Embassy of Cuba in New
No.12 27th March 2015
We lead the newsletter with an
important declaration from the Community of Latin American
and Caribbean states criticising the US for its action
against Venezuela. Then human rights and telecommunications
are topics addressed by reporters in Havana this week, with
coverage of wide-ranging talks between Cuba and the US
looking at human rights in the USA and other places where
the country has direct influence. Yet the US praises
Cuba’s anti-narcotics activities; the EU continues its
support for a cessation of the economic blockade; though the
rumours that changes made by the US to its blacklist of
what it terms ‘supporters of terrorism and traffickers of
narcotics’ would benefit Cuba were proven false. On the
diplomatic front relations were strengthened with India,
Russia, El Salvador, Mali, UNESCO and old friends Namibia.
Under Trade software entity Desoft is looking for
international opportunities and Cuba passed the one million
holiday visitor mark two weeks ahead of last year’s
milestone. The mountainous Villa Clara area is experiencing
a severe drought while the Institute of Ecology and
Systematics has hosted a conference which resulted in an
Action Plan of the Republic of Cuba based on three pillars:
learn, preserve and use biodiversityin a sustainable
In this issue
Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC)
• Cuba and USA talk on human rights
• Cuba, US exchange views on telecommunications
• EU confirms rejection of US blockade
• Raúl receives High Representative of the European Union
• US Treasury list revision NOT linked to US/Cuba policy change
• Cuban medical team returns from Africa
• India welcomes Cuban vice president
• Raúl meets with Russian foreign minister
• Russia and Cuba to boost bilateral collaboration
• Cuba and El Salvador keen to strengthen relations
• Cuba and Mali seek closer ties
• Cuba, UNESCO to build diplomatic relations
• Sam Nujoma tells vice-president Diaz-Canel of his love for Cuba
• Latin America and internet looking at Cuban software enterprise
• US State Department acknowledges Cuba anti-drug policy and results
• Drought in Central Cuban mountains
• Cuba reviews national biodiversity strategy
• A million tourists already!
Communiqué of the community of Latin American and Caribbean states in solidarity with the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela
The Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) expresses its rejection of the application of unilateral coercive measures contrary to international law.
CELAC reaffirms its commitment with the full validity of international law, the Peaceful Settlement of Disputes, and the principle of non-intervention.
CELAC ratifies the postulates of the Proclamation of Latin America and the Caribbean as a Zone of Peace, agreed on during the 2nd Summit held in Havana, in January 2014.
CELAC reiterates the content of its Special Communiqué, approved within the framework of the 3rd Summit of CELAC in Belen on January 29, 2015 and of its Special Communiqué dated February 12, 2015.
The Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) expresses its rejection of the Executive Order issued by the government of the United States of America on March 9, 2015, and considers that this Executive Order should be reversed.
Likewise, CELAC calls upon the government of the United States of America and the government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela to launch a dialogue, under the principles of respect for sovereignty, non-interference in the internal affairs of the states, the self-determination of the peoples and the democratic and institutional order in line with international law.
CELAC urges both sides to resume dialogue and calls upon the democratic forces of Venezuela to make use of constitutional mechanisms to solve existing differences.
26 de marzo de 2015
Cuba and USA talk on human rights
Cuba and the United States will open dialogue next week on human rights, at the suggestion of the Cuban foreign affairs ministry in Havana.
Pedro Luis Pedroso, General deputy director for multilateral affairs and International law in the foreign affairs ministry told media that meetings were scheduled for March 31.
Cuba expects the meeting will take place in a constructive environment, on a reciprocal basis, without conditions, or discriminatory treatment and within full respect to the sovereignty, independence and the no interference in the parties’ internal affairs, said Pedroso.
The agenda would include topics of interest for both countries and Cuba will talk on its achievements in the promotion and protection of human rights, not only for the people, but also to other nations where the country has cooperated in sectors like health and education.
“At the same time” he said, we will expose our concerns about the situation of human rights in USA and in other places where that country has direct influence.”
The talks on human rights were an example of Cuba’s wish to exchange views with the USA despite differences, under the basis of equity and reciprocity.
“We are conscious of the deep differences between ourselves and the USA government regarding political systems, democracy, human rights and international laws, but we have want both countries to have a civilized relationship within the recognition for and respect of these differences,” he added.
Cuba, US exchange views on telecommunications
A US government delegation, headed by ambassador Daniel Sepulveda, deputy assistant secretary of state and coordinator for international communications and policy information of the United States, is in Cuba to discuss telecommunications with Cuban authorities.
The delegation includes officials from the departments of state and commerce, and the Federal Communications Commission.
The visitors were received by deputy minister of the Ministry of Communications, Jorge Luis Perdomo Di-Lella, accompanied by officials and those of the ministries of foreign affairs and foreign trade and foreign investment.
During the meeting, the Cuban side provided the US visitors with information on Cuba’s policy of computerization cyber security. They also discussed the scope of the new regulations issued by the US government to implement the modifications to the blockade on telecommunications and the restrictions still in force, which prevent normal relations between the two countries in this sphere.
The US delegation was also received at the ministries of foreign affairs and foreign trade and foreign investment, and visited the Empresa de Telecomunicaciones de Cuba, ETECSA; the University of Information Science, UCI; and the Higher Poli-technical Institute José Antonio Echeverría, CUJAE.
EU confirms rejection of US blockade
EU high representative for foreign affairs and security policy Federica Mogherini has confirmed EU member states’ rejection of the US blockade against Cuba.
"Regarding the blockade, you know very well the historical stance adopted by the EU. At this time of dialogue between the US and Cuba, there is no reason to maintain the blockade,” said Mogherini when she was welcomed by Cuban foreign minister Bruno Rodriguez at the headquarters of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
“The EU and Cuba have been partners, have been friends. There are areas in which we disagree, but we could discuss them too,” said Mogherini.
“My presence here in the early stages of my term (begun November 1, 2014) is a sign of the willingness of the EU to continue these contacts,” she said; and expressed her interest in continuing the talks between the EU and Cuba on the political dialogue and bilateral cooperation agreement next April in Belgium.
Rodriguez offered the view that Mogherini's visit to Cuba will boost relations between the EU and Cuba.
"I wish to reiterate our will to work jointly in order to speed up these ties, and I renew our constructive commitment to the negotiation process for a political dialogue and bilateral cooperation agreement that is already underway", he said.
He emphasised that the basis agreed for relations between the EU and Cuba and for this negotiation process — including sovereign equality, mutual respect and non-interference in internal affairs — would come to a fruitful conclusion.
The Cuban minister thanked the EU member states at the recent UN General Assembly for their stance against the US blockade imposed on Cuba, confirming that Cuba would continue to participate actively and constructively in the preparatory process for the next CELAC-EU summit to be held in Brussels in June.
Raúl receives High Representative of the European Union
Army General Raúl Castro Ruz, President of the Councils of State and Ministers, received Her Excellency Mrs. Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the European Commission, this Tuesday, March 24, whilst on an official visit to the island.
In a friendly atmosphere, the two discussed the links between the EU and Cuba. They agreed on the importance of developing relationships of mutual respect, based on the purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter. In addition, they discussed issues of common interest in relation to the international agenda.
Mogherini was accompanied by Stefano Manservisi, her Chief of Cabinet, and Herman Portocarero, ambassador of the European Union in Cuba. Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla and his deputy, Rogelio Sierra Díaz, also attended the meeting.
The EU High Representative also held official talks with the Cuban Foreign Minister. She was received by the President of the National Assembly of People’s Power, Esteban Lazo Hernández; the Vice President of the Council of Ministers and Minister of Economy and Planning, Marino Murillo Jorge, and the Minister of Foreign Trade and Investment, Rodrigo Malmierca Díaz.
US Treasury list revision NOT linked to US/Cuba policy change
The revision by the US treasury of a blacklist of entities and individuals linked to Cuba was described as routine with no relation to the recent changes in Washington´s policy towards Cuba runs a story in Cuba’s principal news medium, Granma.
It noted that the decision by the US treasury to remove dozens of companies and individuals from its black list of "specially designated nationals" has been picked up by international media.
The US Department of Treasury has announced the removal of dozens of Cuban companies and individuals from a blacklist of what it describes as supporters of terrorism and traffickers of narcotics.
Some of the companies withdrawn from the US list are in the area of tourism, such as cruise lines and tour operators. The blacklisted companies or individuals are prohibited from doing any business in the US.
However, Granma newspaper insists that the US economic, commercial and financial blockade of Cuba is still punishing entities from other countries, due to its extraterritorial nature.
The article recalls the fine imposed earlier this month against Germany´s Commerzbank, which totalled over 1.7 billion dollars for having violated sanctions against Cuba, Iran, Sudan and Myanmar.
The revision of the black list is a routine process to exclude those entities that have disappeared or individuals who have passed away. But the media outlets that reported the story did not check if such entities still exist or if the individuals mentioned were still alive, the article points out.
Those who thought that this was a far-reaching decision with respect to Washington´s policy on Cuba and particularly related to a substantial modification of the blockade, should read what a US official with its Treasury anonymously said to the Associated Press agency
The removal was due to an internal revision of old designations related to Cuba and it is not linked to recent changes announced by president Obama.
The article concludes by noting that what was not said by the official or by the media was that the blockade against Cuba is intact and continues to affect more than 11 million of Cubans and thousands of companies and entities in Cuba and other countries.
Cuban medical team returns from Africa
Following a successful mission against ebola in Africa, 150 Cuban medical professionals have returned home, 98 of them from Sierra Leone and 52 from Liberia.
The medical brigade arrived at the Juan Gualberto Gomez international airport in Varadero, western Manatees province, after a nearly five-month mission that contributed to save many lives threatened by the Ebola virus in Africa.
They are part of the Henry Reeve International Contingent, with 256 medical workers, who travelled to Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea responding to the call from the United Nations and the World Health Organization to fight the disease in Africa.
Following their arrival here, the medical personnel will be submitted to epidemiological control applied to all persons coming from countries affected by the ebola virus.
India welcomes Cuban vice president
India’s leaders expressed their commitment to strengthening the country’s friendship with Cuba upon receiving vice president Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez with considerable warmth last week.
Beginning his itinerary Diaz-Canel met with prime minister Narendra Modi, president Pranab Mukherjee, vice president Hamid Ansari, and foreign minister Sushma Swaraj.
The Indian prime minister reiterated his admiration for the historic leader of the Cuban Revolution Fidel Castro and president Raúl Castro, and celebrated the fact that the two countries had maintained a positive relationship over a period of 55 years, since diplomatic relations were first established.
India was one of the first countries to recognize Cuba’s revolutionary government in January of 1959, and the two nations became founding members of the Non-Aligned Movement.
The meeting between Modi and Díaz-Canel was the highest level exchange between the two countries since October 2013, when vice president Hamid Ansari visited Havana and was received by Fidel and Raúl.
Díaz-Canel met later with foreign minister Swaraj, with whom he discussed possibilities for increasing bilateral trade and cooperation in the areas of biotechnology, information technology, renewable energy, education, sports and culture.
The Cuban vice president will today visit the city of Agra (some 180 kilometres from the capital) where the Taj Mahal world heritage site is located, to complete his international tour which also included visits to Namibia, Angola and South Africa.
Raúl meets with Russian foreign minister
Army general Raúl Castro Ruz, president of the councils of state and ministers, held a meeting on last week with His Excellency Sergey V. Lavrov, minister of foreign affairs of the Russian Federation, who is on a working visit to Cuba.
During the fraternal dialogue, the two highlighted the excellent state of bilateral relations between Cuba and Russia and ratified their willingness to work together for the effective implementation of their bilateral economic agenda and to strengthen exchanges in areas of common interest.
Raúl thanked Russia for its support for an end to the U.S. economic, commercial and financial blockade against Cuba and reiterated the country’s opposition to the unilateral sanctions imposed by the US and its NATO allies against Russia.
Accompanying the distinguished Russian visitor were Mikhail L. Kamynin, ambassador of the Russian Federation in Cuba, and Alexander V. Schetinin, director of the Latin American division at the Russian foreign ministry. Also present were Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla and Rogelio Sierra Díaz, Cuban foreign minister and deputy foreign minister, respectively.
Earlier, Lavrov had met Ricardo Cabrisas Ruiz, vice president of the Council of Ministers, together with Rodríguez Parrilla.
Russia and Cuba to boost bilateral collaboration
Russia´s foreign minister Serguei Lavrov has met Cuban government vice-president Ricardo Cabrisas on details of the 8th Session of the Cuba-Russia Joint Intergovernmental Commission slated for April in Moscow.
During the meeting, Lavrov stressed the significance of the joint sessions, which follow up on the accords adopted last July during the visit by president Vladimir Putin to Cuba.
The two top government officials described as favourable the current scenario for the strengthening of bilateral economic links, which has been evidenced by numerous meetings of delegations from both countries in the first quarter of this year.
“We think that Cuba has very practical projects for the development of its infrastructure and its economy, which are of interest to Russian companies operating on the island,” Lavrov said.
Other issues on the agenda of the meeting included regional politics, international relations and collaboration with the United Nations.
“We are satisfied with the support we have always received from Russian authorities in the struggle against the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed on us by the United States, said the Cuban government vice-president with the meeting also addressing the next steps to be taken by Russia in condemning the US anti-Cuba policy.
Havana is the first leg of Lavrov´s Latin American tour, which also includes Colombia, Guatemala and Nicaragua.
Cuba and Russia signed a memo of understanding in 2009 on the principles of strategic collaboration, which focuses on bilateral actions in the areas of tourism, health, culture and higher education.
Cuba and El Salvador keen to strengthen relations
Cuba and El Salvador have called for the strengthening of their relations in the context of the visit here by the president of the Board of the Legislative Assembly of El Salvador, Sigfrido Reyes.
Receiving Reyes and his parliamentary delegation, the president of the National Assembly of People's Power of Cuba, Esteban Lazo, welcomed them and said this visit "will help strengthen bilateral relations between the two peoples".
During the meeting, Lazo recalled that Cuba and El Salvador were joined by "close ties of friendship, solidarity and brotherhood", forged in the historical struggle.
After referring to the good state of bilateral ties, the president of the Cuban Parliament urged economic and trade ties to be raised to the same level of excellent relations in the political field between the two countries.
Meanwhile, Reyes said that performs this check in order to deepen the bonds of friendship, cooperation and solidarity between Cuba and El Salvador.
He also highlighted the step taken last December 17 by Cuba and the United States towards the normalization of relations, an effort that deserves the support of all Latin America and the world, because there have been decades of sacrifice by the Cuban people, he said.
Reyes said that together with his delegation, he joins in the campaign to immediately stop the economic blockade against Cuba, which he called an anachronism.
Referring to the arbitrary and unilateral list of countries sponsoring terrorism made by Washington, he called for Cuba to be taken off the list.
Reyes said that Cuba and El Salvador normalized diplomatic relations five years ago and very positive things had emerged from the standards.
In this regard, he recalled that Cuba cooperates with El Salvador in the field of education (in the fight against illiteracy), in strengthening health systems in the scientific field in general and in sports and cultural branch.
“We have about 300 young Salvadorans here studying medicine and other university courses and our people are very grateful for this noble gesture of the Cuban people, “ he said, also reaffirming this visit showed that Cuba and El Salvador shared ideals of Latin American integration and the common causes would have to be strengthened as part of this new phase of regional unity.
Cuba and Mali seek closer ties
Cuba and Mali today agreed to strengthen ties in the context of the visit of the Mali National Assembly president Issaka Sidebe to the Caribbean.
Upon receiving Sidebe and his delegation, president of the Cuban Parliament Esteban Lazo recalled the positive development of bilateral relations since 1960, when the West African nation gained independence.
In terms of cooperation, Lazo recalled that nearly 400 students from Mali has graduated in Cuba — 188 from medical school, 178 from other disciplines while currently a group of Malian students is currently studying on the island.
He also wished for peace in Mali and said that Cuba was ready to resume cooperation — affected by internal instability episodes occurred in that there in 2012 — when security conditions allow.
On the other hand, the president of the national assembly of Mali ratified the excellent state of bilateral relations based on a spirit of friendship and brotherhood and recalled his nation's stance of rejection towards the blockade imposed by the United States to the island.
In that regard, he stressed that the resistance of the Cuban people is a beautiful example for Mali.
Meanwhile, Sidebe commended Cuba and the US decision towards normalizing relations and hoped that this step would lead to the lifting of Washington's economic blockade.
After expressing a greeting from his government to Raul, he expressed his gratitude for the cooperation extended by the island in the most diverse areas such as health, sports and education.
Cuba, UNESCO to build diplomatic relations
Cuba and UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) have reiterated their interest and commitment to continue developing diplomatic relations and cooperation.
UNESCO general director Irina Bokova and Cuban ambassador at that entity, Dulce Maria Buergo, were both in favour of closer cooperation when she presented her credentials.
The officials talked on the main issues of the UNESCO’s agenda.
Among the issues are the post-2015 development agenda, a process in which the island has played an active role in strengthening and defending the importance of education, science and culture.
Cuba has been a UNESCO member since August 29, 1947. This year, the 70th anniversary of the founding of the organization, the country has joined the celebrations with a busy plan of activities.
Sam Nujoma tells vice-president Diaz-Canel of his love for Cuba
Founding father of Namibia Sam Nujoma has talked with Cuban vicepresident, Miguel Diaz-Canel, in a meeting charged with emotion.
Nujoma, agile and vital at85, received Diaz-Canel with open arms in the foundation bearing his name.
Books, flags and photographs abound in his ample and uncluttered office. It was there he welcomed the visitor.
Some seconds after the embrace and handshake, Nujoma asked in perfect Spanish “¿And the commander-in-chief?”
He spoke about the leader of the Cuban Revolution as a true friend and had one of his pictures hanging in a prime position.
Diaz-Canel expressed the emotion that surged in him in front of this icon of Africa´s struggle for liberty and, especially, of Namibia.
"We grew up knowing about your feats, your work as head of SWAPO (South West Africa People's Organization) and in the fight for independence: we also lived intensely when liberation was achieved," said the first vice-president.
Diaz-Canel, on behalf of Fidel and Raúl, brought congratulations on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the independence for Nujoma as undisputed leader of the struggle for independence and as historical leader of SWAPO.
For his part, Nujoma remembered the liberty of Namibia was forged with Cuban blood and talked about the battle of Cuito Cuanavale, when the enemy was completely destroyed.
In 1988 as a result of Cuito Cuanavale the South African regime of apartheid was forced to sit at the negotiating table and consider the emancipation of Angola, of South Africa itself and Namibia.
Diaz-Canel extended to Nujoma and Swapo the appreciation for all the support given to Cuba in its struggle against the blockade maintained by the United States on the island and in the battle for the return of their homeland of the five Cuban heroes imprisoned in the United States.
Besides inviting him to visit the island, Diaz-Canel confirmed to Nujoma that the Cuban Revolution would be unswerving in its support of the Namibian people.
Before the meeting, Díaz-Canel rendered tribute to those fallen in action for a new Namibia in the Acre of the Heroes, the monumental site in downtown Windhoek and visited the Memorial Museum of the Independence, guardian of the country´s history until today.
Latin America and internet looking at Cuban software enterprise
Cuban IT enterprise DESOFT is looking to develop international markets and the Internet for its information technology services, said its general director Luis Guillermo Fernandez told media this week.
"When someone asks which country we want to lead our solutions, we say that our favourite is the Internet," said Fernandez.
"We should not lose our sight of our mission: to get into the development of information technology in the Cuban society. We want to build strategic alliances to lead our initiative in the Latin American market, but not to exclude other nations, who are looking to partner with our country," said Fernandez.
Referring to talks with US companies, he announced after the process of restoration of diplomatic relations, that so far no concrete proposal had been received.
"We think there is solid interest, but nothing concrete so far. The company must be transformed and the future relationship with Washington is an opportunity to strengthen our role as service provider."
Questioned on the deadlines in their strategic projections he said they expect this year and next to be able to ensure conditions for takeoff for the business which was created in February 1998.
With about 2,300 workers, more than 50 percent of them computer engineers, Desoft seeks alliances with universities in order to close cycles in software, especially in the corporate area.
“We specialize in providing applications to large and medium-sized enterprises," he said adding that Desoft has sold more than five thousand licenses of an accounting system.
He said he did not exclude services to cooperatives or entrepreneurs, in line with the economic changes in the country over the past five years.
US State Department acknowledges Cuba anti-drug policy and results
In its annual International narcotics control strategy report the US State Department admitted that despite Cuba´s geographical position between main illegal drug producers in the hemisphere and the US market, the island is not a significant consumer, producer or a transit point for illicit narcotics.
The report, dated March 2015, adds that the production and consumption of drugs in Cuba continue to be low due to active surveillance, strict sentences and national prevention and education programmess. "Cuba concentrates supply reduction efforts by preventing smuggling through territorial waters, rapidly collecting wash-ups, and conducting thorough airport searches. Cuba dedicates significant resources to prevent illegal drugs and their use from spreading, and regional traffickers typically avoid Cuba” the report concludes.
As to bilateral counterdrug cooperation with the United States, the State Department report notes that "...The USCG and Cuban authorities share tactical information related to vessels transiting Cuban territorial waters suspected of trafficking and coordinate responses. Cuba also shares real-time tactical information with The Bahamas, Mexico, and Jamaica. Bilateral cooperation in 2014 led to multiple interdictions; Cuban cooperation with USCG led to the seizure of over 385 kg of marijuana and the arrest of three smugglers in an April event, as well as enabling TGF officials to recover 305 kg of jettisoned contraband in an August operation."
"The United States and Cuba held technical discussions on counternarcotics in April 2014, during which current information on trends and enforcement procedures was shared.
Enhanced communication and cooperation between the United States, international partners, and Cuba, particularly in terms of real-time information-sharing, would likely lead to increased interdictions and disruptions of illegal drug trafficking."
Drought in Central Cuban mountains
Poor rainfall reported in the mountainous area of Villa Clara from September 2014 to date has caused an unprecedented drought in the area, with severe agricultural consequences.
Provincial Meteorological Centre agronomist Ismabel Domínguez, told media that the drought as a natural phenomenon is cumulative: it starts with the lack of rain, which results in depression of the water table, causing more dry land.
As the subsoil loses water, farmers will require larger volumes of the liquid to make their land productive, she explained.
The agro-meteorologist said the drought covers 91 percent of the total area of the territory, and 100 percent of the mountainous Manicaragua municipality.
Seibabo farmer Aliamén Crespo, told media that the grass is dry and to prevent malnutrition in herds they bring grass from remote areas.
According to Crespo, tobacco is one of the most affected productive activities by lack of rain and added that many crops are completely damaged by lack of adequate irrigation.
The tobacco planters have secured plantations, and this time, as in other times, the State National Insurance Company paid, as a way to reverse the damage, she said.
Many locals say the lack of rainfall has no precedent in the hilly region saying that even marabou and aroma, invasive plants resistant to weather, are dry.
Cuba reviews national biodiversity strategy
The National Biodiversity Strategy of Cuba and its action plan have been reviewed at a workshop in Havana.
The meeting, coordinated by the Institute of Ecology and Systematics (IES), is part of a project of the World Environment Program and the UN Development Programme, and seeks to review and reach consensus on actions and proposals by experts from all Cuban provinces.
The international projects (Sabana-Camagüey, Invading exotic species, Connecting mountain landscapes, Southern archipelagos, Biological Caribbean corridor, Reduction of environmental vulnerability), which integrate the experiences to the national strategy, will be also presented during the working sessions.
IES expert Daysi Vilamajo told media that the workshop intends to build a document that reflects the country's biodiversity, and how to deal with media in this area.
Journalists and communicators, who will encourage the design of actions with their contributions and experiences, will also attend, Vilamajo stated.
The National Biodiversity Strategy and the Action Plan of the Republic of Cuba are based on three basic pillars: learn, preserve and use biodiversityin a sustainable way which are the main drivers of goals and objectives, and diagnosis.
A million tourists already!
Cuba has already been visited by a million foreign holidaymakers this year — a record figure according to the Cuban Tourism Ministry.
The figure was reported on Saturday, beating by eleven days last year’s performance and represents a 14-percent increase in arrivals for the first quarter of the year, the ministry noted.
Major tourist sources are Canada, Germany, France, Britain, and Italy.
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Text edited by David Reade of International Public Relations (ipr.bz) on behalf of the Cuban Embassy, Wellington, from Cuban news agency sources