Two Wings of the Same Bird – Puerto Rico, Cuba, Hurricanes and Political Prisoners

FEBRUARY 14, 2018      FROMcp5

 

 

Two Wings of the Same Bird – Puerto Rico, Cuba, Hurricanes and Political Prisoners
by DIANA BLOCK
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Photo by Rob Oo | CC BY 2.0
Six months after Oscar López Rivera was released from prison having spent 35 years inside, he traveled to Cuba. “I feel at home, this is a dream come true; for many, many years, I have wanted to come to Cuba and today for the first time I have arrived,” Oscar told Fernando Llort González, the President of ICAP (Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples), who greeted him when he stepped off the plane.
The last time Oscar had seen Fernando was in the cell he shared with him for four years in Terre Haute prison where they became good friends. Their friendship wasn’t surprising. Oscar was in prison because of his participation in the struggle to win Puerto Rican independence from the U.S. while Fernando, one of the Cuban 5, was in prison for his efforts to protect a sovereign Cuban nation from U.S. aggressive interventions. A Puerto Rican and a Cuban freedom fighter sharing a cell was a twenty-first century manifestation of the historical bonds between the two islands, eloquently expressed in the lines that Puerto Rican poet Lola Rodriguez de Tió wrote in 1893:
Cuba and Puerto Rico are
as two wings of the same bird,
they receive flowers and bullets
into the same heart.
When Oscar arrived in Cuba on November 13, 2017, both Cuba and Puerto Rico had recently received bullets into the geographical hearts of their islands. Cuba was hit by Hurricane Irma, a category 5 hurricane, on September 8, 2017. Two weeks weeks later, on September 20th, Puerto Rico was devastated by Hurricane Maria, a category 4 hurricane. In Cuba, the electricity was restored to the entire island within a few weeks. In Puerto Rico, over four months after Maria nearly 40% of the island is still without power. The scandal-plagued response to the hurricane on the part of the U.S. and Puerto Rican governments exposes the operation of disaster capitalism at its worst.

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First Specialist Hospital in Liberia Monrovia Medical specialists from Cuba

Source: frontpageafricaonline
February 6 2018
by Gerald C. Koinyeneh –gerald.koinyeneh@frontpageafricaonline.com

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Partner Liberia, Dr. Oniyama Open First Specialist Hospital in Liberia
Monrovia – The Country Director of Partner Liberia, Joe Daweah, has announced that his entity has entered into an agreement with Dr. Nelson Oniyama to open the first medical specialist Hospital in Liberia.
Making the disclosure to FrontPageAfrica on Monday, January 29, Daweah said that the Oniyama Specialist and Teaching Hospital (OSTH) is an initial 50 beds medical center that will “provide unmatched health care delivery in a seamless, professional and affordable manner.”
Medical specialists from Cuba
The center is located at the old Island Clinic in Bushrod Island and staffed by highly skilled medical specialists from Cuba.

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Why is Cuba developing a new pneumococcal vaccine?

Why is Cuba developing a new pneumococcal vaccine?
The mere fact of being able to tell Cuban families that a new, effective and safe Cuban pneumococcal vaccine will soon be available, work on which has been advancing since 2006, is already more than just “good news.”

Author: Lisandra Fariñas Acosta | lisandra@granma.cu
february 7, 2018 13:02:07

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The new vaccine is another guarantee of the well-being of Cuban children. Photo: Ariel Cecilia Lemus
The mere fact of being able to tell Cuban families that a new, effective and safe Cuban pneumococcal vaccine will soon be available, work on which has been advancing since 2006, is already more than just “good news.”

It’s a comforting thought, “after so many years of development of this vaccine candidate, which includes seven serotypes in a single vaccine and, therefore, it is as if we were developing seven vaccines in one. This singularity has made preclinical demonstrations, the pharmaceutical development and clinical demonstration more complex,” Darielys Santana Mederos, biochemistry graduate and general coordinator of the Finlay Institute’s pneumococcal project, told Granma at the recently concluded Cuban Pediatrics Congress, Pediatría 2018.

According to the expert, following the introduction in the country of vaccines against Haemophilus influenzae and meningococci, pneumococcus is now the fundamental pathogen to cause pneumonia and bacterial meningitis in Cuban children. “Therefore, prevention with a vaccine against pneumococci would have a significant impact on reducing the incidence of bacterial pneumonia and meningitis in this population,” she added.

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Regional Congress of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine concludes in Havana

Regional Congress of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine concludes in Havana
The recently concluded Congress was held as a prelude to the seventh National Congress, which will take place in April in Lebanon

Author: Ernesto J. Gómez Figueredo | internet@granma.cu
january 30, 2018 10:01:01

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Photo: Granma
With a greeting to all progressive and left forces of the Americas, and after two days of work, the Regional Congress of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) concluded yesterday in the Cuban capital.

The gathering was held as a prelude to the seventh National Congress, which will take place in April in Lebanon, and attended by Palestinians from across the American continent.

Topics of vital importance for the Palestinian cause were discussed, the documents pending approval by the Central Congress of the DFLP were debated, and the 12 direct delegates to the national event were selected.

Fahd Suleiman, DFLP deputy secretary-general explained the selection of Cuba as the venue for this important gathering for the Palestinian cause.

“Cuba is a country friendly to the Palestinian people and cause, so it was natural that it be selected to host the meeting,” he said.

“There are a lot of Palestinians living in this continent. We are a people that fight for their national liberation, the restoration of their 1967 borders, the return of refugees to their homeland and precisely in the framework of these conditions it was decided to hold this event in Havana, to send a message from here to U.S. President Donald Trump,” he added.

The official criticized the alliance and cooperation between the United States and Israel, which openly occupies Palestinian land and divides the people by creating settlements.

“The Palestinian territory is the patrimony of its people and Jerusalem is the capital of our state,” he stressed, in reference to the Trump administration’s recognition of the holy city as the capital of Israel.

On behalf of the DFLP, Suleiman also condemned the U.S. decision to move its Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

“These decisions defy International Law, UN resolutions and human rights, despite public opinion and the rejection of the international community,” he emphasized.

The official stressed that negotiations with the Israeli government have been stalled since April 2014, and noted that the central council of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) decided that Washington can no longer act as a mediator between the two states.

Meanwhile, Rosario Pentón, rector of the Ñico López Advanced Studies School of the Communist Party of Cuba, where the Regional Congress met, expressed that this is a crucial moment for the Palestinian people, as they face voracious and rapacious imperialist moves.

Pentón ratified the revolutionary, pro-independence and internationalist vocation of Cuba and the unconditional support of this people for the Palestinian cause.

The closing ceremony was also attended by the Ambassador of Palestine to Cuba, Akram Samhan, the Ambassador of Venezuela to Cuba, Alí Rodríguez, the Deputy Head of the Party Central Committee International Relations Department, Juan Carlos Marsán, and Hero of the Republic of Cuba, Fernando González, president of the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP).

From New York to Havana Equestrian statue of José Martí

Equestrian statue of José Martí officially unveiled
Army General Raúl Castro Ruz, first secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba Central Committee and President of the Councils of State and Ministers, presided during the commemoration of the 165th anniversary of the national hero’s birth, January 28

Author: Madeleine Sautié | informacion@granma.cu
january 29, 2018 12:01:47

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Photo: Jose M. Correa

To commemorate the 165th anniversary of the birth of José Martí, Cuba’s national hero, officially unveiled in Havana’s 13 de Marzo Park was a replica of the equestrian statue sculpted by Anna Hyatt Huntington, that since 1965 honors him in New York City. Army General Raúl Castro Ruz, first secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba Central Committee and President of the Councils of State and Ministers, presided the event, January 28, with the participation of members of the Party Political Bureau and the Council of State, government authorities, representatives from the New York mayor’s office, the Bronx Museum, and U.S. citizens who contributed to the project’s realization.

José Martí saw in necessary death the uplifting and triumph of life, and spoke of the need to die for good, in order to continue living. This was perhaps the aura of the tribute in which Cuba’s most universal citizen was evoked by those who spoke of him as having become immortal given his extraordinary dimensions.

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Raúl attended the ceremony, along with other distinguished Cuban leaders. Photo: Jose M. Correa
Speaking in the name of the Bronx Museum of Art, the prestigious institution that guided the project, and its recently deceased director Holly Block, was the institution’s administrative board chairman Joseph Mizzi, who said it was an honor to attend the ceremony to present the statue to the Cuban people.

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Cuba Wins Excelencias Award as Safest Travel Destination 18-01-2018

From: Bob Guild [mailto:bguild@marazul.com]
Sent: Wednesday, January 24, 2018 11:45 AM
To: Martha Honey <mhoney@responsibletravel.org>
Subject: RE FITUR 2018 – Madrid Spain CUBA wins award as Safest Travel Destination at International Tourism Fair

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Cuba Wins Excelencias Award as Safest Travel Destination 18-01-2018

Cuba has won the Excelencias Award as the safest country for tourism at the International Tourism Fair Fitur 2018, which is unfolding in Madrid through January 21.

The award was received by the Cuban minister of the industry, Manuel Marrero, who heads the island’s delegation to that event, reported Gustavo Machin, Cuban Ambassador to Spain, in his Twitter account.

The delegation from the Caribbean country is made up of executives from the main hotel chains, as well as the associates Melia Hotels, Iberostar, Blue Diamond, among others. Also participating are the top business management organizations Viajes Cuba and Cubasol.

Inaugurated this Wednesday by the Spanish monarchs Felipe VI and Letizia, the fair is attended by European and Canadian tour operators and there is a strong presence of Latin American delegations. In total, more than 10,000 companies participate and it is expected that the visits will reach 250,000 people.

The list of exhibitors (from 165 countries) reaches 816, eight percent above the 2017 version, with a 13 percent increase in foreign participation, which represents 54 percent of the total. Source: Prensa Latina

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Cuba is a safe place for U.S. citizens, according to travel expert Journalist Christopher P. Baker

Cuba is a safe place for U.S. citizens, according to travel expert
Journalist Christopher P. Baker refuted claims that Cuba is an “unsafe” destination while the island was awarded the Excellence Prize as the safest country for tourism, at the 38th International Tourism Fair in Madrid, Spain

Author: Redacción Digital | internet@granma.cu
january 23, 2018 12:01:54

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In his January 21st article, journalist and tourism expert Christopher P. Baker noted that he believes Cuba to be “the safest place in the Americas outside Canada,” and recommends U.S. citizens visit the island. Baker goes on to note that on January 18, 2018, Cuba was named “Safest Country for Tourism” at the 38th annual                                                                                                                                                         International Tourism Fair (FITUR), in Madrid, Spain. However, the island continues to be the only nation to which U.S. citizens are prohibited from traveling as tourists. Despite this “More than 615,000 U.S. travelers visited Cuba in 2017—a banner year as overall tourism to Cuba topped 4.5 million,” according to Baker.He also recalled that there is comparatively little crime on the island, “Gun crime is unheard of in Cuba. Violent crime is rare,” something that has been recognized by the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Diplomatic Security, he notes. Thus, “the notion of Cuba being unsafe is bogus,” according to the expert, who highlighted the absurdity of allegations of supposed “sonic attacks” against some 20 or so U.S. diplomats and their family members in Havana.

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Washington creates Internet Task Force to promote subversion in Cuba

Washington creates Internet Task Force to promote subversion in Cuba
The United States government announced this Tuesday, January 23, the creation of a new Internet Task Force, aimed at subverting Cuba’s internal order
Author: Redacción Internacional | internacionales@granma.cu
january 24, 2018 08:01:44

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The United States government announced yesterday, January 23, the creation of a new Internet Task Force, aimed at subverting Cuba’s internal order.
“The Department of State is convening a Cuba Internet Task Force composed of U.S. government and non-governmental representatives to promote the free and unregulated flow of information in Cuba. The task force will examine the technological challenges and opportunities for expanding internet access and independent media in Cuba,” according to the body’s official website.
In the past phrases like promoting “freedom of speech” and “expanding access to the internet in Cuba” have been used by Washington as a pretext for schemes to destabilize the country using new technologies.
One of the most well-known examples of this was the ZunZuneo plan, exposed in 2014 by Associated Press. Advertised as a messaging platform similar to Twitter and aimed at Cuban youth, the real intention behind ZunZuneo was to promote actions to subvert the country’s internal order.

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The United States’ new strategy and the approach toward Our America

The United States’ new strategy and the approach toward Our America
Less than a year after entering the White House, President Donald Trump announced the new National Security Strategy of the United States on December 18, 2017
Author: Abel González Santamaría | internet@granma.cu
january 5, 2018 13:01:15

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Photo: Granma
Less than a year after entering the White House, President Donald Trump announced the new National Security Strategy of the United States on December 18, 2017. On presenting the document, Trump said that his country has entered a “new era of competition,” in which its global leadership is threatened by Russia and China, although he noted, “We will attempt to build a great partnership with these and other countries.”
The document constitutes the strategic guide for the U.S. government’s foreign and security policy over the coming years. Politicians, analysts, and academics from around the world are attempting to assess its 68-page content, in order to determine the implications it will have for their countries and regions. The National Security Act of 1947 states that these reports have both a public and a “classified” version.
The public version of the security strategy has been freely available since 1986. As such, this is a carefully drafted document that presents the vision the United States government wishes to impose on the rest of the world. On this occasion, an attempt is made to define what could be considered the “Trump doctrine” for foreign and security policy, which has a marked imperialist character. The document presented defends the President’s nationalist electoral platform of “America First,” which has meant in practice “The Military-Industrial Complex First,” aimed at reestablishing U.S. global hegemony.

APPROACH TO LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN

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We are here, and will remain, free, sovereign and independent Stated Army General Raúl Castro Ruz

http://en.granma.cu/

We are here, and will remain, free, sovereign and independent
Stated Army General Raúl Castro Ruz, closing the National Assembly of People’s Power 8th Legislature’s 10th Period of Ordinary Sessions
Author: Raúl Castro Ruz | internet@granma.cu
december 22, 2017 12:12:37

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Photo: Estudio Revolución

Speech presented by Army General Raúl Castro Ruz, first secretary the Communist Party of Cuba Central Committee, during the closure of the National Assembly of People’s Power 8th Legislature’s 10th Period of Ordinary Sessions, in Havana’s International Conference Center, December 21, 2017, Year 59 of the Revolution
(Council of State transcript / GI translation)
Compañeras and compañeros:
It is my responsibility to make the closing remarks for this last Period of Ordinary Sessions of the National Assembly of People’s Power’s 8th Legislature. On this occasion, I will address several topics of national and international relevance.
Between September 8 and 10, the country was struck by Hurricane Irma, described as the most powerful and violent extreme weather event in the history of the Atlantic Ocean, which impacted, to one degree or another, 12 provinces, with strong winds, heavy rain, and severe coastal flooding.
Despite the enormous effort conducted to safeguard the population, that included the protection of more than 1.8 million persons, we were obliged to mourn the loss of 10 compatriots. More than 179,000 dwellings were affected and significant damage caused to infrastructure, national health system buildings, educational centers, the sugar industry, tourist facilities, and communications. For the first time ever, the national electrical grid was interrupted across the entire country
In summary, damage caused by Hurricane Irma was calculated at 13,000,185,000 pesos, a figure produced on the basis of parity between the peso and the U.S. dollar.
Once again, made evident was the spirit of resistance and victory of our people, who confronted the event and the recovery period with organization, unity, discipline, and solidarity.
Within only 20 days, electrical service and water distribution were restored throughout the national territory, an effort in which, along with specialized forces, standing out were mixed support brigades, organized in every municipality, to undertake clean-up, pruning of trees, opening of trenches, and transportation of utility poles, supporting the workers who took on the task of reestablishing electrical service.

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