Friday

Still think Mr Cross is innocent?

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USAID exposed (again) as agent of disruption 

The Associated Press broke news this morning that the U.S. Agency for International Development created a Twitter-like text messaging service in order to collect the phone numbers of Cuban citizens, without informing them of the intent of the service, and then send out messages meant to undermine Cuba's government and stir unrest on the island.

The service call - ZunZuneo -- slang for a Cuban hummingbird's tweet - collects the  phone numbers from unknowing Cubans, without informing them of the subversive intentions of this covert service. 

The Center for Democracy in the Americas has set up a petition telling  President Obama that it's time to end the detrimental regime change policy and to engage proactively with Cuba.





Coverage from the Guardian

Tuesday

Results promising for Cuban cancer treatment


Nimotuzumab, a humanized immunoglobulin produced by the Center for Molecular Immunology (CIM), in Cuba, improves survival and quality of life in patients with advanced pancreatic cancer, when used in combination with conventional chemotherapy.

Some benefits of the product are observed when added to other therapies such as chemotheraphy and radiation therapy in pediatric patients with malignant tumors of the central nervous system, said Doctor Patricia Piedra, medical manager on regulatory affairs at the CIM. Nimotuzumab has been part of the basic approach since 2010, although its health registration in the island dates from 2012, representing wide coverage for the Cuban population, said Dr Piedra at a press conference.

Between 400 and 500 patients have benefited annually since then from the oncology network in the country, as well as having access to other services, such as otolaryngology and neurosurgery, she said.

The monoclonal antibody is an example of the technological sovereignty of the Cuban biotechnological industry. The medicine has been registered in 24 nations, and used on some 47,000 patients worldwide with good results.

Also see:


Wednesday

3rd World Meeting of Solidarity with Cuba





The Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP), social and mass organizations in Cuba and the Cuban chapter of the Network in Defense of Humanity, are calling for the participation of friends of Cuba in the III World Meeting of Solidarity with Cuba, Cuba Solidarity 2014.

This meeting organized by the Movement of Solidarity with Cuba, is the continuity of the two previous editions, and will represent the international support to the validity of the model of social justice that symbolizes Cuba and its viability as an alternative for ¨another better and possible world” that the people of world is fighting for.

Amid a constant aggression, media disinformation and global crisis, this will be an encounter that will enable the construction of initiatives, proposals and exchanges of strategies in solidarity with Cuba, in order to improve our instruments and fighting mechanisms to spread more effectively the truth about the Cuban Five.




Thursday

British Government refuses visa for René González

Late on Monday 3 March, just a few hours before he was due to fly from Havana to London, René González, was refused a visa to enter in the UK.

René González is the principal witnesses for the International Commission of Inquiry into the case of the Cuban Five which takes place at the Law Society in London on 7 and 8 March.

In its letter of refusal, the UK Immigration and Visa Office states that it is due to point 320 (2b) of UK immigration law, which says entry can be denied to a person who has been sentenced to more than four years in prison. Although, dispensation can be granted in exceptional circumstances, the UK government states that it does not consider Mr González’s attendance at the International Commission to be reason enough to justify this or “outweighed by the public interest in maintaining a refusal.”

Rob Miller, director of the Cuba Solidarity Campaign, one of the organisers of the Commission said this morning:
“ We are deeply disappointed and surprised by the decision to refuse a visa to René González.
"The British government has the opportunity to show discretion on visa applications in circumstances like this but has chosen not to do so with regards to René González's application. In the context of the already highly politicised case of the Miami Five, such a decision can only be interpreted as a political one. 
"We have taken legal advice and will be appealing this decision including seeking an urgent Judicial Review if necessary"

Wednesday

Buena Vista Social Club Stars take to the stage in support of the Five


Eliades Ochoa and Omara Portuondo, two of the stars of the Buena Vista Social Club are flying in for a special one-off concert at one of London’s biggest arts venues, the Barbican Centre, on Friday 7 March 2014.

This unique event is in support of the International Commission for the Cuban Five and the Voices for the Five campaign.

They will be joined by special guests and performers of music and spoken word from Cuba and beyond. Already confirmed are Alice Walker, acclaimed author of The Color Purple, and Rene Gonzalez, the first of the five Cubans wrongly jailed in the US for the last 15 years to be released.

Leading actors from the British stage and screen will join Alice and Rene on stage at the Voices For Cuba concert on Friday 7 March at the Barbican Centre.

Frances de la Tour, Susan Wooldridge, Charlotte Cornwell, Adjoa Andoh, Sam West and Jonathan Pryce will read from the letters and poems of the Miami 5 and their families.

In the presence of some of the family members themselves, the actors will bring to life the moving exchanges between the Cuban men and their loved ones back home during their long years of incarceration.

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Tuesday

Havana World Music Festival

Artists from around the globe come together Friday and Saturday at José Antonio Echeverría complex, in Havana, to participate in the first international meeting of world music, the Havana World Music Festival.

From 5 pm the audience can enjoyed performances from Juan Formell and Los Van Van, Synthesis Group, William Vivanco, X Alfonso, Djoy of Cuba, Déjà vu, La Cinta Baraguá (English-Antillean roots), and bagpipes from the Galician Artistic Society (Spanish roots).

Among the foreign groups are the Norwegian singer Thea Hjelmeland, Spanish duo Fuel Fandango, Auntie Flo DJ from UK, and the Colombian group La Mákina del Karibe, just to name a few.

The meeting also included workshops and conferences, which will be hosted by the Higher Institute of Arts and the Casona of Linea Street, and shall be given by Thea Hjelmeland and Auntie Flo DJ and Matraka Productions.

Sponsored by the Cuban Institute of Music and the National Centre for Popular Music, the Havana World Music Festival arises from the project ¨Para Mestizar¨, on Cuban cultural diversity, M Alfonso said, offering and receiving a range of artists who have built their own seal through the rescue of its identity.

Wednesday

Declaration of Havana Reaffirms CELAC as a Regional Coordination Mechanism

The Declaration of Havana, adopted by the summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, reaffirmed the role of the bloc as a regional space for dialog and political coordination.

The document stresses the determination to jointly work for the wellbeing of the people of regional countries and expresses the need to advance regional integration.

The 83-paragraph document also includes the main tasks to undertake the bloc and the problems facing the region in all areas.

The declaration reiterates the CELAC member states position that unity and integration must progressively be achieved, with flexibility, respect to diversity and to the right of each state to choose its own political and economic system.

Comprehensive and inclusive development is a priority expressed in the document, in order to guarantee sustainable and productive progress, in harmony with the environment.

The heads of state also expressed in the declaration their determination to jointly work in order to face the challenges posed by the current world situation and to boost economic growth that favor social inclusion and equality.

Emphasis is put on the need to work for food security, literacy, education the development of agriculture and the achievement of universal public health services.

The Latin American and Caribbean nature of Puerto Rico was reiterated in the document as well as the commitment to work so that Latin America and the Caribbean be a territory free of colonialism.

The document rejects unilateral certification of states related to terrorism, drug trafficking, and other categories, including the US blacklisting of Cuba as a state sponsor of terrorism. The text also backs the Argentinean claim over the Malvinas islands.

Also included is the rejection of the over-50-year US economic, commercial and financial blockade of Cuba.

The summit was attended by 29 presidents,  president-elect of Chile, Michelle Bachelet and other representatives. During two days, the sessions addressed a large array of issues relevant to the problems facing our region, particularly the fight on hunger, poverty and inequalities.

DECLARATION OF HAVANA (SYNOPSIS)
Integration within diversity