Cuba Recovered and Open for Business by MANUEL E. YEPE

SEPTEMBER 19, 2017
Cuba Recovered and Open for Business
by MANUEL E. YEPE

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Havana.
USA Today reported on Sept. 17 that the US government was providing humanitarian aid to numerous Caribbean islands devastated by Hurricane Irma. Cuba, located just 90 miles off the coast of Florida – was not among them.
When Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in 2005, Cuba was the first nation to offer aid. The island prepared thousands of volunteers and huge amounts of emergency equipment and supplies to assist the victims in the affected regions with all the expenses incurred by Cuba.
Even on that occasion, Havana organized a permanent aid brigade to send to to countries affected by natural disasters that was named after a US citizen, Henry Reeve (1850-1876), who fought in an outstanding way in the Cuban independence ranks against Spanish colonialism, and who rose to the rank of Brigadier General.
The US government of George W. Bush rejected the magnanimous Cuban aid offer, in spite of the enormous humanitarian catastrophe that was unfolding in Louisiana at the time.

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Cuba will use all available resources to ensure that no person is left defenseless Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez

Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez, speaking in the UN this Monday, September 18, noted that the island is advancing in its recovery following the devastating impact of Hurricane Irma, and will not abandon any of those people affected to their own fate
Author: International news staff | internet@granma.cu
september 19, 2017 10:09:32

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Photo: Eduardo Palomares
UNITED NATIONS.–Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez, speaking in the UN this Monday, September 18, noted that the island is advancing in its recovery following the devastating impact of Hurricane Irma, and will not abandon any of those people affected to their own fate.
“The fruits of years of intense work by our people were erased by Irma in just a few hours. But the hurricane did not break Cubans’ spirit of resistance,” Rodríguez stressed in a UN General Assembly High-LevelEventon HurricaneIrma, to address the consequences in the Caribbean region and recovery efforts.
Rodríguez recalled the recent words of President Raúl Castro, who referring to the damages caused by Irma emphasized that the Cuban people are “regenerated with every adversity.”
“As it has always been throughout the Cuban Revolution, all necessary resources will be used to ensure that no one is left defenseless,” he added.
The diplomat took the opportunity “to thank the numerous demonstrations of solidarity and offers of assistance received from numerous governments, parliaments, international organizations and civil society.”

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Raúl praises the hard work across the country following Hurricane Irma

Raúl praises the hard work across the country following Hurricane Irma
The President of the National Defense Council led a meeting to assess the damage caused by Hurricane Irma and the actions to be taken during the recovery phase

Author: Leticia Martínez Hernández | internet@granma.cu
september 15, 2017 10:09:13

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Photo: Estudio Revolución
The President of the National Defense Council, Army General Raúl Castro Ruz, led a meeting with Party, state and government leaders on Wednesday, September 13, during which the damages caused by Hurricane Irma were evaluated, and the actions to be undertaken during the recovery phase outlined.

Raúl recognized the hard work in each of the areas affected by the devastating meteorological event, which struck virtually the entire island. He noted that if any benefit can be obtained from this difficult situation, it is to immediately collect experiences to better prepare for future events of this nature.

The President warned that the present hurricane season, which has been described as intense, extends until November 30, an evident product of climate change and to which we must adapt.

The Army General called to continue working tirelessly to calmly resolve problems and to keep the people informed by all possible means on the situation facing the country.

During the meeting it was highlighted that given Irma’s path across several provinces, authorities were forced to evacuate to 1,738,000 people, of them 86% were sheltered in the homes of neighbors and relatives. The head of the National Civil Defense General Staff, Major General Ramón Pardo Guerra, reported that more than 26,000 people remain in evacuation centers.

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Advisory No. 6 from the National Civil Defense General Staff regarding Hurricane Irma

Advisory No. 6 from the National Civil Defense General Staff regarding Hurricane Irma
The population is advised to stay informed of the evolution of Hurricane Irma, and comply with safety measures; above all to stay indoors while storm winds continue, avoid flooded areas, do not fish, bathe or collect objects in such zones, or touch downed wires, and move away from areas with buildings at risk of collapsing or unstable ground

Author: National Civil Defense General Staff | informacion@granma.cu
september 10, 2017 13:09:19
According to information from the Meteorological Institute’s Forecast Station, at 08:40am on September 10, the Casablanca station’s radar placed the eye of the hurricane 124 kilometers north of Punta Hicacos, Matanzas, and 165 kilometers northeast of Havana.
Although Irma is gradually moving away from the island, it continues to represent a threat to Cuba. Its outer bands continue to affect the country’s central and western regions, with heavy and locally intense rainfall. Tropical storm strength winds continue to be felt from Sancti Spíritus to Artemisa, as well as storm surges along the northwest coast from Matanzas to Artemisa, the northern coast of the provinces of Sancti Spíritus and Villa Clara, and the southern shoreline from Camagüey to Matanzas.
Given this situation the population is advised to keep informed of the evolution of Hurricane Irma, and comply with safety measures; above all to stay indoors while storm winds continue, avoid flooded areas, do not fish, bathe or collect objects in such zones, or touch downed wires, and move away from areas with buildings at risk of collapsing or unstable ground. Meanwhile, people who are currently being sheltered in evacuation centers are advised not to return to their homes until their safety has been determined.
We reiterate to the Cuban people the need to be prepared to participate in recovery and reconstruction actions to repair the damage, consistent with the solidarity which characterizes us; and to rigorously comply with instructions by relevant authorities.
NATIONAL CIVIL DEFENSE GENERAL STAFF
10:30 am, September 10, 2017

Irma: Cuba sends hundreds of doctors to Caribbean islands devastated by hurricane

U.S.
Irma: Cuba sends hundreds of doctors to Caribbean islands devastated by hurricane
The Independent Shehab Khan,The Independent 10 hours ago

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Cuban doctors on a trip to Dominica to help after Tropical Storm Erika: Granma
Cuba has sent doctors to several Caribbean islands ravaged by Hurricane Irma.

More than 750 health workers have arrived in Antigua, Barbuda, Saint Kitts, Nevis, Saint Lucia, the Bahamas, Dominica and Haiti.

They have been told to follow the guidelines of the Ministry of Public Health (Minsap) and to contribute to aiding the recovery of regions that have been hit by the hurricane.

“The collaboration of the Central Medical Cooperation Unit, together with the Minsap Management Center, and our embassies, have maintained the communication to assess the damages and assess what help our own collaborators could provide,” Regla Angulo Pardo, the director of the Central Unit of Medial Cooperation in Cuba, told Granma.

The nation of 11 million people has a history of sending medical staff when other nations are in need, having done so during west Africa’s Ebola crisis in 2014 and 2015.

A brigade of more than 600 Cuban health workers went to Sierra Leone in 2014 to help tackle the crisis.

They also sent 1,200 health workers to Haiti after the nation was hit with an earthquake in 2010.

Cuba’s international medical mission has won the socialist state many friends.

This tradition can be traced back to 1960, when Cuba sent a group of doctors to Chile, who had been hit by a powerful earthquake, followed by a team of 50 to Algeria in 1963.

Make up for the sparsely of coverage in the US media on the effects of Hurricane Irma in Cuba, Cuban Links

Last night at around 10:00pm, Irma made landfall on Cuban territory at the eastern end of El Romano, just off the northern coastline of Camagüey and Ciego de Ávila provinces.
As meteorologist Dr. José Rubiera reported during the dawn hours today, September 9, hurricane force winds of over 120 km/h, with stronger gusts are being felt along the northern coast of these provinces, as well as Sancti Spíritus, and beginning in Villa Clara.
Heavy rain and a storm surge with waves over seven high, from Camagüey to Villa Clara have been reported, with coastal flooding expected.

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http://en.granma.cu/cuba/2017-09-08/-by-minute-hurricane-irma-in-cuba

http://en.granma.cu/cuba/2017-09-08/cubas-hurricane-hunters

http://en.granma.cu/cuba/2017-09-08/first-reports-of-damage-by-irma-in-gibara

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/hurricane-irma-pummels-cuba-before-expected-turn-to-florida/

http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/

http://www.cnn.com/2017/09/09/americas/cuba-caribbean-hurricane-irma/index.html (nice coverage of Cuban preparation for storm – for the US media)

 

The capital intensifies preparation for Irma

The capital intensifies preparation for Irma
Steps being taken in Havana include clearing storm sewers, pruning trees, monitoring rivers and streams, increasing public information, and assuring food supplies

Author: Lissy Rodríguez | lissy@granma.cu
september 9, 2017 14:09:00

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Photo: Ismael Batista
With no time to lose, the Havana Provincial Defense Council , met yesterday, September 8, to review the implementation of plans to confront the effects of Hurricane Irma in this part of the country, as coastal flooding is imminent and strong winds and rain are forecast.

After hearing the latest meteorological report, measures emphasized included

clearing storm sewers, pruning trees, monitoring rivers and streams, increasing public information, and assuring food supplies.

In terms of this last item, Party Political Bureau member and president of the Havana Provincial Defense Council, Mercedes López Acea, noted that although supplies are not meeting demand, some 15 to 18 products are available in produce markets and work is underway to secure 550 tons of food in warehouses, to assure stocks during the recovery period.

During the meeting – also attended by Political Bureau member, Minister of the Revolutionary Armed Forces, Army Corps General Leopoldo Cintra Frías – other actions reported were the acceleration of harvests and the protection of urban farms.

Luis Carlos Góngora, vice president of the Provincial Administrative Council in charge of distribution, reported that extra eggs and pork are being made available and stores will remain open until 11:00pm.

Additionally, 85 trucks and 44 tractors are working on the sanitization of the city, with an emphasis on the municipalities of Playa, La Habana del Este, Arroyo Naranjo, Diez de Octubre, Centro Habana and La Habana Vieja, the closest to the coastline.

Resources in healthcare centers are being safeguarded in areas prone to flooding and services are ensured for the population, reported Raidol García, provincial head of Public Health.

Likewise steps have been taken to ensure that all visitors lodged in hotels and private B&Bs are safe; while the city’s network of hotels is ready to receive tourists evacuated from other provinces.

Plans are in place to receive residents who may need to be evacuated from their homes, with food, healthcare, and transportation to shelters ready.

López Acea called on all residents of the capital to maintain discipline, act prudently, and cooperate with authorities, in addition to complying with Civil Defense instructions in a responsible fashion, as quickly as possible.

Head of the National Civil Defense General Staff, Division General (R) Ramón Pardo Guerra, emphasized the importance of evaluating losses to determine the areas most affected, to begin work as soon as possible, once the recovery phase begins.

Hurricane Irma makes landfall at Cayo Romano

Hurricane Irma makes landfall at Cayo Romano
Last night at around 10:00pm, the powerful hurricane made landfall on Cuban territory at the eastern end of El Romano, along the northern coastline of Camagüey and Ciego de Ávila provinces

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Author: Orfilio Peláez | orfilio@granma.cu
september 9, 2017 11:09:22

Last night at around 10:00pm, Irma made landfall on Cuban territory at the eastern end of El Romano, just off the northern coastline of Camagüey and Ciego de Ávila provinces.

As meteorologist Dr. José Rubiera reported during the dawn hours today, September 9, hurricane force winds of over 120 km/h, with stronger gusts are being felt along the northern coast of these provinces, as well as Sancti Spíritus, and beginning in Villa Clara.

Heavy rain and a storm surge with waves over seven high, from Camagüey to Villa Clara have been reported, with coastal flooding expected.

Cubans nominate candidates for upcoming general elections

Another step toward consolidating our socialist democracy
Esteban Lazo, President of the National Assembly of People’s Power, addresses the Cuban people, as the nomination of candidates for upcoming general elections begins
Author: Esteban Lazo Hernández | informacion@granma.cu
september 4, 2017 10:09:43

f0018731Beginning today, September 4 through the end of the month, the process of nominating candidates for upcoming general elections begins in neighborhood assemblies across the country.
In a message to the Cuban people on the occasion, Esteban Lazo, President of the National Assembly of People’s Power, stated, “We are a few hours away from the beginning of the first stage of the general elections process, during which the people will nominate and elect delegates who will be members of Municipal Assemblies of People’s Power, for the 18th term in office.
“To reach this moment, electoral commissions have worked intensely on the organization, provisioning, coordination, and preparation of the process … with the purpose of guaranteeing the functioning of thousands of electoral authorities, above all the 24,000 polling stations that will be opened in (the country’s) 12,515 constituencies.
“We are among the few citizens in the world who in public meetings propose and nominate, openly and directly, candidates for constituency delegate, in an expression of profound democracy and enormous responsibility, since these individuals will form the Municipal Assembly, where they will make important decisions affecting the lives of inhabitants of the area, such as the approval and supervision of socio-economic plans, as well as the local budget, among many others.”

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The Supposed Policy Change: Will Trump Go Farther Than Obama?

The Supposed Policy Change: Will Trump Go Farther Than Obama?

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By Esteban Morales
From Cuba Inside Out
Translated by Robert Sandels
It doesn’t take much effort to realize that the “Trump Effect” is just that; an irrational attempt to change Obama’s Cuba policy.
We don’t even know if Trump is really working to change the Obama policy because what little we know does not tend in that direction.
Comparing the attitude of both presidents we note the following: Obama did not do much to make investment easier. Now Trump puts investment in the “prohibited” file in negotiating with the Cuban military. He hasn’t advanced trade, but neither did Obama. the American banking system does not allow the dollar to circulate there. And finally, Obama has not freed up the dollar either, which was one of his deceptions. With Thump, everything indicates that the dollar will not officially circulate in Cuba either.
Trump has not broken diplomatic relations with Cuba, which is the most important thing since the embassies are continuing to function. It also appears that he has not eliminated family remittances or the 12 migratory categories that Obama set up, although Trump has eliminated the “People to People” visa program. Nor has Trump eliminated commercial flights or cruise ships. All this suggests that Cuban tourism, which has been growing year after year, will go on as before.
So, really, what has Donald Trump eliminated? I think we would have known after hearing about the presidential directive Trump signed in great theatrical style, but no one read or heard anything about Cuba among the pronouncements in his speech.

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So, I think, as we say in Cuba, “I smell a rat.”

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