RCM in English

 

On this web page you will find an English version on the main journalistic works about Cienfuegos and Cuba, published in our website.

Hotel Meliá San Carlos will open its doors in Cienfuegos

(RCM Redaction/By Luzdeibys González Forcades)

Meliá San Carlos Hotel

Meliá San Carlos Hotel

More than a hundred tourism workers from the Cuban provinces of Camaguey, Pinar del Rio, Havana, Sancti Spíritus and Cienfuegos are undertaking the construction work to complete the capital renovation of the Meliá San Carlos Hotel.

Yuri Quevedo Pupo, director of the tourism investment unit in South-central Cuba, explained to Radio Ciudad del Mar digital that “the investment is almost finished in the civil details; the start-up of the systems has already begun after the electrical connection, that is to say, air conditioning and hot water; later it will start the decoration of the six-storey building, built before 1959.”

From January 14, date of its inauguration, the so-called Meliá San Carlos “will have available two floors with 22 rooms, the lobby and the bar” Roof Garden “in the breakfast mode until the full rating of the remaining plants. The systems have been totally revitalized, even for the saving of electrical energy, added Quevedo Pupo.

Located at the Historic Center of Cienfuegos, a World Heritage Site, the Meliá San Carlos Hotel is located on San Carlos Street, between Gacel and Horruitinier. The hotel will have 56 rooms and it will start with the category of 4 stars, but with the perspective of becoming the first 5 stars hotel in Cienfuegos.

(Translated by Yeney Perez Corona)

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Cienfuegos University inaugurates a Child Intelligence Proficiency Test Laboratory

(RCM Redaction/By Ramon Lobaina)

Child Intelligence Proficiency Test Laboratory

Child Intelligence Proficiency Test Laboratory

Coinciding with the Day of Special Education, this January 4 was inaugurated at the Conrado Benítez campus of Cienfuegos University a Child Intelligence Proficiency Test Laboratory, third of its kind in Cuba and the first located not in Havana.

Orlando Terré Camacho, president of the World Association of Special Education and Xiomara García Navarro, Dean of the Faculty of Education gave the opening to the space that will enable better conditions for the professional training of teachers and treatments for children with special educational needs.

Delivered free of charge by the World Association of Special Education, the Laboratory has various resources to stimulate sensory systems such as hearing, vision, touch, taste and smell through the Neuro Point Method. Among the examples of the donated tools are books, tiles with letters, numbers and animations; skewer, tennis, balls, chess, rubber dolls and musical instruments (flutes, maracas and pianolas); all this instruments contribute to learning by means of a multisensory approach.

At the opening remarks, Terré Camacho said that the laboratories were previously given to ¨La Pradera¨ International Health Center, which benefits 360 children with cochlear implants. In addition to hearing and voice, this approach offers them the possibility of understanding from pedagogical teaching.

The other laboratory is located at the University of Pedagogical Sciences Of Havana. The Neuro Point, he explained, is the method that enhances the child’s intelligence in connectivity with the brain structures, that is to say, it stimulates everything the child is capable of doing in its different stages of development.

He added that the method is based on the theory of multiple intelligences and there are endless activities, so the Cienfuegos community can be invited to the lab, among them the fourteen children cochlearly implanted, because it is a place to train, work and investigate. After expressing that the Laboratory still lacks in many aspects, he said that all the material is being brought in from abroad, and that they are exchanging with their peers staff that previously opened in Havana, to gain experience and to link theory with practice.

He indicated that this is the fifteenth laboratory worldwide and that it is a gift of love to take advantage of, especially to make happy and hopeful our children and their family.A recognition diploma was received by Orlando Terre Camacho for his unconditional dedication to Special Education, in front of the students, professors and workers of the Conrado Benítez headquarters, participants in the event.

On the occasion itself and with poetry recital, songs and a wreath in front of Conrado Benítez García´s image, the university professors paid homage to this professor who was murdered on January 5, 1961 at the Escambray mountains by one of the counterrevolutionary bands which could not prevent Cuba from becoming the first illiteracy- free country in Latin America.

(Translated by Yeney Perez Corona)

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A powerful ¨Bomb cyclon¨ pounds the Northeast coast of U.S

(RCM Redaction)

The storm, called a “bomb cyclone”

The storm, called a “bomb cyclone”

After battering the South of U.S and whipping up the Mid-Atlantic coast, a blizzard propelled by hurricane-strength winds lashed yesterday the Northeast coast of U.S, grounding flights, shuttering schools, flooding buildings and sending squalls of snow into the tunnels of New York City’s subway system.

The storm, called a “bomb cyclone” by some meteorologists for how quickly the barometric pressure fell, created winds that topped 75 miles per hour in Nantucket and 65 miles per hour on Long Island, tearing the roof off a gas station and making some crossings impassable for trucks.

As treacherous as it was, elected officials warned that the storm was a prelude to worse misery, with days of subzero wind chills ahead that could freeze snowy roads and put homeless people in grave danger.

In downtown Boston, a three-foot tidal surge flooded a subway station and turned a popular tourist area into a slushy tundra. In New York, the two major airports stopped flights and cars slid off glazed roads. And in Virginia, more than 40,000 residents and businesses lost electric power.

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Cienfuegos´ agricultural sector promotes investments

(By Onelia Chaveco / ACN )

 Investments in the agricultural sector of the province of Cienfuegos

Investments in the agricultural sector of the province of Cienfuegos

Investments in the agricultural sector of the province of Cienfuegos had a strong boost during the year 2017, within a program that seeks higher yields with efficient use of resources. Joan Sarduy, Agriculture delegate in the province, told to the Agencia Cubana de Noticias that, after completing the construction at La Paquita industrial complex in Aguada de Pasajeros, they had come to work on its technological assembly.

He indicated that the dryers and mills will allow the technological independence of the Cienfuegos´ rice growers. Sarduy added that in the town of Constancia, in the municipality of Abreu, they are setting up another rice dryer, which gives employment opportunities to a group of inhabitants.

With the installation of this equipment, they eliminate the method of drying rice on the roads, which results in a more efficient crop yield, and it improves the product´s quality. Cienfuegos is the province with the highest rice yield achieved in Cuba, with 5 tons (t) per hectare, said the executive.

Despite the improvements, the province concluded 2017 with the production of 12 500 tons of rice of the plan readjusted due to climatic conditions, mainly due to the harsh drought in the first months of the year. They also advanced in the technological discipline, seeking greater linkage in the productive processes to gain added value and crop yields.

Therefore, the investment process reaches the main agricultural companies of Horquita and Juraguá where there were completed near 76 irrigation systems.

They also worked on the improvement of the warehouses that protect the soy flour in the port facilities. Sarduy indicated that investments in the coffee sector, with the renewal of plantations and facilities, led to a rapid recovery after the effects of the last hurricanes and fulfill the plan of the year in 194 tons.

At the same time, there were repaired 14 agricultural markets in the city of Cienfuegos, to achieve greater comfort for customers and a better product image when being sold.

(Translated by Yeney Perez Corona)

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New migratory measures come into force in Cuba

(RCM Redaction)

New migratory measures come into force in Cuba

New migratory measures come into force in Cuba

On January first new migratory measures approved in October 2017 came into force and are part of the continuous and irreversible updating process Cuba started 5 years ago.

Granma newspaper highlights today the elimination of the “Habilitation” of the passport for the Cuban emigrants’ trips to Cuba and the authorization of the entry and exit to Cuba of Cuban citizens residing abroad in pleasure boats, through the International Tourist Marinas Hemingway and Gaviota-Varadero, are part of the rules that begin to govern.

Likewise, the permit to enter the country of Cuban citizens who left illegally with the exception of those who did it through the United States Naval Base in Guantánamo is established.

The requirement of accommodation is also waived so that children of Cubans living abroad, who were born abroad, can obtain Cuban citizenship and their identity document.

It is noteworthy to say that the new measures do not eliminate the requirement to travel to Cuba with a Cuban passport for those born in the county that has acquired another citizenship.

Similarly, it must be clarified that the authorization and the extension of the passport are not the same thing, and the second is maintained, in accordance with current legislation that establishes that the current passport is valid for two years and can be extended for the same term until a total of six years.

Another necessary precision is that, in the case of doctors or other collaborators who have left the mission they were to fulfill abroad, they are not included in these provisions because they went out legally.

However, since September 2015 the Ministry of Public Health approved that, in the case of doctors, those who wish may rejoin the tasks of the National Health System, where they will have similar conditions to those they had.

The decisions adopted are part of the efforts that the country is making in order to further strengthen relations with its emigration, a process initiated in 1978 by the Commander in Chief of the Revolution, Fidel Castro Ruz.

(Taken from ACN)

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Cienfuegos´ fishing enterprise promotes higher productions for 2018

(RCM Redaction)

Cienfuegos fishing enterprise promotes higher productions for 2018

Cienfuegos fishing enterprise promotes higher productions for 2018

This year offers great efforts for the collective of the Enterprise Base Unit ARGUAR, dedicated to the production of fingerlings of various species for their later extensive breeding in dams and reservoirs, or intensively in the existing fattening farms of the province.

In this facility, located at the Arriete area, from Palmira municipality, catfish and cyprinid fingerlings are produced, which make it possible to increase the volumes of fish committed by Cienfuegos fish farmers throughout the year.

Thanks to the efforts done by the Cienfuegos´ Industrial Fishing Company´s workers in the process areas, the population can buy different products ranging from croquettes, stems, fillets and other specialties. At the end of 2017 intensive fishing in dams and reservoirs could not fulfill its mission.

Thus, since early January of this year, measures are taken to reverse this situation, and ensure the contributions of this nutritious food for the population consumption.

(Translated by Yeney Perez Corona)

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Mogherini calls US economic blockade against Cuba ‘obsolete and illegal’

(RCM Redaction)

EU Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini

EU Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini in Cuba

The economic “blockade” of Cuba is not a solution to the existing problems in relations between Havana and Washington, since it only diminshes the living standards of Cuban nationals, EU Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini has said.

“The blockade is not the solution. The Europeans have told our American friends many times; we have affirmed it in the United Nations… We know well that the sole effect of the blockade is to worsen the quality of life of women, men and children… The blockade is obsolete, it is illegal,” EU Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini said Wednesday in Havana as quoted by Telesur broadcaster.

Mogherini is paying a visit to Cuba to hold meetings with the country’s leadership and discuss the prospects of bilateral relations between the Caribbean nation and the European Union. The joint implementation of the bilateral Political Dialogue and Cooperation Agreement (PDCA), signed in 2016, is also on the agenda.

In June 2017, US President Donald Trump declared the abolition of the policy of his predecessor Barack Obama aimed at normalizing bilateral relations with Cuba.

In November 2017, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution, underlining the necessity of lifting the economic, commercial, and financial embargo imposed by the United States on Cuba. As many as 191 countries have adopted the resolution, with two countries — the United States and Israel — having voted against the document.

In 2014, the United States and Cuba expressed their intention to start working on the normalization of relations between the two countries. In 2015, Washington and Havana restored diplomatic relations, while signing several bilateral agreements. However, the trade embargo against Cuba, imposed by the US Congress, following the triumph of the Cuban revolution in 1959, has not been lifted.

(Taken from CubaSi)

Belarus interested in close cooperation with Cuba

(RCM Redaction)

Belarus interested in close cooperation with Cuba

Belarus interested in close cooperation with Cuba

Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko has sent greetings to President of the Council of State and the Council of Ministers of Cuba Raul Castro Ruz as the country celebrates the 59th anniversary of the liberation of the Republic of Cuba, BelTA learned from the press service of the Belarusian leader.

“An authentic and independent path of the Cuban people was not easy.

Cubans protected their identity, stayed loyal to the ideals of the Revolution, and enhanced the country’s positions on the international arena,” the message of greetings reads.

The head of state stressed that Belarus will be always committed to friendship and close cooperation with Cuba.

(Taken from CubaSi)

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Awarded Iran Millan, Cienfuegos City Curator Office director with the Cultural Heritage National Prize to the Work of Life

(RCM Redaction)

Irán Millán Cuétara

Irán Millán Cuétara

The architect Iran Millan Cuetara won the 2017 National Prize for Cultural Heritage to the Work of Life, in its sixth edition, taking into account its multifaceted work in the fields of museography, real estate restoration, research, teaching and its leading role with the cultural heritage management in the province of Cienfuegos, as recorded in the jury minutes.

With this prize, it is also recognized his participation in the municipal museums implementation at Cienfuegos province, the processes of identification, inventory and delimitation of historical centers, as well as the preparation of the National and Local Monuments nomination files in the territory.

Born in Mariel, Artemisa, Iran Millan Cuetara has been a general designer of a great majority of the restoration and rehabilitation works of  Cienfuegos´ constructive heritage, including the Palatino Inn, the Cienfuegos Provincial Museum, the universal art replica gallery, Spanish Casino, Tomás Terry Theater, Reina Cemetery, Naval Historical Museum, Jagua Castle and Ferrer Palace.

He was founding director of the Monuments and Historical Centers Office in the province and then of the Cienfuegos City Curator’s Office to the present day.

His contribution was fundamental in the elaboration of the files of the historic center of Cienfuegos for its declaration as a National Monument in 1995 and World Heritage in 2005.

The award of the National Prize for Cultural Heritage for the Work of Life will be officially made on April 18, International Day of Monuments and Historical Sites, informed Gladys Collazo, president of the National Council of Cultural Heritage.

This award was created in 2012 by this council to recognize the colossal work done in terms of identification, protection, management and promotion of the nation´s rich cultural heritage; it is based on the selfless work of people who, throughout their existence, have devoted themselves to this mission.

(Translated by Yeney Perez Corona)

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Cuba reaches lowest infant mortality rate in its history – 4 per 1,000 live births

(RCM Redaction)

Cuba reaches lowest infant mortality rate in its history - four per 1,000 live births

Cuba reaches lowest infant mortality rate in its history – four per 1,000 live births

Maintaining infant mortality rate below five per 1,000 live for the 10th consecutive year is reason enough for Cuba to celebrate.

But even more extraordinary is that the country has achieved the lowest rate in its history in 2017, 4 per 1,000 live births.

 

Preliminary data, made available to Granma by the Medical Records and Health Statistics Directorate, indicates that 114,980 births took place, 1,892 less than in 2016, and 465 babies under a year of age died, 32 less than in 2016, the lowest number on record.

To appreciate just what this figure means, it’s worth recalling that in 1970, 9,173 infants died, for a rate of 38.7 per 1,000 live births.

(Taken from Granma)

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Cuba highlights international support for an end to the blockade

(RCM Redaction)

Cuba’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Anayansi Rodríguez

Cuba’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Anayansi Rodríguez

The Permanent Representative of Cuba to the United Nations, Anayansi Rodríguez, assured that the island has the support of the international community in its just demand that the U.S. blockade be lifted, and thanked all those countries who have expressed their condemnation of the policy.

In an interview with Prensa Latina, Rodríguez noted that as long as the blockade remains, Cuba will continue to denounce it in all possible multilateral fora, and will present the resolution calling for its end before the United Nations.

This year’s vote on said resolution again reflected the international community’s rejection of the tightening of the blockade policy, and the concern regarding the aggressive and disrespectful rhetoric of the administration of President Donald Trump and his Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, the Cuban diplomat added.

In contrast, the member countries of the multilateral organization almost unanimously demonstrated with their vote that they are committed to dialogue and cooperation in relations between states, Rodríguez stressed.

This is based on the principles of the UN Charter and international law, including respect for sovereignty, self-determination and the territorial integrity of states, without interference in their political, economic and social affairs, she added.

“History has shown that the peoples of the world are committed to just causes and that is why they have increasingly joined the vote in support of Cuba,” the diplomat noted.

When Cuba’s draft resolution was first presented in 1992, at the 47th session of the UN General Assembly, 26 delegations intervened in the debate and, among them, two blocs: the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) and the then European Community, she recalled.

However, that number gradually increased and in recent years more than 40 nations have raised their voice in support of Cuba, the ambassador explained.

In 2017, the diplomat continued, 42 delegations expressed support for the resolution, eight of them representing important regional groups such as the NAM and the Group of 77.

The Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, the Community of Caribbean States, the African Group, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, also supported Cuba’s demand.

Most of the speeches offered by representatives in support of the resolution pointed out that the differences between states should be resolved through dialogue, and not confrontation, the Cuban representative added.

Many of the speeches also highlighted the contributions of Cuba to South-South cooperation and the island’s commitment to solidarity with many nations of the world.

“As such, the support for Cuba and the universal demand for the lifting of the blockade were not only manifested with the 191 votes in favor of the resolution and the total isolation of the United States with only the accompaniment of Israel,” Rodríguez emphasized.

For as long as the blockade exists, she stressed, the Cuban delegation to the UN will permanently denounce it in every possible space, since this policy is the main obstacle to the development of the country and is a flagrant violation of the human rights of an entire people.

As has been demonstrated over time, the blockade is a failed policy. Instead of causing “hunger, despair and the overthrow of government,” as it was intended, it only makes Cuba more human and solidary, as the leader of the Revolution, Fidel Castro, noted.

“Today we are more convinced than ever that it is our sole responsibility to defend our sovereignty and our right to freely choose our future,” Rodríguez concluded.

(Taken from Granma)

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Alicia defies time

(RCM Redaction)

On December 21 the prima ballerina assoluta reached her 97th birthday

On December 21 the prima ballerina assoluta reached her 97th birthday

Alicia – our Alicia – on this island of hers there is no need to use her surname, celebrated her 97th birthday surrounded by the affection, admiration, and respect, not only of her compatriots, but of the entire legion of admirers across the four corners of the world.

Born on December 21, 1920, to veterinarian and Lieutenant Antonio Martínez Arredondo and dressmaker Ernestina del Hoyo, in Pogolotti’s modest Marianao neighborhood, she made her stage debut as a dancer in the ballet school of the Sociedad Pro-Arte Musical of Havana, on December 29, 1931. Hence began a career on her toes that set a record, coming to an end 64 years later, on November 28, 1995, at the Masini Theater in Faenza, Italy, dancing the role of the volatile Farfalla in Le papillon.

Her rise to stardom knew no parallel, as she represented Cuba in 61 countries across the five continents, proving to be a dazzling figure from the early days of the Broadway musical comedies, to later groups with which she performed regularly, such as the American Ballet Caravan, the Ballet Theatre of New York, the Ballets Russes de Monte Carlo, and the Washington Ballet, and many others around the world where she appeared as a guest star.

Her technical strength, “which was 20 years ahead of the standards of the time,” as well as her stylistic adaptability, led her to perform an amazing repertoire of 134 titles, 82 of them worldwide, the result of the work of the most important choreographers of the romantic-classical tradition of the 19th century, such as Jean Dauberval, Jean Coralli, Jules Perrot, Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov, and of 62 of the most important figures of the 20th century, among them Mikhail Fokine, Eugene Loríng, Anton Dolin, George Balanchine, Antony Tudor, Agnes de Mille, Jerome Robbins, Alberto Alonso, and Alberto Méndez, to mention just a few of the most relevant.

“Everything I’ve danced I’ve enjoyed a lot, it’s been very important to me, but Giselle has a special place in my life as a dancer and as a human being. It was a big challenge after a long and tough break. But I overcame it. A dancer, if a real artist, must be willing to give their all or to die on stage,” she once said.

As UNESCO Goodwill and World Dance Ambassador of the Republic of Cuba, her artistic and cultural work has been recognized with the highest distinctions both in her homeland and the rest of the world, as demonstrated by the 222 national awards and 264 international awards received from 37 nations.

Tireless in her long career, she continues to be, as Juan Marinello well defined: “A tenacious, frantic, heroic force, discharged against disease and against time, toward tireless perfection.”

Ballet dancer, choreographer, director, representative and defender of the culture of her homeland, today she defies the challenges of time, with a clear mind, determined not to be overcome. A few days ago, as a Board of Directors meeting in the National Ballet of Cuba concluded, an institution that she has led with a firm hand for 69 years, she lifted her glass for a toast to some close collaborators and asked us: “What is it to be old?”

With that sentence she summarized the vital key to her life and offered her most faithful definition.

(Taken from Granma)

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The relation of President Donald Trump with the media is the worst of any other US president in modern times

The relation of President Donald Trump with the media is the worst of any other US president in modern timesrelation with the press: the worst of a US president

(RCM Redaction)

The relation of President Donald Trump with the media is the worst of any other US president in modern times, and this situation will worsen in 2018, experts estimate.
In his second year as president, he faces the investigation of a special prosecutor and the possibility that Democrats, eager to take him to impeachment, recover the majority in Congress, stresses an article published on Thursday by The Hill newspaper.
The unconventional character of his presidency shook the information overview and created a new dynamic that will play a vital role in the configuration in the coming months, adds the text, signed by Jonathan Easley.
According to the author, some of the leading figures in print journalism and cable news took an unusual and contrary approach to cover Trump’s activities, which led to accusations of bias and a debate over whether the President’s coverage is carried out fairly. Trump responded by eliminating interviews and press conferences almost completely, even when he and his allies launch attacks almost daily against the credibility of the media.
Even so, The Hill highlights, the presidency of Trump is favorable for the newspapers and TV stations, because thanks to him they had in this year records of hearing, subscriptions and traffic in the networks, while the admirers and detractors of Trump love to observe media coverage of his activities.
In early December, ABC News suspended its main political affairs reporter, Brian Ross, for misdirecting that Trump told his former national security adviser Michael Flynn to contact the Russian government during the election campaign in November 2016.
A few days later, CNN had to retract some information according to which the Wikileaks digital site gave Donald Trump Jr. immediate access to stolen e-mails from Democratic Party officials. These and other errors, according to The Hill, supported Trump’s and his advisors’ argument about the false news that abounds in the American publications. On the other hand, a survey conducted by the weekly The Economist revealed yesterday that only one in four Americans approve the way Trump uses his messages on Twitter, a social network that the President used over 2,600 times in 2017, according to the TrumpTwitterArchive.com site.
(Taken from Prensa Latina)
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Cuban Labor Union sends message to workers and population in general

(RCM Redaction)

General Secretary of the Cuban Workers Confederation, (CTC), Ulises Guilarte de Nacimiento

General Secretary of the Cuban Workers Confederation, (CTC), Ulises Guilarte de Nacimiento

The General Secretary of the Cuban Workers Confederation, (CTC), Ulises Guilarte de Nacimiento sent a message of recognition to the Cuban people and workers just a few days away from the 59th anniversary of the triumph of the Revolution.

During a press conference on Tuesday in Havana, the member of the Political Bureau of the Cuban Communist Party pointed out that once again, the Cuban workers were active participants this year of the battle for the sustainable development of the economy.

He dared to characterize 2017 as a year of challenges, which, despite deficiencies that still exists, there were positive results amidst the limitations in the financial and material order, which is the economic balance of the country. Guilarte de Nacimiento said that he admired how the Cuban workers and people in general demonstrated dedication to the concepts of unity, discipline, solidarity and commitment during the recovery process of Hurricane Irma that generated losses of over 13 billion 385 thousand Cuban pesos.

The leader of the Cuban Workers Confederation ratified the feeling of love, esteem and support of the CTC and its members, which have shown examples of the unity among its labor unions regarding the project that is under construction in the country.

He also wished prosperity and health and expressed gratitude of the organization he leads for all the union members. Guilarte de Nacimiento extended his greeting and congratulation to dozens of thousands of Cuban workers offering their services in other nations.

He mentioned the young workers whom he characterized as the seed that will continue and guarantee the Revolutionary process and called on them to be protagonists of the work underway in the Caribbean nation.

(Taken from ACN)

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Trump: The triumph of an eventual failure

(RCM Redaction)

Protest against the tax reform plan outside the US Capitol at Washington DC

Protest against the tax reform plan outside the US Capitol at Washington DC

A protest against the tax reform plan outside the Capitol in Washington DC, U.S. capital. Miami Diario a website informed this Monday that the U.S. Congress approved “the largest cut of taxes in history”, after giving the green light to the long expected tax reform.

The reform fueled by the president was passed after a last minute modification, due to an “error procedure” before its approval by the Senate. The result of the voting was 224 republican votes in favor and 201 democrats against.
This way Republicans finished the largest tax cut in decades, said observers. In a brief speech after the final vote, Trump remembered that he had promised a great cut of taxes for Christmas, something supposedly now fulfilled.
Next he pointed out: “I’d like to thank the members of the Congress who supported this historical bill that represents an extraordinary win for the families, the workers and the American companies”, in answer to the first integral tax reform in the United States since 1986. The leader added: “By reducing taxes and reform the broken system, now we are pouring rocket fuel into the engine of our economy.
The United States has won again, and we are growing like never before”, and he rejoiced in his first legislative victory since his arrival to the White House. Donald Trump thanked all those who made possible the passing of his tax reform, among them the republican Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell as well as Senator Susan Collins.
Paul Ryan, president of the House of Representatives in his speech eulogized the leader and he even qualified his leadership as “exquisite.” On the other hand, the leader of the Higher Chamber, Mitch McConnell praised the president and assured that “he has put an end to the excess of regulation of the American economy”.
Among the most controversial aspects, the legislation also revokes the command of individual insurance required by the sanitary reform of the former President Barack Obama since 2019, and it allows the drilling in a part of the National Wild Life Refuge of the Arctic.
Trump who has been pressing the Republicans of the Congress for months to achieve his first victory in the Legislative after several failures that still echo in Washington, has fulfilled a great tributary reform before the end of the year.
To this end, nevertheless, among other machinations, the republicans have had to resort to an unorthodox legislative technique to get to pass a legal reform of such proportions, or block any kind of obstruction from the democrats in the Senate, where conservatives have a very tight majority. The democrats have assured that this measure will “destroy the country” and they have warned the republicans that they will “regret” what they have passed.
Observers remember that among Trump’s catastrophic failures appear, his intention of eliminating the well-known sanitary program best known as (Obamacare), to block the entrance to the country to millions of Muslims, and the most recent Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), among others.
Based on polls, several sources remember that Trump’s administration is the less popular ever in the United States in the last decades.
(Taken from CubaSi)
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Impeachment process of VP Glas authorized by Ecuador’s Assembly

(RCM Redaction)

Former Ecuador Vice-President Jorge Glas

Former Ecuador Vice-President Jorge Glas

Jorge Glas has been sentenced to six years in prison for corruption linked to the sprawling Odebrecht case in what his supporters are calling a ‘political witch-hunt.’

A body within the Ecuadorian National Assembly has given the greenlight for an impeachment trial to take place against former Vice-President Jorge Glas after he was sentenced to six years in prison for corruption.

Four of the seven lawmakers that make up the Legislative Administration Council voted in favor late Tuesday of the motion to authorize the prosecution commission within parliament to begin the impeachment process against Glas.

The news comes just days after the Constitutional Court unanimously endorsed the launch of impeachment proceedings against the suspended official.

The council had previously failed to pass the motion three times becausee of a lack of support in the top court. Glas, who was also the vice-president under former president Rafael Correa, now has five days to present his defence against the impeachment to the assembly.

He can delegate a lawmaker to carry out his defence, which is likely to be the case given that he is already being held in preventive detention.

Roberto Gomez, from the right-wing opposition CREO movement leading the case against Glas, also has five days to present his own arguments for impeachment, which will be analyzed to consider whether it meets the parameters established in the constitution.

Glas has been in detention since October, when charges were brought against him over receiving bribes from Brazilian construction company Odebrecht in return for awarding the scandal-ridden firm lucrative state contracts. Glas was elected vice-president in the second electoral round last April, with President Lenin Moreno as leader of the left-wing Alianza Pais.

He served as vice president since 2013 under Correa, who has been critical of the trial against his ally, accusing the courts of many irregularities and saying that Glas is “innocent.”

Lenin ran his presidential campaign under the leftist agenda of his predecessor but has largely broken from Correa and worked to appease right-wing political and economic actors in the country.

Correa and his supporters have accused the new president of “betraying” the ideals of the ruling party AP, which was founded by Correa more than a decade ago and argue that prosecuting Glas is a entirely political. Odebrecht allegedly paid US$33.5 million in bribes to secure contracts in Ecuador.

The opposition says that Correa’s government was slow to investigate, although he rejects that. (Taken from CubaSi)

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Unity in the neighborhood

(RCM Redaction)

Committees for the Defense of the Revolution welcoming 2018

Committees for the Defense of the Revolution welcoming 2018

Defense of the national identity, patriotism and anti-imperialism are the basic themes to be discussed by Committees for the Defense of the Revolution (CDR) leading up to the organization’s 9th Congress, scheduled for this coming February 3.

National Coordinator Carlos Rafael Miranda Martínez emphasized that CDRs are ending a successful year, highlighting the increasing participation of youth, with 160 Youth Detachments involved in the ongoing battle of ideas, along with the Young Communists League.

Also significant was work done during elections for delegates to Municipal Assemblies of People’s Power, noting that the national leadership is preparing to promote greater participation of Cuban families in neighborhood meetings with those elected.

Miranda Martínez congratulated the Cuban people on the occasion of another anniversary of the Revolution, especially presidents of CDRs and zone coordinators, calling on them to “do things well every day, achieving unity among all revolutionaries in the neighborhood to continue building the socialism Fidel bequeathed to us.”

(Taken from Granma)

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Activities in Cienfuegos  to celebrate the end of  2017

(RCM Redaction)

Activities in Cienfuegos to celebrate the end of 2017

Activities in Cienfuegos to celebrate the end of 2017

Several recreational options have been designed by the Council of the Provincial Administration in Cienfuegos, together with other institutions of the territory, to celebrate the 59th anniversary of Cuban Revolution triumph, according to Javier Álvarez Hernández, vice president of the government body in Cienfuegos.

There will take place cultural activities such as the one by the Septeto Unión to be performed at the Palacio de la Maternidad (Maternity home) on December 27, the artistic tours at Lajitas and Hermanas Giralt nursing homes on December 29th, and the Feria Popular Agropecuaria (Popular Agricultural Fair) to be organized at Calzada de Dolores on Saturday 30.

Álvarez Hernández explained that there will be offered traditional dinners on the last day of the year in more than 50 restaurants and other gastronomy facilities of the city, as well as  activities in emblematic recreational centers such as Tropisur Club, Costasur Club, Patio de Artex, Benny Moré Night Club, and “Julio Antonio Mella”, and “Los Pinitos” Cienfuegos´ Cultural Centers.

Álvarez Hernández added that on January 1st, 2018 at the Plaza de Actos and its surroundings the gastronomic facilities will offer service, and at 6 o’clock in the afternoon will begin the ¨Tarde de la Rumba¨ show, at 7 o’clock the Dana group will perform, followed by Son del Sur at 10 pm, and 12 o’clock the celebration closes with the Charanga Latina.

In the case of the municipalities, dancing will also take place in the public spaces of each town on the first day of 2018, on the occasion of the new anniversary of the triumph of the Cuban Revolution.

(Translated by Yeney Perez Corona)

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Public transportation adds new routes

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Public transportation adds new routes

Public transportation adds new routes

Fifteen new short routes and three longer ones (La Habana-Maisí, and Santiago de Cuba to both Mayabeque and Artemisa) will be launched shortly thanks to the acquisition of 100 vehicles for interprovincial use, allowing the buses replaced to be used to expand local services.

This information was reported in the recent meeting of the National Assembly of People’s Power Services Commission, where deputies discussed public transportation, of significant importance to the population.

According to the Transportation Minister Adel Yzquierdo Rodríguez, 253 new buses and 103 used vehicles have been acquired. Also being expanded, he reported, is the use of  the taxi service. Functioning presently in Havana are 287 cars and vans on five routes, with two to be added in January, when this service will also be available in the provinces of Artemisa and Mayabeque. Yzquierdo also reported the ongoing production of Diana buses for services between municipalities and the purchase of four wheel drive Kamaz trucks for use in mountainous areas.

He explained that priorities for 2018 include repairs to the national highway and continued work on the railway system, with nine new cars and locomotors from China to arrive in 2019.

As of the end of October, the number of passengers using public transportation increased by 17.8% as compared to the same period last year, the minister reported, noting that many challenges remain to meet the the population needs.

(Taken from Granma)

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Being built in Cienfuegos largest diesel power plant in Cuba

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 Being built in Cienfuegos largest diesel power plant in Cuba


Being built in Cienfuegos largest diesel power plant in Cuba

Forty modern electric motors will make it the largest plant of its kind in Cuba. “Given the growth in demand,” explains engineer Alfredo Abrahantes León, investor for the Empresa Electrica (Electric Enterprise) in the province, the national program plans, until 2023, to install 200 MW with this distributed generation modality, in Villa Clara, Pinar del Río, Matanzas, and the unit that is being built in Cienfuegos.

“The new plant is based on the German MTU technology. Its location in this province, responds first of all, to be located in the central area of ​​the country where it is easier to transfer the delivery to the western and eastern areas, with a minimum level of losses.

Its emplacement, adjacent to the Camilo Cienfuegos Refinery, also responds to rationality: so the plant will be supplied by the refinery, avoiding the transportation costs by hauling a “six pails of 33 thousand liters for every 10 hours of operation.”

This location also makes it possible, in cases of natural disasters that interrupt the supply of the Sistema Electroenergetico Nacional (SEN) by its Spanish acronym (Cuban National Electric System, the power plant can feed the crude processing plant and the Carlos Manuel de Céspedes thermoelectric plant, among other large Cienfuegos industries, says the specialist.

Equipped with mufflers and 12-meters-high gas exhaust system, the new equipment cushions the harmful impact on the environment, “benefits, a technology with a level of efficiency recognized in the world,” says Abrahantes León, referring to the advantages with respect to other motor batteries installed in the country.

At 52 percent of execution, it continues the electrical pipeline, the enlistment of the fuel compartment, which guarantees an autonomous supply of diesel, and the substation; works that will conclude with the year.

“We are planning for the second half of January, to incorporate the first two batteries into the SEN and begin the tests, and in the month of February, add the other three batteries that make up the 40 engines of the plant,” the expert said.

Other technical work objects and socio-administrative facilities will remain until November 2018, the deadline for the final delivery of the plant.

(Translated by Yeney Perez Corona)

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Due to health conditions, Armando Manzanero reschedules two concerts in Cuba

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Mexican singer-songwriter Armando Manzanero

Mexican singer-songwriter Armando Manzanero

Mexican singer-songwriter Armando Manzanero, who was to perform for the first time in Cuba in January 2018, has postponed until April the two concerts he had planned in Havana due to health problems, as reported by Cuban media.

The recitals to be performed by the 82-years-old Manzanero bolero singer are very popular among the lovers of that music genre in Cuba.

At first these recitals were schedule for Januray 6 and 7, at Karl Marx Theater and San Francisco de Asis square in Havana City historical center, respectively.

The organizers of the artist’s presentations sent a message to the Cuban Institute of Music in which they announced that for “reasons concerning the health” of the singer and composer, the concerts will take place on April 21 and 22, according to the Granma newspaper. Manzanero, author of 400 songs including hits like “Esta tarde vi llover”, “Somos novios” and “Contigo aprendí”, he has recorded about 40 albums and his music is part of the soundtrack of numerous films.

Throughout his career he has received important awards and recognitions, including a Latin Grammy and a Musical Excellence Award, awarded by the Latin Recording Academy. His songs have been versioned by other artists such as Alejandro Sanz, Luis Miguel, Frank Sinatra, Andrea Bocelli, Elis Regina, and Juan Gabriel. His most recent album is entitled “Tengo Permiso” and the tracks are inspired on texts written by his friend José Antonio Ceballos.

(Translated by Yeney Perez Corona)

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Mexican singer Armando Manzanero will perform in Cuba next January 2018

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Mexican singer-songwriter Armando Manzanero

Mexican singer-songwriter Armando Manzanero

Mexican singer-songwriter Armando Manzanero will offer two concerts in Havana next January, recitals that will take place at the Karl Marx Theater, and in the Plaza San Francisco de Asis, as recently announced  by the Cuban Music Institute.

During the presentations, scheduled for January 6 and 7, the author of songs as popular as Somos novios, Contigo aprendí and Esta tarde vi llover, will present part of his extensive discography and perform classics from his repertoire.
Manzanero, who will perform for the first time on Cuban stages, has written more than 400 songs, some of them covered by renowned artists such as Alejandro Sanz, Luis Miguel, Frank Sinatra, Andrea Bocelli, Elis Regina, and Juan Gabriel.
In more than five decades of career, the well-known bolero singer has recorded about 40 albums, set to music numerous films, and obtained important awards and recognitions, including a Latin Grammy and an Award for Musical Excellence, granted by the Latin Recording Academy.
The 82-year-old singer will arrive in Havana after publishing his latest album entitled Tengo Permiso, whose songs were composed with the lyrics of his close friend, doctor, and writer José Antonio Ceballos.

Habanos S.A. expects to grow over 2 percent this year

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Habanos S.A. expects to grow over 2 percent this year ACN Photo/Marcelino Vasquez Hernandez/

Habanos S.A. expects to grow over 2 percent this year ACN Photo/Marcelino Vasquez Hernandez/

The corporation Habanos S.A. expects to grow over 2 percent this year, as recently  informed  by the company’s commercial vice-president  Leopoldo Cintra Gonzalez.

Although it was a difficult year, the quota and value of Havana cigars was maintained, and the entrepreneurial objectives were accomplished again, Cintra Gonzalez noted.
Every year, the Corporation, which has emergent markets in Latin America, Africa, Europe and Asia, launches more than eight products as part of its standard portfolio, the businessman told Prensa Latina, after presenting the H. Upmann Robustos Añejados vitola on Friday.
We create expectations and launch 15-16 regional editions and an average of 35 products, so Habanos S.A. is a world leader in innovation and quality, he underlined. According to Cintra Gonzalez, Cuban cigars are the only ones in the world that contain all components produced in the country. This determines its protected denomination of origin.
They are exclusive, not only due to the quality of the leaves, but also due to the soil, temperature and, above all, the tradition and experience of cigar rollers, he pointed out. The H. Upmann Robustos Añejados vitola was launched in the market as a Special Edition in limited amounts and in a single presentation of that brand.
They are Havana cigars that have been aged in Cuba for five or more years, under perfect conditions of preservation, so they gain shades and complexity without losing their initial characteristics, he added.
The presentation of the H. Upmann Robustos Añejados (50 mm in diameter and 124 mm long), continues the successful concept that was presented in early 2015 in the brands Romeo y Julieta Pirámides Añejados and Montecristo Churchills Añejados, followed by Partagás Coronas Gordas Añejados and Hoyo de Monterrey Hermosos Number Four.
This vitola of Robustos was only used for a Limited Edition in 2012 and to launch a Travel Humidor exclusively designed for the Duty Free and Travel Retail channels, with great success. The new product has been commercialized since October in Habano S.A.’s distribution centers worldwide.
(Taken from CubaSi)
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Over 23,200 houses built in Cuba in 2017

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23,200 houses built in Cuba in 2017

23,200 houses built in Cuba in 2017

Cuba expects to end the year with 23,200 new houses, whether built by the government, or by the population using subsidies or loans, Vivian Rodríguez, general director of Housing of the Ministry of Construction, reported to the Parliament.

By the end of November, 14,832 houses had been completed, of which 40 percent were built by the State, according to the update offered by the official to the deputies of the Cuban standing commission on Industry, Construction and Energy. Rodriguez explained that the number of houses that are planned for this year, exceed over one thousand those built in 2016.
She pointed out that the increase is related to the efforts made during the last quarter in territories affected by Hurricane Irma, among which stand out Camagüey, Ciego de Ávila, Sancti Spíritus, Villa Clara, Las Tunas and Holguín, provinces that reoriented their plans of allocation of construction materials,  financial resources,  labor force, and expanded the use of constructive typologies.
With regard to the dirt floors, another of the topics included in the agenda of the deputies, it was known that at the end of November only 28,000 had been eradicated, out of a total of 117 thousand detected at the end of 2016.
The official demanded the definitive solution of this problem within a maximum period of five years, and pointed out that there are material and financial resources in the localities to eradicate it.
The legislators also learned that 39,000 houses damaged by Hurricane Irma last September had been repaired, a positive improvement though the figure only stands for 22 percent of all affected.
Deputy Carlos Massip, for the municipality of Santa Cruz del Sur, Camagüey, shared the positive experiences of the town of Esmeralda where they repaired in a short time, the damage caused to the houses by the powerful hurricane.
He praised, in that sense, the joint work between government authorities and the affected population itself in the reconstruction of their homes.
The parliamentarian Miguel García highlighted Camagüey’s progress in this area, thanks to the responsibility assumed by the agencies and companies in helping low-income families benefiting from subsidies.
Since the approval of this policy, in 2012, 115,030 subsidies have been granted, which has benefited 345,090 people, 54 percent have been used to build new houses or to repair existing ones.
(Taken from CubaSi)
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Teachers in Cienfuegos celebrate their day

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Cienfuegos´ teachers celebrate their day

Cienfuegos´ teachers celebrate their day

In all educational establishments of the province of Cienfuegos teachers and students will celebrate on this December 22nd , the Day of the Educator, with the recognition to those who every day fulfill the sacred duty of forming the young generations.

This commemorative day coincides with the 56th anniversary of the free illiteracy Cuban declaration; Cuba was the first country in Latin America to gain this condition.

Today, early in the morning, school children and students from all teaching levels in Cienfuegos will pay their teachers all the affection and admiration they deserve, because of the devotion and altruism evolved in their work.

Teachers and professors deserve a permanent recognition for their work, but on this December 22nd, that recognition has to be greater, because that date has been instituted as their day.

(Translated by Yeney Perez Corona)

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New Cuban Parliament will take office on April 19, 2018

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New Cuban Parliament will take office on April 19, 2018

New Cuban Parliament will take office on April 19, 2018

Because of the exceptional situation caused by Hurricane Irma, the Cuban Parliament unanimously approved to extend the current period of the VIII Legislature that had to cease its functions on February 24, and the new deputies will take office on April 19, 2018.

At the proposal of the Council of State, the National Assembly of People’s Power decided that by virtue of the devastation caused in Cuba by Hurricane Irma and that is established in the Constitution of the Republic, the current Legislature should be extended for two months.
Article 72 stipulates a five-year term for Parliament that “may only be extended by agreement of the Assembly itself in case of war or under other exceptional circumstances that prevent the normal holding of elections and while such circumstances remain.” Deputy Homero Acosta Álvarez, secretary of the Council of State, read the agreement of that entity that assessed the serious effects of the hurricane in the nation and that at the time it was necessary to extend the dates of the first stage of the elections, to extend until March 25 the validity of the current provincial assemblies of People´s Power and for April 19,  the National Assembly of People´s Power.
In the new approved dates the President, Vice President and Secretary of the provincial and National assemblies will be elected, as well as the new members of the Council of State and its presidency. José Luis Toledo Santander, president of the Parliament’s Constitutional and Legal Affairs Committee, pointed out that the proposal of the Council of State is covered by articles 72 and 111 of the Constitution of the Republic.
The severe effects of Hurricane Irma caused an exceptionality that is reflected in the Magna Carta, he said. Toledo Santander pointed out that the reasons given become the basis for the need to extend the term of office of the VIII Legislature to complete the schedule drawn up by the National Electoral Commission, without affecting the quality of the process.
(Taken from CubaSi)
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Flamenco tune at Tomas Terry Theater

(RCM Redaction/ By Laura Brunet Portela )

Tomás Terry Theater hosts Hispanarte 2017

Tomás Terry Theater hosts Hispanarte 2017

On December 19, 20 and 21 the Tomás Terry Theater hosts Hispanarte 2017, an event under the general direction of Joel Zamora, which shows the local trajectory in the transmission and safeguarding of flamenco art.

Hispanarte will present the performances done by groups from the first to the fifth level of formation and training of Cienfuegos dancing academy, the first institution of this genre that worked outside the Cuban capital.

The show brings together the most relevant choreographic works of the teaching levels, as well as some of the winners in the contests of interpretation, improvisation and choreography of flamenco dance, which each year organizes this dance institution with more than two decades of work.

The Flamenco Dance Academy Joel Zamora rules its formative work on the study plan ¨El Baile Flamenco. Una vision desde Cuba¨ (Flamenco Dance. A Cuban Vision) (Cuba-France, 2016) of the authorship of Joel Zamora, the only publication of its kind on the island.

 Among its most important productions are Fragmentos I and Tablao flamenco (2002), Fragmentos II and La Dama Azul se viste de flamenco (2003), El lenguaje del tablao(2006),Homenaje a Antonio Gades ((2007),Cuenta Abierta (2010),Arabescos (2011),Tatuaje de Madera (2013) and De reojo para el cielo(2017).

(Translated by Yeney Perez Corona)

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Celebrated in Cienfuegos Cuban nursing homes´ anniversary (+Photos)

(RCM Redaction/By Luzdeibys González Forcades) The Sibaldi brothers are part of the group of elder Cienfuegos´ citizens that resides at the “Hermanas Giral” nursing home, in the city of Cienfuegos. Nursing home is a type of residential care that provide around-the-clock nursing care for elderly people.

During the celebration for the creation of these institutions in the country there were decimas( a kind of poetic composition), dancing, photos and even the enjoyment of the repertoire of the Loyola Orchestra of Cienfuegos.

Children and elder people shared the celebration

Children and elder people shared the celebration

Children and elder people shared the celebration

Children and elder people shared the celebration

Celebrated in Cienfuegos nursing homes anniversary in Cuba

Celebrated in Cienfuegos nursing homes anniversary in Cuba

(Translated by Yeney Perez Corona)

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Cuba kept rising economic trend in 2017, says government

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Cuba Kept Rising Economic Trend in 2017

Cuba Kept Rising Economic Trend in 2017

Cuba kept a rising economic trend in 2017, despite the impact of the U.S. blockade and the tensions arisen from material, financial and climate related risks, said the Government yesterday.

Minister of Economy and Planning (MEP) Ricardo Cabrisas presented the report during the session of one of the permanent committees of the Parliament, the discussions of which take place at the Havana’s Conference Center.
He said that 2017 was a tense and complex year, from the climatic point of view, as the country was subject to the onslaught of a severe drought and then the damage caused by the hurricane Irma, a weather phenomenon of great intensity that damaged a large area of the country.
Cabrisas, also vice president of the Council of Ministers, said that, as expected, the economy was affected by difficult conditions due to the situation of foreign currencies and the fuel performance. He said that, for Cuba, the international context was marked by the tightened economic, financial and commercial blockade set up by the United States and the backward step in the modest progress made in the process of normalization of bilateral relations.
In an meeting in which president of the Parliament Esteban Lazo participated, Cabrisas and various deputy ministers explained in detail the main balances with a view to assess the fulfillment of the  National Economy Plan  during this year and the proposals for 2018.
According to Cabrisas, the annual production of oil (crude oil and gas) was below the forecast by about 38,000 tons, while the production made by renewable sources barely represented 4.25 percent within the national energy structure.
Among the positive aspects, he highlighted the growth of tourism and the steady pace of domestic finances, under conditions of controlled inflation. (Taken from CubaSi) ____________________

Curiosities of the world: the Swedish Gävle Goat

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The Gävle Goat

The Gävle Goat

“The Gävle Goat lives a dangerous life,” says Maria Wallberg, a Gävle citizen and spokesperson. “But we are full of hope that he will survive this year.”

The Gävle Goat (Swedish: Gävlebocken) is a traditional Christmas display erected annually at Slottstorget (Castle Square) in central Gävle, Sweden. It is a giant version of a traditional Swedish Yule Goat figure made of straw.

It is erected each year at the beginning of Advent (a season observed in many Christian churches as a time of expectant waiting and preparation for the celebration of the Nativity of Jesus at Christmas) over a period of two days by local community groups, and has become famous for being destroyed in arson attacks during December.

Despite security measures and the nearby presence of a fire station, the goat has been burned to the ground most years since its first appearance in 1966. As of December 2016, the goat has been damaged 37 times.

Wallberg is on the committee that oversees the construction of Gävlebocken, Gävle Goat, the name given to the 42-foot, 3-ton straw goat built every year in Gävle, Sweden, since 1966.

This year, if traditions hold, Gävle has about a 50/50 chance of being burned to the ground, or having a rod driven through it, or being hit by a car.

Gävle goat after being burned down

Gävle goat after being burned down

That’s because destroying the Gävle Goat has become nearly as regular a tradition as constructing it in the first place. Every year for the past 51 years, townspeople cautiously wait to see if an arsonist will prevail.

Every December, the town spends approximately 1,000 person-hours constructing the goat from ropes, pine, and other (flammable) materials. It’s built to coincide with the Christian holiday Advent, which this year fell on December 3, and it’s taken down on New Year’s Day (if it survives that long.) “Yule Goats” are a common motif in Scandanavian Christmas traditions, and the straw goat in Gävle is meant to be a large embodiment of that Christmas character.

Exactly why goats are so strongly associated with the winter holiday is debated, but it’s rooted in pagan celebrations. Since 1966, only 25 Gävle Goats have lived to see the new year. Last year, on the 50th anniversary of the Gävle Goat coming to the town, it was on fire within 24 hours of being constructed.

For now, the Gävle Goat is still standing, but Wallberg says if it’s burned again, they’ll continue the tradition in 2018, adding, “We will never stop to build our world-famous Christmas symbol.”

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Renewable energy use in Cienfuegos favors the environment 

(RCM Redaction/By Alcides Cuesta Suarez)

Renewable sources of energy

Renewable sources of energy

The use of renewable sources of energy to generate electricity is closely related to the conservation of the environment, and the results in the province of Cienfuegos demonstrate this.

There are three main renewable sources used to deliver clean electricity to the National Electric Power System; hydroenergy, biomass in sugar mills and solar parks.

In addition to the generated energy with the use of these renewable sources in Cienfuegos territory, so far this year, more than 21 000 tons of polluting gas have been prevented of being sent to the atmosphere, and the country has saved about 7 400 tons of fuel.

The use of solar energy will be developed with prominence in the province of Cienfuegos, since a fifth solar park will soon be launched; and we are already working on another solar park to be exploited next year.

(Translated by Yeney Perez Corona)

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The Festival of Cuban popular music ¨Benny More¨ 2017 finished in Cienfuegos (+ Photos)

(RCM Redaction/By Luzdeibys González Forcades)

 Rafelito Lay, director of Orquesta Aragón, granted the Perla (pearl) of Cienfuegos city award

Rafelito Lay, director of Orquesta Aragon, granted the Perla (pearl) of Cienfuegos city award

The Cuban popular music Festival ¨Benny More¨2017 was held in the municipality of Santa Isabel de Las Lajas, Cienfuegos, the festival lasted four days and it was characterized by a variety of musical genres, locations and proposals for all audiences.

It was highlighted at the event the recognition granted to Rafelito Lay, director of Orquesta Aragón, with the Perla (pearl) of Cienfuegos city, conferred by the Provincial Assembly of the Peoples´ Power to personalities that have contributed to the development of the Cuban culture.

Likewise, dancers from Lajas and Cienfuegos enjoyed two gala dances with the eternal brass band. On the other hand, Tomas Terry Theater hosted the Preservation Hall Jazz Band Orchestra from

The Preservation Hall Jazz Band, New Orleans, United States, at the Tomás Terry Theater.

The Preservation Hall Jazz Band, New Orleans, United States, at the Tomás Terry Theater

New Orleans, United States, with a music performance appreciated by Cienfuegos citizens of all ages, who also attended the concert by trumpeter Yasek Manzano and NG Band, directed by Jose Luis Cortes.

Benny More festival was devoted to the musical art done by young people, that’s the reason why there traveled to Cienfuegos talented Djs valued for their renewed artistic work.

Another cheered performance was that of Telmary Diaz and her group Habana sana, which took place right at the downtown intersection of Prado and San Fernando streets, at the very heart of Cienfuegos city.

Next edition of the Benny More Festival will be in 2019 and as confirmed by the organizing committee, it will be chaired by Rafelito Lay.

Telmary and Habana sana Group at Prado and San Fernando streets

Telmary and Habana sana Group at Prado and San Fernando streets

Tecma Group, from Pinar del Río, animating the streets of Cienfuegos.

Tecma Group, from Pinar del Río, animating the streets of Cienfuegos.

The celebrations will commemorate the centenary of Benny More´s birth, the 80th anniversary of Aragon Orchestra and the 200th anniversary of Cienfuegos city foundation.

(Translated by Yeney Perez Corona)

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Cuba takes measures to face climate change

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Cuba takes measures to face climate change

Cuba takes measures to face climate change

A group of important measures, contained in program Tarea Vida (Life Task), are adopted in Cuba with the aim of preparing the country to face the effects caused by climate change.

According to a report published today in the Granma newspaper, the island suffers the consequences of these transformations, which cause sea level and temperature rise and decrease in rainfall. Sergio Lorenzo Sánchez, a researcher at the Institute of Marine Sciences, pointed out that studies of geology and geomorphology confirm that there is a retreat of the coastline from 1.5 to two meters annually.

The specialist indicated that there are readings of the National Mareographic Network that show an increase of 2.14 millimeters per year in the acceleration of the increase of the mean sea level. Such changes have caused not only a reduction of the emerged territory and the rains, but also damages in the coral reef and the reef crests, which protect the archipelago from the strong waves.

To face these dangers, it is necessary to identify and undertake actions and projects to adapt to climate change, of an integral and progressive nature, aimed at reducing the vulnerability of coastal zones. These actions must be supported by specific legal norms, which support the execution of the state plan, ensure strict compliance and punish violators.

Special importance is given to the preservation, maintenance and integral recovery of the sandy beaches of the Cuban archipelago, with priority for urbanized and tourist use. With a view to guaranteeing water supply and mitigating the effects of the drought, we must work on the introduction of technologies for saving and satisfying local demands and increase the hydraulic infrastructure.

The reforestation should be directed towards the maximum protection of the soils and the waters in quantity and quality, as well as the recovery of the hydro-regulatory fringes, the most damaged forests and mangroves.

It is also necessary to stop the deterioration, rehabilitate and conserve the coral reefs throughout the national archipelago, with priority for the ridges bordering the insular platform and protecting the beaches.

(Taken from ACN)

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Cuba selects best athletes of the year

(RCM Redaction) The best Cuban athletes of the year were chosen based on a survey conducted by the National Institute of Sports, Physical Education and Recreation (Inder), the Sports Writers Circle and Young Communist League.

Best athlets of 2017

Best athlets of 2017

The awards ceremony will be held December 23 in the Laguito venue’s main function room, in the capital, while the best athletes from among the island’s youth division will receive their awards at the beginning of 2018.

Other outstanding sport categories in year 2017

Other outstanding sport categories in year 2017

(Taken from Granma)

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 Provincial Workshop on Local Development Management in Cienfuegos

(RCM Redaction/By Ramon Lobaina Consuegra)

Provincial Workshop on Local Development Management in Cienfuegos

Provincial Workshop on Local Development Management in Cienfuegos

A total of 28 scientific papers were discussed at the Provincial Workshop on Local Development Management in Cienfuegos in which the outstanding researchers were awarded.

Jesús Rey Novoa, head of the Provincial Administration Council´s Projects Group was in charge of the opening through the magisterial lecture entitled ¨Territorial integral development approach: vision to 2030¨.

Four commissions were in charge of examining the presentations in the different lines of research such as Sociocultural and Gender Studies; Project Evaluation; Environmental Management; Public Administration and Business Management. With the largest amount of research, Sociocultural and Gender Studies was characterized by a rich and fruitful debate with multiple theoretical analyses in favor of the main challenges faced nowadays by local development.

The project evaluation highlighted that the papers presented evidence the university integration to solve Cienfuegos territorial problems and recommended socializing the results in order to generalize experiences and learnings which can work as references for future research. On the other hand, the Environmental Management Commission presented experiences from various angles that include economic sciences and approaches to science, technology and society materialized in industrial development from techno science.

There was also discussed the integral development of the mountainous area in Cienfuegos, perspectives and its associated economic value. Because of their systemic contributions to the obtained achievements of January 2016 – December 2017 period, there received recognitions Elia Cabrera Alvarez, Fernando Agüero Contreras, Caridad Casanova Rodríguez, Gretter Martínez Curbelo, Yoana Piedra Sarría, Raúl Ruíz Domínguez and Milagro Mata Varela.

In the final words of the workshop, Reynier Reyes Hernández, Economics and Business Sciences Faculty dean of Cienfuegos University, congratulated both the organizers and all the participants whom he described as … “tenacious researchers able to find proposals for solutions to existing problems. ”

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(Translated by Yeney Perez Corona)

China interested in Cuban biopharmaceutical industry

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 China is interested in strengthening cooperation with Cuba’s biopharmaceutical industry

China is interested in strengthening cooperation with Cuba’s biopharmaceutical industry

China has expressed its interest in strengthening cooperation with Cuba’s biopharmaceutical industry, Prensa Latina (PL) reported on Monday from Beijing. This interest constitutes recognition of the scientific results and the availability of effective products in the treatment of various diseases. Bi Jingquan, general director of the Food and Drug Administration (CFDA), highlighted the positive progress of relations between the two countries in this area and expressed the will to expand them. He pointed out that China is working on the reform of the review and evaluation system to register drugs, in order to approach international standards in this area and expedite the entry of new and better products into the national health system. He expressed the determination to strengthen cooperation with the regulatory authority and the Cuban biopharmaceutical industry, in order to cooperate on the main changes that the reform will imply. According to the PL report, Bi Jingquan made these proposals when he received the Cuban ambassador, Miguel Ángel Ramírez, in the Chinese capital at CFDA headquarters. At the meeting, the parties highlighted the sustained process of development of Cuban biotechnology and the consensus reached by the governments of both countries to deepen ties in this area. In 2003, Cuba and China established the Changchun Heber Biological Technology joint venture in the northeastern province of Jilin, dedicated to obtaining biotechnological products. The ChangHeber and Biotech companies work together, with the latter responsible for developing and marketing the humanized monoclonal antibody Nimotuzumab-R3, made in Cuba to treat brain tumors.

(Taken from CubaSi) ____________________

What the world would look like if all the ice melted? (+Photos)

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What the world would look like if all the ice melted?

What the world would look like if all the ice melted?

 If we keep burning fossil fuels indefinitely, global warming will eventually melt all the ice at the poles and on mountaintops, raising sea level by 216 feet. Explore what the world’s new coastlines would look like. The maps here show the world as it is now, with only one difference: All the ice on land has melted and drained into the sea, raising it 216 feet and creating new shorelines for our continents and inland seas. There are more than five million cubic miles of ice on Earth, and some scientists say it would take more than 5,000 years to melt it all. If we continue adding carbon to the atmosphere, we’ll very likely create an ice-free planet, with an average temperature of perhaps 80 degrees Fahrenheit instead of the current 58. North America The entire Atlantic seaboard would vanish, along with Florida and the Gulf Coast. In California, San Francisco’s hills would become a cluster of islands and the Central Valley a giant bay. The Gulf of California would stretch north past the latitude of San Diego—not that there’d be a San Diego.

 North America

North America

South America The Amazon Basin in the north and the Paraguay River Basin in the south would become Atlantic inlets, wiping out Buenos Aires, coastal Uruguay, and most of Paraguay. Mountainous stretches would survive along the Caribbean coast and in Central America. Africa Compared with other continents, Africa would lose less of its land to the ultimate sea-level catastrophe, but Earth’s rising heat might make much of it uninhabitable. In Egypt, Alexandria and Cairo will be swamped by the intruding Mediterranean.

Africa

Africa

Europe London? A memory. Venice? Reclaimed by the Adriatic Sea. Thousands of years from now, in this catastrophic scenario, the Netherlands will have long since surrendered to the sea, and most of Denmark will be gone too. Meanwhile, the Mediterranean’s expanding waters will also have swelled the Black and Caspian Seas.

Europe

Europe

Asia Land now inhabited by 600 million Chinese would flood, as would all of Bangladesh, population 160 million, and much of coastal India. The inundation of the Mekong Delta would leave Cambodia’s Cardamom Mountains stranded as an island.

Asia

Asia

Australia Predominantly desert, the continent would gain a new inland sea—but it would lose much of the narrow coastal strip where four out of five Australians now live.

Australia

Australia

Antarctica East Antarctica: The East Antarctica ice sheet is so large—it contains four-fifths of all the ice on Earth—that it might seem unmeltable. It survived earlier warm periods intact. Lately it seems to be thickening slightly—because of global warming. The warmer atmosphere holds more water vapor, which falls as snow on East Antarctica. But even this behemoth is unlikely to survive a return to an Eocene Climate.

Antarctica

Antarctica

West Antarctica: Like the Greenland ice sheet, the West Antarctic one was apparently much smaller during earlier warm periods. It’s vulnerable because most of it sits on bedrock that’s below sea level. The warming ocean is melting the floating ice sheet itself from below, causing it to collapse. Since 1992 it has averaged a net loss of 65 million metric tons of ice a year. ____________________

Cuba increases actions to control AIDS epidemic

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Cuba increases actions to control AIDS epidemic

Cuba increases actions to control AIDS epidemic

Cuba develops multiples actions to face AIDS epidemic, geared at reducing the new infections, late diagnosis and deaths caused by that disease, as well as to improve the quality of life of people living with the disease. In conversation with the CAN, Dr. Maria Isela Lantero Abreu, head of the Department of Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STI) /HIV /AIDS, of the Ministry of Public Health (MINSAP), explained that by 2020 the 90-90-90 Goals of the region hope to expand testing and treatment services. “This is a commitment made by UN member countries, related to having diagnosed by that year 90 % of the people living with HIV in the population”, she asserted. “Likewise, it foresees that equal percentage is guaranteed the continuous antiretroviral treatment and that 90 percent of those receiving that procedure manage to suppress the viral load, as late diagnoses are reduced”, she added. “These goals are essential aimed at achieving the commitment to eliminate HIV epidemic as a global health problem by 2030”, the MINSAP expert remarked.

(Taken from CubaSi)

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Cuba ratifies commitment to defend Human Rights in Geneva

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Human Rights Day

Human Rights Day

Cuba’s representatives before the United Nations in Geneva reaffirmed today the country’s commitment to defend human rights for all, as a fundamental principle of the Cuban Revolution. ‘Cuba will continue to fight against all forms of injustice in the world and to achieve true dignification and welfare for human beings,’ the mission said in a statement on the occasion of the International Human Rights Day.

According to the text, ‘more than five decades of socialist revolution have allowed achieving full and universal enjoyment of all human rights for its people, so there are many reasons to celebrate this day with joy.’

The press release recalled that Cuba is internationally recognized for the progress made in strengthening its free healthcare and education systems, which are accessible to all, the struggle for gender equality and the protection of the environment, among others issues. ‘

The solidarity and unconditional work of Cuban healthcare collaborators have saved lives or restored the vision to hundreds of thousands of people in the world,’ the communiqué said. ‘All this has been achieved despite the genocidal policy of economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the United States on Cuba, which represents not only a violation of international law, but a flagrant, mass and systematic human rights violation of Cubans,’ the text pointed out.

The statement noted that the country has a long history of cooperation with all human rights mechanisms in the international arena that are applied on universal and non-discriminatory basis. As a member State of the United Nations Human Rights Council, Cuba plays an active role that has materialized in the presentation of resolutions to defend the fundamental basic rights, demonstrating its strong commitment to the implementation of a fairer and more equitable human rights system, the text said.

(Taken from CubaSi)

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Will be presented in Cienfuegos a theater play paying tribute to Damaso Perez Prado

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Will be presented in Cienfuegos a theater play paying tribute to Damaso Perez Prado

Will be presented in Cienfuegos a theater play paying tribute to Damaso Perez Prado

The theater play ¨Yo soy el Rey del Mambo¨ (I am the King of Mambo) will be presented the next week at Tomas Terry theater, it will be sponsored by Casa de la Memoria Escénica (Scenic Memory House) and the Consejo Nacional de las Artes Escénicas (Scenic Arts National Council).

This play will be performed by the Mexican  Theater Company ¨Conjuro Teatro¨, and it will be directed by the Cuban play writer Ulises Rodriguez Febles.

As part of the tour that takes place in several cities of the country, the Bi-national Cuba-Mexico project will perform at Tomas Terry theater on Tuesday 12th and Wednesday 13th, at 9:00 in the evening, to pay tribute -in the centenary of Dámaso Pérez Prado-, to this transcendental figure of Cuban and universal music with the participation of creators from both countries.

According to the program, they will perform a very enjoyable play, based on the controversy of who was the creator of the musical genre known as Mambo, with fictional characters and situations, a sense of humor, and nostalgia.

They also explained that the theater play ¨Yo soy el Rey del Mambo¨ (I am the King of Mambo),is an authentic way of remembering this musical figure, deeply rooted in Cuba and Mexico, distinguished by the music performed live by the metal assembly Athens Brass.

  (Translated by Yeney Perez Corona)

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The living, brilliant nature of Fidel’s concept of Revolution

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(Photo: Roberto Chile)

(Photo: Roberto Chile)

The concept of Revolution expressed by Fidel before the crowds gathered in the Plaza de la Revolución on May 1, 2000, encapsulates one of the most important legacies his leadership provides for socialist theory and practice, in terms of both the richness of its content and its historic significance. Fidel summarized in an admirable synthesis his experience as the protagonist of a process of radical transformations, which led him to organize a political vanguard to overthrow the dictatorship and seize power; to lead a guerrilla war that gave rise to an army and popular movement; and direct the necessary changes so that the economic, social, political, and cultural rights of the excluded majorities, beginning with the workers and the campesinos, would for the first time be a reality in this homeland.

It must not be forgotten that all this was achieved in the midst of enormous tensions: imperialist aggression, the United States economic blockade of Cuba, the diplomatic encirclement of most of the countries of the region, and the legacy of underdevelopment. As the twentieth century came to a close, many of the advances were seriously threatened by the disappearance of the Soviet Union and the socialist camp in Eastern Europe, and the escalation of imperialist hostility, evident in laws passed by Congress and a new wave of terrorist attacks on Cuban soil. In this context, a further two aspects should be considered: on the one hand, the dictatorships sponsored by Washington in Latin America had given way to the implementation of neoliberal orthodoxy; on the other, the surfacing in the region of emancipatory processes, emerging within the framework of the rules of the game of representative democracy and driven by new social movements, was at this stage still very incipient. I think Fidel felt the need to dialectically summarize what the scope and perspective of revolutionary action should be. As a Marxist-Leninist who did not adhere to paralyzing dogmas or sterile schemas, and a deeply-rooted and solidly committed follower of Martí, the leader of the Cuban Revolution had consolidated a holistic view of reality and, with his personal example at the forefront, had managed to make advances even in the most difficult circumstances.

But I also believe that it was not a question of looking back, but of anticipating the conditions in which the Revolution, its political vanguard and Cuban society as a whole, would need to develop during the times to come; with the generational change of leadership and the arrival of new national leaders on the horizon. Hence the systemic and comprehensive character of the concept devised and conveyed by Fidel. Obviously each of its principles has intrinsic value, but their dimension would be reduced if fragmented and not understood as an inseparable whole.

Many tend to emphasize two aspects of Fidel’s definition: the sense of the historic moment and of changing everything that must be changed. The first requires taking into account the dialectic between tactics and strategy, between the temporary and the permanent, the apparent and the real and, of course, closing the doors to superficiality and improvisation.

It requires political responsibility in any of the roles that we play within the social fabric. This is essential on route to the decisive changes to perfect the Cuban socialist model.

The First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba, Army General Raúl Castro, has insisted on several occasions that all transformations must proceed without haste, but without pause, to avoid regrettable errors stemming from hastiness or immaturity.

Thus it is not a case of change for change’s sake, but of knowing how to at the right moment. This is also a call to confront inertia, stagnation, and paralysis in the analysis of reality.

Another of the guidelines of Fidel’s concept points to the consolidation of unity and social cohesion. Not to lose sight of the possible effects of social re-stratification conditioned by economic situations. But above all not to allow the introduction of models and ways of being that are alien to the nature of the Cuban process. However, the central idea that runs through the Comandante en Jefe’s definition is that of ethics. Transparency, honesty, fidelity, loyalty, and commitment are revealed as keys to the fulfillment of one’s duty, beyond temporary contexts and tribulations. In this sense, he invites us to trace a line of continuity with the moral stature of José Martí and Ernesto Che Guevara, who knew how to defend and present truths, steadfastly committed to their convictions and principles, and practiced what they preached. Fidel himself is an example of revolutionary ethics and confidence in the triumph of ideas. A few hours after the landing of the Granma yacht at Las Coloradas, the expeditionaries were surrounded, dispersed, and a number of them killed. Fidel was left practically alone in the scrubland that covered Alegría de Pio. In that context, a compañero heard him talk about future plans, what should be done when they won the war, and he thought for a moment that Fidel was delirious. Soon he and many others would know that, for Fidel, victory is the only possible aspiration of legitimate fighters. Another unforgettable image of Fidel is from the closing ceremony of the Fourth Party Congress in Santiago de Cuba. Speaking in the Plaza de la Revolución Antonio Maceo, it began to rain. Fidel, unshakable, did not stop giving his speech to the people. In his clear style and holding all the cards, he outlined the serious difficulties that were coming, but also the decision not to yield one iota of as regards principles or fighting spirit. Fidel is the living and brilliant form of the concept of Revolution. (Taken from Granma)

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Cuban President Raul Castro and young people with cochlear implants paid tribute to Fidel Castro

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Cuban youth accompanied President Raúl Castro on a tour of the historic cemetery

Cuban youth accompanied President Raúl Castro on a tour of the historic cemetery

The city’s Santa Ifigenia Cemetery began the day, yesterday December 6, with a group of young people arriving who had participated in the procession of thousands to honor Fidel, on the first anniversary of his death. Just ten minutes later, Army General Raúl Castro Ruz, President of Cuba’s Councils of State and Ministers, joined them in a tribute they had been wanting to make for some time, to the historic leader of the Cuban Revolution, who was a staunch supporter of the National Cochlear Implant Program.

The 15 young people in the group had all received cochlear implants at an early age, allowing them to enjoy a world full of sound and, above all, opportunity. All the more reason to travel to this site and place a flower beside the boulder where Fidel’s ashes rest, and say, “Thank you.” After observing the changing of the guard ceremony at the tombs of Mariana Grajales, Carlos Manuel de Céspedes, José Martí, and Fidel, the group of youth, along with doctors who had taken care of them since they were toddlers, paid their respects to all four, with Raúl offering details about each monumental gravesite, their histories and even the materials used, while conversing with the young people about the National Cochlear Implant Program, which he described as “one of the most humane works I know of.” They talked about the first experiences in the 1990s, and how in 2005, on Fidel’s initiative, the program was strengthened, making possible implants for 430 patients to date, mostly very young children. The operation may cost as much as 60,000 USD in other countries, but is provided free of charge in Cuba.

This was all discussed as the group toured the historic cemetery, including the graves of María Cabrales, Antonio Maceo’s widow, and the family gravesite where the remains of Josué and Frank País rest. Raúl presented Dr. Sandra Bermejo, audiology expert advisor at the Ministry of Public Health, with an impressive photograph taken the night of October 10 this year, when the new pathway uniting the mausoleums of Mariana Grajales, Carlos Manuel de Céspedes, José Martí and Fidel was inaugurated. “Thanks for the encounter,” he wrote on the back of the photo, with the young Cubans responding that they were the grateful ones. (Taken from Granma) ____________________

The Punto Cubano was declared Non-tangible World Heritage

(RCM Redaction/By Jorge Dominguez Morado)

Punto Cubano was declared Non-tangible World Heritage

Punto Cubano was declared Non-tangible World Heritage

The Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Non-tangible World Heritage decided to approve the inclusion of the Punto Cubano or Punto guajiro in its representative list, reported UNESCO (United Nations Organization for Education, Science and Culture). Punto guajiro or punto cubano – or simply punto – is a sung genre of Cuban music, a poetic art with music. It emerged in the western and central regions of Cuba in the 17th century, and consolidated as a genre in the 18th century. Although it has Andalusian origins, it is a true Cuban genre because of its integration with African elements. The Punto is played by a group with various types of guitar: the Spanish guitar, the Cuban tres, the laud and the tiple. The punto refers to the use of a pick (punteando), rather than strumming (rasgueado).

There are three percussion instruments: the clave, the güiro and the guayo (also a scraper, but of metal). Singers form themselves into teams, and improvise their lines. They sing, or chant, an unvarying melody, with intervals between stanzas to give the singers time to prepare the next verse.

In a meeting that took place this week on the island of Jeju, in the Republic of Korea, the Punto Cubano got the approval to enter that list, which includes forms of expression that testify the diversity of the non-tangible heritage and contribute to raise awareness about its importance. According to the statement released by UNESCO from its headquarters in Paris, the Punto is a poetic and musical expression of the Cuban guajiros, consisting of a tune or melody accompanied by the voice of a person who sings poetic compositions in tenths, improvised or learned.

Cuban guajiros is a term to denote a person who lives and works in the field or who comes from rural areas. ¨This musical practice is an essential element of the Cuban non-tangible cultural heritage, open to all, which encourages dialogue and expresses the feelings, knowledge and values ​​of the communities that practice it, “added the text.

The statement also expresses that the techniques and knowledge linked to the Punto guajiro are essentially  transmitted by means of imitation, and through a teaching program taught at Casas de Cultura (Cuban Culture Houses) throughout the country, with workshops encouraged by the depositaries and practitioners of this musical genre.

The candidacy file submitted by the Caribbean nation indicated that ‘the point is the poetry and music of the Cuban peasants’, and although it is characteristic of the countryside, it has spread to the rest of the population.

The families that dominate this discipline form groups, manufacture their own instruments, and organize and promote the performances, “stated the text. In addition to the Punto Cubano, today we also decided on eight new inscriptions on the list of non-tangible heritage, such as the ritual tours in La Paz during the Fair of the Alasita, of Bolivia; the Kochari, a traditional Armenian collective dance; and the wood carving of Konjic, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Last year Cuba achieved the inclusion of the rumba in the list, recognition to that musical and danceable genre representative of the culture and tradition in the Caribbean nation.

(Translated by Yeney Perez Corona) ________________________

Curiosities of the world: Things to know about the Day of the Dead

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The Day of the Dead in MexicoPhoto by Tino Soriano, National Geographic

The Day of the Dead in Mexico.Photo by Tino Soriano, National Geographic

Here’s one thing we know: Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is not a Mexican version of Halloween. Though related, the two annual events differ greatly in traditions and tone. Whereas Halloween is a dark night of terror and mischief, Day of the Dead festivities unfold over two days in an explosion of color and life-affirming joy. Sure, the theme is death, but the point is to demonstrate love and respect for deceased family members. The rituals are rife with symbolic meaning. The more you understand about this feast for the senses, the more you will appreciate it. Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is a celebration of life and death. While the holiday originated in Mexico, it is celebrated all over Latin America with colorful calaveras (skulls) and calacas (skeletons). Learn how the Day of the Dead started and the traditions that make it unique. Thanks to efforts by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, or UNESCO, the term “cultural heritage” is not limited to monuments and collections of objects. It also includes living expressions of culture—traditions—passed down from generation to generation. In 2008, UNESCO recognized the importance of Día de los Muertos by adding the holiday to its list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

Participants walk down a mural-painted street during Dia de los Muertos

Participants walk down a mural-painted street during Dia de los Muertos

Today Mexicans from all religious and ethnic backgrounds celebrate Día de los Muertos, but at its core, the holiday is a reaffirmation of indigenous life. Day of the Dead originated several thousand years ago with the Aztec, Toltec, and other Nahua people, who considered mourning the dead disrespectful. For these pre-Hispanic cultures, death was a natural phase in life’s long continuum. The dead were still members of the community, kept alive in memory and spirit—and during Día de los Muertos, they temporarily returned to Earth. Today’s Día de los Muertos celebration is a mash-up of pre-Hispanic religious rites and Christian feasts. It takes place on November 1 and 2—All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day on the Catholic calendar—around the time of the fall maize harvest.   http://www.rcm.cu/rcm-en-ingles/

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