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Embassy of Cuba in New Zealand Newsletter 17/1/2015

Embassy of Cuba in New Zealand Newsletter


No.2 17th January 2015

DIGEST

We lead with words from Pope Francis, who, with Canada, brokered the peace between Cuba and the US. But also from Nicaragua, its foreign minister telling how the Cuban revolution gave his country a ‘glimpse of hope’ for better times. As the White House confirms details of further liberalisation American farmers are poised to start trading with Cuba, cruise companies can’t wait to visit the island, a major Canadian hotel chain is to focus on tourists, and China’s president spoke optimistically of the potential for trade between China and the Caribbean.

The Mariel development zone gets an advanced cold store complex saving the country 125 tonnes of oil annually and Cuba’s science and technology systems are to get a revamp. In our diplomatic section the Egyptians praise Cuba for its health, education and sport, while the Chilean Young Communists congratulate her for the rapprochement with the US. We touch on conservation, disease-resistant rice varieties, issues with global warming, the success of the blood donation project and finally tell how the Cuban Five were able to resist threats and bribes to get them to betray their country.

In this issue

• Pope — US-Cuba relations ‘a fruit of peace’

• Cuban Revolution brought hope to Nicaragua

• US removeslimitationsto trips and trade with Cuba

• US agribusiness coalition wants trade with Cuba

• China-CELAC — a strategic alliance

• Blockade backfires on US farmers

• Cuba — in the big cruise ship company spotlight

• Canadian hotel chain starts up in Havana

• Advanced ‘ecological’ refrigerator for ZEDM

• Prioritizing Cuban scientific development

• Praise from Cairo’s governor for our progress in health, education and sport

• Cuba-USA tiessign of peace — young Communist

• Chilean ministers welcome new Cuba-USA era

• Cuba must reduce pollutant sources this year

• Science favours rice production in Cuba

• 2014, one of the warmest ever in Cuba

• Cuba’s international Ebola course #2

• Cuba exceeds blood donations target

• Young Communist league prepares for Congress

• Cuban Five — solidarity epitomised

NEWS

Pope — US-Cuba relations ‘a fruit of peace’

Pope Francis has said the recent decision by the US and Cuba to put an end to a half-a-century of reciprocal silence was an example of the kind of dialogue that builds bridges.

In his traditional annual message to the diplomatic community, the Pope recalled with a pessimistic tone the major conflicts hitting the world, but that he has also been able to taste some fruits of peace, such as the reestablishment of diplomatic relations between the United States and Cuba, and the US decision to shut down is illegally occupied prison camp in Guantanamo.

Pope Francis mediated between Cuba and the United States to achieve a step forwards in the resumption of diplomatic links at the highest level between the two countries, as announced on December 17 jointly by presidents Barack Obama and Raul Castro.

NEWS

Cuban Revolution brought hope to Nicaragua

It was thanks to the Cuban Revolution that Nicaragua glimpsed hope and managed to set in motion social, economic and political transformation, Nicaraguan foreign minister Samuel Santos told media during a commemoration of the 56th anniversary of the rebel victory in the island.

"This was an autonomous, pure, legitimate, necessary, urgent revolution, benefitting not only Cubans but all humanity and of great importance to the Latin American and Caribbean peoples.’

He also stressed Cuba's role in developing regional integration projects, which has made the dreams of Simon Bolivar, Augusto C. Sandino and Jose Marti come true.

Santos expressed affection, solidarity, gratitude, and Nicaragua's respect for Cuba, and conveyed a greeting on behalf of president Daniel Ortega and the Sandinista National Liberation Front.

In his turn, Cuban ambassador to Nicaragua, Eduardo Martinez, spoke of the transcendental importance in the history of Latin America and the Caribbean, and even far beyond our region, of the revolutionary triumph in the island, a valuable pointer for social justice to begin.

TRADE

US removes limitations to trips and trade with Cuba

The US Treasury Department has announced modifications to the limitations to trade with Cuba and the restrictions to travel to the island for US citizens.

The new modifications will be put in force from January 16, and include some categories, which will benefit people included in them. They will be able to travel to Cuba without having to apply for a specific licence, such as family visits, official US government affairs, journalism and others as well as people participating in exhibits, humanitarian projects, export, import, transactions with authorization of both governments and others.

The new regulations authorize the use of US credit cards in Cuba; the amount of money that can be sent to Cuba will increase, and for the first time, sales and purchases will be authorized between those countries, under some limitations.

Under the new regulations, American companies can export cell phones, televisions, memory sticks, tape recorders, computers and software.

The limit on remittances to relatives in Cuba will rise from two thousand dollars a year to eight thousand dollars.

Following the announcement of the Treasury Department, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said that the US government believes that allowing increased travel, trade and the flow of information to and from Cuba will allow the United States to advance its interests.

The policy maintained by Washington for half a century "has not worked, and we believe the best way to support our interests and values is through openness and not isolation," he said, making the crucial point it was their intention to work with Congress to eliminate the main obstacle to normalizing bilateral ties — the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed on Cuba over half a century ago.

TRADE

US agribusiness coalition wants trade with Cuba

Big US agribusiness corporations and members of Congress have formed a coalition to hasten the lifting of the ban on trade with Cuba, announced the president of the American Agricultural Federation, Bob Stallman, in a recent press conference.

Stallman said they will demand a relaxation of financial restrictions on trade with Cuba, making US agriculture and livestock producers more competitive in the Cuban market.

“It will take time for the US Congress to come to terms with normal relations with Cuba, but we need to put an end to this embargo,” said Paul Johnson, president of Chicago Foods International LLC and vice president of the US.Agricultural Coalition for Cuba (USACC).

Secretary of agriculture Tom Vilsack referred to the commercial opportunity a normalization of trade with Cuba would represent, a market only 140 kilometres from the US border.

Vilsack said the trade was valued in 1.7 billion dollars for a market of 11 million consumers, presently restricted by bureaucratic obstacles that affected US exporters.

According to observers, the recent statement of US president Barack Obama of advancing to a reestablishment of diplomatic links with the Caribbean island, incentivised the agribusiness sector to create the new coalition.

In the USACC´s opinion, although United States agribusiness companies could export their products to Cuba, financial and commercial restrictions imposed by the US limited the competitiveness of their products.

Among the members of the group were big corporations of this sector like Cargill and Smithfield Foods, together with the main US producers of rice, soy, corn, wheat and turkey.

Missouri governor Jay Nixon, representing the largest agricultural and livestock producers in the US, criticized the present complex bureaucratic process as a self-imposed obstacle.

He also referred to the potential of opening of trade with Cuba and mentioned the case of Brazil, whose exports to the island have grown four times leaving US suppliers at a disadvantage.

TRADE

US agribusiness coalition wants trade with Cuba

Big US agribusiness corporations and members of Congress have formed a coalition to hasten the lifting of the ban on trade with Cuba, announced the president of the American Agricultural Federation, Bob Stallman, in a recent press conference.

Stallman said they will demand a relaxation of financial restrictions on trade with Cuba, making US agriculture and livestock producers more competitive in the Cuban market.

“It will take time for the US Congress to come to terms with normal relations with Cuba, but we need to put an end to this embargo,” said Paul Johnson, president of Chicago Foods International LLC and vice president of the US.Agricultural Coalition for Cuba (USACC).

Secretary of agriculture Tom Vilsack referred to the commercial opportunity a normalization of trade with Cuba would represent, a market only 140 kilometres from the US border.

Vilsack said the trade was valued in 1.7 billion dollars for a market of 11 million consumers, presently restricted by bureaucratic obstacles that affected US exporters.

According to observers, the recent statement of US president Barack Obama of advancing to a reestablishment of diplomatic links with the Caribbean island, incentivised the agribusiness sector to create the new coalition.

In the USACC´s opinion, although United States agribusiness companies could export their products to Cuba, financial and commercial restrictions imposed by the US limited the competitiveness of their products.

Among the members of the group were big corporations of this sector like Cargill and Smithfield Foods, together with the main US producers of rice, soy, corn, wheat and turkey.

Missouri governor Jay Nixon, representing the largest agricultural and livestock producers in the US, criticized the present complex bureaucratic process as a self-imposed obstacle.

He also referred to the potential of opening of trade with Cuba and mentioned the case of Brazil, whose exports to the island have grown four times leaving US suppliers at a disadvantage.

TRADE

China-CELAC — a strategic alliance

President Xi Jinping stated this Thursday that trade between China and the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean was expected to reach US$500 billion within a decade, while investments should hit around $250,000 billion, information released during the inauguration of the first ministerial meeting of the China-CELAC Forum, with delegations from 30 of the 33 member countries.

Xi Jinping also stressed the importance of cooperation among Latin American countries to strengthen development.

The first day of the ministerial meeting of the Forum of China and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), culminated on Thursday with the Beijing Declaration, which set out a range of strategies and agreements reached by the economic bloc for multilateral cooperation over the next ten years.

“The time has come to deepen relations between China and Latin America. The ties between China and Latin America are based on the need to create a common China-CELAC destiny, for the consolidation, development and transformation of our peoples,” the Chinese president stated.

Venezuela's president, Nicolás Mauro, noted the opportunity now existed “to find a common path of justice, of humanity, to achieve the principles of peace, cooperation, so that no one seeks control over our natural resources, nor uses finance, or money, to suppress and dominate entire nations.”

In their speeches, the presidents of Costa Rica, Ecuador, Venezuela, and the prime minister of the Bahamas, Perry Christie, also saluted the efforts of Cuba at the forefront of CELAC and towards the establishment of this Forum, which was approved at the second summit of the body held in Havana in January 2014.

The forum was attended by four presidents, one prime minister and 40 ministers, 20 of whom were foreign ministers.

TRADE

Blockade backfires on US farmers

Rice farmers from the US southern state of Louisiana are lobbying in Washington for the lifting of trade restrictions on Cuba.

According to local television, US rice farmers are saying that exports to Cuba would make a big difference for growers in that US region.

Farmer Brian Wild was quoted as sayingL “It would make a tremendous difference to me. Our prices are down about 20 to 25 percent from last year. They're below our cost of production. I've heard figures that could mean as much as two billion dollars to Louisiana and to the south as a whole."

Besides, Wild says, the US blockade against Cuba hasn't accomplished anything, noting: “It's not an embargo against Cuba, it's an embargo against the Louisiana rice farmers.“

For rice farmers in Louisiana Cuba would be a very close, major export market that would increase the demand for their product, which is going to increase the price that they receive and that's why there's such interest.

TRADE

Cuba — in the big cruise ship company spotlight

The recent announcement by presidents Barack Obama and Raul Castro to re-establish diplomatic relations after the 50 year freeze has sparked expectations among the world´s and US´s major cruise ships companies.

An article in the UK-based Daily Telegraph reads that "the US government's historic agreement to end more than 50 years of diplomatic freeze between the two countries has put Cuba firmly on the travel bucket list."

The article explains that US Carnival Corporation CEO Arnold Donald is already planning to modify Caribbean itineraries to include Havana, as soon as US cruise ships are permitted to sail in Cuban waters.

The article adds that a handful of UK cruise lines already sail to Cuba, including Star Clippers and Thomson, as does Canada based Cuba Cruise which has just started its second winter season of voyages circumnavigating the island.

At present there is also a 12-day Cuban Explorer Cruise that twins a seven-night cruise on board the three-diamond rated Louis Cristal cruise ship with a three-day stay in Havana, says the Telegraph.

Other cruise companies heading to Havana this year include Noble Caledonia, from the UK, Fred Olsen and Voyages of Discovery, also from Britain, which will be in Havana for two days in January 2016.

Carnival Corporation is a global cruise company and one of the largest vacation companies in the world. Its portfolio of leading cruise brands includes Carnival Cruise Lines, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises and Seabourn in North America; P&O Cruises (UK), and Cunard in the United Kingdom; AIDA Cruises in Germany; Costa Cruises in Southern Europe; and P&O Cruises (Australia) in Australia.

TRADE

Canadian hotel chain starts up in Havana

With the management of Memories Miramar Havana and the Monte Habana hotels completed, the Canadian firm Blue Diamond now focuses on tourists traveling to Cuba for business reasons or conferences.

After four years of encouraging results based on sun and beach, with products aimed at families, weddings and honeymoons, the hotel division began operations on January 1 in Havana, where the country’s most important meetings are held.

According to representatives of Blue Diamond’s Cuba division, recent investments in the capital will make it possible to enrich and complement tourist facilities, which today include some 10 hotels and close to 6,000 rooms in Varadero, Holguin and the Santa Mari and Coco cays.

Recently, Blue Diamond also announced the introduction in the island of its new Starfish brand, designed for leisure trips and with more economic offers as compared to its other two lines, Memories and Royalton.

Two hotels now show that new brand, the Starfish Cuatro Palmas, in Varadero, and the Starfish Cayo Santa Maria, in northern Villa Clara.

Blue Diamond also took over recently the administration and commercialization of Memories Holguin –previously Riu Playa Turquesa-, a four-star hotel of 531 rooms located in Yaraguanal Beach, Guardalavaca.

With these five additions, the hotel division has expanded operations in Cuba to 12 hotels and almost 7,000 rooms, thus occupying the second position on the list of foreign hotel chains with the greatest presence and prestige at this destination, after the Spanish Melia.

TECHNOLOGY

Advanced ‘ecological’ refrigerator for ZEDM

Cuban engineers have installed a state-of-the-art refrigerator in the Special Development Zone Mariel (ZEDM) which uses ammonia gas as a natural and environmentally friendly refrigerant which does not damage the ozone layer or contribute to global warming.

Its use will enable annual savings of 126.5 tonnes of oil to the economy, says Argudín Jesus Quintana, engineering area specialist at the Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Institute of the Ministry of Industries.

Operation of the four cold-chambers by ammonia gas will mean significant savings of electricity, more than half than if a traditional refrigerant — 404 — is used.

Several units of the Iron and Steel Industry Business Group were involved in the work which should be completed in the first half of this year says Quintana, adding that special welding technology reduces lead times, and that the system incorporates all the networks of pipes for transporting the cooling fluid, with valves, fittings and all instrumentation and control elements that guarantee correct operation of the facility.

TECHNOLOGY

Prioritizing Cuban scientific development

THE reorganization and development of the entities which make up the Cuban science, technology and innovation system are today priorities for the country, deputy minister José Santana of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment, (Citma) told media in Havana.

He noted that the government has designated a budget of 90 million pesos in order to achieve these objectives.

It is important that scientific research is not affected or stopped during the reorganization process, which will be carried out through 2015 in accordance with the economic guidelines of the Party and the Revolution, stated Santana.

For his part, the director of Citma’s Science, Technology and Innovation section, Ulises Fernández, announced that Cuban Science Day, celebrated every January 15, will be commemorated this year with a schedule of events through March 20.

Given its positive results, Mayabeque province was chosen to host the main act, while Holguín and Guantánamo were highlighted as outstanding provinces, noted Fernández.

The celebrations include workshops and exchanges between specialists and public meetings in which employees from the ministry headquarters will be recognized.

The minister added that an information bureau will be available with the collaboration of the media to highlight the achievements of research entities and collectives.

Activities to celebrate January 15 took place this year in the context of the 100th anniversary of the death of Carlos Juan Finlay, the eminent Cuban scientist who discovered that mosquitoes were carriers of yellow fever, and was nominated on numerous occasion for the Nobel Prize for Medicine.

The celebrations for Cuban Science Day will end on March 20 with the awarding of national prizes for innovation, as well as special distinctions from Citma.

DIPLOMACY

Praise from Cairo’s governor for our progress in health, education and sport

Cuba’s advancement in health, education and sport were acknowledged by Cairo governor Galal Mustafa al Said at a meeting with Cuban ambassador Laureano Rodriguez.

He also expressed a wish to develop and strengthen relations between Cuba and Egypt in all the spheres of bilateral interest, emphasising that the Cuban experience might be of considerable interest to Egypt, especially in the struggle against illiteracy, which afflicts some 17,000,000 Egyptians.

The diplomats jointly emphasized the historical bonds of friendship between their countries, both founder members of the Movement of Nonaligned Countries, and the friendship between the two global leaders — Fidel Castro and Gamal Abdel Nasser.

Egypt is one of the states that routinely votes in the UN in favour of the resolution to end the longstanding economic, financial and commercial blockade by the United States of Cuba.

DIPLOMACY

Cuba-USA ties sign of peace — young Communist

Legislator and general secretary of the Communist Youth of Chile, Karol Cariola, has praised as a sign of peace the agreement for the restoration of relations between Cuba and the United States.

This is a great very important progress since the political, social and economic viewpoint, she said.

Cariola thinks that what the US government should do is to respect the peoples' autonomy, establish relations and begin to dismantle the blockade on Cuba.

“That brutal blockade has had repercussions in the quality of life of the Cuban people because they cannot have economic relations with other countries,” she said.

The restoration of ties between Washington and Havana was being supported by Chile, she said.

“We have supported the Cuban people from here and we have no doubt that the strength of the ideology of the revolution and the efforts of many years of resistance — despite the blockade — will allow them to succeed in this new era.

“The United States should play a role and we hope that this is the dismantling of the blockade and respect for the fundamental rights of individuals.”

DIPLOMACY

Chilean ministers welcome new Cuba-USA era

Chilean government minister Alvaro Elizalde, and minister of women, Claudia Pascual, welcomed today the agreement made by Cuba and the United States to renew their relations, while requested the end of the blockade.

Elizalde, official spokesman of La Moneda Palace, told media that the administration of Michelle Bachelet has praised the initiative announced some weeks ago between Havana and Washington.

“We also see that the US economic blockade on Cuba has no justification and we have been very critical of it,” he said.

The minister considered promising to establish spaces between governments and peoples, "to create better living spaces throughout America."

Claudia Pascual highlighted that in the interest of integration and solidarity of Latin America and the Caribbean, the news that Cuba and the United States can enjoy normal ties made everyone happy.

The minister, responsible for the National Women's Service in Chile said that strengthening the idea that the region is an example of peace and stability to the world, having Cuba's present in all forums was essential.

She also lamented that the blockade on the Caribbean island was being maintained, although she was optimistic that the White House would move to end this measure.

Other Chilean figures have spoken in the same vein, such as Angela Jeria, mother of Chilean president Michelle Bachelet, who has described the new stage in the ties between Cuba and the United States as positive.

ENVIRONMENT

Cuba must reduce pollutant sources this year

Specialists of the Cuban Department of Science Technology and Environment (Citma) will centre their attention in 2015 on the reduction of pollutant sources and on protection of the coastal zones.

Marisol Gil, Citma’s delegate in the western province of Matanzas, says the intention is to continue the work to adapt to the effects of climatic change, and preserve the hydrographic basins.

Gil emphasized the high priority of work in the bays of Cardenas and Matanzas, the latter 100 kilometres (62.1 miles) east of Havana, adding that in addition to the ports, better preservation of the tributary water sources would be attended to.

She recalled that in the region of Matanzas, Varadero was the principal spa of the island, the Cienaga de Zapata marsh was the biggest in the Caribbean, an element in the biosphere, and a place called Sitio Ramsar.

"In Varadero, we will be keeping on with measures for the cover of the dune as well as the elimination of facilities above and bordering to these hillocks, to benefit the sand, “ she said.

She added that the human resources of Citma would promote the endogenous development of the municipalities, the improving of the systems of residual treatments and the programmes to diminish contamination.

These actions would include studies of vulnerability and sustainable handling of the soils, and investments in the environment to heighten awareness of he potential for forest fires.

ENVIRONMENT

Science favours rice production in Cuba

The western province Scientific-Technological Base Unit Los Palacios stands out today for its contribution to rice production in Cuba with the varieties Inca LP5 and Inca LP7, very acceptable to domestic farmers.

Founded in 1973 with the objective of contributing to agricultural development in this area, the institution provides more than a dozen varieties that stand out for their yield, industrial quality, tolerance to fungal diseases, mites and resistant to salinity. Scientist Alexander Miranda Caballero, director of the centre, attached to the National Institute of Agricultural Sciences, explained that current researches are also aimed at developing productions of sorghum, beans, soybeans and chickpeas, adding to the diet of humans and animals.

The unit features a garden of varieties of rice and beans that enable stakeholders to check in situ the goodness of each crop.

Los Palacios advises the ago-industrial and beans companies of that locality, considered among the most important ones in the country, as well as producers and researchers.

ENVIRONMENT

2014, one of the warmest ever in Cuba

2014 was one of the warmest six years in Cuba since 1950, according to a preliminary report from the Meteorology Institute's Climate Centre.

The annual average temperature exceeded 64degs Celsius (°C), the historic average from 1961 to 1990, and 24degsC from 2001 to 2010, according to the country´s meteorological stations.

According to experts, winter was the warmest season since 1981, while the percentage of hot days is among the 10 highest according to the meteorological stations of Casablanca (Havana), Camagüey, and Maisi.

2014 was also the second consecutive year that Cuba´s average temperature was 6degs above normal.

So far, 1998 was been the warmest recorded in Cuba, exceeding by .75degs the usual average temperatures.

HEALTH

Cuba’s international Ebola course #2

Cuba’s Ministry of Public Health has convened a second international course for the prevention of and confrontation with Ebola, to be held from February 9 to 14, 2015.

The Pedro Kouri Institute of Tropical Medicine in Havana will host the course aimed at specialists, epidemiologists and health managers.

The main topics to be explored are the epidemiology of Ebola virus diseases, clinical aspects of diseases, aspects of laboratory, biosafety, organization of health services and logistic assurance, human factors in severe epidemics and social communication.

The programme will be developed by theoretical and theoretical-practical classes with participatory methods.

Each main subject will begin with lectures; classroom demonstrations will also undertake educational activities or through observation and discussion of demonstrative videos, under the guidance of professionals with teaching rank who are highly specialized in the course topics.

HEALTH

Cuba exceeds blood donations target

Cuban blood donations have exceed the estimates predicted two consecutive years ago.

Dr. Luis Enrique Perez, head of the National Blood Program in the Ministry of Public Health (Minsap) stressed that more than 6.5 million Cubans between 18 and 65 years old were able to donate.

'About 340,000 people out of this number donate blood systematically, which represents about five percent of that potential," he said, adding it was “a success of the people that support the Committees for the Defence of the Revolution and the Minsap,”

Perez said that on average, with each contribution, three lives were saved; donations were of vital importance especially in cases of accidents and surgeries of which more than a million occurred last year on the island.

STATEHOOD

Young Communist league prepares for Congress

The issues discussed for inclusion in the agenda for the 10th Congress of the Young Communist League in Cuba (UJC) are as rich as the country's thinking, first secretary of the UJC, Yuniaski Crespo, told media.

The process of discussions prior to the Congress had been inclusive, covering employment, recreational options and juvenile crime, he said.

More than 26,000 youngsters, out of 400,000 members. have attended assemblies countrywide to agree on topics to be discussed in the Congress, scheduled for July 18-19.

"It has to be a Congress in line with the transformations, scarcity and needs the Cubans are going through," said Crespo after saying that young people who were not members of the UJC had also been invited to the assemblies to take note of their views and proposals, too.

Meanwhile, a member of the National Bureau of the UJC, Sucelys Morfa, said this Congress will be dedicated to historical leader of the Cuban Revolution Fidel Castro.

The slogan of the Congress will be Fidel Castro's words "the reasons to fight and win multiply every day," said Morfa.

“At least 500 delegates and 80 guests are expected to attend our Congress,” said Joan Palmero, a member of the National Bureau of the UJC.

SOLIDARIDAD

Cuban Five — solidarity epitomised

The decision to never betray the Cuban Revolution turned the Cuban Five into a tight group from the start of the legal process against them, stated hero Ramon Labanino during the television broadcast programme Mesa Redonda this week.

Labanino referred to the way they were repeatedly lured to betrayal through material offers and psychological pressure.

It was not only a personal treason, but also to betray the country, which might even be an excuse for military escalation and against our government in the political scene, said Labanino as he reflected about their situation at the time.

“None of us yielded, despite being placed in solitary confinement for the entire 17 months of pretrial custody, without seeing each other,” and he recalled that on September 14, 1998 when they met in court and also saw Rene Gonzalez and Fernando Gonzalez, they knew they would stay together as one until the end.

Meanwhile, hero Gerardo Hernandez said 10 people were detained but five of them couldn't resist the pressure and cooperated with US authorities in out of court settlements.

He said to him it was a moment of reaffirmation, as the objective of the US authorities was to stage propaganda, and he was certain that he had not done any harm to the United States.

“Five of us decided not to give in,” said Gerardo, and extolled the stands of Rene, Fernando, Ramon and Antonio, against whom there was virtually no evidence.

Regarding their lawyers, Antonio referred to how since the start of the process a close link was forged with the families and the lawyers identified with the cause and who admiredThe Cuban Five.

He specially extolled lawyer Leonard Weinglass, whom The Cuban Five remember as tirelessly fighting for their release. He died before he could enjoy this victory, he lamented.

Antonio also appreciated the respect and admiration shown to them by the people and friends of Cuba.

Gerardo said one cannot speak about The Cuban Five without referring to the solidarity movements worldwide, which contributed to multiply The Cuban Five's pride in being Cuban and loving their country.

He highlighted the important role of this solidarity in spreading details of their case and the achievements made by solidarity movements in the United States and other nations, which deserve admiration and the most sincere gratitude.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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