Thursday

Anti Terrorist Fights To Return Home

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NOW LIFT THE BLOCKADE!
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Cuban President Raul Castro announced today the return to Havana of the three counter terrorism fighters imprisoned in the United States for more than 16 years.

In a special simultaneous broadcast statement, the Head of State informed on the arrival of Ramón Labañino, Gerardo Hernández and Antonio Guerrero, part of the group internationally known as the Cuban Five.

Their two compatriots René González and Fernando González had already returned to the Island.

Raúl Castro said that such progress in the bilateral relations was reached during an exchange at the highest level, which included a telephone conversation with his peer from the US, Barack Obama.

He recalled that Cuba has defended a respectful and reciprocal dialogue, without detriment to the national independence and sovereignty

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Sunday

Support for the Cuban Revolution

Final Declaration adopted as an 
outcome of the National Meeting of Solidarity with Cuba in New Zealand 

Wellington, 7 December 2014. After a fruitful day characterized by friendly and thorough debate on the work of solidarity with Cuba, the participants of the National Gathering, meeting at the headquarters of the Embassy of Cuba in the New Zealand capital, reaffirmed their unequivocal support for the Cuban Revolution and their commitment to continue and strengthen the fight for the freedom of the Cuban Heroes and the lifting of the blockade imposed against the Caribbean island.

After making a balance of the work done by the Friendship Associations with Cuba throughout 2014 and discussing and agreeing on concrete actions to carry out next year, as the culmination of the important Gathering, the delegates adopted a Final Declaration that summed up the feelings and will of those present.

Participants at the National Gathering 


Final Declaration

New Zealand Cuba Friendship Society     

Statement from the 2014 National Gathering of the New Zealand - Cuba Friendship Society

In a world dominated by increasingly chaotic neo-liberal capitalist regimes led by a morally bankrupt U.S. government, Cuba remains a beacon of integrity.

The small and economically-challenged island state continues to provide for all its citizens in a socially just manner. Its education and health systems are a model for other nations, as is its ability to cope with the natural disasters exacerbated by climate change.

We watch with interest its economic adjustments, carried out after consultation with all its people.

We admire its exemplary commitment to other nations experiencing crises, whether it be Haiti or, currently, the countries of West Africa.

We applaud its medical help with our South Pacific neighbours.

Why such a nation should be punished by a continuing and pernicious economic blockade beggars belief and we call on President Obama to lift the blockade, a call that echoes the judgement of every nation on earth other than the U.S client state of Israel.

We also call on President Obama to release the members of the Cuban Five who remain incarcerated in U.S. penitentiaries without fair trial and in an act of empty hatred.

In a world faced with planetary crisis, the lifting of the blockade and the release of Gerardo Hernández, Antonio Guerrero and Ramón Labañino would be seen as symbolic gestures giving hope that nations can restore international governance to the level of reason necessary to tackle the crisis.

We express our solidarity with the Cuban people.

He aha te mea nui o te ao. What is the most important thing in the world? He tangata, he tangata, he tangata. It is the people, it is the people, it is the people.

New Zealand – Cuba Friendship Society
December 7th, 2014
Wellington, New Zealand


The Ebola crisis, capitalism and the Cuban medical revolution


The outbreak of an Ebola epidemic in West Africa over 2014 has exposed the virtual collapse of public health systems in many African countries affected and the paralysis if the wealthy west to be able to mount a response in time to prevent the outbreak killing tens of thousands and possibly millions.

In contrast revolutionary Cuba and its medical internationalism has emerged as an example to the world of what is possible when ethics replaces cold calculation and has forced the world to acknowledge a debt to that small island nation of just 11.2 million people who are now the front guard of the fight to stop the spread of the virus.

Medicine San Frontiers had been virtually alone in warning the world since at least March this year of the spreading disaster. They had 248 international volunteers and around 3000 locals they had trained to combat the disease. Cuba has sent 256 medical personnel with another 205 to go soon. They serve a minimum of six months. “While consultants from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are lodged in Radisson Blu resort,—at more than $200 a night—the 165 Cuban medics are living three to a room in one of Freetown’s budget hotels,” reports the Wall Street Journal.

Cuba’s single country contribution of trained doctors and nurses dwarfs that of any other single country. Those sent so far are from 15,000 trained Cubans who had volunteered to go. Cuba has a pool of health professionals without equal in the world. The Guardian reported the ethical outlook motivating the Cubans:

Speaking before they flew to Liberia, two Cuban doctors told Reuters that competition to join the west African mission – which attracted 15,000 volunteers – had been fierce. 
“There have been fights breaking out, heated arguments, with some doctors asking, ‘How come my colleague gets to go and I can’t?’,” said Dr Adrian Benítez. His colleague Leonardo Fernández said the volunteers had felt compelled to help. “We know that we are fighting against something that we don’t totally understand. We know what can happen. We know we’re going to a hostile environment,” he said. “But it is our duty. That’s how we’ve been educated.”

Read the rest here 

Friday

The Fight Against Ebola Continues

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Cuban medical team kitting up for the fight against Ebola in West Africa

Reports From The Front
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Cuban doctor Ronald Hernandez, a member of the medical brigade fighting Ebola in Liberia, expressed his optimism about the success of their mission in that western African nation.

In statements to Radio Havana Cuba via telephone, Hernandez recalled that the Cuban brigade marked its first month in Liberia and that the island´s medical personnel is closely following the indications given to minimize any risk to get infected with the virus.

The doctor said that on November 19, the brigade members began to work in a recently inaugurated special care unit with 200 beds. We are working from daybreak to 10 pm in the night in 8-hour shifts made up of one doctor and two nurses.

Meanwhile, the World Health Organization said on Tuesday that Ebola cases have not continued to increase in an exponential manner in Liberia and Guinea, where along with Sierra Leone the virus has killed over 5 400 people.

"We have noticed that the number of cases is no longer increasing exponentially in Liberia or in Guinea... and in the Guinean capital Konakry, we are seeing a situation tending to stabilization" said Tarik Jasarevic, spokesperson with the World Health Organization.

This progress means that what we did has worked, said the spokesperson referring to the international response against Ebola.

Doctor Making Progress 
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Meanwhile Cuban doctor Felix Baez, who got the Ebola virus in Sierra Leone, is making progress as the presence of the virus in his blood has significantly reduced, according to the medical team assisting him at Geneva´s Cantonal Hospital.

"He has improved in a significant way. He has no fever and he has begun eat," said the head of the intensive care unit Jerome Pugin, who is in charge of the medical treatment.

In a recent telephone conversation with Granma newspaper, the director of Havana´s Pedro Kouri Tropical Medicine Institute, Doctor Jorge Perez said from Geneva that the Cuban doctor is receiving very good attention.

The Geneva University Hospital is releasing all information about the progress of the Cuban doctor, who was taken to that medical institution at the proposal of the World Health Organization.

Three doctors and nine nurses are in charge of the Cuban doctor 24 hours a day, along with specialists in different medical disciplines, while security protocols are being implemented to prevent any exposure by the medical personnel.

The head of the Intensive Care Unit at the hospital, Doctor Jerome Pugin recently said that the patient is being administered two experimental pharmaceuticals that have proven favorable in other Ebola patients. One of the drugs is based on anti-bodies and is similar to Z-Mapp, a Canadian treatment against Ebola and the other is a Japanese anti-viral medication.

Given the spread of Ebola in Africa, the World Health Organization approved the administration of experimental treatments to fight the virus.

Two US workers, who got the virus in Liberia, recovered after having received the treatment.

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Article Source  ACN

High level delegation calls on US government to grant humanitarian pardons


A high level delegation, representing millions of people from across the globe, met with US government officials at the US Embassy in London in November to hand over the final report of the International Commission of Inquiry into the case of the Cuban Five.

British parliamentarians Cathy Jamieson MP and Grahame Morris MP, trade union leader Len McCluskey, barrister Elizabeth Woodcraft, and Rob Miller, Voices for the Five, presented the report to United States’ diplomat Kevan Higgins, First Secretary Political Affairs. The delegation called on President Obama to immediately release Gerardo Hernández, Ramón Labañino and Antonio Guerrero from US jails.

The talks also discussed recent editorials in the New York Times which called on the US government to release the three remaining Cubans, who have been imprisoned since 1998, as part of a prisoner exchange with US government contractor Alan Gross.

Len McCluskey, General Secretary of UK’s largest trade union Unite, led the delegation and said: “We are here representing millions of people from across the world who are asking President Obama to grant humanitarian pardons for the three remaining Cubans held for sixteen years in US jails. At the same time we would like to see the release of the US contractor Alan Gross who has been held in Cuba for the past five years. It is time for all four of these men to be freed and returned to their families.”

Rob Miller, Voices for the Five added: “Recent New York Times editorials reflect growing international opinion that whatever the history of the two cases, whatever the circumstances, sixteen years is long enough and now is the time to reach out, find a solution, and send Alan Gross and the remaining three Cubans home.”

The members of the delegation will speak alongside Aleida Guevara, the daughter of Che, at a Candlelight Vigil for the Miami Five outside the United States Embassy in London on Wednesday 3 December 2014 from 6pm.

Full details of the Vigil for the Five with Aleida Guevara can be found here.

Read the full reports
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The full report of the US Embassy delegation
The International Commission of Inquiry report
The New York Times opinion piece calling for a ‘prisoner swap’

Please support the Five by sharing this email and link.

Thank you for being one of the thousands of people from more than 70 countries who have added messages of support for justice for the Five.

Cuban Five: Commission of Inquiry Report Released

“This report will help impress upon the US authorities that legal opinion amongst some of the world's most distinguished judges considers that the only just resolution of our case is for a complete and unconditional release of our three brothers remaining in prison.”

Grab a copy
The report of the proceedings of the International Commission of Inquiry into the case of the Cuban  Five, held at the Law Society in London in March 2014, is now available. 

The two Commission Coordinators, Sara Chandler, chair of the Law Society Human Rights Committee and leading barrister Elizabeth Woodcraft launched the report at a packed meeting at the House of Commons in London on 10 September, hosted by Member of Parliament Jeremy Corbyn and Baroness Angela Smith.

In a 44-page magazine format, written in English and Spanish, the outstanding success of the Commission and its associated events is recorded. It presents the concluding statements of the three presiding judges Yogesh Sabharwal, Zak Yacoob, and Philippe Texier, who, after hearing two days of testimony from witnesses, called upon President Barack Obama to grant “unconditional pardons” to the Five and to release “immediately and unconditionally” the three who remain in prison.

The report also records highlights from the Commission proceedings with special mention of the testimony from Amnesty International that focussed on the unfairness of the trial and, recognising the urgency of the case, pledged to continue to appeal for justice.

US government funding another anti-Castro social network in Cuba


ZunZuneo, the so-called 'Cuban Twitter,' was reported in April but actually closed in 2012. Now meet Piramideo, a mobile network aimed at young people.


The US government is using a sophisticated cell phone program in a failed effort to spark anti-Castro demonstrations on the island, according to Cuban officials and a US expert.

The US Office of Cuba Broadcasting (OCB) sponsors a cell phone service called "Piramideo" (roughly translated as Pyramid), which spreads propaganda through text messages, according to Nestor Garcia, a former Cuban diplomat who now teaches at the Institute for International Relations in Havana.

"My students started getting text messages on their cell phones with news reports about demonstrations that never happened," Garcia said. "The US is trying to create a climate to protest against the Cuban government."

Piramideo, which has received little media coverage, is just one skirmish in an internet war between the American and Cuban governments, included ZunZuneo, a Twitter-like program secretly backed by USAID from 2010-12. USAID contractors developing ZunZuneo discussed plans to spark anti-government demonstrations.  

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Source:  GlobalPost