WASHINGTON.— An editorial published on November 17 by the U.S. newspaper, The New York Times, condemned the brain drain from Cuba stimulated by the United States, and in particular the program that encourages the migration of doctors to the U.S. during official missions abroad.
This is the sixth time in just over a month that the Editorial Board of the New York newspaper has addressed the issue of Washington’s policies toward Cuba.
According to The New York Times, there is much to criticize in terms of failed U.S. policies regarding Cuba and the blockade it has imposed on the island for decades, but the program aimed at encouraging doctors to defect is particularly difficult to justify.
In an editorial published in the print edition of the New York Times, Monday, Nov. 3, 2014, in English and Spanish (appearing online the evening of Sun. Nov. 2), the Editorial Board has called for a prisoner exchange of the three remaining members of the Cuban Five for Alan Gross, who is serving a 15-year sentence in Cuba.
This is a major media breakthrough. Significant in the Editorial’s coverage is the commentary that commuting the Five’s sentences would be “justified considering the lengthy time they have served, the troubling questions about the fairness of their trial, and the potential diplomatic payoff in clearing the way toward a new bilateral relationship.” They urge quick resolution of Alan Gross’s case through such an humanitarian exchange. The article details Gerardo Hernández’s case and the dissenting opinion of federal judge Phyllis Kravitch, who insisted that the government prosecutors failed to prove Gerardo’s guilt on murder conspiracy charges. She was in the original 3-judge panel that overturned the Five’s convictions in 2005. Gerardo was falsely accused and convicted of murder conspiracy. His case and that of Ramón Labañino and Antonio Guerrero are currently on Habeas Corpus appeal.
On Tuesday October 28, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution entitled “The Necessity of Ending the Economic, Commercial and Financial Blockade imposed by the United States of America against Cuba,” with the support of 188 of its 193 members.
Juan Carlos Mendoza, Costa Rica’s representative to the UN spoke for the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) calling for an end to the blockade.
On the twenty-third consecutive occasion, the main forum of this international body categorically demanded the lifting of the blockade enforced by Washington for over half a century, which has resulted in economic damages estimated at almost $1.16 trillion dollars and incalculable human suffering.
The United States and Israel did not back the resolution, while the Marshall Islands, Micronesia and Palau abstained.
Intergovernmental bodies and representatives from various countries supported Cuba in the General Assembly and condemned the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the United States for over half a century.
Distinguished Permanent Representatives;
The United Nations General Assembly will consider today, for the twenty-third time, this issue which is so important to the international community, because it is related to international law, which protects all states, large and small, rich and poor, and guarantees their independence and the exercise of national sovereignty, which is the basis of sovereign equality.
It is also directly linked to the enjoyment of human rights by all persons and by all peoples.
This matter concerns freedom of trade and navigation, which protects the interests of states, companies and individuals.
WHO Director General Sends Message to ALBA-TCP Extraordinary Summit on Ebola
Submitted by editor on Mon, 10/20/2014 – 00:00
Greetings from the World Health Organization in Geneva.
I must begin by thanking the Cuban government for giving the Ebola outbreak response so many highly experienced Cuban doctors and nurses. I have seen the many news photographs of these staff in their sparkling white lab jackets, ready to help. This brings a most welcome face of hope to what is otherwise a horrific outbreak.
I welcome this opportunity to address members of the Bolivarian Alliance. I welcome the purpose of this meeting: you are absolutely doing the right thing. You want to step up your level of preparedness for an imported Ebola case on the most urgent basis possible. WHO working with PAHO are here to support you in any way we can.
Our country did not hesitate one minute in responding to the request made by international bodies for support to the struggle against the brutal epidemic which has erupted in West Africa.
October 6th, is the 38th anniversary of the first act of terrorism against civilian aviation in the western hemisphere – the unparalleled Cubana air disaster on the coastline of Barbados on October 6, 1976 – the Barbados crime. Cubana flight 455 was hit by two C-4 explosives bombs just after the aircraft took off from the then Seawell Airport (now the Grantley Adams International Airport) in Barbados at an altitude of 18,000 feet.
Rather than crashing into the white sands of the beach called Paradise and killing the vacationers, the Cubana pilot, Wilfredo Pérez Sr., courageously banked the plane away from the beach and towards the Atlantic Ocean, saving the lives of many tourists. It crashed in a ball of fire one mile north of Deep Water Bay. The crash occurred about eight kilometres short of the airport.
Cubana flight 455 was a routine, scheduled commercial, passenger flight of no military significance. There were no survivors. All 73 passengers and five crew members aboard the plane were assassinated: 57 Cubans, 11 Guyanese, and five North Koreans.
Among the dead were all 24 members of the 1975 Olympic youth fencing team; many were teenagers. The young athletes had just won all the gold medals in the Central American and Caribbean Championship Games, as well as several sport officials of the Cuban Government. They proudly wore their gold medals on board the aircraft.
In the medical response to Ebola, Cuba is punching far above its weight
Raul Castro at sendoff for Cuban Doctors
By Adam Taylor October 4
Extra help arrives to help contain the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, which has claimed more than 3,300 lives. (Reuters)
While the international community has been accused of dragging its feet on the Ebola crisis, Cuba, a country of just 11 million people that still enjoys a fraught relationship with the United States, has emerged as a crucial provider of medical expertise in the West African nations hit by Ebola.
On Thursday, 165 health professionals from the country arrived in Freetown, Sierra Leone, to join the fight against Ebola – the largest medical team of any single foreign nation, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). And after being trained to deal with Ebola, a further 296 Cuban doctors and nurses will go to Liberia and Guinea, the other two countries worst hit by the crisis.
Heroes dressed in white
Leticia Martínez Hernández
That evening, two people were celebrating their birthdays. I don’t know how old they were, and right then it didn’t seem to matter, given that in a few moments they would be setting off to perhaps the last place anyone would want to go. On the tarmac of José Martí International Airport they boarded the IL-96 plane which would take them directly to Sierra Leone.
Those two people were Dr. Eldys Rodríguez and Dr. Roberto Ponce, who just before making their way to the plane received “happy birthday” greetings from hundreds of Cuban healthcare professionals. These same professionals had immediately said yes when they were asked if they would travel to Africa. How could they have refused, given that since the first time they had sat down for a class at the faculty of medicine, they were taught to cherish the gift of saving lives.
Excellencies, Heads of State and Government;
We live in a globalized world which moves on towards multi-polarity in an era characterized by a threat to the survival of the human species. Neither the US government nor NATO would be able to reverse that trend by a new distribution of the world through the use of arms. But there is a serious risk that, in attempting to do that, the world becomes an ungovernable place.