Kingston, Apr 14 (Prensa Latina) Former Jamaican Prime Minister Percival James Patterson acknowledged Cuba for its progress on the development of vaccine candidates against Covid-19, according to diplomatic sources.
In a message to Cuban Ambassador to Jamaica Ines Fors Fernandez, Patterson, who served as Prime Minister from 1992 to 2006, described Cuba’s vaccine research and development as magnificent and spectacular, despite the rough difficulties the country faces.
Since the outbreak of Covid-19, Patterson praised Cuba’s international aid to curb the pandemic, and stated that Cuba’s humanitarian and scientific actions were worthy of the highest consideration.
In April 2020, in an article entitled ‘International Solution to the Covid-19 Pandemic’, Patterson highlighted the generosity of the Cuban Government and people by sending hundreds of doctors, nurses and other health specialists to other nations.
Havana, Apr 14 (Prensa Latina) The Cuban Chamber of Commerce and the Danish Confederation of Industries on Tuesday held a forum in order to present business and investment openings in the Caribbean country’s prioritized sectors.
Cuba promoted projects contained in the National Plan for Economic and Social Development for the chemistry, agricultural, and iron and steel sectors, which were presented to 15 Danish companies dedicated to food, industry, energy and ports.
The investment forum gave continuity to a video conference between executives from the Chambers of Commerce of the two countries, held in February 2021, when the prospects for promoting Cuban exports linked to Danish market potential were discussed.
On the occasion, the Danish representation identified the most attractive products in the Cuban portfolio of offers, especially the food-farming industry, and highlighted its interest in integrating a commercial delegation that would visit Cuba in the second half of this year.
This contact will allow Danish companies to present their commercial opening to conclude export agreements, in correspondence with the 2020-2021 Business Opportunities Portfolio promoted by Cuba’s Ministry of Foreign Trade and Foreign Investment.
Havana, Apr 11 (Prensa Latina) Scientists and health personnel from the Cuban capital who participate in the intervention study with two of this country’s anti-Covid-19 candidates are currently vaccinated with the first dose.
‘The administration of the first dose of the Cuban vaccine candidates Soberana 02 and Abdala to the 75,000 health and Biocubafarma workers who are part of the intervention study developed in Havana, concluded,’ Cuba’s Ministry of Public Health reported on Twitter.
This is a controlled intervention study for at-risk populations, which includes health workers and the Group of Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical Industries of Cuba (BioCubaFarma).
The administration of the first dose of Soberana 02 to this population group began on March 23 in Havana and the intervention with Abdala began on March 29.
The objective of the controlled intervention trial is to evaluate the direct and indirect effects of vaccination with these candidates on population groups at high risk of contracting the infection, becoming ill and spreading the Covid-19 contagion.
Soberana 02, designed by the Finlay Vaccine Institute (IFV), is going through phase III of clinical trials in Havana with a sample of 44,010 volunteers, to whom the second dose is already administered.
In addition, the intervention study will reach another 150,000, including workers in the health and biopharmaceutical sector.
Meanwhile, Abdala, designed by the Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (CIGB), is administered to 48,000 volunteers from the Santiago de Cuba, Granma and Guantanamo provinces during the third stage of clinical trials (also second dose).
With this last candidate, intervention studies are also being carried out in those territories, in Sancti Spiritus and Havana; in Cuba’s capital with 124,000 volunteers that include health workers and the biopharmaceutical sector.
La Paz, Apr 13 (Prensa Latina) Bolivia will express its intention to acquire the Soberana 02 vaccine against Covid-19 to the Government of Cuba this week, said Deputy Minister of Foreign Trade and Integration Benjamín Blanco, who was quoted by the Bolivia newspaper.
‘We are in constant conversations and are going to have a high-level meeting to learn a little more about what is happening, they have already started the vaccination and I hope that in May they will have a significant number of immunized people, who will contribute to the studies,’ the official asserted.
They would be ready in June or July and once they are ready for export, we could make the acquisition depending on the results of phase III, Blanco remarked.
The Government has been in talks with pharmaceutical companies manufacturing SARS-CoV-2 vaccines, he said, adding that they are close to an agreement with China for the provision of Sinovac in May, as well as working with India to acquire Covaxin.
Bolivia began vaccination against Covid-19 in the cities in early February, after acquiring 20,000 doses of Sputnik V, and planned its gradual expansion to rural areas.
President Luis Arce, however, was forced to instruct the Health Ministry to proceed with the immunization of all border populations, especially the most exposed people in areas bordering Brazil.
The strategy is progressing favorably in the territory and 447,417 people had been vaccinated until last Monday, receiving one or two doses of Sputnik V and Sinopharm, according to official statistics.
Wellington, Apr 13 (Prensa Latina) Authorities from Cuba and New Zealand assessed the possibilities of parliamentary exchange, local diplomatic sources reported on Monday
Cuban Ambassador to New Zealand Edgardo Valdes met in Congress with the co-president of the Parliamentary Group of Friendship with Latin America and the Caribbean, Angela Roberts, who is also a member of the Labor Party.
A statement from the Cuban Embassy noted that they discussed the possibilities of future exchanges between parliamentarians, including on such issues as health care, education and the environment, in a very friendly atmosphere.
In addition, they exchanged extensively on the situation in Cuba and foreign policy issues, including the relationship with New Zealand and cooperation with the Caribbean and the Pacific.
Diplomatic relations between the two countries were officially established in March 1999. Since then, they have been strengthened in a climate of mutual respect and collaboration.
Mexico, Apr 13 (Prensa Latina) The Mexican newspaper El Heraldo de Mexico highlighted the Soberana Plus vaccine, the fifth candidate in Cuba approved by the Center for State Control of Medicines.
It pointed out that it is the most recent created by Cuba against SARS-CoV-2, and specifically, the first clinical trial conducted on convalescents with a Covid vaccine worldwide.
The newspaper quoted the director of the Finlay Vaccine Institute, Vicente Perez Bencomo, who said that the antigen has been applied to some people convalescing from Covid-19 to study the response in their systems.
This proposal is important, Perez explained, because people who suffer from the virus may have one of the new strains, so the vaccine for them could stop its spread.
One of the doctors involved in the creation of the vaccine is Dagmar Garcia Rivera, who said that she has obtained excellent safety and immunogenicity results perceived with a single application of the dose.
The newspaper recalls that there are five strains of Covid-19 in Cuba and the records of SARS-CoV-2 mutations concern are worrying.
Havana, Apr 11 (Prensa Latina) The 22nd International Biennial of Graphic Humor, to be held virtually until April 14, will start on Sunday with the inauguration of the collective exhibition of Superheroes cartoons.
Some 20 works by 15 local artists make up the exhibition, which recreates the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic, especially by Cuban healthcare personnel.
The caricatures will be exhibited outside the Ministry of Culture and bear the signatures of renowned humorists such as Adan Iglesias, Enrique Lacoste, Lazaro Miranda, Alejandro Falco, Alfredo Martirena and Aristides Hernandez.
The Biennial will be held under the slogan ‘Humor Brings us Closer,’ and according to its organizers, it set a record for the number of works admitted, with almost 1,700 works received, of which 223 works by 85 Cuban and foreign authors were selected for the competitive salon.
The meeting program includes, in addition to the exhibitions, creative workshops and lectures on the history and present of graphic humor.
The event celebrates the 60th anniversary of the creation of the humorous P’alante publication, and the anniversaries of the birthdays of famous cartoonists Francisco Blanco (Blanquito), Virgilio Martinez and Juan Eduardo David (Juan David).
Havana, Apr 11 (Prensa Latina) Soluciones Espiral’s Cuban freelancers’ group aims at creating projects in the field of computing, electronics, telecommunications and automation.
In statements to Negocios en Cuba, one of its members, Abel Bermejo, a graduate in Computer Science, noted that one of the group’s main motivations is the possibility of substituting imports in those areas.
The proposed contribution, he clarified, is not only to dispense with certain raw materials acquired abroad, but also the capacity to provide key technological know-how and technical advice which, in turn, generate considerable expenditures.
Our concept, Bermejo revealed, is the creation of prototypes for further industrial development.
He said it is about comprehensive technology solutions ranging from the required automation and transmission -if necessary- to computerization to achieve control in a control panel or in a mobile device.
Along with several specialists, such as Ariel Hernandez and Abel Barrientos, the group has gathered over ten members, although, depending on the needs, they can hire other people.
Paris, Apr 12 (Prensa Latina) The policy of the new president of the United States, Joe Biden, towards Cuba will only improve if strong international pressure is exerted to do so, Francoise Escarpit, a journalist specialized in Latin America, assured today in statements to Prensa Latina.
Escarpit, Latin American correspondent for the newspaper L’Humanité for 15 years, part of which he lived in Havana and Mexico, considered that ‘Biden is a traditional politician, whose idea is to once again dominate the world and in that scheme Cuba is not a priority ‘.
In relation to the previous US presidents, he pointed out that ‘the problem was that Barack Obama left the job undone, he could have done more, and that is why it was very easy for Donald Trump to aggravate the economic conditions of the blockade against Cuba and put, at the last minute, Cuba on the list of terrorist countries ‘.
‘Biden could have made a gesture and removed Cuba from that list, since he has a majority in Congress and the US Senate, and he could do so with presidential power from one day to the next,’ he added, however, ‘I don’t know we can expect nothing from him, the objectives of imperialism remain a priority ‘.
The journalist, who is part of the France-Latin America solidarity association, pointed out that ‘if there is no international pressure from other countries, I don’t think anything will happen, it would take a strong campaign for the French government to take a position and try to influence Biden or the UN, but nobody seems to care. ‘
In this regard, he recalled ‘the historic vote against the blockade in the UN General Assembly during Obama’s mandate, when the US abstained, something that Biden will not do,’ he considered, because in his opinion the new president ‘wills to resume in a calmer, less aggressive way, the traditional imperialist US policy ‘
‘I don’t think anything can be expected from Washington,’ he asserted, and recalled that ‘when Biden took office, Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel made an offer to build a meeting point, establish a dialogue, and I know he has not had an answer,’ he said.
Among the issues to be resolved are immigration issues, because while Havana demands legal, orderly and safe migration, Washington continues to deny visas that would prevent tragedies at sea, such as the one that occurred a few days ago.
Another issue pointed out by Escarpit as cause for concern, was that of the future commercialization of Cuban vaccines against Covid-19 with the current blockade and the misinformation carried out by the French media in this field.
He recalled that ‘despite the advanced level of biomedicine programs that the island has, media in France began to speak of the Cuban vaccine with a certain mockery, despite which public opinion is already beginning to know the truth of this program and its true potential ‘.
‘It is the same with the medical brigades, reality distorted by saying that it is an exploitation of health personnel by the Cuban government, but they hide there is an International School of Medicine (ELAM) in Havana, which trains thousands of young people as doctors. from Latin America and third world countries ‘, he pointed out.
‘How to explain that despite difficulties in Cuba there is a firm will to train doctors and develop biotechnological research in this field?’ he asked, adding that ‘there will also be a solidarity distribution circuit of this vaccine against Covid-19 for countries that do not have access to it. All that is Cuba ‘, he emphasized.
Moscow, Apr 10 (Prensa Latina) Cuban Ambassador to Russia Julio Garmendia on Saturday highlighted the ties of friendship between the two countries and the examples of condemnation of the United States’ hostility against the Caribbean island.
‘Russia is a pillar of solidarity with Cuba and in condemning the criminal blockade against our country,’ the Cuban diplomat said in exclusive statements to Prensa Latina.
‘This is not new, the Russian people have historically been very supportive of Cuba,’ said Garmendia, who also pointed out that this friendship and affection ‘is already part of a tradition.’
The diplomat explained that despite the limitations caused by Covid-19, significant demonstrations of support for Cuba and the fight against the tightening of Washington’s policy against the country have taken place in recent months.
As examples, Garmendia mentioned Russia’s joining the Europe for Cuba channel, broadcast on YouTube, which allows to link friends of Cuba in different cities and countries and show their awareness-raising actions for the Cuban cause.
He also highlighted the initiatives in Russia of the International Caravan of Solidarity with Cuba, including the flight of an aerostat with the image of Commander Ernesto Che Guevara, and his message of repudiation of Washington’s policy.
The Cuban ambassador added that every year, the State Duma (Lower House of Parliament) approves a resolution condemning the US blockade against Cuba. ‘This year will not be an exception.’
The resolution entitled ‘Necessity of Ending the Economic, Commercial and Financial Blockade Imposed by the United States of America against Cuba’ will be voted on June, for the 29th time, at the United Nations General Assembly, Garmendia said.