Cuban foreign minister: Warming with US is irreversible
Associated Press IAN PHILLIPS and MICHAEL WEISSENSTEIN,Associated Press 1 hour 54 minutes ago
Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez Parrilla talks during an interview with The Associated Press, Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2019 in New York. The foreign minister says he believes improvements in relations with the United States are irreversible despite the Trump administration’s hardening of the embargo on the island.
(AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
NEW YORK (AP) — Cuba’s foreign minister said Tuesday that he believes improvements in relations with the United States are irreversible despite the Trump administration’s hardening of the embargo on the island.
Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla told The Associated Press that while the U.S. administration has cut off most communication with Cuba and is trying to pressure the communist government by restricting the flow of oil, progress made under former U.S. President Barack Obama has not been undone.
“I would describe myself as extremely optimistic,” Rodríguez said. “There’s a historical trend that’s irreversible.”
He said relations between the two countries would never return to the way they were before December 2014, when Obama and then-Cuban President Raúl Castro declared that they would reestablish diplomatic relations.
“There have been levels of communication and mutual familiarity between the peoples of both countries that are irreversible,” Rodríguez said.
He said Cuba was prepared for a worsening of tensions during the presidential campaign season because the Trump administration believes that Cuban Americans in South Florida support a hard line on the island.
He called that an “erroneous political calculation.”
“I believe it’s proven that the majority of Cubans in Florida support the advances in the normalization of relations and the lifting of the blockade, and the younger they are, the more they support it,” Rodríguez said. “Regardless, political moments are ephemeral. We have the political will to advance without delay.”
He also says Cuba is finding ways to buy oil despite U.S. attempts to stop it by imposing sanctions on shipping firms and threatening third countries, insurance firms and others with retaliation for helping Cuba obtain petroleum.
Oil shortages led to cutbacks in government fuel consumption and distribution last month, resulting in long lines at gas stations and reductions in public transport.
“We’ve increased our ability to transport (oil). The way the world works today makes it impossible for the United States to impede the arrival of oil tankers in Cuba,” Rodríguez said.
The Trump administration says it is trying to force Cuba to stop supporting Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, whom the U.S. says receives military and intelligence help from Cuba.
The Cuban foreign minister flatly denied that his country was providing any military, security or intelligence help to Venezuela, contradicting Trump’s Sept. 24 accusation before the U.N. General Assembly that “Maduro is a Cuban puppet protected by Cuban bodyguards.”
“We don’t have a military presence in Venezuela. We don’t participate or assist military, security or intelligence operations,” Rodríguez said. “The relationship between Cuba and Venezuela is a pretext. … They’re attacking the successful (Cuban) political model, which works, which is a successful economic and social model, because it’s withstood six decades despite the (U.S.) blockade.”
Granma International shares facts and figures from Cuba’s report, presented by Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla, on Resolution 73/8 of the United Nations General Assembly
The significant negative impact of measures recently adopted by the U.S. to tighten the blockade is not reflected in the following account, since this escalation occurred after the time period analyzed.
– Losses April 2018-March 2019: 4,343,600,000 dollars
– Damages accumulated over six decades of this policy, at current prices:
138,843,400, 000 dollars
– Total quantifiable harm caused by the blockade has reached more than:
922,630,000,000 dollars (depreciated as compared to the price of gold)
– Damages caused by exclusion from to U.S. market: 163,108 659
– Damages caused by use of intermediaries in purchases and higher prices in distant markets: 173,210,916
Damages due to increased costs for shipping & insurance: 72,160,602
Potential export income lost: 2,343,135,842
Higher financing costs due to national risk rating: 47,290,204
Prohibitions on use of the U.S. dollar: 85,139,436
HEALTHThe damage caused by sanctions on Cuba in the field of health is unquestionable. This hostile policy obstructs the acquisition of technology, raw materials, reagents, diagnostic tools, equipment and spare parts, as well as medicines for the treatment of serious diseases like cancer- Between April 2018 and March 2019, damages in this sector amounted to $104,148,178, a figure that far exceeds last year’s estimate of $6,123,498.- Relatives of patient JCHC, with medical history number 68100309926 at the Hermanos Ameijeiras Clinical-Surgical Hospital, who died on June 15, 2018 due to spongiform cardiomyopathy with terminal heart failure, can never forget that if circulatory support had been available from an Impella device, produced by the U.S. company Abiomed, the life of JCHC could have been saved.- The import-export company Medicuba S.A. made requests to 57 U.S. providers to acquire supplies necessary for health. To date, 50 of these have not responded.- Several U.S. companies were contacted for the purchase of novel cancer drugs. Thus far none has responded.- The U.S. corporation Bruker was unsuccessfully contacted for the purchase of spectrophotometers, devices used in laboratories for the analysis of substances and microorganisms.
FOOD & AGRICULTURE
– The consequences of the blockade in this sector, of vital importance to any nation, have been estimated at a value of 412,230,614 dollars.- Food processing companies import approximately 70% of their raw materials from different markets, including Spain, Brazil, etc. The blockade prevents access to the U.S. market, which is more convenient in terms of prices, proximity, and the wide range of materials and equipment available to modernize production.- Havana Club, one of the most prestigious rum makers in this sector, was denied potential earnings of $41,300,000 by the blockade.
EDUCATION, SPORTS & CULTURE
– The University of Sancti Spíritus was not allowed to purchase 20 Smart Brailler typewriters and auditory accessories from the Perkins company, essential to the training of special education teachers.
– January 23, 2019, the French bank Société Générale de París retained a bank transfer of 7,474 euros from Equatorial Guinea to Cuba, compensation for professional educational services provided.
– Purchases of sports equipment required by official regulations of international federations have been restricted.- The 22nd edition of the Terry Fox Run in Cuba could not be held this year, with the director of this International Foundation informing organizers that the fund could no longer help with the event or continue to support cancer research here.- The Caribbean Baseball Federation has been unable to establish with the U.S. a legal way to pay the prizes won by our players.- The financial persecution of Cuba has made it impossible to collect payment for services provided by the Cubadeportes agency, both for the technical assistance and commercialization of activities in Cuba.- Of 37 artistic companies that could have promoted their work in the United States, only 24 have obtained permission to enter that country.TOURISM– In the tourism industry, damages amount to 1.383 billion dollars. If the blockade did not exist, studies indicate that 35% of all visitors to Cuba annually would be from the United States.- The Cubatur travel agency suffered monetary-financial losses of at least $497,800.- The Havanatur company suffered damages due to the refusal of correspondent banks to process payments; the closing of bank accounts in third countries; the retention of funds; and the cancellation of credit card transactions.
The Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (CIGB) reports revenues not received from potential exports to the U.S. of Heberprot-p, the only medication of its kind for the treatment of diabetic foot ulcers. Projecting that if only 5% of U.S. patients with this condition used Heberprot-p annually, income from its export would have reached a value of $103 million in 2018.- The Import-Export Company Farmacuba experienced difficulties in acquiring raw materials for the production of medicines.- The Oriente Pharmaceutical Laboratory Company, affiliated with BioCubaFarma, reported shortages of Vitamin A for its Nutriforte multivitamin, as a result of the blockade, thus limiting production by 78,694,200 tablets.- The delivery of printed aluminum foil for Nicotinamide in the month of March 2019 was affected, and it is possible that production of Dipirona and Alprazolam will be limited in September and October for this reason.
Total damages in this arena during the analyzed period exceeded 170 million dollars, an increase of more than 69 million with respect to the previous report.- The Caterpillar supplier in the Netherlands prohibited the Dutch company Damen – main supplier of Caterpillar and Cummings spare parts for the Damex shipyards in Santiago de Cuba – from selling its products to Cuba, necessary for the repair and maintenance of pilot boats and tugs.- Cubana de Aviación is unable to use the services of the company ATCO, which is responsible for publishing the air fares of more than 500 airlines.- The Spanish airline Air Europa (UX) refrained from specifying the “Shared Code Agreement” and fulfilling its commitment to Cubana Airlines.
– The blockade’s impact on Cuban industry caused losses of 49 million dollars, which could have been used to acquire necessary raw materials.- The construction sector continues to face serious difficulties in acquiring more efficient, lightweight technologies that require less energy and materials.- The chemical industry state enterprise group, GEIQ, was unable to acquire spare parts or replace machinery.Communications, Information Technology & Telecommunications- The economic damages caused to the communications system are estimated at more than 55 million dollars. Cuba’s telecommunications company Etecsa continues to feel the greatest impact.- The blockade policy limits the Cuban people’s access to content available on the Internet.- Cuba is denied access to official information from top-of-the-line technology sites, making professional development and distance training difficult.- The blockade obstructs access to high-performance brands and equipment from leaders in the telecommunications industry.
ENERGY AND MINES–
Damages in this area amount to 78,336,424 dollars, an increase of more than 18 million over the last period analyzed.- Cuba’s national electrical company continues to face very limited access to spare parts for Bazan engines, manufactured by the Spanish company Navantia.- The British Compair Consortium, upon becoming part of a U.S. group, cut all relations with projects using its technology in Cuba for the centralized management of compressed air.- In September and November of 2018, two contracts were signed with General Electric International for the additional supplies of turbines at the Antonio Guiteras Thermoelectric Power Plant and for modernization of the Pico Santa Martha Power Plant. However, on February 5, 2019, a notification was received from the U.S. Centennial Bank, stating that, given the activation of Title III of the Helms-Burton Act, financing for these two contracts would not be granted.
Total damages caused by the U.S. blockade in the area of foreign trade were valued at 2,896,581,555 dollars, given an increase in incidents that hinder the conducting of international commercial activity.- The greatest effect was evident in lost income from exports of goods and services, reaching 2,343,135,842 dollars. The decreased number of U.S. travelers visiting the island during this period had a significant impact.- Damages caused by the geographical relocation of commerce are estimated at over 1.020 billion dollars, which represents a growth of 18% with respect to the previous period.- The effects of Cuba’s inability to access the U.S. market were valued at 163,108,659 dollars.- The negative impact of being obliged to use commercial intermediaries and the consequent increase in prices was estimated at 173,210,916 dollars, reflecting an increase of 189% as compared to the last period analyzed.
Cuban Chancellor rejects speeches by Trump and Bolsonaro
On September 24, the high-level debate period of the 74th session of the UN General Assembly, which will last for a week at the headquarters of New York, United States, began mid-morning.
This year’s objective corresponds to ‘Boosting multilateral efforts for the eradication of poverty, the quality of education, action against climate change and inclusion’, as established by the United Nations.
Pronouncements of representatives of the 193 member countries are planned, including more than 90 heads of state. And as is tradition since 1955 the president of Brazil opened the debates, with the address of Jair Bolsonaro, who was followed by the speech of Donald Trump.
The session of that deliberative body, however, has been going on since September 17 and there are several global issues that have been addressed among them regarding climate change … We ask Irma Shelton, who follows the development at the United Nations, as Have the discussions been so far? What speeches have excelled?
This debate session began with the speech of the president of Brazil Jair Bolsonaro, who assured before the General Assembly of the United Nations, that it is “a fallacy” to say that the Amazon “is a World Heritage Site and a lung of the world”. Not only that, of the almost 30 minutes he spoke I dedicate more than 5 minutes to speak aggressively against Cuba and Venezuela… Let’s go listen for a minute of what he said
This speech had immediate reactions and one of them corresponded to that of the Cuban Foreign Minister, Bruno Rodriguez Parrilla.
On his Tweter page, the Cuban Foreign Minister wrote:
“I strongly reject Bolsonaro’s slander about # Cuba and international medical cooperation. Delirium and long for the times of the military dictatorship. It should deal with corruption in its justice, government and family system. It is the leader of the increase in inequality in Brazil ”
After Bolsonaro Trump spoke who said he was not going to the UN but finally traveled to New York and appeared the day before in the session dedicated to the weather and today spoke after Bolsonaro in the session that started the debates … We have some what he said? The Cuban Foreign Minister wrote something very nice and forceful in relation to Trump’s speech … Look at this. Inadmissible accusations Pdte Trump vs. #Cuba and Venezuela. Use of lies characterizes its management. Monroist and macartist. He speaks like an emperor. 165 congressmen ask for his impeachment. Try to distract the world and Americans. Bored, does not compete with Greta Thunberg #UNGA Now Irma, we talked about the different sessions that took place since the 17th at the United Nations … Without a doubt one of the most popular was the one on the eve and that had to do with the weather Yes, today they transcend in the social networks, in the news of the world the forceful words of the Norwegian activist of only 16 years, Greta Thumberg, who also made a “fulminating look at the US president, Donald Trump, when he entered the Palace of Glass in the framework of the UN Climate Summit. We prepared a small video with this look that went viral on the networks and a fragment of Greta’s speech.
The cameramen immortalized Greta’s reaction to the tycoon, who ignores her while she looks at him with a grimace. The NowThis news organization, quoted by the Italian news agency Ansa tweet, follows: ”If an image is worth more than 1000 words, then this GIF is worth 100,000 ″ ´.
Ministry of Foreign Relations Statement: Cuba strongly rejects activation of IRAT
Cuba’s Foreign Ministry denounces the shameful decision to activate the Inter-American Reciprocal Assistance Treaty that contemplates the use of military force
MINREXseptember 13, 2019 20:09:30
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs denounces the shameful decision to activate the Inter-American Reciprocal Assistance Treaty (IRAT), a treaty that contemplates the use of military force.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs strongly rejects its invocation under the pretext of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela being a threat to peace and security in the hemisphere, when in reality, the interventionist Monroe Doctrine implemented by the United States, hostility toward Venezuela, and the use of this treaty for such ends, that endanger the region’s peace and security.
Once again, the discredited Organization of American States was the vehicle for this outrage, in which an honorable group of nations openly opposed the decision.
Invoking the IRAT, which the United States used to justify military interventions and aggression in the region, causing so much pain and death to Latin Americans and Caribbeans, is a deliberate attempt to provoke a situation that could lead to the use of force to overthrow the legitimate government of President Nicolás Maduro Moros, in flagrant violation of the principles of international law and the Proclamation of Latin America and the Caribbean as a Zone of Peace.
By rejecting this decision, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs calls upon the governments and peoples of Our America and the world to resolutely oppose this measure that pretends to justify, via an artificial legal framework, intervention in the internal affairs of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, which is unacceptable.
Cuban President announces measures to deal with conjunctural fuel shortage
The President of Cuba’s Councils of State and Ministers, Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, and ministers appeared on the Mesa Redonda television program, last night, to report on measures being taken to address the current energy situation
Author: Digital news staff | firstname.lastname@example.org
september 12, 2019 10:09:53
Photo: Tomada de la televisión
The President of Cuba’s Councils of State and Ministers, Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, and several ministers appeared on the Mesa Redonda television program, last night, to report on measures being taken to address the current energy situation and inform the population .
The Ministers of Economy, Alejandro Gil Fernández; of Energy and Mines, Raúl García Barreiro; of Transportation, Eduardo Rodríguez Dávila; and First Vice President Salvador Valdés Mesa participated, as well.Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez began by explaining , “We want to inform without frightening or causing fear. We are making known something that we had warned of earlier, this is the responsibility of the Council of Ministers, which has the duty to announce these new challenges.
Photo: Tomada de la televisión
We want to report what is happening, its causes, how we have worked in these months to minimize the impact, and the options we have to overcome this conjunctural situation.”… It is well known that the current U.S. administration is increasing its hostilities towards Cuba, with the aim of hurting the basic needs of the people and their daily activities and blaming the Cuban government for this,” pressuring us to change the course we have chosen as a country.
“…They persist in trying to prevent the arrival of fuel to Cuba. And additionally apply unilateral measures to limit our contracts with shipping companies that deliver resources to Cuba. There are entities that have withdrawn.“…This situation has caused a shortage of diesel.”
“…Ships with food are arriving in the country, ships with wheat flour, and this is a result of measures that have been adopted recently.”Díaz-Canel explained that this scenario forces us to adopt measures to minimize the impact on services to the population and focus on priorities, stressing that this is a conjunctural situation.
National industry guarantees 40 percent of the country’s fuel, and with this domestic production, we guarantee the operation of our thermoelectric plants. That is, the fundamental basis of the country’s energy system remains stable, the President stated.
All measures adopted have had positive results. However, despite the effort, the arrival of oil tankers was not achieved these last few weeks. In this situation there are two important moments. One is the one we currently experiencing, that will last until September 14, because fuel will not arrive until that date. On the 14th, a tanker will arrive.
The next shipments arrive at the end of September. We must maintain conservation and efficiency measures so that this fuel lasts until the end of the month, when the other vessels arrive and stabilize the situation. October contracts are negotiated. We are sure that fuel will be guaranteed at the end of September, and with the October contracts, Díaz said.
Díaz-Canel expresses Cuba’s readiness to cooperate with the Bahamas
In the name of Cuba´s government and people, President Díaz-Canel extended condolences in a message to the Prime Minister of the Bahamas, given the loss of human life and devastating damage caused by Hurricane Dorian
Author: Granma | email@example.com
september 4, 2019 09:09:45
Given the loss of human life and devastating damage caused by Hurricane Dorian in the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, the President of Cuba´s Councils of State and Ministers, Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, extended condolences to “the people of the Bahamas and families of the victims,” in a message to the Prime Minister of the island nation.
Díaz-Canel also expressed Cuba’s “willingness to cooperate with the Bahamas, within our possibilities, in the mitigation of damage.”
The Fidel Castro I know
The Nobel Prize for Literature winner offers his observations of a good friend
Author: Gabriel García Márquez | firstname.lastname@example.org
august 30, 2019 14:08:04
Photo: Granma Archives
His devotion to words. His power of seduction. He looks for problems wherever they may be. The impetus of inspiration is characteristic of his style. Books reflect very well the breadth of his tastes. He quit smoking to have the moral authority to fight smoking. He likes to prepare cooking recipes with a kind of scientific fervor. He stays in excellent physical condition with several hours of daily workouts and frequent swimming. Invincible patience. Iron discipline. The power of his imagination prepares him for the unexpected. Learning to rest is as important as learning to work.
Tired of conversing, he rests while talking. He writes well and likes to. The greatest stimulus in his life is the emotion of taking a risk. The podium of an improvising orator seems to be his perfect habitat. Always beginning with an almost inaudible voice, with an uncertain course, but taking advantage of any flash to gain ground, inch by inch, until he delivers a blow and seizes the audience. It is this inspiration, the state of irresistible and dazzling grace, which only those who have not had the glory of living it deny. He is anti-dogmatic par excellence.
José Martí is his number one author and he has a talent for incorporating his ideals into the bloodstream of a Marxist revolution. The essence of his own thinking lies in the certainty that working with the people is fundamentally being concerned with individuals.
The U.S. government allocates millions of dollars to obstruct Cuban medical cooperation
Statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Digital news staffaugust 29, 2019 14:08:28
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs denounces and strongly condemns the United States government’s recent aggression against Cuba through a USAID program to finance projects and seek information to discredit and sabotage Cuba’s international health care cooperation in dozens of countries, benefitting millions of people. This plan joins the disgraceful pressure exerted on several governments to hamper Cuban cooperation, and previous attempts with the same purpose such as the special “parole” program meant to rob human resources trained in Cuba.
The core of this immoral slander is the totally unfounded allegation that Cuba is involved in the trafficking of persons and practices slavery, attempting to denigrate the meritorious work done voluntarily, over a long period of our history, by hundreds of thousands of Cuban health professionals and technicians in many countries, especially in the Third World.
This is an attack on bilateral programs and inter-governmental cooperation projects, all legitimately established by the Cuban government and those of dozens of countries, adhering to United Nations guidelines regarding South-South cooperation and meeting health standards sovereignly defined by the governments involved.
This is an attack against acts of solidarity that have been recognized by the international community and praised specifically by the highest authorities in the United Nations, the World Health Organization and the Pan American Health Organization.
These lies reveal the base morality of the U.S government and politicians dedicated to the business of aggression against Cuba. The campaign is funded with millions of dollars and enjoys the complicity of several mass media outlets, in particular, unscrupulous reporters who sacrifice their supposed impartiality and objectivity to serve the political interests of the U.S. government.
For decades and today, in nations with unfavorable economic conditions, this cooperation has been, and is, provided as a gesture of solidarity, with costs covered practically in their totality by Cuba. Likewise, in line with United Nations conceptions on cooperation between developing nations, services are offered in several countries on the basis of complementarity and partial compensation.
This exchange is completely fair and legitimate among developing countries, many of which have natural riches, economies, and industrial development greater than Cuba’s, but lack the human resources our state has been able to create – disinterested, humanist professionals willing to work under the most difficult conditions, on their own free will; and a conception of health care coverage that years of experience have allowed us to construct.
Cuban technicians and professionals who participate in these programs do so absolutely freely and voluntarily. During the fulfillment of their missions, they continue to receive their full salaries and additionally receive a stipend in the destination country, along with other forms of compensation.
In those cases in which Cuba receives compensation for the cooperation provided, these collaborators are meritoriously making a highly valuable, fair, and totally legitimate contribution to the financing, sustainability, and development of our massive, free healthcare system that is accessible to each and every Cuban, as well as cooperation programs that are carried out in many parts of the world.
Access to health care is a human right and the United States is committing a crime when it attempts to deny or obstruct its provision for political reasons or as an act of aggression.
Full text of Cuban President’s speech at the Sao Paulo Forum in Caracas
There is no better forum than this to reaffirm that Cuba will never renounce or betray its principles or Venezuela
Author: Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez | email@example.com
august 2, 2019 15:08:37
There are no mysteries or conspiracies, no plans of aggression or intervention, nor have there ever been in the almost 30 years of the Sao Paulo Forum.
Photo: Estudios Revolución
Speech by Miguel M. Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, President of Cuba´s Councils of State and Ministers, during the closing of the XXV Sao Paulo Forum, in Venezuela, July 28, 2019, Year 61 of the Revolution
(Council of State transcript / GI translation)
Compañero Nicolás Maduro Moros, brother President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela;
Compañeras and compañeros of the Bolivarian Revolutions leadership;
Compañera Mónica Valente;
Latin American and Caribbean leaders, and those from other parts of the world joining us;
Compañeras and compañeros:
Allow me to devote my first words to Comandante Hugo Chávez Frías, Cuba´s great friend, son of the Americas who today turns 65 in eternity. (Applause)
Our Comandante en Jefe Fidel Castro, who loved him dearly and was one of the first to recognize his qualities as a leader, referring to the appearance of an extraordinary politician like Chávez in our suffering region, placed him next to Bolívar and Martí in the battle for the destiny of the Greater Homeland. Fidel said:
“For a long time now I have held […] the deepest conviction that, when the crisis comes, leaders emerge. This is how Bolivar emerged when the occupation of Spain by Napoleon occurred and a foreign king was imposed, creating the conditions conducive to the independence of the Spanish colonies in this hemisphere. This is how Martí emerged, when the auspicious hour arrived for the outbreak of the independence revolution in Cuba. This is how Chavez emerged, when the terrible social and human situation in Venezuela and Latin America determined that the time to fight for our second and true independence had arrived.”
Bolívar, Martí, Fidel, Chávez, what do these men have in common, who, whenever we are called upon to think, we feel obliged to quote and draw from their respective legacies? Our America, Martí would answer, who named it this way to clearly distinguish ours from imperial America that despised us and who despises us more now, as evidenced by the huge wall projected on the southern border, the atrocious mistreatment of migrants, the Helms -Burton, the Nica Act, financial persecution and the arbitrary imposition of tariffs on countries in the region, the suspension of development aid, the blockade and the dirty war against Cuba and Venezuela, among other malicious acts that know no limits. Continue reading →