Embassy of Cuba in New Zealand Newsletter October 12- 2013
Embassy of Cuba in New Zealand
11th - 13th World Congress of Civil Engineers
November 3rd - 9th Havana International Fair
In this issue
• Cuba presents report condemning US blockade
• Cubans pay tribute to victims of 1976 terrorist bombing of a Cubana airliner
• Angolan Chief Justice stresses deepening bilateral cooperation with Cuba
• World Congress of Civil Engineers to take place in Santiago de Cuba
• Brazilian entrepreneurs interested in Cuban agribusiness
• Cuba calls for fight against poverty to eradicate child labour
• Cubans mark start of the War of Independence
• Cuban delegation at Inter-parliamentary Union Assembly
• U.S. blockade curbs Cuban postal development
• Cuban workers make thousands of proposals about draft labor code
Cuba presents report condemning US blockade
Cuba's Report on Resolution of condemnation of the U.S. blockade imposed on the island was presented today in this capital.
Abelardo Moreno, deputy foreign minister, released a document entitled "Necessity of ending the economic, commercial and financial embargo imposed by the United States of America against Cuba" that will be under discussion at the United Nations on October 29th.
The report was presented at the William Soler Pediatric Cardiology Center, where the national and foreign press learnt of the economic damage that the illegal policy continues to cause Cuban people, which has now reached a staggering one trillion 157 billion 327 million dollars, taking into account the depreciation of the dollar against gold.
Business transactions, academic exchanges, the long list of drugs denied to Cuba, the failure to grant visas for sporting events, and the damage to foreign trade are some of the restrictions that are hurting Cuba according to the report presented by Moreno.
This resolution has been presented by Cuba to the General Assembly of the United Nations for the last 21 years, and has received the overwhelming support of the vast majority of the member countries each time.
Cubans pay tribute to victims of 1976 terrorist bombing of a Cubana airliner
Cubans paid homage on Sunday, October 6, to the victims of the 1976 bombing of a Cubana Airlines jet off the coasts of Barbados that killed all 73 people on board, including the Cuban Juvenile fencing team that returned victorious from a regional championship held that year in Caracas, Venezuela.
The ceremony took place at Havana’s Colon cemetery and included the laying of wreaths sent by Cuban Revolution leader Fidel Castro and by President Raul Castro, Granma newspaper reported.
On behalf of the relatives, friends, colleagues and the people of Cuba, Wilfredo Perez, who was the son of the pilot of the plane, demanded the extradition of confessed terrorist Luis Posada Carriles, who masterminded the terrorist action and is currently free in the US city of Miami. Perez also demanded the release of the anti-terrorist Cubans who are serving unfair prison sentences in US jails after they prevented terrorist actions against the Cuban people.
The ceremony was headed by Parliament president Esteban Lazo and by the First Secretary of Cuba’s Communist Party in Havana and Cuban Vice-president Mercedes Lopez.
Present at the tribute-paying action was Cuban Hero Rene Gonzalez, who along Gerardo Hernandez, Ramon Labañino, Fernando Gonzalez, Antonio Guerrero, was arrested in 1998. The ceremony was also attended by relatives of the five Cuban anti-terrorists, members of the diplomatic corps accredited in Cuba and workers with the Cuban Civil Aeronautics Institute.
Angolan Chief Justice stresses deepening bilateral cooperation with Cuba
The Chief Justice of Angola’s Supreme Court, Cristiano Andre, stressed the historic relations between Cuba and his country, which are now expanded with the presence in Angola of some four thousand Cuban workers offering their services in sectors such as Education, Health, Culture and Construction.
The Angolan government official will pay a visit to the island to examine local policies and experiences regarding individual and human rights and justice.
He said that learning from the Cuban experience will be very important for Angola, which is currently involved in improving legal procedures as called for a new constitution approved in 2010, Pl news agency reported on Wednesday.
Last June, Angola’s Chief Prosecutor, Joao Moreira de Sousa, visited Havana and exchanged views with court prosecutors, emphasizing on the rights of defendants. The Angolan official signed an agreement with his Cuban counterpart on the exchange of experiences and the permanent training of personnel.
World Congress of Civil Engineers to take place in Santiago de Cuba
The 8th General Assembly of the World Council of Civil Engineers (WCCE) is taking place October 11-13 in Santiago de Cuba.
The international engineers' organization, based in Madrid, Spain, held last year's annual conference in Monterrey, Mexico, where participants proposed Cuba as venue for this year's event.
The president of the Cuban Society of Civil Engineers, Kyra Bueno said that the event will favor the exchange between local and foreign experts.
The conference includes lectures by outstanding specialists on urban planning, tourism and sustainability, the built stock, among other crucial issues.
The World Council of Civil Engineers promotes mutual understanding and technological exchange among experts currently working in different local environments. The organization also identifies solutions to current engineering-related challenges.
Brazilian entrepreneurs interested in Cuban agribusiness
Brazilian entrepreneurs confirmed on Thursday in this capital their interest in holding scientific, technical and commercial exchanges with their Cuban counterparts, for considering the island’s sugar sector to be potentially productive and competitive.
Cuba has considerable experience in sugar agribusiness so mutual teachings and the transfer of Technologies can contribute to increase capacity and production, according to Flavio Castelar of the Asociación Arreglo Productivo Local de Alcohol (APLA). Castelar is one of the executives of the 17 Brazilian entities that began on Saturday at Havana’s Hotel Nacional de Cuba a business round also related to sugarcane processing and renewable fuels, among them ethanol, bio-diesel and biomass.
Likewise, representatives of 10 organizations of the AZCUBA Business Group are also taking part in the meeting.
The business sessions of the meeting, one of the activities of the 12th International Congress on Sugar and its Derivatives, scheduled for October 14-18 at the aforementioned hotel, will end on Friday.
Cuba calls for fight against poverty to eradicate child labour
Cuba stressed today the need to fight hunger, poverty and social exclusion to eliminate the worst forms of exploitation and use of children at the Third Global Conference on Child Labour.
Speaking at the meeting attended by heads of delegations and representatives of regional and international organizations, the Cuban ambassador in Brazil, Carlos Zamora, defended the need to address the harmful effects of the economic and financial crisis to reduce its impact on the people living in poverty or extreme poverty.
"We must keep denouncing the scope and impact of this problem, giving wider dissemination to good practices and positive experiences, generalizing the knowledge on how to combat child labor and working to have the maximum amount of social actors involved to this issue," he said.
Zamora stressed that eliminating child labor should be a priority in the agenda for the post-2015 development and international cooperation, which along with the experience and the technical assistance of international and regional groups can contribute to the fulfillment of the goal set.
"Without greater effort and commitment, we will not achieve the goal of eradicating the child labor for 2016," he said.
He noted that in this regard, developing countries are in a more vulnerable situation and have fewer resources to deal with its impact.
Referring to Cuba, Zamora said that his country's law establishes the necessary prohibitions so that there is not child labor, which contributed to the fact that no Cuban child is included in the chilling child labor data released by the International Labour Organization.
The 3rd Global Conference on Child Labor ends Thursday with the adoption of "The Brasilia Declaration on Child Labour", which includes the countries’ commitments to the eradication of child labor.
Cubans mark start of the War of Independence
Thousands of citizens in eastern Granma province, on behalf of the Cuban people, are commemorating the 145th anniversary of the start of Cuban independence war against Spanish Colonial rule, which kicked off at the La Demajagua locality, in the municipality of Manzanillo.
The ceremony, which is taking place by the ruins of a former sugar mill that operated at the site, includes the reopening of the La Demajagua National Park, which among its new artistic pieces shows a life-size statue of Carlos Manuel de Cespedes, the Father of Cuban Homeland. Cespedes was a sugar mill and plantation owner who, 145 years ago, on a day like today, decided to free his slaves and take arms against Spanish colonialism.
Commemorations will be animated with artistic presentations by cultural community projects, while participants will tour the sites where Cespedes and his companions set their camps October 10-17, 1868.
In the Granma city of Bayamo, where the Cuban independence hero was born 18 April 1819, the people will lay wreaths at his monument and at the statue of Perucho Figueredo, author of the Cuban National Anthem.
Cespedes' uprising led to the 10-year Cuban independence war, which did not meet the objective of freeing Cuba from Spanish colonialism or abolishing slavery, but changed the course of history on the island by mingling for good the factors that make up a nation, a homeland and Cuban nationality.
Cuban delegation at Inter-parliamentary Union Assembly
The vice-president of the Cuban National Assembly, Ana Maria Mari Machado, is heading the Cuban delegation to the Assembly of the Inter-parliamentary Union, which opened sessions in Geneva on Friday particularly focusing on nuclear disarmament.
The forum will run till next week with the participation of 1 200 delegates, including 600 legislators from 129 countries, according to PL news agency.
Cuba submitted a document to the assembly, which alerts on the danger posed on humanity by nuclear weapons. The fight for the elimination of those weapons must be a priority for the Inter-parliamentary union, because their elimination is the only way to prevent the disappearance of human species.
There are some 19,000 atomic bombs in the world, with 2000 of them ready to be used, the Cuban document alerts that the huge resources dedicated to the modernization of those arsenals could be used to face the pressing problems of the world, such as hunger and poverty.
The Cuban delegation to the forum is also made up of the president of International Relations of the Cuban Parliament, Yolanda Ferrer, and Yoerky Sanchez, vice-president of the Commission for attention to children, youths and for women's rights.
The Inter-parliamentary Union was set up in 1889 and it is made up of 163 countries.
U.S. blockade curbs Cuban postal development
The economic, commercial, and financial blockade imposed by the United States on Cuba curbs the island’s postal development, as well as its collaboration with postal services worldwide, an official said.
Washington refuses to allow postal mail to be carried on direct flights to Cuba, forcing the Caribbean island to use a third country 3,900 kilometers away, like Mexico, which increases mailing costs and the use of protective equipment.
According to Roberto Valdes, director of Cuba's National Postal Services, a subsidiary of Cuba's Business Post Group (GECC), Canada, Panama, Jamaica, and other states are forced to send mail via this route for fear of sanctions associated with the blockade.
For every kilogram, the island must pay approximately $1.95 for transportation and handling plus distribution in the recipient country, Valdes told the local newspaper, Granma.
Cuban workers make thousands of proposals about draft labor code
Cuban workers have issued over 160,000 proposals during debates on the new draft labor code, which was submitted for consultation with the workers last July; the process is now about to conclude, according to a report by Granma newspaper.
Some 67,367 workers' assemblies have thus far been held till this week, which stand for 98 percent of all scheduled meetings, including the debates on the draft code by workers abroad. Some 1,400 meetings are still to be held, the paper reported.
The consultation process is aimed at having a feedback from millions of workers about their criteria on the law that rules labor activity.
According to Granma, there was generalized consensus in all meetings about modifying the current code, which has been in force since 1985, given the ongoing transformations in the country in tune with the current economic and labor scenario.
All opinions have been collected and analyzed by commissions based at municipal, provincial and national levels, said Xiomara Enriquez, an official in charge of labor and social issues with the Cuban Workers' Confederation (CTC).
Embassy of the Republic of Cuba in New Zealand
76 Messines Rd, Karori, Wellington 6012