Cuba’s diplomatic management praised in Ethiopia

Addis Ababa, Oct 24 (Prensa Latina) Abebe Ayalew, president of the Friendship Association between the peoples of Ethiopia and Cuba, on Sunday praised the management done by Cuban Ambassador to this country, Vilma Thomas, whom he considered a worthy representative of her people.

Her intelligent and continuous work to strengthen the relations between our countries and increase the sectors for the bilateral collaboration satisfies all Ethiopian-Cubans because Cuba is also our homeland, Ayalew said.

The Ethiopian-Cubans are the Ethiopian citizens who trained in the Caribbean country.

We have coincided in different events and scenarios for four years and in all of them, the Cubans have been very well represented and the truth of the Revolution has been defended as its worthy children do, he told Prensa Latina.

Thomas has maintained a frank relationship with the Association. She clearly explained us the situation in Cuba, encouraged us and always called us to participate in any matter in which we could contribute, which is what we want, said Ayalew, who graduated of Transport Economics in the Caribbean nation.

During the week that has just ended, President Sahle-Work Zewde, State Minister for International Relations Redwan Hussein and Minister of Health Lia Tadesse also highlighted the Ambassador’s efforts in meetings.

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Union leader praises Cuba’s resilience to fight Covid-19

Union leader praises Cuba's resilience to fight Covid-19

Madrid, Oct 23 (Prensa Latina) The leader of the Cuban Workers’ Confederation (CTC), Ulises Guilarte, on Saturday highlighted his country´s resilience to fight Covid-19.

In an exclusive interview with Prensa Latina, on the occasion of a short visit to participate in the 12th Confederal Congress of the Workers’ Commissions (CCOO) of Spain, Guilarte praised the effectiveness of the three Cuban vaccines that are currently administered in the country.

In late November, we expect to have 90 percent of the Cuban population fully immunized with the vaccines in the international validation phase (Abdala, Soberana02 and Soberana Plus), in addition to a promising development with serums for minors aged 0-2 years and 2-18 years, as well as pregnant women, Guilarte explained.

The union leader told Prensa Latina that during his attendance to the CCOO meeting, Cuba’s reality aroused the interest of several high-ranking union leaders from France, Italy, Argentina, Chile and Palestine.

Likewise, he held fruitful meetings with George Mavrikos, general secretary of the World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU), who expressly traveled to Madrid to prepare the WFTU congress in 2022.

He also met with Unai Sordo, who was reelected CCOO Secretary-General, and whom he invited to visit Cuba and further learn about the current situation in his country.

Guilarte, who is also a member of the Council of State and the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of Cuba (PCC), said that during the CCOO meeting, neoliberal trends that have led millions of people worldwide to lose their jobs due to the Covid-19 pandemic were also tackled.

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US: Religious Leaders Urge Biden To End Blockade Against Cuba

The World Council of Churches called on U.S. President Joe Biden to lift the blockade on Cuba.

The World Council of Churches called on U.S. President Joe Biden to lift the blockade on Cuba. | Photo: Twitter/@almayadeen_es

In a letter sent October 15 to President Joe Biden, leaders of the World Council of Churches, ACT Alliance, the Cuban Council of Churches and other religious groups urged an end to the nearly 60-year blockade against the Cuban people. 

Oct 22 (teleSUR) Below, teleSUR English reproduces in full the letter sent by the religious leaders to President Biden.

“Dear Mr. President,

We write to intercede on behalf of the Cuban people, who are facing a terrible humanitarian situation. After nearly sixty years of embargo against the country, the question you must ask yourself is whether this continuing embargo is worth it.

The Obama administration, with your support, sought to rethink the policy and seek a new engagement with Cuba, relaxing sanctions, allowing direct flights between the two countries and easing restrictions on U.S. citizens traveling to and doing business in Cuba. Former President Donald Trump reversed President Obama’s strategy. He placed Cuba back on the U.S. list of state sponsors of international terrorism, cut off travel between Cuba and the U.S., and prohibited U.S. citizens and residents from sending remittances to family members in Cuba, cutting off an important economic lifeline for many Cubans. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has further exacerbated the problems in Cuba.

Mr. President, there is a time to tear down and a time to build up. There is a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace. We ask you to make a bold decision and end the embargo against the Cuban people. We are aware that there are very significant political pressures and obstacles to this course of action.

However, driven by Christian faith and compassion, we implore you to take steps to ease the burden of the Cuban people, including:

1. Remove Cuba from the list of countries sponsoring terrorism. We see no real public evidence to believe that Cuba has the will, means and ability to sponsor global terrorism.

2. Suspend again the application of Title III of the Helms-Burton Act, which was suspended for a long period and was reactivated by former President Donald Trump on May 2, 2019.

3. Reinstate the category of “people-to-people” travel for educational exchange, using this general license to maintain a full-time schedule of educational and cultural exchange activities aimed at improving contact with the Cuban people.

4. Eliminate the ban on cruise ship travel and reinstate regular airline flights to all Cuban cities.

5. Suspend the State Department’s List of Prohibited Accommodations in Cuba, allowing U.S. citizens to use hotels and rental houses of their choice.

6. Eliminate the USD 1,000 per quarter cap on family remittances that a sender can send per quarter to a Cuban citizen.

7. Reactivation of non-family remittances from third countries through Western Union and companies such as Fincimex and AIS.

8. Suspend the List of Restricted Entities and Sub-entities Associated with Cuba.

“Religious leaders from the World Council of Churches urged US President Joe Biden to lift the blockade against Cuba and overcome political obstacles that stand in the way.”

9. Reactivate the U.S. Embassy in Havana, including its consular services.

10. Suspension of third country visa application requirements and the granting of annual visas under immigration agreements.

11. Reactivate scientific exchanges in biotechnology, health and other areas of science.

We strongly believe that there are other ways to engage with Cuban authorities to discuss and overcome disagreements on issues and legacies, without affecting people who want to live with human dignity. We ask you to consider their plight and work to overcome political obstacles to solidarity and justice.

Yours in Christ,

Rev. Prof. Dr. Ioan Sauca
Acting General Secretary
World Council of Churches

Mr. Rudelmar Bueno de Faria
General Secretary (CEO)
ACT Alliance

Rev. Jim Winkler
President and General Secretary
National Council of Churches of Christ USA

Rev. Philip Vinod Peacock
Acting General Secretary
World Communion of Reformed Churches

Bishop Ivan M. Abrahams
General Secretary
World Methodist Council

Council of Churches of Cuba
General Secretary
Rev. Joel Ortega Dopico

Ms. Josianne Gauthier
Secretary General
CIDSE”

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Journalist Arnold August condemns subversion attempts in Cuba

Journalist Arnold August condemns subversion attempts in Cuba

Ottawa, Oct 22 (Prensa Latina) Canadian journalist Arnold August on Saturday condemned new subversion attempts in Cuba, after calls for demonstrations declared illegal as part of the ‘color revolution’ they are trying to promote.

According to August, who has written several books on Cuba-US relations, the calls to take to the streets in Cuba on November 15 are a follow-on of riots conducted in July, because those who call people now were also deeply involved in those events.

August explained -through an article on The Canada Files (goal-oriented to international political issues)- the reasons why protests are illegal from a legal standview since these ignore the limits of the constitutional rights.

According to August, the media that represent the interests of those who were denied permission to demonstrate, call down self-righteous statements because (to them) safeguarding socialism should not be a precondition for protest.

August compared Cuban legislation with that of the United States and noted that even though the US Constitution does not set down explicitly about the protection of the capitalist system, it does lay down on ‘guaranteeing national calm.’

Does the latter mean that nothing can change or challenge the capitalist status quo?, August wondered, while saying that the history of the United States is based on repression of the uprisings of indigenous people, African Americans, workers and young people against capitalism and imperialism.

If we were to extrapolate ‘domestic calm’ to the right of capitalism to work in peace, the conclusion would be unavoidable: in practice, for the white supremacist elite in the US, freedom of expression and the right of gathering are tolerated as long as the capitalist-imperialist status quo is not challenged, August asserted.

The Cuban government underlined the subversive nature and alignment with the interests of the United States of those calls to demonstrate that violate articles 4 and 45 of the Cuban Constitution, endorsed in 2019 by over 86 percent of citizens.

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Cuba calls at UN to eradicate unilateral, selective exercises

United Nations, Oct 21 (Prensa Latina) Cuba on Thursday called at UN to eradicate unilateral and selective exercises among nations and also condemned the enactment, at national level, of politically motivated laws against other governments.

In his speech to UN´s 6th Commission on Universal Jurisdiction, Cuban Ambassador Yuri Gala reiterated Cuba’s commitment to fight impunity for crimes against humanity.

Likewise, Gala recalled that the scope and application of the principle of universal jurisdiction is a major issue, whose issues must be debated by the UN General Assembly.

Mr. Gala expressed deep concern about improper use of the principle of universal jurisdiction in the unilateral, selective and politically motivated exercise of the jurisdiction of courts of developed countries against people, natural or legal, from developing nations, without emanating from an international norm or treaty.

Likewise, he condemned the enactment, at national level, of laws that are politically motivated and directed against other governments, which has dire effects on international relations.

According to Gala, universal jurisdiction cannot be used to undermine integrity and values of various legal systems existing globally, to violate respect for national jurisdiction; or to do down the integrity and values of a legal system.

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Cuba Now Part of China’s Belt and Road Energy Alliance

Chinese Foreign Affairs Minister Wang Yi and Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez leave after a news conference at Diaoyutai state guesthouse on May 29, 2019 in Beijing, China. File photo courtesy of FLORENCE LO/POOL/GETTY IMAGES.

Oct 21 (Orinoco Tribune) Cuba joined the Alliance for Energy of the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), a project to build an international mega-platform for cooperation and exchange under the principle of shared profit. The announcement was issued by the Cuban Foreign Ministry in a statement this Monday, October 18.

The Cuban ambassador in Beijing, Carlos Miguel Pereira, highlighted the importance of the initiative for the expansion and diversification of collaboration in the energy sector, to collectively overcome the challenges faced worldwide.

The diplomat ratified Cuba’s commitment to contribute to sustainable progress, and invited Chinese companies and institutions, and the rest of the partnership’s members, to work in fields such as the promotion of green energy and inclusive access to energy services.

The Cuban Minister of Energy and Mines, Liván Arronte, elaborated on the development of renewable energy sources in Cuba, with the purpose of promoting the efficient use of these resources and achieving independence in this sector.

Arronte called for increased international cooperation and solidarity in favor of countries in the Global South to face today’s ecological and environmental challenges and meet the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

China views cooperation in eco-civilization as a key component of the BRI and adopted a series of green measures in infrastructure, energy, and finance to support participating countries with funds, technology, and development of productive capacity.

The integration of the “One Belt, One Road” initiative across Latin America and the Caribbean was further deepened with agreements between China and other countries in the region that make up the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC).

The Belt and Road Energy Alliance began in October 2018 during the Belt and Road Energy Ministerial Conference in Suzhou, and was officially launched in Beijing in April 2019. The Alliance currently holds 29 member countries.

Featured image: Chinese Foreign Affairs Minister Wang Yi and Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez leave after a news conference at Diaoyutai state guesthouse on May 29, 2019 in Beijing, China. Photo: Florence Lo/Pool/Gerry Images.

(Misión Verdad)

Translation: Orinoco Tribune

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Winner of contest about Cuba inspired by love for her origins

Winner of contest about Cuba inspired by love for her origins

Beijing, Oct 22 (Prensa Latina) Love and longing for her native Cuba were the source of inspiration for young Xiang Sofía Arias to make a pictorial work from China, thereby winning an international competition on the island.

The teenager told Prensa Latina she feels very happy because the award ‘is a recognition of all of us who live far from our native country and carry it in our hearts wherever we are’.

Her work is entitled ‘Flores de amor’ (Love flowers) and won the highest award in the field of Visual Arts in the contest ‘Cuba comes in me’, launched last summer by the National Council of ‘Houses of Culture’ of the Ministry of Culture, and the Foreign Ministry of Cuba.

Arias, born in Havana, confessed that painting runs in her blood and is nourished both by the images taken by her father from her native country, and by books she reads.

‘Thus I have been able to capture memories in plastic arts and venture into digital painting. Also in my painting there are colors closely related to Chinese culture, and the world that surrounds me is a blend of Cuba mixed with Asian culture’, the young girl added. She works different techniques such as pencil, comics, portrait and canvas.

The international contest called on all Cuban children and adolescents residing abroad and Cuban descendant children, to take part in Drawing, Painting, Cartoon, Photography and Audiovisual.

Participants chose a free theme to show what they know about the Caribbean Island, its history, culture, landscape, games, sports, social life or customs.

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Cuba’s Foreign Minister notes the increase of inequalities in the US

Havana, Oct 21 (Prensa Latina) Cuba’s Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez noted today the increase of big fortunes in the United States while unemployment and the deterioration of the healthcare situation are growing there in the context of Covid-19.

On his Twitter account, the top representative of Cuban diplomacy pointed out that 745 of the largest fortunes in the US added 2.1 trillion dollars (USD) to their wealth during the pandemic.

The FM also highlighted that 89 million US citizens lost their jobs during the period, 45 million caught SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus and there were 724,000 deaths from Covid-19, despite the fact that 50 percent of those deaths could have been prevented.

Rodriguez added that the country spent 750 billion dollars in the military sector.

According to inequality.org website, the growth in the wealth of US billionaires is one of the most disturbing signs of inequality in the United States.

When the pandemic was declared last year, the collective wealth of billionaires in the world’s largest economy amounted to some three trillion dollars and is now around five trillion, according to specialized studies.

Among those who have benefited the most from the crisis is Tesla co-founder Elon Musk, whose fortune grew 751 percent and now stands at 209.4 billion dollars.

Meanwhile, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos saw his fortune grow by 70.1 percent, valued at 192.2 billion dollars in March 2020.

Likewise, the owner of the social network company Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, has a net worth of 117.6 billion dollars after an increase of 114.9 percent during the current pandemic.

On average, the US super-rich are taxed at an effective federal income tax rate of about eight percent, below that stipulated for middle-income taxpayers, including teachers, nurses and firefighters.

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Cuba reaffirms at UN support for decolonization efforts

United Nations, Oct 20 (Prensa Latina) Cuba´s Alternate Permanent Representative to UN Yusnier Romero on Wednesday reaffirmed his country’s support for decolonization efforts around the world, a scourge some territories are still suffering.

During his speech at the 4th UN Commission, Romero recalled that colonial issue of Puerto Rico has been considered for over 43 years in that Special Committee on Decolonization.

On June 18, resolution recognizing the inalienable right of Puerto Ricans to self-determination and independence was adopted by consensus, Romero stressed.

To date, present status of Puerto Rico prevents its citizens from making sovereign decisions to meet their own needs and pin down their future, especially those closely related to economic and social issues.

Decolonization process, which made self-determination and independence possible for many peoples, is regarded as one of the most significant transformations of the 20th century, Romero added.

However, he said, the materialization of multilateral mechanisms is pressing to eradicate decolonization that several territories are still suffering including the 17 ones registered in the UN Special Committee on Decolonization.

The Cuban diplomat doubled down his country champions the right of Western Sahara people to self-determination, based on respect for principles and purposes of the UN Charter and International Law.

Plus, Romero stated, we support the legitimate right of the Argentine Republic in the sovereignty dispute concerning the Malvinas Islands, South Georgia, South Sandwich and the surrounding maritime spaces.

Cuba´s commitment and solidarity with the peoples of the non-autonomous territories is proved over the years and through collaboration actions, in fact, a total of 2,073 scholarship holders from those places have to date gotten their degrees in Cuba.

Romero also rejected the decision to establish an Internet Task Force with the stated objective of promoting a ‘free and unregulated flow of information in Cuba.’

In this regard, we urged for the legitimate right of all States to access outer space under equal conditions and without discrimination, while opposing to its militarization.

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Latin American Declaration on Accessible Tourism to be signed in Cuba

Havana, Oct 21 (Prensa Latina) A declaration by Latin America and the Caribbean on accessible tourism will be signed next December in Cuba when the Ibero-American Summit on this matter takes place, it was officially announced here.

The president of the Ibero-American Network of Accessible Tourism, Spanish Diego González, added that such an important document has been managed since 2016 and they chose Havana for the signing due to its conditions and the effort to develop this type of travel.

During a meeting with the press at the Hotel Nacional de Cuba, he explained that the 4th Ibero-American Summit on Accessible Tourism will take place precisely in this establishment from December 15 to 17 of the current year, when the aforementioned text will be finalized.

Along with González, the president of the organizing committee of the Summit, María del Carmen Orellana, the person in charge of the Cuban Accessibility Network, Luisa Pérez, and the advisor to the Ministry of Tourism of this country (Mintur), José Manuel Bisbé, participated in the dialogue.

González recalled that in 2019 it was decided at the Uruguay meeting that Cuba would be the next Summit venue, postponed due to the impact of Covid-19.

He outlined that accessibility and inclusion are the keywords for this type of tourism, a claim of much of the world that will have the focus of discussions in December in this country.

The island event has the participation, in addition to Mintur, of the Ecotur travel agency, SkedioTravel, Viajes Cuba, the National Hotel, and the local associations Ansoc (deaf), ANCI (blind) and Aclifim (limited engines).

Thirty speakers from 14 countriesare to participate in that event, and although it is pending to be confirmed, in previous editions about 400 people attended. On this occasion, the Summit will be hybrid, that is, digital and face-to-face.

The interlocutors reiterated that the choice of Cuba responds to its prominence in terms of the travel industry in general and the effort to enhance the presence of tourists through accessibility and reduced mobility programs.

The experts specified that it is not only about people with problems of limitations due to diseases, but also the elderly and their relatives -they exemplified- when people with limitations are equally entitled to all types of trips.

This is the main objective of the Ibero-American Network and in particular of the Summit. The document to be signed aims to enhance these facilities and promote them in the region.

Despite the fact that it is about Ibero-America, and in particular Latin America and the Caribbean, the call and the text have a global reach, since specialists on the subject from the five continents attend.

Among the participants will be representatives of important museums such as the Prado (Spain) and the Louvre (France), as well as experts in technology and robotics.

Officially, Cuba created its National Accessible Tourism Network a year ago, but since 2001 it has already started outreach programs on this matter.

González said that only in Europe there are 130 million potential tourists with disabilities, accompanied by their families and caregivers, which indicates a relevant travel market.

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