composer Aldo Lopez-Gavilan, but also cinematography from Cuban photographer Roberto Chile.

The launch of the documentary paying homage to Rodriguez will be followed by performances from a wide array of renowed Latin American musicians, both pioneers of and those influenced by the nueva canción latinoamericana tradition, including Lila Downs, Susana Baca, Katia Cardenal, Rebel Diaz, Kelvis Ochoa, Quetzal, and others. 

The epic cultural event will also be broadcast simultaneously on national Cuban television, and along with being accepted for the Buenos Aires International Documentary Film Festival (FIDBA-2020), the film has also been selected for a special screening by UNESCO Cuba in honor of World Literacy Day, celebrated this past September 8.

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Speaking on the formative influence of Cuba’s Literacy Campaign on his life, Rodriguez states: “For the first time in my life, I left my family and joined a social cause as an active member of society. Perhaps this first adventure is what led me on a path of adventure and social consciousness that has defined me as a human being ever since.” Murphy, a former senior producer with teleSUR TV in Washington and founder of Tres Musas Productions, released another documentary on Cuba’s Literacy Campaign,  Maestra, in 2012, which has been translated to five languages and distributed worldwide. Following the success of Hot House Global’s Concert for Cuba this past July—showcasing over a hundred Cuban and international artists, activists and political figures in favor of awarding Cuba’s Henry Reeve International Medical Brigades the Nobel Peace Prize—the Chicago-based performance and exhibition center will be streaming Murphy’s film, as it did in July, via the Twitch video streaming service as well as its various social media platforms. 

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Massive tweet celebrates 15 years of Cuban brigade Henry Reeve

Massive tweet celebrates 15 years of Cuban brigade Henry Reeve

Havana, Sep 19 (Prensa Latina) The Cuban Ministry of Public Health called for a massive tweet today to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the Henry Reeve internationalist contingent, created by the historic leader of the Revolution, Fidel Castro.

With the use of the hashtags #BrigadasHenryReeve and #CubaPorLaVida, cybernauts will be able to accompany the Cuban health sector from 10:00 (local time), in the midst of the discrediting campaign promoted by the US government against the island’s brigades.

This contingent of doctors specialized in disaster situations and serious epidemics was created on September 19, 2005 in response to the damage caused by Hurricane Katrina to New Orleans, United States.

At that time, more than 12,000 Cuban doctors were willing to support the recovery. However, the US government refused to receive help.

Regarding the anniversary, members of these brigades recognized the humanistic work of this Cuban initiative.

Dr. Marcy Calderón recalled the support of the brigade sent to Nepal after the two earthquakes that struck that country in 2015 to work in field conditions, of which she was a member.

She also highlighted the participation of the Contingent in difficult circumstances such as the confrontation with Ebola in Africa, in response to a request from the World Health Organization, and currently, the support to 39 countries to stop the new coronavirus SARS-CoV-2.

‘Covid-19 has been a major challenge both inside and outside of Cuba for the members of the contingent,’ added the head of the Department of Control of Non-transmissible Diseases of the Minsap.

According to figures of the Ministry, a total of 3,875 collaborators in 52 brigades joined the efforts against the pandemic and 43 teams are currently active in 33 countries.

As a result of their work, more than 12,400 lives were saved and 550,900 patients were treated.

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Evo Morales expresses his respect and admiration for Cuba

Buenos Aires, Sep 17 (Prensa Latina) Former Bolivian President Evo Morales on Thursday sent his admiration and respect to the Cuban people after thanking what its doctors has done for his country.

Evo Morales, who considered the leader of the Cuban Revolution Fidel Castro as a father and the most supportive man in the world, told Prensa Latina that he remembers many moments with the Commander-in-Chief and especially emphasized the Cuban doctors´ work during his term.

Days after the Morales coup, on November 10, 2019, attacks against Cuban doctors began and the medical brigade, made up of 725 health professionals, ended its mission.

In Bolivia, there were demonstrations supporting for the Cuban doctors to return to the South American nation. They worked in very remote places. I remember the health fairs, where in a rural area Cuban and Bolivian specialists worked in an action for the people, it was impressive, he said.

Morales recalled that conversation when Fidel expressed that Cuba could operate 100,000 Latin Americans for free. The Cuban doctors, juts in Bolivia, operated over 700.000 people for free. That, he stressed, is called solidarity.

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Agenda 2030: a guiding light to end the pandemic, says UN

United Nations, Sep 18 (Prensa Latina) Agenda 2030 provides the guiding light needed to end the Covid-19 pandemic, respond to its socioeconomic impacts and draw up the course for a transformation recovery, they stressed today at the UN.

This is how the Secretary General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, expressed himself in the event called annual moment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), the first in this crucial Decade of Action to achieve these 17 goals by 2030.

Nowadays, he said, as a united family of nations, we have everything we need to eradicate poverty and hunger, address climate change, achieve gender equality and achieve the 17 SDGs.

But the task is overwhelming, ‘the foundations of our world have been shaken to the core by Covid-19,’ the Portuguese diplomat stressed.

The pandemic is pushing towards the worst recession in decades, with terrible consequences for the most vulnerable, and after years of progress, poverty and hunger are increasing, he lamented.

Many children are suffering from lack of education, countries’ debts are skyrocketing, fiscal resources are sinking, and even before the pandemic, inequalities were growing, he observed.

As Guterres stressed, the benefits of globalization and growth are failing to reach millions of destitute people, making worse their already deep despair.

Biodiversity is disappearing, greenhouse gases have reached record levels, and now there is an urgent need for a path that will bring health to all, revitalize economies, draw people from the margins of society, and build long-term resilience, sustainability, opportunity and peace, he said.

Agenda 2030 also calls for a rapid and just transition to inclusive, low-carbon and resilient economies, he said, that change can generate more and better jobs and a cleaner environment.

According to the UN secretary general, the Covid-19 pandemic is the biggest challenge facing the UN since its founding, ‘but we will not be defeated.

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Cuba guarantees wage protection to over 55,000 working mothers

Havana, Sep 17 (Prensa Latina) Cuba’s Minister of Labor and Social Security Marta Elena Feito released on Thursday that the country provides today wage guarantees to 55,798 working mothers who remain in the care of children in primary, special schools and kindergartens.

On Twitter, the minister also reflected on social care for the most vulnerable people in Covid-19 times.

Previously, Feito commented that over half a million people work under the modality of remote work and telework due to the health situation, employment variants provided for in the legislation.

Mothers with small children were allowed to stay home to care for infants without affecting their salary, as were people over 60 years old and with diseases such as diabetes and hypertension, who also maintain a wage guarantee.

Due to the pandemic, the government implemented 36 measures supported by current legislation to protect workers’ position and wages, both in the State and private sectors.

All protection actions are applied despite Cuba’s financial restrictions because of the US blockade, which in recent times makes it even more difficult the fight against the pandemic.

During the last summit of the International Labor Organization, Cuba’s President Miguel Diaz-Canel described work as a value and sacred right. Hence, the current economic strategy of the country prioritizes employment, salary and social security policies in a context that has restructured the productive dynamics of the World.

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