Category Archives: International

Cuban Diplomat Josefina Vidal Presented with LASA Award

ACN: Cuban Diplomat Josefina Vidal Presented with LASA Award

Sun May 29, 2016 9:55 am (PDT) . Posted by:
“Walter Lippmann” walterlx

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Cuban Diplomat Josefina Vidal Presented with LASA Award

HAVANA, Cuba, May 29 (acn) The 34th Congress of the Latin
American Studies Association (LASA) granted Josefina Vidal,
director general of the United States Department of the Cuban
Foreign Ministry, the prize given by the organization.

Vidal received in New York the LASA Award for her contribution to
the new scenario of relations between Cuba and the U.S., reported
the Cuban television newscast.

Upon receiving the acknowledgement, she said she extended it to
the Cuban people and the leaders of the Revolution who have
managed to lead, with intelligence and in an accurate way, the
process of dialogue with the northern country.

The Cuban diplomat, while speaking at the second session of the
Congress of LASA, reiterated the willingness of the island to
promote better relations with the United States, a scenario that
she said goes through changes to leave behind the traditional
hostility of Washington, translated into policies such as the
blockade and subversive programs.

In the four-day forum that started on Friday, the top official
reviewed the achievements and challenges of relationships since
December 17, 2014, when presidents Raul Castro and Barack Obama
announced the decision to seek the normalization of ties, Prensa
Latina reported.

In the presence of dozens of academicians, intellectuals and
scholars of Latin America and the Cuban-American scenario, she
recalled the full validity of the economic, commercial and
financial blockade imposed by Washington on Cuba for over half a
century now and the occupation of territory at the Naval Base of
Guantanamo.

She also mentioned the preferential immigration policy for Cuban
citizens, programs aimed at promoting internal changes and the
illegal radio and television broadcasts.

Vidal highlighted the removal of Cuba from the unilateral list of
countries sponsoring terrorism, the resumption of diplomatic
relations, the reopening of embassies in Havana and Washington
DC, the high-level visits and the signing of cooperation
agreements in areas of mutual interest.

Likewise, she also highlighted the three meetings held between
Raul Castro and Obama, and the U.S. president’s trip to the
island in March, which she considered a boost to the process of
rapprochement.

For the board of directors of the Foreign Ministry these are
steps forward in the cooperation and political-diplomatic areas,
the fruit of professional conversations, based on equality and
reciprocity.

We have also had the first results in the economic and commercial
sector, however, they are not of the same magnitude of those
mentioned, she warned at the meeting of the second day of the
34th Congress of LASA.

She specified that results are not as significant due to the full
implementation of the blockade, a complex web of laws and
measures that impose restrictions on Cuba for its exports and
imports, and almost totally ban U.S. investments on the island.

The top official acknowledged the four packages of executive
actions established by Obama to modify the implementation of some
aspects of the economic, commercial and financial siege.

In that regard, she stressed that they are insufficient to
promote trade links, among other things, because it has not been
possible to normalize an essential banking relationship.

What has been achieved is not irrelevant, but we must do much
more to advance towards normalization. These are the first steps
of what in the future could be a new stage of relations between
Cuba and the United States, she asserted at the Congress of LASA,
which celebrates its 50 years of existence.

History absolves Cuba, by DR. Helen Yaffe

Helen Yaffe: History absolves Cuba, as US moves to restore diplomati

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On 21 and 22 January, Cuba and the US held direct talks about
restoring diplomatic relations for the first time since 1961,
exploring cooperation on various issues and reviewing existing
migration accords. The meeting in Havana took place one month
after the historic announcements made simultaneously on 17
December 2014 by Presidents Obama and Raul Castro about a thaw in
US-Cuban relations. This included a prisoner swap which finally
freed the remaining Cuban anti-terrorist agents imprisoned in the
US, known as the Cuban Five. The announcements followed 18-months
of secret talks facilitated by Canada and the Vatican. The
tactical change by the US administration reflects the failure of
its Cuba policy, and economic and (geo)strategic developments
which put competitive pressure on US capitalists who do not
benefit from the blockade.

[Josefina Vidal press conference Jan 2015]

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The head of Cuba’s delegation, Josefina Vidal, gives a
press conference following talks with US representatives in
Havana in January 2015.

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Cuba Doctors Battle Ebola, Censored in US Media

Heroes dressed in white

Leticia Martínez Hernández

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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.

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A Must Read, Address by H.E. Mr. Bruno Rodriguez Parrilla, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cuba at the United Nations General Assembly. New York, September 27, 2014

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Mr. President;

Mr. Secretary-General;

Excellencies, Heads of State and Government;

Distinguished delegates;

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.

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